Real Founder Lessons

Example of not having product-market fit

(at minute 6:20)

Founder Lesson
I’ve spent a decade of my life in the “local discovery” part of the startup universe. In 2009 I co-founded a company called Scoutmob, a very early entrant into the part of the local discovery space that Groupon kicked-off a year earlier. This was after working for two years on the same problem with a different startup product.

. . .

Read More

November 15, 2016

How to know when you don't have product-market fit

(at minute 30:01)

Founder Lesson
Many of us have been in this spot...

1) You feel a problem so deeply that you have to solve it, so you set off on your startup journey.

2) You wireframe a product that will solve your pain for lots of people.

3) You spend 6-12 months getting your product built.

4) You launch the product and the results are meh.

Now what?

A . . .

Read More

June 21, 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 . . .

Read More

January 06, 2016

Talk with competitors

(at minute 15:54)

Founder Lesson
It’s common knowledge that talking with users is the best way to understand a potential market for a new startup. Less known, but also valuable, is talking with investors who invest in the space. Maybe even less accepted is a third way…talking with competitors.

In this podcast an experienced founder describes why talking with . . .

Read More

December 10, 2015

In the early days hustle is more important than scalability

(at minute 18:03)

Common Founder Issue
One of the best things that I’ve ever heard about startups is the connection between promising businesses and how much those teams are constantly getting done. Related to this topic, I’ve grow to believe that it’s so difficult to connect the dots in the very early days that teams just need to work their asses off and be . . .

Read More

November 06, 2015

You have to love the startup process

(at minute 22:24)

Common Founder Issue
Persistence (otherwise known as “just sticking around”) is a mandatory characteristic of startup founders. Part of “sticking around” is the motivation behind it. I’ve found that the most successful startup founders have just a few common reasons for sticking it out. One common reason is the strong belief that their idea . . .

Read More

October 28, 2015

Competition doesn’t kill startups

(at minute 18:45)

Common Founder Issue
I decided to make my very first blog post this one because it’s the link that I send the most to founders. The topics “what matters most to my startup?” and “how should we think about competition?” are endlessly fascinating to me because startups by nature have very limited resources, so focusing on what matters is the . . .

Read More

October 19, 2015