Feld Thoughts

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The Three Machines

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Lately, I’ve been stewing over increased complexity being generated by companies around their organization approaches. But it might.

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I’m a VC and the Worst of Times

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It’s Sunday and it’s -8 degrees in Boulder. Egads. As a special bonus, check out my singing and dance movies. Foundry Group humor video

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Empty Out Your Junk Drawer

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Everyone has a junk drawer. Or two. Or ten. One of mine is to the left. So does every company. Both of these are foundational issues.

#GivingThanks: David Cohen and the Techstars Foundation

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Today’s #GivingThanks is to David Cohen , one of the founders and co-CEO of Techstars. When I looked up, David gave me a little more background.

Understanding Privilege – My Experience in Prison

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It was a top 10 peak life experience for me – easily one of the most profound things I’ve experienced to date. We then got the rules.

Your Truth vs. The Truth

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I’ve been thinking about what “truth” means lately. It started me down a path where I began separating types of truth.

Board Seat For Sale

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I had lunch recently with a founder. We were talking about current and future board configuration for his company and he said “Up until this point, all my board seats were simply for sale. Whenever a new investor showed up, they wanted – and got – a board seat.” ” I loved the phrase “board seat for sale.”

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Venture Deals – Third Edition

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The third edition of  Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist  is going to print and pre-orders are up on Amazon.

Origin Stories

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I love origin stories. Some of them glorify entrepreneurship in a way that makes them challenging to parse, as the struggles of our heroines and heroes gets romanticized in a way that tastes sugary sweet. But, when they are written in first person, unedited, on a blog, they are often delicious in a tasty and fulfilling way. Take your pick.

Entrepreneurship Is Intellectual Immigration

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At the MIT Celebration of 50 Years of Entrepreneurship in November, I heard a number of fantastic lines that have stuck with me. One of them was from  Noubar Afeyan. “Entrepreneurship is intellectual immigration.” ” I’m a huge fan and supporter of immigration, especially around entrepreneurship. Ponder that.

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Formlabs $35 Million Financing

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We just led a $35 million financing at Formlabs. In case you were wondering, lasers are super cool. In the fall of 2012, Formlabs did a $2.95

We Were Right – Just a Decade Early

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This is a line my friend Jerry Colonna uses when something like the AT&T – Time Warner deal occurs. rose $7.31 1/4 to 45.06 1/4 on the NYSE.

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Berlin: Startup Home As A Service

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I thought this was outrageously brilliant. Thanks to Andrew Hyde for sending it to me. The Boulder startup community is called Boulder.

New Things In Venture Deals v3

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Venture Deals  v3 (the third edition) is now shipping in both hardcover and Kindle. Jason and I wrote the first edition of Venture Deals in 2011.

The 2% Change

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Here’s something actionable for you on a Monday morning. If you want to improve your business, in addition to all the other things you are doing, focus on changing thing by 2%. For example, raise your prices 2%. Eliminate 2% of your variable costs. Focus on the bottom 2% of your team and ask yourself if you really want them on your team.

Joining the Kauffman Fellows Board

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In September, I joined the board of Kauffman Fellows. In 2003, it was spun out of the Kauffman Foundation into a separate non-profit but, at the 20th reunion in Kansas City, the Kauffman Foundation made a new gift to the Kauffman Fellows Program to accelerate the midwestern venture capital ecosystem.

Unscramble Your Biases

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And, as you read though the list below of my experiences / viewpoints, you’ll quickly see how the biases can create a chaotic mind-mess.

Unicorpse

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The current usage of the word unicorn makes me tired. I could rant about it for a while, but that would make me tired of myself ranting about it.

Work Hard. Be Kind.

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His message is simple: Work Hard. Be Kind. Having worked with Chris for many years, it’s a great summary of how he lives his life. Be Kind.

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A Startup Visa – The International Entrepreneurs Rule – Form I-941

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On Friday, the USCIS proposed The International Entrepreneurs Rule. We finally will have a startup visa! talked about the Startup Visa at conferences.

Canada 101

Get Your Metrics Together

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As we head into 2017, I have a steady stream of operating plans hitting my inbox. Since many of our investments are companies that are scaling, vs. companies that are just getting started, there are a lot of derivative metrics in these plans. Good luck with that. Remember That The Lifetime Value Of A Canceled Customer Is Zero.

Hire a VP Finance Sooner Rather Than Later

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The post is aimed at CEOs of startups who have at least 15 employees. If you don’t have a VP Finance on your team reporting to you, do yourself, your team, and your investors a favor and go hire one right now. While it’s trendy to outsource your accounting to a third party, once you hit a certain size it’s dangerous.

The Fight Between The Future And The Past

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At dinner last night with Amy and friends we ended up in a long conversation about what’s going on in the world right now.

Computer Science For All

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This morning, President Obama and the White House made an awesome announcement of a new initiative called Computer Science for All. NCWIT, U.S.

Q316 State of Venture Capital Update With Cooley

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Each quarter Cooley does a VC market update. This quarter they interviewed me as part of it on  Quarterly VC Update: Brad Feld on the State of Venture Capital Investing.  The full Cooley Q3 report includes a bunch of data and trend graphs which I encourage you to go take a look at. The interview with me follows. Similar/different? It’s the same.

Something New Is F *d Up In My World Every Day

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This is one of my favorite lines to use to explain the business life I live. It’s simple. Something new is f *d up in my world every day.

That Didn’t Need To Take An Hour

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Have you ever finished something and thought to yourself, “That didn’t need to take an hour?” Here are a few of them. 60 minutes.

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When Greed Turns To Fear

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There is a cliche in the financial world that has been around forever. ” Recently, the fear seems to be sticking around. But it lingers.

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FullContact Continues Its Journey To Solve The Contact Management Problem

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When we invested in FullContact in 2012, they were a small team with a big vision to create  One Address Book To Rule Them All.

Explaining Net Neutrality to My Dad

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It’s late Saturday night after an awesome day in Las Vegas with my dad. ” We have a lot of fun and learn a ton from each other.

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Budget: First Half, Second Half

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If you are the CEO of a VC or angel backed company, will need to raise more money in the future, are doing more than $100,000 of revenue a month, and are growing more than 25% a year, then this post if for you. In January, you finalized your budget. Assuming things were on track, you made March and declared victory on Q1. It’s June 7th.

How to Find the Time to Accomplish Anything

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Guest Post By William Hertling – williamhertling.com  (Author). Apocalypse. Maybe you want to write an app or a book. Enter the Craziness.

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The Deep, Dark, Emotional Challenges of Being a Leader

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I got to spend a lot of time with my close friend Rand Fishkin the past few days. Go read it now – I’ll wait. ” Whatever.

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Mental Fitness

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After a 30 day hard reset (also known as sabbatical ) I felt like this was an important re-entry topic as I fling myself back into the fray. Several years ago I got tired of the phrase “Work Life Balance” (and its various permutations – Work/Life Balance and Work-Life Balance.) And there it was.

Don’t Waste A Crisis

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This cliche, which has uncertain attribution  (Winston Churchill, Rahm Emmanuel, M. F. Weiner) is a priceless line that gets tossed out periodically, especially in the middle of a crisis. Over the years I’ve been involved in many business crises. But they are still crises. Most of the time I’m a board member or investor.

What Is Machine Learning Anyway?

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One of the consistent characteristics of the tech industry is an endless labelling of technology and approaches. Some of it is foundational resulting from some entirely new. Much of it is re-categorizing something, either because it is suddenly trendy again or because a set of ideas have been organized in a new way. It’ll be microscopic data.

Founder Suicides

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I know this post is going to be a downer but I think there is a lot more to be talked about regarding depression, mental health, and entrepreneurship.

Life Is Messy For Everyone

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I love today’s post from Nick Grossman at USV. Let me explain. read several biographies on our trip. It’s all messy.

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A Typical Example of #GiveFirst

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We are investors and Jason is on her board. Later that day, Krista sent me the full story, which follows, in an email. Krista’s words follow.

Current Startup Market Emotional Biases

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read it again this morning when I woke up. And I expect I’ll read it at least one more time. just saw Peter Kafka’s summary of at at Re/Code ( We read Bill Gurley’s big warning about Silicon Valley’s big money troubles so you don’t have to ) and I don’t agree. Go read the original post in its entirety. But why? Period.