Real Founder Lessons

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Be skeptical of customer feedback in the idea stage

(at minute 12:34)

Founder Lesson
Lately I’ve been been working closely with a group of startup founders in the idea stage. In other words, they know the space they want to focus on, but don’t have the complete business model ready to validate.

During this stage, customer feedback is always tricky. I’ll never argue against talking with potential . . .

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Just put up a landing page and get some press

(at minute 14:23)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with an ex-NFL player about his new startup. His startup helps amateur athletes measure their performance and compare with others. He gave me the full pitch and then said, “a big advantage I have (as the founder) is that I’ve been to the ‘promised land,’ so it gives me some credibility.” Of course he . . .

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Creating an early-stage startup brand (when you are bad at brand)

(at minute 6:07)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve developed a very specific playbook for my own startup ideas. Determine what is most likely to be a 10x better product in a space. Once that’s been tested, layer a very strong brand on top of that product. There are many playbooks to be successful…this is mine.

Put as simply as possible, the . . .

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New products need a clear vision

(at minute 21:50)

Founder Lesson
How would you like to be a startup competing with Apple? I love competing with big/slow/dumb companies, but Apple isn’t one that I’d want as a competitor.

The founder in this podcast didn’t feel that way. He founded Pebble…a watch that made crowdfunding history in 2012 when it raised $10 million and broke that . . .

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Learn as much as you can before you write a line of code

(at minute 33:42)

Founder Lesson
I graduated college in 1994. Netscape went public a year later, kicking-off the beginning of the consumer internet. Most of the technology innovation over the following decade was about infrastructure - making sure most people had broadband to their homes, developing phones with real computing power & growing wireless . . .

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How to know when you don't have product-market fit

(at minute 30:01)

Founder Lesson
Many of us have been in this spot...

1) You feel a problem so deeply that you have to solve it, so you set off on your startup journey.

2) You wireframe a product that will solve your pain for lots of people.

3) You spend 6-12 months getting your product built.

4) You launch the product . . .

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Any startup culture can win but it has to be authentic

(at minute 23:44)

Founder Lesson
Startup culture. Of all the startup terms that get thrown around and discussed, the concept of “culture” is one that seems to be the least understood.

First off…I’m no expert on this topic. As a matter of fact, I’ve probably not thought about this topic much more than the average founder. But I did start a startup . . .

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Archive

All Categories: all(113) podcast(102) process(88) 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) my favorites(36) execution(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) video(32) value proposition(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) niche products(15) purpose(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) michael sacca(9) financing(9) nextview ventures(9) scalability(9) pattern matching(9) matt goldman(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) delusion(9) team(8) competition(8) sidenote(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(7) bootstrapping(7) mixergy(5) risk(5) how i built this(5) retention(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) hypepotamus(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) a16z(4) culture(4) brand(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) recode decode(2) distribution(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) startups for the rest of us(2) domain expertise(2) tim ferriss(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) loose threads(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) mentoring(1) mentors(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) home