IRL is short for "in real life" as if there were anything other than real life.

I am always energized when the online world connects with the real world. We had a Meetup last night for people who gave to the AVC/Gotham Gal Donors Choose 50th Birthday campaign.

379 people donated to the Donors Choose campaign. Of them, 168 signed up to attend the Meetup last night. We didn't count people on the way in, but it sure felt like most of those 168 people showed up.

And of course, many of them are regulars here at AVC. I met people for the first time who have been reading this blog for six or seven years. And I met people for the first time who are some of the most frequent commenters here. I am not going to name names because I'd leave someone out and they'd feel dissed. So I'd just like to say it was so great to meet all of you.

Many times people say to me "I feel like I know you" because of this blog and Gotham Gal's blog and all of our other online activities.  But I also feel like I know so many of you from reading your thoughts day after day after day. Making that IRL connection seals the deal and the online friendship gets stronger and better. That was the big takeaway from last night's event. Thanks to all of you who made the trip, whether it was a subway ride or a cross atlantic flight.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. markslater

    next time you are in boston – why don’t you consider doing an “office hour”. There are a bunch of really exciting fred “type” companies here that would love 15 mins of your time i am sure.

    1. fredwilson

      Good idea. Where should i do it?

      1. markslater

        many options: your friends in the venture biz – do a co-coffee hour – or there are several awesome co-work spaces in the seaport district (its the brooklyn for start ups)- or you are welcome to use our offices…many options, and it would be sold out quick 😉

    2. kenberger

      I’m finding myself doing just that occasionally, and love it. I’m in NYC or SF most of the time, but I sometimes make a day where I head to Boston or other places in quick reach, meet with startups to potentially mentor or invest in, and when appropriate, talk about my development group and evangelize Agile methods.”Fred type” companies are my favs 🙂

  2. JimHirshfield

    It was a great evening. Thanks for doing it. And happy birthday to the two of you.Reading, Commenting, and interacting with this community is a great part of the day; more so now that I’ve met so many fellow commenters F2F IRL.

    1. Mark Essel

      Yeah it was great upgrading an avatar to a handshake for a number of friends.When I met @donnawhite:disqus my peck on her cheek almost got her eardrum ;). I was really excited to meet so many folks in person. There’s a good chance the day playing hooky and walking the city, soaking in the skyline from the empire state, followed by jogging up the 19 floors to USV’s space played into that.

      1. Rohan

        can imagine. 🙂

  3. Mordy Kaplinsky

    The IRL dynamic is where I believe the next generation of startups will achieve greatness while the existing tech community needs to take a closer look at the possibilities.

    1. sull

      Agreed. I should dust off @twoirl (Two IRL).



      1. Mordy Kaplinsky

        @FakeGrimlock:disqus you are right about the opportunity yet to enable this there still remains the need for improved location accuracy and capabilities to enable the “last-mile” real world interaction, otherwise the real-world capabilities remain theoretical.  @sonarme is an example of such a theoretical capability.

        1. FAKE GRIMLOCK

          LOCATION + CHECK IN.

  4. John Petersen

    I think this is an important part of any community and one that really brings it to the next level. There are some startups who get it, but I think there are still a lot who need to figure out how to make this happen.

    1. Dale Allyn

      Agreed, John. The folks at Flickr did a great job in this area with their meet-ups. People with a shared interest (photography at all levels) met in cities all over the world. This lead (leads) to continued connections and IRL interaction. 

      1. John Petersen

        Exactly. Great example. Gary Vaynerchuk has some solid examples in his book as well. It brings the community to a whole new level, and for a place like this that is really saying something.

  5. kirklove

    Thanks for the shindig. Great seeing everyone. Wish I got there earlier to steal more beer. 

  6. ErikSchwartz

    I have met a few of the AVC crowd in real life. I look forward to meeting more.

    1. Aaron Klein

      I still remember that fun dinner we had in SF, just meeting as fellow AVCers. It’s a cool connection to have. 🙂

  7. William Mougayar

    It was a great event, and the same experience about you meeting some of the frequent commenters was multiplied between the commenters themselves as well. I’m not going to name names either because we all know who we were. At least for me, it was almost surrealistic to see the faces behind the names. It was as if we knew each other for a long time (which we did, indirectly). This speaks to the power of commenting and conversations online. I believe it is one of the strongest social signals one can be a part of,- much stronger than liking or sharing content. There were some people I met that came specifically for this event, not only to support your cause, but also to do the IRL thing. They came from Boston, London/UK, Los Angeles, Washington/DC, Philadelphia, Montreal, Kingston and Toronto.And many of us continued into the “After-event” at Punch next door. I was expecting 8-12 max, but it rapidly swelled up to 25 die-hard, dedicated community members that continued the great conversations til about 11pm. Definitely, the IRL was an energizing  boost to the online experience.

    1. Rohan

      Nice. :)Hope to join you guys for the next one. 🙂

    2. fredwilson

      Wow. The after party was the party. As always

    3. Fernando Gutierrez

      Too bad I couldn’t be there so you could add another country to that list! Too busy lately… maybe next year I’ll be able to do it.

      1. ShanaC

        Would love to meet you in person!

        1. Fernando Gutierrez

          Thanks, same here!However, I feel I know some people here better than other people I see in real life. I would love to add offline interaction, but sometimes ideas and opinions are as powerful as a face. Or even more. Combination of both is optimal, but the world is big and our time is short, not always possible.

    4. Donna Brewington White

      Excellent job arranging the “after event” William.  Thank you.

      1. William Mougayar

        It went so fast! 

    5. William Mougayar

      Sorry that I forgot to mention Birmingham, AL and Sacramento, CA as 2 other cities where attendees came from specifically for this meeting. You know who I’m talking about- Robert and Aaron! 

    6. Tereza

      Yes William you did a terrific job! Thank you!!

    7. Tony Texas Robbins

      Ya’ll were out until 11pm in NYC?? Damn, sounds like I missed a party!

  8. David Noël

    Wish I could’ve been there in person. Glad to hear that the community got to meet offline. True to Meetup’s motto:”Use the internet to get off the internet”…

    1. Austin Clements

      Awesome poster. And last night was a prime example of this. I didn’t get a chance to talk to everybody but it was fun to put a lot of names to faces. Funny how it wasn’t just Fred that wasn’t the only “celebrity” there, people were just as excited to point out and meet the frequent avc commenters.

      1. Mark Essel

        A number of us tried to match our avatar looks to some extent to make it easier to recognize each other in person (I made sure to bring Michelle along). Everyone was surprised at my height because I’m leaning low next to Michelle in the avatar picture.I’m kinda shy around big crowds and tend to focus on fewer but deeper conversations (I’m fine dealing with ~10 folks at a time any more and I tend to button up).Sorry I didn’t at least try to walk around and meet fellow donators/commenters in person.

        1. Aaron Klein

          It was great to chat and yes, I almost wore the same red sweater for that reason. 🙂

        2. Donna Brewington White

          I’m just glad you were there, Mark, although wish I would have spent more time with you.  And very glad you brought Michelle.  Wouldn’t have been the same without her.  

  9. Dennis Buizert

    This is why I always went to lan-parties when I was younger. To connect with a lot of people I met online and played games with for so many years. I loved doing that, because IRL i’m really shy and that did helped me break the barrier a bit because of the known habitat.Speaking of connecting in real life.  I sent you an email past weekend with a odd requestion.It would mean a lot if you could read and respond to it. It is not about investing, funding or MBA related stuff.

    1. fredwilson

      Would you mind resending?

      1. Dennis Buizert

        I just resend it on your request :-)Thanks for responding here

        1. fredwilson

          just answered

          1. Dennis Buizert

            I replied with 2 dates. My agenda is empty in comparison of yours/usv’s 🙂

  10. RichardF

    glad you all had a  great time (said through gritted teeth)

    1. Rohan


    2. ShanaC

      @rrohan189:disqus  I would have loved to have you both there.

      1. Rohan

        Aww. Exactly what we needed, dear Shana.  To feel missed.  🙂 Next time!

  11. Rohan

    Did you guys take a photo?

    1. ShanaC

      No – next time we will!

  12. Joe Yevoli

    I had a great time last night, Fred.  Thanks for having us!

  13. aminTorres

    I think there should be a once a year avc get together to be honest. @wmoug:disqus I saw you in the crowd but I did not get a chance to introduce my time 🙂 I did not get to meet the Gotham Gal unfortunately either but will make it happen.Fred thanks for having us. 

    1. William Mougayar

      Sorry about that. Hopefully we will meet next time. Indeed, the event happened so quickly. Maybe consider a 3-hour format next year (5-8pm)? 

  14. Trish Burgess-Curran

    I did not make it this time and may not be able to make it next time but, at some point, I will be there! Glad to hear you had such a great time!  I would like to echo Rohan…  Any pictures?

    1. Rohan

      They’re ignoring us today. It’s the euphoria.I think we’lll hear back from them tomorrow… 😉

  15. awaldstein

    Really a great time, thanks for sponsoring this Fred (and Gotham Gal).I’m prone to community babble about the power and magic of communities when they are authentic and really work.  This event was a proof point of why I believe in it.Connecting with comfort and pent-up enthusiasm and conversations with a naturally selected group of people with like interests was inspiring.A shout out to the marketers from all over. There was definite gravity that drove us from these threads to a real connection at the event and after party.

    1. leigh

      definite gravity?  now you are speaking my language 🙂

    2. Aaron Klein

      It was indeed a magical time and it was awesome to meet you.And I’m glad you didn’t wear sunglasses or everyone else would have recognized you and we’d never have been able to talk. 🙂

      1. awaldstein

        Very much looking forward to hearing the pitch we talked about.

    3. karen_e

      Great to meet you, Arnold. Let’s stay in touch … @karen_e on Twitter.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Whoa…she’s back! Awesome to meet you. 🙂

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Karen — In the fog of excitement, I was confusing you with Laurie whose husband had recently commented on AVC.  But, of course, I know who you are, and great to meet you IRL. 

      3. awaldstein

        Most definitely.

  16. Mike Wheeler

    Thanks to both of you for a great party that had a wonderful underlying theme. We are going to give our 20-something children (one of whom is a teacher) DonorChoose Gift Cards for Christmas. Your birthdays will end up touching a lot of kids’ lives. Congratulations. 

    1. fredwilson


  17. William Mougayar

    And I forgot to mention that the refreshments and appetizers were first-class, thanks to @thegothamgal:twitter  , Gary and Christina.

  18. Mark Essel

    Excellent shindig, thanks for being wonderful hosts Fred and Joanne.My wife asked me what my strategy for the event was. I smiled and after thinking about it I said “showing up”, and having as many meaningful conversations as I can squeeze in with people who’s opinion I value and respect.That ended up only being a handful of folks yet each conversation was priceless.

    1. falicon

      I was on kid duty last night as my wife had to do an event at our kids school…but had I gone, my ‘strategy’ would have been the same as what you did 😉

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Would love to have met you Kevin.  Another time?

        1. falicon


  19. Jason

    Wow had I known! Yet the meetup I did know about last night was great as well. In my entire life I hadn’t met anyone in the industry, no one else who builds internet, and definitely no AVC readers. Just 5 days here and I’ve already met many startup entrepreneurs and several internet developers. THIS CITY IS AMAZING!!

  20. Pramod Dikshith

    It was really a pleasure meeting like minded people and Ofcourse Fred whose blog I read first thing in the morning. Looking forward for more such events.

  21. Steve Hallock

    Really great to meet everyone. As I expected, a bunch of interesting, driven, smart people. I was honored to be the lone representative of a dying, archaic industry 😉

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Dude, you stole the show with that WATCH!  See you back on the other side of the continent.

      1. ShanaC

        I didn’t see it – what was so special about the watch?

        1. leigh

          it was more like  a piece of art vs. a watch (impossible to tell the time on it, but you sorta didn’t care bc it was so lovely)

        2. Donna Brewington White

          …and you could pay off all your student loans with it.  All of them.  (adding to @leigh:disqus ‘s point)

    2. fredwilson

      but that was a spectacular watch. almost made me want to wear one.

      1. Steve Hallock

        High praise! I continue to hold out no hope of wearing you down, however 😉 Sent from my phone

    3. Aaron Klein

      Bringing tech cred and skills to other industries is a great thing to do and can be revolutionary. It was awesome to meet you and see an amazing timepiece as well. 🙂

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Very, very good point about tech cred.  Spread the wealth, I say.

        1. Aaron Klein


  22. EmilSt

    It was great experience with great people. The whole experience supporting your cause was fulfilling. The best part was when we received the kids drawings (I have 3 year old son).There is definitely a feeling like we know you for years. Probably because you are so direct and honest in your blog like you are with your friends.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Emil — How did I miss you?  Bummer.  Glad to know you were there even though we did not connect.  Next time for sure!

      1. EmilSt

        Donna – This is so funny. I was trying to recognize you and meet you as well. Few months ago after your comment on my comment I checked your website and thought I should contact you. We are preparing for launch this moth. If you are in the city today and have extra time for a coffee please let me know. Thanks

        1. Donna Brewington White

          I leave early evening and have a couple of things planned meanwhile.  Could maybe squeeze in a coffee if you are in the Union Square area.  Email me: dwhite AT bwasearch DOT comAm going to be very coffeed up before this day is over.

          1. Aaron Klein

            I’m sorry we didn’t get more time too – I had a 6AM out of LaGuardia the next morning and am in Chicago now. Such is life but let’s coffee up some time soon!

          2. ShanaC

            If you have time, second city does a walking tour of Chicago. Ignore the snow :)Sent from a phone, forwarned

          3. Aaron Klein

            I wish. 🙂 Love Chicago – I’ve been there 10-12 times now.

          4. Donna Brewington White

            Yes, Aaron, was sorry as well, but definitely will meet up again — hopefully sooner rather than later.Although sounds like we may have a better chance of meeting in Chicago!  I’m there for biz about once a quarter — also some personal ties — the North Shore feels like home away from home — although I guess that part of the reason is that I am an Illinois native.Have a great trip!

          5. Aaron Klein

            That would be cool!

  23. Jason Keramidas

    Great event and a wonderful opportunity to meet interesting, engaging people. Thanks for all that you do in helping to build an entrepreneur community here in NYC. 

  24. mike gilfillan

    Sounds like it was great time and a great chance to meet many of you.  I’m bummed I didn’t get my donation in when I had the chance.  Sign me for up next August!

  25. Amy Bevilacqua

    Fred, you and I didn’t speak last night, but I wanted to thank you and Joanne for being such wonderful hosts.  She and I had a great conversation about the upcoming Women’s Entrepreneurship Festival which was the single most impactful “conference” I have ever been to, and am hoping to return again this year.  I encourage people (men and women) to apply, since the deadline is tomorrow. You and Joanne are both gracious, warm and open hosts and I have benefitted by the communities that you both have launched, so thank you!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Was going to comment that you should add a link and then realized I could just do this! was a pleasure to meet you!

      1. Amy Bevilacqua

        Thank you, Donna!  Silly omission on my part!

    2. fredwilson

      i will be at the we festival this year. lets make sure to meet then.

  26. Farhan Lalji

    I’ve been to many meetups in the past, but last night was something special. I think the vibe was due to our connections to this great community, how Fred and @thegothamgal took time to have meaningful IRL conversations with so many of us and because we were all there because we had all taken part in something remarkable with these communities and donors choose.Awesome sauce.

    1. fredwilson

      IRL convos! nice one.i also liked the IRL turntable room

      1. Donna Brewington White

        That turntable screen was calling out to me all night.  Fingers were tingling.

      2. panterosa,

        I love your whiteboard paint wall in that space which became the turntable room. I have used that paint in kids rooms and for clients, sometimes with magnetic primer under it so you can put up pictures with magnets to combine with drawing.But give us markers to create something, draw, sign the wall, write ideas, comment!! A fun party mural would be a great thing to come into the next day.

    2. Aaron Klein

      Awesome to meet you Farhan… 🙂

      1. Farhan Lalji

        Likewise Aaron, really enjoyed the after party political discussions too!  I’d say stay in touch, but I’m sure we’ll run into each other here on avc.

  27. JLM

    Dupe, sorry, don’t know why

    1. Dave Pinsen

      Any thoughts on your governor’s debate performance last night?

      1. JLM

        I suspect he will continue to be a very, very good Governor for a long time.On another note, I am very tired of the “debate” format.  Three inquisitors asking  “gotcha” questions and giving folks 30 seconds to respond.  I thought the questions were particularly sophomoric and shallow.I thought the questions about China and Huntsman’s answers were quite interesting.  No silver bullets.  40 years to get where we are.  Very illuminating.

        1. Brad

          I am in France so I missed the debate, but from what I saw in the headlines Perry stole the show.

          1. JLM

            Wow, that would be a surprise to me.  Always interesting to see the international reaction.

          2. Rohan

            Says he tanked here (financial times – uk) forgetting some important numbers

          3. Brad

            Sorry, my sarcasm did not come through. He stole the show because he was so bad…..Your comment on Huntsman is interesting. I live in Utah and almost no one supports him because of how often he changes his position and we have seen what he will say to be elected. I like to hear what others outside the state see about him.

          4. JLM

            @bjboyle:disqus Sorry, no coffee yet.I think of Utah as the last “walled Kingdom” of Middle Earth.  Nobody really knows anything about it.  I knew his father because they had an operation in Austin years ago and his father is richer than God.I am suspect of the 1% — not really.The thing I like about Huntsman is his ability to speak Mandarin.

          5. Brad

            In Utah, most speak another language. I speak fluent Japanese. In my office we have fluent Spanish, German, Japanese and Hungarian speakers. My son speaks Mandarin (7 years old). In my family we have Portuguese, Spanish, Japanese, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Mongolian, etc.Don’t let that impress you, look at the policies…..Most people wave off the state because of some misunderstood oddities, but it is one of the best states to do business and find ways to expand internationally.

          6. JLM

            @bjboyle:disqus Language stuff is very, very impressive.  Is there something about Utah which gives rise to such expertise?

          7. Dave Pinsen

            The something about Utah which gives rise to language expertise is Mormonism. The Mormon church became expert in language instruction to facilitate its missionary work. 

          8. Brad

            Like Dave says we do missionary work for two years, usually between 19 and 21 years old. Huntsman went to Taiwan, Romney went to France. They do not talk much about Romney’s experience.Utah might be the most conservative state in the country with government interaction with business. When Huntsman talks about his accomplishments, he does not talk about how the legislature is very pro business and does a lot to create jobs. I am amazed at the amount of outside VC money that does not chase Utah companies with this type of atmosphere. Incredibly entrepreneurial state.

          9. Dave Pinsen

            Responding here due to Disqus limitations. Re your Perry comment from France, the irony came through clearly on my end.Re Utah and Mormon missionary work, years ago, as part of a joint venture of sorts, I spent a few days traveling with bank exec from Utah who covered several states for his company. We drove from San Francisco to Fresno and back, so we had plenty of time to talk, and I got the scoop on the missionary business. The bank exec did his missionary work in Japan, and was fairly high up in the church apparently. On the way back, before our respective flights home, he gave me a tour of the big Mormon temple in Oakland (great view from there, btw). Good guy, a real straight arrow.Re Utah and its business climate, the business friendliness is definitely part of the equation, but, as I noted in a post a few years ago, low energy costs are another part of the equation.

          10. Brad

            I dont know much about the energy costs, but the cost of living is very cheap. I have grad degrees from Columbia and Berkeley. Most of my friends are in the Bay area and live close to NYC. When they come out to go skiing, they are blown away with how nice and affordable Utah is. Consequently you can hire phenomenal talent at ridiculous rates.Energy may be cheap but I have a 5,000 ft2 office for about $2,000/mo. I like how you call it the missionary business, made me laugh. I served in Japan as well. Sounds like he may be older than me though.

        2. Dave Pinsen

          Re the format, Gingrich had a good line about that, noting that expecting candidates to summarize their health care policy approaches in 30 seconds didn’t leave much time for intelligent discussion.Huntsman seems like an apologist for China. Romney didn’t make the point forcibly last night, but fears of a trade war with a country that has an enormous trade surplus with us are misplaced. Trade as unbalanced as ours is unsustainable. Better (for China, in the long run, as well as us) to work to rebalance it.

          1. JLM

            A trade war is exactly what we need to call attention to the currency and trade imbalance and intellectual property and pirating and labor issues.You lose every contest that you fail to show up for and that has been our policy thus far.

          2. matthughes

            @dis:disqus is acting funny, only allowing replies on some comments…?RE: your Utah comments.An exceptionally high percentage of the native Utah population has lived abroad. (I don’t have any stats but probably higher than any other state.)There is a global outlook (and the foundation for global networking) there that will surprise a lot of people.Combine that with fiscally conservative policy and you’ve got a real contender. 

        3. Carl J. Mistlebauer

          The only purpose debates serve is that they give all the media outlets more “fodder” to fill up their 24/7 news schedule.What are the Republicans up to now, like 18 debates?I cannot wait till Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert host a Comedy Central political debate!It has to be right around the corner….

        4. fredwilson

          i like huntsman. he could beat obama. not sure about the rest of the GOP crew. this is an interesting data driven analysis on that.

          1. Brad

            I am not sure Fred. He sounds good because you do not see much of him. We was a popular governor because most people do not know that he was not his father (his dad is very popular, big philanthropist). The more you listen, the more you realize why he dropped out of high school and that his father twisted some arms to get him in to UPENN. If the public listened to what he actually says, they will realize that has very little depth.He is actually running third or fourth in Utah polls and most people are glad he is not the Governor any more. It is actually quite fascinating.

  28. Donna Brewington White

    The event was very much like AVC.  Gracious, present hosts who provided just the right amount of minimal structure with lots of space to let it be whatever it was meant to be.  Interesting, smart, passionate people with overlapping and connecting interests coming from a range of perspectives but with a certain common bond. And just really fun.  Would elaborate more but off to Union Square Joe’s to meet a fellow AVCer for coffee.  Fred, @GothamGal:disqus — thank you for a truly memorable evening, and for all you do, and more importantly, who you are — that causes such a remarkable group of people to gravitate toward you, and allows the rest of us to benefit from the gathering whether online or IRL.I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to meet and reconnect with people who have come to mean so much to me — so much so that my husband insisted that I come!  I am still quite astonished by the power of social media and the way it can help to create and empower communities.  I’m a believer.

    1. awaldstein

      Great to see you again Donna but not enough time to chat.Come back and visit soon. Better wine choices next time.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        We can fix that.

  29. daryn

    Sounds like a great event, wish I could have made it. Next year!By the way, was the room playing IRL at the party? Wondering how well the soundtrack meshed with the party’s vibe, since all of the DJs were remote, and couldn’t see their crowd. 

    1. fredwilson

      not great to be honest. the gotham gal said to me “can we get rid of all this dubstep?”

      1. daryn

        Haha, that was what I was thinking. There were some way too intense tracks unless the party had shifted to full on rave mode 🙂

        1. fredwilson

          i wasn’t worried about that. my kids weren’t there 🙂

  30. awaldstein

    Was great fun.Usually at events I work the room.At this event, the room worked me. The power of pre-connections I think.

  31. Larry t

    Good to see charity work.

  32. Bryan J Wilson

    Just wanted to thank Fred, Joanne, and USV for hosting – had a good time, and wish I could have gotten to meet more of you. And Fred, hopefully will get to meet you IRL now that I’m on board with the great folks at Return Path! Happy bday again to you both!

  33. Robert Thuston

    Loved the event… great to continue the relationships… found mutual friends and business acquaintances with several people I would never have thought would be the case, which is what I enjoy about IRL.Loved the fact that Fred and Joanne shutdown the party and were the last to leave… and that Charlie helped kick everyone out with a loud…”you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”… Lastly, thanks to @wmoug:disqus for the kickin’ after party.

    1. fredwilson

      i have a friend who just goes to bed when he wants his parties to end. doesn’t work.i decided to try a different approach 🙂

      1. panterosa,

        I have heard from my mother that in France some hosts serve juice to end the party.

  34. rich caccappolo

    Fred, GG,Thanks for throwing the event, for telling us about Donors Choose, and for giving us an opportunity to contribute to some great organizations

  35. Jim Thompson

    Yes, Fred.  Of course.What what about FLASH?

    1. fredwilson

      apple killed it. shows their market power.

  36. andyswan

    Nice work!

  37. LE

    Summary: “Zynga to employees: Give back our stock or you’ll be fired”I’m going to do an open mike here.This is a total PR disaster (even if not true and all I know is what I read of course) and it’s interesting juxtaposed against the way USV stands by it’s entrepreneurs as recently posted in terms of what the entrepreneurs will do:…If paywall:

    1. ShanaC

      doesn’t matter, it is the quiet period. Nothing is going to be said until later…should be interesting.

      1. LE

        Well you know this isn’t my area of expertise having never done an IPO. But one of the things you have to do as an entrepreneur is quickly size up a situation based upon available information. According to what I have been able to gather up (in the short time since your reply) and common sense my conclusion is that they would be able to say something about this without violating the quiet period.  Although the quiet period is a plausible excuse. And lawyers will always err on the CYA side of things because it protects them. A PR problem is not a legal problem. Lawyers dispense legal advice.  As an entrepreneur you have to challenge your lawyer to come to an acceptable conclusion based upon the total risk profile. As I’m sure @ccrystle:disqus and @JLM:disqus would know to name just two commenters here.

        1. ShanaC

          it is culturally really strict about the quiet period, that I know. Lawyers who read this, any opinions?

    2. fredwilson

      i think mark’s letter to the employees says all that needs to be said about this hit job by the media while the company is in the quiet period

  38. ShanaC

    It was a great event.  I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to more of you :(.I did find it really interesting how similar yet different people are from their comments.  other aspects of their personalities come out.  Really interesting.The music was brilliant.  Definitely my favorite part.  That and getting to talk to so many people.(And random: who is the artist behind  the double canvas painting of chairs in your office, I really like that piece)

    1. fredwilson

      that piece belongs to my partner brad. he will know the name of the artist but i don’t

  39. Tom Labus

    Sounds like a great annual event.I look forward to meeting you all next time around!!

    1. fredwilson

      i think this is the fourth time we’ve done itsounds like a tradition in the making

  40. Alex Murphy

    In this case, I think IRL = F2F.  like pictures, face to face experiences add another dimension that is sometimes not explainable.I think about gotomeeting, webex, joinme etc and they don’t replace the fact that as humans, we actually need that interactive and physical exchange.  

  41. K_Berger

    Sounds like a great time was had by all.  Definitely sorry not to be able to make it.Am a bit surprised there are no pictures since I imagine that (almost) everyone there had a camera on them.  Perhaps we now think of our phones merely as photocopiers?….:)

    1. fredwilson

      strange but i can’t recall a single photo being taken

      1. K_Berger

        Everyone busy enjoying the ‘real world’ so much that they didn’t think about making it digital again.  I can see that, I guess.

  42. mikenolan99

    Would have loved to be there… next year?

  43. Jay Bhinde

    Fred, Joanne, AVC regulars – It was nice meeting you yesterday! Thanks for hosting this event for us Fred. It was pleasure talking to you and fellow AVC readers/commenters. I have been a silent reader till now and breaking off my silence with this blog 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      welcome to the jungle jay!

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I enjoyed meeting several people who are “silent readers” (once called “lurkers” but I like your name for them) — and was pleasantly surprised that people can still feel connected to this community even if not commenting regularly.  But it’s still nice when you speak up.  Glad to “meet” you, Jay.

  44. karen_e

    Absolutely! I have been raving about this event to all who will listen. Before I left town, my mother said, “so it’s like meeting your penpal(s), right?” Yes, and so much more. I had a blast meeting everyone and hearing what everyone was up to, from the barely-legal-drinking-age hackers to the well-established consultants. The star quality guest list was tops, Fred and Joanne. A great cause, a great after party … here’s to next time.

  45. Aaron Klein

    Amazing event and awesome to meet all of you.I’ve paid to go to tech conferences before that were 1% as incredible…I left with business cards galore, deepened friendships, encouragement from many that my company was on the right track, and so many awesome ideas for making it even better.A lot of people asked “did you fly all the way from California just for this?”The answer was no, but after being after the event, I can honestly say that it would have been worth it if so. AVC is an awesome community.

  46. panterosa,

    It was super fun to meet so many of you and move into 3D space as a person from the 2D space I inhabit as a cartoon avatar and in print here online on AVC. The event was great. The after party was way too short and I still missed several people.

  47. Denim Smith

    Sorry I missed it. Wish I could have attended but with an 19 month old and my startup launching in a week I wasn’t able to swing it. Sounds like it was fun and a nice cherry on top for donorschoose, the teachers, students and parents, those who donated and you and Gotham Gal. Great work.

  48. Luke Melia

    Not much of a poster here, but I’ve learned a ton from reading AVC, and it was really cool to see the blog and community transplanted into the real world the other night. I was surprised that the folks I met spanned a much wider breadth than the web-tech entrepreneur crew I expected. Very cool to see the influence spread across industries.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree. we’ve got a more diverse community here than one would imagine.

  49. Robert Holtz

    Sorry I missed out on all the IRL fun, fellow AVCers.Next time one of these comes together, someone please let me know.I’ll happily jump on a plane to join in the fun!

  50. johnpenn

    Fred & Joanne, I want to thank you for sponsoring & hosting such a wonderful event, after selflessly making such an awesome opportunity for the beneficiaries of Donors Choose.   I knew before I made the trip from Atlanta, that this meetup was something really special.   Maya & Deidre said hello, and were happy to support DC.There were so many interesting conversations among friends and AVC community members I met for the first time that carried on into the after-party, that I hope we can do this again soon!

    1. fredwilson

      John – it was great to meet you

  51. William Mougayar