GlobalGrind.com, this entertainment and news service, who are fortunate to
have millions of people enjoy our content monthly, didn’t need to exist.
There are a lot of entertainment sites and a lot of news sites. But not one
that speaks to the new millennial, culturally sophisticated America. Online
and mobile destinations were suffering from a new self-selecting and
backward-looking apartheid – with “black” sites getting more niche and
narrow, and pop sites become blander and less and less representative of a
new American mainstream that is multi-racial, radically inclusive,
technologically savvy and politically fierce.
Russell Simmons wanted to do it right. Aware that one rarely builds a media
empire without great investors, he sought out the best. But few in Silicon
Valley wanted to hear about a “hip-pop” destination. Some were polite,
wanted to meet Russell because of his celebrity and activism; others,
including one prominent venture capitalist on Silicon Valley’s famed
Sandhill Road didn’t even show up for the meeting. But Jim Breyer, lead
venture investor in Facebook, was there from the beginning. GlobalGrind
would be here without him, but it would not be the growing force it is
without his patient support. Jim Breyer never thought GlobalGrind was too
small a venture to give his time, access to his network, his laser-sharp
focus and the breadth of knowledge he has gained from being on the boards of
some of America’s top companies.
Now it’s payback time. Like so many IPO’s these days, Facebook got off to a
bumpy start in what will, I know, end up being a massive success for
investors. But beside the financial gain for Facebook’s investors, the
success of Facebook is in the best interest for every social, political and
entertaining endeavor that we begin; for there has not been a greater
connector around the world that has uplifted so many people in struggle.
Recently, there has been a tremendous amount of scrutiny about the company,
its investors and underwriters, which is understandable considering the
confusion around the sale of the stock to the public. We remember that
Google had a famed IPO that also had a choppy start. And the press then
also had a field day. No one remembers those days, because Google has made
their investors money on top money on top of money. So, this isn’t the
first time the press has taken shots at some of our greatest young
companies. However, this morning we read one really unnecessary article
about Jim Breyer in a national newspaper. And a really low shot – with no
substance whatsoever except to accuse Breyer of daring to be on too many
boards of companies that need his attention!
We have gotten to know Jim over the years, and it is in his nature to take
on great challenges. Being on the board of a company without challenges is
not worth it. Jim helped turn Marvel Enterprises into the action hero
monolith that Disney bought for billions. He and the fund he represents is
behind countless names in technology that we take for granted. He has been
crucial in establishing GlobalGrind, and helped us turn our company into the
fast-growing, impactful platform we always dreamed it could be. And he
knows first hand the challenges of media, the economy and the tech industry
through his honest, hard-hitting and active participation in the handful of
boards that are lucky to have him.
As a generation, we are embarking on a new era, not just in America, but
around the world. An era that will be remembered by the advancement of our
communication tools. An era that will be remembered about how we have
connected with each other. An era that will be remembered by those who
believed in the future from the beginning. Facebook connected the Arab
Spring. We told the story of Trayvon Martin. There are connections here
that will be remembered for generations to come. Companies like ours, and
the much bigger successes like Facebook and many others are in that new
space fighting to change the world. In no small part, thanks to Jim’s
constant and unwavering belief and advice.