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Real Founder Lessons

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

Why does it take at least a year to get traction?

(at minute 8:27)

Founder Lesson
One of the counterintuitive things about startups that most fascinates me is how long they take to see even the smallest bit of true traction. A while back I wrote my first blog post on this topic and it’s one to the topics that I expect to re-visit a bunch in future blog posts.

I believe that this timeline is so . . .

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March 03, 2016

Pattern matching with startups is powerful

(at minute 15:29)

Founder Lesson
I’ve heard that chess champions don't win because they can see more moves ahead than chess novices. They win because they've played so much that their pattern-matching skills are extraordinary. In other words, they've seen patterns on the chess board so many times that they subconsciously know how the game is likely . . .

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February 24, 2016

Lean into marketing channels to make them work

(at minute 27:38)

Founder Lesson
Marketing has always baffled me. This is the main reason why I rely so much on product & brand - I want new customer awareness and conversion to be as easy as possible, so I have to rely less on traditional marketing after launch.

Because marketing has always been a nagging worry of mine, I’m always trying to learn all that . . .

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February 19, 2016

Put simple rules around creativity

(at minute 22:09)

Founder Lesson
Even though startups are businesses, I’ve never thought of myself as a “businessman.” Like all college business majors, the Wall Street Journal was interesting to me for a few years after graduation, but I quickly realized that I was drawn to startups due to what happens with them during their earliest moments - when they are . . .

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February 17, 2016

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