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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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TechStars: Episode 8: Your Best Friend

Comments (19)

I hope you are enjoying the TechStars video series as much as I am.  This week’s video – Episode 8: Your Best Friend is a special one.  Early on Jeffrey Kalmikoff of Threadless has a great line which is “give me your pitch, but give it to me as if you are giving it to your best friend.”  I’ve gotten to know Jeffrey over the past year and I think he’s as brilliant as this line is, although you need to think about it for a few minutes to really understand it.

Much of the video explores the lives of Nate and Natty of Everlater.  They get punked by a couple of girls during the video (fun!), but there are some important and touching moments between each of them as well as Natty’s folks.  If you step back from it, you realize most of the video is about friendship.

Creating a company from scratch is a bitch.  I’ve done it a couple of times and participated in the creation of many other companies as an angel or VC investor.  Yesterday I was sitting with a young, first time entrepreneur who asked “what are the most important characteristics I need to have to improve my chance of being successful.”  I responded with two old saws – he needed to be intensely passionate about what he was doing and he needed to be singularly focused on creating his business.

When I watched the TechStars video later in the day, I thought about this conversation and realized I could have given his a simpler, but more abstract answer.  He needed to treat his startup the same way he’d treat “his best friend.”

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

    Glad you picked up on the title. We struggled to come up with this title, but I thought that Jeffrey's "best friend" comment was really interesting too.

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

    Great toolbar! Who did it and when did it launch?

    Also, good post. : )

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

    Aha – you noticed the toolbar.  Blog post coming soon.

  • Andreas

    Love the toolbar brad. Where did you got that from?

  • http://www.foxleymarketingsolutions.com Karl Foxley

    This is a great lesson in how to treat your business and it certainly is true. I speak to many people getting started online and they seem to treat more like a hobby than a plausible extension of their business; if you treat it like a hobby you can't complain when you only make a 'hobby' income. I like the 'friend' way of doing things!

    The toolbar is awesome and the creation of Wibiya.

    I'm going to make sure I catch up with the whole Techstars series now…

    Karl

  • Pingback: Finance Geek » Pitch me like I’m your best friend

  • Kameir

    Tried to create a trip on 'Everlater' not working … (message "Something Went Wrong').

  • Kameir

    (using 'Chrome')

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/nateabbott Nate Abbott

      Hey — saw you successfully created a trip after our email exchange — sorry about the problem in the first place, and thanks for testing out Everlater! We've just opened the site and are trying to iron out the bugs before investor day so your feedback and patience are appreciated.

      Looking forward to reading about your travels!

      Nate (from Everlater)

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

    yeah I noticed a few quirks with everlater as well using FF 3.5. But they were mostly graphical/css/html issues. I submitted a bug report for one.

    The other is when you click on the Friends tab and then select Boulder and it loads everyone you are friends wtih (by default you are friends with everyone in the system) it will not fit in the bubble and if you use the zoom to try and zoom out and see the entire list it borks the page even more. I tried using Firebug to fix the issue but I am at work right now and cant work on it. I will try and submit a possible fix for it if I get a chance =).

    I also have a few suggestions for the ui deal so I need to type that up as well.

  • http://www.intensedebate.com/people/JChauncey JChauncey

    yeah I noticed a few quirks with everlater as well using FF 3.5. But they were mostly graphical/css/html issues. I submitted a bug report for one.

    The other is when you click on the Friends tab and then select Boulder and it loads everyone you are friends wtih (by default you are friends with everyone in the system) it will not fit in the bubble and if you use the zoom to try and zoom out and see the entire list it borks the page even more. I tried using Firebug to fix the issue but I am at work right now and cant work on it. I will try and submit a possible fix for it if I get a chance =).

    I also have a few suggestions for the ui deal so I need to type that up as well.

    Otherwise, I am glad to see the techstars companies coming along so well.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/nateabbott Nate Abbott

      Thanks for the feedback — really appreciate it (continuing thread going on Get Satisfaction @ http://bit.ly/C8BoX ). See above response to @kameir — we're cranking to get the site in tip-top shape for TechStars investor day and really appreciate your feedback!

      Nate

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/nateabbott Nate Abbott

      Thanks for the feedback — really appreciate it (continuing thread going on Get Satisfaction @ http://bit.ly/C8BoX ). See above response to @kameir — we're cranking to get the site in tip-top shape for TechStars investor day and really appreciate your feedback!

      Nate

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/nateabbott Nate Abbott

      Thanks for the feedback — really appreciate it (continuing thread going on Get Satisfaction @ http://bit.ly/C8BoX ). See above response to @kameir — we're cranking to get the site in tip-top shape for TechStars investor day and really appreciate your feedback!

      Nate

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