Real Founder Lessons

Just fu@%&ng launch already (what's most engaging)

(at minute 33:47)

Common Founder Issue
Anyone who’s ever launched the initial product for a startup knows the drill. The temptation is to add lots of features because you don’t know which will be most popular and your ultimate vision for the business is huge, so you might as well start on that big vision now.

The reality is that your small startup will only . . .

Read More

November 11, 2015

In the early days hustle is more important than scalability

(at minute 18:03)

Common Founder Issue
One of the best things that I’ve ever heard about startups is the connection between promising businesses and how much those teams are constantly getting done. Related to this topic, I’ve grow to believe that it’s so difficult to connect the dots in the very early days that teams just need to work their asses off and be . . .

Read More

November 06, 2015

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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, . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

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 . . .

Read More

October 19, 2015