Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
Currently Brad Feld is based at Foundry Group, a venture capital firm based in Boulder, Colorado he cofounded that makes early-stage investments in software, Internet, and IT start-ups from a $225 million fund raised in 2007. Foundry Group has made about 30 investments in the last four years, including one in Zynga, the company behind social networking games FarmVille and Mafia Wars. About to turn 45, Feld says he’s working 80-hour weeks and loving it.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
It’s simple – I love helping people create things.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
I’m deeply intrinsically motivated by learning. As long as I am always learning, I’m happy no matter what’s going on.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
Only do something that you are intensely passionate about. If you aren’t obsessed with the idea and product, do something else.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
MakerBot – I believe 3D printers will be commonplace in a decade. Oblong – I love the way they are completely reinventing the user interface. Fitbit – I believe that in a decade humans will be deeply instrumented.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?
Gmail, Twitter, WordPress, Google Hangouts, Skype, iPhone, iPad, Mac