The newest blog post up on the Foundry Group web site is titled What Is "Thematic Investing?" In this post, we try to describe more deeply what we mean when we say "we are thematic investors" or "we like horizontal stuff."
"Our themes tend to be horizontal in nature and are often based on an underlying protocol, standard or market trend that we believe is on the cusp of widespread adoption that has the potential to drive a cycle of innovation and company creation for at least a five to ten year period. We try to focus on themes and their underlying technologies that are ready to be rolled out to consumers or the enterprise and are well beyond the science-experiment phase.
To make this concrete, some examples of themes we are excited about presently and historically include email, RSS, the implicit web and human-computer interaction (HCI). Because themes are inherently horizontal, they have often have applications in the consumer and enterprise markets and can be delivered in myriad ways, whether it is via a web site, SaaS, a gadget, an appliance or good old-fashioned downloadable client or server software."
We don’t limit ourselves only to our themes, but we use them to guide much of our thinking. One of the themes we are working on that we don’t cover in the post is called Glue – which is shorthand for "web application infrastructure." Look for more on this from us soon.