Mike Lazerow is an industry vet who managed to create profitable content sites in the dot-com era before transitioning into the social media age. First came University Wire, a sort of Associated Press for college newspapers, and then Golf.com which he sold to Time Warner in 2006. As the founder and CEO of Buddy Media, he runs the largest third party platform for marketing on Facebook, with eight out of the top ten global advertisers among his clients. In 2011 he launched Lazerow Ventures, a $10 million family partnership and co-investment fund and has quickly become one of the city’s most active and sought after angels.
You always remember the ones that got away. Tell us about the start-up you regret passing on the most.
Well I bought into Facebook pretty early, but looking back, I had the chance to get in much sooner. They were pre-revenue and the valuation seemed high, so I passed. Zynga is like that too. Mark Pincus is a board member of Buddy Media and was at the time he was founding Zynga. I could certainly have been more vocal, could have pushed harder, to be an early investor in that, but at the time I didn’t really see it. Veterans like Fred Wilson or Brad Feld, who can separate the signal from the noise, they looked at Zynga and saw a company with a proven founder entering a wide open space with a huge market. I saw an online poker app.