Growing Up VC
Silicon Alley Smackdown One of the many tech events on rain delay because of Hurricane Sandy was the Big Apple Smackdown ping pong tournament, whose guest list included an impressive number of familiar names from the New York tech scene. (Betabeat is one of the media sponsors, so we may be a little biased.) Among the techno-athletes scheduled to play was Gilt Groupe CEO–and soon-to-be Gilt Groupe chairman–Kevin Ryan. Apparently, we missed quite a show.
The tournament was scheduled for Sunday, “and I played on Friday and on Sunday just to get ready for it!” Mr. Ryan told Betabeat. Really? “Oh yeah, because I won a tournament about a month ago.” That was an invitation-only affair for ping pong ringers at the Hamptons manse of ABC Carpet & Home’s Ken Pilot. “You had to put $100 into the pot and the winner got two-thirds of the pot, so I was pretty excited about that,” Mr. Ryan enthused.
Growing Up VC
Coming out of the closet as a fanboy for one mobile operating system over another isn’t as easy as posting the occasional cheerleading tweet. In the case of Apple fanboy and Instapaper founder Marco Arment, you have to literally redefine the word fanboy to regain your cred, even as you’re rallying to Apple’s defense.
And in the case of self-proclaimed “Android fanboy” Fred Wilson, it means proselytizing through the pain.
Growing up VC can be tough. During her rebellious teenage years, Jessica Wilson refused to tweet, much to the dismay of her parents, Fred and Joanne Wilson.
The Wall Street Journal has a big spread by Katherine Rosman on the Wilson family, cataloging the clan’s digital lives. Jessica and Emily each have two tumblrs. Josh only has one, but he’s got two Xboxes to make up for it.
In a house where both parents are prolific seed stage investors in tech, extracurricular activites focus on building a healthy online presence and becoming comfortable as an early adopter of new services.
“I would tell her that it was going to be the next big thing,” says Mr. Wilson, about encouraging his daughter to use Twitter.