Monday, November 28, 2005


Enterprise Architecture and the Venture Capital Community

Awhile back I wrote a post on why enterprise architects should talk with the VC community. Figured it was long overdue to post an update...

Some VC's such as Dan Gordon and Ed Sim got it while others totally missed the point. Even some folks overseas appreciated the ideas I am attempting to represent.

Anyway, there are two new thoughts that I would love to share today regarding Enterprise Architect's in Fortune 100 enterprises and the Venture Capital community. First, being that the discipline of enterprise architecture requires ensuring that money spent on technology is properly targeted. Many Fortune 100 enterprises have their own VC arms which are usually targeted at investments within their own industry vertical. In my travels I haven't ran across any EAs that even seem to talk to their own internal VCs.

In additional to EA's not talking to their own internal VC's, the internal VC's don't ever seem to talk with external VC's. I wonder if the folks from Mayfield, Valhalla, Kleiner Perkers, and others have called up the VC arm of my own company? Maybe we should get a dialog going around not just using EA's for one's research but to also figure out how to break down historical VC borders.

I would think that external VC's need the corporate VC's badly. Well, maybe not yet, but they will. My hypothesis states that with opportunities for investing in operating systems, J2EE application Servers, Rules Engines, CRM, and ECM being pretty much commotitized, the only thing left to pursue that can make any real money will be chasing industry vertical solutions. Wise VCs understand this and are jumping at the opportunity to get in the heads of Enterprise Architects so they can get ahead of their peers who are still doing status quo investing.

For the VC community, imagine the possibility of being the first firm to invest in open source software targeted at the financial services vertical and having an IPO that would rival or Siebel? The only possibility of being successful once this day comes is to start talking with us enterprise architects...

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