Brad's Books and Organizations

Books

Books

Organizations

Organizations

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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Book: Kill Decision

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If quadcopters can play a James Bond song, it’s not far fetched that tens of thousands of them could become an autonomously controlled weapon controlled by software that simulates the intelligence of weaver ants. Toss in some perfluorocarbon tracers to simulate a pheromone matrix, a bunch of guns, face recognition software, and bad guys and by page 267 about all you can say is “fuck!”

I love Daniel Suarez - I think he may be one of the best “near term science fiction writer” alive today. His previous two books – Daemon and Freedom(TM) were superb, but Kill Decision really nails it and takes you to a much more real, and completely terrifying place. He’s got new characters, better action and dialogue, deep science that is well explained, and very scary scenarios that play out in a “I can’t put this book down” way.

As I’ve said many times recently, the machines have already taken over and are just waiting patiently for us to catch up with them. I’m optimistic about the machines – they won’t emerge in a terrifying terminator future hell bent on exterminating us. Instead, we – the humans – are the problem. We’ve been trying to kill each other since the beginning of time and when the biological (in this case software based on weaver ants) merges with the machines (quadcopters with guns) bad shit happens. And once again the humans created all the bad shit.

As my first book of summer, this was a great place to start. I finished about half of it last night and Amy said I whined in the night with bad dreams, so it did it’s job. Daniel – wow – awesome.

Burning Entrepreneur v2.0

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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.

 

 

New Book: Brad Feld’s Burning Entrepreneur – How to Launch, Fund, and Set Your Start-Up On Fire!

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Inspired by my friend @FAKEGRIMLOCK, I’ve launched a new self-published book with the gang at Hyperink. It’s titled Beyond The Blog: Brad Feld’s Burning Entrepreneur – How to Launch, Fund, and Set Your Start-Up On Fire! and available digitally on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Hyperink.

For the next 48 hours, you can buy it for $2.99 from Hyperink. After that it’ll go to it’s normal price of $4.95. But, in either case you’ll get six copies for the price of one as with each purchase you get to gift five copies to any friend you want. If you are interested in my writing, I encourage you to buy a copy, give five copies to friends, and tell me what you think of it.

This is an experiment in self-publishing. Part of the way I learn is to just try stuff, see how it works, measure the results, get feedback, and iterate. I have a good understanding of how the traditional publishing industry works now that I’ve done two books with Wiley (Do More Faster and Venture Deals) and I thought working with Hyperink would be a great way to learn more about self-publishing. They approached me, told me they wanted to do an ebook based on a bunch of blog posts I’d written, and asked if I was interested. They reminded me recently that my reply was “Totally game to play – tell me what I need to do.” They hired an editor Jason Karpf who did an excellent job of curating a bunch of posts, organizing them into a coherent book, editing them so they all worked together, and putting it together in a clean, extremely readable format.

When I got the first draft and read through it, I was really psyched with which posts they had built the book around. While you can obviously find all the original posts on the web, seeing some of the best posts I’ve written about entrepreneurship organized in a cogent fashion was very satisfying. But I’ll leave it up to you to decide if it’s any good or not.

The outline of the book is on the Hyperink site. Grab a copy (or six) and tell me what you think. Feedback welcome!

Survey For Book on Startup Boards

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I’m working on a book with Mahendra Ramsinghani called “Startup Boards” where we are trying to provide clear best practices for how the boards of startup companies should work. You may recognize Mahendra’s name – he wrote The Business of Venture Capital which I reviewed recently.

This book is part of my continuous effort to dramatically improve startup company boards. I’ve been on hundreds of boards and have been to thousands (or tens of thousands) of board meetings and way too many of them are bored meetings instead of productive sessions consisting of the leaders, owners, and board members for a company.

Give us a hand and take 5 to 10 minutes to fill out our survey on Startup Boards. It can be anonymous or include you name and email if you are willing to be interviewed in more depth.

Book: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey

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My grandfather had a stroke when he was 80. He lived another three years, trapped in his mind. Whenever I saw him, I think he recognized me, but he couldn’t really speak and had trouble reacting to anything I said to him. He was clearly very frustrated, and often angry – not at me, but at his inability to communicate. I’ve always imagined that inside his mind he knew everything that was going on, but he just couldn’t get the words out.

A few months ago I watched Jill Bolte Taylor’s incredible TED talk about her stroke and wrote about it in my post I’ve Found NirvanaI thought it was stunningly awesome and bought Taylor’s book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey.

I read Taylor’s book tonight. I wish I had read this book when my grandfather had his stroke. Taylor is a brain scientist so she combines her intensely personal experience with a deep understanding of how the brain works. She presents this in a way that is easily understandable and directly ties it to her experience. While she acknowledges that there is much to learn, I found her description of what happened and her subsequent analysis to be extremely accessible.

She covers her eight year healing process with a focus on the first year. The puzzle pieces fit together brilliantly. While they are very Jill Bolte Taylor specific, she provides a superb roadmap for helping anyone who has had a stroke to heal.

On top of all of this, Taylor spends a lot of time talking about what she’s learned from this experience, how she’s changed how she thinking about life, and how she’s modified her own life view to have a much more positive experience on this planet.

If someone close to you has had a stroke, this book is a must read right now. Given the prevalence of stroke in our society, I’d encourage everyone to read it, for at some point it’s highly likely that someone close to you (including yourself) may have a stroke of some sort. I know that if it every happens again in my world, I’ll have an substantially better understanding of – and capacity for – being helpful.

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