Real Founder Lessons

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 . . .

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June 26, 2018

Founders need a theory of human behavior

(at minute 13:03)

Founder Lesson
A trusted startup friend came to me the other day with a new idea...

He just bought a house, so he's thinking a lot about paying contractors for large projects and doing smaller projects himself. There are lots of videos on YouTube about small home projects (eg cutting down vines on the side of your home), but . . .

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May 01, 2018

It takes 3 years to know what you have

(at minute 2:24)

Founder Lesson
I'm talking weekly with a very good founder who's working on a startup to disrupt hiring. He checks all the boxes. He loves the problem...check. He's a visionary...check. He's smart with a strong work ethic...check. He has very relevant experience...check. He has a proven track record of building . . .

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March 28, 2018

Creativity loves constraint

(at minute 19:11)

Founder Lesson
I don't know where I first heard this notion, but on a monthly basis I think about the counterintuitive concept that creativity loves constraint.

On a personal level I'm a moderate procrastinator for most things. Over the years I've found that forcing myself to get 50% of the work done in a tight . . .

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March 20, 2018

Permission to say "it's not working"

(at minute 0:22)

Founder Lesson
I've been a casual advisor to a well-known B2C brand/founder in Atlanta for a few years now. When I met him in 2014 I was super impressed by his love of the problem and his ability to walk through walls. And I wasn't the only one...he's been able to raise capital from some great investors across the country.

. . .

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March 06, 2018

Product-market fit isn’t rational

(at minute 15:43)

Founder Lesson
There isn't a topic that interests me more than product-market fit. In the 2007 - 2010 timeframe I went from a lifestyle business (where I could fool myself that it was high-growth) to a high-growth startup (where you didn't have to wonder if it had product-market fit) and that transition completely changed the way . . .

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February 21, 2018

Raising money takes 6-9 months

(at minute 2:44)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was talking with a founder who was getting ready to raise money for the first time. During the course of our conversation it occurred to me that he's thinking the thoughts that all founders think before fundraising for the first time...

"Investors are going to meet me and hear my idea and in . . .

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February 13, 2018


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