April 16, 2009

Types of friends
  • Disability
  • People you keep running into
  • Professional acquaintances
  • College friends
  • Blog friends
  • Neighbors
  • Interest group friends
  • Church
  • Childhood
  • Honorable enemies
  • Family friends
  • Friends of friends
  • Couple friends
  • Facebook friends
  • LinkedIn friends
  • Ex-friends
  • Friends of convenience
  • Lovers
  • Ex-lovers

Parameters of friends
  • Frequency
  • Quality of interaction
  • Setting of interaction
  • How much do you seek them out
  • Depth of friendship
  • How much do you value this person for themselves?
  • How much do you value this person for what they can do for you?

Taxonomy of friendship
  • Friendship is based on sharing
    • Experience
    • Values
    • Beliefs
    • Interest
    • People
      • Friends
      • Enemies
    • Goals
    • Hopes/Dreams

Evolution of friendship
  • Friendships wax and wane, largely depending on the amount of sharing

You become a different person around people. A really good friend is someone who amplifies me.

I'm much funnier around certain people.

The measure of depth is trust. Trust is engendered by the things you share, since that makes their actions predictable. The more shared experiences you have, the more predictable they become.

Risk is implicit in trust; Trust is taking a risk, and predictability helps alleviate that risk.

Emotional connection is what switches someone from an acquaintance to a friend.

I have a great relationships with co-workers, but these are colder relationships. I took my team on an off-site hackathon, and I felt like we were more intimate and emotionally close
  • People interrupted each other; in the office, typically the expectation is to

How can you add an emotional dimension to professional/intellectual relationships? How can you add an intellectual dimension to childhood relationships?

When I interview CEOs, I ask them, how many of your direct reports are good friends? If they answer yes, I usually ding them. This is different from trust--you have to trust people, but you can't let the emotional connection impede the relationship.

I think there's a difference between an emotional connection and friendship. A lot of CEOs believe that they can't have a friendship with someone. But they also know that they need to be able to motivate people. So they share stories to establish an emotional connection.

How do you cross boundaries? What happens when a friend joins a cult?

What about friends who are bad for you? Friendship is not always a positive.

How do you break up with a friend? We don't have a script for doing this?

A friend helps you move; a true friend helps you move a body.
A friend is someone you can dump shit on.

How do you separate loving and caring for a friend from using them?

Have you ever reconciled with a friend that you broke off the relationship with? One example: Friend A slept with my boyfriend. I didn't talk to her for two years. We made up and are now best friends.

The more settings in which you see a friend, the more you can trust that person. The person you only see in one setting can't be relied upon in other settings. That's how fraternity initations work.

The pace of communications has changed; people used to build relationships by letter. Now, with instant communications, anyone can be reached at any point.

Friendships can by asymmetrical. How do we deal with this?
  • The answer is not to pay them back, but rather to pay it forward
  • You are paying back your mentor, by allowing him or her to pay it forward
  • Is there an issue with different types of values flowing back and forth in exchange (e.g. emotional help vs. financial help; looks vs. money)

Socialists worry about asymmetry. Capitalists only care if the two parties enter into a willing exchange.

Do you have a best friend or a composite best friend? It's hard to find a single friend who fulfills all the different friendship needs you might have. Plus, a composite best friend eliminates the single point of failure ("The Voltron model of friendship.")

Is the concept of "best friend" an antiquated notion?

Different regions have different standards...if you go to Boston for a month, you don't know anybody. If you come to Silicon Valley for a month, you know everybody. In California, after the first meeting you're friends, after two meetings you're good friends, after three meetings you're best friends.
  • How much effort does it take to make a friend?
  • How persistent is a friendship?
  • In Boston, it's harder to make a friend, but they have greater persistence.

U.S. is more transactional than other countries. Other countries see friends more immediately as "family." Also since Americans are so mobile it's harder to form friendships.

Over time, has it become easier to make shallow friends, but harder to to make deep friends?
  • Dunbar's number
    • Does this still apply with our augmented brains?
  • Simple math: You can know more people these days, which dramatically divides your attention across more relationships
  • You no longer grow up and stay in the same small town, interacting with the same old friends
Hypothesis: The barrier to deep friendship is part of what makes that friendship deep.

In a good friendship, the whole is better than the sum of the parts.

"A friend in need is a friend indeed / in deed." (two meanings depending on how you see "indeed").

You want your friends to be able to criticize you but not judge you.

Each of us is in our own boat rowing forward. When you fire a friend, you're kicking him off your boat. Some of our boats are bigger than others. Some of us are paddling faster than others. The question is, who do you want in your boat with you?

The quality of your relationship with others depends on your relationship with yourself. Do you love yourself?

It's impossible for someone to be your friend if you're not having fun with him. Having fun with the person is a universal value. It's also not a real friendship if you're keeping score - it should be reciprocal but not keeping score.

Your family is assigned to you. As are your co-workers. Your friends you CHOOSE - it's voluntary. Thus says something about you.


Menlo Park - April 16, 2009 - 12 noon to 1:30 PM
"The Many Sides of Friendship: How friendship changes and evolves throughout
our lives and with the times"
Mohr Davidow Ventures
3000 Sand Hill Road, Building 3, Suite 290
Menlo Park, CA 94025

FULL - add your name to wait list

Name
Email
URL
1
Ben Casnocha
ben@casnocha.com
http://ben.casnocha.com
2
Chris Yeh
chris@chrisyeh.com
http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com
3
Maria Pacana
maria.pacana@gmail.com
http://www.sterlingstamos.com/
5
Donna Wells
donna.wells@stanfordalumni.org
www.mint.com
6
Ben Abram
bs [at] abr [dot] am
www.westlygroup.com
7
jayne lange
jayne.lange@gmail.com
www.dpbconsult.com
8
David Weekly
david@weekly.org
http://davidweekly.org/
9
David Michaels
dkm@mint.com
http://www.mint.com
10
Kai Chang
mailto:pjammer@gmail.com
http://www.kaichang.com
12
Kevin Gee
[myfirstname][mylastname]
@[myfirstname][mylastname].biz

13
Ray Conley
rconley@pa-investors.com
http://www.rayconley.com
14
Vanessa Nance


15
Marty Hollander
marty@vidyo.com
http://www.vidyo.com
16
Ted Wang
twang@fenwick.com
http://bit.ly/DQhwP
17
Greg Putnam
greg.putnam@incentalign.com
www.incentalign.com
18
Peter Sims

www.petersims.com
20
Eliezer Yudkowsky
sentience@pobox.com
http://yudkowsky.net/
21
Jorge Zavala
jorge,zavala@techba.com
http://www.techba.com
22
Katherine Barr

http://www.mdv.com
Menlo Park Wait List:



Joseph Raffa
joe@raffa.net
http://www.raffa.net
Michelle Messina
mmessina@explorainternational.com
www.explorainternational.com
David Cummins
dcummins@dfj.com
www.dfjgrowth.com
Frederic Lucas-Conwell
flc@growthresourcesinc.com
www.growthresourcesinc.com
Kim Jabal
kim@google.com
www.google.com
Jim Barrick
[my firstname].[mylastname] at controldiscovery dot com
www.controldiscovery.com
Claude Ezran
(myfirstname) @ (mylastname) dot com
www.pamusicday.org
Jim Dixon
james.dixon@bain.com
www.bain.com
Dale Edmondson
Dale.Edmondson@WilmerHale.com



San Francisco - April 17th, 2009
"The Many Sides of Friendship: How friendship changes and evolves throughout
our lives and with the times"
12 noon to 1:30 PM
Clydesdale Ventures
201 Spear Street, 11th floor
San Francisco, CA 94104


Name
Email
URL
1
Ben Casnocha
ben@casnocha.com
http://ben.casnocha.com
2
Brad Klapper

http://clydesdaleventures.com/
3
Stephen Dodson
stephen.j.dodson@gmail.com
http://stephendodson.wordpress.com/
4
Tim Taylor
timothy.taylor@sbcglobal.net
http://ttblogs.typepad.com
5
Kare Anderson
kare@sayitbetter.com
http://www.movingfrommetowe.com
6
Jonathan Abrams
abrams@jabrams.com
http://www.jabrams.com/
7
Wendy Lea

http://www.twitter.com/wendyslea
8
Gayle Karen Young
gaylekaren@gmail.com

9
Anne-Marie Fowler


10
Dan Arkind

http://www.jobscore.com
11
Jeff Widman
jeff@jeffwidman.com
http;//www.jeffwidman.com/
12
Cynthia Holladay
cholladay@uprightmarketing.com
http://www.uprightmarketing.com
13
Katelyn Donnelly
katelyn.donnelly@gmail.com
www.mckinsey.com
15
Sanford Barr
junto@heysanford.com

16
David Zetland
dzetland@gmail.com
http://aguanomics.com/
17
Rich Allen
rcdalen@gmail.com
http://web.toratrading.com
18
Kristen Bartok

http://airfinanceco.com