Brad Feld

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The 15 Second Commute

Mar 03, 2021

At 7:52, I was upstairs having coffee with Amy. It’s a new routine that we started at the beginning of Covid. Every morning we have coffee together. Long-time readers of this blog or our book Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur will recognize this as the evolution of our daily “Four Minutes in the Morning” ritual.

“Morning coffee” lasts about 30 minutes. We each make a cup of coffee in our magical Nespresso machine. Mine is simple – put a random capsule in and press the button. Amy’s is more elaborate since it involves milk, a microwave, sugar, and the Nespresso machine. We then sit together in the living room and talk about how we slept, our Whoop recovery scores, and what is to come for the day ahead. That’s the four-minute part. We then let the conversation take us wherever it goes. The last few days, we’ve talked about octopuses, the Nature Conservancy, a Zen garden we are designing, tents, the dog next door who barks hello to us, winter turning into spring, summer adventures, estate planning, friends who just had a great exit for their business, and knitting.

When I finish my first cup of coffee, I make an exaggerated “grunt.” This is a new part of the ritual that makes us both laugh. Amy loves to do acts of service, and making my second cup of coffee (decaf) during our morning coffee ritual is a daily one that makes both of us smile.

After I finish my second cup of coffee, we get up, hug for eight seconds, and then I go to the office. Which, in this case, is a 15-second commute downstairs from our living room.

This used to be a 30-minute drive from my house to my office in downtown Boulder. We’ve repurposed this 30-minute drive into our morning coffee. Not surprisingly, I enjoy our 30 minutes together a lot more than I enjoyed my 30-minute drive to the office.

So, at 7:53 this morning, I was in my office, at my desk. While I’ve worked from home part-time for 30 years, I’ve never had a continuous rhythm of this. It’s been almost a year where I’ve done this every day. My last day in an office was March 10th, 2020. My last dinner out for business was at Jaipur in Boulder with Mike Platt that night. It wasn’t really a business dinner since we talked about life and our anxiety about this new thing called Coronavirus.

While many people want to get back to an office, I don’t. I’ve found a much better rhythm. While it took a 120-nanometer virus to reinforce it for me, I embrace it.