Just got back from HostingCon in Chicago, and I'm off again to San Jose for SES this week. We'll be there to meet many of our Silicon Valley clients and everyone else who wants to drop by. It's refreshing to get out and get some face time with those innovating the latest and greatest web based business strategies. I've been in this industry since 1994, raised venture capital and gone through the Internet bubble of the late 1990's as an entrepreneur, and with the evolution of technology and the business of the web that seems a long time ago now. I cannot imagine how I could practice in this field if not constantly engaged in the latest and most exciting changes. You definitely need to live the web constantly to stay in touch with the legal issues.
We've been working with a lot of start-ups lately. Now that the VCs are investing aggressively again, things are really heating up. It's tough to draw the line between my Internet entrepreneur days and my lawyer's role today. Business decisions are for clients. Fortunately we are able to ask the right questions, I think, to help our clients avoid some really imprudent decisions. We have a lot of smart clients working on launching new businesses and with a little prompting they do a very good job of figuring things out and weeding out faulty business models or strategies. The market is so up and down right now that it is hard to say what the future holds, but VC money is back, and in a big way. With some luck we'll see some more successful IPOs, and with that will come higher valuations for clients and better VC terms. We'll see how that plays out.
One of the hottest areas right now is music industry sites. With all of the attention the music industry has been receiving lately, it's no wonder a lot more of these sites are being proactive in managing risk. It's really not rocket science to get protected from trademark, copyright, defamation, privacy, and 2257 liability, but I am not sure there are many law firms out there willing to stick their neck out to give a definitive opinion on what to do to protect yourself. I'll blog a bit about the Search Engine Strategies conference upon my return.