Author: Brad Feld

Book: Three Laws Lethal


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I’m a fan of David Walton and his near-term sci-fi books. In 2015, I read a few of his books, wrote a post titled Awesome Near Term Sci-Fi – David Walton, and promptly forgot about him.

Eleven days ago, I got the following email from David.

Mr. Feld:

Since you’ve enjoyed my books in the past (e.g. Superposition), I’m letting you know I have a new one out. No worries if you’re not interested; just letting you know. Hope all is well with you and yours.

When paleontologists Samira and Kit uncover dinosaur skeletons in northern Thailand, they find the remains of an ancient genetic technology that nations will kill to control. Catapulted into a web of murder and intrigue involving the Chinese Ministry of State Security, a powerful Asian crime syndicate, the CIA, and a beautiful Thai princess, Samira and Kit don’t know who they can trust. Torn apart by competing factions and stranded on opposite sides of the world, they race to discover the truth before the world goes to war. Can they bring the past to life before it kills them all?

“Walton has brought hard sci-fi roaring back to life.” –Wall Street Journal

I went and looked up the books he’d written and realized I’d missed the last two: The Genius Plague and Three Laws Lethal.

I started the The Genius Plague on Saturday morning and finished Three Laws Lethal last night. They were both spectacular.

It’s easy to relate to The Genius Plague (Read more...)

NH Marathon (#26): The Ferocious Battle for Not Last Place


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I made my move at mile 22.

I’d been trailing my nemesis for a dozen miles. The half-mile cutoff was 2:50, and I rolled through at 2:43, so I had plenty of room to spare, although, by this point, I’d given up on my goal of 5:30.

My nemesis was wearing a red shirt. I could see them a quarter to a half-mile ahead of me for several hours. I’d get a little closer, and then they’d pull away.

At mile 14.5, a timing device was set up, presumably to ensure the marathoners were on the second loop. I noticed the guy monitoring it (who later I learned was named Nate) picking up the cones after I went through.

I asked, “Am I in last place?”

“Yes”

“That’s a new experience for me. I guess I have a goal besides finishing.”

“What’s that?”

“Not coming in last.”

I knew I had several hours to catch the person in the red shirt. There was no rush. I took it easy and just cruised through miles 14 to 22. My new friend Nate the Great was at each water stop, packing things into his U-Haul after I passed. Since Red Shirt wasn’t really pulling away much, I’d stop, fill up my water bottle, and chat with Nate.

At mile 22, I picked up the pace. The last three miles of the course were on the Rail Trail. The nice people in New Hampshire considerately paint all the rocks and tree roots on (Read more...)

Book: Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind


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Since Matt Levine is so effectively covering anything interesting in the world of the Twitter deal (and all kinds of bizarre, random, and complicated crypto, fraud, debt, and other financial stuff), I think I’ll stick with book reviews for the time being.

Andy Dunn, who I only know indirectly, wrote an important book titled Burn Rate: Launching a Startup and Losing My Mind. While it covers the story of Andy’s company, Bonobos, it’s really about mental health and entrepreneurship.

While there might be other entrepreneur autobiographies like Burn Rate, I can’t think of any. The closest is Tracy Kidder’s awesome book titled A Truck Full of Money about Paul English, an entrepreneur I do happen to know.

Tracy’s book is a mix of Paul’s entrepreneurial story combined with his experience being bipolar. Andy’s book is his entrepreneurial story combined with his experience of being bipolar. Both are remarkably brave books. Andy’s autobiography is particularly powerful since he is extremely detailed about several of the manic experiences that he had while running Bonobos.

While I don’t know Andy, I know several of his investors. His description of how they handled the situation of discovering Andy’s mental health diagnosis made me proud to know them. Andy decided to proactively hold a board meeting to describe what had happened that resulted in him ending up in the hospital and jail. One of his board members, Joel Peterson (who I don’t know), is remarkable.

“When I got out of the hospital, (Read more...)

Book: The Rise of the Rest


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Steve Case’s new book, The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream, is out. I read it on Sunday, and it is outstanding. If you are interested in understanding how high-tech entrepreneurship has evolved from a primarily coastal phenomenon to one that covers the entire US in the past decade, grab this book now.

Steve is a great storyteller. While he tells the entrepreneurs’ stories, he has been part of helping create them. He created Rise of Rest and did the first of many bus tours in 2014. I was part of the one in Denver, and my partner Chris Moody was part of the one in Birmingham. They were each awesome experiences.

This is the story of what happened on those bus tours, people who were connected, companies that were amplified, financings that happened, and cities that were energized around entrepreneurship.

For the past dozen years, I’ve spent plenty of energy on democratizing entrepreneurship. I’ve worked with Steve and his team on multiple initiatives, including Startup America and Up Global. Steve’s supported me on several things I’ve done, including writing the foreword to Startup Communities: Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem in Your City.

When I was a young entrepreneur in my 20s, Steve was a hero of mine. My AOL username was bfeld, which was where my Twitter handle (and everything else I signed up for on the web came from.) Now that I’m a middle-aged something or other (Read more...)

Talking About Entrepreneurship and Mental Health With David Cohen


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David Cohen and I have co-hosted the Give First podcast for 71 episodes. I think our host ratio is 80/20 David/Brad, and he’s covered everything in 2021 because I was burned out on all things public-facing and needed a break.

He figured a good way to get me back in the mix would be to interview me about entrepreneurship and mental health, so that’s what Episode 71 is about.

Listen & subscribe to the Give First podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and more.

The post Talking About Entrepreneurship and Mental Health With David Cohen appeared first on Brad Feld.

Back to School


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I got the following email from Barry Schuler this morning. We’ve known each other for many years, and he’s one of my favorite VCs to work with.

He described exactly how I feel this morning. The fall is my favorite season of the year. By labor day, I’m ready for summer to end. The stretch until Thanksgiving is my most productive time of year.

I finally feel like writing again after a summer off (most of my books come out in the late spring / early summer, so I’m fried and uninterested in writing during the summer.)

My running is almost always great in the fall. I end the summer in solid shape and usually ramp up a lot in the fall. I like shorter days, later sunrises, and early sunsets. I like the colors of the leaves. The cool, crisp Colorado mornings.

Amy and I had a good summer, but I’m ready for cooler weather and a different pace.

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Founder’s Choice VC Firm Ranking


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There have been many different approaches to ranking VC Firms over the years I’ve been an entrepreneur and a VC. Each approach I’ve seen has issues. Most are easily gamed or have statistical bias issues.

I got the following note from Roy Bahat at Bloomberg Beta a while ago about a new approach called Founder’s Choice.

We and a few other firms sponsored a “founders choice” version of the Midas List, with a legit (IMHO) rating methodology, built by two Penn students. No vitriol possible (unlike The Funded, etc.). We’ve wanted this to exist for a long time — NPS of us as a firm is too forgiving a metric, everyone scores well.

My first question was:

How are they dealing with sampling bias on this one? For example, we send to all our founders and say “please fill this out and give us high scores.” Mostly just curious on methodology.

Roy had a thoughtful answer that made me a believer after a few more questions.

You are literally the only one (and I’m relieved someone did) to ask on sampling bias. For context, the general way it works is founders auth with LinkedIn and then the product tosses away their identity (or, more accurately, only keeps a hash and disconnects it from their ratings). Then the founders get asked for pairwise comparisons of only the VC firms who have backed them (so this is about who founders like as investors, not who has sour grapes from a pitch). How (Read more...)

Venture Deals Fall 2022


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Registration for the Venture Deals Fall 2022 course is open.

The course is free and starts on September 20, 2022. This is the second time we are running the new version of the course (v2!) that was co-created with Techstars and Kauffman Fellows.

If interested, sign up now. I hope to see you there in one of the AMAs we will host for anyone who takes the course.

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Reboot 2022 Q4 Leadership Bootcamp


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Registration is open for the 2022 Q4 Leadership Bootcamp, which is happening in Boulder, Colorado, on Nov 10-13, 2022.

Regular readers of this blog know about my long-time (back to 1996) friendship with Reboot co-founder and CEO Jerry Colonna. What you may not know is that several years ago, Jerry and his partner Ali Schultz moved exactly 0.8 miles away from me (there is one 40-acre parcel of land between us.) In the evening, when we are both in Boulder (well, Longmont), he sits under his Cottonwood Tree, I sit 0.8 miles away on my couch next to my pool, and we text and wave at each other.

I’ve been to several Reboot Leadership Bootcamps as a special guest. They are unique and powerful experiences for entrepreneurs. As a bonus, the Reboot Retreat Center is actually on my property in a building called “The Carriage House.” Amy and I don’t charge Reboot for the use of The Carriage House – it’s our gift to entrepreneurs and Reboot for this amazing experience.

If you’re looking to reboot and refresh your leadership, join Team Reboot this November 10-13, 2022, in Boulder, CO, for their fall Leadership Bootcamp.

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The Brilliance of Bloomberg’s Matt Levine


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Of all the business and technology writers out there, including bloggers, I think the best one, at this moment, is Matt Levine. He’s the only person currently writing on Planet Earth that I find myself reading every word of everything he writes.

For the last few months, he has been mostly writing about three topics:

  • The Twitter Elon Musk Soap Opera
  • Why (and How) Much of Crypto Is A Plain, Old, Ponzi Scheme
  • Other Crazy and Fucked Up Things in Finance

For a flavor of his writing, read the following 11 chapters of Matt’s writing (listed in chronological order). Then, subscribe to his newsletter and get a magnificent medium-form article in your inbox every other day or so.