Our Partner Andy

Andy Weissman is a name that is surely familiar to many of you. He co-founded Betaworks, one of the crown jewels of the NYC startup scene. And his writing, his coaching, and his insights have been valuable to so many entrepreneurs in NYC and around the world.

Today Andy is announing his arrival at Union Square Ventures on the USV blog (where else?). Go give it a read and give Andy a big welcome in the comments.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Julien

    What a great move from USV and Andy!

    1. Tereza

      What?  Andy’s already leaving USV???

  2. David Noël

    Don Andy. Nuff said. 

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Did you switch recently from “Community Manager” to “Community Evangelist”? 

      1. Tereza

        Don’t you think “community evangelist” is more potent than “community manager”?

        1. Dave Pinsen

          It certainly suggests growing a community rather than just keeping it happy, so yeah: more potent. But I think the plethora of new titles these days in tech is pretty silly. I’ve seen “chief engagement officer” elsewhere, which I assume is something like a community manager, but I think the silliest/most pretentious title I’ve seen yet (attached to an AVC commenter’s name) is “chief Kuhnian disruption officer”.

          1. Cam MacRae

            I chose to read that title as a joke, but if it’s in earnest it’s worth remembering the Kuhn himself claimed not to be a Kuhnian!

      2. David Noël

        My official title since day one was “SoundCloud Evangelist & Community Manager”. Now that I have a team of 5 community managers who help me out and since that is a long title, I condensed it into something simpler and shorter. cc @Tereza:disqus 

  3. Mark Essel

    Match made in heaven, look forward to Andy’s deal magic powering USV.

    1. Tereza

      Awwwww.  They look SO CUTE together!!!!{edit: forgot my winky emoticon};-)

  4. andyswan

    Read the headline and thought “man I’m gonna suck at this”.  Then realized you made a wise decision, not a dumb one.

    1. JimHirshfield

      Ha! Initial reaction: “It’s all about me”. 

      1. Dave Pinsen

        Snark in response to self-deprecation generally doesn’t play well.

        1. Mark Essel

          for a data point, no snark interpreted here

        2. JimHirshfield

          Yeah, just laughing with, not at @andyswan:disqus 

  5. RichardF

    typo “announcing” I like the post of Nina Khosla’s that Andy links to.

  6. Mark Schoneveld

    Stoked for all y’all. Cheers to building great things.

  7. daryn

    Incredibly awesome, congrats to you both again.

  8. Rohan

    Congrats Fred and Andy!

  9. Tom

    This blog is getting really self-serving. Huh?

    1. Tom

      What is blog?

      1. leigh

        lol – good that i read the thread above to know that this is just an extremely witty comment that is way above my head otherwise i likely would have flagged it as comment spam and then you would have yelled at @ShanaC:disqus .Instead, i won’t and will now ponder its deeper meaning.  🙂

        1. ShanaC

          I’m trying my best….

          1. leigh

            Your doing just fine Shana 🙂  

          2. ShanaC

            thank you 🙂

          3. Cam MacRae

            Concur. Though I’m 🙁 I missed troll day.

          4. ShanaC

            thank you. and trust me, you’d rather live without trolls.

          5. fredwilson

            you are helping me a lot shana. thank you for that. don’t let anyone or anything that happens on this blog get to you.what i’ve learned over the years is less is more in moderating comments. if you leave something up and ignore it, the trolls leave. if you take it down or go after them, they love it and come back for more

          6. ShanaC

            I will admit that this tom person is right that I am not omniscient, nor perfect. And I will admit freely as well that I don’t always get sarcastic type jokes.I’m just hoping people are getting that no one here is going to actively take down a comment because they said something that was unpopular. If it gets flagged by external forces, we’ll take a look, and put it back.definitely a crash course in dealing with large communities….

          7. Mark Essel

            If it’s any consolation, I would have deleted the comments. Even on modest blogs spam can grow quickly without restricting the source to confirmed accounts, and even that system is gameable.Much like email, I believe comments would be higher quality if we had to pay a shiny nickel for each one.

        2. Tom

          you’re a mom. they say you lose 25% of your sanity every time you birth a child. so no worries that the comment went over your head 😉

    2. JimHirshfield

      Dude, it’s a VC blog, not The Christian Science Monitor.

    3. Mark Essel

      If by self you mean everyone who reads it, then yeah.

    4. fredwilson

      Its my blog, huh?

      1. jason wright

        No wo/ man is an island Fred.”It’s my ball and I’ll decide who gets to play” – I remember kids like that when I was a kid.

        1. JamesHRH

          Seriously?AVC spent the weekend talking politics because it was on Fred’s mind.Now Andy is on his mind.Comment flow reflects universality of topics (sorry Andy!) but the idea that Fred has an obligation to serve the AVC community is way offside.Do your research – the blog was started to experience social media first hand, work out whatever was on Fred’s mind and to have some fun.Sheesh – getting tired of this ‘I want this’ attitude.

          1. jason wright

            Blog, weblog, web, open, social, opinion, democracy, progress, enlightenment.

          2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          3. jason wright

            No James, not seriously. Just a rib tickler. HAND. 

        2. fredwilson

          that is not exactly righti am not saying you can’t comment. i am simply saying that i’ve built this blog post by post over eight years. i know what i am doing. i think about this stuff. and when we bring on a new partner at USV, i think that is something i should post about.

    5. ShanaC

      mmm, why, do you think it is wrong to congratulate new colleagues?



      1. Tereza

        Agree.  It’s Fred’s prerogative to blog about whatever Fred wants.Firm personnel announcements don’t give much room for interesting discussion.  I think people get frustrated when they arrive ready to express and interact but there’s not much to say other than “Yay, Andy!  Yay, Fred!” We can’t really get all proctological about the decision because that would be rude and we can’t really disagree because then we look like cads.  So it dead-ends.(BTW I’m not saying I disagree with bringing him on board — I’ve never met Andy before. Just saying it’s not a barn-burning discussion)So with that said…………YAY Andy!  Welcome to USV-AVC!  WOO_HOO!  PARTAY! Hope it’s a wonderful and fruitful adventure for you. 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          but it gets barn burning when it turns into a discussion about what an appropriate comment is or isn’t.my view is anything that isn’t spam, porn, or hate speech is gonna stay.anything that hates on me is definitely going to stay.

          1. Tereza

            And for stuff that’s Annoying or just Boring, a finger wag from another community member will do just fine.

          2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            “anything that hates on me is definitely going to stay.”That is more Gandhian.  I hate Gandhian thinking … just making sure my comment stays 🙂

          3. fredwilson

            very funny kasi

          4. Dave Pinsen

            Isn’t that actually more like Nehru?

        2. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          1. fredwilson

            That is for sure

          2. William Mougayar

            And it was a Sunday!

        3. LE

          I hope Fred isn’t going to be phoning it in with the help of Shana and William.See this classic SNL intro circa the 90’s with Steve Martin:http://www.youtube.com/watc…If you don’t want to watch the entire video make sure you at least see the part starting at 4:20 until about 5:36. It starts with a union worker and ends with Lorne Michaels saying “the shows on autopilot I don’t even come in until Saturday… “

      2. jason wright

        Fake blogs are grim.

  10. Geo_knk

    Is Union Square Ventures already an investor in twitter?

    1. fredwilson

      YesWe led the first round after twitter was spun out of obvious

    2. Tom

      Wow, blog comments are being deleted now. I guess this is the New World Order with William and Shana in charge.  Pretty sweet.

      1. ShanaC

        For the record – we’re not deleting anything that people didn’t want deleted, such as repeated comments and spammers.  The only major change that we have made is that we’re developing a blacklist of spammers, so that we won’t get weird comments about people making money through some obscure pyramid web scheme, or implant links about clothing, or other nonsense.Even if you curse me out (please don’t, it does make me sad), you’ll be allowed to say it (though we prefer you to be polite by a large margin).If you have any questions or concerns – please reach out to me shana dot carp at gmail.

      2. William Mougayar

        Tom, your comment was deleted by the auto-spam removal process. Shana re-instated it. There is no need to lay accusations or make assumptions about me, or Shana. We discourage personal attacks on this forum.  

    3. jason wright

      Didn’t USV resign from the board and cash out recently? I thought I read that somewhere.

      1. fredwilson

        i resigned from the board. not USV.and we own a lot of twitter and plan to own it for a long time.

        1. jason wright

          Now I remember. I was watching an episode of This Week In Startups where talk turned to all things Twitterish. ‘Mr. Mahalo’ implied that you may have cashed out and walked away from the company. My post may have given the wrong impression of the state of play. I regret that. Sorry.

          1. fredwilson

            jason says a lot of things. the percent of them that are accurate is lower than i’d like it to be.

          2. jason wright

            I must learn to evaluate heresay more critically. I know it’s one of my faults, wanting to believe in what people say. I’ll seek independent confirmation in future. School report: “Must try harder”. Genau.Perhaps it’s a ‘Jason’ thing. It’s a big name with a big history to live up to. Eyes on the golden prize.

  11. JimHirshfield

    Building the super group. When do Page (Jimmy, not Larry), Clapton and Winwood join USV?

  12. Aaron Klein

    It’s like adding a drummer to the band. This must make for a more complete sound…

  13. Tom Labus

    Congrats, great line up.

  14. EmilSt

    Great post. The questions from his friend Nina inspired me to make completely different, artistic and emotional “how it works” video for our product. We will show how our product can make you cry (from emotional burst), laugh, create joy for friends, deepen your passions, explore new ones…Thanks to Nina, Andy and You.Your blog is becoming my main source for shaping my concept of thinking.Good luck with Andy. It must be great to work with him.

  15. whitneymcn

    I said it over there, too, but bears repeating: this seems like people, place, and time coming together perfectly. Can’t wait to see what you all cook up together.

  16. kirklove

    Congrats again Andy!Something tells me the audio system at USV will now have a lot more ’60s and ’70s classic rock playing 😉

  17. William Mougayar

    Congrats Andy.  And looking forward to reading you here http://blog.aweissman.com/ 

  18. Bryan J Wilson

    Congrats to USV and Andy! Please let us know how it goes.

  19. Donna Brewington White

    And yet another great investment.  Excited for all of you!Congrats.

  20. Aviah Laor

    Tech. When are we going to see a banker that got his job in the bank after running his successful small business?

    1. Bane

      Not sure I’m understanding the connection between being a banker and running a small business? Is this like a Mitt Romney sort of thing? Where he apparently believes running a company is a necessary and sufficient condition to doing anything else in life?

      1. andyswan

        Preach on.  I mean, the guy has never even organized a community!

        1. Bane

          Judging by your initial comment, you weren’t seeing connection either, so there’s more that connects us than separates us, swanie.

          1. andyswan


      2. Aviah Laor

        No, but running a company is necesserry to people who commit capital to run companies.

    2. andyswan

      Happens all the time.  His small business is usually a small bank.  Maybe I’m missing some kind of joke.

      1. Aviah Laor

        Maybe the required skill for a banker that approves SMB loans are a few years running successful SMB, rather than finance degree?  No joke, Just a thought.

        1. andyswan

          No idea. I have run a couple smb but I would have no chance of being a good banker without some bigtime training!

          1. Aviah Laor

            I’m sure. Bigtime.

  21. ShanaC

    OO, congrats.

  22. laurie kalmanson

    keep on rocking



    1. ShanaC

      under what conditions would you eat him?


        1. HUNGRY2. FORGET

  24. PhilipSugar

    I seem to remember that in years past you had always said you didn’t want to add partners.  I was going to say never but that is a strong word.I am sure you have said that working as an analyst/associate did not have a partnership track.If my memory is right what made you change your mind???Understand I am not “calling you out” on this, I would love to know your thought process because I thought you believed that VC doesn’t scale.I am a huge believer that conditions change and decisions change.  Not to go political, but its what bothers me most about our times.  All sides don’t want to listen to the other side.Any insight you care to give would be great.

    1. fredwilson

      our steady state operation is three early stage funds and one opportunity fundthat is steady state because by the time we raise a fourth early stage fund, our first early stage fund will be twelve years old. we raise new early stage funds roughly every four years.we need one partner to manage the opportunity fund. that is john buttrick.we make about 22-24 investments per early stage fund. so three funds is 65-70 companies. we will have churn (writeoffs, early exits) such that we probably only have 50ish active investments at any one timewe think a partner can manage 10 investments at a time given that some will be super early, some will be in the growth phase (the most time intensive), and some will be fully developed and profitable.so four partners focusing on the early stage funds is tight, but we think we can pull it off.we’ve added one partner each time we’ve raised an early stage fund, albert in the 2008 fund and andy in the 2012 fund. i think we are done adding partners.

      1. PhilipSugar

        Thanks for your detailed thoughts.  I totally understand the logic.

        1. Mark Essel

          Great question Phil, was bouncing around in thre back of my mind.

  25. Kenyan

    Lots of music / rock star references in response to this news. Leads me to 2 thoughts:1) Andy is a rock star2) The partnership / joining up with USV has some sort of harmony.Congrats and all the best.

    1. laurie kalmanson

      harmonic convergence evenor born to synthesize

  26. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    On the USV blog all partners look in colors … but Andy in black and white. His choice or accidental?

    1. aweissman


  27. Mezzanine Capital

    My organization is an incredible believer the fact that illnesses improve together with actions improve. Don’t choose political, however , a what precisely disturbs my family the majority related to some of our circumstances. Most of edges usually do not prefer to become and the second edge.

  28. JimHirshfield

    What’s Union Square Ventures?

  29. ShanaC

    Your comments are being flagged because they ask questions that seem off, and the profile led to nowhere..  I’ll put them back if you meant them to be sarcastic (aka actual content)

  30. jason wright

    Fred who? 🙂

  31. Tom

    See, this is the whole problem with this exercise.  My profile will *always* led to nowhere (except for now, so you can verify I’m the previous commenter). Because I have no interest in commenting as anything other than an anonymous person. I’ve been doing that here since 2006.  And I have no confidence in you or William being able to determine when a comment seems “off” or seems “on”. And no disrespect intended to either of you. But neither of you are omniscient beings. So comments will always “seem off” if they don’t fit some preconceived notion of what you think a comment should be. 

  32. JamesHRH

    OK, then put some context around the question ‘what is Twitter?’.It is certainly open to being interpreted as an insult.

  33. ShanaC

    The day I become omniscient I’ll tell you (doubtful I’ll become omniscient 🙂 )A) I don’t flag stuff (or at least not any more, because all I am doing is alerting myself), I do get flag notices.  Flagging is a community/visitor proposition. I don’t know who or what caused the flagging, I do know that I caught in the spam filter, and that the actual comment to me said “This comment appears to be flagged” so I checked on it.B)The reason I say they seem to be off is because they are missing the word is.  Most people here are native english speakers (not all)  Most people try to use good grammar, even if they are not native english speakers (FG is excepted from this rule).  The lack of the word is and other words used, such as should, the, a, some prepositional type statements, is factoring into our pattern checking since those sorts of comments seem to lead back to really random foreign seo sites, porn sites, ect (normal spam) within the profile (we check).  Since we’ve been actively trying to filter those sorts of comments so they don’t come back with full on nonsense links (There was a major attack of such thing recently, which is why this is being done) it is possible your comment was filtered as much to some sort of machine learning that disqus does.I apologize if you felt this harmed your ability to state opinions here.

  34. fredwilson

    tom, i respect your ability to post as an anonymous commenter. in fact, i celebrate it. i will make sure we aren’t deleting comments that should not be deleted.but please don’t take offense at william and shana. they are just trying to help me keep this blog spam clean.it took me a long time to figure this out. i think i can get them up the learning curve a lot more quickly than it took me.

  35. Chimpwithcans

    As free and expressive as this blog community is, there will always be a context to any comment you put up.Preconceived notions of content and comments are part of why we come to this blog community.Spam filters blocking out your comments say more about the comments than about the regulation on this blog.

  36. Tom

    I’m not sure what part of “What is Twitter” lacks is.As for @JamesHRH, my comment was clearly a joke and in reference to a question if Union Square Venture had invested in Twitter. Not sure many people who read this blog (or USV’s blog) would ask that question.  The question seems more likely to be spam than my answer.  In addition, one commenter followed by asking “What’s Union Square Ventures?” and “who’s Fred Wilson” so people understood the joke.  Just not the community moderator.



  38. Chimpwithcans

    @Fakegrimlock eats the rules as soon as he sees them I imagine 🙂

  39. jason wright

    Only by those who might choose to be insulted at every turn. It seems to have been written in the mode of the ironic laconic, in that who could not possibly have heard of all these twitterings this last several blog burp seasons?   

  40. JamesHRH

    @jasonpwright:disqus @b6a5c2b837e48eae144c099cdedc646c:disqus the time it takes to say or type the phrase ‘ironic laconic’ is about the max amount of time I have for ironic laconic.If that’s a fault, I will live with it.

  41. ShanaC

    Probably. He’s acting as anonymously as you are. Fred answered him way before I checked, so I’m just taking it at face value that the person may be real and may not be.There could be any number of reasons why I saw that comment as flagged for review. I can tell you that I swear on my future health that I did not purposely put your comment in the spam box.

  42. Dave Pinsen

    Fred, I think Tom has a point.It’s your house, so your rules, but if you want your moderators to police spam that’s different than policing sarcastic (or ignorant, I don’t know which) comments such as Tom’s.Spam is a much narrower category. I’d define it as a purely commercial, out-of-context message, that includes a link (the out-of-context part I threw in so Tereza, Aaron, I, and other commenters don’t get snagged for linking to our businesses when we think it’s marginally relevant, but you can definite it more strictly and ban those sorts of links too).

  43. fredwilson

    I am with you daveThat is my goal

  44. William Mougayar

    Dave, To put things in context, this whole thing degenerated after Tom assumed that it was Shana or I that removed his comment. That wasn’t the case. It was the auto-spam removal. Shana reinstated it actually. Case should have been closed then.

  45. Dave Pinsen

    William, in that case, it seems like something’s wrong with the auto-spam removal program. Otherwise, why would something without a link (not even a link in the commenter’s name) get flagged as spam?

  46. William Mougayar

    It could have been manually flagged and remember that Fred set a threshold where a comment will go into spam automatically after a certain number of flags.Overall, the auto-spam system has been very good.