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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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MakerBot’s Upcoming CES Announcement

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Bwahahahaha – I know what it is, but I can’t tell you. But you can now play a text adventure game, created by Andrew Plotkin, which will give you hints. Remember Adventure?

You really shouldn’t have wandered away from your tour guide. The gleam of glass in a deserted room caught your eye for just a moment… but with that mob of chattering tourists out of sight, the MakerBot facility doesn’t seem quite as friendly as it did a moment ago.

Servos hiss behind you — but that’s not the guidebot’s cheery mask looming out of the shadows. It’s a security bot! You’re in trouble now. You duck into the laboratory. Or is it a showroom? Test chamber? You pull the door shut; hopefully you can hide out until the robot has passed.

No maze of twisty little passages here. Just a big scary security robot. I just played it for a while – it’s awesomely fun. I expect Seth Levine and Paul Kedrosky will get sucked in this afternoon and it’ll cause Paul to need to buy a MakerBot to print out the pieces in game.

I’ll see you at CES if you are going to be there. And keep your eyes on the MakerBot site for some cool new things.

24 Hours In Las Vegas With My Dad

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Last night during my two mile post dinner walk from the Hard Rock (where I had an awesome dinner at Nobu) to the Venetian (where I subsequently had a very short night of sleep), my mind wandered around about the great time I had with my dad at CES.

My dad and I have developed several annual traditions including a really delightful father-son weekend.  Our annual 24 hours (usually more like 30) together in Las Vegas every January for CES is another one.

My dad is a retired doctor.  He’s also a computer nerd – he has loved playing around with computers since I got my first Apple II computer 32 years ago.  He’s an endless tinkerer and a gadget guy – always curious and excited about the latest, greatest (or not so great, but still brand new) technology gizmo.

My Foundry Group partners and I have been coming to CES together for the past few years.  We’ve discovered new investments at CES (such as Cloud Engines – for the long version of the discovery process check out my dad’s post on it titled I Love My Popoplug!!) as well as have companies we’ve invested in be at the show such as Orbotix and Sifteo this year.  We keep it short (two nights, one day) but have a lot of fun together.  And my dad tags along.

Each of the two nights we are there we have a great dinner with a bunch of the execs in companies we’ve invested in as well as friends of Foundry Group (other VCs, some journalists, angel investors, other entrepreneurs who are friends.)  The first dinner is always somewhere fancy (this year it was at Bouchon).  The second night is sushi orgy at Nobu.

As I walked home from the sushi orgy, I kept thinking how lucky I was to completely adore my father.  With the exception of several months when I was in seventh grade (and was a complete pain in the ass), we’ve been best friends.  I have enormous respect for him, have learned a ton, and even when I get frustrated with him (as any son will), I usually end up in an semi-amused state about whatever is going on.

And – as far as I can tell, my friends and close work colleagues also love hanging out with him.  This is icing on the cake, because I know he’s having a blast with them and vice-versa.

Dad – thanks for coming to CES again this year – I love you.

Wired’s Gadget Lab Challenges Gizmodo To Sphero Marble Madness

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CES is just around the corner and I’m psyched to be going again this year.  Toss in a BigDoor board meeting early in the week in Las Vegas and I’ll be getting my annual allotment of sin city in the first week of the new year.

Lots of my friends and a number of our portfolio companies will be at CES this year.  Lest you think it’s just a VC boondoggle, one of my favorite moments of all time happened at CES in 2009 when my dad bought the very first Pogoplug.  We went on to fund Cloud Engines (the company that makes the Pogoplug) which just closed a new $15 million financing that includes Softbank and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners.  Oh – and they have had a totally kick ass year.

Last week, I noticed an article about Orbotix in Wired’s Gadget Lab titled Phone-Controlled Robot Ball, Like Marble Madness in Meatspace. Orbotix is going to be at the CES ShowStoppers event the night before CES begins (and at CES).  As you can see from the article, Wired just challenged Engaget to a Sphero-off.  As Paul Berberian, the CEO of Orbotix said to me in email, “it doesn’t get much more fun that this.”

If you are going to be at CES and are showing off something cool that you want me to see, toss your company name and booth number in the comments and I’ll make sure to come by on Wednesday or Thursday.

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