Real Founder Lessons

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The Broken Windows Theory of startups

(pay attention to details)

Quick note: I recently changed the format of my blog. You can read more about it here.

Background
In the 1980s and 1990s there was a theory of policing called The Broken Windows Theory. The hypothesis was that cracking down on minor offenses would reduce the number of more serious crimes as a result of a general feeling of . . .

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July 09, 2019

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, . . .

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August 14, 2018

Share your idea with lots of people

(at minute 15:43)

Founder Lesson
A few weeks ago a first-time founder emailed me to meet-up. One of my favorite things is meeting new founders, so I'm always excited to get emails like that. However my enthusiasm quickly declined when I read this at the end of his email...

"Please see the attached mutual NDA and let me know if you have . . .

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January 16, 2018

Good ideas have to look terrible

(at minute 11:35)

Founder Lesson
Someone from a large company was asking me recently how I evaluated new startup ideas. They asked in a way that made me think of Shark Tank. I suspect that he expected me to say something like "I look for a strong technology patent" or "there has to be a big vision for a big market."

How I think . . .

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January 03, 2018

Thank you David Cummings

Founder Lesson
On Saturday morning I was going through email and noticed the latest blog post from David Cummings...

Silvrback blog image
Like many founders in Atlanta, I read almost every post from David. Besides finding personal nuggets that I've been able to use over the years, I've lost track of the number of founders who have . . .

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August 15, 2017

Startups are mashups

(at minute 0:59)

Founder Lesson
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I frequently talk about “knowing your space (and adjacent spaces) cold,” so that you can increase your odds of finding a 10x better product. In other words, learn as much as you can from other efforts around the country. This is particularly important in towns (like . . .

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June 21, 2017

Test investor reactions before running a full process

(at minute 33:33)

Founder Lesson
Once founders have a good handle on their startup, the topic of raising money is never too far behind. Because raising capital takes so much time & energy I’m always looking for lessons to help me think about this topic.

This podcast captured my attention because the founders detailed a step-by-step process . . .

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November 10, 2016

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