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Real Founder Lessons

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Don’t pay for customers for years

(at minute 12:37)

Founder Lesson
One of my first blog posts was called "Paid advertising is the tax you pay for not being remarkable." I got so many "what the hell are you taking about?" comments from this early post that it fueled my desire to continue to blog about counterintuitive/advanced startup concepts.

This notion that . . .

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June 26, 2018

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.

. . .

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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 . . .

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July 25, 2017

The first three phases of marketing

(at minute 39:55)

Founder Lesson
One of the things that has most surprised me about launching Switchyards Downtown Club is the skills that new founders are requesting. My guess before launching was that new founders would want developers first and then designers right after that. Idea-stage founders are certainly looking for those skills, but much to my . . .

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July 11, 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 . . .

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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, . . .

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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 . . .

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August 17, 2016

Archive

All Categories: all(112) podcast(102) process(87) focus(80) product(70) counterintuitive things(64) product market fit(63) business model validation(60) solving a problem(58) mvp(57) unique playbook(48) traction(43) founders(40) my favorites(36) execution(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) video(32) value proposition(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) persistency(24) ycombinator(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) purpose(15) niche products(15) customer discovery(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) marketing(10) raising capital(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) pattern matching(9) pivot(9) competition(8) delusion(8) team(8) rocketship.fm(7) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) advisors(6) how i built this(5) retention(5) mixergy(5) joelle steiniger(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) brand(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) hypepotamus(4) timing(4) culture(4) a16z(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) dorm room tycoon(2) eric ries(2) listen to entire podcast(2) recode decode(2) product hunt radio(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) distribution(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) founder's journey(1) fred wilson(1) loose threads(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) time(1) indie.vc(1) accelerators(1) optimal living daily(1) chris sacca(1) domain expertise(1) home