Bill de Blasio, the next Mayor of NYC
I would like to congratulate Bill de Blasio on his landslide victory in the NYC mayoral race. He will become our next mayor on Jan 1st 2014.
His vision of making NYC a city of opportunity for everyone is laudable and I hope he can deliver on it. But it is easier said than done. The problems facing our economy, our city, and our citizens are deep rooted and not prone to easy solutions. I don't believe old school liberalism will provide the answers. If we want to address the income equality issues, the job stagnation problems, and the crime and poverty that still blights parts of NYC, we must look for new ideas and they must start with education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship.
As the readers of this blog know, I am investing as much as I can in these three Es here in NYC. And in my work, I meet so many other like minded people who are investing their time and energy in similar ways. I hope Bill de Blasio embraces this kind of work because creating opportunities for our people, particularly our children, is the most powerful form of social change that I know.
The tech sector can be a powerful ally for our new mayor. And my sense is that he knows it. I was asked yesterday by a journalist for my take on what de Blasio's tech policies should be. Here is what I wrote her.
I think that Bloomberg's tech policies have been really good, particularly in the latter part of his time in City Hall. de Blasio would be well served to continue them and in many cases double down on them.
Two areas where more could be done are procurement of software where the city needs to adopt a more open process including open sourcing of code as much as possible and a more aggressive posture on broadband which may have to include looking at alternatives to the duopoly we have in NYC right now.
The tech community is largely apolitical. But that does not mean it is unavailable to help our city and our incoming administration. I hope that Bill de Blasio finds time for the tech community and listens and learns from us. I think many good things could come of that.
Still seems insane that NYC has a broadband issue.As your current President found out, campaigning is not governing.I am not a de Blasio fan, based on his craven use of his son in his campaign. Perhaps I am old school on that – I am willing to be converted.
the parallels between Obama and de Blasio are many.
This is very true.de Blasio is about to discover what Obama now knows: it’s a lot easier to run than it is to actually govern.
It’s easy:(1) When something hits the headlines,say something largely neutral.(2) To do something, wait until 60+% ofthe people are screaming for it, and thenstep out in front and ‘lead’.(3) Otherwise, keep down any chancesof blame, e.g., anything about “you cankeep your health insurance, doctor”,etc.After all, since he has millions of people working for him to do things, whyshould he? He did the same at Harvard Law — wrote nothing in theLaw Review. And in the IL statelegislature — voted “present”.Uh, you expected something else?If don’t much care what actually happens,are willing to let Putin, some wacko, IranianMullah, or some nutjob in NK step out and lead, then no problems!
is this a prophesy? once elected by the people every politician gets ‘turned’ by the bureaucracy sooner or later.
de Blasio’s son could be Obama’s son.  In bad taste but humor is about taking chances.
.The only useful one being they are both tall?JLM.
Tall is a relative thing.
.Haha, good one.JLM.
.In the debris field that is the Obama administration it is difficult to see how anyone could find that to be a favorable comparison.Perhaps I am being too cynical. But I am focusing on outcomes rather than style points.I cannot point to a single Obama governance triumph other than Cars for Clunkers which I thought was very good policy.The Obamacare debacle — not the totally inept roll out of the system which will ultimately be fixed — but the whole you can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor, premiums will go down and it will not add a penny to the deficit is a failure of integrity and competence on a breath taking level.We started out with 47MM uninsured and $6T later we will end up with 30MM uninsured. If we had just bought insurance for the 17MM delta we would be light years ahead.JLM.
but the whole you can keep your plan, you can keep your doctor,Worst part is that others see that this behavior has no consequences and then if they become politicians they know the types of things that can and will fly with the public and the press.
.The notion that there are no consequences for lying — morally or politically — will embolden politicians of all stripes.Let the lying begin.Hell, we might even have Liar’s Contests rather than primaries, no?Whoever tells the biggest whopper wins?JLM.
Uh… we already have that. It’s called an election.
.Point made.My comment goes more to the notion that the press does not exact a price for liars — perhaps a common tribe issue?JLM.
You have a somewhat more diverse press there. Here they all speak with “his masters voice”. And the master prefers his goose raw.(Somewhat bitter that Uncle Rupert’s prize for funding the last federal election campaign appears to be an FTA TV license).
.Interestingly enough the Internet has made the profession of journalism an adjunct to news. Information is getting beyond the filters of the MSM quite nicely.Still, the MSM suffers a collective broken neck when Obama stops suddenly or without warning.JLM.
I believe that you are straining over gnatsand forgetting elephants: You’re only talkingabout the small stuff.For one of the earlier versions of theACA, I got a PDF and started reading.Early on I found “the Commissioner”.In short, this guy is a dictator over allof US healthcare. E.g., he can setprices and claw back profits of any ofthe suppliers, bed pans to bath robes,bandages, drugs, supplies, equipment,etc.”The Commissioner” is needed tokeep down the costs. Part of the plan is the have physicians do medicine by typing/clicking intocomputer systems developed inDC. Then the computer systemtells the physician what they cando for the given test results.This will be dangerously badmedicine, at best, and a messlike the Web site more likely.We have seen this movie before,in Russia, andthe ending is always the same:”We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” So, good peoplewill avoid/leave medicine. Thequality of our health care will gointo the bed pan.The Pelosi, Obama, etc. just wantto pass the law, make socializedmedicine a reality, and then letothers, later, make it work. Theywould say, if it costs more, then sobe it — like Fred has said, we arerich enough. No we’re not. That’swhy Pelosi and Co. don’t want apilot program: To them the ACA isnot medical care but just a stake in the ground to establish socializedmedicine, DC run medicine, all equalfor everyone except the very rich,and, then, let people later make itwork. So, the problems of the DCrun health care system will be highon the agendas of presidentialelections — to get good treatmentfor your disease, wait for a nationalelection.As ‘health care system planning’, the ACA is an incompetent disaster.As socialistic politics, so far it’sa success since it was signed intolaw.But for the real deal on the ACA, waituntil the Commissioner moves hisheavy hand, medical supply companiesgo out of business, good physicians resign, the quality of medical studentsdeclines, the DC computers crash, the costs go up, the death panels have their way, and people die.In blunt terms, the ACA is ghettomedicine for everyone with Pelosiand Co. saying that if you wantgood medicine that you will have topay for the same for the ghetto, allrun from DC.
I agree! It truly is mind boggling that we only have the 2 providers. Its ironic that around the same time the telco’s got the right to shut their networks to outsiders, the utility companies were forced to open up their networks and separate delivery from the actual service.Some times pure capitalism works against us in a big way 🙁
.The delta between Pres Obama the candidate and Pres Obama the President is like night and day. Remarkably so.JLM.
how much of NYC will be under water when the Arctic ice cap melts? the political cycle is so short and so short sighted.the US military has sea charts that map out the new strategic reality of shipping lanes post melt. this is thinking on the long cycle. perhaps de Blasio is preparing his son for ‘long’.
Not really a joke…
it isn’t a joke. the time to plan is now, and then to act. brugge is the venice of the north. nyc will be the venice of the western hemisphere.it may seem glib, but nyc being a real estate town, i’m sure that industry has already commissioned terrain studies and worked out where the new nyc will be 50-100 years from now, and has made land acquisitions. that and a new architecture are necessary. the subway won’t survive. shoreline investments won’t work out long term (Fred). brother lsland has had it.
I actually don’t think anyone is doing anything of substance.Not possible without public funds and I don’t see it.Subways are the least part of it.
Who wants to make a bet? I bet in the next ten years, the average temp will be within one standard deviation as it is today. Global warming simply is not happening.
Dangle that one somewhere else. I’m not biting.
.It will, in fact, be lower given the already lowered level of solar activity.Will. Be. Lower.JLM.
I will let you in on the same proposal I just made to Jeff. Will be higher in 15 years unless we get off our ass and build nuclear.
I can’t make a bet on ten years, but I’ll take 15 years outside one standard deviation for $100. If my startup’s successful in say 5 years let say we have the option to both mutually add a zero or two to the bet.If people would just wake up and build nuclear like the Chinese are doing though, it would be a non issue.
done. Now, we just have to agree on the distribution, the mean, and the standard deviation. What do you want to use? And do you want to use NYC temps?
I’m in Oklahoma, Oklahoma temps though already have had 3 sigma signals very recently so I’m not sure if that is fair. You want to use Arctic circle temps, Arctic circle is warming the fastest? Warming doesn’t occur as fast over the sea, so I don’t think using NYC is appropriate for the time frame. 15 years for something that is in the ocean, you would probably win that bet because the ocean is just a great big heatsink.We can use a normal distribution, but I’ll have to research to get the exact numbers once we pick a location.
If there’s a rise it will happen slowly and it will be seen in time to address it, although a Sandy can come and cause havoc for a brief interval.We’ll be investing in more pumping trains and ways to inoculate signals from saltwater corrosion.May be a grant for a project and NYU Poly…
Depends on what we do to protect NYC
get barrier protection. a pincus startup?
Manhattan real estate prices suggest that many moneyed folks who may publicly express concern about global warming don’t really believe it’s a problem.
is price always an accurate metric of real worth?the London property market is white hot.
The Thames Barrier opened for business in 1982;
Price is a measure of real views, and the London and New York real estate markets show that buyers aren’t really that concerned about global warming.
price is an accurate measure of ‘perceived’ worth. real worth is based on ‘perfect information’, which is difficult to access.
.Money is moving at warp speed out of the Middle East and anywhere else that can become like Tripoli, Beirut, Kabul, Benghazi, Cairo, Damascus, etcThe money flows are not INTO London, they are OUT of the Middle East.You cannot get insurance for terrorist exposure.JLM.
is there a common denominator influencing the fate of each of these cities?
.Incredibly weak and uninspired American foreign policy which has allowed terrorism, despotism, war and unrest to take root.When one looks back at the Arab Spring and how everyone applauded the naive notion that the rioters in the street were Jeffersonian nationalists striving for democracy rather than just the latest band of thugs unleashed on these hapless countries, the die was cast.Money always moves to stable markets and abandons unstability. The simple fact you cannot insure the risk makes it more faster.JLM.
While real estate is not liquid it’s liquid enough to get out based on changes that occur over the time period that melting caps will have an impact on real estate values.
Get out, sure. At what price though? If market participants really thought Manhattan was going to be under water in 10 or 20 or even 30 years that would put downward pressure on prices today. Doesn’t seem to be happening.If people with money were truly concerned about rising sea levels, real estate prices in Denver would be higher than in Manhattan.
I’m simply worried.I was brought up in a union family, understand the passions and drive toward equalizing opportunity and education. The answer for today is not the same as it was for my parents.I would switch broadband and open data in emphasis but my bet is that they won’t, as broadband needs huge political boldness to solve. Data is easier and a nod towards the tech world.I’m with you on this post 100%.
I think you’re right to be worried because DeBlasio hasn’t been preaching equality of opportunity, he’s been preaching equality of outcome.We can all agree and disagree about a lot, but that’s the crux of his differences with Bloomberg.
Well said….In NYC, the policies of the Mayor impact life dramatically and honestly, fairly quickly.I”m sure my concern is wide spread.
Very well said. That summarizes the attitude that really annoys me. I want to give the people the opportunity if they want to take it. But if you don’t take it? Too bad.In Delaware they went from busing to school choice. That meant you didn’t force kids to get bussed to the inner city, but you let inner city kids choose a school in the suburbs if they wanted.Yes it was hard. You had to spend time on a bus and they would weed you out if you didn’t do homework, etc. But you had the same opportunity. People pulled their kids out of private schools in droves, voted to incresase property taxes, and the public schools became much better. (when you knew your child was going to go to a inner city school for three years, you pulled them to a private school and refused to vote for any money for the public school your child didn’t attend)
Yep.That’s a great point: the central planners never seem to reconcile their utopian policies with natural human reaction.It’s an absolute shocker that young, healthy, prosperous people don’t want to pay 2X the price for insurance they don’t want, and would rather wait until they get sick and then get covered with a pre-existing condition.People are astonishingly good at math when it comes to their own money.
What shocks me is that young people are not appalled. (or at least don’t seem to be)They are the ones that are going to get stuck holding the bag.
Oh, I know a lot of young people who are.
Yet again you just don’t understand!Once again, over again, you are forcingme to explain it to you!Now, sit down and listen up. This isthe way it is. Simple enough evenfor you, Phil Sugar, etc. here at AVC:First, we are all equal. In every respect.Second, since we are all equal, there should be equal outcomes.Third, if outcomes are not equal, thenthere must be dirty business going on.Else, you and I would be equal in theNBA, NFL, the first violin section ofthe NY Philharmonic, on the facultyat Princeton, ringing thebell at the NYSE, in the Hamptonsreal estate market, in the lineat the Cadillac dealership, andsipping from the Côte-d’Or .Oops, I omitted drop dead gorgeous,natural blond, perfect face and figure,18 year old wives who are eagerto do just anything to follow and obey.Fourth, due to the dirty business, weneed big government to correct thesituation.Do you understand now? I thoughtso!
You seem to have a good handle on this situation. 😉
in the line at the Cadillac dealership Well put. But you need to update your auto halos.
I didin’t want to go all the way toa Veyron!
If you go to the Porsche, Mercedes and BMW car dealers in Princeton NJ the sales people all tell the same story. Kids from Princeton come in and buy a brand new car when their dad gives them the money and just says “buy something”.
Wow! But last time I heard, to get intoPrinceton need perfect SAT scores, beCaptain of the football, baseball, and soccerteams, starred and directed the senior classplay, organized a charity drive for $5 million,and won a music competition by playingall of Paganini on violin or Dad gives$10+ million to Princeton at which timesome left over for a Beamer is little enough!
“Very well said. That summarizes the attitude that really annoys me. I want to give the people the opportunity if they want to take it. But if you don’t take it? Too bad.”+10 on this
Isn’t there just a little bit of a “chicken or egg” relationship thing going on between those two ?
I was brought up in a union familyExplains why we butt heads some times.I was raised in a family that was shaken down by the unions at the New York Coliseum and other places. And my neighbor growing up was a President of a local union. Gave me a big fat bar mitsvah gift. I remember the day in 1975 when he drove up in his brand new Mercedes 450SEL that had just come out. (I’m seeing now that was about 40 to 60k in 70’s dollars!)
.Say what one may about unions but their foundation was as much craft guild as collective bargaining unit.Unions, through their apprentice programs, turned out taxpayers whose financial future was based upon attaining a craftsman level of skill.A union worker came in as an unskilled apprentice and 5 years later he was a journeyman skilled craftsman whose skills were completely transportable whether he stayed in the union or not.Union dues were a fair trade for that transformation.When the unions began to aggregate dues far beyond their financial needs to fund these programs then the mischief started — exorbitantly compensated union officials, lavish lifestyles, political activity, organized crime intrusion.Even in their political activity I can support their original intentions — why the Hell shouldn’t the working man get a crack at influencing legislation which would be good for his future? Why not?JLM.
Thanks for this reasoned response JLM.For my grandfather, it was all about organizing for working conditions and wage in the garment district sweatshops.Different time for certain. Core worker’s rights. Still a core value to protect.
.In those days, there was both an enviable business objective but a true sense of justice — not social justice, plain old fashioned justice.It is one of the reasons I try to buy American as much as possible because we have exported our bad working conditions overseas and I refuse to fund child labor, prison labor, environmental wrongdoing, etc.I learned how to finish concrete as a kid with a cement finishers union card in my pocket. My parish priest got me into the union.The union got me overtime, transportation time to remote job sites and taught me how to run the 9-blade finishing machine for which I got both OT and skill pay.In my day they were a fair trade. I used to see my “boss” at church and he took damn good care of me personally — I never spent a day “on the bench” or was ever sent home.I also got to associate with grown men who knew what hard work was like and were not afraid of it. These guys would never have taken an unemployment check. They were too proud and they were Americans not looking for a hand out.JLM.
I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have been brought up in a lower middle class household. Grandfather, father, mother, all the kids worked.Work is what you did. Learn to do better is what we were taught. My grandfather, never been in school a day, worked on a sewing machine, sat at one side of the head of the table; my dad a physicist turned high school teacher at the other.Core values. Respect for people. I’m a better person for this and thankful to them. All good stuff.
.Here is a funny thing to say.When my Father come home, sometimes after having been on maneuvers or even overseas, he was tired, sweaty and smelled like a man.It is odd but it always inspired me to want to work that hard. I wanted to be the kind of guy who could work with his muscles, if I had to, and who could physically tame some little pea patch segment of the world.When I was about 10 years old, we bought the first house we ever owned. Not as significant as one might think because we usually lived on Army posts and the Army furnished housing.We got this house for a song because it had stone rubble basement walls and it leaked like a sieve.My Father realized we could reverse its fortunes by digging up the entire basement wall and waterproofing it from the exterior.I did all the digging — 8′ down but sand — and he did the waterproofing. I backfilled it all. My Mother watched me constantly because she was always afraid the walls would collapse and bury me.We worked together and I would do a little bit every day. Yep, the basement was dried out. The house was saved but most importantly I learned something about hard work.I also smelled like a goat. I am still cashing the richness of that experience in my life today. I am not afraid of a bit of hard work.JLM.
And I say, how cool that the two of us, as different in backgrounds, as different in political beliefs and as similar in core values as people, came together here online in these [email protected]:disqus this is why this community rocks.
.You are so right that you have a bit left over.The driver is actual life experience and not theory.JLM.
Childhood work! Hmm ….Dad’s mother was 80 and weak, so she sold her housein West Valley, NY a little south of Buffalo andmoved in, that is, moved into the bedroom my brotherand I shared.We got the attic. Yes, it was insulated, on itsfloor! Then a cold front moved in, and that nightthe attic was -15 F. I had 7 blankets and still wascold — it was coming through the mattress!So, Dad, with a lot of ‘trade’ skills from finishedcarpentry, cabinet making, welding, machine tools,engineering drawing from French himself, masonry,strength of materials, relevant chemistry, and more(he was well prepared to teach ‘industrial arts’ inhigh school but ended up leading such teaching forUS Naval aviation), took the bricks off about halfof the back of the house and was architect, generalcontractor, finish carpenter, and cabinet maker (forsome built-in shelves and drawers and the base ofthe new bathroom vanity) for a third bedroom. Mybrother and I got our room back.So, it was my job to ‘clean’ the mortar off the oldbricks that came off the back of the house. I stillhave a bump on my left thumb where I missed with thehammer!Dad made a nice charcoal grill out of the bricks,some fire bricks, a concrete slab, and a large wirerack he had a local welding shop make.So, about each other Sunday during the summers, Imade the charcoal fire, and Dad cooked a sirloinsteak for all of us, while Mom got out her favoritetable setting collection and cooked some vegetablesand hot rolls, and we ate those, the steak, andDad’s fantastic strawberry shortcake.That girl I was dating for 18 months, starting whenshe was 12 and I 14, I should have invited forseveral of our family Sunday dinners but had toolittle social insight to do so. Dad would havefallen in love with her as the daughter he neverhad. Mom would have been impressed with the girl’sperfect skin, features of a porcelain figurine, andimpressive figure, and really sweet personality.Big mistake. Huge.Teenage boys: One of the best ways into her ‘heart'(right, and more) is to make her feel ‘secure’ byfeeling ‘accepted’ by, and getting ‘approval’ from,your family. This stuff about helping her feel’secure’ from ‘acceptance’ is fundamental, withpower beyond belief (E. Fromm). Maybe it lookslike just a dinner, but to her it can warm her heartin very effective ways that even she might notrealize, formulate, or articulate. Trust me on thisone.So, get your family to let you invite her for somenice, informal, as much as possible stress-free,Sunday dinners. Realize that likely before andearly in the dinner she will feel ‘stress’, that is,might want to work for three days on what she willwear, how she will act, etc., but assure her thatwhat she wears to school will be fine and that thereis no need to act like anything but herself and toenjoy herself since everyone will regard her as anangel. Wish I’d known that as a teenager.Be wise, generalize: At her birthday, do it again,with a cake from bakery with her name and “HappyBirthday” on it. For Valentine’s Day, theanniversary of your first date, for when you giveher a ‘going steady’ or ‘promise’ ring, forThanksgiving, any other excuse, etc., do the same.One of my jobs was hedge trimming. Dad showed mehow to use chalk line to help make a goodrectangular parallelepiped out of an overgrown hedge,and I became popular in the neighborhood as atrimmer of hedges. One family liked the pride andprestige of having the nicest looking hedge in theneighborhood — I could have charged more as theunique source of the best looking hedges for all’the best people’ in the neighborhood! Dad wasn’tbig on seeing the marketing opportunities!But that family also had a hedge about 6′ highacross the full width of their back yard along theproperty line, and I got to cut it. Quite a lot ofwork.So, I got my chalk line, a stepladder, my favoriteSears manual hedge shears (actually nicely built –lost track of them when I went to college –bummer), and started in. It was darned hot, about95 F. So, lots of sweat.Meanwhile the wife of the house had a sister about13 with a friend, also a girl about 13, and theydecided to set up two chairs and a card table withiced lemonade to watch me do the work. They offeredme no lemonade and didn’t speak to me but watched.Maybe they were having fun showing off their’feminine privilege’ or some such! Maybe Shanaknows the secret manipulations of teenage girls andcan explain what those girls were doing!But I finished the hedge; raked up the clippings intoa big pile and left them for the trash people. Atleast I got paid and the girls didn’t!With a little basic business advice, I could havedone much more, more customers, higher rates, muchmore money.My brother and I shared an old Chevy, but the frontsuspension was totally worn out. So, I took a passby the public library, read some maintenancemanuals, took some notes, and dug in: I took outeverything from the front wheels to the steeringwheel, cleaned everything, made a list of the wornparts, dropped the list off at the parts departmentof a local Chevy dealer, got all the parts, and puteverything back together.I did some dangerous things getting the front coilsprings out and then back in, without a properspring compressor. Also I didn’t have proper jackstands — lucky I lived through it crawling aroundunder a quite unstable car!With all the parts back in, I drove the car as isfor a front end alignment. Hearing I’d done all thework, the alignment guy said I’d likely made amistake and tightened a nut that is not supposed tobe at all tight, but I had to disappoint him becausethe notes I took had told me what to do to get itright!The front end still needed good shocks but had nogood provision. So, I just went to a partsdepartment and got some tube shocks that lookedpromisingly ‘generic’ and went to a welding shop andasked them to fabricate some appropriate mounts,weld them in place, and install the shocks. Workedgreat! Had nice stiff shocks for the rest of thelife of the car.Later in a right turn, the right, rear wheel andaxle came out. Okay: A strange part of the axlehad broken, so off to a junk yard to get anotheraxle and to jack up the rear end and install it.There was a grove in the end of the axle at thedifferential, and I had to push a split ring intothe grove or some such. The repair worked fine.At one point, the clutch wore out, so I jacked upthe thing, disconnected the drive shaft, pulled thetransmission, installed a new clutch, reinstalledthe transmission (right, that’s a struggle to getthe front shaft of the transmission with its splinesinto the clutch driven disk and also the front ofthat shaft into the pilot bearing in the end of thecrankshaft — there may be an easy way, but Ibelieve I did it the hard way). Everything went backtogether, and I had a new clutch.Also replaced the starting motor, generator, waterpump, battery, and removed the radiator, had itcleaned, and reinstalled it, etc.At times the battery went dead. So, I’d roll thecar down the driveway into the street and there aimthe car downhill. With the car in neutral, I’d pushit from the driver’s side up to maybe 4 MPH, reachin, swat the gearshift from neutral into third gear(without use of the clutch), keep pushing until theengine started to start, jump in, push on the clutchand gas, get the engine going and the batterycharging, put the car in first gear, and get on toclass!Alas, having the engine rebuilt, they left a flatspot on the crankshaft which beat out the bearing onthe big end of the associated connecting rod, and onthe way to a summer NSF math program at Vanderbiltthe thing threw a rod. Luckily my parents were aday behind me, picked me up, and all was okay.But it was a good car while I was in college: Therewas an unusually large amount of room in the backseat for me and my college girlfriend!That summer at Vanderbilt was not nearly as much funas summers in college with my car and my girlfriend!
I’m less worried by the substance of de Blasio’s politics and policies than I am by how little I know about him as a person. I fully expect de Balsio to govern much closer to the center than his critics might suggest. But in NYC, governing style has an outsize impact on a mayor’s ability to get the job done, and governing style is a function of things like temperament, character, and personal flaws/failings. I don’t think we know enough about de Blasio, the man, to reliably say what kind of mayor he will be. But today I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping that he’ll succeed.
Our elected officials unfortunately aren’t wired to address long-term needs, especially when it doesn’t help them achieve their career goals. Sandy indeed was a wake up call, but our politicians continue to hit the snooze alarm. Nothing will be done until disaster strikes again, and then it could be too late.
Agree. Alignment, or lack thereof, is a problem in politics (and business too).
I’m diggin’ that USV widget in the right rail.
But I’m not sure why anyone not related to USV would want it on their site.I’d maybe rebrand it as something that feels more neutral, something that stands for “general smart people in tech sharing interesting things” rather than “what USV has to say.”In reality, the content already *is* the former, but the USV logo on the widget says the latter and will probably keep folks from putting it on their sites, if I had to guess.
You’re right. But I don’t think USV created the widget for TwittBook style distribution. I imagine it serves its purpose even if it’s only deployed on the blogs of the USV partners and associates + friends. It’s all community juice.
You touch on something really interesting.USV community is kinda irrelevant to me as defined. But the idea stream that is very broadly community sourced at usv.com is honestly, getting interesting fast.avc/continuations/usv/my blog/SUM/a world of common interest in discussion around tech topic is a righteous and far flung possibility there.Works a lot more dynamically then to me something like Zemanta circles do.Intrigued with it.
Yup. It’s crowd-sourced “circles” by a group of folks interested in tech/web/startups.
For me, USV isn’t a community. It’s a venture fund. I think most people would agree.
No one would disagree Brandon. And that is not what I said.usv.com a rather bold stab at creating an industry wide community for discussion. Not partners blogs but anyone who can add to the dynamic idea wall.Without a doubt a community intent. Kinda working even as I pulled one Q from you actually today re: Gmail inbox issues, and moved it out to my network for an answer.
Sorry, I wasn’t implying that you disagree. Just simply stating that most people wouldn’t!Also, would love to hear the Gmail inbox answers! I’ve asked around and most people seem to think it still works. I’m skeptical, mostly because I personally never check my Promos inbox, but we’ll see!
It was a great question re:gmail actually.Immediately pulled some stats for a bunch of properties pre and post the change and Yup!, number wise you right on.I got a bunch of people saying yes its true, but nothing actionable.Pinged Return Path as they should know.Kinda a big deal and a strategy changer. I do really like opt in email.If I learn anything, i’ll let you know and post on it as well.
So I gave Return Path my email address to get a download of the documents they forwarded to you (those were awesome, thanks for procuring them!) and this morning I got a marketing email from RT… in my priority inbox. How did they cheat the system?! What is this voodoo?! I must know!
And when you do figure it out, share!
The first thing I noticed is that the email was sent from RT’s own servers. They don’t use a MailChimp or SailThru-like service, built their own SMTP instead. The plus is you bypass Gmail’s biggest marketing email signal that dumps you into the “Promotions” inbox. The minus, if you’re a small or even large company, is that while building your own SMTP isn’t rocket science, you’d have to build all your email tracking and data reporting yourself — and if you want to get data as good as the companies that provide it professionally, that’s quite an undertaking. You might as well just continue to use Mail Chimp, SailThru, etc. because what you lose in open rates (which is small according to RT’s research) you gain in knowledge about how your emails are performing. Not to mention the costs associated with having a team dedicated to building out proprietary SMTP.But, then again, something I learned with Wander & Trade is don’t assume something is difficult or expensive until you try. We were advised that building out backend shipping and payments systems would be an investment of time and money we couldn’t afford. But as I saw myself not being able to add more vendors because I didn’t think I could efficiently process orders manually, a week before launch I figured out how to get it done and we started building the right technology. And, yes, we bit off a lot — but it still got done in a week. And now I can add more vendors almost ad infinitum without worrying if they’ll get their shipping labels or get paid out on time. And had I built this backend out months ago, I would have launch with all the 80+ vendors that were told to wait because we couldn’t handle them. Oh, hindsight…So, lesson, just because a business has a feature that they’re built themselves up on doesn’t mean you can’t rebuilt it just for yourself with decent efficiency. SMTP, shipping processing, whatever.
Thanks.My way of thinking the same thoughts you expressed:Decide what has to be part of what you need to win and just get it done.I just try and start with the bare minimum of what I can’t live without and yes, there is usually a way.
I like that shorter winded version. 😉
That’s their business 🙂
I see, so they’re dealing in magic!But I guess all great businesses are. Note to self…
From Return Path.Links on my twitter feed. Checking them out now.
Wow, this is great.And it also just once again showed Twitter’s power as a networking tool. I’ve historically been really bad at Twitter. I really need to change that.
that’s a great point and something we need to think about. I agree that it’s the former. we want to make the whole thing as welcoming and open as we can, we think of the site as “the usv community” more than “usv the company”, so hopefully that will come across.
totally with youwhat do you think about something like this (attached below)?
The blunt truth: You’re putting lipstick on a pig (its not a pig, but you know the saying!).You’re still appealing to the USV community. If anyone will posts the widget on their blog, it’ll be someone who thinks having USV posts on their blog is useful. If you want people who think its useful to have smart posts from smart people, in general, on their blog, then they’re likely not going to want to put up something that’s USV as it looks like they’re just supporting USV.You guys basically want to recreate the Zemanta Circle product. Both aggregate the best posts around a specific topic. The difference is that Zemanta is a neutral third party; USV is not.You either need to 1) make the product a neutral 3rd party (i.e. detach it from USV branding), or 2) be comfortable with it as a product that caters to USV specific people, and use it to promote your brand through you fans, unabashedly. You’re trying to straddle a middle ground with what’s in that screen grab; stand for something or fall… period.There’s really no way around it. But, hey, I’m curious to hear the opinions of others on this.
yeah — there is no question that we are hosting our own conversation at USV.com, so we don’t need to run away from that. But we do want to make it as inviting and open as we can.Anyway, I completely understand why folks wouldn’t want to put a usv widget on their site. I think when we first set up the widget, the idea was to first extend it to the corners of the USV community (staff blogs), and if anyone wanted to take it beyond that, that would be great. But we’re certainly not building a universal, independent web platform, like zemanta, etc.
I think the question becomes, how to you get the USV folks with blogs to post the widget?Actually, the better question is how do you turn them into ambassadors of the USV brand? What would make @wmoug:disqus or @awaldstein:disqus or whoever want to put the widget on their web properties (if at all)?Do you create some sort of “Influencer in Residence” program so these folks feel official enough to take the leap and publicly say they’re a part of USV in some way? And, you know, extend benefits outside just the ability to post the widget? Like maybe they get paid-entrance to a conference here or there to be USV’s official eyes and ears? (Just an idea, feel free to say its a bad one.)Anywho, good thing those folks are right here on AVC, so ask ’em what’ll motivate ’em!
the right rail?
AKA, the right margin of the page above.
umm, i can’t see a widget reference. is this a mobile-only thing?
Nope. Chrome browser on Macbook Air/Mavericks.
no, can’t see anything that look like a widget. must be an XP problem. i need to modernize.
Thanks. It was one of my feature requests. They got it out in a couple days. I am also excited by the CSNYC crowd funding widget
Widgets! Feels so AVC circa 2004, Fred.
Ah, the Fred feature. It always gets prioritized 🙂
Yeah, I’m a big fan of CSNY.
Should the city start looking to tech-ify large scale civic programs — like the federal government did with the Affordable Care Act — I hope and pray that it consults and employs the tech community to build and run it. The last thing we need is another inexperienced tech leader leading a large scale tech project (looking at you, Kathleen Sebelius).
Being from Toronto, it’s hard to read any post about anybody else’s Mayor today. If they do anything other than smoking crack and drinking on the job, I’m jealous. #depressedintdot
hahahah, you’re crackin’ me up.
ahhhhhhh! (yes the city and my facebook feed are filled with crack jokes 🙂
Ditto. I’m appalled that no one is strongly standing-up to his circus. His low standards are blowing my mind.
Why not? Why not you?
There’s a rally today that I know a number of people are going to but honestly, the guys approval ratings keep going up. It’s a classic suburbs vs. the city that has to do with amalgamation for Toronto from years back (they created the greater toronto area GTA which has been terrible for the city in every way.And apparently legally there is nothing to be done. Totally depressing. But @wmoug:disqus if you decide to run for Mayor, I”ll help you with the campaign 🙂
Mayor Mougayer <—what a natural. I like to sound of that.Tag line: He’s NOT everything Ford’s cracked up to be.
Ha. I’m far from it. I can barely hold my Foursquare mayorships 🙂
That’s what you get with a populist mayor. He’s appealing to the populists, and appalling the rest of us.
Good to know that the US doesn’t have the exclusive on wackos.
There is a critical mass of wackos in the NY Metro area. Enough to support two newspapers with an unending stream of human interest stories.
I’d run for Mayor — probably only a possibility ~8+ years from now though. Can I get help too? 😉
I tweeted something.
I heard on NPR last night that his whole staff/advisors are telling him to step down. Did I mis-hear that?
I believe you heard it correctly.I do not think he is emotionally able to give up the job.It is likely all he has at this point – his brother & sister are clearly not looking out for his best interests & a little reading between the lines would indicate that he is married to someone that is not helping either (they had a domestic dispute that required police and he was granted custody, in the family home….think that over for a bit).
How do you stand up to it? He can only be removed by leaving the city or being convicted of a major crime.Every time someone tries to go after him – councillors voting to remove his executive powers – they fuel his supporters.Ford Nation says ‘he is good guy trying to do the right thing.’
I know. But he’s the only one who keeps saying he’s doing a good job. I’ve never heard someone padding themselves on the back everyday like that with hyperbolic statements, like “we’re saving the taxpayers money”, “we’re doing the right thing”, etc..I am in that city, and I don’t see visible improvements to the roads, subways, traffic, crime, etc…
Terrific article on his popularity, where the Narion was really well described – suburban, car based, etc.The amalgamated city, as structured, is set up like a post WWII Balkan country…..or Iraq.
Give the guy a break. He was in a drunken stupor, after all… 😉
I’ve got to give the guy credit. How could you do that?? Well I was in a drunken stupor.
It’s my new excuse for everything. :)Why didn’t you get me that product feedback on time? “I was in a drunken stupor, of course!”
toronto mayer looks like this.
One of the best Chris Farley skits ever. I was really upset when he died.Back in the early days of SNL (might have been the 70’s) there was a similar skit where some dad was lecturing his kids. I remember him saying “well I’ll just call up the President of the McDonald Douglas Corp. and tell him I don’t feel like working today!!”. (Many SNL skits mimic things that have worked in the past .)
He works with the same ratio of energy : sophisticated thought as well.A really bang on analogy.
That language appeals to a segment of the population that could relate to it. I couldn’t.
This is a segment not an aberration? 😉
I would call it a segment. An aberration is a guy walking into a mall and shooting people. Very infrequent like a plane crashPeople getting drunk is something that happens frequently, is encouraged, is celebrated and not really looked down upon (as it should be – unless the person is a husband and isn’t bringing the money home that is or is in some kind of responsible position).
Agree. Not to mention that he looks like he has a food addiction.That whole drinking culture (with the cute words and the way it is referred to playfully as opposed to a serious problem) is similar to the tobacco industrial complex that took years to wipe out (like a generation, right?).Now they have these buses that do pub crawls so people don’t have to drive.
Like Aaron I’m pointing out the absolute absurdity of the comment.
Exactly. What’s more grave is 45% of the city is siding with him despite this behavior.
That is unbelievable. What is the worst thing I could think of a person entrusted with my money doing? Smoking crack…..No, no wait they are a public figure and care so little they do it where they are filmed. Ok, there is no way it could get worse than that. Nope, new low the excuse?…..I make really bad decisions when I’m in a drunken stupor.Well shoot that explains the whole thing. Now I totally trust you (humor)
Yup, like Colbert’s skit 2 days ago. He took a woof from a pipe, then hid it under the table, then a few seconds later he said: Have I ever smoked crack? Yes, but that was in the past!
.Really the best explanation for any political foible I have ever heard since: “The bitch set me up.”JLM.
To be fair, he did say he only smokes crack when he’s on a drunk bender so ….. hmmm well, yeah good luck with that !
There is a strong & interesting parallel between de Blasio & Ford (amazing, I know Leigh, but hear me out).Both are elected as backlash candidates – that have very strong support from people who feel marginalized by their city government.Ford followed a downtown, intellectual, borderline socialist (was member of a national political party that had socialism in its constitution – the NDP – on his inauguration date), tax & spend mayor (David Miller). Miller was mayor for 7 years, raised taxes a ton & the city unions got almost everything you can imagine during his time in office (his people).de Blasio also follows a long serving mayor who suffers from the optics that ‘his people’ (not Jewish people, finance & real estate people) have made out like bandits during his tenure.de Blasio is – he pretty much has to be – more prepared & able to serve than Rob Ford. I actually feel for the guy – imagine getting your dream job & then realizing you have 20% of the capability required. His abuse of himself is pretty easy to root cause.Let me be clear that he needs to resign & is an embarrassment to the entire country, though. He never should have even run for mayor.Last, AVCers should know that ‘Downtown’ is a really important term in TO.In 1998, Toronto was almagamated with 4 suburban cities & a rural municipality ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wik… ). I am not 100% sure of the analogy, but it would be like merging NYC was suburban NJ or Connecticut (or both).Ford is from Etobicoke, which for sure is like being form NJ. His family owns a labelling business & has, for 2 generations, desired to be important in politics. They are, as a family, wholly unsuited for serious political service.He ran a “stop the gravy train’ campaign that downtown intellectual types thought had no chance. And got elected & became a train wreck.Is de Blasio heading for a smaller wreck of his own? Can NYC afford a train wreck mayor?He seems far more prepared, but he has never held public office and, more importantly, from what I have read, has never led a large organization.Does he know what he does not know?
.Damn good analysis.An error that we all make is that we assume the status quo will become the foundation upon which our own brilliant changes will simply be founded.Not so, the foundation has to be maintained with the same effort that originally created it.Want to relax law enforcement? Know that safe areas will not continue to be safe.JLM.
Well, I guess he’ll need to Surge, Purge and Diverge the attention of the Public.
His former Chief of Staff says that he has personally returned over 100,000 phone calls from constituents, during his 13 years as a City Councillor & Mayor.He gives out his home & cell # all the time. It is the one productive thing he does that no one can refute (I did say productive, not highly effective, sophisticated or scalable).Consider how unresponsive The CIty of Toronto has to be, for Rob Ford to conclude – correctly to this point – that the simple act of returning citizen phone calls can get him elected, re-elected & promoted.
.Retail politics is very powerful because each constituent has a family. It just takes on call to make that impact multiply.JLM.
If you are a City employee, you should go to the box & feel shame.http://www.youtube.com/watc…
Relationship building is key. People are generally looking to connect with people – and if one politician connects with you, and another doesn’t – then guess who’s going to get the vote, even if you weren’t going to originally go out and vote..
http://www.youtube.com/watc… … because awesome!
I hope he really pushes that Cornell Tech Center on Roosevelt Island. I hope it doesn’t get lost with a new administration.
Thank you Fred. I still remember, and I hope always will, your vision for NYC. It was very simple, warm and very precise. BdB will be a great mayor. There are gaps in his vision of the system of the city and I appreciate that he has you, and others within tech/vc, to help him complete. Thnx again.
Fredit’s a rare person with your quals, currency who speaks up on local politics. Pls keep it up, not just because i generally agree with your positions, but because our civic fabric needs to have voices like yours in the mix.
We need some members of the tech community to step up and offer to work from the inside. A critical factor of whether Mayor de Blasio can / will be successful will be the team he builds around him – the deputy mayor, commissioner and staff that he will appoint. Between the Mayor and the new Comptroller, there are something like 1000 positions to be filled. We need tech community members to fill more than just the Chief Digital Officer role – we need them in departments / agencies ranging from education to transportation, from city planning to economic development, from emergency planning to the police department, etc. The call should go out to the tech community – if you’re interested, if you want to help – now is the time. Transition teams are forming, calls for recommendations and suggestions on great people are being requested. If you are interested, search on public transition team events – I can recommend a few
i totally agree Rich. are you game?
Fred,I believe you’re right that we in tech need to be more involved in policy. To that extend, I’ve put together some thoughts from different people together prior to the election and made it available to all the candidates. Now that the election is behind us and we need to build, I’ve turned it into a hackpad so a wider group can contribute and maybe we can get something together for the next election. See https://hackpad.com/Suggest… for the hackpad version and contribute.
This is extremely important, but I think there’s a bit of a problem in that most of NYC tech is in its infancy and they dont have the time or resources nor the size to focus on policy issues.At this still early stage of NY’s tech development, I think that we need an umbrella group consisting of large companies, VC’s with a portfolio combination of large companies, tech institutions, etc. to represent and lobby for NYC’s tech needs of the future.This way young companies can put their name behind an issue without the overhead, but can be called upon when a particular item they can have a real impact on is being addressed.
Fully agree. I can tell you that those ideas were put together over a period of time but I now need someone else to shepherd the process. I figured these can get the discussion started, though.
Well unless you turn it into something it will simply be an academic exercise. I suggest you write it up and publish/promote it, and hopefully it will be adopted and have an impact.
Fully agree, which is why I added it as an open hackpad. The good news is that it’s been getting some of its own traction with some of the candidates taking bits and pieces of it into their platform. Now that the election is over, it’s a question of pushing the ideas and I’m looking for a new home for it 🙂
well we had a nightmare here in boston. On the verge of real progress we go and elect a the worst possible candidate for what the city needs.Very much like new york – we need to be heavily investing in the 3 E’s. Most importantly education as our public school system in Boston is appalling. My family and many others are confronted with the not small decision of moving out of town because of this.And we had the perfect candidate – a Harvard educated, progressive democrat former superintendent of education running on a 3 E platform.But guess what – annonymous money showed up in the millions last week and bought the election. by 3,000 votes.Mayor elect Walsh is a thoroughly unqualified individual. he barely made it out of the school system he claims he knows how to fix. And now the city of Boston has a big IOU to some unknown special interest.
Chicago elected the best Democrat it could, Rahm Emanuel. I (a practical libertarian) voted for him, donated to his campaign. He falls into the camp of a 3E mayor. But he has had tremendous difficulty changing anything. In addition, the city is so underwater when it comes to debt, his hands are tied.
I think BDB will live up to his campaign messaging and be a champion of small business and job creation in the city, which I expect will be positive for the startup economy specifically. I also think he’s going to usher in a new era for the sharing economy. He has young staff who are taking the time to understand the movement.
It is great to see others taking notice of the issues as well, Kevin Hart donated $250K to the city of Philadelphia for new computers. Hopefully the city can maximize this investment.http://instagram.com/p/gG-8…
Your thoughts here seem to be in line with what I read in the Economist this morning:http://www.economist.com/ne…Will folks in New York miss Mayor Bloomberg?
Big cities like NYC and Chicago are in massive danger. They are sticky for a lot of reasons, but their debt loads are dangerous. Democrats and Republicans both need to soberly look at those debt loads and figure out how to get out from under them without raising taxes. To be clear, in large cities its Democrats. Only answer is to streamline govt, privatize a lot of it, and embrace entrepreneurship. The problem with that in a place like Chicago is to undertake that change successfully, alderman, regulators, inspectors and the mayor have to give up power through decentralization. Makes it tougher to line their pockets. How many politicians came into office with some means, and left with a pile of cash? More than you can shake a stick at.
Bring up a Web site that documents the dirt.
Check the expose on the debt in the Chicago Tribune since Sunday for Chicago.
Okay, that’s one story. But the oldmedia didn’t do enough, and weneed a general solution. I hope thatspecialized, ‘long tail’ Web sites willprovide that.
Wirepoints.com, illinoisisbroke.com are two more independent sites.
Love the idea of the three Es but I think that without highly targeted and long form investment in under served areas where environmental factors have been statistically proven to directly hinder people from upward mobility, most initiatives end up either widening the gap or creating an even clearer divide between those who can make it and those who can’t.I believe in entrepreneurship, education, and empowerment but as to how those apply to communities that need it most is something I’m unclear on.I live in Sunset Park, and I can tell you that upward mobility is not part of the plan for many down here.
Education can only be changed with school choice, vouchers and competition. Unions and bureaucracy are a monolith that cannot be moved. They will kill innovation. Until the mayor embraces that, change will be glacial.
“The tech community is largely apolitical.”:Come on, Fred.
Well for that picture you are talking about the chiefs and not the Indians. There are many more indians.
The tech community I know and love is generally very Democratic.
Fred’s statement translated “apolitical” was “the tech community is largely not interested or involved in politics”.Which Dave rebutted (I think) with a picture of tech titans involved who are, well, not the “tech community” that Fred was referring to I believe. They are the chiefs not the indians.This is separate from whether they are democrats or republicans.
Sure – everyone below CEO in the tech sector is a Young Republican (except for these guys: http://www.theatlantic.com/… ).You can troll better than this, Le.
Ok, here, I’ll troll.”Dave – are you confused as to what Fred was saying that you responded to with “Come on Fred”?”Fred didn’t make a comment regarding whether they were republicans or democrats or whether there are techies that build websites and/or assist with campaigns.Fred said the tech community is apolitical. That’s from his observation and involvement in it. He talks to and meets with a shit load of people. I’m guessing that is where he gets that thought from.The definition of apolitical is “not interested or involved in politics.”I have no data on any survey as far as how involved the tech community is in politics. (I would guess they aren’t but that is a guess). But what I do know is that showing a picture of the tech titans meeting with Obama does not refute the statement that Fred made.
In the past year alone we’ve seen at least two major political advocacy campaigns by prominent techies (including many members of this community), on immigration (e.g., FWD.us) and on guns (e.g., Demand A Plan, financing of failed referenda).
Dave – they don’t fill the troughs anywhere near as well as other major industries (umm, finance ?).
I’m not so sure about that. And don’t forget the yeoman efforts of techies lending their skills to the Obama campaign last year: http://www.theatlantic.com/…Too bad those guys weren’t available to help out with Healthcare.gov.
Bloomberg’s tech initiatives were good, but the key to New York’s prosperity has been the sharp decline in crime under him and Giuliani. Now we’ll see if that trend starts to reverse under de Blasio.
.Yep, when crime flows out, prosperity backfills the void.JLM.
And this just in: Ray Kelly is resigning as NYPD chief – http://t.co/ICcYqZ5tfx
From the outside looking in, it seems that both Giuliani and Bloomberg did good work as mayor.Everyone will have some sticking points but each mayor made some big strides for New York.So I was surprised to read some media reports calling De Blasio’s election an indictment on the previous administrations, Bloomberg in particular.That is disconcerting.Politics.
.Blasio has a huge mandate and he will blow it. Big time.You have to make NYC safe first and then you can get on with whatever your brand of social engineering may be.He will be another progressive disaster a la Detroit.It is really not that he isn’t smart enough or capable enough — progressive policies do not build strong economies as they are all about redistribution and forget to encourage someone to actually MAKE the money that the progressives want to confiscate.The back of house of the financial industry will gravitate toward Charlotte, NC and other such places. Already well under way.Bloomberg, who is no conservative, realized that someone had to make the money.JLM.
.Not to be a complete piss head today, NYC’s current economy is really quite the envy of much of the rest of the country.JLM.
I have to say the following – I think bloomberg was a follower about the tech community here, not a leader – the tech community came first.
My super funny and cool friend Ray is working with his girlfriend Pia in NY/ Harlem & Brooklyn with neglected kids. What he tells me everyday is heart-breaking.TECHNOLOGY in the States is great (just like in any industrial society) but without exploring the realm of the SPIRIT it definitely can’t survive. This is a fact known in the Universal. When I say spirit, I mean A SENSE OF ONENESS 😉
Given your great comments and commitment to the city why don’t you deliver them in person to the Mayor versus having him read it in your blog?
i can and will do both.
The serial and the hope of renewal, pretty much what expectations are placed on what comes after that.
I like it..great..