The Absent Bartender

I'd like to apologize for being mostly absent during two back to back fantastic conversations here over the past two days.

It's one thing to take 30 minutes to compose some thoughts at 5am in the morning when nobody else is awake. It is entirely another to stay engaged in a two or three hundred comment thread.

I am headed to Japan with my family on saturday for two weeks and there are a ton of things that have to happen before we leave, mostly related to USV business but also a fair bit of personal business. It is, as they say, crunch time.

I have caught up on the mobile web post and I am getting caught up on the demand a plan post. But a day late is a dollar short and I understand that as well as anyone around here.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Dave Pinsen

    No worries, you’ve got a lot on your plate.One meta-point about this blog and this community, that was exemplified by yesterday’s post: it reflects well on you as a bartender/blogger that some of the highest-rated comments yesterday were ones that disagreed with you.A lot of bloggers pay lip service to the idea of a free exchange of views, but echo chambers predominate nevertheless in comment threads. Not here though. Kudos to you for that.

    1. Dave W Baldwin


    2. fredwilson

      i am halfway through that thread and haven’t found many who agree with me!

      1. Dave Pinsen

        You’ll find them (and you’ll see their banners on Twitter – I noticed my @awaldstein has one already).

      2. William Mougayar

        I was surprised too to find out where the most voted comment stood.

        1. PhilipSugar

          Yes but I was surprised to have a couple of comments deleted.

          1. William Mougayar

            Hmm. I just checked & don’t see comments from you being deleted. This blog doesn’t delete comments unless they are utterly offensive & abusive. (you are whitelisted)We can help to diagnose. We’re they submitted via email or posted straight? And did u see them, then they disappeared? cc: @disqus

          2. ShanaC

            we delete duplicate posts occasionally for reading ease…

          3. Aaron Klein

            Email processing has issues. I have about a 80% success rate.

          4. William Mougayar

            That might be a disqus issue then. But weird that I am not noticing that myself when I use email.

          5. fredwilson

            we don’t delete comments here Philip. unless it is spam or some form of sick trolling. opinions stand regardless of what they are.

          6. PhilipSugar

            Maybe I posted so many I forgot. Have fun in Japan

      3. RichardF

        Yesterdays post was a real eye opener for me as someone looking in from another country where we have strict gun regulation.I was really shocked by the vast majority of opinion.

        1. takingpitches

          I hadn’t realized the geographic cross section (rural, suburban, urban) by folks engaged on AVC until yesterday. Makes me appreciate even more the exchange of views we have when it comes to tech.

          1. RichardF

            so true, the exchanges here, even when heated are generally respectful of other views as Dave has already alluded, avc is a special place.

          2. Aaron Klein



        Of course not. People want to help people. We don’t care about guns. A gun doesn’t suffer..I saw where some of the homes that were foreclosed on because of the crash were being knocked down. They were livable but still being knocked down..When you have people who are willing to throw others out of their homes then knock down those perfectly livable homes you’ve got much bigger problems to deal with.

      5. ShanaC

        and that is a healthy thing.



    3. RichardF


    4. ShanaC

      i do think a couple of people pushed buttons, but no one needed to be thrown out of the bar. Still, I think we might be getting to the point where comments are scaling up enought hat we might need a psa about politeness with people you disagree with

      1. jason wright

        perhaps a chill lounge for the overheated?i hope it never comes to plastic drinking glasses.Shana C, mod/ door security.

      2. fredwilson

        i think the community can police itself

        1. ShanaC

          it can, but policing vs being nice are two different things. people get caught up in their ideas sometimes…(this includes me)

          1. fredwilson

            i don’t think we need to do anything different than we have been doing

    5. andyidsinga

      I agree …agree ..agree ..agree 😉

    6. Aaron Klein

      +100. I always feel free to speak my mind on AVC. The pursuit of common ground is a good thing.

    7. Mark Essel

      Yeah it’s fun to play the devil’s advocate as you generously showed me with the twitter conv with DHH regarding Zed’s talk. Still haven’t cracked rework open.

  2. JamesHRH

    Let me get my hair right here…..”You’re fired!” :-PEnjoy Japan!

    1. fredwilson


      1. JamesHRH

        popped you a short email if you get to your inbox before leaving.

  3. Cam MacRae

    Are you off to hit the pow in Niseko or Nagano? Or just doing a bit of touristing?

    1. fredwilson

      touristing. taking my family there for the first time.

      1. Cam MacRae


  4. jason wright

    i was too drunk to notice.

  5. William Mougayar

    This blog is your heart and soul, and no matter what, we know you’ll come back to prime it or feed it.One thing I like is that you hone-in like a vulture on the best comments and reply to them. I pay attention to your replies as they often pinpoint the best stuff in long threads.Enjoy Japan Style in the next 2 weeks.

    1. Fernando Gutierrez

      I do the same regarding finding the best in long threads. Last year Fred’s posting time used to be during lunch time here, so I was able to engage from the begining. This year I’m travelling a lot and very rarely I find myself with available time during lunch, so I start to read when there are already many discussions in place and finding him is usually a great signal.

  6. StartUpJerkFest

    Don’t worry about it, I hopped over the bar and got my own drink

  7. RichardF

    Very envious would love to go to Japan. Their culture really interests me. My 5 year old son keeps asking me to take him to Tokyo, I blame Cars 2 for that.

    1. fredwilson

      Our kids have been asking for years

      1. Drew Meyers

        I went to Tokyo a couple years ago. Didn’t live up to my expectations – I was expecting NYC of Asia..and got nothing close to that. Maybe I just didn’t see the right parts of Tokyo or meet the right people while I was there.Regardless, enjoy the trip

  8. awaldstein

    Enjoy the trip Fred.Been a few years since I was in Asia. When I used to report into Singapore I was in the area every month. Travel was a nightmare, the opportunity to explore new cultures a dream.

  9. Tom Labus

    The bartender can pull one for himself and take a break once and awhile.

  10. pointsnfigures

    Have fun. I am in Florida, otherwise known as God’s Waiting Room and the Mayan Apocalypse is tomorrow.Two go to places in Japan are the… fish market, and my Asian friends say the best sushi in the world is at the sushi place in Narita Airport next to the United gate (around Gate 37 I think).

    1. fredwilson

      we are going to the fish market.

  11. kidmercury

    have a safe and pleasant trip!

  12. John Revay

    Travel Safe – & please have a happy and enjoyable holiday season.It was amazing who much traffic the “Demand a plan” post had w/o your replies/comments.

  13. kirklove

    Jealous as you know. If I don’t see you tomorrow, safe travels. Enjoy Japan, but more so being with your entire family.

  14. SallyBroom

    Hope you all have an incredible time and a well-deserved break in Japan 🙂

    1. fredwilson

      thank you sally for all the help we’ve gotten from tripbod in planning this trip

      1. SallyBroom

        Thanks Fred, it’s been a pleasure

  15. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Have a great trip and happy holidays 🙂 Looking forward to seeing pictures!

  16. FlavioGomes

    Sashimi and sake mmmmm…Christmas in Japan how friken cool is that!


    ’bout time you returned… some of us are coughing up dust balls. how ’bout a refill on these drinks?

  18. Rohan

    Happy holidays everyone! 🙂

  19. ShanaC

    ooo – can we get a picture of you in a kimono?Happy Holidays, and don’t worry about the posts

    1. Ricardo Diz

      hahaha. That would be funny.Your second sentence made me think about what would the discussion be about among the community if Fred posted a blank post (i.e., no text, but an empty comment thread for the day)

      1. Fernando Gutierrez

        I think he did something like that a couple summers ago. I believe it was not blank but that he said something about not having a post and asking to discuss anything. I can’t find it, but if I remember well, there were as many comments as usually.

  20. jay Janney

    Safe travels!

    1. Jay Janney

      Fred, I don’t contribute much, but greatly appreciate what you post. I learn a lot, and incorporate it into my teaching ( A college professor, I teach ENT Finance). Thanks for all you do.

      1. fredwilson

        thanks for saying that.

  21. Jorge M. Torres

    Happy holidays, Fred, Thanks for the gift of this community and the opportunity to chime in from time to time.

  22. Brad

    You have the Japan Rail Pass I hope. Unlimited bullet train riding for a week for about $300. Hopefully you are visiting Kyoto and Nara, two amazing cities. I lived there for three years and got to know the country very well. If you are going to Kyoto, make sure you go to the sites “Kinkakuji”, “Sanjusan Gendo” and “Ginkakuji”. And a little city that is north of Nagoya and just west of Nagano is “Takayama”, a city that has been preserved as it was 500 years ago. Enjoy!

    1. Richard

      Good stuff. Im hoping to travel there next year.

    2. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      great tips. Japan is on my radar for a trip in the near future!

    3. fredwilson

      we are going to Kyoto and will take your suggestions and put them on our itinerary. sadly we are not going to Nara.

      1. Brad

        Nara is a bit off the beaten path. There are so many interesting places to go, enjoy the country and try not to stay too much time in the large cities.

        1. fredwilson

          actually it looks like we are doing a day trip from Kyoto to Nara. i just realized that.

          1. Brad

            You will enjoy Nara.Lots of good good but here are some you will enjoy besides the sushi.MealsYaki Niku – self grilled meat and riceShabu Shabu – self boiled Kobe beef ( phenomenal )Katsu curry – breade pork cutlet with rice and usually sweet curryKatsudon – pork cutlet made in egg and sweet soy sauce.Try Calpis and Yakult (drinks) and as you are walking around there are vending machines all over. Amazingly the hot corn soup is fantastic and the “17 Ice cream” is great (both out of vending machines).I don’t know how picky your family is, but all if these are traditional Japanese but very easy and great for Americans.

          2. fredwilson

            we are very adventurous eaters so this is all greatthanks

          3. William Mougayar

            How about Hiroshima or Nagasaki? I would expect a historical reflection post like the one you did from Normandy 🙂

          4. fredwilson

            we aren’t going there

          5. Abdallah Al-Hakim

            I have heard many good things about Kyoto. My former PhD supervisor used to go there for conferences and he loved it because professors there are treated like Rock Stars!

  23. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Enjoy Japan. The community at AVC is engaged and you just need to start them up!

  24. Wavelengths

    I wasn’t sure yesterday if you tossed out your blog like a grenade and then ran out the back door!Good to see you back with comments. I thought, though, that the crowd did a good job keeping the conversation broad-ranging (as usual), and civil (mostly.)Have an awesome time in Japan. I also expect to see some wonderful food photos from GG. Holiday blessings to all.

  25. David Petersen

    This makes me wonder where I would be in life if I woke up at 5 am every morning and spent 30 minutes writing something thoughtful.

    1. Drew Meyers

      Try it…for a year straight. See if you can sustain it 🙂

    2. fredwilson


  26. Matt A. Myers

    Maybe would be a good idea to have a queue of guest posts lined up, and then shoot out a message to someone(s) to ask if they can be around for specific day that you know you’ll be missing a post / need some buffer room.

  27. Carl Rahn Griffith

    The best thing about going away is the coming back.Have a wonderful time.

  28. JLM

    .Safe travels, Clan Wilson.700 + comments, is that a new record?.

    1. Abdallah Al-Hakim

      that is an impressive number. Definitely many people have strong views about this topic but I enjoy reading them here than getting extreme reporting for the different news stations!

    2. fredwilson

      we got 900+ on my marketing post. almost of them telling me i was an idiot!

    3. Tom Labus

      I think the Occupy Wall Street Sunday post was over 900 @fredwilson:disqus

      1. fredwilson

        yup. but this one is up there with Occupy and Marketing. certainly top five.

  29. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    OK – I just can’t go along with this. It seems everyone is agreeing that disagreement is healthy if accepted by a culture.Just because this is AVC I will attempt to put the other view forward. Let me show that such a culture is sub-optimal.So – In a well maintained community there is uniformity, and no need for the overhead of customization. Why in the best of all worlds surely Fred would be president of the known Universe – Perhaps JLM his foreign minister (to suppress the unknown universe as necessary with his spook chums).Then maybe shanac and some bouncers could be the inforcers!Guest bloggers could come and pretend to express their own opinions but righteous thinking would be applied to any divergence from the company line before it is published.Finally, naturally, attendance, commenting and liking should not be optional.Now that’s how Fred should run a blog.How did I do ? 🙂

    1. Wavelengths

      Nah, Not nearly as interesting, or realistic, as the real thing.At its best, which is most days, the AVC crowd is a microcosm of democracy, with better education, more thoughtfulness, more courtesy, and more willingness to meet at somewhere approximating a middle ground, although that shifts.Go back and check the comments during Sandy and the immediate aftermath of the hurricane. That’s the AVC population for you, at the most raw.

      1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

        Hmmm – Just as I suspected – Ok I conceed AVC is a superb, refreshing, insightful community and I’d better a dime to a dollar (or a Rappen to a Swiss Frank in my case) that is would be a great pleasure (and a challenge) to meet up with any of the regulars here !

      2. ShanaC

        yes, and it was an amazing moment

    2. ShanaC

      you do realize my idea of enforcing is feeding you all cookies….

  30. Techman

    Don’t worry too much. I speak for myself when I say this, but I don’t mind missing you for a few days on the comments section, or posts. We all know you have your hands tied, and more importantly I want you to spend time with your family 🙂

  31. AlexBangash

    Congrats on Behance and have a great trip to Japan.

  32. Mark Essel

    My default avc commenting these days lags up to a week, when I have a moment to spare. Just not enough time to build and chat about how to build.