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

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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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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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Scott Dorsey’s Attributes of Great SaaS Leaders

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A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta for Techstars Atlanta Demo Day and the Venture Atlanta Conference. I had a great time and it’s fun to see the vibrancy of the Atlanta startup community. My brother Daniel came with me and we had dinner with our cousin Kenny, who lives in Atlanta, so we got some nice, quiet, emotionally intimate family time. My favorite keynote at Venture Atlanta was from Scott Dorsey.

Lessons From The Internet Bubble: Growth vs. Profitability

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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.

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

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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.

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.

The Loneliness of an Entrepreneur

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This showed up in my inbox the other day from a friend of 20 years. He’s been involved in a number of companies that we’ve invested in over the years in different senior and/or co-founder roles, including CEO. It was short and sweet but captured the essence of something I often talk about with founders. Heard you and Jerry on CPR this morning , nice job!

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.

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

Rover Rolls Out On-Demand Walking in Denver

Feld Thoughts

Last week Rover launched on-demand dog walking in Denver. They’re enhancing their existing marketplace experience by adding an assignment option, similar to Uber and Lyft, and bringing it to Colorado.

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.

#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.

It Can All Change In A Day

Feld Thoughts

On July 28th, my partner Jason told me that Matt Bencke, the co-founder and CEO of Mighty AI , had suddenly gotten a serious cancer diagnosis. While Jason was on Matt’s board, I had spent plenty of time with him and, as one would expect, was shocked. I immediately sent Matt a note that said: I will keep confidential, but I wanted to send you love and good karma. You are a special person. I’ll be thinking good thoughts and sending you positive energy multiple times a 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?” ” In my world, I have an endless stream of requests to do something for an hour.

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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.

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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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.”

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.

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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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.

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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Venture Deals Online Course – 2017

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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.

We Will Miss You Matt

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Matt Bencke passed away yesterday. We put the above photo and note up on the Foundry Group site yesterday but I was still processing it and wasn’t ready to blog about it until this morning.

Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

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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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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.

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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It Can All Go To Zero

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Perspective can be a useful thing. Cryptocurrencies have had a bad 24 hours. Last night Amy and I watched The Big Short for the second time. If you’ve never seen it, it’s a must watch movie. If you haven’t seen it in at least a year, watch it again.

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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.

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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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.

Founder Suicides

Feld Thoughts

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. I recently heard a terrifying stat about founder suicides recently.

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?”

Techstars Mentor Manifesto In Detail

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I’ve been working on my next book, #GiveFirst , again. There’s a lot in it about the Techstars Mentor Manifesto and how to be an effective mentor. Yesterday, I got a note from Jay Batson, longtime Techstars Boston mentor and now the Mentor-in-Residence for the program, asking if I had ever compiled the lists I posts I wrote about the Techstars Mentor Manifesto. I hadn’t. He had conveniently done it in a Google doc so it was easy for me to list out the posts with links.

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!

Life Is Messy For Everyone

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I love today’s post from Nick Grossman at USV. It’s titled Everyone is broken and life is hard and he starts out with a clarifying statement. “That’s a pretty depressing and fatalistic post title, but I actually mean it in a positive and encouraging way. Let me explain.

How Can This Be A Billion Dollar Company?

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I was in the bathroom this morning catching up on all the blogs (via Feedly ) that I hadn’t read this week since my head was in a bunch of other things. I came across one from Nic Brisbourne (Forward Ventures) titled I’m a stock picker.