Chris Poole

Back in 2011, USV invested in Chris Poole’s startup Canvas. I worked closely with Chris on that investment and they built something great called DrawQuest. But it did not turn into a sustainable business and eventually Chris shut it down. All through this time, Chris ran and managed 4chan, a service he built and launched when he was 15. Yesterday Chris announced that he had sold 4chan to Hiroyuki Nishimura, a pioneer of Japanese web culture and founder of 2Channel, the inspiration for 4chan.

I have watched Chris struggle with his creation. He felt enormous responsibility for it. Like a child who has issues and you know it but you love him or her anyway. He did the very best he could with 4chan and from where I sit, never really got any credit for that.

Communities are not like other websites and mobile apps. The people who hang out in them feel a sense of ownership of them. The regulars here at AVC feel that way to some degree I am sure. And so running a community on the web/mobile is probably a lot like running a community in real life.

I have sat on condo and coop boards. They are not like regular businesses. They are where people live. And so the debates and disputes are more personal and more emotional. Take that and multiply it by the millions and you get a web/mobile community like 4chan or reddit. Managing that sort of thing is not pleasant.

And yet Chris did it dutifully for over twelve years. Contrary to the beliefs of many in the 4chan community, Chris didn’t take a real salary from 4chan. It was truly a labor of love.

And so when I sat with Chris for lunch last week, a day or two after the sale had finally closed, he seemed more relieved than anything else. This was not a Internet entrepreneur after a big exit. This was something else entirely.

There aren’t many who understand the Internet like Chris. And I’m not talking about the technical architecture (although he understands that pretty well). I am talking about the social architecture of the Internet. I am talking about what people do on the Internet and why. He’s seen the belly of the beast. He’s lived in it. And he’s come out the other side with his soul and his spirit intact. That is a massive accomplishment that dwarfs whatever financial return he made on the sale.

I am not sure I’ve ever been prouder of someone I’ve worked with to be honest.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Humberto

    “I am not sure I’ve ever been prouder of someone I’ve worked with to be honest.” That’s something powerful. and he’s still very young. congrats to him and i guess we’re all gonna be here when he launches something else!It would be good if Chris would now write about managing “the belly” of the internet with some emotional distance. It would be a great learning for all of us. (maybe he’s already written something about it?)

      1. Humberto


  2. awaldstein

    Community is tough.Building one and skirting the ability to turn it into a business is tough love of the most personnel kind.Huge congrats to Chris on this.I’ve been there at a smaller level with a project of mine, and while relieved to see the pieces alive in places, I still smart from my inability to have found a better home for it.Community matters even when it can’t find a model.Good on him for making his live on.Good on you Fred for highlighting this so generously.

    1. William Mougayar

      “Community matters even when it can’t find a model.”Very true. The community IS the model.

      1. awaldstein

        Is there a crowdfunding platform out there for community not product, for the benefit of the supporters, not the market beyond them?People raise funds to fund the an outdoor space for their pub, but I wonder if there wasn’t something to fund shares in a community beyond the model of the business itself.Off the wall idea.

        1. William Mougayar

          Blockchain can enable that.

          1. awaldstein

            Gee I wasn’t expecting that ;)I would gladly support a project that was building a platform to support other projects.Community of interest platforms are like the fountain of youth. I want them both!!

          2. JLM

            .Now THAT is really a surprise. Wow!BTW, I have a terrible blister on my right foot — blockchain?Stay sharp. Don’t let the bastards get you down. Blockchain!JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. William Mougayar

            Lol. I planted that trap to hear your reaction 😉

          4. David Semeria

            The Musings of the Big Block Chain?Sorry. Coat’s already on; heading towards the stairs…

          5. Chimpwithcans

            Don’t go! The more jokes like that in the world, the less boring shit happens.

          6. jason wright

            blockchain for back pain? take two with a glass of water.

          7. LE

            It’s like wd-40. A technology with thousands of practical uses.

          8. Richard

            What is your take on I’m impressed.

          9. William Mougayar

            I’m not sure how many consumers would buy that PC. But it’s a bold move to figure out if they would.

          10. Donna Brewington White

            I see what you’re doing here.

        2. Jess Bachman

          Hmm, not sure entirely what you mean, but there is tons of community projects on gofundme. It’s the #1 crowdsourcing platform FYI.

          1. awaldstein

            never used it.learn something most every day.

          2. Matt A. Myers

            #1 by which metric?

          3. Jess Bachman

            Funds raised. And probably a bunch of others ones too.

    2. Drew Meyers

      “Building one and skirting the ability to turn it into a business is tough love of the most personnel kind.”Isn’t that the truth….we’re 18 months into our 2nd attempt at unlocking the power of community:

    3. JamesHRH

      My first reaction: this is a foundational experience that ca be used to supports a massively impactful future undertaking.

  3. Phil Hayes-St Clair

    Kudos Chris.

  4. Rohan

    This is such a lovely post, Fred.From the little I’ve read – mostly from his blog posts and an article or two – he seems like a very sincere person who pours his heart into everything he does.Always nice to see good things happen to good people.

  5. jason wright

    The Pope knows, and he can’t sell.p.s. is this a syndication of techmeme? i wake up, go there, and then hours later i get a reprint here…. with insight.

  6. William Mougayar

    What a nice tribute to Chris. Anonymity is part of the future evolution of web. Aided with strong encryption, zero knowledge proofs, and other secure communications schemes, we’re going to see a lot more of it.

  7. Tom Labus

    wow. Great post and praise.

  8. Twain Twain

    The mark of a true founder sounds like it’s a Chris Poole rather than some of his peers who are more show-boaty and tagged with “Masters of the Unicorn” status — see what I did there borrowing from Wall St, haha (find the word “unicorn” silly, btw).It’s THIS bit: “And he’s come out the other side with his soul and his spirit intact.”He put himself into the heart of the arena (community) and Roosevelt would have doffed his hat to him too.

  9. creative group

    Fred:My day starts at 4am (mst) usually. Your blog is part of my routine. Some topics apply and some don’t. When you create human and intimate stories like this one it actually reveals how well you were raised. I lost my friend and confidant (My Mom) on the 7 August 2015 and sought solace and comfort in this space and received it. A female contributor not understanding asked me to logoff and be with my family. She had no idea I was with part of my family.When time permits can you reveal how you were raised and by whom. If not it will be fine because they did a wonderful job at raising a great human being which is so revealing. (Empathy)

    1. JLM

      .Fred was raised by a family of wolves in the Valley of the Hudson. I know I used to frequent the same mountains.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. Anne Libby

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      1. creative group

        Anne:thank you for your condolences and being human it is greatly appreciated.

    3. fredwilson

      I’m sorry to hear about your mom. I was raised in an army family. Duty Honor Country. That was (and is) the mantra.

      1. creative group

        Thank you for the condolences. She always said if a person lead a great life with accomplishments and nurtured their children to be good people don’t mourn that person but celebrate their life. I celebrate Mrs. Earline’s life.

  10. Jess Bachman

    moot has definitely been an inspiration to me, and 4chan is still one of the more important sites on the web.

  11. pointsnfigures

    It is fun to hang out with people who embrace the struggle and are resilient.

  12. harris497

    Fred, the pride you feel is what separates you from the typical VC. It’s why I recommend you to my friends if asked. Congratulations!

    1. fredwilson

      Thank you

  13. JLM

    .This is one of the best posts you have ever written. It is a good story and packed with emotion.It makes us care about the subject, the character, and, thus, the writer. Nice voice.Well played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks Jeff. As I told Chris, I wrote that from the heart not the head. I find myself doing that everyone once in a while and I produce my best work that way

  14. JLM

    .I was the President of the Pemberton Heights Neighborhood Association — only because nobody else wanted the job — wherein lived the current Governor of Texas, a past Lt Gov, a pride of lobbyists, a slew of lawyers, the Ass’t Dean of the Law School, Richard Rodriguez the movie producer, the vice chairman of Dell, a gaggle of CEOs, more than a few pay window folk, a Dixie Chick, a few Erl persons, a magazine editor, and a Nobel Laureate. I refuse to count the doctors especially the psychiatrists.Pemberton Heights lords over Shoal Creek whereby Indians camped for centuries, Rob’t E Lee camped when headed out to El Paso when he transferred to the cavalry, and Custer camped when he ruled Austin during Reconstruction. Our little mountain has had a lot of living.It is in the shadow of the University of Texas Tower from which a gunman on 1 Aug 1966 killed 14 and wounded 32. He was a former Marine and had a brain tumor.There are 640 homes. One home has its front yard landscaped entirely in river run gravel. This fact captivated the interest of the entire neighborhood chattering class for a year. Such were the challenges I confronted.I will be going straight thru Purgatory based on my service.The Holy Ghost visited me one afternoon when I was lounging by the pool. Told me just that.I could have charged admission to the board meetings and could have sold copies of the general meetings.I once received a 22 page document from a PhD on how to improve the “culture” of the neighborhood. Not a day went by in which someone did not threaten to sue me, the association, or another neighbor. Nobody ever actually filed any lawsuits but the threatening was epic.We had a million dollar O & D insurance policy. We had our own police force.We had cabals, conspiracies, and whispering campaigns. We had Christmas carriage rides, carolers, and landscaped seven traffic islands with a little more difficulty than the Marines in WWII encountered at Peleliu.I was re-elected overwhelmingly proving truly that “no good deed goes unpunished.”The relief I felt when I was out of office was akin to returning from a combat tour. Relief.Still, I learned how bat shit crazy people can really be. Bat. Shit. Crazy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. karen_e

      @hearts /flowers /#cuckoo!

    2. Pete Griffiths

      Holy crap. That sounds appalling.And btw, your best post ever!

    3. LE

      So why did you resign? (per the Board minutes).

      1. JLM

        .I had my handpicked successor in place and thereby lent him an incumbent’s advantage.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    4. sigmaalgebra

      > Bat. Shit. Crazy.The more I learn about what life is really like, the more I understand that it’s all a funny farm, I’m up in the top 1% of the most sane ones, and, in comparison with the other inmates, all my problems shrink to insignificance.E.g., last night I watched some of the first of ‘Gone with the Wind’. I’ve seen it many times, but now for the first time did I see that the beginning is just packed solid with cliches about young women, with not much exaggeration. Only now have I learned enough about life and young women to see maybe nearly all the cliches and that each is often nearly fully correct. Before I just thought that all that girl stuff was just incidental and particular to the time and the movie — nope, instead it’s nearly all quite real, still. And not just the girls but a huge fraction of all the rest. Net, a lot of people really are a lot like that. Some people on that movie knew a lot about people and life. Of course, the movie doesn’t make a solid case that people are like that. Instead, really are supposed to know that much about people going in and, then, just enjoy the movie.> river run gravelInstead, Dad’s thought — pour concrete and paint it green.Also, from my father in law, a good farmer, on fancy front yards: “If I’m going to grow a crop, I’m going to get paid for it.”.Just as good: “A fancy front yard costs money. What you think I’m running here, some kind of golf course?”.A “Neighborhood Association”? No thanks. Want the radius of a circle that covers 640 houses to be at least five miles! Maybe I’ll buy 100 acres that back against a state or national park! Then any ‘Neighborhood Association’ meeting would consist of me, some kitty cats, puppy dogs, field mice, squirrels, chipmunks, ground hogs, wild rabbits, lynx, beavers, otters, skunks, raccoons, foxes, deer, wild boar, black bears, grouse, pheasants, swans, ducks, hawks, falcons, owls, bluejays, crows, etc. Ticks, fleas, and worms not welcome! Pretty, sweet girls good at baking oatmeal cookies, chocolate fudge brownies, apple, cherry, pecan, coconut cream pies, and Sacher Torten and interested in ‘nature’ also welcome! Also, a lot of wild grapes and raspberries!

      1. foobarbecue

        I agree with you that “people have issues,” but I have to call you out for casual misogyny here. I think the primary reason that “girls are crazy” is cultural — a result of the demands we place on women, the lack of opportunity provided them, and our failure to give them the benefit of the doubt.

        1. Dorian

          It’s the opposite, in fact. We absorb through ideology that these stereotypes are false, but reality proves us wrong. Perhaps you’ll also see that with more life experience.

          1. foobarbecue

            Since you think my “life experience” is relevant, I’ll share that I’m 28, and over the years I’ve been intimate with seven young women. I’ve observed quite a lot of psychotic behavior, and it’s indeed tempting to say that women are just crazy.I had pretty much the same views on women that you do when I was 21.But, I’m a scientist and I’ve learned to look beyond my own bias, and continue observing. I realize that the personal observations of a lifetime are nowhere near statistically significant, but here are a couple more data points anyway: – Four out of seven had been raped before I met them. That’s pretty normal in our culture. – Many of the men I know are pretty psychotic too — I’ve just never dated one.The more life experience I accumulate, the more I realize that despite the fact that men have historically treated them as if they were, women are not sportscars. They are people.

          2. Dorian

            > I’ll share that I’m 28, and over the years I’ve been intimate with seven young womenOh, I had no idea. I defer to your expertise, in that case.

          3. foobarbecue

            Wow, you’re so witty that you can argue without presenting a case or any facts. The deference is all mine, sir.

        2. sigmaalgebra

          I agree with you that “people have issues,” but I have to call you out for casual misogyny here. I think the primary reason that “girls are crazy” is cultural — a result of the demands we place on women, the lack of opportunity provided them, and our failure to give them the benefit of the doubt. Well, net, in my statement, there’s some low understanding of “young women”, but there’s not much “misogyny”. In particular, I was quite, even sweepingly, general: And not just the girls but a huge fraction of all the rest. Net, a lot of people really are a lot like that. So, I included “all the rest”.But, yes, I concentrated on “young women” and there because my struggles understanding “young women” have been a Mars/Venus thing, right, as if only, but likely more generally, in the book, John Gray, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. That is, as a man, understanding men has been one heck of a lot easier because men were always close at hand, especially my father and my brother, and especially since I’m a man, as if all us men were on Mars while women, especially “young women,” were a long way away, as if on Venus.In particular, in the community I grew up in, and its school, the boys and girls, while we sat at the same times in the same classrooms and ate in the same lunch room, were quite well separated: At recess, we were on separate parts of the playground. Otherwise, before, during, after school, at lunch, in the classrooms, the boys talked to each other, sure, mostly about sports and cars, the girls talked to each other, chatted on endlessly, likely with a lot of gossip, but the boys and girls didn’t talk much to each other.At home, I didn’t have a sister, and Dad hadn’t either. Once Mom said about me, if I’d had a sister, then I would have had a much lower opinion of girls!Young men: Carefully watch at least the first 15 minutes or so of that movie, say, until Scarlett meets Ashley, and notice: She says a lot of words, to the boys on her front porch, to her father, to lots of people at the party, but not a single word she says is the truth!I could sit here and write out 5000 words on the ways I’ve concluded that “young women” now are much the same as they were when I was in grades 1-12 and college, in 1939 when the movie GWTW was made, and in 1861+ in the movie.A short and relatively modern description of “young women” is in, say,Deborah Tannen, ‘You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’.Here’s a really short description: For a man, a “young woman” is like a red Ferrarihttp://static1.businessinsi…and not a Ford F-150, an SUV, or even a family car. So, such a Ferrari is not at all practical but is a nice toy for a rich man, and, really, that’s just what Mother Nature wants for her prettiest “young women”.The full 5000 words, an abbreviated version of 500,000 words, would say much more. Took me a while — standing on Mars looking at Venus — to figure out all that. So, sure, the best of it will be in Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys.Some of the progress I made is ahead of the movie and Rhett Butler: His big mistake, a little at the beginning and way too much at the end, was simply that he took Scarlett seriously. Big mistake. Huge. In particular, near the end when she invited him out of her (their) bedroom, instead of getting his feelings hurt, as if that, or anything, she said was to be taken seriously (except for the scene where she was really hungry), kicking in the door, and returning to the fancy house, he should just have done the usual, just what Mother Nature had in mind — knocked her up again, or at least tried to, at least three times a day. Simple.Actually, the movie did hint at what I’m describing: There were only two times he made her smile, and both were from a forceful application of simple passion. And, before those two, he was right in his remark: Although you need kissing badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how. Ah, the power of Google keyword/phrase search!I’m not saying that this is the only good approach for all “young women”. Instead, “young women” vary.For your question of just why “young women” are the way(s) they are, here’s my short answer: It’s essentially all nature, not nurture (generally tough to separate if only because the effects of nature on a mother also become effects of both nature and nurture on her daughters), and for basically just one, the one overwhelmingly important one, of Mother Nature’s reasons: And may I have the envelope, please, drum roll please, and here it is, reproductive advantage. Or, in software terms, it’s not a bug; it’s a feature!If I’d understood all of this (what’s here plus the most important of what else I’ve learned) soon enough, then I would have married the prettiest human female I ever saw, in person or otherwise, pretty enough to make any Ferrari look like a rusted, wrecked, 1950 VW. There are no words to describe her — gorgeous is a grand understatement. Instead I (A) like Rhett did, took “seriously” some young woman aspects of her behavior and gave up, (B) again, like Rhett did, in effect told her, “Frankly, my dear …”, or (C) “let her go” as in…Yes, she made a mistake. In any sense on Mars, it was all her fault.Of course she made a mistake. Since she is supposed to have no idea what the heck she is doing, she’s supposed to make mistakes.My mistake was failing to understand that it was my job to understand and guide her well enough so that she wouldn’t make mistakes. Any father needs to do that for his children, and any husband or even any serious boyfriend needs at least to be ready to do that for his girlfriend/wife. Sorry ’bout that.Big mistake. Huge. Biggie. Where can I apply for a do over? Ah, what the heck: There can never be another girl as pretty as she was.

          1. foobarbecue

            Have you read any of the science on the subject? (movies, a relationship advice book from 1992, and your tragic love story are hardly very empirical) There is certainly a degree of sexual dimorphism, but it’s minimal and I’m pretty convinced that the differences are more nurture than nature. I feel https://www.psych.rochester… is fairly conclusive.In your latest post, you literally objectified women by comparing them to cars, cast aspersions on their ability to make romantic decisions for themselves, and labelled them “gossipy.” I expect that decades from now, the sort of remarks you’re making now will be viewed in much the same light which which we today regard the view, generally accepted by privileged white americans not long ago, that black people are lazy and stupid.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            I have some software to write and have to respond quickly: Have you read any of the science on the subject? My posts here are not about me.It is now common on less good discussion fora on the Internet, in case of a disagreement, to respond, maybe only or in part, with a negative comment about the other person. Well, that behavior goes back at least to 1939 when the movie Gone with the Wind (GWTW) was made. E.g., see clip from the movie…where Charles Hamilton doesn’t like what Rhett Butler said about Northern coal mines, factories, etc. and Southern “cotton, slaves, and arrogance” and lack of cannon factories and, then, attacked Butler instead of his ideas. movies, a relationship advice book from 1992, and your tragic love story are hardly very empirical “Movies”: They are quite relevant, especially a very popular movie such as GWTW, because part of what the movie makers had to do was put up on the screen views of life, people, etc. that nearly everyone would find from their own experience to be credible or even correct.”Advice book”: The book is by a relatively serious professor at Georgetown University and has much of the core of her research findings. Her field is socio-linguistics, and that’s the approach in the book.”From 1992″: As I will indicate below, this situation doesn’t change very fast.”Your tragic love story are hardly very empirical”: My experience is not very scientific but is 100% “empirical”.Besides, the standard start of good science is some good empirical data. The hypotheses, tests with data, and good theory all come later. you literally objectified women by comparing them to cars, No: My analogy is constructive. First, whatever women truly are, a man is still free to be attracted to both her and a red Ferrari and in ways that have some overlap. Second, that red Ferrari is not very practical, and neither are a lot of women. So, some men can be attracted to both a red Ferrari and some women where both are not very practical.Why? I gave an answer: That situation is fine with Mother Nature — also count in Darwin. Science on the subject Good science is terrific stuff, but there is too much in life where we have to do well, there is little or no good science, and we have to use what we can see and understand.We are discussing social science — psychology, sociology, socio-linguistics.Okay: My brother worked hard trying to understand people via psychology and, to that end, got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in psychology. After his Master’s, he concluded that the field of psychology had (1) questions relevant to understanding people and (2) some solid science but with very little overlap between (1) and (2). Or, the solid science said some things about rats but not about people. Due to this conclusion, he went ahead and got his Ph.D. in political science.My wife was interested in a scientific approach to people, pursued sociology, and got her Bachelor’s and Ph.D. in it. She was a good student — high school Valedictorian, college PBK, Summa Cum Laude, Woodrow Wilson, and two years of NSF graduate fellowship in one award. Her Ph.D. was as scientific as sociology is so far and was in essentially mathematical sociology at one of the world’s best research universities. Two of her most important professors were elected President of the American Sociological Association. She got about the best there was.Sadly the social sciences, including psychology and sociology, are quite short on effective methodology and, thus, are not very scientific and have made relatively little progress creating solid science that says much about real people in real life.What I’m saying about human females doesn’t change very fast. Here is a relatively scientific argument for that claim:Much that I’ve observed about young women of Western European descent also holds for young women of East Asian descent.Well, as we know from some DNA studies, those women have their most recent common ancestor 40,000+ years ago.Well, let W be the women now of Western European descent, E be the women now in East Asia, and let C be the women of the most recent common ancestor.Then to get to the genetic (or, if you will, both nature and nurture) changes from W to E, work, accumulating the changes, backward in time from W to C and then forward in time from C to E. Then the changes from W to C are fewer than the changes from W to E. And the changes from C to E are also fewer than the changes from W to E.Since from what I am observing in common for W and E, W and E are quite close. Then both W and E are still closer to C.Or for a figure consider for the changesW –> C –> ESince W and E are close, both W and E are still closer to C, and the changes since C have been small.So, if want to know what the most recent common ancestor was like, just look at what is in common now between W and E.So, now we know a lot about the women of the common ancestor 40,000+ years ago and can conclude that the changes in the past 40,000+ years have been small.So, the changes since 1992 have been much smaller.So, take a woman from the common ancestor 40,000 years ago, give her a good bath and shampoo and hair styling, put her in some modern clothes, and have her walk down a street with some modern young women, and then she will try to fit in with the other girls, giggle, squeal, seek attention from men, avert her eyes, act meek and sweet, be coy, try to manipulate, etc. just like women in both England and Japan do now. Well into her teens, her face will be child-like with a short, small, turned up nose, relatively large eyes, small chin, relatively long and thin neck, etc. — just like the pretty girls in England and Japan now. Once she learns, say, English and tries to fit in with modern society, soon she will look and behave very much like a modern woman of Eur-Asian descent. Her emotions will be right up to date (no change in 40,000 years), and her rationality will be secondary and close to irrelevant.Net, women haven’t changed very much recently.To me, that the methodology of social science has, in the last decade or so, made enough progress to give good scientific explanations of women and a dime wouldn’t cover a 10 cent cup of coffee.Net, if young men are to understand young women effectively, then they will have to approach the subject empirically and thoughtfully, consider what old wisdom they can find, use what science is solid and relevant, and, otherwise, proceed much like I have.At one time I tried to entertain that women could proceed rationally as well as men. As that wasn’t working and apparently because women were driven too strongly by their emotions, an expert finally just blurted out to me,Of course, women are much more emotional than men. That’s the cause of all the problems. I have now accepted that he was basically correct.Another quote, from expert E. Fromm, in The Art of Loving, is, Men and women deserve equal respect as persons but are not the same. No big surprise: Males and females are not the same in cats, dogs, cows, birds, etc. also.Are all women ditsy, overly emotional, etc.? No. And some dogs can walk on just their hind legs, too. But it’s a tossup for which is the more awkward, a woman as rational as a man, or a dog on two legs. Or, also from a famous movie, “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”. Because then she wouldn’t be a woman as Mother Nature wants, and Mother Nature has had a very long time to make up her mind and won’t change her mind quickly.Young men: First, you need to have some decent understanding of young women. For that, just watch at least the first half hour or so of GWTW because the guys that did that movie had a LOT of understanding of young women and were just brilliant at getting that understanding up on the screen so that you could see and understand it.Only long after I saw that movie for the first time did I understand enough about women to conclude that the movie was correct, and for that understanding I (@JLM) “paid full tuition”. You don’t want to do that. If you try, then you won’t be able to afford it. Trust me on this one.Net, never, and never under any circumstances, bet more than you can afford to lose, because you probably will lose, that a young woman you are with will be anymore rational or practical or less emotional than shown early in GWTW. No matter what she says, and no matter how sincere she is or how well she did in school, do NOT make that bet. No way.Or, young men, Mother Nature was there long before you were and has her ways: The main theme is that Mother Nature wants young women, by age 22, usually some years before then, to be overly emotional and, thus, have their emotions overwhelm their rationality, create practical disasters and dependency, and, thus, lead to pregnancy and reproductive advantage.It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature. Look, guys, that she’s not very practical is just fine because she’s supposed to be having babies and being cared for. Or, maybe there have been other women, but somehow we just are not their descendants! Indeed, each generation Mother Nature is free to have a lot of weak, sick, or dead limbs on the tree, and these days shouldn’t have to look too far to find some.Once a brilliant young woman told me, and she really believed it,Women don’t just have to be cared for. Women can do things, too. I want a career.Biggest mistake in my life: I believed her. At the time, she looked, for her, 100% correct. Still, she was 100%, totally, flatly wrong. Too soon, Mother Nature had her way. For me, I “paid full tuition”. That young woman paid with her life — the mistake was fatal. Young men — don’t do that.Don’t blame me; I’ve just been trying to understand the situation. Blame Mother Nature and her good buddy Darwin.

          3. foobarbecue

            Well, I’m sorry for your loss, and sooner or later I’ll get around to watching Gone With the Wind, since it’s a classic and all. Also, it’s a rare example of of a commercial cinematic success that passes the Bechdel test. I liked the Fromm quote. However, I think that a lot of what you’re explaining with evolutionary psychology is actually the effect of culture. I wasn’t saying human biology has changed since 1992, but I do feel that our culture has changed to the point that we are beginning to release women from subjugation, and I think you’ll find an increase in “rational behavior” among women as that progresses. Bear in mind that if you go back a few times the distance between now and 92, you have this sort of thing: https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx….

    5. PhilipSugar

      I could not agree more about Bat Shit Crazy we’ve discussed this before. Its both sides.I live in an 1839 house. I wanted to put on engineered lumber clapboards, the type that were featured on This Old House. I was turned down because the head of the historic district who lives in a unpainted dump, thought they looked “too good”My all time bat shit crazy story. I am taking money for a Friday fish fry dinner. All of the proceeds go to a charity which gives money exclusively to widows and orphans. People like me donate the cost of the food. I had a person come up to me after eating a plate and a half incensed that the fish was Pollack not Cod (I think somebody told her when she commented how good it was) . It was not advertised as anything but a fish fry.After being berated i pulled out my wallet and gave her money back. She became even more angry and insisted it come out of the till. I had enough and said no. She then went on to berate every person that had our uniform on. That is crazy.

      1. JLM

        .”That is crazy.”No, that qualifies as bat shit crazy.1839 must have been a very good year.VMI founded — 11 Nov 1839Austin, Tx founded — 11 Nov 1839Was your house completed in 1839?Is it haunted? It has to be.You should see the rules for Charleston, SC — no electric sanders on the outside of any houses, no Hardie board, only wood.Bat. Shit. Crazy.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. mikenolan99

          I once coached YMCA 7 year old basketball… and was confronted by angry Mom telling us how to coach, when to play her kid, etc.Without missing a beat my partner took off his whistle and said “Thank you so much for volunteering to help coach! We so need the help… can we count on you for the next practice?”… she looked at him, me, then the whistle. She turned and walked away.Best. Victory. Ever.

      2. LE

        Upwards of 10% of the population (I reckon) is probably, on varying levels, on the way to mental illness or has been diagnosed. I am not taking about occasional flying off the handle stuff that can happen to a typical person given the right circumstances. Or someone who goes (verbally) postal on a clerk (or airline ticketing clerk) when they won’t give them what they want. Just things like you mentioned above. “Take it out of the till”.

      3. kaflatoon

        Wow, that pretty much summarises how dealing with communities of people would be like; and how one should respond. 😉

    6. sachmo

      I’m the president of a condo board myself, and have been serving on the board for about 4 years. I couldn’t agree more, no good deed goes unpunished, and ppl are bat shit crazy.We did a 3.5 million dollar concrete renovation to the building. The balconies were literally crumbling and it likely would not have passed its 40 year recertification. The building today looks amazing, like a completely different place. And yet people are still fixated on their neighbor’s dog who barks occasionally, or the pool guy who over-chlorinates the pool sometimes, or the kids who mark up official notices.There’s little talk about the bigger perspective, like the fact that we still need to spend serious cash to overhaul our elevators, or plumbing, or that the management hours we have in place still aren’t cutting it.It’s very hard to get people to focus on the bigger picture. Some people are just too busy. Others don’t have the attention span, patience, or intelligence to do so. Some people are just petty.It really makes a person think about how our government is run. I know many people have said this before, but the debates we’re seeing know are a spectacle, a clown show. There has to be a better way…

      1. JLM

        .The key to maintaining any big commercial project is to fix the stuff when it costs $1 and not let it progress to $10 and then to $100.In addition, you always have to create a capital reserve in the early days and keep it current at all times. When the project is new and in good shape, then is the time to build reserves for your year 5 work.You can never catch up and the unrepaired shortcomings depress the values by the amount of accrued but unfunded repairs.I have seen this a million times.When I owned high rise office buildings, I would have them inspected monthly and repair the shortcomings before the next month. In this manner, nothing got away from us.I used to pencil in a complete HVAC rehab every 5 years and when it lasted for 10, I would count myself lucky. I sometimes had systems that lasted for 15 years but I had the money reserved and on hand to make the repairs.There are no shortcuts when taking care of real property.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      2. kaflatoon

        > no good deed goes unpunishedNo good deed goes unrewarded either. 😉

    7. creative group

      Now that actually provides insight on understanding some of your posts. Now there is some relief.The psychiatrists shouldn’t be shunned but summoned to assist the majority of this community. Yikes!!!We would never live in a HOA (Homeowners Association) housing community again. Ridiculous. A person can afford to purchase acreage that the next neighbor is miles away and build brand new why in the world would they subject themselves to that torture. (Rhetorical)

  15. Wyatt Brown

    Congrats, Chris, and many thanks to USV for supporting him through 4 Chan and Canvas.

  16. Lucas Dailey

    As a former Alder I saw a lot of my colleagues burn out managing their physical and institutional communities. But at the end of the day people don’t sell their homes because they don’t like their politicians.What Chris did was harder because the community can always go somewhere else, there is little switching cost.

    1. Jess Bachman

      Ha, you don’t know 4chan if you think its community can just go somewhere else. It’s pretty much the last stop on the line. ┬┴┬┴┤ᕦ( ▀̿ Ĺ̯ ▀̿├┬┴┬

  17. Pete Griffiths

    Nice piece!

  18. iggyfanlo

    Fred, can you connect me with Chris P?

    1. fredwilson

      Send me an email

  19. Tom Labus

    What are they putting in the Jets Gatorade?

    1. fredwilson

      Good coaching

  20. Abs Ghosh

    Nice post, Fred. Shows that some VCs are not just about the bottom line.

  21. Richard

    Wow! That’s quite a compliment.

  22. Stephen Bradley

    I love this, and that you wrote it. GO Chris!

  23. sigmaalgebra

    The Internet: (1) The technical parts. (2) The social parts, e.g., communities. (3) The rest.For (3), there is, say, in part information. E.g, there is on-line learning, getting really good at making BBQ pork ribs, maybe something much more advanced in cooking from, say, Nathan Myhrvold, finding the right new part for the left side rear view mirror of an old car, understanding Sarbox, following politics, watching movies and lectures, shopping for a PC motherboard, ….4Chan? Sure, let boys learn about the basics of female anatomy without doing something illegal and/or emotionally harmful with some girl in the neighborhood — e.g., Saturday night, old car, back seat, Human Sexuality 101 lab sessions. Okay. Also see a list of some really bad attitudes toward females, sex, romance, family formation, etc. — hopefully attitudes easy enough for the boys to reject.

  24. John Pepper

    I just wanted to give this a big “thumbs up”… I hit the “<3 Recommended” but somehow it doesn’t seem as powerful as a thumbs up signal. But the main point is this was a terrific post and I appreciated your sharing it with us.

  25. andyswan

    Awesome writeup Fred and congrats/thanks to Chris for helping make the web….the web.

  26. kirklove

    Nice to hear for Chris. Felt he was at the forefront of it all and deserves a break in his favor. Also, a big fan of his writing, despite his blog’s self-deprecating title.

  27. Chimpwithcans

    I have never seen Reddit or 4chan (related to Jackie??) and I know little about running a community. I have only got AVC as a guide to online community apart from Facebook which is all babies and rhinos on my timeline (cute and going extinct, if you must ask)….. BUT this post reflects Chris’ deeds and character like a still pond. This is one of your best posts yet Fred. Nice writing!

  28. greyenlightenment

    i wonder how much he made from the sale…probably millions

  29. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Great post. So Fred do you think a young Jedi would benefit more from majoring in Psychology or Computer Science if she wanted to create the next big online network?

  30. Daniel Taibleson

    Slow clap for Chris, I can only imagine what it was like to manage 4chan

  31. whatever

    > I am not sure I’ve ever been prouder of someone I’ve worked with to be honest.Wow. All that harassment spawned at 4chan but it turns out moot was just a teenage edgelord.

  32. Krishna

    Excellent post !wishing chris good luck with what ever he decides to do next .