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Real Founder Lessons

Why execution is what really matters

(at minute 52:09)

Founder Lesson

One of the most common pieces of advice about startups is...

The idea doesn’t matter. It’s all about execution.

When founders ponder this statement, they often translate it into “ideas are a dime a dozen” or “ignore competition.” What is often difficult to fully grasp - until you’ve lived it - is how many different ways there . . .

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September 13, 2016

Raising money is never easy, so find true believers

(at minute 41:36)

Founder Lesson
When I first started raising money for startups, a very experienced attorney told me that every round would take six months. What I came to find out is that the reality is more like six to nine months. To new founders this might sound surprisingly long, but this has been the case for me every time.

One piece of advice that has . . .

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September 05, 2016

Consider retention when you have new startup ideas

(at minute 42:28)

Founder Lesson
The notion of retention has always interested me when it comes to new startup ideas. I’m sure there are lots of complicated definitions for that term, but to me it simply means your customers’ propensity to continue to use you app in an ongoing cadence that’s appropriate for your type of business.

One of the topics that I . . .

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August 31, 2016

Startups are all about testing assumptions quickly

(at minute 4:18)

Founder Lesson
Recently I was meeting with a first-time founder who has been working on his bootstrapped startup for two years. When I asked about his progress, he said that the first version of their app was just released into the app store.

Without going into specifics, this founding team - like most founding teams - has a very unique . . .

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August 25, 2016

Don’t underestimate distribution

(at minute 26:01)

Founder Lesson
I’ve often said that my startup playbook is a simple, two-step process...

Step #1 - Build a 10x better product.

Step #2 - Layer on a strong brand.

The reason that I believe in this simple formula is that the dynamics that effect startup success have changed drastically over just the past few years. Today it’s so . . .

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August 17, 2016

Passion, Persistency & Purpose

(three lessons in one podcast)

Founder Lesson
Every so often I run across a startup podcast that has a bunch of lessons in it, so it’s difficult to choose just one. That happened with this podcast. Every few minutes I was taking down a new lesson, so I figured the best thing to do was to mention them all.

In this podcast, the co-founder of ModCloth made three main points . . .

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August 09, 2016

Be skeptical of customer feedback in the idea stage

(at minute 12:34)

Founder Lesson
Lately I’ve been been working closely with a group of startup founders in the idea stage. In other words, they know the space they want to focus on, but don’t have the complete business model ready to validate.

During this stage, customer feedback is always tricky. I’ll never argue against talking with potential customers - . . .

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August 03, 2016

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