I’ve done a number of video interviews lately. This seems to be the norm for a live event today. I start with a short one from when I was in Adelaide, then a longer one from Sydney, and wrap it up with what is one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done – this time in Minneapolis with my partner Seth.
Every few years I update the look and feel of my blog. This year is a significant upgrade, both on look and feel as well as the entire back end infrastructure.
In the past six months, I’ve started to notice complexity creep into everything in our world. While design is still front and center for many developers and entrepreneurs, I’ve gotten tired of the overwhelming UIs, confusing UXs, and immense complexity under the hood. It’s kind of like a calendar that just keeps getting stuff added to it – all of a sudden you are busy for all of your waking hours with meetings, and have no time to really get any work done.
We took a completely bottoms up approach this time and started from scratch. We tossed everything out and rebuilt everything – the infrastructure, the blog, and the design – from the ground up.
A thing you probably won’t notice, but is the starting point, is that we’ve moved feld.com to Pantheon. We are investors and love the company. The only thing you should notice is lightning fast response all the time, regardless of traffic load. If you ever notice anything different, please tell me.
Next, we approached the design from a minimalist perspective, which is coming back into vogue in a lot of places. My blog was starting to feel like a Geocities site to me, with all kinds of additional crap on it beyond my writing, and I decided I just wanted it to focus on my writing and my community in the comments. I copied Fred Wilson in this regard as he made this shift a while ago. After looking at many popular blogs, I kept coming back to his approach.
We’ve tried to do this in a way that keeps the writing front and center but still has easy access to other things on feld.com. On the left is site specific stuff, such as additional feld.com content (About, Investments, and Marathons), clear discovery (Search, Categories, and Tags). On the right is post specific actions (Comments, Category for the Post, Tags for the Post, and Sharing options.)
If you want to subscribe to anything or follow me anywhere, that’s on the top right.
We’ve also rebuilt the data underlying things from scratch. We’ve gotten rid of a ton of plug-ins that either weren’t being used or didn’t add anything (other than slowing the site down). We worked hard on a site that could be viewed on any platform, regardless of browser or mobile device. And we’ve tried to keep the principle of clean, minimal, and readable – with the focus on the content – throughout.
I’m sure there are many, many things we could improve. As I roll into 2015, we are going to finalize this theme with your feedback, and then apply it to all the other active sites in our universe, especially StartupRev.com which desperately needs an overhaul.
So – comment with any feedback you have – good, bad, and other. Constructive or flamey. In the comments, or via email to me. And, if we blew it, we’ll keep iterating.
I got asked today for a picture of the four founders of Techstars together (me, David Cohen, David Brown, and Jared Polis.) I did a search and came up with a few, but also stumbled upon this beauty. This is the original promotion video for the first Techstars program, filmed at the end of 2006 and apparently uploaded to Youtube on January 14, 2007.
Following are my comments on the video.
- Look how young David Cohen looks.
- Notice all the excellent red and white fonts.
- Danny Newman needs a haircut.
- Jared Polis wasn’t yet a congressman.
- Our Donkey Kong machine worked.
- Foundry Group wasn’t yet started.
- Our office (and the film) was done in our old office in Superior.
- I hadn’t started wearing Robert Graham shirts yet.
- My Treadputer v1.0 was up and running.
- David Brown looks exactly like he does today.
- We didn’t have the .com domain yet.
It used to be hard to find historical artifacts like this. They lived in an attic or a basement and were covered by dust. The web is just amazing.
One of the super cool things about self publishing is that it’s really easy to make updates and release a new version. I released – with HyperInk‘s help – the first version of Burning Entrepreneur on April 11th.
Last week we released v2.0. We’ve fixed typos, clarified a few things, added tweets and comments to the body text, and added a few more chapters. We also updated the title to simply “Burning Entrepreneur” although the subtitle “How to Luanch, Fund, and Set Your Startup on Fire” is still around.
I’ve gotten plenty of positive feedback on this book and I’m excited about the updated version. If you haven’t read it yet, go grab a copy and tell me what you think. And – if you’ve read it – toss up a review on Amazon if you feel like it as every one of them helps.
Last spring Brad Bernthal and Jill Van Matre turned the tables on me and interviewed me for CU’s Entrepreneurs Unplugged series. Normally I’m the interviewer (with one of Bernthal or Jill) – this time I was the interviewee. We went on for about 90 minutes at which point Bernthal asked me if I’d come back for a part 2 in the fall to cover a bunch of stuff he wanted to get to that we hadn’t yet talked about.
Part 2 is happening on Monday night at CU in ATLAS Room 100 from 6:30 – 7:30 pm (or maybe longer if they can’t get me to shut up.) Admission is free but please register if you are going to attend.
I was able to dig up two of the segments on from part 1 that Larry Nelson of w3w3.com recorded. I also found a nice summary of the interview. I know Bernthal and Jill will have plenty of new, juicy questions for me so come join us if you are around and interested.
As you may have noticed, I’ve got a new blog design, as do my partners Jason Mendelson, Ryan McIntyre, and Seth Levine. Every year or so I get bored of my blog design and we go through a nice little upgrade. Our good friends at Slice of Lime do all the design work and Ross (our IT guy) wrangles everything.
We’re still changing some stuff, but if you have any suggestions or notice any bugs, please leave comments so I can tune things up.
Steve Bell of Startup Trek came to Boulder about a month ago and did an interview with a bunch of Boulder people, including me. Following is part one (12 minutes) of the interview where I talk some about my history, my first company Feld Technologies, and the Feld Technologies’ motto (“we suck less.”)
I also spend some time talking about how I first learned how to do deals, acquire companies, and make angel investments. You get to learn how I met Fred Wilson, Rich Levandov, and Jerry Colonna. And, as a special bonus, you get to see a reasonably tired version of my avatar sitting in one of the chairs in my office.