It’s that time of year again—time to send your corporate Holiday greeting card, a venerable practice that has become far more diversified in recent years.
Back in the ‘80s, the the clear favorite was the professional, embossed “Seasons Greetings,” with the inclusive message: “From all of us at [rubber stamped company name].” The font was seasonally gold or red and with an Old English flair, and the generic, non-offensive tidings were punctuated by a sprig of holly to emphasize their festive intent. In the ‘90s, the Internet ushered in the age of e-card, and new digital photo services resulted in corporate Holidays photo cards intimately adorned of soon-to-be-laid-off smiling faces.
Now in the twenty-first century, we’ve myriad e-card services and custom card possibilities. You and your business partners can animate yourselves into dancing elves, or you can force all of your portfolio companies to dance in a YouTube video.
As a tangent to this VC reference, it appears that the Holiday greeting card is the new competitive fodder for the venture community, like the modern art they collected and displayed on their office walls during the flush years. Upping the ante from last year’s dancing entrepreneurs, First Round Capital has their 2009 posse singing this year, accompanying Susan Boyle for a spoof of Les Misérables’ “I Dreamed a Dream” (though, give the post-Lehman economic climate, I thing the song’s original lyrics may be more appropriate). Not to be outdone, ONSET Ventures has contrived a hysterical faux holiday catalog with topically fashionable items such as Bernie Madoff black and white striped fleecewear, freshly baked humble pies, and Series B knee pads. It certainly appears that these firms are making the most of their spare time as they’re waiting for the investment climate air to clear. I for one am enjoying the frivolity, just as I relish my annual holiday window display stroll down NYC’s 5th Avenue. I’ll hold my judgment to see if any other VCs trump First Round and ONEST to become this year’s Bergdoff Goodman of VC Holiday greetings.