Feld Thoughts

Lux Capital on How Technology Evolves

Feld Thoughts

My partner Lindel pointed me at the Lux Capital 2019 Annual Dinner Talk. I watched it the other day and thought it was one of the best examples of a VC think piece that I’ve seen in a long time.

Women Who Venture

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I recently met Renata George through a referral from Katie Rae (MIT Engine CEO, previously Techstars Boston MD). Renata told me about a book she was working on called Women Who Venture and asked me if I’d write the foreword. I was honored to be asked to do this. The foreword I wrote follows.

Every Lie We Tell Incurs a Debt to the Truth

Feld Thoughts

I watched HBO’s Chernobyl the past few nights. I finished it last night, took a deep breath, and said out loud to myself, “that was spectacular.” ” One of the final quotes that stuck with me is the title of this post.

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The Give First Podcast

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David Cohen and I are doing a podcast together called Give First. Readers of this blog likely know that this is the mantra of Techstars and the title of an upcoming book of mine that will be published in 2020. While I’ve been interviewed for many podcasts, I’ve never hosted one before.

Happy 13th Anniversary Techstars

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Techstars was born 13 years ago. There’s a delicious article in the Denver Post that was the launch article of the first accelerator in Boulder titled How TechStars was born from 5/18/07. The photo is fun.

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Venture Deals Online Course – Spring 2019 Registration Is Open

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We are running the Venture Deals Online Course again. Registration is now open and it runs from April 7, 2019 – May 31, 2019. It’s produced by Kauffman Fellows Academy and Techstars. We’ve run the course four times now and have had over 15,000 people take it.

The Dystopian Future

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Amy and I have been watching The Handmade’s Tale. Simultaneously, I’ve been listening to the book on Audible while running. Last night I said, “The Hulu adaptation of the book is really good.”

Book: Stillness Is The Key

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Ryan Holiday’s newest book, Stillness Is The Key , came out at the beginning of October. I ended up with two copies and thought I’d read it over the weekend after they showed up at my house. The weekend slipped by and I didn’t pick it up until mid-day on Thanksgiving.

Holograms Are Open For Business

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In February 2017 I met Shawn Frayne, one of the founders of Looking Glass Factory , a Brooklyn-based company with ambitions to make holographic interfaces a reality.

A Great Example of A Professor’s Involvement With A Startup Community

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I received a Silicon Flatirons email from Phil Weiser this morning in his role as Silicon Flatirons Founder and Executive Director. My partners and I, especially Jason Mendelson, have been very involved with Silicon Flatirons over the past decade. I have a chapter in Startup Communities that uses CU Boulder – and specifically Silicon Flatirons – as an example of a much better way than the traditional approach (circa 2012) for a university to engage with the startup community.

Help a Denver Food Bank Stay in their Home

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If you have an office in Denver, just five miles away from you is a food bank operating out of a warehouse month to month just so it can help anyone who comes through their doors.

Looking for Mentors for Entrepreneurs for All – Longmont, Colorado

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Earlier this year Amy and I, along with a number of other local friends, supported the rollout of a new organization in Longmont called Entrepreneurship for All (EforAll).

Thought Leadership vs. Cult of Personality

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In 2011, my now-partner Chris Moody (and then-CEO of Gnip, which I was on the board of) kicked my butt about my endless statements about hating marketing. His thoughts on recasting “marketing” as “thought leadership” appeared on this blog in a post I Don’t Hate Marketing. It remains a great example of one of the reasons I blog, which is to think out loud, get feedback, learn, and iterate.

Dream Tank Summer Programs For Kids in Boulder

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Imagine that when you were a kid, someone told you that your dreams are important for the world and that what you do matters right now. Dream Tank Kids Exploring the Techstars Boulder Accelerator.

Techstars MetLife Looking for Companies Addressing Mental Health

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I’ve been open about my journey with depression and the importance of addressing and destigmatizing issues around mental health.

Through the Looking Glass: Chapter 2

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Personal robots and replicators and instrumented humans. I like to invest in areas predicted by the mountains of science fiction I read. . Today, I’m delighted to report that another science fiction dream is becoming real. Take a look at this insane video of the Looking Glass 8K Immersive Display , which is the world’s largest and highest resolution holographic display. Foundry invested in the Looking Glass team in 2017. Since then they’ve shipped thousands of desktop holographic developer kits.

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Shirt Competition: Brad Feld vs. Warren Katz

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For almost 30 years, I’ve shared a huge number of life experiences with Warren Katz. Yesterday, I did a breakfast AMA at Cooley’s office near La Jolla with the Techstars MDs and PMs from the western half of the US.

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The Chernobyl Podcast

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When I wrote the post Every Lie We Tell Incurs a Debt to the Truth I expected to get some feedback. I got more than I usually do (mostly by email vs. blog comments) and much of it was thoughtful. One person pointed to the video I embedded, which I thought was great.

Sell More Faster

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When we started Techstars in 2006 we had one core goal in mind – helping entrepreneurs succeed. While it started as an experiment with one accelerator in Boulder, we now have about 50 accelerators annually around the world funding 500 startups a year.

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Anti-VR

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A central theme of science fiction over the past 20 years has been the dystopian future of humans, laying on couches, connected to machines that feed them and process their waste, while they interact with a virtual world.

Why Gross Profit Is More Important Than Revenue

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I’ve been thinking a lot about gross profit (and gross margin ) lately. Yeah, I know I can be riveting, but stay with me. When I was in Boston a while ago (it was very cold, so it must have been January), I had a wide-ranging conversation with Eric Paley. This was before the IPO Summer of 2019 when all conventional valuation metrics have entered the land of “suspension of disbelief” which is short-term good and long-term well-we-will-see-…-eventually.

Book: The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get

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James Oliver, Jr. has written a fun book that is part memoir, part advice, for what he calls Parentpreneurs (entrepreneurs who are trying to raise kids.) He’s got a website with a bunch of history about him, his journey, and the book.

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Do More Faster, 2nd Edition on Give First

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In 2010, David Cohen and I wrote a book titled Do More Faster. It was filled with stories and advice from founders, investors, and mentors from around the first two years of Techstars. This was the first book I wrote. David and I learned the joy and pain of writing a book.

Boulder Community Health Takes On The Mental Health Stigma

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This first appeared in the Boulder Community Health Foundation Summer 2019 Magazine in an article titled Taking On The Mental Health Stigma. I started the second week of 2013 in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. Within two hours of arriving, I was in my hotel room, the shade closed, the door locked, and in bed with a pillow over my head. I couldn’t deal with anything at all. Having been here before, I knew I was in a deep depression.

@bfeld v54.0

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Simply begin again. I turned 54 today. I’ve always marked the start of a new year on my birthday rather than January 1st. As part of my birthday tradition, I write myself a letter about my upcoming year. I started posting these publicly when I was 51 and they serve as a nice reminder of where I was at v52 (focusing on what I want to do ) and v53 (exploring what I want to be).

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Oblong + Looking Glass 2D to 3D Magic

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In the super cool thing category, it’s always fun to see two companies we are investors in easily put together a demonstration of the integration of their products. Oblong is a master of spatially interacting with 3D data on a 2D display.

Techstars Studio and the Studio Model

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Today, Techstars announced a new initiative called Techstars Studio which will allow Techstars to source new company concepts from Techstars alumni founders, community leaders, venture capitalists, mentors, and corporate partners.

When Technologists Use Their Powers For Good

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Xiao Wang , the founder, and CEO of Boundless , recently gave a speech at the 2019 convocation of UW’s Information School. It was 15 minutes long and I thought it was extraordinary. Xiao – nice job weaving in a Mary Oliver quote at the end.

Did Abraham Lincoln Invent Pancakes?

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I love weird Internet memes. Recently, I plumbed the depths of this one with my friend Quinn. Go to your Google browser and type “did ab” and see what comes up for you. If it’s “Did Abraham Lincoln Invent Pancakes” then the Internet is working as expected.

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Next Generation Video Conferencing

Feld Thoughts

I’ve been a remote worker for many years. As a result, I think I’ve used every flavor of video conferencing and screen sharing going back to Carbon Copy and PC Anywhere. Today’s bell of the ball is Zoom, which has an outstanding video and audio conferencing experience.

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Harry Stebbings on the Give First Podcast

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Today’s Give First podcast features Harry Stebbings of the 20 Minute VC and a partner at Stride.vc on committing to building a network & giving first.

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Wartime CEO

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I read Ben Horowitz’s The Hard Thing About Hard Things last weekend. This is the third time I’ve read it. It gets better each time. If you are a CEO and you haven’t read it, buy it right now and read it next weekend. There are endless gems in the book, many of them from Ben’s own experience. My favorite of all time, that stays with me through all the work I do, is his distinction between “peace time” and “war time.”

Matching All Colorado First Time DonorsChoose.org Projects

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Amy and I decided to match all of the funding for first-time projects in Colorado on DonorsChoosee.org. We are doing this through a gift from the Anchor Point Foundation and will be running it through the end of 2018.

Mary Grove on the Give First Podcast

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David Cohen and I just released Episode 4 of our Give First podcast. We interviewed Mary Grove on the origins of Google for Startups & Startup Weekend among other things.

Tariffs and Hardware Startups

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If the majority of your understanding of how tariffs work is from Twitter, CNN, or Fox News, I encourage you to go read Trump’s China Tariffs Hit America’s Poor and Working Class the Hardest. And, if you think China is paying the U.S. directly for the tariffs, well, no … We have a lot of hardware companies in our portfolio so I’ve been living in the world of “what to do about tariffs” for several quarters.

Simple, Complicated, and Complex Systems

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A Simple, a Complicated, and a Complex system walk into a bar. Simple says to the bartender, “Can I have a drink?” The bartender gives Simple a glass of water. Complicated says to the bartender, “Can I have a Rum Martinez?”

How to Build a Successful Startup Ecosystem in your City

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I participated in a one hour Crowdcast yesterday with Techstars and 43 North about How to Build a Successful Startup Ecosystem in your City. Some of the thoughts from my upcoming book The Startup Community Way are in the hour, along with a bunch of things Techstars is doing around this initiative. powered by Crowdcast.

One Reason Superhuman Is So Much More Effective For Me Than Gmail

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I’ve been a Superhuman email fan for a while. I decided a week ago to go try Gmail and see if I still liked Superhuman so much better. After about two hours, I went back to Superhuman. Several days later, I tried Gmail again, deciding that I was just grumpy for some reason. I bounced back to Superhuman within an hour. This time I sat and thought about why I liked Superhuman so much better. It took a little while for it to come to me, but when it did it was painfully obvious.

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Manage the Clock

Feld Thoughts

I used to be chronically late to everything, both personal and professional. In my twenties, before cell phones, I was one of those people that others referred to as having “Brad time” which did not correlate with the actual time in the world.

Ten Percent Happier

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Over the weekend, we spent time with a friend who works for Ten Percent Happier. I’ve explored most of the popular meditation apps in the past few years after getting started meditating on a regular basis by using Headspace. I eventually switched to Insight Timer since I usually now just do silent meditation for 20 minutes first thing each morning. I had never tried Ten Percent Happier, but I felt connected to it because of Ben Rubin, one of the co-founders.

Robin Hauser’s Film Bias at the Boulder International Film Festival 2019

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Amy and I are long-time supporters of the Boulder International Film Festival. The 2019 fes tival starts soon and runs from February 28 to March 3rd. Bias , one of the documentaries that we helped fund, is making its Colorado Premier and showing on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at 10:00 am.

Book: Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up

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Jerry Colonna has written a “must read for everyone on planet earth book” titled Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. Seriously, go by it right now. I’ll be here when you return. Regular readers of this blog know that Jerry and I are extremely close friends and have been for 23 years. I first met Jerry when he was beginning his partnership with Fred Wilson at Flatiron Partners. But, I didn’t meet him through Fred.

Pioneer In Skirts Sizzle Trailer

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Amy and I are proud executive producers of the upcoming movie Pioneer In Skirts. It has been part of our activity supporting independent documentaries about gender diversity, especially in science and tech.