Brad Feld

Month: March 2010

I’ve been an Amazon Associate (Amazon’s affiliate program) for many years.  Today I got the following notice in my Amazon Associates account.

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and I woke up to the following email.

Dear Colorado-based Amazon Associate:

We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to inform you that the Colorado government recently enacted a law to impose sales tax regulations on online retailers. The regulations are burdensome and no other state has similar rules. The new regulations do not require online retailers to collect sales tax. Instead, they are clearly intended to increase the compliance burden to a point where online retailers will be induced to “voluntarily” collect Colorado sales tax — a course we won’t take.

We and many others strongly opposed this legislation, known as HB 10-1193, but it was enacted anyway. Regrettably, as a result of the new law, we have decided to stop advertising through Associates based in Colorado. We plan to continue to sell to Colorado residents, however, and will advertise through other channels, including through Associates based in other states.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.

You may express your views of Colorado’s new law to members of the General Assembly and to Governor Ritter, who signed the bill.

Your Associates account has been closed as of March 8, 2010, and we will no longer pay advertising fees for customers you refer to Amazon.com after that date. Please be assured that all qualifying advertising fees earned prior to March 8, 2010, will be processed and paid in accordance with our regular payment schedule. Based on your account closure date of March 8, any final payments will be paid by May 31, 2010.

We have enjoyed working with you and other Colorado-based participants in the Amazon Associates Program, and wish you all the best in your future.

I’ve been a supporter of Governor Ritter since his campaign for governor and have worked hard to positively impact Colorado’s software / Internet / technology / entrepreneurial ecosystem.  Over the past two months, I’ve privately expressed my outrage over HB10-1192 and HB10-1193 to several people in Ritter’s administration.  I watched as numerous people in the software / Internet community tried their hardest to help our legislators, the governor, and their staffs understand why this is such a huge step backwards for Colorado.  I was told several times “don’t worry – we’ll take care off all the silly stuff.”  There seemed to be enough folks showing up to discuss this that I thought rational minds would prevail.

I made a huge mistake.  I should have come out very publicly about this when I first heard about it, made sure everyone that I supported during the elections that supported these bills (including one of the co-sponsors) knew my opinion and understood why they had the potential to be so detrimental to the software / Internet / entrepreneurial climate in Colorado.  Shame on me for not being more aggressive, although there are some days I definitely feel like there are only so many fronts I can deal with outside my very full time day job.

I’m not at all surprised by this action on Amazon’s part.  I expect the Internet Affiliate business in Colorado will completely die within the next thirty days (every company that has an affiliate business will turn off all of their Colorado-based affiliates.)

I then received the following email from Colorado Governor Ritter

Gov. Bill Ritter issued the following statement today criticizing Amazon.com’s decision to abruptly end its financial relationship with Amazon Associate businesses in Colorado:

“Amazon has taken a disappointing – and completely unjustified – step of ending its relationship with associates. While Amazon is blaming a new state law for its action, the fact is that Amazon is simply trying to avoid compliance with Colorado law and is unfairly punishing Colorado businesses in the process.

“My office worked closely with Amazon’s affiliates and associates to modify House Bill 1193 to specifically protect small businesses, avoid job losses and provide a fair, level playing field for on-line retailers and Main Street, brick-and-mortar retail shops alike.

“Amazon’s position is unfortunate, and Coloradans certainly deserve better.”

I’m especially disappointed in the Governor’s statement – it’s completely tone deaf to the actual issue and what Amazon is clearly stating.  I’ve heard several people saying “Amazon is the problem” or “well – this is good – now people will buy locally.”  Neither of these statements is valid – Amazon behaved like a rational company in the face of government regulation that had no upside for them and substantial downside.  Also, this has zero impact on consumer purchasing activity as this doesn’t impact the end customer of Amazon products in any way.

Rather, the many small businesses and solo entrepreneurs who make money off of Amazon’s affiliate program just lost a revenue stream (which, by the way, is used to employ people and pay state taxes.)  Colorado just got a big black eye in their historical effort to be a place that is friendly to business, especially high growth technology companies.  And our state government likely now has lost more tax revenue than it was going to gain through the bill in the first place while simultaneously damaging the revenue streams for many small Colorado businesses.

The only logical solution in my book is what Amazon says in paragraph 3.

There is a right way for Colorado to pursue its revenue goals, but this new law is a wrong way. As we repeatedly communicated to Colorado legislators, including those who sponsored and supported the new law, we are not opposed to collecting sales tax within a constitutionally-permissible system applied even-handedly. The US Supreme Court has defined what would be constitutional, and if Colorado would repeal the current law or follow the constitutional approach to collection, we would welcome the opportunity to reinstate Colorado-based Associates.


One of the great things about living in Eldorado Springs, Colorado is interacting with nature on a daily basis.

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Protecting the environment has been a priority of mine for many years.  Every now and then I like to call out a non-profit organization that I support that I think does an excellent job of helping protect the environment.

Colorado Conservation Voters is one of these groups.  CCV works to turn conservation values into Colorado priorities by educating legislators and the public about important environmental issues, helping pro-conservation candidates win their elections, and then holding our elected officials accountable. Most importantly, they do it efficiently as they are a group that has influence and reach much larger than their budget would indicate.

In the past six years they have built and protected a conservation majority in the state House, Senate, and Governor’s office. These victories matter – Colorado is a better place for CCV spearheading these pro-environment victories.  For example:

  • Colorado now requires that 20% of our electricity come from renewable sources like wind and solar;
  • More water is kept in our rivers and streams when they need it most and in crucial areas for habitat protection, protecting the health of our rivers;
  • We have the strongest protections in the nation for our drinking water, wildlife, and communities threatened by oil and gas drilling.

This is a group that understands how to make change happen.  They use their money strategically and efficiently.  If you are interested in conserving the environment in Colorado, I encourage you to take a look at the Colorado Conservation Voters website as well as considering making a gift or even becoming a monthly donor.


If you live in Boulder, it’s time to help bring the Google Fiber experiment to our awesome city.  A bunch of folks from all over Boulder are working on the Boulder Fiber project to help us become one of the cities for the Google Fiber for Communities project. 

Boulder is a perfect city for this.  When I moved here in 1995 I didn’t expect to engage in much business as I was spending most of my time in Boston, NY, and San Francisco.  However, I discovered an incredibly smart community that was extremely computer and Internet savvy.  As the commercial Internet started to take off in the mid-1990’s, Boulder was a hotbed for Internet usage and innovation as we rapidly became an incredibly wired city.  I attributed this to the convergence of (a) a smart, well-educated population, (b) a university at the core of the city, (c) a bunch of national labs, (d) a solid legacy of tech startups, especially around storage, cable, and telecom, and (e) a strong culture of independence which was well suited to all things Internet.

What I didn’t realize at the time were two important metrics that underscore both the technology and the entrepreneurial energy in Boulder.  The two metrics are that on a per-capita basis, Boulder has the highest percentage of computer scientists and the highest percentage of Ph.D.’s in the US.  When combined with a vibrant entrepreneurial community that has deep software and Internet expertise, magic things happen.

We’ve seen a lot of this magic in Boulder in the past five years.  I’m proud of how the city I call home has arisen as one of the most important entrepreneurial communities in the US with much more activity, visibility, and influence than a city with a population of 150,000 typically has.  More importantly, the amount of innovation coming out of Boulder is extraordinary.

Google has put out a challenge to find communities that are willing to be a test bed for an experimental ultra-high speed broadband network to see what kind of innovation will emerge.  If you are a member of the Boulder community, even if you aren’t in the high tech or entrepreneurial sector, help us tell Google why Boulder is the best city in the US for this experiment.

If you are game to help, do the following things:

  1. Go to the Boulder Fiber site and follow the directions – it’ll take five minutes.
  2. Follow the Boulder Fiber project on Twitter
  3. Fan Bring Google Fiber to the City of Boulder on Facebook.

On Thursday, March 18th (during CU Entrepreneurship Week) there is going to be a great Silicon Flatirons Conference on “The Role of Place”Brad Bernthal, who is chairing the conference, leads with a great quote from Harvard Professor and Monitor Group co-founder Michael Porter.

"Paradoxically, the enduring competitive advantages in a global economy lie increasingly in local things – knowledge, relationships, and motivation – that distant rivals cannot match."

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this personally given all my work around the Boulder entrepreneurial community, TechStars, Foundry Group’s investments in different parts of the US, and the Startup Visa initiative. 

I’ll be on the first panel titled Entrepreneurial Immigration Policy with Lance Nagel (partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius’ Labor and Employment Practice) and Vivek Wadhwa (Senior Research Associate, Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and an Adjunct Professor at the Duke University Pratt School of Engineering).  I expect we’ll get a good chance to cover plenty of ground, including several of the incredible immigrant entrepreneur loci and projects like the Startup Visa initiative.

The second panel is Place and Iteration: Lessons From Storage and includes several folks who have been involved in the Boulder “storage ecosystem” over the past 30 years, including Jesse Aweida (founder of StorageTek) and Kyle Lefkoff (general partner of Boulder Ventures, who has invested in several Boulder storage companies over the years including McData and LeftHand Networks).  Jim Linfield (partner at Cooley Godward, the founder of Cooley’s Colorado office, and counsel for a number of Colorado storage companies) will be anchoring the panel.

The third panel is Innovation and The Architecture of Geography and will explore broader lessons and insight concerning the role of place, regional architecture, and innovation.

Once again, my friends at Silicon Flatiron have put together a rich conference on a very important and timely topic.  It’s taking place at the Wittemyer Courtroom, Wolf Law Building, University of Colorado on Thursday, March 18, 2010 from 2:30PM to 6:30PM.  Register now and come join us.


The Apple patent suit against HTC really riled up my friend Sawyer.  I wasn’t planning on posting another missive from him until next week, but I thought this was particularly timely given the public statement from Apple, including a specific quote from Steve Jobs about its competitors stealing their patented inventions.  Sawyer explains why this is simply inflammatory rhetoric and actually has no basis in fact or the way patent law works.  He also makes the case – using this as an example – that patents stifle, rather than promote innovation.  Enjoy.  And, after you read this, if you want a little “doesn’t this sound familiar” action, take a look at the Wikipedia page on Apple Computer v. Microsoft Computer with regard to the GUI – with a little Xerox tossed in as a side dish.  And now, my friend Sawyer.

The other day Apple announced that it is suing HTC for infringing several patents related to the iPhone, including patents on the UI, i.e., software patents.  As part of the press release, Steve Jobs said the following (emphasis mine):

“We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it. We think competition is healthy, but competitors should create their own original technology, not steal ours.”

The rhetoric of "stealing" and "theft" surrounding accusations of patent infringement is bothersome, both because substantive patent law doesn’t embrace the concept of theft, and because most patent cases don’t involve credible allegations of actual theft or even copying. 

Plaintiffs try to use "theft" to inject a moral element into patent suits, but there is no substantive moral element in patent law.  The point of a patent is to grant a monopoly in exchange for public disclosure, and patentees want people to use the ideas (in exchange for license fees), otherwise the public disclosure aspect is pointless.  The Constitution doesn’t authorize patent or copyright law for moral reasons either:  “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries…” 

The only doctrine in patent law that shades into morality is willful infringement.  The shifting law on willful infringement will be the subject of another post, but in any case, willfulness isn’t a morality doctrine; willful infringers aren’t bad people, they are just people who decided to continue possibly infringing because they didn’t think they infringed, thought the suit was frivolous, or thought they would lose more money by stopping, at least in the short term.  The doctrine is set up to penalize people who recklessly infringe by potentially trebling damages, and so acts as an incentive to settle suits and pay licensing fees.  This isn’t a moral calculus, it’s a utilitarian one.

Willfulness, however, acts as the main vehicle for plaintiffs to inject moral rhetoric and copying allegations into a patent suit.  “Copying” in a patent law sense means that an infringer either literally read the patent and copied what the claims said wholesale, or saw a product embodying the patent and copied the patented aspect of it.  Copying in patent law does not mean “theft.”  Theft of secret ideas is actionable under trade secret law, and I know of very few cases pairing the two.  Literal copying is often actionable under copyright law as well.  Isn’t it the case though that patentees want people to copy?  Doesn’t copying mean that their ideas are spreading and being used for follow-on innovation, which are good things?  The issue if anything is proper compensation, not the act of copying itself.

Unsurprisingly, we don’t usually even get into copying as a consideration.  A paper by Mark Lemley and a good blog post titled Patent defendants aren’t copycats shows that the vast majority of patent cases don’t involve an assertion of copying (and we’ll have to see if the Apple case does).  Putting in place an independent invention defense to infringement, as suggested recently by Brad Burnham at Union Square Ventures, would potentially wipe out 90% of patent cases. 

Setting all of that aside, in my experience, when plaintiffs do allege copying, particularly in software cases, the allegations are uniformly flimsy and bogus litigation tactics aimed at getting “black hat” stories about defendants told to juries.  And it’s a great tactic because juries are people, and regardless of the merits, they like to stick it to the bad guys, especially so where the merits are boring patent law issues that no one understands anyway.

Now we have one of the biggest and most innovative companies out there, Apple, trying to sue one of its competitors out of the market with patents, and using the false rhetoric of theft to justify the suit.  This underscores that the patent problem isn’t just "trolls" versus "big companies," it’s big companies using patents to sue others in the same market into oblivion, cutting off competition and destroying innovation.  Imagine, if HTC weren’t making great Android phones to compete with the iPhone, would Apple be incentivized to significantly improve its products?  Would we have no iPhone if patents didn’t exist?  I think it’s fairly obvious that in the absence of patents, we would have more competition and more innovation here, not less.

In any case, the takeaway for reform advocates is that we need to shift the rhetorical frame in discussions around patents from the moralizing of "stealing" and "theft" to what the issue actually is, a dry utilitarian calculus about what outcomes are better for innovation and competition.  When we think about the issues in that frame, it sort of takes the wind of out of Steve Jobs’ sails, doesn’t it?


I saw a tweet today that said “The doubly-linked list, a structure I studied thirty years ago, has recently been patented.”  After giggling at the absurdity of the idea, I went and at a patent dated 4/11/06 that appears to be for the doubly-linked list.  The prior art was extremely thin, only went back to 1995, and didn’t mention that entire computer languages have been created around the list as a core data structure.  One of my first Pascal programming exercises in high school (in 1981 – on an Apple II using USDC Pascal) was to write a series of operations on lists, including both linked and doubly-linked lists (I always thought it was funny they were called “doubly-linked” instead of “double-linked” lists.)  Anyone who ever graduated from MIT and took 6.001 learned to love all varieties of the linked list, including the doubly-linked one.  That was 1984 for me by the way.

Ironically, Wikipedia had great entries – with source code no less – about both linked lists and doubly-linked lists.  The linked list history goes back to 2001, well before the patent was filed.  My understanding is that patent examiners aren’t allowed to use Wikipedia – I’m meeting with some PTO folks on Friday and I’m going to ask them if this is fact or fiction.  Regardless, this patent is another example of how ridiculous the situation has become.


My friend Sawyer is back with another post in his series of talking about software patent issues.  As I mentioned before, Sawyer is a real person named after our intrepid friend in LOST (I haven’t seen it this week – no spoilers please) who has agreed to help us navigate the parallel universe known as software patent land.  I’m channeling Sawyer’s points of view as a public service announcement since he’s uncomfortable being named publicly – these are his words, not mine.  Today’s post is on the famed “Eastern District of Texas” (EDTX), one of the most popular places in the United States for patent litigation.

In the past several years, the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) has become one of the premier venues for patent litigation, along with NDCAL, CDCAL, DDEL, and WDWIS. Although the dockets are packed now, when the trend first started, plaintiffs could anticipate trials in short order, perhaps 12 to 18 months, and plaintiff-friendly juries.  There is also a basic sense of unfairness that defendants, rightly, feel when they have nothing or almost nothing to do with the district and yet get hauled down to court there, but the ability of plaintiffs to do that is a more fundamental flaw in the Supreme Court’s personal jurisdiction jurisprudence that is best left for another discussion.

There are a lot of stories told about EDTX and how it became a big spot for patent litigation. I won’t name any names here because EDTX lawyers have a tendency to sue anyone who says anything that could be portrayed in a negative light (see, e.g., the Troll Tracker defamation suit.) The basic story I’ve heard though, is this: EDTX was well-known as district with plaintiff-friendly juries after a raft of tort litigation where juries handed down large judgments. The judges and practitioners in area, seeing the coming wave of patent litigation, got together and decided to retool the district for being “patent-friendly.” This mainly involved adopting rules to streamline patent cases, similar to NDCAL, so that plaintiffs would get to juries faster. It’s important to note that this isn’t per se a bad or unethical thing – lots of federal districts are known as “rocket dockets” for one kind of case or another because of concerted efforts to attract and streamline litigation of certain types of cases.

The adoption of those patent local rules, along with a general unwillingness of the courts to throw cases out before trial on what’s called “summary judgment,” lead us to where we are today. Another thing to note, which is changing due to recent appellate decisions, is that EDTX courts have been very unwilling to transfer cases out to other venues. The Fifth Circuit and Federal Circuit have issued an unusually high number of reversals of EDTX decisions not to transfer, and the message seems to be taking and moderating both the desire to keep cases and any “pro-plaintiff” bias one could see.

These days, EDTX actually isn’t so bad for defendants. They win a significant number of cases, primarily because defense counsel has figured out how to navigate the courts, how to wear the “white hat” with the judges, and how to appeal to the juries down there. Still, the data show that when plaintiffs win in EDTX, they tend to win bigger than in any other court; and, when certain defendants develop “bad” reputations with the court or with juries, they get hit with big judgments repeatedly.

It’s also appears that EDTX has made a concerted effort to be “patent friendly,” and that the concomitant economic impact on the area, particularly in Tyler and Marshall, Texas, has been significant. From observation, EDTX is also where most of the software NPE/troll cases are filed these days because it’s still the fastest and most friendly docket for those cases.

That said, blaming EDTX won’t solve the underlying problem of patents and the patent system, especially in software. If there was no EDTX, another district would crop up to attract the big-ticket software patent suits, especially the NPE/troll cases. As long as the expected value of an NPE suit is positive, plaintiffs will find friendly places to file, and districts will make themselves friendly to those suits to stay busy, attract the economic windfall, and generally stay relevant. Don’t get me wrong, venue is a significant issue and has a big impact on the outcome of cases, but focusing reform and publicity efforts on grumbling about the courts won’t get us anywhere. The real problems are more fundamental to how people get patents, what is patentable, what the patents themselves look like, and how the legal system allows them to be used; focusing on the mechanics of where suits are filed is a distraction from the real issues that are bleeding our most innovative technology sectors and slowing down technological progress.


Remember rock / paper / scissors?  It’s a beautiful kids game that unlike tic-tac-toe regularly results in a winner.  Paper always beats rock.  Rock always beats scissors.  Scissors always beats paper.  But what happens when you only have two – say “software” and “network”.

Whenever I’m at a Silicon Flatirons event, I always get into an argument with someone from the telecom world about “what the Internet is.”  Most of the time I try to listen patiently for about 30 seconds as the telecom person explains to me how without them there would be no Internet and the applications that exist are merely “traffic” on “their network.”  They then try to tell me crazy things like “no one will ever need more than 100 Mbps” and say snarky things like “who knows, maybe Google will spend more on their 1 Gbps buildout then they did on the 700 MHz spectrum.”  I try to remind them that when I was 13 someone told me “you’ll never need more than 48k of RAM” and then again when I was 18 someone told me “you’ll never need a hard drive bigger than 10MB".”  Oh, the things people say in the throws of competitive pressure.  Innovation?  Who needs innovation.  Let’s take a big helping of regulation instead.

As someone who has been involved in creating software in one form or another for the past 25 years, I know I’m biased.  I happily live in my little parallel software universe, generate huge amounts of data that travels over these complex networks, and pay a lot of money each month for the privilege.  If you add up all of my bills – Comcast in multiple houses, a Qwest T1 to my house just outside of Boulder (since Comcast doesn’t get there), a Verizon MiFi, AT&T for my iPhone, Tmobile for Amy’s Dash, Verizon for a Droid we don’t use, lots of connectivity to my office, and probably some other stuff I don’t even know about, it’s a big number.  Oh, and that doesn’t even count all the connectively that the companies I invest in use.  You’d think – for all this – the network would be the driver of my behavior.

But notice the different providers above.  Comcast.  Verizon,  AT&T, and Tmobile.  I know my friends at Sprint must feel left out – I’ll have to figure how to get something on the Now Network.  Oh yeah, I’ve got DirectTV in one location (the one with the T1) because of – er – no Comcast to my house.  These companies are all household names for me because they spend ridiculous amounts of money on advertising – not because I love them.  Do you love any of them?

I had an interesting experience in New Orleans over the weekend.  After a day, I turned to Amy and said “have you noticed that almost everyone is walking around with an iPhone?”  I was amazed by the incredible the penetration of the iPhone.  I followed this up with “I wonder what they are all doing since I can’t get a signal on this thing worth a shit.”  Then, during the marathon on Sunday, I noticed that the vast majority of runners who had a device had one of three devices: (1) A Garmin GPS watch, (2) an iPhone, or (3) an iPod.  That was it.  Every now and then someone had a different phone.  But the number of runners with iPhone’s was remarkable.

I can assure you there weren’t using the phone for the network.  It’s pretty funny to watch someone at mile 15 of a marathon on the phone saying “Hello – can you hear me?  Damnit – fucking AT&T.”  Yes – I heard that once.  During mile 15.

I predict all those iPhones were out there because of the software, not the network.


As of today’s announcement that Ted Wang at Fenwick & West has collaborated with a group of bay area early stage VC’s and angel investors to create the Series Seed Documents we now have – at my count – four different standardized seed financing documents floating around the industry.

Many smart and capable people have either worked on these various docs on signed on as supporters.  However, until there is one standardized set of documents that everyone – especially the various law firms agree on – I don’t expect there to really be a standardized set of seed financing documents.  I wrote about this in my post The Challenge of The Ideal First Round Term Sheet.

Rather than whine about it, after reading the PEHub article Marc Andreessen on “Series Seed Documents,” and Why VCs Should Start Using Them I’ve decided to try to get a handful of lawyers in a room and try to come out with one set of documents.  This might be a futile effort, which will prove the point that it’s impossible to create one standard set of documents.  But – I’m an optimist, so I’m going to plan for a good outcome.

I’ll proactively reaching out to the appropriate folks at Cooley, WSGR, and Fenwick & West to organize a one day session, with laptops, somewhere in the bay area.  I’ll include a handful of early stage investors (both VCs and angels) in this effort.  My goal will be to finish the day with a truly standardized set of seed documents that all of the firms agree to use.  Then we’ll open source these and evangelize them across the startup world, at least in the US.

If you are an attorney at a major national or regional law firm that works with startup companies, please email me if you are interested in participating.  If you are a VC or angel investor that supports this effort – same drill (email me).  Let’s end this madness (which I’ve been dealing with for 16 years and an angel and VC investor) once and for all – the entrepreneurs who we work with deserve better from us.


Marathon #15 is in the bag – I finished the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Mardi Gras Marathon in a time of 05:15:05 yesterday.  Here’s a video of me crossing the finishing line.

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It was a beautiful day for a marathon – the temperature was 50 degrees and the sky was clear.  There were about 18,000 runners (most for the half marathon) and like most Rock ‘n’ Roll races it was extremely well organized.

This was the inaugural  Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in New Orleans.  The course was great – it was flat, covered a lot of the city, and had some nice long stretches around City Park.  The only downer was there were very few spectators on the course.  Even with all the well known New Orleans spirit they haven’t figured out how to show up in force for an early Sunday morning marathon. 

I was happy with my performance, especially given the symmetry of my finishing time (#15: 05:15:05).  I was a little undertrained and, since this was my first marathon in a year, I didn’t expect to break five hours.  I used an 8:2 run:walk pattern (eight minutes running; two minutes walking) as I’ve been training that way to build up strength in the second half of the marathon.  It definitely paid off as I felt fine through 22 miles.  I never really hit the wall, but I did run out of gas at about 22 and shifted into “one foot in front of the other” mode.

My only scary moment was a fall at about mile 16.  I was stuck with a group of noisy people including a guy wearing headphones that would shouted random things every few minutes.  He graciously thanked every policeman on the course and would follow it up with things like “wake up New Orleans” or “hey hey runners”.  At some point a woman wearing a see through shirt fell in with him and he was screaming and pointing at her, which was a rallying cry for the few male spectators on the side of the course.  I was thinking "all types show up for these things” when I tripped over something and hit the deck.  Quick system check – burning hands and a little blood but no issues on my legs or back.  I got up and put in a quick ten minute mile to put some distance between me and the chaos.  I fortunately never saw them again on the run.

I had three fun company moments (for companies I’m an investor in) during the weekend: Impinj, Zynga, and Lijit.  The race system used Impinj RFID chips, I saw Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga interviewed on Bloomberg yesterday, and this morning I noticed that Lijit is the search engine for the marathon site.

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