Brenda Hurt

Thinking of my father, Brian Douglas Hurt, today

One of my dear friends, Julie Gilbert, said something very nice to me just now. It made me think about my parents, which I do often. I broke down crying watching the “Dumbo” preview a few days ago - I actually have tears in my eyes as I write that just remembering it. It is because “Dumbo” was one of the first movies I can remember sitting in my mom’s arms.

So, I’m archiving the original Bazaarvoice blog post about my father here, which I reference in the tribute I wrote about my mom. Here it is so I never lose this, as Lucky7 is my permanent blog (named in honor of my mom).

This was written on June 20, 2008:

On community and courage: The story of Nachshon ben Aminadav

This past weekend was a very proud one for me and Debra as parents.  Our daughter, Rachel Leah Hurt, became a Bat Mitzvah on Saturday.  Her Torah portion, Parshat Beshalach (Song of the Sea), was an especially challenging one and she read it just perfectly.  This took her hundreds of hours of study in 2017 (and she had an amazing teacher in Nancyellen Seiden).   Alongside this study, she also wrote her first book, Guardians of the Forest, which also took hundreds of hours in 2017.  It is a truly beautiful book for children ages 6-14 and I know she would appreciate it if you bought a copy at that link.  And, during all of this, Rachel made all top grades at her middle school (including in all of the AP classes that she can take).  I truly consider my most important job in life to be a good parent.  I have had many influences in this regard, including my own parents (Lucky7 is named in tribute to my mom), Debra's parents, and even my friend Michael Dell, who has had a hugely positive influence on his children, including the one I know best, Zachary (watch him become an extraordinary entrepreneur one day).  I'll write a blog post on parenting one day, but I certainly don't want you to think I've got it all figured out.  In many ways, to be a good parent is more challenging than starting a company and I'm certainly trying my best.  It requires constant work (and innovation), but I digress.

I woke up this early this morning, around 4:40am, thinking about this past weekend.  There were some good leadership lessons in this Torah portion, especially the one given by Nachshon ben Aminadav.  Nachshon is certainly a lesser known figure in the Parting of the Red Sea, especially as compared to Moses.  To that end, I would love to share with you a portion of Rachel's speech, given by her after she read from the Torah.  And I would love to hear your stories of where either you've been a Nachshon or you've seen someone close to you be a Nachshon.  We all know the stories of Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, MLK Jr., and many other incredible leaders throughout history.  But who are the lesser known figures that took the first actions to show the rest?  Please share those much lesser known stories with me (and all of the Lucky7 readers) in your comments below - it would be a lot of fun to get a dialogue going about this.

What I learned from my top three Lucky7 posts in 2014

December 5th marked my second year of blogging personally (I had previously been a corporate blogger for 7 years at Bazaarvoice as our CEO). I began blogging primarily as a service to entrepreneurs - a form of giving back to the community that I believe is the greatest force for change. If you are wondering why my blog is named Lucky7, it is as a tribute to my amazing mother, who passed away two years ago. Myfirst Lucky7 post on December 5, 2012 was a revisit of my manifesto written to the Bootstrap Austin community on March 15, 2005, months prior to starting Bazaarvoice. Much has changed in the nine years since and it wasn't unusual at all for Austin startups to raise seed capital vs. bootstrapping in 2014.

How to select the right gift for someone you appreciate (in business)

How to select the right gift for someone you appreciate (in business)

With this being the season of giving and saying thanks, I wanted to share some thoughts on the right way to do it. Unfortunately, it is common in business to rush through your to-do list and quite often that means not thinking hard enough about what gift to give, especially when it comes to giving chotskies at tradeshows. In business, there is much mediocrity.

What I learned from my top three Lucky7 posts in 2013 … and my biggest busts

December 5th marked my first year of blogging personally (I had previously been a corporate blogger for 7 years at Bazaarvoice). I began blogging primarily as a service to entrepreneurs - a form of giving back to the community that I believe is the greatest force for change. I named my blog Lucky7 as a tribute to my amazing mother, who passed away last year. My first Lucky7 post on December 5, 2012 was a revisit of my manifesto to Bootstrap Austin on March 15, 2005. Looking back, it was clear I deeply cared about the development of our entrepreneurial community in Austin. That caring - and passion - drove a year of many highs in 2013. I've been actively investing in startups since December of last year with my wife, Debra, and I formally chose this as a career a few months ago, forming Hurt Family Investments. We've made 14 startup investments so far, 9 of them Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies. I've also joined the Advisory Board of 6 additional companies, all of them SaaS. Out of the 20 startups we are involved in, 16 are headquartered in Austin.

Time is money, money is time, or something different?

It has been awhile since I've posted as I've had three conferences back to back, including the main TED conference in Long Beach, our own Bazaarvoice Summit in Austin, and then SXSWi. So it is perhaps ironic that I write this philosophical post about time.

Benjamin Franklin was famous for saying many things and one of them was "remember that time is money" (you can read his full quote here). In my new journey as an angel and VC investor and entrepreneurial coach, I've been having many conversations with those that have been in these fields for longer than I have. In the first half of my life, I've been singularly focused on changing the world through technology - as the entrepreneur myself versus through others. One of the more stirring conversations I had recently was with a successful investor that said, "what use is money with no time". He was frustrated in that he had a lot of money but that it had chained him to have little time and he was vigorously trying to change that.

Things I've Learned (Austin Monthly)

Things I've Learned (Austin Monthly)

Austin Monthly, a great local magazine, ran a profile on the things I've learned in their February issue. This is not yet available online, so I'm including a photo of the article here.

They did a great job on this article, describing a lot of my philosphies on life and entrepreneurship. They took a lot of time with this, which is rare in these days of the rushed and declining media industry. There is one error, though - my age. I'm 40, not 43.

Why Lucky7

Why Lucky7

My mom passed away on May 17 of this year, the same week that we had the celebration dinner for our IPO at Bazaarvoice and the sales team celebration dinner for those that beat quota in Q4. It was very hard, especially after losing my father just four years prior. I encourage you to read about his life in the tribute I wrote about him. He was an incredible entrepreneur. But it was my mom that lit the initial spark in me. And that is why I named my blog in her honor. If you read my tribute about her below, you'll know why I named this blog Lucky7. As far as the .io name, well that of course stands for input and output, which I'm all about and also reminds me of my roots as a young programmer. My mantra at Bazaarvoice as our CEO was b: authentic.