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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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Agloves on Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals

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The new deal on Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals is up and is for Agloves.

As winter approaches, we all need gloves that we can wear and operate our iPhones while walking down the street.  Agloves are infused with silver, which allow them to work with any touchscreen device.  No more freezing my fingers as I check email outside in the winter.

Agloves

The deal which runs through the end of the day of Friday is for $9, or half off the retail price (which I happily paid several weeks ago.)

I’ve got a couple more great deals queued up but am looking for more – email me if you have something to talk about.  And – if you want your own daily deal site, just tell me and I’ll put you in touch with my friends at Deal Co-op (a TechStars Seattle company.)

It’s Time To Reinvent The Signature Page

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Last night I printed, signed, scanned, and emailed two signature pages.  As is my custom of not keeping anything around, I tore up and tossed the sig pages and then deleted the files.  This morning I woke up to an email saying “We didn’t get your signature pages.  Can you please send them.”  I just went through the same print, sign, scan, and email process again.

This is so profoundly stupid.  I sent a note yesterday afternoon in reply to the email thread asking if I was all set to go that said “I’m all set to go.”  A bunch of lawyers were on the email thread (mine and the company’s.)  We are wiring the money today.  Now they have some pretty scanned sig pages also.

There has got to be a better way.  Over the last decade, there have been lots of “electronic signature” companies pop up.  None have seemed to take root in the corporate world.  In the past year, I sold a house and bought a house.  In both cases, there was some goofy online thing that I signed with my mouse (my signature looked like a messy “X”) for the offers (to make / accept) but I still had to go to the title company and sit and sign 37 documents to close.  Every time I go to the grocery store I swipe my credit card through a little electronic checkout machine and when it’s time to sign, I put a big “X” on the sig line.

When I think about the number of places my actual signature is at this point, it’s a pretty useless mark.  But for some reason it’s still important in the legal closing process.  This now seems more like a tradition, instead of a useful thing.

While I’m not interested in funding something in this arena (it’s outside our focus), it seems like there’s finally an opportunity to solve for this, at least in the corporate world.  I’m not talking about biometrics or retina scanning – just a valid electronic signature that becomes a standard.  Maybe someday.  Wouldn’t it be cool if they lawyers took this on and tried to solve it?

HP Buys LeftHand Networks for $360 Million

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Congrats to the everyone involved in LeftHand Networks – it was announced today that HP is buying them for $360 Million in cash.  LeftHand was born and raised in Boulder and is a large company (and acquisition) for this region.  HP is clearly in a buying mood having just completed their acquisition of EDS a few weeks ago.

Brief Thoughts On How The IBM Acquisition Machine Works

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The NY Times has a great short article up titled The I.B.M. Acquisition Machine: A Seller’s PerspectiveIt has several quotes from Pierre Haren, the co-founder of CEO of Ilog which IBM acquired on Monday for $340 million.

I’ve been involved in the sale of two companies to IBM.  While a brief article, the comments Haren makes ring 100% true with my experience.

Avoiding the Shareholder Rep Problem

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My partner, Jason Mendelson, had a post yesterday on AskTheVC about our view on the problem of figuring out who will have to serve as the shareholder rep following the closing of M&A deals.  For anyone who doesn’t know what this shareholder rep issue is, Jason does a good job of briefly explaining it. 

We’re pretty much done serving as the rep on these transactions.  It’s been a problem for us for years, but we’re now working with and advising a company called Shareholder Representative Services that professionally manages the post-closing process so that we no longer have to get stuck with this job.  We also get better information and results when SRS is our rep than when one of the other stockholders takes the job.

See Jason’s post more background on what this shareholder rep issue is and why we try hard to avoid it.

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