Feld Thoughts

Are You At Your Best Right Now?

Feld Thoughts

I’m not. And I know a lot of people who aren’t. I’m trying hard, but I’m aware that there are many moments where I’m nowhere close to being my best. Every day, I feel confused by behavior from someone I know well which is inconsistent with how I think of them.

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Are You Spending Your Weeks The Way You Want To?

Feld Thoughts

Amy has a birthday coming up. We spent some time this morning talking about her next year. Since the two of us are together all day every day, we also discussed how I’m spending my time over the upcoming year that begins at her birthday.

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Founders Mental Health in the Time of Covid

Feld Thoughts

Mental health has been an issue among tech entrepreneurs for a long time, but has been exacerbated by the stresses of the Covid crisis.

Art by Julie Maren

Feld Thoughts

Amy and I have been collecting art since we first got together in 1990. My mom, Cecelia Feld , is an artist, and I have been around contemporary art my entire life. We prefer non-representational art from living artists.

Building Healthy Innovation Ecosystems for Your Projects

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

In this webinar, Nick Noreña will walk through an Innovation Ecosystem Model that he and his team at Kromatic have developed to help investors, heads of product, teachers, and executives understand how they can best support innovation in their own ecosystem. He'll also go over metrics we can use to measure the health of our ecosystems as we build more resources for innovators.

Pondering the Commercial Real Estate Market

Feld Thoughts

Since Covid started, I’ve had many conversations about office space. In April, almost all of our companies were unable to use their office space because of stay at home orders.

Book: Portrait of Resilience

Feld Thoughts

Daniel Jackson created a magnificent book. It’s a combination of three things: 1) Extraordinary personal stories about 2) The struggle with mental health, anxiety, and depression while 3) at MIT. MIT is a foundational part of my life. I spent seven years there.

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The Energize Colorado Gap Fund Application Process Is Open

Feld Thoughts

The Energize Colorado Gap Fund is open for applications.

Thoughts For VC Backed Companies Considering SBA/PPP Loans

Feld Thoughts

My partner Seth Levine recently put up an extremely thoughtful post titled SBA PPP Loans Aren’t for Everyone. Go read it now – I’ll be here when you get back. Seth references two other posts to read and consider.

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Venture Kills or the Sunday New York Times

Feld Thoughts

I had a really nice week off the grid. More on that in another post. I woke up this morning with a very long run in mind.

Please Wear a DIY Cloth Mask in Public

Feld Thoughts

The CDC finally issued guidance to Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19. If you go out in public, please wear a “Cloth Face Covering.”

Thoughts on Sourcing Black Companies and Entrepreneurs

Feld Thoughts

I recently was in an email thread where a Black founder had a powerful and clear response to the question from one of her corporate partners. The question was: How can our (the corporate partner’s) team better support diversity in our work, particularly in our sourcing, diligence, and onboarding efforts? The entrepreneur responded with a long explanation that was a brilliant and extremely helpful perspective for me. It follows.

Don’t Burn Down Your Own House

Feld Thoughts

Dave Mayer pointed me at this video today. After struggling with how I was feeling all morning, during my run, and while I read the Sunday New York Times, this finally helped me put a framework around my feelings. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m confused. I’m appalled.

Denver Startup Week 2020

Feld Thoughts

Denver Startup Week , the largest startup week in the world, happens next week. In the time of Covid, it’s virtual, so I hope we attract a lot of people from all over the world.

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How To Write An Email Intro Request

Feld Thoughts

Multiple times a day, someone in my network asks if I’ll make an intro to someone else. I’m almost always happy to do this and, if not, I will explain why. I like to do opt-in intros, where I ask the person on the potential receiving end of the intro if they are open to the intro. Most of the time people say yes. Sometimes they say no. Very occasionally they don’t respond to me.

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You are Not Alone

Feld Thoughts

On Wednesday 6/3 at 11am Energize Colorado will be launching our Mental Wellness initiative. While we already have a Mental Health Resource section up on the Energize Colorado , we are starting a weekly webinar series called Wellness Wednesdays.

Book: Celebrating Entrepreneurs

Feld Thoughts

My long-time friend and former MIT professor, Professor Edward Roberts, who founded and still chairs the MIT entrepreneurship program, recently published “Celebrating Entrepreneurs: How MIT Nurtured Pioneering Entrepreneurs Who Built Great Companies”.

The Goal Should Not Be The New Normal

Feld Thoughts

For the last several months, I’ve heard or read the phrase “the new normal” 7,354 times. I’ve steadily grown tired of it and now I believe it is an invalid concept. There is no new normal. We have move forward and get better. Steve Case wrote a great OpEd recently titled There’s no going back to the pre-pandemic economy. Congress should respond accordingly. This week, Congress will likely take up the next steps in the economic response to the covid-19 pandemic.

The Sameness

Feld Thoughts

It’s Monday. Again. I have 30 Zoom meetings on my calendar this week (yes – I counted). It’s a light week for Zoom meetings since I have four board meetings this week, which each takes up a big block of time, limiting the total number of Zoom meetings for the week. Did I say that it’s Monday? My Whoop recovery score is yellow again. It’s yellow almost every day. I get plenty of sleep, but it’s still yellow. Sometimes it’s red.

West Slope Startup Week

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Manufacturing, agriculture, retail, and tech. These are just a few of the many industries in Colorado led and supported by local businesses. But what are we doing to support them through the current health and economic crisis? West Slope Startup Week (WSSW) launched last week (this year in a virtual format) — a full month of online programming open to businesses across the state. Programming includes sessions from people such as Energize Colorado (EC) CEO Wendy Lea and myself.

Bolster and the Next Executive Network

Feld Thoughts

Historically, almost everything I do uses a network model. Foundry Group runs as a network. If you take a look at the Foundry Group partner funds or talk to us about our investment strategy, you’ll immediately see the texture of a network.

Colorado Statewide Mask Requirement

Feld Thoughts

Colorado now has a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear face coverings for Public Indoor Spaces if they are 11 and older, unless they have a medical condition or disability. Kids 10 and under don’t need to wear a mask. All businesses must post signage and refuse entry or service to people not wearing masks. It is well understood that wearing a mask substantially helps slow the spread of Covid.

Venture Deals Online Course – Spring 2020 Registration Is Open

Feld Thoughts

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again. Registration is now open and it runs from March 8, 2020 – May 1, 2020. It’s produced by Techstars and Kauffman Fellows. We’ve run the course six times now and have had over 25,000 people take it.

There’s No Downside to Trying Therapy

Feld Thoughts

I got a note from someone who recently saw my Techstars mental health video. He said that could relate to how I describe depression as the “absence of joy.” ” He went on to write me a long, thoughtful, and brave note about his experience with depression. One thing stood out to me was a statement near the end: “I can’t convince myself to “speak to someone” because it feels wrong if I am paying them. It doesn’t feel whole.

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Supporting the ParentPreneur Foundation

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Amy and I, through our Anchor Point Foundation , recently provided the seed grant to the ParentPreneur Foundation. Founded by James Oliver, the ParentPreneur Foundation empowers Black people to be the best parents and entrepreneurs possible providing them money, tools, resources, and social capital. I’ve known James for several years.

Endless Meaningless Words in Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital

Feld Thoughts

I read On Truth and Untruth: Selected Writings by Nietzsche yesterday. It was chewy, but soaked me in an interesting set of ideas about what words mean, along with a bunch of stuff around the concept of truth.

Leadership is Pulling Together, Not Tearing Apart

Feld Thoughts

Our Colorado governor, Jared Polis, displayed an amazing act of leadership in his response to what I consider a question posed in an extreme and divisive way yesterday. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis gets choked up when he's asked about people who have compared COVID-19 stay-home orders to Nazism.

The Coronavirus Impact on Hardware Startups

Feld Thoughts

For the past week, I’ve been asked at least once a day (yesterday I was asked several times, with an R0 of 3) about what I think the coronavirus’ impact will be on the global supply chain.

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Expanding My Perspective

Feld Thoughts

I’ve become aware that my existing network creates and perpetuates systemic inequities. Rather than abandon my existing network, I’m investing time and energy in expanding my perspective and network through the various things I pay attention to and get involved in.

Venture Deals Online Course – Summer 2020 Edition

Feld Thoughts

We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again this summer. But before I get to that, I want to highlight a blog post from a Black colleague. I’m getting, and reading, many of these each day. For the foreseable future, I’ll highlight and amplify one at the beginning of each post I do, in case you are interested. Today’s post is from Ruben Porras , who is a Techstars alum (Director of Operations at CreatorBox.) He wrote Black Lives Matter. At Work. In Life.

Wise Words from C.S. Lewis in 1948

Feld Thoughts

The following from C. Lewis. was on my fraternity email list this morning. It was written in 1948 after the dawn of the atomic age. In one way we think a great deal too much of the atomic bomb. How are we to live in an atomic age?”

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Female Contemporary Mentors of Mine

Feld Thoughts

In response to my post, Contemporary Mentors , a female reader of this blog who often sends me notes when I fall into a pattern of highlighting cis-het-white men, responded directly to the post with: I hope that you add more women and more diversity to your contemporary mentors.

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Trying a “No Scheduled Meeting” Week

Feld Thoughts

I was going to take a week off the grid next week, but I’ve got a bunch of podcasts and media recordings to do for my upcoming book The Startup Community Way.

Exponential Growth and Covid-19

Feld Thoughts

Most people don’t understand exponential growth. It can be counterintuitive and is easily misinterpreted. Understanding it is particularly important right now around Covid-19. The following eight-minute video is extremely well done and uses the historical Covid-19 data to help understand exponential growth. There’s a magic number in this that we should be focusing on, but gets lost in the fog of hysteria. The math lesson starts at about 3:45.

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Laptops for the Justice Reskill Program

Feld Thoughts

Aaron Clark is leading a program called Justice Reskill. They need 20 laptops for the participants in the program. Justice Reskill is a reskilling platform that teaches both technical and essential skills to justice-involved individuals. The first cohort-based directed learning experience launches Saturday, August 15, 2020, with the Second Chance Center of Aurora Colorado, led by Mr. Hassan Latif.

Supporting HBCUvc’s VC Lab and Fund

Feld Thoughts

Amy and I, through our Anchor Point Foundation , are supporting HBCUvc’s VC Lab and Fund. If you are interested in supporting this initiative, send a note to info@hbcu.vc or email me. Several people pointed me at Hadiyah Mujhid , the Founder and CEO of HBCUvc.

Eric Ries’ Foreword to The Startup Community Way

Feld Thoughts

My new book with Ian Hathaway, The Startup Community Way , is officially out. When I saw the Kindle download first thing this morning, I felt a moment of unbridled joy. Writing a book is extremely hard. I’ve now written seven of them, all about startups and entrepreneurship. My next one, which I’ve been working on for a year with Dave Jilk (my first business partner), combined entrepreneurship and philosophy.

Q320 Vacation and Books

Feld Thoughts

Every quarter I try to take a week completely off the grid. It’s a cold reboot for me, not simply a Ctrl-Alt-Del type thing. I started doing this in 2000 and it took me about four years to learn how to just turn off the switch completely for a week and then turn it back on.

SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Estimator

Feld Thoughts

Unsurprisingly, numerous SBA PPP Loan calculators have appeared on the web. Many of them are tied to a specific bank and have various complexity (or simplicity) in determining the amounts available. We’ve tried a few of them for comparison and found the calculations to be inconsistent.

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Techstars Entrepreneurship & Mental Health Series

Feld Thoughts

Techstars just released a 4-part original video series on entrepreneurship and mental health. I’m featured in one of the four short (< 10 minute) videos. If there was ever a moment in time that challenged our individual and collective mental health, it’s the Covid crisis. When Techstars began working on this project last year, the focus was on increasing awareness of the issues around mental health and entrepreneurship.

Humans Just Don’t Understand Complex Systems

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A major incident has been declared in Bournemouth as crowds flock to the beach. Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images. My first reaction to this photo was “you’ve got to be f **g kidding me.” ” My next reaction was the title of this post, “Humans Just Don’t Understand Complex Systems.” ” The Covid crisis is a complex system.

The World In A Phase Transition

Feld Thoughts

We are in the midst of the most dramatic phrase transition I’ve experienced so far in my 54 years on this particular planet. Ian Hathaway and I talk about phase transitions (also known as a phase shift) in several parts of The Startup Community Way. P rogress is uneven, slow, and surprising.

Contemporary Mentors

Feld Thoughts

The phrase “contemporary mentors” popped into my head on loop number six of eight on my morning run. I’m training for a Covid marathon, which is 27 loops around my property.

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