Real Founder Lessons

Announcing Neighborhood Studios

(the best hyperlocal startups haven't been created yet)

Today I couldn't be more excited to announce that I've launched a startup studio in Atlanta called Neighborhood Studios!

It's been a while since I've posted anything on my personal blog, but this is something that I've been considering for almost a decade, so I wanted to make sure this group heard it first.

. . .

Read More

March 22, 2023

Mentoring founders is hard

(what's your superpower?)

When my startup was growing like crazy and I felt like we had product-market fit, for the first time in my career I tried to mentor some startup founders. In 2012 I reached out to a half-dozen founder/CEOs with a simple offer...

If you agree to meet with me for coffee every month and tell me everything, I'll advise . . .

Read More

What's your earned secret?

(at minute 8:07)

Founder Lesson
Talk with a dozen successful founders and you'll hear a few very common themes of general startup advice...

  • Team. Nothing matters more than great people. The hugely successful Techstars accelerator values team so much that they say that the five things they care about (in order) are "team, team, team, . . .

Read More

Make one doughnut

(at minute 13:01)

Founder Lesson
There’s a doughnut shop in my neighborhood called Revolution Doughnuts. As a neighbor I can attest that they are a tremendous local success story and their ratings on Yelp put them in the top 15% of all restaurants in town.

Silvrback blog image
I lived nearby before they launched their first location, so I saw how the owner . . .

Read More

Focus on problem being solved rather than technical difficulty of solution

(at minute 9:22)

Founder Lesson
A few years ago I had an epiphany moment about startups...the best founders are problem solvers. They see the world as infinitely malleable and proceed to think about ways to change it to add value. This might sound obvious, but when you compare "problem solving" to money, power or fame as primary career drivers, . . .

Read More

You can't skip steps

(at minute 4:19)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with a founder. Last year he and I were spending a bunch of time together as he manually tested his theory of human behavior. At the time he had a full-time job and the manual test that I helped him execute had some holes, so I don't believe that he validated an intense enough consumer use case in . . .

Read More

Don’t pay for customers for years

(at minute 12:37)

Founder Lesson
One of my first blog posts was called "Paid advertising is the tax you pay for not being remarkable." I got so many "what the hell are you taking about?" comments from this early post that it fueled my desire to continue to blog about counterintuitive/advanced startup concepts.

This notion that . . .

Read More


All Categories: all(113) podcast(102) process(88) focus(80) product(70) counterintuitive things(65) product market fit(64) business model validation(60) solving a problem(58) mvp(57) unique playbook(48) traction(43) founders(40) my favorites(36) execution(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) video(32) value proposition(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) resiliency(19) super fans(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) customer discovery(15) niche products(15) purpose(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) michael sacca(9) financing(9) nextview ventures(9) scalability(9) pattern matching(9) matt goldman(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) delusion(9) team(8) competition(8) sidenote(7) advisors(7) bootstrapping(7) mixergy(5) risk(5) how i built this(5) retention(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) hypepotamus(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) a16z(4) culture(4) brand(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) distribution(2) recode decode(2) domain expertise(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) startups for the rest of us(2) twenty minute vc(1) fred wilson(1) tim ferriss(1) chris sacca(1) loose threads(1) joshua reeves(1) mentoring(1) founder's journey(1) mentors(1) accelerators(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) home

This update link alerts you to new Silvrback admin blog posts. A green bubble beside the link indicates a new post. Click the link to the admin blog and the bubble disappears.

Got It!