A few weeks ago I did a long interview with Jason Calacanis on This Week In Startups. I got a bunch of positive feedback on it and thought it was one of the better long form interviews I’ve done in a while.
The other day Jason released an interview that he recently did with David Cohen, the CEO of TechStars. I listened to it earlier today – it was also excellent. I highly recommend it if you are interested in TechStars, accelerators, early stage investing, ramping your startup, and how David thinks about angel investing from his fund Bullet Time Ventures.
I always enjoy hanging out with Jason Calacanis. We first met in the mid-1990s when Jason was hanging out in NY doing Silicon Alley Reporter. I can’t remember who initially introduced us – it was probably Fred Wilson.
We covered a lot in the hour+ interview for This Week In Startups. Things like why I didn’t retire at age 30, what Amy’s ring tone is, Startup Communities, Boulder, what motivates me, the different between mentors and advisors, my biggest failures in the Internet bubble, the Foundry Group investment strategy, my angel investment strategy, why Fred Wilson and USV has been so successful, why the objective of a VC is a straightforward and how to define success as a VC, why the answer to “how is a VC fund doing” is “check back in a decade”, hiring for culture fit vs. competence., why entrepreneurs get to – and should – define their culture, why you can’t change people (and how my first marriage blew up), why investors are like D&D characters, examples of bad behavior of VCs and entrepreneurs, more stuff about VC and entrepreneur interactions, what the best board meetings are, a reminder that people lie, Lance Armstrong and ego, CEO coaches, the first person I ever fired, and a bunch of other stuff.
Jason – you are the Internet’s Charlie Rose. Well done.
I’m back in Boulder after living in Paris for the month of July and Tuscany for the month of August. I had an incredible time in both places, got a lot done, enjoyed being with Amy continuously, and had a very successful experiment of “working in some other place for a month” that I intend to repeat many times over the course of the rest of my life.
David Cohen (TechStars CEO) and his wife Jil were two of our many visitors in Tuscany. We stayed at a magical place called Casetta run by Xenia Lemos who we now consider a lifelong friend. David did a ThisWeekIn TechStars segment with me while we were together at Casetta in which you get to see the place, watch me swim laps in a pool while David interviews me about Occipital, the book Venture Deals, volatility in the stock markets and how entrepreneurs should think about it, and then some thoughts at the end of work-life balance.
I had an awesome time, but I’m glad to be back in Boulder.
It’s always fascinating to me to actually be interviewed on live radio – in this case on Wall Street Shuffle in Dallas on CNN Radio 1190 AM. I’ve never listened to talk radio but have done a lot of interviews over the years. The folks who are the publicists for Do More Faster have been lining up some radio interviews around entrepreneurship recently and I’m always happy to hop on the radio and talk about the entrepreneurial revolution in the US and entrepreneurial communities.
In this case, the interview was in a Clear Channel studio in a building in Dallas. I was in town for a day hanging out with Tech Wildcatters, a TechStars-like program in Dallas that was co-founded by my cousin Jon Feld (a successful Dallas-based entrepreneur – Hitachi acquired his company Navigator Systems several years ago.) They are in year two of their program and Tuesday was their preview of the finalists for their second class. I gave a talk to the mentors, watched some of the presentations, and did a big entrepreneurial social event that evening sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark where we gave away copied of Do More Faster to everyone that attended after they listened to me talk and answer questions for a while.
In the middle of the day, Paul Ford (the VP of Marketing at Softlayer) chauffeured me to Clear Channel and back. We had a great talk (Paul is a blast – smart, fun, and super creative.) When we arrived at 14001 North Dallas Parkway, I realized that it was the location of the office of my first real job – a company called PetCom Systems. During the summer of my senior year in high school (1983) I was their first non-founder employee (two founders – husband and wife) and proceeded to spend the next two years writing a couple of their products (PC Log – a well-log analysis system for oil exploration and PC Economics – an oil exploration economic simulation system.) I remember 14001 North Dallas Parkway really well – we were on the seventh floor and I felt like a real grownup sitting in my office coding for $10 per hour and a 5% royalty on all sales of the two products I wrote.
The radio interview was fun and I think it was pretty good – Dan Cofall did a solid interview, asked really good questions and kept things moving along nicely. It’s not embeddable, but you can listen to it here.
It’s time for Silicon Flatirons Entrepreneurs Unplugged to start up again. In case you don’t know what this is, I moderate a monthly interview series each semester with Brad Bernthal. We co-interview successful entrepreneurs – most of them local (Boulder / Denver). These interviews are done Charlie Rose style (one can dream) and generally last an hour followed by some Q&A.
On Monday 1/24/11 from 6:30 – 7:30 in ATLAS Room 100 at CU Boulder we’ll be interviewing Pete Sheinbaum. Pete is currently CEO of The Mandelbrot Project, a company that Foundry Group funded about a year ago. Prior to this, Pete was the CEO of DailyCandy from 2000 until the company was acquired by Comcast Interactive in 2008. Pete and I have become close friends over the past few years as he’s spent a lot of time working out of our offices along with engaging deeply as a mentor in TechStars.
Come join us for what I expect will be a fun and enlightening interview with a great local entrepreneur.