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Real Founder Lessons

Don't grow until you have product-market fit

(at minute 2:11)

Founder Lesson
A few days ago I ran across this blog post. It’s the announcement from Shyp that they are cutting headcount and closing expansion markets to focus on profitability. Too many similar outcomes come to mind recently…Sprig, HomeHero, Zirtual, Beepi, Good Eggs & Homejoy. And these are just the ones that immediately come to mind. . . .

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July 25, 2017

The first three phases of marketing

(at minute 39:55)

Founder Lesson
One of the things that has most surprised me about launching Switchyards Downtown Club is the skills that new founders are requesting. My guess before launching was that new founders would want developers first and then designers right after that. Idea-stage founders are certainly looking for those skills, but much to my . . .

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July 11, 2017

Focus on single actions

(at minute 5:31)

Founder Lesson
How do you know that consumers love your product?

What I hear most often is “just last week a customer told me how much they loved using the product.” Or founders will say "our daily active users (DAUs) or monthly active users (MAUs) continue to increase.”

These are both decent ways to keep your fingers on the pulse of the . . .

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April 26, 2017

The three parts of organic growth

(at minute 4:05)

Founder Lesson
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m a product-first founder. I just looked at the various tags that I use for my blog and 40 of my blog posts (over half) are tagged “product.” I love product.

I focus so much on product because I believe it’s like the foundation of a house. If you make the foundation amazing, then everything . . .

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January 25, 2017

Don’t underestimate distribution

(at minute 26:01)

Founder Lesson
I’ve often said that my startup playbook is a simple, two-step process...

Step #1 - Build a 10x better product.

Step #2 - Layer on a strong brand.

The reason that I believe in this simple formula is that the dynamics that effect startup success have changed drastically over just the past few years. Today it’s so . . .

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August 17, 2016

Just put up a landing page and get some press

(at minute 14:23)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with an ex-NFL player about his new startup. His startup helps amateur athletes measure their performance and compare with others. He gave me the full pitch and then said, “a big advantage I have (as the founder) is that I’ve been to the ‘promised land,’ so it gives me some credibility.” Of course he . . .

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July 20, 2016

What angel investors want to see

(at minute 41:46)

Founder Lesson
As a group of investors, angel investors fall into a tricky middle ground that founders should understand and appreciate. Angels are typically individuals who are able to invest $10,000 to $100,000 personally. Most angels that I encounter act like friends & family investors - they focus on the people and idea. Like your . . .

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December 14, 2015

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