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Real Founder Lessons

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

Startups are all about testing assumptions quickly

(at minute 4:18)

Founder Lesson
Recently I was meeting with a first-time founder who has been working on his bootstrapped startup for two years. When I asked about his progress, he said that the first version of their app was just released into the app store.

Without going into specifics, this founding team - like most founding teams - has a very unique . . .

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August 25, 2016

If your friends won’t use your product, it’s not ready

(at minute 42:30)

Founder Lesson
Determining whether or not there is real demand for your product (otherwise known as product-market fit) is the most important thing for an early-stage idea. As a founder with a new idea, it’s easy to believe that other facets of your startup are just as important (eg attending conferences, raising money, finding early . . .

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May 24, 2016

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