Seth is a managing director at Foundry Group and has been a TechStars mentor since 2007.
One generally pictures the world of business primarily taking place in offices—people working diligently behind their desks either on their computers or on the phone and taking meetings in conference rooms. Heading out of the office has typically meant traveling to someone else's office for a meeting or heading to lunch to talk shop. In recent years, I've been experimenting with expanding this notion of out-of-office meetings to include some places that, while not typically thought of as business settings, have proven to be both very productive and, as a side benefit, extremely enjoyable.
For me, this has primarily taken the form of bike rides in and around the foothills of Boulder, Colorado, where I live. While I typically do this with others, I've also found that over the course of a lunch ride alone I've gained clarity on business issues that had often been percolating with little result for days or weeks. In the case of heading out with colleagues, the casual nature of a hike or ride is the perfect environment to catch up on business.
My efforts at lunch rides and meetings started with Ari Newman, the co-founder and CEO of TechStars 2007 participant Filtrbox. The idea was purely social. Ari is an accomplished rider and we thought it would ...