I moved to Boulder, CO in 2002 from SF. The dot-com era had come to a screeching halt and it was time for a change. I didn’t move to Boulder because of the vibrant startup community (there wasn’t one), and it wasn’t until 2006 that things started to build momentum. Looking back at that time and thinking about where we are as a community now is truly inspiring. So many people have contributed substantial time and energy to turn the Boulder/Denver tech community into the powerful hub it now.

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I feel a deep sense of gratitude for our community. This is the environment in which I’ve been able to successfully build a company, become a professional investor, and work with (learn from) hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs and investors. Our tech community started with a few dozen people getting together for Open Coffees, Startup Weekends, and NewTech meetups, and it has now flourished to include hundreds (thousands!?) of contributors. Brad Feld even wrote a book about it, and this recent CrunchBase article is a quick sum-up of where we are today. …

I’ve been a fan of Eliot Peper’s writing since the beginning of his work when he mashed together with the world of startups and the techno-thriller novel into a wild ride. This was the Uncommon Series, three gripping novels about an intrepid entrepreneur named Mara Winkel. Perhaps it was the oh-so-close-to-home aspect (Mara lived in Boulder, CO, and was running a deep-tech company), or how relevant to my own life some of the elements of the story felt (ok, only a few).

analog series
analog series

I’m not here to talk about the Uncommon Series, but I certainly would recommend putting it on your reading list if you love startups and thrillers! …

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Back in late 2000, I was running Network Operations for Volera, which was a nascent joint venture spinout created by Novell, Nortel, and Accenture. Novell had acquired JustOn, a file-sharing and cloud applications company I was a co-founder of.

(More on that side of the story in another post….as my inspiration for sharing this one is Cyber Monday and the upcoming consumer-driven holidays.)

Volera was an exciting, and fast-moving Content Distribution Network (CDN) company. We had industry-leading tech and a unique approach vis a vis the other CDNs at the time. We made websites a lot faster, helped them scale without adding webserver hardware and had a global network of our own super-fast systems up and running. Naturally, the best way to show a large website operator how much value you can deliver is to demo their own site for them, right? Here’s your website…and here’s your website on Volera. …

Wow. It’s been a minute since I’ve written here. My last update was in November of last year. We were on our adventure abroad and I was working to disengage from my tech and venture life while spending quality time with my family in fun and exciting new places. I have so much to share — I’m feeling inspired, excited and glad to be back (mostly). Let’s jump right in!

The Adventure Abroad — in a word, epic. Reflecting on the entire experience, it was full of so many different kinds of experiences and emotions. We had truly amazing ones full of joy and wonder, and really hard ones. The “WTF did we just do” kinds too. The mental space was powerful for me. It took real work to let go and slow down, and that’s exactly what I did. I just wish it had lasted longer. Unfortunately, we had to come home 3 months early due to two discs in my low back, which decided they had had enough. More on this later. TL;DR — I’m on the mend now. This adventure was something my wife and I had always wanted to do and I’m so thankful we went through with it. A lifetime of memories, experiences and true transformation for our family. …

I’ll be honest, I’ve been putting off this post for at least a month. In part because I wanted some time to reflect before writing it. I also have been totally distracted as you’ll read below. I am glad to be sharing this now and am looking ahead!

So, with that out of the way, I have some exciting news to share. After six wonderful and rewarding years at Techstars, the time has come for me to depart. This was a hard decision to make for both of us, as we’ve had a long relationship thus far and my colleagues have been like family! So it was with both some sadness and excitement that we began the transition 2+ months ago. The exciting part is that I’ve decided to take some time off before I jump into my next venture. My wife and I always talked about living abroad for a year with the kids. …

Fred Wilson recently wrote about valuation obsession where companies are trying to raise money at nosebleed valuations in order to obtain the credibility & visibility they they want (or that the press wants to cover). He also talks about concern that valuation has become about checking a box or the number itself vs validation around building a great product and business. …

The CEO of a B2B IoT company reached out to me yesterday asking what I’d want to see from the company in order to want to re-engage around their Series A. They are just wrapping up the seed round now. This is a great mental and planning exercise for any company to do right at the end of a financing so they are thinking about the next phase of the business in terms of milestones, not just cash-management or revenue alone. I thought I’d share my responses here.

This is an imperfect, hastily written list that has gaps. I’d also view it as a set of things to start to gain clarity on, develop against and measure during seed stage. …

The success of SpaceX’s Facon Heavy launch today was truly inspirational. If you missed the launch event, check it out here. There is something bigger than the launch itself happening here, and it got me thinking….

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If you could go to Mars and become a colonist, would you go? Would you give up all of your creature comforts, your families (perhaps), your dog, and go live out the rest of your days on an inhospitable planet that was probably trying to kill you? Would you go be a farmer, a doctor, an engineer, etc in the smallest town ever?

One of the breakthroughs that the FH launch provided was demonstrating a new level of payload capacity. SpaceX can now get a large enough payload into a Mars-bound orbit to facilitate the beginning of humans and gear showing up on the planet in a bigger way than ever before. So while it won’t be overnight, if Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and others who are working hard on interplanetary transportation have their way — this is coming. Maybe its 10 years out — I have no clue — but what if the choice became available to you? …

The last 24 hours have been another wild ride in the #crypto world. We have seen FIVE different 30% corrections in Bitcoin in the last year. For some, it was panic, for others…buying opportunities.

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credit to @cryptomanran & newsbtc.com

What’s so fascinating is the spectrum of human behavior that shows up and the content that goes with it. It ranges from “Watch out!” to “I told you so”, to “don’t panic!”

I flew to Boston today and was able to read through a bunch of these posts on the flight. Then I got to this NYT article. Probably one of the best written, clearest and more technically accurate but consumable-by-a-layperson pieces on Crypto I’ve read in a long time. Its a long read. …

I’ve decided to spend 2018 only writing here on Medium. I’ve found that my desire to write on Wordpress and deal with cross publishing is waning and its decreased my desire to write at all. In fact, I’m pretty sick of the tech/venture echo chamber I live in and generally don’t feel like contributing to the noise. However…

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aah, last summer’s highlight…

I do find that writing helps me think and gives me time to reflect, and I really should do it more often. What I’ve also learned is that I need to be able to get stuff out in short bursts rather than spend hours working on big, meaty posts. I’m a big fan of how consumable content is on Medium, so here goes. I’ll just redirect arinewman.com over here and go for it. You can ignore this space if you don’t want to hear another white, male VC talk about obvious shit. I won’t be offended. …


Thoughts from the Frontier

Co-Founder and MD @ Massive.vc, Partner @ The Fund Rockies. Prev: Techstars VC, Co-Founder @ Filtrbox (sold to Jive) Co-Founder @ JustOn.com (sold to Novell).

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