So, who is Steve Larsen?
Business: Today I’m mostly retired and living in Phoenix. For a good part of my career I would transverse two worlds that rarely met. To many I was an early-stage, high-tech CEO and venture capitalist who was on the founding teams of companies like CitySearch, BigFix and Net Perceptions. There’s a whole list and profile on LinkedIn. It’s hard to believe it today, but over 25 years ago, in 1994, I wrote Competing in CyberSpace: Guidelines for Market-Driven Web Site Planning and Design, which predicted a lot of what the Internet would become today. For a few years I was the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Thunderbird School of Global Management where I lectured and co-founded the Thunderbird Angel Network. Today I help the Arizona Commerce Authority as a judge for their annual business plan competitions, the Innovation Challenge, and serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence with their Venture Ready start-up mentoring program.[More about business]
Motorcycles: For the past 25 years I rode and wrote about motorcycles, and worked hard to become the best rider I possibly could — just as I worked hard to be the best early-stage CEO ever. I was a regular contributor to Motorcycle Consumer News, and RIDER magazine, and an occasional contributor to several other magazines, including The Overland Journal, BackRoads Magazine and RoadRunner. My riding and travel stories also appeared in a host of daily newspapers including the LA Times and Orange County Register. I’ve led motorcycle tours in northern California, Utah, Italy and New Zealand. I’m a past member of the Arizona Precision Motorcycle Drill Team and participate in competitions and team performances as well as teaching enhanced motorcycle skills. I’ve taken advanced riding classes with Keith Code, Gary LaPlante, Ed Melroy and Lee Parks, among others. As far as I know, I’m the only civilian to have participated in motor officer training programs with both the Phoenix Police Department and the Arizona Highway Patrol. You can read some of my published work about that here and here WingWorld and here Sheriffs Magazine.
I’m still riding my motorcycle in good weather here in Phoenix—3-4 times a week. Other times I trailer it north to Moab, UT for off-road rides. I ride with two motorcycle groups. The most official is the American Flyers Motorcycle Club (AFMC). They organize two big rides a year, one domestic the other international (we’ve ridden in Italy, Greece, Croatia, Spain, Turkey, New Zealand and many other countries). Portions of the group also split off and do rides with a smaller number of members. The adventures with this group could easily fill a book, and, in fact, it has. Rich Marin has written and published a book on the 25 year history of the American Flyers Motorcycle Club titled “The Ride is All.” I felt privileged to write the foreword to his book. [Blog posts about bikes]
Cars: While I’ve slimmed down my motorcycle collection to just the BMW 1200GS, I still really enjoy my cars: an Acura NSX, a ’69 Lotus Elan, a 2014 McLaren. While not really cars, my Polaris Slingshot has only three wheels, it drives like a car so I’ll put it here. I’ve given up on the idea of getting a very fast airplane. [More about my cars]
Family: I’ve been married to Margaret for 39 years (in Dec. of 2020), and my daughter Ginger graduated from college in the spring of 2006. Her first job was at Google, then she tried to help Nolan Bushnell with his idea for a new restaurant in Mountain View, CA called uWink. She moved to SF and joined a bunch of her friends at Zynga. Then it was on to Digital Chocolate followed by Storm8 and she coming up on five years with Facebook. In early 2019 I learned of a second daughter. Due to the courage and persistence of Christie Will along with 23andMe, we found each other. While she had lived her life with the knowledge of an “unknown” birth father, I was unaware of her existence until now. 2019 was all about exploring this wonderful new thing, my granddaughters and new son-in-law. It was spectacular. I wrote about Christie in a blog post early in 2020 titled “Congratulations! It’s a girl. And she’s 39 years old.”
Maggie and I have had a home in Phoenix for nearly 20 years. Since January of 2011 it became my full-time residence.
- That’ll Do: Do parents who’ve lost a child parent differently? On a summer day in 2012 in Tempe, AZ I watched children and parents at the MISS Foundation conference in Tempe, AZ. I could not help but notice some very different behaviors from those parents as they related to their kids. It caused me to reflect on how the loss of my son changed my parenting approach with my daughter and to wonder if there were lessons for all parents in those observations. [more]
- Maggie’s Kirven-Heinrich Family Tree: In 2020 during the Covid crisis, Maggie dedicated several months pulling together boxes of photos and other documents about her family. With her sister, Diana, they produced a coffee-table sized book chronicling the history of their side of the family, back to the Revolutionary War of the 1700’s. You can see a PDF of the book here.
Health: I’m somewhat of medical miracle or at least oddity. I’ve had 3 open heart surgeries. The first was when I was a teenager, the second was in April of 2016 at the Mayo Hospital in Arizona and the most recent one was April of 2018 at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. While these were serious, life threatening events, I’ve emerged in no way physically diminished. I still do all of the things I did when I was younger; bike, hike, ride motorcycles and work around my workshop and the house. Yes, my stamina isn’t quite what it was and my times up the mountain are a bit slower, but I’m still doing it. I have written about my heart surgeries in my newsletters – the first one is linked to here.