Brad Feld

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Random Dinner in Philadelphia

Jan 23, 2007

One of the really cool things about entrepreneurship (and life in general) is being open to new people and new ideas.  I’ve written about my random days policy in the past.  Today I got the following note from Ed Sullivan, CEO of Aria.

Hello Brad, According to your blog you’re on the East Coast.  If by chance you’re in Philly, I’d love to buy you lunch, dinner or coffee.  I’ve gotten amazing value from your blog:  YEO, tools to negotiate my financing, corporate mission statement, life review etc. and I’d love to meet you face to face and shake your hand.  I promise not bore you with my business plan (I’m funded).

It turns out that I am in Philly for the night.  I arranged to meet with Ed before dinner and then decided to blow off my traveling companions (I was tired of them anyway) to go have a random dinner with Ed.  We grabbed a quick meal around the corner of the hotel and talked for ninety minutes like old friends.  As a faithful blog reader, he knew a spooky amount about me but I still managed to dig up a few new pieces of information for him.  We covered a lot of ground, especially since we both have had way too much experience with ISP billing systems in the 1990’s (Portal and RODAPI anyone?)

Among other things, we covered the entrepreneurial scene in Philly (and respective challenges post Internet bubble and the struggles of Safeguard Scientific and Internet Capital Group), my friend George Jankovic from NutriSystem, the ubiquitous Josh Kopelman, Lasik’s (I’m still a chicken), and Ed’s three companies (yes – we did end up talking about Aria – and it wasn’t boring.)  We also covered plenty of life stuff and each said nice things about our respective wives (hi Ed’s wife – yes – he met with me – just a normal guy – definitely not someone named Gloria the voluptuous.)

While I have no idea if anything ever comes of a dinner like this, I very much enjoyed spending time with my new friend Ed.  The randomness of the universe has nice karmic twists.  Plus – it’s way more fun than sitting in a hotel eating room service.  Ed – thanks for reaching out!