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Real Founder Lessons

Most features don't matter

(at minute 7:04)

Founder Lesson
One of the most counterintuitive lessons that I’ve learned about startups is that most features don’t matter. Having learned this lesson the hard way and talked with lots of startups founders, I can confidentially say that the vast majority of startup founders can’t pinpoint the one feature that their customers will love and . . .

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February 14, 2017

New products need a clear vision

(at minute 21:50)

Founder Lesson
How would you like to be a startup competing with Apple? I love competing with big/slow/dumb companies, but Apple isn’t one that I’d want as a competitor.

The founder in this podcast didn’t feel that way. He founded Pebble…a watch that made crowdfunding history in 2012 when it raised $10 million and broke that record again in . . .

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July 06, 2016

Any startup culture can win but it has to be authentic

(at minute 23:44)

Founder Lesson
Startup culture. Of all the startup terms that get thrown around and discussed, the concept of “culture” is one that seems to be the least understood.

First off…I’m no expert on this topic. As a matter of fact, I’ve probably not thought about this topic much more than the average founder. But I did start a startup that grew a . . .

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June 07, 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

Best to market will always beat first to market

(at minute 31:28)

Founder Lesson
Startups have lots of worries on a daily basis. Big worries that immediately to mind are (a) running out of money, (b) building the correct product and (c) hiring the right people. Another big, macro worry is how to think about competition, particularly how much to worry about getting your product launched before anyone else.

. . .

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February 08, 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 . . .

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December 10, 2015

Who are your real competitors?

(at minute 21:54)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve struggled with how to think about competition. There are obvious competitors in your industry that you can find with a simple Google search, but I’ve found that the best founders think more deeply about this topic.

The best founders fixate on their primary customer value proposition and who else fully or . . .

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November 25, 2015

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