Whither usv.com?

Back in 2004, when my partner Brad and I started Union Square Ventures (USV), we decided to make our website a blog. It took us a year to do a final close on our first fund, so when we had finally finished the marketing period for that first fund, we put a blog onto usv.com and Brad wrote a Hello World blog post. In that post, he said:

We realized that our thesis evolves incrementally as a result of our dialogue with the market, and that the best way to manage that was to accept that we would never get to an answer, so we should just publish the conversation. The best way to do that is with a blog. So here it is.

That strategy has worked well for us and hopefully for entrepreneurs doing their homework on us. We have published the conversation on usv.com for about seven years now as our strategy and role in the startup world has evolved and grown.

But a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. We started having the conversation all over the place. We've been having the conversation here at AVC since 2003, so going into the usv.com experiment, we knew that would be an issue. But we also have the conversation at continuations.com, aweissman.com, unfinished work, christinacacioppo.com, garychou.com, and on countless tumblrs, twitters, disqussions, and elsewhere around the web.

The footer to Christina's home page says it all:

Christina's page footer

So last week Andy wrote a post on usv.com asking the question I asked in the title of this post. In that post Andy said:

our instincts are telling us it may look and feel more like an application or web/mobile service that aggregates content rather than strict content publishing

So Andy went on to say this:

We are therefore looking for someone who can help us build this specific project. Someone who is well versed in web and mobile and design methodologies but who is also a creative thinker. We have some basic ideas of the application we would like to build, but these are not set in stone; we value someone who can not only design and build but also help with the initial brainstorming, ideas, scope and prototyping.

We imagine this opportunity will be of a few months duration. If this sounds like fun to you please tell us a little about yourself in the form below.

Union Square Ventures – Help us build the next version of our internet presence

If you are interested in working with USV to imagine and then help build the future of usv.com, please go to that link and let us know.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Guest

    Yes, I would LOVE to apply for this project but sadly the only qualification I have is “creative thinker.” Of course that might be subject to questioning also.Nothing is more frustrating than being a one legged boxer in a Thai Boxing match….

    1. fredwilson


      1. Guest

        Boy, THAT rejection letter took no time at all….

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          You read that as rejection letter … i thought it was an invitation.

          1. Guest

            Hmm…Lets see, the first two questions deal with what apps or hacks you have built and are live on the web. My answer would be: “None and don’t hold your breath.”Next question, describe your programming and or design experience. My answer would be “None, outside of COBOL, and design? Get real I have no style…”But I have worked with lots of programmers, coders, and designers and they think I am just awesome to work with and that can be verified on my Linkedin Profile.Now, I do love the last question and I would respond to it and that response would go for pages…Nope, Fred rejected me!

        2. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          I have to agree with Kasi – but Fred could be simply appreciating the elegance of a turn of phrase.”I can’t think of anything that establishes a bound quite as quickly as being qualified.”Naturally , Fred can clarify things so tersely to the point of not clarifying at all.Some people might think that dismissive – I see it as unqualified and therefore unbounded :)Carl – Perhaps Fred is “the dog that didn’t bark !”

    2. Cam MacRae

      You’re underrating your ability to contribute, Carl. I think that first and foremost this is an exercise in communication, something you seem to excel at, and secondly an exercise in removing bounds. I can’t think of anything that establishes a bound quite as quickly as being qualified.

  2. Rahul Deodhar

    make it an RSS feed for everything. Google reader version of the web.

    1. William Mougayar

      Let’s not go back in time. This is a forward looking thing, not backward.

      1. Vineeth Kariappa

        More readers. THAT is the best solution.

  3. William Mougayar

    LMAO, this is in part what we were doing with Eqentia where we perfected the one-click publish from anywhere to your destination. The problem was that we bundled the information aggregation with the publishing and curation parts, but clients wanted these separated & few would pay for or appreciate the bundled approach.Β With that extensive experience in mind doing similar things, my suggestion is to not over-think or custom-build this too much.Β If I understand this correctly, the vision you want is something like a GigaOm or TechCrunch from a destination point of view, augmented by curated content that’s coming from all over.Β So, it’s a CMS/publishing focus that you need to have and look for. Either WordPress, TypePad or Drupal can do this for you with a minimal degree of customization and the right social and curation plugins.Β 

    1. kidmercury

      i agree sounds like a drupal project…..although i say that to everything

      1. fredwilson

        i was thinking scala πŸ™‚

        1. Guest

          Don’t be a sissy. Build it from scratch. πŸ™‚

    2. Luke Chamberlin

      I’ll take the contrarian view and say that USV should both over-think and custom-build this site. Sometimes you have to roll the dice.

      1. Cam MacRae

        Agree. I’d love to see a massive statement; perhaps invite an architect or artist to come in and completely redefine corporate presence.

      2. William Mougayar

        I thought I did by suggesting to not over engineer it. The idea is BIG, but the implementation doesn’t have to be. The pieces are there. The biggest part of this is that it is USV that’s doing it. Take that same idea to other places, and it may not have the same impact.

        1. Matt A. Myers

          You need to over-think and then prune ideas back. What ideas are leftover are very important, and it won’t seem or feel like there was any over-thinking, however that’s how I’ve found I’ve come to all of my conclusions — is by over-thinking to see all of the pieces.

          1. Kirsten Lambertsen

            I had a teacher who called creation like this, “making a mess and cleaning it up.” It’s still a very effective visual for me πŸ™‚

          2. CJ

            Ha! That’s exactly how I write. I throw everything at the page, get all the details out and written down, and then I clean it all up. Lots of it ends in the trash but the end is quite lovely to view.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            That’s a perfect description of the cycle of what my apartment / office area looks like with papers I scribble on, etc.. πŸ˜‰

          4. Kirsten Lambertsen

            @mattamyers:disqus @mlloyd:disqus And the cool thing is that he was referring to producing theater at the time. It’s a great metaphor that applies to everything :)As far as my office/house goes, I never seem to get to the “clean it up” part!

          5. Matt A. Myers

            Ah, brilliant. It works well too with working on a preparing and practicing a presentation too.. πŸ™‚

          6. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          7. Kirsten Lambertsen

            Maybe. Maybe not. Creativity plays by its own rules.

          8. Timothy Meade

            @FAKEGRIMLOCK we all start as students though

          9. Guest

            Oops… Missed this post.Yes, brainstorming sessions are great.

      3. fredwilson

        that is what we are likely to do

    3. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      Did not you LYAO in the original post … :-)http://www.usv.com/2012/06/…

      1. William Mougayar

        I did. Still doing it.This one has a bigger audience,- louder laugh πŸ™‚

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam


    4. fredwilson

      more like reddit actually

      1. Yitz Jacob

        how would that be different from hacker news?

        1. aweissman

          Maybe hacker news is a good starting point for this?

          1. falicon

            I guess it depends on the focus you guys want…if you model it too much after hacker news, it will probably just end being hacker news (only lesser because the driving motivation of the audience will be much different I think)Given a perfect world, what do you want people to be contributing to USV? Even more important, why?Focus on the answers to those two questions and I think you’ll at least find some clarity on the user experience you are after…

          2. Dale Allyn

            Right, Kevin. Taking the time to define the “problem” is paramount in designing the correct solution. There also needs to be some lists of “must haves” as well as “nice to haves”. And it can be helpful to know examples of “we definitely don’t want it to be like ______________”.Hacker News is Hacker News (same for Reddit), but USV (and even venture capital or startups, etc.) is a niche culture. There will be ways to present aggregated content in a way much more suitable to such a niche, and with much more elegance.There’s reference to First Round Capitol’s site elsewhere in this thread, and I understand Fred’s comment about it, but I do think that as a landing page there is much room for improvement there.

          3. Guest

            Getting people to “discover the problem” then “design the correct solution” is harder than you think. Most people just want to dump their ideas onto some programmers and forget about it.If they’re gonna’ do it then it’s worth doing right. Make it something great!

          4. Dale Allyn

            “Dumping their ideas onto some programmers and forget about it” is what yields mediocrity (at best), and expensive redesigns, at worse. I’m a fan of a thorough “discovery” process, and then building from the front to the back (i.e. an understanding of the targeted UX before running off and creating database schemas and choosing architectural toolsets). Too often it’s the other way around.

          5. Guest

            Yes, the UX is what the system is all about.I don’t do database schemas anymore. I only do object-models. I’m into the whole generate it approach.I’m teasing Fred here about contracting the programming because he said he’s not a big believer in outsourcing. But really, whatever someone wants is cool by me. In other words I’m not saying object modeling and code generation is for everyone.

          6. Matt A. Myers

            I found this a bit funny too. πŸ™‚

          7. FAKE GRIMLOCK


          8. Dale Allyn


          9. Guest

            But, “after build it” is the best time to figure out what it is you built.

          10. Mark Essel

            Echo the sentiment, narrow the focus by concentrating on the desired outcome.

          11. kidmercury

            i think it could be, especially if feeds are imported

      2. William Mougayar

        ok, like CuratedByUSV.com

        1. Timothy Meade

          It’s like, a, Pinterest but for startups!

    5. ShanaC

      they’re on wordpress currently if I am not mistaken.This is a site architecture issue with no clear way of getting around.

    6. Dale Allyn

      I’d need a more clear understanding of the goals before contributing much, but ExpresssionEngine also has some great attributes as well. The way “channels” work would be very useful for managing individual channels for the USV team, there’s a good forum module, multi-site manager, etc. It just depends on how custom one wants to go, but if one does not want to go full-blown custom application it’s an option to weigh against other CMS products. I use it and like it in several places.



  4. Seenator

    Maybe- you create a rebelmouse USV account and that becomes the benchmark your new site beats?Nik

  5. Dave W Baldwin

    You need a manager who can work with several angles putting the pieces together to form a platform that is truly flexible allowing a bigger population of participants, allowing several niches to do their thing that will enable crossing over for those that think/work in more than one arena.Per @tao69:disqus , remember the one legged man should always have a weapon his/her opponent doesn’t expect. A realistic creative thinker who can take the punches when things look questionable is more valuable than a one trick pony who tries to make something complicated to prove intelligence πŸ˜‰

  6. JimHirshfield

    Wither my comments?

    1. Luke Chamberlin

      Wither everyone’s comments…

    2. fredwilson

      it’s not stuck in moderation. did it show up or vanish into the ether?

      1. JimHirshfield

        Same problem as y’day. Daniel reached out last night…so he’s aware. I’m guessing it’s an Android 2.3 issue.

        1. falicon

          I think they just have the @JimHirshfield:disqus filter turned on…

          1. JimHirshfield

            Yup, I get that A LOT!

  7. JimHirshfield

    Trying again ….Sounds like you want a rebelmouse for USV

    1. fredwilson

      that’s where we start but we want to go a lot further than that.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        What if you could start with a RebelMouse meets Storify kind of aggregation + curation tool? So, a beautiful RebelMouse-ish presentation of your personally curated content voices and sources. You could create one page for USV overall, and each person at USV could have their own, as well.



  8. giffc

    Needs to be done! I agree with you that the future isn’t a Facebook where one ring rules them all. It is in an effective layer on top. USV is the people (and the portfolio), so capture the expression from where it feels natural, not forced.Ties into what Paul Berry is working on, or what a bunch of us hacked together and open-sourced with https://github.com/giffc/oh

    1. aweissman

      “USV is the people (and the portfolio)” -> what if it was/could be something broader too – not just us and the companies we invest in?

      1. giffc

        A few thoughts:- the USV broader community revolves around the USV members, as curators and community-engagers, on different platforms. It’s you as anchors and instigators that keep community so engaged. Not that I couldn’t see USV anchoring another kind of Hacker News with a different spin.- with so much content being created by the USV members and community engagement, curation is critical, whether manual or by the crowd. It already happens on the platforms where you engage (popular/active disqus comments, news.me summaries of popular twitter shared links, kickstarter projects that hit a certain threshold, etc etc) so do you need to create a meta level of crowdsourced curation on top? Although if you are trying to siphon a deeper level of wisdom from the crowds, then maybe yes.- do you have a few goals in mind? tap into interesting ideas / support entrepreneurs / engage community in a richer way / appear forward thinking / just have fun experimenting ?

      2. kidmercury

        yes. the best communities always serve a higher purpose.

  9. kidmercury

    is it really just aggregation……or is aggregation part of the bait to build a graph? if so, is community moderation implicit in graph creation…..well i hope you guys go the game play route. earn badges as you fulfill all the elements of the USV thesis (build a team, get engaged users, operate in nyc, bring UX innovation, etc), with badges unlocking new opportunities — perhaps even a term sheet!i do think there is also an opportunity to catapult to the top of the VC web site sector. right now the kid mercury award for best VC web site goes to firstroundcapital.com. but the competition is fairly slim, in my opinion. most internet VC web sites are just going the yearbook photo/brochure route, or the hyper-vanity route. time to disrupt the internet VC web site sector!

    1. William Mougayar

      Exactly. Aggregation + Curation + Publishing.I like the Community page of First Round. Disqus will need to build that feature which is to merge the avc, continuations, aweissman, old USV, etc into a single integrated view. It’s like an “enterprise version”.

      1. awaldstein

        Like the Disqus idea a lot William.

        1. William Mougayar

          I will discuss it with @danielha tomorrow I’m seeing him in SF.

          1. FAKE GRIMLOCK


    2. BillSeitz

      I agree this sounds like pure aggregation.You don’t even need curation (per my interpretation of your original notes) since you want to just bring together everything from USV staff. (Though maybe you want some way to flag/highlight core stuff, or downplay Albert’s ski reports :))RSS seems to make this pretty easy. Hrm if only Twitter didn’t keep making it harder/impossible to get to…Planet software would give you a big start at least… http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

      1. William Mougayar

        Curation is already happening everywhere primarily from Twitter. You don’t need to add too much there. What’s missing is to one-click publish from a tweet to a website. It can be built quickly & also via email like Instapaper – email this to a secret email & it shows up on your site. We did both with Eqentia.

      2. aweissman

        I think it might be aggregation plus something more. One idea is to take this concept of a “network” that is part of the investment thesis and try to create some service that is more of a network, so not purely aggregation

        1. William Mougayar

          So, isn’t this a publishing play? That’s what publishers do. They build an audience network around their content, and they monetize in different ways: traffic, conferences, sponsorships, etc. You certainly have the content: from you, your portfolio and adjacent areas.Am I missing something?

          1. aweissman

            What do you think about a “publisher” where the community or network chooses the content to be displayed or highlighted or linked to?

          2. William Mougayar

            Yes I like that- crowdsourced curation. So, you would name/approve “contributors” that can do that. Or let users vote up/down. Too bad we just turned off the eqentia showcase site this past week-end or I would have showed you most of this already there. it was hosted on http://portal.eqentia.com/usv and if set-up in the “Curate mode”, then the curators determine what gets published.

          3. aweissman

            Or anyone can be a contributor – the up/down vote mechanism can determine what comes next

          4. William Mougayar

            Sounds a bit like a Techmeme of USV. usvmeme.com

        2. William Wagner

          Aggregation gives you a cement mixer of information – then you can pour solid foundations for the network that already exists around USV, nodes of which are generally currently floating on individual blogs like this one

    3. VincentWright

      Curious, kidmercury: What’s your criteria for awarding “…best VC web site…to firstroundcapital.com”? Design? Traffic? Ranking? Content? Engagement? Other?

      1. kidmercury

        it’s primarily a win by default, since i haven’t seen another VC site that goes much beyond brochure and basic blogging. FRC does a few things that i think are very commendable:1. first, and most importantly, everything from the pictures, the copywriting style, and the news feed makes them seem smart and trustworthy. earning trust is always important, perhaps more so than usual in the early stage investing business.2. the news feed makes them more alive, which makes me want to stay around longer, and helps me learn more about them — both of which re-inforce trust.3. aggregation of their staff blogs also increases engagement and earns trust. the next step is for them to build a more vibrant community — to engaeg entrepreneurs on their turf.i just realized they are using iframes for their web site. this is almost an inexcusable technical error that will significantly limit their social growth potential; frankly i should retract the award for this kind of mistake. but i still think they do enough things right relative to the competition.

        1. VincentWright

          WONDERFUL, kidmercury! (Pssst! As bad as they may be, I’d recommend against retracting the award just for iframes…perhaps, you could footnote that they’re the best – until – you see another, comparable site without the iframes…(actually, I’m quite happy you chose to share their site with us…))

        2. RichardF

          I liked and agreed with your comment but I think the basic colours schemes on the site clash badly

        3. aweissman

          what is usv.com was a place, in part, where kidmercury could post links to businesses he thought were doing innovative things, incl. his reasons why? Or anyone could. I’m wondering if turning it more inside out would be a way to go.

          1. kidmercury

            i think that would be awesome. sometimes i want to post stuff i think is interesting here on fred’s blog but don’t want to be too much of a distraction as it would be totally off-topic. but that introduces potential community management time/cost (i.e. the inevitability of spamming), which you may or may not find worthwhile.

          2. aweissman

            Do you think Other communities have developed tools or norms – Hacker News eg – to handle that issue?

          3. kidmercury

            i think tools can help, but i still think spam requires some element of human assessment — or at least i haven’t seen an automated tool or crowdsourcing methodology that effectively deals with the contextual nuances of the “is it spam?” question. i think spam moderation benefits from the introduction of a hierarchy. i think curation is related to spam moderation and can also benefit from human labor and a community hierarchy.

          4. Dave W Baldwin

            Need spam button that throws tomato at the spammers mug

          5. William Mougayar

            You have approved “curators” that can do that. ConnectedN.com enables that sort of thing, but what you need is a bit more than that.

          6. LE

            (I had a reply to this but it was lost after I hit a random key.)What you need is a HN type community w/o the negative things that HN has become. I always thought that model would work in many places (for example doctors sharing medical info or structural engineers sharing info on their industry..)Anyway if you aren’t aware of those negatives (and I”m guessing you’re not) you could get together a bunch of AVC’ers who frequent HN (such as myself and afaik @fakegrimlock @aronklein and I’m sure many others ) who could give their opinion on what is bad about HN and needs to be improved.

          7. panterosa,

            @domainregistry:disqus (I had a reply to this but it was lost after I hit a random key.)YES! So annoying! Have to write to whom you write comment first. Which you may or many not want to start with.

          8. LE

            @aweissman:disqus a good idea the key is “his reasons why”. That is one thing that’s missing from HN. In order to give the “why” you have to comment on your own posting. But that comment doesn’t appear in the summary line so it’s not “above the fold”.Similarly, newspapers have been doing double headlines for years and it works well to draw in readers.”USV to revise website”—-“Weissman hopes to create community,experts say execution essential and have doubts”.

          9. aweissman

            Agreed – that’s one thing about HN that always frustrated me – i like the “add a link and one sentence context” idea. this is a good idea

          10. William Wagner

            I would see it more as a hub for community knowledge, kidmercury posts here or elsewhere and USV bubbles the best, most pertinent ones to the top, by explicit (democratic like HN/reddit) and implicit (popularity + relevancy) ranking methods.At the same time you can provide an encyclopedia of strictly up to date USV-community-endorsed wisdom.For an example of how the wisdom changes, look at the “traction” page on usv dot com and compare it to the “social proof” post by Fred recently. Basically the idea about traction and the idea about social proof are at odds, but the social proof one would come up way before the traction blog post if they were organized and ranked thematically

    4. John Revay

      FirstRound – I love the FIRST ROUND CAPITAL LIVE STREAMI don’t care for the UI/Look and feel.At one time I liked the look and feel of Spark, not sure if I like their refresh

      1. LE

        The stream shouldn’t be on the home page. At least not taking up so much valuable space to drive home other points.

    5. fredwilson

      FRC has done a great job with their site.aggregation is the starting point. what we want to think about, hack on, and get right is what happens after that

      1. kidmercury

        community! (or, to use a fancier word with some more implications, graph)

        1. fredwilson

          yes, exactly.

    6. LE

      I like that also. What do you like about FRC site in particular?

    7. falicon

      I love the gameplay concept…more web services (my various ones included) should take lessons from video games and teach users how to ‘play’ as they go and unlock power features…

      1. kidmercury

        IMHO as we move deeper into aggregation/curation, game play will be the unifying theme around which communities are built. it is such a huge opportunity in my opinion, but like all the best opportunities it is a tough one to crack

  10. Tom Labus

    OKC in six.I’m not crazy about the finals format. 2-3-2

    1. kidmercury

      hope your prediction is right but the heat really brought it in game 7 against celtics. they are seriously threatening to take away all the joy from lebron jokes. hope okc can come through.

      1. fredwilson

        lebron was fierce in 6&7. i hope he chills out a bit for this series!

      2. Tom Labus

        When Bosh came back it killed the C’s but I think OKC can deal with him

    2. fredwilson

      it will go six or seven. key is OKC wining the first two games at home. if they hold home court in the first two games, then i think they can win.

      1. JamesHRH

        @kidmercury:disqus @JLM:disqus @TomLabus:disqus @K_Berger:disqus @facebook-674616722:disqusIt is going to be fantastic hoops, but I think it ends quick.Westbrook & Ibaka are the keys.Ibaka will likely draw LeBron, as LBJ would eat Perkins alive. If he can just contain him (keep him under 40) and keep him off the offensive glass, that leaves Harden or Westbrook guarding DWade, KD35 on Bosh & it leaves KD35 / Perkins / Collison to pull down 20 defensive boards.The Heat have no one who can guard Westbrook, so they will lay off him and if he takes good jumps shots (and makes them), the Heat have to belly up to him and its over, in the half court.Between the D / boards / fast break points & Westbrook eating Chalmers alive (if they put LBJ on Westbrook, who guards KD35, Bosh? Mike Miller?), this is over quick.Westbrook shoots well its 5. He doesn’t, its 6.Thunder rolls!

        1. fredwilson

          Westbrook shot lights out last night. He was money

          1. JamesHRH

            Absolutely. He only had 3 or so questionable possessions, all in the first half too. With all he does, that’s a nonfactorThunder wildly deep – no Harden late, Collison & Setalosha were terrific.

    3. deancollins

      Tom, http://www.LiveBasketballCh… ,if you are watching the game live tonight and want to invite friends to join in the Live Fan Chat.

      1. Tom Labus


    4. JLM

      .Going to be great fun..

    5. K_Berger

      I think it will go 7. Hopefully OKC but LeBron has been awesome lately.

      1. fredwilson

        KD was awesome last night

        1. K_Berger

          That he was. LeBron definitely gets some undeserved abuse, but KD shows what a superstar is supposed to do, especially in the 4th quarter.

  11. Luke Chamberlin

    So tempting. So very tempting.

  12. leigh

    funny we had started the same type of project for our own company site. at some point i stopped everyone and said that I thought we were starting to reinvent blogging/curation and put it on hold. I’ll be curious to see if they end up being at all similar. (i have the conceptual architecture somewhere…i’ll have to go and find it)

    1. awaldstein

      Do share….I’m for whatever reason on a content curation panel this week and every time they send me questions about content I respond back with answers about context and community.

      1. leigh

        lol you haven’t commented on the last thing i sent yet ….

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      I am working on something that I think starts to solve this, elegantly. Interested in test-driving it?

      1. leigh

        possibly……..send me an email to my first name @gravityltd.com πŸ™‚

  13. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

    Are you thinking about aggregating based on context or just content?Stitching the PIECES and making it bigger does not have anything to it except for looking BIGGER. If it is context based app then would be interesting to watch how it blossoms.

    1. fredwilson

      can we do both?

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        with just machines … going to be tough. Some human interaction required.

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen

          I think humans should almost always do the curating, and machines should just make it easy. I think algorithms are great for big data discovery (RebelMouse). But humans have to be the algorithm when you are trying to tell a story.

  14. aarondelcohen


    1. fredwilson

      i like that word. i’ve used it a bunch over the yearshttp://gawk.it/search?forum…

      1. falicon

        btw – for every search there is now a permalink link in the side nav that you can use for sharing (advantage being that it’s a shorter link to copy/share…and it also will do click counting if you care about that sort of thing [I’m pretty sure you don’t, but it’s there anyway]).For this specific search, the permalink was http://gawk.it/dK

        1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

          Good one.I noticed today when I was searching for #26 …

          1. falicon

            3 has always been my favorite number…but 26 is quickly moving up the list! πŸ˜‰

        2. Kirsten Lambertsen

          Great addition.

  15. RichardF

    Blogger have something called Dynamic Views which I love. It allows the viewer to remix the content in the way that they want to view it. Which I think is really cool.So you could have for example a portfolio view, partners view, a classic view etc. All of which would show the information in a different way and relevant to the category.I don’t think just aggregating everyone’s various streams into the usv.com website is particularly interesting or innovative but if it could be remixed in a variety of ways that could be interesting.

    1. fredwilson

      i agree

  16. Ben Popper

    You need RebelMouse but open to all your various publishing inputs and with the ability to handle multiple author/admins

    1. William Mougayar

      Yes and no. USV’ers don’t do Facebook as a starting point.

      1. fredwilson

        facebook is my rebelmouse! that is exactly how i use it

        1. laurie kalmanson

          great title for a song, and the chorusfacebook is my rebelmouse.that is how i use it.

    2. John Revay

      I have not yet signed up for RebelMouse….but my first inclination was to state “RebelMouse”

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Kuratur is working on something like this. Beta due end of June.

  17. Nicolas Mottet

    Very interesting. I have been thinking about this a lot in the context of business management education. This is my v1.0 website: http://www.Medony.com. Content is coming from all over the place… it could be a harvard business video, an AVC blog post, an Inc article or a Quora discussion. There’s so much excellent content out there but it is so hard to find. Medony is focused on business and management, and is broken down into several topics, from Entrepreneurship to Product Management and Strategy. It aims at aggregating the most inspiring and most researched resources on management education from all over the web. It is user driven – you can submit your favorite articles and recommend the ones you think are the most valuable.So this is is… content aggregation as opposed to additional content publishing. I need to add USV.com to the list of sites on the radar πŸ™‚

  18. whitneymcn

    I think the interesting (and hard) part isn’t the aggregation, as such.While I have been thinking a lot about the implications of IFTTT’s recent progress, giving the USV crew the ability to easily cross-post, or otherwise actively route content from other sources to USV.com is a still reasonably well-defined problem; implementing it well (if this ends up being a component) is a challenge, but probably not a mind-blower.To Fred’s point above, though, how do you more effectively expose the evolution that’s happening over time?Networks are key to USV in many different ways: how can USV.com reflect that more effectlvely?Does the process of creating/selecting content for the site need to change along with the tools?Stipulating legal and ethical limitations, can the communit(y|ies) play a more significant role?Transforming USV from a group blog to a different kind of group blog would be an entirely reasonable step, but I think there’s the potential for something more. Looking forward to hearing more as it develops.

    1. aweissman

      Good rights. That’s a real question – can or should usv.com itself be a network?

      1. laurie kalmanson

        1. usv partners are first level2. anyone else who wants to play can appoint themselves at other levels, under tags of their own choosing3. any audience can keep/kill any player / tagsresult: twylah / pinterest / engagio / rebel mouse sorted by the tags and people i choose/like/upvote, with usv partners as default/featured#aggregate_everything

        1. fredwilson

          yeah, that’s the direction we are headed.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            you will rule the other parts of the world you don’t already rulecommenting / aggregation with real content is a huge winnytimes has great content but no communitythe bloggers i follow on the atlantic, like on usv, have loyal and awesome commenters but the only access to the comments is through the stream tied to a specific piecebreak apart and then tie back up the comments/topic/person so it’s all findable and searchable and surfaced in something pretty and usableif the mosaic pieces on pinterest contained content by tags / person view / conversation … and if there was a rebel mouse page for each topic …

          2. Luke Chamberlin

            USV portfolio companies have some of the best product/engineering blogs in the sector and would contribute excellent content.

          3. fredwilson

            Exactly. We need to light up the network

        2. aweissman

          great thoughts

          1. laurie kalmanson

            #becauseawesomehuffington post’s “topic” pages are not a bad starting pointadd views: conversation / peopleexample: #comments #conversations are tags/topics i follow. my preferences are set to show those streams at the top of my homepage. i want to know what @aweissman is saying about #comments #conversations; comments by him on those streams are at the top.

        3. Luke Chamberlin

          These are really good comments.

          1. laurie kalmanson


        4. William Mougayar

          I think an engagio user can certainly be “pushing” stuff to that future usv.com. E.g. you see something interesting and you one-click re-publish it.

          1. laurie kalmanson

            another stream!

          2. William Mougayar

            Not necessarily. It could integrate with the other content.

          3. laurie kalmanson

            yes; i meant that — in a good way.long ago, there was something called push media; so much about aggrega.tion recasts and refigures that in ways that are better.shorter: send info/aggregate for people vs people hunting for it; the more they want the info being sent, the better — and the info is all the streams flowing together but still being able to sort/choose the pieces

          4. Timothy Meade

            What limitWhat s the number of popular stories on the dashboard, is that configurable? Also, would it be possible to get a 2nd generation view but only if the two have communicated on the same sites more than, say, 5 times?

          5. William Mougayar

            It is generated initially implicitely from the places where the top 25 percentile of your contacts/interactions (with a minimum of 3 interactions), then it follows who you follow. Do you feel you want less or more? If you fine tune who you follow, it will adjust automatically. Email me and we can carry on further. Great question. Thanks.

      2. whitneymcn

        Gary Chou already provides care and feeding to one instance of a USV network that could be factored in. There’s an ecosystem there, but on current usv.com they’re a list of investments and job openings — easy to miss the forest for the trees with that construction.That network is a part of what USV is, and also connection points to a much larger and more interesting network.

      3. JamesHRH

        80% of the answer is asking the right question & this is a good question.

      4. Luke Chamberlin

        The answer to can is “yes”. The answer to “should” is a matter of values and vision.

    2. JLM

      .I like your site very much. Well played!Thank you..

    3. aweissman

      “Stipulating legal and ethical limitations, can the communit(y|ies) play a more significant role?” -> I am thinking is it not “can” the community play more of a role, but indeed “should” or “must” the community do so?

      1. Luke Chamberlin

        If the community isn’t playing a larger role I think all you are creating is a columnist-based blogging platform with some related content pulled in.

  19. panterosa,

    This needs to be a massive set of venn diagrams laid over each other for overlap.

    1. Dave W Baldwin

      Very good.

  20. Chris Sutton

    This immediately reminded me of Dave Winer and the work he’s been up to. I imagine he’ll see this and reach out if you don’t first.

    1. fredwilson

      or we should reach out to him

  21. Nicolas Mottet

    Very interesting. I have been thinking about this a lot inthe context of business management education. This is my v1.0 website:www.Medony.com. Content is coming from all over the place… it could be aharvard business video, an AVC blog post, an Inc article or a Quora discussion.There’s so much excellent content out there but it is so hard to find. Medonyis focused on business and management, and is broken down into several topics,from Entrepreneurship to Product Management and Strategy. It aims ataggregating the most inspiring and most researched resources on managementeducation from all over the web. It is user driven – you can submit yourfavorite articles and recommend the ones you think are the most valuable.So this is is… content aggregation as opposed to additional contentpublishing. I need to add USV.com to the list of sites on the radar πŸ™‚

  22. andyswan

    My vision of USV.com would have not a single word upon it.

    1. fredwilson


      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        Like the postal address of Gandhi i guess.People write only…………………….Gandhi……………………………………….. India …………………..And the postal mail reaches him from across the world.

        1. andyswan


      2. andyswan

        This seems like a conversation that should take place on a balcony with pappy in hand.

        1. fredwilson


        2. karen_e

          at 11:30 a.m.

      3. gbattle

        I agree with Andy here. The vision is not an EXPLANATION, but an EXPLORATION. The transformation is experiential, hence no words are necessary.Whatever USV’s new connective entity is, it should be cellular both in individual existence and collective, affiliated by context but not federated by mandate. Be the conversational primordial ooze that collects nutrients, sprawls its flagellum, splits and recombines, infects and fortifies, swarms and disintegrates, all within the cycle of life, death and rebirth.[:reaches for that Kentucky pappy on the balcony:]Mmmm hmmm.

        1. JamesHRH


          1. gbattle

            @jameshrh:disqus and @Rick_EWS:disqusWell, it’s obtuse, but that’s because I used an incredibly broad brush.Let me be concrete:- Conversations should span different internet domains and different services, but have affiliated connective tissue among them all.- In this spirit, USV.com acts as a hub, not an aggregator of content, but an aggregator of headlines and remote conversations. This satisfies tying together Fred, Andy, Brad & Albert’s social inventory.- Allow conversations to break off at ANY point as long as there is a lifeline to that conversation and measure of social engagement.- e.g.: allow for a Disqus conversation to leave AVC.com and continue on JoeBlogger, where the parent-child linkages and comment engagement statistics are available on both ends.By acting this way, it more approximates how a conference operates with the added benefit of tracking and linking – though there are main conversations, there are side conversations, break out rooms, lunch break talks, post-mortems, etc.

        2. Guest

          So, in other words. They should just throw something together?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            I’m envisioning a picture book, you could make it a 3D picture book too; Not responding to say anything about the commentary above, just being playful.

    2. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

      I think the other fred wilson (artist) will like your vision…good one.

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Search engines will love this! πŸ˜‰

  23. bsoist

    Makes sense to me. Aggregating all of your conversations and participation seems like an organic way to represent who you are, and what you do. I’d love to talk to you more about how I might help you get there. Ping me if you have any questions about my submission.

    1. fredwilson

      andy@usv is in the lead on this project

  24. John Revay

    I saw Andy’s post on USV last week, I thought it was essentially a RFP for doing a refresh of the USV site, after reading some of the comments here – it seems like they are considering building a whole new app..not just a new site.

    1. aweissman


      1. Guest

        It would be really cool to have you code the whole thing yourself, Andy. You know during your spare time. πŸ™‚

    2. JimHirshfield

      USV, there’s an app for that.

    3. Guest

      It sounds cool. I hope they do a totally awesome out of this world system. I mean heck they are in the internet VC business.

  25. LE

    Cool. Disqus implemented the suggestion regarding a popup so you could see the parent post.

  26. LE

    Dbl Cool – Also they fixed the breadcrumb so you can get back to comments after looking at someones profile.Here’s another (I bought a 10 pack of premium bug fixes and I’ve only used 5 so far): There is no way to cancel an edit there is only a save edit button.

  27. falicon

    It’s not what you pull in and present (aggregation, curation, and even ranking are the easy parts)…it’s what you push out and participate in.Build a system that let’s the conversation flow naturally from all the various entry points and I think you’ll be onto something.What I mean is, if you post on avc and it gets pushed to usv the ensuing public conversation that occurs at avc, usv, twitter, tumblr, facebook, and everywhere else around the internet should really just be one big, dynamic conversation (that each entry-point/endpoint is as aware of as possible).I think doing this on the personal level is the engagio sweet spot…I don’t know of anyone really doing it yet on the content or topic level, but I think it’s worth exploring more…

    1. kidmercury


  28. Matt A. Myers

    I read this post on USV the other day.What I am building, organizing and planning to build, will automatically fit with what USV is looking for. Interestingly enough the theories of the problems overlay perfectly for where my project plans have evolved.It is a big problem that exists – general vs. contextual view.General views allow for an overview, a state of affairs view. (Think USV)Contextual views are valuable as well due to cutting out the noise, increasing relevancy, etc.. (Think each portfolio company, partners at USV, etc.)Both views are equally important and valuable.I was going to email you shortly to ask when I could come into NYC to give a little presentation to you (et al), regarding where I am currently at, and where I am going.Worse case scenario you see my vision of where things are going, the solutions I have come up with – all related to facilitating the de-centralized web – and learn something, where I see the web going.Perhaps you can kill two birds with one stone – investing in me and a system that can be used by all companies with a similar problem, instead of hiring someone to create a solution solely for you/USV; Is this what you call asking for the order? :)Also, there’s much more to what I am doing than solving USV’s specific problem.I was going to start planning a pitch/presentation circuit next week for NYC/Toronto/San Fran.Have to run to Bikram yoga now. Be back online at 2pm!

    1. Guest

      Wow! You’re gonna’ run to the yoga place. Take your yoga class. Then run back to the office. Are you sure you wouldn’t like an extra hour for some rest before getting back online?

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I live about 20 seconds from the yoga studio I usually go to. πŸ˜‰

      2. Matt A. Myers

        P.S. It’s funny when people run to yoga! πŸ˜›

    2. fredwilson

      I dont know if we should try to mix our investing activities with this project but i would like to hear what you are up to

  29. Denim Smith

    Please excuse this comment if it sounds spammy but I just built and launched the beta of a private consumer version of this theme but am focused on families – though anyone would benefit. My thesis is very similar however with a different application and use case and not for the early adopters or even the tech savvy – or put another way, this is for the user’s who have a high opportunity/friction costs as they spend quality family time offline, are changing diapers and try to make ends meet to support the needs of their family.As you’ve stated, as the web and tech evolve there is a constant stream of new products and services and devices that vie for our eyeballs and the hearts and minds of the masses. There are certain utilities that people (esp families) love, rely onand use with a perceived long-term horizon regardless of the app du jour or new product/ device launch — because it hosts their important data (data that traditionally resided in your home).But unfortunately the companies running these products and services are constantly evolving and morphing/ pivoting and changing business models for the benefit of the company and market position and the user is at their mercy – most of these are currently ‘free’.So you get married 10 years ago with each spouse having their personally generated content on their hard drives and mobiles, a MySpace account x2, Flikr or Picassa x2, open up and connect to friends and acquaintances on FBx2, husband Blackberry, wife iPhone, consume information from Twitterx2, husband Android, new family laptop, LinkedIn x2, start private check ins on Foursquare x2, instagram x2, iPad, tablet, here comes Google+ x2, Pinterest, Fitbit, RebelMouse, and you’re 35 with kids and you’re fragmented and drowning and this will continue for another 40+ years of your life with acquisitions, pivots, failures, etc. dictating the products essence.+ your childhood photos are still in analogue and you will unfortunately inherit them along with your parents and grandparents life in photos.So I pulled the valuable, meaningful, stickiest, and richest self-generated content out (photos, videos, diaries) to aggregate in a private storage/ backup web and mobile application that also allows the member to pull in 3rd party apps that are important to each individual – FB, Twitter, Flikr, 4Sq to start. Keep the meaningful protected, intuitively organized and at your fingertips – use the new platforms without hesitation knowing the information you contributed will not be lost.Subscription based: like a bank, you pay for privacy. You pay to keep your photos, videos, and diary protected and intact for the long term knowing the product core and value prop is a constant. Over time and at your discretion, choose to pull in other apps to keep a copy of your data but also to use the apps you use on a regular basis to augment the larger story of who you are – aggregated and curated for your eyes only.Your content is mapped on a interactive and intuitive timeline where you can create life milestones with the richest content of your life and build yearbooks to capture and highlight those special and favorite moments and/ or recurring events of a year – every year. A read-only version of your account is transferable to a spouse or other loved one of your choosing with an eBeneficiary system so that your family can control your data and reflect posthumously — if even to help in freezing and shutting down web accounts that they’re unaware of.Sorry for the long comment – I am sure I broke some law(s) of the social web with this comment — I also used the Empire State Building’s elevator for my pitch.

    1. Guest

      That didn’t sound spammy. It was as long as a dragon’s tail, but not spammy.

    2. Mac

      Enjoyed your comments. Not “spammy” at all. Having spent a couple of years developing a concept that incorporates some of your premise and value base, I appreciate your perspective. Congratulations on your beta launch. Much success.

      1. Denim Smith

        Hi @mac – id love to discuss your vision and ours if you’re so inclined. Thank you for your reply – its quite a big vision and as long as my post was I only scratched the surface! I too have been designing mi Lifemap for >2 years. It is my life’s passion.

        1. Guest

          Hi Denim. Thanks for your interest. I suspected your comments were just the tip of the iceberg. Good decision to follow Fred. I’ve found him invaluable the past two years and have made him one of my defacto advisors.Like you, I’ve spent a couple of years iterating and pivoting the original concept. While in pre-formative startup, I’ve decided to fly under the radar and remain stealth until beta. I appreciate the work and effort that went into creating your landing page. A visually appealing site. Nice job.Essentially, being a ‘Boomer’, I’ve found that many in my generation-and for that matter every generation-feel disenfranchised from today’s technology and all that the Internet offers. Especially those not part of this ecosystem who feel overwhelmed. Through a combination of curating, aggregating, and collaboration, with an emphasis on visual content, our goal will be to simplify their access to, and navigation of, areas of interest.One of the many categories to select from will be photos. Since we won’t be totally original content, curation will enable users to access sites like yours that they may otherwise not be aware of.The mission will be to provide a portal/platform that users can trust and a community where they will be exposed to more of what the Internet has to offer that can enhance their lives. Interesting to me was the fact that this demographic covers the entire spectrum of Internet users: from the savvy to the novice.I’ll add mi Lifemap to my contacts and update you when we move into beta. I’m on twitter and would welcome a ‘follow’: MacW@i_MacW. I look forward to hearing from you. Congratulation on your launch and continued success with mi Lifemap. I’ll follow with interest. My compliments to you and your team. Mac

          1. Denim Smith

            That sounds wonderful @iMacPhail:disqus and can’t wait to see more of what you have in store. Thank you for the support and words of encouragement. Like you I have taken a long term and somewhat contrarian approach to my target market as there are just too many people outside of the typical startup/app target demographic lagging behind the fast-paced tech evolution. I also took a deep dive into what happens to your stuff after you pass away. No one seems to be addressing boomers and death (btw I am not tying these together!) or the fact that most of the population still has analogue photos that need to be liberated and enjoyed – especially when you consider that 2 generations ago our entire family photographic history began – for all of time. There is a lot of friction here. This is no ancestry.com sound byte but the little amount of photos from people who were significant parts of our families lives – being our parents’ parents and grandparents – is important and where significant meaning remains from real life relationships and love – the boomers will have a ton of analogue to digitize and organize or go we’ll be going through them blindly when its too late. We take photos of moments for a reason and yet backup products UI/ UX are yellow folders that contain everything and yet not for consumption – they’re dinosaurs. I hate this type of descriptor, but I see us like Evernote for memories – we will have 10’s of thousands of photos and videos, and 10’s of thousands of favorites, over our lives and I honestly believe mi Lifemap is the best design to organize and access them at anytime from anywhere. All my digital photos and videos are stored in my account and its powerful. Next for me are my analogue photos from my youth and childhood photos from my parents – all while currently capturing my 2 year old and our family’s future memories today. Also – I believe that users should have control & ownership of their personally generated (and important long term) content outside of device manufacturers and major platforms if even to have no switching costs – let alone negotiating power and potential for user monetization down the road. Big vision and daunting but its time for an independent voice who puts the users first. Add internet TV and the future of our media at our fingertips, owned by the user and device agnostic, will be solved. We are just custodians. Sorry if that sounded like a commercial!I appreciate you taking the time to reply.Thanks again,Denim

          2. Guest

            Thanks, Denim. It’s clear you put a lot of work and thought into your concept before executing. I couldn’t agree more with your comment, “…target demographic lagging behind the fast-paced tech evolution.” I think you’re on target. Don’t know if you’ve followed 1000Memories since their launch two years ago. There may be some things they’ve done that could be of benefit/interest to you. Too bad you don’t live near South Carolina. We could probably spend an afternoon discussing our missions. Hopefully our paths will cross one day. I’ll update you when we launch. With compliments. Mac

    3. fredwilson

      Do you have a link where we can all see it?

      1. Denim Smith

        Sorry I didn’t want to explicitly spam your comments.The company is called My Internet Corp. (‘mi’) and the product is http://www.miLifemap.com + iPad (family photo albums reborn) and iPhone. Android next. Having a 2 yr old and with my wife losing her father unexpectedly I am very passionate about this and designed it for meaning and intimacy first.

        1. fredwilson


  30. JamesHRH

    My Sbux espresso blend must have been Costa Rican Contrarian this AM.What you are doing is not required. Cristina has it right.USV does not engage the market, the partners do. USV informs the market. As you were.

    1. fredwilson


      1. JamesHRH

        Andy’s USV.com as a network idea is compelling, I admit.But I am not sure you can automate the posting to all the platforms…..Cristina is a keeper, btw.

  31. William Wagner

    Aggregate and tabulate every word of every discussion. Something like falicon’s disqus search would be parfait, it looks like all you guys use disqus for comments. Pick out keywords. Summarize discussions around those most important keywords and allow users to explore the keywords and discussions to greater depth in the keyword net.I really want something like this put in place at the federal government. They could automate FOIA requests this way, and beat Wikileaks at their own game.

    1. falicon

      I haven’t had a chance to release it yet, but I have been playing around with the data in the background and can generate a list of the most used, most unique keywords across the dataset (though it’s not that groundbreaking of a list when you consider the common topic theme…things like ‘equity’, ‘stock’, and ‘valuation’ dominate the list)

      1. William Wagner

        The greater organization schema would involve grouping the keywords into themes; posts of greater relevancy to a theme would contain more keywords associated with that theme. So you can provide that basic “relevancy” function just using the keywords. Can you rank by social ties and/or popularity? Those would also provide a greater implicit ranking system for the posts.

        1. falicon

          this moves more down the NLP path than raw search (at the moment gawk.it is really just raw search with a few ‘tweaks’)…but it’s def. an area I’ve got a lot of interest and thoughts around…so it’s not that much of a stretch that I might eventually start playing there too (but at the moment, I’m more focused on just improving the search related experience and getting adoption with more blogs/forums).There is a lot of meta-data around blogs and comments so there are tons of different ways to rank results…I’ve started playing with the most basic of these to see what works or doesn’t…but I think it’s going to be a constant area of exploration/improvement for gawk.it (I think different use-cases call for different optimal rankings)

          1. Timothy Meade

            I’d really like to see something like http://htsql.org used to drive a CMS, but with the internet or every piece of UGC on it as the database, not a wordpress db.

  32. Guest

    It only sounds like a few days work. But, I would like to offer to be the contractor for the programming.I can asure you Fred, I’ll whip the programmers twice daily, three times a day on weekends!

    1. fredwilson

      Post on that link

      1. Guest

        Thx for the offer, Fred. I was just kidding, I needed a lead in for the “whipping programmers” joke.It appears you’re looking for someone to add temporarily to your team for some technical labor work. I don’t do the temp agency or placement firm thing. Also, I’m not looking to add any more technical labor experience to my skills.If it turns into a large scale project that you want to completely outsource (I know your not big on outsourcing) then I would be interested. Maybe a 3+ person team with a project manager. Add some outside research people to make sure we get the psychology of it right. That’s when you’re starting to talk exciting.

  33. Mac


  34. Doty

    I think an interesting way at aggregate comments would be to take a real look at applications people are currently using and showing insight, without it being the main focus of the application. For example, Rdio is a site where music lovers, especially those interested in discovering new music (indie genre especially seems to get a lot of attention on this site), while also aggregating content and showing insight by having the opportunity to create a playlist name and put the songs you find fitting to your unique description in that category. The individual user homepage is the most unique thing about Rdio, because it gives a chance for discovery. You can also follow without following, which is a way to get people interested. Pinterest allows this following or not option as well. Pinterest is another popular website which allows users to aggregate content and gives the user the option to be creative in category formation or not. They can create categories personally meaningful to him or her, or just create a generic category name. This gives a wide range of people interested in the website, mostly women due to content on the site itself, but those who are both left and right brained can appreciate because level of creativity is an option, and not seen as mandatory to use the site. I think a good way to aggregate content on a site that you are speaking of is this: combine the models of the 2 sites. Replace business content relevant to the user for music on rdio and girly images on Pinterest. Pinterest is most worth noting due to the demographic it caters to. Content is important and will continue to evolve as the original content sets the standard for what the user can expect to find on a particular site. Allow the user a chance to find those interested in the same things to follow and discover information, and provide suggestions, through an ever improving algorithm (on a user homepage similar to rdio). Give those interested in learning a chance to use because there is relevant and interesting content available. Allow those who choose to show insight through the way he or she personally chooses to arrange content (playlist style – if you are following me) and a place to write a description. Combine features of websites people like due to nature in which it is set up and benefits offered. Just build on existing products by combining and putting your own spin on it. That is how every business and industry grows and operates.

  35. Guest

    I borrowed this from a president or whoever:Ask not what the USV community can do for you.. but rather what you can do for the community.

    1. aweissman

      I like this

  36. Guest

    OK, I’m feeling a bit silly today so if any USV people get offended let me know and I’ll delete this post.It’s been quite a while since anyone at USV has responded to this thread. Last impression I got was they were headed to a balcony to drink some Old Grand Dad.So, here’s how I envision the scene. The empty bottles are on their side. Some people are passed out. One fell off the balcony.The survivors are discussing hiring the girl LIAD let go that ordered the whiskey and coke for lunch.Remember: I said I don’t drink, but I didn’t say I never drank.

    1. fredwilson

      We ran an awesome event yesterday for our portfolio focusing on mobile app marketing

  37. Vitomir Jevremovic

    I’m late to the party, but lets see if anyone is left..Do you know that scene from a movie “Split second”? The one were Durken says “We need bigger guns” :)While I’m looking at the conversation here.. I’m having a flash back from the movie.. “no, no, this is too f*kin small”.. “we need something bigger” :)I’m having a feeling this is like a pitch, like a marketing agency type of pitch. Only that the USV is sitting on the top of the hill of innovation, current web technologies and trends. You name it, they got it. That’s why I get that feeling.. we need something bigger..Now a true feedback.I would love to get into the game.. but it takes time. It cannot be a simple comment on a blog. It needs to be well thought and presented.So, what I would like to purpose to you (Fred and USV) that you make a full “brief”. Like clients do for agencies. Powerpoint that could be downloaded (maybe with a requested password). Brief would clearly outline tasks, expectations, current state of visitors, their engagement and were would you like to go with it. There are a lot of things already going through your heads, it would be good to have them all in one place, so that we could make some constructive suggestions that are in line or exceed your expectations.Make the rules, start the game, we will play πŸ™‚ and we’ll take the biggest guns we have.

    1. Guest

      You might have the wrong idea. I think they are looking for someone to come in for a few months and help them. The contact page for the project uses the word “someone” not “team” in the description.I would expect the project to max at $50K? Maybe $75K if they get loose with requirements. So, it’s between a Micro and Mini project. That’s not something you hire an outside *team* to takeover.

      1. Vitomir Jevremovic

        I do understand their initial approach is a bit different.I just believe that a pitch type approach might be also suitable.Micro and mini projects could be done with external teams too. Budget you are referring to would be more then enough even if we are talking about small teams (but not US based).

        1. Guest

          “Micro and mini projects could be done with external teams too.”Why would you need a “team” for a Micro or Mini project? With most projects of that size you can have a one or two person founder/worker shop do it.

          1. Vitomir Jevremovic

            depends how you see the project.. is there a mobile part, how complex it is, a web part, how it connects to mobile, + design..by the way, two is a team πŸ˜‰



    1. falicon

      I officially endorse this candidate…


        OR ELSE!

    2. Guest

      FG…Better get to Burger King as they now offer Bacon Sundaes!



    3. Guest

      Oh my, lol.

    4. fredwilson

      You are available for a freelance gig?



    5. Matt A. Myers


  39. Guest

    Hey Guys- I’m trying to search through past posts. When I enter the search terms I’m directed to gawk.it where it says there are 15 blog posts with the term I am searching. There are 10 that show up on the page and an infinite scrolling mechanism that doesn’t seem to work. It doesn’t produce the remaining posts. Has anyone else had this problem? I could possibly be doing something wrong. :-/

    1. falicon

      Sorry for the troubles, it’s not you it’s the software…let me know the term you were searching and I will debug it for you. You can also email me anytime at info at falicon.com if you have questions or other troubles.

  40. Tris Reid-Smith

    Really interesting article. Thank you.

  41. reece

    even if you don’t make any changes, usv.com is lightyears ahead of many VC home pages

  42. David Adewumi

    I think this problem is also a similar problem media companies have; the default has been so far to either work on another’s platform (e.g. Pulse) or try to custom build a unique experience (e.g. The Daily App on iPad). The natural problem with the non-algorithm feed (e.g. Twitter, Blog Posts, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram) is that there’s no way to tell what content is more important than the other; although, interestingly enough “discover” and email newsletter from Twitter now try to do this.Also, certain activities: tumbling, tweeting and pinning — probably occur in greater frequencies than others: blog posts & important news from portfolio companies. How to balance the two and filter them for users?As far as I can see, Facebook’s Edgerank and Flipboard do this better than anybody; neither of which are trivial experiences to build. Perhaps look into those algorithms and build a rudimentary version of Pagerank or Edgerank; let’s call it “USVrank.” It could factor-in inbound links, comments, likes, repins, retweets and shares.The Instagram model with more focus on “popular” or “featured” might win the day. Instagram does for mobile, what an operating system like OSX does in its standard views: provides opportunity to toggle between list, photo/pinterest-layout, and cover-flow.Instagram’s UI: Feed, Popular/Trending, Activity Feed of what your friends are doing. Perhaps three settings: Default (USVrank), All and Activity Feed. (e.g. Fred Wilson just favorited a tweet, or Christina just followed these 5 users on Quora, or FourSquare just …) Within those two settings three views: list, pinterest/pulse-style view, and coverflow — optimized for smartphones & tablets. (See: iTunes for how this would look like).Just a few thoughts.

    1. aweissman

      I like the thoughts – thanks. In my mind I do keep coming back to people based algorithmic approaches which seem to work – reddit, hacker news – you post a link and some commentary. The community itself determines whether that “post” should stay at the top. For example.

  43. Mark Essel

    How about a hashtag? #usv, #usvuniverseThat’s enough structure to begin filtering with a variety of tools.A twitter account is handy for realtime updates, utilization of tags works for historical search (gawk.it, DDG, Goog)The portal could be stylized and designed to highlight what the USV team feels is most vital to your mission today.

  44. Mike Russell

    As usual, a very interesting thread. My two comments (valued at 1 cent each for my 2 cents’ worth ;-)Re: whether an investment firm might be a universal (or universal enough) model. I think yes. We all have “investments” that are represented by where we spend out time and effort … and are interested in the 1) results of the investments (e.g. what impact does my activity have, whether business, comment put somewhere, etc.); 2) information/environment of the investments (e.g. other conversations/content on the site or from elsewhere). And, as some prior posts pointed out, some of that “stuff” I would want public and some I would want at varying degrees of privacy … so a circles or layers concept would be very useful if this were to be my “life console.” So whatever website model that results, it could be very useful for individuals or other businesses if taken at the meta level.Re: decide the end goal now or take a “wait and see” approach. Why not follow the general lean start-up approach and establish an initial canvas (modified as needed for this situation), then put a stake in the ground with an updated canvas each week (or whatever iteration period you pick) until you get to “good enough” for the initial release? I, for one, would like to see these published – if you are willing – as the conversations between very current knowledgeable individuals in the web/mobile space (USV and selected resources) would be very valuable in of itself, in addition to seeing the final result, and also allow other evaluations/inputs/suggestions as you go.