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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Weekend Books

Comments (6)

I’ve been in a reading slump lately – I just haven’t felt like reading.  This happens sometimes and whenever I break my "at least two books a week" rhythm, I just roll with it until it changes.

Yesterday was a three book day.  I absorbed the books into my brain as though it was meant to be.  All three were non-fiction, although only one was "challenging non-fiction" (in a good way.)

Math You Can’t Use: Patents, Copyright, and Software by Ben Klemens was superb.  This is a detailed, thoughtful, comprehensive, and (other great adjective goes here) book about why patents are completely fubared for software.  Ben has created the End Software Patents Coalition and this book could easily be its manifesto.  While I put it in the "challenging" (e.g. you have to actually read it vs. skim it) category, it’s extremely well written and a pleasure to read.  If you are in the software industry in any role and have ever encountered software patents, this is a must read.

Next up was The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss.  I met Tim at the predinner for the New New Internet conference in DC last month.  It appeared I was the only person at dinner that hadn’t heard about Tim and his revolutionary idea to have a 4-Hour Workweek which is apparently the rage in Silicon Valley right now.  Tim’s a fun character and his story is very entertaining.  I thought the first half of the book was a blast and the second half (where he gets deeper into the "how to" mechanics) became tedious and overwrought.  Tim – you need a better editor (yeah – I know, so do I.)

I usually don’t call out crummy books on this blog, but since the third one – Make The Right Choice – was part of my Saturday reading trifecta, I thought I’d mention it.  I can’t remember who recommended it to me (I would have never bought it without a recommendation) but I thought it was silly and dull.  After about 30 pages I skimmed it looking for some meat, but never found it.

  • Andrew

    three book day? You are either a really fast reader or have a lot of time on your hands. Impressive. When will you be getting your Amazon Kindle and when can I expect your review of he product? I would be shocked if you are not getting one. I think this will be as big as ipod/itunes concept.

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      Yeah – I'm a fast reader. I have a Kindle on order but it looks like I didn't get one in the first wave of them.

  • http://www.invesp.com/blog Ayat

    Hi Brad, I'm a new subscriber to your blog.

    I'd love to hear more about the Kindle once you recieve it. I was enroute to ordering one but then saw that they are completely out of stock, and probably will continue to be out of stock until the holidays roll over. It's a perfect device for avid and fast readers on the go.

  • http://www.fourhourworkweek.com Tim Ferriss

    Hi Brad. Thanks for checking out the book, and I'm sorry we didn't have more time to catch up in DC. I remember wine and seafood getting in the way… Related to editing, the second half is definitely a bit on the dense side. Curiously, I've heard some people say that they find the first half too light and the second half to be the meat of the book. Either way, the second book will hopefully be Tim Ferriss version 2.0, both stylistically and editorially speaking. After my maiden voyage as an author, I definitely feel more comfortable with the process, which should translate into increasingly better material. I hope so, anyhow :)

    Hope to see you again soon,

    Tim Ferriss

    • http://www.feld.com Brad Feld

      Tim – holler if your travels ever take you to Colorado or Alaska in the summer time. In the mean time, I'm looking for your next book (and assume that this comment was outsourced to someone in India to write.)

  • http://www.brianreeseblogs.com Brian Reese

    Hey Brad,

    I am also a new reader of your blog. I'm anxious to see if the Kindle lives up to the hype. I think it's a great concept, but may be a hard sell to folks wanting a paperback copy in their hands. I wonder how long it will take before pirated versions of the various novels appear for free. This may get interesting.

    -Brian Reese

  • Tim Ferriss

    Hi Brad. Thanks for checking out the book, and I'm sorry we didn't have more time to catch up in DC. I remember wine and seafood getting in the way… Related to editing, the second half is definitely a bit on the dense side. Curiously, I've heard some people say that they find the first half too light and the second half to be the meat of the book. Either way, the second book will hopefully be Tim Ferriss version 2.0, both stylistically and editorially speaking. After my maiden voyage as an author, I definitely feel more comfortable with the process, which should translate into increasingly better material. I hope so, anyhow :)

    Hope to see you again soon,

    Tim Ferriss

  • Andrew

    three book day? You are either a really fast reader or have a lot of time on your hands. Impressive. When will you be getting your Amazon Kindle and when can I expect your review of he product? I would be shocked if you are not getting one. I think this will be as big as ipod/itunes concept.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Yeah – I'm a fast reader. I have a Kindle on order but it looks like I didn't get one in the first wave of them.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bfeld bfeld

    Tim – holler if your travels ever take you to Colorado or Alaska in the summer time. In the mean time, I'm looking for your next book (and assume that this comment was outsourced to someone in India to write.)

  • Brian Reese

    Hey Brad,

    I am also a new reader of your blog. I'm anxious to see if the Kindle lives up to the hype. I think it's a great concept, but may be a hard sell to folks wanting a paperback copy in their hands. I wonder how long it will take before pirated versions of the various novels appear for free. This may get interesting.

    -Brian Reese

  • Ayat

    Hi Brad, I'm a new subscriber to your blog.

    I'd love to hear more about the Kindle once you recieve it. I was enroute to ordering one but then saw that they are completely out of stock, and probably will continue to be out of stock until the holidays roll over. It's a perfect device for avid and fast readers on the go.

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