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I had lunch with Bijan Sabet at Spark Capital today on my way to the airport in Boston. We met at his office at 137 Newbury Street. I recognized the address and had a feeling it was the same building that one of my very first Feld Technologies clients – IHRDC – used to be located in.
Not only was it the same building, but I’m pretty sure the floor Spark is on (8th) is the same floor that IHRDC was on (I remember them being on 7 and 8.) Since that was 20 years ago, I’m not 100% sure, but I got goosebumps when I walked into the front door of the building and remembered the elevator placement.
It’s funny what gets lodged in the brain. The view from Spark’s conference room was strangely familiar – I remember looking out Joe Shandling, Dave Donohue, Jim Marchiori, and Jerry Whatwashislastname’s windows at the same view. We spent a lot of time with IHRDC and I hope if anyone is still around they remember us as good guys who worked hard for them. Queue Twilight Zone music.
Bijan fed me my typical lunch salad (something a rabbit could appreciate) while we talked through a bunch of things that we have both been thinking about. I strongly believe that you can be an effective early stage investor without being located physically next to your companies (I’ve always been a national investor) and Spark’s portfolio distribution (mostly outside of Massachusetts) is consistent with this. We are both fascinated with Twitter (that’s how we connected for this lunch – he saw last night that I had Twittered that I was in Boston) although in a “here’s what we’d really benefit from” sort of way. APIs and semantic information came up. We wondered where Lotus had gone (and if Google is going to be the new Lotus for Cambridge). We whined a little that the MyBlogLog guys sold to Yahoo instead of doing a deal with us and Fred. We talked about where Lijit is going and why his “Sophia problem” will be solved soon. And – a couple of other top secret private no-bloggable things.
Bijan – thanks for lunch and the hospitality – the Diet A&P was great and it was a trip to hang out on the 8th floor of 137 Newbury Street after 20 years.