CATEGORY: Community

Startup Couple: A Tutorial to Tech Fluency

It’s Denver Startup Week and sometimes it’s hard to get past certain things … like language. The jargon of the startup community can be an adventure on its own. To celebrate the parlance of the industry, we contacted doting couple Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor, two people who couldn’t be more associated with the Denver/Boulder tech explosion, and interviewed them. Turns out that they are the perfect pair to disrupt and revolutionize the status quo. Whilst iterating, they drill down in an epic paradigm shift of leverage, and emerge Rock Stars and/or Ninjas of the Startup Community.

It happens to the best of us. One day you’re just a person, the next day you’re an epic maven. It’s all about the pivot.

Who exactly are Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor? They recently co-authored Startup Life: Surviving and Thriving in a Relationship with an Entrepreneur. Brad is an MIT grad who has a hand in more startups than Dick Clark had Rocking New Year’s Eves. Amy is an author and blogger who puts the “we” in awesomeness. She works to bring people together through grants to non-profit organizations in the arts, education, entrepreneurship, conservation and the environment, health and human services, women’s and human rights, international development, capacity building, and progressive public policy.

And not to be outdone, Brad and his partners at the Foundry Group donated $100,000 to assist with flood recovery in Boulder.

Yah, they’re rock stars. And/or ninjas.

Inside the Foundry Group Office


We spent some time in the Foundry Group office in Boulder last Friday filming a quick spot that we put up on called “The Startup Couple.” The startup couple is a dynamic duo that awkwardly always talks in startup lingo and they just don’t know how to differentiate from the bedroom and the boardroom. To them, everything is business. For example, instead of getting married, they just signed a noncompete agreement.

In real life, the startup couple is Brad Feld and Amy Batchelor. While we edit the first video together, we thought we’d give you a brief tour of their office.

Drunk History celebrated with “Drunk Developer: Bitcoin Edition”

We all know that those who have the most to say are usually drunk, so why not take advantage of this slurring verbosity and get the most out of our alcohol? This “Drunk History” concept is not ours, it is that of Derek Waters and the intrepid team at the website Funny or Die. I’m not hyperlinking you there because you’ll leave and not come back for hours. Google it later. First, join a drunken Pat “P-Fro” Ramsey and a cast of elite actors to learn more about Bitcoin. Bitcoin is the cryptocurrency that’s becoming quite popular amongst investors, consumers and retailers.

Drunk Developer soars above the often dry and boring jargon of giddy tech evangelists to share inside information on the hot, new peer-to-peer money. —Satoshi Nakamoto

With help from our good friends at Highland Mist (about 7 shots) and several pints of beer, you’ll understand more about how you too can make money with Bitcoin. Also, you’ll discover why it’s important to chew and most likely a thing or two about the importance of moderation.


Patrick Ramsey as The Drunk Developer

John Rupp as The Retailer

Ryan Clarey as The DDoS Attack

Nic Steinbach as The Peripheral DDoS Attack

Adam Jensen as Sathoshi Nakamoto

Caroline Temple as Patrick Ramsey

Sean Baxter as Sean Baxter

Jared Ewy as Jared Ewy

Important people: Ashley “Spoon Smiley” Forker, Patrick “P-Mo” Moroney, Steve “Donatelli” Donatelli, Kyle “Fuzzy” Robbins, Ben “Ping Pain” Wenger, Alex “Kehr Package” Kehr, Shannon “Shamazon” Brown, and Ethan “Blaine” Conley

Innovation with Gaiam’s Jesse Weaver Part 2. | The Insightful

Frustrated about the creative process? Think your company should try something new but don’t think they ever will? In Part 2 (here’s part 1) of our interview with Jesse Weaver, he drops some of the most important knowledge we’ve ever heard about how to move forward with your ideas. Knowledge? Nay, this is wisdom. Weaver brings the sage, and reminds us to respect the history of the brand and get to know the structure within you’ll be working, before startling anyone with radical ideas. Yet when all the pieces come together, you’ll be thriving in a “culture of innovation.” So here we go with a brilliant bit on the cohesive brand experience and selling something new to the higher ups.

The Insightful is posted here about every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

Know Your Customer: An Insightful Conversation with Gaiam’s Jesse Weaver

When analytics aren’t enough, you need to find other ways to find out who your target audience is. Jesse Weaver works at Boulder’s extremely successful Gaiam, the company that “provides products, resources and inspiration for a healthy mind, body, home and planet,” and he shares how he and his crew get to know who is watching their videos and buying their products. It seems to be working. Gaiam is very well known for its fitness media and has already helped make a superstar out of yoga guru Rodney Yee. Here’s part 1:

The Insightful is posted here every Wednesday, and offers information and advice to entrepreneurs and business ninjas. Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for regular informative and entertaining videos.

The Colorado Fires: What you need to know and how you can help.

Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs


It’s hot, it’s dry and we’ve got fires everywhere. Two new ones started in the southwestern part of the state yesterday, and as of today, the Waldo Canyon, High Park and Flagstaff fires are burning a combined 80,000 acres. If you need an impression of how bad things are, people who were just evacuated from Colorado Springs are now being evacuated from Monument, which is about 12 miles north.

All of the local papers, like the Denver Post, Colorado Springs Gazette and the Fort Collins Coloradoan provide excellent updates, plus check out this amazing interactive Google map:

google map of colorado wildfires

Click Me.

The Waldo Canyon Fire is making the most news as it’s actually in the city limits of Colorado Springs. You always think of wildfires in some remote area where entire neighborhoods aren’t laid to waste. These pictures changes that:

Flagstaff fire near Boulder

A tanker drops fire retardant while fighting the Flagstaff wildfire on Tuesday, June 26, 2012 in Boulder Colorado. (AP Photo/Jeremy Papasso, Daily Camera)

Waldo Canyon Fire Colorado Springs

Structures can be seen burning as the Waldo Canyon Fire west of Colorado Springs rages out of control, Tuesday June, 26, 2012. (RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post)

Waldo Canyon Fire

An aerial photograph taken Wednesday of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs shows the destructive path of the fire. (John Wark,

What can you do? Rest assured, helping is easy. Send money. The Red Cross Colorado Chapter is pretty solid for getting money to where it needs to go. If you’re wondering where police and firefighters would like you to send money, well here’s what we got directly from those on the front lines:

“Hey dude, I asked the guys and they said for this event the American Red Cross provided all the food to the crews. So any donation (monetary would be best) is greatly appreciated both in the Springs and all over the country.” -Cindy

Cindy is cooking food for the firefighters, one of whom is her husband, a guy she says she seen just a few hours this week.

If  you want to send money and get something cool in return, then check out Wildfire Tees.

wildfire t shirt from wildfire tees

Can you think of a better design?

These shirts are all designed by Colorado Springs designers, and they’d love your help for more designs. As they say on their site, “We are designers who live in Colorado, love our home, and hate watching it burn. 100% of our proceeds will go to the Colorado wildfire relief efforts across the state. If you’re a designer and want to join our efforts, contact us at”  So if you don’t have money to send, use your big brain to conjure an awesome t-shirt design to help out some folks who just had everything burn to the ground.

Here are some other sites that offer information and quick ways to help: 

And something for wildfire preparedness:

raising money for colorado firefighters red crossAround town there are cool little fundraising ideas popping up everywhere. Name employee Jessica and her daughter Izzy are making cakes and selling them at just 4 bucks a pop. And the last we heard their baked goods are so popular they’ve added cookies to the menu.

With so much dry and dead vegetation (a massive beetle kill has ravaged much of the state leaving millions of lodgepole pine dead and Fight fire with beer!vulnerable to fire), we have no idea when a lightning bolt or a smoking dolt will start another fire. But we do know we have thousands of firefighters, police, National Guard and military members either already fighting or at the ready. The work will never be done, but at least we can always let them and the victims of the fires know we’re here to support them. And if you’re looking for a nice fall trip to the most beautiful state in the land, then come on out in September for a firefighter appreciation with our governor (you won’t be surprised to find that he’s a beer brewer) presiding over the Fight Fire with Beer Festival. I’m sure they could use one. Or ten.

A Product Manager’s Guide to Developer Diplomacy

Greetings! Shannon the Product Manager here, talking to you today about the mystical and fascinating creature that is the Web Developer. It’s no secret; I spend a lot of my time in the developers’ den trying to comfort and sway developers into action without stepping on too many toes. It’s a delicate line, and I walk it quite well.

Where other Marketing Agents have fought valiantly and failed, I have succeeded. How? I’ll tell you right now. I have 10 fundamental rules that, as a whole, comprise the “Shannon Brown Theorem of Developer Diplomacy”

The web developer in his natural habitat

1) Write a detailed spec for the project that they’re working on. Make sure you know every nook and cranny of the document and be ready and willing to tackle any issue that pops up. Don’t leave them hanging.

2) Listen to them when they tell you why something cannot or should not be done. This way, when you continue to bring impossible ideas up, and they simply say, “That doesn’t live in the CMS,” you know what they mean. They hate repeating themselves, and they hate the feeling that you’re not paying attention to them.

3) Every so often, visit and familiarize yourself with the content. If you see something really good, forward it along. For instance, this is Owen’s favorite GIF. Just thinking about it brings a sparkle to his eye. Yes, they will ask you why you don’t visit Reddit. Just say, “the UI is awful!” and roll your eyes. This works every time.

4) When interacting with 3rd party vendors, ask them specific questions about the issues they’re running into and then take care of the communication for them. They are here to write righteous code, not tedious emails.

Everyone loves beer!

5) Give them beer. Delicious, frothy, amazing beer. From a kegerator. In the developers’ den. Be sure to reference this beer any time that you can get away with it in every day conversation. It also helps to randomly have strong opinions about types of beer, for instance, “this stout is good, but it’s sooo dark. I prefer IPAs”

6) Ask questions like “which is easier to code?” and “how will that interact with the rest of the system?” when they present you with a problem and several proposed solutions to the problem.

7) Ask their opinion about features and functionality before it lands in a finalized spec. This is much easier to say than it is to do.

8 ) Every so often give them a week where they don’t have to adhere to the sprint, and they can work on whatever they want, one developer at a time. You might be surprised at what you get.

9) Test their work thoroughly and provide detailed feedback in a reasonable time frame. Make sure your expectations for remediation are realistic. Don’t push a list of bugs at them and insist that they are resolved in the next 18 seconds. That’s silly, and they’re not going to like it. They’re bummed enough as it is about the bugs.

10) Laugh at their jokes, even if they’re geeky. Don’t kid yourself, they’re funnier than you are.

Ink! is Back: And so are our Proper Doses of Caffeine

Dear Ink!,

As you can see we’ve missed you.

ink! coffee cherry creek denver colorado

ink! coffee cherry creek denver colorado


But with you gone no one’s had the energy to do anything really cool for your return. You, however, have come back in style:

ink! coffee cherry creek denver colorado

That’s right, free coffee today, March 16th, 2012. If you’re in Denver or have the means to travel really fast, the coffee’s on them.

Background: Just before Christmas a huge water main break took out half a block of business, including our drug suppliers at Ink! and the entire Merrill Lynch building (although we have noted the economy has only gotten better.)


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