The Big Question

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Pat Kenealy, general partner of IDG Ventures Pacific II Fund, former CEO of IDG Corp.

Q. What were your biggest accomplishments as IDG CEO?

A. There were three: improved financial results, an acceleration of Internet activities and a few organizational changes. Financially, our media business saw improvements in revenue growth and in profit margins, and our venture capital funds-especially in China-yielded big returns on investments made in past years. On the Internet front, I think I helped IDG move the Internet to "center stage" both strategically and operationally. In the past three years, IDG has tripled its Internet-based revenue and expects it to surpass print revenue within a few years. Finally, my biggest internal accomplishment was reinforcing the decentralized structure of IDG itself through a series of small, low-profile reorganizations.

Q. What are some of the hot tech markets for VC funding?

A. IDG Ventures made a lot of money investing in Web analytics software, Web traffic management hardware and e-commerce before those categories had even been named eight or 10 years ago. Other [hot] areas are software as a service-think various vertical markets, data and physical security for enterprises and personal users, and content and entertainment for mobile devices.

Q. What are your recommendations for publishers that need to raise capital?

A. If you mean a 50-person or bigger publishing company, I'd offer just two bits of advice: First, raise capital to enable your dreams and know if you're dreaming of staying or leaving. Second, a pearl I heard dozens of times as the three most important words in the VC business-"take the money!" In my 10 years in the VC business I rarely saw an entrepreneur disappointed who took this advice, and I saw many who went broke after shopping an adequate offer around.

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