Feld Thoughts

Go For Culture Add, Not Culture Fit

Feld Thoughts

I’ve come to despise the phrase “culture fit.” ” I don’t remember when I first heard it, but it was many years ago. Over time, it became woven into the world of entrepreneurship, as companies used it as a primary frame of reference for hiring.

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Maps for Unity: Location Based Games and Mapbox

Feld Thoughts

This morning’s launch of Maps for Unity brings the full stack of location tools to the world’s most popular game development platform and shows that location and maps are the new building blocks for AR and VR games. We think the maps look amazing and are insanely fast.

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Trending Sources

Just Finish It

Feld Thoughts

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.

Book: Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape

Feld Thoughts

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood. A few weeks ago, after reading the New York Times Sunday Review article The Book That Made Us Feminists , I asked Amy for several recommendations for books that were foundational to the feminist movement. I purchased all that she suggested and added them to my infinite list of books to read.

The Three Machines

Feld Thoughts

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

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Lessons From The Internet Bubble: Growth vs. Profitability

Feld Thoughts

Over the weekend, Mark Suster and Fred Wilson each put up awesome posts discussing the idea of profitability in startups. Mark’s is a master class about how to look at the financial characteristics of a startup and Fred’s discusses what he’s been working on with some of his more mature companies. They are both worth reading right now. I’ll be here when you get back.

Saying No 100 Times A Day

Feld Thoughts

Given my role in the world, I say no a lot. I get hundreds of unsolicited emails a day, often asking me to get together, invest, or look at something. Lots of VCs and execs who I know simply ignore and don’t respond to these emails. I’ve always tried to at least respond to them unless they are clearly a mass email.

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Last Chance to Sign Up For The Fall 2017 Venture Deals Course

Feld Thoughts

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are running another cycle of the Venture Deals course with me and Jason Mendelson. Signups close tomorrow as the course runs from 9/24/17 – 11/13/17. The course is free to everyone. The seven-week course, which is about five hours of work each week, has the following agenda. Week 1 – Introduction of key players/Form or join a team. Week 2 – Fundraising/Finding the Right VC. Week 3 – Capitalization Tables/Convertible Debt.

Helping To End The Stigma Around Mental Health By Talking About It

Feld Thoughts

I’m super lucky. I get to work with many incredibly brave and insightful people. One of them is Chris Heivly who is now working at Techstars with me and a few others on a new set of products around the concept of startup communities. May is mental health month.

Your Truth vs. The Truth

Feld Thoughts

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.

Venture Deals Online Course – 2017

Feld Thoughts

The Venture Deals Online Course for this spring starts this Sunday May 14, 2017 and runs through July 3, 2017. The Kauffman Fellows Academy and Techstars are co-hosting the course. It’s free – all you need to do is sign up. This is the fifth time we are running the course.

Startup Opportunities Flash Sale – Today Only For $0.99

Feld Thoughts

My newest book, Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job , is available via Kindle for $0.99 today. If you are a fan of my books, a friend, or just someone who is interested in startups, buy a copy today. The post Startup Opportunities Flash Sale – Today Only For $0.99

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Formlabs $35 Million Financing

Feld Thoughts

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.

Venture Deals – Third Edition

Feld Thoughts

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. For everyone who has purchased, read, or reviewed our previous editions, thank you!

Fair and Reasonable

Feld Thoughts

I was on the phone with an old friend last week. We were talking about a few things around a negotiation, and he said something profound. “I just want things to be fair and reasonable.” ” I loved this phrase. I learned this value from Len Fassler and Jerry Poch in 1993 when they acquired my first company. I had never bought, sold, or invested in anything up to that point.

Unicorpse

Feld Thoughts

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.

#GivingThanks: David Cohen and the Techstars Foundation

Feld Thoughts

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.

Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

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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 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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Berlin: Startup Home As A Service

Feld Thoughts

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.

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.

Unscramble Your Biases

Feld Thoughts

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.”

Work Hard. Be Kind.

Feld Thoughts

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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Does VC Fund Differentiation Matter?

Feld Thoughts

I’ve met and emailed with many pre-seed and seed GPs in the past year. Over sushi last night with two of them, who are also long-time friends, one of them asked me “Brad, how do you think we are differentiated?” ” This generated a rant from me that went something like this.

Computer Science For All

Feld Thoughts

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.

Effective Networking

Feld Thoughts

Adam Grant has a superb essay in the New York Times this weekend titled Networking is Overrated. I enjoy Adam’s writing immensely (his book Give and Take is a huge inspiration for my upcoming book #GiveFirst). Early in the essay, he has a strong lead in. “It’s true that networking can help you accomplish great things. But this obscures the opposite truth: Accomplishing great things helps you develop a network.” ” He finishes the essay with a great punch line.

The Ideal Financial Reporting Tempo For A VC-Backed Company

Feld Thoughts

Over the past few days, I’ve had a similar conversation about reporting tempo with three different people (2 CFOs and 1 CEO). In each case, we snuck up on the issue, rather than starting with it. The fundamental question addressed what the reporting tempo to the board should be. A number of years ago, I decided to shift to quarterly board meetings. Historically, the number of board meetings I had per company was all over the place.

The Journey From $1m MRR to $2m MRR

Feld Thoughts

There’s a long-standing cliche concerning SaaS companies that once you get to $10m in ARR you are unkillable. As Jason Lemkin says in his post from early 2013: Inevitability in SaaS comes around $10m in ARR, plus or minus. Once you hit this point, you have a brand, you have a fully baked team, you have a robust product, and you have a self-generating stream of new leads and new business. Will you get from $10m ARR to $100M ARR? I don’t know. Is an IPO in your future? Not sure.

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That Didn’t Need To Take An Hour

Feld Thoughts

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

Feld Thoughts

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.

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.

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We Lead or We Participate

Feld Thoughts

Over the years, I’ve been in many multi-party negotiations. I don’t know the maximum number of participants in a single negotiation, but I’m sure it’s greater than ten active negotiating parties in a transaction. I don’t mean the number of entities participating in the transaction, but the actual number of active negotiating entities. The best way to figure this out is to count the number of different law firms involved in the transaction.

The 2% Change

Feld Thoughts

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.

Explaining Net Neutrality to My Dad

Feld Thoughts

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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Alexa, Techstars, and Cooper

Feld Thoughts

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.

American Is Pushing Entrepreneurship To Other Countries

Feld Thoughts

Yesterday, the White House announced it was delaying and likely eliminating the International Entrepreneur Rule. This rule is the closest we’ve come to a Startup Visa , something I’ve been working on with numerous other people since 2009. Several failed bills in Congress, a failed bipartisan Senate comprehensive immigration reform bill, and an Executive Order later, and we still have nothing. I’m disappointed but not surprised.

Learn To Do Everything Lightly

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An hour into dinner last night with Alex Rigopulos, he picked up his phone, tapped away at it for a few seconds, and slid it across the table to me. I then read the following: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them. I was so preposterously serious in those days, such a humorless little prig.

When Greed Turns To Fear

Feld Thoughts

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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December Depression

Feld Thoughts

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.”

The Fight Between The Future And The Past

Feld Thoughts

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?”