37signals get Bezo’d: The “personal investment company” of Jeff Bezos has made a minority investment in 37signals. Sidenote: The cover story of the next issue (August-Sept.) of MyBusiness magazine is about Jason. (Okay, I wrote it.) In light of the news, we’ll be posting the story on the magazine’s website later tonight. I’d do it right now, but hey, I’ve got a fiddle concert to attend. (done).
I’ll share some thoughts later, as well. However, I’ve already seen some reports about “VC” funding and folks wondering why Jason, who has steadfastly turned down VC funding, has changed his mind. For the record, selling a minority stake in a private company is not the same as VC funding. While he’s not crazy — hey, everything’s for sell for some price — if you’ve spent any time discussing this topic with Jason (and I enjoyed a few hours doing so), you’ll believe him when he says this:
“Since we launched Basecamp we’ve been contacted by nearly 30 different VC firms. We’ve never been interested in the typical traditional VC deal. With a few exceptions, all the VCs could offer us was cash and connections. We’re fine on both of those fronts. We don’t need their money to run the business and our little black book is full. We’re looking for something else. What we’ve been looking for is the wisdom of a very special entrepreneur who’s been through what we’re going through. Someone who sees things a little differently and makes us feel right at home. Someone with a long term outlook, not a build-to-flip mentality. We found a perfect match in Jeff. Jeff is our kinda guy.”