Real Founder Lessons

Savor the surprise

(at minute 31:15)

Founder Lesson
I'm working closely with two startups right now that are somewhere between launching an MVP product and getting their first few hundred customers. Both founders are trying to determine if they have product-market fit, but not quite enough customers have used the product. Over the next six months both will be able to do a . . .

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August 09, 2017

Startups are learning machines

(at minute 9:35)

Founder Lesson
Every founder has super powers and blind spots. The hope is that the results that come from the super powers far outweigh any problems that are caused by the blind spots. Once a company is growing you can hire to offset blind spots, but early on it's really about one side overwhelming the other for the founding team.

One of . . .

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August 01, 2017

Don't grow until you have product-market fit

(at minute 2:11)

Founder Lesson
A few days ago I ran across this blog post. It’s the announcement from Shyp that they are cutting headcount and closing expansion markets to focus on profitability. Too many similar outcomes come to mind recently…Sprig, HomeHero, Zirtual, Beepi, Good Eggs & Homejoy. And these are just the ones that immediately come to mind. . . .

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July 25, 2017

The first three phases of marketing

(at minute 39:55)

Founder Lesson
One of the things that has most surprised me about launching Switchyards Downtown Club is the skills that new founders are requesting. My guess before launching was that new founders would want developers first and then designers right after that. Idea-stage founders are certainly looking for those skills, but much to my . . .

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July 11, 2017

MVP lessons from a burger joint

(listen to the whole thing)

Founder Lesson
I’m really loving How I Built This, a new podcast from NPR. They say it’s "a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” The founders tend to be from large businesses that people know and the podcasts dive into their origin stories.

When I started listening to . . .

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June 27, 2017

Startups are mashups

(at minute 0:59)

Founder Lesson
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I frequently talk about “knowing your space (and adjacent spaces) cold,” so that you can increase your odds of finding a 10x better product. In other words, learn as much as you can from other efforts around the country. This is particularly important in towns (like mine . . .

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June 21, 2017

The 8-step startup product process

(at minute 31:25)

Founder Lesson
Creating a new product can be a frustrating & expensive process for founders. Few founders know the right steps, are able to find good resources, can effectively manage those resources (especially for first-time founders) and - even after nailing all of those - the entire process can be very expensive.

This podcast caught . . .

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June 06, 2017


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