Brad Feld

Month: May 2008

I love it when blogs pop up from people I love reading – like Om Malik – that highlight stuff I also love.  In this case, it’s FeedDemon and the ThinkPad x300.  These are two of my favorite nerd things.  I’ve been using FeedDemon since before Nick Bradbury joined up with NewsGator several years ago and still think it is one of the most finely crafted pieces of Windows-based software that I’ve ever used.  And I regularly used it on my relatively new and currently sticker free ThinkPad x300.

While everyone is spending their day talking about Microsoft and Yahoo, I thought I’d share an email with you from 1993.  Once again, my old friend Warren Katz has dug into his email archive and pulled out a doozy.  This time I’m introducing him to this great new magazine called Wired.

Date: 25 Apr 93 16:57:27 EDT
From: Bradley Feld <
To: Warren Katz


If you haven’t seen it already, check out the new magazine WIRED. It’s excellent. Flood them with press releases for Mak — they’ll definitely pick you up (in issue #1 there’s an article about SimNet and in issue #2 there’s an article about how Jaron Lanier is fearless).

If you haven’t heard of them, email them at

Hope you’re doing well. I’m back in town for a few weeks — let’s get together.

… Bradley

Yeah – well – I thought it was funny.  Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I just posted the great VC blog of the day over on Ask the VC but I think that it is so useful I’m reposting about it here.

One of my favorite VC posts of all times was my partner Seth Levine’s post titled How to become a venture capitalistI regularly get emails from folks looking for a job in the VC industry and I almost always point them at this post.

Seth has followed up with a new post titled How to get a job in venture capital (revisited).  It’s updated with some additional information for those that respond to the first post by saying “I get it that it’s hard, but what should I do over the next five years to position myself for a VC job.”

While the bullet points (go to business school, work for a start-up, start a company of your own, work for a bank or consulting firm, and put yourself out there) may seem obvious, Seth’s commentary is really helpful.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in pursuing a VC career to read both of these posts.

I just finished reading Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success by Barry Moltz.  I think Barry was originally introduced to me by Matt McCall, one of my co-investors in FeedBurner and a Chicagoan like Barry.

There are very few good business books about failure.  Most of the ones I’ve encountered in the past use failure as an early part of the "rags to riches" process of the classic Horatio Alger parable.  Dull.

Barry takes a different approach – he uses failure as a theme throughout the book and describes it as an integral part of a long term business experience.  Just like the cliche "you haven’t really been in business until you’ve been sued", I think the cliche "you haven’t really become an entrepreneur until you’ve failed at least one" applies.  Barry does a good job of weaving a variety of individual stories (including his) around his philosophy and theorizing.

Like most business books, it is about 50% too long.  Long ago I concluded that "editors" believe the hardcover business book needs to be around 200 pages.  As a reader, I think there should be a 100 page limit – that would force the writer (and editor) to get to the point and be less redundant.  While this doesn’t detract from the book too much, there are a few sections that are skimmers.

If you are an entrepreneur – especially one early in your career – this is a very worthwhile book to read. 

On the failure theme, Andrew Hyde has a post up titled Startups Fail that includes news about a handful of recent Boulder failures: Nau, Organica and Falling Fruit.  Andrew reminds us that failure is an integral part of entrepreneurship.

My Next Monitor

May 02, 2008
Category Technology

Whenever someone comes in my office that hasn’t seen me before, they always fawn over my monitor.  I enjoy my 30" Apple beast, even though it’s running Vista.

Yes – that would be my next one curtsey of 9X (via Engadget).

Me at 19

May 02, 2008

What a fun picture of me and Kevin Parent (now at Oblong) that someone found and gave me yesterday.  I was a sophomore at MIT and probably 19 (although maybe 18).  Oh to be 170 pounds again.

Can you name the statue?  Bonus points if you can name the location on the MIT campus.

It’s Friday and there’s a remarkable amount of interesting stuff that came out of my morning "catch up on blog / email" routine.  I was going to write a couple of different blogs, but then realized that I didn’t have a lot to add to any of them other than "read this – it’s interesting."  There are a few "linkblogs" that I follow, but I find many break down quickly and become just "lists of more stuff."

I’m curious – if I started linking to the top few things (up to five – of any sort) that I read each morning with a brief description, would this be interesting to you dear reader? This is coming from the set of 500 or so blogs I scan via FeedDemon each morning.  Please give me feedback – do you like this or is it just another ponderous set of links to ignore.

Let’s try it and see.

Rock-and-Roll Fantasy: A fun article in Newsweek about Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy – the two founders of Harmonix – and how they are changing videogames.  They also got a well deserved mention in Time’s 100 Top Techies.

A Sporting Gesture Touches ‘Em All: This is a beautiful story about something that I expect would never happen in baseball, but happened in a college girls softball game. 

Data Centers Are Becoming Big Polluters, Study Finds: I brought this up as an example at a CU Silicon Flatirons Roundtable I was part of yesterday.  I got it slightly wrong – the punchline is that the world’s data centers are projected to surpass the airline industry as a greenhouse gas polluter by 2020.

More Signup Power: Bill Flagg of RegOnline talks about how he has continuously optimized the RegOnline signon page to maximize the conversion rate.  Web services companies – take notice.

Tomorrow’s Forecast: Cloudy Skies & Sunshine: Jud Valeski – the CTO and co-founder of Gnip (one of our new companies) writes about his first blush experiences with Amazon Web Services (AWS for those of you in the know.)