Brad Feld: Entrepreneur, Investor, co-founder of TechStars and( firm that invests in early stage software / Internet companies). Brad is extremely busy but he was able to answer a few questions and provide us with some important links to some of his need to read blog posts.
Q: Brad, what is the single most important thing you can attribute to your success? Whether it be a mentor, networking, knowledge, determination, luck....
Brad: I try to spend as much of my time as possible on things I care about, am interested in, and with people I enjoy being with.
Q: For someone looking to break into the VC world what tips would you give them at the start of their career?
Brad: The best post about this is from my partner Seth Levine, How to get a job in venture capital
Q: What advice would you give to experienced VCs? Is mentoring a responsibility all experienced VCs must undertake?
Brad: Make sure you are loving what you are doing. If you aren't, do something else. I don't presume to tell any experienced VC what he/she should or shouldn't do, but I think if they aren't mentoring entrepreneurs, especially first time ones, they are missing out on some of the best parts of the job.
Q: Where do you see the VC industry in the coming years and how will it respond to external threats, the economy and crowdfunding most notably?
Brad: I don't think of VC as "the VC industry" nor do I think of it as an asset class. I think the extraordinary VCs will have an awesome time working with entrepreneurs creating new things and I work my butt off to be in this category. I don't worry much about the rest.
Q: Let's talk about some industry opportunities for the future. Big data is the current poster child for future opportunity; Are you for the big data movement and what other "sleeper" opportunities do you see on the radar?
Brad: I don't think "big data" means much - it's this years "generic term" that everyone is enjoying using to define what many companies are - and have been - contending with for a long time. I'm much more interested in human computer interaction (HCI) - namely the changing relationship between humans and computers - which is accelerating very rapidly.
Q: You recently completed the Missoula Marathon and collected over $11,000 for Justin Salcedo of San Antonio, TX. (Justin is fighting testicular cancer). Do you have any marathons lined up in the near future?
Brad: Yup - I've got three of them in October - St. George Utah, Burlington VT, and Detroit MI. All are listed at Feld Marathons.