While You Were Away

I saw this in my twitter feed this morning

while you were away

I like that a lot. I don’t see every tweet that is in my feed. I like the idea of Twitter figuring out the ones I’d like to make sure to see and put it right up front and center. Kind of like Gmail’s Priority Inbox, a product I am absolutely reliant on and could not live without.

Well done Twitter.

Full disclosure, I am long TWTR.


Comments (Archived):

  1. kidmercury

    lol so sensitive about twitter. you presumably made a lot of money off it and you genuinely value the product. great! who cares what other people think? seriously. and i say this as a twtr hater/skeptic/dis-believer.

    1. fredwilson

      i’m not really sensitive. i just have decided to go positive publicly. i’ve sold a lot of the stock. and still own a lot. it’s not about that at all.

    2. falicon

      Of all the ‘social’ networks, I personally still love Twitter the most…I don’t give it much time these days, but it still gets more than any other from me. More than any others, I feel like it’s all about what you put into it…follow the right/interesting people for *you* and there is unlimited value in it. Talk about interesting and unique stuff and the marketing and reach potential is unparalleled….and I have never owned any Twitter stock (still don’t)…just a user and a fan in general.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Nice to see you back around here πŸ™‚

        1. falicon

          Hey thanks – I always lurk at least…just been busy scaling pubgears over the past 6 months so haven’t had a lot of time to engage (or just coming late many days).Would love to catch up with you soon if you have time.

    3. LE

      Not sensitivity actually. DSM 6 (not yet issued) might classify this behavior as what I will call a “blog posting tic”. That means it will be replace by another tic at some point. Tics can feel good and soothing to the person who has the compulsion, however they can be disturbing to others. [1] [2][1] You understand this as you used to sign your posts with “911” conspiracy sig’s.[2] My tic.

      1. Otis Funkmeyer

        your tic is footnoting comments?sounds like something straight out of a tom robbins novel.mine is no uppercase πŸ™‚

        1. LE

          Q.E.D. Fred had the exact same “lowercase” tic and replaced it with something else.

  2. LIAD

    Meh.I’m a feed purist and find it an abuse and pollution of my timeline. If something is worthy of being seen I have faith it will crop up in my feed again naturally.Twitter for me is living in the now not replaying the past.Hard to be the heartbeat of humanity if you keep playing reruns.#######- historical tweets be proofMay 26, 2015

    1. William Mougayar

      But how can you review every item in your feed? It’s mind boggling to keep up. Every time I spend 5 mins on it, I find some really interesting content.Just about everything happening on earth is going through Twitter, I can bet you that.

      1. LIAD

        i’ve never reviewed every item and have no intention to.curate a follow list. trust important things will find you.was there a 0.1% possibility i would miss mary meeker’s deck last week? no chance. it hit my feed 20,000 times.

        1. William Mougayar

          true, but there are gems elsewhere. i don’t see every item either, but twitter treasure hunting is always fruitful.

        2. falicon

          I’m happy to have the baseline of ‘common knowledge and opinion’ Twitter gives me…but I also love to pull out the ‘exceptional knowledge and opinion from the edge’ that Twitter connects me with (and you can generally only get that by digging or serendipity).I follow interesting people (to me)…I don’t just want to know what they are talking about as a group, I want to know what interests or excites them on an individual level as well. That’s where the real human connection builds from (and also a big part of what makes this AVC community so interesting, useful, and engaging to me).

        3. Susan Rubinsky

          I agree about following key people. But I also get sick of being connected and check out for days or even a week. When I come back it’s nice that there’s a summary somewhere for me.

      2. awaldstein

        Agree the world is there and I’m a big fan.Keeping up is not a concept I believe in honestly. 85+% of everything just comes to us. The last bit is usually not where the value is.

    2. fredwilson

      that’s what makes marketsi love it and you hate it

      1. LIAD

        Still the right play by Big T though.In terms of product design decisions when you’ve such a huge eclectic audience, when it comes to functionality, Clarence (Kristian Slater) in True Romance said it best: it’s better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.

        1. LE

          Not sure that I agree with that screenwriter that wrote that line. Like all pithy lines the devil is in the details.I’ve given a small amount of thought to the upside and the downside of owning a gun. In my particular case the downside outweighs the upside since having a gun also means the gun:a) can be used against youb) you could use the gun and then be charged with a crime depending on the particular circumstances.c) incite violence … (see “big guy gets into fights” comments the other day).d) Make you more likely to take chances that you wouldn’t take if you didn’t have a gun. (See: 4 Wheel drive makes you more likely to drive in a snowstorm thinking you are invincible..)Bottom line: Evaluation of downside risk always needs to be incorporated into decision.

        2. Richard

          It’s a all about the probability of the need for a gun vs the probability of the harm from owning the gun.

    3. Fernando Gutierrez

      3rd party clients, enjoy them while they last!

    4. Cam MacRae

      Indeed. I’ve found myself replying only to realize halfway through that it’s old hat. Between this “feature” and typically irrelevant promoted tweets I am all out of goodwill for twitter.

  3. Tom Labus

    I have bought TWTR 2x in the last 10 days. A 5 year plan

    1. pointsnfigures

      Selling out of the money puts, I’ll take the stock.

      1. Tom Labus

        Some negative press please

      2. Otis Funkmeyer

        Why not just buy OOM calls? Seems safer to a beginner like myself. Honest question!

        1. pointsnfigures

          If you buy the stock, you have a 50/50 chance of getting it right. If you sell out of the money puts, your odds go up to a 70% chance of getting it right.http://www.benzinga.com/tra…andhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…orhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…

  4. Twain Twain

    I signed up to but never “got into” Twitter even though I get its utility as a real-time IM tool.I own 0 TWTR. Being aware of the innovations happening elsewhere…(1.) TWTR is behind the curve.(2.) With the release of Fabric SDK and given TWTR’s product gaps…NOW is an interesting time to build something cool and different on top of TWTR.

  5. William Mougayar

    It is easy to miss stuff in your Twitter feed, so these notifications help. Twitter added Web and Email configurations settings that can be quite granular. Also, I’m finding value in the daily Email I get from Twitter.

    1. awaldstein

      Feed settings I like.There is no daily update email I get from any service that is much above spam.For investors and pundits I guess it makes sense, for operators invariably a distraction. And almost always more noise than is worth the signal.

      1. Matt A. Myers

        Certain things I like as push notifications, others not

        1. awaldstein

          of course.push notifications and a daily email are not the same thing though.

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Ah yes, sorry, my mind hasn’t been working the past few days – my father passed away three days ago, I even gave away a password in phishing scam yesterday, first time in my life

          2. Anne Libby

            Oh, Matt. I’m so sorry.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            Thank you.

  6. Mario Cantin

    I’m more intrigued by the tweets themselves. I, too, follow Naval, but I missed his tweet. Happiness is a pursuit IMO.As for the future, we can only do our part and time shall tell…

  7. William Mougayar

    Oh, I thought for a moment we were going to discuss Albert’s apocalypse prognosis….

    1. Twain Twain

      Interestingly, he didn’t mention killer robots.

      1. William Mougayar

        his 3 scenarios were more meta than that. it’s in there in one of them, possibly πŸ™‚

        1. Mario Cantin

          “More meta”? You’re not a nerd, are you? Ha, ha, ha, I’m just teasing you William πŸ™‚

        2. Twain Twain

          Ok so the robots are going to become self-aware and launch the nuclear missiles?

    2. Mario Cantin

      The terrestrial abundance he talks about will only come about if we accelerate the pace of technological development by several magnitudes, otherwise he may be right about the dystopian scenarios.

    3. LIAD

      i found his tweet interesting because the worst-case scenario has been static for past 70 years (and will be forever more). the best case however is only going to get increasingly awesome.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        What a great observation πŸ™‚

      2. Otis Funkmeyer


  8. Richard Lee

    As someone who follows the investment management industry and reads the NYT/WSJ/FT, I don’t find enough value add from TWTR (and I’m trying hard, so maybe takes more time and effort)…I’d rather just go straight to NYT/WSJ/FT to get my content, and investment related content has been horrible (too much noise in my opinion)…I guess long way of saying, I think I’m a reasonable “average” social media user and still find the product to be too difficult to ‘optimize’ for my personal preferences…doesn’t seem like that’s the case for folks in VC

    1. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Twitter isn’t best for following mainstream media. It’s best for following the people who write it, edit it, publish it, read it, fund it… IWO, it’s about people. Make lists of people and keep track of them in Tweetdeck (you don’t even have to follow them this way – you can just eaves drop).If you want the official word, Twitter isn’t required. If you want the unofficial word, nothing’s better.

    2. LE

      In general I agree with you and do the same. However I can see how using TWTR could be a good early warning signal about investible events prior to when they become mainstream and make it on the Nightly News.

  9. pointsnfigures

    Twitter is a river of information. You have to act like an old gold miner. You dip your pan in, sift, and toss out whatever you don’t want and keep the nuggets of information you want.

    1. Matt A. Myers

      This is what makes it sticky for some, though many prefer just mindlessly seeing without effort of scanning – I feel my Tumblr feed does a good job of this.I feel Twitter’s recent changes I have seen will kill a use case I value, though being replaced by something I enjoy as well.

  10. falicon

    Love it as well!But feel remiss if I didn’t mention that we had this 5 or so years ago in the orig. version of knowabout.it with features like “tweets from quiet people” and “tweets you should know about while you were away”…they took the long route (through the discovery tab) to get here but glad they got here regardless. Imagine all the other stuff I’ve built *way* too early and never reached traction with in the meantime πŸ˜€

    1. Otis Funkmeyer

      figuring out how to monetize ppl like you is a lucrative opp for somebody. any thoughts?

      1. falicon

        If I know how to do that – I would be franchising that knowledge already (from my own mansion of course) πŸ˜‰

  11. Salt Shaker

    You’re a much stronger/better advocate than the company’s internal resources.

    1. fredwilson

      Outsiders often are

      1. Matt A. Myers

        The first follower is the one who leads a following

        1. William Mougayar

          good one. did you just make it up?

          1. Matt A. Myers

            Yes, at least I haven’t seen it anywhere before. My father passed away 3 days ago so I am in quite a deep, emotional, reflective state it seems.

          2. Mario Cantin

            Sorry to hear.

          3. Matt A. Myers

            Thank you

      2. ShanaC

        Insiders have too much vested feelings

      3. Twain Twain

        Since no one posted this on the recent Twitter-related posts here and no one really understands what Dick Costolo and other CEOs have to deal with, here’s Roosevelt’s “The Man in the Arena”.”Who spends himself in a worthy cause.”FB, WhatsApp, Google, Apple et al can’t ever claim to be the platform of worthy cause in the same way as Twitter.That’s intangible brand value right there that Wall Street can’t measure.

    2. Ana Milicevic

      Also an enthusiastic user. Users (esp. early adopters) often are.

  12. Ana Milicevic

    I’m w/ @liad:disqus and the purists here — I want my main stream to remain free of any monkeying around. However, I wouldn’t mind these types of suggestions popping up in a special tab/label.For me, Twitter is a pulse check on what’s happening right now. Sort of the equivalent of popping down to your regular cafe or pub and catching up with whoever’s there on whatever’s top of mind then. There’s nothing to miss.

  13. JLM

    .Has Albert had a physical recently?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      I keep happy by trying not to worry about things that I don’t have control over, and things that I can’t change. Others may feel differently.

      1. JLM

        .I have not lost much sleep recently over MAD (mutual assured destruction) though I do predict that if we let the Iranians get away with it there will be a nuclear discharge in the Middle East within a decade.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. LE

          Well I am hoping with respect to the Iranians that the decision was made not because of naive academics and how they think “sure we can inspect an entire fucking country” but because of something that we don’t know that those in the government know and have fully considered.I am reminded of the time my Dad didn’t foreclose on a mortgage when the person didn’t pay (he had sold them a building). On the surface it looked like that was what he should do. But he didn’t. The reason was that the building owner was making improvements. My dad said “I will give him more time to pay me and not forclose at least right now. That way he will do all the work, make all of the repairs, and then I will have a renovated building that I can foreclose, if needed”. (There was structural damage it was a mess…)This is similar to what I have heard is the reason why they made this agreement. Gives them time and gets them to a better place in theory. Could be true could not be true you don’t know. As far as Bibi perhaps that is all BS acting anyway and he is in on the plan. You never know with this type of thing…

    2. Richard

      Yep, it is ironic that Albert’s tweet about just how unpredictive things are was dug up via a probabistic algorithm.For those probability people out there, has the sample space really changed?

  14. Kirsten Lambertsen

    I like this. I think it’s a winner, discovery-wise. I’m probably somewhere around a 6 or 7 (on a scale of 1-10) level power-user of Twitter. I have several lists, accounts and groupings that I keep track of in Tweetdeck. I still find little bumps like this helpful, interesting, fun.If I bought stocks, I’d be long TWTR too. I can honestly say that it’s been very important in my life the last 2-3 years. I would be very sad if it ever went away.To me, Twitter is like a magic door. I can enter any world I want to, any time I want to, be anyone I want to while I’m there, and experience other people’s worlds. I’ve literally had my mind expanded, thanks to where I can go on Twitter.

  15. Matt Zagaja

    Sometimes I forget twitter has a website. I’m all about the apps, specifically Tweetbot.

  16. Andre Jacobovitz

    By the way, there’s a great app called Nuzzle, that highlights those stories most commented/linked by your Twitter feed. Kind of like “while you were away”, but with a date filtering capability. Highly recommend it!

  17. Richard

    This all comes down to how good the predictive algo is. In this case, the likelihood that you have missed Alberts tweets seems low? Twitter Dev team should open up algo? Some useful models could correlate to previous tweets, future travel, day of week, location, time of day, time of tweet etc…..

  18. obarthelemy

    I lolled at the actual tweets. Excellent illustration of why I haven’t logged into my twitter in weeks if not months.

  19. Susan Rubinsky

    Today is one of those days where I’d ditch TWTR for AVC, hands down.

  20. Dan Epstein

    Albert’s tweet sent me down the rabbit hole that is the Fermi Paradox.http://waitbutwhy.com/2014/…Sample quote: “So there are 100 Earth-like planets for every grain of sand in the world. Think about that next time you’re on the beach.”On topic, I like the feature. I saw a few missed tweets over the weekend, and they were tweets I would have wanted to see.

  21. ShanaC

    Philosophical there.

  22. SCPoley

    While on Twitter … someone should look at a Twitter forum alternative for those cut from the FOX News debate. Twitter might be the forum that gets around the Party’s “exclusive” debate stage requirement. Twitter’s short message forces message discipline.

  23. fredwilson

    Send me some organic bread so i can post about it!

  24. Chimpwithcans

    Is there an “AVC readers’ special” on your organic bread? And do you deliver to South Africa? If not why not? πŸ˜‰

  25. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Can I buy it anywhere in Jersey yet? (Asbury Park zone.)

  26. LE

    You have great dry humor.

  27. JamesHRH

    LOL.I love it when a hilarious early comment totally hijacks the comment stream for the day.

  28. ShanaC


  29. awaldstein

    don’t feel bad fred as i have not gotten any either!

  30. Matt A. Myers

    When I am in NYC in the fall I’ll deliver some healthy bread to both of you.. trying to win some points over Charlie..

  31. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Can hardly wait πŸ™‚

  32. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Oh, you might find GothamGal’s post today interesting.

  33. Chimpwithcans

    I would be happy to show you around if you make it out here. Something along the lines of your profit based, social impact company is much needed out here.

  34. LE

    Maybe we’ll start a plant there :)You won’t have enough time to do that if you are distracted with opening up McDonalds and putting together investor groups…

  35. LE

    Next trip! …..I’ll drop some by the USV co-op soon.You are to laid back. It is necessary to bake while the oven is hot.The proper response to “send me some organic bread so I can post about it” is making sure some is delivered (even if by courier) the very next morning. You can make a shiva call and enjoy bagels and lox another time.

  36. aweissman

    u make bread?

  37. LE

    We’re also not ready for a post–that kind of firehose is only useful if you have the distributionWe are not talking about an interview on the Today Show we are talking about a post on AVC.com. I have no expectations that sending Fred bread will result in anything other than a mention (at some point could be same day or could be later) and even with that mention my guess is the sales effect would be nominal, at best. Now if you had an online product for sale, were mentioned on reddit, and you sold from a website that would be different and we can call that a firehose that you are not ready for. My point was not that it would drive sales (sorry if I didn’t make that clear).Funny story. The market that I told you to sell to, Rastelli, was on “Beyond the Tank” the Shark Tank spinoff for the boneless ribs. (They are the copacker and it was a nice story..) Unfortunate for them, they did a really poor job of letting custoers know that, it was a total missed opportunity. Ditto for the fact that they have a “Cake Boss” chef running the bakery. You wouldn’t know it unless you read the article in the local paper. It amazes me how people lack the ability to promote in the way that they should.I’m very close to convincing myself we can service the Jersey Shore all the way up to LBI, with stops in between.The window for that market just started and will end promptly on Aug 31st. In fact, the shore dies about 1 or 2 weeks prior to that when kids start to go back to college and so on. So I wouldn’t put any resources into that I would go after something with year round potential.

  38. awaldstein

    buzz without availability in the food market is a nice-2-have.in this biz it’s all about buying and tasting.or else it fades quickly.

  39. LE

    We need to film a reality tv show with you saying that and me telling you how wrong you are. Everything takes time and more time than you can possibly think. I run into this with computer programmers everything takes 7 times as long as they think that it will. (I’ve been waiting over 2 years for 1 project actually..)

  40. LE

    Separate thought. Rather than McDonalds if you want to do good you should consider this type of operation:http://hudsoncommunity.org/…Back in the day we used to use places like this all the time for various production work, assembly and what not. If you have a chance, browse the site and see the types of services that they offer.To start this, you need is a warehouse, labor and someone to manage and train the labor. Note the types of people that they help, the “hard to employ”. This type of thing would have all positive impact with none of the capital and negatives of operating a McDonalds.

  41. Matt A. Myers

    Mine will be free, so after those two loaves I’ll likely be out of business..

  42. LE

    I just want an excuse to go surfing weekly.I always had a theory on that with respect to business people who start shore businesses. Thank you for confirming what I have always thought. Just a jump to conclusion that I made years ago based on a few data points.Hopefully you will be able to setup sales appointments when the surfing weather is good (or is it the opposite?)This is what I’m talking about. Racing sailboats:Ok I watched the clip. An impressive bit of network TV writing by someone who doesn’t run an actual fucking business. Problem is it doesn’t take into account the specifics of this particular situation. I am not looking solely at the marketing value. Noting that more “ounces of drag” could be had by shaving body hair and the crew “manscaping”.But I get your point however I just think taking advantage of something (in this particular case) outweighs what you are guessing will result from a blog post here. For example you are ignoring connections that could be made that might actually help with distribution and/or hiring or even vendors. Just a gut feeling everybody takes a different “tack”. No right or wrong answer it’s not math.

  43. Girish Mehta

    Interesting….I was wondering if you were a fan of the West Wing when you said yesterday – “They’ll like you when you win”.Toby :-)(p.s. Don’t really agree with the context in which he says that sentence).

  44. awaldstein

    this is why Luli is going to spring for the luli mini retail as she simply needs a hedge where people can get it delivered from.

  45. LE

    It would be nice to think that getting a blog post on AVC would impact sales. It would also be nice to think that a blog post on AVC would gather further media attention that would result in further sales given distribution. But somehow I do not think that that would be the case. AVC is read everywhere and Charlie will not be everywhere anytime soon. And when he is everywhere a mention on AVC will mean very little. Consequently the benefit of sending bread to Fred when he asks for it is for different reasons entirely.Things are never textbook clear cut. For example if someone you know calls you and says “I can book luli on the Today Show” and you don’t have the distribution in place you might say “we are not ready”. But that assumes that the person offering will allow you to appear or even be employed at the show when you are ready to appear. There is no clear cut answer since several things have to play out which you can’t predict. So it’s a tough call. Not saying either choice is the right choice but the answer of “not now we aren’t ready” needs to be weighed against the downside of losing the opportunity entirely.

  46. LE

    I saw it in the WF in Chelsea is that what you are talking about?

  47. ShanaC

    This seems to happen to a lot of direct to customers startups. I still am not 100% as to why the no retail model isn’t working

  48. LE

    A friendly reminder, speaking of the sailboat clip that you posted, any reason that you have not redirected http://www.lancasterbread.com (registered at my suggestion) to your site? It would take exactly 1 minute to do that.

  49. LE

    Maybe a play in the Berkshires….summer stock.

  50. awaldstein

    Luli will be in whole foods throughout the region.But she is opening her own pop up retail in NoLiTa as well.

  51. Joe Cardillo

    Sames. Off of this comment thread I went into a whole internal narrative about free range tweets and bread. It doesn’t make any more sense outside of my head now, though. =P

  52. James Ferguson @kWIQly

    But if you give it away your organic growth will rise and maybe you will make more dough

  53. LE

    I don’t know if I am right about this (as opposed to other things which I think I am right about!) however the problem I see with vendors getting into WF is staying on the shelf in WF.They only have so much shelf space (as opposed to, say, the Amazon.com website) and every day someone wakes up and makes a new product and wants to get into WF. Just like you did. You pushed someone else out. Getting into WF gives credibility of course and there are other benefits but the truth is you are (my guess) only good until the next better thing pushes you off the shelves. Now from what I saw you were there as a “local” product which is good because if you do well I guess they expand the region or place you elsewhere. However there will always be other products that could take your place. That is how I think about things like this.The pop up of course (forgetting that it’s probably shit expensive) means you can then potentially open retail in places and sign leases. So the only “master” you have to serve is the customer and the landlord and so on. I like that channel (as well as the way you deliver by truck) much better since that way you have a barrier to entry by others.

  54. awaldstein

    wfm market is margin per square facing inch of shelf.that’s the model. nothing more or less as long as the categories are covered.if you provide margin dollars you stay. if you don’t you go.if you do by being crazy with sales you eventually go out of business anyway as the margins are crazy thin with them and disty and marketing taking their share.it ain’t easy.

  55. awaldstein

    Food is more complex as there is a perishable supply and delivery chain and disrupting the channel is tough.For Luli, she is going for a completely diversified channel. Ubiquity of a premium brand, a line broad based through specialty retail, distribution partnerships (top secret!) dtc and a storefront.Crazy on one side, the only way on the other.Brand is just everything and that is where you need to connect to your model.

  56. Richard

    Still don’t get why margins alone are the metric, it should be profit per unit time per unit of shelf space

  57. awaldstein

    I was using them interchangeably as they do.