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Fred Wilson

Entries by Fred Wilson

When Things Don't Work Out

(0) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 8:53 AM

I have said many times that early stage VC is a lot like baseball, if you get a hit one out of every three times, you are headed to the hall of fame. And if I look back over my career, and also over the track records of the firms...

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Becoming a Boss

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 8:50 AM

I was watching this Charlie Rose interview with Lena Dunham and I was struck by this line: "It's really intense to be thrust into a managerial position before my time."

I have seen this a lot in my business and its always your talent for making things that...

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Lockups and Insider Selling

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 9:05 AM

There is a lot of sturm und drang out there in the worlds of social media, finacial media and just plain media about all the lockups coming off and all the insider selling going on in some big internet stocks. As someone who has played this game a few times,...

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Some Perspective

(2) Comments | Posted June 5, 2012 | 7:04 PM

I don't disagree with PG when he says that Facebook's IPO performance (or lack thereof) has the potential to impact valuations in startup land. I think it will be particularly impactful on the late stage and secondary markets where most of the IPO valuation speculation...

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Tolerance and Prosperity

(2) Comments | Posted May 8, 2012 | 4:19 PM

Yesterday, my partners and I invited Paul Romer over to USV for lunch. For those that don't know, Paul is a leading thinker in the world of economics and currently a Professor at NYU. It was a fascinating conversation. My favorite part of it was Paul's "lecture" on...

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Can the Crowd Be More Patient

(2) Comments | Posted April 26, 2012 | 10:52 AM

One of the most noticeable changes to the venture capital business over the past decade is the movement of investment allocation from capital and time intensive sectors like biotech and clean tech to capital efficient and fast moving sectors like internet and mobile.

This makes total sense if you think...

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Staying Independent

(1) Comments | Posted April 11, 2012 | 12:34 PM

Possibly the most interesting running conversation I've been having with entrepreneurs lately is how they can keep their companies independent without having to go public and turn their cap table into a casino. There are a bunch of entrepreneurs thinking seriously about this issue and I've been thinking seriously about...

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Cloning Successful Startups

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2012 | 1:51 PM

Jeff Leventhal, the CEO of our portfolio company WorkMarket, emailed me yesterday. He said:

i would love to see an avc post about copycats like samwer bros. what do u think of this form of entrepreneurs, etc?

I looked back over my archives and I guess I've...

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The Management Team -- While Building Usage

(0) Comments | Posted January 9, 2012 | 2:06 PM

So you've built and launched your product. It is well received. You've acheived "product market fit" and it is time to get more users or customers. You've graduated from the "building product" stage and have entered the "building usage" phase. What does this mean for your team?

Well first and...

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The Management Team While Building Product: Keep It Small

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2012 | 9:39 AM

The first stage of a startup, what I call the Building Product stage is management light. The team should be small. We have portfolio companies like and duck duck go where the Building Product stage was accomplished by one person, the founder of course. That...

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Continuous Feedback

(2) Comments | Posted November 16, 2011 | 9:46 AM

We have a portfolio company that will remain nameless that does something I want to call out as super awesome. Every board meeting, as homework after the meeting, they ask each board member to fill out a simple Google Form with two questions; three things we are doing well and...

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A Veterans Day Story

(1) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 9:02 AM

Yesterday I met with an entrepreneur from Israel who has built a Facebook app called Chat Rounds that allows you and a buddy to hang out, video chat, and play games and watch videos together. He told me that the service is particularly popular with military people stationed...

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What Is A Lead Investor?

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2011 | 1:48 PM

The term "lead investor" is often misunderstood. I have seen VCs negotiate to be called a co-lead or a lead in the term sheet. But you don't get given that designation. You earn it.

Glenn Kelman (a long time AVC regular) has a great blog post...

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What Is A Revenue Based Loan?

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 8:43 AM

Back when we were doing our MBA Monday series on Financing Options For Startups, I got an email from my friend Andy Sack. Andy was one of the first entrepreneurs we funded by in the mid 90s with our Flatiron Fund. He's done something like a...

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What We Are Seeing

(1) Comments | Posted October 13, 2011 | 1:45 PM

The Wall Street Journal has a story out today that says "Web Startups Hit Cash Crunch." There has been a fair bit of reaction in the tech blogs and I thought I'd toss into the discussion some things we are seeing:

1) There are so many startups out...

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How To Draw Up A Capitalization Table

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2011 | 3:48 PM

Cap Tables (short for capitalization tables) are spreadsheets that show how much everyone owns of the company. You can get a stockholder ledger from your lawyer that will list all the stockholders and show how many shares or options they have, but I don't consider that a cap table.


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What It Means to Be A Lean Startup

(4) Comments | Posted September 16, 2011 | 9:50 AM

I've been reading Eric's book which I am very much enjoying. And on wednesday night I spoke to the NYC Lean Startup Meetup with the help of Giff who interviewed me.

Eric and his fellow lean advocate Steve Blank have...

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Users First, Brands Second

(2) Comments | Posted August 25, 2011 | 11:39 AM

I like simple ways to think about things. Like mobile first, web second. These kinds of constructs work for me. One that I've been using a lot lately to describe what we like and don't like as much is User First, Brands Second.

When you are building your...

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Startup Financing 101: Capital Equipment Loans

(1) Comments | Posted August 8, 2011 | 4:12 PM

Today on MBA Mondays we are going to cover yet another topic in the Financing Options series, financing capital equipment like servers, routers, switches, computers, etc.

Equity capital is expensive. Every time you do a raise, you dilute. It makes sense to look for places where...

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New York vs. Silicon Valley? No City Has A Lock On Innovation

(4) Comments | Posted August 4, 2011 | 10:25 AM

The New York Times asked me to give them an opinion piece on the Mayor's effort to bring a new science and technology University to NYC. They also asked a few others, like Caterina Fake, Eric Reis, Dave Tisch, and several more students of NYC and technology. The...

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