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Real Founder Lessons

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Creativity loves constraint

(at minute 19:11)

Founder Lesson
I don't know where I first heard this notion, but on a monthly basis I think about the counterintuitive concept that creativity loves constraint.

On a personal level I'm a moderate procrastinator for most things. Over the years I've found that forcing myself to get 50% of the work done in a tight timeframe - . . .

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March 20, 2018

It's all about love (not likes)

(listen to the whole thing)

Founder Lesson
There's only been two times that I've referenced a podcast in one of my blog posts, but not referenced an exact moment for the reader to listen to hear the lesson. First there was this one and today I'm going to do it again. In both instances the podcast has so many good lessons throughout that I would encourage all . . .

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February 06, 2018

Make customer value prop one simple thing

(at minute 22:51)

Founder Lesson
Over the past week I've had two meetings with founders where I gave the same advice...

You need to identify and pin point the one magical thing that your startup will do for consumers.

This is common advice given to founders, but why?

A few thoughts...

1) Doing one thing great is better than doing a dozen things good. One . . .

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December 05, 2017

Every startup is a series of pivots

(at minute 0:33)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was having dinner with a founder who had a very good exit for his startup. Halfway through dinner he begins to reminisce about the journey. It is well-known that this startup had four distinct (large) pivots, but his narrative didn't describe it that way. Because he was the person on the front lines of this . . .

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November 21, 2017

Everything you always wanted to know about validating B2C startups (but were afraid to ask)

(at minute 8:57)

Founder Lesson
Yesterday I was talking with a first-time founder about the process of validating her B2C startup idea. Before she even decided to pursue her idea she did a survey with a bunch of consumers asking basic questions about the space and their habits.

People responded as she expected, so she decided to go all-in.

That means the idea . . .

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November 06, 2017

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

(listen to the whole thing)

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

Archive

All Categories: all(107) podcast(98) process(83) focus(75) product(65) product market fit(60) counterintuitive things(59) business model validation(56) solving a problem(54) mvp(53) unique playbook(43) founders(40) traction(40) my favorites(33) hustle(31) execution(31) first principles(30) video(30) this week in startups(30) value proposition(29) jason calacanis(28) persistency(23) ycombinator(23) engagement(21) resiliency(19) lean startup(17) super fans(17) psychological friction(16) vision(15) purpose(14) customer discovery(13) niche products(13) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(11) creativity(10) micromanagement(10) raising capital(10) aaron harris(10) michael sacca(9) scalability(9) marketing(9) nextview ventures(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) competition(8) pattern matching(8) pivot(8) team(8) delusion(7) bootstrapping(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(6) mixergy(5) sidenote(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) how i built this(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) timing(4) brand(4) andrew warner(4) a16z(3) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) network effect(2) masters of scale(2) startups for the rest of us(2) eric ries(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) product hunt radio(2) distribution(2) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) joshua reeves(1) recode decode(1) kara swisher(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) accelerators(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) home