The WSJ says tonight that a 29-year-old AOL staffer who headed up the firm’s instant messaging group will jump ship to venture firm Mayfield. The paper (and Mayfield) say that it’s about kicking up the firm’s consumer Internet emphasis.
Given the number of people making such jumps — hey, I receive semi-regular entreaties — I’m beginning to think we should create a consumer Internet VC bubble index, one where we track new consumer-centric hires at mainline venture firms. As I’ve said here a number of times, while I’m a believer in consumer-centric venture investing, it is very tough stuff. Why? Because most venture investors have a hard time thinking like a typical consumer, and because it can be very tough to get such deals through an enterprise-centric partnership.