Brad Feld – Life of a Venture Capitalist – Ep. 32



SUMMARY

In the world of venture capital, Brad Feld is a legend in the making. He is a partner in the Foundry Group and is a co-founder of TechStars, one of the world’s most prolific global tech accelerators.

Brad is also an author of several books, including Venture Deals, which he wrote with Jason Mendelson, and is now in its 4th addition. The book was as a response to the disconnect between founders and financiers in venture capital. Brad unpacks some of the key themes in his book but also speaks on many other topics. We begin talking about Brad’s endeavours, his relationship with art, and his journey with anxiety and depression.

We then dive into the motivation behind writing Venture Deals, and Brad sketches out some of the major movements associated with startups, the market, the internet, and how these are related to entrepreneurship and venture capital. Brad covers many other topics such as the emotional dimension of choosing to seed fund a startup, things founders need to have on lock before seeking institutional funding, and what advice he would give to earlier versions of himself.

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Key Points From This Episode:

  • An introduction to Brad, sketching out his career, books he has written, and personal life.
  • How art collecting is much more than the acquisition of an asset class to Brad.
  • Anxiety, depression, meditation, running, and Brad’s perspective of his life as a journey.
  • The zeitgeist around startups, venture capital, and entrepreneurship.
  • A backstory to Venture Deals which was written to clear up opacity on the subject in 2011.
  • Connection, inspiration, and the emotional dimension of financing as well as raising funds.
  • What happened to convince Brad to invest in Fitbit after initial hesitations.
  • Why Brad is more interested in startups that add value over ones that aim for huge profits.
  • Preparations founders need to have made before raising institutional money.
  • Brad’s early mistakes around orientation, and his belief in the value of mentorship.

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