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Real Founder Lessons

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It takes 3 years to know what you have

(at minute 2:24)

Founder Lesson
I'm talking weekly with a very good founder who's working on a startup to disrupt hiring. He checks all the boxes. He loves the problem...check. He's a visionary...check. He's smart with a strong work ethic...check. He has very relevant experience...check. He has a proven track record of building . . .

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March 28, 2018

Are you working on the right thing right now?

(at minute 19:48)

Founder Lesson
I left my last startup about two years ago. Ever since then the topic that has most fascinated me is how disruptive companies are launched from the earliest moment that the founder has a special insight...what I call the "idea stage."

In order to focus full-time on this problem, I joined a long-time . . .

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January 10, 2017

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 . . .

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August 25, 2016

Just put up a landing page and get some press

(at minute 14:23)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with an ex-NFL player about his new startup. His startup helps amateur athletes measure their performance and compare with others. He gave me the full pitch and then said, “a big advantage I have (as the founder) is that I’ve been to the ‘promised land,’ so it gives me some credibility.” Of course he . . .

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July 20, 2016

Focus is your competitive advantage

(at minute 15:12)

Founder Lesson
Startups have a lot of disadvantages compared to other players in your industry. Most every other player in your industry has more money, more employees, more experience…pretty much more of everything. The only advantage that your startup has - and it’s bigger than you think - is focus.

Everyone you know woke up . . .

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December 21, 2015

The only metric that really matters for an early startup

(at minute 7:05)

Founder Lesson
Momentum is oxygen for startups. This is something that I’ve experienced many times. Momentum can be anything that motivates you and your team. Getting selected for a big conference. Convincing a local angel to invest. Getting a good press story. All of these small victories keep the founders going and make the difficult . . .

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December 03, 2015

A good startup education for anyone

For this post, I decided to switch things up a bit to give a little backstory on where I get most of the content for my blog.

I frequently have coffee meetings with first-time founders where they ask for advice on how to learn the basics of startups.

Here are the best four ways to learn about startups...

1) Best way . . .

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November 20, 2015

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