I was talking with my friend Jerry today and he said “everything is possible.” I told him I don’t think I am going to be able to dunk on a regulation height rim.

But I subscribe to Jerry’s mantra of optimism.

I posted Albert’s reasons to be optimistic this past weekend and if you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it.

As Albert states at the start of his talk, you have to be optimistic in the venture capital business.

But I think you also have to be optimistic in life.

My favorite coffee shop near my office closed recently. But a new one opened and I’m optimistic that it will become my new favorite.

The Knicks traded our franchise player last week. But I’m hopeful that we will get some good young players with the picks and sign some great free agents with the cap space.

My knee has been bothering me and my doctor tells me he needs to do arthroscopy on it. But I’m hoping more yoga and strength exercises will be sufficient.

Of course none of what I’m hoping and expecting to happen may come to pass. I may get shit coffee going forward, more losing seasons at MSG, and a scar on my knee.

But I’m not counting on any of that. Why would I?

#life lessons

Comments (Archived):

  1. Pointsandfigures

    The Bulls are unwatchable this year…..but maybe they will win the lottery and get Zion.

    1. fredwilson

      We want Zion too in NYC

        1. fredwilson

          That’s the whole point of my post today. I will never lose hope

          1. Pointsandfigures

            I think he would look good in the same city that Michael Jordan played in. : )

          2. Mike

            He is pretty amazing but for some reason I think the Knicks defy optimism.

          3. JamesHRH

            That is the Knicks slogan most years, no?

      1. kidmercury

        first, let’s send wes matthews to the sixers, and DJ to whoever will give you the most picks/young players. then kd + kyrie in 2019 summer free agency bonanza

      2. Salt Shaker

        Athletic freak, but where do you play him? The 3 or the 4? Not good enough shooter for the 3, too small for the 4. He dominates college game, next level is a diff strata. Not saying don’t take him, ya gotta do it, but there are serious Q’s as a tweener. (Listed 6’7”…he’s not.)

        1. JamesHRH

          He’s a 4. He will be very good until:a) he is 27b) he hurts a jointYou can’t Barkley it anymore, and get by on guile and bulk once your explosion & quickness are gone.The league is 50% leaner than it was 20 years ago. Look at LBJ today versus 2010.

          1. Salt Shaker

            Def leaner AND more athletic game today. He’ll have to develop a semblance of an outside game, just to keep folks honest. Fun to watch, though.

          2. JamesHRH

            Totes agree.Did you hear the great line from somebody on staff @ Duke?’Zion won the genetic lottery…….twice.’

    2. JLM

      .Zion will be a great college player like Hansborough from UNC. He is a physical specimen and great fun to watch.Player of the Year quality and Final Four MVP, but when he gets to the league there will be a million other quicker, sleeker guys.His big thing — 6’7″ 285 lbs — is an awkward fit for the pros. Not tall enough for a power forward. Too big and slow for a small forward.Suspect outside game, little 3 point threat.Right now, there is only one heavier player in the NBA: Boban Marjanovic 7’3″ center, Pistons. He weighs 291 lbs.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

      1. Pointsandfigures

        don’t think there will be many at his position quicker.

  2. David A. Frankel

    Love this — it is so funny but as a shorter than average guy, I too use the basketball dunking analogy when I speak to others about optimism.What I have been finding goes hand in hand with optimism is gratitude. I remind myself to be grateful for the experiences I have had, the opportunities that have come my way, and the people with whom I have interacted.When you have gratitude for the things that you have been given in the past, it makes it much easier to be optimistic about what may come in the future. Thanks for posting this today.

  3. kidmercury

    appreciate the excuse to repost one of my favorite quotes:Hope, it is the quintessential human delusion, simultaneously the source of your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness. – Matrix Reloadedoptimism is only good if it is balanced by pessimism. can’t have the yin without the yang, the sweet without the savory, day without night, etc

      1. kidmercury

        my favorite scene from the movie, if not the whole trilogy….although i find this scene to be close rivalhttps://www.youtube.com/wat…

  4. William Mougayar

    You could have re-titled your post– “Eternal Optimism” ;)To be an optimist, you need staying power. Often, people capitulate into pessimism when they think of themselves as helpless and they start to give-up.And sometimes, optimism persists out of stubbornness. In every bad situation, there is a good thing somewhere, a ray of hope, or a positive side effect. I try to focus on that, and let the bad stuff immediately become a thing of the past.

    1. awaldstein

      On this we agree wholeheartedly!

    2. Donna Brewington White

      It comes down to looking for opportunity in every situation. Although, sometimes must first recover from the shock.

  5. koolhead17

    Life is too short not to live with Optimism. 🙂

  6. Tom Labus

    Nets get some guys back and healthy could be a fun spring!!Ian Dury and the Blockheads: Reasons to be cheerful.https://www.google.com/sear

  7. Ruhinda Ruganda

    Spud Webb was 5’7 and won the slam dunk contest.

    1. kenberger

      “Ain’t the size, it’s how you use it”

    2. JamesHRH

      Spud weighed a buck 32.132.I haven’t weighed 132 since I was in 7th grade.He was part bird.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        In high school I was 6′ 3 1/2″ and weighed about 160. The very best I could do, with a big running start, a big strain, was just barely touch the BOTTOM of the net!

  8. Fergus

    Checkout this alternative approach: https://youtu.be/5jADnNpx3R4. If you lower your expectations you could be happier 🙂

    1. JamesHRH

      This is an important dynamic.Many super large businesses and careers are started with the hope of ‘just getting to A.’Then A happens and you are only 27. So, let’s hope we can get to B.Then B happens and you are 30.Next thing you know, you are https://en.wikipedia.org/wi

  9. DJL

    Optimism makes the waiting more fun than worrying.Anyone who took the time to watch the State of the Union would have been impressed by the optimism of the President. I know there are a lot of Trump-haters, but if you watched this speech in isolation (and with an open mind) you could experience a sense of unity, gratitude for our past and hope for our future in the US that is rarely described. As a lover of America I enjoyed it.

    1. kenberger

      Isn’t optimism the MVP of any SOTU?”Nothing to fear but fear itself?””A chicken in every pot?”(Not that either was necessarily specifically from a SOTU)

      1. DJL

        I certainly hope so! Some previous leaders told us that the good times were gone and never coming back.

        1. kenberger

          From a US president, in an official speech? Name even one time, ever, even in the neighborhood of that second sentence.

          1. DJL

            Obama told us many times that manufacturing jobs were gone forever and that slow economic growth was the new norm.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            ForFrom a US president, in an official speech? Name even one time, ever, even in the neighborhood of that second sentence. will Obama’s famous statement that we would need a “magic wand” qualify?Good video of Obama’s statement is athttps://www.youtube.com/wat…but later athttps://www.forbes.com/site…there wasThe Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, six months into former President Obama’s first term. The economy continued to shed jobs until the following March. Manufacturing was particularly hard hit, with almost 2.3 million manufacturing jobs — some 1 in 6 — lost between January 2008 and March 2010.As is the case during recoveries, jobs bounced back, with seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment expanding almost 12% from March 2010 until January 2017, when President Obama handed over the presidency to Donald Trump.But during the same period, manufacturing employment grew only 7.7% with manufacturing payrolls virtually flat in the last 21 months of the Obama administration.We were told it was the new normal.At a town hall in June 2016, President Obama famously said that some manufacturing jobs “are just not going to come back.” He went on to mock then-candidate Trump by saying he’d need a “magic wand” to make good on this manufacturing job promises.Months later, as the shock of a President-elect Donald Trump was still being absorbed, New York Times columnist and economist Paul Krugman tweeted on November 25, 2016, “Nothing policy can do will bring back those lost jobs. The service sector is the future of work; but nobody wants to hear it.” Later was Trump’s tweet:https://twitter.com/realDon…I know; I know; using Bozo Hussein Obozo, the first POTUS who actually hated the US and did all he could to sabotage it, e.g., shipping cash to Iran, trying to have US energy prices “skyrocket”, e.g., as athttp://www.youtube.com/watc…dumping on both England and Israel, hurting US fossil fuel usage, ObozoCare, is not a good example. And we should be compassionate for anyone as mentally confused as Obozo.But, wait, there’s much more and much worse:(1) There’s Nassssty Nancy, “The San Francisco Treat”, as athttps://youtu.be/GtPBUHYMMF4saying:A wall is an immorality. It’s not who we are as a nation. Oh Nasty one, what really is an “immorality’ are the women abducted from Mexico to the US to be forced into prostitution (you have been painting yourself as good for women?) and as in the excellent CDC report athttps://www.drugabuse.gov/r…reporting the 72,000 US citizens killed in 2017 from overdoses of drugs, nearly all from Mexico.What is an “immorality” is your being BFF of El Chapo and his buddies which is what it looks like. Each year El Chapo has $billions of REALLY good reasons to regard you as the best player on his team.Oh Nasty, for yourMexico is not going to pay for this wall. Trump never said that Mexico would write a check or pay directly, but cutting off the flow of drug dollars should amount to some tens of $billions a year and, thus, “pay for the wall” much faster than it can get built…. because he wants to have a wall that is not effective, not effective in terms of its purpose, not cost effective in terms of [mumbling] opportunity cost Oh, Nasty, on a wall being “effective”, ask Israel.On the “cost”, a wall that costs a few $billion and would save the US some hundreds of $billions a year from the costs of drugs, crime, health care, welfare, remittances, unemployment of US citizens would be a grand bargain.Oh, Nasty, what is it about prostitution, 72,000 deaths in one year, and hundreds of $billions a year on costs of illegals you don’t understand? Can we be sure you even WANT to understand?We’re looking at a grand case of a seriously mentally incapacitated person doing serious harm to the US.Oh Nasty, at this point, in addition to your looking like BFF of El Chapo, you also look like a really great gift to Trump and the Republicans in 2020.(2) There is Fauxcahontas (her mom said something like she looked like an American Indian) with, from a Google summary:Warren’s proposal would levy a 2 percent annual tax on a family’s net worth in excess of $50 million, with an additional 1 percent tax on net worth above $1 billion. That’s outright confiscation and likely unconstitutional.We’re looking at a grand case of a seriously mentally incapacitated person proposing to do serious harm to the US.(3) There is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as athttps://www.breitbart.com/e…Ocasio-Cortez Demands 100% Renewable Energy in 10 Years which should so devastate the US economy that 10s of millions of US citizens would die and the US would race from being strongest country in the world to one of the weakest, a great gift to all the enemies of the US.We’re looking at a grand case of a seriously mentally incapacitated person proposing to do serious harm to the US.(4) There is Kamala Harris on the Kavanaugh nomination and the accusation of Dr. Ford as athttps://www.cbsnews.com/new…with a full video with in part”I think it’s going to be about, it comes down to credibility…and it’s going to about listening to what each party has to say, but I believe her,” said Harris. She believes in the Tooth Fairy, also?But from the current case of the Governor of Virginia, she believes women but only when they are accusing people liked by Republicans?So much for her making “decisions after a review of the evidence and the facts” and being “cautious” as athttps://www.brainyquote.com…withI’m a career prosecutor. I have been trained, and my experience over decades, is to make decisions after a review of the evidence and the facts. And not to jump up with grand gestures before I’ve done that. Some might interpret that as being cautious. I would tell you that’s just responsible. I believe you’ve got to do your due diligence. Senator Harris, just what is it about a mentally unstable, lying, ditsy bimbo you with your years of trial experience totally fail to understand? Senator, Ford is, in careful technical mental health terminology, a looney and you “believe her”?Okay, okay, maybe I understand: Now that we know that both you and Ford are loonies, we can understand why you didn’t see her as looney.Senator, athttps://www.realclearpoliti…we have from you I think it’s going to be about, it comes down to credibility…and it’s going to about listening to what each party has to say, but I believe her…Anybody who comes forward at this point to be prepared to testify in the United States Senate against someone who’s being nominated to one of the most powerful positions in the United States government, that takes an extraordinary amount of courage.My concern is, and she knows this, she is putting herself out there, knowing they’re going to try to excoriate her and she’s doing it because she knows this is an important matter, it’s a serious matter who serves on that court and she has the courage to come forward, she has nothing to gain. So, Ford had “nothing to gain”?Presto, bingo: You just ruled out any hope of being good as a prosecutor due to total incompetence at seeing motive. SURE she had motive, a standard looney motive of getting attention (look in the mirror for that one) and for getting revenue from a book deal.We’re looking at a grand case of a seriously mentally incapacitated person doing serious harm to the US.So, what’s going on here? With Pelosi, Fauxcahontas, Ocasio-Cortez, Harris, there appears to be a pattern of wildly overly emotional, hysterical, irrational, angry, nasty, destructive, dangerous, delusional mental incapacitation.Men, when your wife starts to act like that, lawyer up, move the money out of all the joint accounts before she does, take full backups of all the computer files to two separate external hard disks, move all the valuable papers and the hard disks into a safety deposit box, replace all the disk drives on the computer, and destroy the old ones, have all the locks changed, send the kids to live with your mother out of the country, and get ready for a big fight. Might just move to Switzerland yourself, with your mom and your kids.I have a friend who has suggested an alternative: (1) Make sure she doesn’t have a lover on the side. (2) Replace all her birth control pills with sugar pills that look the same. (3) Get her pregnant. (4) For the first 6 years or so of the baby’s life, frequently mention things like “I thought I heard the baby cry. Are you SURE the baby is okay?”.Then with her anxiety thus stimulated, let her anxiety-driven obsessive-compulsive disorder hysteria be focused on every tiny aspect of the baby.But when the 6 years are up, her hysteria will likely continue except in destructive directions (bluntly, since the hysteria is irrational it incapacitates her for reality, makes her dependent, and, thus, can have reproductive advantage — you learned this here the easy way instead of via much more expensive ways), and you will have to “rinse and repeat” or go for the Switzerland plan.What is with Pelosi, …, Harris, they are on a mission to have us repeal the 19th Amendment?There is some great irony from the white dresses at the SOTU: Those dresses were from the Suffrage Movement that led to the 19th amendment, yet the behavior of those women, especially Pelosi, …, Harris, would have a lot of people want to repeal the 19th Amendment.Those women are trying to be FOR women?Men, we are kind to kittens, puppies, girls, princesses, and angels. So, we should also be kind to women. And, when they do something wrong, like a puppy who soils the carpet, we have to be gentle and compassionate and be a good leader. Soon the puppy can get house trained! Men, it’s up to our good leadership! Don’t blame Nancy, …, Harris — blame their husbands!But we’re not going to put a puppy in charge of the grocery list, and we shouldn’t have any of hysterical, irrational Nancy, …, Harris in charge of anything more important than a grocery list.If she is cute, sweet, pretty, darling, adorable, and precious, loyal and faithful, regards you as higher than any Greek god, and is terrific with the kids, keeping the house, and hosting guests, then be thankful for what you DO have that is terrific. Then, complement her on her hair, blouse, skirt, shoes, recipes, home decorating, how well she does with the kids, etc. Definitely keep her smiling. Yes, Nancy, …, Harris are likely too difficult to be good candidates.

          3. kenberger

            tons of stuff going on in this comment (some of it interesting to me; thanks). Back to my comment:1. “manufacturing jobs were gone forever”– hardly a negative thing, unless you’re Trump trying to “protect” steel workers. Albert and USV write about proactively expecting such, and even welcoming it.2. “and that slow economic growth was the new norm.”– Seems like sound practice to be realistic in what reality and expectations were at the time. Getting ahead of ourselves causes problems, from what I can remember.

          4. sigmaalgebra

            You are getting into second order causes and effects tough to work with.Sure, with an assumption that nearly never holds, “with all other things being equal” we should have robots doing the manufacturing work. Then we hire people to design, build, program, deploy, manage the robots. We’ve made a LOT of progress on those lines, e.g., computer aided design, numerically controlled machine tools, auto assembly line robots for spot welding and spray painting, etc. Yes, those steps increase economic productivity, that is, goods produced per person hour and per dollar of production cost.That’s the first order stuff.Some of the second order stuff is that the first order stuff puts a lot of people out of work, and that HURTS in many ways. In particular, we have to raise taxes to support the people on welfare. The increased taxes cut into the supposed increase in economic productivity.But there is another cause of putting US workers out of work, a cause much older than 3D printing, carbon fiber car parts, or spray painting robots: There is predatory marketing where a competitor uses big bucks to sell at a loss, drive all the competitors out of business, then raises prices, and gets monopoly profits. IMHO, much of the success of Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and now China is essentially just such.As I understand the 1890s, and the US Robber Barons, such predatory ideas were part of how they built their monopolies and got wildly rich. There are pros and cons to such wealth. Pros: We get some investment capital that can be used for more progress. Maybe the rich people are rich because they make relatively good use of money. Cons: Generally we suspect that the wealth leads to POWER which can hold on to the status quo of a cash cow delivering rich milk and, net, slows changes getting to the higher standard of living we want.But IIRC, this predatory stuff went back to about 1800 when England was doing that to the young US. A crucial US response was import tariffs, and these (i) let US industry, e.g., US New England textiles, grow and (ii) fully funded the Federal Government.So, right, the screams go up that the tariffs hurt US buyers by raising the prices they must pay. However, letting predatory vendors in England backed with big bucks, and maybe even the English navy, run wild puts US workers OUT on the streets and, net, is really bad for US productivity. Net, apparently some use of protectionism can be from okay up to really good and just crucial for a country.So, for now, with Trump and manufacturing jobs, the robots are not yet the main cause of the unemployment but predatory foreign vendor are. So, respond with tariffs. It looks like, net, we’d be better off with the tariffs and paying more for “Buy American, Hire American” than having the workers out of work sitting on their hands and drawing welfare.So, in simple terms, the US can, and SHOULD, do old-line style manufacturing, and CAN do that with just some trade deals and tariffs, especially to stop the old predatory attacks.In simple terms, the Chinese Communists would be happy to understand the history of Western capitalism well enough to do the old mercantilist thingy to the US: Have the US workers supplying low value raw materials to China but buying high value manufactured products from China, IIRC what England long did to India. We gotta stop that stuff and are just STUPID if we don’t.For a while, the idea was that the US would go to the Carolinas and help Pakistan do the textile manufacturing so that the workers in the Carolinas could get much better jobs in high tech creating products to sell to Pakistan. Didn’t work: Pakistan got the textile industry, but the Carolina workers just went unemployed — somehow not many of them got jobs writing C++ code for Microsoft. Here maybe the US State Department Deep State adfunks thought that they were doing really good for both the workers in the Carolinas and ALSO US national security because the US would have Pakistan grateful, subservient, obedient, etc. — typical State Department nonsense to throw away the US.I suspect that what Trump wants to do is just terrific for the US and essentially all the US citizens.But Trump faces some opposition: (i) People importing cheap goods for selling at Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc. LIKE the huge US trade deficits and HATE the ideas of tariffs and trade negotiations to get the US trade in balance.But apparently one of the biggest opponents of Trump and his good ideas is just Nasty Nancy, “The San Francisco Treat”. One of her main interests is just to see Trump fail, no matter how much her efforts hurt the US, so that she and the Democrats can take power and, IMHO, seriously hurt the US. The power she wants is essentially a one party dictatorship along her socialist lines. Whatever, she wants the POWER.The response is easy: US voters use the Internet to get informed, (ii) see that Nasty Nancy, irrational, dangerous, destructive, is a grand disaster, and (iii) call or write their representatives to Congress and clearly state what they want, in short, do what Trump has in mind.If the voters can’t see that Nasty Nancy and the Democrats she and Chucky control are a disaster for the US, then the voters and the US get the disaster they deserve.Trump doesn’t need this job. He is well on the way to being the best POTUS since Washington. We are VERY lucky to have him and should support him. If the voters can’t see the near total rot of Nancy/Chucky, nearly all the Democrats, and the NYC far left MSM, then we all will get a serious and very expensive reality check to wake up and CALL Congress. That’s all we have to do — just call Congress.But the US voters were very slow to see the very, very expensive total nonsense of W and Obozo. So, it may take some big slap in the face reality check to stop, just to stop just Nasty Nancy, the DC nonsense. Sad situation.How expensive? The birth rate is so low we’re rapidly going extinct because, really, net, the economy is STILL so bad we are failing at simple family formation. The $7 T W and Obozo had us waste on absurd foreign adventures would have helped how many US families have nice houses with stay at home moms? Similarly for avoiding the bubble and the crash of 2008.The main difference between W and Obozo? Both are totally clueless about reality, but Obozo actually hates the US and TRIES to hurt it. Nancy/Chucky are comparable.Maybe Trump’s figures on the unemployment rates and the GDP growth rates are honest. But Trump is not mentioning the fact that the US is about 10% down on the fraction of workers in the main earning years that currently have jobs, that is, ballpark 12 million citizens. How the women working fit in here I’d don’t know. I’m saving time here and not looking up the details.US family formation was much better in the 1950s. We started throwing away those good times in Viet Nam due to the totally brain dead stuff of JFK, LBJ, Nixon, Ford, and their advisors. Here Trump is right on target: We have to STOP that throwing away US blood and treasure on totally brain dead foreign adventures. E.g., Saddam? Make him some offers he can’t refuse and otherwise LEAVE HIM THERE. Much the same for the Taliban.Can Trump actually do this? Apparently he IS doing it with North Korea.We’re talking nasty dictators. But we are total IDIOTS, as dumb as LBJ to W, if in those sewer countries we expect something else. So, the difference is that we make sure those nasty dictators are not big threats to us!!! Simple enough.I need to get back to typing that will make me some money. All the rest of the US has to do is just call Congress. Phone lines are open.

    2. JamesHRH

      As a Trump Objectivist, he has to be one of the most optimistic people alive.How many people told him he was nuts to even think of running?

      1. DJL

        The right leader at the right time. The media thrives on division, despair and negativity. Cutting through their crap and seeing the hope and good is necessary for sanity.

        1. JLM

          .His tactical decision to demonize the media and run against them was the single smartest tactical move in US political thought.The way he harnessed social media and direct-to-voter communication, thereby shunting and bypassing the media, is the smartest tactical messaging move in US political history.Poly sci majors will be studying the campaign of this amateur, part time, inexperienced complete neophyte who turned the GOPe, the DEMe, the media, the pollsters, the pundits, and the dynasties on their head for the next half century.That fact that he did it on a shoestring and with enormous personal energy will be noted and, yet, they are obvious.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. Salt Shaker

            Painting the opposition, regardless of candidate, as socialists will be his new mantra. The hard left candidates will fade by the wayside, but that perception will be left in their wake. He’ll hammer that message relentlessly until, for many, it becomes reality, irrespective of facts or nuance.

          2. JLM

            .It is way too early to tell, but it truly looks like the Dem message/platform will be from the far left.When you have these big nominating group gropes (like the Reps had in 2016), the winner tends to outflank the field from the dominant, center of mass ideology whether this is their real belief or not.Bernie Sanders in the small matchup with HRC last time, forced the center of mass far to the left.That will be the beginning point this time around and with a large field, it will reverberate.I don’t think it’s even remotely correct that it will be “irrespective of facts.” The Dems have staked out some very weird terra firma with abortion until sixth grade, immigration, free college, free Medicare and other definitive programs.All DJT has to do is to correctly quote the Dems.This is going to be a wild year for Dems.Messaging is all about spaced repitition and, I agree, he will pound that drum.Like Jeb Bush said, “You can’t insult your way to the White House.” Turns out that was wrong.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          3. JamesHRH

            Yes, winner winner Chicken dinner on the socialism thing.

          4. JamesHRH

            First paragraph is 100% true.He makes a lot of small mistakes but his home runs land in the last row of the parking lot.It may hasten the collapse of US society, but accelerating something is not the same as causing it.

      2. LE

        How many people told him he was nuts to even think of running?This assumes obviously that the point of any politician running is to get elected. That may be secondary. Sometimes you run to lay the groundwork for a future run knowing full well you will loose in the current election. Sometimes you run because doing so gives you a certain type of celebrity and voice at the table. Often you actually don’t want to win.Take Howard Schultz. He may very well be running simply so he can be a foil and negotiate something of benefit for him in another way. Maybe he even thinks he could be VP and that is the goal. Or a cabinet position. Or an ambassadorship. “I pull out if you give me X”.Take Bloomberg. He can’t win because he is simply to old man looking and unlikable and ugly. If Nixon is more attractive physically, you are not going to win that kind of election for President. Look at Cuomo. That’s the reason he isn’t running for President. Who wants some serious guy like that. That’s not hope that’s every fucking old dude that you never liked.Looks are important. Look at Alexandra OC. As I stated right here on this blog she was going to be a media darling and get plenty of attention. Not that what she says isn’t said well (whatever it is). She talks a really good game and fully understands that you get more attention with 70% than with 55%. But the location in a major media market and the attractiveness is just central casting for being given over the top coverage of what you say whatever it is. Remember people listening to what you have to say is a big part of the battle with sales.If it was all about experience and knowledge and temperament there would be plenty of old white dudes that would run for President. It’s not a boating accident that they don’t.

        1. JLM

          .I think your assessment of Schultz is correct. He is a terribly charisma deficient man.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          1. LE

            He failed the network interview. You don’t win an election by saying you are not the smartest guy. You don’t win an election by saying ‘that’s why I will surround myself with people who are smarter than I am’. Not by appearing humble. At least not for that office. Extremely interesting to me that all these people thought that the guy in the office of the President actually knows ‘everything about everything’. In a sense it’s probably easier than many jobs where you don’t get surrounded or access to experts and you have to figure it out on your own.Fidel didn’t take over a country (nor did that guy in Germany in WW2) nor did that guy in the Oval office now by acting vulnerable in that way.Also I really hate the entire ‘I was raised in the projects’ shit that people (Schultz included) throw out there (Sonya Sotamayor did as well). Big fucking deal you were raised in the projects. So what. Came from nothing. So what? Attended public schools. So what? Raised by single mom. So what. Adopted. So what.Also I entirely reject (while I am ranting) the entire idea of “I built this one company to greatness therefore I am better than another guy to run this country”. It just plays to people’s general stupidity about achievement not taking into account a host of factors that led to the success of that enterprise at a particular point in time.

          2. sigmaalgebra

            You might be correct, but all that style, posturing stuff totally doesn’t find or implement policies that solve the problems in the economy, foreign policy, national security, etc. — the big two, peace and prosperity.

          3. JamesHRH

            Schulz has disqualified himself, for me, by listening to whomever he is listening to about how to go about things.He went on the View and Meghan McCain said she was going to stop listening to him after he said he was Pro Choice. He should have been all over her, telling her she was the problem in America. Should have told her to stop putting her own narcissism & her childish single issue voting style ahead of the good of the country. Should have told her that the country needs the best people to lead it and voters have a role to play and a responsibility to discharge.A candidate that can challenge the voters to do their part – rather than kiss their collective ass – would really break through.None on the horizon, FYI. The ones with smarts, don’t have the guts (Sasse, Ben comes to mind, as does Bloomberg, Michael). The ones with guts, still trying to figure it out (Crenshaw comes to mind).Happy Bday you old Goat.

          4. JLM

            .Schultz is notoriously cheap. Kind of guy who gives Christmas presents of $3.50 gift cards to his guys at the Sonics.He will not spend what it takes to get serious third party consideration like Perot.The Dems will neuter him for their own purposes. A cynical Rep would support the guy because every vote for Schultz comes right from the Dems.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        2. JamesHRH

          Narcissism is the new core ability for politics.As you say, getting people to listen to you used to be 1/2 the battle, now its 99% of the battle.AOC is Trump like in her ability to agenda set. Some of her facts are garbage but what you really need to watch – to see the genius – is the frameworks she uses that assume facts that are insane.One of my faves is a tweet where she talks about needing to do something b/c ‘it was obvious that I was a threat to the Reps and they were going to come after me.’Just slide that self-aggrandizing / self-serving rationale in there and tell everybody it is an obvious, widely accepted political truth.I think it is the beginning of the end of democracy, but it works & I respect her gift.

          1. LE

            I know you don’t mean ‘genius’ literally and are exaggerating but I don’t think that anyone who is raised in the NY media market as she has and has half a clue wouldn’t realize seat of pants how to play the media. Genius would be raised in the middle of farm country, never watching tv or reading a newspaper and then figuring out how to get everyone’s attention.You know that David Hogg guy that vaulted to prominence after Parkland and is now entering Harvard? That is just normal run of the mill paying attention and astuteness about how the media works and what they pay attention to. They are always looking for ‘merchandise’. That is what she is. She is merchandise. All she did was give them something they are already looking for.

          2. JamesHRH

            She does it without thinking.It is a deep gift, I guarantee.She is not a fad.

          3. JamesHRH

            Haven’t studied Hogg but he is not in her class.

          4. JLM

            .Spitballing waiting for someone.Narcissism is a trait, not an ability, but you are absolutely right that it is pervasive. Nothing new there.AOC is a phenomenon, a “leader” without any followers who speaks about things that will never happen.Having said that I get such a hoot out of her. I really dig her.Pres Trump rode a wave of self-created, policy driven populism to the White House.Surprisingly, he has delivered on many of his promises, more than any politician in my lifetime.AOC is like a cheerleader, garnering tons of attention, while the real game is going on behind her back.Nancy Pelosi is running that circus and AOC is a side act.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          5. JamesHRH

            What did you know about AOC 12 months ago?She will relentlessly keep coming.

          6. JLM

            .She will disappear just as quickly.In another year, she will have run through her entire repertoire, have hung up no legislative heads, and will have a Dem primary opponent.Rob’t Francis O’Rourke — 3 time Congressman from El Paso with a single Federal building name to his credit — has outlived his 15 minutes.Though when he live streamed his dental cleaning, I did make an appointment to get mine worked on.She is a similar flash in the pan.She cannot run for President for 6 years and Senator for another year.The NY political establishment complains she did not wait her turn. They will drop a dime on her.Others are commandeering her crazy.She will get to vote for whatever Nancy tells her to vote for.There is a very real chance the Dems will find a way to lose control of the House in 2020.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          7. JamesHRH

            That’s the classic arc.But the classic arc also said that the President wouldn’t make it past South Carolina. What he tapped into on the Rep side is what she naturally taps into on the Dem side.There are a scary number of people who think Howie Sbux is a robber baron. Dude built a huge business, w health care for low skill employees. He’s not a coal magnate FFS.They think socialism could work if you did it right. They do not think universal medical care is socialism. Or free college tuition. Or an estate tax. Or monster marginal tax rates.Reparations for slavery is aggressive, but not out of bounds.I follow a woman on Twitter who gets up on a stage to talk to NYT guests and proceeds to discuss how intersectionality is the entirety of her life. She’s black, she’s a woman, she’s spent time as a guest lecturer at Harvard, she’s sharply dressed on a sleek stage in Manhattan talking about her severe oppression.It is not logical but victims do not run on logic. They sense the system is unfair and AOC has a strong chance to tap their chaos orientation and become their leader. Two terms in the House, then she takes Chuck Schumer’s seat.Nancy is 78.And her heir apparent lost the primary to AOC.I smell fajitas.

          8. JLM

            .Haha, Jimmy, I like what you write and how you write it, but she is Puerto Rican — she likes arroz con gandules.Mexicans like fajitas — actually Texans like them.The problem with all of those policies is two fold:1. They will tank the economy. Right now, we are pricing the great economy as lasting forever.It only lasts if the right people have their hands on the steering wheel. The Obama fellas were plenty smart, but not smart enough.It took a motherfucker like Pres Trump to make the economy hum.Lowest XYZ employment since Christ was a corporal?2. We cannot afford any of that shit. We cannot afford social security and medicare. We will be fighting to fund those two programs rather than expanding anything.AOC plays well with those who dig her sleek, shapely good looks and those big white teeth. When she gets amongst the adults, they will rough her up, including Nancy Pelosi.Socialism v capitalism is a damn good linguistic fight, a messaging fight.Every supporter of AOC will be a supporter of any Dem candidate. No new serfs there.AOC has to overcome an ancient Nancy and an even more ancient Biden.I am in favor of every program that she espouses, except that they cannot happen any time soon.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          9. JamesHRH

            The fajitas you smell are the ones we are wagering @ Matt’s!!!!Christ was a Corporal is a great line.I agree with you that people vote their wallets and I think the President is a near lock in 2020.But, there must be a wager in there somewhere about AOC’s staying power. She’s tough and a fighter, not flaky and a thinker like Robert Frances O’Roadtrip.

          10. JLM

            .https://www.chicksonright.c…Here is Nancy denying AOC a coveted seat on the climate change panel. This is how DC works.Nancy showing the homegirl how the cow is gonna eat the cabbage?JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          11. JamesHRH

            Nancy is a poster girl for diversity – she’s as dastardly as any OWG.Did you catch the last paragraph, where AOC is seen as a power broker for Dem Presidential noms?We need a proposition here….

          12. Salt Shaker

            Have to disagree w/ you, JLM, even if it is your b-day. AOC constituents love her and she’ll basically remain in that role for as long as she desires. She’ll continue to be in the public eye, well beyond any deserved stature, for no other reason than she’s a great sound bite and interview. Nothing boring about her. A media darling, even for the right. An iconoclast. She’s the Dem’s version of Trump in a dress.

          13. JLM

            .Like every Congressperson, she represents 712,000 Americans.She won her primary by 4,000 against a sound sleeping, entitled guy who didn’t bother to campaign. He sent an emissary to one of their debates.Her “…constituents love her … ” is a thin bit of gruel considering how few voted for her in the primary. The general election was purely proforma and fewer voted for her than the up ballot races.She is primarily a media darling, a new face, a cute face, and the camera is kind to her.She is Jon Edwards with better hair and a more generous bust line.She is going to draw a primary opponent.Nancy Pelosi today refused to appoint her to the new House committee on climate change.https://www.chicksonright.c…Not one thing she has discussed will become actual legislation.She will be drowned out by the 2020 campaign for which she has to wait 6 years to get up from the kiddie table.The media will tire of her shortly and when she is not re-elected, she will be gone.She is a flash in the pan poseur and I like her.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          14. Salt Shaker

            A bit misleading. AOC won the Primary by 15% against Crowley, who hadn’t faced a Primary opponent since 2004. Crowley had ridiculous name recognition since he served in Congress since 1999, while AOC was all scratch and claw. In the Gen Election, AOC won by 64%, even with Crowley on the ballot as an Independent. Those are strong numbers against strong odds, certainly relative to where she started out.

          15. JLM

            .AOC defeated the brain dead 10-term incumbent in the Dem primary by:16,898 votes v 12,880.Any way you slice it, that is 4,018 votes. So, AOC is a phenomenon created by a handful of voters, nothing more.To go one step more granular, her opponent, the incumbent, hadn’t had a primary challenger since 2004.There were a total of 235,745 registered Dems in that district, NY 14.Based on adjoining district turnouts, the margin of victory was created by getting more Dems out to vote than in the comparable districts. Meaning % turnout in adjoining districts was lower by 3%.That same 3% of 235,745 is 7,072 voters of which she captured 4,018 more than her competitor.This indicates, not a groundswell of support, but a GOTV effort that worked.Again, AOC got out 4,018 more voters to cast a ballot for her in the Dem primary out of 235,745 registered Dems.[This is a Cook D+32 district.]This was not a great triumph. It was a huge failure by a lazy incumbent who had the temerity to send a stand in to speak for him at a debate!This is unlikely to happen again.Unless she does something to build support, she will have a target on her back. But, only if the Dems want to put that target on her back.Already, there is one guy working a challenge.One other indicator of a good GOTV effort is that she raised $1.7MM to her opponents $4MM. She spent $1.2MM and he spent $5MM.Her opponent had support from all the usual Dem supporters — incumbents, unions.She had support from the current crop of insurgent Dem supporters.One thing she may take some comfort in is that there were a total of 178K votes cast in 2016 while there were only 67K in 2014. In 2014, there was no Rep opponent.In 2012, when Crowley did have a Rep opponent, total votes were 171K.This demonstrates that there is not some huge upheaval going on in that district.Just numbers.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

          16. JamesHRH

            The Dem’s version of Trump HAS to be in a dress!

          17. sigmaalgebra

            WOW! Actual INFORMATION!!!That is so rare and so important, maybe there is a secret law against reporting information?So, there is a suspicion that the real source is not BRC but JLM!!!

          18. sigmaalgebra

            As in my post here today on AOC, Nasty Nancy, etc., AOCs statement about 100% renewable energy in 10 years will forever block her from any important role in politics, policy, or government.E.g., before some unlikely, revolutionary progress in electric storage batteries, her 100% will be forever impossible, and attempting it would be from hugely wasteful and a shot in the gut of the US economy down to more damage to the US than any of Tojo, Hitler, Stalin, or Mao ever dreamed — literally and by a wide margin. Her ideas on electric power engineering are worse than trying to have us all go to Mars on a moonbeam because the latter is more obviously nonsense.I can understand that she feels emotions and regards them as what is most important in reality. But she is so wildly overly emotional that she is outrageously irresponsible and just does NOT have even a HINT of just how bad her ideas are, how much damage they would do.Just one of her ideas, on energy, would suddenly take the US back to about 1900 and along the way kill tens of millions of US citizens.She just goes on this way, on and on, proposing one US wrecking disaster after another. A recent one is to replace airlines with high speed trains. Okay, I know something about overnight air freight — she’d kill nearly all of FedEx and much of UPS — by now, those two are crucial pillars of the US economy. Much of the reason for the start of FedEx was that trains and trucks just could NOT do nationwide overnight small package delivery. Uh, sweetheart, the FedEx planes go about 0.8 Mach, about 500 MPH. For more, look at the routes of the larger US commercial airlines, replace them with trains, add up the cost of the tracks and related infrastructure, and then add the costs and, finally, the travel TIMES. A trip that takes 2 hours now at 500 MPH would take 10 hours at 100 MPH.One could argue that passenger trains could work over short distances, e.g., the Northeast Corridor, in parts of the Midwest, or along the coast of CA, but so far all those attempts lose big bucks.Any little drop of rationality will kill off her ideas like swatting a cockroach running across a kitchen counter.For now, she is news headlines for eyeballs and click bait.My guess is that she is a “passing fancy” and in a few months will be “old news”.

          19. JamesHRH

            How many disqualifying things has Trump said?It is a new age and she is a force – that’s my bet.

          20. sigmaalgebra

            I don’t want to be wrong about Trump: If he is doing something wrong, then I want to know about it.For “how many” that are said seriously and are significant, I’d like to see a few. I can’t think of any. Trump does “exaggerate” and is “selling” (ABC — always be closing) and does do some “negotiations” with foreign governments, but otherwise I find his policy positions just fine up to terrific.There are some hints now that he might trade away his “Hire American” and permit a lot more HxB immigrants to get the rest he wants on immigration. But he has a heck of a negotiating position on immigration — just follow the Constitution on “faithfully execute the laws” or some such. So, he could just round up 100% of the people in the US not here legally and deport them, millions of them. Ike did some such with some of the workers imported for the factory work during WWII.

      3. sigmaalgebra

        His father also told him not to try to make a success in Manhattan real estate.My guess is not that he shoots from the hip and gets lucky. Instead he has some abilities to take aim and hit his target, i.e., had some reasons, solid in his own mind, how he had a good shot at winning,In retrospect, he counted votes in the Electoral College, conceded CA and NY, but for the rest of the country went for the blue or white collar vote with some good reasons to believe he could get their votes. His practice in his TV show helped, his airplane, his ability early on to get good news coverage cheap, being a good manager of small staffs being successful at big projects, being self-funded all helped. As he gave his rallies, he practiced, watched the audience reactions, and learned.He saw that W let the real estate bubble grow and burst and out of some elitist Republican thingy totally blew it with LOTS of US blood and treasure on just ABSURD, totally BRAIN DEAD, foreign adventures. Then for Obama, he saw the disaster of ObamaCare, the Iran deal, the very slow recovery from the burst real estate bubble, the harm to his audiences from importing cheap goods and cheap labor, etc.He saw that from both R/D elites, the system was essentially rigged, and his audience was paying for the nonsense. The R/D elites didn’t want to go to his audience and didn’t do the arithmetic of the Electoral College to see their vulnerability. For the blacks, he had a simple statement: “What do you have to lose?”.For the other Rs in the R primary, they just stayed with one or another form of the old W, Romney R elites and also quickly lost.I’m guessing those points are much of why he saw his path to victory.

    3. Donna Brewington White

      I discovered at dinner tonight that my 18 y.o. (high school senior) actually watched the SOTU address and came away inspired.

      1. DJL

        There is hope for the future! While we always have a way to go, I’m not sure there has been a better time in history to be an educated, driven female living in the USA. All the best to her.

        1. Donna Brewington White

          This was my son. :)I do have a college senior that fits the description you gave. She is truly amazing. She is beginning to think she is a future entrepreneur.I was just impressed that my son took it upon himself to watch the SOTU of his own accord. The whole thing.Two of my sons can do great Obama and Trump imitations. They will do these little dialogues using their voices. Really hilarious.

  10. Farhan Lalji

    As an entrepreneur I’m usually an optimist, as an investor I’m learning to be an optimistic realist and as a shareholder I’m generally a realistic pessimist.

  11. Mike Chan

    Come on, Fred, let’s be realistic. You know you’re gonna see plenty of losing seasons at MSG as long as Dolan is owner.

  12. karen_e

    Great post on a rainy day. Freddie being Freddie.

  13. kenberger

    “I would take a course on optimism.But I doubt it would do any good.”

    1. kenberger

      Seriously: our beloved Albert teaches a major university course on PMF (which I myself would sacrifice much to attend.)The notion this can actually be learnt in a class seems a case for optimism!

      1. sigmaalgebra

        “PMF”, that is an acronym for Poor Mental Function? How about Pissed MF where the MF abbreviates what some new Member of Congress called our POTUS? How about Piston Metal Fatigue? What about Pervasive Media Fakery?Gee, we could write a little bit of code and have an acronym decoder: Get three lists of words, that start with each of ‘P’, ‘M’, and ‘F’, and then pick at random one word from each list in that order.

        1. kenberger

          Pardon My French.Palm Meet Forehead.Now… Please Move Forward.:)

          1. jason wright

            Optimism and PMF is a causal relationship?

          2. kenberger

            was saying I think it’s awesome that someone as qualified as Albert is teaching a course on Product-Market Fit. I would think that’s tough to learn in class, thus the case for optimism, although if anyone can do it super well, it’s Albert.

          3. jason wright

            Oh, that PMF. Albert…Wenger? Where’s this happening?

          4. sigmaalgebra

            You are better with words than I am!My wife was terrific with words — early on we played Scrabble. I lost terribly. But slowly I was getting better. But she was getting better faster than I was, her margin increased, and soon she refused to play me anymore. She was REALLY good with language, e.g., explained why she was so good with spelling: “I can see the words.”. So, sure, she won spelling bees! Being able to see the words, that should be cheating, right?I have a thing about TLAs — Three Letter Acronyms and try to eradicate their use — an effort less useful than tilting at windmills.

          5. kenberger

            FYI, no BFD, TBH. IMO FTW.

          6. Vasudev Ram

            Parlez Moi Français.

      2. Adam Sher

        You can get a PhD in it.

  14. Adam Sher

    If you want to dive into the psychology of optimism check out Martin Seligman’s work on positive psychology and http://positivepsychology.o

  15. Jack Harrison

    You wouldn’t invest in a company without researching it first, right? Don’t be optimistic about arthroscopy. After doing it twice with a “renowned” surgeon in SoCal, having been told it will help, and then having no benefit in one knee and the other actually being worse ever since (3 years ago), then I did some research and found it is one of the most performed surgeries with the least benefit. https://health.usnews.com/health-care/patient-advice/articles/2017-06-22/the-case-against-and-for-arthroscopic-knee-surgery

    1. Dorian Benkoil

      I had arthroscopic surgery on a knee and it helped a lot. “Past success is no guarantee of future results.”

    2. fredwilson

      It might be that this post was actually a thinly veiled effort to get some advice on that. Thank you!!!

      1. Mario Cantin

        I’ve decided against meniscus knee surgery in 2012 and have been doing physiotherapy exercises for my knees every single day since — a short routine. Also, close to a year ago, I started taking collagen daily without exception. What knee problem? Obviously everyone is a unique case, but that’s me and clearly I had good reasons to be optimistic 🙂 Best of luck.

      2. Donna Brewington White

        I had some joint pains that went away when I removed gluten from my diet. Gluten contributes to inflammation. May be worth looking into.I will ask my husband about a device he used that helped his knee to heal without surgery. If he thinks it is relevant to your situation, will email you the info.

        1. jason wright

          Gluten-free here. Fred also needs to give up those Utah moguls.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            What caused you to adopt a gluten free diet? Did you notice any significant changes as a result?

          2. Donna Brewington White

            Is Utah moguls a thing?

        2. Vasudev Ram

          >I had some joint pains that went away when I removed gluten from my diet.Interesting. Was that a problem, to become gluten-free? I mean, wheat (which contains gluten) is there in so many food items. I have heard that some millets have less or no gluten.

          1. Donna Brewington White

            Hi Vasudev!Any small amount of gluten affects me, so it is all or none in my case. I am not Celiac so not as detrimental for me, but the difference in my wellbeing is inarguable.BTW, discovered my gluten sensitivity accidentally. I have a son with inflammatory bowel disease and avoiding gluten helped ease his symptoms. It was very difficult for him and so I became gluten free in solidarity and to better empathize — then noticed that certain pains and occasional mystery illnesses had disappeared.It took time to learn all the sources of gluten that are not obvious, such as soy sauce, and even some grains such as oats that do not naturally contain gluten but can be contaminated by being harvested with wheat, barley or rye.It has been several years and I have grown accustomed to this diet. It has contributed to eating more healthily in general and made it easier to transition to a ketogenic diet that I adopted to avoid diabetes (which runs in my family).It does help that there are so many delicious gluten-free alternatives for things like pizza and crackers — but I have gotten to the point of relying very little on these. After a while, appetite changes.There is a small device called Nima Sensor that can be used to test for gluten in foods. There are also enzyme capsules that can help when an exception is needed or gluten is accidentally consumed. The latter came in handy for a trip to England and France. Of course, I had to have scones with Afternoon Tea (which we call High Tea in the U.S.) and croissants, right? But, except for a few exceptions, I was able to eat sans gluten relatively easily. even in these countries.Hope this helps!

          2. Vasudev Ram

            Hi Donna,It definitely helps! Thanks for the detailed reply. Will pass along the info to my relatives.

  16. Susan Rubinsky

    Oooooo. I think you’re channeling Seth Godin today. I like it.

  17. Mario Cantin

    And I’m optimistic that crypto will skyrocket its utility so I can continue cashing out and I’m optimistic about aspects of my personal life, but I’m also thankful for what I do have and appreciate it, even if I’m surrounded by people who seemingly have way more.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      I picture you typing this lying on your hammock in Aruba at some awesome beach…Sun helps to be an optimist… 🙂

      1. Girish Mehta

        +1 on sunshine. Hence the phrase “having a sunny disposition” 🙂

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Kind of hazy here today, but plenty of sunny and hot days lately.. sending some to you my friend. 🙂

          1. Girish Mehta

            Nice, bright and sunny almost every single day here for the past several months, 75-80 degrees F…

          2. Lawrence Brass

            Then we have no excuse not to be optimists.That’s New Delhi, right?

      2. Mario Cantin

        You sure pay attention: I mentioned Aruba in the comment section of Fred’s blog two days ago 🙂 https://uploads.disquscdn.c

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Yep. I do read and I am also a bit obsessive with the details. :-)Beautiful beach!

      3. Vasudev Ram

        The ancient Indians, like many other ancient peoples, worshiped the sun (among other entities). There is a very good comprehensive traditional Indian exercise called Surya Namaskar (it means namaste or salutation to the sun), which exercises almost all parts of the body (external and some internal) and multiple rounds of it can be done in a few minutes, each round taking only a minute or so.https://www.google.co.in/se

  18. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Problems are inevitable, but if you let them get you down, then you have *two* problems.

    1. PhilipSugar

      I love this quote. I lost my wallet when I just got out of college in NYC. Some kind soul sent it back to the address on the license, my parents house. They put a note saying they took a $20 for postage and handling (it would have been worth infinitely more than that).My parents freaked out. Why didn’t you tell us? How did you lose it, on and on. I said Mom I lost my wallet that was a problem, now I am listening to you freak out that is another problem. You are a NASA mathematician, do the math, do I want one or two problems.

      1. Kirsten Lambertsen

        Ha! Great story 🙂

  19. Dorian Benkoil

    Glass half-full.

    1. jason wright

      but of what is also of some importance.

  20. Mica is awesome!

    “Of course none of what I’m hoping and expecting to happen may come to pass. I may get shit coffee going forward, more losing seasons at MSG, and a scar on my knee.But I’m not counting on any of that. Why would I?”Because sometimes being overly optimistic dulls your abilities to foresee the dangers or problems ahead and if the problems you stated were bigger, it could be one big screw up.

  21. Lawrence Brass

    Late fifties have brought every accident I’ve had in the form of mild pain reminders, especially during the winter. My left knee can predict bad weather.I don’t know if this applies to everyone but there is nothing better for knee and back pain than to workout moderately. Obviously it depends on the type of the lesion.Biking is my healer.

    1. JLM

      .MTC Oil.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

  22. jerrycolonna

    FWIW, I think the optimism I can feel, I can share, is born out of heartbreak. Meaning that heartbreak (and fear and sadness) lead to resilience which then ultimately leads to an equanimity. And from that movement stems the belief that not only is everything possible but everything is also workable.

    1. JamesHRH

      Every personality type is different.I’m optimistic by logic.

  23. awaldstein

    Hey Fred.Re: your knee.Always a good think to ask if PRP is a solution or a part of the recovery. Not covered by insurance but for some things, truly a miracle.And like many alternative treatments, has its roots in professional sports where it is used all the time.

      1. awaldstein

        Been in use in pro athletics for a decade. Lots of research on it.My orthopedist works for one of the women’s Olympic teams and she turned me on to it.Skill at how administered matters. And interesting, studies are showing that your nutritional health is in some way connected to the success of the treatment.Works for me. Worth checking into in my opinion.Will most likely never be covered by insurance, or least not anytime soon.

        1. LE

          I am a big believer in leaving no stone unturned and putting in the effort for the best results in medicine. As a kid I had a hand issue and they said ‘sorry have to operate’. As a last resort my mom took me to ‘the best hand surgeon in the city’. He was one of those types that had 20 residents and fellows following his every move and you had to wait 5 hours because he took as much time as needed with patients. After examining me he said ‘no surgery we will try this treatment first’. I was then led into what appeared to be a woodshop where he had developed different exercises and treatments using wood working equipment (I was young so I may be off on that). Anyway they made some special brace for me. I wore it, and problem solved. Just like that. That is what experience and creativity gets you. [1]Years later my Dad went to the same doctor for an issue. He told him the injury just happened (I think so he could get it covered in some kind of insurance). The other doctors had believed him when he said that. This expert bent this, pushed that and proclaimed ‘sorry you have had this for a long long time’. My dad of course fessed up but was super impressed.I actually came up with a way to stop my long standing (15 to 20 year) need to take Nexium every day. That is after going to a MD Phd and various specialists who offered nothing but a GI and standard advice which of course I already knew. I am better now also off the med than I ever was even when I took the medication. It’s scary how simple the solution was and that nobody asked the right questions to get to the bottom of the problem.[1] People think that Physicians, like ‘computer guys’ know everything about everything. I can assure you having dated two and being married to one that is definitely not the case.

          1. awaldstein

            The major dictum of Wellness as an approach towards health is taking control of it.We are both saying that.

  24. Mitch Kline

    I am a Lion’s fan. Have to have optimism. Also a trait of great leaders is optimism. People do not follow someone that does not have hope. Fred keep strength training your knee. You can do it!!!

  25. JamesHRH

    When you discuss the difference between primates and humans, the biggest things are not emotional.They are the ability to abstract (time, math, models).And the capacity for hope.

  26. sachmo

    “I told him I don’t think I am going to be able to dunk on a regulation height rim.”Not with that attitude!

    1. fredwilson

      I’m not much of an athlete

  27. LE

    Optimism is also closely related to not worrying. For example I was not worried at all about paying for my kids college and to that point did not put a single dollar away in advance for that event. I just worked hard every day and didn’t think at all about paying for college which was so far in the future. And when college time came around, viola there was enough money to pay for it. Just like that. Had I worried about it it would have been counter productive to actually achieving the goal of being able to pay for it. I could point to a host of other things that have worked similarly. Never worried about weight or diet, just follow a few simple rules, exercised every day and it works out. No anxiety at all. That said YMMV.I know this sounds actually like stupid simplistic advice. That is not the point. The point is anything that detracts from achieving a greater goal has to be taken into account as a negative with respect to actual impact of that worry.To young parents I think this is why it’s really important to focus on appearing to be in control of situations when your kids are young. If they see you ‘spaz out’ in the face of negative events they will then develop a fear that they can’t control a situation. If they see you are in control and things don’t bother you they will then feel most likely in a similar that things are under your control. I never saw my father obsess over money really or paying for college or retirement and so on (and we were middle class not rich). I just saw him work hard and always be in control of things and think he was smarter than others and that things would work out. Things like this are way way way more important to a child’s development than attending their stupid plays and ball games. I remember when I applied to the ‘good and expensive’ college. My mom said ‘how are we going to pay for it!’. My dad said ‘eh let’s see if he gets in first then we will figure it out’. No worry on his part.

    1. JamesHRH

      The classic unscientific but true maxim: ‘99% of things that people worry about never happen.’

      1. LE

        Yes but the corollary I use is with crossing the street. Just because most of the time and in most places you won’t get hit by a car you look both ways for the 1% that you will.Worry is also a protective mechanism. It causes you to take action to prevent what you are worried about. Sometimes that action has little impact other than to simply make you feel as if you are in control in some way.This is why many people go overboard with diet, exercise and certain lifestyle choices. It’s about control not some rational belief that there is actually great benefit.

        1. sigmaalgebra

          In extreme cases, worry leads to anxiety which can lead to depression, hurt performance, create more stress and depression, clinical depression, and suicide. Been known to happen.

      2. sigmaalgebra

        That is one of the themes in the movie The Big Short and the money making strategy of the firm Brownfield Capital.My wife had just exquisite judgment about highly indefinite, ambiguous situations (when they didn’t involve her directly) and kept advising me “The worst rarely happens.” It’s good advice although she was not able to use it in her own life.

    2. JH

      You illustrate a really important point. Optimism must be paired with hard work. Too many people employ hope as a strategy and don’t do what’s necessary to have a shot at achieving the results they’re after.A lot of this is rooted in taking complete responsibility for your life.I like Ray Dalio’s approach in Principles. He was incredibly optimistic while at the same time obsessed with understanding reality. You need both to avoid being the dreamer who never goes anywhere.

  28. Pete Griffiths

    wrt kneeI have had such problems on several occasions and have found that thorough rest has worked practically every time. Surgeons love to cut.

  29. jason wright

    What floor are you on at Flatiron, and do you take the stairs?

  30. JLM

    .Unless you are in real, continuous pain that is at a high level or getting worse, a routine clean up arthroscopic surgery on a knee is suspect. You would need to see a tear, some pieces of flotsam, or some MRI evidence to convince me.OTOH, as long as they don’t whip out a chain saw, it’s not particularly invasive. I had chainsaw right rotator cuff cut job from a Wide World of Sports type of skiing fall under the gondola at SBS about fifteen years ago.Turned out fine. The pain was bearable and the rehab lasted two months. If you can bear the pain it is a piece of cake.I would try a rubber wrap on that knee for a month if it feels unsteady or painful.I had that diagnosis on both knees. Never did it.I take MTC Oil from Whole Foods every day with my coffee. Knees don’t have a lick of pain, joints are silky smooth, I have not a gray hair on my head and I’m 68 today.This MTC Oil is great stuff.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. Vasudev Ram

      MTC. or was it a typo and should be MCT?When I do this Google search: MTC Oil from Whole Foodsit shows me this:Showing results for MCT Oil from Whole FoodsSearch instead for MTC Oil from Whole FoodsI have aged relatives who have joint pain. May want to suggest it to them.

      1. Girish Mehta

        Medium chain triglycerides. MCT. You have a rich source of MCT in traditional Indian and southeast asian cuisine – coconut oil. Coconut oil is about 60% MCTs. Its possible your relatives already are getting MCT if they are cooking in coconut oil (or dishes like Avial, chutney etc).The only fats I consume in my home cooking are coconut oil and ghee. Coconut oil gives enough MCT. MCTs are healthy, but nothing proven in the medical research on the benefit of MCT oil (or coconut oil for that matter) on joint pain.Separately, if you are doing intermittent fasting, there is a benefit to medium chain triglycerides towards the last 2-3 hours of the fast because of how they get digested. I sometimes use coconut oil for that purpose since I do IF most days, but I use it for cooking regardless. The same logic is taken a step further if you are trying to get into ketosis.I wouldn’t worry about buying 100% MCT oils. If you are in India, you get very good virgin coconut oil from Kerala at a fraction of the price that you would pay for one of those Whole foods MCT oils.p.s. If you do a simple google search on “MCT oil or coconut oil”, you will find many articles saying coconut oil is not good enough because it is only ~ 60% MCT. In all things food – Follow the money.

        1. Vasudev Ram

          Thanks, that’s very good info. Will share it with my relatives.

          1. Girish Mehta

            No proven benefit regarding joint pain. Better to consult a doctor before any dietary change. Also coconut oil is a saturated fat which many doctors recommend avoiding. I eat saturated fats whenever I can, but I am no doctor.

          2. Vasudev Ram

            I get it, thanks for clarifying. Will keep that in mind when telling them. Interesting about coconut oil being not recommended by doctors. As you know, in Kerala and other coastal Indian states, people use it a lot in cooking, and in Ayurveda too, I guess (not sure about the latter, though I do know they use many different oils – some with herbs in them, medically). Don’t know if Keralites have any higher rates of illnesses caused by saturated fats as a result of coconut oil use. One problem with reports about effects of foods on health, plus or minus, is that it is difficult to know which are actually correct. Also the fact that sometimes contradictory reports come out some time later.Another point from the health point of view (either plus or minus), if using coconut products in food, is that coconut milk probably has a lot of saturated fat too (though probably less than the oil, which I think is made from copra – dried coconut), since the milk is made from the full coconut. Since many Kerala and other Indian dishes use coconut milk, that would have to be taken into account.

          3. Vasudev Ram

            Out of interest, why do you eat saturated fats if doctors say they are not good? For taste? Also interesting that you only use coconut oil and ghee in home cooking. I do like coconut oil and ghee, but also like to cook with other vegetable oils, like sesame and groundnut and sunflower oil. Interestingly learned recently that groundnut oil is not supposed to be so good for making puris, taste is supposed to be bitter when doing that. Sesame oil is said to be okay for puris.

      2. JLM

        .Yes, of course, typo. Sorry.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

        1. Vasudev Ram

          NP and thanks.

  31. JLM

    .If one cannot be optimistic today, then it is time to hang it up. I am 68 today, born (in a snow storm on Ash Wednesday, you Irish folks will know the significance of that) in the first full year of the Korean War. I have had an opportunity to travel the world, to observe and participate in the business climate of the US with an astute eye for half a century.This is the best economy in that period of time. My study of history suggests it is the best US economy since the Civil War.The only thing that is not sound is the community banking system. Many of the startups that are funded today by VC were, once upon a time, funded by local banks who would lend you $100,000 – $1,000,000 to get a business off the ground. They looked to your character.These banks did not lend to some guy from NYC starting a business in Austin, TX. They lent to a kid starting a business whose father, mother, big brother they knew. They knew their borrowers.Even when I arrived in Austin in the late 1970s, you could get an intro to a bank from a well connected local person and borrow money on your signature (there would be a tacit, informal guaranty from your sponsor).Every business I started was started in this form. Once you could get a business off the ground and had any kind of identifiable cash flow or growth of assets, you could get a multi-million dollar line of credit.People used to joke that you should be able to arrange a $1MM line of credit or “doo dah” loan while crossing the corner of Sixth and Congress when your banker was walking the opposite direction.My banker at the time used to operate that fast. Bankers were “backers,” invested in your success, rooting for you.That is the only weakness in the economy today.We are all being done a disservice by the media who does not report the strength of the economy. Every place I walk into in Austin is hiring. BBQ joints I have never seen with a sign outside are hiring.This is the greatest time to be alive in the history of the US and this is the greatest country in the world. I predict in two years, the USA will not be at war anywhere. We have been a country at war for two decades.We know more than ever before because of the power of the Internet. Because reportage is “man bites dog” v “dog bites man” we have a tendency to see more negative crap. There is not more negative crap; we are just seeing more of it.At the global and national level, we are in one of the most momentous times when ideas — capitalism v socialism — are being championed, sponsored, and debated in the open. There will be winners and losers in this confrontation of ideas.When ideas wrestle, the result is better ideas. One may make fun of Alexandria O-C and her socialist ideas, but there is nothing fatally wrong with striving for universal health coverage. That is a long way from government paid Medicare for all . The core idea is fine. The proposed implementation is unsound.I think she’s a little light on real world experience, but getting those ideas out there may uncover a nugget while reminding America why we are a capitalist country. That is good.Is this a great country or what?If you cannot be optimistic today, get help. Nah, just get a foot massage. Most everything looks better after a good foot massage.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    1. sigmaalgebra

      I don’t know just why the banks are so different now. If on average, which is what is important, the banks could do well with that approach to due diligence, then the VCs should be able to do still better. Since the VCs don’t try to do such things, my guess is that there is a VC-wide understanding from the larger limited partners for more severe criteria.Once I was on a men’s yacht trip, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Mackinac Island, and one of guys and his son ran a local independent insurance agency, especially for property, casualty insurance for small-medium businesses. Part of how they made their money was from a really good loss ratio from really good due diligence essentially as you described for local banks.My father in law worked his tail off, heroic effort, in the broiler chicken business and still had time enough (see the famous Paul Harvey piece about a farmer) to be on the school board, in Lions, and, in particular, with a few friends, start a bank. A little later he was the head of the local REMC (Rural Electric Membership Cooperative) and doing well in the associated politics locally and then also on DC. Good guy. Well, soon his bank was bought out by the main bank at the closest county seat, and he got a seat on that bank’s BoD. Over dinners, he gave some stories about how loans were approved — right, they went all the way to the BoD, and what you described for due diligence is essentially what they did. E.g., ever have, say, a DWI, then likely can f’get about ever getting a loan. One possible downside to such due diligence is the pervasive, perverse power of local gossip.For the news, sure, a big, huge difference is the Internet. E.g., elsewhere in this tread I posted a response about when a POTUS, and other public figures, might make a stupid statement. So, there I used the Internet heavily: I got URLs of exact quotes of statements and actual video clips. Most of the URLs I’ve been collecting as evidence, at least for myself, for my concluding opinions about the politicians I mentioned, e.g., AOC. No way could I have put together such a response without the Internet.Well, the usual media, including the far left, hate-Trump NYC MSM, just will NOT provide any such reviews of the statements I was able to quote. Instead, from such media we get material, as actual information, worse than used Charmin.So, is such news sewage new? Apparently not: There are plenty of old movies about newspaper publishing such stuff. E.g., there is athttps://www.youtube.com/wat… the 1941 Frank Capra Meet John Doe with Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The movie is about a newspaper with Stanwyck getting Cooper to pretend to be John Doe and writing columns about his thoughts on the problems of society. Eventually the reluctant editor figures out that since the columns are only opinions and only from John Doe, the paper will have no liability and “We can shoot our mouth off.”, all for the objective of getting more circulation. So, the circulation is from, to use some recent terminology, “fake news”. From Citizen Kane and more can see the theme of total nonsense news going way back.But a “free press” remains important if only because when there is a really serious scandal, then there is a chance the news will report it and will be the only source the public has for the truth. Otherwise the public has to know that nearly everything in the news is junk, sewage, fake, or partisan propaganda.So, that idea, wild opinion pieces to get circulation, is largely what we have now, still, from especially the far, far, socialist/communist left left left, left of Lenin, NYC MSM!!!So, as citizens, we would be very short on meaningful information. To the rescue, just in the nick of time, just before the US went totally into the sewer led by Hildebeest, like the US cavalry in an old Western, we were saved by the Internet. Now if we want to know about a politician, we can get actual quotes, from YouTube, some Internet new sites, Twitter, etc.The situation is so different that a lot of newsies stories about Trump are just paraphrases of Trump Twitter posts. Since I follow Trump on Twitter, nearly always I’ve already seen the posts.With the Internet, at least we are in line to get a lot more variety of sources with some of them actually providing some important information — information, think of that, actual information!!!.Maybe this is a really good time for the US economy, but so far I’ve not seen enough solid data to be sure.Generally if the actual information will get out there, if only on the Internet, and voters will read it and contact their elected representatives, then maybe we can start to address actual reality and do MUCH better. I hope so.

      1. JLM

        .Dodd-Frank and alternative methods of repayment is what killed community banking.JLMwww.themusingsofthebigredca…

    2. sigmaalgebra

      > If one cannot be optimistic today, then it is time to hang it up.Today there are some of the most serious problems possible: Widely in the more developed countries, the birth rates are so low the people are going extinct, actually quite rapidly. No joke. IIRC this situation applies in Japan, the US, Spain, Germany, Russia, and much more.The most fundamental activity in life is family formation, and now that it is failing we can’t be fully “optimistic”.In effect, much of the optimism we have is in some ways a relatively high standard of living, but this is coming heavily from “eating our seed corn”, “burning the candle at both ends”, “counting earnings while ignoring depreciation”, and other such analogies.Darwin will have a solution: Couples that very much want to be good at family formation will determine the future, and rest will be weak, sick, and dead limbs on the tree and removed from the gene pool.I believe that those white dresses at the SOTU represent women who are interested in being equal and having careers much more than doing well at family formation. Then in a few more generations, there should be many fewer such women.Humans did sufficiently well at family formation in a 100% unbroken line all the way back. Thus the problem now is unique in all of history.

  32. matt_knox

    Maybe you can’t dunk in sneakers, but in https://en.wikipedia.org/wi… , I’m sure you could. As much as this sounds like a flip reply, I think it’s somewhat relevant to startups generally: a given path to success may well be closed, but there are likely others.

  33. BillMcNeely

    Optimism = State of Mind and a choice

  34. Vasudev Ram

    Time for an old and good one:What’s an optimist?An optimist is a person with no experience.What’s a pessimist?An experienced optimist.

  35. Donna Brewington White

    Fred — In a comment yesterday, I said I would get back to you about a device my husband used to avoid knee surgery.Will also send via email since you do not always read comments (or email, for that matter, but you’ve been good about getting back to me).In his words, my husband “took six months of great nutrition, physical therapy for hip, back and thigh strengthening and use of the below device to heal a meniscus tear without surgery….it took some patience but so glad I went this route”http://www.kingbrand.com/Mo…

  36. Yule Heibel

    Hi Fred, your possible arthroscopy caught my attention. I had that procedure decades ago to remove “joint mice” (or “rats”), which are bits of cartilage that have come loose (in my case from the inside face of the kneecap). It was effective, but over time I’ve also developed secondary problems (even some osteoarthritis) – I’m not sure my arthroscopy truly fixed the problem of what the surgeon called “shredded kneecap”… Even though I don’t know the nature of your problem, I wanted to recommend another procedure, which, depending on what you’re dealing with, might be a non-surgical solution: platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections. I’ve had this done, and found it effective in eliminating pain and improving joint mobility. My orthopedist in Greater Boston does it, and you will likely have NYC-area doctors familiar with the procedure. For details of what my doctor does, see Dr. Navid Mahooti’s site: https://www.northshorephysi… Good luck with the yoga, and any other physical therapy!

  37. Ian Stemper

    If you want to avoid surgery, I recommend checking out Regenexx (www.regenexx.com). Regenerative medicine in the orthopedic space.

  38. Donna Brewington White

    So true.