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Just Finish It

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An exec at a company I’m an investor in sent this to me this morning. Does this feel like your life at your company? I’m an enormous fan of Eric Ries and The Lean Startup. His, and Steve Blank’s, thinking and writing changed how we approach startups.

The Three Machines

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

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Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

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Your Truth vs. The Truth

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I’ve been thinking about what “truth” means lately. With almost no effort I can find contradictory articles, thoughts, perspectives, statements, and opinions on almost everything being discussed today.

Bezos Annual Letter

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I just sent this note out to our CEO list. I was going to write a different post today about The Founder Wellness Pact: How Accelerators are Addressing Depression Among Founders but I’m going to save it for next week. After sending this note out, I decided it was the clearest thing I could add to your world today going into the weekend. . Jeff Bezos’ annual letter is now up there with Warren Buffett’s annual letter as must reads for me.

Alexa, Techstars, and Cooper

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Recently, Amazon’s Alexa team and Techstars launched The Alexa Accelerator , powered by Techstars , Last week, a bunch of fun skills have been integrated into Alexa. I thought I’d give some a try.

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 I sat in my warm office catching up on email from the week, I sent links to our Foundry Group videos to a friend that had never seen them.

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#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. If David has done something that has touched your life is a positive way and you want to give thanks to him, make a donation online to the Techstars Foundation. I met David on one of my random days in 2006.

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 2010, when we invested in MakerBot, the maker movement was just beginning. While 3D printing technology had been around for 30 years, there were no desktop 3D printers.

The Best Time To Invest In Something Is …

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At 18 minutes into this awesome talk that Fred Wilson did at MIT a few weeks ago , he finishes the statement “ The best time to invest in something is.” ” “ … when nobody wants to invest in it but you.”

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Understanding Privilege – My Experience in Prison

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A month ago Mark Suster (Upfront) and I hosted 75 colleagues for a full day at the California State Prison, Los Angeles County – also known as Lancaster.

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.

Don’t Play Hurt

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I heard a great line from a CEO recently: “I don’t want to play hurt.” ” I loved that line. In my world, some companies beat their Q416 numbers. Others made their Q416 numbers. Some missed their Q416 numbers. That’s life. Any VC who says otherwise (e.g. “All my companies are killing it”) is either full of s**t or doesn’t have very many investments.

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. For a long time I’ve ranted against naming your startup community “Silicon Whatever.” ” Instead, I believe every startup community already has a name.

The Magic of Dealing With Your Demons

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Jessi Hempel from Backchannel just wrote an amazing profile piece on my close friend Jerry Colonna. It’s titled This Man Makes Founders Cry. Medium estimates that it’s an 18 minute read and I assert that it’s worth every minute. I’ve known and worked with Jerry since 1996.

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Immigration Fundraiser: For Here or To Go

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A little over a year ago I wrote a post about a documentary Amy and I were helping fund called For Here or To Go. The movie is about a set of Indian software developers in the US on H1-B visas.

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. As time passes, the line has shifted to “We were right – just fifteen years early.” ” Jerry was Fred Wilson ‘s partner at Flatiron Partners.

Unscramble Your Biases

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As I noticed quotes from the Code Conference dominate my Twitter feed yesterday, I saw a few from the Jeff Bezos interview that made me say out loud “Jeff Bezos is amazing.”

Bias Documentary

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One of the philanthropic activities that Amy and I have been doing is helping fund documentaries around issues that we care about. A breakout documentary from 2015 was CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap.

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Work Hard. Be Kind.

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For your Sunday video watching, I encourage you to spend ten minutes of your life and watch Chris Moody ‘s Commencement Address to the Auburn 2016 graduates. 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.

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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. It’s now often referred to as “Labs” (as an homage to the infamous Google Labs which was disbanded 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. When you cater in food for a meeting, arrange a long term relationship and ask for a 2% discount.

Film: American Muslim Storytellers

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Over the weekend, our Monthly Match for the National Immigration Law Center raised over $47,000, For everyone who contributed, thank you! In the emails I got, one stood out. It pointed me at an Indiegogo campaign for a documentary done by American Muslim Storytellers.

Managing New User Satisfaction On A Daily Basis

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As we get to the end of 2016, I’m in many conversations about 2016 performance and 2017 budgets. While 2016 isn’t over yet, most SaaS companies know how things are going to end up within a few percentage points. As a result, their focus on 2017 is an extrapolation from how they have been doing in 2016, typically building on month over month activity. Since there are plenty of variables, the conversations are generally quantitative.

December Depression

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December is a tough time of year for a lot of people. While the holidays are awesome for some, they are really hard for others. I know a lot of people around me who are anxious, upset, stressed, or some other version of “not in a good place.”

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. The goal is to empower a generation of American students with the computer science skills they need to thrive in a digital economy.

Ode to Keystone

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Dave Jilk, my first business partner and one of my closest friends, wrote the following Ode to our Keystone house. For the poetry nerds out there, Dave informed me that this is a villanelle. Recently, Amy and I decided to sell our Keystone House.

Happy Valentines Day 2017

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To all the lovers and soulmates out there, today is a great day to reflect on your partnership. Amy and I have been together for over 26 years and she’s sitting next to me as I type this.

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Relationships Are 100/100, Not 50/50

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In a vox with my partner Seth recently, he said something that stuck with me. “Relationships are 100/100, not 50/50.” ” He was referring to a business dynamic between two people, but it applies to any relationship and any number of people. It’s a simple idea, but a great one. When I consider my relationship with Amy, it’s 100/100. Sure, we have plenty of conflicts, but we are both 100% all in on the relationship.

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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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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. When asked what it’s like to be a partner in a VC firm, be on a bunch of boards, and have a continuous stream of random interaction come my way, I like to level set my reality. It’s simple.

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?” ” In my world, I have an endless stream of requests to do something for an hour.

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All That We Share

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In our very divided world right now, this video is worth three minutes of your life on this Super Bowl Sunday. The post All That We Share appeared first on Feld Thoughts. Personal

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Video 77

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.

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

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On Friday, the USCIS proposed The International Entrepreneurs Rule. While this is a proposal subject to a public comment period, I expect it will go into effect in about 45 days. We finally will have a startup visa!

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. We went down a few different paths, including a set of provocative questions like “Should the US have gotten involved in World War II earlier?”

Got Gluten? Buy Nima

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I’m just back from a week in Australia with David Cohen to a note that Nima, a company we invested in last year, is now shipping their Gluten Sensor in volume. If you have Celiac disease, the Nima gluten sensor is a must have. If you are sensitive to Gluten, it’s still a must have.

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 are doing our annual father-son weekend, where we head out on Friday somewhere he wants to go and return Sunday afternoon.

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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. “Two things drive decisions: Greed and Fear” For the past few years, we’ve been a zone where greed has been dominating.

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How to Find the Time to Accomplish Anything

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Guest Post By William Hertling – williamhertling.com (Author). William Hertling is a web strategist, programmer, father, short-order cook and the author of two award-winning and best-selling techothrillers: Avogadro Corp: The Singularity is Closer than It Appears and A.I. Apocalypse.

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