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Real Founder Lessons

Make customer value prop one simple thing

(at minute 22:51)

Founder Lesson
Over the past week I've had two meetings with founders where I gave the same advice...

You need to identify and pin point the one magical thing that your startup will do for consumers.

This is common advice given to founders, but why?

A few thoughts...

1) Doing one thing great is better than doing a dozen things good. One . . .

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December 05, 2017

Everything you always wanted to know about validating B2C startups (but were afraid to ask)

(at minute 8:57)

Founder Lesson
Yesterday I was talking with a first-time founder about the process of validating her B2C startup idea. Before she even decided to pursue her idea she did a survey with a bunch of consumers asking basic questions about the space and their habits.

People responded as she expected, so she decided to go all-in.

That means the idea . . .

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November 06, 2017

Savor the surprise

(at minute 31:15)

Founder Lesson
I'm working closely with two startups right now that are somewhere between launching an MVP product and getting their first few hundred customers. Both founders are trying to determine if they have product-market fit, but not quite enough customers have used the product. Over the next six months both will be able to do a . . .

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August 09, 2017

MVP lessons from a burger joint

(at minute 1:14)

Founder Lesson
I’m really loving How I Built This, a new podcast from NPR. They say it’s "a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” The founders tend to be from large businesses that people know and the podcasts dive into their origin stories.

When I started listening to . . .

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June 27, 2017

Going from doer to manager

(at minute 4:09)

Founder Lesson
Everyone knows that startups are “hard.” Ask anyone why this is the case and they’ll say things like “startups are risky” or “raising money is difficult.” While those things are true, they are only surface-level characteristics of startups. They don’t truly pinpoint why founders find the startup journey much more difficult than . . .

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April 04, 2017

What's your unique insight?

(at minute 14:01)

Founder Lesson
The more time I spend around startups the more I value the origin story of the founding team. And I’m not alone here. Pay attention to the VCs that you most respect. When you listen to them interview startup founders and the founders immediately launch into a product demo or describing traction, you’ll often hear the investors . . .

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March 21, 2017

First few hundred customers is about product

(at minute 7:10)

Founder Lesson
Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.

In this podcast Roelof is . . .

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February 28, 2017

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