MiB: Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures


This week, we speak with Albert Wenger, Managing Partner at Union Square Ventures. He co-founded 5 companies and was President of del.icio.us thru the company’s sale to Yahoo and was an angel investor in Etsy and Tumblr. Wenger is the author of World After Capital, describing the shift to a “Knowledge Age” and its implications for businesses & society.

We discuss how Union Squares operates and how the venture scene has migrated from Silicon Valley to New York City and the rest of the country. USV is an early seed investor that puts capital at risk very early in a company’s lifespan. This means that the odds are high that nearly all of their companies will fail, but it also suggests that its winners will be 100X or better.

He explains why we need a wartime footing to confront the challenges of climate change. His favorite data point is that we have been adding the heat of the equivalent of 4 Hiroshima-sized nuclear bombs to the atmosphere every second. This is a potential extinction level threat to humans as a species.

A list of his favorite books is here; A transcript of our conversation is available here Monday.

You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, Bloomberg, and Acast. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Steve Case, founder of America On Line (AOL), founder of vc firm Revolution and author of The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream.



Albert Wenger Authored Book

The World After Capital: Economic Freedom, Information Freedom and Psychological Freedom by Albert Wenger


Albert Wenger’s Favorite Books

The Beginning of Infinity: Explanations That Transform the World by David Deutsch

Perhaps the Stars by Ada Palmer

The Ministry for the Future: by Kim Stanley Robinson


Books Barry Mentioned

Pop!: Why Bubbles Are Great For The Economy by Daniel Gross


How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North

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