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Real Founder Lessons

Financing strategy depends on the potential of the business

(at minute 5:39)

Common Founder Issue
I often hear founders discuss whether or not a certain business is “VC fundable” or “should we raise $250k or $1M?” What I’ve learned is that businesses and management teams are going to do what they do and financing strategy follows the operational results that happen as they execute their plans.

In other words, I’d . . .

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November 04, 2015

You have to love the startup process

(at minute 22:24)

Common Founder Issue
Persistence (otherwise known as “just sticking around”) is a mandatory characteristic of startup founders. Part of “sticking around” is the motivation behind it. I’ve found that the most successful startup founders have just a few common reasons for sticking it out. One common reason is the strong belief that their idea . . .

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October 28, 2015

The whole concept of a startup is that the business model isn’t proven

(at minute 30:01)

Common Founder Issue
Just a few years ago I had an epiphany regarding how the very early participants in a startup - particularly founders and initial “friends and family” investors - should feel about the likelihood of success of a new venture. Prior to this moment, I considered every phase to be pretty much the same as a startup grew. So, . . .

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October 26, 2015

Focus all of your resources on the one key risk in your business

(at minute 41:10)

Common Founder Issue
I've spent the better part of 20 years working on startups and thinking about what makes founders successful. The single most important lesson that I’ve learned is that focus is the biggest competitive advantage that startups have, so I’m always on the lookout for additional thoughts on this topic. In this podcast the . . .

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October 21, 2015

Competition doesn’t kill startups

(at minute 18:45)

Common Founder Issue
I decided to make my very first blog post this one because it’s the link that I send the most to founders. The topics “what matters most to my startup?” and “how should we think about competition?” are endlessly fascinating to me because startups by nature have very limited resources, so focusing on what matters is the . . .

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October 19, 2015

A business is just a byproduct of solving a problem

(at minute 45:55)

Common Founder Issue
The very early stages of a startup look more like passion projects of the founders. Many times it’s just a single, small problem that they want to solve or just a general area of the world that needs some attention with no consideration for being a business. The addition of things like a company name, employees and . . .

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October 16, 2015

The best founders are going to be entrepreneurs no matter what

(at minute 20:38)

Common Founder Issue
I tend to believe that the best founders are going to start something no matter what. The feeling of putting something new and amazing into the world and having their ideas touch lots and lots of people is what motivates these folks. And during tough times - like the downturn in SF during the financial crisis - the people . . .

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October 13, 2015

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