Probably the most common question I get as an early stage venture capitalists is: “what is the most exciting thing you’ve seen lately.”
The easy answer is a link to the Spark Capital website. I led three investments this year (Crowdrise, Trello and one that will be announced next week) and I couldn’t be more excited them.
But today I want to mention a company that we didn’t invest in. Actually this company didn’t raise any venture capital or angel financing as far as I know.
The company is Mojang, the makers behind Minecraft.
The thing that is unusual about my enthusiasm about Mojang I’m not an active Minecraft user. Typically most/all of my investments had me as a user before I became an investor.
But I’ve spent countless hours with my 8year old boy in front of Minecraft.
Here’s what I love about it.
-I love the simplicity.
-I love that it is so creative. Yes, you can battle others but the real thing is making things.
-I love that it is social.
-I love that it is open and hackable. The amount of texture packs and mods we have messed around with is simply awesome.
-I love that it’s community is passionate and engaged
-I love that it is decentralized. You can run your own server
-i love the business model. They built a business model that works, scales and doesn’t take all of the economics from their ecosystem.
There are a few things about Minecraft that drive me crazy — like it runs better on a Windows box than a Mac. And the desktop app is Java based. And their mobile app is a second class citizen. And it’s unusual and disappointing they couldn’t keep the founder engaged after selling to Microsoft.
But they have so many things right. I hope it’s a role model for others.