Fred Wilson

Becoming Like Your Top Five Influences

Yesterday, I read a Fast Company article on bassist Nathan East, "the most famous guy you've never heard of."  Basically, he's played bass on every major record you love: The Beatles,

We Don't Have to Be Afraid of Technology

Advances in technology mean job losses in the 10 of millions in the next 10-15 years.  Robots, smart cars that can drive themselves and other techy solutions mean wage earners are going to have to find ways to reinvent themselves. 

One of Fred Wilson's partners at Union Square Ventures, Albert Wenger, formerly the CEO of before it got sold to Yahoo, gave a TEDx Talk earlier this year on how smart public policy could positively affect how we allow technology to affect the

Smartphone guilt

I've been following tech investor Fred Wilson's conversation in his blog post the last couple days on the Apple smart watch with interest.  (Here is Yesterday's survey and Today's round-up).  He's got an early-adopter, high-income earner, geek readership, and you can spend hours reading the comments.  Very interesting). 

He's trying to gauge if his readers are interested in the Apple watch, and if he should be too.  So far, Apple has pre-ordered 5 M watches based on consumer interest they've seen so far.  Some of Fred's readers think it's going too far with connectivity and wonder how much more connected do we need to be?  Some think this is just the beginning of something we haven't even imagined yet.  I personally think they're geeky-looking, which will restrict it to the tech nerd circle, and not only that, but we already have so much guilt around accessing our smartphones that it will make it hard to sell to the non-techie.  Thoughts?  Will you buy an Apple watch?

Alchemy Summer School- Getting ready for launch

As I sit waiting at the car wash, I thought I might as well blog from my iphone.  I've been working on my Alchemy Summer School page, so take a look over there and tell me how it looks. It's not finished, but if you like the general direction I'm going with it -- or even if you don't-- please tell me. There's a one minute video that will knock your socks off --that I'm looking for feedback on-- but again, it's still in beta mode.

Yesterday I received word that the wonderfully gifted astrologer Marina Ormes has accepted my invitation to teach with us this summer, so -- as she was the last one-- I'm very happy that I can proceed with full speed now.  I'm going to start advertising the Alchemy class on Monday next week, and I'll be "coming out of the closet" as a blogger- so leave please some comments in the comment spaces below any of my posts you're in flaming agreement or disagreement with and I'll respond.

Good feedback, constructive  feedback. I want it all. I know some of you read the blog every day so I'd appreciate if you let me milk you for all you're worth at this point in the game.  I know I have some pretty sharp readers.  Some of you stop by every so often, and I hope you feel free to share your wisdom as well.

As popular venture capitalist and blogger Fred Wilson says, it's nice to have supporters in your blogging community-- very nice-- but the contrarian ones are the ones who keep you on your toes and keep you honest, hard-working, and humble, and nothing would honor or delight me more than to have a handful of contrarians.  (I also accept cheerleaders, btw).  Open up a disqus profile and I hope to see many of you regulars on the other side when this is "live".

As I sign off today, I feel very lucky.  I may not know exactly what I'm doing (I actually don't), but I feel like this vision would happen with or without me, and I'm just along for the ride.  When I sit back and think about where society is going spiritually, environmentally, technologically, and in other ways over the next twenty to fifty years, I get excited to think that I might be part of that discussion; I want people to know themselves, and find out how interesting they are once they get past the conscious layer of their inner world, and my heart beats to that rhythm.  I'm a servant to my calling, though- you can't wrestle with it, argue with it or force it- you roll with it.  As Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg says, when someone offers you a seat on a rocketship, you shut your mouth and get in. 




Worth Staying Up For

I was going to go to bed on time tonight, but I saw a lovely treat in my inbox from Fred Wilson's blog, so I'm staying up to watch that.  Usually I insist on 8 hours of sleep, but when there's an Fireside chat between your two favorite venture capitalists in your inbox, it's okay to only get 7.

But first- what a great day today- I woke up at 5, went to the gym, then went car shopping with my mom.  I'd gotten my car totalled a month ago, and she decided to help me out financially, and we finally hit a jackpot tonight.  My mom is a great stats person, and always makes up Excel spreadsheets for everything, and me, well, I just wanted a new car, so I was motivated to keep us focussed and just keep lining up the next viewing and the next viewing.  It turns out I'm quite comfortable negotiating too.  My birth chart says I'm bad at managing my own money and great at managing others' money, so I was dogged about keeping us under my mom's budget, and voila- LAST car of the day- my mom had a gut feeling about a car, we go to check it out, and this great young lady- a real credit to her parents who clearly raised her to think intelligently about finances- showed us an impeccable car that she took great care of over the years (and barely drove).  We made her a good offer and she accepted.  For two women who - let's talk Enneagram here for a second- who don't do power plays as first recourse- my mom and I were a solid team today and I'm proud of us. 

Now back to Fred Wilson and Jason Calacanis.  Back in 2011 when I left my government job, I became a bit of a tech nerd, I guess- my other passion besides the Enneagram and the Victoria's Secret franchise (I love the VC business, I love all things Victoria Secret, but I want people to know me first and foremost as someone who challenges them to look inward.  When I die, I want the bells to peal "Know yourself.  Know yourself". )

Anyway, in 2011, I developped a love affair with the internet and the people who invest in the technology that make the internet such a great place.  The article I read that got it all started was about a Jason Calacanis presentation to a computer science class at UPenn- I think I've written about it before- STILL the best pitch in my mind for entrepreneurship.  A must watch for all kids contemplating their direction in life after high school or university.  So I started watching Calacanis' TWIST videos, and when I started dating Mr. M, I connected him to this one interview between him and Brad Feld, another great investor in the Venture Capital field.  Which started us both just digging into this really exciting world of tech investments and the VC's who blog about it. 

One power couple we fell in love with was Joanne and Fred Wilson- proud New Yorkers, wife and husband, best friends, really sharp investors, and longtime bloggers who share their perspectives on new developments in technology.  Joanne, Fred, and their buddy Jason all got into the internet in New York in the late 90's when the first browser- Netscape- came out, made some good bets over the years, and have made very good return on their investments in the internet since.  So this fireside chat is Jason and Fred doing a retrospective of the last twenty years of their friendship and their investments- it's mostly about Fred, but you get to know Jason a bit here too.

One day I'm going to write about their Enneagram types.  Jason is a Type 7- probably a social/ sexual/self-preservation, and I'm still undecided about Fred's type- he could be an Eight or a One, but he's got two very important people in his life who are already Eights and Ones, so my back-up is Type Six, but he just doesn't worry enough to be a Type Six.  I just don't have enough information yet.

On the one hand, he could be a self-preservation One because I do see him being a body type, and he's about substance and "here"-ness, (not that that's a word, but his presence has heft to it, as opposed to buzzy and aversive head-space energy, or the ethereal and craving heart-space energy.)  However,  Fred's business partner, Brad, is definitely a Type One, and it would take some very special magic for two Type Ones to work together as effectively as they have over the years.  Fred and Brad definitely complement each other's strengths and weaknesses.

On the other hand, he could be a Type 8, but Joanne, his wife is a type 8.  I have a good mind that she's a social/self-pres Eight w Seven (although she could also be a 7w8), so because they also complement each other really well, it's possible he's also an Eight, but with an instinct stack of self-preservation/sexual or self-preservation/social. 

Fred is confident, has a drive toward "realness" and likes talking straight, getting to the point and cutting through bullshit.  He disdains fluff and goes with his gut- all Eight traits.  Another interesting trait- he and his wife don't invest in public markets because he doesn't like putting his money in with other people; for an Eight with the resources to make his wealth independently, you can see the type's signature survival instinct at play.  And then, some type Eights have this thing where they lower their forehead when they talk to you or pose for pictures, which you can see Fred doing in this interview- they've realized over the years that they come on too strong for some people and to minimize that effect, they unconsciously angle their head down, almost to prevent the intensity of their energy from drilling a hole in the other person.  Eights are intense whatever their instinct stack, and you get a taste of his intensity here, despite it being a laid-back interview.

So it's a really great, insightful chat between two long-time friends.  I hope you enjoy it.

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