Fun Friday: Best Valentines Day Gift

Brandwatch on Twitter says that “chocolates, flowers, and teddy bears” areย this year’s favorites

valentines gifts

I am a fan of flowers but this year I’m going in a different direction.

What is your go to gift on valentines day?

#Random Posts

Comments (Archived):

  1. Tom Labus

    Going to MoMA and dinner. Also warm coats

    1. fredwilson

      nice!

    2. Mark Essel

      Sounds fun Tom, yeah its gonna be a cold weekend in NY

  2. jason wright

    a purse, filled with Ether

    1. pointsnfigures

      As a father of two daughters…..Scary

  3. someone

    a few more gravitational waves than usual

    1. sandcastlerโ„ข

      Gravitational wave surfing, the ultimate out of universe trip gift.

    2. Kirsten Lambertsen

      Genius!

    3. Lawrence Brass

      that’s relative.

  4. Matt Zagaja

    As a single person I usually take all the money I didn’t spend on gifts for my non-existent significant other and get myself something, often a gadget. Last year it was a Sony a6000 to capture my memories with and made a resolution to take more pictures so I can better reflect on the good experiences I’ve been having in life. This year I’m leaning towards an Arduino kit or the new Apple TV. If I had a significant other I’d probably go with either a Google Cardboard viewer and chocolates or a Chromecast and flowers.

    1. LE

      I didn’t spend on gifts for my non-existent significant otherHave you tried any online dating?

      1. pointsnfigures

        Dating is better in person. : )

        1. LE

          No seriously since you have been married roughly 29 years and I am divorced and have done online dating successfully (meeting someone that I ended up marrying) I can tell you that if it’s done right “the execution” it’s the greatest fucking thing in the world. I know you are joking but I have to point out that like anything else if you have a strategy, put the effort in, and don’t give up it’s 100% the way to go. People who fail either are total losers, they aren’t willing to put in the effort and get discouraged easily, or they are swayed by what others tell them the possibilities are.

          1. Susan Rubinsky

            I’m a loser, I guess. LOL!

          2. LE

            Hard to believe Susan. Contact me if you want any tips or advice (assuming you are still available that is).Of course there are other factors that I failed to mention. One is the sometimes unreasonable expectations of people in terms of what type of person they can actually find given what they have to offer themselves.I can fix it.https://www.youtube.com/wat

          3. Susan Rubinsky

            I am selective for sure. After a marriage and a long term live-in relationship, I’m really clear about what is important to me. I’d rather be single than be with the wrong person.

          4. LE

            Well obviously I don’t know your situation or what you mean by “wrong person” so it’s hard to generalize about this. I also had both a marriage and a long term live in relationship btw prior to finding the right one. One thing of course is I do think it’s harder for women than it is for men no question about that (but that just means you work harder and/or make up for it with different strategies).

          5. Susan Rubinsky

            As we get older (I’ll be 50 this year), it’s definitely harder. For a few reasons.Online dating has become transactional. In the “old days” (early 2000’s, for example) of online dating, you’d login and meet so many fantastic people. I think that’s because most of the people using online dating at that time were educated professionals. Now it’s a mix of everyone so it’s a process of sifting through the crowd. These days, I’d say that about 75% of the messages I get are rude, bordering on pornographic (some are outright pornographic). Since I’ve been on and off online dating for 15 years now, I have definitely seen a shift in the ways in which people treat each other online. It’s not pretty.Another reason is, given my age, there just aren’t as many men who are single who are in my age range. Men my age also, in general, prefer to date younger women. I’m interested in dating men around my age.I’ve also found that many men who are divorced have young children. Many GenX men, for some reason, didn’t start having children until later in life. I’m not really interested in dating someone with a five year old.Another trend I’ve experienced first hand, is that people now have these wildly detailed rules stipulated in their divorce agreements wherein they are not allowed to introduce their children to a significant other. I have dated three different men in the last few years who had this stipulation in their divorce agreements. The relationship cannot really evolve if you can’t spend holidays, events, etc., with the person you’re dating because he will be exposing his children to you. Some men reveal this up front and some men do not.Another trend is men who never married. They fall into two general categories: 1) Commitment-phobes; and 2) Men who were too busy having fun or working so hard that they never learned how to have a relationship. Some of these men are just realizing now that they want to get married and have children. Obviously, they will be looking to date 30 year old women, not 50 year old women to fulfill that want.Also, I don’t live in a major city. There are definitely more opportunities to date in a place like that. But I am happiest living in a suburban seaside community. I love NYC — I used to work in midtown — but I would be completely unhappy living there.Sure, there are great men out there, I’ve met a few of them. But given our ages and circumstances, there are often reasons why a relationship will never evolve. It’s just the lay of the land. In the meantime, finding a date is not my main focus since the odds are not in my favor. I definitely have the doors open to those opportunities — I have several online dating profiles, for example, that I actively utilize — but I am off doing a whole bunch of good things that make me happy.

          6. LE

            Men my age also, in general, prefer to date younger women. I’m interested in dating men around my age.People think this is about looks but it’s really about flexibility and less “baggage”. Also a younger woman has either no or younger children. In my case (and I am a bit older than you are btw) the younger woman I met had children who were 4 and 6 when I met her. They liked me from the start and didn’t see me as stealing their mother (and all of that, for lack of a better way to put it, crap). Older women that I met in previous online relationships (some I ended up dating some I did not) had generally older children. In that case everything and the whole world revolved around the child and that is all that mattered. The woman that I married? A bit different the kids were told from the start that I was important and were not given free reign in our relationship. (My kids are older and didn’t live with me so that wasn’t an issue..) When I saw that I also mattered that is when I decided that she was the one for me.These days, I’d say that about 75% of the messages I get are rude, bordering on pornographic (some are outright pornographic). That’s unfortunate. FWIW the last two online relationships that I had (one which I married the other which I dated for 2 years) told me they were right about to quit before I wrote to them. Both said the same type of thing. But then I came along and saved them (well at least one of them).I’m not really interested in dating someone with a five year old.Fully understand. In my case though there was (as I mentioned) a benefit to that. Younger kids are more accepting and easier to mold. Not everything is perfect and you have to be able to accept that. Besides they grow up. Those 4 and 6 year olds are now 11 and 13 years old.Another trend I’ve experienced first hand, is that people now have these wildly detailed rules stipulated in their divorce agreements wherein they are not allowed to introduce their children to a significant other. I have dated three different men in the last few years who had this stipulation in their divorce agreements Totally fucked up! [1] I met a great deal of women who (regardless of legal or not) were worried about introducing men to their kids. But it wasn’t a real problem for me. In the case of the woman I married she told me that people told her not to run guys by her kids until it was serious. I think I met her kids 3 weeks after we met. I made her feel that comfortable I guess. In the woman before that who I dated for 2 years I met her daughter on the 2nd date. Not a problem either. I think it depends on the guy.The relationship cannot really evolve if you can’t spend holidays, events, etc., with the person you’re dating because he will be exposing his children to you.Agree. A non-starter you are wasting your time.Another trend is men who never married. A non-starter almost always (always exceptions of course).But I am happiest living in a suburban seaside community. I love NYCYou are not in a target rich environment for sure but then again with online dating less of an issue.In the meantime, finding a date is not my main focus since the odds are not in my favor.You have to get over that attitude Susan. Plug at it as I did. You are attractive and smart (hope my wife doesn’t read this!) there is someone out there for you!By the way it’s ok to fudge the years on your profile. If you are approaching 50 you can easily do 44 years old…[1] Some of that by the way has to do with alimony and support. In many cases the man doesn’t want to have to pay support or alimony if the wife remarries. Or jealousy or shit lawyers tell them that they go along with (I am not that way I question everything). You know what I did? I did the opposite. I didn’t have any restrictions on my ex wife at all when we divorced. I wanted her to get remarried. I even encouraged it and told her not to break up with the guy when she wanted to. I had a different theory on this (to long to go into) but I was right and did the right thing.

          7. Susan Rubinsky

            I understand all the issues around children. I got separated when my son was four. In his younger years, I only introduced him to men I was dating once the relationship became more established. Once my son was a teen, I would just say, “Hey, I’m going out on a date tonight.” My son would often greet the man at the door shake his hand and stare him in the eye. I found this to be really amusing. He just decided to start doing this on his own when he was about 15. (He would also give me an assessment of the man when I returned home, which was often hilarious). My son is in college now. I understand your points about younger children, but I truly am not interested in dating a man with young children. Been there done that.On the divorce stipulation stuff, these are are men whose agreement is that both he and his ex-wife have to adhere to those rules (I have met three men in the last three years who have this stipulation). It seems to be becoming more common. I also met a man who had an agreement where the kids stayed in the house and the parents switched back and forth between the house and cottage on the property, every other week. That case also had a stipulation that no significant other was allowed to meet the kids or be on the property (really weird, if you ask me.)I haven’t given up on dating. I’m just not pursuing it like I have in the past. I have a full life with great friends and a great community so if nothing happens in my dating life, all I am saying is that I have a really great, full life. There is much to be grateful for.

          8. LE

            I also met a man who had an agreement where the kids stayed in the house and the parents switched back and forth between the house and cottage on the property, every other week. Ridiculous! The idea that kids aren’t more resilient than that and need to be held in such high esteem and coddled just shows how people can’t think for themselves and unfortunately follow the advice of others and “experts”.I took things a bit differently with my step kids. I didn’t cower to them (nor did I really need to because I set boundaries). In one case when we were dating early on the 4 year old threw a tantrum in the back of the car when we were going out to eat brunch. I pulled the car over and turned around and yelled at her and then drove back home. My wife (we were dating at the time) was totally cool with that. It set a precedent this guy is important and you have to learn to deal with it and listen to him. And the kid(s) loves me to no end it didn’t ruin our relationship and in fact I am really the heavy at the house which my wife loves. More recently her parents saw me discipline the kids when we were out. They were really shocked and mentioned it to my wife. She basically told them to fuck off and that I was right. She wishes they gave her more structure. This entire “friends with your kids” thing is not my way of doing things. That said I am able to pull this stuff off because (despite how I write this) I put a great deal of effort and thinking into the strategy of what I do and I am 100% consistent in my discipline behavior. So they respect and listen to me.My son would often greet the man at the door shake his hand and stare him in the eye. I found this to be really amusing. Well I am sure there is more to this story than that but I would have told him not to do that it’s rude and will make the man feel uncomfortable. And mommy’s happiness is important. And to actually act nice and inviting to the man so he likes you and doesn’t have to walk on eggshells.

          9. Susan Rubinsky

            Truthfully, several men were impressed by it. He wasn’t imposing, just charming and sure of himself.

          10. Stephen Voris

            It sounds to me a bit like a rhyme of the stereotype where the father answers the door for his daughter’s prospective date; I suspect the emotional impetus for it also rhymes, so to speak.

          11. ShanaC

            Another trend I’ve experienced first hand, is that people now have these wildly detailed rules stipulated in their divorce agreements wherein they are not allowed to introduce their children to a significant other. I have dated three different men in the last few years who had this stipulation in their divorce agreementsWTF.This is bad for the children long term too. Seeing their parents successfully figure out a relationship in the end is an important modeling thing for children

          12. Susan Rubinsky

            I absolutely agree. I think the best model is when a child sees his/her parent in a happy, loving relationship. My ex-husband got remarried really quickly and my son had the benefit of growing up with more loving people in his life than most. His step-mom and his step-grandma have made his life richer.

      2. Matt Zagaja

        Unfortunately I have. It’s not particularly fun (lots of low response rates, flakes, and people who deviate from their profile representations).

        1. LE

          Fun? Not particularly fun?How many things do you do in life to get ahead are fun? How does whether it is fun even enter into it? Fun doesn’t matter.You can’t even begin to imagine the effort that I put into this in order to succeed at it. Every single email was handcrafted for the recipient and every single email reply was edited and thought about exactly and precisely to have the right impact. Down to the last word.When you do legal work and you go in front of a court (if you do that is) or anything you do for your job do you just wing it or do you put in the maximum effort? Is it always fun? No (but it can be sometimes of course).The good news is that you only have to put the effort in and find one person. You don’t have to make a sale per week.You know the woman that I am married to now? Much younger than I am and in a great profession to boot. You know when I wrote to her I thought I was not even worthy of her. I told her “actually I’d be cool just being friends with you” (because I thought she was smart, attractive and young so hey why not!). Well as things worked out she really dug me and we were well suited for each other and we are married now. You can do this and find the right person.

    2. Simone

      Don’t move to London, I didn’t have the joy of flowers in the last 8 years. Unless you want to keep on getting something nice for you ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Twain Twain

      Do you have enough for a 21 instead of an Arduino kit? If so, you can do experiments and then share with us how the Bitcoining mining goes!

  5. panterosa,

    Being fully present is the best present.

    1. awaldstein

      nicely said. with lox and bagels is better i think.

      1. panterosa,

        Add whatever pleasure you like into the mix – being fully there to enjoy your partner is your gift to them as you enjoy them as they are, their gift to you. Acceptance is the gateway to tenderness, a disappearing art.

        1. awaldstein

          of course you are 100% correct!

    2. fredwilson

      Always. Working on that.

    3. LE

      I don’t look at that as being as important for couples who live together at least not by my thinking. I mean if you have to set a day aside to “be present” you probably have some connection issues and perhaps other problems.In the case of Fred “always working on it” I think it’s clear that Fred’s particular life style is the result of hard work that both he and Joanne have done in the past and now. There is nothing to apologize for. That effort has led to great rewards. Not just homes, travel and material goods but also most importantly to have a pretty nice group of friends and business associates. Said circle would not exist if not the effort. Nothing to apologize for the way I look at it..

    4. Twain Twain

      Yours is best comment ever!This is the second year I’m in SF for Valentines’ Day and single. Here for conferences & catching up with people.In years before, V weekend usually involved being spoilt rotten (his – the ex’s – way of making up to me for working so much).Recently met a guy in London who’s really cool (smart, down-to-earth, considerate) so will probably send him a card.

      1. creative group

        Twain Twain:Unrelated inquiry.We were so excited to even read the article but know you must have. Thought about your brilliant thinking when we read it and Fred’s MITconnection.Gravitational Waves detection as reported in the New Yorker.http://www.newyorker.com/te…We were not happy that other publications omitted giving credit to Marco Drago ( a thirty-two-year-old Italian postdoctoral student and a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, was the first person to notice them.wasn’t given to the Pro-Doctoral Candidate who actually heard it.) Just like Scientist jocking for the Nobel Peace Prize designation.

        1. Twain Twain

          Haha, so … I believed so much they’d find Einstein’s “little” gravitational waves and they’d do it before 2020 that I bet the AI system I’m building on it!Now that will tell @fredwilson:disqus and Albert I’m either a “mad scientist” or I can integrate and make sense of the secrets in the Universe of data like few others can and I do so ahead of the curves.At Deep Learning Summit 2016, Stanford’s Professor of Linguistics & CS said this: “Higher level language is of a DIFFERENT NATURE to lower level pattern recognition” as a reason we haven’t been able to get the machines to understand our Natural Language.Lower level pattern recognition is Machine Learning by probability & statistics. It’s applied in everything from Google Search, DeepMind, algorithmic trading, Twitter’s new homepage to Clarifai’s photo recognition.Well … my first full-time job as a maths graduate was working with one of the pioneers of Deep Learning & Neural Nets in a hedge fund so I have hands-on insights into what today’s AI can and can’t do.In returning to AI, I decided to go with Einstein-Schrรถdinger, Da Vinci, Daniel Kahneman, Ada Lovelace, I Ching, Minsky, Franklin-Crick-Watson, Gallistel and others instead of with Descartes, Bayes, Euclid which is lower level pattern recognition.Nothing wrong with those maths models —They’re simply not good enough for data classification and Natural Language understanding.So I invented and coded a system and tools of a “different nature” to get us to the higher and better quality levels of intelligence, across multiple sectors.

        2. Twain Twain

          In 2009 I wrote a one-line Quantum notation for Natural Language Processing which may, in time, prove to be the AI equivalent ofE=MC2.If God does NOT play dice as Einstein argued … the Universe is not probabilistic and neither is its stardust, aka us.Daniel Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Economics based on his work showing “Our brains are not built to follow the rules of probability.”

      2. ShanaC

        galtines day then?

        1. Twain Twain

          Was planning to walk Golden Gate bridge this w/e wearing my sunglasses because it’s supposed to be super-sunny (better enjoy this because it’s rain miseries in London and only half as hot!) … BUT …Cortical’s inviting us to play with their API this w/e and I’ve already had some fun with my first two tests.According to their AI, Chinese is the same as Swahili and “cats” count more than people as keywords. LOL.So love life and Valentines’ Day will just have to make do without me this w/e.

        2. Twain Twain

          So … We were #2 at Developer Week 2016 (120 teams on-site, “largest challenge-sponsored hackathon in the world” $100,000 in prizes according to their blurb).We built an app, GAUGE, to measure sentiment analysis (facial recognition via camera, speech2text via microphone and Twitter stream analytics).The use case was 2016 US elections and GAUGE can also be used for measuring investor sentiments on-the-fly as earnings calls happen over [email protected]:disqus- You’re so right. Ex was in finance so lots in common but not wrt startup projects. Couples working on projects together as you advised is a great way [email protected]:disqus @JLM:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus – I persuaded one of my guys to do his best impersonation of Donald Trump during the pitch. Audience LOL’d and LOL’[email protected]:disqus – One day someone will buy me a red Walkman and then I’ll “know”: “Over the decades to still enjoy, you’ll be buying me roses…”For now, I got prize money and kudos amongst dev community in SF (and I’m an outsider so that’s pretty cool as kudos goes)[email protected]:disqus @wmoug:disqus — Idea to measure audience reaction to 2016 US election politicians wasn’t mine. I arrived not knowing or having hacked with anyone there. Got chatting to a guy in a Cortana Analytics workshop.Their product was originally called “Thumbcheck”. I re-branded it “GAUGE,” designed and coded front-end, made product decisions on what dashboard should show, wrote pitch, time-cued and coached team on pitch delivery. Added the product features related to Twitter and corporate CEOs and their Comms people being able to gauge investor sentiment during video calls.Apple acquired Emotient for $50-100 million and GAUGE does something similar, albeit with some Machine Intelligence APIs and a 360 camera.The guys did all the hard work and I was really lucky I bumped into them. What a way to spend Valentines’ weekend! LOL.

      3. panterosa,

        Self intimacy is a great way to open the door to other intimacy, which happens when there is the openness the intimacy with yourself brings you.

        1. Twain Twain

          Thanks, that’s really wise. If I’m brutally honest, I haven’t ever been “present” in my love life.Guys expect me to switch off Twain brain and to be happy just doing “regular” things like the movies, music, cooking and retail therapy. That’s fine, except …Shared interests don’t FEEL DEEP and substantial enough to be interesting and intimate over the longer term.

          1. panterosa,

            My partner and I also work together part time, which allows for enough nerding out over dinner, or a diversion with the arts to keep a balance of making love to the brain the body and the soul in the act of living. Not everyone is fond of this type of proximity, but for some it’s magical.

        2. awaldstein

          So smacks of Brene Brown.Such an inspiring thinker–‘what makes you vulnerable is what makes you beautiful’ and of course the game changer quote of all time that ‘maybe stories are just data with a soul”.https://www.ted.com/talks/b

      4. creative group

        Twain Twain:As romantic as we wanted that post to be it actually screamed out desperation. You have all the qualities the right person would appreciate. Don’t chase love it will locate you if it is meant to find you.Your passions are what have prevented locating the person that will appreciate you. Continue with what makes you happy.

    5. ShanaC

      that’s one of the best gifts ever

  6. awaldstein

    Going different this year.Getting up early and heading over to Russ & Daughters to get lox (the best in NY) and whitefish, then gluton free bagels from Jennifer’s Way on the east side. Some natural bubbly perhaps and a movie and NO work.

    1. LE

      It’s not just the lox but the way it is cut! Super thin, belly, oily. I have my local deli guy who cuts it perfectly I give him a Christmas gift every year.

      1. awaldstein

        Right you are. Hand cut lox is a lost art and even in NY hard to find.Love Russ & Daughters. My mom and dad went on a data there 75 years ago. Still doing it the same way. Take a number, wait on line.One of life’s pleasures.

        1. Jim Peterson

          Old school. Good stuff!

          1. awaldstein

            True.I’m not very nostalgic personally.While I relish growing up here in the era of pre-stadium rock seeing Hendrix at Cafe Wha amongst others I’m not a ‘it was better then’ type of person.But being raised as I was, there are vestiges of Jewish culture connected to my parents that just hit home.Great hand cut lox is certainly one of them and so hard to beat.

          2. Jim Peterson

            Mine is standing at the Italian market meat counter with grandmother and “Guido” handing me thin sliced salami samples

          3. awaldstein

            The sweat shops in the garment district were all Jewish and Italian immigrants, at least the factory where my grandfather worked. Used to go visit his Italian friends from work in Brooklyn often on a Saturday.Lucky me for having the opportunity to experience this.

    2. fredwilson

      That sounds great!

    3. Inna Raykhman

      every friday, Acme Fish sells directly to consumer at wholesale prices. a very new york experience.http://www.yelp.com/biz/acm

      1. awaldstein

        thanks!

      2. ShanaC

        I keep promising myself I’m going to do that, haven’t done it yet

        1. Inna Raykhman

          u should. good price, good selection, and definitely an experience)

    4. Jeff Jones

      I miss the lox and whitefish salad from Russ & Daughters. I used to live on 1st and 1st and was at Russ and Daughters every weekend.

      1. awaldstein

        They opened a breakfast cafe recently that i haven’t been to as yet but been raved about. Lox and eggs and a bagel for breakfast at times is as good as it gets.

        1. ShanaC

          saw the menu – eyepopping prices

    5. William Mougayar

      We have one in Toronto called Schmaltz. It’s owned by Rose and Sons. Check out their menu:http://www.schmaltzappetizi

      1. awaldstein

        I was literally raised on this stuff under the influence of my grandfather who brought it every Saturday morning.Dunno if you noticed this piece on my pop. Worth a read when you have 5 minutes as its simply a celebration of growing up middle class Jewish with immigrant roots.Homage to my grandfather http://awe.sm/eNhI3

        1. William Mougayar

          Cool.

  7. Bruce Warila

    We downplay the commercial aspects of holidays. On V day, I make it a point to remind my kids what I love about their mother. The morning starts with “Happy valentines day. Boys, do you know why your mom is the best mother in the world?” The conversation continues on the way to school…

  8. Jess Bachman

    The most successful valentines gifts I’ve given have been made by folks on Fiverr.com. People will write and perform love songs, that are quite good too. Something different..

  9. JimHirshfield

    “I am a fan of flowers but this year Iโ€™m going in a different direction.”And? How can you leave us hanging????http://www.valentines-day-m

    1. fredwilson

      The Gotham Gal reads this blog

      1. JimHirshfield

        Well then, you’ve just set her expectations very high. Good luck with that.My money’s on you finding something unique on Etsy.

      2. Pranay Srinivasan

        Beastie Boys mixed tape!

      3. ShanaC

        hehehehehehe

    2. Roy Elmury

      Easy.. Me thinks Fred would be deciding the direction based on the responses from this community.

  10. LIAD

    Whilst it’s clear different women prefer different gifts on valentine’s day, I’m confident men would all choose the same.

  11. Richard

    Advertising: This is one case where causation trumps correlation

  12. LE

    Coach pocketbook.Coach sent me a email last month (January) with a 40% discount so I bought it early. I typically buy all of my gifts for her at Coach. So I stopped by the store and picked it out in advance.She always gets compliments on what I purchase from people that she works with.Note also the attractive box that they give you. (That is part of the reason that I also buy at the store..)….

    1. Salt Shaker

      My niece works at Coach. Architect working in store design. Keep buying so she can stay employed. Sort of an indirect Valentine gift to her ๐Ÿ™‚

    2. ShanaC

      not my taste, but I can get why she could go for it

  13. Zach Stevens

    Breakfast in bed or a nice spa day, followed by wine and a nice home cooked dinner.

  14. Tribute

    Well, if you asked… check our company Tribute.co, we call it “The Most Meaningful Gift on Earth” and have a special running for V-day. http://www.tribute.co/valentines.

  15. Dan Moore

    This isn’t strictly for Valentine’s Day, but I recently collected the best posts from my wife’s blog, worked with some friends of mine in the publishing industry, and surprised her with a hardcover book for her (complete with reviews from some of her writing idols).

    1. Twain Twain

      That’s such a lovely present for your wife.

      1. Dan Moore

        And was she ever surprised. I took a video of it of it–priceless.

        1. ShanaC

          where is that?

    2. Erin

      I think we have a win right here, folks.

      1. Dan Moore

        Thanks, it was a lot of fun.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        Erin — completely unrelated — you asked me a question in a comment once and I lost the email and couldn’t remember which post. Sorry not to respond. I’ve been waiting for you to “appear” again so that I could tell you this. I so appreciate your presence at AVC and normally would have been sure to respond.

        1. Erin

          Oh! Wow- you have a good memory. Thanks for remembering- I do forget the question though.

    3. ShanaC

      I like that idea

      1. Dan Moore

        @ShanaC:disqus Here’s a guest blog post that I wrote and my wife edited (turnabout!) on all the steps I went through, should you want to do do this (or suggest it) yourself: http://www.beyondyourblog.c

    4. JLM

      .Dan, you are making the rest of us look bad. Very bad. Very, very, very bad.Foully played, Dan. Very foully played.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Dan Moore

        I am hoping to ride this wave for a few years…

      2. Mark Essel

        Haha, was thinking the same.

  16. johnmccarthy

    Thanks for the reminder……

  17. William Mougayar

    I promised to shut down my phone for the evening.

    1. leigh

      omg you are too funny!!!

      1. William Mougayar

        being more sarcastic than funny ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Lil Pong

          omg That’s a funny one again

  18. kirklove

    Homemade card.Personal and one-of-kind, like your Valentine.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Schweet.

    2. Elizabeth Dorsey

      Very sweet

  19. pointsnfigures

    Always do roses. We usually make a nice dinner at home, and sometimes I get her some jewelry. Unlike @kirklove:disqus I am not artistic. Maybe I will go to a Dabble.co class and make a card. DabbleKids.com recently made a bunch of cards for sick kids at Lurie Children’s hospital.Got engaged 30 years ago this Valentine’s Day. I screwed up Valentine’s Day big time early in our relationship. I got my then girlfriend now wife a red Walkman, thinking because it was “red” it would be a good gift. How wrong I was, and I paid a short term penalty for a long term gain.

    1. Twain Twain

      What’s wrong with a red Walkman?!!! :*).Red = very lucky color in Chinese.Walkman = very practical and useful.It’s true, many women prefer flowers but I’m always asking for things I can use throughout the rest of the year and that constantly reminds me of other half.

      1. pointsnfigures

        That is what my 24 year old self thought too. But, I learned not to be so practical. Although she did like her Apple Watch.

        1. Twain Twain

          It’s a really beautiful thing you’ve both grown together.

  20. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Binge watching “Mr. Robot” Season 1 (again) in bed with a couple of good IPA’s and a huge bowl of popcorn. And maybe split a great donut.We’ve never been Valentine’s Day celebrators, but that’s what we’d do ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Sebastien Latapie

    Doing it different as well. Instead of going out to dinner, I’ll be making all her favorite dishes at home. My gift is a collection of pictures of the past year printed out in a nice book.

  22. Elizabeth Dorsey

    Finding a Valentine.

    1. ShanaC

      you already have tons.All the people who love you and you love back,friends, family.

      1. Elizabeth Dorsey

        Thank you, Shana, for reminding me of the power and beauty of gratitude.

        1. ShanaC

          you’re welcome.I write in a gratitude journal most nights. The top thing that comes up again and again, those people. Most people just forget because busy or something. I wanted to stop doing that

  23. jason wright

    bulbs?

    1. Simone

      so she has been asking you for the last four months to go buy a replacement

      1. jason wright

        is there more to that?

        1. Simone

          is there more to valentine’s day than bulbs? absolutely not!

  24. Elizabeth Dorsey

    Does it have a ticket inside ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. Susan Rubinsky

    This will be my sixth Valentine’s Day in a row as a single person. Every one of those years I have arranged a dinner out with other single people I know. We would also invite our teenage children. Last year we had two women and one man. I believe the other men at the restaurant thought “What a lucky a man!” LOL. This year none of my single friends are available to go out and my son is away at college so I am not sure yet what I’ll be doing. I am thinking I may write cards to send to all the people in my life who are important to me.

    1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

      I think it is important to remember those not in a position to celebrate “special days”.My wife and I are very conscious of how such times can effect people who are sensitive or vulnerable, or are who feel inadequate because rampant commercialism insists that one can never do enough – Its just not true.I was at a funeral last week, where the elderly man who had passed on had written a prayer regarding his now demented wife (who sometimes recalled who he was)Though in local dialect – the title was “Please God, let her give me my name”. – noting such a small thing can become the most important part of a relationship.I will celebrate this Valentines day happy for all those who can appreciate the good things of life – however big or small.If I can make my wife laugh or smile (once or more) I will count it a great day.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        This kind of mindfulness is absolutely what makes life so meaningful.

        1. James Ferguson @kWIQly

          Thank you – that’s a keeper for me !

    2. Erin

      As someone who has only recently found love (I’ve spent about 33 out of 36 Valentine’s Days as a single person), the best way to spend them, if you can’t find friends to celebrate with, are in lovingkindness meditation.. or any kind of meditation- I like Vipassana. It’s scary, but it does really important reparative work.

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        Oh yes, I do that too! I’ve been practicing meditation for over 20 years now ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. creative group

      Susan Rubinsky:we are sorry we missed your posting. You should have and continue to get up off that fanny and go out and be around the people you desire to be around and you and that person will locate each other. Being single is a choice. If you want change you need to not only think it but live it. This time next year you may still be single but it shouldn’t be because you didn’t try and change it. Stop talking about it and start being about it.Let us know how you view this youtube video. Not long but very inspirational and gets you off that fanny and motivates action.Dr. Eric Thomashttps://youtu.be/7Oxz060iedY

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        I will be sending some loving kindness your way! Om!(You obviously need it)

  26. leigh

    Macaroni necklace – two of them i’ve gotten 12 yrs apart. Love to know that the more things change in the school system the more they stay the same ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. harvestgrand

    Going with flowers however I go to the local green house and purchase potted flowers that we can replant in the spring. The gift that keeps on giving.

  28. Adam Sher

    It is sad to see how high puppies even on that list – they are property but not consumables like everything else on that list. This is a big reason why there are so many available for adoption. My SO and I don’t celebrate this holiday. Sincerely, Debbie downer

  29. Dorian Benkoil

    Favorite? Nah, just most popular. “Favorite” is something unique and special to that person. I doubt data can show that.

  30. Salt Shaker

    So the data suggests if you buy a chocolate teddy bear holding flowers, you can’t go wrong.

  31. Salt Shaker

    LOL. After reading today’s blog this convo followed:Me: Happy Valentine’s Day!Girlfriend: It’s Sunday, stupidMe: Of course, I knew that Girlfriend: Yeah, rightMonday’s her b-day so plenty of opp for recovery.

  32. creative group

    FRED:No matter how you highlight the warm and fuzzy tools on Twitter the big elephant in the room is:Jack Dorsey (Proven brilliant innovator)can’t run two companies simultaneously.Twitter not allowing over 140 characters is way overdue and too late. Customers are migrating away and not too the platform. Reacting to customers late verse being proactive. Should have adopted the news feed years ago. Instead of listening to advisers in the same bubble that is tanking the company seek fresh advice outside that bubble. That wouldn’t happen because the KoolAid (I am invincible why standing on a chair) will obstruct common sense evaluation. Similar thought processes occurred during the first Tech bubble.One positive: Twitter is not dead and has much upside. It requires a triple bypass before it redlines.Disclosure: We hold no positions in Twitter but are thinking about options to take advantage of the equities downward trajectory.

    1. Twain Twain

      Twitter is up almost 10% today. My instinct during Q4 2015 earnings call was it would close around $18 by week-end/early next week. Wall St punished it on Wed immediately after they heard about stalled user growth: 14.07.Jack referred to “fixing broken windows” as if the foundations and walls of Twitter house are sound. Wall Street doesn’t buy that.Nonetheless, where it was ($14) was undervalued. Overall, I think their overall strategy of integrating the disparate assets (Vine, Periscope etc.) and applying Machine Learning into new homepage is a good one for users.However, there are all sorts of challenges:(1.) Sourcing Machine Learning people who can also do product & engineering rather than just be data scientists.These people are harder to find than Ghost Orchids and they are already working on systems that are a lot more interesting than what Twitter can do.(2.) Twitter isn’t becoming another Facebook as much as it is another version of Google+. It’s unknown how Power Users will adjust to that.(3.) Third-party developers previously burnt are not going to commit to any platform where there’s no clarity about how long the CEO and his strategy for developers will be executed.

      1. Twain Twain

        @fredwilson:disqus – I have 0 holdings in TWTR but if I did … It can be a bit spooky how my instincts work, lol.Heading for $18, as I wrote.

    2. Simone

      So romantic to bring up Twitter! I am a big fan of Twitter and I am not even an active user.. Recently I got this thought that Twitter is too big for Jack, that he created this great game changing product that also needs an activist CEO and Jack just doesn’t have the courage to find his voice. We all have dreams that are sometimes too big for us, his happened to come true. So the next thought was that Twitter may be bought one day. I just don’t see a scenario of Internet without Twitter, because the function is vital.

      1. Simone

        I wonder what Mark Z would do with Twitter (after he fires Marc A)

      2. Simone

        perhaps Mark Z will buy Twitter one day

      3. creative group

        Dare we list the indespensible tech companies that vanished after the Tech bubble. If anything isn’t properly managed it too will come to pass. Ask AOL.

        1. Simone

          Anything is possible, but how many platforms have a link on almost every website? Twitter is part of a very select group of platforms globally. So I think there would be a buyer any day

          1. creative group

            Simone:AOL had a buyer also. Time Warner. It has not been the same.

          2. Simone

            Look at us, we have already sold Twitter :). I wasn’t comparing twitter to another tech co, I am just placing my bet that the platform is here to stay as Twitter or another co/name. I think it is more relevant than Facebook, especially in the long term.

          3. Simone

            Turns out mark is a better business man for a less monetize-able product, while jack is ‘too’ visionary for his own good ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. Twain Twain

      TWTR has hit $18 today as I noted. I have 0 holdings in TWTR.

      1. Twain Twain

        @JLM:disqus @pointsnfigures:disqus @le_on_avc:disqus @samedaydr:disqus @MsPseudolus:disqus @donnawhite:disqus @ShanaC:disqus @JimHirshfield:disqus @wmoug:disqus — What on earth am I doing being a founder in AI (which can be like pushing water uphill) when I could just play the stock markets around TWTR since I’ve called it right consistently?!Oh, that’s right … Because playing with other people’s money on Wall Street is relatively easy whilst being operationally hands-on and inventing technology for the world is HARD & CHALLENGING & ENABLES US TO GROW & LEARN A LOT MORE (including the pains) & IS WAY MORE FUN!

      2. creative group

        Twain Twain:you should know better than to post a chart that is misleading readerswithout clarification.Twitter stock year to date is down from a 53.49 high to a current 18.10.Is that really anything to write home about? Hope that wasn’t the intent.We have Daytraded since 1996 so the financial metrics is our wheelhouse.https://www.google.com/webhhttps://uploads.disquscdn.c

        1. Twain Twain

          The intent is to say that neither Fred nor anyone else has any influence on TWTR’s strategy or share price.Everyone can only experiment and give it their own views and estimates relative to the market.And all of us are ants compared with the elephant that is the market.That is the real elephant in the room.

        2. Twain Twain

          I posted today’s $18 price and not the general year trend because I’d made an estimate it would reach $18 by early this week and it has.What happens to TWTR’s share price is of no direct consequence to me because I have 0 holdings and I don’t know TWTR’s team.It’s simply intellectual curiosity to see if I can piece together and make sense of their product strategy so I can learn from it.

          1. creative group

            Twain Twain:Because you stated you didn’t know the Twitter team. Did you randomly guess that the stock price at an all time low would rise. Where else could it go? Would enjoy seeing another randompick of a company you have no idea about.(We have level II trading access)

          2. Twain Twain

            Actually, I did not randomly guess when the stock price was at an all-time low. I started guessing during Q3 2015 when market generally thought it would go above $35 and I said it would head for $20 followed by acquisition rumors once it hit $15 and both those events happened — as well as this $18 spot when analysts thought it would fall from $14 to $11.I think I’m going to randomly guess about household furniture manufacturers next just so I can look at beautiful & cool designs!

      3. William Mougayar

        you think it will keep running longer?

        1. Twain Twain

          Yes, to $25 by end-Feb. My instinct is an acquisition as a natural strategy.

          1. William Mougayar

            I see. you seem to have a nose for Twitter ๐Ÿ™‚

          2. Twain Twain

            Ha! So my second paid job as a teenager was as a flavorist (called “noses” in the biz) at a subsidiary of http://www.iff.com — that’s a stock picture, not of me as you know because you’ve met me IRL.My specialty was inventing drinks. Yes, drinks currently in fridges and bars+restaurants everywhere. We were the team that brought the world a lot of the Bacardi Breezer/alcopop-type drinks as well as the health energy ones.That’s another reason I’m different from other tech founders and why I have unique knowhow about measuring consumer perceptions.

          3. William Mougayar

            Wow. I recently mixed campari with vodka and thought I invented a drink, but it already existed apparently ๐Ÿ˜‰

          4. Twain Twain

            My habit of “Let’s break science and artistically re-architect the atoms”…As a flavorist, my colleagues (who were twice / thrice my age) created drinks according to adding more or less vanilla / orange / apple / etc.I did things like try to suspend strawberry jelly globules in kids’ orange drinks — sort of like a Lava lamp except digestible & cool for kids.Yeah, that was fun to present to the Global Head of Biz Dev, lol.

          5. William Mougayar

            Ah, molecular manipulations. You know about Heston Blumenthalhttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/…

          6. Twain Twain

            Yes. Where I’m staying in SF, there’s a chef of a big hotel sharing the hse.He tells everyone else in the shared house, “This woman really knows a lot about cooking!”Coding makes references to cooking too. There’s CakePHP stack and we’re always taking about “baking it into the codex”.

          7. Twain Twain

            Double HA! @fredwilson:disqus may find Bberg’s post interesting because it says not even Twitter’s mgmt can gauge which way the market will move on TWTR share price.* http://www.bloomberg.com/ga

        2. Twain Twain

          Forbes just published this view:* http://www.forbes.com/sites…1/4 of me thinks like Wall St. Another 1/4 thinks in terms of design+product+engineering, 1/4 as strategic partners would and the final 1/4 as a user.TWTR team is challenged by all sorts of integration issues (some related to Machine Learning and UX design that they haven’t even realized they need to scope 3-5 years out for yet).Nonetheless, as I said, I like new homepage. It’s more appealing than the old one for attracting new users to sign up (and more lurkers who don’t tweet but can be monetized too).

  33. Susan Rubinsky

    I am looking at that chart again and thinking some teddy bear sellers did some good marketing and advertising because I don’t know one person who would want a teddy bear.

    1. ShanaC

      me once in a while? I think they look cute, and huggable when you are having a really bad day (and need a hug and no one is around) and they are soft?I much prefer giving my fiance a hug though. Plus he is more huggable

      1. Susan Rubinsky

        People hugs are definitely better!

    2. Simone

      perhaps teddy bear stands for any fluffy/cute toy representing a real or imaginary creature/heart shaped pillow. Sure everyone wants a teddy bear version, they just don’t admit it ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Erin

    One year, we went to Montreal and I organized a surprise cello lesson together with a member of the Montreal orchestra, as we both play(ed) cello at different times in our lives. Our teacher taught us a cute duet and we recorded it at the end. So fun!

  35. Paul Sanwald

    I’m cooking an awesome dinner for wife at home. Going to local fish store (fish tales) to get whatever looks awesome and fresh, and make that meuniere with roasted brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes, and a yet to be determined sauce (suggestions are welcome). might make roasted garlic hummus for appetizer.kind of a simple dinner in terms of cooking difficulty, but want to make something healthy and not too heavy yet delicious.

  36. Simone

    I have a deja vu of your recent crunchies post ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. JLM

    .The prudent husband does not leave a stone unturned because that unturned stone will be smacking you in the pate if you fail to rise appropriately to the occasion.You understand this is a moving goal post and that what you did last year will not work this year.You start with Duck Soup, the PGA’s dance band headed by Sam Irwin at El Mercado. Saturday night and you dance until you have sweated through your blue button down collar shirt.Then you go to dinner, not on Valentine’s Day but on the Friday before (tonight). You go to McCormack & Schmick’s and eat lobster and steak and drink prodigious amounts of whiskey. [Do not even mention TexMex or barbecue, if you have a brain.]You make a hand made card and you administer a foot massage during the Carolina Tar Heels game on Sunday. A long, bespoke warm massage oil foot massage. Hand made card.You go to church on Sunday and you get there early.You buy her some trinket knowing it is going to be returned. Knowing it is going to be returned.Of course, you buy her three dozen roses — wait for it — which you clip, arrange, feed in a crystal vase and leave on the kitchen counter top with a single rose on her vanity. You do this while she is out and you have them perfect when she arrives. You measure the stem length with a micrometer. You strip the thorns.Then, you pray you did enough because this will be amortized over all the stupid shit you do for the rest of the year and will purchase (at full retail) fly fishing, surfing, Mexico, and other indulgences like late nights with the writer’s group and cigar parties at the pool with your old Army buddies who are not even allowed in the house.You pander like a big dog. Because you are a FOOL FOR LOVE and a hopeless romantic.If YOU do this and it doesn’t work, I’ll reimburse you.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Hah! Sounds terribly high maintenance to me! I am exhausted just reading all of that.

      1. JLM

        .Meet a beautiful woman, fall in love, marry her and what shall it cost you?Every penny you make for the rest of your life?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Twain Twain

          And what do you GAIN?A time-space in your heart where she and your children are that’s called “HOME”.

          1. creative group

            Twain Twain:If a person says single there are no worries.Different things work for different people.Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (32 years)Oprah Winfrey and Stedman Graham (Obvious reasons)Jon Hamm and Jennifer WestfeldtDiane Kruger and Joshua JacksonJane Fallon and Ricky GervaisNaomi Watts and Liev SchreiberEnrique Iglesias and Anna KournikovaMatthew Bellamy and Kate Hudson (Kate really? Him? Love it blind)(Superficial us)

        2. LE

          You know all of those “richest people” lists that are typically filled with Men? Well the truth is that the man, if married for any length of time, and if no valid pre-nup, is actually worth 50% to 45% of that number (assuming it’s accurate). Further if the wealth is tied up in a private company, the man will need to take out loans to pay off the wife if he wants to retain control. Ditto in any year when you read that someone earned $5 million dollars it’s that the couple earned that money not the person mentioned (once again, man or woman). Being remarried of course things are a little different for me. So whatever I have, it’s all mine and I get to decide how I want to spend it and don’t need the approval of my wife (which she is fine with). Of course I still pay for dinner, even after she just got her big yearly bonus.

          1. JLM

            .Trump has an ironclad pre-nup. I, on the other hand, simply surrender all of my worldly goods and don’t fret.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Same woman. Many years. There is a reason for that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  38. ShanaC

    I don’t know. I didn’t grow up with the holiday. My fiance is not big on holidays.If we decide to do it, we may get cookie ingredients and make ganache covered cookies that are shaped like hearts. *shrug* I have no idea.murm

  39. Kirsten Lambertsen

    TWTR Shares ๐Ÿ™‚

  40. Anake Goodall

    Guys, we really need to raise our gifting game here!I bought my darling wife two goats for Valentine’s Day; already on their way to bolster the local economy of a Papua New Guinean village.#givelovehttps://www.oxfamunwrapped….

  41. Chris O'Donnell

    We are doing dinner and a concert.

  42. Jim Peterson

    Sending my school counselor wife to NY to visit her girlfriend on her week break from school starting Monday. She’s leaving our 75 degree weather in San Diego right now to do so- power of friendships, no?

  43. Mark Essel

    Knowing myself, I begin the ritual early to prevent any last minute forgetfulness.1) Heart shaped container of Teuschers chocolates for Michelle Jan 30th2) Followed by a pair of valentines hearts while food shopping a week later, one specifically focused on caramel and nuts3) The finishing move is a musical card with a heartfelt and short message capturing my feelingsI keep thinking about Valentines day jewelry but I’ve never found anything better than a small diamond heart I picked up for her at our 3 month dating celebration back in fall 2007. Anything else would pale in comparison.

    1. Simone

      Turns out the nicest people read this blog

      1. Mark Essel

        We began as a surly lot, but Fred & the gang smoothed out the rough edges ๐Ÿ˜‰

  44. Donna Brewington White

    It’s what he does all the other days that matters. But flowers never go unappreciated.We tend to keep it pretty simple for V-Day. Take each other to dinner. Notes, poems, and this year, a MeUndies subscription for him. Which he loves. Plus they’re a client.