Showing posts with label A VC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A VC. Show all posts

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Fred Wilson's Blog: A Gift That Keeps Giving

Fred Wilson has an impressive track record as a VC. That is public knowledge. I have lost count of how many tech companies I got really, really excited about only to later learn it was a Fred Wilson portfolio company.

The dots I am trying to connect in this post is to propose the thesis that Fred Wilson's blog has been fundamental to his very impressive work as a VC. As in, the great work he has managed to do over the past decade he could not have done without his blog. He has a method about his comments section. That is where he goes fishing.

That thesis springs forth a few questions.

One, is it a required? As in should all VCs aspire to blog? I think yes. There are a lot of a A caliber VCs out there who don't blog daily (or ever) like Fred Wilson does. But what I am saying is if you are starting out as a VC today blogging daily is one of the things you can not afford to not do.

Two, other than fishing expeditions is blogging good for your mind? This is a huge yes. I think blogging is for everybody regardless of industry, regardless of what stage they are at in their careers. Blogging is working out for the mind. That is primarily why I blog, speaking just for myself. It also helps with meaningful networking. If Fred did not have a blog, and I did not have a blog, I doubt we would have met to date, I doubt we would have known each other.

Three, could this thesis be extended to tech entrepreneurs? That is a question up in the air. Because there is no A grade tech entrepreneur (or B grade) who blogs daily. Mark Cuban blogs weekly or every few weeks, but I think of him as a retired entrepreneur, he is more of an angel, and besides, his blog does not have Disqus.

I'd love to see some top tech entrepreneurs blog daily like Fred Wilson does. Is that possible? Advisable? I'd hope so. I wish some A grade people running for office did the same.

To Fred's credit he is a top blogger regardless of his track record as a VC. He goes toe to toe with people who are full time bloggers with nothing else going on on the side. I mean, I think Fred could earn a living simply through blogging. Talk about Plan B, not that he needs one.

Fred Wilson is my favorite solo blogger for a few different reasons. But there came a time when I did not read his blog for months. I felt like I was too sucked into it. I needed my space, I thought. But then my recent thought has been not that I should stay away, but that top entrepreneurs he is not invested in should also read his blog.

Fred Wilson, Mark Zuckerberg And Mobile

Once Fred paid tribute to Ben Horowitz on the other coast by saying he - Fred - simply writes checks. As in, Ben has been an entrepreneur. But in some ways simply writing checks has advantages. Away from action you can get better at vision and insight. Zuck struggles with mobile. Fred's blog talks often about mobile. I don't know of books delivering similar wisdom.

Fred Wilson's Impossible Inbox
Fred Wilson: A DJ
Meeting Fred Wilson In Person
A Surprising Blog Post From Fred Wilson
A Mind Blowing Party
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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Fred Wilson's Insight

At the end of his talk Fred Wilson says, "I think that was about 15 minutes, and now I will take questions." That so impressed me. Because that was exactly 15 minutes. How did he do that? I was watching him, he was not looking at his watch. This guy obviously has a black belt in pitching. His body has become a clock.

Okay, this clip 10 is huge. "Why would you want to live in an office park and suburbia when you are 21 years old when you could be living in Williamsburg?" I love this city, so does Fred Wilson. He loves it because he has called this city home a long time. (Did he grow up here?) I love it because this is the first hometown I ever had. I have a refugee's love for the city.

I think this city needs to go head to head with Silicon Valley. Fred shares that thought. I dig that. Silicon Valley is the big, old established company. New York City is the startup.

"The same qualities that make you a great entrepreneur make you a terrible manager." I so buy into that. Visionary startup people need good old school COOs. Keep the trains running on time while I go shake things up.

Fred Wilson is a VC like Al Pacino is an actor. This guy was born to be a VC. You will not see this guy retire for a long, long time because he loves his work so much.

I don't see Fred Wilson invest in my company, not now, not in any of my future rounds. He does what he calls "web services." That is his "domain expertise," his phrase. I make it very clear I am not in the dot com (Dot.con: How America Lost Its Mind and Money in the Internet Era) space, at least that is not my step one, or two, and those two steps are a 10 year run easy. There we part. But that at some level makes it even more interesting for me to follow him online. I am not someone waiting in the wings thinking only if he knew me well enough, or he liked me enough, he would put his money down on my venture. The conclusion that he is not going to ride my boat gives me a certain detachment, a certain objectivity to enjoying him. Makes me more carefree.

His is my favorite solo blog. The guy is an avid user of many of the products of his portfolio companies. Like Dennis Crowley said some place when he was asked why he let Fred invest in his company. "Fred's entire family is on FourSquare!"

Like I said to the First Round Capital guy Charlie the other day over email, I have heard a lot of good buzz about you and your firm, that you do early stage very good, what I have not figured out yet is if you are stuck in the dot com space.

Fred Wilson: VC
Fred Wilson: A VC
Fred Wilson

Fred says he is in the "web services" domain, but he also bemoans the fact that New York City has not, has not shown any signs of producing a 50 billion dollar company. A company that is worth 500 million is a successful, wonderful company, but it is small. At 10 billion you are mid size. 50 to 200 billion is big. Fred's portfolio is crowded/littered with small to mid size promises. My company is going to be big. (An Immigrant Story For Brad Feld) In my book you can't stick to the dot com space and in the same breath bemoan not seeing any big promise on the horizon. Those two thought trains don't go together. I see a train wreck. So at some level I do feel like maybe I am not totally done with the guy yet. I should not write him off for me completely. 
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sitting Next To David Rose At The NY Tech MeetUp

David Rose is a legend on the New York technology scene. I had known his name for a while. Heck, I got to know him name before I educated myself on Fred Wilson's name (@fredwilson). I had even talked to him over Facebook email once.

David Rose
Last month I showed up half an hour early and quite liked it. I asked my first question at a NY Tech MeetUp. It was something to do with having spoken to two of the key speakers before they went on stage. So this month I showed up early as well. You go take a seat in the second row in the front, to the right of the stage, and you are in good shape. I did not plan it that way, but when I looked up and around I saw an empty seat between me and David Rose. He was putting some effort into his name tag. He had written his name David in double lines and was furiously coloring between the lines.

October 2009 NY Tech MeetUp

Then he moved one seat closer after Dawn Barber motioned for him to move over. Finally after a few presentations had been made on stage, and Nate (@innonate) said say hello to the people sitting next to
Demi Moore in profile at the 1997 Emmy Awards,...
you, I said hello to David. (@davidsrose)

"I am honored to be sitting next to you," I said.

I was impressed as it was. He asked me what I thought of the presentations so far.

"Half the companies presenting today are my portfolio companies," he said. Then he mentioned Singularity. I was to hear that word from four different people over the course of the evening.

After the presentations were over, and it was time to mingle with the presenters beneath the stage, I spotted James far away and waved wildly at him. (@sciencehouse) He walked over. Guess who I was sitting next to, I said. Ends up James and David had been on the same panel at the Singularity event only a few days back.

James and Gabi run this wonderful meetup that is the only other MeetUp I am a regular at now besides the NY Tech MeetUp. (@gabidewit)

Demi Moore
When I shared with James and Gabi over email a few days back that I was now part of the Twitter Top 100 NYC, James suggested I give a talk on social media at one of his MeetUps. I said I would love to.

"Demi Moore and I signed up on Twitter the same day. She has over a million and a half followers. I once tweeted her as to how that happened. I did not hear from her." (@mrskutcher)

My Relationship With Ashton Kutcher 

I had really been looking forward to Nate's presentation. AnyClip speaks to me. I was not too cool with the question I ended up asking.

"How were you able to cut a deal with the big movie houses?"

The reply. We haven't, not yet.

I think AnyClip will have to become big enough in stealth mode for the movie houses to even consider cutting deals. But I totally see it happening.
Demi Moore

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