Real Founder Lessons

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There are only two hard problems with startups

(at minute 14:51)

Founder Lesson
I think of large businesses as symphonies. There are lots of musicians. Lots of instruments. Many moving parts. Much coordination.

A startup, on the other hand, is more like one person playing the hell out of their guitar and another person singing at the top of their lungs - at least in the very beginning. Most . . .

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March 17, 2016

The stages of idea validation

(at minute 5:16)

Founder Lesson
I focus most of my time on high-growth startups. I define these as businesses that benefit from a major need the market. Once demand is proven for these businesses, outside resources (like capital and people) can then be applied to these businesses to get tremendous growth.

The term “bootstrapped” startup defines a . . .

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March 09, 2016

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

Why does it take at least a year to get traction?

(at minute 8:27)

Founder Lesson
One of the counterintuitive things about startups that most fascinates me is how long they take to see even the smallest bit of true traction. A while back I wrote my first blog post on this topic and it’s one to the topics that I expect to re-visit a bunch in future blog posts.

I believe that this timeline is so . . .

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March 03, 2016

Pattern matching with startups is powerful

(at minute 15:29)

Founder Lesson
I’ve heard that chess champions don't win because they can see more moves ahead than chess novices. They win because they've played so much that their pattern-matching skills are extraordinary. In other words, they've seen patterns on the chess board so many times that they subconsciously know how the game is . . .

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February 24, 2016

Best to market will always beat first to market

(at minute 31:28)

Founder Lesson
Startups have lots of worries on a daily basis. Big worries that immediately to mind are (a) running out of money, (b) building the correct product and (c) hiring the right people. Another big, macro worry is how to think about competition, particularly how much to worry about getting your product launched before anyone . . .

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February 08, 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

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