Real Founder Lessons

Fall in love with the problem (not your proposed solution)

(at minute 56:39)

Founder Lesson
Most first-time founders (and even lots of experienced founders) begin to think about any startup in terms of a product/solution. Like Peter Rojas, the founder being interviewed in this podcast, I find myself constantly giving the advice to think of all new ideas in terms of the main problem that customers have. This advice is . . .

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May 17, 2016

The value of side projects

(at minute 31:12)

Founder Lesson
Trying to imagine how your new startup idea will be built, adopted & grown can seem very daunting when you think of all the things that need to happen after the idea stage. One of the main forces in startups that keeps me hopeful and excited is the concept of “side projects”…small projects that people do outside of their . . .

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April 29, 2016

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.

This . . .

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April 06, 2016

The importance of having experienced founder/CEOs as advisors or board members

(at minute 26:16)

Founder Lesson
One thing that I’ve come to realize recently is how rare it is to come up with an idea for a new venture and have it get to a reasonable size.

Think about all of the people that you interact with on a daily/weekly/monthly basis - how many of them have ever written an idea on a napkin and then grown that idea into a business . . .

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April 04, 2016

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 first-time . . .

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March 17, 2016

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 different . . .

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March 09, 2016

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 launch.

What I often . . .

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March 07, 2016