Real Founder Lessons

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Why does a focused product win?

(at minute 26:44)

Founder Lesson
Focus. Focus. Focus.

This is one of the most common pieces of advice given to startup founders. As with most advice, it’s much easier to say that do…especially when it’s you in the situation and are faced with dozens of bright & shiny opportunities and death-defying uncertainties every day as a startup founder. . . .

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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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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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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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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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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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Lean into marketing channels to make them work

(at minute 27:38)

Founder Lesson
Marketing has always baffled me. This is the main reason why I rely so much on product & brand - I want new customer awareness and conversion to be as easy as possible, so I have to rely less on traditional marketing after launch.

Because marketing has always been a nagging worry of mine, I’m always trying to . . .

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Archive

All Categories: all(114) 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) customer discovery(15) purpose(15) niche products(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) pattern matching(10) jay acunzo(9) financing(9) pivot(9) delusion(9) matt goldman(9) scalability(9) nextview ventures(9) michael sacca(9) competition(8) team(8) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(7) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) mixergy(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(5) how i built this(5) hypepotamus(4) sam altman(4) timing(4) brand(4) culture(4) focus groups(4) andrew warner(4) joelle goldman(4) a16z(4) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) startups for the rest of us(2) distribution(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) recode decode(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) domain expertise(2) product hunt radio(2) accelerators(1) joshua reeves(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) loose threads(1) mentoring(1) mentors(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) home