Some Thoughts On Aging

It's my 49th birthday today. I am taking the day off and spending it with my family at our house on the east end of long island.

For most of my adult life, my self image has been of the 20 year old me. The young smartass punk kid with a chip on his shoulder out to prove something to the world. That caused me some problems in my 20s and early 30s but worked out pretty well in the end.

That's all started to change in the past couple years. I've got a daughter in college and another planning to go next year. I'm starting to notice some gray hairs when the light hits my head a certain way. And I see a different person in the pictures others take of me. I see the wrinkles and the natural aging. And no Tereza I am not ever going to do the nip/tuck thing. That is most definitely not me.

My self image is changing and I'm starting to accept it. I'm getting older, more successful, and also a tad bit slower. I had to go back to yoga this year to deal with the aches and pains largely brought on by years of stress and bad posture. It has worked. I feel great. The Gotham Gal and I have learned to accept that our kids don't need us as much, that they want to make their own choices, and we have let them do that. Parenting is always the hardest thing to learn but teaches you the most.

Anyway, I am happy with the aging process. I like who I have become and who the people around me have become. My partner Brad told me that next year when I turn 50 I won't be able to pretend I am not middle age. Well I think I gave up pretending that in the past few years. I'm enjoying middle age and looking forward to what it brings.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. David Noël

    Happy Birthday, Fred. Enjoy the day with your family.

      1. daryn

        And here’s a little spoken word for you too, Fred :)…

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Didn’t realize I liked punk! That’s great.

        1. ShanaC

          they changed my music taste here. I used to listen to a ton of classical music. And while I still do, I now listen a lot more kinds of music, including rock and roll. (though I still have yet to go to my first rock concert, and I am not going by myself because I am going to get nervous and I am going to want to ask questions) There are definitely a few people here who could care less about Fred the Venture Capitalist and only care about Fred the tumblogger because of David and SoundCloud.(Uhh David, if you see this, can you add a heart to sound cloud so I can heart other people’s radios?)I still want to know where all of these people find their music. I feel lost and floating when it comes to finding my music

          1. maverickny

            I used to feel that way too, Shana, then Fred and the gang got me hooked on Hype Machine – it’s a great way to discover new music through what other people are sharing.

          2. ShanaC

            I prefer We are Hunted by a tad. The hype Machine tends to get some more remixes, which then I get confuses with for the song I am looking for. Then again, I often forget who I am listening too 🙂

          3. David Noël

            Only saw this now, Shana. Have Fred take you to Arcade Fire, that would be a sweet first rock and roll show, look: for the hearts, we have ’em, look for the hear + favorite on the top left of the player:

          4. ShanaC

            I’m adultish enough to take myself to a concert when I feel ready. Fred is not responsible for that. If I get lucky, maybe I can drag along an age appropriate cute guy with. (unlikely right now, last guy I met moved to Laos for work.)The hearts don’t appear in the versions that embed into tumblr, which is where I tend to interact with them (such as Fred’s here No Heart? No heart that embedded back into tumblr 🙁 Harder to share 🙁

          5. David Noël

            SC to Tumblr sharing and vice versa definitely needs improvement.

  2. denmeade

    happy birthday!

  3. LIAD

    dude, 49 and only ‘some grey hairs’ – you’re doing well.i’ll be over the moon if i get to 49 and have any hair at all! – “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Right. Most folks would be happy to have Fred’s nearly all non-gray head of hair at 49. Better to be rich with a full head of hair like Fred than rich and bald like Lloyd Blankfein.

  4. Senith statistics tutor

    Happy birthday Fred!

  5. lazerow

    Happy birthday Fred. Age is just a chronological fact. Nothing more. Have a great day!

  6. David Semeria

    I’m starting to notice some gray hairs when the light hits my head a certain way.LOL – grey is grey, Fred. Physics won’t help you.Happy birthday.

  7. Kevin

    Happy Birthday Fred. Have a great day and weekend.

  8. Owlsley

    Happiest of birthdays Fred. I suppose you might be able to live the adage that you are never too old to blog. I’ll be reading for the next 49 years if possible

  9. awaldstein

    Happy Bday Fred.I believe strongly that you need to wake up every day and find yourself in the center of your life. I practice this daily and it works 😉

  10. CJ

    Happy Birthday Fred! You do more in a day than I do in a week, and I’m 32. I was reading your bio and wondering how you fit it all in. If I’m half as successful and busy at your age, I’ll feel successful so maybe you slowing a bit is like Michael Jordan entering the middle part of his career, you don’t drive the lane as much because you’re now money from outside with the jumper. Long story short, you may be middle-aged in wisdom, but not in function. Enjoy your day!

  11. RichardF

    Happy Birthday Fred – have a great weekend. I agree with you on the parenting thing we are at the beginning of that journey and it is tough!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      My oldest (of four) is now 15 and there has not been an “easy” year yet. But it’s the best adventure and the most fun I’ve ever had. And if you like continuous learning and growth — and being stretched past your limits — then parenting is the right gig.

      1. RichardF

        yep I’ve come to the conclusion there is no easy year and I’m also learning to have some patience (although my wife might disagree) and having to become an expert in reverse psychology!

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Enjoy the ride, Richard. (But get as much sleep as you possibly can and keep plenty of your favorite vintage on hand — and I should follow my own advice.)

  12. Cate Long

    Yoga promoter!Yup —> happiness is waiting inside of us!Thanks for sharing and happy birthday!

  13. gregorylent

    one of the great thing about being in ashrams in india has been seeing the old/aging saints … yes, the body ages and dies … but, my god, the luminousity, the light, the energy, is simply astounding …and, as an aside, one out-of-body experience removes all fear of death … it will be the best day of our lives, from the inside out …nice column, thanks

  14. bfeld

    Happy birthday my friend!

  15. michelle

    Happy Birthday – I hope you have a great day. Looks like you will be one of the few people that doesn’t dread turning 50 well done for that : )

  16. rosshill

    Happy Birthday Fred!

  17. kirklove

    Feliz Cumpleaños, amigo.

  18. Itzik Ben-Bassat

    Happy Birthday Fred, enjoy the weekend with your family.

  19. kskobac

    happy birthday! here’s to a happy healthy year

  20. Imran Ali

    LOL you’re very lucky – I started greying when I was in my mid-20s…Happy birthday Fred, have a lovely day 🙂

  21. John Frankel

    In the technology age we live in, middle age is simply 20 years older than you are.

  22. Cyril Nicodème

    I’m going to be the most original here : Happy birthday ! :)I always see being older as something great. Many people tell us that being older mean having a better understanding, a better knowledge on many things.I’m sure yours (knowledge) is already strong, and you are on path where the knowledge will be something more and more important. Something you know, you own, and something you (already) share to us, and you do it remarquably well.Of course you are changing (I will preferably say evolving :)), but it’s something good because you extend your capabilities.And that’s always a great thing.Happy birthday 🙂

  23. Lance Woodson

    I hit 40 this year, and I’m seeing myself progressing through the Kübler-Ross model/5 stages of grief, haha. I’m pretty firmly entrenched in bargaining with myself at the moment. It sounds like you’ve reached acceptance, and that is great.

  24. Gfulgoni

    Happy Birthday, Fred! Did you realize that your age is catching up to mine on a percentage basis? 🙂

  25. Sunchowder

    Beautiful post and enjoy your birthday Fred!

  26. Gregorgallo

    The world is a better place because of you, Fred. Happy Birthday. You’re just getting started!

  27. JimHirshfield

    @fredwilson just unlocked the “Seven Squared” badge on @foursquare! ;-)Congratulations and many happy returns of the day.

    1. David Noël

      LOL. Nice.

  28. Mark Essel

    Your outlook on life doesn’t look a day over 5. It’s that kid like optimism that keeps you believing and seeing what other folks your age (or any age) cannot.Perfect day on the island!I jotted down some notes on my own recent reflections, and I think you may enjoy the story.

  29. Steve Poland

    What did you get for your birthday?Happy Birthday… hey, you’re still in your 40’s ;)Funk #49 covered by the Black Keys:

  30. halwebguy

    Happy birthday…and thanks for regularly sharing your wisdom with us wannabes 🙂

  31. Satish Mummareddy

    I saw that picture on gotham gal’s blog a month ago:…and left this comment:”Fred has this geeky teenager I’m lucky shez dating me smile and posture. 🙂 Neat Pic.”There are still something that you do like a 20 year old. Love your girl. As long as you do that for the rest of your life, you will be a happy man. 🙂 Best wishes Fred.

  32. Sheldon Thomas

    Happy Birthday! Aging in many ways is a badge of honor if you are living life the way you want and as I always tell people getting older beats the alternative. Congrats on another year, and a toast to many more!

  33. Tom Labus

    Great day in NYC area to be outdoors.Happy Birthday, youngster.

  34. kidmercury

    happy birthday boss. i probably have more gray hairs than you so i can’t sympathize. at least you are not bald though, man that is the worst. i am thinning, but i have to come to terms with it and expect to make a smooth transition. i got a while though, i think at least another 8-10 years before anyone can make fun of me for being bald. hope you never go bald, could hurt your status as a blog star. grays will help though, makes you look all wise and dignified.

    1. Keenan

      Shave it Kid, bald only sucks when it doesn’t look like a choice.

    2. ShanaC

      There are a couple of people from my high school class who went nearly completely gray by age 22. It’s one of those wierd genetic things.I second the shaving head thing. Look at Sir Patrick Stewart. He embraced it, and no one thinks he is less manly.

    3. Tereza

      If you do the head shaving thing, Kid, just make sure you pluck those errant nose and ear hairs.

  35. reece

    happy birthday, Fred.really interesting point re: self-image. good to hear you’ve maintained your youthful self-image for so long.i hope to do the same.

  36. Rocco Tarasi

    Happy Birthday… thanks for all the time you spend writing your blog and educating us, its an invaluable resource.

  37. Eric Lunt

    Happy birthday, Fred! You squeeze more life out of each year than just about anyone I know. You’re inspirational and I enjoy every opportunity we have to interact. Enjoy the day!

  38. DonRyan

    Happy Birthday, Fred. Enjoy your day out east.

  39. John Belo

    Happy Birthday!

  40. johnmccarthy

    Happy Birthday and congrats on waiting until 49 to start seeing the gray hairs.Love that google reader served up a grandmother medical alert button ad with this post.

    1. Tereza

      Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

      1. johnmccarthy

        Pretty similar.

  41. Manshu

    Happy Birthday Fred. I am a relatively recent reader of this blog, but have really enjoyed your posts and learned a lot from them, and this is a good time to thank you for all your work put in here.Thank you and have a great day!

  42. bijan

    as long as you continue to rock out at Arctic Monkeys shows you’ll be young foreverhappy birthday!

  43. markjosephson

    Happy Birthday Fred. Hope you enjoy your day and savor the good times.

  44. Christina Cacioppo

    Happy Birthday! Hope you have a fantastic day at the beach.

  45. Alex Murphy

    Happy 24th Anniversary of your 25th birthday … you can always be a 20 something!

  46. itamarl

    Happy birthday Fred! Just avoid light hitting you a certain way and you’ll be just fine.

  47. Eddie Braverman

    Happy Birthday, Fred! You’re an inspiration. Really.I’ve been struggling mightily with the middle age thing ever since turning 40 (I’m 41 now, and almost completely gray). It’s nice to see someone enjoying it.Keep up the great work.

  48. Aviah Laor

    Apparently success correlates well with money, but ultimately it’s more important.A nice Zen post.Happy birthday.

  49. Rob K

    Happy Bday Fred. 40 is the new 30, and 50 is the new… well, I don’t know yet. 🙂

  50. Marilyn Byrd

    Happy Birthday, Fred. Have a great day. *<{:o)

    1. Satish Mummareddy

      Lol. That clown was creative.

  51. skysurfer172

    May you live a long lifeFull of gladness and healthWith a pocket full of goldAs the least of your wealthMay the dreams you hold dearestBe those which come trueMay the kindness you spread,Keep returning to you.

  52. Fraser

    happy birthday Fred!birthday’s are the most precious thing to collect. congrats on getting 49 of them.

  53. Boris Wertz

    Happy birthday, Fred – enjoy your day!

  54. Mike

    “It’s my 49th birthday today. I am taking the day off and spending it with my family…”Lots of wisdom in those two sentences. Best of luck on the next 49 years!

  55. John Ndege

    Happy Birthday!

  56. Ben Mundt

    Happy birthday, Fred. Be proud, you have led a great life.

  57. Farhan Lalji

    Happy Birthday Fred!Think we need a new classification for people who are around the 50 mark, kids growing up and still have a lot to offer the community, I propose calling this stage of your life your “second wind”!Many happy returns.

  58. Spyros Michailidis

    As long as one enjoys every moment and looks forward to what will happen and who s/he ‘ll meet next, getting older can only be a wonderful thing.Thanks for your posts and the wisdom you share with us, enjoy the day with your loved ones and many many happy returns.

  59. daryn

    Happy Birthday Fred!Aging hits me every now and then. Earlier this week I was reminiscing about a previous job when I realized it was not only 10 years ago, but I was just 23 at the time ( )I spent my twenties being the young hotshot programmer. Now, at 33, I’m the old wise one and one of the eldest at the our office. Not sure what that bodes for my 40s and 50s, but I’ve gotten comfortable with it. Having a child has definitely helped the transition, as does working on something I enjoy so much.

  60. Matt A. Myers

    “I’m starting to notice some gray hairs when the light hits my head a certain way.”LOL. Oh and Happy Birthday. 😉

  61. Gabe

    Thanks for another great post. And, Happy Birthday!

  62. William Mougayar

    Joyeux anniversaire! I would have expected several more languages greetings give the global nature of your audience, but at least the French one is in.I’m 1.5 yr older than you, almost to the day. 50 is the new 40. Happy 39th birthday.

  63. Jose Paul Martin

    Hey Fred! Happy Birthday!!!! God Bless ya… almost touching the half century!

  64. Morgan Warstler

    Congrats Fred. Hold out for the singularity! And if not, remember that in Vegas you are always 21.

  65. $3236

    Happy Birthday Fred. Have fun!

  66. brmore

    Know exactly how you feel. Just sent the second and final off to school a couple of days ago. The nest is empty, and it definitely feels strange to come home to a quiet house. Fortunately, they can’t yet afford to not come home over the summer!Happy B-Day fellow old man …. (sigh)

  67. foodtraveler

    Happy birthday. Enjoy being 49 and I bet you will enjoy your 50’s even more.

  68. Andy Jacobson

    Fred — The best thing about being the 49 year old version of “The young smartass punk kid with a chip on his shoulder out to prove something to the world” is that people start thinking you know what you’re talking about. Happy Birthday!

  69. Mark

    Happy Birthday.

  70. William Carleton

    Happy 49th, Fred. I definitely relate to what you say about self-perception changing. I am a mere three months from joining you. The 49 club also includes the President and, I think, George Clooney.

  71. Martinowen

    Happy Birthday Fred,I didn’t start this entrepreneur stuff (in the commercial world) until I was 56. Five years on, I could wish that the cheque I hope to collect next year could have come 30 years ago….. but no regrets.Next month I run a barcamp on digital technologies and the wellbeing of older people. Ageing boomers is were its going to be. They own 15% of iPads – and that is a really encouraging stat. My daughter – a specialist in elderly medicine tells me her grandfathers ( 87, and 88) don’t begin to qualify to be one of her patients yet.

  72. Guest

    Happy Birthday Fred!! “I like who I have become and who the people around me have become.” What a great gift. Enjoy the day!

  73. baba12

    seven squared, now you got another 15 years to reach eight squared. Will be interesting to see how you square your Life quotient.Best wishes…

  74. howardlindzon

    not much I can say here. pretty damn old. ugh.

  75. howardlindzon

    That said, Gotham is timeless in her beauty.

    1. karen_e

      Howard, you drive me absolutely BONKERS with some of your politics, but this is a priceless comment (or Tweet). Lovely.

  76. howardlindzon

    Was that ‘Depends’ item on your Amazon Wish list a joke from andy swan or do you need them?It’s that or the Sharper Image nose and ear hair trimmer which though sad is the best toy a 49 year old man would want.Have a great one pal.

  77. Mason Ng

    Happy Birthday Fred.Parenting is hard and at the same time it is one of the most enjoyable when they say “love you daddy”.

  78. Scott Cohen - Red Tie Media

    Have a happy birthday. As Picasso said, “It takes a long time to grow young”. Enjoyyour special day.

  79. pruett

    happy birthday fred! a great outlook on the aging process indeed. something i must learn to embrace myself. enjoy the rest of your youthful 40’s.

  80. Space Ghost

    Happy Birthday Fred!

  81. inaki

    touching!Happy birthday!

  82. Tim Johnson

    Aging is the same as parenting: Actual results may vary. I can say with certainty that this side of 50 is pretty good and it’s okay to admit the grey hairs. Adds character, you know. Happy Birthday.

  83. FlavioGomes

    Happy Birthday Fred!Youth is wasted on the young.

  84. LECHSAM group

    A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. ~John Barrymore… this may explain why you feel 49 years young rather than 49 years old! Happy Birthday!

    1. Yule Heibel

      49 years young v. 49 years old – I like that!And Happy Birthday Fred!

  85. tnt

    Here’s what I’m doing @ 65 as a hobby (after a career in building and drafting) cuz it’s so refreshing out west:

  86. Harry DeMott

    Funny how your perspective changes over time.At work on Wall Street, I used to be the smart ass kid working harder than the old timers – and 20+ years in – I am the old timer – and the 26 year olds with no commitments, no commute, and nothing but energy are hard to keep up with.I’m on vacation in Hawaii with my family, and my dreams of becoming a pro surfer or paddle boarder have been shattered by my 10 year old – who can effortlessly catch wave after wave while I flounder in the water trying to get back on for another go at it.A lot of people just can’t accept these changes.Embrace em, enjoy them, pass on your enthusiasm, and keep a big chunk of your self image right around 20.Happy Birthday!

    1. ShanaC

      I know some of those 20 something young turks. You have wisdom. They can be bratty. Marry them off so they develop some more wisdom. I see the difference between the ones with kids and the ones without…

    2. David Semeria

      I’m 44, but just before I fall asleep I still fantasize about dribbling past 8 players and scoring the winning goal in the World Cup.My body may be getting a bit older, but I still think the same thoughts I’ve always thunk 🙂

      1. awaldstein

        We all look at ourselves in the mirror and see a rock star.Not admitting in any way that I”m older than you David though.

      2. Mike O'Horo

        David, I hope you’re still playing, not just visualizing. You don’t have to play at a World Cup level, just play.I’ll be 60 in December, and I still play full-court basketball with 25-30 yr-old guys, mostly because there has been no “age-appropriate” game available to me for a long time. I’m in no danger of blowing past them on the way to the rim, or chasing some quicksilver guard around the perimeter, but I can still shoot the ball, set screens, play smart D and get up and down the floor in transition.You modify your role, but keep playing.

  87. Ryan Petersen

    As Cicero says, the most you can hope for in life is to survive to old age, so how could you be upset when you’ve achieved the best possible outcome.

  88. ShanaC

    Can I congratulate you on not only your birthday (happy birthday) but also for putting your real age up there.Both of my parents work in technology and they hide their birthdays and the documents relating to their birthdays because they want to hide from agism. So congratulations on your birthday and embracing that you don’t need to hide you age in the tech business (if more people said no, and got mad, then then there would no need for people to be hiding their age)(Note: My parents are older than you, as far as I can tell from their reference points)

  89. ShanaC

    Also, what happened to the donor’s choose thing 🙁

  90. RichardF

    oh and hey I hope you have started saving for your 50th because everyone knows you pay for your own party at 50 and you have a pretty big guest list with everyone here at avc 😉

  91. Donna Brewington White

    “I’m starting to notice some gray hairs when the light hits my head a certain way.”Turn off the lights. 😉

  92. Donna Brewington White

    My grandfather with the same name (Fred) always gave us presents on his birthday.You’ve done the same… Thanks for this wonderful post…and for everything that you do and give. You are amazing!Happy, happy birthday, Fred!

  93. Scott Carleton

    Happy Birthday.I like the insights on a path that I feel myself heading down as well. I also have this remarkable chip on my shoulder which I am beginning to see as the cause of, and solution to all my problems 🙂

  94. jalak

    Happy birthday Fred. Have a great day!

  95. ksrikrishna

    Fred, many happy returns. Its when we get into the mid-forties, I think the first realization that you aren’t 24-25 (where I think I was frozen) any more hits. Of course on the plus side all those 35+ women look awfully attractive now and in my case, the insight that so much of what my dad and other mentors said is indeed true. Of course its amazing in your own field to see how many of the entrepreneurs are but a few years older than your daughters (or mine who are still in high school) – all in all gets better. This year I have a sister, one brother in law and far too many cousins turning 50 (am still 3 years away) and so it does appear that 50 is the new forty (or was it thirty!). Enjoy!

  96. drericagoodstone

    What a refreshing and uplifting view of aging. If only we all felt that way. But what would happen to the cosmetics surgery business?

  97. Jon Knight

    Feliz Anniversario, Fred!

  98. anand

    Happy birthday Fred – hope you have a fantastic day and a great weekend. fun fact – you and Al Roker share the same birthday (he’s 56).

  99. Dale Allyn

    Happy Birthday! Fred.The real “paper cut” is when you start receiving mail from AARP even though one still feels “pre-middle-aged”. At one year your senior, I don’t feel 50, but I’d prefer that AARP saved their money and kept their mail to themselves. 😉

  100. Daria Steigman

    Happy Birthday, and many wonderful returns. And just remember: age IS a state of mind. (I refuse to use the term “middle age;” I figure every day I’m just little older than the day before.)

  101. goldwerger

    Happy birthday my friend, and keep on aging so well…!warmest wishes

  102. Abhay Vardhan

    Inspiring post. Have a great day, Fred

  103. Punk20YrOld

    You’re a maturing company. Nice cash flow but not as much opportunity. A VC wouldn’t fund you.

  104. Eric Friedman

    Happy Birthday Fred!

  105. Doug Kersten

    Happy Birthday Fred!!! You old man…lol!

  106. Royce

    Happy birthday! Congrats on coming to terms with aging… many happy returns

  107. Susan Drescher

    Happy Birthday, Fred!My 51st was yesterday . . . (Leo’s kick ass) . . . and I feel much the same way. I still feel like I”m about 30, but am now able to relax into it more and focus on the things that matter, not just all things. I am a wiser person . . . and it feels good.Wishing you many, many more . . .

  108. Christian Brucculeri

    Happy birthday, Fred- enjoy the weekend.I think you’re pretty lucky have discovered yoga at such a young age.

  109. jakemintz

    Happy Birthday Fred!

  110. Kellee

    Happy Birthday Fred! Thanks for sharing. I think at any age wether it be 49 or 26 (i just turned earlier this week) with the celebration of a another birthday we become more aware of our mortality. Embrace it and enjoy your journey! 😉 Have fun with your family.

  111. fredwilson

    thanks everyone for the birthday wishes. i really am taking the day off so i’m not going to reply to each and every one.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      I don’t think you’ll hear any opposition to that! Enjoy!

  112. maverickny

    Happy birthday, Fred, enjoy the downtime this weekend with your family.I too discovered a couple of grey hairs in the morning light a few weeks ago at 45 and instantly decided middle age really begins at 50. No doubt it will shift another 5 years at that milestone 😉

  113. Dave Pinsen

    Happy Birthday, Fred.

  114. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    ♪♫¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…Happy Birthday♪♫•*¨*•.¸to you.♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Happy Birthday ♪♫•.•*¨*•♫♪ to you. Happy Birthday♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫¸¸.•*¨*…•♫♪ Fred WIlson ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…Happy Birthday to YOU ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♪♫¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…Though we’ve not met, I appreciate your musings. I thought at the very least, I could be A-musing in my good wishes for your 49th year! Enjoy!

    1. fredwilson

      that was great kelly. thanks

  115. Kunalkantsen

    Happy Birthday, Fred!Have a great year ahead.

  116. Rahul Deodhar

    Congrats! Have a happy birthday and year ahead. The greys are a plus in this business.

  117. kagilandam

    Pirantha Naal Vazhthukkal 🙂 (happy birthday wishes in my native language).My father-in-law started as entrepreneur at 50 and made it big until his death (78).

  118. TanyaMonteiro

    Happy Birthday Fred! and thanks for building such an inspiring blog.

  119. Jnper

    Fred . . .what bubble are you living in? There is no more middle age. Better food, better medical, popular advice on exercise, vitamins, sleep, smoking, alcohol and drug abuse, and so on, has eliminated it. In the old days, yes, in fact age 40 was once an accepted threshhold to middle age. Today, you’re young until you’re not young any more, then you’re old. Unless, of course, you’re seeking to somehow qualify yourself as a family or business patriarch, or in need of affection, or you’ve recently dropped the ball in a personal relationship and need an excuse to whisk it away. Aging is as much an attitude phenomenon as it is a physical one. You get to choose. My choice? I work out regularly, ski Vail, Sun Valley, Tahoe and several eastern spots every winter; travel, golf, hike, build things other times; involve with kids and grandkids, staying short of anything that might sound critical, manage my estate, read, active in not-for-profits and so on . . . just turned 78 and think I may be getting old but I’m not sure. Suggest you rethink who you are. You get no sympathy from me.

  120. Zero Slum

    ‘Punk kid’ – that sounds refreshing :)happy birthdayAnother punk kid

  121. MParekh

    Well said Fred…it’s especially good to have one’s self-image mesh with chronological age well before the big 50. Then that milestone doesn’t feel like as big a deal as I found recently. Best Birthday wishes, and all the best ahead.

  122. Cindy Gallop

    The older you get the better life gets.Last year, when I was 49, a Japanese friend revealed during a sake-tanked group dinner in Tokyo that she could read palms, and was instantly exhorted to read all of ours. She looked at mine and told me, ‘You are only halfway.’That’s the way to think about it. Another 49 years to go and a different but even more fun and rewarding phase of life.Happy birthday!

  123. Philippe

    Keep on going. In a few years will change our genes and become young again…

  124. oliol

    Happy birthday to you Fred. Keep the spirit 🙂

  125. Aruni S. Gunasegaram

    Happy Birthday one day late. You’ve achieved many great things so far…more than many or let’s just say it’s more visible than most other people’s accomplishments. Keep inspiring others and giving others the chance to achieve their dreams…

  126. Tereza

    William suggested more languages required for your birthday wishes.Since I’m in Germany at the moment, alles gute zum Geburtstag!As of Monday, vsechno nejlepsi k narozeninam! (Czech)Hope it’s very happy and you have a wonderful weekend.As for the nip/tuck — LOL!In fact, most men (or women) don’t plunge for the scalpel right away.It tends to start with a non-invasive chemical peel or infrared light pulsation. Non-surgicals, injectables, laser hair removal. So when you go to your Derm for a routine mole/skin cancer check, he likely will try to upsell you, as that’s where they make their money these days.I believe the fastest growing surgical procedure today, though, is male breast reduction — what we call “man boobs”. Highly sensitive topic, high CPC. But obesity rates, not aging, is the driver there.

    1. Mike O'Horo

      “Man boobs” are, in part, the product of decreased testosterone production, which automatically elevates the relative % of estrogen in our mix.

      1. Tereza

        That would make sense. I am no doctor. My focus was on market dynamics, so no doubt I oversimplified. In any case, it is a sensitive topic and on the increase. And BTW, not a laughing matter at all. Can be very isolating, and that’s a tough place to be. There are women’s topics too — such as alopecia — similarly sensitive and isolating. And I believe there are ways to bridge that isolation via tech…

  127. dick

    another white privileged Venture Capital financing blood suckerglad ur happy fred

  128. Adam

    Hey FredHappy Birthday, I was wondering what you specifically learned from being a “smartass punk” during late 20s and early 30s? Any advice?

  129. Michael B. Aronson

    Fred, Happy Birthday! By my calculation you were about 26 when you were in my class at Wharton in 1986. I don’t remember you as “young smartass punk kid with a chip on his shoulder “? <grin> Seriously were’nt we all back then, I was all of 29! We both thought “we knew it all”. Brad is right , 49, 50, 51 didnt faze me much. But as you get into your 50s, your perspective does change as you see you kids graduation from College and making their way in the world.

  130. Dave McClure

    don’t let go of the punk with the chip on his shoulder Fred.gray hairs or not, we need that punk.signed, Peter Pan

    1. fredwilson

      I suspect you know the type dave

  131. Jancderidder

    Whom are you trying to convince here? …. 🙂

  132. Emeri Gent [Em]

    As a child of 1961 my take is that I don’t want to bother with age and yet in writing this, clearly I do. I do want to bother with preoccupations with age because they get in the way of graceful appreciation. Just because I was born in the class of 61 does not mean that I belong to the class of 61. Look at the size of a new born baby to that of a size of a fetus, both can be born in the same year but look at the scale difference, just because our skin shrivels as we get older and we eventually get to look as old as our parents, does not mean that age has anything to do with life. The hard part is convincing myself that is true, photographs and mirrors are a life’s deadly vices.Of course age has a lot to do with money as this report from Demos clearly points outBaby Boomers Trying to Relive their Youth is not difficult to say that boomers have the money, they have the authority to dictate what market perceptions will be and it’s the children of the 60’s look at what generation fueled the whole notion of “young and free” attitude in the first place. When I look at kids today, kids today operate in small, close knit groups and are all doing their own sweet and cool things, until that is, some of them are intoxicated by media messages that stem from boomer insecurity and the boomers-with-money. Old civilizations and some current tribal populations in the world have/had a life expectancy of no more than 50, and here I am wondering how I should face the the next half-century of existence, (so long as I have the good fortune to remain iintact). So of course age also has a lot do with death as well, but not the way most think of it. When we attend funerals we think we are paying respects but we always have one beady little eye angled on our own mortality. It is a preoccupation which is mostly useless because we all know what the contract says, one pass through, so live it the best you can. Then it comes down not to age but how well we fight our own fear.I saw a Bruce Lee feature the other day. Bruce Lee reminds me that one should enjoy being 50. So does thinking about Jack Kerouac, James Dean, Jim Morrison, John Lennon and Douglas N. Adams. Yet the most visceral view of life I had in the last year is a young lad called Jake. Jake, 19 years old in a casket way before his time. He died of a mistaken cocktail of too much power caffeinated drinks which he thought could be countered with sleeping pills. He didn’t wake up and that was that, and the older you get, the more shocking it should be to see young people pass away – I focus on the obituaries column not because I am morbid but pay to respect to the reality of young.We also link age with illness but most of us don’t know illness, those that do know, don’t worry about age, when tough responsibility, daily prayers and the seeking of hope take over. The life of caregivers is effectively sacrificed in the pursuit of helping loved ones. Caregivers prove that love has nothing to do with age or who is going to give them a surprise 50th birthday party, for some people not facing surprise is a blessing and for others, nothing about life surprises them anymore.How ironic that those without time have no age, they age because they have no time. Yet like Monty Python sang, no matter what, “always look on the bright side of life”. I do realize the luck of it all, the grace of it all. I try to cherish freedom where ever freedom has been won and where freedom is still a reality or a personal choice. Then I look forward to turning 50 next year, but why am I counting the strands of my own DNA, when exercise, laughter, a live well lived, seeing joy, giving and prospering – these are gifts that should make every day a birthday.The best way to age IMHO is to age gracefully. I enjoyed writing this, someone might enjoy reading this but life goes on and tomorrow is a new day. One thing I do know about age which is still timeless – honor the elders and not the boomers mentality that wants to hold onto youth. It is other people who make me old especially when I get caught up in the world. It wasn’t always like that, so my next stop is figuring out what life was like for indigenous Australians and pre-western mankind.Happy Birthday all the same, I raise a glass to the life well lived.[Em]

  133. Wm. Matthew Jaunich

    Time to start investing in some biotech companies working on reversing human body aging! Imagine having all the wisdom of age without the pains!

    1. Mike O'Horo

      There’s a doc in Vegas who has made phenomenal progress on that front. Dr. Graham Simpson was one of the founders of Cenegenics Institute. You’ve seen their ads in the airline mags with the ultra-buff 67-year-old doc. Dr. Jeffrey Love is a real person, and he indeed looks as photographed.Dr. Simpson left Cenegenics about a year ago to start Eternity Medicine. He’s embraced non-invasive diagnostic technology to the absolute limit. (Guys, perhaps the most significant innovation for us may be the virtual colonoscopy, for which the inventors should be sainted.)After age 40, our bodies produce far less of some critical hormones such as testosterone, DHEA, thyroid hormones, etc. Apart from the obvious sexual function role, testosterone is also responsible for lean muscle mass and has a big role in mental acuity. Dr. Simpson is at the vanguard of bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.He’s opening clinics in various parts of the world, and he may still be seeking additional investment; I’m not involved in the business so I don’t know anything more than what I glean in conversation with him.

  134. Mike O'Horo

    A belated happy birthday, Fred. I was on vacation last week and shut down all communication.The good news, overall, is that, if you’re healthy now, continue to exercise, minimize distress (stress is not a problem; distress is), minimize sugar intake and don’t drive into a bridge abutment, 50 is literally middle age. The average US life expectancy today is just under 80; for healthy people in their 50s who continue to take care of themselves physically and remain engaged mentally, 100 is not an unrealistic life expectancy.The problem with such attenuated life expectancy is that the biggest risk for most of us is outliving our money. That’s why, 3 months short of my 60th birthday, I’m getting ready to launch yet another business. Finally, after too many knowledge-and-personal-effort businesses, which generate income but do not accumulate wealth, I’ve figured out how to jump on the scalability wagon.Please wish me luck, and I hope to be able to tap into this community for advice on the many topics about which my ignorance is potentially dangerous. As the philosopher Dirty Harry said, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”Mike