Ten years ago today I set up a TypePad account and started writing online. That first post was not much, other than the start of a habit that has transformed my life and my career.
The early years were all over the place. I would write about the music I was listening to, the places I was visiting, my family, and increasingly my work. Some of you were there at the start and when I see you show up in the comments now it brings a smile to my face. You know who you are and I am most appreciative of your commitment. Regular readers are the lifeblood of a blog and a blogger.
Early on I learned about trolls and haters. They stung and it hurt. But fortunately I had my brother Ted, who went by the name Jackson, and our friend Pat, who went by the name of TonyAlva. They defended me so I didn't have to defend myself. And Ted became the first bouncer at AVC, kicking off the bar motif that has colored this community ever since.
By the third year of AVC, I had decided to focus my posts around the three topics of technology, startups, and venture capital investing. I still occasionally post about music and politics but most everything else gone by the wayside.
As the years went on the audience grew which has been incredibly satisfying. I became obsessed with my stats. I had every free visitor tracking tag I knew of on AVC. And then I got into widgets and put all sorts of crap on the right rail. The page got so heavy that it would take a minute or more to fully load. Matt at Feedburner helped me build fastavc.com which still exists.
But that period of experimentation, blog as petri dish, taught me that I should try everything that was new on the web and AVC became the place we tried that stuff out. I was learning so much at that time. Playing with new stuff on AVC became my primary approach to investing and led to investments like FeedBurner, Twitter, Tumblr, Disqus, Zemanta, Outside.in and SoundCloud.
The addition of Disqus to AVC during Y Combinator Demo Day in August 2007 took us to a new phase. After seeing Daniel demo Disqus on AVC on stage I asked him for the one feature I had been asking TypePad for – the ability to reply directly to a comment notification email and have that reply posted in real time in the comment thread. Daniel and his cofounder Jason said they could do that and before the weekend was over it was working at AVC. I never went back to TypePad comments and we became a full fledged community. The average post at AVC now gets 150-200 comments and we push 1,000 every once in a while. You are now as much a part of AVC as I am. If you aren't wading into the contents here from time to time you are missing out on a lot of great stuff.
I met Nathan through AVC and he became our designer. We did a redesign four years ago (I think) that greatly simplified the look and feel, got rid of the widgets, and sped up the page loads. It is the same design we use today and I still think it looks great. Thanks Nathan.
Over the past few years we've added some regular themed posts, MBA Mondays, Video of the Week, and Feature/Fun Fridays. I think all of these ideas came from you originally. These regular themed posts give a pace and routine to the week which helps me a lot. I suspect it works for you too.
Donna noticed that I've gotten a bit sentimental in my recent posts. It wasn't conscious to me until she mentioned it but she is right. AVC is ten years old and Brad and I formed USV and went out onto the road for a year raising our first fund around the same time in 2003. Bill Gates says people overestimate what can be done in a year but underestimate what can be done in a decade. And we have done a lot in the ten years of AVC.
The past ten years have been the most productive of my career (so far). Brad and I have built USV into one of the top VC firms in the world. We have been joined by three incredible partners; Albert, John, and Andy. We have been fortunate to be able to work with some of the most talented entrepreneurs in tech and we have been involved at the formative stages of some of the most iconic companies of today's Internet. I don't think any of that would have happened without AVC.
I will close this already longer than usual post with a shoutout to the Gotham Gal, who opened her TypePad account about ten days after I did. Blogging has been as transformative for her as it has been for me. As I said in that opening post, I love my work but I love my family more than my work. It would take a superhero to put up with me and put me in my place. She does both and is the reason that all of this has been possible.
So happy tenth anniversary AVC. Its been a great run.
happy birthday. i wish i’d found this place much earlier, but better late than never. keep it up.
do you recall when you starting showing up jason?
now i remember. about 2 1/2 years ago. it my first post , when i announced to the world that you’d cashed out of your twitter investment. disqus can do that to the novice user. all that new found power of communication, but none of the responsibility 🙂
Congratulations! And many thanks for keeping it going all these years. It’s one of just a handful of blogs I read regularly, because it helps me get a sense of the funding environment, new trends in the startup world before they hit mainstream, and clear explanations via MBA Mondays. Here’s to the next 10 years!
um, i’m not sure Fred. it feels like no more than three years. something like that. time very well spent :-)it’s been an education. thanks.
Same as Jason here, I wish I’d found this blog earlier.Love your blog. Keep it going!Waiting for your 20’th anniversary post 😉
Oohh! I can’t wait to see what the online and offline world has evolved into by then. 🙂
Lovely post, Fred!Look forward for drive and ambition and look back for happiness.Today is all about happiness. 🙂 Thank you for AVC!
If I recall correctly, back in the day there was a healthy amount of discussion about The Replacements, likely due to Jackson
and the Stones too
Mick Jagger’s gonna be a great grandfather. For real. Now that’s a gas!
Artic monkeys…..thats when bijan showed up
Thanks for the memories. All the best for another 10!We appreciate you keeping the light on.With compliments.
#becauseawesome Thank ***u***
An anniversary present
wrote my first code on that thing
It was a joy. I was a newspaper reporter on that thing.
same here 🙂
I still have two PC-2’s, they were perfect for car trips.
So much soul and empathy here, I love it. Wish I could be there to raise a glass. Thank you, Fred/all. Best wishes.
Congrats and thanks Fred.Never been a question of market fit for this blog and my daily life.Whenever I’m home it’s always feed Sam then check in at avc.
July 2004. Happy Birthday Fred. It’s been transformative. Rarely does one get to watch Rome be built.
that was your first visit to AVC?
Yes. It was. 🙂
Side note. I was in Europe.
10 years! and I’m happy to say I’ve been around for ~6 of ’em…wouldn’t have lasted this long in startups if not for everything I learned at this placethanks and congrats, Fred! here’s to the next 10 years…
Social media then and now: before avc.com brought people together across the platforms we use there was the telephone “The telephone man is here” https://medium.com/urban-la…
Before this gets too schmoopy we should probably commit to the next Fun Friday being “What is the stupidest thing I’ve said?”To me, that’s the fun and magic here…you can’t post/comment every day if you’re scared of being dead wrong. A good lesson in living and entrepreneurship as well.Guess now I will hop on a plane and see if I can sniff out any bourbon.
Well there’s yours. Maybe. I’m ready to see everyone’s!
@sethgodin ‘s comment voted up 281 times on that post. Must be a record of some kind.
Those who technically dissed fred has always got handsome votes…
diss = disrespectI think the comment was respectful even though the writer strongly disagreed with Fred. And that’s the beauty of this community.Jim Hirshfield :: [email protected] :: 646.450.8968 http://www.linkedin.com/in/…
sorry about that … my bad on language problem….”technically apposing” would be the right word.Edit: btw, why are u writing your comm details? Is there anything seriously wrong in what i wrote….if at all there is …that should be because of my bad understanding of English as language … not intended.
I’ve got one that’s pretty close. Was trying to look it up and see the official tally, but it’s too difficult… Disqus should think about adding “best of” and other fun features like that, which actually help build community.
Edge case, no?
Yes and no. There have been several times when I’ve wanted something in the same genre from Disqus. If Disqus really wants to do a better job at building community, some sort of dashboard for the community would probably be something to think about. That dashboard may or may not include a “best of” panel, but it’ll definitely include several modules that show activity and people that have stood out over time. These are the things that add color and flesh out a true community feel.I have lots of gripes with Disqus. I love their stated vision, and the potential of it, but not the execution. Its pretty clear that whoever is leading product design over there isn’t really a designer. I’d bet money that its a “product guy” who’s more biz dev-y and doesn’t have any UX experience. I can smell it.
Interesting assumptions.I should restate, in case it’s not obvious or remembered: I work for Disqus.There is a dashboard for bloggers/publishers that lists many of the insights on your wish list. Whether those should be open and shared with the community (by default or otherwise) is an interesting question. I side with letting the site owner decide what data to share.That said, some data is shared in the “Community” Tab near the comment entry window above.I’m curious what design elements you take issue with.
Hilarious! My favorite thing about AVC is that I really don’t give a shit who any of you are, as far as your jobs or perceived status is concerned. Smart folks get recognized no matter who they are. Fred can be thanked for that. That’s why he’s had 10 successful years!Anywho, if Disqus wants to create a community, wouldn’t it behoove you to show the community features to **the community** itself? Instead of just the publisher? You siding with the owner’s discretion is fine, but its against Disqus’ stated vision of promoting communities — communities share, otherwise its just a group of disjointed individuals.I can go on for days with my Disqus design gripes. But let me clarify: there isn’t much wrong with the core plugin. It’s a comment plugin. It looks and works like all the rest. But that is exactly the problem. Disqus claims to be more, but isn’t as much more as it could be. There’s really no tangible benefit when you compare Disqus to Livefyre, at least that I can see, other than ubiquity and a headstart.Here’s a specific gripe: Why did you guys decide to alter your homepage to make Disqus more of a community? Why not start with the core experience, the actual comment feed that’s in everyone’s blog?!! I’m curious how that new homepage is working out for you. I’d bet that it hasn’t given you any meaningful results, other than maybe learnings to build upon. Feel free to kick me some vanity metrics in an attempt to prove me wrong, though.Anywho, all these points are things that would be nakedly apparent to a (good, trained) UX professional. Your head of product, who I just found on LinkedIn, is clearly just like I said: one of those “product guys” who’s numbers and management without any UX **design** experience. I don’t know him, and I’m not saying he’s not smart, but I’m saying, genius or not, that I’d never put such a person in such a role. Such a person doesn’t realize how critically important everything I’ve just said in this post is. It’s not innate to him. And it shows in the product.Don’t let a person lead a team to create things that he cannot create himself. If your VP Tech cannot jump in and code when shit hits the fan, he’s worthless. If your VP Sales can’t close a deal himself, he’s worthless. If your VP Product cannot actually design the product, he’s worthless.Unfortunately, the startup community thinks its okay to have non-designers do the job of designers. I’m grilling you / Disqus not so much to be an ass towards you guys, but to illustrate why design thinking is of utmost importance.
My impression (anyone can feel free to correct me) is that startups hire from the pool of people in the world who are enamored with and clued into the startup world or somehow take the bait of hitting it big and getting to cash out later. This automatically rules out many people particularly people who are older and are established with families and expenses who know there shit. Not to mention that the startups want people who want to play foosball (do they still do that stuff btw?) and have college type fun. If Boeing needs to hire someone they can afford to find good people and move a person and his family and offer a secure job and a somewhat secure future. A startup can’t really do that, right? Especially under my theory (in dating and in life) that the majority of the good merchandise is already snapped up. So if you want to hire from the majority you need something to attract them away from where they are. While money is a possibility you could say the longevity of the company isn’t.If you had a chance to get hired by General Electric as a designer with a good paying job that you determined was fairly secure long term or hired by Disqus and you were, say in your 40’s what would you do? Take a chance on disqus (or any startup) or choose General Electric? Did you ever notice how on all those “about” pages the people are all (duh) young and actually fairly attractive? When I hired people in a traditional business I didn’t go for the attractive people. In fact I took points off for that. A super attractive woman (as only one example) with charisma who comes across well will get hired away quickly. While the bookeeper who is disheveled and can’t present herself well (but works her ass off) will have a much harder time getting poached.
My head is nodding all the way. On this response, and your other about what people spend time on. Human nature is human nature, and that’s just the way it is, for better or for worse. But I guess that’s why so many on AVC set out to do their own thing, right?Either way, we’re all at fault. I’ve focused on things I shouldn’t focus on because something else brought me more instant gratification. I’ve hired and teamed up with people for vanity reasons, knowing ahead of time that they’re we’re really a good fit but ignored that inner voice. We all do these things.
I thought my response was a bit harsh, so I came back to compliment you on the items in the “Community” tab because, while I doubt they’re nailing it (how many people actually click on / use what’s in that tab?), I believe they’re good steps in the right direction towards fostering community.But my eloquent compliment got deleted, because somehow my browser’s back button was triggered and the comment was lost. This is a re-do. And this happens probably, literally, every other time I comment on AVC. If not more. Sigh.That makes me go back to the topic of that new homepage of yours. Why on earth would you guys spend time there when you can improve the core experience so much?! What kind of VP Product makes a call like that?!I’m sure this is all going in one ear and out the other. I hope it isn’t, though.
“Why on earth would you guys spend time there when you can improve the core experience so much?!”Because it’s fun to do that’s why. Any programmer can tell you stories of how they fooled around for hours or days doing something that looked cool. Like the guy with the woodshop in his house who spends time there making things his wife doesn’t need but not fixing the shelf in the closet that is falling down.People gravitate toward doing what provides feedback and enjoyment and accomplishment w/o taking into account the utility of the end result and time spent. It can always be justified on some level in order to get out of putting in effort in the right places.
The visual on the homepage (“Gravity”) falls into the area of content discovery; an area we care very much about at Disqus. It’s an evolution, but the technology and thought that went into Gravity are part of our exploration, and it’s highlighted on the homepage because we think it’s a cool representation – a showcase – of what’s going on across the many sites that use Disqus.Our homepage is not our product. Our product is here on AVC and 3M other sites. The homepage is not intended to be an SEO optimized traffic honey pot (not sayin’ you said that, just sayin’). And there’s no cause to be concerned about the traffic to our homepage; the data supports that. More importantly, there’s no drop in sites signing up for Disqus. I think when it comes to seeking out a great commenting solution, Disqus is found.
What happened to the login, dashboard, admin links on the homepage? I arrive there and get nothing but “Add disqus to your site” links.
Drop down menu, upper right hand corner where you should see your avatar.Obviously it’s not as conspicuous as you’d like. I get that.
I don’t see the avatar or the links. Safari 6.0.5 (8536.30.1)
“Our homepage is not our product. Our product is here on AVC and 3M other sites.”Exactly.”The visual on the homepage (“Gravity”) falls into the area of content discovery; an area we care very much about at Disqus.”Exactly. The discovery you’re trying to promote was executed on the thing that’s “not your product.” How about doing it on your product?That was my main point, in a nutshell. That, and you need a product leader who gets how to to that, and that person is most likely someone with experience actually designing products himself.
“How about doing it on your product?”In time, in time.First comes concept, then comes conceptualization. Gravity is an early step along the way.
That’s more than fair. 🙂
Seems to me that anyone who reads blogs has probably “discovered” Disqus 100 times over. I think they are doing a great job.
“it’s not obvious or remembered: I work for Disqus.”All those “x’s” in your pop up detract from that point. Like a magicians misdirection.
In this community, I represent myself, not Disqus. I’m not here because I’m a Disqus employee. My participation in this community pre-dates my employment at Disqus by 3 to 4 years. So, a profile of me includes some of the other companies I’ve worked at as footnotes to the comments I leave. No misdirection intended.
Didn’t mean the misdirection was intentional or with malice at all. Just as an explanation (as I said) of why it wasn’t obvious.
Jim, I wanted to drop a line and thought that this would be an ironic comment to do so on. Just finished up with the pleasure of submitting my résumé to Disqus for the position of Publisher Development Associate. Super excited to have found an opening I qualify for in one of USV’s portfolio companies, reporting to someone who I’ve grown to respect through their comments on this blog. Even if I’m not the one for the job, thanks to you and your team for the chance to throw my name in the hat.
Thanks. I’ll look into your application in the morning.
“I’m curious what design elements you take issue with.”We could start with the “flag” and “collapse” icons which only show when you hover over. Or the fact that if you click on a link (as a new tab) in Firefox the main page gets redirected and you lose your place.
Thanks for the feedback.I think opinions differ on whether minor features, such as flagging and minimizing should be prominently displayed or not.I’m not sure why links don’t open a new tab, but I’m guessing it inherits link attributes from the host page. IOW, if you click a link in Fred’s post, the same behavior is observed (i.e. no new tab; opens in same tab). But like I said, I’m not sure.
Exactly. And I agree with your parenting style. (Read my other comment on same in response to what Charlie said).
But then June 10, 2010 this same community, in rare form, went after Seth for a comment he made to “The Panel Pile Up http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…. My respect for the irreverent AVC community went up a notch that day.
Friendly debate FTW
I hadn’t read those comments. Good stuff.
Never saw that fascinating thanks for pointing it out.
Its great that you know and admit that point of view wasn’t the best. :-)There are so many bits the startup world likes to snub their nose at, when the real world knows better. After marketing, I think good design (or, better, a minimum level of polish) is the next runner up; polish, which it won’t cure a bad product, it will give a good product more credibility in a time when it has none.But, thankfully, startup world is finally beginning to understand the power of both.
I posted my first comment the next day. Lively week that was.
One of my all-time favorite AVC moments. The 3-day marketing summit. And I think I remember you emerging in the comments during that time.I genuinely agree with Fred so often that it was a relief finally to have a reason to heartily disagree. 🙂
I had a domestic situation – sick kids & travelling spouse – that kept me from being there Monday night. We do not have the infrastructure here that we had in CGY, so no cover…….Would have been fun.
remember that well!
The best posts and comments take a strong stand on one side or another. If you did a “top 10” list of posts that generated the most engagement, the common theme would likely be controversy.
yup makes me grin every time I think about it
Come on Fred, it definitely has to be this: 🙂 🙂 :)http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…And it only took 2 months for you to change your mind: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…AVC was a great place for me to re-immerse myself back into the internet after being heads down working on retail shopper insights and computer vision for 5 years. 🙂 I learnt a ton and got to interact with some amazing people. Thanks for everything !!!!! And wishing I could have been in NYC today!!!!!
Nah, that wasn’t totally wrong. It was limited, and the movement to the 7″ and a lighter form factor were right on. As was the lean back consumption aspect. There were missing parts of the initial assessment, but that isn’t wrong. Saying marketing isn’t necessary was wrong. 🙂
That was classic. Lots of great conversation came of it.
Oh who are you kidding that was deliberate link bait no question about it!! A few “usually” or “generally” in the right places and you would have had 1/4 of the comments that day.
“schmoopy”, hmm…either you’re making up Yiddish words or that’s an esoteric reference to Seinfeld. Either way, +1http://www.urbandictionary….
Not that there’s anything wrong with that…
how else do words come not being (actually, how do words come into being)
There would be no better way to celebrate ten years of AVC than that. This is a community that thrives on moving fast, breaking a few things and learning from mistakes.Happy birthday, AVC! Proud to have been here for six of those ten years. And I had just made it to the top 10 when we killed ranking. 😉
i like the schmoopy b/c its authentic schmoop. authenticity is key.
i can’t search only my comments. I don’t remember. I’m getting doddy in my old young age.
Rainchecking you on #pappy
Well, the best thing I can think of is CONGRATS!!And thanks for opening this bar, it’s a great place to stop by for a pop.
congrats fred, I have been a reader since I started my first company about 3 years ago, but only in the last few months I’ve started commenting here too and opened an account on disqus.I love it – didn’t realise how good the community was here. there is a group of really good commenters who regularly appear and all have their own great blogs too that I’ve now discovered. I think I’ve probably started reading another 4 or 5 blogs regularly as a result. so – well done on getting the community side of things right, it is very hard to do.
Your commitment has built an inspiring community! Happy anniversary and thank you!
First visit was in October/November 2009 after seeing you mentioned as a top business blog in an Inc magazine piece.I was in Kunduz, Afghanistan at the time dealing with crazy Afghans, needy Defense Contractors, and pissed off Marines and soldiers stuck training new Afghan Police and note fighting the Taliban in town,
i will take entrepreneurs any day of the week!
It has been a great learning experience for me at AVC. Thanx Fred for the same.I started reading your posts from 2006 and commenting intermittently since 2007.P.S. AVCers thanx again for all the healthy discussions.
Thanks a lot for writing! It has been a transformative blog for me too. I’ve learned so much. I think I have now a different perspective about how to integrate technology with business.Please keep posting!Sebastian
Congratulations. And thanks for doing this every day. It’s wonderful way to start the day.
The best things take time and passion to iterate and this blog is an example of both.Happy 10th to AVC.com and its community, and here’s looking forward to another 10.
I think i wrote my first blog comment ever here at AVC. Thank you Fred for your daily commitment + the community ongoing for all the stuff I continue to learn + amazing people i continue to meet.
Congratulations! On finding your voice, finding your medium (as artists would say), defining your passion(s), and finding your community all with one thing – a blog. I enjoy all of those here, and have made many friendships around AVC in the last 4+ years, and the topics raised. Additionally, it has inspired me to delve deeper into my own passions, and become an entrepreneur. I will even start my own blog soon, something I might not have had the balls to do, had I not watched how well it can be done.
Hi Fred – Happy B Day! What a great Run.I have only been coming to this place for 2 years, my loss. I am amazed when I go through some of the archives and read the posts and then scan through the comments – there is so much tucked away here.AVC – is certainly one of my must reads every day.Thank you for doing this.
April 2005 was when I stumbled on this AVC post via Indeed:http://avc.blogs.com/a_vc/2…Thanks for that post and all of the others since.
It takes a community to raise a child…and apparently a blog too. Just watch out as we enter the teenage years!
This blog is going to be one heck of a 13 year old, I’ll tell you that.
nah!hhhlot of very serious old people here 🙂
That is not funny.. Just shut up, if you will ..
“You see what you want to see” …” A man with chronic Jaundice will see everything yellow”.I donno what you read up there and interpreted … what I meant was “This community is never gonna get a teen’s vibrancy and mood”
Not again !! Will you please shut the fuck up ?? Watch what you gonna say .. Here’s a elite group talking sense and you weirdo making dumbo statements .. Too crass to even forgive !!
I forgive you.
Classy response, Kasi, to what was a couple of quite troll-ish comments.
thanx Donna … I just remembered you yesterday evening when i saw an add in the TV on Comedy Central … an ad for a serial called “Suits” …It looks like a office related serial …politics in office …in which one fellow saysMale : you are so into meFemale: Stupid … I am DonnaYou have to watch it to like it… the tone in which she says that is amazing.P.S. Is this serial coming in U.S….i think it must be a old one … it says season-3 starting October 7 th.
whoa. did you have a bad day or something?
I hope so!
Happy birthday, AVC.
Many Happy Returns of the day. It is the discipline that I admire most in Mr.Wilson’s posts. I must guess since you started out 10 years ago, you have also found more about your own self through the ruminations that go through your mind every morning about what you are going to put down on digital paper.So far you seem to have one without having a mental block around that and for that we are grateful. Wonder if one were to graph the words from the posts along with the comments over the course of these past ten years would one be able to visualize the way Mr.Wilson’s mind works and how he responds to the various comments. What would Deep Blue make of all this stream of thought?Have a blast Mr.Wilson….
Would you at least give up Wilsoning Fred after this 10-th anniversary?…as an anniversary gift?
Lol, I think it would be wrong to Fred, he looks forward to being reminded of http://goo.gl/G7wfvRBut it feels wrong to be disrespectful to call him by his first name, that generally is used by those who know him well, I have seen him several times on the street by his Bway offices but have not managed to know him personally to be on first name basis.Plus who else here calls him Mr.Wilson besides me?
really that is the rule ?… i thought calling him ‘freddy’ or ‘frodo’ – like his old time friend (tony alva) calls him….needs a personal touch..He calls me ‘kasi’ and I call him ‘fred’…though we never met and never even seen each other in person. I have been commenting here for 5-years and he/me thinks that is enough to know someone.
“Plus who else here calls him Mr.Wilson besides me?”No one, Baba, no one. :)P.S. It was fantastic to meet you!
it took me three years. to stop doing that.
That means you are too formal on a social graph…..
this is true
I’ve been a daily reader since 2004. You talk about how writing the blog has had such a positive impact on your career. I hope you know that it’s had a positive impact on the careers of many readers.
I absolutely love this post. It totally confirms my own beliefs about marketing for startups. Thanks!
Thank you for your relentless commitment here :)Through AVC, I have come to really appreciate the value of Disqus. Disqus drives up the quality of the comments, keeps it all authentic, and makes the precious time invested into commenting more worthwhile.As a result, this is a fantastic place to find 200-300 really smart people that can add value to almost any discussion. I enjoy the comments as much as the posts.
Disqus really is great. I know we sometimes give them a hard time, but it’s only because we love them.
Happy 10th!Its only been a bit over 2 years for me. Coupled with real life trials and errors, I look at this time on AVC as the grad school I never went to. Actually, I did go — AVC was class, and the real world was homework — I just didn’t pay traditional tuition (but I did put money into projects, which I guess is the same thing but more educational in the end).And now, I’d like to consider myself graduated and ready to kick ass. 🙂
Happy anniversary. I still think that AVC is one of the hidden gems in the web that can only be discovered by reading the comments. I can’t think of any other blog that I rush to read so that I can get to the comments of the community.
Did you make it to NYC? Have fun!
heading around 1pm today. I am looking forward to it!!
do you know if there is a dress code for tonight? I am assuming no but would love to know for sure 🙂
It’s funny I’ve had half a dozen people ask me that same question among other FAQ’s, as if I was an AVC concierge. Casual is my guess 🙂
It would not be right to not come as you usually dress. I will be in shorts as I have not worn long pants to the office since 1993
Like Will Farrell yesterday at the Emmys?
Haha! Concierge? No, people think of you as being “in the know/”
Congratulations! I know I’ve shared this before, but I read AVC for a long time before I ever even read the comments. After my early years online, some twenty years ago, I decided to stay out of online “discussions” for good.I am glad I changed my mind. This place is gold!
Yep. :)However,Here is some advice:We should NOT be 100% sure that you would always be accepted on all “Disqus” discussion boards. There would be at least 1 person that would post angry replies. Especially if that forum has fans that are “militant” in their behaviour. Oh, and moderators, which “Disqus” has allowed, which can sometimes make a “Disqus” dicussion board even worse. The exact same can be mentioned for any other social network. I think there could be a social network where there are NO modertors.Hopefully this place is a safe place to go.Other than that, I agree with you.
Congrats on 10 years!I found AVC via Charlie O’Donnell’s blog in 2007. My first comment was on 28 Jan, 2008.I’m always late to the party.
It’s not always the first to arrive that’s the virtue but sometimes rather the last one standing.
Now we’re talking! Unfortunately I won’t be the last one standing at the 10th anniversary bash.
Early 2010. 3 1/2 years ago.The first time I typed in AVC.com would have either been the day I found out about your workshop at FOWA Miami (Future of Web Apps) or the day I went to it – completely hungover from the night before – hopefully not noticeable to you.I wrote a longer fun story version of this entitled My Man Crush – http://mattamyers.tumblr.co…Miami FOWA was also when I first heard about you, and that was the second thing I knew I absolutely needed to do, needed to go to.The first was the realization that my ideas and plans were growing outside my own capacity, and that I would need capital at some point to accomplish everything.It’s obvious to me AVC has been a significant and valuable part of my life these past years, allowing me to evolve my thoughts, discuss ideas – my daily dose of caffeine to get my brain kickstarted.I’ve tried to get more people on here reading, engaging, try to upsell the value to people of engaging, writing out thoughts, interacting – though as it turns out that’s more difficult than you’d think – leading a horse to water but unable to make them drink.I suppose until a person feels a deep need to engage with a community, or finds a community that shows values and discusses topics they want to engage with – are passionate about – then they won’t likely engage.Obviously enough people have found you and the AVC community that’s been growning over the past 10 years. It will be great to see how everything evolves further over the next 10.Thank you for being the catalyst in bringing this community together, it’s definitely improved the quality of my life.
Thank you, Fred. Thank you, AVC community.I’m only about 5 years old here (commenting actively for about 3), but what a transformative few years it’s been! For me AVC has been the catalyst for so many changes. Through your posts–and of course the truly amazing community–I’ve been challenged, inspired, entertained, infuriated, educated and occasionally heeded.AVC was a significant factor in helping me realize that being a stay at home Mom wasn’t “it” for me, then giving me the insights and tools to get & succeed at jobs in a couple of startups, and now ultimately, to have the guts to step out on my own.Not to be too dramatic, but you change lives here.
Not too dramatic, Cynthia. Too true.
Thank you for showing up everyday and doing your thing.AVC is like my daily cup of coffee that wakes me up every morning and inspires me to get shit done and push the envelope. Thanks Fred.
Wow – happy birthday AVC. 10 years covers quite a lot of groundbreaking changes in technology (especially this last 10). And really, happy birthday to us all here — looking forward to meeting a few of you tonight.The first time I recall popping over would have been some time in 2005 — I was in a startup, we were raising money, and I stumbled upon the musings of a VC in NYC. Rather uncharacteristically, I remained quiet for a long time: I think it was that marketing post that got me started on commenting. I signed up for Disqus a few weeks later.It would be very hard to quantify all the things I’ve learned here over the years, from you Fred and from other AVCers. Thank you all.
Congratulations, Fred! Thank you. Those two words do not fully convey the emotion and depth of gratitude packed into them.I love that I am commenting on AVC’s 10th anniversary actually from NYC! Boy is it noisy here. Awakened by sounds of traffic before my alarm went off with that feeling that it is an important day.Had dinner with my son last night, a freshman at a New York university, majoring in computer science. I suspect that AVC had something to do with both those events. He was telling me how much he loves programming and with the next breath commented that there weren’t any girls in one of his comp sci classes and only one or two in another. He seemed to think this was an important observation.This is but one of the conversations AVC has prepared me for over the years.BTW as much as I love this post, the part I loved the most was the words “thus far” and then once again the blatant and public adoration you have for Gotham Gal.
Glad to hear you made it to NY, Donna, and having a blast.If there was a volume control knob on NYC, I’m pretty sure it would be on 10. And someone probably threw the knob out after that.
It goes up to 11 and that’s a plus
ha, i’m pretty sure it does. that’s a funny pic.
All across the board, 11, 11, 11http://youtu.be/4xgx4k83zzcSpinal Tap clip
+1 for Nigel Tufnel quote.
New York has an 11 😉
Luckily I’ve not come across that yet, though traffic levels certainly change from the weekend and weekday – at least during business hours so far..
The old saying Matt is that if noise, busyness, dirt, congestion and expense bother you..go visit somewhere else;)NYC is as different as the people that live here. To each of them its their own personal spot.
Oh, no, the issue is I love it, enjoy it perhaps too much – get caught up in it and then tend to forget about taking care of myself. I’m much better now at this, and the place I’m staying is in a quieter area – at least the street I am on is very quiet, so I can come back here and recover nicely. :)I absolutely love the busyness of NYC. It’s much different than that of Toronto. Not totally sure why, perhaps just has had more time to develop character.
Woot’s new thing btw:https://mediocre.com/
I think it is an important observation.He’d be shocked to know that when I graduated my CS degree about 28% of the cohort were women. I think it was quite a bit higher (~40%) 10 years prior.I have some ideas as to why we’ve seen such a precipitous decline during the same era that saw women become the majority of tertiary graduates, but I’ll save the pontification for another time.
Will want to hear the pontification someday.
My son is in his last year of film at NYU, but he wanted to attend long before AVC. Maybe Terri and I will run into you somewhere in the city tonight 🙂 and we can chat about the challenges of being an NYU parent.
Ah, “A” NY university not “THE” — extremely smart kid who only decided to go to college less than two months before classes started and Hofstra pursued him, extended the deadline and waived the essay, so they got him. For now at least.Lesson learned (of many): a strong ACT score covers a multitude of sins.I have a feeling we’ll be talking soon. 😉
NYU represent! i graduated from NYU. although i don’t really have much positive stuff to stay about the school, aside from its decent reputation, which i regard as undeserved, though since others believe in it it helps with jobs and credibility and door opening and all that important stuff.
Sounds like you and I might disagree on this by at least 98%. That would be a first. 🙂
Like you, I woke up this morning with the feeling that today is an important day. And that’s a pretty damn amazing statement for a blog community, if you think about it.Very happy to know that you’re here with us in our beautiful, chaotic, loud, amazing city today!
“He was telling me how much he loves programming and with the next breath commented that there weren’t any girls in one of his comp sci classes and only one or two in another. He seemed to think this was an important observation.”Hahahahaha. It’s a very important observation! I know you’re at least half-kidding, though the law of attraction is what directs or reenforces our behaviour. If there’s a cute girl or boy someone likes and that helps them go to class, helps them to improve themselves, then cool, I say. :)It made me smile first too about the posting on AVC’s 10th anniversary in NYC – that’s really cool actually – and with so many other AVC’ers here in NYC, some of whom I met up with last night and more I will meet tonight! :)So in fact, everything you said was well-said. :)See you sooner than later! 🙂
Did you make the Google tour yesterday? Keep me posted on the flight status stuff too…
I did get to go through Google headquarters! :)I changed flight to Monday! Still figuring out living arrangement. It would be nice to be downtown so I can do more during those 3 days, and I think I can swing it – I will let you know though.
It is noisy in NYC…that is another character of a vibrant city.Another thing i noticed was …. we see people almost running and not walking … especially near the subways.
Good excuse to take classes besides comp sci. I met my (then future, now current) wife in a creative writing class I took for fun!
That’s a great anecdote, Elia.The funny thing is that because he enrolled late he ended up in the dorm with all the arts and entertainment kids. Which is actually perfect.
I wish I was reading this from New York, unfortunately that’s not working out very well and I’m still at CAK.For all the travel startups, discounts, rebranding of legacy carriers, and all the rest air travel is still a difficult problem to say the least.
Hey you made it!
Great comment, @donnawhite:disqus. And welcome to the noisy place your son will live in! So great he has filtered thru some AVC vibe and wisdom through you! Good luck to him! It’s not all bad here, and not always noisy, just most of the time. Having a phone convo on the street is the height of annoyance, but often the buzz of the street is worth it.
There should be a new group- Siblings of AVCers in Brooklyn. I think with your son, JLM’s daughter, Fred’s daughter and perhaps a handful more…
Mine’s not in Brooklyn, but she is an AVC girl. Wearing her @fakegrimlock swag.
Actually, my son is on Long Island. But, after he graduates, who knows — after staying in Brooklyn for two days myself, I can envision him there.
sorry, that was close.
Yes, you made it!
P.S. Thanks for the shout out. Didn’t see that coming.
I’ve visited this blog pretty much every day for the past year or so. I work in banking but am working towards getting into tech and this blog and the community keep me feeling connected. Whilst I rarely comment as I don’t feel sufficiently knowledgable, I always read deep into the comments. That is special, I don’t do it anywhere else.So to Fred and the AVC community congrats, and to steal the words of @JLM – well played!
Happy Birthday, AVC. Happy hour at the bar?
I’d like to give credit to Howard Lindzon for exposing me to this blog back in 2008. I had heard Howard speak at a startup conference in Toronto in October 2008, and he told the story of how he met Fred Wilson on his blog a couple of years earlier, by making funny comments, then they went to a basketball game together, and Fred invested in Howard’s company, and they became good friends, etc…And Howard said, if you’re entrepreneur, you need to read AVC.com. I had never heard of Fred Wilson before, so I remember writing down in my notebook “AVC.com”. The next day, I made my first comment here, and the rest is history. Today, I’ve made over 7,500 comments on AVC, and 300+ on GothamGal.com that I also thoroughly enjoy reading.Fred, in the same way that this blog has transformed your life, I’m pretty sure it has also transformed many lives of your commenters and readers, either via learning or by connecting with each other.The only thing I regret is that I won’t be able to attend tonight’s affair. It sounds unreal, I know, but sometimes personal matters take over the business ones. Like Fred, family comes first.So, thanks for letting us creep up on you every day here.
Damn. Won’t be the same without you.
It is really is too bad that @wmoug:disqus won’t be there tonight!
oh yeah, to charlie’s question about investing in someone i met on this blog. howard was the first i think
Happy Anniversary Fred, bummed I couldn’t make it out to NYC to celebrate it with you. Thanks for all the years of sharing yourself and fostering this community.
i was an early lurker – not sure how early and not sure its important to keep that kind of score.I was in a transition of sorts in my career, just coming out of a pretty successful company that had ended contentiously with the co-founder, recently married and with some time on my hands…I was introduced to you by a former colleague of yours at Flatiron (i cant remember her name now!). Our first emails were about Karmaloop if you (i doubt) recall!.I’ve since followed your thinking, investments, opinions, music etc on pretty steady basis for the last 8 years. I do tend to come and go but thats only natural.Its been a tremendous learning and career forming experience for me and i’ve said this before…..as the CEO of a Venture backed startup (funded by one of your good friends) Alot of how i look at the world and what we are trying to do at the company can be attributed to yours and the commentors lively discourse over the years here.I’ll say the biggest influence other than yourself on here would be one Umair Haque (who i do not see and have not seen here for many years). His thinking back then around network effects was absolutely f**king amazing stuff. I’ll give you his seminal piece on media from 2005 here……http://www.slideshare.net/p…And finally as a hat tip to @andyswan:disqus about the biggest comment wiff…..I’ll have to own up to openly calling Freds investment in twitter as “absurd” – thats i guess why he does what he does and i dont!have fun tonight – i’ll be there in spirit – here’s to 10 more years. and thanks.
Missed you at the party Mark., but great to hear more of your story in this comment.
yeah, what happened to Umair?
Most amazing blog/day for me to date: that incredible “occupy wall street sunday” with 900 ++ comments
When things like Occupy Wall Street happen, this is the place where I feel like I can trust the conversation. Where I will “hear” intelligent people with differing perspectives.
Congratulations Fred! Per what @lauriekalmanson:disqus post hints at, it would be cool to lay out where everything tech wise was 10 years ago, now at the anniversary and offer a post for the family to predict the lay out 10 years from now (or 5).
I’ve been a reader since just about the beginning.First emailed you in Nov 2004, talking about common interests such as cutting-edge gadgets like the brand new BlackBerry 7100t (!)We’ve met up periodically since, and I can easily say that this blog has served to mentor and coach me profoundly in the business of startups and VC.Happy birthday, AVC.
A blog does not necessarily equate to community; but 3,600+ posts that are almost all written to invoke a response, where you get dozens or hundreds of responses certainly is. You have built an awesome thing here. I hope you keep it up for 10 more years and beyond.
Congratulations Fred. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, knowledge, experience and emotions. All of which which go to make this site my favourite bar on the net. You have cultivated a great atmosphere in the this place and collected an amazing and diverse number of patrons. I believe in karma, good things happen to good people, you and Gotham Gal deserve the personal and business success you have achievedPersonal circumstances dictate I can’t enter the conversation as much as I’d to like at the moment but like any good local bar, the barman here always welcomes you back when you have been absent for a while and welcomes newcomers in an all inclusive manner.Cheers to you Freddy boy
You are one of the first people (maybe the first) besides Fred to respond to me on AVC and possibly the first to actually ask me a question. I felt like someone was calling me out of the hole to join the party. Then our paths crossed often because I was commenting on UK time. You’ve created a monster, dude. Or should I call you “chap” instead. I personally miss not having you around as much but meanwhile, will take what we can get from you.Anyway thanks and someday we MUST meet.
I’ve only been around for about a year and a half. When I started working on my new project, someone suggested I start following AVC. That person has no idea what an important and wise suggestion he made!Thanks for being here every day, Fred. That’s pretty amazing.And thanks to all the fantastic people here who make it such an enriching place to hang out. I’ve met so many good people here. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
Thank that guy for me Kirsten. 🙂
You really have to let a bunch of us take you to lunch next time you’re in the Big Apple 🙂
What is the “Big Apple”?
Happy 10th, Fred and the avc bunch. It’s an achievement to do anything for 10 years, let alone foster something like this. I’m so glad that Disqus is part of that history. We couldn’t have had done what we’re doing without a place like this with the sort of people that it has spurring us on.Here’s to another decade.
I hadn’t known the story between DISQUS and AVC.It’s a great piece of history.
me either ..that is cool
Thank you – I never got the answer to my question that I came here for initially, but I’ve become a better person instead 😉
you had a question and never got an answer wow..
i wanted some lecture notes for a class he gave at his synagogue to add to my collection of notes about judaism, nonprofits, and the internet. Turned out he didn’t keep notes of what he was going to say 😀
AVC = A Vibrant Community
That’s great, William.PS: sorry to hear you’re not here today. Hope all is well!
I’m almost tearing-up for not being there. Stop it 🙂
u amaze with your ornament of words ….
I’m convinced he’s programmed some AI to spit out clever things — or maybe that’s just his brain.
btw, what did you had along with your coffee in the morning… you were on a ‘upvoty’ mood … when i saw about an hour back you up voted almost all the comments here at AVC 🙂
Hehe. I’m just enjoying reading what everyone has said – it mirrors a lot of my own feelings towards it, though people state it such a diverse way. They’re great. :)Just drinking a peppermint tea, and happy to be in NYC. 🙂
Showing appreciation doesn’t need to be loud. Actually, am about to get my coffee now.
I know … i was joking with him and he got that …
Always Very ChattyA Virtual Cellar (*)(*) As in wine cellar, following the bar theme.All Visitors CareA Virtuous CircleA Veritable Cascade (of comments)Sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂
Quite a run. Learned/learning so much here as I launch the new startup.Congrats and thanks Fred!!
AVC helped intro me to the VC world. Now I’m on a path I couldn’t have imagined a couple of years ago and am forever grateful for it.Cheers. I hope to be a part of the next 10 🙂
Just flipped through the first several weeks of posts.One that stands out – presenter @ a RVC conference saying ‘mobile is flat.’
Happy Birthday, AVC! http://youtube.com/watch?v=…
It’s been a pleasure to read AVC every morning for the past ten years and look forward to the next ten! You and your brother inspired me to be far less shy about my own written words, and while my blog doesn’t get regular love from me these days, reading yours keeps me connected with things that affect my own professional life, but more importantly, it’s a way to continue to stay in touch with you and the family. Congrats Frodo!
tonyalva in the comments! that’s nice to see.
I find this so inspiring. Thank you.
May 3, 2011. Late to the game, but thank goodness for Disqus that I could pinpoint entry. AVC = a viral(virtuous) consolidator(conduit) for Disqus. 2+ years ago marked a dramatic change in my life in numerous ways, AVC being one of those. That said, I’ll pound the drum that the application (upper) layer community needs to discuss lower layer and access issues more (AVC does, but not enough, and appreciate fully Brad’s involvement with NN and OIAC), as they ultimately impact the growth prospects for everyone.
I consider your adoption of fun friday one of my proudest moments 🙂 happy anniversary!
Nothing wrong with being sentimental Fred. You are clearly a visionary thinker and have a fantastic work ethic but it’s always been your transparency which has been your biggest differentiator and greatest gift to us, the community. So the fact that this is so transparently sentimental is perfect, I think.And like seemingly every other commenter here i have my own FredStory. Straight out of school in 2004 I was an early reader of AVC. back then it was kind of strange that you were a VC in NYC. Seems like everyone’s a VC in NYC now :)A few years back I had a dream that I might get to work directly with you and USV. It didn’t work out (and by the way, I think rightfully so) but I remember during the process when you said that you knew me from your blog comments. And you did. It was a thrill and pretty inspiring for me to realize that you really do read and keep up with who all of us are who come here to hang out at the bar. Thanks for 10 years and hope to get that chance to work more closely together somehow, someway in the next 10.
Not just a tool – a legacy. I bet researchers are, and will be, studying the AVC effect for years to come – Thanks Fred
That’s such an amazing milestone, Fred. I remember finding your blog in early 2006 while still living in Cologne. I remember first interacting with you through the comments and thinking: “wow this is pretty fucking cool”. Your blog has opened a world to me that has become the most important step in my career and I’ve learned a lot from reading your thoughts and interacting with this great community.I remember you saying/writing one day that you need “to show up every day”. 10 years is impressive and I want to thank you for showing up every day. They say leadership is about consistency and you’re a role model here. Thank you.
Congratulations. I for one have learned a ton here.Have a great party, sorry I can’t make it to NYC (it’s my daughter’s 9th birthday).
Well done Fred!!! Excellent decade….keep it up!!!
You realise that this means puberty is just around the corner. I’m looking forward to that.
“I am a VC. Have been for 17 years.”Right up there with “Call me Ishmael.”
it would be 27 years now.
Congratulations Fred and thank you for not only sharing lessons and insight, but for fostering a community that amplifies it, creating something new. Godspeed for the next ten years.
Thanks Fred. Being relatively new to the community I am still amazed by the rigor with which you publish terrific content every single day… This post will probably hit 1,000 as a reflection of the gratitude that is there. Keep it up, it’s inspiring.
Congratulations, Fred!. Thank you for what you do here; the community that you have provided space for; the bar that you keep.Cheers!
It is only by actively observing and blogging on all things entrepreneurial for a decade that a body of work can be fully appreciated. Metaphorically, you have given thousands a rear-view-mirror insight into what they could not see coming – probably surprising yourself when looking back. The growth of your musical acumen has added more content to that resume. We all look forward to your voice and growth in the coming years. Congrats…> !
+10 to every preceding comment on every post for the last ten years.”I’m lurking, always lurking….” [With thanks to monsters inc.]
Congrats, Fred – I know that you inspired a lot of people to start blogging (including me). Thank you for that.
The days are so long. But the years are so short!
Congrats on 10 years, Fred, and here’s to another 10!Also, this seems like a good day to re-link to the talk you gave to our class a few years ago: http://www.avc.com/a_vc/201…
Congrats on ten years, Takes discipline to do it. You have added value, and built a community. I started blogging in 2010. It’s fun, and I am where you were in the early years. Takes a while to hit a stride. But you did, and blazed a trail in the process.
Kudos Fred – AVC is an awesome community.I wish I could have made the party – have fun!
9 am pst and 219 comments already. A vibrant community indeed.Happy 10th Bday!
Congratulations on ten years of blogging and all of your multiple successes.
Congrats Fred. May you have many more years of success, and I know you will continue to inspire and foster a wonderfully vibrant community here at AVC. You are an inspiration to us all, you challenge us and call us out when you believe strongly and we see many of your thoughts and opinions evolve in your public conversations with your readership. You have something really special here, and I love to come by and visit.Also, to all the regular commenters, thanks so much for what you do to make this community so special and inviting. Everyone here makes it a great place to come and talk, learn and just hang out. Heres for ten great years, and many many more.
Well said, Jeffrey.
Thanks for this blog, Fred. It’s turned me on to new technology, music and a host of other things. It also has helped me navigate as I’ve become a frequent visitor to your city. Here’s to ten more.
I’ve learned more from you through your blog than I have in any classroom ever. And for that I am thankful. Thank you.
The very first thing that struck me about avc was the fact that Fred’s avatar didn’t show what he really looked like that it was a caricature. . Also that he called Joanne “Gotham Gal” and not “my wife Joanne”. I took this as a lack of intimacy on some level although I know that it is for other reasons.
i copied that move from Jim Cramer who called his ex-wife The Trading Godess.
Woooooo hooooo !!!
Congratulations Fred and thank you for your daily commitment to this community. I rarely comment but I am a devoted reader, quote you all the time, check all your suggestions, support most of your causes, and actively use your lessons in my efforts to build my startup. And I particularly appreciate your acknowledgement of your family and Gotham Gal. I have met Joanne and she is a powerhouse with wise sensibility, contagious energy and a great smile. Look forward to your continued success and to your blog.
Fred congratulations, it’s a great milestone. Your body of work here has been very valuable to thousands of people.
> Playing with new stuff on AVC became my primaryapproach to investing and led to investments likeFeedBurner, Twitter, Tumblr, Disqus, Zemanta,Outside.in and SoundCloud.A common remark for small business is that thefounder really “knows his business”, and here we seeyou do well in part by knowing more about someinvestments than most VCs do about theirinvestments.So you got Perot’s “finger tip feel” for theinvestment ‘space’. I didn’t have anything likethat familiarity and, thus, wouldn’t have understoodor made those investments.The ‘paradigm’ I would use would be from borrowingheavily from some of what I saw earlier in mycareer, to ‘pick a pair’ of (1) a problem where agood new or much better solution has biggerpotential and (2) a solution with some defensible,crucial core technology that can give an ‘unfairadvantage’ and a ‘technological barrier to entry’.There is a problem with such a ‘paradigm’ and withall VC investing: A crucial need is to findprojects that are exceptional, and to see what thoseare it’s not good to look mostly just empirically atpast projects, not even the successful ones.Instead it is necessary to have some better means ofselecting the necessary exceptional projects. Thenas we see here, one such way is for a VC to get”finger tip feel” for a ‘space’. And there areother ways. But the ways will also be exceptional,and that’s a bottleneck.Other ways? Well, for one, let’s see: We pick apair of a problem and a solution, and we want tosome defensible, crucial core technology that cangive an ‘unfair advantage’ and a ‘technologicalbarrier to entry’.Now where can we find some examples of how to soexploit ‘technology’ for such ‘exceptional’solutions? Sure: Do some original researchstanding on US academic research. Why? Becausethat’s just why US academic research was funded byCongress. Why? Mostly for US national security andthen also for US health care and US economicproductivity and competitiveness. Why? Because forthe past 70 years or so, US DoD exploitations ofsuch research have been astounding and justified themoney Congress sent to the leading US researchuniversities via NSF, NIH, DARPA, etc., and by nowthe progress for health care and the US economy alsolook good.> As I said in that opening post, I love my work butI love my family more than my workA very smart, terrific ‘investment’! About half USmarriages end in divorce, and maybe half of the restare not very happy. And women of Western Europeandescent are rapidly going extinct, literally,because they are having on average less than 2.1children per woman. The number in Finland is 1.5which means that in 200 years 30 Finns today willbecome about 1; will the last Finn please turn outthe lights and lock the doors. Not only does theaverage VC investment have low ROI, so do marriageand parenting. As a society, we have some work todo. We don’t have to do it and, instead, can justgo extinct.I’ve concluded that I don’t know how to write arecipe for a successful marriage; I’ve seen from toomany examples that love, children, and money are notsufficient.
You may have invested $ in nearly 100 startups but the wisdom you share freely to all who seek it has no boundaries. I can’t count how many times a comment from AVC or Albert’s blog have circulated our company. Thank you. And Happy 10th!
A few random, totally unrelated thoughts come to mind as I read this and the comments: (1) It would be interesting to ask the AVC community when they first blogged (for real) and what’s happened since then; (2) briefly, what was everyone doing 10 years ago, in September 2003? I was living in San Francisco, right on Dolores Park, working in Oakland, playing tennis every day after work with friends, and starting dating a girl who eventually became my wife. Crazy to think that far back and to pause.
I just checked my bookmarks on pinboard and found this place bookmarked in June 2005. I’ve had a standalone, quiet blog since moving back to Louisiana in 2003, and a car tumblr since I think 2008. The car tumblr was based on the premise of “If you want to build a body of work, start now.”Still here, and the people you’ve cultivated in this space are awesome.
Congratulations and thank you.
Congrats Fred! Been (a mostly silent) reader of AVC for 5+ years, and can’t express how grateful I am for your interesting, educational and thoughtful posts. Thank you!
Changed MY life!
Thank you for all the help I’ve received over the years.
Congrats, Fred. Great stuff!
.Congratulations to the Pied Piper of VC-dom and your merry bank — ooops, I mean “band”.Well played to all.Have a damn good time and have a damn good day. I wish I were there. I will be holding down the Highlands, NC contingent.JLM.
Missed you JLM!
Congrats Fred! Your blog is the first thing I check in the morning, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. It’s been a pleasure to learn from you.p.s. Will let you know how Tep wifi works next week.
Happy 10th, Fred. Right around the 5th birthday, this was the place I first started thinking this Disqus thing had a lot of potential …. and shortly after asked Andrew if Daniel was interested in chatting.
recruiting talent on AVC. yesssssss.
Thanks for the name check. I’d be celebrating ten years soon, had the I not burned out too quick (damn Jets!). 2004-2007 was a great time, and I have you to thank for it.- Jackson
Are you THE Jackson? Sorry I came to AVC too late to meet you.
yup. the real deal. he left before disqus showed up. as the blank avatar shows.
Happy Anniversary Fred et al!
Congratulations Fred! You have created both a good community and a fantastic body of written work that I’ve found helpful.
Congrats Fred! I have learned many things from your posts and I’ve met many great people here. To blog great and build a great community at the same time says volumes about you!
Mazel tov, Fred, on a great 10-year run. Looking forward to many more decades.
Congratulations and thank you!I’ve been reading AVC sporadically for some five years and regularly for three or four. The posts and comments have taught me so much, and you were one of a handful of pioneers who inspired me to start blogging. Indeed, I see AVC / USV as an example of how giving / teaching / publishing can produce an inflection point, beyond which the creator has to spend less time searching and researching because information and opportunities begin to find him (a process nicely illustrated by Jason Roberts with his “luck surface area”: http://www.codusoperandi.co… ).On a different note, has anyone pulled together the last ten years (preferably with comments) in a single file? If so, where? Thanks.
Achievement unlocked 10 years of awesome
Nice party tonight Fred! Highlight was meeting Fakegrimlock. I have been reading here since you started ten years ago and have long admired your discipline in writing regularly and with interesting content. Meeting regulars like Donna, Anna, Andy and others tonight makes me feel guilty for not posting more. Great community. Was good to meet some long term lurkers like me tonight as well. Thanks for the invite. John
Hey John –great to meet you and to see that you took the commenting challenge. Don’t be a stranger!
Congratulations Fred… and thank you! Proud to be one of your early readers.BTW… tried to post earlier in the day but Disqus was not collaborative.
Fred, great toast! Congrats! And keep rock and rolling with AVC! Have been enjoying your posts, and refer a lot of budding entrepreneurs here!
Hi AVC team.Most of you will not remember me, or ever took notice. That’s okay. I saw you in these entries and conversations and learned from many.I was a “regular” for a few years. Had to step back with health issues.To Fred and the community: this is a very special collaboration. Celebrate with gusto this week. I’d join you if I were able.Thank you for allowing me to join you. I’m a rather square peg in a round hole, but you all made me feel welcome and valued.Shout out to Fred. You are good peeps. It’s contagious.Sincerely,Emily
Hi Emily, I remember you well. It’s nice to see you here again.I’m sorry to hear of your health issues and hope that you are recovering so that we can see more of you here at A VC again soon.
Thank you, Dale. That’s very kind of you to take the time to let me know. I am working on it and will try to get back into the AVC swing of things 😉
Ditto what Dale said @EmilyMerkle:disqus(thanks for voicing it so nicely Dale)
Thank you both. You’ve been very kind. Life happens, and then you dust yourself off and get back in the saddle.
So sorry I didn’t meet you last night!
Same same see u in the future
How did we not meet????!!!!! Ughhh!
i am certain we will meet in the future.
in the future we will surely meet
Thanks for last night, Fred — it was great to see you, meet a bunch of folks from the community (and to finally get to meet the Gotham Gal!).
Beautiful and inspiring!
Congratulations, Fred, on the 10th anniversary of AVC. I’ve been reading your blog for many years now, maybe from 2006, and enjoyed and learned from it a lot. Keep going …
This blog is such a gift, as is your zeal to share and be transparent about the thesis that drives you and your investments.Like a lot of things, the transparency and working out the big ideas in public, in real-time seems “obvious,” but it also so totally counter to the prevailing wisdom when you started A VC; namely, that thesis is a secret potion to be worked out behind closed doors — and kept secret, lest others steal it.What you’ve sowed, is what you’ve reaped. 🙂
Thanks Fred. You’ve inspired me. http://techceo.posthaven.co…
Fred.10 years ago exactly this month I founded a enterprise software-as-service company that has grown successfully to be a global leader in its sector. I can honestly say that your consistent voice, your wisdom, guidance, your vision and profound thoughts about technology, the business and the art of it; about politics, music, travel, entrepreneurship, life and the courage that you’ve had in sharing your ideas and opinions, whether people liked them or not, have taught us all! AVC has no doubt helped me grow professionally and personally, and through me grow the company that I lead – transforming my life and the life of all those who are touched by it.Your disciplined daily writing is truly a wonder to behold. I am always amazed and am grateful for its dependability and depth.Yes! It’s been an amazing Ten Years. And on this anniversary, time to stop and say Thank you!Yuval
Yuval, so happy I happened to be revisiting the comments when you posted this. How very well said and heartwarming. Congratulations on your success!
Happy anniversary, Fred! And many happy returns. I’m sure it’s been an interesting ride.If you had to put a percentage on your blog in terms of how it helped your business and investments, what would you give it? i.e. would you say “I owe 20% of my profits to this blog!” or how would you calculate it?
at least 50%
Your posts and this community have given me so much. Thanks Fred. Whenever I need to reorient myself, AVC is one of the places I come back to.
w/o a doubt the offline friendships from an online community are the greatest–and truest–takeaway.Friendships and business relationships both for me.
Hah, Charlie, I think that you were the first AVC person I met offline a couple of years ago. (Of those didn’t already know IRL.)I still can’t believe that I recognized you from your avatar, while sidling down the aisle of an Amtrak train. I thought, that guy looks like Charlie Crystle.And it was you!
i think 2 happened early on. 1) nope. But I suspect there will be a first.
Fred & Joanne invested in Engagio.
3) Both Fred and Joanne have sent business my way (quite a bit). They are connectors for sure. I’d be embarrassed to repeat some of the superlatives that they’ve used to describe me . Which is particularly satisfying because they are new yorkers. Although if I ever put up a page to do what I do I will be sure to use the superlatives (take note Brandon)
I haven’t married anyone here (far as I know) but I sure have made great friends. One whose initials are CC! 🙂
well i put some personal money into william’s engagio. that didn’t work out so well but i enjoyed working with william.
what was that like?
Modern day update of meeting cuteI saw him on the platform, thought I recognized him from his avatar …Great plot device and great story
Interesting I see “Charlies” all over the place.
I’m in Harrisburg for a couple of days this week and my first thought was “wonder if Charlie will be around?” but the days are going to be full. Or are you by chance in NYC today?
but not usv…you never took an a round, right?
but i read somewhere that Fred as ‘Introducer” and investors were some other people …. i think it was on angellist….
no, he was both. he introduced after he invested.
that’s why i said fred & joanne.
Oh great Charlie why don’t you let him know it’s ok if he only gets a “B” and that daddy still loves him.Daniel – No tv until you fix all of those disqus annoyances.
Funny. For a split second, I thought, “I shouldn’t disturb him,” and then I asked him if he was Charlie…
Ha! Note taken!I’m writing a bio now. The person who’s helping me with PR and such is preaching your mantra, cracking the whip for you. The point is absolutely taken. I will never forget that exchange. Though we’ll have to give credit to the Gotham Gal community for that one!
Also, what **is** it that you do?!
On Monday night I thought I picked you out of the crowd a couple of times, but alas none were you. Where were you!
Well I do many things actually I am well diversified money making and skill wise.  You could plop me anywhere and I could figure out a way to make money and survive. The thing that I was referring to though (the business they “sent” me) related to helping people acquire domain names that they need for their business (as opposed to just registering a domain for the reg fee). I started doing this for free and then started charging for it. It’s time consuming but lots of fun to do because it requires negotiation, research, strategy and understanding people and motivations.I almost hesitate to mention domains because it typecasts me as being “the domain guy” and what I know about otherwise is what allows me to do a good job in this area. I’m good at domains because I’m good at strategy, I’m creative and I’m good at negotiation and I’m devious.Note that what I wrote is slightly confusing. It’s meant to be because even though it’s possible to figure out my true identity I prefer to be quasi anonymous. At least three things I’ve done I knew absolutely nothing about at all – zip zilch – but I managed to figure out and make money. I guess the bottom line is I’m good at figuring things out. My hobby is reverse engineering how people and business make money. I will observe what a business is doing and try to understand how it fits in with something I’ve noticed before.
How I got on front page of WSJ many years ago.PR firm wouldn’t handle the project.So I had an employee leak the info to a reporter they had ran into at a party “my boss is doing xyz”.Local paper took the bait and ran a story with a picture and all.Then the TV station came knocking and did a story.I then sent all that by fax to WSJ  and because it was all prepackaged and ready to roll and had been vetted already locally by the local paper.So they put a blurb on the front page about the thing I was trying to get publicity for.Then once mentioned in the WSJ many others (USA Today for example) came knocking because WSJ had vetted it. No accident all planned out in advance. All this was timed prior to a time of year that I knew they would be interested in what I was trying to promote. (April 15th). All came as a result of prior years noticing patterns at papers as far as what would make something interesting to them as a story.
***Disqus ate my comment again. Ughhhhhhh.***I’m a fan of the scrappy quasi anonymous make shit happen people. I’ve always been pretty straight edge, working up the corporate ladder as I was trained… unti I quit, I guess. Folks like me often times need advice from folks like you.Speaking of your advice (which was already on my mind before you commented on that, but you helped to underscore the importance), we’ll probably settle on a new name by this time next week. Once we have it, I’ll email you the shortlist to see what you think.
I didn’t recognize you at all without the beard the other night. I mentioned this comment and you looked at me like I was speaking gibberish. 🙂
Love the after party in the comments here. Ha!cc: @ccrystle:disqus