30 Thoughts At 30,000 feet

I thought I’d try Jason Calacanis’ new favorite way of writing a blog post on for size. I am on a flight from NYC to Portland Oregon and my entourage email database crashed this morning so I don’t have an inbox to work on (except on my blackberry and that’s getting tiring). So here goes:

1)    Many people have emailed me, twittered me, called me, or simply asked me what I think of Google purchasing Jaiku. Frankly I don’t know what to think. My feeling has always been that startup companies should not waste too much time worrying about the M&A and financing activities of their competitors or perceived competitors. The enemy of most startups is their own internal issues. So my hope and advice is that Twitter keep their heads down, make the service more reliable, robust, and keep adding new addictive features like track and favorite.

2)    The needs of readers and publishers aren’t always aligned. When I read something like Techmeme, I want to “explode” a particular “meme” into a new web page with all the posts stacked up one after the other so I can read them all at once instead of clicking back and forth. This would be huge for readers but publishers won’t like it. The approach of showing the headline plus a small amount of text and forcing the reader to click thru is well developed on the web. Going further than that will annoy a lot of publishers. But not me. I’d be happy to get a lot more readers in return for giving up the ad impressions.

3)    Why do I continue to fly coach on cross country flights? I can afford to fly upfront but something keeps me from booking it. Dave Winer said yesterday that his parents are “decidedly middle class” and he agrees with them that a middle class mindset is best. I can’t claim to be “decidedly middle class” but my parents certainly are and some habits die hard if they die at all.

4)    I went from being a sports maniac two weeks ago to not caring a damn about baseball or football. That’s what happens when your teams blow up in your face.

5)    Ben Kweller may be the best singer songwriter of his generation. His new songs are so great and I say that only from hearing live versions on YouTube. His last record, Ben Kweller, was “sing along good” from start to finish. And he’s getting better and better. I think he’s only 23 or 24.

6)    After I write this post, I won’t have anything to write about for weeks.

7)    Alex Iskold is a freak of nature. He writes code, runs a company, and does amazing blog posts for Read Write Web that are better than most Gartner research reports. I’d ask how he finds the time to do all of that, but I know the answer. Full disclosure – Alex’ company, Adaptive Blue, is a Union Square Ventures portfolio company.

8)    Some Harry Potter movie is showing on the plane. I have never read a Harry Potter book and have no desire to do so. I saw a couple of the movies. Harry does nothing for me. Neither do Hermione or Ron or Dumbledore.

9)    I love the Virgin America ad campaign featuring high profile bloggers. One day I want to sit next to Peter Rojas on a cross country Virgin America flight and play with his gadgets all the way from coast to coast.

10)    What happened to Lauryn Hill? That girl got me to love hip hop and then she just disappeared. Remember when she was on the cover of Time Magazine right before her solo record came out?

11)    Looking forward to taking Josh on a road trip to London in November to see an Arsenal game and the Led Zeppelin reunion. Think I’ll make him a killer Led Zeppelin mix and give him Fever Pitch to read on the flight over.

12)    The new Hype Machine (in private beta) is amazing. Anthony Volodkin has his finger on the pulse of how to turn music blogging into a mainstream listening experience. I wish I could be listening to it now instead of iTunes.

13)    I’ve got iTunes on Party Shuffle and Loretta Lynn’s Portland Oregon just came up. How did iTunes know where I was headed? And Jack White and Loretta Lynn are a great combo.

14)    Has TechCrunch peaked? If Mike launched this wave of startup activity and innovation (as many give him credit for), then does TechCrunch peaking mean the whole thing is peaking?

15)    Why hasn’t anyone been able to aggregate all of my comment activity across the entire web and turn it into a feed that I can put into my lifestream on Tumblr? There are a bunch of companies working on it, but I don’t think anyone has nailed it yet. And I am not just talking about blog comments, I am talking about ratings and reviews on Amazon, Yelp, Menupages, Digg, etc, etc.

16)    I think Isaac Brock (Modest Mouse) looks like John Belushi and acts like him too.

17)    I’d like to see Kings Of Leon cover Paper Thin Walls and Modest Mouse cover Joe’s Head.

18)    I’ve been contacted by five reporters for major business publications in the past week all seeking to talk about “valuations being out of control”, “are we in a bubble again”, and “are you expecting a dowturn”. My instinct is yes on all three but the contrarian in me says it can’t be if everyone thinks so.

19)    A commenter to one of my posts last months said “you have to be consistent”. I reject that notion entirely. I am not consistent at all. I feel entirely comfortable being a raging capitalist in some circumstances and a raging socialist in other circumstances. I’d rather be right than consistent ☺

20)    I wish my children blogged. They all are good writers, with strong fundamentals, but they still struggle to communicate an idea easily and quickly. It takes them a lot longer to write a report or paper than it needs to. I think blogging, or keeping a diary, would be extremely helpful to them. The simple act of writing every day, even when you think have nothing to say, is essential to becoming a confident writer.

21)    The Gotham Gal and I could go to a fundraiser dinner every night of the week if we wanted to. Why do we feel necessary to throw these big bashes, spend all this money, in the name of charity? There has to be a better way. I’d probably give to twice as many causes if I didn’t also feel obligated to attend a function.

22)    Should the CEO of every technology company be a technologist? It seems like it’s easier to teach a technologist finance, marketing, sales, and management than it is to teach a good manager technology. And it seems that key business drivers are increasingly technical. It was true in the past, when Novell beat Banyan with marketing over technology, or when Oracle beat a host of relational database companies with sales over technology, that technology alone didn’t win the day. But let’s look at Facebook versus MySpace, Google versus Yahoo!, Skype versus Net2Phone, and Apple versus the entire music business. The companies with strong technologists as leaders seem to win more often these days.

23)    Has the WSJ announced if it will go free post the sale to News Corp? If so, I missed it. I am certain they’ll do it. It’s the right thing to do for the business and the readers. They’ll join the conversation after being out of it for way too long. It will be the first of many good things Murdoch will bring to the Journal.

24)    Feeling that it’s going to be Hillary versus Rudy for President in 2008. I know the primary season hasn’t even started and it’s way to early to call the race over. But it just seems so logical. Both parties need to move to the center, name recognition is everything these days, and we’ll finally get the race NY was supposed to have for Senator in 2000. If that happens, it’s going to be nasty. But I guess it always is in politics.

25)    I miss Warren Zevon.

26)    Someone wrote in the comments not too long ago, “all VCs do these days is blog about Facebook”. I figure that was aimed at me. I try not to blog about Facebook all the time. But it’s at the epicenter of a number of very interesting things going on right now. I need to think about Facebook a lot and I do that by writing about it. Same with YouTube in 2005/2006. I don’t blog much about YouTube anymore. I wonder if I’ll be blogging about Facebook in 2008.

27)    The best technology is magic. Someone tags a photo of me in Facebook and I am alerted in my mini-feed without even knowing the photo or the photographer. I mms a photo from my phone to Flickr and all my friends on Twitter are notified. I respond to a comment email on my phone and it appears as a reply in the comment thread on my blog. My friend Brad Feld uses the term automagically to talk about this kind of thing. That’s what I look for in technology, in my life, and in my business.

28)    Why do they have to tell you to turn off your laptop 30 minutes before you land. It’s a productivity killer of the highest order.

29)    I like breaking the rules so I’ll keep writing.

30)    Most of these 30 thoughts could have been twittered, probably all of them if I tried.

#My Music#Politics#Random Posts#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Daniel

    Wow. lot’s to digest. Just wanted to comment on #22, specifically with you examples (Facebook versus MySpace, Google versus Yahoo!, Skype versus Net2Phone, and Apple versus the entire music business). When reading that sentence, I came to a different conclusion. Yes, there is strong technology and technologists behind all of them, but I also see a strong design sensibility as well: Facebook with their clean, consistent interface vs the Myspace chaos, Google with the introduction of the simple search box, Skype is/was much simpler tool than Net2phone and Apple with, oh, everything they do.Maybe the secret is not just technologists, but technologist coupled with a focus on customer-experience design?

    1. fredwilson

      yes, you are right about that

  2. Tony Stubblebine

    #2 If you licensed your content Creative Commons would you be giving explicit permission for aggregators to do what you describe? And how many people who’ve already licensed their content CC would scream if they found someone doing this?

    1. fredwilson

      my feedflare lays out my CC license terms

    1. fredwilson

      thanks. shame that her last login was 4/2006

  3. A pilot

    You have to turn off your laptop 30 minutes prior to landing because that’s when they turn the autopilot off and use the controls. The laptop’s emissions interfere with their equipment in the cockpit.

    1. fredwilson

      is that really true? i’ve heard that too but there’s so much electronics in a plane now that i find it hard to believe my laptop would really make a difference

      1. Fraser

        The dudes on the Freakonomics blog talked about this some time ago. If I remember correctly, a few times after landing he realized his laptop hadn’t shut down and was on for the entire landing. For the next few flights he left it on, and nadda. I think it’s some antiquated rule. At least we’ve recently done away with no electronics while taxiing.

      2. joshwa

        No, it’s because takeoff and landing are the most dangerous times of the flight, and in the event of an announcement/evacuation they need you to be paying attention to the directions of the flight crew. It falls into the same category as putting your tray table up and seat in the upright position.

        1. fredwilson

          That makes sense to me and I am not opposed to shutting down 5 mins before landing but 30 mins always seems so much overkillFred

  4. Vijay Veerachandran

    My choice on the best of 30 🙂 No 29.

  5. Alex Iskold

    Thanks Fred, coming from you “a freak” sounds very cool.I blogged on our blog recently about a famous Russian science fiction book. It is called “The Monday Begins on Saturday”. This is the secret really.

    1. michaelgalpert

      I was going to ask fred to elaborate on 7 but I guess you hinted to it alex. keep up the good work

  6. kenberger

    you might implement a craigslist-style “flag for Best of AVC”.I’d then click on that for this post.

  7. Steve

    Re #30:I’m glad you didn’t, because I never would have seen your post. I still don’t “get” Twitter, and I’m not sure that I ever will. I’m much happier with my RSS feed reader and a solid lineup of great bloggers (yourself included).

  8. James

    #18Everyone “saying” they are “expecting a downturn” is quite different than people acting as though they were expecting a downturn. Just look at todays article in the Times. This talk is simple “cheap talk” (wikipedia it). The contrarian would be inclined to act as though a downturn is imminent.

  9. Fraser

    One of your best posts I’ve read in a while. Another “flag for Best of AVC”.

  10. Don

    Finally, my A VC fix for the day. Now, to take the time to digest. Excellent riffs, Fred.

  11. TimWalker

    “A commenter to one of my posts last months said “you have to be consistent”. I reject that notion entirely.”Amen, sir. But don’t take my word for it . . .”A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do.”–Emerson”Do I contradict myself?Very well then I contradict myself,(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”–Whitman

    1. fredwilson

      wow. emerson and whitman. i don’t belong in that company.

  12. obscurelyfamous

    Great post and good title. I would blog much more if thinking of a title for the entry didn’t take me 10 minutes. I need to remind myself to write first, title later.

  13. DAR

    Fred,Re: #21 (charity fund raising events):A LES neighborhood charity that I’ve been donating to for years (http://www.grandstreet.org/) has a unique solution to this problem. Every year they send me an invitation to their “Let’s Pretend Ball”. As in, “Let’s pretend that we’re throwing a huge fund raising party. But since we’re actually a really small charity that can’t afford to piss away money on stuff like this, we’d really appreciate it if you’d support us with a donation”.I thought it was pretty funny the first time I got the invite. But since then I’ve become pretty enamored with the idea. It’s really nice to know that the people working at the charity are doing it for the right reasons – and that my donation is going towards helping someone, and not towards plates of shrimp cocktail.

    1. fredwilson

      i’ll go visit their site. sounds like a non-profit who gets it.

  14. Jed Christiansen

    Fred, regarding your trip to London, I write a blog for visitors and residents of the city. It might give you some other ideas of things to do and see. I’m personally incredibly jealous that you got tickets to see Zep!!http://www.thelondontravele…Regards,Jed

    1. fredwilson

      jed, i’ll go check it outthanksfred

  15. Bruce Barber

    Fred,I just bought some Ben Kweller on iTunes, I don’t get Harry Pottter either, and I miss Warren Zevon too.I fear I’m turning into a groupie…

    1. fredwilson

      I am a ben kweller groupie and have the photos to prove itFred

  16. David G

    You lost me at (3)This is why I don’t twitterQuantity vs. Quality

    1. fredwilson

      There was some good stuff near the end

      1. David G

        You’re right :-)”I wonder if I’ll be blogging about Facebook in 2008″I think the answer to that lies in how good the fb team is at maintaining focus on the “social utility” play i.e. avoiding the temptation to become a publisher or take control of the e-commerce opportunities on the platform. Myspace couldn’t stay away from the short-term gains of controlling and owning their content and so, they missed the platform opportunity. This is what google’s been good at – content may be king but optimize utility in a global, neutral way and you don’t need (your own) content (ala del.icio.us.)PS. I dig how you’ve got involved in your comments since adding disqus – didn’t think you could improve on this blog but you have!

        1. fredwilson

          Thanks. Its all about commenting via reply to email on my bberryFred

  17. blink

    Fred,Nice post. Although, I get the feeling you’ll find plenty to write about over the next few weeks. Keep up the good work.

  18. Jarid

    Re: #4At least hockey season just started, and basketball starts soon. Well, at least hockey season just started… 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      Yeah jarid you are right about the knicks.Josh and I have to go see the rangers. They may be our best hope this yearFred

  19. Dave

    Middle Class is a culture which incorporates a mindset, and no you won’t escape it no matter how much money you make. The Wealthy class is likewise a culture. Being a culture is why it takes two generations to integrate the family into the Wealthy class. This is independent of money, but not having any, you won’t get in, and once you are in, you will always have money or a way of life that won’t abandon you even if your money runs out.Poverty is also a culture. You can escape it and enter the middle class, but that isn’t easy to do either. You will continue to think poverty and mange your money in a poverty way. It will take two generations to move the thinking into the middle class.

  20. Aruni Gunasegaram

    Oh, I had a nice comment about to post and I accidentally hit backspace trying to delete something and it took me to the previous page and now my profound comments are lost. :-)BTW, I haven’t commented here in a while and I noticed today that if the comment goes below the scroll you can’t see it..you have to scroll down and when you start typing it goes back to the top so you can’t see your typing. I guess all this new blogging comment technology is beyond me….I guess I’ll have to find a good technologist in order build a successful company….

    1. fredwilson

      i will forward this complaint to the disqus guys. this comment system is still pretty new but it seems to be getting better by the dayfred

  21. Bruce Warila

    Most of these 30 thoughts could have been twittered, probably all of them if I tried.Fred,I have been reading your blog for about six months – love it. You often mention Twitter. I don’t get it? Do you have to be in the club to get it (Twitter)? You guys that are deep into this hipster stuff seem to all be into twittering. I spent ten minutes looking at their site and I still don’t get it? I can’t be that out of it. My company builds software, I write a blog, I back a rock band… I can’t figure out twitter? Is 44 2 old 2 twitter?

    1. fredwilson

      you can’t “get twitter” by looking at their site. you have to create an account and follow some people. start with me. i am fredwilson. look at my page http://twitter.com/fredwilson and check out all the people i am following. follow some of them too. then tell me what you think. you might try posting too but try following to start.

  22. Dan Blank

    For #20 “I wish my children blogged,” that is a great point. As more and more of the younger generation become comfortable expressing themselves on a daily basis by writing, creating video, etc, I wonder if we will have more good writers in our future – or just more bad writers who write more often. As this mass communication perpetuates, will we devalue the skill of writers – of journalists? But I say, if your kids don’t want to blog – good for them! Let them wait until they have something to say; or at least the confidence and comfort to say it to the world.Thanks for the great blog entry. Have a nice evening.

  23. Phil B

    Arsenal? Just when I thought this blog couldn’t get any better…! The new stadium is beautiful and they are in Championship form – enjoy!And I agree wholeheartedly with no. 7 – Alex Iskold’s posts at RWW are as good as anything out there, I feel like he could/should have a huge following in his own right.

    1. fredwilson

      We are seeing them play wigand on saturdayCan’t waitI’ve lost interest in baseball and american football for nowBut I said in one of the 30 I think

    2. Brett

      Couldn’t agree more about the Emirates. I planned my trip to London in April around making sure I could get to a match. Fred, make sure you take the tube to the match. The experience of walking through the packed streets of North London to get to the stadium is worth having. Also, re #22, you missed one of the more prominent examples. Remember Friendster? It was Myspace before Myspace was, but its leadership died a quick death when the site kept crashing.

  24. Tyler Link

    Wow. Ben Kweller is amazing. Thanks for introducing me to his music. I do have to disagree, however. The best singer/songwriter of his generation (my generation) is Michael Mazochi (www.myspace.com/michaelmazo…. Fred, I think you’ll like his music as much as I do. (Full Disclosure: I do online marketing for Michael…but I’m a long-term reader of your blog and I post out of sincerity and mutual interest 🙂 ).

  25. chris h.

    You may have copied this blog post style from Jason but you did it better, and that’s no dis to Mr. C, just a testament to the good ideas (Read Write Web; Hype Machine beta- loving that one too; TechCrunch peaking & bubble rumors; automagic) & thoughts (Ben Kweller, Lauryn Hill) in this uber-post.And I echo Tyler’s sentiment about your blog turning me onto good music- I’m going to the Jens Lekman show here in D.C. later this month (love the song ‘A Postcard to Nina’). Thanks and keep the good music posts coming.

    1. fredwilson

      a postcard to nina is brilliant.Jens Lekman – A Postcard To Ninafor anyone who wants to hear iti love Jens

  26. Dan Buell

    Pretty cool post Fred! One of my favorites! I love these numbered posts, clears the mind. I am not a fan of the Harry Potter movies either but I have been converted to the books on tape which are truly amazing. The narrator is award winning and I listen to them for him more than the characters. I have some of the CD’s I can send you or maybe somebody can load you up with .mp3 versions for your i-Pod – highly recommend it. I was skeptical too…

    1. fredwilson

      confession – i have never listened to a book on tape.

      1. Dan Buell

        I’ve probably got less than 20 under my belt and most are horrible. I use to drive from Tucson to Orange County every week and I tried without luck to make the time productive and a learning experience but I started swerving all over the road because they put me to sleep. That’s what makes these books different. Jim Dale (the narrator) is amazing!Here is a sample: http://www.audioeditions.co

  27. Mrinal

    What do you think #14 and #18 have in common, Fred?

    1. fredwilson

      i feel like hamlet. i can’t figure out if it’s coming or not.

  28. Alex Sirota

    Fred, just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this post, probably for the same reasons I love books that are collections of short stories – many different ideas/storylines/thoughts in one – and very twitteresque too :)Some thoughts: on #10 – totally agree – I’d kill to hear something as good as “Miseducation” from Laurin Hill again. On #6 – most of your thoughts can be easily expanded into full blog posts – that’s what Asimov did which many of his short stories :)On #27 – just been thinking the same thing myself recently – even after knowing exactly how all this stuff works from zeros and ones up, it’s still amazing for me to see how far we’ve come, and how all these bits and pieces sometimes fit together to create true magic.

    1. fredwilson

      maybe i’ll try to expand a bunch of them into posts.that’s what twitter does for me, it’s starts me talking about something when i don’t feel the need to be long winded.fred

  29. James McCarthy

    3) It just doesn’t make much difference on short haul especially when you aren’t entirely reliant on a laptop to get stuff done.18) Bubbles happen and sort a lot of the wheat from the chaff. It is time to panic is when people start saying “it is the new economics the old rules don’t apply”.19) Spot on, consistency is for the un-questioning.26) FB may not be the technology of choice, but it is the benchmark at growing and engaging a user base. It is dancing very close to annoying customers with so much noise from app-spam but taking steps to control that. Any open or distributed pretender will have to really be smart about avoiding the app-spam and allowing customisation.

  30. Alec Saunders

    3) Why do I continue to fly coach on cross country flights? I can afford to fly upfront but something keeps me from booking it. Dave Winer said yesterday that his parents are “decidedly middle class” and he agrees with them that a middle class mindset is best. I can’t claim to be “decidedly middle class” but my parents certainly are and some habits die hard if they die at all.When Bill Gates was famously asked this question in the mid 1990’s he observed that the back of the plane got there just as fast as the front.Cheers, A

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a good one alexthanks

  31. ben saitz

    http://writer.live.com – microsoft actually has a free and really nice windows app to write for your blog. i supports multiple blogs and many common blogging platforms and APIs.. i enjoy using it on airplanes.. well, and on the ground.i will say, i like airplanes without internet access.. i find working when i fly the most productive time for me.

  32. Leigh

    For the guy who stopped at 3 you missed this:”One day I want to sit next to Peter Rojas on a cross country Virgin America flight and play with his gadgets”:)

  33. smjvc

    re #26, Facebook feels a bit transient to me. Maybe it is the friendster=>myspace=>facebook=>? sequence of companies that shows how these networks tend to balkanize. I feel like private social networks are more likely to be the next evolution here, which would fragment the space and make it even more difficult to monetize. I am increasingly bearish on facebook every day.

    1. Robert John Ed

      It seems like Facebook could be the next Friendster…but it won’t be. Either will myspace. There are a few good reasons, for one the services offered are better and the people who use them are so well adapted to the internet that they are becoming “social utilities” (via Facebook) similar to the telephone and email. My best guess is that the user base of people who rely on the internet has reached a sort of critical mass that an audience for these services is sustainable for the long run. The questions are who will optimize them and take the lead in the space? How will they make it personalized and customized (ala Google)? Who will give the the user complete control and utilitiy? Lastly, how will they monetize in a fashion that EMPOWERS THE USER?Facebook is leading now, but we’ll see how it hashes out. Social networks via the web are here to stay.

  34. jill

    You are inspiring Fred! Your ‘list of 30’ shows how your mind works. Seems like a good way to clear it out and make room for more!

    1. fredwilson

      Yup. So true

  35. jill

    and BTW: check out SINA for your covestor account. it has been moving up.

    1. fredwilson

      We put the vc money into sina back in 1999. My one and only china deal. I have a hard time buying public stock in companies we owned privately. Not sure whyFred

  36. Prashant Gandhi

    You are an Arsenal Fan ? Me too. I am going for the Wigan match too – but I guess you would be up there in some director box. Join the Arsenal FC group on Facebook. Incidentally, as someone who knows a bit about M&A, what do you reckon would happen with the whole Usmanov saga ?

    1. fredwilson

      I have no idea about that

  37. Guest

    Fred,First, as a 21 year old newly minted tech marketing whiz kid (or so I like to think) who started reading your blog 4 or 5 months ago, I’m continually amazed that I’m in an industry where at least some of the grown ups are as into great music as I am. In short, it’s really goddamn cool.Also, Re: #22, I agree on every point except for management. I don’t think technologists typically grasp management (let alone great management) as easily as they do those other concepts, and it can be a real struggle. I’d argue that technologists who DO get effective leadership have a definite advantage over traditional managers who are trying to understand technological concepts as an intelligent business decision rather than out of personal passion. On the other hand, the geeks (I mean it endearingly…I’m one too) who don’t get it are dead in the water, even if they’re up against competition with far less technological prowess.(ps am I crazy or is Faust ARP ((track 6 on the new radiohead)) Thom Yorke channeling Elliot Smith? and am I supposed to love it as much as I do?)

    1. fredwilson

      I struggle with #22 which is why I posed it as a questionThere are no formulas in the vc business and the right answer for one company is not the right answer for anotherBut I am leaning toward tech savvy as a requirement for ceos. Maybe not coder level tech savvy but more than I have for sureFred

      1. Rob D

        Agree, tech savvy is critical. You need to feel it in your heart, not just your head. (heard that recently at a conference) BUT leadership and management experience is critical. Maybe not in the early days, but as the startup scales the politics start. That’s when the real managers/leaders show their value.

  38. Harry DeMott

    #3 As long as there is Jet Blue or enough leg room in American – the cost differential between the front and back of the bus makes it ridiculous to sit up front. Plugs make a difference – but they will become standard (see the Virgin Post) Truth of the matter is – if you invest for a living you are always looking at risk/reward price/value. How do you justify $2500 for 6 hours versus $300 for the same 6 hours. Of course if you had to do that trip on Southwest – you might think differently.#8 It is rare to find a fully formed world coming from the mind of an author – that’s what is special about Harry Potter – the completeness. Of course, no comparison to Lord of The Rings .#11 I hate you!!!! (Just kidding ) My hope is the ridiculous demand for tickets spurs these guys back out on the road together – so I don’t have to take a vacation and mortgage my house to see them.#21 Have to believe there is a secondary market in the making here. You may not want to go have cocktails and dinner with a bunch of fellow givers – but I bet there’s a market out there for people who do – sell the experience and donate those proceeds – charity wins twice.

  39. Jason Preston

    I thought I’d add my voice on Harry Potter – the movies are “meh.” The books are fascinating because of the way they are written.Many “experts” claim that her writing is nothing special, but I challenge any of those experts to put a book down halfway through.

  40. candice

    It seems every time I read a post of yours that involves twitter there’s a chorus of “I don’t get it!” out there.There is nothing to “get” here. It’s a thing. It can have a point, or it can have no point at all. People need to stop trying so hard to find “meaning” in everything.The caveat really is that it’s not much fun without at least a handful of people that you know or know of to follow. Follow someone in your city who posts about restaurants, or about cars, or baseball, or whatever. One guy I know here in New Orleans is following people who twitter in foreign languages as practice.

    1. fredwilson

      The new track feature allows people to follow words (as proxy for thoughts) as well as peopleI think twitter will get even better when that becomes a common practiceFred

  41. John Maloney

    #25: ditto. Flip on Enjoy Every Sandwich – Dylan’s Mutineer is killer and Springsteen does a terrific My Ride Is Here.

  42. jackson

    I’d have no problem flying up front, and I always comply when asked to turn off my stuff 30 minutes before landing.I’m sure there are plenty of places to practice philanthropy without an obligation to eat a meal.Hill or Rudy?Depressing……..

  43. jackson

    John Lydon and Roger Waters, just two of many notable Arsenal supporters (not fans, ok?). As long as you don’t support Man U. West Ham would be better, but do your thing.

  44. Cindy

    His music is so inspiring and his story isn’t told or his music heard often enough! You should check out Lone Star 92.5, they play great great WZ as well as a variety of music such as Alternative Country, Classic Rock, and Outlaw Country to name a few. Visit http://www.lonestar925.com to hear it live!. I work with them and I’m an avid listener!

  45. Geoff

    “a road trip to London in November” caught my eye. I live in Cambridge UK it would be great to meet up with you and show you the sights.

  46. haha

    #9: you want to play with his gadgets. <insert beavis=”” and=”” butthead=”” laugh=”” here=””>

  47. Joe Bly

    In random thought #22 you reference Facebook vs. MySpace and I am just wondering if you are saying that Facebook is beating out MySpace with their advanced technology. Last I checked, according to this months research, Facebook dropped over 3MM unique visitors while MySpace continued its growth. I know that unique visitors is not everything and there will be ebbs and flows, but I can’t get over the fact that people seem to ignore the stats when talking about the social networking landscape.

  48. Alexis

    I’m surprised to hear anyone say that they’d give to more causes if they didn’t feel they had to go to a function. I don’t have much to give, but even if I did, I pick my causes and give them my money and that’s it for me. What makes it different for you?

    1. fredwilson

      A meaningful percentage of the amount given is going to the event itself,not to the cause

  49. David Niederman

    fred had I known you were coming to Portland I would have inundated you with restaurant recommendations. In response to your Lauren Hill question, my sense is she is focusing on her children rather than career.

  50. Douglas Karr

    re: 26) When I’m in Facebook, I feel as though they are trying to keep me in Facebook. It feels like AOL all over again. I love the flexibility and freedom that the web offers from a creativity standpoint. Facebook has its own look and feel that everyone conforms to. I just don’t have fun there.

  51. Akshay125

    In practical terms, Jaiku’s mobile application allows users to broadcast not only their whereabouts, but how the phone is being used, even what kind of music it is playing.The information opens up a world of new mobile services for regular users, beyond the world of early adopters familiar with Jaiku.