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Real Founder Lessons

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Startups come from where people aren't paying attention

(at minute 44:19)

Founder Lesson
Over the past few weeks - for no particular reason - my mind has been focused on the topic of unique product visions. Partly fueled by some recent thinking about MailChimp and Snapchat, I find myself thinking about what it means to have a truly contrarian view of the world.

With all of these thoughts swirling . . .

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October 04, 2016

Remain true to your product vision

(at minute 10:52)

Founder Lesson
It’s always great to see startups hit their stride. I’m fortunate to know the founders of MailChimp and I’ve enjoyed seeing their rapid rise over the past decade. Another company that seems to be experiencing a similar rise is Snapchat.

Two years ago I heard this podcast on Product Hunt Radio. The two founders . . .

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September 27, 2016

Avoid distractions and focus only on what matters most

(at minute 2:27)

Founder Lesson
Everyone has that one initial failure that helps inform their future startup work. For some people it might have been something low-risk while they were in school. For me it was my first startup in San Francisco. For the the founder in this podcast, his first “bad” startup came out of a side project in 2006.

What . . .

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September 21, 2016

Startups are all about testing assumptions quickly

(at minute 4:18)

Founder Lesson
Recently I was meeting with a first-time founder who has been working on his bootstrapped startup for two years. When I asked about his progress, he said that the first version of their app was just released into the app store.

Without going into specifics, this founding team - like most founding teams - has a very . . .

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August 25, 2016

Be skeptical of customer feedback in the idea stage

(at minute 12:34)

Founder Lesson
Lately I’ve been been working closely with a group of startup founders in the idea stage. In other words, they know the space they want to focus on, but don’t have the complete business model ready to validate.

During this stage, customer feedback is always tricky. I’ll never argue against talking with potential . . .

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August 03, 2016

My 50th blog post

Founder Lesson
Last summer I decided that I would try my hand at blogging. A few things had come together in my startup journey, so with this first post I was in business.

Almost a year (and a few hundred readers) later and I’m still really enjoying it. Each writing session allows me to organize my thoughts about an important . . .

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July 28, 2016

Creating an early-stage startup brand (when you are bad at brand)

(at minute 6:07)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve developed a very specific playbook for my own startup ideas. Determine what is most likely to be a 10x better product in a space. Once that’s been tested, layer a very strong brand on top of that product. There are many playbooks to be successful…this is mine.

Put as simply as possible, the . . .

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July 12, 2016

Archive

All Categories: all(112) podcast(102) process(87) focus(80) product(70) counterintuitive things(64) product market fit(63) business model validation(60) solving a problem(58) mvp(57) unique playbook(48) traction(43) founders(40) my favorites(36) execution(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) value proposition(32) video(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) niche products(15) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(10) marketing(10) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) pattern matching(9) pivot(9) delusion(8) competition(8) team(8) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(6) retention(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) how i built this(5) mixergy(5) brand(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) culture(4) a16z(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) kara swisher(2) distribution(2) recode decode(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) listen to entire podcast(2) eric ries(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) joshua reeves(1) time(1) accelerators(1) loose threads(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) optimal living daily(1) home