Over the years, I’ve written about my belief in the importance of giving back to your communities and #givefirst. In this spirit, one of the key organizations my partners at Foundry Group have helped create and nurture is Pledge 1%. In 2007, we were a founding member in the predecessor organization to Pledge 1%, called Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado (or EFCO). EFCO started as an experiment here in Boulder, not unlike Techstars and Startup Week/Weekend that got their start in our backyard. In 2014, Pledge1% Global launched as a joint effort between Foundry Group, The Entrepreneurs Foundation of Colorado, The Salesforce Foundation and The Atlassian Foundation which we helped seed financially and continue to support. Pledge 1% Colorado has now...
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I’ve been thinking a lot about gross profit (and gross margin) lately. Yeah, I know I can be riveting, but stay with me. When I was in Boston a while ago (it was very cold, so it must have been January), I had a wide-ranging conversation with Eric Paley. This was before the IPO Summer of 2019 when all conventional valuation metrics have entered the land of “suspension of disbelief” which is short-term good and long-term well-we-will-see-…-eventually One of our conversational threads was about how to value companies. We ended up talking about using Gross Profit, instead of Revenue, to do valuation analysis. We’ve been doing this for a long time at Foundry Group. Since we invest across a number...
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I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Kraus, Sue Heilbronner, and the work they do through MergeLane. Recently Elizabeth started a platform for the next generation of venture capitalists called Fund81. It includes a podcast, which has both a public section for everyone and a private section for the Fund81 members. Elizabeth recently interviewed me for Episode 13 where we talked about maintaining mental health in the fast-paced venture capital world while supporting portfolio companies, colleagues, friends, and family wrestling with mental health issues. The public section follows. Elizabeth and Sue – thanks for everything you and the team at MergeLane do for entrepreneurs and now other VCs.
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I’m lazy blogging this week as I get ready to go on vacation for the July 4th holiday. So, here’s another set of videos to watch, which is the entire Street Level Startups series from Colorado Public Television. I’ve watched them all now and they are a great history of how the entrepreneurship scene in Colorado has evolved recently, along with a bunch of fun highlights of people and companies. Street Level Startups: The New Gold Rush Street Level Startups: When an Idea Strikes – Stories of Inspiration Street Level Startups: Three Phases of a Startup Street Level Startups: Mentorship & Integration Street Level Startups: Startups to Watch
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Xiao Wang, the founder, and CEO of Boundless, recently gave a speech at the 2019 convocation of UW’s Information School. It was 15 minutes long and I thought it was extraordinary. Xiao – nice job weaving in a Mary Oliver quote at the end. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?“ I’m honored that I get to work with you.
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I love weird Internet memes. Recently, I plumbed the depths of this one with my friend Quinn. Go to your Google browser and type “did ab” and see what comes up for you. If it’s “Did Abraham Lincoln Invent Pancakes” then the Internet is working as expected. Of course, our next move was to go see if there was a website at https://didabrahamlincolninventpancakes.com/. A week ago there wasn’t, but there is one there now. Bwahahahahahahaha. Did Abraham Lincoln Invent Pancakes? is now a permanent part of the web. I wonder what Google is going to do with it now?
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When I wrote the post Every Lie We Tell Incurs a Debt to the Truth I expected to get some feedback. I got more than I usually do (mostly by email vs. blog comments) and much of it was thoughtful. One person pointed to the video I embedded, which I thought was great. It’s an extensive explanation of things in HBO’s Chernobyl that were either simply wrong or exaggerated. The video is entertaining as well as substantive, so it’s a good addition to the content from the show. Separately, I listened to The Chernobyl Podcast on my drive up to Aspen about two weeks ago. If you watched the HBO Chernobyl docudrama, the accompanying podcast is a must listen. Peter...
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Colorado Public Television takes an in-depth look at Colorado’s thriving startup scene in its new 5-part season called Street Level Startups. The first episode, which is above, includes me and Jared Polis reflecting on some fun Techstars founding history, Dan Caruso talking about Zayo and the bridge between Boulder / Denver, and a great segment at the end with Brad Bernthal talking about fundraising and #GiveFirst. And, plenty of other stuff. It was fun to watch a bunch of the old video from the last dozen years in one place. I love living and working here.
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This first appeared in the Boulder Community Health Foundation Summer 2019 Magazine in an article titled Taking On The Mental Health Stigma. I started the second week of 2013 in Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show. Within two hours of arriving, I was in my hotel room, the shade closed, the door locked, and in bed with a pillow over my head. I couldn’t deal with anything at all. Having been here before, I knew I was in a deep depression. From all external perspectives, my life was going great. I was healthy, my business (Foundry Group) was successful, I had an excellent marriage to Amy Batchelor, was surrounded by numerous friends, and I got to live in Boulder,...
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Jerry Colonna has written a “must read for everyone on planet earth book” titled Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. Seriously, go buy it right now. I’ll be here when you return. Regular readers of this blog know that Jerry and I are extremely close friends and have been for 23 years. I first met Jerry when he was beginning his partnership with Fred Wilson at Flatiron Partners. But, I didn’t meet him through Fred. I met him through NetGenesis, a company I was chairman of at the time that had been started by Rajat Bhargava (who we still work with as CEO of JumpCloud), Matt Cutler (who we still work with as CEO of Blocknative). I won’t...
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Salt River Valley Yard/Crew Change point (Visible Staging) is getting close to being operational.
Next project is the endpoint ATSF yard that will be know as Enterprise Yard.
Without planning it, I saved the best for last.
Why do I say that the Ocala Model Railroaders Historic Preservation Society - HO scale is the best?
Because theirs was the layout that had this plaque on it:
On a sad note, the layout also had this on it:
The Ocala Model Railroaders Historic Preservation Society has two modular layouts, one in N scale and the other in HO. This N scale layout took 2nd Place - Group in the module contest. They were also in Orlando.
Will be going over to a friends house tonight, getting to see his layout for the very 1st time! His layout has been a fairly well known operations layout based on the (NYC?) and has been part of many events including Opsig.Org operations events. I we have shared pictures but I never have his layout in real life. Tonight is the night.
Recently well known modeler Mike Confalone, whose efforts have become such an inspiration for my own modeling came up with a deadline track on his Allagash Railroad. It is something rarely modeled but can add interest and history to our model Railroads. Like Mike, I have been modeling for quite some time and over the years I have not only accumulated a lot of model trains but have learned enough to improve from my earliest attempts.
I believe there were several groups involved, or at least elements of several groups, but only two had billboards:
A new modular layout to me was the Colorado Rail Link, an HO scale layout that seemed to be BNSF oriented, with a focus on modern operations -
Having built several resin car kits now, and wanting a challenge, I have started a Speedwhich Media A. E. Staley Tank Car kit.
Being rather fond of organization, I started assembling Project Logs for my locomotives.
A nice little HO scale modular layout -
Hi! I made a video tutorial how I model Pine trees. I´ve been taking my time to evaluate some alternative materials too.
This was one of the really big layouts at the National Train Show this year (the T-Trak, N-Trak, and Free-moN being the others). Three clubs had signs there, Missouri Valley Free-mo, OK Free-mo, and Southern Kansas Free-mo. I expect there were additional participants as well. I believe I heard there were 63 modules involved.
I attend a church of about 800 people, give or take, and I know of no other model railroaders there. That this church supports an entire modular layout group is pretty impressive!
One series of modules, built by Craig Adams and created as an amusement park, took the Judges Award as well -
Very small snowy diorama I tried out used baby powder for snow and I think it turned out pretty well heres some photos:
I´ve been spending some time during the hottest summer in 260 years to model winter.. What else?!