Four "Appearances" In One Day

A few weeks ago Gillian, who keeps me on schedule and a lot more, said to me, "there's a day coming up when you are going to do four appearances in one day." I thought to myself that was a bit much but didn't do anything about it.

Yesterday was that day. I gave talks at Baruch College, Google Hangouts/YouTube, Skyped into an entrepreneurs meetup in Milan Italy, and ended the day talking to the Kauffman Fellows Program at the Alexandria Center in NYC.

The thing I learned yesterday is that sitting at my desk and talking to folks around the world, via the power of Google Hangouts and Skype, is an amazing thing. Of course I've been using these tools for a long time. But yesterday was still a bit of a wakeup call for me.

The Google Hangouts/YouTube thing was a MOOC called Entrepreneurship in Education that is being taught by David Wiley, Todd Manwaring, and Richard Culatta. It was an hour long back and forth on the issues around entrepreneurship in online education. Ki Mae Heussner posted about the class on GigaOm yesterday. Here's the video of the conversation.

The really awesome part of this class is the way that Google Hangouts allows you to have a small interactive group talking about things that is then broadcast to a much larger group. I am going to try to replicate that in my final Office Hours next monday in my Skillshare class.

The Skype into the meetup in Milan was equally awesome. I don't have the video of that to share but here's a twitpic that I saw on Twitter after my talk that gives you a sense of how the folks in Milan experienced it:

Milan talk

As much as I enjoyed the talks I gave at Baruch and the Kauffman event, it was the talks that were delivered online that excite me more. Because online video allows me to talk to folks around the world. And I think that takes the conversations I want to have to a much broader audience and hopefully helps people all around the world think differently and ultimately act differently as they bring their ideas to market.

#hacking education

Comments (Archived):

  1. Carl Rahn Griffith

    FREDxFriendship, Resources, Enlightenment, Development

    1. fredwilson

      i like that it starts with friendship!

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Pondered the ‘F’ definition for a while but friendship is after all pretty much the most important thing in the world, so it seemed apt.We’d probably need to change the ‘x’ in case someone (ahem) else got a bit p*ssed by it – maybe change to, FREDy – has a nice ring to it! Or to be trendy with the Zeitgeist, FREDi …. πŸ˜‰

        1. fredwilson

          A few of my best friends call me Freddy. I love it.

      2. Steve Y

        My favorite FRED acronym was the Football Rushing Efficiency Derivative that numberFire devised last year. I’m good friends with their CEO and he had mentioned that the idea came to him after reading an AVC post.

    2. kidmercury

      as a fred pun enthusiast i must commend you on your poetic brilliance here!

      1. Carl Rahn Griffith

        Cheers! πŸ™‚

  2. bfeld

    It is awesome and amazing how far the remote presentation thing has come in a short period of time. I’m now doing remote stuff like this regularly. I was in Detroit on Monday and gave a 30 minute kickoff to Denver Startup Week on Monday – it made me smile to be “home” but not be home.I’ve found Google Hangouts is much more effective than Skype. Better overall performance and the multiparty aspect of the video is awesome.I’m still running around a lot, but the real time reach is dramatically extended by this tech, even when you are running around!

    1. fredwilson

      I agree with all of this Brad. You know I’m a homebody at heart and travel is something I avoid if at all possible. F2F remains a better experience but video is closing the gap. And the multiparty thing is a game changer

      1. Mario Bucolo

        it’s also awesome look at faces of who attend event like this that normally aren’t possible. Give attendee feeling as they are face to face with guru of the sector and make them flight over the floor with a new enthusiast energy recharge. And new power to go forward with their crazy ideas and new force to fight versus who tell them they are crazy and versus the often NO received.

        1. fredwilson

          Too bad you can’t share those awesome Italian cookies via Google hangouts!

          1. Mario Bucolo

            was a step away to a new one forecast in origin plan for tomorrow…but I shift forward my return to NYC…hope before XMas πŸ˜‰

      2. brian trautschold

        2nd on the F2F. Hangouts is definitely a massive improvement & very useful, but there is still the crucial feel of a room, body language & nuance that technology can’t translate. #TeleportationOrBust

    2. William Mougayar

      Brad, this is great as I can imagine it to be an excellent boost to your book promotion & speaking activities. I have something like that in mind for you next year in Toronto.

      1. bfeld

        And – most importantly – my health and sanity.

        1. William Mougayar

          well, at least I’ll try to make your Toronto visit a pleasant one next week πŸ™‚

          1. bfeld

            Looking forward to it!

  3. David Semeria

    Everyone in Milan was really energized by your talk Fred, it really brought home the difference in approach between US investors and the local ones.The video is being edited and will be available in a week or so…

    1. Carl Rahn Griffith


    2. fredwilson

      You were a fantastic host David and I want to thank you for making it happen. As you can tell I really enjoyed it.

      1. David Semeria

        Aw shucks…

      2. RichardF

        if you had used Google Hangouts instead of Skype and enabled “Enable Hangouts On Air” we could have all watched your meet up in Milan.

        1. William Mougayar

          Yup. I mentioned the OnAir option too. It’s a must for public events.

          1. kenberger

            woah– i didn’t know about OnAir. Useful for me to passively listen in on my team’s client hangouts that I’m not participating in but want to monitor.

          2. William Mougayar

            There you go.

        2. David Semeria

          I don’t know if Google hangouts allows you to record two seperate video tracks so they can be edited into a single one later.We bought software from for $20 which records the two video streams separately plus an additional audio track of both sides.I’ve seen the “rushes” and can say it worked liked a charm.

    3. JLM

      .International energy projected from NYC to Milan — this is stronger than an acre of garlic.This Internet stuff may be big. <<< attribution to the Sage of Lancaster, CCWell played..

      1. David Semeria

        Thanks JLM, people here are still commenting on various forums about how great the vibe was and how useful Fred’s advice will be in the future. Happiness all round.

    4. luca scagliarini

      I would have loved to attend and i am looking forward to watching the video. The difference in approach between US and Italian investors is staggering but there is some potential for innovation in Italy in many fields. The environment doesn’t help and this makes Italian entrepreneurs, at least the ones who survive :), particularly tenacious.

  4. awaldstein

    Milan is abuzz from your talk with the entrepreneurial community there! I heard from them middle of their night.Well done Fred and thanks for being so generous with your time.

  5. William Mougayar

    Funny that background mural looks like you’re in a bunker. But it’s neutral and not distracting because the focus is on you.Β I was just listening to your video interview on EdStartups this morning on my way to work. Β 3 weeks ago we made a presentation to Disqus on Hangout with me in SF & my CTO in Toronto as if we are all together. Hangout works great on the iPhone too & I’ve done job interviews while being mobile.Β Hangout has a cool feature called Hangout OnAir where it records simultaneously on YouTube so when you’re done, you have a YouTube ready video.Β That’s it. I didn’t know what it was called.

    1. Mac

      @wmoug:disqus William, since Fred’s post today is a discussion of this incredible technology, I’d appreciate your input regarding a technology we use everyday: Disqus. As a regular commenter on Fred and Brad’s blogs, I’ve enjoyed logging on through my Disqus account and the service they provide.Over two weeks ago, my Disqus photo (avatar) was removed and replaced with a photo of another member. Since then, I have been unable to upload a photo from my PC, or from my Twitter account. Several attempts to correct the problem through disqus/support & disqus/help have been unsuccessful.Having followed the recommendations from their FAQ, along with the one ‘brief’ response I received from Disqus two weeks ago, the problem is still unresolved. However, my biggest frustration is the lack of response and assistance. As recent as two days ago, I listed all the steps I’ve taken to correct this issue. Unfortunately, no response.I would welcome any suggestions you (or anyone) have based on your recent contact with Disqus. Thanks. Mac (the ‘Avatar-less’ commenter)PS. I’ll be unable to access A VC until later today. I look forward to your thoughts on this when I return.

      1. William Mougayar

        Hmm. Actually, let me re-forward your request to the @disqus team and @danielha . They are best qualified to help you. I haven’t experienced that issue you mentioned. Give them another chance to respond πŸ™‚

        1. JimHirshfield

          Thanks. Already looking into it.

        2. Mac

          @wmoug:disqus Thank you, William. I was contacted by Tyler @disqus/support. I appreciate you forwarding my request.

      2. JimHirshfield

        Mac – Do you have a screencast of this behavior that you can share? Or have you already shared with [email protected] ?

        1. ShanaC

          Thank you jim.

          1. Mac

            @ShanaC:disqus Thanks, Shana

        2. Mac

          Thanks, Jim. Received an email from Tyler @ disqus/support. Forwarding the information he requested . I appreciate your assistance.

          1. JimHirshfield

            Pleasure. Hope a resolution is found soon.

      3. obscurelyfamous

        That’s odd and I haven’t heard about that weird behavior before. Sorry Mac. I know we’ve reached out already but if you’re not getting anywhere, let me know here.

        1. Mac

          Thank you, Daniel. Heard from Tyler yesterday. Forwarding the information he requested.

    2. LE

      “Funny that background mural looks like you’re in a bunker.”Monetization strategy would be to position speakers in front of a step and repeat of sponsors.

  6. takingpitches

    Fred Academy!Google Hangouts is something and a force multiplier in your ability to teach and engage people.We should use it to do an Avc online conference one day. Organized in a very open way; a series of presentations and discussions on various themes that we are working on and think will be important in thinking about innovation with the Internet and networks going forward.A much cooler, more meaningful, more open Davos or CGI!

    1. kidmercury

      there should be an AVC google+ page, fred and any community members he assigns privilges to can moderate/initiate hangouts. i would LOVE to see startups in the fredland community present themselves that way, i think it would open up a whole new set of networking opportunities/relationship building.

      1. fredwilson

        Not doing that. I ignore G+ in hopes that it dies and hangouts becomes the survivor

        1. kidmercury

          lol i understand. every platform has to close itself off when threatened! πŸ™‚

        2. Ricardo Diz

          I actually kind of like G+ (and Hangouts) πŸ˜›

        3. CJ

          Don’t underestimate G+, it’s full of specialized topics of interest. It’s kinda like the what would happen if Facebook and Reddit had a baby.

    2. fredwilson

      That is the best idea for this community I have heard in a long time. Will you help me make it happen?

      1. William Mougayar

        It could be done around the next Donors Choose event. That way a few will be physically present and it would be a boost to the external audience.

        1. ShanaC

          Is that going to happen?

          1. Aaron Klein

            Was wondering the same thing.

          2. William Mougayar

            I don’t know yet.

      2. takingpitches

        Absolutely — Would love to! (Coming to event tonight; will say hi.)

        1. takingpitches

          the NYTM event at NYU Stern, that is πŸ™‚

          1. ShanaC

            Look for me (I wear red glasses πŸ™‚ )

          2. takingpitches

            Yes, will do!

      3. testtest

        free labour is an awesome business model. or are you going to pay him for his work on the project?

        1. fredwilson

          hell no. i don’t get paid for running this blog/community and i don’t pay anyone either. if he’s not interested in doing it on the same basis i do, then he doesn’t have to. this is not a commercial venture. it’s a labor of love.

          1. takingpitches

            Hell yes!+100

          2. fredwilson


          3. Richard

            Takin the heat!

          4. testtest

            this blog doesn’t help your firm? i see it as add a ton of value, but that doesn’t mean someone doing free work for the blog won’t end up on your top line.

          5. fredwilson

            i am sorry that you see it as commercial. that is not how i see it.

          6. testtest

            it generates value for usv and the portfolio companies. anything which does that i would classify as commercial.i’m not going to questions your intent. i suppose it’s up to each person to decide how commercial or non-commercial the blog is.i wouldn’t do that project. i like to get paid.@takingpitches:disqus may get some value in the end, if it leads to something else — but may also suffer a net loss.usv will certainly benefit, though. which is fine. if what’s going on is clear.

          7. kidmercury

            this is a great beef between @chrishuntis and @fredwilson with @takingpitches as an innocent bystander. i side with @fredwilson in this beef, although i do believe this blog is very commercial and has become more so over the past few months with greater promotion of USV portfolio companies. this is all good and well, fred’s blog so he can obviously do as he pleases, but i think takingpitches is smart for volunteering efforts here. not all transactions are monetary and many of the most valuable trades are not. likewise chrishuntis can reject non-monetary labor on a commercial blog but i think in this culture there is more value in building social capital (i.e. street cred, karma, etc).

          8. Dave Pinsen


          9. Richard

            You spoke to soon, i was about to add you as a payee to my PayPal account. πŸ™‚

      4. Jim Ritchie

        You may want to check out as platform for Fred Academy. We used it for a “video press release” for our beta launch.… I have no financial stake in the company, but I do know their CEO/founder Jeff Fluhr, good guy and founder of StubHub.

    3. ShanaC

      I would do that (plus, I have servers in my basement designed to handle that load.)

  7. kidmercury

    Google really hit it out of the park with google hangouts. Total game changer, and i believe it will drive google+ growth to a large extent.

    1. William Mougayar

      I agree it’s a winner for Google, but I’m not seeing the direct connection to Google+. Maybe you can elaborate?Yes, you need to register on G+ to use it, but you don’t have to be a G+ active user. I think it’s a boost to YouTube more because many videos are being recorded simultaneously on YouTube using their OnAir linkage.

      1. kidmercury

        “Yes, you need to register on G+ to use”ah ha! you need a hook, now google has got one. not only do you need to register, but you also need to put folks in your circle and connect with them to get hangouts to work. as people use this product more and more, they’ll develop their circles more and more by doing so. especially for hardcore users. they just need that initial customer segment and then they’re good.they also have another hook via android; i just got a new phone google+ is pre-installed on there. when i take a photo it automatically uploads it to google+ (default to private settings, although presumably there is a disaster waiting to happen there).i read a commenter somewhere saying that there is no distinction between google+ and google; that google is becoming google+. i agree.

        1. falicon

          Google is def. becoming google+ …even at the expense of owning and controlling search…really interesting transformation to watch.

        2. Anne Libby

          Hah. So G+ can serve as an alternative to some travel. You won’t get searched at the airport, but…

    2. kenberger

      *Total* game changer. Our Asian dev team now uses it for weekly iteration meetings with our US and Euro clients. These mtgs are very important in Agile software development, and this tool adds massive value re the human interaction part.It’s limited to 10 participants though, so sometimes there’s no slot for me!

  8. William Mougayar

    Fred, do you think we’re close to seeing startups grow via dispersed teams around the world, connected via permanent Hangout telepresence?Β Global outsourcing companies run their teams that way and technically are writing code 24 hrs per day for the same projects.Β Maybe not when the startup is small, but when you start reaching 50 employees or so, you can’t totally ignore the global talent pool.Β 

    1. fredwilson

      Yes. We already are seeing it. Zemanta does a great job of working well between NYC and Ljubiana.

    2. kidmercury

      i believe the 2 pizza rule will go global. amazon doesn’t allow teams to be bigger than 2 pizzas — meaning it shouldn’t take more than 2 pizzas to feed a team. i’d prefer a different food item but i think organizations won’t be bigger than 2 pizzas; once they get bigger, i think it will make more sense and more cost-effective for it to be a separate company, especially as video teleconferencing goes pop.

      1. William Mougayar

        I like that pizza rule.

        1. LE

          Size of pizza varies. As do size of people consuming the pizza. Cute way to get people to remember a concept though.

      2. RichardF

        that’s a great rule but then you have bigger pizza in the States than the UK

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          You should see the pizzas I make at home πŸ™‚

    3. Richard

      Yep, did it all summer.

  9. Rick Bashkoff

    I had a similar experience yesterday when I attended an event with one of our clients. My brother did an excellent job organizing a panel that included guests that were remote. We also live broadcasted the panel on the client’s YouTube channel. The Google Hangout feature that automatically switches to the person who is talking is excellent for these use cases. It really started getting my head spinning about how else these features can be used by a company both internally and externally.

  10. Tom Labus

    What a day!A hangout for “undecided” voters for the presidential election.

    1. fredwilson

      I can host it. I will probably pull the lever for the President but he’s not making it an easy decision. If I do it, he will have Mitt and his colleagues in the GOP to thank. It will be a vote against them and their policies more than a vote for the President

      1. kidmercury

        too bad you don’t want to vote for the real candidates of the internet. i understand though. fitting in is important. being contrarian can be scary.

        1. fredwilson

          i could well pull the lever for Gary. if i can’t pull it for Obama, it will be for Mitt. fitting in is irrelevant since nobody knows what you do in the voting booth.

          1. kidmercury

            fitting in maybe irrelevant in the booth, but it’s certainly relevant in public discussions — which effect booth behavior and mass psychology at large. johnson is a candidate who is pro gay marriage, wants states to deal with the abortion issue, has a real plan to balance the budget within one year (unlike the comical ryan plan which balances the budget in 2040 under wildly optimistic scenarios……lol), is hands off the internet, is pro immigration, is pro decriminalization of marijuana. and is pro online gambling! (zynga!) this is basically everything you claim you want out of politics.why you don’t want to mention him is your business, though it seems odd to never mention literally the only candidate who espouses what you profess to want. although to be fair the whole internet community is the same way (a testament to the power of conformity!). and then next year people will be crying about how washington sucks so much and how politicians are so dumb. lol……

          2. fredwilson

            a third party candidate can’t and won’t win in this country. to support them is naive and a waste of time and money. i wish it weren’t so. if it were possible, Bloomberg would run and i would be ecstatic about that. like Bloomberg, Gary should get into one of the parties and try to reshape it to his beliefs.

          3. kidmercury

            it is true that no third party is going to win any immediate election. third parties do however impact major parties and cause them to change drastically over time; we are already seeing this as the republican party is becoming more libertarian as kookology grows. you may consider it a waste of time and money to pursue these contrarian ideas, although donating to candidates who we know for a fact aren’t going to fix anything is what i would regard as a naive waste of time and money — both in the immediate sense and the long run sense. but, if you want to knowingly vote for the people that pass SOPA and that type of stuff and then complain about it, that’s certainly your prerogative.

          4. fredwilson

            i am going to play the game the way it is played until there is a different game to be played.

          5. kidmercury

            as you wish. remember though, you chose it. you chose to vote for SOPA, debt, war, strict immigration, and a banker controlled society. but everyone else did too, so at least you’ll belong.

      2. JLM

        .I would usually go into full prosletizing mode but neither of our votes really count.I predict Romney in a fairly comfortable margin and perhaps a landslide.Obama is so bad for the economy as to be unthinkable..

        1. Carl Rahn Griffith

          A Tweet from earlier today…Carl Rahn Griffith ‏@carl_rahn β€œ@maxkeiser: If Obama doesn’t win it’ll be because he didn’t really want it that bad, which I can understand.” < QED, @umairh

        2. Tom Labus

          Romney would be much worse.He’ll do the exact opposite of what he should because of right wing GOP ideology.Pulling back Federal spending at this point will only tank a fragile economy. This was done in 1937 by FDR thinking it was time to balance the budget but instead it imploded the economy much worse than the lows of the early 30’s.Financial implosion depressions take a different route than other sector recessions.

          1. Wavelengths

            I talked with someone yesterday who just moved to Texas from San Diego. She said it’s 18% unemployment officially in So Cal, but for people just out of the military or just out of college, the stat is more like 35%.I was in Thailand and Malaysia in the mid-nineties. When I witnessed this from afar —… — I remember the IMF counseling the Thais that they would “just have to tighten their belts.” This advice going to people in a country where a farm family in the north might sell a daughter to the Phuket brothels for $200, just so the rest of the family could eat for a year.We aren’t at that point in the US, yet, but I believe we are very, very fragile.

          2. Carl Rahn Griffith

            As Lou Reed sang, “Stick a fork in its arse, we’re done.”And the British government today had the sheer audacity to announce that the double-dip recession is officially ‘over’ – we are now in midst of a gentle ‘recovery’.Bullshit.

          3. LE

            ” I remember the IMF counseling the Thais that they would “just have to tighten their belts.””He misspoke. What he meant to say was probably to zip their pants. Sorry to put it this way but some of these families have no business having children with no means to support the children.

          4. Wavelengths

            For some background on poverty and social issues in Thailand, please refer to this article. Some people literally have no choice. In many locales and societies, a woman cannot say no to a man. And Thailand has a cultural history of viewing women as property.http://www.stickmanbangkok….According to a UN report issued in 2000, 29.9% of the population in Thailand makes between 80 cents and $1.20 per day. Those who make 80 cents are considered “ultra-poor.” Those who make $1.20 are “almost poor.”This article also addresses the role of the US military in laying the groundwork for the present day sex trade in Thailand with the establishment of 7 military installations in Thailand in 1964. In the mid-nineties, I witnessed a big US Navy ship pull into the Phuket harbor and the town flood with Navy men on R&R. They weren’t just buying beer and lap dances. The girls they paid were “owned.”It’s hard to imagine such a culture without seeing it.

          5. JLM

            .The comparison between California and Texas has always been a good guidepost by which to measure the difference in governing philosophies but more so now than ever before.In places like Midland, Odessa, Abilene, Lubbock — Oil Patch, USA — unemployment is almost non-existent. Not low — NON-EXISTENT.If the Nation would drill the crap out of its landholdings (just today announcing that the Alaskan Naval Reserve, an archaic huge reserve of millions of barrels of oil is less than 20% leased up — known reserves, mind you), the employment situation and the cost of energy would improve immediately.The million Californians who have moved to Texas have voted with their feet. Birkenstock feet initially, mind you. Requires 6 months of residency before you can legally purchase a good pair of goat ropers.Choices have consequences..

          6. Wavelengths

            My 9-yr-old neighbor is initially from Pennsylvania, but he proudly showed me his new boots — “The most walked-about boots in Texas” — and the rodeo-prize belt buckle he won for “mutton bustin’.” (That’s wrestling a sheep to the ground, for those of you who are wearing Birkenstocks, topsiders or Nucky Thompson brogues.)The gal from San Diego told me she has a sister in Kalamazoo. Grandma left her a house, free and clear. But she’s unemployed, the house has no sale value, and it’s falling down around her ears.Choices. I need a new pair of boots. Three resoles on the Tony Lamas is probably enough.

          7. JLM

            .Tom, I agree more with you than you agree with yourself.Now is exactly the wrong time to contract Federal spending — “good” spending not fraud, waste and corruption. The real question is can we afford any more spending.This is why the massive waste of the Stimulus is so tragic, it was not really focused spending. It was just an excess of ill conceived ideas. There were no shovel ready projects, as the President graciously conceded.It is, however, the time to allow the job creating segment of our society to keep more of their own hard earned money to put it to the task, of well……………….creating jobs.When you characterize the “right wing” of the GOP, you structurally err. The right wing is all about social issues and it is the Tea Party center which is focused on financial issues..

        3. LE

          He was a inappropriate last night when being interviewed by Brian Williams on the NBC nightly news. He answered a question that Brian asked (where he tried to push his buttons) not diplomatically but by using a parental “you guys in the media” in order to rebuff what Brian had said. Totally inappropriate on Obama’s part. Shows the pressure he is under knowing how close this race has become (because he slacked off). Either that or there is some major crisis going on simultaneously that we don’t know about. You don’t expect the commander in chief to get annoyed in interviews. Even sports stars generally have that under control.

        4. fredwilson

          you should go bet some money at intrade if you think that’s really going to happen. you’ll get some great odds.

      3. LE

        Speaking of education, my step daughter and son (8 and 10) yesterday said they wanted Obama to win. Why? Because they had this take home Scholastic “news” paper talking about the two candidates that they had read. Apparently the language used around Obama was positive and the language around Mitt was a more negative choice of words. Whatever it said it totally convinced them to support Obama. They were literally able to quote some of the things verbatim. It was kinda funny.

        1. JLM

          .After a summer of trying to demonize Romney — a small minded tactic at its very best — it is their respective demeanors which has really presented the starkest comparison.Romney looks like a guy who can handle a crisis and Obama is looking a bit dodgey.Funny, this was No Drama Obama’s strong suit once upon a time. Romney has stolen his crown jewels..

          1. LE

            By the way I wanted to let you know that I am jealous that you are where you are, and that you get to take advantage of the new 85mph road:…I’d love to see the legal contract surrounding this. After all, remember how they got the states to lower to 55 (by withholding federal highway funds) I wonder if the fact that this is private somehow is exempt from that. (But I don’t know how it could be at least from future legislation and with respect to the “golden” rule).

        2. fredwilson

          bought and paid for?

          1. LE

            It was just the publishers agenda subtly being pushed. The schools buy it for the students. I will see if I can make a pdf if it’s still around.Just found this:…Hmm, I hope some of those education startups are able to get a share of these hor d’oeuvres:”Scholastic Classroom Magazines qualify for state and federal funding. Learn more about how state and federal funding can help you bring classroom magazines into your school.”http://classroommagazines.s…

          2. Wavelengths

            The same “Scholastic” that published the first US edition of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in 1998?”C’mon. They probably need the federal money.

  11. Carl Rahn Griffith

    Live-streamed video is bonkers in its potential especially when also interactive – a friend gave me a coding lesson the other day, screen-sharing his dev app via Skype; I created a test app for myself – easy-peasy; incidental that he was several thousand miles away. On my desktop as I work right now I have NASA’s feed live from the ISS showing the Soyuz approaching, ready for docking shortly – our lovely blue planet is just a background, all in fantastic quality, as I sit in the middle of a foggy field (not literally, you know what I mean) in Yorkshire. MInd-boggling, really.Crazily beautiful.

    1. fredwilson

      Yesssssss. Its the interactivity that is the game changer. Discussions are so much more interesting than speeches

    2. Cam MacRae

      It wasn’t too long ago you had to find an AccessGrid node to do all that.I haven’t been in our AccessGrid room in a month.

  12. Jorge M. Torres

    Fred, many thanks for dropping by our event. The Fellows enjoyed your talk, and we appreciate you making the in-person appearance on a mid-week evening. Maybe next time we can do something in a smaller group setting via Skype or Google Hangout.

    1. fredwilson

      It was fun. A trip down memory lane.

  13. Michael Elling

    I wonder when video calling/meeting will become pervasive. I find meeting people for the first time via skype to be an enthralling experience. Still many people keep their videos turned off; they’re just not comfortable yet for first meetings. Another key issue will be bandwidth; particularly upstream. Most of our bandwidth consumption is asynchronous and it’s tough enough to get consistently good download speeds at busy periods, but what if a majority of 2-way video sessions are HD or eventually 4K? Here are skype’s bandwidth requirements:

    1. kidmercury

      i think google+ has a serious chance of making the breakthrough to pervasive video calling. hangouts does a good job of making that the default way of doing things. skype makes it too easy to be shy.

  14. JimHirshfield

    The odd thing about video meetings is the weirdness of people not looking at you. They are, but they aren’t. They’re looking at you on their screen, in a window off to the side or on a second monitor; they’re not looking into the camera…which is hard to do. The net effect is that it feels like they’re distracted and looking elsewhere. Someone needs to fix this.

    1. ShanaC

      depends on the camera – big expensive ones track your head

      1. JimHirshfield

        Head tracking, really.

      2. JLM

        .You can get that on $125 cameras..

  15. ShanaC

    My dad sells lots of refurb polycom and tanberg equipment (actually I think he is the low cost provider in the states because of that). As a result, I am hearing of a lot of people who are buying telepresence, mostly for reasons you describe: wanting to do more without traveling. I’ve seen huge advantages primarily coming out for medical training (hint, it is a lot easier than you think to train doctors about arthroscopy with dual telepresence than you think)It also is super green of you.As the price barrier falls, it is going to be interesting to see how people interact and socialize for work reasons.

  16. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Google+ hangouts is terrific. I know of one entrepreneurship conference (in the Middle East) that was organized in Jordan but had participants watch from Beirut, Cairo and Dubai! I spoke to some people who attended this Google hangout and they loved it. This is an amazing way to get entrepreneurs in a new ecosystem to connect and interact across a large geographical zone! Here is a link… cc @bfeld:disqus

  17. howardlindzon

    Stocktoberfest is opening with some hangouts and one of the companies I invested in called colingo uses the hangout API an Facebook notification API to run language classes. Pretty cool. For financial breakout sessions off the stream, hangouts will be a cool service.

    1. fredwilson

      let me know when the stockoberfest hangouts open up. i’d like to check them out.

  18. jason wright

    You’ve met FAKE GRIMLOCK?

    1. JLM

      .Wm Mougayar and I had lunch w the Grimster in Austin at SXSW — well, brunch really because dinosaurs like to sleep in after a night of BEER.He was well behaved all through the meal — a buffet which I think has a calming effect on the old rascal — until he suddenly jumped up and devoured a very, very attractive red head at the next table.Then, he had a 3-shot latte. So there you have it..

      1. jason wright


    2. fredwilson

      yes i have

  19. bpcostello

    Great Post. What we are seeing with Google Hangout – Youtube Live is the merging of two concepts, video chat and video broadcast. There are a lot of start-up opportunites in this area. Asynchronous text chat conversation is going to look old in 5 years. Enabling a video chat and broadcasting across devices (smartphone/tablet, etc…) is not trivial. Skype is in a terrible position here because this is only possible in the cloud, peer to peer tech doesn’t work well. Many other folks playing in this area use Flash tech – which has big limitations including no mobile solution, as well as scale issues.The easy ability to do a broadcast and include folks from any place in the world has huge potential in areas of content/education. The possibilities are also well beyond that. Imagine commerce oriented content, a brand doing a live broadcast discussing its product and having a celebrity tweet out that it is going to join the broadcast live. You have an entire new way to market products and engage consumers.

    1. Jim Ritchie

      I posted this on an earlier thread, but check out Startup here in SF that has raised $11M that allows anyone to host a video session with up to 4 simultaneous users and broadcast it live, records it for playback, etc.

  20. Jayadev Gopalakrishn

    Fred, great session on EdStartup. I particularly like your comments on the ‘triangle’ and the WordPress-Coursera analogy.

    1. fredwilson


  21. Mayel

    Agreed. There is huge potential in all you speak of. Remote “appearance” is great to go global, but language is still an issue for many people. And for that there is Babelverse πŸ˜‰

  22. Dave Pinsen

    Your partner Brad put in an appearance on Bloomberg TV today, so that’s at least 5 USV appearances.

  23. reece

    [insert obvious/shameless plug for online video here]

  24. Esayas Gebremedhin

    I wish more investors had the transparency and dedication for their job on that level like you Fred.It was nice to see how long you have been in the VC business. One comment on the Conversation Video at 50:18 (… DropBox, YouTube, FB were all there before and true the founders made it work better than others before -> BUT that doesn’t mean that original ideas and founders embracing original ideas deserve less attention. Investors tent to go for evolutionary ideas rather than revolutionary ideas. You said there are many people chasing the same idea and the founders make the difference. Our startup must be an exception cause it’s not a startup or product per se, but a cultural revolution. We have no role model and have to experiment a lot. I had this DNA vs. Body notion. Many startups do exist in DNA and terribly executed Body. Ours is both non-existing. That’s what it makes so exciting.

  25. Gambler Dan

    I have been living in China for the past 4+ years and for most of that time many of the social networking services have been blocked. I feel light years behind the rest of the world now. Time to catch up!

  26. Guest

    fredwilson Remember, I started the Google+ Hangout group for your skillshare class (…. Contact me if you would like to select some of the members to participate during Monday’s Office Hours. And I’d say you should extend the session to one full hour.”I am going to try to replicate that in my final Office Hours next monday in my Skillshare class.”