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Real Founder Lessons

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Creativity loves constraint

(at minute 19:11)

Founder Lesson
I don't know where I first heard this notion, but on a monthly basis I think about the counterintuitive concept that creativity loves constraint.

On a personal level I'm a moderate procrastinator for most things. Over the years I've found that forcing myself to get 50% of the work done in a tight . . .

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March 20, 2018

Share your idea with lots of people

(at minute 15:43)

Founder Lesson
A few weeks ago a first-time founder emailed me to meet-up. One of my favorite things is meeting new founders, so I'm always excited to get emails like that. However my enthusiasm quickly declined when I read this at the end of his email...

"Please see the attached mutual NDA and let me know if you have . . .

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January 16, 2018

Good ideas have to look terrible

(at minute 11:35)

Founder Lesson
Someone from a large company was asking me recently how I evaluated new startup ideas. They asked in a way that made me think of Shark Tank. I suspect that he expected me to say something like "I look for a strong technology patent" or "there has to be a big vision for a big market."

How I think . . .

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January 03, 2018

Iterate your first product with a small group ideal users

(at minute 2:24)

Founder Lesson
What I like to believe about startups is that two passionate founders who love a problem have a unique insight in a space and work on that problem until something clicks.

But lately I’ve been thinking about an alternative path.

What if founders just try to solve a problem without a big mission from the . . .

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December 20, 2017

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 . . .

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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.

. . .

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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 . . .

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August 09, 2017

Archive

All Categories: all(109) podcast(100) process(84) focus(77) product(67) counterintuitive things(61) product market fit(61) business model validation(57) solving a problem(55) mvp(54) unique playbook(45) traction(41) founders(40) my favorites(33) hustle(32) execution(32) video(31) this week in startups(30) first principles(30) value proposition(30) jason calacanis(28) persistency(24) ycombinator(24) engagement(22) resiliency(19) lean startup(18) super fans(17) psychological friction(16) vision(15) purpose(14) niche products(13) customer discovery(13) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(12) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) raising capital(10) creativity(10) marketing(10) matt goldman(9) michael sacca(9) scalability(9) nextview ventures(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) team(8) pattern matching(8) competition(8) delusion(7) rocketship.fm(7) bootstrapping(7) advisors(6) how i built this(5) risk(5) mixergy(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(5) sidenote(5) focus groups(4) timing(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) brand(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) a16z(3) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) product hunt radio(2) distribution(2) kara swisher(2) recode decode(2) listen to entire podcast(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) eric ries(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) chris sacca(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) optimal living daily(1) time(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) joshua reeves(1) home