TPP stands for Trans Pacific Partnership, a far reaching free trade deal that US and our Asian trading partners have been working on for years. The TPP was in the news yesterday because Hillary Clinton came out and said that, in its current form, she cannot support TPP. You can read her reasons for taking this stance.
You would think as a free trade loving, free market loving venture capitalist I would be a huge proponent of TPP. But I am not.
I am very concerned about the copyright provisions in TPP which feel very much in the old world model of intellectual property protection and which would make it hard for the US government to evolve copyright laws in an era of digital content, more open innovation, and remix culture.
The EFF has a great discussion of these issues on its website so instead of reciting them here, you can read a detailed discussion of the copyright issues in TPP here.
One of the problems with these big multi-national trade negotiations is that it is super hard to get everyone to agree on everything in them. That is why they are negotiated in secret and the end result is then voted yes or no in each country without any amendments.
I realize that perfect is the enemy of the good and you need to have a comprehensive view of a trade bill like this and not focus on one issue. But copyright law is a big deal for the innovation economy and if I were in Congress, I would be seriously thinking about voting no on TPP.
So the thing I blogged about last week launched yesterday. Twitter is calling it Moments.
— Twitter (@twitter) October 6, 2015
I think this is a big deal for first time and casual users of Twitter. It’s an easier way to consume the content in Twitter for people who don’t have the time or inclination to customize Twitter to work for them the way many of us have.
Since the AVC community was fairly negative on this in concept, I’m wondering how all of you are thinking about it now that it is out. Let the conversation commence.
Kickstarter and the UN Refugee Agency are launching something important this morning. It is called Aid Refugees and its an attempt to leverage the power of the leading crowdfunding community to raise funds to deal with the global refugee crisis.
As many of you know Kickstarter is a USV portfolio company and it has traditionally avoided getting involved in charitable efforts, choosing to stay focused on helping creative projects come to life. But like other big Internet companies, it gets asked from time to time to leverage the scope of its reach and community to tackle big problems. Until now, Kickstarter has chosen to decline those invitations but the scope of the global refugee crisis is so large and the mission is also consistent with Kickstarter’s recently filed public benefit corporation charter in which they committed to fight inequality. So this time they said yes. This doesn’t mean Kickstarter will start allowing charitable projects on its platform. It does mean it will do this sort of thing when the company feels like it can help make a difference.
Here’s how Kickstarter explains this effort on their blog post this morning:
Two weeks ago, the White House reached out to us with an idea: what if you could use Kickstarter to help the millions of refugees seeking safety in the Middle East and Europe?
We immediately told them yes — and at the White House’s invitation, Kickstarter is working with the UN Refugee Agency to raise money and deliver aid to those in need of it. We’ve all seen the images of people fleeing for safety, on foot and in boats, with nowhere to go and precious few resources. It’s not a crisis that can be solved overnight, but the White House, the United Nations, and Kickstarter all believe that a strong outpouring of support can provide crucial assistance for people fleeing their homes and risking their lives to find a safer future.
To learn more about how we can provide that support, just visit this campaign. It’s not a typical Kickstarter project. There’s no all-or-nothing funding goal. The rewards are all about giving, not getting. And we’ll be donating 100% of our usual fee to support these aid efforts. Most days, this site is a home for people working together to create new things, but this campaign is about something else: working together to bring the most basic of necessities to people who need them dearly. Even a little support can give a family dry clothes, fresh water, or a place to sleep — those “small” things that become everything as soon as you’ve lost them. We’d love your help.
If you have been looking for a way to engage in the global refugee crisis, check out Aid Refugees. I plan to “back this project” and I hope you will too.
I’ve written about NYU and Poly here on AVC a few times, most recently when I gave a commencement speech earlier this year. Poly is one of the great successes in NYC over the past ten years. In 2005, it was a struggling engineering school in downtown Brooklyn and NYU hadn’t had an engineering school since the mid 1970s.
In 2008 NYU and Poly agreed to affiliate and put themselves on a path to eventually merge the schools. In 2012/2013 NYU and Poly officially merged and Poly became the NYU Poly School Of Engineering.
Over those ten years, Poly has risen from a middling engineering school to one of the top 50 engineering schools in the US. Applications have risen, as have test scores, and graduation rates. The faculty has stepped up and has been joined by a bunch of new dynamic educators and researchers. It has been a joy to watch this transformation which happened because a “jewel of a school” joined a juggernaut called NYU which brought it brand, capital, and leadership. I’ve had a front row seat to this transformation because I’ve been a Trustee of Poly and NYU and joined both boards because of the affiliation and planned merger.
But it gets better. Today, NYU and Poly are announcing that the school will now be called The NYU Tandon School Of Engineering because Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon have bestowed a $100mm gift on the school, to be matched by a $50mm capital campaign. These funds will be directed at faculty and academic programs which are the essence of a university.
For me, this feels like a company I seed funded just did a growth round. And that always feels good because it means that the plan worked.
Besides the phenomenal generosity of Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon, I think I would be remiss not to mention some of the other folks who made this happen; Jerry Hultin, who led Poly during the merger, Sreeni who leads the school now, Dave McLaughlin the Provost of NYU who championed the idea of the merger, and John Sexton and Marty Lipton, whose leadership of NYU over the past twenty years has transformed not just NYU, but also Poly and many other things. Of course there were many others who made this happen, but these people deserve mention for the courage of their leadership. Turnarounds don’t happen without courageous leadership.
The biggest winner in all of this is New York City. I got involved with Poly and NYU because I was acutely aware that the shortage of strong engineering schools in NYC was having a negative impact on the local tech sector. Poly’s engineering school has always been quite large, with almost 2,500 graduate students. But it was not thriving and it needed to. Now NYU Tandon, Columbia, and Cornell Technion are a “golden triangle” of high quality engineering schools in NYC. So much has changed on this front in the past ten years. Now we have the fertile ground for technology to match the entrepreneurial spirit and capital that NYC has always had. This is a big deal.
At USV, we’ve been investing in European startups since 2008. Currently 22% of our active portfolio is in Europe. Since 2010, we’ve invested in 47 companies (roughly 8 per year) and 11 of them have been in Europe (roughly 2 per year). So over the past six years, roughly 25% of our investments have been in Europe. In 2015, we have made nine investments to date (a few have not yet been announced) and four of them have been in Europe (45%).
So what’s happening here?
Well first, we have developed an investment presence in Europe. While we don’t have an office in Europe we do have fourteen portfolio companies and every USV partner has at least two European portfolio companies. So we all travel to Europe regularly and we look at new investments when we are over here.
Second, we have developed a number of strong relationships with European venture capital firms. Serving on boards with other VCs is the number one way you build relationships in the VC business and we’ve done a lot of that with European VCs.
Third, European entrepreneurs have, for the most part, abandoned the approach of building domestic businesses in their home markets and are now targeting global customer bases from day one. That means the potential scale of European startups is as large as US startups.
Fourth, there has been a wave of new European VC firms started in the past couple years. Most of these VCs got their start in older legacy VC firms and they are now opening up shop on their own and operating in a more entrepreneurial “silicon valley” style. This reminds me very much of the period ten years ago in the US when USV, Emergence, Foundry, Spark, First Round, and a number of other high quality VC firms opened their doors in the US. This post by a leading venture fund investor in the US talking about the new European VC funds is right on the mark.
Fifth, European entrepreneurs have made money for VCs. There have been 24 billion dollar plus exits in Europe in the last five years.
When you take all of that and combine the fact that there is probably a hundredth of the VC dollars at work in Europe vs the US, you get a great market to invest in.
The Gotham Gal and I are here for the next few weeks of mostly vacation but we will get to see a few of our portfolio companies. Yet another reason to invest in Europe!
Our portfolio company YouNow is a broadcasting app that tends to be used by entertainers, youtubers, and young people in general. While not as well known as Periscope, it’s users are super into it and highly engaged. This week came the story that a singer/songwriter in the UK named Emma McGann got a song in the top 20 pop charts by regularly performing it on YouNow.
Here’s a short video that tells the story:
I wrote this to my partner the other day. I’m not going to provide the context. It doesn’t matter. It could have been about almost anything in the startup sector right now.
“the biggest thing that is wrong with the startup sector right now is entrepreneurs and their teams are too focused on valuation and not enough focused on business fundamentals”
But in case you aren’t going to click through and read it, here are a few choice quotes from it:
- I think there’s something that comes with being an outsider in an insider’s game.
- Once you start taking other people’s money, it becomes very difficult to stop taking other people’s money.
- they are building for investors and not necessarily building for customers
- So we can’t talk about venture capital without talking about Unicorns, right?
- 99.93 percent of companies are using a product, venture capital, that really doesn’t work for them.
- you have entrepreneurs building companies, building customer bases, designing interactions with their users in order to make themselves appealing to venture capital
- Turns out when you invest in things that VCs won’t, you end up with a bunch of companies that VCs don’t want to invest in.
- what if we surrounded our founders with other people who weren’t focused on fundraising and valuation, but focused on revenue and customers?
- Rather than make people move, we decided to let people bloom where they are planted.
- The reality is we tried and weren’t able to pull it off.
- Just last week, our largest investor passed.
Bryce is not having an easy time raising a dedicated Indie.vc fund. Neither did Brad and I when we raised the first USV fund in 2004. We got 20 passes for every yes.
I’m a contrarian and that tells me that Bryce is on to something. As you might imagine, the Gotham Gal and I said yes when Bryce asked us.
A couple days ago Jay Rosen reached out to me on Twitter asking if he could do a guest post on AVC:
@jayrosen_nyu Not normally. Why?
— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) September 29, 2015
I really don’t like guest posts. I’ve done them, of course, mostly in my MBA Mondays series but also in times of crisis and confusion, like the time I asked JLM to explain TARP to us. So I suggested something else to Jay:
@jayrosen_nyu if you post it somewhere, send it to me, then i will blog about it and we can get the AVC community talking about it
— Fred Wilson (@fredwilson) September 29, 2015
And he delivered on it yesterday:
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) September 29, 2015
So here’s how this adaptation of the guest post concept will work.
First, I’d like you all to read Jay’s post. It’s about Twitter building an editorial team and becoming an editorial company.
Now, I will respond here at AVC.
Twitter is a news company. It is where people go to make and break news.
That’s my line, not theirs. But I will gladly give it to them if they will use it. Because that is what Twitter is. It’s not a social network like Facebook. It’s not photo sharing app like Instagram. It’s not a messaging app like Kik. It is not a video sharing app like YouTube. It has elements of all of those things because people use Twitter in different ways. But at its core, Twitter is a news product. It reminds me more of The New York Times than Facebook and I use it more like The New York Times than Facebook. In fact, I use Twitter more than the New York Times for what I used to use the New York Times for.
But the issue with Twitter is that in order to get value out of it like I get value out of it you need to customize it. The reason I get value out of it is that I have configured Twitter to work for me. I have curated a list of just under 1000 people I follow. I like dozens of tweets a day which tells Twitter a lot about me. I reply to tweets which further tells Twitter about me. And then Twitter can recommend “who to follow” and “what I missed”. These products are fantastic and deliver for me bigtime every single day.
But imagine a new user who Twitter knows nothing about. How the hell are they going to get value out of Twitter? Or imagine the casual user who does not want to figure out who to follow and doesn’t want to engage in order to tell Twitter more about them. How the hell are they going to get value out of Twitter? The answer is Twitter the company is going to curate Twitter the news product for folks like that. And they are going to do that by hiring editors to curate various streams. This effort is called Project Lightning and that is what Jay was posting about.
So first and foremost, I am a huge fan of Twitter the company making Twitter the news product better for folks who are not power users of it. This is long overdue and badly needed. Not just for Twitter the company or Twitter the stock. It is badly needed for Twitter the product. Twitter is a network. The more people who are on it, the better it is for everyone who uses it. So addressing the new user and casual user segment of the market is something Twitter absolutely needs to do. And in full disclosure, I own a lot of Twitter the stock and I am “conflicted” in what I write here. Which is why you should pay more attention, not less, to this post.
Now on to Jay’s meta question. What editorial voice will Twitter assume? Who is the soul of Twitter’s editorial pulpit? We all know Rupert Murdoch detests Bill de Blasio so when we read negative stories about the Mayor in the NY Post, we expect it. We all know The New York Times is a “liberal rag” so when they decry Trump’s tax plan as regressive, we know where they are coming from. But where will we expect Twitter’s curation products to be coming from?
I hope Twitter doesn’t try to be “fair and balanced” also known as boring. I hope they have an agenda or ideally multiple agendas and I hope they are transparent about them. I loved Dick Costolo’s line that “Twitter is the free speech wing of the free speech party.” I hope they keep that stance. But does that conflict with bad people using Twitter to do bad things? Yes, of course it does. How will they walk that fine line? Telling us how they plan to do that would be a good first step. They can evolve it over time, but please tell us how they are thinking about it right now.
I also love Jay’s point about Jack’s obsession with raw and real-time news, like police scanners, which provided the formative idea for Twitter. I would love to see Twitter do a channel for that kind of stuff. The more real-time the better. A news product should be obsessed with the news and the more obsessive the better.
I also like Jay’s point that “it will be easy to argue with the choices Twitter makes in curating the news.” And argue they will. That’s what Twitter’s user do, right in the product. So Twitter ought to amplify that in some way or multiple ways. Having a voice, an agenda, and an attitude doesn’t mean silencing the naysayers about those things. The media outlets that amplify the naysayers seem to do better, not worse, on the Internet.
In summary, I am very bullish on a curated Twitter. I will use it and I am sure that hundreds of millions of others will too. But Jay is right that how Twitter the company curates Twitter the product will be important. It must have a voice, an agenda, an attitude, and a soul. There are many experienced people in the world of journalism who know how to deliver that. But of course, it all starts at the top. Which is why I hope they keep the team that is in place there right now. It is a good one and it is the right one.
For something like 30 years, we have been hearing about trickle down economics in which we lower tax and other burdens on the wealthy, these wealthy individuals invest in the economy, and the benefits of those investments “trickle down” to the middle and lower class. That may well be what happens when the burdens are lowered on the wealthy, but as we all know the wealthiest in the US are gaining ground on everyone else and have been for a long time. This is not a critique of trickle down economics per se. There are other things going on, including a transition of value from labor to capital as a result of technological progress, that are driving the gains of the wealthiest right now.
I would like to propose another approach that I call “trickle up economics” in which we lower the tax and other burdens on the lower and middle class, we invest in educating their children (and them), we make sure they have the skills to get good jobs in the economy of the future, and we make sure they have access to things like good transportation, safe neighborhoods, healthy food, quality health care services, etc that are required for them to be fully functioning citizens in our society.
If we do all of that, we will have a stronger workforce and a more entrepreneurial and innovative society, and that will drive wealth creation in the US that will “trickle up” to the wealthiest people in the US.
The american dream has always been about opportunity. You start out with nothing and through hard work and a good body and mind, you make it and lead yourself and your family to a better life. That, by the way, is the story of the Gotham Gal and me. We arrived in NYC in 1983 with not a penny to our names. Nada. Nothing. I am not even sure how we came up with the security deposit for our first apartment. But we had good educations and had secured good jobs. And we worked for everything we have. We made it.
I am so optimistic about the United States and our economic prospects. I am optimistic about our people. I just want to see us invest in our people. All of them. Because I am sure if we do that, the benefits will trickle up throughout society.
I was listening to Benedict Evans and Chris Dixon talking about micropayments, ad blockers, web and mobile publishing, and a few other interesting topics this morning and they were making the point that publishers have to go to platforms where their audiences are these days (Facebook, Apple, Medium, etc). I thought about that in the context of AVC and realized that we are most certainly a dinosaur. I publish using a wordpress instance running on a server in the cloud on my own domain. Direct traffic is the largest form of traffic AVC gets. Organic search still drives as much traffic as social. RSS still generates a meaningful amount of traffic (it is called (other) in the chart below).
Within the social category, Twitter is king and Facebook is an also ran.
Referrals come mostly from Twitter and Hacker News
All of this results in 250,000 web sessions a month, plus RSS and email which about double that. Over the course of a year, it’s over 5mm user sessions across web, email, and RSS.
This pales in comparison to a real commercial publication. But it’s not too bad for a small community tended to by a single operator.
We are most certainly old school in terms of the way this audience comes together.
Maybe that’s why the audience has been flat for over five years now.
But it still works very well for me and hopefully for all of you too.
comScore released a mobile web/app report last week that is very insightful. The data is US only so it is skewed in that respect and many interesting things are happening outside of the US and the report misses them. But regardless, there are some important conclusions from the report and the title of this blog post is the biggest of them. You can download the comScore report here if you are willing to give them some of your personal info.
First things first. Mobile web unique visitor growth is faster than mobile app visitor growth and the lines are diverging.
This is because your mobile website is the top of the funnel for your user acquisition on mobile. It is where people land when coming from search, email, social media, text links, etc, etc.
The mobile web scales much better. You can build a large audience on mobile web much more easily than via mobile apps.
The things that worked in the desktop world tend to work well in the mobile web world, but don’t work in the mobile app world. So you have to use a two step process in mobile. Mobile web is top of funnel and mobile app is bottom of funnel.
But if you want users to stick around for long periods of time and come back regularly, you must get them to your mobile app. Here’s why:
I like to think of this way. The mobile web is the window of your store. Users window shop on your mobile website. Getting them to download and install and use your mobile app is like getting them to come into the store. And that’s where the action is long term.
Disclosure: I was a seed investor in comScore in the late 90s, served on their board for something like eight years, and I still own some comScore stock.
This is an advertisement, but its a fun one. If all ads were like this one, there might not be ad blockers.
I’ve been using this third party keyboard on my iPhone called Slash. I met the company at Techstars NYC this week. They are part of the current crop of companies.
It turns any text input field on your phone (messenger, email, twitter, etc) into a command line interface.
This short video from Dennis Crowley’s tweet shows how it works in iMessage.
— Dennis Crowley (@dens) September 24, 2015
You can slash foursquare, soundcloud, youtube, spotify, and many other resources to help you quickly send web content and other stuff around.
It’s yet another example of the return of the command line interface.
This talk by Maciej Ceglowski (the founder of Pinboard among other things) is mostly a discussion of ad:tech and privacy issues. It raises a number of interesting points and echoes a view of ad blockers that my partner Albert has convinced me is correct (that they are a logical extension of the user agent concept embedded in web browsers).
But the most biting critique is saved for the end of the talk and aimed at the VC and founder communities and the tech sector more broadly.
Our venture capitalists have an easy answer: let the markets do the work. We’ll try crazy ideas, most of them will fail, but those few that succeed will eventually change the world.
But there’s something very fishy about California capitalism.
Investing has become the genteel occupation of our gentry, like having a country estate used to be in England. It’s a class marker and a socially acceptable way for rich techies to pass their time. Gentlemen investors decide what ideas are worth pursuing, and the people pitching to them tailor their proposals accordingly.
The companies that come out of this are no longer pursuing profit, or even revenue. Instead, the measure of their success is valuation—how much money they’ve convinced people to tell them they’re worth.
There’s an element of fantasy to the whole enterprise that even the tech elite is starting to find unsettling.
We had people like this back in Poland, except instead of venture capitalists we called them central planners. They too were in charge of allocating vast amounts of money that didn’t belong to them.
They too honestly believed they were changing the world, and offered the same kinds of excuses about why our day-to-day life bore no relation to the shiny, beautiful world that was supposed to lie just around the corner.
Even those crusty, old-fashioned companies that still believe in profit are not really behaving like capitalists. Microsoft, Cisco and Apple are making a fortune that just sits offshore. Apple alone has nearly $200 billion in cash that is doing nothing .
We’d be better off if Apple bought every employee a fur coat and Bentley, or even just burned the money in a bonfire. At least that would create some jobs for money shovelers and security guards.
Everywhere I look there is this failure to capture the benefits of technological change.
So what kinds of ideas do California central planners think are going to change the world?
Well, right now, they want to build space rockets and make themselves immortal. I wish I was kidding.
I don’t agree with all of Maciej’s critiques, but he is directionally correct, particularly the bit about profits, revenues, and valuations. He nailed that. There is more truth to his critique than many would like to admit. That’s why I am copying and pasting it here. It’s important to look at yourself sometimes and think you could use some work.
In the White House’s Broadband Report, released yesterday, it states:
At the same time, limited competition is also a challenge even in communities with high rates of adoption. Today, nearly 40 percent of American households either do not have the option of purchasing a wired 10 Mbps connection or they must buy it from a single provider. Three out of four Americans do not have a choice of providers for broadband at 25 Mbps, the speed increasingly recognized as a baseline for broadband access. Lowering barriers to deployment and fostering market competition can drive down price, increase speeds, and improve service and adoption rates across all markets.
That last bit, about competition driving down prices and increasing the quality of broadband services, is exactly right. But how do we get a competitive broadband market?
I believe the telecommunications market needs to move away from vertical integration where one provider builds, manages, and delivers the entire telecommunications stack to the market. We need to move to a layered model much like the software industry has adopted and which results in a highly competitive market at each layer. We tried this in the 1990s with the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which provided that incumbent carriers were required to offer new entrants access to their networks. For many reasons, that didn’t work out and tens of billions (maybe hundreds) were incinerated when the CLECs (the new entrants) were stymied by the incumbent carriers and failed to build sustainable businesses. That massive failure has weighed over the broadband market for the past 15 years as most investors moved onto more fertile areas of investing in the TMT (telecom, media, technology) sector.
But just because it didn’t work doesn’t mean it was not the right model. The owners of the plumbing (copper, fiber, spectrum) must be required and incentivized to open their networks to competition. When this happens, we see entrepreneurs emerge to offer new innovative services and investment dollars follow them. When this does not happen, we see wasting assets and stagnating performance and quality.
How do we get there? Through a combination of smart and lightweight regulation (oh the horror of that word!) and by focusing on and supporting innovative entrepreneurs who are working in the telecommunications market. We are doing both at USV. We have been steady, vocal, and critical supporters of regulatory efforts, championing them when they are light and smart and opposing them when they are heavy and dumb. We are also making investments in new innovative telecommunications services. We have announced at least one of them and have at least one that we have yet to announce. My partner Brad is leading our effort in this area both on the policy side and the investment side.
I believe in competition more than any other market or governmental force to bring good things to the market. We need more of it, not less of it, in the broadband market. If we want to expand broadband access to every home, business, and person in this country, competition is the way to do it.
Having a dog in your life can be one of the good decisions you can ever make. Though there are people who are afraid of dogs, experiencing the good side of these pets will surely make you realize that they are worth taking care of. Instead of suffering from depression, why not look for ways on how you can be able to make yourself happy. By playing with a dog, you can keep away from the pressure you experience at work and forget your problems even for a while.Other Things That Your Dog Might Need
Aside from buying a feeding bowl and dog foods, you also have to look for collars and dog leashes for sale. There are places where in dogs are required to wear collars and leashes. This is to give the owner the authority to stop their dogs from making unwanted attacks from other people. Surely you are aware about the danger that people can get when bitten by a dog so as much as possible dog owners know how to handle their pets.
You can also accentuate your dogs with funny dog collars. This can somehow put a smile to other people especially if your dog is really cute and cuddly. There are factors that you have to consider when buying dog collars like for example the size, the material it is made of, the design, and of course the price. Putting collars on your dogs doesn’t mean that you can treat them unreasonably. Remember that they also have feelings and they seem to understand what is on your mind.
If you have set a budget for your dogs then you can buy a designer dog collar (http://www.bitchnewyork.com/) that could easily get the attention of the crowd. This is suitable if your dog will join a show that can help your pet win the contest. You can add small dog accessories that you can buy online instead of going to a pet store. You can even save money if you will prefer making a purchase in online pet store.
If your dog is big then looking for dog leashes for sale is also necessary so that you can bring your dog for a walk. There are dog owners who would always want to bring with them their pets where in dog leash can be very useful particularly if you train your dog and teach him various tricks.…
Back in 2011, USV invested in Chris Poole’s startup Canvas. I worked closely with Chris on that investment and they built something great called DrawQuest. But it did not turn into a sustainable business and eventually Chris shut it down. All through this time, Chris ran and managed 4chan, a service he built and launched when he was 15. Yesterday Chris announced that he had sold 4chan to Hiroyuki Nishimura, a pioneer of Japanese web culture and founder of 2Channel, the inspiration for 4chan.
I have watched Chris struggle with his creation. He felt enormous responsibility for it. Like a child who has issues and you know it but you love him or her anyway. He did the very best he could with 4chan and from where I sit, never really got any credit for that.
Communities are not like other websites and mobile apps. The people who hang out in them feel a sense of ownership of them. The regulars here at AVC feel that way to some degree I am sure. And so running a community on the web/mobile is probably a lot like running a community in real life.
I have sat on condo and coop boards. They are not like regular businesses. They are where people live. And so the debates and disputes are more personal and more emotional. Take that and multiply it by the millions and you get a web/mobile community like 4chan or reddit. Managing that sort of thing is not pleasant.
And yet Chris did it dutifully for over twelve years. Contrary to the beliefs of many in the 4chan community, Chris didn’t take a real salary from 4chan. It was truly a labor of love.
And so when I sat with Chris for lunch last week, a day or two after the sale had finally closed, he seemed more relieved than anything else. This was not a Internet entrepreneur after a big exit. This was something else entirely.
There aren’t many who understand the Internet like Chris. And I’m not talking about the technical architecture (although he understands that pretty well). I am talking about the social architecture of the Internet. I am talking about what people do on the Internet and why. He’s seen the belly of the beast. He’s lived in it. And he’s come out the other side with his soul and his spirit intact. That is a massive accomplishment that dwarfs whatever financial return he made on the sale.
I am not sure I’ve ever been prouder of someone I’ve worked with to be honest.
I recall meeting Perry Chen for the first time in the old USV offices on the 14th floor back in 2009 shortly after Kickstarter launched. He and his partners Yancey and Charles were onto something, I was sure of that. But they wanted to do things differently. He told me that Kickstarter always wanted to do what they felt was the right thing. He told me they were not building the company to be sold. And so, he said, they needed investors who understood that and appreciated it. I told him that approach was welcome at USV and that we were eager to figure out if there was another way to do things too.
Six years later, Kickstarter has formalized those desires and commitments into its corporate charter and in the process has reincorporated a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) under Delaware law. A Benefit Corporation is different than a “B Corp” because it involves formally amending the company’s charter and being recognized as such under the law.
I encourage you to read their new charter as it outlines the things they will hold as dear as shareholder value and be held accountable to and report on annually. And you should also read their interview with the New York Times where they explain why they did this.
There are those who say that Benefit Corporations and venture capital are not compatible. We don’t agree and we think companies that align their values with their customers and communities will benefit over the long term, not suffer. And that alignment can produce value for shareholders sustainably and profitably. It is worth noting that not one of Kickstarter’s angel investors, venture investors, employees, and board members who own shares in Kickstarter dissented on the vote to convert to a PBC.
None of this should suggest to you or anyone that Kickstarter is not a for-profit business. It has made money since its second year of operation. Profits give it sustainability without the need to finance the business externally. And profits can enrich its founders, employees, and investors. But these profits are not the only goal of Kickstarter. The company exists to bring creative projects to life and that mission drives the company as much, or more, than the profit seeking motive.
My partner Albert has written a lot about Benefit Corporations and has worked with the State of Delaware to ensure that their statutes are workable for entrepreneurs and the investors who support them. USV is a fan of Benefit Corporations and we are thrilled that Kickstarter has successfully converted into one and codified their values and commitments for the long-term as a Benefit Corporation.
Girls often idolize their mothers not just the way she talks or moves but also with the way she fixes herself like the clothes she wears and the way she puts on her makeup. Most young girls often play with their mother’s makeup kits, dresses and shoes and at times they would wear their mother’s belongings and paint their faces with her makeup as they imitate their mother’s movements including the smacking of the lips.
It cannot be helped as daughters are always on their mom’s side and they see her as their role model so it is just normal for them to mimic their mothers. This is the reason why a lot of girl fashion games are popular on the internet. Many girl players can relate to it and so these types of games didn’t have difficulty to penetrate its target market and continue to hook players to play it.
Many of these girl games can easily be played online for free. Young girls, teenagers and even adults may choose from several of them which topic range from:
- Dress up
- Sports and skills and many other games which are exclusively for girls which they will definitely like
It is fun if mothers will play girl games with their daughters as it can be their bonding moments. There are makeover games which characters are popular celebrities like the stars of Twilight Saga Edward Cullen and Ashley Greene. There is also Jennifer Lopez, Keira Knightley, Hilary Duff and Kim Kardashian. Some games even have images which seem real so it’s like you are really putting makeup on them.
There is also the all-time favorite character of girls, Barbie and her partner Ken. Girls can help her to choose her wedding dress, help her make pizza, and help in building her family.
Girls can have so much fun with these games as they will learn to mix and match colors and it will also help them improve their sense of fashion and creativity as they learn to choose which dress would fit the occasion.
Most mothers can relate to their daughters with regard to these games because they have also experienced playing with their makeups and at times their mom’s shoes and clothes.
It’s like reminiscing their youth while seeing their young daughters at play.
Are you a mother of young girls? What do you say about them playing these games for girls online?
You may tell us how you feel about it by providing your comment below.…