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Collaboration

I’m a long time fan of Paul Graham’s work and leadership in the startup world.

I remember the first time I met him over in Cambridge, he said, “why do you VCs wait for traction? Why can’t you invest pre-product and seed companies more”

We then discussed our model, how we often invest early and have no problem backing first time founders. I learned a lot from that session and it helped me not to accept that any of the traditional rules of venture capital should be written in stone. I’m told we were the first Boston firm to back a YC company. Back in those days his wife and partner Jessica would reserve seats for investors that backed YC companies because there wasn’t that many of us. Contrast that to YC Demo Day today and the difference and progress is quite remarkable.

In addition to their fine work at YC, Paul’s essays are legendary. One of my favorite things about his essays is at the end of many of his posts he thanks folks that helped with his thoughts. I love that.

Yesterday morning I was speaking with my colleague Andrew and an entrepreneur about this thing that Paul does and how I would love to see the remarks that those people make to his essays. Wouldnt it be great to see Paul Buchheit or Harj’s feedback — either in real time or after the fact somehow.

So it was pretty cool to read this morning Evan Williams has developed a new collaboration system over at Medium. I think it’s a powerful idea that is wonderful for the writer, the collaborators and the reader. It’s more than comments, it’s the evolution of peer production and I’m quite excited to see what this can take us.