I saw this tweet about my interview with Carlota Perez yesterday:

Daniel tweet

I agree with Daniel. Understanding the lineage of thought is critical.

It would be impossible for me to list all the people who have inspired my world view over the years. But there certainly are some who are at or near the top of the list.

Clayton Christensen and Carlota Perez are two people whose work I keep coming back to again and again to the point that much of what I say and do ought to be described as derivative work.

One of the things I love about the web and digital content is the ability of attribution to be attached to the content. When I reblog a post on Tumblr, the attribution comes with it. When I post a SoundCloud track to Tumblr, the attribution comes with it. When I post a photo from Flickr to this blog, the attribution comes with it.

When I listen to music in Turntable, I often "jack a song" from another DJ. That is adding a song they are playing to my DJ queue. Later on, when I get up on stage, I often play those "jacked tracks" and I always take the time to attribute the DJ who I jacked the song from. I've suggested to turntable that the attribution happen natively in the service. I hope they add that feature.

Lineage is important. Lineage of thought. Lineage of genes. Lineage of inspiration. Lineage of content. With the web and digital content, we can begin to track it and make sense of it. That's a big deal.

For those who didn't catch the Carlota interview, here it is:

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Trish Burgess-Curran

    I did have the opportunity to follow the interview live.  You were clearly enjoying every second of it.  Carlotta is so enthusiastic!  It was refreshing listening to such a knowledgeable person speak in such simple terms.  She clearly loves her job and stays passionate.  The best thing, she believes we – all together – can change the world!  I was truly inspired. I agree that lineage is important.  Not only to acknowledge those that have helped you develop but also to truly understand your thought process and to continue your own development.  It has gotten me thinking about how it is that I have gotten to where I am.  Who have been my main influencers?  I need to give this some thought but, thank you for starting the process. Yoda an Obi-Wan.  Got to love it!

    1. fredwilson

      yeah, that was the tweet of the interview for meafter i do a public speaking event, i always pull out twitter on the subway ride back to workit’s amazing to get feedback like that

    2. Carl Rahn Griffith

      There’s no substitute for gravitas and perspective.Good interview – eagerly awaiting Amazon to ship me her book, to so address my ignorance on the thoughts of this fascinating lady.PS, Fred – you’re a much better interviewer than Piers Morgan! 😉

  2. RichardF

    Carlota is amazing.  Loved the part about less consumerism and more interaction and participation in life.

    1. fredwilson

      she is 72 and has the energy of a 16 year old

      1. Rohan

        72! She’d pass off comfortably as someone in her 50s and I’m not talking energy wise 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          siestas for the win!

        2. ShanaC

          if I look that good at that age…

          1. Rohan

            Don’t think ‘if’. Think ‘when’.. 😀

          2. ShanaC

            Will I look as good is the question.  I think I will make it to 72, I just want to still be able to appear in a fashion blog type of look at that age (yes, I have my vain points…everyone does)

          3. Rohan

            Yup. Thats what i meant as well. Realize it can be interpreted differently 🙂

  3. LIAD

    “Crisis of leadership””Youth has no future””Business as usual is over” – Carlota paints a vivid picture of today’s sad state of affairs.

    1. JLM

      Every phrase you have uttered could have been contemporaneously said in 1973 end of the VN War America.

  4. Tom Labus

    What passion!!!What a way to start the day.Part of that “welfare state” was not only the house etc but making people fat and stuffed with medications.  We spent the last 70 years getting to where we are now and I fear it will take more than one or two bubbles to get us to the next stage.  All of our politicians want to bring us back to “what America was”  Wellness 1.0

    1. raycote

      It doesn’t take as much vision to model the past and it is a much simpler political fund raising strategy!But alas you can’t really go home.Still the human costs of transition are intimidating.

  5. Vitomir Jevremovic

    It would be interesting to have opposition to digital change, Sith lords clash with Yoda and Obi-wan. On a panel for example.

  6. Theodore Nordsieck

    Speaking of lineage of thought and Clayton Christensen, have you ever had the urge to read Charles Schumpeter?

    1. fredwilson

      YessssCarlota gave me and Brad a lesson on Schumpeter yesterday afternoon#lifelonglearning

      1. Rohan

        Are there a few books you would recommend from Christensen, Carlota and Schumpeter?

      2. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

        If you’re curious about ways innovation works and Schumpeterian vs disruptive vs other kinds of innovation, I’ve been endlessly recommending and tweeting this post by Venkat Rao on the history and future of the corporation:… Long but very, very much reading.I would also suggest (if I haven’t already) The Venturesome Economy by Amar Bhidé on how innovation actually works, which in my view is the most important economics/business book since The Innovator’s Dilemma and The Bottom of the Pyramid.#lifelonglearning

        1. fredwilson


      3. ShanaC

        Did she recommend a specific work of his?

    2. Ro Gupta

      I think you mean Joseph Schumpeter, but yeah he’d be Yoda Sr. here.My take on Schumpeter + Keynes playing nice together: http://www.rocrastination.c….Dude had some swagger too:”Schumpeter claimed that he had set himself three goals in life: to be the greatest economist in the world, to be the best horseman in all of Austria and the greatest lover in all of Vienna. He said he had reached two of his goals, but he never said which two although he is reported to have said that there were too many fine horseman in Austria for him to succeed in all his aspirations.”

      1. fredwilson

        he was a “player”

  7. Cam MacRae

    You’re like a kid in a candy store!

    1. fredwilson

      The candy store of life

      1. Cam MacRae


    2. Jasonpwright

      I thought it was like watching a super excited Harry Potter fan finally getting to meet and talk with JK Rowling 🙂  

  8. Mubashar Iqbal

    Except Yoda didn’t train Obi-Wan 🙁  But point taken!

    1. andyswan

      Yes he did.Both Yoda and Qui-Gon are referred to as Obi-Wan’s former masters and mentors.  Yoda is known to have trained all Jedi as younglings up until they reach padawan status.It is true that Qui-Gon did the more advanced formal training.It is clear that Yoda was giving him basic training before Qui-Gon- and that is the same training Obi-Wan wanted Luke to have when he sent him away.  The tweet stands.In fact, because the “training” Fred receives from Carlota is so broad-based, one-to-many, and referring to a complete world view, the Yoda analogy is likely more accurate than an analogy between Obi-wan and his more formal and advanced mentor (who would likely be more analogous to the gentleman that Fred initially worked for in his first years in venture capital…I wish I could remember his name!)

  9. John Petersen

    The lineage is what makes us who we are. We are a sum of the parts of the people we spend the most time with and learn from. We pick up little pieces of the things we like and agree with from those we interact with. This has been around since the tribal days where a story was passed down from generation to generation with little variations and additions to the story added throughout time.It’s awesome to see the modern day storytelling through technology with the jacking of songs on Turntable, Tumblr, Canvas, and so on.

  10. Henry Yates

    Bring on the good life! That’s it, I am moving out of town, growing my own vegetables, exercising on the beach everyday and selling my services remotely over the web…

    1. RichardF

      you me and both Henry!

      1. Henry Yates

        Let’s have a beer and make a plan! It would be good to meet a fellow avc fan in person – I will email you. Good luck on Saturday, I’ll be getting in touch with my little bit of Welsh heritage….

        1. RichardF

          your on..I always find a pint or two of Brains Dark helps to enhance the heritage

          1. Henry Yates

            Apparently available at Sainsbury’s – I’ll stock up…

        2. Cam MacRae

          Odd are well and truly shortening on Wales. My little brother had the temerity to plan his wedding reception for Saturday… (good thing it wasn’t Sunday or I’d have to disinherit him).

          1. RichardF

            Wales and Australia for the final Cam!

          2. Cam MacRae

            Now that would be a beautiful thing! I think Wales vs The All Blacks is more likely though.

        3. Carl Rahn Griffith

          I am from Welsh parentage, but born and bred in Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It’s nice to have a ‘choice’… Mercenary, moi?! 😉

          1. RichardF

            I fear that my son, being brought up in England will think he has a choice too….

          2. Donna Brewington White

            You’re Welsh?

          3. RichardF

            Born and bred in Wales, educated in Scotland, living in England and had my stag party in Dublin. How multicultural am I?

          4. Donna Brewington White

            How multicultural are you? Hate to tell you, but not sure this sampling qualifies. But does make you interesting – or rather helps explain why you are so interesting.My husband has very fond memories of time spent in Wales right after college, so I look forward to visiting there. And I was actually beginning to explore doing a Ph.D. at U. of Edinburgh at one time. During another life and probably a pipedream. Met my husband and went a different direction. No regrets, but sometimes a wistful wondering “what if…” Scotland has always intrigued me. Haven’t visited yet.

          5. RichardF

            You’d love Edinburgh. Spent 4 of the happiest years of my life there. One of my favourite cities. In fact I’m back there in a few weeks time for a bit of a reunion.

    2. William Mougayar

      We live in a world of surplus was a main message of Carlota. Totally directed at Western countries.

      1. Henry Yates

        The key piece for me is just under 16 mins in. My take was end of consumerism – constantly upgrading TVs, phones etc -> which is current driver of corporate profits -> which is main driver of fat pay checks -> which is main driver of consumerism, to more of a focus on a good life of less materials, less energy consumption etc etc

        1. fredwilson

          she pounded that into my head in the three calls/meetings we had to prepare for this. she is into being prepared!

          1. Henry Yates

            excellent! I would love to meet her, she is my new inspiration. Thanks for the post.

          2. Henry Yates

            Do you think she would do a guest post on here? I would love to hear her expand her thoughts on this.

        2. Carl Rahn Griffith

          We live in a world of business management where many of the folk have been conditioned to the mantra of “You’re only as good as your next Quarter.”

        3. Vasudev Ram

          Haven’t seen the video yet (coz of slow Net), but your comment about it reminds me of E. F. Schumacher and his book Small is Beautiful, which I read as a teenager:…Take too long to describe either the man or his book but a quick attempt at an overview of the book: It is about smaller, decentralized, partially-self-sufficient communities as a (partial) solution to the dangerous directions (reckless consumption, overuse of natural resources, ecology destruction, etc.) in which the world was going at the time he wrote it (and the world still is going that way). The book was very influential and may still be now, for all I know, at least in certain circles – I hope so, for the sake of all of us.

          1. Vasudev Ram

            I just read the Wikipedia entry for E. F. Schumacher (linked in my comment above). Excerpt from it:”According to The Times Literary Supplement, his 1973 book Small Is Beautiful: a study of economics as if people mattered is among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] and was soon translated into many languages, bringing him international fame. “.

          2. Henry Yates

            I had not come across him. Thank you – just ordered the book.

          3. Vasudev Ram

            You’re welcome 🙂

        4. Prokofy

          So replace it with a lot of aps that are almost all identical all doing the same bunch of silly check-in and sharing thingies? See Fred’s post about the “cash crunch”.

      2. Matt A. Myers

        Agreed. This excess in a way was needed though as apart of the innovative mechanisms of capitalism. It’s time for pruning now though, which includes eliminating waste from such things as “planned obsolescence” – holy I’m loving that term!

        1. Prokofy

          What’s extraordinary is that you don’t see that most of what Fred invests in now is even more of the planned obsolescence, speeded up even more quickly than a refrigerator. Remember Myspace? Digg? Delicious? Google Buzz?

      3. fredwilson

        ooh. i’m digging william in green!

        1. William Mougayar

          Yup. I’ve even gone solar & wind energy too.

          1. Mark Essel

            And next, self crafting clothing, spun wool, and mud brick housing that is more comfortable than our current homes :DOk, that’s too far. How about devices that work longer, like tires and cars that last 30 years with low maintenance?I worry that the institutional direction will be a carbon credit that will be abused by a lack of knowledge. Can empathize with an unemployed gen drowning in debt, this will only end in greater civil unrest if left to languish.

          2. Vasudev Ram

            >And next, self crafting clothing, spun wool, and mud brick housing that is more comfortable than our current homes :D>Ok, that’s too far.That’s not necessarily too far. While I guess you’re saying it light-heartedly (nothing wrong there), some of that stuff is real and works (depending on the place and various other factors). E.g. Etsy, and Laurie Baker:“After he came to India Laurie had a chance encounter with Mahatma Gandhi which was to have a lasting impact on his ideology and also his work and building philosophy.”(above quote from the Wikipedia article about him).Also check out the Awards section of his Wikipedia page. I just did – impressive, including:- UNO Habitat Award & UN Roll of Honour- Order of the British Empire, MBE- Indian Institute of Architects Outstanding Architect of the Year- International Union of Architects (IUA) Award- Nominated for the Pritzker Prize (considered the Nobel Prize in Architecture)

          3. Vasudev Ram

            Ha, good pun.

        2. William Mougayar

          And the star over the profile pic I just noticed. Disqus does a good job of dressing-up those mods! 

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Love it! Always knew you and @shanac:disqus had *star* quality.”Looks good in green” must become a mod requirement.

        3. Matt A. Myers

          Oooh I’m jealous! However I think if two Canadians were AVC moderators the balance in the universe might be off.An idea just came to me though — I wonder how flags in someone’s info to show one’s nationality would fly (pun intended)?

        4. Vasudev Ram

          :-)I was wondering what green on his profile meant, but then guessed it must be to show his moderator status – since yours is green too. Noticed it subliminally the last few posts (due to fast scrolling) and then consciously this post.Got a sudden idea from this: it would be cool if someone came up with a way to search web pages by colors (e.g. search for the next words with green background) …. could be useful in some cases. It should be possible with some work, even if the color (styles) are defined in a CSS file separate from the HTMLIf anyone does it, remember to give me credit, and preferably, some royalty checks 🙂

    3. Matt A. Myers

      I’m in. I’ll teach yoga classes daily, if the community helps tend my gardens.. which you can have some of my veggies from of course – because we’ll be making and eating food together.

    4. Matt A. Myers

      It’s funny how if we focus purely on community and quality of life, then everything else that needs to will fall into place – and what falls into place will be amazing because those things will garner support from the community – creative and labour.Dinosaurs are competing with each other though still because everyone’s desperate and feels stuck in the current profit-driven system in order to survive.

      1. Henry Yates

        I would love to hear Carlota’s thoughts on how we escape the profit (maximising) driven system

  11. Aviah Laor

    It’s really fascinating and intrigue.Fred, can you elaborate on the process of moving back and forth between huge social-cultural thinking and the actual startup work?It feels like a startup should act both as the infantry officer in the trenches and the 3 stars general in the headquarters, at the same time.

    1. fredwilson

      it’s what makes me so excited to jump out of bed every morning at 5ami don’t do the startup work personally but i get pretty close to itand by also being able to go to 30,000ft, i get the best of both worlds

  12. Rohan

    BRILLIANT Fred. Thank you! Informational and inspirational. And so true about the dinosaurs leading the charge. Nice to see someone painting a picture of gloom while sprinkling it with some much needed optimism. 

  13. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

    Watching the interview now.

    1. Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry

      Thoughts while watching:1- Fred, awesome seeing you have fanboy giddiness at the start of the interview. (I mean that in the best way.)2- How did you like the interviewer role? Did it give you more appreciation for the hard work of journalists? ;)3- As you know I’m a fan of Peter Thiel and this thing makes me think I’d pay a lot of money to watch a conversation between Peter Thiel and Carlota Perez.4- “Finance works in the cloud” — great quote.5- It’s just great that she’s a) bullish on innovation and b) understands that finance (done right) works with innovation in a positive-sum way, not a zero-sum way.

      1. fredwilson

        i loved the interviewer rolei don’t really like the spotlighti’d like to shine it on others and this is a great way for me to do that

        1. William Mougayar

          yup- that’s what the best interviewer do,- make their guest be comfortable and speak, eg Charlie Rose, Larry King, Letterman, Lenoif your guest looks good, you look good. cause and effect.

        2. Esayas Gebremedhin

          maybe because you are a “star maker” 

          1. fredwilson

            yes, that’s what i like to be

  14. awaldstein

    Thank you Fred.Jetlagged in Europe and getting ready for a meeting and this just kicked me into gear.BTW…great job as an interviewer.

    1. fredwilson


  15. Jose Colmenares

    What a great interview Fred. 

    1. fredwilson


  16. andyswan

    For those unclear on the analogy, or confused because you thought Qui-Gon was Obi-Wan’s master:Both Yoda and Qui-Gon are referred to as Obi-Wan’s former masters and mentors.  Yoda is known to have trained all Jedi as younglings up until they reach padawan status.Qui-Gon did the more advanced, formal training.It is clear that Yoda was giving him basic training before Qui-Gon- and that is the same training Obi-Wan wanted Luke to have when he sent him away.  In fact, because the “training” Fred receives from Carlota is so broad-based, one-to-many, and referring to a complete world view, the Yoda analogy is likely more accurate than an analogy between Obi-wan and his more formal and advanced mentor (who would likely be more analogous to the gentleman that Fred initially worked for in his first years in venture capital…I wish I could remember his name!)The tweet is correct and its “brilliant” status stands.

    1. Ben Apple

      Wow, I love how you made a nerd analogy even nerdier by explaining it. But well done on the background info!

    2. fredwilson

      that is an awesome commentlike^2

    3. andyidsinga

      that is an awesome comment on so many levels !

    4. Stephen Albright

      just when i thought andyswan couldn’t get any cooler, he goes and tweets a video of little jedi sparring.

    5. JLM

      Jedi Swan —The sheer power of this comment is overwhelming.The imposing depth of knowledge.  The breadth and fineness of the detail.The Jedi like confidence and aplomb.To possess this kind of knowledge is a suggestion of similar mastery on other subjects and that is scary.  Very, very scary.Very well played ^10!You have established yourself — in my book — as the go to guy for Star Wars but more importantly the intelligentsia created thereby.After the ass whipping UT took on Saturday at the hands of OU, can I borrow the light saber for the OSU game this Saturday?  Please.

    6. Rohan

      Jerry Colonna?

      1. panterosa,

        Jerry is Cheif Ass Kicker.



    8. Mark Essel

      This comment is priceless. AVC gold!

  17. Harry DeMott

    If I have seen further it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants.Isaac Newton

    1. fredwilson


  18. Dave W Baldwin

    Having to watch this segmented.  What I’d change re IT and world is over to:”What is good for IT is good for the world, and what is good for the World is good for the US.”The fact is we have to innovate and do it truly disruptive.Can’t wait to watch the rest.

  19. Eliot Pierce

    Fred, How did you first learn about Carlota Perez’ book in 2002? What was the lineage that led you to her work?

    1. Matt A. Myers

      “Liked” to try to get it to the top to be answered. 🙂

      1. fredwilson


    2. fredwilson

      my partner Brad gave it to me. “read this”, he said.he was turned onto it by Bill Janeway, at the time he ran Warburg Pincus’ tech practiceBill is a thinking man’s VC. and that is a compliment in the greatest is my partner Brad

  20. optiquezt

    Thanks for the shootout Fred!

    1. fredwilson

      you are welcome optiquezt

      1. Matt A. Myers

        You two had a shootout? Oh my. I’m glad you both survived..

  21. ShanaC

    So, on the hacking education aspect of this – how do we make sure that people get lineages – they find teachers, books, and ideas, that do influence them?  

      1. ShanaC

        More like sponsors.  There are plenty of mentor programs, there aren’t enough sponsors who would put themselves on the line.

        1. Rohan


    1. Adrian Palacios

      I was thinking something along these lines Shana, but for my own/specific purposes. I’ve been trying to learn programming on the side. I have a stressful day job, and not a lot of extra cash to keep taking night classes. Even worse, this is a big “pivot” for me–I have a BA in English Lit. So some of the fundamental math behind the more complicated concepts of programming are lost on me, and the more I dig in the more I realize I need to start all the way back at algebra and work my way up.Okay, all that being said, I was thinking it would be great to organize a community to teach these things. First, actually sitting down with seasoned developers and entrepreneurs to ask, “What skills do you need someone to have?” or “What modes of thinking do your employees need more training?”. From there I think you could organize a curriculum of basics and then let people choose their concentration. Next, we’d need teachers and/or mentors (heheh, there lies the rub…). Now, this wouldn’t be “accredited”, but, my assumption is if you worked with the tech community directly, and really learned what skills they need, that may not matter.Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for universities like Stanford, but I don’t have the background or the $$$ to get into an institution like that, especially as I work full time to support a family. But I want to get this *done*.

      1. ShanaC

        So I am in that position.  I found by going very slowly and steadily I’ve slowly picked up quite a lot.  I’ve also found that formal mentorship type progams ala ruby nuby isn’t doing it for me.  Something better would be ad hoc mentorship as questions arise, really good community management at somewhere like stack overflow (with guides to the content for newbies, and perhaps even annotation), and knowing other people in the same position to try and work through a problem together.

        1. Adrian Palacios

          I think your ideas are great.Ad hoc mentorships would be perfect; I like picking up a book, going through the excercises, and learning things myself. It’s just those nagging questions that arise that get me stuck and frustrated. Having someone there who I have some type of relationship (and knows my context) would be great.And I would love to be in a community with other people in the same situation. I think we would be able to learn a lot from each other–not just how to program, but how to handle the situations we’re in (like how to balance work/life while learning something completely new). And every now and then I would love that extra encouragement to keep going.

    2. Dave W Baldwin

      Big job-Education:  we’re still in the transition of card catelogue to searching web.  It is better to understand the former to do better with the latter.  Difficulty is the impressionable mind thinks the computer just gives answer to question not set up properly and many in Education field don’t know enough about computer.Ideas/Debate:  it would be good for @fredwilson:disqus to do occasional posts where he has two or three differing viewpoints about a topic, setting it up, include short statements from the guests and the guests being available to answer questions posed by the audience via replies… and be encouraged to post replies during the day based on what they read from the audience.Otherwise, it is a matter of the bigger population demanding sources to story claims and then boycott the channels who write bogus headlines along with copy/paste.

      1. ShanaC

        I want number 2.And yes, I agree with the wise man from Lancaster – “This web thing, it is going to be big”, especially when we move past the idea of cataloging knowledge into shaping knowledge.  Shaping is more useful.  It leads to building, and we’re not quite there yet.

        1. Dave W Baldwin

          Very put. Now if only more old ones were on your level of wisdom. 😉

    3. fredwilson

      i’m trying to do that with this blog

      1. ShanaC

        Thank you for that.

    4. panterosa,

      I loved reading about the Sufis years ago. You go to a teacher. Learn. He decides you need to move to the next step. He passes you to the next person for what you need.

    5. Alexander Close

      I think right here is an example.  How many people just got exposed to Carlota and will read her book?  I know of one for sure.

      1. ShanaC

        You or me 😉

  22. benortega

    Great interview.  Love optimism backed by real data points.  Her perspective is right on the money and we should all be excited (even through the pain) about what is coming.  I always say, “there is always a lot of good on the opposite side of a lot of bad”.Thanks Fred for posting all the info for us to consume.

  23. Amy Bevilacqua

    I remember a book or article that made the point that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates were well positioned early in their life to become the tech innovators that they became. He was 16 when the microprocessor came about in 1971, and maybe more important, he was able to play around with a DEC PDP-10 while at the Lakeside School in Seattle. There were other points made about how there were certain individuals, or a cohort, who were particularly poised to take on a leadership role, because of the accidental timing of their age when certain advancements came about, because of environmental advantages (e.g. the luxury of going to a well-resource school early in life), or other reasons.As we are on the verge of a new deployment period, who is this cohort today and how can we insure that they are ready and equipped to lead us? Are they suffering the high unemployment levels that Carlota Perez mentioned (~20% in the US and ~45% in Spain)? What can the government sector as well as the private sector (“finance”) do to support the vibrant entrepreneurial communities that we need?(Watching Carlota and Fred speak is energizing and has me thinking deeply this morning…and wanting to forward this video to many I know)

    1. benortega

      Malcom Gladwell’s “Outliers” is the book I think you’re referencing.  Great read. I think the next cohort is the Gen Xers, who were brought up during the emergence of connectivity and now sit at the middle to higher echelons of govt and corporate organizations.  Gen Y, Millenials, & Gen G haven’t been subject to “old dinosaur” thinking which is why I think they create so openly and frequently.  No fences.  Gen Xers have seen the mishandling of our company’s, people, and govts so I believe when their oppty’s opens up (next 5 – 10 years) the “new thinking” will be spread across organizations and govts which I feel begins our exit of the “turning point” phase Carlota speaks of in her book. 

      1. karen_e

        True: Gen Xers are connectors. In their pocket is the iPhone with all the web apps, while they sitting in meetings with all the dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are finally listening to them now that they have wrinkles, too. 

    2. fredwilson

      timing is everything. i surveyed the people who run the engineering departments in our portfolio a few weeks ago. almost all of them got their first job working in internet companies between 1995 and 1997. go figure.

    3. LE

      “book or article that made the point that entrepreneurs like Bill Gates were well positioned early in their life to become the tech innovators”Gladwell in Outliers, point #5:

    4. JamesHRH

      Malcolm Gladwell Outliers.Bill Joy, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and other tech leaders all born 1955/56.

  24. Carl Rahn Griffith

    There is a perception/semantics problem here that we need to overcome with the plutocrats – and their acolytes – out there. Much of what is being discussed (and that many of us already subscribe to as being necessary change for the good of society) is seen as nothing more than liberal, pseudo-intellectual anarchy by those quite happy with their legacy comfort-zones.It seems the articulation has begun in earnest, of late. It’s down to all of us to now keep the momentum up, via intelligent reasoned debate and viable, sustainable new paradigms – via friends, colleagues, business contacts, politicians, etc.

    1. Tom Labus

      But that debate, where does it take place?

      1. JLM

        You’re center stage right now.  The debate is going on right here.

        1. fredwilson


        2. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Indeed. We all have to get out of this mind-set of deferring to others – ie, our ‘lords and masters’ (in government and business).

    2. JLM

      At the risk of being labelled a total complete elitist, eat the rich, cynical reprobate — most of what people are protesting about is their inability and fear of not being able to duplicate the life style of their parents.As my son says — Dad where is my lake house coming from?  My ski chalet?  My beach house?  My plane?  My boats? My stuff?No stuff and you are ruining, hell stealing, my life style.When told that nobody had that stuff when they were 25 (I was a young Army Cpt going in harm’s way) and they worked a lifetime to get it, that does not feed their impatience.  They still want it and they want it now.Of course, My Perfect Daughter the peacemaker just says — shut up, brother, Dad is giving me all the stuff when he dies.  Everything.  He has always loved me better.

      1. ShanaC

        JLM my dad and i were talking about this – he finds it frightening that in real terms college graduates are making less and less while debt load goes up.  The fear is you’ll never pay it back and that when you graduae, you’ll be able to afford the same sort of standard of living that a college graduate 20-30 years ago could (aka not afraid of going hungry)

        1. fredwilson

          this is a huge problem.we need to come up with new models of education for those that can’t afford to pay for college without taking on crushing debt loadsand employers need to recognize and value those new methods

          1. Cam MacRae

            Australia has a neat system in which most universities are public and a Bachelor’s degree typically takes 3 years if you forgo the honours year – most people do.  University is government funded for citizens who achieve the grades required for entry (or can prove disadvantage). There is a student contribution, but no loan sharks are involved. Instead you pay the contribution, indexed yearly to CPI, through the tax office at a rate determined by your income. That repayment doesn’t kick in until you’re earning $47,196pa.As for employers… a degree is a pretty coarse measure of employee. I’ve always found that what prepares people for work is actual participation in the workforce, and that taking on a graduate isn’t much different to taking on a trainee.So, I don’t really buy the argument that your minions with a degree come pre trained. If they’re green, they’re green.

          2. panterosa,

            I’ve said it here before, and will repeat it, my feeling is that art and design school should be free, and there should be more of them. Coming from super academia, it was an even more incredible experience for me – the quality of brainstorming and radical ideas and  what if’s – so refreshing. It changed my thinking forever on how to think. With so many wild ducks in one place you know something cool will emerge, which might move us forward in the IT revolution. Think outside the box? What box?

          3. ShanaC

            I was in an art program at a super academic school.  I’m not sure if the program has been free it would have been more worth it, or more full of refreshing ideas (especially since one of things they decided to do with their curricula was explain there was no true set of “art classes” that every curriculum had, no matter the program, for historical reasons.)I honestly want the government to stop guaranteeing certain very crazy student loans, or guarantee them so fully that the interest rates, loan amount, and time frame are doable.  The way the loans are structured, you’re trapped in long returns periods for high debt loads, and because of the guarantee they have, they actually have pushed up the cost of education. (which bothers me)Somethings got to give.

          4. JLM

            As conservative as I am capable of being, on education I am a flaming liberal.The right education, mind you, with the litmus test being — will this education result in a taxpayer being created?I would couple universal access to education w/ 3-5 years of service to the Nation (military, medical, parks, whatever).More education, more service.This is exactly how I got through college.  Education swapped for 5 years of military service and then grad school on the GI Bill.

          5. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            Before me no one in my family had gone to college and at the time, there was no way my family could afford to pay for college no matter how much we desired it.I was thankful for a basketball scholarship, and yes, I traded a scholarship at a big school and the potential (very slim) of the NBA, for a scholarship at a small college with a sterling reputation. It was a very conscious decision.Grad school was funded with a graduate scholarship.But both of us understand that an education has a price. If something has a price then it has a value.I think today, education is viewed as a expectation, a “gimme” and thus it is not respected. My undergraduate mentor who today is a friend used to stand up in class the first day and explain that at best, there could only be one A given in that class. Achieving that A was a challenge that everyone fought for.Nothing of value comes cheap and sometimes price is something more than dollars.

          6. ShanaC

            I wish  you could discharge your student loans in bankrupcy.  at least that would be a start.

        2. Carl Rahn Griffith

          My wife went into teaching in her late 30s – ethology – first she had to re-train at college/university as her career hitherto had been accountancy.To do this she/we had to take out significant student loans which we could ill afford because in parallel I was self-funding my own start-up at that time.Doubt either of us will ever see a fiscal return on our investments but both personal ‘investments’ and resulting experiences have been priceless, in many intangible ways.

          1. ShanaC

            Doesn’t that bother you on some sort of fundamental level…We want people to be working for long periods of time in many careers!  We want them to educated, so they can do the above!So why is those sorts of basic risks so hard to pull off?



        1. JLM

          In the late 1970s when getting out of the Army, I had over 20 job offers. I got offers from companies I never applied to.  The economy was good.I tell this to my son from time to time as he had over 100 interviews to land an entry level job in banking.  He does not believe it.The times are different.An expanding economy floats all boats.  

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      3. leigh

        omg i love your daughter.i have a brother she should have a chat with….

      4. JamesHRH

        Wanting the destination but not the journey is the single most depressing, deeply ingrained theme of the Baby Boom Echo generation.

      5. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Lot of truth in what you say, JLM. It’s not the on-street protestors I am particularly interested in, more the groundswell of well-informed and objective people – often those already with comfortable lives – asking where the hell is our society and moral fabric heading? Well, we live in an instant gratification society, sadly – yes, it’s a cliche’d expression – but, for a reason.I do attribute a lot of the malaise of the on-street protestors to decades of mindless media/TV – it’s quite incredible how it consumes the mind of many who have never known any different re: superficial media saturation with topics often based on vanity, greed, ego, shallowness.Growing up – at the risk of sounding like the old fart that I am – TV highlights for me were Olivier narrating The World at War series. Now my then age group seems often mesmerised with X Factor, Big Brother, and the like…

        1. BillSeitz

          Feh, the protesters *parents* are the ones who doubled the size of the American home, voted for unfunded public pensions, have supported all the stupid wars, etc. So I don’t buy into the recent-fall story…

  25. William Mougayar

    Lineage…an interesting word that is more deep than linkage or relationship, or simply “connecting the dots”.Most thought leaders do a great job a connecting the dots for us, so that we can see clarity in an otherwise complex world. Each one of us connects dots daily. There are small dots and big dots. The big dots are the ones that are about bigger shifts that are more profound and take more time to get realized. We need to be thinking about the big dots and small ones. But “thinking” and “doing” are diametrically opposed. The more you have time to think, the less time for doing, and vice-versa. Bill Gates was famous for taking a week off with just books and no work, so he can just think. Hearing that interview was like we were forced to think outside the box. We were transported for 25 minutes by a fascinating conversation that didn’t have anything to do with our next 25 minutes, but probably a lot to do with our next 25 years.

    1. raycote

      “But “thinking” and “doing” are diametrically opposed.”Yes, I take your point when using time to frame the relationship.But when you switch to causality for framing the relationship doesn’t it flip into its opposite from diametrically-opposed to horse & carriage ?Your  point reminds me of the old adageTime and no moneyorMoney and no time

      1. William Mougayar

        I’m thinking from a practical sense. When you have a busy day doing stuff, it gives you no time to think and reflect. You have to take time aside to do that properly. There is a quality factor in thinking time that one must apply. 

        1. Donna Brewington White

          This is why I don’t sleep, William.  

          1. William Mougayar

            You and @FAKEGRIMLOCK:twitter . He gets coffee by the truck load.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK

            ME, GRIMLOCK, THINK BY DO.

          3. Donna Brewington White

            He’s as bad as I am or worse. I don’t think he sleeps at all. That guy’s a machine.Oh, right.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            to @FakeGrimlock:disqus — and me think by talking — drive husband nuts

      2. jonconnors

        “Time and no money” as Ms. Perez stated in the video, the youth of the developed world have exactly that.”Money and no time”  I believe that anyone with wealth who is invested in traditional market instruments will undoubtedly end up with less money than they anticipated, unless they make the time to discover where we as a society are heading.

  26. RadJaz

    “What is good for IT is good for the world, and what is good for the World is good for the US.”That was truly a Yoda momentJust to create enough money in the hands of people is not enough …  its not a question of controlling finance, its a question of making finance leave the casino and move over to funding the real economy. This video has more insight than any analyst I’ve heard from to date. Thanks for the video Fred.

    1. Phil Michaelson

      Agree that the video was so insightful.  Tech leaders–who are creating and destroying jobs rapidly–should be informing economic and social policy more than banks, automakers, pharma, farmers, etc.  

      1. RadJaz

        Tech leaders may be a little biased, but I agree their input should most definitely be taken into consideration. Input should be sought from people just like Carlota, independent and genuinely interested in the betterment of the future. Certainly not banks, farmers, automakers, etc

  27. reece

    lineage and giving credit are super important in web productslove how Tumblr handles the reblog particularlyfeel like Twitter tried with the RT, but it’s too easy to hijack a tweet/link as your own

    1. Phil Michaelson

      Yelp, Kaboodle, and KeepRecipes use the “1st to XYZ” to give credit to those who initially take an action.  And then there is tracking the lineage of how it’s gets passed around. I’m super excited to track how recipes get passed around and changed with KeepRecipes. It will be an important part of our business, helping folks connect with the long lineage of cooks.  

      1. reece

        i dig thatrecipes are really interesting in that regardmy dad’s a chef though and problem is he can’t remember a recipe to save his life. just cooks from instinct haha

    2. guest

      is this the next reality tv star?

  28. Trent Hauck

    I agree that lineage or bloodlines are important, but how do you succede in the VC/Entrepreneur world (or business in general) when you don’t have that lineage.  We’d all like to think that here if nowhere else it’s meritocratic, but it seems like you need a name on your resume (I say this as a soon to be job seeker) to get through.  

    1. fredwilson

      not true. i knew nobody. my dad was in the army. so was his entire family. so was my mom’s entire family. i put my way through business school teaching computer software to my classmates so i could get an MBA which is what was required to get an associate job back then. i cold called VC firms looking for a shot. i got one interview. i nailed it. i got in and never left. but it took ten years of apprenticeship making something like 20-30% of what my business school classmates were making before i started making money.

      1. leigh

        Funny i find the pple that don’t want to make that commitment are never the stars.  they just end up constantly looking backwards into the future….

      2. LE

        “i cold called VC firms looking for a shot.”I like that!

      3. guest

        Would you agree the world is significantly more competitive today?

      4. Prokofy

        why does apprenticing take so long?Is it because you have to live through the Kondratiev cycles?BTW, speaking of lineage, now there’s a guy whose life you ought to study, the tragic NEPman.

        1. fredwilson

          who is NEPman?

          1. Prokofy

            Kondratiev.NEP was Lenin’s New Economic Plan — when he temporarily re-introduced some profit-making and forms of capitalism to try to offset the horrible destruction that was happening from his enforced communism.Kondratiev was the economist who was one of the ideological pioneers for first communism then NEP. He is known for his work on business cycles. He was arrested but kept working. He was eventuall executed by Stalin.Kondratiev was one of the famous NEPmen as they called them — and in a way, so are you, technocommunist at heart, practicing a form of oligarchic capitalism in a new industry that seeks communism for thee, capitalism for me”.

          2. fredwilson

            that is a great history lessonthanks for sharing thatand i dig the retro email address!

          3. BillSeitz

            And of course Kondratiev waves are the precursor to Carlota Perez’s work.

      5. BillSeitz

        When the VC is ready, the market appears.

    2. JamesHRH

      Sam Snead ‘ there is no substitute for desire. ‘Most notable b/c Snead was known for the elegance of his swing – everyone thought he was a ‘natural’.

      1. JLM

        Played golf at the Homestead w/ Sam Snead at a later point in his life.  This was his regular full time gig.Took $20 off him.  He returned the favor the next day.Got about a $1MM of entertainment.  There will never be another hustler like Mr Sam.

        1. JamesHRH

          Surreal.I would call BS on anyone else w that story.How many stokes did you give him & was he putting side saddle?

          1. JLM

            This was a regular deal at the Homestead in Hot Springs in the day.  You could make an arrangement to play v Mr Sam atthe golf desk, so it was no big deal, or you could just show up at the tee and see if he was available.I think he used to play 9, 18 or 36 whatever you wanted.  But he always played 36.Believe me this was “pay for play”.He used to play for money and only money.He would give you as many strokes as you would ask for and he would verify it after he had played a couple of holes with him.One of the guys I was playing with wanted a stroke a hole and Mr Sam told him he would give him 2 strokes per hole.Mr Sam was long, smooth and powerful off the tee, deft around the greens and an assassin on the green.He was very gracious about taking pictures and he could talk the squirrels out of the trees.It was worth every penny.I have played lots of “celebrity” golf — not really by design but just by happenstance.My most favorite experience was a 4-some with Dan Quayle, Darryl Royal and Tom Landry (Rick Perry fundraiser about 15 years ago).BTW, Dan Quayle was as smart and clever as hell.  He really got a bum rap.  And he could put a lick on the ball.

          2. JamesHRH

            Texted u. Is phone up?

          3. JLM

            @jameshrh:disqus No, I am charging it and I am actually working right now.  Will be back in touch.

  29. Adrian Palacios

    Wow…amazing. This interview was educational, thought-provoking *and* inspirational. Good job Fred and Carlota.

  30. andyidsinga

    lineage is great ..especially in the contexts used in the post…bad when it is used as a bozo test to determine if someone is worth talking to, accepting into the club, hiring for the job, allowing their works into the gallery.

    1. Tom Labus

      You mean like an intellectual pedigree?

      1. andyidsinga

        exactly. as in ..those suck 🙂

    2. JLM

      There is a huge difference between the “wisdom of the campfire” v the snobbery of blue blood.One of the reasons the American military is so good is because it has a 200 year + “wisdom of the campfire” that breathes Valley Forge into every soldier.  The Continentals beat the British Army — the most powerful military force of its day.When training is consistent and consistently hard, the finished product is hard and well fired.When I went into the Army — Regular Army — in the early 1970s, every Regular Army Officer had to go to Airborne and Ranger training.Airborne success rate was over 90% but Ranger School was about 50%.This was after everyone had been to West Point, VMI, the Citadel, PMC, Tx A &M, Norwich.That secondary screen was huge.In that day 99% of Rangers did not ever serve with a Ranger unit but sprinkled that attitude amongst the rest of the Army.When you reported into your new unit with jump wings and a Ranger tab, there was always a hole for you at the bar.The soldiers expected a bit more from a Ranger and the junior officers delivered.Blue blood means nothing, wisdom of the campfire means everything.

      1. ShanaC

        how about in business?

        1. JLM

          There are no short cuts.Get a great education — not necessarily an “organized” education.Read extensively.Associate w/ great people.Avoid the slick, get rich quick, aren’t we clever business school.Hurt yourelf with hard work.It’s all just the same.Challenge yourself.

          1. Carl Rahn Griffith

            Love it. Spot on.

      2. Carl J. Mistlebauer

        My father retired a Command Sargent Major in 1975; basically because he was fed up. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam and after the second one, in 1971, he told me, his eldest son, that once I reached the age to register for the draft and the Vietnam War was still going on, he would personally escort me to Canada.The “wisdom of the campfire” has broken down more than once; it has changed and evolved.

        1. JLM

          I guess we have found out why I like your mind and thinking — my Father is a retired CSM also.  He got a battlefield commission in WWII.He is easily the smartest guy I have ever met.  A very, very shrewd and successful investor.Oh, the stories we could tell, I am sure.You have hit nail on the head — the Wisdom of the Campfire is fed by the fire stokers and it evolves and changes with the times.  That is a good thing, not a bad thing.

          1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

            JLM,Military brats, the real kindred spirits!On one hand we are adamant about loyalty, responsibility, and duty. On the other we revel in change.We are enigmas to most as it is assumed that we follow authority blindly, but what most people fail to realize is that the military teaches that authority and respect are earned. The stripes on ones arm are not a measurement of seniority….Its perfectly logical for us to appear as “flaming liberals” in one instance and as the most “reactionary” conservative in another.We can be the most outspoken in a board room or in the executive suite, but once a decision has been made and we voiced our opposition, then once we step out of the room or suite we have a responsibility to support the decision 110%….or we have an obligation to quit.

      3. andyidsinga

        yeah . I love your wisdom of the campfire stuff :)It requires that the campfire stay lit and people brought around for the purpose of sharing.

  31. im2b_dl

    It is how journalism will change.  The footnote will (and should) become a sentence by sentence hypervideo/hypertext lineage check.If journalistic ventures are started that have clear bias in their inception and do not hold to standards of truth and rather buy into the the false politic …we should and will create a new standard for interface to include a sentence by sentence hypervideo/hypertext interface. When I started discussing hypervideo this was the first thing I approached schools of transmedia, crowdsourcing and journalism with.Nothing about the internet is more important than this toward our democracy. imho.

  32. Dan Conway

    Great interview.  Hours later, at back to school night for our nine year old, this exchange was still ringing in my head:FW: The people who are the leading industrialists of this generation, the technology entrepreneurs need to engage with policy makers and the government to come up with the right steps to take?CP: I absolutely think so.—–would love to see the Bezos, the Zuckerbergs and the start up entrepreneurs of this generation restructure early education for this information age.  the policy makers just don’t get it.

  33. matthughes

    That was terrific.Listening to the interview really gave greater meaning and context to her book.

  34. JLM

    Fred, you have added a new capability to what was already an unbelievable communication capability.Thoughtful writing;Thoughtful writing exposed to a body of smart, experienced folks who add the intellectual marinades, garnishes, sides and desserts to turn a great entree into a feast;A salon of regulars who participate in a spirited and lively discussion which is simultaneously inviting, pointed and polite;Experience based knowledge which bridges the gap between theory and practice in an otherwise almost secretive profession; andThe ability to draw out from extraordinary folks — through you thoughtful interviewing — their focused thoughts which are both insightful and broad.There was a Charlie Rose quality to the methodology of your interview that made it quite enjoyable.Well played!  Thoroughly enjoyable.I also think you were quite insightful to bridge the gap between business, free markets, economics and government.

    1. William Mougayar

      “intellectual marinades” Classic JLM!



      2. panterosa,

        Isn’t intellectual marinade akin to a recipe for legacy of ideas? I was thinking earlier how Steven Berlin Johnson’s concept of the slow hunch in Good Ideas, which Fred posted a while back, was the promo piece for this, showing legacy of ideas mixing and mating in the RSA animate piece which was posted at the same time.In the marinade concept, it’s all about cooking with the right ingredients, at the right heat and speed.

    2. fredwilson

      thanks JLM. i’d love to interview you some day.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Yes!!!YOU interviewing JLM would be more than we mere mortals could handle.  Like Obi-Wan interviewing Gandalf.

    3. guest

      It doesn’t get better than charlie rose so that’s quite a compliment….and yes, i agree.

  35. Rod Roudi

    I just fell in love with Carlota Perez

    1. fredwilson


  36. baba12

    Based on what Ms.Perez said and what you absorbed, do you Mr.Wilson and a few others who comment here feel that the Republican party and it’s current agenda of “no” to anything progressive and “no” to the President’s plan for the long term think needs to be changed or would you say that they are right in wanting to cut the deficit after helping to create over the last 40 years.I am not sure if Mr.Wilson would have felt good being wealthy and paying 70% in income taxes which the wealthy did back until 1960, a lot of the infrastructure and building that Ms.Perez talks about came about from that tax structure.Only the government will fund a project which is written on a piece of paper (grants for NSF or NIH etc), I doubt USV would invest in just an idea unless they know the person and that person has a prior track record.So for the next wave of economic growth some of the heavy lifting has to come from Government and given the desire to cut spending I wonder if private enterprise would be willing to step in ( doubtful given they are very risk averse)Wonder how Mr.Wilson sees things playing out.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m happy to pay more if that is what is asked of me and my peers. in fact i’d like to pay more.i do very much like the idea of reforming the welfare state, getting out of being the policeman of the world, and leveraging technology to make government more efficient. i think these things, along with folks like me paying more, would address our fiscal problemsbut we also need to focus on where we are going instead of trying to get back to where we came from. i see most republican policies as backward looking not forward looking

      1. baba12

        I would state that you are a rare entity in willing to pay more of your share. Republicans are not progressive so you can’t expect them to be forward thinking, and those they represent are pretty much either truly protectionist in many ways. They are the religious folks who feel they have to hold out as much as they can, they are those who lack lateral and critical thinking, they are the rich who hold on to wealth from another time that was not earned the right way (crooked/nefarious ways) and those just can’t see how being progressive would benefit them. I can sympathize with each of the groups as it is human nature to be fearful and wrapping their fears around “facts” they feel they are the ones who should be in charge.I don’t think most businesses tend to do the right thing always.I hope for the sake of the world America changes course, I came to america on a fully funded scholarship, I have paid back that money and more and I would not like to see America go down the wrong path.

        1. guest

          Ignorant post. The pinnacle of progressivism is communism. How’d that work? The only solution is anarcho-capitalism. And a little more religion wouldn’t hurt either. 

      2. guest

        Why not just take the initiative and pay more?

    2. leigh

      70% way too much – but i pay close to 50% plus plus plus and live great and have no issue.  i don’t want my taxes cut.  (i know commie canadian)

      1. Cam MacRae

        a pinko commie canadian perhaps, but the two economies in the best position following the GFC are both social democratic constitutional monarchies not kinda-sorta free market wannabe but not really republics. food for thought.

        1. leigh

          2 stories for you Cam:1.  my dad starts ranting about a patient who he is annoyed at bc she was getting welfare AND she was making a little bit on the side as a house cleaner.  She was cheating the system.  How disgusting.  I asked him why a house he had just bought as an investment was in my sister’s name.  He just looked at me.  That to him wasn’t the same thing at all.She was cheating the system.  He was doing something we like to call creative accounting.2. I brought up a great digital strategy guy from Austin Texas who had always been left leaning in a really right winged state.  He loved Canada’s system and all the yada yada that comes with that.  So – first day he gets his pay check from work – he looks at me and says “f*ck the poor.  F*ck the old.  I just want my gddamn money back!”He was mostly kidding – but the desire/wish of one thing and then the reality of most people’s mentality and our generally self-centred focus is as deeply ingrained as our notion that spending = all things good.

          1. Cam MacRae

            I can tell countless tales like story #1 and wonder whether it isn’t some latent middle class fear that the poor might get a leg up.

          2. ShanaC

            reverse problem, the middle class is afraid of falling.

          3. Cam MacRae

            @ShanaC:disqus it’s kind the same thing, no; everything in it’s right place?

        2. leigh

          oh and ps.  while individuals pay huge taxes – our Corporate taxes are only about 16% – you know – bc they are going to use the proceeds to trickle down jobs and lower our banking fees etc.  It never happens.In Canada – the fear of politicians to deal with that is a much bigger problem then the personal tax system.  

          1. Cam MacRae

            Corporate tax is 30% here. Banks still report record profits year after year irrespective of what the broader economy does. 20.4% in one case. But they still can’t lower their fees – they’re doing it tough too, don’t ya know?!

  37. Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

    That is an interesting statement — “lineage of inspiration.” The way I see it — it’s the inspiration that becomes the foundation of lineage. I mean without inspiration little else matters. You look at industry leaders like Steve Jobs (RIP), John Chambers and Seth Godin each one has a story or stories of inspiration.The lineage of inspiration is that fuel that is necessary to build something extraordinary or be extraordinary. I remember speaking with Reece Pacheco and him telling me that his parents inspire him.John Wooden inspires me.

    1. JLM

      John Wooden is the most basic inspirational leadership mentor imaginable made only the better by the elegant simplicity of his thinking.

  38. hypermark

    Lineage is a central concept in Buddhism as well, where a lineage, such as the Kagyu Lineage, is passed from one generation to the next.It is through this methodology that someone like the Dalai Lama can be “discovered” as a reincarnate, indoctrinated in the teachings of the lineage (over many years), and then emerge as a Master.If you think about it, there is an interesting duality in the nature vs. nurture aspect of a lineage, in that a conscious effort is made to discover the flesh and bones individual that has the right DNA to be a great leader, but also a deep, prolonged apprenticeship to ensure that those raw capacities are forged into something miraculous.Sadly, our own societal embrace of the tyranny of short-termism has led to the demise of focused apprenticeship as a core part our how we convert our unpolished young adults into skilled craftsmen.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      This can change if we have the government shift focus to quality and creativity instead of fuelling mass production.

      1. hypermark

        I don’t know that it’s the job of government to define focus and values, but there is clearly a truism that what you INCENT is what you reap. To the extent the current business model doesn’t incentivize loyalty and longevity (by either employee or employer), the return on apprenticeship will not be there.Along those lines, I forget the particular wording, but GE used to have an axiom about hiring good people, making them better and retaining them. The decade long employee, let alone the 20-30 year one, seems to be a bit of a dinosaur.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          Not to define, just bring attention to it and support the foundation that requires quality and creativity to flourish. In my mind this simply means giving people the tools they need to live a quality life: tools to be healthy, tools to be creative.Creativity as a career isn’t sustainable for most people – maybe only the top 5-2%. But the top 20% are likely capable of doing brilliant things. They can’t compete with mass produced junk and the one-stop-for-it-all places like Walmart where impulse buying is prompted with entertainment-like packaging and before that advertising campaigns to prime you to want whatever it is (which they can only afford to pay for with profits, because those costs aren’t going into the product).We have amplified word of mouth now these days, so quality can make it through the noise – and when the time comes that all of the noise is also quality then that should be a world-wide celebration.

          1. hypermark

            Agreed. Somehow, we have to change the narrative that corrodes our society. That is a cross-domain challenge.

    2. fredwilson

      i apprenticed my way into VC. it took me ten years of apprenticeship.

      1. hypermark

        Clearly, there are some fields that quasi-institutionalize training, mentoring and apprenticeship (finance, legal and medical come to mind). Obviously, you are blessed for the experience, and we’re all blessed that you give that goodness back via this blog.

  39. kirklove

    Absolutely riveting. She has such a powerful, yet inviting presence. And the knowledge. Wow. I can see why you are influenced. Thanks for sharing.+1 for strong latin women. I’m a fan of them.

    1. fredwilson

      me too, including your lovely wife

  40. kidmercury

    jotting notes here as i listen:– the ending was great, or fred you at least managed to coax a great ending out of her lol. the spirit of the revolution is really all that is needed. the system is beyond reform, revolution is the solution!– she doesn’t really address the central banking part, or the debt part. debt is the problem. failure to address this makes her whole argument suspect (though i buy many parts of it).  — new energy is about reduction of the cost of energy production, leading to greater energy production and more efficient energy allocation, enabling greater usage of energy. arguments for using less energy, or that reduced energy consumption is the advantage, are suspect. — you do not necessarily need to intervene to create demand (demand will naturally rise once prices have fallen, signifying that malinvestments have been liquidated; intervention obfuscates this process). moreover government’s form of intervention — expand the money supply — is not it. monetary revolution is the solution! — perez is still calling for more regulation outside of the central banking system. real reform begins with reform of monetary policy, and using monetary policy to solve the debt problem. monetary revolution is the solution! still it is the same, the political revolution of the internet is the real story that unlocks the golden age, but this must fight its way into existence against the will of the nation-state — and against the will of the supranationalists who seek to shift power from nation-states to un-democractic supranational organizations (i.e. IMF, UN, WHO, etc)  — and it will need moral supremacy to do so. 9/11 was an inside job,kid mercury 

    1. ShanaC

      demand curves have multiple pareto optimal positions.  You could have a high price and full demand. even if wages for most of the people are low.  

      1. laurie kalmanson

        iPads for example; birkin bags; there are markets for luxury goods.

      2. guest

        full demand at high price simply means low supply?

    2. fredwilson

      hmm. you are supposed to have a different color header. i’ll figure out why that didn’t happen.i am also a bit skeptical that governments will address the challenges.she told me they did not in the third surge and it was a “gilded age” instead of a “golden age”

  41. LissIsMore

    Professor Perez seems like a lovely person.  However, I think she is misguided in her focus on Government as the organizing principle in the economy.  The Lack of Leadership she bemoans is mis-placed hope in a centrally planned and organized system.  “If only we had the right people in charge” is hubris.  The US economy, much less the global economy, is much to complex to manage from the top down.Innovation happens from the bottom up.  What we need is for the Governments to stop meddling in the economy.  The unintended consequences are too great and the stifling effect on choice and innovation is profound. 

  42. Matt A. Myers

    All I have to say is… BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE! Amazing. Fantastic. My brain is resonating with excitement!I’m not sure there is a more important and concise interview to watch than this one to explain where things are going. If people don’t understand the content then they are missing out on an important leading metrics for where things are going.I’m very impressed (as I think everyone is) at your interviewing skills Fred. Obviously it’s a topic you’re excited about but I hope you can find more people to do interviews with.I wonder if once per month or every two months would be possible? Perhaps branching out into discussion relating to this interview’s topics.I think it’s very important to promote the idea of technology needing the governments’ help to direct things (locally, nationally and globally), and reenforce that technology can be used to increase the enjoyment of life for everyone (and reduce excess and inefficiencies) – including eliminating or at minimum putting into practice things to eliminate the “planned obsolescence” as Carlota mentions. How Carlota stated it was for the new technology companies (us) to take a real political stance. I know patent reform is apart of this however that is really only a single branch on many issues. I know how some of these systems will be, not fully yet how they will look – but I have ideas that are evolving and I hope others have platforms in mind too for what’s needed; There needs to start being group brainstorming and mental energy spent on the holistic level of things regularly to pick it apart further so people can refine their theories and plans.Huge kudos to you and thanks to Carlota.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m interviewing JLM nexti’ll fly to Austinhe’ll take me to his favorite taco or barbeque jointand we’ll do it over food and beer

      1. William Mougayar

        Just as long as he doesn’t turn you into a Republican 🙂 Watch for those marinades he’ll be concocting.

        1. JLM

          These days I am wondering if I am anything at all.I am so far to the left on education, training, immigration and how America fights its wars as to be unrecognizable to even a committed lefty.I consider myself a Winston Churchill leftist.I am so far to the right on the size and role of government that my thinking is not much more progressive than that held at the time of the death of the last of the Founding Fathers.If it is not in the Constitution, then only States can do it.  Not really against any policy, just where it is hatched.I am a single index card financial conservative — if you cannot explain every financial financial principle and scheme involved on a single index card, then you cannot be allowed to do it.I am a free market capitalist as long as dueling is reinstated as the preferred dispute resolution technique in all commercial contracts and in instances of fraud.I am against the death penalty — though from time to time I flirt w/ public executions on the steps of the NYSE for particularly egregious financial wrong doings — but in favor of public floggings and life imprisonment at hard, hard, hard labor.

          1. fredwilson

            we should form a political partyi think we agree on most things

          2. EmilSt

            I’m in!

          3. William Mougayar

            Great response. It sounds all good to me as well.

      2. leigh

        live music.the one thing i loved about Dell as a client  — Austin.  

      3. JamesHRH

        Is it polite to talk w your mouth full of chicken fried steak?

        1. fredwilson

          We will figure how to make it work 😉

      4. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Now that sounds cool…

      5. JLM

        I was lukewarm on the idea until you mentioned BBQ.  Green Mesquite BBQ on the patio.

        1. fredwilson

          when is the best time of year weather wise in austin?

          1. JLM

            Next 8 months.

          2. fredwilson

            Im coming down thereWe are gonna do thisDo you like to go fishing?

  43. Steven Kane

    “I never stole a joke I didn’t like.” – Milton Berle –…

    1. fredwilson

      steve kane is in the house!

  44. testtest

    saw your tweet about embedding tweets. guess that came about from having to do a screen shot on this’s the difference between platform thinking and product thinking.platforms are better.

    1. fredwilson

      yup, that’s whyi’ve only been asking for that feature for what, four years?and i am one of the largest investors and was on the board for four years



        1. testtest

          convinced me of’s a full copy on github:…this can be extended to a platform not only on the development side but also on the user may even be interesting to wrap-up data APIs so that users can engage more directly with all the content that’s available.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          2. testtest

            but not just gluing it together (aggregation of different services etc), also pushing data (comments, remixed images etc) back to the original the moment everything is being pulled and nothing pushed.that’s made possible by having readable/writable objects (APIs) rather than just readable objects that can be copied (links/URLs/code)

        2. fredwilson

          He should get promotedThat would be a cultural exclamation point for googleHes right about google+

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  45. JLM

    Many old concepts with new packaging approaching the “we reinvented sex” mien.The best old stuff owned forever is the classic best stuff ever.1941 P-38 9MM pistol, 1938 Belgian Browning over & under shotgun, 1935 7MM Sako w. Zeiss sight1966 Chevy Impala Super Sport convertible1965 combat engineers field knifeChurch’s 1965 all leather tie shoes12 year old khakis25 year old Lucchese’s high heel and goat roperBuy really great stuff and own it forever.

    1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

      Nothing like an old pair of jeans, t shirts, a great tube amp, speakers and turntable, listening to music on the weekend….So, what do we create today worth owning forever?Bought a Linn Sondek turntable in 1981 and while I have upgraded it over the years, and replaced the cartridge numerous times it can still recreate the true essence of music better than anything offered today in any format or delivery system.Sometimes I sit and I can hear a soundstage, left to right, front to back, and its live….and I am sorry, sometimes I do believe I have “recreated sex” right in my living room!On the truly great records you can even tell who produced the tracks and what recording studios and how the mikes were laid out….One of the most critical problems with society today is that in so many ways we have sacrificed quality or the essence of perfection at the altar of mass consumption.More and more gave way to less and less….Not only materially, but spiritually and socially.

      1. fredwilson

        i’m so with you

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. panterosa,

            we have my father’s flexible flyer sled from the 20’s which I used, which my daughter now boss in it’s steering.i design now for hopefully same end result in legacy. wish me luck, and godspeed.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. panterosa,

            Grim, I love DINOSPEED. Make me feel so rootin’tootin’hifalutin, coffee/beer/human eaten fueled to conquer!!! Thank you. I still eat nails for breakfast and sharpen my elbows to achieve 8bit perfection.I’d love to send you the first prototype, to your barrista, or other secret emissary, who passes it to you. 

          4. fredwilson

            YeahId love my granddaughter to use my hp12c which is now 30 years old and works as well as ever

          5. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. ShanaC

        where do you get a good turntable and cartridge (and speakers) for not so much money?

        1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

          Rega is a British company that makes some of the best and very inexpensive turntables and have been for 50 years, and there turntables come with cartridges.As far as speakers go, that is a harder one, Canada has some great speaker companies making some awesome products that are very inexpensive (Paradigm and PSB to name just two).

    2. fredwilson

      the gotham gal was wearing a blouse under her sweater the other night at dinneri said “haven’t you had that blouse for ages?”she said, “this was the first blouse I ever spent real money on. i bought it when Jessica was a baby”Jessica is a junior in college this year

      1. JLM

        This is great on several planes —It still fits.The moths did not eat it.She has enough closet space for it.It has come back into fashion — probably several cycles.The attachment to Baby Jessica and the lore that contains.You noticed.

        1. JamesHRH

          What an awesome list!You did not lose it in a move?

        2. fredwilson

          best one is the lasti think you probably understandwe’ve been together since 1981

  46. Bruce Wayne

    Great Interview…Mind blowing actually…..I dont think that we have the time to wait for the current frameworks of business and government to come to a consensus on taking the needed steps to bring about the massive social and cultural changes that are needed. Based on the recent actions and reactions of political/business decision makers it seems clear that they have no viable plan to begin reversing the current financial/social/cultural diaster that we are in. I think that now is a good time to think outside of the box and to push the edges of technology and business models.  I do not think that this kind of innovation will come from the current group of companies that “seem” to dominate the consumer internet space. Their core business models and corporate structures are permanently attached to many of the ideas and practices that need to be turned destabilized and  turned upside down.  

    1. fredwilson

      then we’ll have to create new ones

  47. raycote

    Carlota makes the McLuhanesque point that the old-guard, status-quo, business / government leaders will need to be dragged kicking and screaming into the ground frame of a new network-driven, less-is-more, political economy.Less-is-more obviously doesn’t cut it when you are the dominant kingpins overseeing a production / leverage based profit era.Fred asks what business and government must do to move forward?Carlota responses by framing the problem as -an appalling lack of leadership-the political delusion of returning to business as usual-how to incentivize the financial industry out of the leveraging-casino and back into making legitimate capital allocation in the real economy via tax law behaviour shaping- the need to regulate and incentivize a green shift- the need for a global financial regulatory frameworkFred asks who will provide the gateway leadership required to transition into this new way of living organizing consuming?Carlota respondes withWe need the new IT industrialists to take a political stand and push back againt the business and political dinosaurs.____________________________________Don’t get me wrong. I thing this is a brilliant overarching historical framework and the long term gravity well of history is on her side.But still this all seems like a very daunting and fuzzy challenge, much of which seems to fly in the face of mainstream American social and political memes.Can anyone here put some tangible / actionable framework around that challenge?

    1. Carl J. Mistlebauer

      “But still this all seems like a very daunting and fuzzy challenge, much of which seems to fly in the face of mainstream American social and political memes.” Which is why all of us need to watch the Occupy Wall Street movement; “mainstream” does NOT have the answers, the status quo, whether socially, economically, or politically, does not have the answers either.

    2. fredwilson

      that is EXACTLY what i left the stage thinkingwe will need round 2 and maybe round 3



      1. panterosa,

        revolutions are self emergent systemsself emergence governs flocks and creation of citiesself emergence is what runs nature and evolutionto get with nature, green economy, we must be biomimics

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


      2. fredwilson


        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  48. Jasonpwright

    I’m typing this on my 2005 IBM Thinkpad. When it stops working I will replace it, but not until. I’m contemplating buying my first smartphone, but which one is designed and manufactured to last? I’ve thought about an iphone 4 series handset and a Snowpeak titanium back cover to protect it from the inevitable drops (examples of sustainable design?, as Carlota discussed). My 2008 bicycle frame is made from titanium (it will not rust and therefore needs no paint, an unnecessary petrochemical derivative) and not carbon fiber, which is to my mind an example of designed obsolescence.My point is that demand drives supply. The web empowers. Intelligent consumption creates markets. The end of the interview is where this discussion should begin. The road map for change is in our personal spending choices. Seek out the sustainable product, buy it, reward the manufacturer, grow their business, increase their profits, and steer capital investment in their direction. The power of your wallet and your purse is a weapon of change.Don’t take the latest Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone if you already have another entirely adequate Android handset and/ or an iphone in your pocket. 

    1. fredwilson

      or pass the older smartphone onmy wife uses my old nexus oneand i’m sending my nexus s to my daughter

  49. Joe Testing


    1. fredwilson

      it works

  50. Francesca Krihely

    Really loved this interview–and Daniel’s post (so true!) It’s not very often that I hear venture capitalists citing academics outside of the “business school” variants. Academia still has some bright spots and some incredible insights for both investment, media emerging technology. With web 2.0, we can start to unbind the Ivory Tower bit by bit and make this knowledge more transferable outside of the academy. 

    1. fredwilson

      you can thank my partner Brad for thathe’s the one who really goes outside the box to get inspiration

      1. Francesca Krihely

        Thanks Brad! 

  51. Borzoo

    Great interview Fred! It takes courage to go beyond ones own beliefs and ask the important questions.

  52. Dave W Baldwin

    Got to watch the rest… very good.Agree with basically everything, but worry over too much solution being government.  The problem is cronyism and that keeps things status quo.At the same time, the rest need to be inspired so we can innovate.Last but not least… we’re going to have to have the rest of the world buy from us, rather than screaming about jobs going overseas. 

  53. SLF

    Thank you Fred and Carlota. The most motivating discussionI’ve heard in a long while – wow. We’re not just bailing water from a leaking boat, we’re actually moving toward something – a time when things will be improved (energy use, waste, wealth distribution, quality of life) and maybe make sense again.For a change, good news. Better yet good news backed by study and analysis. Need to read more of Carlota’s work.

  54. jonconnors

    Fred, in order to spurn the innovation needed to succeed in the next economic stage, do you think that US Patent Laws need to be completely restructured?  Are you happy with the America Invents Act, and do you and Ms. Perez feel that the current laws in place will impede our growth capabilities?

  55. William Mougayar

    Thomas Friedman weighs in on this subject with 2 opposing views. “What we now have — most extremely in the U.S. but pretty much everywhere — is the mother of all broken promises.” vs. “We are living in a world where flow will prevail and topple any obstacles in its way.” Must read, very related to our discussion and Carlota’s views.…



      1. William Mougayar

        Agreed, but I’m not sure if it’s capitalism that is to blame, or the governments themselves that have abused the flow of capital and kept running the debt higher and higher. It’s not a coincidence that these riots are happening where governments are the most in debt. Governments with high deficits year after year become crippled. They can’t help anymore. That’s a big part of what’s happening.

        1. guest

          it’s semi-fascism, with government and big business colluding. Nothing to do with capitalism. 

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


  56. JamesHRH

    Stunning.Comprehensive. Coherent. Common sense based on pattern matching history, macro economic dynamics & human nature.And a specific call to action to boot – not just the usual passive academic who is bemused or ‘hypocritical superiority complex’.Good job Fred – saw the comment on prep ( JLM would approve )!

    1. Robert Thuston

      James, I put this together recently (it’s been an idea I’ve had for a little under one year).  I didn’t think until last night about sending it to a couple of people in the AVC community.Your name was the first that came to my mind.  I appreciate your comments on AVC, and they always represent a level and intelligent perspective. If you have time, I’d love for you to take a glance at it.  It’s a two minute video, and I’m beginning a process to validate/invalidate the idea. Best regards, Robert

      1. JamesHRH

        Robert – I am on the road and will not have time to properly organize a response until – likely – early next week.Thanks for your kind words.

        1. Robert Thuston

          That would be great.

  57. davidhclark

    Loved it!! A few of my favorite parts…14:16 “Each revolution brings a new logic, a new paradigm.”What new logic, that if understood and executed on, will usher in a paradigm shift?We’ve gone from desktop (home and office), to laptop (anywhere we sit), to mobile (anywhere we take the device), to… This evolutionary pattern of hardware that facilitates data consumption is thinning the line that divides the real and digital world. They’re coming closer together. In many ways, they will eventually be one. This will create a massive paradigm shift.Platforms or services (not features) that are native to the new hardware categories (now mobile) that can self-sustain and create its own community and ecosystem will be the big, disruptive winners. 16:10 “More enjoyment, more communication, more interaction, more social living, more creativity, participation.” …I would add more autonomy as well…What single service exists right now that allows me to do these things? I’m on it!

  58. Lucas Dailey

    I wonder if you aren’t actually talking about two similar ideas: metadata as footnoting, and provenance.Re: metadata, I agree completely, the meta data needs to be there to tease the curious mind toward greater understanding. And the “This track copped from DJ Shadow” in Turntable would be awesome.Re: Lineage as provenance, maybe I’m reading too much into a few parts of your post, but to me that suggests that where one learns a thing matters. At that point I think we’re talking more about breadth than “lineage”. Or if we aren’t talking about the fullness of understanding, then all that remains is nostalgia or worse: snobbery!In the comments from your post the other day on avc moderators, someone mentioned the quote from spider-man “With great power comes great responsibility”. When I read that my mind screamed “No it was Plato, not Spider-Man!”. Though part of me feels more “ownership” of an idea if I learned it from a primary source, it really doesn’t matter if someone learns it from The Republic or a comic-book-cum-movie.

  59. laurie kalmanson

    the original purpose of html was to allow scientists to communicate and annotate. links were footnotes, and pointers to the predecessors of ideas.still are.tim berners-lee on why he did what he did to create the web:”One of the things computers have not done for an organization is to be able to store random associations between disparate things, although this is something the brain has always done relatively well. In 1980 I played with programs to store information with random links, and in 1989, while working at the European Particle Physics Laboratory, I proposed that a global hypertext space be created in which any network-accessible information could be refered to by a single “Universal Document Identifier”.Given the go-ahead to experiment by my boss, Mike Sendall, I wrote in 1990 a program called “WorlDwidEweb”, a point and click hypertext editor which ran on the “NeXT” machine. This, together with the first Web server, I released to the High Energy Physics community at first, and to the hypertext and NeXT communities in the summer of 1991. Also available was a “line mode” browser by student Nicola Pellow, which could be run on almost any computer. The specifications of UDIs (now URIs), HyperText Markup Language (HTML) and HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) published on the first server in order to promote wide adoption and discussion. “

  60. Alexander Close

    Lineage in art has always been so easy to spot.  Paint strokes are tangible and musicians can’t get through an interview without being asked “who inspired you”.  Entire artistic careers can be mapped out.  It’d be exciting to be able to view those types of connections towards other things.  Imagine the types of dots Facebook will be able to connect backwards…Great interview.  The energy shown from both sides was invigorating. 

  61. guest

    Someone needs to formulate a theory such as Frédéric Bastiat’s broken window fallacy that addresses Facebook, Zynga, et al. The current technological revolution is actually reducing productivity and has large opportunity costs. 

  62. guest

    She is clueless about economics. 

  63. Lucas Dailey

    That Carlota interview kicked ass! She breezily covered many exciting ideas hot in economics and government these day. Including a few things I’ve (probably poorly) written about and a few I’d like to write about more, particularly:-Durability of goods. Definitely going to happen, in part market driven by changing from purchasing to renting model for most goods and services. Material costs and recycling tech will help make this happen.-Financial reform in the form of restructuring incentives. This has to happen not just because gambling is bad but because the macroeconomic implications of shifting risk off toward ever more “unlikely” collapses actually increases their likeliness. Financial externalities need to be addressed. Maybe including loans (basically sell time), which allow banks to create money.-More service oriented lifestyles. There is a big and crazy idea I’ve been working on related to this. Not a business unfortunately, a new sort of organization.Man, so many more! I gotta cut myself off, this isn’t my blog!Great interview and discussion, and thanks to everyone who posted more excellent info on Carlota’s work.

  64. sigmaalgebra

    Perez tech history: In foil “Five Technological Revolutions in 240 Years” the lines1908 Age of the Automobile, Oil, Petrochemicals and Mass Production1971 Age of Information Technology and Telecommunicationsomitted mention of (1) vacuum tubes and analog electronics for wireless telephony, radio, radar, tape recording, and TV, (2) microbe theory of disease, anesthesia, vaccines, antibiotics, understanding of nutrition, and public health, (3) aviation, (4) nuclear energy, and (5) the transistor and digital electronics for computers and the Internet.The Perez claim that new technological infrastructure, e.g., optical fibers near year 2000, can generate financial bubbles and panics seems maybe somewhat general. But there were also the panics of 1907, 1929, 1987, and 2008 that seem not from investments in technological infrastructure.The emphasis on ‘green’, renewable, sustainable, climate change, etc. is not well founded and risks huge waste for no good reason: E.g., as far as we know, nothing in this universe is renewable or sustainable, and in practice for now these are not pressing issues. In the graph on page 2 of…as far as we know the temperature over the past 100 years is just like from year 900 to year 1000 just before the Little Ice Age. Net, there’s no good reason to conclude that human activity has had any significant effect on the climate. Moreover, it is not clear that a small effect would be harmful.The alarm about ‘climate change’ is an unscientific, badly supported, irrational, quasi-religious, emotional morality play about the sky is falling and an ugly, flim-flam, fraud scam and entirely similar to the claim of ancient Mayan charlatans that they needed to kill people and pour their blood on a rock to keep the sun moving across the sky as at…from page 76 ofSusan Milbrath, ‘Star Gods of the Maya: Astronomy in Art, Folklore, and Calendars (The Linda Schele Series in Maya and Pre-Columbian Studies)’, ISBN-13 978-0292752269, University of Texas Press, 2000.The claim that “seven earths” would be needed is not well founded: We recycle iron, aluminum, copper, silver, gold, etc. now because doing so reduces costs. The ‘energy crisis’ remains mostly just an oil issue, and mostly just for motor fuel and home heating, and apparently $100 a barrel is about as expensive as oil can get before alternatives are cheaper. Canada is getting good crude from tar sands for, what, $10 a barrel?As we know well, it is entirely possible to make gasoline from coal. For the costs of energy, at…is a graph of electric energy costs in the US, at the plant, from recent years, with a table for year 2010 where the cost in US cents per KWh wasNuclear — 2.14Coal — 3.06Gas — 4.86Petroleum — 15.18So, for the energy needed to convert coal to gasoline, use coal or, for a penny less, use nuclear fission. Then use energy at about 3 cents per KWh to replace oil at about 15 cents. If can do the conversion with more than one unit of energy in gasoline from five units of energy from coal, then are ahead. That ratio of 5:1 is powerful. If oil gets much more expensive, then the US, which has no shortage of coal, can make gasoline.The Perez theme of austerity is not good: We already know what people want in the famous one word answer, “More”. The main way now to get more is automation driven by computing with help from the Internet.The Perez theme of more in government regulation is too far from the US traditions and too close to European socialism and calls for ‘world government’.For the US, if too much in world trade means too much need for world government, then the US should reduce its foreign trade. E.g., in the 1950s what the heck did the US import it needed so much? Since the rest of the world had little to sell us, we didn’t import much. We did export, but that just accumulated gold. So, we sent the results of US workers overseas instead of using those results here in the US. Bummer.For the US, ‘free world trade’ is mostly some foolish dream of Foggy Bottom as a way to have US national security by ‘fostering democracy’ and avoiding violent dictators. Nixon went to China to offer China a carrot, e.g., textiles, gadgets, electronic assembly, industrial chemicals, to lead China to ‘behave’. Foolish. China policy? F’get about China.US: Come HOME and STAY there. World government? No. Instead, just come home.Iran? If they use nukes, then in a few hours the US will turn all of Iran into a glass lined parking lot that glows in the dark and punctuated by a few dozen lakes with hemispherical glass bottoms where cities used to be.Instead of socialism and world government, the US needs to stay close to a market economy at home relatively independent of ‘foreign entanglements’.There is a pressing issue for “More”: In the more developed countries, human females are having on average less than two children each so that in those countries humans are going extinct. The main need for more children is ‘more’ economic output via more economic productivity via more automation via more computing.For the problems of the financial panics of 1929 and 2008, we know quite well how to avoid them. For 2008, the situation was dirt simple: A ‘national goal’ of more house ownership got Congress to press Fannie and Freddie to back junk paper and blow a housing bubble. When the bubble burst, much of the equity capital in the financial system was wiped out, and a significant fraction of house owners went ‘under water’. Thus we drained the oil out of the crankcase of the engine of the economy. Bummer. Solution: Socialism? No. Instead, just don’t do that again. Then start some new banks.For computing beyond automation for “More”? Okay:(1) Social.As in E. Fromm, ‘The Art of Loving’, people REALLY want membership in groups where they can get praise, acceptance, approval and, thus, emotional security.So, right: People can like the ‘social Web’.Some people like to walk around with a cell phone attached to one ear and engage in full time gossip as ‘bonding’ as inDeborah Tannen, ‘You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’, William Morrow and Company, New York, ISBN 0-688-07822-2, 1990.(2) Love.Also in Fromm, people really like love of spouse, especially as a source of more in security.So, right: People can like computer romantic matchmaking, socializing, etc.(3) Entertainment.People REALLY like vicarious, escapist, emotional experience entertainment! E.g., be young, masterly, attractive, popular with the opposite sex, strong, and able to ‘take out the garbage’ and win the love — usual formula fiction!So, right: Use computers to create, distribute, and display movies. Also games for much the same purposes.(4) Information.People like and really need a lot in information and ‘content’ for careers, skills, entertainment, education, politics, art, science, crafts, parenting, pets, health care, and many more, likely personalized for each person. Working on it.(5) Activities.Outside of just work, people are eager to participate in activities of wide variety — political meetings, PTA, dog shows, flea markets, nature walks, etc. The ‘social Web’ can help.Jobs? Lots of people want to buy more stuff, sell more stuff, get jobs to make money to buy stuff, and hire people to help sell stuff. There is no shortage of motivation here. There is a shortage of a functioning economy and financial system. Did I mention we drained the lubricating oil out of our financial engine? Also we have an Administration in DC that wants to run most of the economy — health care, banking, energy, education, passenger rail transportation, and more — with much higher taxes and directly from big bureaucracies in DC, both much as in European socialism or Soviet communism, with the associated wildly wasteful inefficiencies, and that’s helping to slow the recovery. If we need a better ‘safety net, then okay. Maybe set up some dormatory housing in the country. But to turn all the US economy into a ‘safety net’ is a bummer.A lot of people don’t really know what the heck to do so get ‘careers’ stirring up trouble via flim-flam scams. Often their ‘convenient’ allies are the mainstream media (MSM) that borrows from ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ with “You want your story told, and I very much want a story to tell.”. But, it’s just ‘stories’, heavily as in formula fiction, a ‘business model’ over 100 years old, with no significant connection with anything real. It’s just a scam and at times a dangerous one.The best disinfectant of scams is solid, rational information. We have been depending on the MSM for this information but have been very poorly served. E.g., with any information at all clear and solid, we would have avoided the crash of 2008 and The Great Recession with all its lost productivity and broken homes, substance abuse, suicides, etc. MSM, Congress, Fannie and Freddie, THAT’S what you did — you ruined families and killed people. You are very ugly people.Net, the biggest problem in the US today is the scam of formula fiction bad information from the MSM and the lack of solid information to let us be informed citizens. Of course, a key to the solution is the Internet.

    1. JamesHRH

      Oil sands likely not economic under $50 bbl

    2. JLM

      Great stuff.The cost to produce electricity — which is almost as wild and controversial as the issue of global warming — when focused on alternative fuels is quite interesting.There is more than enough “bash to fit” with the desire to make all green sources appear to be competitive and the desire to make nuclear a really bad thing but the bottom line is that coal is solid.Coal has great availability, is domestic and cheap.  It can also be clean if it is designed in at the front end.If we will just complete that damn pipeline, natural gas can be competitive.If we can get over the disposition and political implications of nuclear, it is the best of all — cheap and environmentally clean at the plant.  The disposition of waste has even gotten incredibly better with the ability to re-manufacture the waste products.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        Yes.Back when I was debunking ‘clean, green, safe, pure, pristine, 100% all-natural, renewable energy’ from wind, solar, gerbils in wire cages, low-head hydro, earthworms pulling strings, etc., the data was that the efforts in Spain and Germany were generating electric power, when the wind blew or the sun shone, at ballpark 50 US cents per KWh. Bummer. Really BIG bummer. Shoot the economy in the gut bummer.Then, you are an owner of a base load plant. When the sun shines and/or the wind blows, your mission, and you have to accept it, is to accept power from end users and PAY them. So, you quickly turn to your base load plant and start to power down and, then, are wasting the cap-ex of your base load plant. So, when the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, you have to charge MORE per KWh to cover the wasted cap-ex. Double bummer.And there are electric grid stability issues.Net, the whole ‘clean, green, renewable’, save the climate stuff is nothing like engineering but JUST a flim-flam, fraud, scam as crooked as anything in old US history of graft, collusion, payoffs, kickbacks, etc. The deliberate goal to “bankrupt” the US coal fired plants as in the Obama interview with San Francisco Chronicle, 1/17/2008, with video off and on on YouTube (I typed in a full transcript), would do more damage to the US than any foreign enemy has ever come close to. We’re talking seriously self-destructive here.To get the country going again, first we need to have the unemployment rate go up by one. Then we need an Occupy DC with large supplies of tar and feathers. Just GOT to quit being self-destructive.For the pipeline and the role of the MSM, as usual they want to scream self-destructive nonsense, write morality plays about the sky is falling from evil, greedy humans, paint some fantasy about ‘clean, green, pure, pristine, safe, renewable, sustainable …’ total wacko nonsense instead of important information. So, the MSM neurosis, to grab people by the heart or the gut, is about “It might LEAK! Then human greed and evil would again spread toxic crude over the pure, pristine, precious, fragile, delicate 100% all-natural environment and kill innocent, harmless flora and fauna …”. They just keep flogging this neurotic nonsense much like they did back to yellow journalism. So, Canada thinks that maybe they should build a pipeline to their west coast and sell their crude from their oil sands to Asia.A pipeline really IS an important engineering project, and the work needs to be done carefully. And there should be careful monitoring and serious financial penalties for leaks, etc. But, it’s JUST engineering, and we know how to do good engineering.The MSM would have us banish 20th century engineering and try to return to the fantasy of ‘the good old days’ of Currier and Ives, Norman Rockwell, and ‘Little House on the Prairie’ with a typhoid epidemic, a flu epidemic, polio epidemics, tuberculous, no hope for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, ulcers, or cataracts, malnutrition, bacterial infections, no anesthetics, no vaccines, no refrigeration, bad water, home-made soap, no detergents, no electric motors, death from childbirth, crib deaths, bad information, bad working conditions, horse transportation, lighting from tallow candles, etc. Super big bummer. Brain-dead. REALLY stupid.Then there was the stupid, bleeding heart, smoking funny stuff ‘home ownership for everyone is GOOD’ and ‘will bring the poor into the middle class’ from which we got a housing bubble that burst, drained the financial capital lubricating oil from our economic production engine, gave us The Great Recession, shot our economy and society in the gut, ruined families, and killed people. The bleeding heart people make things MUCH worst. The MSM people create disasters for the ubiquitous ‘passion, pathos, and poignancy’ in their formula fiction.Stupid is DANGEROUS and HURTS and is BAD and AVOIDABLE.The deliberately brain-dead MSM is the worst problem in the US.

    3. Prokofy

       I like the part of about dumping all that world socialism crap, that’s for the birds. That’s what these kind of third-world academics always want to do, and it’s too bad a smart man like Fred has fallen for it.But we do live in an interconnected world, world governance is in fact becoming more a factor in certain fields, and of course global capital moves with the speed of light. So it’s not really an option for the US to come home and stay home and play in its own sandbox and just let the BRICS run things.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        For your first paragraph, I thought all of it but said only part of it.  You are being more ‘blunt’ than I was!  I just wanted to give a ‘reality check’ on the Perez ideas but not be “really offensive” at Fred’s Victorian garden party.To me, “greed is good” or can if in the end give at least half of it away to good uses.  So, I don’t like ‘nasty greed’ or being selfish and am for a safety net, etc.  Heck, I got a LOT of education the US Federal Government paid for, mostly for reasons of US national security, but that education is just crucial for my startup now.  I don’t agree with Beth Warren and believe that she should bake cookies for her grand children (I hope she has some, or for someone’s grand children) and quit causing trouble, but if my startup works then I didn’t do all of it alone.  I can accept that here in the US we should have something of a ‘social contract’, not force people to go hungry, be sick, or sleep on the streets, and give people a hand up and a second chance, etc.  One reason to be so helpful is that it doesn’t have to cost too much and can give a good ROI, e.g., hold down on what we spend on police and prisons.  We have to have a society of humans and not just computers, and we can’t treat humans just like computers.  For ‘social justice’, that’s a bit much.Still it appears that Fred is a bit too eager to side with the NYC that voted heavily for The Expected One, The True Mahdi, may peace and blessings be upon him, Chosen of Oprah, “No he can’t”, our Doofus in Chief.These are tough questions of public policy, and for good answers we need something MUCH better than the Barney Flank, CBC, Fannie, Freddie, put everyone in a house that drained the financial capital lubricating oil out of our economic production engine, gave us The Great Recession, risked a second Great Depression and WWIII, the last WW, ever.  Dumb.For such tough questions, we as citizens need MUCH better information.  Else we will keep flying blind into electrical storms, sides of mountains, etc. until we get hurt much worse than The Great Recession and take seriously not being totally stupid.For that information, we need something MUCH better than the MSM. The issue is little things like $10 trillion of national debt here and there, a shrinking economy for a decade or so, people unemployable before 35 and after 45, etc.  Bummer.For your second paragraph, again you touch on some tough questions.  If the BRICs want to “run things”, then maybe mostly we should just let them.  Let them do ‘nation building’ in sunny, semi-friendly Iraq, in Akrapistan with their buddies in Pukistan, worry about Amadinanutjob and Ayatollah Kockamamie, etc.  If Putin wants to pull together the ‘Eastern Block’ again, then maybe that should be between Putin and the Eastern Block.  The day Poland, Ukraine, Albania, etc. became independent, they were happy about it; if now they want to be satellites of Putin, I’m not necessarily concerned.  Canada, Switzerland, Australia and more don’t try to “run things”, and I doubt that the US should, either.One of the beauties of the US is that due to geography, etc. we really can do quite well, thank you, being quite independent.For the “interconnected world”, for us that’s not a fact of nature or geography but point by point a policy choice we get to make.  And what we have is heavily from policy choices we did make, especially to push ‘free world trade’ based on some near wacko-econo nonsense, e.g., that shipping all the textile jobs in the Carolinas to Pukistan and China would help the US because then we would help ‘world peace’ and the workers in the Carolinas would be free to join Microsoft at much higher salaries.  Didn’t exactly work out that way, did it?  And Pukistan, they didn’t exactly become our buddies in world peace, did they?As I understand it, the US is nearly the only country in the world that tries to go along with ‘free world trade’.  That is, nearly every other country protects is industries, workers, currency, etc.  But US Foggy Bottom people wanted to give away US industries — textiles, metals, industrial chemicals, electronic assembly, ship building, and more — in the interest of ‘freedom and democracy around the world’.  The Foggy Bottom people were the dumbest in the room except for everyone else who let it happen.Again, to know what to do and not do in ‘world trade’, we need MUCH better information than the formula fiction escapist entertainment of the MSM news.I need to get some ADO.NET code typed in.  ADO.NET abbreviates ‘active data objects’ and is the .NET way to interact with SQL Server relational database.  I’ve written plenty of such ADO.NET code, but yesterday I was lost.  So, as a stab, I read over my SQL Server schema, just as classic T-SQL statements in just a text file, JUST the way I like it, read my old comments (GOOD to have those comments, really easy to have in the text file and a total pain otherwise), went table by table and column by column, in each case saw what to do, typed in some notes on what to do, and soon got to the end of the schema with notes on everything to do!  To celebrate watched two acts of ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ — a riot of a ‘romantic comedy’, surprisingly up to date on man-woman ‘relations’ (a subject that hasn’t changed much in 200+ years), and AMAZING to ASTOUNDING as music.  Wolfie was a bright guy.  I have a shot at getting all that ADO.NET code typed in today!  Back to it! 

  65. Donna Brewington White

    This interview was a remarkable experience.  Perhaps because I am new to the thinking of  Carlota Perez.  She rocked my world.  Found myself taking notes and wondering “How do we make this happen?”  Skeptical about the idea of government and business working together “to create a whole new thing” but would love to be wrong.  Although, see how changing the “incentive system”  could be part of the answer.Resonated with her statement about the appalling crisis of leadership.  This is probably one of the greatest crises that we face in our nation, the world.  She used the word “vision” a lot.  And that, right up there with leadership, is grossly lacking.  It’s interesting, how these go together.  Challenged by her words that new people need to take a real political stand (replacing the dinosaurs).  As so often happens, the people who can make a difference politically are too busy doing so in the “real world” to be busy with politics.Reminds me again of why I am convinced that our future lies in the hands of entrepreneurs.  If only some of that true entrepreneurial/innovative thinking and energy can once again become part of the fabric of our society to such a degree that it does play out in the political sphere as a natural by-product.Fred, you were everything I expected from you as an interviewer.  You demonstrated an ability to create a framework that allows the interviewee to take center stage and to come across powerfully (although I realize that some of this was just who Carlota is).  As someone who interviews for a living, I understand the significance of questions and the knowledge-base and preparation required to ask the right questions. You pulled forth a distilled, yet potent sampling of Carlota’s thinking and even some historical perspective on the shaping of her thought process.  Your presence was strong yet you were out of the way.  I get frustrated with interviewers who make the interview as much about them or even more so than the person being interviewed. Yep, I think you have a future as an interviewer.  Basically, doing the same thing you do here.  Providing framework and being fully present while creating space for others to also shine.

  66. Mark Essel

    Fantastic interview, passed it around even emailed my office and favorite conversational mailing list.

  67. Stevengermain1

    I watched the video and found it generally convincing.  Of course, the hard part is imagining the future that will develop from the current IT revolution.  She sees it as the green future, with people walking to the gym instead of watching TV, eating organic veggies instead of burgers at McDonald’s, biking instead of driving, sleeping in a yurt instead of owning two big houses, creating new social networks through the internet, etc.I don’t see the great mass of humankind embracing the new lifestyle.  I’m the sort of person who might embrace it, but I think it will be a long time before the mass of humanity does so.  Thus, I think we’re in for a long transition to an uncertain future. 

  68. Terry J Leach

    I wish the interview was longer and not a sprint to the finish. Where can I get the transcript?

  69. EmilSt

    Totally love her. She is wonderful person. She gave scientific explanation of my believes. Few post ago I wrote here that we are moving from consuming atoms (materials) to consuming bits (digital goods, social networks) and that will save the world.

  70. Prokofy

    Here’s some critical discussion of Carlota and this thinking that is so exciting to Fred:…I’m not surprised to see British socialist Mary Kaldor, a fellow admirer with me of E.P. Thompson (to speak of lineage) touting this thinker — since she is advocating a form of socialism. And that’s ok — you should just be honest about it. It’s government intervention and central planning, let’s be clear.Why do government and industry have to get together, Fred? They don’t — unless you have a notion of central planning which is indeed socialism.As for the notion that “what’s good for IT is good for the world” — well, I dunno, let’s examine that much more critically, eh? Is it, really?The Internet is a powerfully destructive force, even as it is a powerfully creative force.Not everyone benefits from this “creative destruction”. I’ve never heard the TechCrunch Disrupt gang happy to hear something that might disrupt *them*.I keep coming back to my neighbourhood, Fred, not so far from yours. The Borders is closed — the jobs and business gone. The Blockbusters is gone. The neighbourhood newspaper is gone. The little independent coffee house is gone. The independent book stores are gone. So many vacant storefronts — and they don’t fill up, even for 6 months, even for a year. The Internet kills — and it doesn’t replace. Everybody gets a smart phone to do everything — and Apple and Google execs get rich, not people. We only have more expenditures of time and money.I’d love to endorse the idea that human capital is at the center of everything — wouldn’t any decent and moral person? But it’s simply not true in the real world. Not every worker is valuable for the economy and the economy cannot impersonally “value” them and give them their due (“from each, according to his ability, to each, according to his need” was the Marxist doctrine  — “to each according to his work,” was the actual Soviet policy). And there is no way to falsify this and achieve the Soviet uravniliovka (levelling) — except by giving out a lot of housing loans to the poor and a lot of school loans to the uneducated — hey, could that be the problem as much as Goldman Sachs?The Chinese? Oh, please. Hardly a model, hardly! Do you need an explanation about this?The idea that there is “the casino” and then “the real economy” sounds like “being a little bit pregnant”. All investment is gambling — it sounds to me like this theory of Perez’ is about convincing capitalists that they can be lured into socialist projects with socialist governments and still remain capitalists. There’s a name for that: oligarchism, or chaibolism.Ah, and then there’s the “structural change in the economy” and “regulation”.Have you thought what it means to have the government get people excited to invest “in good directions”? It means the government intrudes; it means that this socially-useful valuation intrudes. It’s not a free market. It’s a socialist market.

    1. fredwilson

      i don’t like to focus on what is gonei like to focus on what has arrived

    2. William Mougayar

      Hmm. I didn’t read into Perez that she was advocating socialist or leftist views for running things. One can take what she says and interpret it in so many different ways- a case of half-full or half-empty. There’s a lot of good stuff that makes you think positively.You make a good point about the independents slowly disappearing, and that’s sad indeed, but Blockbuster and Borders aren’t independents. Their demise was due to their inability to move with the technology wave.

  71. rossgreenspan

    More with less! The future is ephemeralization. Great interview!

  72. Michael Molino

    Fred, This interview is mind blowingly refreshing and brings so much clarity to where we are and what it will likely take to move forward. Carlota laid out so many prescriptions that our generation should use to guide the direction of creative inovation and to help advance the next technological revolution.The part below may be a major part of the puzzle that, if the politicians can get right and implement correctly, could bring about the next golden age. 23:10 — “It’s not a question of controlling finance. It’s a question of making finance move over to fund the real economy. And how you do that is to change the incentive system in such a way that you make much more money to fund the real economy than if you go into casino…in order to make sure that finance is not punished. Finance it reoriented, it’s incentivized to move in the direction of the real economy.”Thanks for sharing,Mike