Fads and Phases

Alyson Shontell quoted me in a BI story yesterday. The quote was exactly what I said:

I think a lot of what we’re seeing is a reaction to Facebook and how Facebook was so dominant as a social platform for the past 5-10 years. The things that Facebook forced you to do — to use your real name, to post something publicly that everybody could see…these are things that people ultimately had a bad reaction to. I think all of this might just be a phase we’re going through…I think the public mood shifts, I think that a lot of it was the Facebook model was the dominant model for a long time and I think a lot of people are now interested in these other models. I like to think [trends like anonymous apps] will have their run and then there’ll be something else.

I guess its up to interpretation whether I called this a “phase” or a “fad” but I most certainly don’t think these anonymous apps are a fad. Chat Roulette was a fad. Facebook was a phase. These anonymous apps are more likely a phase than a fad.

Now that I’ve cleared that up, I can go to yoga.

#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. JLM

    .Phase or fad, FB’s acquisition of Instagram is looking pretty damn smart given current trends.The trend is your friend, if you will let it be so.Things are changing at an accelerating rate and what we thought was hot will shortly be not.We are also going to begin seeing resurgent cycles. Who knows maybe the old Soviet Union may resurrect itself. Nah.JLM.

    1. JamesHRH

      Personal belief is that Mr Zuckerberg is pretty good at taking advice and that he has some pretty smart folks on his BoD (Mr. Andreessen comes to mind; Mr Thiel).In particular, Andreessen is strong on strategy. I would bet dollars to donuts that PMarcA is the person who said something like:’ Do you want FB to be a major player in the next phase? Because, FB is only FB & FB is only social / friends. The only way you become the next phase is to use your resources (stock price) to wildly overpay for emerging candidate of next phase leadership. And, the only way you get those founders to sell is to leave them be after you own them. If you try to jam everything under your brand, a la MS & GOOG, you will not get the leaders to sell (you never sold; Larry never sold) because they want the public profile. So, pay up and back off.”

    2. JimHirshfield

      You Putin me on??!!!

      1. John Revay

        the beat rolls on

      2. LE

        To bad newspapers are dying.Hmm, but actually there is an idea for you in this Jim.You put up a page ala your cartoonist sort of spelled somewhat similar dead (2003) non relative where you feature an event of the day, with a picture, and then you develop a headline.Similar to the NY Post, NYDN etc. Just the front page. One per day.Then you put disqus comments on that page where people can make comments.Making sure to sell out before the fad blows over.I think this is a good idea. You should do it.And I can get you a good 3 letter .com domain on loan to test it out. Maybe.

        1. JimHirshfield

          “Maybe” <–that was the clincher that closed me on this idea.

          1. LE

            Let me know when you have a prototype. If this works it could really improve your sex life.

          2. JimHirshfield

            What are you implying, friend?

          3. LE

            Success makes someone look more attractive. And can either increase the chance for sexual activity with their current partner or (if one isn’t married) with other potential partners.Look at Seinfeld and Leno. El chino.Btw, have you ever seen the interview with Seinfelds high school girlfriend and how she described him back then?Best thing is this. Unlike if you started a bodega and failed (which could hurt your sex life) doing this isn’t something that there will be any expectation of success.And remember Jim. Those that can, do. Those that can’t teach, collect a pension, and live in the outer boroughs.

          4. JimHirshfield

            We’re done here. k,thx,bai.

    3. fredwilson

      “what we thought was hot will shortly be not”You rhyme too? Maybe you should try rap JLM

      1. JimHirshfield

        And @JLM:disqus said yesterday that there’s no market for poets. pshaw!

      2. panterosa,

        PantherKitty loves the JLM phrases as she calls them, like “walking the cat backwards”. If those can be rhymed then JLM will be the ATX gangsta.

      3. JLM

        .Of all the safe bets in the world, JLM becoming a rapper is right up there with Pres Obama cutting taxes or John Boehner going pale on us all.I did win the 5th grade poetry contest at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Long Branch, NJ.That poem is available for purchase at many recognized outlets.It is a life experience that quashed what was a budding career interest in becoming a professional poet. I opted for becoming a paratrooper.On many an instance in an intimate moment as a studly young virile paratrooper, Ranger, et al, I would work that poem into the conversation whispering it into a lovely young girl’s ear.I can confirm something of great value to men: poetry will not get you laid. I was a single man in those days and far from home craving the solace and comfort of a beautiful woman’s arms.Poetry will not get you laid.Today is……….JLM.

        1. JimHirshfield

          Ummm…having trouble following your logic. Perhaps the lesson you learned was that YOUR poetry will not get YOU laid?

    4. Timothy Meade

      Current events are also fads that too strongly shape our discourse and limit our ability to make accurate predictions. Georgia subsided and so will Crimea. Trends are so often fads that we are way too quick to promote to trends, this becomes tech commentary that has no value a week later.Longer term, Google/Apple/Facebook are the core providers in tech, and will each likely try to compete in the same areas. Each will have a chat app, a sharing app, a video offering, a subscription music offering, local or mobile search offering, app marketplace, gaming community and leaderboard with achievment sharing and player-driven marketing channels, contact management, news aggregator based on personal and popular rankings and probably a few other product categories in common.Also long term Yahoo will try to buy there way in with proceeds from Alibaba. They would do better to focus on one area, develop the personal assistant app they acquired and maybe buy BlackBerry and pivot towards auto with it. Also pick up as many mobile voip and chat apps as they can afford and merge them into one offering.

  2. Brandon Burns

    No April Fools joke? #disappointed:-)

    1. jason wright

      Cloudfool is the joke. #drivingmecrazy

  3. JamesHRH

    I thought yoga cleared your mind and produced these insights.

    1. fredwilson

      I did yoga before I talked to Alyson 🙂

  4. jason wright

    it’s clear that facebook is moving away from its reliance upon facebook, just as google is diversifying away from its reliance upon paid search. they will become unrecognisable in a few short years.

    1. fredwilson

      I agree

  5. JamesHRH

    Opposites are a definite market dynamic.A emerges. The opposite eventually emerges. Both get established and live out the lifecycle of their market. Then something that is not really an opposite, just different, likely emerges to mess them both up.Coke / Pepsi. 7UP? Gatorade! Powerade. Red Bull? Monster.Some of the goofy anti-social stuff of this phase is no goofier than the early social stuff.

    1. fredwilson


    2. Timothy Meade

      Be KO/PEP or Fortune, not a one hit beverage distributor.

  6. JimHirshfield

    Lite beer was a phase. Not sure if y’all remember the 80’s, but lite beer burst on to the scene. Laid the groundwork for craft brews, IMHO, as people became disenchanted with watery beer.Pushing the extremes to one end of the spectrum can create demand at the other end of the spectrum…and an opportunity for entrepreneurs that notice this shift.

    1. awaldstein

      Interesting–lite beer as the precursor of the craft beer explosion?Never thought about it that way.Always considered that the craft beer and spirits explosion (and it is just that) happened as artisanal and neighborhood became both legitimate tastes and business models.True for wine as well but more complex from a supply chain perspective.

      1. JimHirshfield

        Good points. But think of the full bodied beers that came before all the craft brews. At the time, Boston Lager was a major shift…then came craft.

        1. awaldstein

          Dunno but thinking about this so appreciate the other point of view.Did some consulting for a craft brewery and a bit for small natural vineyards and they are doing it because they can, because of a community drive to support local brands globally–and–as a reaction against industrialized taste and just bad shit in what we eat and drink.

          1. MickSavant

            craft brewing is a fad. Once everyone is a brewer what then?

          2. awaldstein

            ?Surely a joke.

          3. MickSavant

            I was certainly being clever, and don’t call me Shirley. In Austin you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting 15 “home brewers”. Try finding a 10lb CO2 tank in the entire city of Austin… it’s nearly impossible (I had to borrow one from a welder). I think we are at or near peak craft brew. Craft distilleries are the next new fad, especially instates that are liberalizing their puritan liquor laws.

      2. JamesHRH

        Interesting angle.Small is, however, the better opposite to big.Just heard a radio spot where Sam Adams is doing taste tests (a la Pepsi) against local micro-brews. Trying to prove that just because Boston Beer got big, it didn’t get bad.

        1. awaldstein

          Taste testing their way to local markets is as misguided as you can get.

      3. panterosa,

        Maybe it was all that dreadful PBR that brooklyn guzzled down while looking very hip that made people crave flavor.

    2. fredwilson

      I hate lite beer

      1. MickSavant

        in defense of light beer … http://mentalfloss.com/arti…”Belgian monks and master brewers around the world marvel at how macro-breweries like Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have perfected the process in hundreds of factories, ensuring that every pour from every brewery tastes exactly the same. Staring at a bottle, it’s staggering to consider the effort that goes into producing each ounce of the straw-colored liquid. But perhaps the most impressive thing about light beer isn’t the time needed or the craftsmanship or even the consistency, but how many lives the beverage has saved.”

    3. Kirsten Lambertsen

      A friend of mine posted on Twitter once that if “you ever see me holding a lite beer, it’s a signal I’ve been kidnapped.”

    4. ShanaC

      Really? I’m hearing there is growth in hard cider now

      1. JimHirshfield

        I don’t doubt that.

      2. MickSavant

        probably from all the folks who have fake gluten allergies

  7. Tom Labus

    Your time in the tech sun is limited whether fad or phase. I guess that’s why we’re seeing some shaky IPOs.

    1. fredwilson

      Not all things. Google search, for example, feels more permanent than Facebook

      1. JamesHRH

        Yessssssss.You can be leader in a market that has less of a fundamental place in society (drive in movie theatre anyone?).GOOG is one of the greatest businesses in history. It is a cash cow and has a 100 year horizon.

      2. awaldstein

        Life without search is really not imaginable.

        1. LE

          Why?Can you remember back to 1995? I can. Search seems essential now (because we take it for granted) and is certainly a huge benefit. But I wouldn’t come close to calling it as “not imaginable”. [1] I wouldn’t put it on the same level as air conditioning or automobiles or electricity. It’s not essential for survival or comfort and while it may reduce some peoples suffering and lengthen their lives I would easily give up search for good climate control. And electricity. And an automobile. You live in the city of course so you don’t need an auto. But many others do.Not only that but there also was a pleasure in being able to figure things out without all the tools that are available today. Similar to how someone does woodworking instead of buying pre-made furniture. Similar to how you enjoy tasting and discovering wines and exploring.Have you ever sailed a sailboat? It’s not easy compared to a motor boat. But a motor boat isn’t really that much fun there is no challenge in driving a motor boat compared to a sail boat.Separately of course google is much better than what came before google. But search pre google. But you know what that’s almost a lazy factor in people. If search wasn’t as good as google you’d have to take the time to click a few places more and go to page 3. So it’s a nice time saver but it’s not the end of the world to have to put in more effort.[1] You know what is not imaginable to me? Not being able to type at a fast speed without looking. I can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t take the time to learn to touch type. And why people would want to hunt and peck. I suspect that anyone who learned would look back and realize what they are missing.

        2. JLM

          .The impact on real life — what we actually DO — of SEARCH is incredible. We decide where to go, what to do, what to wear, how to think, who to meet >>> all because of search.I am struck that in the confrontation between the US and Russia, the Russian Foreign Minister responds via Twitter. The most secret negotiations in the history of the world, deciding the fate of millions are TWEETED!The other day I got a Direct Message from the Holy Ghost. Absolutely true. He was calling my attention to the fact that I was just a smidge behind on my tithes. (BTW, He had a typo in the DM. He spelled it tythe.)Is this a great time to be alive or what?JLM.

          1. awaldstein

            And behaviorally and culturally it’s unacceptable to be unprepared.Time, expense, availability of information are irrelevant. Big change for how we live life.

  8. Abdallah Al-Hakim

    Interesting? Is there a time limit on a phase? Is time the main differentiator between a ‘phase’ and a ‘fad’?

    1. fredwilson

      yeah. a fad is a year or so (or less). a phase could be a decade long

  9. pointsnfigures

    As @aweissman says, “Real names be proof”. Social is one thing-medical records are different. Privacy/Security in the cloud is not a phad. I didn’t like the early commenting on the internet-everyone was anonymous. Now, you can be found out-and it brings some responsibility. But, as the NSA showed us, there is a real line that shouldn’t be crossed where privacy is huge. I think these newer anonymous apps are a reaction to the NSA etc than simply Facebook.

  10. Kirsten Lambertsen

    It’s a faze.

  11. Lisa Mogull

    Hope you enjoyed yoga.As someone who has been building online communities for a long time I agree that anonymous apps are a phase. Until FB communities were the Wild West because most people were anonymous. The problem with the anonymous Wild West was that it was near impossible to monetize (and oh how we tried). Brands didn’t want their ads associated with unknown and potentially offensive content and people are more likely to post offensive stuff when it is anonymous. Likely the anon apps are going to run into the same problem.

    1. fredwilson

      yoga was great

    2. Mark Gavagan

      Great point about brands’ point of view Lisa.Perhaps a path to revenue for anonymous services is direct transactions.

    3. awaldstein

      Got an example of an online community or two whose model is not media?

      1. Lisa Mogull

        eBay. Any commerce site that allows reviews.

        1. LE

          Got an example of an online community or two whose model is not media?You answered: Ebay “Any commerce site that allows reviews”.Along those lines you would throw in tripadvisor and amazon.But to me that’s a separate category. Needs a different name.To me a community is a place that people visit on a regular basis. As opposed to a place they stop buy now and then for a specific purpose.While I don’t have the figures for ebay (in terms of how many people are there multiple times per week) vs. just 4 times per year (anyone know that?) I am almost certain that with, say, tripadvisor people aren’t hanging out more than they need to when they are planning a vacation.So is that really a community?For that matter AVC would be considered a community (not being monetized by choice) but the amount of people who comment on a regular basis is actually small in relation to the total people who view the site. So is that a community? (Most people would say it is but is it if the majority of people aren’t saying anything?)

          1. Lisa Mogull

            LE Thanks for giving me interesting stuff to think about…My definition of a community doesn’t involve monetization. But, plenty of communities are built in hopes of reaping the monetary rewards of gathering a social unit and/or a group of like-minded people.According to Wikipedia: “Since the advent of the Internet, the concept of community has less geographical limitation, as people can now gather virtually in an online community and share common interests regardless of physical location.””Community can refer to a usually small, social unit of any size that shares common values. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.”eBay is definitely a community by any definition. My mom is a powerseller on eBay and she and her antique-collecting friends communicate on a regular basis. She’s also met with several of them in real life. eBay has changed the collecting communities and pricing because entire communities of collectors can get together virtually. In the past a collector and a seller had to be in same physical location in order for the sale to happen.Same with AVC. Many people lurk most of the time but they are still linked to the community by shared intent. I’ve made quite a few real life friends from this community even though I rarely post. IMHO there is no reason someone has to be a permanent member of a community. It’s just like any neighborhood, people come and go. So I think that tripadvisor and Amazon’s temporary groups still qualify. “But to me that’s a separate category. Needs a different name.” I think that’s just semantics.

          2. LE

            Understood.Maybe the way to think about it is in terms of how communities are referred to in real life.For example there are obviously communities in NY State.Or at Harvard.And they would be referred to that way when they share common values.The LGBT community in Fishkill NY. (Noting that Fishkill is a community in NY State as well. Because the people there might share a common NIMBY interest.)The freshman community at Harvard.However you probably wouldn’t refer to NY State as a community since in no way possible could something so large be a community. Right? Remember this is not digital it’s analog. You can stretch any definition but what I am looking for is more “in the direction of” which is analog and doesn’t have clear demarcation points.LIkewise while your mother is part of a community on ebay, then what ebay is – is really a ________ of communities.Otoh AVC is not really a ________ of communities. It’s is a a community.__________ = need a snappy word for this.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Yup, now we have a third rule:(1) Never can tell what a woman will do next — source ‘The Big Sky Country’.(2) Never argue with a woman — source, any man who ever tried!And, now for the new, rule(3) Always realize that women are the grand masters at social understanding!

        2. awaldstein

          Of course, but considering Yelp, eBay or Amazon a community feels like a big stretch.A bunch of people shopping, an Amazon soapbox to share opinions (no matter how brilliant a feature) doesn’t to me at least have community dynamics.

          1. ErikSchwartz

            Etsy seems a better example than ebay. I rarely have am ongoing relationship with an ebay user (buyer or seller). Yes periodically I will watch a particular seller but that is rare and almost always a one-way relationship.On the other hand I could see communities developing around a particular etsy seller. Although it seems Etsy feels more “corporate” (wrong word) than crafty recently.

          2. awaldstein

            The whole idea of social and community commerce is instructive but aspirational I think.I agree there are probably some communities around some merchants on Etsy but invariably marketplaces aren’t communities in the strictest (whatever that is) sense.Kickstarter is the most interesting anomaly. There is no community of merchants and no real community of users yet for campaigns that touch us we create flash communities of interest across our networks that drive the dollars. Can’t not love KS.The one that proved that it couldn’t work was Facebook. 8 zillion storefronts and there is no commerce from a transactional perspective that I know of there. Although Shopify is trying to unearth this again.The one that may prove everyone wrong is Wattpad. Amazing community and I’m watching to see how they monetize.

      2. Vineeth Kariappa


        1. awaldstein

          This community, and a great one it is, is not a commerce site at all.It has a business model for one individual Fred of course, it has value for those who participate, there is some business as an offshoot.You think different.AND–avc is always the corner case, A very poor industry example of a model as you know.

          1. Vineeth Kariappa

            “model is not media”. Crazy pageviews/ day. All he has to do is;1. Get his VC frnds to post here too (PV will increase).2. Start something like kickstarter (where he tells ppl the biz he likes n is investing in, ppl will follow, he does this already but, not for gain).

          2. awaldstein

            Not getting your point.Bolt on monetization never works just because it can.

          3. Vineeth Kariappa

            this is an community not centered on media. Fred can turn it in2 a multiple VC blog/ fundraiser, he does not want to. The potential of eCommerce is always there. He’s not interested in money 🙂 (everything Fred has referred the community to support, has met its goal)

  12. whitneymcn

    Totally agree — I’m working on a post (which, after listening to sage counsel is turning into three different posts) about exactly this.I think that the current crop of ephemeral/anonymous apps *are* in large part a reaction to Facebook and the evolution of monolithic identity online, but also that they’re the very early stages of a reworking of identity online…a new phase.

  13. Peter Andruszkiewicz

    Thanks, God! Anonymity makes people weird.

  14. jschless

    Yes, yes. I’m trying to understand what audience isresponsible for turning fads to phases, and making things stick. I don’tbelieve it is as simple as, say Hushpuppies (to reference Tipping Point) andtheir brand resurgence, which Gladwell cites was due to “hip” NewYork trend setters. On the web, who are the trendsetters? Who are those”hipsters” and are they responsible for making things stick?

  15. bfeld

    I’m betting yoga is a phase <g>.

    1. fredwilson

      i am trying to make it so it is not a phase. it’s hard

      1. bfeld

        As with meditation, don’t try. You can’t get a good grade at yoga. Well – I guess you can construct some ridiculous reality where that’s the goal, but having listened to Amy about it for 20 years, I’m regularly reminded that yoga is simply physical preparation for meditation, which is goalless.

        1. fredwilson

          it has real physical benefits for me. i have chronic pain/stress in the upper back and shoulders. if i do yoga 2-3 times a week (an hour long class), the pain is gone. if i stop going, it comes back.

          1. bfeld

            Oh – I know. And that’s awesome. So I guess the goal is “get rid of pain” which is part of why I meditate (different kind of pain…)

          2. fredwilson

            well i always feel great right after yoga

  16. Sean Hull

    I think your point is an important one. Fads can be quite seductive in technology.From a tip here on AVC, I picked up Dave Eggers’ book The Circle a few days ago. It weaves an amazing story about many of these social problems we’re struggling through.I’ve seen similar things in startup architectures over the years. Some have chosen what could almost be termed the fashionable technology of the minute, to build their app or product, only to struggle maintaining & supporting the code just a couple years later.These tech fads & fashions are one of the reasons why I think managers sometimes underestimate operational costs:http://www.iheavy.com/2014/

  17. Kevin Staniszewski

    I disagree completely. Although there may come a time where facebook could be replaced, I do not believe that it will be replaced with an “anonymous app.” People are too obsessed with themselves and constantly strive for individual recognition and attention. Facebook (and Myspace as well) does just that and allows individuals to feel a sense of importance by allowing their pictures/status updates to get “likes,”have others leave comments on them, share them, etc.

  18. JimHirshfield

    Phad; Just barley funny.Anywho…Hoppiness is the key to a fulfilling life.

  19. fredwilson

    If i have to be a phad, I’d sure like it spelled that way!

  20. RichardF


  21. Twain Twain

    Phanks for phat phun! :*)

  22. ShanaC


  23. ErikSchwartz

    I’ve been here for what? 8 years now. Not a fad or a phase.

  24. Donna Brewington White

    It’s phorever. Well relatively speaking.

  25. JimHirshfield

    OK, Phred.

  26. LE

    Personally I’m not a fan of that whole ghetto as fashion and culture. Or outlaw biker etc. (Like doctors and lawyers on Harley’s for example..)

  27. JamesHRH

    Brew up a couple more puns last night Jim?

  28. JimHirshfield

    They are only ever served up fresh. Never ever made the night before. Lots more on tap.

  29. John Revay


  30. Vasudev Ram


  31. JLM

    .I was in Marble Falls, Texas, when a group of professional guys — lawyers, accountants, bankers — on Harleys ran into a scrum from the Bandidos in San Antone.It was the parking lot of the Bluebonnet Grill. The Bluebonnet is the kind of place you ride through the Hill Country and then have a burger and a piece of pie. You stop on the way home from camp. Greatest pies in captivity.The Bandidos, who are a very very very dangerous organized crime bunch, made some of the banker bikers “disrobe”.Luckily the cops finally showed up. Even then it was a close call.If you are going to hang on a Harley do not fraternize with the Bandidos.JLM.

  32. LE

    Great story.While I never encourage or support any type of violence or intimidation I also as a matter of course make it a point to avoid, at any reasonable possible cost and trouble, any chance of being in the wrong place or situation at the wrong time. And also of generally trying to be prepared as much as possible for the unexpected. [1]My guess is that it was not out of the realm of possibility to anticipate that the above event might happen.Summary: Don’t be lazy. Don’t be cheap. Don’t rely on others judgement if the downside matters. Always triangulate.[1] What is it I heard that a pilot always needs to know his plan b landing at any point in time?

  33. LE

    (Can’t cut and paste so look at screen shot below…)Hey just discovered you can do drag and drop with disqus.

  34. JLM

    .A “good” pilot is constantly scanning for emergency landing sites. It is actually fatiguing. At all times, you know how far you can glide to an airport or an open field. [Hint: You can typically glide 1-1.3 miles for each 1,000′ of altitude. Remember to subtract the elevation of the ground from your calculations.]On the other hand, this is also why you need a concealed handgun license. Remember to actually carry the pistol.Get a hot, hard Italian named Beretta (the .380 is lovely, it never jams because it has what is called a “garbage mouth”).JLM.

  35. LE

    Yeah. I actually helped Rick get rickspicks.com from the previous owner. Um, Rick went to Yale by the way. Marketing wise it’s an acceptable move (hey anything to earn a buck, right?[1] ) But I wouldn’t raise my children to speak in that manner. Generally.[1] Serve the masses, eat with the classes.

  36. LE

    You can typically glide 1-1.3 miles for each 1,000′ of altitude. Remember to subtract the elevation of the ground from your calculations.Curious whether if one flys enough this calculation becomes automatic and without thinking similar to the way your brain knows whether it can dive in a pool or not? Or you sort of know “safe distance to car in front” even though the speed is not a constant when driving and you don’t actually do the calcs.

  37. JLM

    .Pilots become lazy.Good pilots are constantly punching the NEAREST button on their GPS showing the nearest airport. The world is filled with airports.You want to be able to glide to an airport if you can. Sometimes you might actually alter your flight path to be able to fly over available runways.You are constantly scanning if flying VFR and will get a bit complacent if the ground under your wings is suitable for an emergency landing.Almost all terrain from Austin to East Coast is good flat emergency landing ground. Urban areas are more challenging.If you are flying over good dirt, the calculation is unnecessary.JLM.

  38. LE

    Yeah I rushed that deal through.What I found with a bit of research was that this guitar player had a pending trademark:http://www.rickspickslive.chttp://tsdr.uspto.gov/#case…My fear was that he might make an offer for the name which would greatly increase the price and potentially start a bidding war for the name.The seller was a wine shop in CT.After the sale was done they had a fire a short time afterwords:http://www.nbcconnecticut.c…Looks like they are now reopening (finally):http://madisonwineshop.com/(Note: All of this is public info. Except for my narrative which is, um, © LE)