Real Founder Lessons

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Measurement is important, but the value proposition of your product has to come first

(at minute 42:38)

Founder Lesson
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 . . .

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March 07, 2016

Even startups that rely on a network effect can be validated early

(at minute 1:04:56)

Founder Lesson
I was meeting with a very successful local founder this week and he was describing his current strategy - after years of honing it - of finding a group of initial "happy customers" for a new product. Like this founder, over the past year it seems like I'm constantly telling founders...

"Distill . . .

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February 03, 2016

At the very beginning focus on a niche, passionate group of potential customers

(at minute 25:04)

Founder Lesson
Founders who focus on their own passion projects are often told that their ideas are too niche & small. While this is sometimes the case, it’s important to remember...

  • Lots more people are coming online and spending more money online, so all online markets are growing over time.

  • Many successful . . .

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January 19, 2016

Founders often don't have a grand plan at the very beginning

(at minute 16:10)

Founder Lesson
History is often re-written over time. A great example of this is startups that are successful. After reaching a certain level - for a bunch of good reasons - the origin story of startups is altered for PR reasons. The re-written story goes something like “the underdog founder had grand plans from the very beginning and has . . .

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January 06, 2016

Focus is your competitive advantage

(at minute 15:12)

Founder Lesson
Startups have a lot of disadvantages compared to other players in your industry. Most every other player in your industry has more money, more employees, more experience…pretty much more of everything. The only advantage that your startup has - and it’s bigger than you think - is focus.

Everyone you know woke up . . .

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December 21, 2015

The only metric that really matters for an early startup

(at minute 7:05)

Founder Lesson
Momentum is oxygen for startups. This is something that I’ve experienced many times. Momentum can be anything that motivates you and your team. Getting selected for a big conference. Convincing a local angel to invest. Getting a good press story. All of these small victories keep the founders going and make the difficult . . .

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December 03, 2015

It's really hard to get minimum viable product right

(at minute 24:01)

Founder Lesson
Since product-market fit is maybe the most important step in a new startup, deciding what to test and what initial product to create becomes pretty important. I find that most founders do the “kitchen sink” method of including everything. This methods takes too much time and money. Another group goes the Lean Startup route . . .

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December 02, 2015

Archive

All Categories: all(115) podcast(102) process(89) 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) execution(36) my favorites(36) hustle(34) first principles(33) value proposition(32) video(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) resiliency(19) super fans(19) vision(16) psychological friction(16) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) niche products(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) micromanagement(10) pattern matching(10) marketing(10) aaron harris(10) matt goldman(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) delusion(9) pivot(9) scalability(9) competition(8) team(8) bootstrapping(7) advisors(7) rocketship.fm(7) sidenote(7) retention(5) joelle steiniger(5) wharton business radio(5) risk(5) how i built this(5) mixergy(5) timing(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) hypepotamus(4) brand(4) a16z(4) culture(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) distribution(2) product hunt radio(2) recode decode(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) startups for the rest of us(2) kara swisher(2) domain expertise(2) optimal living daily(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) accelerators(1) tim ferriss(1) loose threads(1) chris sacca(1) mentoring(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) mentors(1) fred wilson(1) time(1) home