There are only two hard problems with startups
(at minute 14:51)
I think of large businesses as symphonies. There are lots of musicians. Lots of instruments. Many moving parts. Much coordination.
A startup, on the other hand, is more like one person playing the hell out of their guitar and another person singing at the top of their lungs - at least in the very beginning. Most . . .
The stages of idea validation
(at minute 5:16)
I focus most of my time on high-growth startups. I define these as businesses that benefit from a major need the market. Once demand is proven for these businesses, outside resources (like capital and people) can then be applied to these businesses to get tremendous growth.
The term “bootstrapped” startup defines a . . .
Measurement is important, but the value proposition of your product has to come first
(at minute 42:38)
My initial conversations with founders often go like this...
Founder: Here’s my startup idea…won’t it be amazing what we can do when we have 10,000 users?
Me: Since you haven’t launched yet, I’d encourage you to spend as much time as possible measuring whether or not there’s demand for what you plan to . . .
Why does it take at least a year to get traction?
(at minute 8:27)
One of the counterintuitive things about startups that most fascinates me is how long they take to see even the smallest bit of true traction. A while back I wrote my first blog post on this topic and it’s one to the topics that I expect to re-visit a bunch in future blog posts.
I believe that this timeline is so . . .
Pattern matching with startups is powerful
(at minute 15:29)
I’ve heard that chess champions don't win because they can see more moves ahead than chess novices. They win because they've played so much that their pattern-matching skills are extraordinary. In other words, they've seen patterns on the chess board so many times that they subconsciously know how the game is . . .
Lean into marketing channels to make them work
(at minute 27:38)
Marketing has always baffled me. This is the main reason why I rely so much on product & brand - I want new customer awareness and conversion to be as easy as possible, so I have to rely less on traditional marketing after launch.
Because marketing has always been a nagging worry of mine, I’m always trying to . . .
Put simple rules around creativity
(at minute 22:09)
Even though startups are businesses, I’ve never thought of myself as a “businessman.” Like all college business majors, the Wall Street Journal was interesting to me for a few years after graduation, but I quickly realized that I was drawn to startups due to what happens with them during their earliest moments - when they . . .