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Real Founder Lessons

Even startups that rely on a network effect can be validated early

(at minute 1:04:56)

Founder Lesson
I was meeting with a very successful local founder this week and he was describing his current strategy - after years of honing it - of finding a group of initial "happy customers" for a new product. Like this founder, over the past year it seems like I'm constantly telling founders...

"Distill the main . . .

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February 03, 2016

The best founders combine vision & micromanagement

(at minute 42:50)

Founder Lesson
It’s common wisdom that startups are defined by their limited resources. The actual definition of a startup could be “a new business that grows quickly despite limited resources."

While this startup rule-of-thumb is known by most everyone, very few people have been in the trenches enough to truly understand what this means . . .

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February 01, 2016

At the very beginning focus on a niche, passionate group of potential customers

(at minute 25:04)

Founder Lesson
Founders who focus on their own passion projects are often told that their ideas are too niche & small. While this is sometimes the case, it’s important to remember...

  • Lots more people are coming online and spending more money online, so all online markets are growing over time.

  • Many successful startups were niche products . . .

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January 19, 2016

Founders often don't have a grand plan at the very beginning

(at minute 16:10)

Founder Lesson
History is often re-written over time. A great example of this is startups that are successful. After reaching a certain level - for a bunch of good reasons - the origin story of startups is altered for PR reasons. The re-written story goes something like “the underdog founder had grand plans from the very beginning and has now . . .

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January 06, 2016

The best founders eliminate risk

(at minute 36:16)

Founder Lesson
The notion of “risk” in new businesses has always fascinated me. The best founders that I know believe passionately in their idea and space, but they spend most of their time/energy/creativity removing risk to increase the likelihood that they will succeed. And if they can’t property remove/mitigate risk then they don’t move . . .

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December 23, 2015

Focus is your competitive advantage

(at minute 15:12)

Founder Lesson
Startups have a lot of disadvantages compared to other players in your industry. Most every other player in your industry has more money, more employees, more experience…pretty much more of everything. The only advantage that your startup has - and it’s bigger than you think - is focus.

Everyone you know woke up happy this . . .

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December 21, 2015

Resiliency is the most important founder trait

(at minute 18:22)

Founder Lesson
There’s a lot written about the importance of the resiliency of startup founders. I don’t like to write blog posts unless I can contribute something unique to the topic, so when I first heard the people on this podcast talk about resiliency, I was expecting the same old same old with nothing much blog-worthy here. But about . . .

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December 16, 2015

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