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Real Founder Lessons

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

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

Lean into marketing channels to make them work

(at minute 27:38)

Founder Lesson
Marketing has always baffled me. This is the main reason why I rely so much on product & brand - I want new customer awareness and conversion to be as easy as possible, so I have to rely less on traditional marketing after launch.

Because marketing has always been a nagging worry of mine, I’m always trying to learn all that . . .

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February 19, 2016

Financing strategy depends on the potential of the business

(at minute 5:39)

Common Founder Issue
I often hear founders discuss whether or not a certain business is “VC fundable” or “should we raise $250k or $1M?” What I’ve learned is that businesses and management teams are going to do what they do and financing strategy follows the operational results that happen as they execute their plans.

In other words, I’d . . .

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November 04, 2015

Paid advertising is the tax you pay for not being remarkable

(at minute 43:12)

Common Founder Issue
I often hear founders launch the the first version of their product and then complain that they have a "marketing problem" when initial customers aren't signing-up as quickly as expected. When this happens, I typically think this isn't a marketing issue...it's about the product.

Context
At this point . . .

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September 30, 2015

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