Market Overview

What Does it Take to Impress Foundry Group Co-Founder Brad Feld?


Zynga founder Mark Pincus might have the answer.

If you're going to impress Brad Feld, co-founder and managing director of Foundry Group, you had better be prepared to go above and beyond the average entrepreneur.

“What we end up looking for are entrepreneurs who are incredibly obsessed about the product or service they are creating, who love the markets that they are building product in, who have expansive visions about what they want to create, and are able to both go deep technically as well as broadly in terms of the market and customer dynamics,” Feld told Benzinga during a recent interview.

Full Interview: Brad Feld on How to Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist

“We are real product nerds and we love to play around with products, both hardware and software and whenever we see something we are really trying to understand if it's a product that we want to invest in long-term, as well as people.”

In addition to his work with Foundry Group, Feld is the co-author of Venture Deals: Be Smarter Than Your Lawyer and Venture Capitalist. When asked if he gives more weight to products or people, Feld said that his firm does not have a quantitative approach to its decision-making process.

“I would say it's very qualitative because we know the markets really well,” he said. “All four of us work on the same stuff, and so qualitatively as we are evaluating a company and getting to know the people and understanding the products. If one of the four of us loses interest or is less excited or has diminishing excitement about what is going on, we tend to pass at that point rather than get in a situation where we are trying to convince each other that this is something we should do.”

Feld said that he and his partners see “hundreds of things we could probably invest in, so we can set our filter very, very high.”

On the topic of Zynga, Feld said that while he couldn't talk about that company specifically, he would say that, generally speaking, “there is an enormous amount of chatter around the valuations of all the companies who have recently gone public or are looking to go public and my point of view is very simple as an investor, which is that the goal of the company should be to build something that is very valuable and sustains value and the IPO is just another path along that process.”

“I have no idea what the performance of these companies [will be] two or three or four years down the road, and that will determine if the prices today are appropriate or not,” he added.

If nothing else, Feld said that Zynga has the passion that Foundry Group was seeking, as well as its technical ability. “We were the first round investors at Zynga with Union Square Venture and at the CEO Mark Pincus, who is the primary founder, and somebody who Fred Wilson and I have known for a number of years. If you know Mark, you know that he is an awesomely passionate person who is focused and obsessed with whatever he is doing.”

To hear more from the Foundry Group co-founder and managing director, don't miss Benzinga's full interview with Brad Feld.

Follow me @LouisBedigian

Posted-In: Brad Feld Foundry Group Fred WilsonEntrepreneurship Economics Success Stories Startups Tech Best of Benzinga


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