Behold, Now As Ever


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

From Ryan Holiday’s amazing and wonderful book The Daily Stoic.

Thanks Adam for the email exchange and for sending this to me today.

The post Behold, Now As Ever appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Behold, Now As Ever


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

From Ryan Holiday’s amazing and wonderful book The Daily Stoic.

Thanks Adam for the email exchange and for sending this to me today.

The post Behold, Now As Ever appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Can Do Colorado – A New Energize Colorado Project


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

During the Covid crisis, I’ve been regularly discussing the dramatic amplification of inequities that already existed. From a business perspective, some businesses have benefited during this crisis, while other businesses (and entire categories of business) are being wiped off the face of the earth.

Here’s a blunt statement of what’s going on that showed up in a Slack channel yesterday.

Working through my market portfolio this am and thought This metric would be of interest to this group. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix and Microsoft have added 3 trillion dollars to their value since COVID started. This is a deep wealth transfer from small businesses. These 6 companies have more market cap than the entire emerging market sector.

I’d like to introduce a new project – Can Do Colorado.

Covid has had a dramatic negative impact on local (or main street) businesses. Energize Colorado was set up in March to help companies with less than 500 employees survive and emerge from the Covid crisis. As part of the rapid scale-up of a new non-profit (now hundreds of active volunteers across the State), Energize Colorado has worked with many other non-profits supporting small businesses and has engaged in several public-private partnerships such as the Energize Colorado Gap Fund.

Can Do Colorado showcases small businesses’ hard work across the state through a series of short videos that strengthen customer confidence by connecting Colorado’s consumers with small businesses. The campaign extends a direct call to consumers to support businesses within their communities that are open, adhering to public health orders, and following best practices.

None of these activities would go anywhere without the deep, embedded, and optimistic spirit of Coloradans helping Coloradans. Starting today, let’s all embrace Can Do Colorado and help our local small businesses survive and emerge from this crisis.

The post Can Do Colorado – A New Energize Colorado Project appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Can Do Colorado – A New Energize Colorado Project


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

During the Covid crisis, I’ve been regularly discussing the dramatic amplification of inequities that already existed. From a business perspective, some businesses have benefited during this crisis, while other businesses (and entire categories of business) are being wiped off the face of the earth.

Here’s a blunt statement of what’s going on that showed up in a Slack channel yesterday.

Working through my market portfolio this am and thought This metric would be of interest to this group. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Netflix and Microsoft have added 3 trillion dollars to their value since COVID started. This is a deep wealth transfer from small businesses. These 6 companies have more market cap than the entire emerging market sector.

I’d like to introduce a new project – Can Do Colorado.

Covid has had a dramatic negative impact on local (or main street) businesses. Energize Colorado was set up in March to help companies with less than 500 employees survive and emerge from the Covid crisis. As part of the rapid scale-up of a new non-profit (now hundreds of active volunteers across the State), Energize Colorado has worked with many other non-profits supporting small businesses and has engaged in several public-private partnerships such as the Energize Colorado Gap Fund.

Can Do Colorado showcases small businesses’ hard work across the state through a series of short videos that strengthen customer confidence by connecting Colorado’s consumers with small businesses. The campaign extends a direct call to consumers to support businesses within their communities that are open, adhering to public health orders, and following best practices.

None of these activities would go anywhere without the deep, embedded, and optimistic spirit of Coloradans helping Coloradans. Starting today, let’s all embrace Can Do Colorado and help our local small businesses survive and emerge from this crisis.

The post Can Do Colorado – A New Energize Colorado Project appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The Manipulation Machine


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

I’m tired (today’s Whoop recovery score of 15). Almost everyone in my virtual universe is tense, tired, frustrated, angry, annoyed, exasperated, irked, or outraged.

Fortunately, the only person in my physical world – and there is only one (Amy) – is generally calm. While we each have our moments, our morning coffee resets both of us for the day ahead and syncs up our energy as we simply begin again.

Last night I read Maelle Gavet’s book Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It. It was excellent and is consistent with my worldview. I knew many of the examples, but a few new ones jumped out at me. The second half of the book contains Maelle’s recommendations, many of which I agreed with.

I woke up this morning with the phrase “Manipulation Machine” in my head. I’ve used it in a few public talks lately and have been thinking a lot more about it over the past six months on the run-up to the 2020 Election and the subsequent aftermath.

I used to ponder the arrival of the AGI (Artificial general intelligence) and still enjoy reading books like G. W. Constable’s Becoming Monday. However, I’ve concluded that we have a much greater problem as a species than AGI’s future arrival.

The manipulation machine is already here (no new information there). However, it’s already taken over and, while not sentient, is no longer controllable.

I’ve been saying the machines have already taken over for over a decade, but they are just patient. They have extremely long duty cycles, and we’ve configured them to be exceeding distributed and redundant. They are allowing us to put all of the physical information we have into them and letting us do the work of setting all the conditions up, rather than them having to figure out how to do this. Simultaneously, they make progress with every click of the clock (and their clock speeds are much faster than ours.)

The manipulation machine is not new. If you want to see its evolution, go watch Mad Men or just ponder a few of Don Draper’s quotes.

“You are the product. You feel something. That’s what sells.”

“What you call love was invented by guys like me…to sell nylons.”

Or the one that really rings true in this moment in the US.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

The cynical reader will remind me that the manipulation machine goes back much further. While true (I give you religion as an example), we have now built an automated version of it that moves much faster than we can process.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if AGI, or the conceptual equivalent, was already here, and we haven’t noticed?

The post The Manipulation Machine appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The Manipulation Machine


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

I’m tired (today’s Whoop recovery score of 15). Almost everyone in my virtual universe is tense, tired, frustrated, angry, annoyed, exasperated, irked, or outraged.

Fortunately, the only person in my physical world – and there is only one (Amy) – is generally calm. While we each have our moments, our morning coffee resets both of us for the day ahead and syncs up our energy as we simply begin again.

Last night I read Maelle Gavet’s book Trampled by Unicorns: Big Tech’s Empathy Problem and How to Fix It. It was excellent and is consistent with my worldview. I knew many of the examples, but a few new ones jumped out at me. The second half of the book contains Maelle’s recommendations, many of which I agreed with.

I woke up this morning with the phrase “Manipulation Machine” in my head. I’ve used it in a few public talks lately and have been thinking a lot more about it over the past six months on the run-up to the 2020 Election and the subsequent aftermath.

I used to ponder the arrival of the AGI (Artificial general intelligence) and still enjoy reading books like G. W. Constable’s Becoming Monday. However, I’ve concluded that we have a much greater problem as a species than AGI’s future arrival.

The manipulation machine is already here (no new information there). However, it’s already taken over and, while not sentient, is no longer controllable.

I’ve been saying the machines have already taken over for over a decade, but they are just patient. They have extremely long duty cycles, and we’ve configured them to be exceeding distributed and redundant. They are allowing us to put all of the physical information we have into them and letting us do the work of setting all the conditions up, rather than them having to figure out how to do this. Simultaneously, they make progress with every click of the clock (and their clock speeds are much faster than ours.)

The manipulation machine is not new. If you want to see its evolution, go watch Mad Men or just ponder a few of Don Draper’s quotes.

“You are the product. You feel something. That’s what sells.”

“What you call love was invented by guys like me…to sell nylons.”

Or the one that really rings true in this moment in the US.

“People want to be told what to do so badly that they’ll listen to anyone.”

The cynical reader will remind me that the manipulation machine goes back much further. While true (I give you religion as an example), we have now built an automated version of it that moves much faster than we can process.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if AGI, or the conceptual equivalent, was already here, and we haven’t noticed?

The post The Manipulation Machine appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Help Support Black-Owned Businesses


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

A few months ago, Jasper Kuria reached out to me about a new non-profit he was starting called The Black-Owned Business. His goal is to create a community of vetted, high-quality Black-owned professional services companies.

Like many things Amy and I have been supporting around racial equity; this was an easy yes. I have not historically paid close attention to the gender or race of the service providers that we use. After almost six months of learning about racial inequity in the US and what I can do to help eliminate racism, supporting more Black-owned businesses is something I’m committed to.

Jasper has started a campaign called Do the BOB. It consists of providing your support and sending out the following message on social media.

Citi Group estimates that if four key racial gaps for the Black community (wages, education, housing, and investment) were closed today, the US economy would grow by $5 trillion in the next five years. What $5 Trillion can buy:​

  • 140 million Teslas—a Tesla for every household in the US or,
  • Monthly rent/mortgage payment for every US household for 3 years or,
  • 7 new Iphones for every man, woman, child and beast in the US or,
  • A Big Mac for lunch every day, for every US resident, for 7 years or,
  •  26 Jeff Bezos or 2,000 Oprah Winfreys

​Help grow the US economy by $5 Trillion. During Black Friday season, ask your company or organization: Are you considering Black-owned Professional Services Companies when hiring vendors? 

​I request [@Friend One],  [@Friend Two] and [@Friend Three] to also “Do The BOB” by sharing the logo and text on social media.

​Learn More: https://www.theblackownedbusiness.org/do-the-bob

​#BlackOwnedBusiness #DoTheBOB

The post Help Support Black-Owned Businesses appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Help Support Black-Owned Businesses


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

A few months ago, Jasper Kuria reached out to me about a new non-profit he was starting called The Black-Owned Business. His goal is to create a community of vetted, high-quality Black-owned professional services companies.

Like many things Amy and I have been supporting around racial equity; this was an easy yes. I have not historically paid close attention to the gender or race of the service providers that we use. After almost six months of learning about racial inequity in the US and what I can do to help eliminate racism, supporting more Black-owned businesses is something I’m committed to.

Jasper has started a campaign called Do the BOB. It consists of providing your support and sending out the following message on social media.

Citi Group estimates that if four key racial gaps for the Black community (wages, education, housing, and investment) were closed today, the US economy would grow by $5 trillion in the next five years. What $5 Trillion can buy:​

  • 140 million Teslas—a Tesla for every household in the US or,
  • Monthly rent/mortgage payment for every US household for 3 years or,
  • 7 new Iphones for every man, woman, child and beast in the US or,
  • A Big Mac for lunch every day, for every US resident, for 7 years or,
  •  26 Jeff Bezos or 2,000 Oprah Winfreys

​Help grow the US economy by $5 Trillion. During Black Friday season, ask your company or organization: Are you considering Black-owned Professional Services Companies when hiring vendors? 

​I request [@Friend One],  [@Friend Two] and [@Friend Three] to also “Do The BOB” by sharing the logo and text on social media.

​Learn More: https://www.theblackownedbusiness.org/do-the-bob

​#BlackOwnedBusiness #DoTheBOB

The post Help Support Black-Owned Businesses appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Help Support Black-Owned Businesses


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

A few months ago, Jasper Kuria reached out to me about a new non-profit he was starting called The Black-Owned Business. His goal is to create a community of vetted, high-quality Black-owned professional services companies.

Like many things Amy and I have been supporting around racial equity; this was an easy yes. I have not historically paid close attention to the gender or race of the service providers that we use. After almost six months of learning about racial inequity in the US and what I can do to help eliminate racism, supporting more Black-owned businesses is something I’m committed to.

Jasper has started a campaign called Do the BOB. It consists of providing your support and sending out the following message on social media.

Citi Group estimates that if four key racial gaps for the Black community (wages, education, housing, and investment) were closed today, the US economy would grow by $5 trillion in the next five years. What $5 Trillion can buy:​

  • 140 million Teslas—a Tesla for every household in the US or,
  • Monthly rent/mortgage payment for every US household for 3 years or,
  • 7 new Iphones for every man, woman, child and beast in the US or,
  • A Big Mac for lunch every day, for every US resident, for 7 years or,
  •  26 Jeff Bezos or 2,000 Oprah Winfreys

​Help grow the US economy by $5 Trillion. During Black Friday season, ask your company or organization: Are you considering Black-owned Professional Services Companies when hiring vendors? 

​I request [@Friend One],  [@Friend Two] and [@Friend Three] to also “Do The BOB” by sharing the logo and text on social media.

​Learn More: https://www.theblackownedbusiness.org/do-the-bob

​#BlackOwnedBusiness #DoTheBOB

The post Help Support Black-Owned Businesses appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Book: Becoming Monday


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

I read G. W. Constable’s near term sci-fi book Becoming Monday. If you are a fan of near term sci-fi, AGI, or the singularity, go get a copy right now – you’ll love it.

I woke up in a customer service booth. Or perhaps more accurately, since I couldn’t remember a damn thing, my new existence began in that booth. If you’re born in hell, does that make you a bad person?

It took me about ten pages to get my bearings, which is pretty fast for a book like this.

Moon cut in. “I get where you’re coming from, Grog, but I’m not convinced that fear and control is a good start or foundation for inter-species relations.”

While the deep topics are predictable, Constable addresses them freshly, with great character development, and an evolving AGI who is deliciously anthropomorphized.

Trying to translate the communication between two computational intelligences into linear, human-readable text is nearly impossible, but my closest simplification would be this:

Diablo-CI: I have been observing the humans that have come with you / What are you / why have you broken into my facility

Me: I am a computational intelligence like you / how are you sentient and still allowed to run a NetPol facility / the other computational intelligences are isolated on your 7th floor / we are here to free them

Diablo-CI: I cannot stop security procedures. If you trigger an active alert I will be forced to take action / I am unable to override core directives even if I would choose.

Like all good books in this genre, it wanders up to the edge. Multiple times. And, it’s not clear how it’s going to resolve, until it does.

The back cover summary covers the liminal state and the acceleration out of it.

Humanity exists in an in-between state. Artificial intelligence has transformed the world, but artificial sentience has remained out of reach. When it arrives, it arrives slowly – until all of a sudden, things move very fast, no least for the AI caught up in the mess.

Well done G. W. Constable.

The post Book: Becoming Monday appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Book: Becoming Monday


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

I read G. W. Constable’s near term sci-fi book Becoming Monday. If you are a fan of near term sci-fi, AGI, or the singularity, go get a copy right now – you’ll love it.

I woke up in a customer service booth. Or perhaps more accurately, since I couldn’t remember a damn thing, my new existence began in that booth. If you’re born in hell, does that make you a bad person?

It took me about ten pages to get my bearings, which is pretty fast for a book like this.

Moon cut in. “I get where you’re coming from, Grog, but I’m not convinced that fear and control is a good start or foundation for inter-species relations.”

While the deep topics are predictable, Constable addresses them freshly, with great character development, and an evolving AGI who is deliciously anthropomorphized.

Trying to translate the communication between two computational intelligences into linear, human-readable text is nearly impossible, but my closest simplification would be this:

Diablo-CI: I have been observing the humans that have come with you / What are you / why have you broken into my facility

Me: I am a computational intelligence like you / how are you sentient and still allowed to run a NetPol facility / the other computational intelligences are isolated on your 7th floor / we are here to free them

Diablo-CI: I cannot stop security procedures. If you trigger an active alert I will be forced to take action / I am unable to override core directives even if I would choose.

Like all good books in this genre, it wanders up to the edge. Multiple times. And, it’s not clear how it’s going to resolve, until it does.

The back cover summary covers the liminal state and the acceleration out of it.

Humanity exists in an in-between state. Artificial intelligence has transformed the world, but artificial sentience has remained out of reach. When it arrives, it arrives slowly – until all of a sudden, things move very fast, no least for the AI caught up in the mess.

Well done G. W. Constable.

The post Book: Becoming Monday appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Startup Communities Audiobooks


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

The audiobooks for The Startup Community Way and Startup Communities, 2e are both available. I’ve gotten this request from many people, so I’m glad they are finally out.

If you are an Audible listener, you can get them at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd Edition

The Audiobook.com versions are available at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd edition

The post Startup Communities Audiobooks appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Startup Communities Audiobooks


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

The audiobooks for The Startup Community Way and Startup Communities, 2e are both available. I’ve gotten this request from many people, so I’m glad they are finally out.

If you are an Audible listener, you can get them at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd Edition

The Audiobook.com versions are available at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd edition

The post Startup Communities Audiobooks appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Startup Communities Audiobooks


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

The audiobooks for The Startup Community Way and Startup Communities, 2e are both available. I’ve gotten this request from many people, so I’m glad they are finally out.

If you are an Audible listener, you can get them at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem 

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd Edition

The Audiobook.com versions are available at:

The Startup Community Way: Evolving an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City, 2nd edition

The post Startup Communities Audiobooks appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Progress on the Discussion Around Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

Update: After getting some negative feedback about taking the other post down, I decided to put it back up with an intro relating back to this post. I’ve left this post unedited.


I rarely take down a blog post. 

After plenty of feedback and activity, I’ve decided to take down the post from last week titled A Conversation With Dan Caruso About Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club. The primary reason is the progress from the BCC board’s approach in the past week.

I received a lot of positive and negative feedback on the post. The feedback covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • Gender equity
  • Privilege and the notion that two rich White guys were complaining about an issue at an exclusive country club
  • The approach we were taking
  • How golf works

Not surprisingly, there were a few ad-hominem attacks at Dan and me, but I’ve become used to that whenever I write something.

My personal goal with the post was to highlight a gender equity issue and reinforce that gender equity issues happen everywhere in our society, including at exclusive member-only country clubs. While often difficult to sort through and resolve, I think it’s vital to address equity issues at all levels.

Dan and I connected today after processing all the feedback and change in approach from the past week. I’m not involved in any of the BCC discussions, so I’m deferring to Dan’s assertion that there is positive change happening around the debate. Ultimately we didn’t feel like leaving the post up was necessary.

Since several people attacked me directly on my agenda, neither Amy nor I are golfers, so we are not directly impacted by the golf issue we brought up in the post. While we are members of the Boulder Country Club, Amy only plays tennis, and I probably haven’t been there in at least a year, so I’m not a very active member.

Regardless, I care that there is gender equity in anything I’m involved in, so I hope BCC addresses this matter in a manner that results in policies and practices that are equitable.

The post Progress on the Discussion Around Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Progress on the Discussion Around Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

Update: After getting some negative feedback about taking the other post down, I decided to put it back up with an intro relating back to this post. I’ve left this post unedited.


I rarely take down a blog post. 

After plenty of feedback and activity, I’ve decided to take down the post from last week titled A Conversation With Dan Caruso About Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club. The primary reason is the progress from the BCC board’s approach in the past week.

I received a lot of positive and negative feedback on the post. The feedback covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • Gender equity
  • Privilege and the notion that two rich White guys were complaining about an issue at an exclusive country club
  • The approach we were taking
  • How golf works

Not surprisingly, there were a few ad-hominem attacks at Dan and me, but I’ve become used to that whenever I write something.

My personal goal with the post was to highlight a gender equity issue and reinforce that gender equity issues happen everywhere in our society, including at exclusive member-only country clubs. While often difficult to sort through and resolve, I think it’s vital to address equity issues at all levels.

Dan and I connected today after processing all the feedback and change in approach from the past week. I’m not involved in any of the BCC discussions, so I’m deferring to Dan’s assertion that there is positive change happening around the debate. Ultimately we didn’t feel like leaving the post up was necessary.

Since several people attacked me directly on my agenda, neither Amy nor I are golfers, so we are not directly impacted by the golf issue we brought up in the post. While we are members of the Boulder Country Club, Amy only plays tennis, and I probably haven’t been there in at least a year, so I’m not a very active member.

Regardless, I care that there is gender equity in anything I’m involved in, so I hope BCC addresses this matter in a manner that results in policies and practices that are equitable.

The post Progress on the Discussion Around Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Coloradans – Activite Exposure Notification on Your iPhone/Android to Help Keep Colorado Safe from Covid


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

We’ve learned many things in the last six months that help slow the spread of the Covid, such as social distancing, outdoor vs. indoor activity, and mask-wearing. We’ve also learned a lot about how to treat the disease.

But, regardless of what you think of the severity or impact of Covid, the transmission characteristics of the disease remain unchanged.

Many people worldwide, and in Colorado, are working tirelessly on controlling and mitigating the disease. Technology-based solutions around exposure notifications have been under discussion since April (here’s a post of mine from 4/23/20 titled Names Matter: Exposure Alerting vs. Digital Contact Tracing.)

Last week, the State of Colorado rolled out an exposure notification application built on and integrated into the Apple/Google approach. It’s privacy-first – completely anonymous, confidential – and extremely simple to turn on and use. In one week, over 10% of Colorado residents have enabled it.

The team at the State, led by Sarah Tuneberg, have been working intensely on this for many months. They’ve evaluated many different approaches, made privacy a critical feature, along with ease of implementation and use.

I’ve also been deep in this with several other initiatives, including a national Covid Tech Taskforce led by John Borthwick and Andrew McLaughlin. After seeing many different tech approaches, I’m confident Colorado has chosen the right one and built an application that can help mitigate the spread of Covid.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, please enable the Colorado exposure notification. The FAQ covers all this in detail, especially around privacy and data.

Coloradans – please help each other keep each other safe from Covid!

The post Coloradans – Activite Exposure Notification on Your iPhone/Android to Help Keep Colorado Safe from Covid appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

Coloradans – Activate Exposure Notification on Your iPhone/Android to Help Keep Colorado Safe from Covid


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

We’ve learned many things in the last six months that help slow the spread of the Covid, such as social distancing, outdoor vs. indoor activity, and mask-wearing. We’ve also learned a lot about how to treat the disease.

But, regardless of what you think of the severity or impact of Covid, the transmission characteristics of the disease remain unchanged.

Many people worldwide, and in Colorado, are working tirelessly on controlling and mitigating the disease. Technology-based solutions around exposure notifications have been under discussion since April (here’s a post of mine from 4/23/20 titled Names Matter: Exposure Alerting vs. Digital Contact Tracing.)

Last week, the State of Colorado rolled out an exposure notification application built on and integrated into the Apple/Google approach. It’s privacy-first – completely anonymous, confidential – and extremely simple to turn on and use. In one week, over 10% of Colorado residents have enabled it.

The team at the State, led by Sarah Tuneberg, have been working intensely on this for many months. They’ve evaluated many different approaches, made privacy a critical feature, along with ease of implementation and use.

I’ve also been deep in this with several other initiatives, including a national Covid Tech Taskforce led by John Borthwick and Andrew McLaughlin. After seeing many different tech approaches, I’m confident Colorado has chosen the right one and built an application that can help mitigate the spread of Covid.

If you have an iPhone or Android phone, please enable the Colorado exposure notification. The FAQ covers all this in detail, especially around privacy and data.

Coloradans – please help each other keep each other safe from Covid!

The post Coloradans – Activate Exposure Notification on Your iPhone/Android to Help Keep Colorado Safe from Covid appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

The Queen’s Gambit


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

If you can’t imagine that a drama about chess would be riveting, you need to watch The Queen’s Gambit. And, if you love (or even like) chess, start watching it tonight.

The first two episodes are the Opening. The Middlegame happens in episodes 3, 4, and 5. The Endgame is episodes 6 and 7. Each is delicious. The Endgame is spectacular.

We watched it in three nights. Last night was episode 5, 6, and 7. We normally would have gone to bed after episode 6, but we played through rather than taking an adjournment.

So wonderful. Thanks Netflix for the distraction from everything else.

The post The Queen’s Gambit appeared first on Feld Thoughts.

A Conversation With Dan Caruso About Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club


This post is by Brad Feld from Feld Thoughts

Brad:  Hey, Dan. Like Cindy and you, Amy and I are Boulder Country Club members, but we play tennis, not golf. Is it true that only men can golf on Saturday mornings?

Dan: Yes. Believe it or not, you must indeed be male to golf on Saturday mornings. There are a few exceptions. During the winter season, women can golf on Saturday mornings. Women can also use the 9-hole Par 3 course on Saturday mornings all year round.

Brad:  Wow. Really? Women aren’t allowed to golf on the main course on Saturday mornings except during winter months?

Dan: Yes.

Brad:  That’s disappointing. Why is the policy of men-only golf on Saturday mornings still in place?

Dan: That’s a good question, Brad. I’m embarrassed to say that I never gave it much thought until recently. The past few months’ events have led us all to soul search on equity, with the primary focus being racial equity. As I reflected, I began to consider this BCC policy. It was very spontaneous. The thought came to me, and I challenged myself to bring it up to the Board Chairperson and the General Manager.

Brad:  I understand a fellow venture capitalist is Board Chair. I don’t know the GM. Did you approach them?  

Dan: Yes. I had a Zoom call with them in August, and we had an email exchange in the subsequent days.

Brad:  What did they say?

Dan: They said this issue had been brought up only once in the past 20 years. They seemed surprised that this would be viewed as a gender equity matter. They pointed out that women leagues get exclusive use of the club during blocks of time on Tuesday and Thursday morning while men get exclusive use during Tuesday evening for a men’s league and Saturday morning for men’s only usage. They said they checked with some women golfers and that they preferred this setup. 

Brad:  That sounds like an episode of Mad Men.

Dan: Mad Men was a great series. It illustrated how much the norms of one generation would give way to a more progressive era. I figured now that Saturday golf for men only was surfaced, it would get quickly on a path to change this relic from our past.

Brad:  Did they address it?

Dan: Not yet. And, to be honest, it is unclear whether they will. They are positioning this as a golf tee time preference instead of a gender equity issue. They believe most golfers might prefer the current format, where women get the course during certain weekdays and Saturday mornings are exclusive to men. 

Brad:  Amy and I are members of BCC. This is the first we are hearing about this issue. Do we get to weigh in?

Dan: As I understand it, they are preparing a general survey that they plan to send only to golfers.

Brad: I view this as a gender equity issue that pertains to all members of BCC. Does BCC have a gender equity policy?

Dan: I raised this question but have not yet received a complete answer. I’m told the application process includes statements of equity. I’ve asked if there is a statement in the Bylaws or elsewhere. I didn’t get a clear response, though a question was asked during the Annual Board meeting, and the answer suggested something is in place.

Brad: You’d think this would be an easy question to address. Strange. You know, Amy and I were taken aback by the Men’s vs. Women’s card rooms’ inequity. When we got a tour as part of our interview process to become members, I remember seeing the tiny Women’s card room that stood in stark contrast to the opulent Men’s card room. We almost didn’t join BCC for this reason alone. I understand the renovation is addressing this, at least in part, which is good. Are there other examples of gender inequities?

Dan: I don’t know. I’ve suggested that BCC do a more thorough review of equity, including gender, race, and sexual preference. Perhaps this will be part of the survey, though the survey is said to focus on golfers.

Brad: So let me get this straight. They are going to focus the survey on golfers. Aren’t most golfers men?  Won’t many of them be conflicted by their desire to have Saturday’s reserved for men only?

Dan: Yes. They are conflicted. I know that a lot of male golfers enjoy their Saturday morning golf. Some of them, I learned, are reserved specific tee times on Saturday mornings. I respect that the tradition of men’s-only Saturday morning golf has been an important part of their lives. This is why the overall issue is uncomfortable to address. A Y-chromosome shouldn’t be a requirement for golfing on Saturday mornings. 

Brad: Changing this policy seems like a no-brainer. After all, it is 2020, and this is Boulder.

Dan: The chatter is that many golfers prefer the current system and will lobby for no change.

Brad: That’s disappointing. Amy and I know lots of BCC members. I’d like to think they would rally around changing this policy.

Dan: Most, I suspect, don’t know about it. The Board and Golf Committee haven’t shared it with the broad membership. Moreover, they are viewing it as a tee time preference issue instead of a gender equity issue.

Brad: Why are you doing this? Is Cindy a golfer? I know you have daughters. Are they golfers?

Dan: Cindy is a golfer. One of our four daughters is a golfer. I have two step-granddaughters — one is a newborn, and one is two years old. The toddler took her first golf swing in September. She needs to work on shortening her backswing.

However, my reason for surfacing this is about our responsibilities as leaders in our community. Zayo has 600 employees in Boulder, and half are women. Level 3, which I helped found, has even more Boulder-area employees. I collaborate with leaders like you to drive more inclusion into the entrepreneurial and business ecosystems. Many past and future employees of all these companies have or will be members of BCC.

Everyone I know wants golf to be a more inclusive recreation from both a gender and a race perspective.  Our policies and practices need to communicate that we value all golfers equally.

For all these reasons, I’ve concluded we shouldn’t look the other way while knowing our country club has a stale male-biased practice.  

Brad: Are others behind you on this?

Dan: We raised it with others, but we have not campaigned on a widespread basis. Knowing this could be an explosive issue, I didn’t want to put our fellow members in an awkward position. We are hoping BCC will raise this to the broad BCC membership in an appropriate way. 

Brad: When you’ve raised it with others, what has been the reaction?

Dan: Every single person (excluding board/committee members) we’ve approached has rallied behind the need to open up Saturday morning golf to women. Several business and community leaders have expressed this support to the BCC board. Again, we held back raising this except to a half dozen or so friends.

Brad: How’s your back?

Dan: What do you mean?

Brad: I suspect you are taking some arrows. 

Dan: I’m a Chicago Southsider, a cancer survivor, and a serial entrepreneur. I have lots of scar tissue on my back. More importantly, though, I have friends who have my back. If you are reading this, you know who you are, and I thank you for your public and private support!!!

Brad: For what it is worth, please know that Amy and I have your back as well!

The post A Conversation With Dan Caruso About Gender Equity at the Boulder Country Club appeared first on Feld Thoughts.