The Attention Economy
Updated: Aug 2, 2018
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This is the Attention Economy:
We are in a new reality and it’s called the Attention Economy. It is as transformative and disruptive to society as the industrial revolution.
The attention economy is almost totally decentralized. Attention goes wherever it spreads.
Whatever can produce the most attention, the most consistently has the most influence over people.
Up until now, companies and organizations could buy and to a very large extent, control people’s attention through bombardment.
The human brain has become and is increasingly becoming rewired to ignore bombardment and seek constant stimulation, resulting in a loss of personal and environmental awareness.
The way we record and share the human experience is becoming increasingly distorted choosing to optimize for attention over authenticity.
The most universal human need is to be heard.
As more people awaken to the power of the Attention Economy, an increasing number of people and organizations are choosing attention over most things or — at worst — everything.
The Attention Economy has no in between. It creates only into positive and negative responses. Attention kills nuance. Attention is easy to weaponize.
There is no barrier to entry to win at the Attention Game. Anyone can play, anyone can win. And if we accept the conditions of the game, we all lose eventually.
We are active consumer investors in companies that we believe can better hold an audience of people's attention and own some or all of the related commercial activity associated with that attention. Representative investments include Wave, Jumprope and especially Grove Collaborative which has built a revenue juggernaut in-part due to effectively leveraging user-generated content from a long-tail of independent publishers and influencers.
We are not looking to invest in ad driven models rather, we want to be able to at least transact the commerce and ideally own the products being sold through the attention generated by the portfolio company. With any consumer investment opportunity, we care very much about the strength and experience of the team's customer acquisition capabilities.
Contrary to many consumer investors, we not only encourage paid customer acquisition, but really want to be sure that the team has a plan in place to prove "product marketing channel fit" in as diverse and sustainable channels as possible.
We care deeply about CAC payback and related to that, for consumer companies looking to scale through paid acquisition, we are looking for strong financial acumen and a hiring plan to deepen the Company's FP&A capabilities early.
Through prior investments in Knixwear, Grove Collaborative, we have seen what can happen when really strong product-driven founders build a multi-sku portfolio of products based on continuous customer feedback loops and the smart use of influencers and other digitally native activation strategies, we are very interested in investing in DTC eCommerce companies. Our investment in Massdrop has us very excited about how new community models can actually drive product creation all the way to consumption.