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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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Running and Conferences

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I’ve got some fun things for you to do this Monday morning (or at least to put on your schedule to do.)

Want to learn how to run?  How to Go From Sedentary to Running in Five Steps.

If you are already running, join the Gyminee Running Challenge or Gyminee Weight Loss Challenge.  Or – join me on Gyminee in my Lifehacker inspired six week program to do One Hundred Pushups.

Developing software for your iPhone?  Check out iPhoneDevCamp Colorado on 8/1 – 8/3.

Like 37 Signals?  Jason Fried is talking at the Oriental Theater in Denver on July 31st.

Defrag is starting to heat up.  Eric has a post up in response to the "tech has gotten boring" meme that is making the rounds.  That that he says "bah" and talks more about his thoughts in Anything but ho-hum.

The Who, Inflation, Blogging, and Global Warming

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It’s time for another quick list of interesting things I found this morning on the web along with my occasionally witty commentary.

Harmonix Party: Rock Band owns LA with Who concertI love everything about Harmonix and Rock Band.  Er, um, The Who just played at a Harmonix / MTV party at the Orpheum Theater in LA.  The Who.  The Who!  One of my best friends – Warren Katz – who was also an angel investor in Harmonix had the following to say about the party:

"My jaw is on the floor and I am speechless. Not because I semi-randomly got hooked up with a game that’s turning out to be one of the greatest hits of all time. Not because that game is actually fundamentally changing how a great hunk of the world interacts with music. Not because this game hosted a party featuring my favorite rock band of all time, The Who (and I would have hurt myself to get on a plane for this party). I am stunned mute because, in my opinion, one of the three best songs in Rock and Roll history, "Won’t Get Fooled Again" (the other two being "Paradise By the DashBoard Lights" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"), was referred to throughout this article as "the theme from CSI". We cannot possibly be that old, and the youth of today cannot possibly be that out of touch. It actually took me a minute to realize what song they were talking about."

Alex, Eran, and all the rest of the people at Harmonix.  You are the coolest nerds ever.  Ian – you have real competition here in the cool nerd category!

Latest shocker: June prices go up, up, up: "Consumer prices rose 1.1 percent in June from the month before, far faster than the expected rate of 0.7 percent and almost double the reading from May, the Labor Department said Wednesday."  Hmmm – an annualized rate of 13.2% – that would be "inflation."

SAP, Oracle Boost Software Prices: "Unlike price increase for food, fuel and many other commodities, the changes in software don’t stem from a shortage of supply or a rise in demand. They are attempts by software makers to increase their bottom lines, said Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities Inc."  Well – yes – but it’s also called an "oligopoly."  SAP annual maintenance, which has been at 17% for a while, will now be at 22%.  Oracle simply implemented a 15% – 20% across the board price increase for US customers.

Blogging’s Dead, Long Live Blogging: While this particular meme goes round and round and round, especially among the A-list bloggers talking about blogging (or not blogging), Fred nails why he – and I – blog in this post.  Whenever someone asks me "why do I blog" I now have a new link to send them to.

Chill out – it’s just a normal cool summer: My part time meteorologist Josh Larson emailed me this link.  Apparently it’s just been a normal summer in Alaska with endless clouds, cool weather, and for the last 24 hours non-stop rain.  ""We were in a warm phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation in the ’80s and ’90s. (Some forecasters) believe we may have entered into the cold phase."  Where is that damn global warming when you really want it?

Here Comes The Sun and More Daily Stuff

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If you follow my tweets you know that I am starting to get desperate for some sun.  I could never live in Seattle.  There’s a rumor that we’ll see the sun in Homer again later today – if it comes out to play I’ll post a picture of it (did you hear that Mr. Sun – that’s called a blibe ("blog bribe").  Here are some interesting things I’ve collected over the past few days of my cloud induced web reading.

Boulder Olympians weigh politics, pollution as they prep for Beijing: I’m really glad I didn’t quality for the 2008 Olympic Marathon.  If I had, I’d currently be struggling with whether or not to compete.  I sure hope no one dies.

Frontier going under the knife: It looks like there might be more to the Frontier bankruptcy than Frontier getting shafted by First Data.  Unlike Southwest, apparently Frontier didn’t hedge oil prices (nor – apparently – did any of the other major airlines.)  Oops.  My prediction – Southwest cleans up in the Denver market and United goes bankrupt again.

Thank you, Adobe Reader 9: Here’s a scathing review of everyone’s favorite bloatware, Adobe Reader. Oh – it’s also sort of a virus if you’ve ever gotten stuck in the "update – oops – didn’t work – try again" infinite loop. I’ve switched to Foxit Reader – much nicer.

You Just Dont Get It: Outstanding short post from Mark Cuban. If you tell me that "I don’t get it", you are either (a) being lazy or (b) being lazy.  You are also indirectly calling me an idiot, which isn’t necessarily a good way to get someone’s attention for your idea. 

Secret report: biofuel caused food crisis: I put this one in the "well duh" category.  The real irony is that the World Bank – through a confidential report – suggests that global food prices are up by 75% due to biofuels, while the US claims the number is only 3%.  Who knows what the real truth is – like most "economic indicators", we will only know what really is going on sometime in the future when we look at back and study the past.  Regardless, don’t believe everything you read and hear in the media or from our world leaders.  "Well duh!"

Dispatches: A Post-Wimbledon Dialogue: I love tennis.  I used to be really good (as a junior) – I’m now able to occasionally torture – but not beat – someone that is a 4.5.  Watching Federer and Nadal play is a joy that harkens back to my childhood watching Borg and McEnroe play (I loved Borg because my game was like his but rooted for McEnroe because I was an angry and volatile tennis player.)  This is a brilliant recap of some genius tennis.

Electronic Papyrus: The Digital Book, Unfurled: I love my Kindle (I haven’t read a physical books since I left for Alaska last week.)  I’m not sure that I love the Readius, but I’m definitely game to try it.

Time for a run.  The sun is still not out.

Being First, The Economy Doesn’t Matter, and The Origin of TechStars

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I’ve got three great posts for you this morning to interrupt the long essays that my marathon addled brain has been pumping out.

First Mover vs Fast Follower – Who wins? Don Dodge reprints a story he wrote three years ago about whether being first wins or being a fast follower wins.  He adds some useful nuances for any entrepreneur (or VC) that is obsessed with the "we have to be first to market to win", "#1 takes most of the market, #2 takes the rest, and #3 to #n don’t matter", and other such cliches.

The Downturn Is a Rounding Error: Since I’m not a macro guy, I didn’t notice we were having an economic downtown.  I guess I noticed that the price of gas was higher, but as Amy is fond of saying, "don’t bother me about it until a gallon of gas costs more than a gallon of milk."  Oops – getting close (I think Amy meant "organic milk.")  Plus, our government is telling us that there is no "core inflation" (where "core inflation" doesn’t include fuel or food.)  Tom Peters helps us understand what he thinks really matters.

You gotta start somewhere: David Cohen posts an email to his business partner David Brown dated 2/08/06 that was the origin of TechStars.  I checked my calendar and the first time I met David was at 4pm on 6/06/06.  I find history to be fascinating.

Marathons, Coffee, and Other Good Stuff

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Getting up at 3:45am to travel ruins my morning routine that includes jamming through email, web, and blogs.  I’ve had some time to catch up this afternoon (while Amy naps to recover from the early morning silliness) and I’ve got some good stuff for you.

I’m Training To Ruin A Marathon: A gem from The Onion.  On Saturday I’m going to run a marathon; this dude has a plan to ruin a marathon.

How to be a TechStar Part 2: A guide to Boulder’s Coffee Shops: Another gem – this time from Rob Johnson of EventVue (one of the TechStars companies).  Coffee is a very important part of Boulder.  Rob breaks it down for us all.

An evolution of definition: Eric Norlin talks about how "definitions" like "enterprise 2.0" evolve by comparing remembering how "digital identiy" works.  He has some constructive suggestions and explains what "Defrag" means – sort of.

Email Productivity: Albert Wenger at Union Square Ventures explains how he processes his inbox.

Validate Your Own Market: Josh Kopelman of First Round Capital explores common pickup lines.  He explains why the answer to a VC asking an entrepreneur "What happens if [INSERT LARGE ESTABLISHED PROSPECTIVE COMPETITOR HERE] decides to get into the market" is not "their entry will validate the market."

Have fun.  Drink your coffee and eat your wheaties.

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