No MBA Mondays Today

We just kicked off the start of a vacation in europe and I'm jetlagged and in vacation mode.

So I am taking a week off on MBA Mondays. We will start again next monday and we will cover the topic of retaining your employees.

I am spending the next few weeks with my family in europe. This week is all vacation and next week is a mix. I will be in Denmark, Netherlands, Germany, and France. I've got my kindle stocked with recommendations from last week's fun friday. I usually like to blog on vacation so I plan to do that. We'll see how that goes.

#Blogging On The Road

Comments (Archived):

  1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    Have a great time – enjoy πŸ™‚

  2. William Mougayar

    Enjoy it Fred! You deserve the rest & retreat with family.We’ll mind the bar here & keep it in the same condition. Maybe we’ll chat amongst ourselves…about nothing, just like a Seinfeld show.

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Ha! That’s a really funny image, thinking of everyone here trying to make conversation without “Jerry.”

  3. Luke Chamberlin

    Retaining employees rule #1 – allow them to take long vacations in Europe. Enjoy your trip!

    1. William Mougayar

      I knew there was a lesson behind this ^10.

  4. RichardF

    Interesting spread of countries, are you and GG planning to try and eat at Noma? if so I look forward to her review

    1. fredwilson

      yes. we got a reservation there. celebrating 25 years of marriage there

      1. RichardF

        fantastic and congrats, have a great time

      2. Donna Brewington White

        You’ve managed to have a summer birthday AND a summer anniversary. Good planning. Happy 25th!

  5. Tom Labus

    Have a great time!!R&R is crucial for the soul.

  6. reece

    keep an eye out for some @foursquare checkins/tips from me in Amsterdam

    1. fredwilson

      will do.

  7. mikenolan99

    We took the family to Zealand – down the coast from Amsterdam. Nice little town, cool beach front, whole different pace…

    1. mikenolan99

      Have a great trip! Be safe…

  8. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    I was expecting a guest post by D.Month long vacation in Europe … maaan … I am starting to love your job :-).

    1. fredwilson

      it’s not a month

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        i mis-read … few weeks… got registered as a month on my mind.

    2. Donna Brewington White

      Hold your horses, Kasi. Next month. (Assuming I’m D.)

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam


  9. JimHirshfield


  10. JamesHRH

    Come on you guys – travel tips Monday!!!I will kick it off:In Amsterdam or the Hague, have breakfast at Der Bakkersvinkel.

    1. leigh

      I say go to Lego Land in Denmark. Of course I was 12 so the experience might be different as an adult but i still love Lego!

      1. William Mougayar

        Tivoli (but it’s overrated in my opinion)

      2. fredwilson

        joanne wants to go to lego land

      3. Matt A. Myers

        My family almost drove there when I was a teenager, though we did not. πŸ™ @fredwilson:disqus will have to let us know if it was worth it!

    2. jason wright

      Denmark – Christiania. A relic of a social experiment.The Netherlands – Friesland. Friesian is the closest living language to English, but it’s dying out. Try to listen to a speaker while you still can.Germany – Rugen Island. The land of Casper David Freidrich, and the largest building in Europe, courtesy of the Third Reich. Rumored to also have been the place where the Nazis nearly won the race to build the first atom bomb.

      1. fredwilson


      2. JLM

        .Scariest thoughts in the world:If the Germans had gotten the bomb first.If the Germans had concentrated on jet fighters rather than jet bombers initially.Game changers.Thank God!.

  11. LIAD

    Redacted. A little too far for Mon Am.

  12. JLM

    .Now the inmates are really in control of the asylum.Enjoy.Take your beloved for a rowboat ride in the Bois de Boulogne; or, go to Normandy..

    1. panterosa,


    2. ShanaC

      πŸ™‚ Bwhahaha!

    3. fredwilson

      we did normandy a couple years ago. it was great.

      1. JLM

        .I remember first going to Normandy and suddenly realizing the enormity of the evil that was unleashed on the world by Hitler and war in general. It was like a revelation.I stood at the water’s edge and thought to myself — what kind of men can launch themselves unprotected against such fortifications across such an expanse of beach? Damn good men.Then I recall thinking of the sacrifice of human potential so great as to make it impossible not to cry.Then I recall thinking of the lives ended and the experiences savaged to never occur.Normandy is a church — literally — which commemorates evil and good and sacrifice and waste.Normandy is why America IS exceptional.Any person who can stand at that American cemetery and not believe that we can be a powerful force for good does not have either a heart or a soul.Have a blast..

        1. fredwilson

          the thing that struck me the most was how wide Omaha Beach is

          1. JLM

            .As a cadet, we had a talk given by an Army officer (VMI grad) who had lost his entire combat engineer company at Omaha Beach.His battalion commander had come by the next day to check up on things and asked him his strength.He reached into his pocket and held a huge handful of dog tags. He had a total of 5 men ready for duty.Cadets are totally irreverent and will never be serious about anything.That night my roommates and I and several rooms on either side shot the shit and played bridge into the wee hours. We used to play a lot of bridge in those days waiting to graduate.The conversation turned to that talk and not a single cadet could articulate anything other than the power of that presentation. No freakin’ PPT.The consensus was that it would be almost impossible to continue to perform under that burden.Where do we find such men today?.

          2. Shawn Cohen

            Sadly, they’re playing video games and watching porn. Glad somebody is doing something about it:

          3. Brandon Marker

            fire and brimstone speech coming?Sorry, but I have been gaming since I was a little boy. This topic is a weak point for me. Now I’m 24 and still game hours and hours and hours of every week… but my parents raised me to be a hard worker and strive to be better than I was the day before. This I try and do, every single day of my life. I’m outgoing, had girlfriends (undisclosed number), played sports, had friends, and am contributing to society still.I just beat another game last night. I’ll take a few days off or so and start another. Blame the parents.

          4. Shawn Cohen

            Definitely. And don’t take it personally, Brandon, I’m sure you’re doing awesome stuff.Unfortunately, many guys are choosing the vacuous sense of accomplishment that video games give them in place of accomplishing real stuff in life. Any way you cut that, it’s sad.

          5. Brandon Marker

            I don’t take it personally, or blame you for saying it. There is DEFINITELY a problem there. I just make sure that I always provide a different viewpoint on the matter. And I appreciate your kind words. I am doing fine right now, awesome can be judged in several years, haha.My view is still the lifestyle is to blame. Factors at home being the focal point. I was raised in a Montessori house, you being from SA may know the education style. Prioritizing and freedom to choose πŸ™‚

          6. Shawn Cohen

            Where would we b w/o contrarians? I totally agree, parents can inspire their kids much more than they realize they can.I’m a huge fan of the Montessori methodology. Too bad its adoption is so small nationwide.

        2. awaldstein

          I’ve never been….should make the trip next time in Europe.The enormity of the evil of Hitler? For me growing up having a few members of the Synagogue who lived through the camps and you could glimpse the ID #s tattooed on their arms and the pain in their eyes.Truly evil.When I think of my visit to Auschwitz some years ago, I still kinda shiver.

          1. JLM

            .Pretty hard to trump that experience. The absolute embodiment of evil in its purest form.Germans do not like to admit it, but they elected Hitler Chancellor. He did not creep up on them in the middle of the night.One has to have this in mind when they think about Israel’s mindset and future..

          2. Guest

            Actually JLM, Hitler was appointed Chancellor by Hindenburg and by the time of his appointment the Nazi’s were waning in their popularity at the polls.

          3. JLM

            .You are absolutely correct. I was in error. Thanks for the correction.,

          4. Guest

            If you find the time I could give you two books that would really make you think.If you can study the history of Germany from immediately after WWI to 1932 without letting the known outcome (WWII and the Holocaust) shade your understanding then I believe it is something you really should do.

          5. JLM

            .@tao69:disqusJust what I need another 3″ on my reading pile. Please tell me the titles, Carl. Thanks. Hope you are well..

          6. awaldstein

            I can’t argue history with you as @tao69:disqus can so astutely.I find that i’m incapable of being complete rational on this subject.It is what it is to me. Evil personified.

          7. FlavioGomes

            A horrendous moment in human history. But I think the Germans have in large part put that behind them and have been a responsible and positive contributing country to world affairs. I just think modern Germany now needs the opportunity to transcend their past.

  13. Trish Burgess-Curran

    Safe travels! Enjoy Europe and your family!

  14. LIAD

    Whilst in Holland, please see if you can find my innocence. I lost it there New Years Eve 1999.

    1. fredwilson


    2. Matt A. Myers

      Please teach me how to do this..

    3. The C.

      Respect the C.

  15. brian piercy

    Enjoy. That copy of Ender’s Game will come in handy at 3am. It did for me – every sleepless night.

  16. John Revay

    Stay Thirsty My Friend#LifeofGoodVCdoesn’tSuck

  17. John Best

    Have a great break πŸ™‚

  18. William Mougayar

    I’m trying the day flight today to London to beat jet lag. Leaves at 9am, arrives at 9pm. Β 

    1. John Best

      Over for LeWeb?

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes! Typing from it πŸ˜‰

        1. John Best

          Ah, watching remotely on the youtube stream. πŸ™‚

    2. panterosa,

      The day flight is the only way!My mother is English so we usually go to London every year. I was on the day flights right when they offered them and it saved my life. Leave 8 am, arrive 8pm, get to your place, have dinner, then bed. Next day is piece of cake. Without sleep I am a dragon.Plus I read a whole book on the way over.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes, the first day/next day was a lot easier.

    3. awaldstein

      I’m a believer in the red eye.For me nothing gets me closer to the time zone I’m traveling to than a redeye, especially a short one like the jump across the pond.But…that’s just me. Planes put me to sleep.

      1. Cam MacRae

        Flying puts me to sleep. I like to board early, have a glass of sparkling or rum, and be on the nod before we push back.

        1. awaldstein

          Yup… you and I.I got that way in the 90s where I had to go Singapore and Europe once a month for business.3M miles later your body adapts πŸ˜‰

          1. Cam MacRae

            JFK->SIN is a long, long way no matter how you slice it.

          2. awaldstein

            Yup…a body cruncher.I was living in San Jose, CA at the time. Eventually did a staged thing. SJ to NYC and work. NYC to Europe and work. Then to Singapore and home again.

          3. Timothy Meade

            Around the world every thirty days!

      2. David Clarke

        Anyone remember BA001? How is it that with all the travel people do, air transport, at least measured by the only metric that matters (velocity), is one of the few technology areas to make a giant leap backward over the last 30 years?

        1. kenberger

          BA001 is now resurrected and is fascinatingly innovative. London City Airport->JFK. Stops quickly in Shannon Ireland, passengers clear customs there. The savings in time from skipping both Heathrow and JFK customs makes it a great option.My best man used it to my wedding this past wkend. Here’s a review of the new BA001:

      3. fredwilson

        me too. day flights kill me.

      4. FlavioGomes

        I’m a believer in video conferencing. Love traveling, love flying when I’m in the cock pit. Absolutely hate the whole experience associated with commercial air travel.

        1. awaldstein

          Not a pilot but a lifelong believer in the necessity of shaking hands and sharing a meal with people that are important in business.I’m a big consumer of every possible means of communications from blogs to skype. I still fly across the world when appropriate to spend that time and make that human connection.Just my preference.

          1. FlavioGomes

            Yes…completely agree. There is an exchange of energy (or lack thereof) when meeting in person, that can seal the relationship dynamic. The flying is a necessary burden.

    4. markslater

      day flight works – i do it all the time.

  19. awaldstein

    Enjoy…Rieslings in Germany.Wondrous whites in the Loire.Chilled reds in The Jura if you get there.Have a great trip.

    1. fredwilson

      what about denmark and netherlands?

      1. awaldstein

        Pinging my wine networks now.

      2. FlavioGomes


        1. fredwilson

          yeah. that’s what i was thinking

          1. FlavioGomes

            I find it very curious that the vast majority of Hollanders and Belgians frown upon their famous exports…Heineken and Stella Artois as below par brews. They rank among some of my fave’s. It seems like a common theme with national export beers in almost every country.

          2. Timothy Meade

            On the topic of Belgian beers, I’m always on the lookout for a good Weiss or other wheat beer.

          3. FlavioGomes

            Timothy, lately I’ve been loving rickards white, a Belgian style wheat beer. Lovely with a slice of orange.

      3. daryn

        aquavit. Also, hope a dinner at Noma is on the agenda.

        1. fredwilson

          it is. to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary

          1. daryn

            Awesome, congrats! We just had our 7th yesterday.

      4. awaldstein

        Wine in Denmark and Netherlands…nada for something indigenous.But….And I thank you! I learned two things about German wine I didn’t know.Roter Riesling is the grape that all Rieslings are made from and some artisanal vineyards are now making it as a varietal. Super interesting. Names forthcoming possibly but can ask.More interesting to me is Gelber Orleans by Knipser. Grape almost extinct by the end of the 19th century but Knipser grows some and is available in Germany.Neither available to my knowledge in NYC.Enjoy.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          If you’ve never gone on a bike wine tour in France, you should. Or you don’t need to do it via bike… might make driving more and more dangerous. πŸ˜‰

      5. Bo Stendal SΓΈrensen

        While in Copenhagen, go have some beer at the Mikkeller bar ( Those guys makes and serves some of the best beer in the world. If you’re more into wine, try the Frederiksdal cherrywine at Mikkeller, it should be amazing.Stop by one of the shops by The Coffee Collective when you need a coffee break, their coffess never disappoint.If you really want to see Copenhagen as we danes do, make sure to rent some bikes and take a ride around the city.Also, sorry about the weather πŸ˜‰

        1. fredwilson

          we are certainly going to rent bikes. and i will check out Mikkeller bar thanks!

  20. Patrick Campi

    I recently read a Mark Suster blog post about the “Seasons of VC” (something like that). It was about when VC’s vacation and emphasized that you better get your $$ before the vacation season gets underway. but, as I remember, he was talking about mid july to the end of August.

    1. Patrick Campi

      BTW. Have a great trip!

  21. John@PGISelfDirected

    Enjoy your vacation. I’m sure next Monday’s session will be very interesting. πŸ™‚

  22. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Bon voyage! Bring us back a t-shirt πŸ˜‰

  23. ShanaC

    Enjoy – (and next time, grab some melatonin to reset your sleep schedule.)

  24. Chris Mottes

    Welcome to Copenhagen Fred and family. Give me a shout if you need anything while you’re here. (We met at SEEDCAMP a couple of years ago where I was backing Publisha as an angel). Regards, Chris.

    1. fredwilson

      will do. thanks.

  25. Ryan Frew

    Enjoy… Euro Cup…In all of those places.

    1. fredwilson

      we watched denmark lose to germany and netherlands lose to portugal yesterday. we were rooting for denmark and netherlands

      1. Ryan Frew

        That’s unlucky – especially with the Dutch. In Germany though, things will likely be a little more fun for the remainder of the tournament. I’ve got them going all the way.

      2. Dave Pinsen

        I’ve been watching the Euro Cup too. Whenever they play the countries’ national anthems, I look up the lyrics to them. It’s been an interesting exercise. Portugal’s is nostalgic for its lost empire, and the era when its sailors were “heroes of the sea”; the Ukraine’s and Poland’s are about defiance in the face of military invasions (the title of Ukraine’s anthem is “Ukraine has not yet perished”); Germany’s is… quite brief and generic, having lost the “Deutschland ΓΌber alles” bit after World War II.

      3. Jordy Hofhuis

        Thanks for rooting for NL, but it wasn’t meant to be this time… Anyway, if you end up in the Netherlands with no idea of what to do/where to go, send me a PM. Often played tour guide for visiting contacts in Utrecht (reccommend going there to see a city sans tourism) and Amsterdam.

      4. FlavioGomes

        Viva Portugal. Forca!

  26. PhilipSugar

    You know you are well read and have an active community when you have 67 comments on a non post by noon!!

    1. Donna Brewington White

      And on a busy Monday, too. But I actually like a day like this on AVC every once in a while. Not too consuming, but fun to check in as a quick break, skim through for a couple of minutes, get back to work.

    2. fredwilson

      just catching up on the comments now. it was a non-post on a non-work day

      1. PhilipSugar

        I was in no way giving you a hard time it was a high compliment

        1. fredwilson

          i know.

  27. steven

    Fred,Do you personally plan your vacations? I find it hard to pick out destinations especially on a family trip. Do you do the bookings yourself? It would be a nice blog post about what services and tools you use to plan your vacation.

    1. fredwilson

      the gotham gal does it all. she is the world’s best travel agent and works exclusively for our family.

  28. Daniel F Lopes

    Come to Portugal!It’s damn beautiful and really nice to visit (at least is what they say :).

    1. fredwilson

      we spent our honeymoon there 25 years ago this month. amazing country.

  29. Donna Brewington White

    I hope you have a fantastic vacation and profitable rest of the time away.It has been amusing to visit AVC throughout the day and watch the number of comments increase in spite of the non-post. Although in a way it is a post — the kind of post that you find in a community — an “update.”BTW, I am glad that you are covering retention fairly early in this series. I personally think that it is one of the most important issues in the so-called “war for talent” and in fact should shape how companies recruit and hire.I am not nearly as impressed by a company’s ability to recruit great talent as I am by the ability to keep it! And that should also be a metric to measure the effectiveness of recruiting efforts.

  30. aminTorres

    Perfect occasion for guest posts…have fun Fred.

  31. Ben Apple

    As a youngster on this blog, I enjoy seeing you and the people in this community and realizing that its the kind of life I want to lead. Changing the world of technology, bettering (this is a word, right?) the community, and taking time off to smell the roses and spend time with family. And because I missed it yesterday, Happy Fathers Day!

    1. fredwilson

      thanks Ben. fathers day on sunday and our 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow. big week for celebrations!

  32. David Nagy

    Fred, do you plan to visit Berlin too? πŸ™‚ If you do, I’d love to meetup with you. I had a good chat with Jerry Colonna when he was here the last time.

    1. fredwilson

      for one day which will be taken up largely by a soundcloud board meeting. but email me and maybe we can make it happen

      1. David Nagy

        done πŸ™‚ looking forward to your response

  33. Mark Essel

    Will enjoy visiting over the next few weeks for the photos, food and adventures shared.

    1. fredwilson

      you got that right!

  34. Jerome Camblain

    How is Noma ?

    1. fredwilson

      we go wednesday

  35. JM

    Enjoy! When in Amsterdam, go to The French Cafe (in de Pijp neighborhood) for dinner, de kaaskamer (Jordaan) for cheese, de koffie salon for a break, and Van Dobben for late night snacks (croquettes, filet americain), and t’Arendsnest for dutch/belgian microbrews. I lived there 3.5yrs working on a startup prior to heading back to the US for med school and these are a few of the places I miss.

    1. fredwilson

      thanks so much for the suggestions

  36. jason wright

    I challenge you to kiss the little mermaid – photographic evidence required.

    1. fredwilson

      good idea!

  37. Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Dear Fred, if you’re in Amsterdam and in need of a great tour around the real city: I’d be honored to give you and your family one. Cheers, Ernst-Jan

    1. Ernst-Jan Pfauth

      By the way: here’s my Foursquare list with characteristic cafes and restaurants:

      1. fredwilson

        just saved it!

  38. Email List of Nurses

    Have a Gallon of Beer and enjoy the Week off trip..:)

  39. Chris Mottes

    StartupBootcamp is based here in Copenhagen, and has spread out to Madrid, Amsterdam and is looking to expand to other places at the moment.

  40. kidmercury

    yeah it all sucks because the “solution” that will come out of this crisis will be a more integrated european union which will make startup/entrepreneurial/pro-market laws even worse. same condition is going to happen everywhere, once the world is done worrying about the EU they will wake up to the US, UK, and japan debt crises all of which are far worse. the solution proposed for all of it will be to give more power to the UN, IMF, and other supranational institutions, the end result of which will be less democracy, more regulation (because it will add another layer of regulation on top of national and municipal laws) and less free market. the only solution is a more radical rebellion of sorts, but no united faction, not even the syriza party in greece, supports that yet. it will need to get much worse before it gets better as people will not awaken to what is needed without greater psychological pain, typically in the form of a loss of wealth.

  41. panterosa,

    I have been an advisor on creative for an Italian startup. Gotham Gal wrote about the founder last month.…Paola’s experience in Italy is that most of the money is either corrupt, clueless, or strings attached which don’t serve her. Paola prefers to get US funding but that requires a major launch here so as a self funded founder with some friends and family money it’s a big stretch to show US size traction without funding. A bit rock and a hard place. So in sum, Italy is not startup friendly in her view, as the founder of the number 1 women’s site there which became #1 in 4 months on no investment but her own promotions.

  42. fredwilson

    thanks Charlie. we will check it out

  43. JLM

    .You are quite right. It boggles the mind that Japan is entering the 3rd decade of financial chaos.Zero interest rates do not work unless there is actually a lending environment.When interest rates were 20%, I could not get a loan.Interest rates are now 2.25% and I cannot get a loan.The first country that wiggles toward a balanced budget — not a strict balanced budget but just a conversation like “How much revenue will we have this year?” — will have a huge advantage in global markets.Funny thing — we have come full circle from being the best economy in the world to being the least screwed up economy in the world thereby preserving our status as the reserve currency for the world and oil in particular.We are getting ready to see some massive changes..