Like Father, Like Son

DadI got together with Kirk Love for breakfast this past week. We got to talking about fatherhood and those moments when you find yourself doing something exactly the way your father did it. You can try as hard as you can to make your own way, to do things differently, but inside of all of us are our own fathers. And they come out.

In my case, that is largely a good thing. My dad is loyal, diligent, loving, and responsible. He is a creature of habit. I am all of those things too.

I never thought that I looked much like much my dad. But as I age, I see the familiarity more and more. It's like we become our fathers over time.

Today is fathers day. A day to celebrate this fact. A day to tell your father you love him. And a day to look at your own children and tell them you love them too. A day to celebrate the passing our essence onto the next generation.

Happy Father's Day everyone.

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    my dad is a total kook. if he were born in the united states during a time when high speed internet access was widely available, there is no doubt he would’ve been a full-blown conspiracy theorist. like father like son indeed. for better or worse! 🙂

    1. bsoist

      as soon as I finished your first sentence, I thought “well, there you go” 🙂

    2. LE

      “my dad is a total kook”You must have respected him and he must have been very intelligent and kept a firm grip on the family. But not so much as to make you feel oppressed (like a catholic schoolgirl who rebels against to much control and comes out like the “Virginia” in the Billy Joel song “Only the good die young”). As a result you didn’t go into the opposite direction but became a milder version of him.That says a lot about your relationship and your father.

    3. andyidsinga

      I think a lot of dads are kooky – even if only a little bit.When I was a kid – my friend’s dad let us drive his full sized tractor around the property – it was crazy fun (we could actually pop small wheelies!) – and the whole time I was thinking this kid’s dad was truly crazy.My kids think I’m a complete nut ..and I privately like it (well..not so privately after this blog comment) because I want them to be free to be a little nutty too 😉

    4. Mark Essel

      That explains a touch of KM philosophy 😀

  2. Rohan

    “Simba, let me tell you something my father told me. Look at the stars. The great kings of the past look down on us from those stars.So whenever you feel alone, just remember that those kings will always be there to guide you. And so will I.”

  3. awaldstein

    I’m not sure.My Dad passed away 29 years ago so much is stylized by memory and the passage of time. That’s a lot of life we didn’t experience together.I will ask my Mom today whether she sees him in me. And my son, whether he finds much of me in him. Both should make for good chats.A great Father’s Day to all.

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith

      My father and I haven’t spoken in some 14 years – no idea what he is doing/where. He will be 78 years old, now. My mother died when I was a child, after a long illness. My upbringing was pretty lousy (I was an only child). My frustrations with my father came to a head in my late 30s.Today has very mixed feeling for me…

      1. awaldstein

        Life is complex and messy Carl.Human nature makes us applaud perfection and define it to suit most every piece of the puzzle, even discouragement and lack of success.It’s true…it’s all learning and moving forward. But some stuff is just hard and forever unclear.

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Indeed, Arnold. Thank you for the words of wisdom, as ever! x

      2. leigh

        I had a very complicated relationship with my dad as well. He died last year of pancreatic cancer. After anything major happens in my life i buy art. When my daughter and son were born, when i have sold houses etc. Major events. I’ve been having trouble finding something to mark his death but i knew i needed something for closure.I have a series of poems I wrote in my 20’s called “The Skeleton Woman Poems”. Some about him, most about coming through it all and becoming. I gave them over to Toronto artist named Jane Roos who does commission work and told her to make me a painting. It will be completed some time in August. I’m hoping closure will help and next year at father’s day it will seem just a little bit easier.

        1. awaldstein

          I love this idea.I’ve been collecting art for a very long time mostly to have icons that speak to me of NYC.But never to commemorate anything. Really like this,

          1. leigh

            My mom worked in a amazing Canadian art gallery growing up. I was bat mitzvah’d and 4 of the gallery artists were invited all of whom gave me my first pieces of art. When I got engaged with my ex, my mom gave me my favorite piece from her collection (which is on my wall and i adore). I never expected to be in a position to afford any myself. I should probably be more practical but somehow it seems important to me.

          2. awaldstein

            No wonder we connect….When I was selling auction transaction software to the interactive agencies in SoHo in the 90s, I was in someone’s office on Grand Street and they had a Margaret Bourke-White photo on the wall.The Soho Triad Photo gallery was downstairs and I starting collecting Bourke-white, Eisenstaedt, Feininger, and early rock photographers.Then Keith Haring, Lichtenstein, JIm Dine, Donald Sultan, Chuck Close.I so love having images around me…A great connection we have.

          3. panterosa,

            @awaldstein The gallery across from 10 Bells has some rock photo work there now, along with a friend’s paintings, and the pieces have some interesting materials/methods.

          4. awaldstein

            I’ll check it out. Need to get down there soon.Big fan of Amalie Rothchild and Bob Gruen especially.

          5. awaldstein

            Need to get down there.Big fan of Amalie Rothchild and Bob Gruen especially.

          6. leigh

            lol — i only have Canadian artists so probably not a great investment other then the passion of the heart. My 2 favourites are http://www.rickmccarthythea… (he’s a lovely crazy character as well) and Brian Kipping (not his paintings or prints but his wood carvings which are amazing).

          7. awaldstein

            Thanks! Really like discovering new artistsBTW… didn’t do this as an investment just a fixation with NY artists that I could afford to buy. I’ve never sold a piece. Never will. Looking at the very same Bourke-White that I bought 20 years ago as I write now.LIke this string a lot.Where else would we have the opportunity to talk about art and why it matters and how we collect and surround ourselves with it?

          8. leigh

            Like 🙂

          9. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Wow, your collection sounds fabulous. Not to overdo it, but, art is everything! Art is communicating what words cannot express – what could be more important than that?

          10. awaldstein

            Images make me feel complete and for the most part connect me to NYC. This is a city that has been chronicled by an amazing group of creative people. Art and words.Hardest thing when I moved from LA back a few years ago was lack of room and wall space and making choices what to put up.

          11. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Hope you’ve used up every centimeter of wall and door space 😉 Do you like Bellows and Sloan?Have you seen the artist who is trying to draw every person in NYC?http://everypersoninnewyork…Learned about him via 20×200.

          12. awaldstein

            Sloan more than Bellows.The link is fascinating. New-2-me. Thanks.Usually I crowd stuff. This time I left things a lot of room to breathe.The pop images need a lot of air as they are so strong.Thanks!

        2. panterosa,

          @leigh. Sorry you had the pancreatic cancer death too.. I had hoped to hear of Steve Jobs throwing some post mortem coin at this intractable disease, but I haven’t heard of anything so far.As to art, I have jewelry which came at certain times or signifies certain things. I get to wear it every day, in mix and match depending on whose strength I need. I had a gallery in my twenties. I have old art and trade art from friends. Best kind.

          1. leigh

            The silent cancers are pretty shocking. In our case, it turned out that my dad had BRCA II and none of us had any idea (my family generally lived long and few had cancer so it was a bit of shock to us). Since then two members of my immediate family have been diagnosed as well as some cousins etc. I plan to do some fundraising for Phase II of my pro-bono project and do a BRCA awareness program. It’s amazing to me how few people have any idea about it (us included — and I was doing itstimetoshout BEFORE my family was diagnosed — BRCA is prevalent in the Ashkenazi jewish community)

          2. panterosa,

            @leigh Its Time To Shout is a great idea and the site is interesting. I hope you have success with it.I think my aunt had ovarian cancer – but she was British so it was called ‘down there’ and not specific, could have been uterine. She decided not to pursue chemo and lose her hair, or other treatments. She was a beautiful woman and attached to her body. She was dead very quickly.As I said above with my father, people chose the terms of their death in many cases and their families go along with it. Her choice was quite amazing – let me die as I remember myself, and not in a ravaged body. She made no effort at treatment. A high level of fear, and a fair amount of vanity.

          3. leigh

            Thanks. Yes it’stimetoshout did it’s job quite nicely. The BRCA program will be the last one i think — we will likely give the program over to the OCRF or another org in the US to continue on or use the name since it’s caught on quite nicely. Next year we will probably do a new probono project with an international organization. Haven’t decided which or what yet.

        3. fredwilson

          i really like that tradition of buying art. we do that at some life events but not all of them.

      3. Guest

        @egoboss:disqus and @leigh:disqusI had a great Dad but I don’t speak much of “my parents” or “my mom.” As a child I thought I had a great mom. I just realized as I grew older that she had some real “issues” and sadly, they have affected me and my four siblings differently and with the passing of my Dad the concept of “family” pretty much died with him.I also marvel at how much time I spend thinking about why I do what I do all in an effort to ensure that I got as little of her “issues” as possible.I have no earthly idea how parents can inflict, what they must be aware of, such pain and suffering on their own children. Yes, I know what holidays like this are like; when people ask me what I am getting my Mom for Mother’s Day and I respond, “…ah, she’s too busy devouring her young to fool with gifts…” they really don’t have a clue what to say.Again, I could quit being so blunt and just make up something….

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          Sounds very familiar, Carl. I no longer try and pretend with platitudes – I just politely detach from the mother’s day/father’s day celebrations and sometimes remind people lucky enough to have 2 healthy/sane/caring parents in their lives that they should cherish how lucky they are. My wife is in such a position and her parents have become my surrogate parents, also, I am very lucky in this respect.I just wish I had more than just this one pic of me with my mother:…Not long after this period she became very ill/blind and was (eventually) diagnosed with a brain tumour. As a result I sadly have no memories of engaging with her. But, this solitary photo helps – just wish there were some memories or other photos to evoke memories.Ah well…

    2. LE

      “My Dad passed away 29 years ago”Sorry to hear that Arnold.

      1. awaldstein

        Thanks.Time puts things in workable places.My mom is still here, turning 93 in two weeks. Feel lucky.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          “Time puts things in workable places.” So well said.

  4. JLM

    .The influence of fathers on sons is the magic of families. The greatest blessing I have ever received is to be born to my parents. They have formed and shaped every element of my life.I take full responsibility for having resisted their guidance at times.Happy Father’s Day!.

    1. panterosa,

      @JLM My older Jewish neighbor believes children chose their parents. She says my daughter is the prime example of this. I wonder if you agree.

  5. Richard

    Genetics (the hardware) vs Epigenetics (the software)

    1. fredwilson


    2. Carl Rahn Griffith

      Nature vs Nurture, also. Fascinating stuff.

      1. K_Berger

        I’m big on the Nature side of that argument. Even though, as Fred pointed out, sometimes it takes a long time to see it. Not that Nurture isn’t important, I just think it is #2.

    3. JamesHRH

      Agreed.Although ‘w’ could replace ‘v’…..

    4. ShanaC

      There is more going on there – certain elements of environment affects epigenetics and therefore changes genetics in large multicellular organisms (I way overlisten to this)

  6. kirklove

    Was talking to my father after this and thanked him for his best advice – “Marry a great woman” #truth

    1. fredwilson

      that is great advice

    2. Mark Essel

      Advice I’m proud to have followed as well.

  7. Guest

    My greatest wish for any man is that his son(s) and or daughter(s) say, “He is/was not only a great dad but also my best friend!”I have already this morning talked to my baby sister and we wished my father a Happy Father’s Day and we shared, once again, our favorite memories of the man. This is a tradition we carry out every Father’s Day and on his birthday….

  8. William Mougayar

    It’s indeed a day of reflection on fatherhood, and that reflection is a good thing whether your father is with you or not. I sometimes wonder if I turned out the way my father thought I would.The values and principles fathers live by are golden. They have seen more than we have, and even when we thought they were wrong or we didn’t agree with them, the passage of time always proves that they were right.

  9. JamesHRH

    So much is by example, not by fiat.Happy Father’s Day everyone.

  10. panterosa,

    My dad died in july, two weeks after my 16th birthday. He had pancreatic cancer for two years, had a Whipple, and had already outlived the doctor’s predictions by a lot. I knew I’d never see him again when I left for France a few weeks before that, though my mother disagreed. So I was obliged to say goodbye to him forever without him knowing that it was forever. People choose how they want to die, and we go along with it as their last wish.To thank him for being a great dad. Even more to thank him for being a mentor to me. For having an unerring eye, and for showing me things and their inner workings, for making everything he knew accessible to me. for defining originality and it’s flip side -“that and a token will get you on the subway”.As Fred says we have our fathers within us. My life has been marked by his absence from my surrounds but his deepening within me. My interior -my spirit, mind, and desire- is like a blacksmith’s where the fire of life and my father’s shaping and pounding still continue to define me. I know how much I need to do to even get his attention with quality and originality of content.Thanks Dad, I won’t ever give up.

    1. ShanaC

      He raised a great daughter

      1. panterosa,

        Thanks Shana.

    2. LE

      “My dad died in july, two weeks after my 16th birthday”Sorry to hear that panterosa.

      1. panterosa,

        @LE Thanks. I spend July where he’s buried, so I meditate on it yearly.It’s amazing how many people have their parents in the AVC group.

  11. Mark Moran

    No one is immune. As he turned 50, David Bowie said in an interview with Beliefnet, “I’m very at ease, and I like it … [S]omebody said that as you get older you become the person you always should have been, and I feel that’s happening to me. I’m rather surprised at who I am, because I’m actually like my dad!”

  12. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Happy Father’s Day! I, too, look more like my dad as the years go by.

  13. Scott Barnett

    Happy Fathers Day everyone! I’m with my father today, we are celebrating my daughters high school graduation. Then off to a wedding. A great way to spend Fathers Day in my book 🙂

  14. bsoist

    I’ve always been fascinated by how much I’m like my dad – even in the smallest of details. I also see it in my son. Not only is he like me, but I see a lot of my dad in him.I’ll have a great time hanging with Becky today, and video chatting with Billy (in Germany), but Father’s day is always a tough day for me. My dad died in 2004 and I miss him very much.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      Mine died in 2003. Afterward, someone I knew, who had already experienced this, said that it feels like there is a hole in the universe once you lose your dad. I understand what she means.

      1. bsoist

        I understand too. I was 37 when he died and 43 when my mom died. I was not nearly as close to my mother, and yet it’s sad not to have parents at such a young age.

  15. ShanaC

    Going to say hi to my dad!And it always interesting how we seem like our parents, even if sometimes we’re in reaction to them.

  16. Mark Essel

    Happy Pop’s day everyone 🙂

  17. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    My father Ron died young leaving me a priceless legacy as follows:He mentored Frank, Frank mentors John, John recently offered to mentor me, I started informal mentoring last year – That’s the house that Ron started building !Thanks Dad

  18. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Occurs to me – My Dad would have really liked you guys ! – really.

  19. LE

    I always got a kick out of these Patek Philippe ads (in fact I get a kick out of all watch ads but these are some of the funniest to me).They say “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”.http://thelastpsychiatrist….Is anyone’s father that good looking? (Certainly not mine…)…

    1. andyidsinga

      Here’s a little treat for you re Patek Phillippe http://www.vintageadbrowser…Love the vintage ad browser site 🙂

      1. LE

        Hey thanks for that. Didn’t know about that site (or the either).

        1. andyidsinga

          welcome 🙂

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I was going to reply to your comment that my father was quite good looking. Then I looked at the ads. Whoa, baby. Although in all fairness, I have certain limitations in assessing my father’s attractiveness. And I can’t even THINK about being attracted to someone wearing Old Spice. That is a “Daddy” scent!I have a secret theory that the reason for the Old Spice resurgence a few years back is that there was finally a generation of women who didn’t associate the scent with their fathers. Wasn’t it part of the standard issue dopp kits handed out during World War II?

      1. LE

        I agree with your theory 100%. I have a similar one with Audi. Anyone who grew up and knows of the 60 minutes report slamming Audi thinks about that car in a certain way. But Audi is now doing quite well and I always put a large part of that to lack of a memory of the negatives surrounding Audi years after that report.…Audi’s U.S. sales, which had reached 74,061 in 1985, dropped to 12,283 in 1991 and remained level for three years.[13] – with resale values falling dramatically.[22] Audi subsequently offered increased warranty protection[22] and renamed the affected models – with the 5000 becoming the 100 and 200 in 1989.[14] The company only reached the same level of U.S. sales again by model year 2000.[13]

  20. RichardF

    I remember this post from a year ago, it seems like a lifetime ago, my Dad had just been diagnosed with cancer of the bile duct, he passed away on Christmas Day.If I can be half the man and father to my son that he was to me, I won’t have done too badly.”Do the right thing” is one of the core values that my father lived by and tried to instill in me. He’s a tough act to follow.Happy Father’s Day and cherish the moments.

  21. PhilipSugar

    Isn’t West Point an interesting place? Good old Mahan Hall in the background. I love to visit but I don’t think I could stay. Talking about discipline, that place will put it into you. Every meeting I’ve had there started at 0700.

    1. fredwilson

      i was born there. and spent my teenage years there. it is a special place.

      1. PhilipSugar

        I cannot imagine. I know several Colonels that were really ready to get their transfer after two years. How did your Dad get to stay there more than three years? Everybody that I know gets transferred out after two max, three years, makes building relationships a bit tough, but everybody is really reachable which was actually my biggest surprise. We sponsor a senior project every year, and I absolutely love going to those presentations.

  22. aminTorres

    Happy Fathers Day Fred.

  23. andyidsinga

    I used to take things apart when I was a kid – radios, toys. Dad never prevented it ..even though I probably destroyed some perfectly good stuff ..and received a few good sighs for sure ;)One day I found an old box full of electronics stuff of his! – and thats when I started to notice how fearless he was about fixing pretty much anything – my atari 400, my motorcycle, the cars that friends would bring over to get fixed in our driveway…Step dads shouldn’t be forgotten on fathers day either..I have a great step dad – someone who came into my life after I was an adult – but has nonetheless been a true friend and mentor in all things DIY – another fearless fix-it guy.

    1. awaldstein

      Atari 400!

      1. andyidsinga

        yeah baby!there she is on the left: http://www.vintageadbrowser…+ a copy of compute! magazine and you’re on a roll:…PS. My folks got me both ..and it was my dad who encouraged me to start typing in the code listings 🙂

        1. awaldstein

          So cool….My very first job in 1984 was with Atari under Warner. Six months later they sold to the Jack Tramiel family, The company went from 2800 employees to 20. I was one.Got to spend 5 years in charge of marketing, launching the game machines, STs, and taking control of the game library (Asteroids, Frogger) and launching new ones like Ball Blazer and Fractulus with then Lucas pre ILM.And we went public.Lucky me.Great way to start a career.BTW….you are in Portland? I’m there for a short stay in August with the Wine Bloggers Conference.

          1. andyidsinga

            That is awesome – Its amazing to me to be sitting here yakking with you about this! Those products were a seminal part of my youth 🙂

          2. laurie kalmanson


          3. andyidsinga

            Hey Arnold – for some reason I missed the question about Portland. Yes I am – lets get drinks when you’re here. email me at: momobadilak at yahoo

          4. awaldstein

            Will do Andy.Only in for the weekend though.

  24. John Best

    I’ll be calling my old man later. It’s not always been the best of relationships, but we get along now.(edited to add Mark Twain quote)”When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”

  25. Andy

    Fred, about what year is that at USMA, and what was your dad’s role? Looks like Willard Scott looking on, which means I was likely out on that field as a cadet.

    1. fredwilson

      that was his retirement ceremony in the mid 80s. he was the head of the dept of mechanical engineering and the associate dean for most of the 70s and part of the 80s

  26. Jon Knight

    Happy Fathers’ Day Fred!

  27. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    The first thing I heard while waking up yesterday was “Happy Father day dad” …my 10-yr-old son said. It was new to me … we don’t celebrate father’s day in this part of the world. So it was a surprise to me … But it felt good, nice and warm to hear your son greet you. Then the fun began …I asked him what is the present he is going to give me … we had big chat and finally he sponsored the movie with pop-corn “Madagascar -3 -3D” … from his piggy bank. Well at the end of the day i replaced it in his piggy bank …then he gave that look and was happy that he got his money back … kids. You learn a lot from them…. except those little happiness that they enjoy.I had a good sunday “Father’s day”.

    1. Donna Brewington White

      That is one of the reasons that kids have dads. There are some movies that I simply refuse to see. They cause me physical pain. My husband has a better stomach for these than I do. (I won’t name them but they typically involve obnoxious talking animals.)I’m glad that Father’s Day made its way to you, Kasi. It says a lot that your young son took this opportunity to honor you.

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        @donnawhite:disqus I had a great day Donna… I have never seen him like that … that face … i donno what it was … was he proud he is sponsoring me … or is he just happy that he is going to watch first 3D movie … but i am sure that look and happiness was about ‘sponsoring the dad first time’ … i figured that out by the way he asked for the flavor of the pop-corn i wanted… those full 3-hours that look on his face was there…. which i donno when i will see that again.and btw, i still watch Tom and Jerry with my son which breaks a nerve out of my wife…. she gets so irritated… she just starts cleaning the house or does something which is far away from the living room (TV).

  28. Donna Brewington White

    I couldn’t wait to see what you would write for Father’s Day since we got “Be your own bitch.” on Mother’s Day. I won’t begrudge the guys this one. :-)Even though by the time I am commenting, most of the guys reading this are already starting Monday, an enthusiastic Happy Father’s Day, Fred, and to the other dads here at AVC. There are some great dads, here. I can tell.Today, at lunch, I told my kids that a big part of my attraction to their dad is that I knew he would be the kind of father I wanted my kids to have. I wonder how many people choose spouses with this in mind, or based on him/her being the type of person that you want your kids to become or at least to greatly influence this.On a different note, as much as I love my dad (deceased for 9 years), I understand some of the bittersweetness of the day that others here have expressed. I think that much of what I mourned when he died was the death of the possibility that we would ever have the type of relationship I desired. That we would ever truly relate. Although, I never doubted that he loved me and this continues to be a gift. Today, during a break in helping my kids to celebrate their dad, I had a few moments to reflect on my own — in part due to a moving tribute that one of my sisters wrote on Facebook. It occurred to me that something had changed. With time, the disappointments have faded. The predominant feeling is gratitude. It is amazing how that happens.

  29. johnmccarthy

    Got to spend some time with my dad yesterday. Conversation turned to the company he worked with for 30 years. It had been acquired by Warren Buffett right before he retired several years ago. Post-acquisition, Buffy spent considerable effort publicly lambasting the management of the company much to the chagrin of my Dad who had always been very proud of what he had built… forward to today and the team Buffy now has running the company was largely hired and trained by my father. Actions speak louder than words. That is a nice legacy.

  30. Tony Alva

    You may share traits of your father, but you are ALL your mom! Great pic. Hope all is well with you and yours…

    1. fredwilson

      you think so? i never thought of it that way.

  31. kevinmurphy

    an unrelated question- what is the best blogging platform to use?

    1. fredwilson

      WordPress for longformTumblr for shortform and mediumform