Feld Thoughts

The Discomfort of Depression and Suicide

Feld Thoughts

While not a comfortable thing to talk about on Monday morning – or any morning for that matter – the suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain last week generated much public discussion.

Colorado Health & Wellness Interview On Depression

Feld Thoughts

Since I wrote about depression yesterday, I figured I’d highlight a long interview with Colorado Health & Wellness magazine on my history dynamics with depression titled Brad Feld’s Village.

Happy 25th Anniversary Amy

Feld Thoughts

Amy Batchelor and I have been married for 25 years today. Here’s what we looked like a long time ago on a vacation together in Cabo. R.E.M. and Dilbert together kind of says it all. Here’s another picture of us in our apartment at 15 Sleeper Street in Boston on Amy’s 25th birthday.

Boston 107

Interview: Have the Machines Taken Over?

Feld Thoughts

I did a fun interview with Jeff Martin of Collective Genius as part of his LeadByChange interview series. It’s 20 minutes on the Boulder Creek Path.

Ray Dalio’s Principles of Success

Feld Thoughts

I became a Ray Dalio fan earlier this year when I read his book Principles. I went on my Ray Dalio journey, read a bunch about him on the web, and watched some of his videos and interviews. While on vacation last week, I watched his new 30-minute cartoon adventure Principles for Success.

Video 140

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.

Whopper Neutrality – The Burger Based Version of Net Neutrality

Feld Thoughts

If you are still having trouble understanding why Net Neutrality is important, Burger King has made an awesomely funny – and extremely informative – video using the Whopper as an example. It’s just brilliant.

.Net 205

The Price of Free is Actually Too High

Feld Thoughts

I loved this quote by Tristin Harris in the New York Magazine article The Internet Apologizes …. “We cannot afford the advertising business model. The price of free is actually too high. It is literally destroying our society , because it incentivizes automated systems that have these inherent flaws. Cambridge Analytica is the easiest way of explaining why that’s true. Because that wasn’t an abuse by a bad actor — that was the inherent platform. The problem with Facebook is Facebook.”

Book: What Made Maddy Run

Feld Thoughts

I took Saturday off, slept a lot, and read What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen. Kate Fagan has written a must-read book for every parent of a high school or college athlete. The story of Madison Holleran is a heartbreaking one.

Video 128

Optimism In The Face Of Current Reality

Feld Thoughts

Let’s start with an awesome dog taking himself sledding. Now, let’s move on to Bill Gates opening essay in this week’s Time Magazine (he’s their first ever guest editor) titled Some good news, for once. It’s short and powerful. He starts out with context.

Book: Why We Sleep

Feld Thoughts

As part of v52 of me , I’ve decided to commit to at least eight hours of sleep a night. I’m doing ok, but need to keep working at it. From my early 20s, until v47, I woke up at 5 am from Monday to Friday.

Mental Fitness, the NFL, Active Minds, and the Competitive Workplace

Feld Thoughts

There aren’t many similarities between the workplace of an NFL football player and that of a tech entrepreneur. My body doesn’t get pounded each week. Decisive critical thinking and typing speed are valued more than the last time I ran 40 yards in under five seconds.

Do You Consider Yourself a Texan?

Feld Thoughts

Did you know that 28.5714% of the partners at Foundry Group are Texans? Recently, I was asked if I consider myself a Texan. I answered that I grew up in Texas, live in Colorado, was born in Arkansas, and went to school in Massachusetts. While I have a house in Alaska, I never lived there (that’s where Amy grew up.). I hadn’t really thought about this before I answered the question. While Massachusetts was very good to me, I never felt at home living in Boston or Cambridge.

Global EIR and Silicon Valley Bank Funding Match

Feld Thoughts

Today Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) announced their support for Global EIR , a cause for which I care deeply. As you may know, over breakfast in 2015 Jeff Bussgang and I launched Global EIR with the hope of advancing the startup visa effort on a local and state level after it stalled in Congress.

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.

Hiring 228

This Is A Really Good Place To Be Right Now

Feld Thoughts

As I was meditating this morning, the thought “this is a really good place to be right now” came to the front of my mind. As is my way when I meditate, I noted that I’d had the thought, placed it on a leaf, set it on the virtual river flowing in front of me, and let it drift away.

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.

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.

API 224

Seattle Screenings of For Here or To Go?

Feld Thoughts

Amy and I have been big supporters of a movie about immigration called For Here or To Go? With our friends at Boundless , we are sponsoring a week of screenings in Seattle.

Good Bad Like Dislike

Feld Thoughts

There’s a magnificent exercise that I like to do for myself on a periodic basis. I’m sure it has a more formal name but I call it “Good Bad Like Dislike.”

Naming 181

GP/LP Fit

Feld Thoughts

The idea of product/market fit has been around for a long time. And, while founder/market fit is a newer concept, it turns out to be just as important. Recently, Beezer Clarkson at Saphirre Ventures wrote a post titled Raising A Fund? 9 Questions That Help Get You To GP/LP Fit. If you are a GP raising a fund, you should go read this post right now. In it, Beezer goes through, in depth, the top questions she recommends you ask an LP to determine GP/LP fit. What are you currently investing in?

LP 106

The Mother Of All Demos

Feld Thoughts

I was talking to a friend last week about demos. She mentioned the Steve Jobs iPhone demo from 2007 and I referred to Doug Engelbart’s Mother of All Demos from 1968.

The Laws Don’t – and Can’t – Keep Up With Technology

Feld Thoughts

A law with good intentions, but horrible side effects, passed yesterday. You probably haven’t heard about it because of the brouhaha over 97,513 other things. It’s called SESTA/FOSTA and the EFF has a good summary of how Lawmakers Failed to Separate Their Good Intentions from Bad Law. Craigslist responded immediately (and rationally) by taking Craigslist Personals offline. Oh, and as a bonus, the CLOUD Act was buried in the Omnibus spending bill.

Hyperbolic Headlines About Silicon Valley

Feld Thoughts

The hyperbolic headlines are once again accompanying the articles about Silicon Valley. A Sunday NY Times article titled Silicon Valley Is Over, Says Silicon Valley kicks off what I expect is another wave of this. It references a recent Wired article titled Everyone Hates Silicon Valley, Except Its Imitators , Go read them all and then tune back in here. I’ll wait. Buried deep within the NYT article is an admission.

Book: Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley

Feld Thoughts

I read Emily Chang’s book Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley the day it came out. Yes – I stayed up until after midnight (way past my bedtime) reading it. It’s powerful.

Hope Is The Consequence of Action

Feld Thoughts

Last night Amy and I hosted an event at our house for the ACLU and Earthjustice , two organizations we are significant supporters of. If you told me 20 years ago that I’d be spending a lot of my philanthropic energy supporting lawyers, I would have aggressively rejected the notion.

Spring Break Should Be A National Holiday In The US

Feld Thoughts

I’m a fan of spring break. I’m a believer in regular vacations. I love it when people I work with get away and disconnect. And, I do it at least four times a year. Spring break feels like it has gotten out of control. Rethinking it could be interesting.

138

ICO Advertising On Google

Feld Thoughts

Google just banned ICO and cryptocurrency-related advertising. For the official policy, see Financial Services: New restricted financial products policy (June 2018). Oh – and happy Pi Day. And MIT Admission Notification Day. And Einstein’s birthday. And Amy’s half birthday.

Book: Waking Up White

Feld Thoughts

My dad, brother, and I are now doing a monthly book club together. One of us chooses a book, we all read it, and then we do an hour-long video conference and talk about it. We’ve done this for about six months now and it’s wonderful.

Does Every Senior Leader On Your Team Have A Backup?

Feld Thoughts

I said some version of the following statement several times in the past few weeks. Assume aliens came down and one of your senior leaders was taken away to their home planet. Do they have a person reporting to them who could step into their role, even if it’s only temporary? If you are the CEO, this includes you. It’s remarkable to me, even in companies that are over 100 people, how the answer to this question is no.

It Can All Go To Zero

Feld Thoughts

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.

Stock 158

Support Startups for Net Neutrality

Feld Thoughts

The new leader of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Chairman Ajit Pai, has said he wants to roll back existing net neutrality rules that prevent big cable companies from discriminating against online companies and services. Congress is lining up behind him.

.Net 213

Q218 Vacation Reading

Feld Thoughts

Amy and I took a much needed 10 days off in Aspen. The first five months of the year was intense for both of us. Lots of travel, work, and stuff. Not a lot of self-care, time alone, or reading. And very little running since my calf was injured.

Academic Research on Accelerators

Feld Thoughts

The first accelerator, YC, was founded in 2005. The second, Techstars, was founded in 2006. Wikipedia has a good summary of the history of accelerators. Now that we are 13 years into the accelerator journey, an accelerator is a well-established construct that is part of the global startup ecosystem. They have evolved over the years, and many new approaches have been taken. The question of the efficacy of accelerators has regularly been asked over the past decade.

LP 135

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.”

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.

The Three Machines

Feld Thoughts

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

CTO 222

Return Path’s Partner Platform Solution

Feld Thoughts

I was an early investor in two of the first email service providers (Email Publishing and Mercury Mail).

BREAK THE INTERNET TO SAVE NET NEUTRALITY

Feld Thoughts

We have just hours. The FCC is about to vote to end net neutrality—breaking the fundamental principle of the open Internet—and only an avalanche of calls to Congress can stop it. So we decided to help “Break the Internet” on our sites.

.Net 162

#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.