The Bay Area and LA are a mere five hours away if you average 80 MPH on I-5, but I've long been struck by how the division between the Valley and Hollywood is even greater than the one between Techland and DC.
The New York Times takes (another) look at this dynamic in an anecdote-laden piece today. My biggest surprise in reading it was that the issue of bad/confused feelings around different perspectives on piracy was never raised once. That's progress alone.
Instead, the piece delves into the differing psychologies around dealmaking and compensation. Excerpt:
Mark D. Kvamme, a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital, financed the comedian Will Ferrell’s funnyordie.com last year, which has had only one runaway hit, “The Landlord” video.
When Mr. Kvamme approached Mr. Ferrell and his agents at Creative Artists Agency about creating the site, he said he was struck by what he perceived as the short-term view then taken by his new Hollywood partners.
“They talked about the transaction — ‘What am I getting paid today?’ ” he said of Mr. Ferrell and his agents. “The big thing with Funny or Die was, we said, ‘Let’s build a company. We are not just going to write you a check.’ ”
Those perceptions can largely be attributed to the nature of their conflicting interests. Adam McKay, who started the Web site with Mr. Ferrell, said they had to get used to the notion that they were owners, not just talent for hire....
My simple and fairly obvious suggestion for Hollywood-types who want to "get" the Internet. Get in your car (or on a plane) and make the trip north. And, stay awhile. Warner, EMI, Universal and the other biggies should take a page from Microsoft, MySpace, the New York Times, NASDAQ, etc. and open an office in San Francisco or Palo Alto (none have this today). Don't just have meetings at conferences. Have dinner parties with techies on the weekend. The new perspectives may be just as circular and with as many jerks, but at least it will be new.