I'm guessing they read Alphaville's post on intellectual property, saw the writing on the digital wall and decided the patent troll business wouldn't be lasting much longer than the hydrogen-Zeppelin (German patent number 98580) did after the Hindenburg disaster.
(Ja, Ja-don't email I know hydrogen is our friend, wasn't the cause etc.)
On to (you really have to go to the site for the full experience):
This is not a put-on sayeth the LATimes.Andreessen Horowitz is investing $15 million in Rap Genius.
How it works
- Click the orange lyrics for explanations of Marc Andreessen – Why Andreessen Horowitz Is Investing in Rap Genius lyrics
- Highlight white lyrics and explain them to get Rap IQ™ (help)
Given that Rap Genius is a web site where people explain rap lyrics, and given that my partner Ben is a noted rap fanatic, your first reaction might be, "That Horowitz guy has completely lost his mind." I, on the other hand, find rap every bit as comprehensible as ancient Mesopotamian. That's why I'm writing this blog post – not him. Let me explain why we've invested in Rap Genius...
First, there is the undeniable, irrepressable phenomenon that Rap Genius already is – the definitive online community of rap aficionados; one of the fastest growing web sites in Y Combinator's history; a thriving ecosystem of ideas, artists, and fans.
Second, there is the stellar team. Rap Genius has the rare balance you always hope for in a startup team – three founders, each with unique skills, who mesh perfectly. Mahbod is the most brilliant community creator we've seen since Caterina Fake's heyday at Flickr. CEO Tom shares Jeff Bezos's D.E. Shaw pedigree and codes up a storm. And former "Deadwood" writer Ilan serves as impresario and runs the show.
But that's just the start. It turns out that Rap Genius has a much bigger idea and a much broader mission than that. Which is: Generalize out to many other categories of text... annotate the world... be the knowledge about the knowledge... create the Internet Talmud....