Happy fourth of July everyone
Posts from Random Posts
Much has been written about the potential to replace menial and dangerous jobs with machines. One of those dangerous jobs that is already being replaced by machines is the foot soldier. Over the past decade the US has ramped up its drone program and reduced the number of men and women we put in harms way in service of our foreign policy and national security goals.
It’s worth a national discussion about the morality and legality of using machines to take out our enemies. We haven’t had that as far as I can tell. And we should.
But the truth is we are fighting more and more of our warfare with unmanned machines and the trend is clearly in that direction. It’s hard for me to see how we turn around and go back.
So while it is not entirely clear to me how this plays out over time, it does suggest that we may be burying less of our young men and women in military cemeteries in the coming years. Which is a hopeful thought on this memorial day in which we remember our fallen soldiers.
I went back and read all of the thanksgiving posts I have written here at AVC this morning. That’s a good way to remind myself of everything I have to be thankful for and I have a lot.
I found this picture of the Gotham Gal cutting a turkey up ten years ago. I remember that thanksgiving well.
I’m glad that our country takes a day off to give thanks. It’s my favorite holiday of the year because it is not tinged with religion or national pride. Thanksgiving has no baggage. It’s a day for friends, family, warmth, food, wine, and relaxation.
I plan to spend the day mindful of all that I am thankful for. Including all of you here at AVC.
Early this summer I walked into my parking garage and saw that they had installed two Chargepoint electric vehicle charging stations. I turned around, walked back to our apartment building, and went upstairs and told the Gotham Gal that the moment I had been waiting for had come and I wanted to get a Tesla. That weekend we took a trip up to the Tesla showroom in the art gallery section of Chelsea and bought one. It came last week and we are enjoying driving a car built by software people. We may be late to this party but we are happy to be at it now.
This past week Tesla announced a software upgrade that offers Autopilot features. I’ve been wondering for a while now how self driving technology would come to market. Google has been working on this technology for close to a decade and I’ve seen driverless cars on 280 heading from San Francisco to Palo Alto. But who wants to get into the back seat of the first self driving car and let the car do its thing? Not me.
On the other hand if self driving technology comes to market feature by feature, the way Tesla seems to be approaching things, we can get used to it bit by bit and someday we will happily get into that back seat without thinking twice about it.
It sounds like it will start with things like highway lane changes and parallel parking (if there ever was a thing that machines can do better than humans that would be it). And over time we will get more and more autopilot features. And at some point the car will be driving itself and we will be fine with that.
This makes a ton of sense to me. Sometimes incremental innovation is better than doing the whole thing at once. When you want to change behavior on something as game changing as driverless cars, I think the incremental approach makes a ton of sense.
Another year, another birthday.
For the past fifteen years, I’ve been spending my birthday on the beach with my family. That seems like the ideal way to do it. I hope that tradition lasts as long as I do.
The weather has been spectacular on the east end of long island this week and we spent most of yesterday afternoon on a boat in Sag Harbor.
Today, I plan to do some yoga, play some golf with my son, and have a family dinner tonight.
I don’t really enjoy receiving presents. The best present for me is to be somewhere awesome surrounded by my family. I’ve already received that present.
But if you feel that you must send me something, please make a small donation to CSNYC here. I would appreciate that very much.
I don’t have much to say today. It’s been a gorgeous weekend in NYC and I’m headed out for a bike ride in Brooklyn with my daughter.
Speaking of biking, here’s an awesome bike project on Kickstarter that William shared with me last week.
One of the many things that got my attention last week was the speech Kevin Durant gave accepting his MVP award. His remarks about his mom were very touching. He said “when something good happens to you, I tend to look back to what brought me here.” And, of course, at the top of the list of “what brought me here” is our mothers.
Like most of us, I have two Mothers in my life.
My Mother, Peg Wilson, who gave me birth and put up with all the crap that I dished out as a kid. I was a difficult child. I always wanted things my way and drove most of the people around me crazy. At the top of the list of people I drove crazy was my Mom.
The other Mother in my life is the Gotham Gal. Not only has she been an incredible mother to our three children, she took over from my Mom around the year we met and finished off the job of shaping who I am. The Gotham Gal is my harshest critic and always has been. There is nobody who can put me in my place quite like her. I don’t appreciate that in the moment, but I appreciate it after the fact.
I guess that is the ultimate thing about Moms. They shape who we are. They are demanding, loving, and giving. Thank god I have two mothers in my life. I love both of them very much.
I like to read the news on my Nexus 7 while sitting at the bar in our kitchen. The Gotham Gal sits next to me reading the paper. I like the juxtaposition of that.
I don’t like reading on the Nexus 7 when it is lying flat on the bar. I want it at an angle for easier reading.
So I purchased this tablet stand on Etsy recently.
It gets the job done, but it’s a bit flimsy. So I am looking for something a bit more substantial.
Does anyone use a tablet stand for reading on a Mac Mini or Nexus 7? And if so, what do you use? I am all ears.
Once a year we host the leadership of our entire portfolio for a one day CEO Summit at USV’s offices. There is always a fun evening event. Last night we went to The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club (the Gotham Gal is an investor there). And then afterwards, in what has become a tradition, I take anyone who wants to go out to a night on the town. It is a lot of fun.
I got home at 2am last night and need to be at the USV offices for another annual event at 8am. I’m up and I’m in pain.
My trusted technique is a lot of water, Advil, a hot shower, and an espresso.
I’m curious to hear some other approaches.
While this is not exactly a “fun” topic, I thought it would be an interesting opportunity for a comment driven day at AVC. Last night at dinner, our friend Ben asked me if I had an opinion on the missing Malaysian Airlines plane (#MH370 on Twitter).
I told him I thought it was a hijacking and after that I had no idea. He went on to explain to me that the flight had continued for four or five hours after the communications systems were turned off. To me that suggests even more that this was an act of foul play and that the plane may have been landed somewhere with all the passengers now hostages. Of course, that’s just speculation on my part. What is shocking is given all the satellites and other systems designed to track things such as this, we don’t yet have any public information on the whereabouts of the plane.
So with that, let’s go to the comments and see what you all think. What happened to MH370 and where is it now?