Brad Feld

Month: December 2006

Tonight must be the night that I’m pointing to new blogs from friends of mine.  The guys at Collective Intellect have started a corporate blog titled New Media Intelligence.  Two of Collective Intellect’s execs already have blogs (Tim Wolters and Darren Kelly) – this will be a nice add to our collective intellect.  I worked closely with Tim and his partner Don Springer (Collective Intellect’s CEO) at their previous company (Dante Group – acquired by webMethods) – these are super smart dudes worth paying attention to.  They are part of my Intelligence Amplification theme, even though they are not fans of the label.

My long time friend Tom Higley has started a blog called Back in the Saddle.  Tom recently came out of retirement to become CEO of Vault Alliance, a Boulder-based startup that I’m an investor in.

Tom was one of the first people I met when I moved to Boulder.  He was running a company he’d started called NetDelivery.  I introduced Tom / NetDelivery to Charley Lax at Softbank (at the time I was an affiliate of Softbank – this was prior to us starting Softbank Venture Capital) who passed on investing, but I got to know Tom anyway.  NetDelivery struggled and Tom eventually left.  In 1997, as I was working with Raj Bhargava and Niel Robertson to start up Service Metrics, I introduced Tom to Raj and Niel.  Tom became a co-founder / CEO of Service Metrics, which we funded.  Eighteen months later, Exodus bought Service Metrics for $280 million and everyone involved was very happy. 

Tom did his tour of duty at Exodus and then left after about a year.  He took some time off and got deeply involved in music (one of his passions).  In 2000, Raj and I cooked up a new idea (originally called MetaColo) and convinced Tom to come on board and be the startup CEO of Latis.  Tom did this for a year until we hired a CEO (who subsequently didn’t work out, at which point Raj became CEO of Latis, which has become a successful security software company known as StillSecure.) 

At this point, Tom officially retired (at least for a while) to go play and compose music.  We stayed in touch, seeing each other socially, but I left him alone because he was pretty clear that he wasn’t in the mood to run a company again (at least for a while…)

Fast forward to 2005.  Tom was the lead angel investor in a new company called Vault Alliance doing online music-related stuff.  I participated in the round, but leaned on my partners Jason Mendelson and Ryan McIntyre who are musicians (and have become good friends of Tom) since I’m generally clueless about the music business.  Vault has evolved nicely and Tom recently decided to take the helm and become CEO in order to accelerate the growth of the business.

Tom’s super articulate, has a ton of entrepreneurial experience (good and bad), and has a great range of interests.  If you are interested in the intersection between music and the Internet, the Colorado entrepreneurial scene, or just the thoughts of an experienced and enlightened entrepreneur, I expect you’ll like Tom’s blog.

I’ve received a lot of great comments and emails in response to my “Reflections on Mentors” post.  One of them was a note from my mom with a letter attached that I sent to my dad in 1988.  My dad was my first real mentor (and continues to have a huge impact on me.)  I wrote this when I was 23 – when my dad was 50.  One last piece of “mentor advice” – make sure you let your mentors know they are being helpful to you.

March 14, 1988

Dad Feld
Dallas, TX 75248

Dear Dad:

          I remember a sunny summer day about ten years ago. We were driving to Fort Worth in a white Corvette. You were about to deposit me at the Tut Bartzen tennis camp. We chatted about the upcoming week as we zipped down the highway. I was excited about seven days of non-stop tennis; you were probably excited about seven days of not having to deal with me. However, for that moment, we simply enjoyed the ride.

          I’ve learned from you that it’s the ride that counts. Today, I’m hanging out in my “eighties” apartment, with my lovely wife, playing the academician, paying my own way, and simply enjoying the ride. Without you, I might actually think some of this stuff was important. But I’ve learned from you that only the ride counts.

          It has been a long strange trip, hasn’t it… From spring Creek to M.I.T. From Betty Wonderly to Arzell Ball. From E.V. Scott to Richard Weinstein. From BAFB to Watertown to 7877 Alto Caro to 1 Devonshire Place. From Apple II to Fivestar AT. From Nike to Reebok. From Jack Kramer Autographs to Futabaya. From the Bowie Mustangs to the Dallas Marathon. From “See Dick Run” to “The Society of the Mind”. What a great ride. Thanks for being there every mile – I wouldn’t have wanted to do it without you.



I’m on the IT Transition Team for Colorado’s new governor – Bill Ritter.  One of the primary roles of the transition team is to recommend to Governor-Elect Ritter a pool of candidates for the position of State CIO (Chief Information Officer).  This position is a direct-report to the Governor and will run the Colorado Office of Information Technology.

The current CIO salary is in the $120,000 range, however if a candidate comes from outside the state, the salary will probably be negotiated in consultation with the Governor’s Office.  We are looking for experienced CIO’s that are willing to take a moderate paying CIO-job in exchange for the ability to have real impact on the state of Colorado.

The transition team is seeking resumes by Friday, December 8.  If you know of anyone who would be interested in this position, I would appreciate if you would forward this information to them.  Resumes can be emailed to me – I’ll make sure they get considered.

Matt Blumberg has a very important marketing insight about clickstreams that he just wrote about.

This was just too good to pass up.  Click through to see a bigger version on Wikipedia (along with all the copyright noise about this.)

Amy and I were both Reagan youth before becoming liberal weenies.