In an interview with Innovation Hub, Feld says rather than moving to Silicon Valley, young entrepreneurs should build a business where they live and get opportunity to chase them.
I’ve had a deeply held belief that you can build a startup community in any city — it’s phenomenal to see it happening all over the world…In the book Startup Communities I talk about The Boulder Thesis…There are four principles. The first is that the leaders of the startup community have to be entrepreneurs. the second is that those entrepreneurs have to have a very, very, long-term view, at least twenty years. The third is that they have to be inclusive of anyone who wants to engage in the startup community at any level. The fourth is that you have to have activities and events happening all the time that actually engage people in actually doing entrepreneurship, rather than just talking about it.
Feld talks about travel, startups, and communities.
I would have traveled a lot more around the world when I was younger. I travel for work in the U.S. a lot, but I’m actually quite uncomfortable in much of the world other than Europe, because I just didn’t travel that much to other parts of the world, and I think that especially today, with the globalization of business, and the amount of entrepreneurship happening everywhere in the world I think that inhibits me because I’m uncomfortable and I’m a little nervous about it. There’s some places I don’t want to go to because it seems to hard at this point in my life.
On building communities:
I’ll put energy into a startup community without knowing what I’m going to get in return. It’s not altruism. I expect to get something back. But I don’t know what, in what currency, form whom, or over what time period I’m going to get something back…I’ve gotten back so much more by taking a give-before-you-get approach than if I had defined everything transactionally up front.
Feld talks with Morton about dealing with depression and how diet and lifestyle changes such as cutting out coffee, alcohol and not traveling too much help, and how his wife supports him.
I’ve had three [depressive episodes]. One in my mid-20s that overlapped with the time I sold my first company. Which was a succesful company, but I got very bored near the end of it. And another in my mid-30s right around 9/11, through the end of the year. I was in New York at 9/11 and was never in any harm’s way, but the pressure….my business world was really under siege because it was the Internet bubble collapsing, so I was really struggling with lots of things in lots of different places. And most recently, in the first half of this year basically, where I really didn’t acknowledge that I was depressed.
Feld and Batchelor are interviewed about Startup Life.
In an interview, Feld talks about the challenges for early-stage investors when raising funds:
There’s a sense among entrepreneurs that there’s a set of things that you need to do in response to what you hear from from venture capitalists that increase your chances of getting funding. Particularly challenging for first time or early-stage entrepreneurs that are going through that cycle, where they get feedback that says, ‘if only you had this, or if you only had that…’ And usually what that means is that the person you are talking to is probably not going to fund you and you should look harder for somebody that’s actually interesting funding you at the stage that your at.