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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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Update on Feld Gelt

Comments (41)

Wow – that was cool. Thanks for the help with the experiment in the post How To Score 30 Minutes With Me. Tons of great feedback – both in the comments, by tweets, and by email.

In case you missed the post, I decided to offer one 30 minute session with me per week for the next four weeks in exchange for 10,000 Feld Gelt. At least one person found the “Purchase Feld Gelt” option (which I’ve since disabled, at least for now) and bought 9,995 Feld Gelt’s for $10 valuing my time at around $20.01 / hour! Oops.

I was surprised that the slot for the first week of running this was purchased within eight hours (I posted last night – by the time I woke up it was gone.) It’s also super interesting to me to see the movement on the leaderboard (via the detailed BigDoor stats that publishers get to see) which just reinforces the importance of having more options here (e.g. daily leaderboard, biggest movers).

The next 30 minute session goes on sale in “about a week” which means you need to check back periodically in the BigDeal section to see if it’s active. In the mean time, activity on Feld Thoughts earns you more Feld Gelt, as does activity on my partners blogs (Jason Mendelson, Seth Levine, and Ryan McIntyre) and activity on the Foundry Group blog. Yup – the Minibar works across blog networks!

I’m still getting my mind around how to integrate Feld Gelt with Brad Feld’s Amazing Deals. I’m also contemplating getting a pet unicorn.

  • http://steamcatapult.com/ Dave Pinsen

    Why don’t you just sign up with Ohours.org and schedule “office hours” that way? From what I can tell from this post (I didn’t see the previous one), yours seems like a Rube Goldberg approach by comparison.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I saw Ohours.org at the NY Tech Meetup last week and think Nate’s created
      yet another cool thing. But my goal with this was not to do office hours
      (which I already do – I called them Community Hours – and do it via a wiki
      although I expect I’ll switch to Ohours. Instead, my goal was to understand
      the dynamics around game mechanics on a blog by trying it on my blog and
      tying it to a real world event.

      Now, if Ohours has a BigDoor Minibar, that would be cool!

      • http://steamcatapult.com/ Dave Pinsen

        OK, good luck with that. Another idea might be to offer to let supplicants pitch you while running alongside you during one of your 5 mile runs.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          The day I start thinking of the people I work with / interact with as
          “supplicants” is the day I should be immediately banished to
          the UDFj-39546284 galaxy.

          • http://steamcatapult.com/ Dave Pinsen

            That sounds a little harsh. I could see banishing you to the UDFy-38135539 galaxy, but UDFj-39546284? Come on.

  • http://twitter.com/Roebot Aaron Roe Fulkerson

    Unicorn….ahhh most fitting. I’m not sure if you caught my review of you on Honestly.com, which caused me to be banned mind you. Hint: it involved unicorn flatulence.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Crap. Or was that the wrong response?

  • http://www.activetheoryinc.com Alex Gourley

    Then you probably saw a big move when I tried to see how easy it would be game bigdoor with a few bash commands. I didn’t actually find anything major although I’ve managed to “like” you 10 times on facebook :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithlloydsmith Keith Smith

      Ha. Very creative. I’d love to hear any feedback you may have after attempting to “bash” your way to the Feld Gelt treasure trove. I’m keith at bigdoor if you want to email me directly.

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithlloydsmith Keith Smith

      Oh, and I should have mentioned that we do have a published BigDoor bashkit. Hopefully this will make your hack attempts easier in the future: https://bitbucket.org/bigdoor_jeff/bigdoor_bashkit

  • SteveD-

    Can you only sign into the Bigdoor mini-bar with Facebook? Also, I usually read your blog on my Droidx. The minibar has an annoying habit of floating in midair right in the middle of your post. Anyway, I’d love to rack up the points and get a slot because I have an entrepreneurial idea I want to discuss but I don’t use Facebook. Twitter, Yahoo, even Microsoft passport (if it’s still around) but not Facebook. Really cool idea though.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Other login / auth options coming soon.

      • SteveD-

        Cool. Also, floating minibar on the droidx is gone this morning. In fact it’s gone completely.

        • http://www.facebook.com/keithlloydsmith Keith Smith

          Thanks for the update Steve. Due to JavaScript positioning difficulties on mobile browsers, the minibar is set to not show up at all when on mobile. We’ll have a mobile friendly version before too long. Also worth noting, our core API works great on mobile and we even have an iOS SDK – so this mobile limitation is only applicable to our JavaScript libraries.

  • Nick Burke

    I find it really interesting what people will go through to get a 1/2 hour of your time. As an expert in startups, VC and entrepreneurism, what do you value your time at? (in dollars)

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Based on the purchase price of Feld Gelt, apparently only $20.01 / hour!

      I don’t actually have a real calculation – I stopped thinking about it that
      way a long time ago.

      • http://www.charliecrystle.com Charlie Crystle

        depends on what happens during the half hour.

        • http://www.feld.com bfeld

          True!

          • http://freepository.com John Minnihan

            As someone who ‘sells’ his time on a regular basis, I can tell you that it really does matter what happens either *in* the time or as a result of you having spent it on a client’s behalf.

            I’ve shared w/ Brad privately details of some situations where this rule really played out… suffice it to say that rarity is key here.

  • http://freepository.com John Minnihan

    “…contemplating getting a pet unicorn”

    I breed them. Not like that, tho, you perv.

  • http://www.durablestartup.com Denis

    Gotta give credit for ingenuity to the guy who purchased points. The option isn’t obvious so he must wanted the meeting badly to find such a shortcut.

    By the way, the option of buying points in a system that is designed to drive interaction with content is kind of counter-productive.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rodrigo.baer Rodrigo Baer

    Feld, thought your time is coming cheap… but liked the guys idea.

  • http://www.charliecrystle.com Charlie Crystle

    btw–just “unlocked yadda yadda badge”. I find it interruptive. If you create the wrong incentives (like earning points simply for posting) you’re going to get a lot of low-quality comments.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Yup – that’s something that I’m trying to figure out the right threshold on.
      So far there has been a big uptick in comments and they’ve been high
      quality, but that’s definitely one of the thresholds I’m trying to
      understand.

      • Todd

        I don’t think anyone would want that kind of negative stigma attached to a win since the prize is a face to face with you.

        I think it would be somewhat self defeating to win the prize but lose the larger game. codify that and you could probably solve one of the major issues of Gamification.

  • Bayareaeric

    Wow – what a megalomaniac-oriented idea. You would think that if a person had a compelling value proposition, you would take the meeting regardless – but to pimp out your blog by eliciting activity through the ‘prize’ of a 30 minute meeting with you simply leaves a bad taste in the mouth. My 2 cents.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Thanks for the negative feedback. One question – did you have any previous
      exposure to me or was this the first time? That’ll help me calibrate the
      reaction.

  • http://twitter.com/rahulcee Rahul Chitrapu

    Did you reward the person that bought your time at $20/hr with the half hour? He deserves some ingenuity points!

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Absolutely. He quickly bought the first 30 minute slot with his newly
      purchased Feld Gelt.

  • http://taylorbrooks.org taylorbrooks

    I love the idea of Feld Gelt, but your site is just too slow. I stopped visiting feld.com a long time ago. The pages take too long to load and it crashes my browser (both Firefox and Chrome) 4 out of 5 visits.

    RSS/Twitter is the best way to stay up-to-date with all things Feld.

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      I got that the load times are long – that’s a continual problem for me since
      I load the site up with cruft.

      When you say “it crashes” – do you mind saying what actually happens?

      • http://taylorbrooks.org taylorbrooks

        Having trouble recreating the problem to show you a screenshot…

        It’s an unresponsive script prompt and usually reads: “A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.”

        The browser usually hangs and I have to close and restart.

  • Todd

    A great idea to try; it inadvertently highlighted the care you need to take when embracing gamification.

    Gamers will always try and game the system and if you leave loopholes they will find and use them, I think Foresquare and Gowalla etc. have too much of that and their current collection of data is probably pretty bad because of it.

  • http://twitter.com/judyshapiro judy shapiro

    As experiments go – this was really good for me (feels like a cigarette moment :) I already can see how to use this technology in the work I do … on many kinds of sites.

    If you don’t mind, here’s some quick feedback on my experience thus far:

    1) I started yesterday and I am up to “2694 Feld Gelt.” That’s great except I have no idea how I got so high so fast. My suggestion is some kind of feedback so that when you do something – it tells you what you earned (if that is in there already – then it is too opaque since I missed it).

    2) The info field has lots of info – but no clear way to understand what any of it means. For instance, what’s “449 XP” – did I become an operating systems (hehe). Or what does “83 influence” mean? Is that good or bad?

    3) Not sure I get what the leaderboard useful for. I understand what it does but since none of the people can connect with each other – I do not see the point (but that could be just me).

    Net, net I really see how this is a very wonderful way to maintain site interaction that’s productive. So thank you so much for the “intro”. I feel like I won already. (Is this something that is available now for sites to use BTW?)

    Judy

    • http://www.facebook.com/keithlloydsmith Keith Smith

      Great feedback Judy, thank you! Here are a few answers to your questions:

      1) Agreed that there needs to be a significantly improved “onboarding” process to help everyone understand the rules of the “game”. For now, you can click on the little “?” in the lower right corner of the site to see how much Feld Gelt you earn for each reward-able action.

      2) XP = experience points (which is a meta point system for your overall involvement on the site); Influence = 1 point for every person who clicks on a link through your “Share”, “Tweet”, or “Like” actions.

      3) Agreed, the leaderboard will soon become a much more social place.

      Glad you like the overall experiment. You can add a customized BigDoor minibar to your own site very easily. Register here to get your own: http://publisher.bigdoor.com/signup

      • http://twitter.com/judyshapiro judy shapiro

        And one other thing (and I am not just doing it for the points :)

        Is there a way to fix a small icon onto desktop so you can find the site easily. I can bookmark it – but it would be cooler to have some mini launch button easily available.

  • http://www.hollman-alu.nl Aluminium Kozijnen

    I will try this idea.. Its too different..
    Aluminium Kozijnen

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_G4ZMGGMWUNKKUZ27HKIRQ4X4XA ManjeeraP

    how do i unlock a badge?

    • http://www.feld.com bfeld

      Earn points!

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