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Real Founder Lessons

Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?

(at minute 2:03)

Founder Lesson
Last week I had the opportunity to meet-up with Bryce and the Indie.vc team during their quarterly retreat in Atlanta. I’ve been a fan of their approach since they launched, but hadn’t gotten a deep dive into their model until then.

In a nutshell, the Indie approach is to give a founder options. If they push hard for a year or . . .

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April 13, 2017

Going from doer to manager

(at minute 4:09)

Founder Lesson
Everyone knows that startups are “hard.” Ask anyone why this is the case and they’ll say things like “startups are risky” or “raising money is difficult.” While those things are true, they are only surface-level characteristics of startups. They don’t truly pinpoint why founders find the startup journey much more difficult than . . .

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April 04, 2017

Founders need to lie (especially to themselves)

(at minute 15:20)

Founder Lesson
Startups are tricky business for many reasons. One of the trickiest of reasons is the notion of “truth.”

When you have a new idea that you think will make lots of people much happier, but you haven’t built anything yet, you have to weave such a dream that you make everyone believe in your vision. Then you have to convince a few . . .

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January 18, 2017

Are you working on the right thing right now?

(at minute 19:48)

Founder Lesson
I left my last startup about two years ago. Ever since then the topic that has most fascinated me is how disruptive companies are launched from the earliest moment that the founder has a special insight...what I call the "idea stage."

In order to focus full-time on this problem, I joined a long-time friend and . . .

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January 10, 2017

The pit of despair

(at minute 30:49)

Founder Lesson
The common belief is that you become a founder the day that you leave your day job to focus full-time on a new startup idea.

I’m beginning to believe that the path is more like this...

Step #1 You start off with a problem that you want to solve.

Step #2 You have a vision of what the future with look like.

Step #3 You come up . . .

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December 07, 2016

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 around in my head, . . .

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October 04, 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 customers - . . .

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August 03, 2016

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