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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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Founders 2010 #3: Be Fearless. Today.

Comments (11)

One of my often quoted lines is that “fear is a useless emotion in business.”  Sure – self doubt enters the picture on occasion and there are plenty of dark days, but why be fearful of anything?  There’s just no value in it.  Watch as some of the TechStars founders confront some new and exciting types of fear that includes some of Boulder’s majestic rocks. 

"Be Fearless. Today." The Founders | TechStars Boulder | Episode 3 from TechStars on Vimeo.

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  • http://www.matthewcputman.com Matthew Putman

    I really like the idea of rock climbing as ananalogy, and as a good idea of real time risk. I think that a start-up is half of the time like those moments where you can only contemplate the next step or you will fall, while the other time needs to be a thoughtful walk.

  • http://twitter.com/odower @odower

    I stumbled on this blog and what a good find. Thanks! I also like BE STUPID…maybe comes after being fearless. Nonetheless, they both enable creativity and the ability to take chances that make life interesting.
    Be stupid video: http://www.odower.com/2010/03/06/be-stupid/

  • http://www.brekiri.com/blog Greg4

    I haven't watched a TechStars video in a while, but this one was excellent, both in terms of the theme and production. A+

    The "don't let fear run your brain" theme is a great one, but "fear is useless" is kind of wrong, isn't it? As in the rest of life, fear is a great signal to pay attention. Maybe you need to get smarter on a topic, maybe you need to delegate, or maybe you just need to figure out why you're scared and spend some time addressing that issue. It's a crappy analogy, but the BP engineers obviously should have been more afraid of a well problem. You can't shut down because of fear, but you can't just ignore it either.

    • http://www.matthewcputman.com Matthew Putman

      I agree Greg. Even more existentially, fear can either paralyze you, or push you towards action. Fear that life is short for instance. Or fear that you are not living up to your potential. It would be nice in a way if fear didn't enter into it, but since it is natural, it might be better to acknowledge it and confront it. The business or science should be stronger.

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

      I’m not sure fear motivated anything in the case of BP.  As the information surfaces (along with the oil), there were apparently plenty of employees / well workers who were fearful (or afraid) of what might happen.  However, that didn’t cause any action.

      In my experience, fear paralyzes people rather than motivate them to action.  Ideally it would be a signal like you describe that had the effect of catalyzing someone to do something. 

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