Ten years ago today (Sept 23 on the east coast), Fred Wilson wrote his first blog post on AVC.com. I hadn’t heard of Fred Wilson or AVC until 2009. I was part of a founding team of a life sciences startup in Boston, and a friend forwarded me a post of his from AVC on Facebook. I remember reading it more and more, over time, throughout 2009. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it back west. I was hoping to leave the east coast, but didn’t know how or when that would happen. Right around the time I started following AVC (on Facebook!, though I was using Twitter a lot), someone introduced me to Chris Dixon. He said I have to meet him. Sure, ok. I went to NYC and met him, but didn’t really know who he was or have much context. He was very approachable, replied to emails. Fred then started referring to Chris’ posts a lot, so I started reading them, and as I was moving back to California and totally unsure of what to do, so I started writing on a blog. I set up an account on Posterous. I think my first posts were a review of the first iPad and my thoughts on the movie, Inception.
Here’s Fred’s first post (not edited):
I am a VC. Have been for 17 years. I help people start and build technology companies. I do it in NYC, which isn’t the easiest place to build technology companies, but its getting better. I love my work. I also am a husband and a father of 3 kids. I do that in NYC too. And it isn’t the easiest place to raise a family either. But it’s getting better too. I love my family more than my work. I also love music, art, yoga, biking, skiing, and golf. That’s a lot of interests for a guy who works 60 hours a week and loves his family. But i manage to make it work. I used to love politics. But now its all about money. I don’t love politics anymore. I used to read three papers a day. Now i barely read one. Somedays i don’t read the paper at all. I read the internet. I rarely read anything in the paper that i didn’t read on the internet first. I never read important news in the paper that i didn’t read on the internet first. I read blogs a lot. And i think they are great. So i am starting a blog. I have no idea if i’ll write a lot in my blog or rarely. I hope its a lot, because i have a lot to say. But we’ll see about that.
Pretty cool to read that today, 10 years on. In commemoration of this, I asked Fred if he wanted to do a Q&A about the milestone, but in his typical fashion, he wasn’t sure it was a good idea. I let it go. He’s probably right, though I’d be remiss if I didn’t write this post. As it is, his writing has been greatly helpful to me and part of the inspiration why I continue to write so much about a field I’m new to. There’s no way I could do it every day, but it’s great fun to just type and hit “publish” and then see what happens, to have random people to connect to, to make new friends through Twitter and Disqus. It may seem from afar that this is all a plan to “market content” or do what everyone else is doing — maybe, but for me, the real motivation is to learn. I’m playing catch-up. Writing helps me get up to speed, even if I’m still behind everyone else. Writing forces me to boil down my thoughts to their essence. It forces me to think of a reason why someone else — maybe you — would stop to read, and then, how to build trust, over time. I’m hoping to write more myself. But, there’s a lot of great stuff out there. Maybe too much. That’s a good challenge.