Stocktwits Interview

I did a Skype interview with Howard Lindzon last week. They put it up last night on

I was tired, particularly at the start, and it shows. The whole thing is just under 20 mins. We talked about “the web is dead” and some other things.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    I like the long hair style you had in that Wallstrip interview.You didn’t seem that tired and I also liked the fact that you were more relaxed and jokey (hard not to be with Howard), you’re usually so guarded in interviews.

    1. fredwilson

      Howard is a good friend. Hard to be guarded with him

  2. Allen

    01:49 that’s damn tired !! LOL

  3. bfeld

    You perked up after a few minutes. Great interview – can’t wait to see Seth’s and then mine. I’ll probably blog all four once the series runs. After listening to Chris Dixon, I’m expecting a pretty useful range of views on the question, and then lots of good rambling.Howard gives good interview.

    1. fredwilson

      I was thinking the same thing on my bike ride today. I want to watch all ofthem

    2. howardlindzon

      too kind. the next few series we are creating will be more creative and cool extensions. we are figuring this out where angels and VC’s help people make daily decisions in markets.

      1. Mark Essel

        With all the new social sites, I’m waiting on the “give Howard and Fred your homework” site.Quora already has Mark Suster answering all my questions. Formspring got plenty of answers out of Chris Dixon.You guys should all get together and do an Angel/VC startup con that charges attendees 10% of their company value if they’re funded while there. Have it at the same time as TED and call it D$BT

        1. howardlindzon

          i would do it but fred is too nice.

    3. howardlindzon

      seth’s is today, yours tomorrow, egosha from intel friday. next week it continues

  4. LIAD

    i call dibs the next time howard passes on an investment you offer him

    1. howardlindzon

      you are now in charge of reviewing all plans that fred sends to me.

    2. fredwilson

      you know how much this pains him, right?

      1. LIAD

        Credit to you that in the interview you took pains to rationalise his decision to make him feel better.Lesser people would rib him about it no end.

  5. SD

    I will read the article – it’s a thought provoking idea. Seems like the “web” is a good on-ramp for digital services that the “internet” enables.In most cases, the “web” is a good way to deliver and organize text, photos, audio and video … I wonder if “post web” digital services will be indexable and searchable in the same way as the traditional web.

  6. JMO

    Any interesting piece that I’m sure your counterparts in the industry would appreciate is the lack of sleep VC’s get.

    1. fredwilson

      tell me about it

  7. Mike

    Great start with an intro from Band of Horses. Hope the rest of the video can stack up!

  8. Joe Omansky

    Hey Howard. I’ll give you 10% of MY company for $100,000 and take your guidance along the way. Bring it!! Let me know if you want our exec summary. Cool new direction. BTW, great video — loving –> thanks @cdixon for the heads-up. thanks @fredwilson for your wise insights. thanks @howard for being entertaining. Will check alot more, and also explore feeding these videos into my blog.

    1. howardlindzon

      Hi Joe – good hustle

  9. Kyle Pearson

    I don’t quite get how Twitter keeps Facebook in check? I know a heck of a lot more people who are frequent users of $FBOOK and don’t use $TWIT at all.

    1. fredwilson

      it is the only other social platform of scale on the webtake a look at most content sitesthey support sharing on bothif facebook was the only one out there, they could wreak havoc

      1. Kyle Pearson

        Ok, the scale argument makes sense to me. Thanks for clarifying. I agree that monopolies are no good. (unless you own them).

        1. fredwilson

          and though facebook does have a lot more users, comscore has twitter atsomething like 120mm users worldwide and that is just for, itdoesn’t include sms or mobile appsit is more widely used in a number of countries than facebook and is growingfaster in some segments of the US population than facebookthey are not the same thing eitherfacebook is for friends and familytwitter is for everyone elsei think they are more complimentary than competitive for most usersbut all that said, i also think having twitter around is a good thing formost people who rely on social media for distribution because withouttwitter, facebook would be the only game in town

          1. Evan

            Brazil is probably the most important example of a place where Twitter is huge but Facebook is still trying to really penetrate the market (seems like Asia as well, but I am intimately familiar with Latin America) One reason why I’m currently doing a Portuguese lesson. :)I think at one point Fred added a waffle word to Twitter being a FB checkpoint. It could be, it all depends on how the web and each service evolve. While Twitter seems quite distinct at first when you compare T and FB, when you think about where Facebook appears to be headed, they’re making themselves alot more like a Twitter/Foursquare hybrid.

          2. fredwilson

            japan is the most important examplecomscore has at 12.2 million UVs/month in Japan and Facebook at4.2 millionthat data may be a month old by now

          3. Evan

            darnit, i guessed wrong.

  10. brad northrop

    The web is not dead.Nearly all sites deploy a Model-View-Controller Design Pattern. With the advents of apps, you’re simply coding a new View Layer. If anything this new layer is extending the web. So the entire argument of whether the web is dead is moot.

  11. jdrive

    Another classic interview from Howard. And as usual, Fred nails the central issues all of us face. Great stuff. I noticed Howard that you didn’t ask him about porn like you did me – seems unfair 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      we had to censor that moment 🙂

  12. Aviah Laor

    Insightful interview.Three things that struck me:1. Obama is harder to predict than Facebook or 4sq.2. In order to sell something to a national broadcast you need more hair.3. Apparently there is a benefit that Twitter and ZInga weren’t offered to me: I could not pass them.:)

    1. howardlindzon

      i like my haor and non mainstreamishness of it. mainstream is not fun or cool. edge, nicje and quality of life ARE

      1. Aviah Laor

        I like your non mainstreamishness too, it’s more honest, open and relevant.I meant that Fred had more hair on the Wallstrip interview 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          i cringed when i saw that haircut

          1. Aviah Laor


          2. fredwilson

            reminded me of when i was 18

          3. ShanaC

            think of it this way- you looked “in” at the time. Fyi, nice shirt, stick with more color.

          4. David Noël

            Great great conversation!I remember watching this Wallstrip episode when it came out but forgot about the haircut. Oh wait, but that was Lindsay, so distractions have to be allowed.

          5. fredwilson


          6. Donna Brewington White

            You had a sort of Colin Firth look.

      2. ShanaC

        I suggest keeping the hair, and getting darker glasses. You got the eye and skin color for it.

        1. howardlindzon

          i agree. check me next time 🙂

      3. Mark Essel


  13. CliffElam

    I was watching and enjoying this inside my RSS reader and noticed that the ad playing below was to buy firearm accessories from Brownells. Slight moment of cognitive dissonance there.Anyhow, I liked the Manichean dichotomy you propose between open/closed. I heard Ballmer say something similar a few years ago, but he was shouting at someone so it had less impact on me. I think the easy camaraderie you guys have is helpful to the listener.-XC

  14. Jeremy Campbell

    Awesome conversation guys, every web entrepreneur should watch this! Howard, I loved your live presentation in Toronto at Startup Empire in 2008, and I enjoy your speaking and humor even more now. And Fred I love how you analyze deals and the infrastructures for your deals (the web, app platforms). Here’s to hoping that the Internet doesn’t ever get overly controlled by the governments, or by the largest companies who have the most to gain (or lose).

  15. Joe Mitchell

    I tried to add this to my Boxee cue but it didn’t work… hmm.

    1. fredwilson

      me tooboxee hasn’t figured out how do deal with their player yet

  16. ShanaC

    People like simplicity because they know what to do with it. Developers like simplicity, they know what to do with. It’s balancing the in between.Never been discussed here- does windows mobile 7 have a chance from coming in from behind, and pull an x-box?Where is internet advertising going next if google stays bleh for a decade? Display?

    1. fredwilson

      short windows 7short display

      1. ShanaC

        🙂 Windows 7 I understandWhy display?

  17. daryn

    Love it.Great topics and discussion, and it’s clear tell you and Howard are buds. Listening felt like eavesdropping on a personal conversation.

    1. fredwilson

      that’s a great thingi’d like to do more things like thati am sure we could have a similar conversation darynover a great meal, hopefully

      1. daryn

        Hope we can make that happen one of these days.

  18. Aaron Klein

    I tend to agree with you on open vs. closed, but did I miss something since the iPhone 4 announcement? I thought Apple said they were publishing FaceTime as an open protocol. It seemed then like it was only a matter of time before Skype and FaceTime interoperate.

    1. fredwilson

      that will be great

  19. William Mougayar

    Great insights as usual. It was tough to stop the video once started.Howard- I like your furniture. Just curious- is that a home office or ST office?

    1. howardlindzon

      our office is in coronado and 50 yeards from our home. its both 🙂 and ellen decorated so she will be happy. cheap.

  20. Evan

    A few thoughts, although I’ve now missed most people ever reading this:1. Long/short really got Fred animated.2. Fred, you equivocated on whether you think Obama will be re-elected. Intrade currently has Obama at 60% likely to win re-election. I don’t suppose you’d like to bet $1k at 58% on Obama’s re-election? 😉 I take +EV bets whenever I can find them.3. You mentioned things you worried about on the web, and predominant among those seemed to be ‘net neutrality.’ This might be a little outside your expertise, but it’d be interesting to hear your comments on LightSquared/SkyTerra and Phil Falcone.…4. I can’t wait until someone ends a conversation with me with “You’re the man. Go invest in something.”

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    2. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    3. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    4. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    5. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    6. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

    7. fredwilson

      i don’t bet on politics or sportsi do bet on business and technology

      1. Evan

        Given your tone in the interview, it didn’t sound like you’d take Obama at even money either, but I figured I’d give it a shot. 🙂

  21. RichardF

    that’s a bit of a Matthew Broderick look you had going on there Fred in 2006.Great point about Skype being the largest telephone company in the world. I love Skype and there’s plenty more to come from them methinks.

  22. paramendra

    Great interview, Fred, as always. I did not think you looked tired. I thought you looked pensive and wise.

  23. Sebastian Wain

    About the open vs closed platforms: The irony is that Microsoft (80s, 90s) was/is more open than current web technologies and we are in the 21st century.Microsoft doesn’t prohibit installing any software, and if you can’t find some APIs is up to you (and your capabilities) to reverse engineer the whole OS.In the web world if an API doesn’t exist you can’t go anywhere (except some slow web scrapping and trying to guess captchas). For example Google eliminated their search api a few years ago leaving applications in the limbo, they have now what’s is call “Google AJAX Search API” but doesn’t work in the same way (you must be in the browser or simulating a browser with a crawler supporting Javascript).So, the web “open” APIs is a dangerous world, and [again] building your business around a third party API without a long term SLA is a risky move.

  24. aanwar

    Nice. You guys should do it more often.

  25. fredwilson

    i don’t like how they behave as a companythey are managed incredibly well against that behavior though

  26. Kevin

    Your comparison of them to liquor and gambling companies made me perk up. Interesting.

  27. Mike Hart

    Does it go beyond just having a closed system? The entire app development market for the iPhone and iPad was a huge departure from prior strategy. Has that not been a positive influence on the market?

  28. fredwilson

    great answer charlie

  29. andyswan

    “They take 30% of a developers earnings–pretty onerous given the amount of labor and innovation coming from devs”Reminds me of a good saying: When the customer bitches loudly, but still buys, you know you’ve found market price.

  30. fredwilson

    i don’t think it is the market pricei think it is monoply rent

  31. Chunkbot

    A pretty good amount of labor and innovation came from Apple’s devs when they _made the iPhone_.