Turning 17 For The Third Time
Tomorrow I turn 51. I like to think of it as turning 17 for the third time.
The first 17 years of my life was my childhood. I'd like to thank my parents for everything they did for me, taught me, and provided for me in those years.
The next 17 years of my life was figuring out how to be an adult. The Gotham Gal, whom I met when I was 19, helped me to figure that out.
The next 17 years were about figuring out how to be a good husband, parent, and venture capitalist. The skills for all three are largely the same. Being there, caring, supporting, listening, constructively criticising, and above all being present in the relationship. I'm still working on those skills and I suppose I will for the rest of my life.
Now I'm on to the next 17 years. I'm not sure what they will bring. But I am sure that it will be fun, interesting, rewarding, thrilling and challenging. I'm looking forward to them.
Great perspective. Good to know I have a few more years to figure out the adult thing. Happy birthday Fred!
Don’t try to be too much of an adult! We need you to keeping fighting the 9-to-5 and the cubicle crowd for us.
the next 17th: grandparenthood, syndicate values and help choices. PLATFORM. “senator”ship. congrats
Grandparenting seems like a fun experience
It’s like playing with someone else’s cute puppy and not having to clean up the mess.
Happy birthday, mate!It’s my birthday today, but the division doesn’t work so neatly for me 😉
Happy birthday. I’ve always loved having my birthday in August
hot august nights? not for me unfortunately — it’s ski season.
I agree. I love being a summer baby even though Autumn is my favorite season. But only recently did it occur to me that as a kid I was always one of the youngest in my class and I wonder how this influenced my development growing up.
Me too. And always last in line and at the back of class. Youngest and last name in the alphabet for most of my classes
But AVC nicely positioned at the top of blog rolls, RSS feeds, etc.Look, learn, improve….
That was not intentional but it is great
Same here – must be a mark of exceptional people!
As a “B” I was often near the front, but being so small was usually among the last picked for teams. I am very grateful for deep-rooted optimism (for which I can take no credit) or I would have been sunk.
Funny, we were just talking about this today. Both of our kids are summer babies (june and august) — and we were wondering what that will be like once they start school. In particular, our son is small for his age, so he’ll likely be the smallest as well as the youngest forever (but he’s charming, handsome, a great athlete, perfect, etc etc etc so we’re not that worried :). But it is good to hear that people like being summer babies.
Me too. We always went on vacation for my birthday.
Happy Birthday Fred. I agree, there is something about an August birthday – even though here it is “winter”. I look forward to one day celebrating by the beach and actually experiencing a hot August!
You should. Its great
Happy birthday Cam! 🙂
happy birthday cam!
Happy birthday to you!
Best wishes Cam! Great knowing you via AVC.
You too William, and thanks!
happy birthday to you as well!!
Crikey! I didn’t mean to highjack @fredwilson:disqus’s thread. It’s rolled over to the 20th here, so it’s not my birthday any more… but it is Fred’s!Thanks one and all 🙂
Happy Birthday, Cam! It does not surprise me that you have the same birthday as my brother. Since he arrived just a few days before my 7th birthday, I thought he was a birthday present.You are a good mate, Cam, even if for me it is online and across an ocean. Have a wonderful day!
Awwww! Sweet of you to say Donna. Thank you, and happy birthday to you too! 21, no doubt 😉
hey happy birthday Cam!
Have a great on Cam!
happy birthday, now get out of here and go get a really good drink somewhere
Thanks Shana. I’m deferring that drink until Friday 🙂
Hey, Happy Birthday, Cam!
.Happy Birthday and many more.JLM.
Thank you @JLM.
Happy birthday for yesterday Cam!
Thanks Ruth! I was going to say that you’re up early, but I realise that I’m up late 😛
Happy birthday cam!
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Richard!
This is also the last year someone can say “Wilson’s not a full deck”.
Unless you are playing hearts with only three players
Happy Birthday you big kid, you.
I wish you a happy birthday in advance, Fred.And I do this as a friend whom you have never met, if you allow me to, because during your last 17 years you did another thing: you build up relationships like the one in this blog. Thanks to this you enriched my knowledge about so many issues.I wish you the best for the next 17 “fun, interesting, rewarding, thrilling and challenging” years.Ivan
Thanks and great point about the blog
That’s a great way of dividing the years and to reflect accordingly. It’s been equally fun, interesting, rewarding, thrilling and challenging knowing you for the past 3 years.Happy many returns Fred.
Given where you are right now and where the emerging NYC tech/innovation industry is right now, I think the next 17 years are going to be about you figuring out how to lead the rest of us through what I hope to be exciting times.
There are plenty of leaders emerging and I am very happy to see that
Onwards and upwards.. Happy birthday in advance Fred! 🙂
I’ve never been fond of my birthday, but I’m very fond of yours, Fred. A great post.
This last chapter — bookended by the Netscape and Facebook IPOs – has been exciting in all ways. Happy birthday Fred and hopefully the next chapter is even more exciting!
Yup. Quite a run.
great outlook on life – In my head I’m always 21 years of age – happy birthday Fred
Me too. Maybe 20
happy birthday! next 17 should be the most exciting for all of us.
Happy Birthday, Fred.Re capture some child like tendencies for the next 17!
I read this piece today which basically says time moves faster as we grow old. I wonder what your take on this is. Does dividing it to three 17 year parts help in slowing down the time? http://everything2.com/user…
It most certainly moves faster and I am not aware of any techniques to slow it down
Arghhh. According to the article I linked to, one’s life is 50% over at the age of 10. That was the most depressing thing I’ve ever read.
Then I guess all of us here have already beaten the odds. Maybe we should do something worthwhile with our good fortune? 🙂
.As you get older, time does move faster because it is more filled and less vacant.Only yesterday I was 28 years old..
Happy early birthday, Fred. You’re a good man. Thanks for all of your support.
Advanced Happy Birthday Fred, I think your last 17 years is being transcribed into this blog… I cannot wait to be participate in the next 17 through this blog. You are doing a great service and I know you and Brad Feld are driven by an internal motivation and I hope you can inspire more people to find their voice and inspire others to find theirs.
Yeah. Among other things this blog is a public diary
Happy Birthday… I’ve said it before, I’ve probably read more words written by you than by all but a handful of authors. You’ve done a lot to enrich my life, and the life of my students.
Teaching is gods work. Thanka for doing it and including my words in the mix
Happy Birthday. I’ve been saving up money for this year’s Donor’s Choose challenge.
I have to figure out something new and fun for that
Happy birthday Fred. I like your division and I don’t think too many people use 17 as division marker – makes you stand out!!
Its a prime number
Nicely done: Math humor! I smiled despite my usual cynicism.Happy birthday to you. Many happy returns.
I set all my fonts and graphic measurements in prime numbers. Seems more organic. And isn’t jewish charit given in multiples of 17?Happy birthday.
Isn’t the magic number in judiasm 18?
18. For some reason it seems odd that the number is even.
I agree. Missed opportunity
multiples of 18 – chai is 18.
Happy Birthday Fred!
I have an interview with Über in Dallas in the AM.
Excellent. Tell them I said they should hire you!
I will keep you posted.
Looking shaky here Dallas will find out for sure in a few days.
I go for 15 years increments – but then I come from the school where amplifiers are louder when they go to 11 – Happy Birthday!
Nothing wrong with 11 or 15
We should not lose that “17-end-of-high-school-everything-is-possible-in-life” energy. Most people experience it only once in their life.
That’s sort of the point of this post. Thanks for picking up on that
Happy birthday!Hope the next 17 years of being a husband, parent, investor (and blogger!) are awesome!
What a great take! As a bit of a late bloomer, I think I’ll use 18.It is always such a pleasure to wish you a happy birthday, Fred. A sort of favorite holiday here at AVC. You and Gotham Gal seem to be great at celebrating. Whether hoopla or quiet, I hope that you have something quite special planned.
Very quiet this year but surrounded by family
That is special, indeed. I was trying to wait until tomorrow to actually say Happy Birthday but couldn’t wait. Happy Birthday! So now I get to say it twice.
I was thinking of using 27…..& living to 108!
Awesome post. Have a happy birthday!
Happy birthday Fred. I like your division. I have a slight variation on it. The first 25 yrs are about you, totally selfish. The next 25 yrs are about learning and sharing. About growing and gaining skills. The next 25 yrs (hopefully not the last) are about giving back, about others, about returning to the world that his given me so much.I wish I had been smart and unselfish enough to pay it forward or to move aggressively to the giving back but I only did it sparingly in the past.
Great way of thinking about it
Cheers to that! Happy Birthday 🙂
Happy Birthday Fred!
Happy birthday, Fred. I am 50 today and very excited about what the next few years will bring, family-, work-, and learning-wise.
Happy birthday. A big one!
Happy Birthday Fred!
happy birthday Fred – look forward to seeing bits and pieces of those next 17 though the lens of the avc community and your writing/various other media.Wow… wonder how this will all change in just 5 or 10 years 🙂
I wonder too
Happy birthday Fred!
Happy birthday, Fred. I have only one hypothesis on aging: keep the mind active and the body healthy and the rest will follow. To another 51 years as fruitful as the first 51!
Keep the body healthy and the rest will follow.My formula at least.
A good one
Fred….Traveling today so Happy Bday!And consider adding the creation of this community to one the accomplishments of the last x years. It’s a rarity and something that touches a lot of people in important ways
Yup. I agree
That would be a long life
When you put it that way, it’s nice to think that I still have a couple years left to spend figuring out how to be an adult.
Well it took me a while
Happy birthday Fred! Here’s to many more. Cheers!
Happy birthday, Fred. And thanks so much for being so generous with your wavelengths. Your blog and the conversations here are like anti-aging compounds — keeping the mind exercised.
I hope so
8/20 is my wife’s and 8/22 my mom’s. Late August has delivered for me in terms of important people in my life.Happy 51 Fred!
Happy birthday to both of them
happy birthday to all!
Happy 3rd time 17th birthday. May the new round of growing up seem less difficult that the first time, you teenager!
I look forward to your post describing turning 17 for the 4th time.Happy Birthday, Fred. Cheers!
That’s a few years away
Yep. 17, by my count. 😉 And I have a hunch you’ll still be “blogging” in whatever form is in use then.
Congrats, Fred. Happy early birthday!
Happy Birthday Fred!
Wow, am revising my opinion about you from a veteran super smart VC to young stud wise beyond what his age indicates ;-)Happy Birthday, Chief!!
Happy Birthday, Fred.
in the last 17, what were you the best at?oh and best wishes for you b-day.
thats a great answer and good words to live by. If nothing else, be present.
Show up and be present.I might get a tattoo for my 51st
Much as I hated the idea of my daughter being “scarred for life,” I was honored when she invited me to hold her hand while she got her first tattoo, on her 18th birthday. The design meant a lot to her, and it was an experience I remember fondly.If your going to do it, you might have someone there to hold your hand!
I may be too squeemish for it
when did tattoos become normal in polite society, at least in nyc polite society? everyone seems to have them now
Well, I presented all those sorts of arguments to my daughter, but none of it sank in. If you knew her, you’d also know how rare it was for her to ask me to hold her hand … My little Goth-girl challenge!Since then, as you say, tattoos seem to be blossoming in what I thought were the most unlikely places. Sort of like doctors and lawyers riding Harleys on the weekends?BTW, she’s now in a respected profession where her discreet tattoos win her credibility with a whole demographic that otherwise might not approach her.
now now fred – embrace your vintage!
The only cat that groups together in common cause.
Hah-hah! Yes, Fred is a lion!
Leo the lion
I do love that star sign.I was 52 on August 4 – we had a lovely time in Belfast.Hoping this year to roar more than miaow! 😉
.Happy Birthday, Fred.You are a lucky guy who by this junction in time has already accomplished enough to have some sense of satisfaction.Personal, mate, family, work, world — you have already left some footprints. Good on you!But, ahhh, now from here on out you are playing with the house’s money, wisdom, experience — let it loose and play with reckless abandon.Beware the “foolishness of 50” wherein men look into the abyss and glimpse their own mortality. It is an illusion.Sand between your toes and salt in your hair..
.Hahaha, bingo, indeed!JLM – the King of Bingo (don’t tell anyone, it shall be our secret).
(I’m not telling anyone. That’s why this comment is in parentheses.)
Recently saw something on YouTube maybe? You sent a link highlighting your videographer’s work which showed some of your company’s events. I have NEVER seen Bingo like that!
Can you repeat the link? My daughter’s in Austin and I told her to check out the Bingo options, based on JLM’s comments.
Got both today. Thanks JLM. Great advice!
.On another note, it is only 13 days to UT v Wyoming. Thirteen days until life begins again in Texas.Sorry off topic. Why?.
we had jets giants pre-season football last night. the giants looked like super bowl champs. the jets looked like chumps
.The Jets really looked weak particularly at QB. I was surprised. The Giants are the real deal.I love the family story of the Clan Manning. What a dynasty.UT plays Ole Miss at Ole Miss this year. A waltz back into time with all that Southern pageantry..
I like that Clan – I think their parents did a nice job
The Jets didn’t get the memo that it was your b-day.Thanks for leading the way in making AVC so terrific.Happy birthday.
We loaded up the mini van and drove up to Newport, RI today, spent the afternoon in the Atlantic
A birthday quote …”It takes a long time to grow young” – Pablo Picasso
Happy Birthday, Fred. I just turned my 2nd 17 this year so one full set behind you. And you forgot to mention “inspiring” in your last set. I wouldn’t have been where I am if I hadn’t been reading your blog every day. Thank you for being such an inspiration for everyone.
Happy bday Fred!
happy birthday, and all the unbirthdays, too
Lovely way to look at it.I am in July – always disliked it. We were away & I could not have big parties.Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday! C and H x
If you could choose to be any one age forever, which one would it be?
It’s a tough question. I’ll take 35.
I liked 24
A few months before she died, when she was in her eighties, I asked my grandmother how old she was … really. She knew what I meant.She said, “19.”We used to talk nearly every day. Sometimes about nothing, sometimes about everything.I loved that her wisdom that came with the years was always tempered by the internal “fact” that she was still 19. Ready for anything.
I depends really. I guess I would choose when I am in the highest point in my life.
Lol. So far?
Happy Birthday Fred
Keep up the good work. Your authenticity continues to wear off on others. I’m most certainly in the learning about growing up phase (at 30). So much so, that the 10 topics I journal about currently “Learning about growing up” is one of them.
Cheers Fred! 2.5 17s, so not far from 3 for me. Your words certainly stimulate a pleasant reflective response in me. Thank you for that.
Happy Birthday Fred,I was thinking about this just the other day…I started reading and commenting last year after you and the Gotham Gal turned 50- I was wondering when the actual date was. When is your bride’s birthday?I thought it was neat the way you broke down the three – 17 year buckets….August 19, 2029 – I already marked my calendar when you are turning 17 for the fourth time.
Aug 20 actually
It takes a long time to turn a boy into a [email protected] – If you haven’t already read it – this is essential reading. Enjoy.http://www.hbs.edu/research…
Thanks for the link
Happy Birthday, Fred.
You are not only “present” in your personal and professional life, you are “present” here online as well for even a larger group and we clearly all very much appreciate it. Thank you for welcoming me to your online community and please accept my best wishes on your birthday.
To think…I knew you when you were 45 or turning 22.5 for the second time. Happy Birthday.
My birthday was 2 days ago. Seems that everyone has a birthday in August!
Happy Birthday Michael!
If everyone looked at their life as an unfolding story, the world would be a more purposeful place.Happy birthday!
Happy Birthday, Fred.
Happy birthday Fred, have a great one!
I don’t know you, but by having a conversation here, it almost feels like I do.. so without further delay, Happy Birthday!
To a lot more healthy, positive and adventurous 17teens and thanks for countless years of inspiration! Getting closer to the end of my second 17teens…indeed, fresh man in adult life – “being present in the relationship” is the hardest and most rewarding theme.
Awesome. I just posted on your FB wall to make sure to remember that you have 17ness in you for the next year. Then I saw this post. I love how your brain works.
Happy Birthday, here is to another great 17!
Enjoy your day Fred. Thank you for all you do for this community.
♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ Happy Birthday to you ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪* Hope your havin’ a great day and that the next 17 are your best yet!
I rarely post, but I recently turned 40 and I had a similar “mathematical” approach to looking at things. I was thinking that when I was a kid, time seemed to last forever, but now I find the years are racing by. My theory was that when I was 5 years old, the time from one Christmas to the next was fully 20% of my life (less, if you take into account that I wasn’t that alert for the first few years). Now, however, each year is only a tiny sliver of my existence. At any rate, the amusing analysis is here: http://www.aaronfyke.com.
time dilation. i like that!
Happy 17th Birthday. May you have 17 more.
Happy Birthday, Fred! Here’s to the next 17!
I did not know that Arthur Rock was born on aug 20th