Thanks For Entrepreneurs
It's Thanksgiving. And I woke up thinking about entrepreneurs. It was probably this awesome Steve Blank blog post that caused that. Steve says:
I believe that we will look back at this decade as the beginning of an economic revolution as important as the scientific revolution in the 16th century and the industrial revolution in the 18th century. We’re standing at the beginning of the entrepreneurialrevolution. This doesn’t mean just more technology stuff, though we’ll get that. This is a revolution that will permanently reshape business as we know it and more importantly, change the quality of life across the entire planet for all who come after us.
I have had the pleasure of working with entrepreneurs for the past 25 years and as I get older I appreciate them more and more every day. Not only do we work with great tech entrepreneurs in our USV business, but the Gotham Gal and I invest personally in entrepreneurs who are working in other sectors. We've backed real estate entrepreneurs, restaurant entrepreneurs, non profit entrepreneurs, media entrepreneurs, food entrepreneurs, local businesses, and many others. We get such great pleasure from watching people imagine something and then create it before our very eyes.
I hope Steve is right and we are on the cusp of the entrepreneurial revolution. Our economy needs something new and entrepreneurship can provide that. So I am dedicating this thanksgiving to all the entrepreneurs in our lives and everywhere else in the world. Thank you.
just got off a skype call with some indian entrepreneurs with a financial site. while the us financial consumer web is mature, India is day one. it’s not as exciting thinking about investing in india because you cant just go visit management as easy as at home, but a global entrepreneur revolution is a revolution and you gotta go with the flow
totally agree howardanything that is more than 8 hours by plane from NYC is too far for mebut i am hopeful that others will fill the void
i think if it is a true true extension of your passion, than you owe it to yourself to keep trying ….especially with other people’s money :)all kidding aside – I thought it would never make sense to do it, but this year I have made two investments in Israel and looking at a few in India because they are extensions of my passion and a function of the US market being too mature and boring and entrenched in crap.
i am trying. we’ve made seven investments outside the US in the past two yearsbut i don’t see how i can make investments the way i like to them inplaces that are 14 hours away by plane
The first rule of being a deal junkie —You cannot do every deal. Knowing why you cannot do a specific deal is as important as knowing why you can do the right deals.The only universal resource is time. Everybody — rich and poor (the “to be” rich) — gets the same amount of time.Do the deals that are right for you.
i stick to people at this point because you cant do every deal.
You have opposed the idea before, but how about opening up a branch office some place like Bangalore?
our special sauce is we all work together in the same officewe aren’t giving that up
Howard, thanks for the shout-out to entrepreneurs in India and Israel. My co-founder and I were bit by the startup bug in Silicon Valley and carried that madness to Bangalore. I would like to add my thanks to all partners – employees, investors, spouses, families – who make this possible.Thanks Fred for a lovely post and a Very Happy Thanksgiving to one and all.
Happy T-day (term borrowed from Mark – thanks) Fredland and the AVC community in the US.
Absolutely, Fred. And thanks for helping so many entrepreneurs succeed and be inspired.
Happy Turkey day to all! And Fred, we entrepreneurs thank investors like YOU for believing in our (sometimes outlandish) ideas and all the support that you all continue to give! Without that, this “entrepreneurialrevolution” happening would not be possible! Happy Holidays!
Happy Thanksgiving, Fred, to you and your family. And to all of the AVC “family”.Thanks for a fine blog.Cheers!
Happy Thanksgiving Fred, and thanks to you and GothamGal for all the support and shoutouts you are giving to female entrepreneurs 🙂
Yes we are thankful for many things and that is definitely one of them!
Entrepreneurship is a terrific vehicle for personal responsibility. Thankfully, we live in a country where that is an important part of our culture, and fortunately all the trends continue to empower more people to take responsibility for not only their own future but also to make meaningful contributions to solving the problems they see around them.
V Nice post.Need to add a shout out to the entrepreneurs significant others too.Without their support, encouragement and amenability, entrepreneurship would, on occasions, be too big a weight to bear.
so true and a great point
LIAD, that was such an important point, I had to also thank you. Emotional support at home for entrepreneurs is as important as anything else in being successful. And finding someone who understands and supports the late nights, long hours and time away is hard to find. cheers for being thoughtful…
…and their paychecks. You forgot their paychecks.But you’re so right. I’d be doing none of this were not for my DH.OH at our house: “Honey, this thing better make A LOT of money. Otherwise you’re going back to work Pronto!”
Yeah and it has to go both ways, when our loved ones need support for a wild idea that takes our time we give it gladly.
No way you can achieve anything important without that support.
Cheers Fred and everyone else. Happy Thanksgiving.
Back at ya Fred…You are part of the ecosystem that has spurred this movement.The spirit of transparency that this blog represents feeds the entrepreneurial gestalt as well and just is heartening to everyone who finds the inclination to participate.Have a great holiday.
Happy thanksgiving AVC community. This is a great place – something to be thankful for, for sure!Cheers!
My thanks to all my teachers online who share their wisdom for free on their blogs. Shout out to Fred, Andreessen, Mark Suster, Ben, Chris Dixon, Paul Graham, Brad Feld, Josh Kopelman, Ed Sim, Steve Blank, Seth Godin, Steven Sinofsky, Nivi & Naval, Robert Scoble, Joel, and many many more.And my parents, and my wife 🙂
what a great list and i am proud to be on it
And a happy thanksgiving to you Fred, from a life long entrepreneur who is inspired and learns a lot from your open, honest and insightful posts.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!I prefer thinking ‘renaissance’ to revolution. That makes the Wilsons of New York like the Medicis of Florence — supporting innovation and arts of all types and sizes.:-)
does it mean that Fred will be running for Pope sometime soon.
LOL! Good one!
not likely. i support condom use in all circumstances 🙂
Thanks, Fred. Great post and thought.We still have a ways to go in terms of how we treat our entrepreneurs. In tech, it’s ok to go down in flames and get up to try again. But in many segments there is a still the stigma of “failure” associated with a failed effort.Have a good day everyone.
Happy Thanksgiving to and for the AVC Blog family — a truly remarkable group of folks — and all men and women of good will worldwide!We all have much to be thankful for and yet there is much evil loose in the world that threatens all for which we are rightfully thankful.Today is a day of unlimited bounty — my family has just returned from the Turkey Trot, in an hour the Texas Aggies lay siege to downtown Austin enmasse in an awesome parade including the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, then a feast at Westwood CC and then the Aggies v the Horns at Memorial Stadium.On Earth as it is in Texas, ya’ll! Gig ’em and Hook ’em! It truly does not get better than this!All of this largess has been paid for by our military which has ensured that our Thanksgivings are peaceful and bountiful.God bless America and our military forces at home and overseas!
Happy Thanksgiving, JLM.
Same to you! Happy Thanksgiving, Tereza!
Thank you all- you are all stepping up to huge challenges. I’m proud of everyone here
Thanks for the encouraging and motivating words. It makes me look forward to post holiday monday when I can continue getting my hands dirty.Looking forward to post holiday work= amazing increase in quality of life= thankful
Thank goodness for this blog. I truly believe that once you’ve built a successful web startup, you can start any kind of business. You can’t get this type of community and these types of resources in any other industry.
“There is a vitality, a life force, that is translated to you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium, and will be lost.” – Martha Graham.Happy thanksgiving to all AVC community!. Thank you all for Unblocking!
I don’t know if calling it EntrepreneurialRevolution is the right word. Entrepreneurs have been here for the Industrial revolution as well as in the Scientific revolution in their own way and way back before it, dating back to that fellow who figured out that wheel thing.We can find people who think out of the box all through the ages and they are the ones who help us all going forward in evolution, so it’s not an aspect of the 20th or 21st century alone, it’s endless and timeless.
Happy Thanksgiving to the US from Canada (where we celebrate our Thanksgiving on the 2nd Monday of October).
Happy Thanksgiving to all AVC! Last year I was in the US in these days and enjoyed my first real American Thanksgiving dinner at some good friends’ house. For a visitor like me this celebration was really impressing. I expected a sales festivity and found the most sacred non religious event I’ve ever been.And I felt moved by that countrywide determination to exterminate turkeys! Loved it!
You are welcome Fred. Turkey are your place then?
I went to Steve Blank’s post which is great I agree and I did post there and here again the following:I have to admit I am puzzled. Let me elaborate. On the positive side, the optimism you express is very refreshing and I felt really good after reading it. I tend to agree with the lower barriers to entrepreneurship, and probably I kept my sun glasses in the dark too long, so I do not see the stars. But I will certainly mention your post as a great article to my own little network.But on the other side, I am concerned that the same barriers still exist in biotech, semiconductor (and most hardware products if they embed radical innovations) or even in cleantech/greentech (which by the way maybe be more a bubble than a real new field). In these fields, product development is as long, VCs are afraid sometimes of the capital requirements, Richard Newton, the Berkeley professor (http://www.eecs.berkeley.ed…, had noticed a long time ago, that most talents go out of these tough fields to easier or more promising fields (it was from electronics to internet in the 90s). It might be that we do not (have to) innovate as much in these classical fields anymore, in which case you are totally right. But if not, we are just moving to the low hanging fruits of innovation, and we are blinded by superstars but do not see the myriads of others (needs, opportunities) we should also focus on…
“The economy needs something new.” I have the same feeling, but I have a hard time explaining it. I bet you could if you tried. I think this topic deserves a post, Fred.
It has something to do with the fact that it feels like Americans are no longer producing as much as they are consuming, and that this has been going on for so long that we might forget how to produce things. The transient effect is that the wealthy get more wealthy, moving production off shore but using new technology to maintain the same level of consumption (or even increasing it!) This is not sustainable. We are getting to the point where the last of the factory experienced teachers are leaving the school systems.Unchecked, this downward spiral will only end in military defeat. When you look at “vibrant” American workplaces you see a lot of people in suits, a lot of Starbucks, a lot of very nice cars moving in and out of the parking garages. And those people sit in front of computers and try to sell shit that people don’t need to larger and larger segments of the population that can’t afford it.Because we haven’t reached singularity (which is pretty sad given the amount of cheap oil floating around, really) that means this is transient: people in suits drinking a latte don’t grow more food, make more clothing, house or heal more people. These people don’t understand that when everything is made in one country and bought in another that no amount of financial cleverness can save the overall system even if a few middle-men get very, very rich off of the tragedy.People like you need to invest in manufacturing, and if you don’t, you need to identify the reasons why and yell at the government and or the workers as to why you won’t make that investment.
why manufacturing?why not just production?i feel like internet services is america’s greatest export industry right now
Agreed. Well said.
You’re welcome. As a woman entrepreneur resting in between gigs (by helping other entrepreneurs at the Austin Technology Incubator), I appreciate the appreciation. 🙂 Not sure when I’ll happen across the next big entrepreneurial thing but as my life permits (i.e., as long as my two most important ventures (my kids) are taken properly taken care of and given the tools & love to change their world), I hope I am surrounding this time by people, investors, partners, co-workers, etc. as appreciative as you are for the role entrepreneurs play in our society.Happy belated Thanksgiving!
Great dedication. Happy Thanksgiving. I spent my Thanksgiving day – all day – thinking about Brazil.
I am a VC, business world novice, so forgive me. I read this blog though to help me with my shortcomings :)Fred, could you please briefly explain how you invest in a nonprofit. I have a real estate nonprofit set up to assist citizens and communities to create and revitalize urban, infill neighborhoods through mass collaboration and crowdsourcing (tenant-driven development). How do nonprofits stay true to tax status while giving returns that are attractive enough for VCs to invest in?Thanks.
unfortunately VCs can’t invest in non profits