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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

MVP lessons from a burger joint

(at minute 1:14)

Founder Lesson
I’m really loving How I Built This, a new podcast from NPR. They say it’s "a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” The founders tend to be from large businesses that people know and the podcasts dive into their origin stories.

When I started listening to . . .

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June 27, 2017

The 8-step startup product process

(at minute 31:25)

Founder Lesson
Creating a new product can be a frustrating & expensive process for founders. Few founders know the right steps, are able to find good resources, can effectively manage those resources (especially for first-time founders) and - even after nailing all of those - the entire process can be very expensive.

This podcast caught . . .

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June 06, 2017

Startups are always messy

(at minute 4:56)

Founder Lesson
I’ve wrestled with a topic behind the scenes in writing my blog over the past two years…should I speak about startups topics cleanly (but less exact) or be as exact as possible (and risk watering-down the message)?

In writing about startups it has struck me that most “educators” or "advisors" on topics speak in broad . . .

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May 09, 2017

First few hundred customers is about product

(at minute 7:10)

Founder Lesson
Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.

In this podcast Roelof is . . .

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February 28, 2017

Focus on one key metric

(at minute 4:57)

Founder Lesson
This morning I was having coffee with a first-time founder discussing his new business idea. Like many (first time and experienced) founders, he spent most of the conversation discussing “at scale” issues. These are issues that become hurdles down the line (eg partnerships that drive new customer acquisition, legal issues, . . .

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December 13, 2016

Example of not having product-market fit

(at minute 6:20)

Founder Lesson
I’ve spent a decade of my life in the “local discovery” part of the startup universe. In 2009 I co-founded a company called Scoutmob, a very early entrant into the part of the local discovery space that Groupon kicked-off a year earlier. This was after working for two years on the same problem with a different startup product.

. . .

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November 15, 2016

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