Denver Startup Week, the largest startup week in the world, happens next week. In the time of Covid, it’s virtual, so I hope we attract a lot of people from all over the world.
I’m involved in a bunch of stuff this year, which I’ll list below, but I want to highlight a few specific events, including the Keynote Kickoff with Robert Smith of Vista Equity Partners who grew up in Denver. He will be doing a fireside chat with Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
There is a large effort around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Listen to a short overview with Dianne Myles.
Following are the specific events I’m involved in.
Tuesday, September 15th from 1:00-2:00pm MT – Startup Communities, Complex Systems, Wicked Problems, and the Entrepreneur’s Journey: Brad Feld (Foundry Group & Techstars), Cheryl Kellond (Apostrophe Health), and Tom Higley (X Genesis & 10.10.10) talk about “complex systems,” startup communities, and wicked problems – and what they’ve learned about how entrepreneurs succeed.
Tuesday, September 15th from 5:30pm-6:30pm MT – COVIDTECH: Colorado’s COVID Response
– Brad Feld, Innovation Response Volunteers
– Sarah Tuneberg, COVIDtech Executive Product Owner, CDPHE
– Christen Lara, COVIDtech Product Manager, CDPHE
– Kris Kiburz, IT Director for CDPHE
– Moderator: Stephanie Cain, Colorado Digital Service
+ Pre-recorded opening remarks by Governor Jared Polis
Wednesday, September 16th from 3:45 – 5:15pm MT – Energize Colorado – Helping Prepare Small Businesses for the New Economy
– Panelists: Brad Feld, Danielle Shoots, Erik Mitisek, & Marc Nager
– Moderator: Wendy Lea
Friday, September 18th from 10:00-11:00am MT – Mental Health Fireside with Brad Feld and Dave Morin: Dave is Co-Founder & Executive Chairman of Sunrise whose mission is to cure depression, reduce suffering, and understand the brain. Focused on bringing together science, technology, medicine, spirituality, philosophy, and design to revolutionize how humanity experiences all forms of depression.
Come join us for some of these, or any of the other hundreds of events at Denver Startup Week 2020.
Mark Cuban had a great line a few weeks ago at the interview I did with him and Charlie Ergen at Denver Startup Week. He said:
“I like to invest in people who reduce stress and avoid people who increase stress.”
As I was dealing with something yesterday, this reappeared in my brain but slightly modified.
“I like to be the person who reduces stress and avoid people who increase stress.”
My world is filled with people who increase stress. It’s particularly true around negotiations, but it is also prevalent in board level interactions, relationships with founders, dynamics with leaders, and everything else that has to do with companies. And this is just in my business world. When you wander into other areas, like politics, news, and even social situations, the level of stress (which often masquerades as drama) is remarkable.
One of my meditation routines from Headspace that I like is on Anxiety. Another favorite is on Stress. In both cases, the goal is not to eliminate anxiety or stress but to acknowledge it and be more effective in interacting with it.
The word I’ve anchored on in the past few years around this is equanimity. It’s at the essence of my own personal approach to things. Given the work and larger world context I live in, I’ve accepted that I can’t eliminate stress. I also can’t avoid it. And, while I can avoid people who increase stress, they will still appear and I will need to interact with them.
So, by turning an element of this around 180 degrees, I’ve been able to change my relationship with stress. I accept that stress is everywhere. I don’t try to eliminate it. However, through my behavior, I try to be the person who reduces it. I do this through my approach to all things, carrying the notion of equanimity as a core principle.
This doesn’t mean I’m perfect. I know I generate stress for others in some situations. I know I can always get better at this. Whenever I realize I’ve created stress for someone else, I try to learn from it and improve.