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Real Founder Lessons

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There are only two hard problems with startups

(at minute 14:51)

Founder Lesson
I think of large businesses as symphonies. There are lots of musicians. Lots of instruments. Many moving parts. Much coordination.

A startup, on the other hand, is more like one person playing the hell out of their guitar and another person singing at the top of their lungs - at least in the very beginning. Most . . .

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March 17, 2016

The stages of idea validation

(at minute 5:16)

Founder Lesson
I focus most of my time on high-growth startups. I define these as businesses that benefit from a major need the market. Once demand is proven for these businesses, outside resources (like capital and people) can then be applied to these businesses to get tremendous growth.

The term “bootstrapped” startup defines a . . .

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March 09, 2016

Measurement is important, but the value proposition of your product has to come first

(at minute 42:38)

Founder Lesson
My initial conversations with founders often go like this...

Founder: Here’s my startup idea…won’t it be amazing what we can do when we have 10,000 users?

Me: Since you haven’t launched yet, I’d encourage you to spend as much time as possible measuring whether or not there’s demand for what you plan to . . .

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March 07, 2016

Why does it take at least a year to get traction?

(at minute 8:27)

Founder Lesson
One of the counterintuitive things about startups that most fascinates me is how long they take to see even the smallest bit of true traction. A while back I wrote my first blog post on this topic and it’s one to the topics that I expect to re-visit a bunch in future blog posts.

I believe that this timeline is so . . .

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March 03, 2016

Even startups that rely on a network effect can be validated early

(at minute 1:04:56)

Founder Lesson
I was meeting with a very successful local founder this week and he was describing his current strategy - after years of honing it - of finding a group of initial "happy customers" for a new product. Like this founder, over the past year it seems like I'm constantly telling founders...

"Distill . . .

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February 03, 2016

The best founders combine vision & micromanagement

(at minute 42:50)

Founder Lesson
It’s common wisdom that startups are defined by their limited resources. The actual definition of a startup could be “a new business that grows quickly despite limited resources."

While this startup rule-of-thumb is known by most everyone, very few people have been in the trenches enough to truly understand . . .

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February 01, 2016

At the very beginning focus on a niche, passionate group of potential customers

(at minute 25:04)

Founder Lesson
Founders who focus on their own passion projects are often told that their ideas are too niche & small. While this is sometimes the case, it’s important to remember...

  • Lots more people are coming online and spending more money online, so all online markets are growing over time.

  • Many successful . . .

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January 19, 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