It’s that time of year again where we like to shop at our portfolio companies.
If you want even more gift options, Techstars also has an awesome gift guide.
If you have an office in Denver, just five miles away from you is a food bank operating out of a warehouse month to month just so it can help anyone who comes through their doors.
Community Ministry of Southwest Denver has provided food, children’s clothing, school supplies, energy assistance, food boxes, and holiday gifts for young children for over fifty years. Nice.
But, the building and land that Community Ministry has leased for decades is up for sale.
To avoid losing their location, they are raising $800,000 which would cover the cost of the building, parking lot, closing costs, and some much-needed renovations.
They are a little over $600,000 on their way to $800,000 of their fundraising campaign. Every bit helps, so instead of buying a coffee at Starbucks (or your favorite coffee shop) today, consider making a donation to them. Any amount helps.
I love origin stories.
David Brown, Techstars CEO and co-founder, just updated his and published a new edition of No Vision All Drive. It’s the story of Pinpoint Technologies, his first company with David Cohen, one of the other co-founders of Techstars.
As an origin story, it’s a detailed autobiography of what David learned from the experience of his first company. In this edition, he’s added some linkages into Techstars, and how his learning around entrepreneurship and leadership has evolved since the experience of Pinpoint.
I’ve read the book three times (for each edition – the self-published 1st edition, the FG Press 2nd edition, and the Techstars Press 3rd edition) and I learned lots about David Brown – and David Cohen – each time. In addition to plenty of fun little anecdotes, my current experience with the David(s) nicely intertwined with what I was reading, as I was able to time travel back to them during their formative entrepreneurial experience.
No Vision All Drive is particularly fun for me since the time frame overlapped with my first company – Feld Technologies. There are great overlaps like incorporating with The Company Corporation (for $99), remembering the joy of Btrieve, struggling with Microsoft Access with significant simultaneous users and endlessly rebuilding the database (Rome was lost for a simple reindex), and working through the endless issues around growth for a self-funded business.
As a bonus, I finished Sweating Bullets: Notes about Inventing PowerPoint by Robert Gaskins. This was the origin story of PowerPoint and Forethought, the first acquisition Microsoft ever made. It’s long, but as Gaskins rolled through the Forethought history in the mid-1980s and then his time at Microsoft from 1987 – 1993, I was able to once again time travel back to Feld Technologies, which was an independent company from 1987 to 1993 (when we were acquired by Sage Alerting Systems, which became AmeriData Technologies.)
While I’m not inspired to write the Feld Technologies origin story at this point, it’s a lot of fun to remember it, against the backdrop of what others were doing at the time. And, I know David Brown a little bit better today than I did yesterday.
Simply begin again.
I turned 54 today. I’ve always marked the start of a new year on my birthday rather than January 1st. As part of my birthday tradition, I write myself a letter about my upcoming year. I started posting these publicly when I was 51 and they serve as a nice reminder of where I was at v52 (focusing on what I want to do ) and v53 (exploring what I want to be).
I established a daily meditation practice during v53 after many years of fake meditation and several years of reactional meditation. I used to believe that my running was equivalent to meditation, which I’ve since discovered was completely incorrect. During v48, I learned how to meditate, but ended up only doing it when I was stressed, anxious, or depressed. After 192 days in a row in v53, meditation is now a real daily practice, first thing in the morning, every morning.
For v54, I’ve decided to have no goals. Sure, I’ll do a lot of things. I expect that I’ll accomplish plenty and fail at some while declaring victory on others. However, I’m not going to focus on outcomes.
Instead, I’m embracing the moment. Every moment. Simply being in the moment. Being present with whomever I’m with or whatever I’m doing. But that’s not a goal. I know I’ll drift – regularly – just like my mind does when I meditate.
And that’s fine because I’ve learned that when my mind drifts during meditation, I acknowledge it and simply begin again by bringing my focus back to the breath.
As I embark on my mid-50s, my mantra is Simply Begin Again.