A New Front Door For USV

This won't be news to many of you who figured this out a while ago. But USV has a new front door and has had it for a few weeks now. I blogged about the desire for a new usv.com back in June of 2012, when we started thinking about what the new website should be. I framed the problem we were trying to solve as:

We started having the conversation all over the place. We've been having the conversation here at AVC since 2003. But we also have the conversation at continuations.com, aweissman.com, unfinished work, christinacacioppo.com, garychou.com, and on countless tumblrs, twitters, disqussions, and elsewhere around the web.

You might ask "why did it take you 16 months to build a new website?" and you would be right. When it comes to VCs, do as we say, not as we do πŸ™‚

But seriously, we went down a few dark alleys and it took a while to figure out they were leading nowhere. We ended up with something that some have characterized as a "clone of hacker news" and you would be right to say we were inspired by the design of hacker news in our new website. We hope it is not a clone because if it is, we have contributed nothing new to the Internet.

The new usv.com looks like this:

New usv frontpage

First and foremost, it will be a place that we can cross post the things we write from around the web. As you can see, I cross posted my blog from yesterday and it is currently at the top of the feed.

But it is also a public view into the links we are sharing with each other at USV. You can see Andy sharing a post written by our friend Bijan, Brittany sharing a post about the Lanyrd startup story, and me sharing one of my favorite Tumblrs.

Most of all, it is a place for everyone to have a public conversation with USV about the things they think are interesting right now. Anyone can post to the new usv.com. All you need to do is login with your twitter handle and you are cleared to post.

If you want to show us your new startup, it is cool to pitch us publicly. We would encourage you to use the "Show" syntax, so if you are pitching, start your headline with Show USV: and everyone will know what is going on. Pitching is not spamming at usv.com if its done correctly.

New posts go onto the new page not the front page. Many of us at USV and a growing number of others are visiting the new page several times a day and upvoting posts. When you get upvotes and comments, you get onto the home page, and if you post something awesome, you will get the top of the front page. Nothing new here. Reddit, Hacker News, and others have been doing this sort of thing for years. We finally got around to it oursleves.

Nick, who led the effort to get this out the door, along with Zach, Zander, and Brian, wrote a short explanation of why we did this. I have been encouraging him to write a follow up on how, what stack we used, etc. I hope he will do that.

We have some great tools to make it easier to participate on usv.com, you can find them on the tools link at the top of the feed. Commenting is powered by Disqus, of course, and we would love to hear your thoughts as often as possible. There is a post bookmarklet, a chrome extension, and an android share app. We will be getting a firefox extension out shortly. And if iOS ever opens up sharing in their OS, we will build an iOS share app.

I hope you'll make the new usv.com a place you want to visit regularly and if you are the kind of person who enjoys sharing and posting, please do that. The more the merrier I believe.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Brandon Burns

    The new USV.com is a clone of hacker news as much as Uber is a clone of Airbnb. Of course, they’re not clones. Just because two sites are marketplaces doesn’t make them clones, nor is one shared news feed a clone of the other just because they use the same model.The content on usv.com is markedly different from hacker news. And that’s because the communities are different. Personally, I find usv.com to be the academic adult to HN’s more adolescent musings, and already find it at least equally valuable, despite the current lower level of activity.I’m happy to see a “cloned” model with different content from a different community.

    1. fredwilson

      we were hoping you’d say that. and not because we don’t want to be cloners (we don’t). but because we thought we could create a different community and one that has value not just to usv but to everyone

      1. Brandon Burns

        You guys took an existing model and pushed it forward. Not just with the community, but with the design β€” profile photos from poster, big legible headlines, a “submit post” button you can actually find, etc. It’s clearly an improvement over HN, at least IMHO (which probably isn’t so humble!).

        1. John Best

          Agreed, just because the body’s similar doesn’t mean its the same under the hood. Different content, different aim, different community.

        2. Informerly

          This is wonderful, and a much needed product. Hacker News is incredible but I think a slightly different community. I feel the AVC community and comment threads is more on the business-side of the startup world and excited to have a place to get incredible comment threads around a different type of material. Almost think Paul Graham and their avowed wish to avoid the eternal September with HN would prefer there are different tools out their for distinct communities….and looks great.http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

      2. William Mougayar

        Every innovation builds on previous work, and adds to it. Maybe the engine is HN inspired, but the drivers & passengers are very different.

    2. kidmercury

      #upvoted. no comparison, USV wins this beef hands down, first round knockout style. USV > HN.

      1. ShanaC

        very different communities

        1. kidmercury

          that’s a nice way of putting it, shana. sort of like saying my 65 year old uncle who played one game of basketball 25 years ago is a “very different” basketball player than lebron james.

          1. Brandon Burns


        2. Donna Brewington White


    3. Elia Freedman

      Interesting comment. USV is to business what HN is to technical?

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I imagine that’s the goal, and would be awesome – and much needed. You need experienced people leading these things to start the community off.

        1. Elia Freedman


    4. dkural

      HN itself started out as “wouldn’t it be cool to have a reddit for y-combinator?” I think this type of tool will become standard for networked communities. This is something we’ve internally discussed doing as well. Kudos to USV for actually doing it.

  2. Anne Libby

    It would be fun/interesting to be able to sort the view by “contributor”…

    1. Brandon Burns

      I agree. Would also be a great way to get to know people in the community, via understanding threads between the things they post.

      1. Anne Libby

        Yes! And it might inspire some to post even more thoughtfully, too.

    2. Nick Grossman

      yeah I agree.i think there is a lot we can do to get the most out of disqus

    3. fredwilson

      anne, you can post feature requests herehttps://hackpad.com/USV.com…

      1. Anne Libby


  3. LIAD

    fortune favors the brave.can a VC firm build a standalone consumer web property? can Fred & Co. retain engagement and usage over the long-term?is there need for another link-sharing site?if a less renowned firm launched something similar would it be smirked at?is this for future of VC value-add?time will tell. interesting to find out.

    1. Sebastian Wain

      There is a lot of space to grow: I am not seeing companies or startups posting their links because very few know the new site right now. A few years ago there was a site called startups.com (now defunct), it was a Digg like site for posting startups and they gained some audience. The problem with that kind of sites is how to separate/curate links because bad quality posts account for 99% of the submissions.Link sharing is just a tool, it works different on every community. Saying that a site is a clone is like saying your company is a clone because it uses an spreadsheet like everyone.

      1. LIAD

        agreed. never said it was a clone.

        1. Sebastian Wain

          I know, I just wanted to minimize the technology powering these sites.

    2. fredwilson

      I hope it can attract an audience the size of AVC

      1. ShanaC

        that would be interesting – avc is scaling the way it does….

      2. LE

        Would have preferred to set you up with a completely new three or four letter domain for this.

        1. JamesHRH

          In the next few weeks, I would like to connect re: URLs.Possible?

    3. Matt A. Myers

      Don’t underestimate the value of an awesome-memorable domain name.. AVC, USV …

    4. Nick Grossman

      yep those are the right questions.

    5. kidmercury

      others will imitate, and will innovate on top of.fred has the brand and world renowned blog star advantage, though i think angels, incubators, and ycombinator-type things have the business model advantage. my instinct is to think the business model advantage is bigger, but personally, i find hacker news to be annoying and juvenile and would much rather participate in a community led by a trusted blog star. i think with some more innovation, though, the ycombo type stuff can gain the entrepreneurial audience.this is a key battleground amongst investment firms. i look forward to watching and exacerbating the beef.

  4. Emmanuel Bellity

    About two weeks ago I wrote a post and chose not to submit it on Hacker News because it wasn’t very technical, and I didn’t feel it would be the right community to share it. It was more about entrepreneurship than programming, with a few personal thoughts.A few days later I discovered the new usv.com and thought it would be a much better audience for it, if not quantitatively, qualitatively. And it was indeed very well received ! I’m sure all the readers of this blog and Albert’s one and Andy will adopt it.

  5. jason wright

    thoughts after ten seconds of exposure…i like it, the dynamic data flow, the prioritizing.i have always disliked that insipid shade of green. clones share exactly (exactly) the same dna, so this is not a clone – a horse is not a donkey.

    1. leigh

      ya not a big fan of the green. It’s a problematic web colour but if the homepage took 16 months a new brand, well haha, that’s not going to be easy (16 months really????)for you Fred, a special rate if you are ever interested in a rebrand πŸ™‚ I’m a sucker for free trips to NYC.

      1. Cam MacRae

        I’m actually quite fond of the green.

        1. jason wright

          i like green, but not that green. it’s all shades of opinion πŸ™‚

      2. jason wright

        sixteen months – the committee at work.

  6. andyswan

    Nice work

  7. kidmercury

    i am a big fan of the new USV, though i hope one of your staff members eventually becomes an editor who puts the smackdown. editors shape the voice of the community. i don’t think crowdsourcing can entirely replace quality editors, i think a hybrid approach is where it’s at.

    1. andyswan

      At least the occasional public humiliation.

    2. Brandon Burns

      HN “edits” with the upvote. when you post to HN, you’re on the front page for, like, point-2 seconds. Either folks flock to upvote you and you stay up, or you fall into the abyss. Part true quality control, part luck.There are other ways to “curate” but I have a hunch USV would prefer a community-driven, programatic way vs. a human editor in-house. Not saying its a better or worse way, as I see value in human editing, but the non-human route feels more like something USV would do.

      1. Elia Freedman

        The HN approach also favors highly rated posters and is unfavorable to everyone else, including people new to the community. I hope Fred and the team can maintain a balance between the two.

      2. andyidsinga

        falling into the abyss is part of the excitement. ;]

      3. Donna Brewington White

        “the non-human route”I know what you mean but actually the way they are doing it now is the most human.

        1. Brandon Burns


    3. fredwilson

      It will be me and my colleagues. I plan to be very active and vocal

      1. LE

        You need to pay and hire someone, perhaps multiple people, to do this job.This doesn’t mean you aren’t involved and aren’t the guiding light.But you need someone else to operate keep well oiled and operating.You’ve got the ability to hire and pay for good quality people to do this job whereas most of us may be able to pay but we aren’t exactly a magnet for the nearly best and nearly brightest. I would take advantage of that and use it as leverage to achieve your goals.

    4. LE

      i don’t think crowdsourcing can entirely replace quality editorsAgree. Editors get paid and have to answer to someone. So they can be kept in line. Can’t do that with the crowd. The crowd becomes the primadonna. Even on HN there are people that PG won’t hellban or ban because of their karma.

  8. awaldstein

    Nice Fred and team.Reminds of idea walls I used to build for my development communities,Curious on choice of Twitter over Disqus for sign in.

    1. leigh

      Marketing decision i bet πŸ™‚

      1. awaldstein

        This is going to get a bit whacked out and interesting.Many of these posts I’ve already seen around and gathered in curation lists like StartupManagment.So I’ll now have conversations on the posts, on the curation portals, on the comments that intro them on AVC..I bet not and I’ll simply choose. Will really put Disqus through its paces.

        1. Brandon Burns

          With more options, you’ll most likely cut the lesser ones.It’ll be interesting to see if these options take folks away from the incumbents. I’m going to guess no, as I can see different folks on usv vs. hn vs. startupmanagement, but you never know.

          1. awaldstein

            That’s the question for me.The connection between discovery and conversation is where this lives for me for the start up segment.My bet is I’ll choose community engagement over curation personally.

          2. Richard

            Portfolio companies (current and past) should step and lead the way.

    2. Nick Grossman

      it’s a fair question. part of it is that people have a lot invested in their twitter profiles, particularly in our industry.Also, frankly, somewhat of a practical matter as tornado (which powers the app) comes with twitter auth built in.but I see us doing more and more with disqus over time.

      1. awaldstein

        i actually think it was the right choice for another reason.Lots of people will cross post who are not commentors. Twitter is my handle, Disqus is a syntax for conversation.

  9. Richard

    Inspiration != replicationInnovation is the application and combining of mostly exhisting ideas toward a new end.Love the site.

  10. DaddyK

    I think the site looks great and really seems to be leading the way just as the old one did. I haven’t visited it for a while but one thing depressed me for a progressive firm and it was this pagehttp://www.usv.com/aboutWhere are all the senior women? You’ve riffed on this and its an industry wide problem before but that new about us layout makes it very clear there is in issue doesn’t it?

    1. Cam MacRae

      Assuming the investment team are considered VCs, I count 9 VCs, one of which is a woman. Women comprise about 10% of VCs. Taking a naive view of the world it follows that the probability of USV having no female VCs is 0.387 and of having one female VC is 0.387, which is to say the probability of USV having more than one female VC is about 0.225.USV has 5 partners. Assuming partners are drawn from a pool of 9 equally experienced VCs, one of which is female, the probability of all the partners being male is 0.555.Even for a progressive firm there isn’t necessarily anything out of sorts here. On the other hand, a lack of diversity lends itself to group-think which is most definitely an issue (I’ve never got the sense it’s been a problem at USV).Is the proportion of women in VC a problem? Possibly. If a significant number of women who wish to pursue a career in the industry face structural impediments to doing so: definitely.

      1. DaddyK

        I agree they are not out of whack – I just think the VC industry would be better for having more women involved in making the investment decisions. And the partners usually get the final say. But then its not just that the VC industry that would be better – most industries would be i would think… As a thought leader and being into changing markets and industries for the better maybe thats something for USV to think about going forward…

        1. Cam MacRae

          I don’t disagree.

      2. fredwilson

        Yes it is a problem. Us men need to recruit more women to the business and the women need to stay in the business. It’s a multi faceted problem

        1. Cam MacRae

          That’s 2 whys; only 3 to go.

          1. pointsnfigures

            It’s a hard problem. Ironically, the angel organization I co-founded in 2007 has always had women represented. We are around 20% women-woman lead, and women on our board. Actually had a female attorney write up the paperwork.Maybe it’s because I have a wife and two daughters, but women can be just as good as VCs as anyone. But, first, they should be entrepreneurs. Experiencing the hard knocks makes a better VC.Answer, encourage more women to become startup businesspeople. Successful exits by them will lead itself to more women VCs.

          2. LE

            But, first, they should be entrepreneurs. Experiencing the hard knocks makes a better VC.Well you know Fred was never an entrepreneur at least not on the scale that you probably mean.I could take either side of this.Sometimes in a situation where gambling is involved it might actually be better not to know all the things that can and do go wrong in the engine room. Not that I would encourage someone to keep their head in the sand or anything. But I could argue that it could also be an advantage.

          3. pointsnfigures

            Fred wasn’t, but a lot of his partners were. He wasn’t a corporate guy, or investment banker/consultant either. Easiest way into VC is to exit a business.

      3. LE

        Is the proportion of women in VC a problem? Possibly. If a significant number of women who wish to pursue a career in the industry face structural impediments to doing so: definitelyThe idea of a VC is to make money by it’s investments. The idea of a business is to make money. To the extent that it makes sense to hire a woman or a 88 year old black jew from India to achieve that goal then great. But simply doing it for some other reason to me doesn’t make sense. Most businesses are just trying to stay alive. [1]If I decide to dine at a restaurant I don’t really care (with very limited exceptions) what goes on in that restaurant or what they do. I’m not interested in paying for dinner and having a server who is not qualified because they fit some criteria of social good. I’m there for a good meal at the right price in a nice atmosphere. How they achieve that is their problem. And if they don’t achieve that I will go elsewhere.As will most others. Although they all talk a good game.As always it’s easy for people to say “hey hire more women/men/jews/christians/young people/old people” etc. if it doesn’t impact them.[1] Recently dealt with a restaurant chain in NY with multiple locations (and a celebrity chef/founder to boot) that couldn’t come up with $10,000 to purchase something that they needed and wanted. Business is tough don’t get distracted by social causes unless there is a clear benefit to the business (which there very well might be but it’s not a given by any means).

        1. Cam MacRae

          To the extent that it makes sense to hire a woman or a 88 year old black jew from India to achieve that goal then great. But simply doing it for some other reason to me doesn’t make sense.Not doing it for spurious reasons makes even less sense.

    2. fredwilson

      Well Christina left us to do bigger and better things. Brittany is doing awesome. We are trying, I promise you

    3. ShanaC

      i’m more concerned that they invest in women….there have been more jumps into VC that way…

      1. LE

        i’m more concerned that they invest in women….You mean like affirmative action?

  11. John Revay

    I very my like the new USV site…I don’t care if it was modeled after HN or not.I find myself going there several times a day, I have not posted yet – but will plan to.I especially liked the DART app that linked to on USV earlier last week http://www.usv.com/search?q

  12. JimHirshfield

    “Tech surge” in month 15, no doubt. ;-)Great site. Congrats.

    1. Nick Grossman

      Ha, that’s about right πŸ™‚

  13. Emil Sotirov

    Only people who haven’t done a social site can think that 16 months is a lot of time. It’s not the doing per se that takes time… it’s the deciding what to do… and especially what NOT to do.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s for sure

  14. Leonardo Gjoni

    I’ve been going on it everyday since I noticed the change. Looks great.

    1. fredwilson

      I am hell bent to replace that as soon as possible. We’ve got a cartoon in mind actually

      1. Matt A. Myers

        I think the decision should come to a community vote ….

        1. jason wright

          but do committees have a sense of fun?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            If I get to pick the committee members they do!…

          2. jason wright

            :-)i love committees, committees of one.

      2. Aaron Klein

        I dunno, Fred. That may be destined to become the “fail whale” of the VC world.Now that would be something if you had a hand in creating TWO of the world’s most recognizable 404 pages. πŸ˜‰

        1. Matt A. Myers

          How big of a fail whale was it?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            P.S. The filename of the source picture is fred-wtf.jpg … haha.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            Ahhhh wonderful… now part of sweet sweet meme history.. πŸ™‚

          3. Matt A. Myers

            I just realized something Nick … This photo is a pretty high resolution at 2302×1727 … You could make it nicely fit for everyone at 100% height … or less adjusting for a header.

          4. Nick Grossman

            yeah I actually reduced the size when I updated it w yours

          5. Matt A. Myers

            Aww.. πŸ˜›

          6. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            That is really funny … the words give more to the picture now.When i first looked at the pic yesterday I could not figure out what expression was that …Good one Matt.

          7. Matt A. Myers

            I felt it was missing something too. I thought Fred would appreciate it. πŸ˜‰

          8. Donna Brewington White

            This is the best!

      3. Anne Libby

        The “fail Fred” — #upvoted

      4. ShanaC

        i know some (or my boyfriend does) if you are looking for recommendations.

      5. Brandon Burns

        please don’t. please, please, please don’t.

      6. Donna Brewington White

        No cartoon could substitute for this.

    2. bijan


    3. Ricardo Diz

      Hahaha Pretty funny!

    4. Drew Meyers

      A competition for the “best” 404 page on the web would be pretty dang entertaining…here’s ours: http://www.ohheyworld.com/404

        1. Donna Brewington White

          That’s great.

  15. kenberger

    ooh, just what I need, Fred needs, and the rest of us– another daily time suck !thisIsGoingToBeFun.

  16. anand

    Looks great

  17. awaldstein

    Bug–not saving my Twitter log in.

    1. fredwilson

      I will report that.

    2. Nick Grossman

      thanks — yeah, will investigate

      1. Elia Freedman

        Also check second comment on the right on an iPad with iOS 7. Picture covering up the headline.

        1. Nick Grossman

          thanks for the pointer. will fix. (just need to find an ios7 device to test on! I’m on android and have an old ipad)

        2. Nick Grossman

          Fixed — thanks for the heads up.

          1. Elia Freedman

            Any time.

        3. fredwilson

          you can post bugs and feature requests herehttps://hackpad.com/USV.com…

    3. fredwilson

      you can post bugs and feature requests herehttps://hackpad.com/USV.com…but comments will also work πŸ™‚

      1. LE

        As mentioned there should be a way to use disqus instead of twitterFor one thing people might infer more importance to people that post things that have high twitter follower numbers vs. non at all or don’t use twitter.Not saying that who someone is shouldn’t be some kind of a signal to make a judgement on. I just don’t think that twitter activity is that signal and many people prefer to be semi anonymous.

  18. pointsnfigures

    After fighting for LP’s, and mentoring companies, what’s the job of the VC? Deal flow. This will help generate a lot of deal flow with context around it.

    1. LE

      This will help generate a lot of deal flow with context around it.If the idea is to create deal flow there are definitely some tweaks to be made.

      1. pointsnfigures

        My guess is it’s one of the facets. In Fred’s post, he instructed entrepreneurs how to use the new site to submit deals.

        1. LE

          In Fred’s post, he instructed entrepreneurs how to use the new site to submit deals.You mean this:If you want to show us your new startup, it is cool to pitch us publicly. We would encourage you to use the “Show” syntax, so if you are pitching, start your headline with Show USV: and everyone will know what is going on. Pitching is not spamming at usv.com if its done correctly.Well first obviously that’s only being read by someone who happens to read the entire blog post today. That might as well be fine print.This wasn’t even what I was even referring to but for example there should be (in addition to, once again, other tweaks which I would do to encourage deal flow)a) A link at the top with “business plan submission” or similar.b) Business plan submissions should not be lumped in with all the other reasons why you might want to contact USV. And I am totally not a fan of “info@” email addresses they attract way more spam and they scream “not read you are just one of many I’m busy”.c) The “cool to pitch us publicly” should be prominent on the site so a newbie gets the drift. And the very first item in the faq.When the private wealth managers who advertise in the WSJ use email they use a person’s email address to show there is a real human who actually reads and cares about something. Because it’s a big ticket sale. And if they get a bunch of nudniks who cares? Even a “role” account with a fake name (they used to have this back in the day in ads “Ask for Mr. Frank”) is better than “info@” or “businessplan@”.

          1. Drew Meyers

            just playin devil’s advocate on this…”c) The “cool to pitch us publicly” should be prominent on the site so a newbie gets the drift. And the very first item in the faq.”what if they don’t want newbies pitching? They want people who actually spend the time to figure it out…or truly belong to the “community” and do read avc daily.

          2. LE

            I thought of that but I’m a believer in not putting up barriers. [1]Not to mention the fact that some 14 year old kid who engages may not be ready but will be by the time he’s 18. Why not make him feel accepted? Not “learn the ropes otherwise you look foolish”. Remember the payoff is big for getting the right person before they have a chance to connect with others (at which time they might know enough to say and do the right things).[1] I’ve made money when people have sent me emails that others (in my business) would have ignored thinking it was a junk mail solicitation.

  19. William Mougayar

    I’ve been going there for a while, and already addicted to it. It grows on you. Forget about HN clone discussions, because you’d be missing the point on the fact that it’s about the content and the level of discussions behind it. Quality has no clone, and can’t be replicated.I think this new USV.com is a reflection of the firm’s desire to remain engaged & open with the marketplace, and they do it very well.Name me another VC firm whose partners interact so openly and frequently day in, and day out. You can be anyone, from anywhere, and if you say something smart or interesting, you will likely engage into an online discussion with them, and that’s a valuable thing.I think USV.com is where the smart conversations will be.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      As long as you have a dominant crowd who are able to crowd out and crowd curate the noise, then it’ll happen.The incentive has to be there for people to participate of course – and lots of reason for many people to participate on USV.com

    2. Donna Brewington White

      I got emotional reading this comment, William. So, so true.

      1. William Mougayar

        Yes, it is the people that shape a community.

  20. jason wright

    i did want to see the subway metaphor in the design somewhere. oh well.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      The colour, no?

      1. jason wright

        yes, the pantone green of a union square line, and more…..much more.

  21. Matt A. Myers

    Did anyone else not take this title figuratively, and thought USV bought a new front door? Perhaps I need to wake up a little more..

    1. bobmonsour

      That would be me.

  22. bijan

    love the new website. so good on so many levels. congrats!

  23. bobmonsour

    BUG: The Guidelines link (next to Tools) links to a comment for the Guidelines content, rather than the top of the page.

    1. bobmonsour

      Reply to self. It’s not a BUG, it’s a feature (for now). Oops.

      1. Nick Grossman

        :-)just trying to communicate that this is all a work in progress!

  24. Kirsten Lambertsen

    A great result πŸ™‚ I don’t think there’s any doubt, really, that it’s going to become a daily destination for the industry.As far as HN goes, I sure hope you guys aren’t getting much fire about that. That would just be silly. If someone built Zappos for cellular service, would people be knocking them for cloning Zappos? Were we all supposed to go over to HN and try to have our discussion and community there? It’s a non-issue.

  25. kirklove

    Congrats, Buster on getting this out. And great job again @nickgrossman:disqus and crew.

    1. Nick Grossman

      thanks Kirk! πŸ™‚ big props to the whole USV team and our hacker in residence Zach who did the heavy code lifting.

  26. andyidsinga

    can well behaved bots post to usv ? ( i’m not asking permission – just wondering πŸ˜‰ )

    1. ShanaC

      what kind of bot

      1. andyidsinga

        the kind that does whatever i tell it to do in the series of tubes

  27. JLM

    .Well played.It immediately calls into question how this relates to the Obamacare website which also apparently took a bit longer to complete than one might have imagined.Did your website cost $634MM or less?JLM.

    1. fredwilson

      A bit less

  28. cedricbellet

    Great work, and thank you for keeping on sharing so many things with us. AVC and continuations have been daily destinations for a 2-3 years and I can see them becoming even more, like the entry point to many other interesting discussions, thanks to all this interconnectedness that you’ve added lately, with Tech Circle first, and now, with the new usv.com.

    1. Drew Meyers

      AVC is my ONLY daily news/discussion destination πŸ™‚

  29. Mark

    Very nice. We are in this space, and it looks like you guys really thought his out. I think I might just have to pitch Hubski on usv.

  30. matthughes

    The new site is pretty awesome.”do as we say, not as we do”That’s an old stand-by for me.

    1. LE

      “do as we say, not as we do”We are your parents and that’s why.Actually this is not even a shoemakers children thing.Getting the new USV is important but it’s not the center of their business like a web presence (for most of USV’s investments) would be.

  31. Steven Kane

    its awesome, great stuff!

  32. LE

    Why can’t I sign in with disqus to submit a post?

  33. arikan

    Congrats. The RSS feed http://www.usv.com/feed seems to be broken, at least can not be parsed by Feedly feed reader. Thanks.

    1. fredwilson

      we will get on it asapyou can post bugs and feature requests here (link is also on usv.com) https://hackpad.com/USV.com

    2. Alex Urevick-Ackelsberg

      I’m having the same problem. If I try to add the feed manually, by url ( http://cloud.feedly.com/#su… ) I get:Ooops!Sorry. Feed not found.www.usv.com/feed This URL does not point to a valid feed. It is possible that this feed existed in the past and is not longer published. It is also possible that you entered the wrong URL.

  34. sigmaalgebra

    Yes, yes, yes, USV.com works and the Obamacare Website doesn’t. We all know that.But, but, but, we have to understand, USV.com didn’tcost $600 million to develop either!

    1. Matt A. Myers

      Apparently only $50 million of the budget went to developing the website …

  35. LE

    We ended up with something that some have characterized as a “clone of hacker news” and you would be right to say we were inspired by the design of hacker news in our new website. We hope it is not a clone because if it is, we have contributed nothing new to the Internet.A few non obvious difference between what you are doing and HN.HN is filled with a much larger group of alumni and sycophants by virtue of the fact that they touch and invest in so many more people.If the amount of funded companies is “x” then the amount of sycophants is going to be a multiple of x. [1]The critical mass that HN has achieved comes from that built in constituency. It’s like being Parade magazine (and being inserted into newspapers by default) vs. establishing a mag that has to be distributed and sold traditionally. Well maybe that’s not the best example but shows the point.HN has a karma system that provides reinforcement for those who comment or put up stories. It’s a game.HN does not tie a post to the person who submitted (by an icon you have to either know the poster’s handle or click to see etc.). So for example Andy’s picture appears next to “Macklemore & Ryan Lewis”. This could be good in the sense that you can then decide if you generally like the things that Andy Weissman thinks is important. Because it’s easy to get the branding of his icon. (Same with disqus comments).HN has a star that goes by “PG” as we all know. USV has a star called Fred but he is humble. And I doubt that in the comments people will be quoting what “Fred” says like they quote what PG says. One of the reasons for this (in addition to the halo on PG amongst sycophants) is that it’s easy to find what PG thinks because it’s all clearly laid out in essays. And frequently referred to in people’s comments. Any newbie on HN (if they already don’t know) will see “PG” over and over (and they will see how whenever he says something he is respected and rarely ridiculed) and they will infer importance on him.[1] Not to mention that on HN there are always stories of “try try again” as far as people rejected that get in eventually. This keeps people intermittently reinforced and sticking around.

  36. awaldstein

    Need to say ‘Well Done’ to the Disqus folks as well.Disqus on usv.com is using the same feature (I think) that I use on http://www.thelocalsip.com. Basically auto follow for posters lets there be easy notifications for a variety of comment posters.This was so so much of a pain to do prior to this. Nice!

  37. LE

    I’ve mentioned this before a few times but the privacy on USV.com and AVC.com should be removed:Registrant: Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0132476097 96 Mowat Ave Toronto, ON M6K 3M1 CA Domain name: USV.COM

  38. Mike McG

    Looks great. I noticed in Chrome (v31, Windows) the hinting of the web fonts was a bit rough. The font-face is declared to use a OTF format font, which I’ve noticed Chrome doesn’t like. Preferring a WOFF format (which I noticed is available on your host) makes the site look a lot more polished in Chrome./my 2Β’.

  39. Yoktan Haddad

    WOW! This is so exciting it’s caused me to pop my cherry. After 4 years of reading AVC on a daily basis and also regularly going through the comments, this is going to completely transform the way I engage with the community here: 1. It’s going to make me leave my feed reader to rather discover the posts by visiting the homepage.2. It’s given me a way to participate in the manner I find most appealing: by posting content I find interesting and would like to discuss with other people.Congrats and cheers to this!

  40. sigmaalgebra

    I’m sorry, but I see the new USV.com as anexample of something both big and bad forthe Web and Internet: Apparently thecontents of a Web page change in ways notknown to the user and dependent on somesettings on the user’s computer. As aresult, easily a user can miss some of thecontent on USV.com.E.g., if with my 12″ wide screen with 1024pixels I hit the key pair (Ctrl, +) in myfavorite Web browser Firefox to magnifythe contents of the Web page, then theactual contents of the page can changewith some of the contents moved to asecond Web page. And there could be morechanges that I have yet to discover.So, apparently some client side JavaScriptcode is getting my keystrokes beforeFirefox is and is causing the pageformatting to change.I’d prefer that Web pages never do suchthings, that JavaScript never be used forsuch things, and, instead, just let memagnify the page and pan on the page viascroll bars. I’m trying to get thecontents of the page and not trying toengage in a battle of wits with someJavaScript code that is trying to ‘infermy intentions’ and change the contents Iam trying to get, that is, do meunexpected, unwanted ‘favors’ to have mejumping through flaming hoops so that theJavaScript programmer can feel ‘incontrol’ and a ‘master of the universe’and ‘dominate’ a user.There is an issue here, big, huge:Tower of Babel User Interfaces’Native’ graphical user interface (GUI)applications, of course, have full accessto the keyboard and mouse inputs and fullcontrol over the screen. So, long eachapplication was able to make quitedifferent decisions about what user inputscaused what program responses.This power of native applications led tosome frustrating, offensive, infuriating,perverse, dysfunctional, wastefulpractices in GUI design.The practices led to user interface (UI)features with poor or missingdocumentation and a philosophy that a usershould learn to use a UI byexperimentation that could require manyhours.Examples include the Microsoft Officeapplications and Windows itself. E.g., inWindows there is a poorly documentedkeystroke that does a ‘hide’ on allapplications on the screen thus leavingthe user with reduced ability to discoverthe other poorly documented keystroke thatundoes that hiding. Once thatundocumented keystroke cost me all my workin progress. Yes, the hide keystroke isthe key pair (Windows logo key, m), andthe corresponding undo is the key triple(Windows logo key, shift, m). Bummer.Apparently some programmers at Microsoftreally liked such things; I hate them.As a result of this UI design practice,for 1 billion people to use 1 millionapplications would be 1000 trillionpersonal learning experiences. That factno doubt helped throttle the growth ofsuch applications.Brilliant, Simple, Powerful UI UniformityMuch of the genius of HTML and the Web wasits simplicity that led to significant Website design uniformity so that oncesomeone had learned to use a Web browseron a few Web sites, they could with littleor no delay make good use of 1+ millionmore Web sites. I claim that that’uniformity’ was one of the keys to thesuccess of the Web. Why? Because itreduced the learning effort by a factor of1+ million.More generally, HTML and CSS have led to aquite uniform user interface, highlydesirable even when the Internet is notinvolved.Again, with the old GUI design practice,it could take weeks of ‘experimentation’to learn to use a new application whilelearning to use a new Web site could takeonly seconds. Big, huge difference.In particular, for the new USV.com, I hadto scroll, reload, click, etc, that is, do’experiments’, to see all the content Fredshowed in his screen capture. Bummer.E.g., users could easily miss content dueto having the Web browser magnification atthe wrong level. Bummer.In my Web site, I have no such things.None. Zip, zilch, zero. There are nopoorly documented aspects to the userinterface (UI). What is sent to theclient is just dirt simple HTML and CSSplus some minimal JavaScript thatMicrosoft’s ASP.NET writes for me (forwhat reasons I don’t know), but there areno pop-ups, pull-downs, roll-overs, etc.,and the screen contents and layout areexactly the same for all users — desktop,laptop, palm-top, smart phone, funnyglasses, wrist watch, etc. — 800 pixelswide, large fonts, comfortable and easy tosee color contrasts, and just dirt simple.Thus 1+ billion, maybe 2+ billion, Webusers will be able to use my site withlittle or no delay, and, indeed, the siteis so simple that, although it is so faronly in English, by a little’experimentation’ or a few minutes oftutoring from a friend who has done suchexperimentation, even users with noknowledge of English will be able to usethe site.I urge all Web site designers, includingfor USV.com, to return to just the simpleUI of HTML and CSS and not use JavaScriptto do users secret ‘favors’ based on’inferences’ about what a user will’like’.

  41. Andrew

    As a long time user of hn, I was thinking about the ‘show’ syntax when I saw this last week and I have to say ‘show usv’ is a little strange since people do ‘show hn’ to get feedback on projects before heading out for investment. Perhaps it would be better to have a name for this platform so ‘shows’ are aimed at the community and not USV. Maybe having a ‘Pitch usv’ syntax would be useful. I think ‘Ask’ is important too. I am sure this community will create its own syntax overtime….and if anyone thinks usv is a clone of hn, think again. While technology can be cloned (and usv is definitely not using ARC/Lisp), communities cannot be. USV knows this better than anyone.I look forward to seeing where this goes.

  42. Donna Brewington White

    The days just got shorter.I love what USV has done here. I hate how tempting it is. (Hate used in a sort of affectionate way.)

  43. jason wright

    “All business plan submissions must include a clear description of your operations and current progress.”

  44. Jeremy

    Is there a reason why you guys are still using Urchin analytics tags? Are you really using Urchin for data analysis?

    1. fredwilson

      google analytics i think

      1. Jeremy

        You have urchin.js tags on the page, which are 2 generations behind at this point. Urchin was the original self-hosted version of GA that Google bought in 2005 to create GA.

        1. fredwilson

          thanks for pointing that out. we will fix.

          1. Jeremy

            Sure, I was more interested in why you still had them up versus the latest Universal Analytics, but glad to help out.

        2. Nick Grossman

          good catch, thanks. I’d like to say that we’re just keeping it real and going old school… will update.

  45. Laurent Boncenne

    Awesome and congratulations to everyone involved! Looking forward to reading great stuff from all the community!

  46. Eric Friedman

    What is most interesting about this since you blogged about it is the volume increase in articles and comments posted. I clicked through to many, and see yet another comment stream.This is probably a totally edge case ask, but it would be great if Disqus could integrate comment feeds across domains.I remember you did this with your BI articles and somehow figured it out, and I wonder if the same could be done for USV.com?

  47. Guesty McGuesterson

    I would put this site in my feed reader if there were a good low volume RSS feed available. Something that picked off just a few posts each day that scored the highest by whatever metric. Consider that a feature request πŸ™‚