Fifteen years ago, I sat down in front of a website called Typepad and wrote this post.
I ended that short post (six brief paragraphs) with this:
I read blogs a lot. And i think they are great. So i am starting a blog. I have no idea if i’ll write a lot in my blog or rarely. I hope its a lot, because i have a lot to say. But we’ll see about that.
Well, we did see about that. I do have a lot to say. As a hater commenter said here a few weeks ago, I talk too much.
But out of all of that writing has come a few gems that still are as good as the day I wrote them, a series of blog posts called MBA Mondays that people continue to come across and read from start to finish, and a connection to a readership that numbers in the hundreds of thousands.
For me, I have gained a daily practice that starts me off with a wide-open mind, that makes me think and articulate that thinking, that has led to numerous spectacular investments and has honed my ability to communicate, not just in the written word, but also in many other ways.
In those fifteen years, I have posted 8,033 times. That is way more than 15*365 because, in the early years, I would post multiple times a day. I settled on once a day about five years in and that has become my practice since.
I regularly get people coming to me and asking me to write a book. I always pass because I can’t imagine writing in a format that has an end. I can’t imagine writing in a format that doesn’t provide instant feedback. I can’t imagine writing in a format that requires a structure. I can’t imagine writing in a format that isn’t a stream of consciousness. I can’t imagine thinking about what I am going to write more than ten minutes before writing it. I can’t imagine killing trees to carry my words. So I will continue to write a blog. It’s the perfect format for me. AVC is way more than a book. It is a living breathing thing that sustains me and that is me.
When this blog turned ten, we had a big party. Many people traveled long distances to attend. It was a lot of fun. I met many AVC readers for the first time.
Five years later, I am in a different frame of mind on how to celebrate the anniversary. I want to acknowledge the moment and then move on. I am trying to contain what this blog is to keep it manageable for me. There are many times it has tested those limits. Lately, I have gotten it in a good place where it is working well for me. And hopefully for you too.
Happy fifteenth birthday, AVC.
Fred. I think your blog is a blessing to the entire tech community. I don’t know how you do it, but I’m a pretty consistent reader over 15 years. There are days where I am down and have no energy and yet you the blog out. It’s motivating. So, just, thanks.
So good.I thank you for this. And for the inspiration to keep blogging in my own way over time that works for me and my business.Have a great Sunday.
My feeling is that the world would be a different place if there was no AVC. Many people where inspired and changed their decisions based on your writings and teachings, so you shifted the world axis in a way. That being said, getting away without the party is lame. So, no excuses, but set the date and time and community will come.
This blog and the community are an incredible inspiration and resource. Thanks for your leadership Fred and to another 15 years! Cheers!
Thanks for sharing so many great insights Fred! I’ve found so many of your posts to be very helpful. My favorite would probably be ‘The Role of the CEO’.
Congratulations on the anniversary!
Thank you.I’ve met great people because of this blog. I’ve made (and lost) money because of this blog. I’ve experienced a bevy of emotions (both good and bad) throughout the years because of this blog.Put simply, I’ve learned things and grown as a person because of this blog.So again – thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!
Well said – thanks for all the food-for-thought and inspiration, Fred. Congratulations on 15!
I’ve made (and lost) money because of this blog.Lost money? How?  On a rainy east coast Sunday you have the time to explain that one.
Was at youth football most of this morning/afternoon…but the short answer is that I’ve invested in people I orig. met through this blog (and not all of those investments have worked out; though I would still back those same people given the chance). My d.rip post this week will probably be about this specific topic actually (as it’s a *very* recent event actually).
I’ve experienced a bevy of emotions (both good and bad) throughout the yearsPredictably I will say ‘it’s because you are a sports guy’.  Nothing worse than boring because there is no adversity, anxiety or problems. That is what makes things fun. The team that wins all it’s games all the time would quickly lose it’s appeal.
Same. I remember that ten year party well. Thank you Fred and happy birthday AVC.
https://avc.com/2003/09/my_…Looking back i recall exactly where i was when you wrote this first post, paddling a canoe on a river (the Fulda) in Germany. I had no connection to the world beyond what i could see and hear and feel. No laptop, no phone, no wifi. Now feels like a different world. Both worlds have value, but one is more valuable than the other.Enjoy your teens.
.I have a bit of history with Fulda, particularly the Fulda Gap.It is a beautiful part of Germany, perfect tank country which, once upon a time, invited the Russians and the Warsaw Pact to send their invading hordes through it to gain a toehold on the Rhine.My job was to prevent that from happening by blowing craters in everything from a game trail on up and destroying bridges.The 11th Armored Cav Regiment, one of the plum assignments in the Army of that day, was to hold the gap until relieved, not moving an inch backward.I built floating bridges across the Fulda, though I cannot remember exactly where. The Fulda was a feeder to the Weser River. The bridges were very short, not like bridging the Rhine. In some places, it was notoriously shallow.I was never assigned to any unit in Fulda, but used to come over during the Reforger exercises.Lots of great wiener schnitzel, beer, and German frauleins. One year, they forgot to come get my unit and we spent three days in a forest by a little town.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Thank you Fred.I, like so many other AVC community members, have met some of the world’s top minds via AVC. But maybe what differs in my case is that I don’t think I would have the career nor the opportunities that I do today if it wasn’t for you blogging. And for that I am extremely grateful. Thank you for all that you do. And hopefully there will be many more anniversaries to come.And thank you to all those that I’ve met over the years. You’re all great people. Thanks.Ps. I still would like to reference a digital book by Fred W. I feel the Kindle format would be the perfect compliment to all the high quality posts from AVC over the years. Also, it would be very cool to gather thoughts and insights from others who have taken tidbits from you over the years. A book doesn’t have to be in a certain set format either. It can be however you’d like it to be. And lastly, I feel it would massively benefit the community. I also love the open format that Albert took. Would love to see a kindle / digital book one day.
Happy Anniversary and thank you AVC! Here is to the next 15 years!
Thanks Fred for the daily gems of wisdom or in some cases, just something interesting to explore further (ex. Kickstarter projects). Happy Anniversary!
Fred, it’s great. I read it every day. I value it. I thank you for creating it and, in a way, re-creating it, every day. Congrats on 15 years.
Been here for 10 of these 15 years, and logged about 18,000 comments.The daily reading habits of your readers are as strong as your daily writing habit. Even more importantly, the network effects of this blog’s community are not to be understated.
Network effects. Yessss!
Happy blogoversary!!One of my first stops every morning and it’s helped me learn a lot about a lot and see things from other perspectives.Also got me and maybe other blogging as well albeit neither as eloquently nor prolifically.
AVC is a great contribution to thoughtful, sane conversation. Thanks for the leadership and congratulations.
I was late to the party. AVC was my startup and business bootcamp when I was a bit bored and lost working for a government/academic startup incubation program. It was a supportive community when I was unemployed. Now I blog a few times a week. I have nowhere near Fred’s readership but the thing is I am not blogging for other people, but for myself. Taking thirty minutes or so to articulate something thoughts in writing makes it so much easier to communicate them to others later in the day or tune my own practices.I just stay because you are some good people and I do like the writing. Keep it up.
” I always pass because I can’t imagine writing in a format that has an end” > write a book without one 🙂
Your daily cadence is like a metronome or probably more like the military, but it serves a great purpose. I think it keeps many of us thinking outside of our world as well as the comments.
keeps many of us thinking outside of our world as well as the comments.I would like to also personally thank others on AVC who are members of the conservative caucus.
.What @le_on_avc:disqus there are conservatives on this blog?Why, why, why that sounds like diversity. Nah, they just look different, but they all think the same. JKBravo.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Congratulations! I’m not in tech, but I love the spaces you and Joanne have carved out on the internet.
What a great run this has been!!! Thanks, Fred for your daily reminder that the world is a diverse and ever changing place. Comments can be an advanced degree on a great topic and how we all see the world. Sometimes not so much!!”It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
AVC and the AVC Community have been my ‘Go To’ source for years. Many thanks to you and all who make it invaluable. You keep good company.P.S. Are you sure that wasn’t Joanne who said, “You talk too much”?
Congratulations, Fred, and thank you. Some of the people I first “met” here are my friends today. I appreciate you, your blog, and the community of people here.
Hi Fred – congratulations on this great milestone. You and your blog have had a huge impact on me – and it is obviously true for so many others. I continually forward your posts on music, travel, tech tips – not to mention your posts that demonstrate your domain expertise in the world of business and investing. Mentorship, extended family and friendship all in one – thank you for this and all the best for the next many, many years. Look forward to the chance to talk again sometime soon.
We should have gotten Fred this personalized card from Etsy. Happy b’day to AVC and its bar crowd! https://uploads.disquscdn.c…
Congratulations, Fred! I will look forward to tomorrow’s post and the one the day after that and…
Have been reading for 5+ years. This blog has got me interested in people and topics I didn’t even know existed before. Thank you so much!
Thank you, Fred. I met many of the people who still comment five years ago in NY. I was sick that weekend but had so much fun meeting people and walking NYC. (I walked from Times Square to the party on Houston that day and was going to walk back but @PhilipSugar led me to the subway instead.) Here’s to another 15 years!
I remember that!
Yeah, I was really sick and quite thankful to you for leading me there. I had a great street sausage (that sounds bad) when I got off the train too. It was awesome.
Was a fun evening.
But maybe that is also like seeing the movie version of a book that you like. Part of the fun of the book is what is going on in your imagination based on the writing. So if you end up getting biased by something visual it might take away some of the appeal.   Will point out that this is part of the attraction to many behind porn. The fantasy far exceed the reality. Or enhance it (Kennedy v Nixon on TV)
An incredible night.
Thanks Fred! Been reading you every day via RSS for 13 of those years. Looking forward to the next 15!
Let’s plan a sweet 16 for next year.Congrats on this milestone.
You were a pioneer in VC blogging, and it was so startling to see an actual post by a VC that I read you assiduously. Over the years I’ve felt like I know you, although we’ve not met. (I’ve met other members of your team.) I am profoundly grateful to you for making it okay for VCs to be transparent. Here’s to the next fifteen!
this a huge accomplishment. congrats.AVC is part of my daily routine and a source of continuous inspiration.
One of my favorite things about this blog is when I roll out of bed dragging ass, I’ll check your website and go “That Son O’bitch posted already’damn he’s good.”Motivating place here, definitely gained a couple IQ points.
Thank you. This blog has been an incredible source of inspiration and content for me and I’m sure thousands of others.You should feel very happy about this gift you’ve given to the world. All from your computer/phone/tablet screens – think about how amazing that is.THANK YOU.
Happy Birthday. Good luck. We don’t always agree but I appreciate your effort.
Happy anniversary, Fred.
I’m pretty sure I’ve read it for 15 years. Congratulations and thank you.
Fred, congratulations! Thanks for everything. And equally as valuable and impressive as the content is the consistency.Wishing you good health, continued success and the peace of mind to enjoy it all for another 15 years and beyond.
Happy 15! This blog inspires me everyday, thanks for keep writing Fred
It’s been two years since I started to read this blog and I believe I didn’t miss a day since then. I was right after college with CS and Business degree, hungry to learn, and eager to start working in a startup in Silicon Valley. What I was reading on this blog gave me a very wide perspective about the way startups operates and more importantly their relationship with VCs, etc. I was even going back and reading posts from the archive in some days. MBA Mondays posts were definitely gems!Thank you for giving us the opportunity to understand how a venture capitalist thinks!
.Fifteen years is an extraordinary run. Bravo. Well played.I applaud the AVC community which is the most civil bunch of folks on the web. Bravo and well played to y’all.I have personally benefited from AVC. It is a great place to turn your ideas loose and let them test themselves against those of others. I have strengthened my convictions and abandoned others based on those wrestling matches.It is a great place to meet people.I number amongst my network a number of folks who I have been able to trick into buying me a BBQ though the ledger shows me buying more than a few. I have added some to my regular intel network and regularly grill them, not just the BBQ, at lunch.Amongst those I have met are many who I have met in person in Austin or NYC. Without exception they are all keepers.I launched a business inspired by contact from this crowd. The Wisdom of the Campfire, a CEO coaching business, had its first customer, and many since, from the AVC crowd.I started blogging based on a pinprick administered by AVC and have been blogging at The Musings of the Big Red Car for six years. I do not write daily, but I do recognize what an extraordinary accomplishment FW has by his regularity. The boy must eat a lot of bran flakes, because he is regular.That writing inspired me to do a better job of my other writing and I am a published author as a result. Subject matter has been greatly influenced by the AVC commentariat.I have seen a slice of life — talking about you “just-add-water” liberals — which I might not have otherwise encountered under such a calm and civil roof. It is not necessary that men agree as long as they continue to converse.I have wasted a few idle moments when writing. I make most of my comments when my mind is resting between other pursuits.I have raised a few bruises, which I applaud in the Churchillian school of embracing the notion that you cannot stand for anything of worth without making a few enemies along the way.At the center of it all is one Freddie Wilson, venture capitalist, writer, and all around bon vivant. A hat tip to Freddie for throwing the red meat into the bar every day without fail though sometimes we get just the wrapper, but 15 years is a long time.Salute.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Well said. And as you say, Fred is at the center of it all.Lived for many years in Austin, and never knew of the existence of one JLM. The loss is of course mine.p.s. to this comment – “Subject matter has been greatly influenced by the AVC commentariat”, I *think* there is one *story title* of yours that I think was influenced by a comment I made here. Hazard a guess which one ?p.s. I say I think, because by definition, this is something one can never know.
.More than one. You are one of the brightest people I have ever met. Your comments here are universally brilliant and insightful.Wish we ran into each other in the ATX.Which one?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Did you see my frantically rushed caveat at the bottom that by definition this is something one can never know ? That is – you might have been using that phrase for many years before we ever ran into each other in Fred’s bar.It was a phrase I had used to describe an idea (hint: I had attached a war movie clip featuring Gregory Peck) and you had responded to that comment saying that idea was a real-thing in the army. And then a few months later I saw a short story title from you with that phrase.Ring a bell ? Since today seems to be a day to go down memory lane.
.The Moment Before the MomentJLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
Yup !! You have a very good memory.And the scene featuring Gregory Peck was from 12 O’Clock High.Andy Grove referred to that particular scene in his writing.
.That story was published by the Univ of Baltimore Press in one of their journals. I think it was Passages.Here is a link to the story.http://themusingsofthebigre…JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
.You know when you read something you’ve written, even years later, you always want to make a few edits. This story was the subject of three developmental edits, a copy edit, a proofread before it got to the publisher.When they got it, they ran it through their editing process.Even now, there are a few edits I’d like to make. The writing process never ends.The Moment Before the Moment is a good story and it is accurate as to what lieutenants in war are asked to do. When I read it, I can feel myself being in my early twenties and doing shit like this.That stuff never leaves you. Ever. You wish you could change or undo something, but you can’t.It is the best prep for business you can ever receive.I wish I were as good as that lieutenant in that story. Maybe I was once.Thank you for finding that memory. You were right on both the blog post and the short story.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…
I treasure my digital copy and ‘am always waiting for the sequel.
Thank you for the time you spend on this blog. Your thoughts are incredible helpful! While you start your day writing avc.com, I start my day reading avc.com. Someday I hope to have enough information to write a daily post and follow your lead. Happy Anniversary!
Thank you for becoming the #1 destination every day for so many of us. We come here every day to read, learn, get feedback, and wrestle with ideas that are different from our own. The conversation and engagement has almost always expanded my boundaries and made me realize and appreciate perspectives I might have never considered or understood.AVC is a very unique place on the internet and I hope it continues to be this way.Congratulations!
Incredible feat that you still have the passion and the energy to do it 15 years later. You, Brad and Hornik inspired me to start a VC blog in the early days of SoftTech/Uncork in 2004 – but I decided that I could not blog and raise/deploy our first institutional fund in 2007. So I stopped. Kudos to you!
Thank you for making this place what it is. To me it is like a home I can come back to.
And you helped make it so. <3
AVC is the bar that I swing by every evening on my way home. Most days, I stop in, grab a drink, and I’m on my way. Some days, I meet someone who has something interesting to say, and I stay for an extra drink. Regardless I can’t imagine my day without it. Thanks, Fred, for keeping the bar open and full of interesting people.
Happy Birthday indeed to a great insight powerhouse for the world’s entrepreneurs..and music lovers and more. Over 5000 insightful think pieces on startups and those who found, work at and support them. Here’s to post#10,000. Congratulations
It is not easy to engage this vibrant community this long. For that Congratulations! You are an inspiration to many. All the best.
15 years! That’s awesome! Congratulations – I’ve learned a lot from your posts! Thanks for fighting the good fight!
Fred, there are no words to adequately convey what this blog and community have meant to me both personally and professionally since I arrived here in early 2009, nor to express my gratitude to you. I was reinvented here. Thank you.Happy 15th, AVC!
Congrats and Thank You Fred. The thoughts and passion you put into this blog are tremendous gifts to the tech start-up world in general and to the New York community n particular.
Thank you. My Google Reader says I started reading you just months later, when I was still far from dreaming of being a founder. I had just graduated high school, and a friend who was older pointed me your way because I was building websites for people. 15 years later… thank you very much
Congrats Fred! I remember trying to learn everything I could about VC and internet entrepreneurship when I was in college. There was previous little information about it back then on the web. Your blog and Dave Hornik’s Venture Blog were the only two VC blogs I could find, and they were much more valuable than any books or magazines I read on the topic. I continue to learn a lot from your blog, thank you!
This is quite an accomplishment. Not many people can point to such a rich body of creation over a 15 years period: your family, your union square team, your portfolio of companies, your investments in and around NYC and finally this community. Credit to you for being unrelenting in discovering ways to have these pursuits interlock positively. Thank you for all the time and attention you have invested over these 15 years. Hats off!
Congratulations on the anniversary. Next time, I’m not missing the party 🙂
I rarely comment here even though I’m a frequent reader. But this:”I regularly get people coming to me and asking me to write a book. I always pass because I can’t imagine writing in a format that has an end. I can’t imagine writing in a format that doesn’t provide instant feedback. I can’t imagine writing in a format that requires a structure. I can’t imagine writing in a format that isn’t a stream of consciousness. I can’t imagine thinking about what I am going to write more than ten minutes before writing it. I can’t imagine killing trees to carry my words. So I will continue to write a blog. It’s the perfect format for me. AVC is way more than a book. It is a living breathing thing that sustains me and that is me.”This is poetry.Happy 15th birthday!.. and wow, I’m impressed by the level of commitment you have. Well done!
Thanks for writing your blog all of these years!
I derive so much “awesome” from this blog that, as the millennials would say, “I can’t even”.Here’s to another 15 years!*tips hat**raises glass*
Congratulations, Fred. This blog is (seriously) the only thing I read every day. It has been a lot of fun. As someone who nearly got censored a couple of times – congrats for having the balls to stick to your convictions.This was a day late because I was spending Sunday with my kids.
Your discipline is an inspiration. I especially like the thought of writing without an end.Enjoy the moment.
Really incredible, Fred. Fantastic milestone and accomplishment!If it matters, that old saw that using less paper is somehow good for the environment (e.g. saves trees) is false. Paper is not sourced from old growth forests here or anywhere. Paper (all paper) is pretty much exclusively created from tree farms. So using less paper to help trees is exactly like eating less baked goods to save wheat.”The U.S. has 8% of the total forests in the world, and reached a point in 1997 where growth “exceeded harvest by 42%” and we were growing forests at a rate of roughly four times faster than we were in 1920, when our chop-happiness began to level out due to environmental and recreational concerns regarding timber harvest.” Source: https://www.tentree.com/blo…Of course deforestation is still a big problem in much of the developing world. But that’s all about clear cutting for agriculture — as societies gain affluence they want food stuffs we take for granted like meat and wheat and they cut down forests (for example in the amazon) to make way for grazing and crops.But again, using our computer printers and creating and consuming newspapers or books have zero impact on deforestation. As noted above, we are rapidly expanding forestation in North America…
Congrats on 15 years blogging Fred! I have enjoyed learning something new most weeks. each day. I appreciate you helping those who can’t offer anything to you. I too have received much support through the AVC community over the years and it would not have been possible without you.
Thanks for creating this blog community fifteen years ago. It has added a dimension to my career, given me numerous choice nuggets to ponder over and over, and introduced me to people I never would have encountered otherwise. I wish you great health and enjoyment for as long as you care to continue the practice! Thanks again.
For the last 7-8 years, I’ve read this blog 9 of 10 weekdays and listen to ~20% of the weekend videos. Thank you Fred, and the community, for sharing your wisdom and perspective. It is greatly appreciated and has positively impacted my business.
It’s so easy tuning in to this blog. I think I started reading around the time William started (2008?) and back then I had no idea what a startup was.Now I’ve worked with several, and founded a couple.Thanks Fred, and thanks to the commenters here for valuable lessons learned and camaraderie 🙂
Happy 15 Fred. I’ve been around for about 11 of them and whilst I don’t stay up late to catch the mornings post (I’m in Australia) anymore, its still a place I visit regularly. MBA Mondays taught me a heck of a lot and I’m still referring people to them. You and the bar of regulars taught me about online community but more importantly became my beacon for how to respectfully disagree and debate in a world that has currently gone a bit mad. @JLM:disqus, @le_on_avc:disqus, @donnawhite:disqus, @SixgillBlog:disqus, @wmoug:disqus, @MsPseudolus:disqus and @ShanaC:disqus you all don’t know me but each of you has taught me something that inspires me everyday to be better. Thanks for continuing to hang out in Fred’s bar. Cheers!
Wow, that’s a really nice comment, Ruth. Great to meet you.
Same! (except the Australia part)
Congrats on hitting another milestone! Not only to you provide valuable information and generate compelling conversation, the mere fact of the daily posts is an inspiration.
Was busy sunday and missed this, so I don’t expect anyone to catch this now. Will just have to rehearse for my 20 year post comment:I’ve been here since near the beginning. Fred has told me that I’m good at finding important offerings very early, and this product is no exception. Back then, Fred’s brother “Jackson” was a prominent commenter. Next, around 2006, Howard Lindzon, @lindsaycampbell:disqus and the Wallstrip crew were key players. In 2013, my wife and I attended the mentioned 10-year party on the west end of Houston St, where I got to meet a bunch of fellow commenters, as well as the Wilson daughters.Very notable is that around the same start time (late 2003 / early 2004), Gotham Gal also started her eponymous blog (the NY party was for her, too), which showed a ton about food, and NYC life. Following both blogs was a critical inspiration in my decision to move from SF->NYC in 2005. I loved the idea that maybe NYC could actually emerge with some tech chops, as there was very little there at the time. This blog showed there was at least 1 credible guy behind that effort (USV hadn’t started yet, and Flatiron was about over, so Fred really was kinda/sorta just a guy).Of equal inspiration (maybe more, actually), I saw a Gotham Gal post talking about taking the subway deep into Queens (Jackson Heights?) to eat some exotic and genuine Thai food. This inspired me to dream about all the adventure and exploration I could do re-discovering the amazing 5 boros (which I indeed did, buying a motorscooter for the purpose), most of which were too dangerous and unaccessible to me when I was growing up in NY.I cold emailed Fred who took a meeting w/ me on my 2004 NYC visit, and within months had made the move.Thanks @fredwilson:disqus , Gotham Gal, and all of you here.
STUNNING story. Love this.
I come only a few times a week, but it is still a great and worthwhile timesink when I do. So much insight in such a (relatively) small space. Thank you Fred et al.
Fred, congratulations and thank you. You’ve been an inspiration to my career and the way you treat this blog has had a profound impact on how I go-to-market. I love how you test your hypothesis naked and in the open, something that I’ve adopted , and inspired by you. You are a true stand up gentleman and are an inspiration to many of us. Keep doing what you do. You have a loyal following much larger than you know.