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I'm a partner at Greylock, former CEO of Mozilla, founder of Reactivity, dad, husband & nerd, among other things.

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    This job is full of choices. Most are tricky! Others, not so much.  (at Greylock Partners)

    This job is full of choices. Most are tricky! Others, not so much. (at Greylock Partners)

    Oh my god. Bacon jerky.  (at Greylock Partners)

    Oh my god. Bacon jerky. (at Greylock Partners)

    Awesome to see @charlesbest on a cover in our lobby. A great person doing truly great work at @donorschoose. (at Greylock Partners)

    Awesome to see @charlesbest on a cover in our lobby. A great person doing truly great work at @donorschoose. (at Greylock Partners)

    A New Glue For A New Kingdom

    parislemon:

    To me, the most exciting part of the Facebook/WhatsApp deal has nothing to do with the deal itself. Instead, I’m excited about the ramifications of such a deal. And I’m not talking about Facebook or WhatsApp here either. History will ultimately prove that deal genius or folly. But more importantly, I know that a deal like this has other people talking, thinking, and building.

    The last group is key, but let me start with the first group. Once the fervor around the deal itself died down, we got a couple of compelling posts from the likes of Benedict Evans and riffing on it, John Lilly. Incidentally, both are now VCs. But neither started out that way, and both have long histories of solid thinking and writing.

    Both understand that the Facebook/WhatsApp deal is simply the strongest signal yet that we’ve fully entered a new age in the world of computing where mobile is now the kingdom. And the $19 billion price tag simply shows that there isn’t yet a king.

    Read More

    Yep.

    World HQ of @rise, a week after launch. LOVE this app & the team. Eager to change the world.

    World HQ of @rise, a week after launch. LOVE this app & the team. Eager to change the world.

    SF has some unique billboards.

    SF has some unique billboards.

    Mobile social apps are not, really, about free SMS. Mobile discovery and acquisition is a mess - it’s in a ‘pre-pagerank’ phase where we lack the right tools and paths to find and discover content and services efficiently. Social apps may well be a major part of this, as I discussed in detail here. These apps have the opportunity to be a third channel in parallel to Google and Facebook.

    Whatsapp and $19bn — Benedict Evans

    Read Benedict’s piece — it’s terrific.

    jfklibrary:

    This morning, the world learned of the passing of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger. Take a look at this letter from Seeger to President Kennedy in March of 1961. Seeger was facing trial for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a fellow Harvard classmate, Seeger was appealing to the President for help.

    (From the White House Central Name File, Box 2513, JFK Library)

    FRC with the big time bat signal. Quick! Someone needs a term sheet at the Old Mint! (at The Old San Francisco Mint)

    FRC with the big time bat signal. Quick! Someone needs a term sheet at the Old Mint! (at The Old San Francisco Mint)

    Watching.  (at California Ave Farmers’ Market)

    Watching. (at California Ave Farmers’ Market)

    You’re not going to see a lot of World HQs with a panda riding a Dino riding a shark. That’s why you want to keep your stuff in Dropbox.

    You’re not going to see a lot of World HQs with a panda riding a Dino riding a shark. That’s why you want to keep your stuff in Dropbox.

    Wet SF.

    Wet SF.

    The Brutal Logic of Survivor Bias

    One of the humbling privileges of the job that I have as a venture capitalist is that I get to talk to so many amazing, committed, smart, driven, talented entrepreneurs, builders, designers, operators, marketers, sellers, and on and on. And I get to talk about so many different aspects of what they’re doing, in such detail - it’s really an unbelievable privilege, and I’m grateful.

    But one of the things that comes out of that is that sometimes I visit with entrepreneurs who are struggling to make things work, who are struggling to sell, or get attention, or get product market fit. And like the world-changing alphas they are, they wonder “WTF? Why isn’t this working? What’s wrong with me?”

    And the truth is this: starting something from nothing is *hard*. Nothing comes easy. Competition is brutal and global and 24/7 unrelenting. Inventing is never obvious.

    But we have a survivor bias problem. The companies and people we all compare ourselves to are the ones who won, and who are winning. The Googles of the world. The Dropboxes. Ev & Biz & Jack. We compare ourselves to some of the most outrageous successes in the history of the world. We compare ourselves to the winners and the survivors.

    That’s a hard standard to live up to for anyone.

    It’s useful, of course, because it helps us dream bigger. It helps us think more about what’s possible. More “why not us?” And that’s great.

    But it’s tough to see the forest for the trees sometimes and remember that for many, it wasn’t an immediate success. For many, they’ve tried before. For many all the other, less successful endeavors in their lives turned out to be leading them to their ultimate success.

    So that’s the message I give, really. Don’t sweat the hero story so much. Strive for it, but focus on the business and product and team you’re building. Remember that the company may have more chapters yet to be written, and that the people in it most definitely do.

    Survivor bias creates a tough standard when it looks like everyone is “killing it” and “up and to the right” - but don’t let it distract you from doing the thing that *you* want to do, and don’t forget that sometimes we struggle to a breakthrough.

    Facebook’s new Paper app looks really, really lovely. It’s interesting that one of the lead value propositions they espouse is that it’s “ad-free.” But if they really continue down the path of unbundling their apps (messenger, updates, etc), they start to lose some of the advertising impression power they get now from their integrated feed app. So if Paper works — if people really adopt it, feels inevitable that over time it won’t be ad-free. (Which, honestly, doesn’t bother me personally in the slightest, but YMMV.) But maybe it’ll allow better feeling, more targeted ads. Might be that charging the publications (they show Time & The Atlantic) a distribution fee might work.

    Who knows. 

    In any event, looks like some really, really nice work by the product team there, and I’ll be excited to try it out on Monday.