Nice NYT look into Betaworks — excellent example of blending investing with incubating, and building a portfolio of companies with complimentary strengths. Several of their companies are proving to be vital in the social media, real-time web and analytics spaces. Tweetdeek is the default social browser. Bit.ly is at the center of the passed-link economy. Chartbeat is becoming the default in real-time analytics. And summize powers real-time twitter search.
Betaworks is perfectly situated to benefit from the dramatic reductions in resources needed to prove out a concept with a viable prototype. ATS could learn a thing or two from this model.