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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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Announcing the Defrag Conference

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Last year, Eric Norlin sent me an email in response to my post titled Intelligence Amplification which was an attempt to put a label on the theme for companies I’d been investing in that address the Trust / Attention / Relevance problem.  Eric and I had crossed paths a few times around his involvement in the creation of Digital ID World.  He proposed that we put together a conference that addresses this broad theme and I jumped at the idea to help.

The result is the Defrag Conference which we are having on November 5th and 6th at the Hyatt Regency in Denver.  Defrag is the first conference focused solely on the internet-based tools that transform loads of information into layers of knowledge and is about the space that lives in between knowledge management, “social” networking, collaboration and business intelligence.  We’ve titled this theme internally “the Implicit Web” and have been spending a lot of time in and around it.  The FAQ has a little more background on how it came to be and what we are trying to accomplish.

We’ve got a great advisory board started including Paul Kedrosky, Andrew McAfee, Clay Shirky, and Jerry Michalski.  The Defrag Blog is up as we view the conference as self-referential – we are working with people interested in this problem to help define what the conference will actually be.  We are currently taking applications for speakers and encourage you to apply if you are interested.  We got a nice list of sponsors started – if you have interest in participating as a sponsor just fill out this form and Eric will get in touch with you. 

Of course, if you are interested in attending the conference, we’ll have registration up shortly.  In the mean time you can fill out the form on the pre-registration page

Someone asked me recently “why would a VC – especially one who hates going to conferences – ever get involved in creating a conference?”  I smirked and suggested that my simple goal is “to learn from the people really deep in the idea who are doing the real work.”  I’ve got lots of different ways to do this, but there were no conferences out there that were squarely addressing this area in a way that was appealing to me so I figured I just help create one.

Someone asked Eric a similar question – namely “why isn’t Defrag in the Bay Area” and his response was “aren’t there enough conferences there?  Let’s all go to Colorado and work on something new!” Come join us, learn, and play a little somewhere different with a crowd that might just be a little unique.

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