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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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My Airplane Super Power

Comments (57)

I’m a big believer in super powers.  Each human has at least one super power even if they haven’t discovered it yet.

I fly on planes a lot.  While I’m looking forward to my own personal teleportation machine and that damn jetpack that I was promised in my childhood, I survive all the travel I do because of my airplane super power.  I can go to sleep immediately upon sitting down in my seat and sleep until the plane begins its final descent, regardless of the length of the flight.

While not quite as good as a teleportation machine, it’s pretty close.  I’m chronically sleep deprived because of my work and my running, so I get lots of catch up sleep on airplanes.  I also don’t notice the time passing between “start” and “end” of a flight – I just go to sleep in Boston and wake up in Denver.  Or go to sleep in Denver and wake up in Seattle.  Or go to sleep in Seattle and wake up in San Francisco.  Kind of like a teleportation machine.  But without the nasty side effect of potentially leaving body parts in Boston.

As a result of this super power, I can fly on any plane in any seat.  I usually spoil myself with first class (via an upgrade) if the flight is longer than three hours but for anything less I don’t really care one way or the other.  And I have no need for private planes since I simply sleep through the experience.

I’ve got a bunch of other super powers, but this is one of my favorites.  What’s your super power?

  • http://www.webappwednesday.com Michael R. Bernstein

    How tall are you? I'm 6'1" and can't get comfortable on a plane. It takes a transatlantic flight for me to get tired enough to sleep even fitfully.

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

      6’1” but I pretend like I’m 5”1.

      • http://www.webappwednesday.com Michael R. Bernstein

        What class do you usually fly?

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

          Probably 50% coach and 50% first (via upgrades).

  • http://www.filingwatch.com/ Roy Kaller

    Interesting that your "Airplane" post attracts advertisements for both Alaska Airlines and a radio controlled jet……

    No super powers here, but I envy yours!

  • Cookie Monster

    My super power is eating cookies! If only my super power included not getting fat… oh well, time to ride the bike to Estes Park.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Mike_Troiano Mike Troiano

    I have no cavities. Could be adamantium.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/dgcohen David G. Cohen

    i wish i could do that, but i would snore everyone to death.

  • http://www.webappwednesday.com Michael R. Bernstein

    Oh, and my superpower is Seeing The Obvious.

  • Lee

    My belly-button has a super power…. it magically creates lint. I am like a lint farm…. seriously. If people started to use lint to make make t-shirts and sweater- my belly button would be worth more than whole cotten farm!

  • http://www.pindropsoup.com Dave

    My superpower, as identified on my Google Profile, is my ability to sleep anywhere any time. I think this comes from running myown business. I particularly look forward to sleeping on planes as they are such an awful place to be awake. I slept the vast majority of my way from LAX to China – but domestic flights as well. Though I hate to give up the free drink… especially since they go to $5 at the airport.

    Sometimes I work to ensure I will be exhausted when I get on the plane – to ensure i make the most (or least?) of my time on a plane. Sometimes this backfires though – got a surprise when i found the next seat occupied by an old friend.

    You may enjoy this Louis CK bit:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jETv3NURwLc

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

    Awesome super power!  We should start a club.

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

    I can sense the presence of water.

    No lie. Ask my wife. Or by best friend. They're always baffled by that ability.

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

      Man – that's a good one. Especially if you are in the desert or a TSA agent.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/lou_paglia Lou Paglia

    Sleeping on planes until reaching their destination? That is a pretty impressive super power. Nothing worse than waking up (when you want to sleep) and realizing that you are only halfway there.

  • http://www.dealhorizon.com John Sharp

    I just came back from a 16 country trip and similar superpowers kept me (barely) sane and productive. Count me into your club, Brad,

    In out (overcrowded) future, "super-sleeping" capabilities will be much-envied.

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

    You are an official member!

  • Ted Howard

    My girlfriend's narcolepsy enables a similar super power. Hers is not limited to airplanes but it has allowed her to be unconscious for journeys to and from Nairobi, Kathmandu, and Bangkok. I, however, mainly sit lonely and bored next to her. I'm jealous.

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

    That is both awesome and annoying at the same time.

  • Wylie Nelson

    What an amazing ability. Are you a Batmanish superhero in that you require " tool belt accessories" like a curved neck pillow, noise canceling headphones etc. Or are you Superman and can apply your powers without any props?

    My superpower is the ability to pull allnighters. Wait maybe that's a curse.

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

      The only tool I use is my magic red eyemask. It's not required but I like it.

  • Dick Costolo

    I hate and envy your superpower. Mine is that i demagnetize credit cards, which is both annoying and annoying.

  • http://www.richardlawrence.info/ Richard Lawrence

    So envious of your superpower. At 6'6", I can't even get my head to touch the seat. I'd love to be able to sleep on planes.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bryce_baril8691 Bryce Baril

    My superpower is a near complete lack of risk aversion.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/bruce2096 Bruce

    me? sarcasm.

    I sometimes forget to only use my superpower for good.

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

      Sarcasm is an outstanding super power.  I’ve never been particularly effective at that one – it uses up lots and lots of energy points whenever I try.  I do – however – have a talent for recognizing it!

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/bruce2096 Bruce

        On the flip side, I have had this conversation more than once:

        "Is that sarcasm? I can't tell any more…"
        "Um, I'm not sure."

  • http://rashkovskii.com/ Yurii Rashkovskii

    Wouldn't it be nice to sleep through airport experience (lines, security, waiting for boarding…) as well? :)

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

    That would be awesome.  Unfortunately I haven’t yet mastered sleepwalking.

  • Bill Mosby

    Do you usually have a window seat, or do you get awakened by passengers trying to crawl over you to get to the aisle? A lot of people would have to make a restroom trip or two on the longer flights.

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

    I try to always get a window seat.  I get one 98% of the time.  When I don’t, I do get woken up a few times on longer flights, but my super power allows me to immediately go back to sleep.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/jenn547 jenn

    One of my superpowers is turning off streetlights as I walk by. I also fall asleep at will on airplanes, but need a superhero belt full of gadgets so it really doesn't count.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Jay_Levitt Jay Levitt

    I have the uncanny and impressive ability to, given any conversational topic, remember and sing a thematically-appropriate pop-music lyric, usually from the 1980s.

    Also: Discover new bugs that really ARE in the compiler, not my code.

  • Jon Van V.

    I'm really good at knowing where things are in my house even if I didn't put them there. I don't know if it's because I subconsciously remember where things are when I see them, or if I can unknowingly process the motivations and potential outcomes of my family members. I found a tape measure in the fridge, the cable bill in the garbage, and my daughters doll behind the toilet… and that was the first place I looked.

    I hate it when people can't find something and someone else asks "where did you last have it?" Thanks genius, your a big help.

    We not get jet packs, but maybe one day: http://www.moller.com/

  • http://karyng.typepad.com Karyn German

    I wrote a blog post about my super power. I am very jealous of yours, but I think mine has great advantage in terms of survival. http://karyng.typepad.com/soaking_in_samsara/2009

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

    I’d trade you.  I’ve got a strong immune system but it’s not a super power and when I get sick, I go down VERY hard.

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

    My super power is that I can read, write, and think software in any language, I barely even notice the specific syntax of a piece of source code any more.

  • tim

    my super power is obtaining legitimate software patents and successfully defending them against the big boys.
    ;)

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

      Eek.

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

    and how can i discover mu superpower!

  • http://twitter.com/vegor Vegor

    Be careful sir…It is a documented fact that sleeping on planes leads to Fight Clubs.

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

    I love my Fight Club.

  • Anita

    Super – Potty – Trainer

    Nuff said…

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    Sometimes I work to ensure I will be exhausted when I get on the plane – to ensure i make the most (or least wholesale baseball hats?) of my time on a plane

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  • Jonnie

    My ability is absorbing abilities. :D

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