Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fred Wilson: VC

Ignite, Set It On Fire

I almost missed out Social Media Week, but I got in a few days late, and I was not able to go to some choice events I would have liked to go to. I bumped into its webpage through social media browsing. You know how you go from people to people, link to link, update to update. And I am so glad I was able to do 14 events during Social Media Week. (Social Media Week: The Best NY Tech MeetUp Ever)

And now I am being introduced to Ignite. My friend Adam Carson (@adamkcarson) sent me an email a few days back. He forwarded me this blog post: Global Ignite Week: Starts Monday with 65 Cities, 6 Continents, 500 Speakers over 5 Days. If he figured I might like it, he figured right.

This guy said somewhere online he was 30,000 miles above ground and the update went viral, looks like. Virgin Galactic anyone? He meant 30,000 feet. He was so psyched about having wifi up there, he went from feet to miles. To the @ and # symbols, Twitter should add emoticons. So less people get carried away.

Adam is a good friend of Mark Peter Davis (@markpeterdavis) who you can meet at every NY Tech MeetUp unfailingly. Nate always calls on him at the very beginning. "Is anyone from DFJ Gotham here? Mark? You there?"

"We go back a long time," Mark once said to me about Adam. Mark has a wonderful, wonderful blog. He has practically written a book on venture capital at his blog.

Entrepreneur's Guide To Raising Venture Capital
Entrepreneur's Guide To Starting A Company
Entrepreneur's Library
Entrepreneur's Social Fabric
Entrepreneur's Toolkit

Adam is up in Hanover finishing up his MBA at Tuck with his wonderful wife Anna. And he sends me this email.

New York City needs its own South By South West. New York City needs its own Burning Man. What would be the urban version? Modifying Dennis Crowley's (@dens) Pac Manhattan might be a start. For now Ignite might be it. But let's shoot for a non-sexist name.

Galapagos Art Space Dumbo
16 Main Street
Brooklyn NY

Thursday, March 04, 2010 from 6:30 PM - 11:55 PM (ET)

@tikkers - Ignite NYC Director; Curator
@sandhyaX - Site Design; Content Management
@Laureado - Event Production; Sponsorships
@jonathanpberger - Design Advisor; PowerPoint Guru

My tweet to the organizers: See you @ Ignite. Guess 2 late 2 be Speaker. Or no? Would like to talk revolution.

My tweets to some others who are listed as attending: Tweet 1, Tweet 2, Tweet 3, Tweet 4, Tweet 5, Tweet 6, Tweet 7.

It might be too late for me to get my five minutes on stage, but I think it is going to be a perfect evening to meet a ton of interesting people. It is amazing to be part of the tech ecosystem in this city. It is early stage and it is gelling.
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Friday, February 26, 2010

The Foursquare Rap: Badges Like Us

Mr. Silvas in da building
Checkins by the hundreds, thousands, trillionz

Ayo I know its my first stop
Look at that leaderboard and see me at the top

Bouncin to new places, adding em quick
I know all the TO-DOs and I got all the tips

Show up at the Bar and I check in Right Away
Sent it to my Twitter cuz Im here to stay

Looks like you got ousted welcome to the game
This is Foursquare bitch! Gowalla aint the same!!

Now that Im the mayor, now that Im here
Gimme my free breadsticks AND my cold beer!!

La la la la
How it feel to wake up and be the mayor of the city!
La la la la
Tryina get that Crunked badge, drinkin like P Diddy


Got a rock like this
Cant use an iPhone, AT&Ts a piece of shhh

No one on the corner had an app on this
So I used my mobile web, wasnt very quick

You can learn where to eat just by checking my feed
Checkin checkin my feed checkin checkin my feed

Follow my lead its the road to success
Never need a reservation, they always say YES

But I cant teach you my swag
You can pay for a coffee but you cant buy a badge

School of social media Imma grad
I hope this hits techcrunch or else Ill be sad

Its Newby
Checkin w/ the groupies eating lotsa sushi

Bet you didnt know we could flow like thiiiiis


Lets talk about the knockoffs, they just imitating
They cant even compare and no were not even hating

Copyin foursquare cuz you lack innovation
How could you turn down Googles valuation?

So let me say it now, let me be clear
Foursquare is the app that all you should fear

Hockey stick growth, all star investors
Lots of passionate users, all beta testers

I add lots of value, Im a superuser
You cant spell your top venues, super abuser

Dont checkin to your house, thats just really lame
Ill snatch up all your badges, call me David Blaine

Your checkins are fake, theres no way those are true
20 stops in one night? IM GONNA CATCH YOU!!

And whats up with all these randos trying to friend me?
Im checked in off the grid like TIGER WOODS B!!!!!

TechCrunch: Badges Like Us: FourSquare Gets Its Rap Song
Location! Location! Location!
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Twitter Visualization: Reading Many Tweets At Once

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase
Four Ways of Looking at Twitter - Research - Harvard Business Review

My favorite is the final one, the StreamGraph. Visualization might be the only way, or the best way, to make sense of the thousands and millions of tweets being created by the minute. The idea can not be to read every single tweet, but to read all of them at once. Great blog post.          

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Monday, February 22, 2010

A MeetUp Has Me Excited: Y + 30

I am going to a MeetUp tomorrow evening - well, I am going to a Lunar Year celebration with John Liu for this evening, we are trying to get the guy to show up for a February 28 Holi celebration in Astoria, I be pulling strings - but tomorrow, Tuesday, I am going to this MeetUp that I am unusually excited about. I guess at some level I am bummed I had never heard of the MeetUp before this month. Makes me feel like I have been out of the loop. But I found out about it during Social Media Week, and I am glad. (Social Media Week: The Best NY Tech MeetUp Ever)

I don't know what to expect. That is another reason I am a little on the edge. Will it be pitch dark? Will they throw bright light in my face? Will they make funny noises? Will they make us wear costumes? Or at least goggles? Is the venue some kind of a basement? It is called a Brooklyn Future MeetUp, but it is in Tribeca, the Jay-Z Tribeca. I love Brooklyn, it is the most residential of all boroughs, but Y+30 is a much better name in the first place.

on Feb 23rd - we are talking the future of food, register for the event at 
From Michael Pollan to molecular gastronomy, food bloggers to food
porn, celebrity chefs to rock star butchers, the world of eating has
changed remarkably in recent years. There’s never been a more exciting
time to be a food-lover, and yet we’re also increasingly concerned
about issues like food safety, sustainability, and health.

What will the food world look like in 30 years? Will traditional
restaurants still be around or we will be eating in a world of pop ups
and food trucks? Will scientists rule the kitchen?

We’ll talk to experts across the industry, including chef Michael
Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, Glenn Roberts, founder of Anson Mills,
marketing whizzes from Rooster Design Group, and writer and Food52
co-founder Amanda Hesser. (@amandahesser)

After the panel stay for demos by cocktail experts and chefs, tastings
by local producers, and cameos by some of the city’s cult food

Looks like they will be feeding us too. We get to sample some food stuff. I am all for that. And what is food porn? What could that be?

I left this comment at Sam Lessin's Tumblr blog a few days back. (@lessin)
I am so looking forward to this, you won't believe. I am so surprised I was not even aware of this MeetUp's existence until the first week of February this year. Finding about this MeetUp has been one of my rewards for having attended Social Media Week events with abandon.
Wow. I am like wow. What a theme for a MeetUp. I like vision people, I like vision talk, I like talk about the future. I am such a huge fan of Esther Dyson, and it is because she is such a visionary. She is a remarkable woman in many other ways, but that is my primary reason to like her so much.
Y+30 is stretching it, it is hard enough to figure out what the landscape will look like one year from now, or five, 30 is eternity, but the year will roll around for sure, and the reward is not in ending up being accurate - I fully expect most of our predictions to fall flat on the face - but in making the effort itself. Those who think hard about the future live the present more fully.
I am so excited about this event, I fear I might miss it. I am feeling superstitious.
I am so glad you have Disqus integrated to your blog. Disqus is my idea of a micro blogging platform.
Another reward to me from Social Media Week has been Tumblr. I use Twitter to broadcast, Facebook to connect, and Buzz/Tumblr to listen. Glad to be following you on Tumblr.

Excited about tomorrow.
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Robert Scoble Retweeted Me

I was not even aware the guy was following me on Twitter. And, no, he does not follow everyone who follows him, although he does follow about 17,000 people. He is followed by over 115,000. Scobleizer is one of the top names in social media. I briefly, very briefly, interacted with him on FriendFeed, that was before Facebook bought it. I wonder that was the day when he added me. It's all good, all I got to say. Go Scoble.

The guy has created some absolutely fabulous lists on Twitter.

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A Buddhist Like Richard Gere

I was in Kentucky for five and a half years, and in Indiana for a few years more. There is nothing you can teach me about race I don't already know. On the other hand, I am much less knee-jerk on social issues these days, and more capable of stepping back a little and finding the exotic in the offensive. And having fun has been important all along the way.

Like I would approach students at college freshly back from Spring Break, burns and all, extend out an arm, and say, "You getting there, you getting there."

The school that I attended - I feel like both a high school and a college dropout - you would hear this question: So are you a Christian or are you a Catholic? I grew up Hindu, my family still is, but one year into America and I started calling myself a Buddhist. Other than a few visits to a Buddhist monastery in Bloomington, Indiana, years later and several trips to the Mahayana Temple by the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown in my years in NYC, I have not been able to pursue my Buddhist faith as much as I have wanted to.

But I have long said, at many opportunities I have sought out, "I am a Buddhist, like Richard Gere." There is obvious glamor to that statement.

Now I learn Tiger Woods is a Buddhist. I am going to see some glamor in that statement. I don't watch baseball, football, basketball, golf. I am in solidarity with a lot of women who are made to feel lesser because they might not share the same passion for mind numbing sports. Actually not. My thing is soccer. This is World Cup year. I don't watch golf. But Tiger Woods is Maradona, Michael Jordan, Pele, one of those guys.

Tiger Woods is human excellence, and I have been eternally fascinated by the mix of cultures in his origin.

How have I reacted to the recent bimbo eruptions around his name in the media? A few different ways. It was hard to skip the news. So I did read my fair share of articles. I looked at the pictures of the women. None of them really stood out for me. His wife is more beautiful.

And I took it for granted that it was not possible all the women who surfaced were telling the truth, and nothing but the truth. It is very possible some of the women Tiger had never met, some women he had met who exaggerated the extent of what actually happened. Light bends near the sun. Reality bends around a famous person.

I also tried to look at him as a person going through this. This was between him and his wife. I was not about to pass judgment. I liked his wife going to visit him in rehab. I liked it when she went to pick up their child in Nike gear.

The intense glare of public attention amplified by the media that surrounds someone like Tiger must take its emotional toll. His wife did not try to hit him with a golf club, the apple did not fall on Newton's head. Those two facts we know. So if the wife did not try to hit him with a golf club like the media stories kept repeating, you have to try and differentiate between Tiger's disgressions and media porn. At least a few of the women must have made up and embellished their stories. It is the nature of the beast.

Most important, I am really liking the ending of the story. I am glad Tiger's family is intact. And I am glad he will be back on the golf course. I might even watch some golf here and there.

I am a Buddhist like Tiger Woods:
Telegraph: Dalai Lama Admits He Has Never Heard Of Tiger Woods: said he was returning to the Buddhist faith he had practised as a child....... the self-effacing exiled Tibetan monk called his own lack of knowledge about sports of all kinds "my disgrace". ..... he said self-discipline is among Buddhism's highest values and, when it comes to adultery, all religions "have the same idea". ...... In his apology, which was televised worldwide, Woods said he had "lost track" of his Buddhist faith in recent years. ....... "I have a lot of work to do and intend to dedicate myself to doing it. Part of this is Buddhism. Buddhism teaches me to stop following every impulse and to know restraint. Obviously I lost track of what I was taught."
New York Times: Mea Culpa, At Arm’s Length: “Why do they have to know everything?” he asked Jaime Diaz of Golf Digest. At the time, Mr. Woods — Tiger — was 14 years old. ...... Athletes and actors would like for us to focus on the work, while reporters know that their editors and audience want more, because while the work is visible, we want our celebrities to show a little leg. ....... Some wear fame as a loose garment. Mr. Woods wore his as a shirt that was a few sizes too small. ........ “He stopped being impressed by coverage at a very young age, and after that, he became very cold-eyed and wondered, ‘What’s in it for me?’ ” Mr. Diaz said. “He would love to play golf and never have to answer a question.” ....... Mr. Woods has never used his family as accessories on his brand as say, Phil Mickelson has, and he has asked paparazzi to stay away from his children. 

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