It is important that readers do not automatically assume that just because a person or company appears in this network, it should be somehow affiliated with the current HP board scandal. By nature of how our network analysis works, we are investigating the power of indirect links. As such, it would be rash and irresponsible to assume that a company or person with an indirect link to HP – or in this case, to one or two of HP’s former Board Members, indicates some sort of impropriety in the totality of their work and dealings. The ‘real-world’ nature and context of these relationships must be taken into account. This map can illustrate how those connections are structured, but conclusions as to the nature of those relationships is inference only. It is my responsibility as a conscientious analyst to state this very clearly because I have a concern about how people may jump to conclusions. Viewing networks like this is very new for some people, and with the hype surrounding the connections displayed here we must be sure that when this network is viewed, it is viewed as an illustration of the network structure for HP’s current and former board, and NOT as a direct illustration for a particular incident.
Relational Map for HP’s Board of Directors Network
This LinkSViewer map shows HP’s network, including current and former Board Member connections, and active and inactive companies included. Note that this only includes Northern California companies. The Person nodes for Robert Knowling, Sam Ginn, Tom Perkins, and Robert Wayman are expanded. They are the only four current or former Board Members that link to other companies as well as HP. This means that even if all of the other Person nodes were expanded, no additional links would appear.
An aha moment I would like to share (I live for this!). At the end of the LinkSViewer citation on Guy Kawasaki’s blog, he presciently linked to The Web VC Chart written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManus. So I got to thinking, “How can we look at this chart in another way?” Because I am mostly interested in Social Networking and Bookmarking, I mapped 7 companies from this column together (Digg, Engage, Facebook, Friendster, Gaia, Kaboodle, and LinkedIn). I filtered this map for post-2001 founded Internet company links and removed pendants (one-tie links).
Relational Map (Click on to view full size):
Initial Observation: Note how the key players form in the center of the map (ironically around LinkedIn) and that 8 other WebVC companies (not in the Social Networking and Bookmarking category) form linkages within the network.
Discussion: From this map I can ascertain four general findings:
(1) How these companies are connected provides additional information as to who the key players are in the network – this reflects the elite investors, board members, and managers in the Web VC space, which speaks to who stands to gain the most if it reaches critical mass and becomes profitable;
(2) The network map between all Social Networking and Bookmarking companies is interconnected (reachable, as we say in network lingo) – this means that the “networkers” are well-connected to each other (especially the individual investors), which speaks to the inherent power and longevity of the social networking space;
(3) The indirect company links formed in the network result in eight other WebVC Table companies (Oodle, Wink, Edgeio, Wikia, Feedster, Odeo, Six Apart, and Browster), even though they were listed in different column categories – this means that the Web VC space is well-connected as a whole, which speaks to the inherent power and longevity of the entire Web VC space;
(4) What is not in the map is of interest as well. Because of the lack of other post-2001-founded Internet companies in the network (save MetaWeb Technologies and StrongMail Systems), the network is relatively isolated from other funding – this reflects a pocket of capital that may not be as well-connected to other post-2001-founded Internet investments, which implies (on the flip side) that the risks are higher, although from findings (1)-(3) the key players seem to be “in it together” as a self-contained group.
Certainly, interpretations will vary. I am extremely interested in what others have to say. Any other findings are also welcomed. There are some more specific details from the maps that would induce discussion on this topic – I leave this to those who are more “in the know.”
Introducing LinkSViewer 1.2
GroupScope is proud to announce the release of our LinkSViewer 1.2 product. LinkSViewer 1.2 is a visual network analysis tool that explores relationships between management teams, board members, investors, and companies in the Silicon Valley. It is the first application of the GroupScope network analysis engine, which is the result of research at Cornell University and our current headquarters in Shell Beach, California. LinkSViewer is made possible thanks to our partners at Link Silicon Valley (LinkSV.com), who develop the database used by our network engine. LinkSViewer turns that data into network maps that are easy to read and learn from. What you will discover are indirect relationships that may not be readily apparent without a network perspective. Using LinkSViewer 1.2 users can search, filter, summarize, email, and navigate any map to suit their specific needs.
Apple and Google - The Darlings of the Silicon Valley: An examination of clusters and interlocks in network maps
This post examines recent news regarding Apple and Google and applies network maps to the following question: What is the relational capital effect of the recent appointment of Google CEO Eric Schmidt to the board of Apple? Below is the LinkSViewer Relational Map of Apple and Google which includes board and management team members, investors, and companies in common (strong ties). Click on the Map to enlarge this map in a separate window and display the map title, filter information, and legend.
Relational Map - Map 1 (Click on to view full size)
An examination of how these three large investors connect across the valley:
This analysis is closer to a valley-wide examination than other more focused entries. What do we see happening in the combined network of these three investment giants? How are they connected? How are the connected in specific types of investments? Who connects them? How do the companies in their networks relate to each other across the valley?
Relational Map - Map 1 (click to view full size)
Borrowing from the article on VentureBeat (formerly SiliconBeat) regarding the Gods of Venture Capital, I thought it would be a good idea to post some maps that show the relationships between these three Midas touchers.
This series of maps examines John Doerr, Michael Moritz, and Ram Shriram. What is the structure of this network. And because this was produced in part as an example for Guy Kawasaki, I decided to check out what would happen if he were thrown into the mix.
Relational Map - Map 1 (click to view full-size)