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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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Slow Down To Speed Up

Comments (39)

It’s Sunday morning. Take a deep breath. It’s summer time. Go for a walk. Or a run. Play with your family. Take a nap this afternoon. Read a book. Go to a movie. Chill.

Last week, I had two close friends tell me some version of “I’m too busy.” One insightfully said “I have no time these days. I’m doing too much.” The other simply said “sorry I didn’t call back – I have no time.”

I too am intensely busy. And anyone who knows me knows that I eventually hit a wall, have short term burnout, need to rest / recover, and then get back at it. However, as I’ve gone through this cycle throughout my life, I’m getting smarter about how to handle it. My week a quarter off the grid helps. July in Alaska helps (although this summer has a fun, European twist). Running helps. Time with Amy helps. And recognizing that as one gets busier, more crap creeps into the schedule, is important.

I’ve deliberately slowed down in June. I’ve cancelled a bunch of unnecessary things. I’m rethinking how I approach board meetings which are a massive time suck for any VC. I’ve been a lot more hesitant to say yes to a trip somewhere to do something. I’ve been aggressively using Skype and Google Video Chat for meetings. And I’m scheduling a lot less throughout the day – trying to have more adhoc time to work on whatever I feel like or whatever comes up.

Basically, I’m trying to slow down. If I do this right, I believe I’ll be able to cover even more ground. I think this applies to any entrepreneur, or anyone involved in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Being really busy” is seductive – it has nothing to do with getting things done, or actually accomplishing your goals. But there’s something satisfying, or at least addictive, about being so busy that you don’t have time to think or reflect on what is going on around you. This is a big mistake long term as you’ll ultimately make crummy decisions.

Slow down to speed up.

Example of Rally Software Building A Great Company

Comments (13)

Lots of little things go into building a great company over the long term.  Rally Software is one that I’m proud to have been involved in from the beginning.  I remember when Ryan Martens, the founder, would sit for entire days in a small conference room near my office covering the white boards on the walls with his scribblings.

Today Rally is a 150 person company that plans to add another 75 people in 2010 on the heels of Rally’s $16 million financing led by Greylock.  And – since their birth in 2002, Rally has had 17 babies (well – people that work for Rally have had the babies, but you probably figured that out.)  Recently, Rally’s leadership team decided to do something about this.

 

Nicely done Tim, Ryan, and everyone else at Rally.  Now you’ve just got to get these kids using software from Kerpoof at an early age.  I wonder how Agile Parenthood works?

Build something great with me