I keep little things that remind me of events over my career in venture capital. And I have been doing that for most of those thirty plus years. I keep them on a bookshelf I have in my office at USV.
It started with the lucite “tombstones” that bankers would make up when a deal closed. I started collecting them in the late 80s and had them on my bookshelf until recently. I finally got rid of them. Over time, I moved onto more interesting things and started putting them on the bookshelf.
I moved offices at USV this fall and I had to put my bookshelf back together. I did that on Saturday afternoon this past weekend.
The new configuration looks like this:
The third shelf has my collection of useless consumer electronic devices that were a big deal at one time. I have a Apple Newton there, a first generation Blackberry pager style device, and a whole lot more.
I have a bunch of family photos and things my kids made for me over the years. The peace sign painting on the left of the third shelf was made by my daughter when she was ten. I love it.
I put my old Mac desktop on the right corner of the second shelf. I plan to put some digital art on there but have not yet gotten to that.
It took me about three and a half hours to put everything back on the bookshelf on saturday. I had to wipe stuff down to get the dust off. Dusting off memories, literally.
There are a few gems that I had forgotten about. The lighter that Jerry and Dan brought back from Beijing when they did the diligence on Sina.com in the late 90s. The matchbox Porsches that Mark Pincus sent me when we exited Freeloader. The “move to NYC” booklet that Rob Kalin made to convince engineers to leave Silicon Valley and move to the greatest city in the world and work for Etsy. The Dick Costolo mask (partially hidden on the upper left) that the entire Feedburner board put on before he walked back in for exec session. I chuckle every time I look at that one.
I have a ton of stuff that did not make the cut this time. Including all of the lucites. I can’t throw them out so they will collect dust in a closet somewhere and drive the Gotham Gal crazy.
Memories are important. A career of memories is a blessing. And I like to live with mine. It reminds me why I do this work and why I love it so much.