What's Going On?

A lot, to be honest. It’s Crypto Week in NYC this week.

The last two weeks have been a blur, with so many things happening that I can’t keep up or write about all of them.

But, here are a few

1/ The Rockets ended the sweep nonsense talk going on in the bay area with a trompsing of the Ws last night in Houston. Thank God.

2/ The Celtics are showing how great a job Danny Ainge and Brad Stevens are doing running that team.

3/ Our portfolio company Blockstack launched a Dapp Store yesterday, featuring Dapps across all of the competing chains. When I saw that on Twitter, I said this:

4/ I will spend the day at William and Nick’s Token Summit and will chat on stage with the CriptoKitties folks at 3pm today.

5/ My friend Steven Johnson, who wrote the seminal mainstream piece on blockchain for the NY Times last year, and I are going to talk crypto tonight at the NY Hall Of Science. Talking with Steven is one of my favorite things to do.

6/ We have completed our Employee Equity Project and are now vetting the data with the USV portfolio companies before publishing it more widely. But I can tell you that the salary multiples that I shared in 2010 in the original Employee Equity – How Much? blog post have risen at least 3x since over the last eight years. I have added a note to that original blog post alerting readers that the multiple table in that post is not accurate anymore.

7/ The Gotham Gal pointed out on her blog yesterday that buying convertible notes in angel rounds delays the start of the clock ticking on the QSBS capital gains exclusion. A great point and one that I have not seen made in the ongoing argument to “convert those notes!”.

8/ Paul Vigna of the WSJ and co-author of a great book on crypto interviewed me and Balaji Srinivasan, CTO of Coinbase, on stage at Consensus yesterday. It was a fun talk, featuring a high five between us at one point. The video will be online at some point soon and I will blog it. But until then, here’s a fun drawing of the talk.

#blockchain#crypto#Sports#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    If you remember what I look like, say hello today!

    1. fredwilson

      Please! Looking forward to seeing you

    1. fredwilson

      Because the Celts two best players are out for the season and they are meeting LeBron and the Cavs pretty soundly anyway

      1. pointsnfigures

        If there is a sweep, it’s going to be the Celts over the Cavs. Then we can all do the soap opera dance on where LeBron will play next year.

      2. JaredMermey

        At what point do the C’s consider trading Kyre and/or Heyward?

        1. JamesHRH

          Why would they? They do things that the young C’s do not.

          1. JaredMermey

            Why waste the cap space (Big decision of when to go over cap and/or tax and start paying guys to stay)? Do you want two more ball dominant guys to *potentially* impede development of Brown and Tatum, especially when they might be enough to win a championship?

          2. JamesHRH

            Capology is a FT gig. Not up to speed on the C’d situarion. But they should be OK for a year or two before having to make a move?

          3. JaredMermey

            Agree it is a full time gig…and one I don’t have so all below might be moot by my ~mediocre knowledge level.The big picture strategy is that while you have cap space, you have more flexibility to maneuver and can keep extending your window by cycling roster. Once you go over cap/tax/apron, then you don’t and you’re committed to who ya got.If Tatum/Brown/Rozier group can win it (don’t include Horford as he already has a contract and, presumably, won’t get another big contract), then why not extend window by moving Kyrie and Hayward?

          4. JamesHRH

            If they are where they are now, a year from now, I am with you.Feels a little early.

      3. kidmercury

        let’s all pray for the sixers to put together a package to get kawhi #TTP

        1. JamesHRH

          That’s a fun idea.

          1. kidmercury

            spurs won’t trade leonard without an amazing offers and sixers are one of the few teams that can put together such an offer without destroying the franchise #TTP

      4. JamesHRH

        D’Antoni comment after last night’s win:‘ if they score and we walk it up, we have good ISO guys so we end up in that mode. They have a good ISO guy, they end up in hat mode when we score. So, when we get a stop or a TO, we get out, run, get everyone involved, move the ball, get to the rim. Same as them. It comes down to stops.’He was GEICO ad.

    2. JamesHRH

      It is hard to take this comment seriously.The market for free agent Al Horford, back bone of a 60 win Atlanta Hawks team was…..Danny Ainge. Nobody else wanted him. Hawks 2017-18 record: 24-58.I don’t have time to detail the fleecings that Ainge executed to load up on an insane number of drafts picks……but those picks turned into:> Marcus Smart – age 24, 2014 Draft, overall pick #6> Terry Rozier – age 24, 2015 Draft, Overall Pick #16> Jaylen Brown – age 21, 2016 Draft overall pick #6> Jayson Tatum – age 20, 2017 Draft, overall pick #3In 2013, the market for coach Brad Stevens, who had just lead tiny Butler University to back to back NCAA Finals was…….Danny Ainge. Nobody else wanted him either, even though it was clear he was a generational coaching talent. Ainge wooed him, signed him and gave him a deal that said “I do not care who you think you are Mr NBA Player, Coach is staying and you will be going.”Ainge should be doing 10+ in Leavenworth for the larceny that was the IT for Kyrie deal. And then he STILL had cap space to sign Hayward.So, in 5 years, Ainge assembled every major piece of a team that has lost a perennial all star and a likely HoF member to injury….and is still schooling the GOAT, his Cavs and the Ty Lue.Most teams run about 50% on Top Ten draft picks EVER being a starter. Ainge is basically 4 for 4 in the last 4 years, with one of them being a rookie starter from the get go.Its nearly unprecedented.

      1. Amar

        Love that clarity! Most people ignore history, some people study history and a small number of people analyze it through a lens rich with context and create meaningful observations! Well played sir.

      2. someone

        I was in Danny’s office several years ago. He had much of this mapped out on the whiteboard. His strategy was simple: following banner 18, get rid of the “big three” soon enough that you can trade them for draft picks. Everything was about draft picks. He realized it would mean a few lean years, but he is playing the long game.he has always believed in coaches. once I think he said that most GMs fire the coach when things aren’t going well, but his approach is to keep the coach and fire the players.the only thing I’m not sure I agree with is that it was clear that Brad Stevens was a generational coaching talent. maybe within college ball. but the conventional wisdom was that college coaches can’t make it in the pro league – “different game” etc.Btw I would not put it past CLE to even up the series. james took a mulligan in Game 1, but he had 30 points by halftime on Tuesday. early in the 2nd half he had a collision and just wasn’t the same after. four days of rest should fix that; I expect a 50 point performance from him Saturday night

        1. JamesHRH

          Great inside juice – neat to hear.If you hit the Wikipedia page for Stevens, it’s pretty clear he was special.Yes to the NBA is different from college. But only Ainge called as far as I have ever read.Ainge is GMing as good as anyone ever has in the last decade.I think the Cs bury the Cavs. LBJ is the GOAT, but the emotional toll of playing w that level of player is the issue. Players of similar intensity leave ( Kyrie ) & players of lesser commitment wear out ( Love, JR, Korver).Cs in 5.

  2. jason wright

    well, it all sounds very ‘competitive’. i’m not sure that’s the most efficient way to achieve the best of outcomes for the most people, if we are being inclusive in our thinking. a big ‘if’.from out of the blue will come something new. i like surprises.p.s. “…across all competing platforms.” that is a trojan horse.

    1. LE

      Don’t get me wrong. This is great for Fred and great for USV. And I’d love to be on a list and ranked positively in some way. But rankings and lists in general (and they are everywhere) are such nonsense. [1] In particular the idea that a number ranking matters (ie 19 vs 23) but yet the branding potential is oversized because of the halo impact. This is the ultimate ‘man’ thing though. Essentially circulation builders the print (or web version) of wacky radio stunts. (Billboard sitting and so on).John Doerr ‘only’ 84th. He was the shit back in the 90’s the press couldn’t get enough of him (and KPCB). To comment on what JLM said to Fred this is what keeps Fred going as hard as he does.On an even more serious note take a gander at the picture of Andressen.[1] Besides we all know that Albert Wenger is the brains behind USV. And he’s way down at #79… https://uploads.disquscdn.c

      1. Tom Labus

        Some basic common courtesy and tip of hat. It’s normal.

      2. jason wright

        “Frederick Wilson” – rather formal.

      3. fredwilson

        Agree 100%. Total nonsense

  3. Michael B. Aronson

    We have gotten informal legal advice that while a conv note doesnt start the QSBS clock (tax free after five years), a SAFE doesnt since its “equity”. I imagine this will be an IRS ruling somewhere done the line but at least a SAFE preserves the possibility.

  4. Anne Libby

    I’ve been a big fan of Paul VIgna’s Walking Dead recaps, too! There was once a robust comments community over there. (Sadly, Dow Jones moderation changes broke the discussion. Really makes me glad for how things are run in this barroom.)

    1. Girish Mehta

      +1 for how things are run here in this bar.

      1. Lawrence Brass

        Yes, save for the picky Disqus bot at the entrance.I now own a collection of rejected posts. But there is a pattern, I think it don’t like too much repeated edits to the original post. I usually re read what I’ve written and edit to change or correct.FU bot! https://uploads.disquscdn.c

  5. Brett Johns

    Congrats man for being among the top VC once again, Good luck for your future. https://www.dippli.com/

  6. JamesHRH

    If tokens are the fuel for blockchains, what was the fuel for the web?Or social?

    1. kidmercury

      dollar bills (or nation-state currency of your choice)

    2. jason wright


      1. JamesHRH

        So, your answer is stock / shares / equity.

        1. jason wright

          i had high hopes for crypto. i still do. at the moment it is an ugly spectacle.a cash grab.

          1. JamesHRH

            The Snoop Dog Lambo stories out of NYC are very “1999/2000 & Pets.com Super Bowl ad”-y.

  7. TeddyBeingTeddy

    Fred you might be our only hope to forever ban “fire side chat” as the description for any discussion not taking place near a fire. Please. It has to end.

    1. fredwilson

      Good point. In will ask people to stop uaius that term when I’m involved. What do we predee? A conversation?

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        “chat” would probably suffice. Like going from “The Facebook” to “Facebook”, but way better.

      2. kidmercury

        “Real Talk With Fred Wilson”

      3. LE

        Invented terms (like invented startups) are doomed to failure. The term needs to go viral organically when it’s used the first time innocently and others recognize and think it’s clever and begin to copy. Then the ‘newly hatched’ make it their own. [1]I think the google guys were the first people to fake a fire and call it a fireside chat post Roosevelt or other cases in the radio and black and white tv era. And everyone thought that was just so cool they started to copy it.[1] I can always tell someone’s age when they use a term that we never had when I started in business.

    2. jason wright

      wire side chat?

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        Eh. Better but not yet there.

        1. jason wright


    3. JLM

      .FDR’s fireside chats were, in fact, not conducted in front of a fire. They were radio programs broadcast from the Resolute desk festooned with microphones.The word image was comforting to the country who gathered around their radios at home to hear the President. More than 90% of US homes owned a radio.There were a total of 30 fireside chats between March 1933 and June 1944. They are great fun to listen to, but the actual recordings differ from the pre-written transcripts as FDR often adlibbed.It was on one of his fireside chats that he announced the US would have a “bank holiday” to stop the run on the banks. When the banks re-opened, the run was over.Roosevelt has the distinction of having been elected 4 times and having guided America through two huge crises — the Depression and WWII.This was a novel way of communicating with the country and no other President until Eisenhower really tried anything like it.Eisenhower had the first televised press conference and took unrehearsed questions.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. TeddyBeingTeddy

        We’re not friends but if I was on a trivia show, you would be my phone-a -friend

    4. Lawrence Brass

      We’ve been gathering around a bonfire for ages. That is the place where all began. I also believe the bbq is an extension of that, it is a ritual that is printed in our genes. A ritual of evolution and survival.Here is a solution. Every fireside talk should have one of this:https://www.amazon.com/Fire

  8. JLM

    .Not one to be judgmental, but, Freddie, you should think about getting a full time job. You’re not getting any younger.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. LE

      Fear of having to spend more time in museums and traveling are a big motivator for many men. [1][1] I have a theory on why so many men mow lawns and do yard work (I don’t and never will). It’s because they appear to be ‘doing something’ and that way ‘the wife’ can’t assign them something less desirable. [2] [3][2] Not a problem with 2nd marriages btw because you negotiate that shit out right from the start along with a pre-nup and other conditions.[3] Doesn’t apply to Phil Sugar who I truly believe enjoys that type of work.

      1. jason wright

        do you wear trousers? 🙂

          1. JamesHRH

            That is awesome. Ad version of Carbon dating

      2. JLM

        .I have always like to balance the physical and the mental. I need a side hustle rehab project to keep my muscles limber and to clear my mind. There is an “other” to it.I used to find the same divergence from flying a lot.I am cursed with knowing how to do a lot of construction stuff, so I always seem to be renovating a lakehouse or something.Today, I am renovating my home in ATX — six bathrooms under rehab right now. One kitchen and two other bathrooms finished. New roof. New A/C. New pool equipment. New paint. New laundry. It wasn’t bad when I began, but now I may want to live here.Moving to Savannah this year.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      3. PhilipSugar

        You know my happiness???? Today I set one of these: https://www.walmart.com/ip/…I thought what the heck, why do I buy my minnows, for fishing and my wife’s ducks. I asked the Walmart employee….what do you bait these with??? He said crab….an old man interjected, must have been 80 and said you buy the cheapest hot dogs you can find. His wife literally took my arm and said come here, let me show you, walked me to the right hot dogs.Happy.

        1. mikenolan99

          I like this for so many reasons.1) The need for minnows (not one reason, but two!)2) Does anyone here believe you are not already devising a plan to sell excess capacity?3) Your wife knows where hot dogs are at Walmart. Got to love a good woman.OK, now we have to have lunch when you are in town.

          1. PhilipSugar

            No it was the 80 year old man’s wife. I do not guess women’s ages but I would give two to one on the over under on if the marriage was 50 years.That is what made it even more interesting (yes, my wife does know where the hot dogs are but she was not with me).She wanted to show me the exact hot dogs she buys for her husband to bait the trapLiterally grabbed me by the arm. That is what sometimes city people don’t understand. She genuinely wanted to help me, and had absolutely no fear.The ducks are funny. They are totally imprinted to my wife. They follow her around the yard and they watch as she tends her plants and relish any worm or bug she finds. When they want something they quack quite loudly.I feel a little bit bad about the minnows as the ducks know the bucket when I come walking back, and it is a complete slaughter in less than a minute. But this is the circle of life. My wife tells me: go get minnows. I say but I am not fishing today or tomorrow (boat has a baitwell), She says I don’t care go get minnows for my ducks. Yes dear 🙂 The excess capacity is rabidly consumed by the ducks.

  9. JaredMermey

    Would be great to see convergence of #6 and all the crypto bullets: Employee equity/token distribution for crypto companies.

  10. Jeremy Shatan

    I love this drawing! Who made it and do they do this for hire?

    1. Lawrence Brass

      So cool. In a poster or T-shirt it is merchandise.