It’s not the money

I was thinking about anniversaries this weekend as we reached our 12th anniversary since starting our firm. 

And it got me thinking about people I know and why they do what they do for a long stretch of time. 

Take my friend David Karp. 

He started Tumblr in 2006. He raised a seed round the following year. I joined the board and watched him work his work for the next 6 years until I stepped off the board and Yahoo acquired the company in May of 2013

That deal was over four years ago. And yet, throughout all the turmoil at Yahoo and then the sale to Verizon, I never heard him speak badly about Yahoo, Verizon or AOL. The last time I was in NYC, we caught up for coffee and we talked about personal stuff going on in our lives and about Tumblr the product. And cool Tumblr stuff he was excited about. 

Tumblr was acquired for over $1.1B and David was justifiably the largest shareholder. He didn’t need to work the day after the acquisition. Nor, did he have to the next week or next year. Never mind 4 years later at a place like Yahoo. 

But he did. And he is going about it with such grace and a heartfelt love affair about the product and the Tumblr community. 

I have often heard my friend Biz say, “money doesn’t change you. if you are generous, you will be more generous with money. if you are selfish, you will be more self-centered”. Or something along those lines. 

It calls to mind that there are many entrepreneurs and VCs in this world. Some are doing it to get rich as they strive to keep score. But for others, it’s not about the money. 

It never was. 

Apple Knowledge Navigator 1987

Back in 1987 I got my hands on a Mac. Sitting in front of me were two products that I immediately fell in love with: Hypercard and MacPaint. I felt like I could do almost anything with those two apps. 

Shortly after getting that first Mac, I saw this concept video by Apple. It was a concept called the Knowledge Navigator. Please watch it if you haven’t already, it’s about 5 minutes long. 

It basically introduces the idea of a tablet, a search engine, AI, a voice interface and facetime. And that was in 1987! 

Siri and Alexa are a bit rough right now. It needs better natural language comprehension, better accuracy, speed, 3rd party support, & personalization —so these things can distinguish between users.

But we it certainly feels like we are on the eve of seeing the promise of the Knowledge Navigator delivered. 

And that’s fantastic.

Yet, when it comes to self-reflexivity, tech is just as regressive as many other male-dominated sectors. Still, I fully admit that I hold it to a higher standard in no small part because of the widespread commitment in tech to change the world for the better, however flawed that fantastical idealism is. Given this, what I want from men in tech boils down to four Rs: Recognition. Repentance. Respect. Reparation.

Greece, Part I

(part II here)
After our week in Italy, we drove 3 hours to Rome and flew to Greece.

Lauren spent some time in Greece during college, but it was my first visit to the country. Aside from our booked hotels, we didn’t really have much of a plan once we arrived. Each day we kind of figured it out. My friend Fred suggested we spend a day on a boat. We took that advice and it was a fantastic recommendation. So much fun.

Our time in Greece just flew by. I’m glad I visited those two islands. They are so beautiful and the people are absolutely lovely.