Brad Feld

Tag: do more faster

I think the best way for entrepreneurs – especially first time or aspiring ones – to learn is to hear stories from other entrepreneurs.  That was one of the motivations for David Cohen and I to write Do More Faster.

There are two such stories in Westword Denver this week.  Both are companies I’ve been involved in that have gone through the TechStars program in Boulder.  And both are rich in content.

The first one is about Next Big Sound and is titled Fueled by venture-capital funding and a love for unknown bands, can Boulder’s Next Big Sound predict the next rock star? My partner Jason Mendelson was Next Big Sound’s mentor during the TechStars Boulder 2009 program and led the investment in Next Big Sound shortly after the program ended.  In addition to the story of the origins of Next Big Sound, there is a great discussion of TechStars and how it contributes to the Boulder entrepreneurial community.  While the article is unrelated to Do More Faster, the CEO of Next Big Sound (Alex White) has several chapters in the book that address similar topics to those in the article.

The second one is about EventVue and is titled TechStars post-mortem: Could Boulder startup Next Big Sound suffer same fate as EventVue? EventVue went through the TechStars Boulder 2007 program (the inaugural year), raised an angel round (which I participated in) but never really got lift off.  The founders Rob Johnson and Josh Fraser shut the company down in February and wrote a brilliant post-mortem which was republished in this post.  Rob also contributed a chapter to Do More Faster which included this post-mortem by him and Josh along with a lot of additional commentary on what they learned.

When I ponder where / when I learn the most about entrepreneurship, it is when real entrepreneurs tell their very specific stories.  Success stories are nice, but failure stories, and all of the ups and downs that occur along the way, are the real winners.  Yesterday at Liberty NetLeaders the attendees had a treat as Mark Pincus spent an hour talking about his entrepreneurial experiences and the last night at the Boulder Esprit Awards (where David Cohen and I got an award for co-founding TechStars) there was more storytelling.  And on Monday I’m going to interview Greg Maffei and Michael Zeisser of Liberty Media for Entrepreneurs Unplugged.

I never get tired of talking to entrepreneurs.  I learn something new every time, and every story makes me a better investor.


With the release of our book “Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup“, my co-author David Cohen and I are taking the show on the road.  Next week is Palo Alto on Tuesday, Los Angeles on Thursday, and Seattle on Friday.

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In most cities, we are doing four separate events:

Pitch More Faster:  Several emerging local companies will present their companies to me and several other local VCs. They will provide direct and specific advice to each company on how to improve their pitch and/or their business.  This is an invite only event.

TechStars For An Hour: If you’re interested in learning more about TechStars or possibly applying, this is a great chance to come and learn about the program from me and David Cohen (TechStars CEO). We’ll talk about the results so far, what it’s all about, how it works, and much more. The event is also great for angel investors and venture capitalists who would like to learn more about how the TechStars program works, and how to get involved. These are open but limited attendance events – you need to pre-register on Eventbrite (links below).

Angels In The Architecture: A group of local angel investors, me, and a few angel backed entrepreneurs will discuss the role of angels investors in the VC / angel ecosystem. This is an invite only event.

Evening Entrepreneurial Meetup: We will have a party at night – venues will vary by city. These will be open events – sign up on Plancast (links below).

The tour is being sponsored by Cooley, Silicon Valley Bank, Microsoft, and Rackspace.  We’ll be holding most of the day time events at one of their offices and we deeply appreciate all of their support.  We’ll have plenty of good stuff to give away along with interesting people to meet and spend time with, including many of the people that contributed to Do More Faster.

If you are interested in attending, get sign up info via the Do More Faster Plancast, the Do More Faster Facebook page, or the Do More Faster Twitter account.

In the mean time, the sign up links for next week’s events follow.  Since space is limited, please don’t sign up unless you are planning to attend.

Palo Alto: Tuesday October 12

3:30pm – 4:30pm: TechStars For An Hour

7:00pm – 9:00pm: Do More Faster Book Tour Kick Off: Gordon Biersch Brewery

Los Angeles: Thursday October 14

3:30pm – 4:30pm: TechStars For An Hour

7:30pm – 9:00pm: Do More Faster Evening Meetup (also knows as Two Guys and a Book and Beers): The Den of Hollywood

Seattle: Friday October 15

3:30pm – 4:30pm: TechStars For An Hour

7:00pm – 9:00pm: Do More Faster Evening Meetup (aka The Easy): TechStars Seattle

Of course, if you bring a copy of the book, David and I will happily sign it.


About a year ago David Cohen and I were having a beer together talking about ways to capture all the different things we’d learned about early stage entrepreneurship from running the TechStars program.  In a moment of insanity, we decided to write a book. The result is Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup.

Over the next six months, we worked with many of the mentors and entrepreneurs that have participated in TechStars.  Our goal was to write a unique book full of useful information for any early stage entrepreneur.  Rather than give advice or simply tell an entrepreneurial success story, we decided to blend the experience of the TechStars entrepreneurs and the TechStars mentors in an organized fashion.  As a result, we ended up with seven themes (Idea and Vision, People, Working Effectively, Product, Fundraising, Legal and Structure, and Work / Life Balance) and about eighty separate lessons and stories.

We were on the verge of self-publishing it when we were introduced to a senior editor at Wiley who embraced the project and one other one that we proposed.  As a result, we ended up with a two book deal with Wiley.  When I reflect on things, getting Wiley in the mix has been awesome as they have helped us materially improve the quality of the book.

My professional career – since I was 19 – has been focused on entrepreneurship either as an entrepreneur, angel investor, or venture capitalist.  I’ve spent a lot of time since 2005 thinking about the “science of entrepreneurship” as well as the “dynamics of entrepreneurial communities”, especially as I’ve helped bring Boulder to the forefront of entrepreneurial communities in the US.  I’m extremely excited about Do More Faster and hope it lives up to my expectations.  But most of all, I’m really grateful to everyone who has participated in TechStars and has contributed to the book.

The publication date is 10/4/10 and it should be in bookstores around the US by 10/20/10.  David and I are doing a 12 city book tour starting in Palo Alto on 10/12/10 – all the info is up on the Do More Faster Plancast.  And of course, you can follow Do More Faster on Twitter or join the Do More Faster Facebook Page.

Finally, Do More Faster: TechStars Lessons to Accelerate Your Startup is available for pre-order on Amazon as of right now.  If you are interested, go grab a copy.