Feld Thoughts

Scott Dorsey’s Attributes of Great SaaS Leaders

Feld Thoughts

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.

Go For Culture Add, Not Culture Fit

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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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Trending Sources

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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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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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.

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!

It Can All Change In A Day

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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.

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.

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.

Do You Reduce Stress Or Increase Stress?

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Mark Cuban had a great line a few weeks ago at the interview I did with him and Charlie Ergen at Denver Startup Week. He said: “I like to invest in people who reduce stress and avoid people who increase stress.” ” As I was dealing with something yesterday, this reappeared in my brain but slightly modified. “I like to be the person who reduces stress and avoid people who increase stress.” ” My world is filled with people who increase stress.

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.

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.

Saying No 100 Times A Day

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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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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!

Making Holograms Real

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Looking Glass , a Brooklyn-based company we recently led the Series A investment in, just released HoloPlayer One, the world’s first interactive lightfield development kit. This is a new interface that lets groups of people see and interact with floating 3D scenes without VR or AR headgear.

#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.

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.

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.

When Brad Met Manu

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My partner Lindel just put a post up on the Foundry Group website about our investment in K9 Ventures. We are proud to be an LP in Manu Kumar’s third fund. I’ve been friends with Manu since 2009 and an investor (personally) in his first two funds. I vividly remember the first time we met – we were both sitting on the floor in the back corner at the fbFund Demo Day at the Facebook office in downtown Palo Alto. A number of interesting companies were presented. I adore Manu.

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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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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.

Kindred Spirits – Our Investment In Founder Collective

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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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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.”

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.

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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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.

Startup Opportunities Flash Sale – Today Only For $0.99

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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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Fair and Reasonable

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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.

The Ideal Financial Reporting Tempo For A VC-Backed Company

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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.

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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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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Building An Autonomous and Virtual World: Softbank Teams With Mapbox

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The physical world will be the reference coordinates for the fleets of robot cars of our imagination. We’re living through the transformation from digital to virtual, and Softbank leading today’s investment of $164 million in Mapbox accelerates this even faster. I’ve posted about the massive founder crush my partners and I have on Eric Gundersen, the CEO of Mapbox.

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.

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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My Partners Blogging In 2017

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My partners Chris Moody , Seth Levine , and Lindel Eakman are all blogging right now. My other two partners, Ryan McIntyre and Jason Mendelson have blogged in the past, ut took a break in 2017. Also, the Foundry Group blog is always active, with occasional thought pieces but mostly updates on initial financings both for companies and other funds that we invest in.

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

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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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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?”