Growing Up VC

Growing Up VC

The Rise of the Buddy VC

Mr. Heitzmann.

These days, venture capitalists do so much more than write checks; in fact, it’s starting to seem like some VCs will do everything short of give their portfolio companies backrubs. Investors—many of them former or current entrepreneurs themselves—host dinners, make introductions, sit on boards, and gently or not-so-gently nudge startups in one direction or another. It’s the buddy VC—business mentor, recruiter, shoulder to cry on, never more than an email away.

A story in Crain’s sums up the buddy VC phenom nicely: “More than financiers, they are mentors, rabbis and consiglieres, all wrapped up in one.” Read More

Growing Up VC

Being a Fanboy Is Hard Work, Just Ask Fred Wilson

The Wilson family, sans devices.

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. Read More

Growing Up VC

At Fred Wilson’s House, Tweeting is Like Eating Your Vegetables

wilson family

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. Read More