Real Founder Lessons

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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

The best founders eliminate risk

(at minute 36:16)

Founder Lesson
The notion of “risk” in new businesses has always fascinated me. The best founders that I know believe passionately in their idea and space, but they spend most of their time/energy/creativity removing risk to increase the likelihood that they will succeed. And if they can’t property remove/mitigate risk then they don’t . . .

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December 23, 2015

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

Just fu@%&ng launch already (what's most engaging)

(at minute 33:47)

Common Founder Issue
Anyone who’s ever launched the initial product for a startup knows the drill. The temptation is to add lots of features because you don’t know which will be most popular and your ultimate vision for the business is huge, so you might as well start on that big vision now.

The reality is that your small startup . . .

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November 11, 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