Brad Feld

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Some Weekend Reading For You

Oct 17, 2009
Category Books

Periodically I get way behind on my “daily routine” and skip my RSS feeds for a while (up to a week).  This week was one of them – I had two 4am wakeups that led me to the airport followed by a 7am wakeup (due to me being glued to my bed) followed by a 8am board meeting.  So – no RSS feeds.  This morning, after sleeping 12 hours, I spent an hour and read through what I missed this week.  There’s some great stuff that came out of it (most from the last few days) – here you go.

GigaOM Special Event: What Comes Next for the Web? October 19, 2009: 9.30 AM: Om has a great live discussion of what comes next for the web that includes Caterina Fake (co-founder, Flickr & Hunch), Tom Coates (Yahoo), Bret Taylor (Facebook & co-founder, Friendfeed), Jeff Veen (TypeKit), Doug Bowman (Twitter) and Dave Winer.  It’s a three hour detour from the discussion of the “real-time web” that explores the implication of (a) super-speed broadband and (b) the growing pervasiveness of super phones (e.g. the iPhone). 

The making of Zyng’a’s Cafe World, the fastest growing social game in history: I am extraordinarily proud of everyone at Zynga for the amazing company they have created.  Their newest game, Cafe World, is now the fastest growing social game in history (eclipsing FarmVille, the previous leader, also a Zynga game).  I’m a huge FarmVille and Cafe World (and Mafia Wars) player, and not just because I’m an investor in the company. 

The History of SharePoint: SharePoint 2010 is going to be disclosed at the SharePoint Conference starting Monday.  Because of my investment in NewsGator and our huge success with NewsGator Social Sites (Enterprise Social Computing built on top of SharePoint), I’m deep in the SharePoint mix (and use it daily at Foundry Group.)  This post walks through the SharePoint history starting in the last 1990’s.

The End is Not Fixed: Short and sweet advice referenced by Ben Casnocha.  Remember, the lights will go out at some point and you never know the exact moment.

Boston startup events, resources, people you need to know: I spent plenty of time in the past year in Boston in and around the entrepreneurial community while I helped get TechStars Boston up and running.  I lived in Boston from 1983 to 1995, started my first company there in 1987 (sold it in 1993), and made my first angel investments there including NetGenesis (IPO), Thinkfish (acquired by CA), and Harmonix (acquired by MTV).  In the past year a bunch of people have worked hard to re-energize the Boston/Cambridge software / Internet scene with great results.  Don Dodge from Microsoft (who has been an important part of all of this) has a great summary post up about this.

Small c: The penis post: I’m a huge Jeff Jarvis fanboy.  We’ve only met a few times and haven’t ever worked together, but I’ve always found his writings at BuzzMachine to be interesting, informative, and insightful.  His recent post about his penis is extremely personal, but shows the power of how you can “let it all hang out” when you blog.

My life as a one-armed man: Jeffrey Kalmikoff showed up in Boulder a few years ago and immediately became deeply involved in the startup scene here.  He left a few months ago to go to San Francisco (I hear there’s a girl involved) and is now at Digg (Jeffrey – we miss you – a LOT).  He posts a very personal story that describes the “almost loss of his arm” around 2003 along with some other health issues.  If you’ve got alphabetical order figured out, you’ll realize that I read about Jeff’s penis and then Jeffrey’s arm close to each other.  Wait, that’s not what I meant.  As a special bonus, take a look at this amazing video on Jeffrey that I found via Andrew Hyde’s blog post titled Brilliant Short Film on Jeffrey Kalmikoff.

Making of an Entrepreneur: While we are doing some multi-media stuff, my Dad (Stan Feld) interviews Larry Nelson of on his (Larry’s) story.  Hey Larry – turnabout is fair play!

Nowhere: I told Amy that there is nowhere I’d rather be today than in Eldorado Springs with her.  I hope she doesn’t read xkcd.


Videos: Google Wave Acts Out Pulp Fiction and Good Will Hunting: I continue to really struggle to understand Google Wave.  Joe Sabia tries to explain it.  As a bonus, take a look at the Good Will Hunted trailer.  

Founders Visas: A Good Idea: As far as I know, Chris Douvos is the only “LP blogger” out there.  He recently wrote a blog post coming out in support of the StartupVisa effort.  Thanks Chris!

The ‘We Need to Own’ Baloney: Fred Wilson aggressively (and appropriately) calls bullshit on the VC’s nonsense on insisting they own a certain percent of a company.  Josh Kopelman follows up with a great post titled “Company Math vs. VC Math.”  If VC’s said “I want to own” they’d be expressing a rational and honest perspective.  By saying “I need to own”, the entrepreneur should respond with “why are you starting this relationship out with a lie?”

The VC Gender Gap – Are VCs Sexist? More provocative and appropriate VC fodder from a VC.  This time Jeff Bussgang asks why there are so few female VCs. His conclusion – “Otherwise, our industry is tragically losing out on 50% of the world’s best talent!” is the same we reach at NCWIT for why there are such a lower percentage of female software engineers.  This isn’t about feminism, it’s about getting a whole bunch more smart people involved in what we do!

Well – that should keep you busy for a while.  Time to go for a run – my first in a couple of weeks since I’ve been apparently struggling with a bacterial infection.