Over at Union Square, the talk was also about disruption, but at a much larger scale. As Fred Wilson wrote today, investing in web companies has been the smartest, most capital efficient strategy for VCs over the last decade. But on a personal level, he believes capital needs to flow elsewhere. “Where has USV invested our investors’ capital for the past eight years? It’s not even a contest. Internet and mobile wins hands down. But internet and mobile will not and can not solve all of society’s problems. We need new medical approaches to preventing and/or curing disease. We need new scientific approaches to generating, storing, and being more efficient with energy. Maybe we need more space exploration. Maybe we need more undersea exploration.”
USV’s Hacking Society was largely concerned with how the powerful networks built on the web, many of which are in its portfolio (Twitter, Tumblr, Kickstarter, etc) can be used to effect politics and societies at scale. Wilson and his co-founder Brad Burnham were two of the earliest and loudest opponents of SOPA. Its no surprise that Alexis Ohanian of Reddit was at the Hacking Society event. This is a group interested not just in altering business as usual, but in how these new networks might change the world.
Something's cooking in New York City.