Brad Feld

Month: June 2018

I became a Ray Dalio fan earlier this year when I read his book Principles. I went on my Ray Dalio journey, read a bunch about him on the web, and watched some of his videos and interviews.

While on vacation last week, I watched his new 30-minute cartoon adventure Principles for Success. It’s spectacular and worth 30 minutes of your life to watch and ponder.

His Episode 4: The Abyss, made me think “just another one of those” (a Dalio construct that I’ve come to love.) My abyss happened between 2001 and 2003 and, while I wasn’t alone in my mistakes as Dalio was in his, I related deeply to it.


I did a fun interview with Jeff Martin of Collective Genius as part of his LeadByChange interview series.

It’s 20 minutes on the Boulder Creek Path. We talk about Leadership, Obsession, Battlestar Galactica, Techstars, Privacy, The Wire, and a few other fun things, including whether the machines have taken over (or rather, when they took over.) Enjoy!


The idea of product/market fit has been around for a long time. And, while founder/market fit is a newer concept, it turns out to be just as important.

Recently, Beezer Clarkson at Saphirre Ventures wrote a post titled Raising A Fund? 9 Questions That Help Get You To GP/LP Fit. If you are a GP raising a fund, you should go read this post right now. In it, Beezer goes through, in depth, the top questions she recommends you ask an LP to determine GP/LP fit.

  1. What are you currently investing in?
  2. Why venture and how long have you been investing in it?
  3. How much capital do you have under management, and how much of that is invested in venture?
  4. How many venture managers are you currently allocating to? Will you be allocating to any new managers this year?
  5. What strategies and geographies are you actively investing in?
  6. What is your preferred check size and fund size?
  7. What has been your history of supporting fund managers in follow-on funds? When you have not followed on in a fund, why not?
  8. Who is on the investment committee and what is your process for allocation approvals?
  9. Outside of great returns, what are your expectations of GPs post investment?

Seriously, go read Beezer’s post.

There’s an interesting graph in the post, which shows that a typical LP is going to add less than five new managers a year to their portfolio (and, on average, only two or three.) While an LP takes a lot of meetings, they don’t do a lot of investments.

GPs – does that sound familiar?


I took Saturday off, slept a lot, and read What Made Maddy Run: The Secret Struggles and Tragic Death of an All-American Teen.

Kate Fagan has written a must-read book for every parent of a high school or college athlete.

The story of Madison Holleran is a heartbreaking one. Maddy was a star athlete in high school, in a big (five kids) happy family with two engaged parents. She played soccer and track and, after almost going to Lehigh for soccer, ended up going to Penn for track.

And, that’s when everything started to go wrong.

Maddy committed suicide a few days after returning for the second semester of her freshman year after trying, unsuccessfully, to quit the track team.

Maddy’s family gave the author, Kate Fagan, incredible access, which allowed Fagan to write a powerful book. Many different themes are explored, against the backdrop of Maddy’s development as a teenage athlete, the internal pressures of today’s teen, the struggle of entry into college and separation from home, and how depression can take hold of someone. While Maddy’s story is central to all of this, Fagan includes her own experience as a college athlete in areas, that make the writing incredibly relatable.

It’s not an easy book since you know the ending when you start it. It’s simple to fall in love with Maddy – she’s a delightful American kid. The joy in her friendships and experiences start off rich and light. You see the turn into darkness happen slowly. And, because it unfolds against the backdrop of Fagan’s analysis and intellectual exploration, it makes it more accessible.

On Sunday, I came across a full-page ad in the NY Times with Michael Phelps talking about his own depression for a new product called TalkSpace. I found a short video for it, which is below.

As a bonus, there’s a section in the book about Active Minds with some interviews with members. This is an organization for mental health in college students, which Amy and I support through our Anchor Point Foundation and that I wrote about in the post Mental Fitness, the NFL, Active Minds, and the Competitive Workplace.

If you are a parent of a teenage or college athlete, read this book. If you want to learn more about mental health and depression, read this book. And, if you want to get involved in organizations like Active Minds, just drop me an email.