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Real Founder Lessons

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Founders often don't have a grand plan at the very beginning

(at minute 16:10)

Founder Lesson
History is often re-written over time. A great example of this is startups that are successful. After reaching a certain level - for a bunch of good reasons - the origin story of startups is altered for PR reasons. The re-written story goes something like “the underdog founder had grand plans from the very beginning and has . . .

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January 06, 2016

The best founders eliminate risk

(at minute 36:16)

Founder Lesson
The notion of “risk” in new businesses has always fascinated me. The best founders that I know believe passionately in their idea and space, but they spend most of their time/energy/creativity removing risk to increase the likelihood that they will succeed. And if they can’t property remove/mitigate risk then they don’t . . .

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December 23, 2015

Focus is your competitive advantage

(at minute 15:12)

Founder Lesson
Startups have a lot of disadvantages compared to other players in your industry. Most every other player in your industry has more money, more employees, more experience…pretty much more of everything. The only advantage that your startup has - and it’s bigger than you think - is focus.

Everyone you know woke up . . .

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December 21, 2015

The only metric that really matters for an early startup

(at minute 7:05)

Founder Lesson
Momentum is oxygen for startups. This is something that I’ve experienced many times. Momentum can be anything that motivates you and your team. Getting selected for a big conference. Convincing a local angel to invest. Getting a good press story. All of these small victories keep the founders going and make the difficult . . .

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December 03, 2015

It's really hard to get minimum viable product right

(at minute 24:01)

Founder Lesson
Since product-market fit is maybe the most important step in a new startup, deciding what to test and what initial product to create becomes pretty important. I find that most founders do the “kitchen sink” method of including everything. This methods takes too much time and money. Another group goes the Lean Startup route . . .

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December 02, 2015

Expect a new startup to take 18 months to find product-market fit

(at minute 8:25)

Common Founder Issue
I didn’t believe this when I started and this constantly surprises first-time founders, but a good general rule is that new startups will take about 18 months to find decent product-market fit. Sometimes it happens as quickly as 12 months and often (of course) it never happens, but 18 months is what I’d expect if I . . .

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November 18, 2015

Just fu@%&ng launch already (what's most engaging)

(at minute 33:47)

Common Founder Issue
Anyone who’s ever launched the initial product for a startup knows the drill. The temptation is to add lots of features because you don’t know which will be most popular and your ultimate vision for the business is huge, so you might as well start on that big vision now.

The reality is that your small startup . . .

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November 11, 2015

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