What I Write About And What I Don't

There was a discussion in the comments on this week’s fun friday post about me “pimping” our portfolio too much. To which I responded with this:

i am my portfolio. its all the same thing. i go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it. i would blog way more about it than i do but i can’t talk about most of the stuff that is going on in my portfolio.

It’s the latter point I want to talk about a bit today. Every day I run a bunch of blog topics through my head before deciding what I am going to write about. And most of them get rejected because they are “too close to home” meaning they are too specific to something that is going on right now in my work life. There is one thing right now, for example, that would make a great blog post but there is no way I can talk about it. That is almost always the case.

Here are some rules I live by:

1) If an entrepreneur walks into our office and tells us/me something that is not publicly known, it is confidential unless I explicitly ask for permission to mention it on AVC and receive permission.

2) If something happens in our portfolio, in a board meeting, in the company, or even in the market, and it is not public, then it remains confidential and I do not blog about it unless I’m asked to.

3) I don’t mention people by name unless I ask them and they OK it. There are times I don’t comply with this one perfectly. Last week I mentioned AVC community member Kirk Loveย in a blog post by name but left his wife’s name out. Kirk is known to this community and the mention was pretty harmless. This is something I manage as best I can. I think I do a decent job of it but it’s always a calculation.

4) If its a grey area, I don’t blog about it. Better to be safe than sorry.

What I should do and don’t, at least right now, is write down all of these things I’d like to write about but can’t, so that I could come back to them in the future when they are in a place where it is possible to talk about them. Not everything gets to that place. But a lot of things do. I will think about starting to do that.

I find myself in the middle of, or have a courtside seat for, a lot of super interesting things. But I can’t and don’t write about most of them. Which is a bummer for me and a bummer for all of you too.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Seth Godin

    Here’s the thing: It’s your blog, Fred! The people who complain about what you write about ought to have their own blog, showing up day after day for years at a time, contributing to the conversation, leading the discussion and asking nothing (nothing) in return.There’s a triple standard:Bad TV is of course free, but filled with commercials.Paid media is sometimes good, sometimes not, but it’s paid for.The new attention economy, though, sometimes seduces people into thinking that they get the best of both: magically perfect content, but no cost.My position is that if Cory Doctorow or Fred Wilson or Amanda Palmer takes a minute to talk about something that they’ve created, or that they care about, the least I can do is buy it, pay attention, spread the word, care about it too. And the worst I could imagine is complaining when once in a while, a human being speaks up about something they’ve worked hard on.Okay, I’m biased, but I’d like to hear more about your portfolio, about what you’re working on, about the things you care enough to put your name on.Shun the non-believers.

    1. falicon

      +100 – getting the scoop on the portfolio and what Fred’s putting money/thought into is at least 50% of the draw for me…

      1. pointsnfigures

        I was a little put off by that comment actually. Agree with Seth and Falicon, it’s a personal blog. You write about whatever you want to write about. I don’t really care if you pimp your portfolio or not. As a matter of fact, if I was an investor in your fund and you didn’t pimp your portfolio on your own blog, I’d wonder why I was invested in your fund. I learned how to pimp my portfolio on your blog!

        1. Kirsten Lambertsen


      2. Donna Brewington White

        Exactly. It’s a goldmine. Ha, in more ways than one.

    2. Richard

      There is a tremendous cost to the content (free or paid) consumer: thier time.

    3. fredwilson

      Not shun. Shame ๐Ÿ˜‰

      1. Jeff Jarvis

        But never feed the trolls.

      2. jason wright

        “pimping”?i’m happy to be quoted, but ‘gaming’ your riposte with a material inaccuracy confirms my original observation.

    4. Anne Libby

      Agree. And yet, this is a shadow of the idea of the personal brand.I’m a mentor to a HS student in a structured mentorship program. This past week I had a very negative reaction to being programmatically directed to talk with her about the importance of building her “personal brand.”She’s not a laundry detergent, she’s a high school student. A person. Like any of us who put ourselves out in the world.The notion that putting yourself out there invites unsolicited public or private “feedback”? From strangers? On how one should face the world?That’s no way to be a human being.

      1. panterosa,

        Personal brand is so tricky where it intersects with professional brand. It’s only done well seamlessly by few people.

          1. Donna Brewington White


        1. awaldstein

          invariably when they are successful they are the same thing.Can’t think of many–no any–where they are different, coincident to each other and successful honestly.Sure there are but none that I know of off hand.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            It’s authenticity that counts. Hard to have two separate authentic identities.

          2. awaldstein

            Unless you are bipolar ๐Ÿ˜‰

          3. Emily Merkle

            if you’re kidding, cool. if you are serious – or kind of either – not very cool at all.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Maybe the term “personal brand” is off-putting especially when thinking about a high school girl but we live in an online world where at younger ages we are building a public identity. I think kids need to be acutely aware of what they are presenting to the world.And it is possible to shape our lives and work around the persona we create. I don’t have a problem with our online identity being somewhat aspirational as long as it is a genuine expression of our intent and investment, and is authentic. The gap needs to be continually closing. That was part of my own reinvention process.

        1. Anne Libby

          To @leigh’s point, If you have to construct yourself like a brand, there’s a bigger problem. Learning how to understand what you put out into the world will in part dictate how people view you is a separate discussion. And the other day, seeing Fred’s post on music, I thought, how could this go wrong?By taking a personal blog post as an invitation for “brand” feedback. It’s a few degrees removed from some of the invective we see hurled at people online, simply for daring to exist online. Not unrelated.

      3. Matt Zagaja

        In the good old days they used to call it reputation.

        1. Anne Libby

          Exactly, Matt!That’s the flip side of my point, and it’s why parents teach kids to behave themselves. Not to brand themselves.

      4. ShanaC

        This is something I struggle with constantly. I do recognize there are “brand” parts of me for business purposes and even for certain social circumstances but I know I am more than that, and if I became or am forced into just the brand I actually do become depressed. I stop being a person and become something step ford wife ish. Telling high school girls they should do so young is not healthy. Making them understand about public versus private projection of the self is a wholly different matter.

        1. Emily Merkle

          Shana, really nice explanation of your struggle. Nice that you can open up here honestly and humbly. I can identify, but more along the lines of growing up “different” and then working on reconciling that without feeling like I have to “fit in”. A grind, fir real.

          1. ShanaC

            I’m doing a lot of work on it right now. I’m 2015 and 2016 are going to be very different years for me

        2. Anne Libby

          Yup. A better actual discussion than “disqussion.”

          1. ShanaC

            always on for it

          2. Anne Libby

            “Next year!”

      5. leigh

        If you have to construct yourself like a brand, there’s a bigger problem. Learning how to understand what you put out into the world will in part dictate how people view you is a separate discussion. Over the past couple years I’ve really learned to hate the term personal brand building.

        1. Anne Libby

          +1000. If I could bitcoin tip your comment, I would…

    5. LE

      It’s your blog, Fred! The people who complain about what you write about ought to have their own blog, showing up day after day for years at a time, contributing to the conversation, leading the discussion and asking nothing (nothing) in return.I’m in the camp as I’ve said elsewhere that Fred is free to say what he wants and people are free to leave if they want.That said the people who complain are not people that are in a position to write a blog that anyone would want to read. Fred is a celebrity in a particular area and that is why people come to this blog. You are a celebrity and write books. That is why people will read what you say on your blog. [1] Because you have a halo around you (as does Fred). Which you earned as Fred earned the following on his blog (to be as clear as I can..)Anyone important enough that people care about them, could write a blog and would stand at least a chance if executed correctly of having a following. “If executed correctly”.These are not the people who are criticizing Fred.”John Doerr” is not criticizing Fred. “John Doe” is criticizing Fred.asking nothing (nothing) in return.You make it sound as if it’s a selfless act. That’s like saying that you write books and that you ask for “nothing in return”. Fred blogs for many reason one being it’s good for business. It’s marketing. And he enjoys doing so. He has often called it “my secret weapon”. That’s not to take away from the effort Fred puts in in any way. I write comments and ask for “nothing in return”. I’ve gotten “something in return” but that is not why I comment. I comment because I enjoy doing so and it makes me feel good. I would never say “I get nothing in return”. I get a great deal in return in the way that it makes me feel.[1] We can do a test. Next time you want to make a comment on AVC post it anonymously and early on and see if it gets anywhere near 27 upvotes.

    6. Nick Devane

      There is Fred’s writing and then the community around it.If I am not mistaken, Fred is saying we don’t really get the opportunity to hear about the portfolio at moments when the pimping would significantly matter.AVC’s time is justifiably invested in stuff Fred finds interesting, whether its drones, a charity, Sonos sound systems or a company (portfolio or otherwise). It would feel disingenuous if his companies were not a big part of this.Most of the posts in the last year about a recent investment have come from Andy or Albert then Fred links to them in a ‘sub’ announcement post. The community debates, but the ‘pimping’ is not really at the hands of Fred. And as many have already said, why would you not post about your investments consistently given the network effects of these blogs? I wonder how many people joined Onename after Fred’s post about it? And more importantly, I’d wager he wrote that post and made the investment because he believes in the importance of blockchain in the context of personal identity. Smart business all around.One of the unique factors to AVC as a young person trying to learn about the industry from any spout or spigot I can find is the consistent frankness that creates a sense of trust. The reason I’ll always see whats good at AVC is because of posts like that about Airbnb. Another unique factor is the community keeping him, and each other, honest.

      1. Donna Brewington White

        Really well said Nick. I so agree. And I salivate when Fred writes about his portfolio.

    7. William Davidson

      jasonpwright, By virtue of this post, the topic is all around you. Not sure if you are able to infer it. It is staring for the rest of us here

    8. jason wright

      “Shun the non-believers”.Seth, if he followed that advice his portfolio would decay rapidly.

  2. William Mougayar

    I think there’s another category where you sanitize some details, but still write about it, without revealing who was involved. I like those because they are typically about something recent, and offer a lesson for the current times.

    1. Nicholas Bagg


    2. Donna Brewington White

      I like this idea because I think the real-time insight could be valuable and particularly interesting given Fred’s information and experience base — some really juicy startups in the USV portfolio. But some of us who are paying close enough attention might figure out what/who he’s talking about. I think about a few Oreo Tells from Fred over the years — not sure whether or not they were intentional.

    3. falicon

      Still pretty hard because the people in the situation are likely going to know/think what he’s really talking about…and though it wouldn’t be public, it can very likely cause some un-needed tension in the relationship.At the end of the day, Fred has to worry the most about relationships with his portfolio companies…second most about his (and the firms) reputation…and somewhere *way* down the line, what his blog readers think/want.I think he does an amazing job of balancing that and still providing great value to all parties considering how many times these things can be at odds.

      1. Sean Hull

        I had an experience once where I was in discussions with a prospect about an upcoming project. Our conversation helped frame the problem. The advice I shared ended up steering things in a new direction, saving them a boatload of money. As it turns out I didn’t get hired for the gig in the end. Which was shall we say just a little bit frustrating.I wrote about it here:http://www.iheavy.com/2012/…The blog post ended up in my newsletter to which the guy was a subscriber. Although all specific mentions were removed, he did read it & knew immediately it was about our conversations.He was very grateful. He did write me a great testimonial, but in the end I still came up short.I think it’s important to write about those experiences so we can all learn from them.

    4. fredwilson

      Yeah. That’s tricky though

  3. LaMarEstaba

    When I had to keep almost everything to myself, my blog output halved. I couldn’t talk about the things that I learned and thought about all day, because they were proprietary information. As a result, I’m sure I’ve forgotten things that I’ve learned about the healthcare industry. My blog is a way for me to sort out what I’m thinking about something (alongside my journal), and my blog particularly is a good way to push me to look for resources and related ideas. I think it would be great to draft ideas that you can’t talk about, so you wait for their time in the sun.

  4. Dave Pinsen

    A lot of super interesting stuff that you can’t write about now you may be able to write about later.

    1. Nicholas Bagg

      Right – make the list and share later on!

  5. Tom Labus

    With something like Caterina Fake leaving the Etsy Board, as Chairwomen, would you speculate what it means for the company or is it too close?

    1. fredwilson

      She was part of the Etsy seed round with USV. She and I served together for eight years. Eight years is an eternity. She is leaving having done more for Etsy than any other board member. She should go to the board member hall of fame for all that she has done for Etsy. She deserves a retirement from this job.

  6. Sean Killeen

    I think this makes perfect sense, and is obvious for a large portion of your audience.I do hope that you wrote these things somewhere for yourself (albeit in a safe and guaranteed private space). Having a “courtside seat”, as you put it, to these events seems like a truly special perspective. And while these things are private now, at one point, they may not be. At that time, I think they’d make for great posts, or great foundation for memoirs. At the very least, you deserve to get to capture the courtside experience for yourself in the way that only your writing does.

  7. Donna Brewington White

    So now you’ve just whet our appetites even further. Yes, this is a bummer. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Anne Libby

      Good to “see” you, Donna!

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        +1 !

        1. Donna Brewington White

          Oh!!! Thank you.Group hug @annelibby:disqus @MsPseudolus:disqus @ShanaC:disqusSorry to be so scarce. Not completely MIA, just ordering “to go” more lately but MISS the engagement. xoxo

    2. ShanaC

      Welcome back donna

  8. John Frankel

    You are your portfolio. This is a far stronger statement than one a hedge fund or mutual fund manager can say. They can sell, they can go short, but yo are long only, and long for a long, long time. A VC is they portfolio, because they are not only financially vested in the outcome, but emotionally vested in the process, the strategy and most of all the people.Anyone reading a VC’s blog/Facebook posts, Tweets, comments on stage, and other utterances should understand this. It is not blatant promotion, it is just we live in our companies’s shoes so often we feel part of them.In a similar way, few understand how upsetting it is when a company does not work out. It is not the financial pain, it is the emotional pain that comes with vesting so much time, care, energy and resources to help that company be successful. This heartache comes with the territory and is again hardly understood.Anyone who says a VC ‘pimps their portfolio’ does not understand this relationship. A VC who is disconnected about their companies is a VC that no founder would want to have involved in their company. A good VC is passionate and engaged. A good VC is their portfolio.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Ya, as a former trader I totally understand and agree with your point. The market is impersonal. Companies are personal.

    2. fredwilson

      Damn straight John. Could not have said it better myself

    3. William Mougayar

      Actually, Fred takes it a step further, and he often writes about companies that aren’t in their portfolio.

    4. LE

      Anyone who says a VC ‘pimps their portfolio’ does not understand this relationship.I’m always amazed by people who don’t understand business period.Always quick to jump on a business by using words like “rip off” or “take advantage of” or “rook you” and so on. No way they would ever see or know about the other side. Everybody is a Madoff. Everyone is trying to take advantage of you. Except the people who do it in a non visible way and are masters of talking a good game.In the end people feel this way in part because of what those who write (who typically have never run a business) say. [1] If they feature a story, for example about an airline “sneaking in baggage fees” or a bank “jacking up ATM fees” just the use of the words “sneaking in” or “jacking up” is enough to brainwash people into thinking that what they have done is wrong.[1] Also bland headlines and words don’t get much attention. So like everyone else (those that they protest) they are doing what is in their own self interest.

  9. JaredMermey

    Not to jump the gun too quickly, but you have a written about life after USV in the past. Do you think the rules towards AVC will differ then?

    1. fredwilson

      No I don’t

  10. falicon

    I use trello to keep a log of ‘blog post ideas’…some have been there for a *really* long time and I may never end up writing them…but at least I don’t have to keep the idea in my head anymore ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. WA

    Constraints. Imposed or lifted. It’s what engineers do…no?

    1. abcdef

      self-imposed; certainly not the sole domain of engineers.

      1. WA

        We are all engineers at something.

        1. Emily Merkle

          good point.

  12. Aiwang

    I love your blog do not change a thing!

  13. Bala

    Please pimp your portfolio more… we learn when you do, it allows us to understand the thinking that went behind the investment. The learnings is why I read everything you write about and point to. There is no other vicarious way to see how you think than based on what you write. I love what you do and I hope more people do the same and “pimp” their work, it will keep all of us honest as there is nothing hidden. The same cannot be said for some of the mainstream media and the editors behind them.

  14. William Mougayar

    Another way to look at it is that this blog is your brand. Its sum & variety are what make-up our brand’s experience with it. It is what it is. One thing I know about you, is that you speak your mind openly, and you’re not easily swayed by other people’s perceptions. You know exactly who you are, and you’re not afraid to expose that.

  15. Jon Michael Miles

    There are other perspectives from other VCs in other market segments out there. It’s called engaging in a community. It’s called not being lazy. The amount of information you bring about the entire community far outweighs any boosting that’s done for the USV portfolio.

  16. Lance Trebesch

    Fred,I second Seth and John on this thread. AVC and its portfolio is your life, well at least your working life. If you were opining from afar, your content would have far less value in my view. You are living and breathing this everyday. You are in the game. And for us, your readers, it means we learn. Thank you.Lance

  17. JimHirshfield

    Let’s face it… You’d be boring if you didn’t write about your portfolio ;-)In all seriousness, as I said on Friday…”He puts his money where his mouth is.So he’s entitled to put his mouth where his money is.”

    1. Jim Peterson

      Filing away that comment Jim for future use!

  18. Richard

    This is the difference between a social blog and a relationship.

  19. John Pepper

    I often craft half-baked blogs and emails and posts based on real-time stuff and then put a big “UNSENT” in the title, send it to myself, and hold it safely for the right day or chapter. I have about 200 of them saved so far. It’s a good way to deal with the things you can’t post yet but still want to get the content down while its fresh (and often juicy)

  20. Kirsten Lambertsen

    “But I canโ€™t and donโ€™t write about most of them. Which is a bummer for me and a bummer for all of you too.”I can’t imagine letting myself get bummed about the things I don’t know I don’t know about.I think it’s legit and stimulating if someone wants to challenge your opinions or position on something. But it makes no sense to criticize how you blog or what you blog about. It’s like coming to someone’s house and asking them to change the art on the walls.

  21. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I know a lot of people just jot a note for an idea right into a draft post and then save it as a draft. Idea saved in the exact place where you might need it later.

    1. Drew Meyers

      I used to do that all the time. Most of the time I never went back to finish them –> so I largely stopped doing it.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        I’m such an epic fail as a blogger, I have zero qualification to comment.

  22. Pramod Dikshith

    May be you can voice record your thoughts so that you can write abt it later

  23. Jeff Jarvis

    How can you generously share the lessons you learn without the context in which you learn them? I’m just glad you’re not writing about music so much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. panterosa,

    The Someday/Maybe file a la David Allen is a crucial place to put ideas you can’t act on right away. It’s like a chamber of secret inner desires which actually yield a huge amount of actionable awesomeness, if you give them enough time. I dreamt about one of my great desires last night and am this morning am filled with inspiration.

  25. OurielOhayon

    my rule of thumb: blog about anything you would not be embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about to a perfect stranger in real life.

    1. fredwilson

      Good one

      1. LE

        Not edgy and not real enough.

  26. PhilipSugar

    Your memoirs are going to be very, interesting, maybe more than the blog!!You are biased for your portfolio companies. You are also biased from a VC perspective, I have a bias from the entrepreneurial perspective.Of course! And you should! It truly is who you are!Nothing breeds jealously like success.So when you see those comments you know the root cause.Only fools argue with fools, and if somebody can’t figure out your perspective they are a fool.

  27. Greg Kieser

    You’re allowed to riff… which I think you actually do somewhat. It just so happens the guitar you riff with most often is your portfolio. I learn a lot from your posts and talks (and even some of your commenters). And I’m able to apply it to how I think about my work. So keep riffing!

  28. Drew

    I’ve been reading your blog for years and I’ve never once felt that you “pimp out your portfolio.” In fact, I sometimes think the opposite, wishing you were able to share more about your holdings, such as developments at SoundCloud. Don’t let the comment sway you. Thank you for sharing all the insightful information and opinions that you do!

  29. Laura Dierks

    I certainly appreciate you talking about the companies you are backing. The term “pimping” is so misaligned with the intent – I find it hard to believe anyone who follows you at all would be confused in that way (but then again, I find others’ thoughts amazing at times (see my husband’s post today on twitter.com/tdierks) Your portfolio and what you think about it is why I keep reading.

  30. Sol

    A VC’s job is to do everything they can to help their portfolio. If USV invested in any ofmy ventures (current or future) I would love to be blogged about. Im not sure where the disconnect is. You’re doing your job! PIMP away!

    1. LE

      The word pimp is derived from and has in many circles a negative connotation.I think that using “pimp” to describe what Fred does is patronizing.If you want to get nowhere in the business world then just be a Quaker and keep to yourself. (I went to a Quaker school and they were very good about never tooting their own horn or wanting any publicity….of course they were quite willing to take money from someone who made that money in any way possible….)

  31. LE

    1) If an entrepreneur walks into our office and tells us/me something that is not publicly known, it is confidential unless I explicitly ask for permission to mention it on AVC and receive permission.I’m curious how you memorialize the fact that you have received permission? Obviously you’re not going to get a signed contract (haha) but on the other hand someone verbally saying “oh it’s ok to say xyz” isn’t much in a world where someone has as much going on as you do. With a handshake deal (“ok to say”) it’s easy for either party to forget or misunderstand an agreement that was made.One of the things that I don’t like about verbal conversations is that unless the conversation is taped, many nuances are open to interpretation later when it suits one particular parties purpose. As such if I have an important verbal conversation I would typically (in many or most cases) follow up with an email of a summary of points that were made. If I don’t do that for some reason I typically (in most cases) make a written summary of the key points in a simple textedit document for my own notes. [1][1] Note all the wiggle words I used to describe my practices…

  32. LE

    3) I donโ€™t mention people by name unless I ask them and they OK it. There are times I donโ€™t comply with this one perfectly. Last week I mentionedI think all anyone can ask for in this area is a “good faith effort” understanding that in some cases things will slip through the cracks.In my personal life (as opposed to business life) I have a saying. “Once you are no longer the owner of the information it’s not yours anymore to decide what happens to it”.What that means is that if something is super secret (a personal matter) then don’t put the onus on the person that you tell to keep their mouth shut (so you can have the pleasure of telling them which is probably why you are doing it) because they might slip up as opposed to intentionally release the info. And you have no right to get mad at them for doing so since there is no way to know for sure that they didn’t just make a mistake or forget that it was confidential. [1] Besides you put the burden on them they didn’t ask for it (unless of course they begged for it which does happen as we all know.) If you don’t want the info to get out, then don’t tell anyone the info (once again, person info).The sharing of info also has to do with the circles that you operate in. I’m always amused when my ex wife tells me something and wants to swear me to secrecy. Like who am I going to tell that info to? We don’t live in the same area, we don’t share the same friends, and by the way I don’t keep secrets from my new wife so don’t tell me if you don’t want her to know. Not worth knowing.[1] Do people seriously think that someone has time to keep in their brain a “0” and a “1” attached to every bit of information so they know what is private and what is non private unless it’s so obviously private that you would know it’s a “0”?

  33. Twain Twain

    Every single one of us “pimps” and hustles (euphemism: markets, sells) because that’s the nature of startups and if we didn’t pimp and hustle we wouldn’t get resistance from others (alongside the fun) and then we wouldn’t be learning and building up character from that resistance and working out how to communicate and present ourselves, our ideas and why we do what we do and think what we do better.The simple fact of you writing this blog post — to explain the processes and motivations behind WHY you write about some subjects / companies / situations and not others — is an example of you learning whilst the community is also learning.Your blog is a perspective, the community’s comments are another perspective, our own opinions are yet another one and then there are other sources.The more perspectives we gain, the more we all learn.Remember what Steve Jobs said in that ‘Lost interview’ about throwing different shaped stones into the washing machine and the friction between them making beautiful, valuable rocks by the end of the wash (aka diamonds).None of us have to be clones of Fred or “do/read/say what Fred does”. That would be seriously boring. Just because you write about your investment portfolio doesn’t mean any of us HAS to go and join Soundcloud / KIK / coXYZ.There’s something fantastic called “free will” and choice in our intelligence.So please continue to post what you’d like to post and each of us can choose to challenge, agree with or ask for more information from you and others in the community, accordingly.

  34. Jim Peterson

    What’s cool is that what is on your mind, even if you can’t talk about it, comes out anyway, in some different form…nice to have you in the vortex of so many interesting things!

  35. Steven Lowell

    Here’s one thing I never understood about people who complained that a person self promotes too much: You’re working online. You have to talk about what you believe in and you mention what you are working on and why you believe In It. Otherwise people won’t know you exist.Your portfolio happens to be the most interesting thing I read about because It Inspires Ideas. I need that especially in a boring industry like I’m in right now.If you want talk about the type of hand drying machines or towels you have in your bathroom at Union Square Ventures or the latest marketing trend or tech startup, it’s a hell of a lot more than I knew 5 minutes before I read your blog.Your musings are great. I dont get why people act like everything someone else does for free has to be of service to them. No one owns you and you own this blog.I learn so much reading your blogs. I greatly appreciate it more than you know.Thank you and happy holidays!

  36. SubstrateUndertow

    AVC dot comits right there up front in the web handle, it’s like going to there Salvation Army for a free meal an then complaining about a little bit of included quality Christian messaging.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I can’t like this more than once.

    2. leigh

      But kind of not like that since many people who give to the salvation army don’t know about their anti-gay views and people who are hungry aren’t likely to put politics/religion over their human right to eat. (sorry not feeling the love for the Salvation Army yet lots of love for AVC so not a fan of the analogy)

  37. Janice Holden

    Anything you feel like sharing, keep writing, yo !! You are a brand unto yourself. Don’t worry about the feedback. The community will steer it in the right direction. Love you

  38. ShanaC

    I’m actually thankful for this. It’s one of of the reason I’ve stuck around for so long . I trust you do ethically right things, and if I ask, you’ll give me guidance and not tell people that I’m one of those people who actually would ask. Since I’m betting I’m like most people, thank you

  39. Supratim Dasgupta

    Fred, I am fairly new to your post.I work late and the first thing i mostly read on my phone(still in bed) is your post. The things I look for are. 1. If you are dissecting any startup for what its doing good and what it is not.2.Your view on how startups are utilizing or mis-utilizing VC money(e.g Spoonrocket has started to suck as soon as VC money tightened).3.Lessons from failed investments/startups. Most VC bury the dead quietly. But you can certainly play a fatherly role to all startups advising them on mistakes and pitfalls. I guess all of us will appreciate atleast one VC to come out and speak the honest truth on failures, pitfalls that we can learn from.I read few other blogs but a lot of advice goes against common sense and over and over again I see those startups fail. Would sincerely appreciate you writing about lessons, mistakes and the difficult side of building a long term business. These can and maynot be your portfolio companies and as a top VC you should have no hesitance in providing your independent views. Am sure a lot us like me spend 10 mins of our busy lives reading your post to learn from it and apply to our startups.

  40. Jan Schultink

    It is a big compliment if people feel that AVC has become such an institution that its editorial policy now goes beyond “whatever-Fred-Wilson-feels-like-writing about”.

  41. Al

    Well said. The value from this blog is about your experiences and insight. I appreciate that you are able to give examples from your portfolio as appropriate, and the references help give credibility to your position or the trends you are seeing. Thank you for creating this blog and do appreciate all that you contribute.

  42. leigh

    I’ve joined a lot of start-ups early on (and not and then regretted not getting my name on Twitter) bc of this blog. I find the conversation around those start-ups useful to understanding underlying dynamics of how things are evolving.On a side note, I also find that this blog never feels personal brand buildey. It always feels that it is about business, the startups, the entrepreneurs – the anti-talking head. I’ve seen people get huge egos over waaaaayyyyy less ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. William Mougayar

      very true, but Fred’s brand continues to strengthen as a result of this blog, even if it’s not the direct intention.

      1. leigh

        that would be the strategy where you build a great product and it builds your brand for you ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. William Mougayar

          yes, 100%.

  43. Bobur

    I think @jasonwright got a lot of criticism here. He just shared his opinion, that’s all! Yes, I do disagree with some of his thoughts. But, the comments from others are an overreaction IMHO. This blog is indeed Fred’s baby, but it should be completely OK for Fred to receive feedback.

  44. matthughes

    Word, Fred.It’s your blog, which is exactly why I always come back.

  45. Boss Hogg

    Interesting, but I have never been concerned about what you write about. If I’m interested, I read. If I’m not, I don’t.

  46. LE

    Everyone knows that nobody RTFM’s though….Reminds me a bit of what Paul Graham did here:http://www.paulgraham.com/k…The problem (not saying btw that it’s not a decent idea in some ways …but…) is that it then becomes a slippery slope. You would have to update the page giving all sorts of caveats to fit other circumstances. My personal feeling is that the labor of love which is AVC should be approached from the angle of the gays who said at one point “we’re here, we’re queer, get used to it”. In other words Fred says what he says, and does what he does, and people are free to stay or go as they please. He’s the chief of police and if he wants to rip open the shark to see if there are body parts inside he can do so.

  47. LE

    Putting it in the about section won’t solve the problem unless when someone “does the nasty” a Mod or proxy posts a reply to the comment which points to the “about” page.Likewise I don’t think a tagline would do jack squat and besides it sets the wrong tone and message.I’m reminded of my neighbor who has a sign on his window that says “no solicitors”. I hate that sign. He is not even getting solicited. His receptionist is. She is not even busy. And it’s an insult to anyone who has had done any cold calling (who might also be a patient).Speaking of bread and speaking of things people don’t listen to the deli tells me the reason they can’t put bagels on the counter is that they would have to be wrapped because people want to touch and squeeze to make sure they are fresh. <— Like a prize in the cereal box just for you.