Since I've run out of new people (hey, it happens when you only have fourteen employees!), I've decided to profile someone who has been (and continues to be) influential in our development. He is one of our most vocal evangelists and is always willing to dispense advice. Some could say that this man is responsible for Lijit being what it is today. Whether it's running, venture capital, or bathrooms, this man knows his stuff. Yes, I'm referring to Brad Feld, pictured below with one of his many beloved cacti.
He has wanted me to do a profile on him for some time now and without any fresh meat at our office, I took the bait, went downstairs and asked him some questions. Here is what Brad has to say for himself...(some of the answers may be NSFW, so consider yourself warned)...
1. What is your Lijit contribution?
My first interaction with Lijit was to buy pizza at Pasquini’s in Louisville for Stan James during Thanksgiving vacation in 2005. I eventually connected Stan with Todd Vernon (who I had worked closely with at Raindance) who hit it off. They decided to work together and create Lijit, which I happily helped finance. Since Lijit is one floor above my office, it’s easy to come upstairs and share my wisdom (and spare change) with the folks there, even if y’all mostly ignore me – at least I’m amusing (in my own mind.)
2. What sound or noise do you hate and why?
I hate the sound of companies going splat into a wall at 100 miles an hour. I hate the sound of CNN in the background. I hate the Windows Vista startup sound. I hate the sound of my phone ringing (solution – don’t have a phone anywhere in your house except your office.) I fucking hate the sound of the Spice Girls.
3. What turns you on (creatively, spiritually, or emotionally) and why?
I love working with people to create things. I’ve found this happy place on the planet where the stuff that I call work looks and feels like play almost all the time. I’ve come to peace with the idea that creating stuff is really hard, involves lots of mistakes, failures, and pain, but when it works, it feels extraordinary. I also love to be alone or with just with my wife Amy.
4. What profession, other than your own, would you like to attempt and why?
Metal sculpture has always topped the list. I’d also like to be a full time marathon runner.
5. Something you're guilty of...
I’m guilty of saying fuck way too often – which is usually ok, but sometimes it isn’t. Fortunately my mom and dad are now used to it so they no longer cringe when they hear it. It’s such a deliciously versatile word, especially in entrepreneurial environments. I also have a sick and twisted affection for the show 24, although I wish that Jack would say what he really means instead of “damnit.”
Don't say you weren't warned. Lijit is fortunate to have an adviser and supporter like Brad Feld. Whether he's writing about us or teaching us how to make money on the internet, Brad is always ready to help. I mean, when you think traditional venture capital, isn't this the first image that pops into your head?
(I managed to get this shot even though the background image was making me a little nauseous.)
Big thanks to Brad for being a good sport and for all the inspiration he provides. We wouldn't be here if it weren't for you big guy....