About / Nick Grossman

Nick Grossman is General Manager at Union Square Ventures, where he explores new investments, works with USV portfolio companies, and leads the firm's efforts on public policy, regulatory, and civic issues. Previously, he led an incubator for startups at the intersection of cities and data at OpenPlans. Nick has a degree in Urban Studies from Stanford University, and learned everything he knows about technology from people on the internet and by using view:source.



Nick's posts

Who should police content on the internet?

The beauty, and the danger, of the internet is that it’s open to everyone.  Anyone can put up a website, about pretty much anything.  This “open platform” is an amazing thing, and means that innovation can come from all corners, without barriers or gatekeepers.  It also introduces new challenges for how to deal with the inevitable bad things that come along with the good.

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Who should police content on the internet?

The beauty, and the danger, of the internet is that it’s open to everyone.  Anyone can put up a website, about pretty much anything.  This “open platform” is an amazing thing, and means that innovation can come from all corners, without barriers or gatekeepers.  It also introduces new challenges for how to deal with the inevitable bad things that come along with the good.

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Learning by doing

I had lunch yesterday with someone who has been investing in the crypto / token space recently — having pooled together a small “fund” from friends and family.  It’s a short-term vehicle (like, 6 months), and a large part of the goal is simply to become hands-on familiar / capable investing in token sales / ICOs, and dealing with issues like custody and security.  At least for the moment, there are so many odd aspects of working in this space (handling private keys, exchanging tokens on various exchanges, downloading wallet software, etc.) that actually a large part of the value that a fund manager offers is handling all of that stuff.  Over time, this will change, as infrastructure and new financial vehicles (e.g., ETFs) come to market. But for now, it’s actually really complicated and hard to do this stuff, and there’s no better way to learn it than by doing it.

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Keeping it simple

We recently had our daughter’s birthday party, and we held it in a public park near our house, where there’s an old parks department building.  The sun plan was outdoors, but of course it thunderstormed and we didn’t have a back-up plan.  So we called an audible and asked if we could use the back room in the parks building and they said sure.

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What’s your medium?

Yesterday, I caught up with my old friend Gary Chou .  Gary was the first General Manager of the USV Portfolio Network (predating Brittany and Bethany ), and has since been running Orbital , a studio (which happens to be in the original Kickstarter offices on the Lower East Side).  We got to talking about the different things that have been going on at Orbital and the different directions Gary’s thinking about looking forward.

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Speaking page

I’ve been doing more public speaking recently, and finally assembled videos into a single place:

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