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Trada is no longer doing Codespace – they’ve filled up the area with other companies. However, if you are looking for office space in Boulder for your startup, take a look at PivotDesk and give it a try.
Boulderites know the local coffee shop / sushi scene where wifi is abundant. However, you now have a dedicated, free co-working space for developers on Walnut Street right in the middle of downtown (in the old Daily Camera building, now home to Trada). The Codespace philosophy is a simple one:
Code is free, so should be the space you create it in. If you’re in the neighborhood, come over and hang out – for an hour or the whole day. Enjoy some free wireless, scrawl on the whiteboards, rack up on endless caffeine, and enjoy hanging out and working with the smartest development talent in Boulder.
In addition to daily free options, there are a few dedicated spaces that you can apply for. Go check out the Codespace page or my partner Seth Levine’s longer description about Codespace. Most importantly, go check out Codespace. And please thank the gang at Trada for providing this for the Boulder entrepreneurial community.
I’m opposed to opening up Eldorado Canyon Trail to Mountain Bikes. However, when I read the article titled “Boulder open space official: Return to civility in West TSA mountain bike debate” I was infuriated by the tone of some of the people opposed to mountain bikes on these trails.
My partner Seth Levine is a huge mountain biker. He and I had a thoughtful exchange about the issue of MTBs on the Eldorado Canyon Trail. We disagree on this issue but it was a substantive exchange. As a long distance runner, I explained that while most MTBs were good actors, a small percentage weren’t. Even on reasonably well shared trails, I’ve been run off the road numerous times by MTBs careening around a blind corner on a downhill or when someone somewhat out of control flies by me. Single tracks are tough to share and I spent much of my time on them paying attention to traffic if I run mid-day, but I’ve had this problem on all shared trails. Worst of all, I’ve been hit several times by MTBs and I can only think of one case where the person stopped and checked to see if I was ok (I was, but pretty sore the next day.) Seth and I ended our discussion with agreement that we’d go hike Eldorado Canyon Trail together and discuss this further, which will be fun regardless of whether we end up agreeing on a position on the issue.
In general, I’m very comfortable with trails being shared. Over time, I’ve learned how to anticipate when to pay more attention to MTBs and often just run off trail when I can (on the side of the trail, which of course is not what the Open Space people want but it’s safer for everyone.) But I still really struggle on single tracks, or tight trails, especially when one side is mountain and the other side is a steep drop. Having run Eldorado Canyon Trail about a hundred times, it’d be a really rough trail if it became mixed use, and I’m pretty sure I’d stop running it. That’s part of why I’m opposed to MTBs on the trail – I just don’t think it’ll work.
However, when I read the article in the Daily Camera today, the folks arguing against MTBs represent the kind of hostility in debate that undermines their entire position. Their attacks are emotional bordering on hysterical (in the “not funny definition of the word”) and excessively polarizing. It’s not dissimilar to the type of language we often see at a national political level in the extreme partisan case and I find it incredibly distasteful.
The other day I had a difficult meeting with someone who was upset with me and a decision I had made. While we were having the discussion, he referred to the meeting we were having as “date rape.” I was momentarily furious because the comment was completely over the line. I understood that he felt fucked by me and – while I didn’t agree – he was certainly entitled to his opinion. But accusing me of date rape was unacceptable to me, especially given that I’ve had first hand experience on the receiving end of rape. He backed off when I asked if he was sure he wanted to use this language (and if he had said yes, we would have been done talking), but it undermined his argument to me based on the personal attack that I didn’t think corresponded in any way to what was happening.
The vitriolic in the MTB debate has a similar impact on me. It doesn’t help the discussion, undermines the position opposing MTB’s on Eldorado Canyon Trail, and is generally offensive to anyone trying to understand and think through the issue. It also shines a bad light on the community in Boulder which I think is a special place that embraces incredibly diverse people, perspectives, and behaviors. And it creates emotional justification for the small number of bad actors in the MTB for their behavior (e.g. “they don’t want us on their trails so fuck them.”)
Boulder, you can do a lot better than this. Let’s have a real debate about this issue and make a rational decision about whether or not to open up these trails.
I had never heard of the organization called Downtown Boulder, Inc. until I was asked to keynote at the annual meeting which I did a few weeks ago where I talked about “entrepreneurial communities and why Boulder is such an awesome one.” I got plenty of positive feedback and met a number of owners of businesses – most of them retail – based in downtown Boulder.
A week or so later Dave Jilk, the CEO of Standing Cloud, forwarded me a newsletter where Downtown Boulder was endorsing HR 5660 – Main Street Fairness Act which is yet another poorly thought out Internet-related tax aimed at online retailers not operating within the state asserting the tax. I’ve written about the stupidity of these types of taxes before in posts like Amazon Fires Its Affiliates in Colorado Because of Colorado HB 10-1193. I blew this off (incorrectly, I might add) because I’m just so annoyed by all of this sort of stuff since it’s just evidence that organizations like Downtown Boulder, Inc. don’t really understand the actual business economics of having a vibrant entrepreneurial community in their downtown.
Dave ignored me and sent out a note to me and a dozen other Boulder-based entrepreneurs. This started a very engaged conversation between us (up to 35 emails in my Gmail conversation as of right now) and eventually looped in the folks from Downtown Boulder, Inc. They acknowledged that it is important for them to better engage and understand the “Second Floor Businesses” (e.g. non-retail) in downtown Boulder and how they impact downtown Boulder.
Independently I had a meeting set up with Sean Maher, the Executive Director of Downtown Boulder, Inc. in a few weeks. Niel Robertson, the CEO of Trada (now occupying the Daily Camera building) rallied and put up a database to collect information about any downtown Boulder technology company (name, address, contact, # employees, and # sq. feet occupied) where downtown Boulder is defined (by DBI) as 8th Street to 21st Street, Pine to Arapahoe.
I then suggested that we all join DBI since my experience is an organization like DBI takes you a lot more seriously when you are members. Their fee is only $149 / year, which is affordable for most tech startups. Jud Valeski, the CEO of Gnip, suggested that everyone give me the application form and check for me to deliver in one big thud (sound of pile of checks landing on desk) to Sean Maher when we meet.
So – if you are a downtown Boulder-based tech company, I have three requests:
1. Please fill out the Downtown Boulder Technology Company Impact Survey (it’ll take 60 seconds).
2. Consider joining Downtown Boulder, Inc. If you are game, drop off a check for $149 made out to Downtown Boulder, Inc. at my office (1050 Walnut Street, Suite 200) along with the information on their application form.
3. If you aren’t willing to join Downtown Boulder, Inc., that’s fine, but please do #1 AND consider leaving a comment why you don’t want to join (or send me a separate email with this information.)
Help us make Boulder an even better entrepreneurial community by linking us up with the downtown Boulder business community more directly.
There are tons of startup events in Boulder. I get asked almost daily by folks what they should attend to get involved in the local Boulder startup scene. Fortunately, Tom Markiewicz (founder / CEO of StatsMix, a TechStars Boulder 2010 company) is now curating the Boulder Edition of StartupDigest. It’s a great resource for anyone that wants to know what is going on in the Boulder startup scene. Thanks Tom!
There are many things I love about Boulder. One of them is the powerful sense of community that exists. Talking about this is fine, but examples are better. Here’s one:
On the first Tuesday of every month is the Boulder New Tech Meetup. It’s one of the largest regular tech meetups in the world and is orchestrated by a bunch of folks, most notably Robert Reich of OneRiot who is the founder and ringleader. Given my travel, I can’t make it regularly but I try to go a couple of times a year. Each time is fascinating – I’ve always learned something, met some interesting folks, and had fun.
Last week Robert and the NewTech gang decided to do something different. They lined up multiple non-profit organizations who presented New Tech style, but with a twist. Once all of the groups were finished on the podium (they each got two minutes instead of the typical five minutes to present) they split up into rooms all over the CU Wolf Law Building (where the New Tech Meetup is held) and started hacking. The tech community helped the non-profits on tech issues ranging from web design to social media help, database support to graphic design, and everything in-between.
Robert sent me a list of the non-profits that presented. They follow and include several that Amy and I support philanthropically:
- Colorado Nonprofit Development Center presented by Kamela Maktabi
- Food Bank of the Rockies presented by Janie Gianotsos
- Cool Girls Science and Art Club presented by Mary Golden
- Boulder International Fringe Festival presented by Alana Eve Burman
- I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County presented by Lisa McAlister
- The WILD Foundation presented by Emily Loose
- Denver Curling Club presented by Alyssa Rossnagel
- Boulder Community Computers presented by Eric Jackson
- Ashoka’s Youth Venture presented by Matt Nathan
- The “I Love U Guys” Foundation presented by John-Michael Keyes
- Blue Sky Bridge Child Advocacy Center presented by Judy Toran Cousin
- Leave No Trace presented by Dana Watts
Here are the stats of what happened:
- 300 people showed up to listen to the non-profits present
- 200 people stuck around for dinner
- 130 people stayed around and directly helped the different non-profits hack
It’s pretty amazing what can happen when you put a bunch of smart techies in a room. Boulder – I love you and miss you. And, if you are in a NewTech Meetup in another city, I challenge you to help out some non-profits!