Misty II Teardown

The Misty II pre-order campaign is in full gear, with Misty II selling at a discount of 50% of its retail price. It’s 90% of the way to the stretch goal, which unlocks some fun goods. So, if you want the Apple ][ of home robots, pre-order now and get another $100 off by using my referral code!

Ian Bernstein, the co-founder of Misty (and co-founder of Sphero), has a great teardown of Misty II. He walks through all the hardware components and then opens up Misty’s brain and body so you can see the hardware inside.

Kids love Misty II also. Here are six reasons why Misty II is perfect for education along with a short video of some kids playing around with and explaining why Misty II is awesome.

If you are a kid, have kids, or are a grown-up kid, you’ve got a few more weeks to

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Step Into The VC Time Machine

One of the things humans are bad at is remembering the past and incorporating the lessons they learned from difficult experiences. I’m sure there’s a philosophical word for this, but I’ve now heard the phrase “this time it is different” so many times that it doesn’t register with me as a valid input.

I woke up this morning to Howard Lindzon’s post R.I.P Good Times (Said Sequoia in October, 2008) and Nobody Knows Anything pointing to David Frankel’s tweet:

All of this ultimately led to me reviewing Sequoia’s classic slide deck from 2008.

I remember reading it in 2008. We were about a year into our first Foundry Group fund, which

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Boulder Open Weekend for Mental Health

For the second year Amy and I are supporting the Open Weekend – a celebration of neurodiversity in the startup community – through the Anchor Point Foundation. If you or a loved one have a mental health condition or just want to learn more or help out, I encourage you to check out the event.

Friday, May 18th starts off with the Brain Crawl at Boulder Startup Week. My good friend Jerry Colonna and I spoke at this part of the weekend last year. Saturday, May 19th is the alternative hackathon being held at Techstars. You can RSVP here to attend, mentor as a behavioral health specialist or specialist in some other area like marketing, PR, or engineering, or just jump in to learn more. Sunday will wrap up the weekend with a social day of outdoor games, meditation, and more.

Here is a click to tweet if you want

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Boulder Startup Week 2018 Non-Profit Pitch Contest

It’s awesome how Startup Week and Weekend have grown from an experiment here in Boulder into a global set of events that are now housed under the Techstars umbrella.

I’m not doing my usual crazy schedule of running around to panels and events as I’ll be out of town for most of the week but wanted to highlight a few events I’m especially excited about.

Amy and I supported the Pledge 1% Colorado Nonprofit Pitch contest last year with a $10,000 grant through our Anchor Point Foundation and are happily doing it again this year. This and other Social Impact Track events are working to engage the broader startup community and expand Startup Week beyond just high-tech startups.

You can view the schedule and RSVP for the Social Impact Track events and P1% Nonprofit pitch contest 5/15 here and here. And, if you’re so inclined, you can promote with a

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The Legend of Mike and Mary

I was at dinner several weeks ago with Amy and two close friends who are 20 years younger than us. We were talking about what they were currently doing and they categorized their activities as “adding to” or “not adding to” the legend of mike and mary. I’ve anonymized them, but you get the idea.

The legend they were referring to was their internal legend as a couple. Neither of them could give a shit about the external legend, or what the world thought of them. This wasn’t about fame, ego, recognition, or acknowledgment. Fame and fortune didn’t play into the construct.

Instead, it was about their life together. Their journey. What they did together. It was the label for their narrative as a couple against the backdrop of a finite amount of time on this planet. Many of the activities in their legend where individual ones, but supported by

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Alex Iskold Startup Hacks

I’ve been friends with Alex Iskold for over a dozen years (I was an angel investor in GetGlue, which USV funded.)

Alex has been the Managing Director of Techstars NY for a number of years and I think he’s now run seven programs and built an impressive portfolio of around 80 companies.

I’m a huge Alex fan and love his writing. Recently, he put together a bunch of great blog posts on his site under a heading Startup Hacks. He has divided them into the following topics: Fundraising, Managing Investors, VC and Business Intros, Metrics and KPIs, Product and Marketing, Productivity, Founding Team, and Accelerator.

I’ve read them all. Some of my favorites include:

Return Path’s Partner Platform Solution

I was an early investor in two of the first email service providers (Email Publishing and Mercury Mail). My experience with ESPs goes back more than 20 years and, since the mid 1990s, I’ve seen the ESP ecosystem evolve from its infancy, with just a few startups blazing a trail, to today’s robust industry populated by mature marketing technology platforms. And yes, they are now called email marketing platforms, which seems much more grown up and sophisticated.

Deliverability first became a hot issue in the early 2000s, and our portfolio company Return Path emerged as an innovator and leader. Since then, deliverability has remained one of the most important levers for email marketers.

Consequently, the role of the ESP’s deliverability specialist (a job, like many others in our industry, that is extremely challenging and not well known) has become increasingly difficult. Today’s deliverability specialist is tasked with managing more clients,

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The New Gmail For 2018

Ahhhh. The new Gmail client for the web is finally here. And a lot of things are fixed. The two things I like the best are really simple but dramatically increase my email throughput.

+name: When I add someone to an email thread, I use the shortcut “+name” to indicate to everyone on the thread that I’ve added them. I started doing this around 2008 (I can’t remember where I picked it up from, but I think it might have been Mark Pincus at Zynga.) It started appearing in some Google apps a few years ago (Docs and Inbox) and it is now in the main email client. For example, if I want to copy Amy on something, instead of having to put her email address in the To: field, I now merely need to say +Amy Batchelor in the body of the email and Gmail does the rest.

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A Workshop for Colorado Food Entrepreneurs in Hotchkiss, CO – June 21 and 22

I’ve been investing in natural food related business for a while. I do this partly because I’m interested in what we eat, but mostly because I can’t make angel investments in tech companies anymore because of my Foundry Group fund agreements. And I enjoy making angel investments …

Boulder is the starting point for the natural foods industry, dating back to the founding of Celestial Seasonings in 1969. A year ago, the New York Times had a long article titled Foodies Know: Boulder Has Become a Hub for New Producers that explains why Boulder is so popular among natural foods companies. The number of food meetups and events in Boulder (including Startup Weekend Boulder Food + Tech) as well as events and initiatives all around the state of Colorado has reached a critical mass. Our friend, Kimbal Musk, who according the the New York Times Wants to Feed America, Silicon

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O Canada – Our Investment in Golden Ventures

Last week, I wrote a post talking about why Canada Is Going To Be The Next, Great, Entrepreneurial Tech Country.

Yesterday, we announced our investment in Golden Ventures III, a Toronto-based early stage fund.

I first met Matt Golden through Matthew Bellows, the CEO of Yesware (which we are co-investors in with Golden Ventures). I immediately liked him and we’ve worked together very effectively.

I’ve watched Matt and team build a strong portfolio of companies in Canada and in parts of the US. Every time I’ve gone to Toronto, Matt has hosted me for something and introduced me to a bunch of founders. While I get tired of big dinners, meals with Matt are always a joy, and some of the conversations I’ve had over the years with him and his friends have been extremely memorable.

We are excited to add our first Canadian fund to our roster of

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Misty II – The Apple ][ of Home Robots

I got an Apple ][ computer forty years ago. It cost $3,000 and changed the trajectory of my life.

Today, you can pre-order a Misty II for $1,599, which is 50% off MSRP. From my perspective, Misty is today’s home robot analogy to the personal computer from 40 years ago.

A video description is much better than a few paragraphs, so sit back and enjoy.

Misty spun off from Sphero a little under a year ago and started shipping Misty 1 four months ago. The company is making progress at a relentless pace and have been shipping a small number of Misty I’s to very early developers in controlled environments.

Misty II is a significant advance over Misty I as it designed for high-volume manufacturing, has more hardware extensibility (backpacks, arms, earpiece, trailer hitch), is self-charging, has more battery capacity, a three-degree neck joint, and lots more sensors (bump,

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The Mother Of All Demos

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. She hadn’t heard of it, or him, which wasn’t that surprising since she was born at least 15 years after Englebart’s canonical demo.

While it doesn’t ever surprise me that someone hasn’t heard of – or seen – Engelbart’s demo, it’s an important part of computer history.

While it’s long (over 90 minutes), it’s worth watching from beginning to end. Fire up Youtube on the big screen, grab some popcorn, and settle in.

The post The Mother Of All Demos appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The Mother Of All Demos

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. She hadn’t heard of it, or him, which wasn’t that surprising since she was born at least 15 years after Englebart’s canonical demo.

While it doesn’t ever surprise me that someone hasn’t heard of – or seen – Engelbart’s demo, it’s an important part of computer history.

While it’s long (over 90 minutes), it’s worth watching from beginning to end. Fire up Youtube on the big screen, grab some popcorn, and settle in.

The post The Mother Of All Demos appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The Mother Of All Demos

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. She hadn’t heard of it, or him, which wasn’t that surprising since she was born at least 15 years after Englebart’s canonical demo.

While it doesn’t ever surprise me that someone hasn’t heard of – or seen – Engelbart’s demo, it’s an important part of computer history.

While it’s long (over 90 minutes), it’s worth watching from beginning to end. Fire up Youtube on the big screen, grab some popcorn, and settle in.

The post The Mother Of All Demos appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Canada Is Going To Be The Next, Great, Entrepreneurial Tech Country

This article, Engineers Are Leaving Trump’s America for the Canadian Dream, stimulated a simple thought for me.

Canada has a huge, near-term competitive opportunity over to the US. 

I have a deeply held belief that US entrepreneurship has benefited extraordinarily over since World War II due to the desire of people from around the world to come to make their lives in the US. While this immigration philosophy started with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (and arguably before that with the European colonization of America), it transformed entrepreneurship, the US economy, and the US’s place in the world dramatically from the 1950s on.

While there are lots of issues around immigration, I believe the US’s relative permissiveness around, and openness to, people from other countries had a remarkably positive impact on the US. I wouldn’t be here other than the immigration of my great-grandparents

Continue reading "Canada Is Going To Be The Next, Great, Entrepreneurial Tech Country"

Canada Is Going To Be The Next, Great, Entrepreneurial Tech Country

This article, Engineers Are Leaving Trump’s America for the Canadian Dream, stimulated a simple thought for me.

Canada has a huge, near-term competitive opportunity over to the US. 

I have a deeply held belief that US entrepreneurship has benefited extraordinarily over since World War II due to the desire of people from around the world to come to make their lives in the US. While this immigration philosophy started with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 (and arguably before that with the European colonization of America), it transformed entrepreneurship, the US economy, and the US’s place in the world dramatically from the 1950s on.

While there are lots of issues around immigration, I believe the US’s relative permissiveness around, and openness to, people from other countries had a remarkably positive impact on the US. I wouldn’t be here other than the immigration of my great-grandparents

Continue reading "Canada Is Going To Be The Next, Great, Entrepreneurial Tech Country"

Glowforge Launches, With a Focus On Their Customers

While I was in Seattle last week, I had a chance to stop by the Glowforge office and talk to the team during one of their biggest weeks since their historic 30-day crowdfunding campaign. An electric energy buzzed in the air along with the familiar low hum of anticipation in advance of a big product launch. Glowforge was about to launch their 3D laser printers to the world – their entire product line – for delivery in 10 days.

Foundry led a $9 million and then $20 million financing in Glowforge, the Seattle-based 3D laser printer, as it grew from just an idea to shipping a beloved product to their customers. Along the way, they’ve faced some unique challenges, not least of which was creating an entirely new product category.

Laser cutting/engraving technology has existed for many years, but it is not at all the sleek, superpowered item you envision.

Continue reading "Glowforge Launches, With a Focus On Their Customers"

Glowforge Launches, With a Focus On Their Customers

While I was in Seattle last week, I had a chance to stop by the Glowforge office and talk to the team during one of their biggest weeks since their historic 30-day crowdfunding campaign. An electric energy buzzed in the air along with the familiar low hum of anticipation in advance of a big product launch. Glowforge was about to launch their 3D laser printers to the world – their entire product line – for delivery in 10 days.

Foundry led a $9 million and then $20 million financing in Glowforge, the Seattle-based 3D laser printer, as it grew from just an idea to shipping a beloved product to their customers. Along the way, they’ve faced some unique challenges, not least of which was creating an entirely new product category.

Laser cutting/engraving technology has existed for many years, but it is not at all the sleek, superpowered item you envision.

Continue reading "Glowforge Launches, With a Focus On Their Customers"

Venture Deals Online Course Starts Again On May 6th

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are once again running the Venture Deals online course.

This time it runs from May 6th to June 26th. We’ve now had over 10,000 people take the online course and have been delighted to meet or email with a bunch of them over the past few years.

If you want to learn how to be smarter than your lawyer and your venture capitalist, sign up for Venture Deals now. Yup – it’s free!

The post Venture Deals Online Course Starts Again On May 6th appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Venture Deals Online Course Starts Again On May 6th

Kauffman Fellows and Techstars are once again running the Venture Deals online course.

This time it runs from May 6th to June 26th. We’ve now had over 10,000 people take the online course and have been delighted to meet or email with a bunch of them over the past few years.

If you want to learn how to be smarter than your lawyer and your venture capitalist, sign up for Venture Deals now. Yup – it’s free!

The post Venture Deals Online Course Starts Again On May 6th appeared first on Feld Thoughts.