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Real Founder Lessons

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Talk with competitors

(at minute 15:54)

Founder Lesson
It’s common knowledge that talking with users is the best way to understand a potential market for a new startup. Less known, but also valuable, is talking with investors who invest in the space. Maybe even less accepted is a third way…talking with competitors.

In this podcast an experienced founder describes why . . .

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December 10, 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

Expect a new startup to take 18 months to find product-market fit

(at minute 8:25)

Common Founder Issue
I didn’t believe this when I started and this constantly surprises first-time founders, but a good general rule is that new startups will take about 18 months to find decent product-market fit. Sometimes it happens as quickly as 12 months and often (of course) it never happens, but 18 months is what I’d expect if I . . .

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November 18, 2015

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 . . .

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November 04, 2015

Competition doesn’t kill startups

(at minute 18:45)

Common Founder Issue
I decided to make my very first blog post this one because it’s the link that I send the most to founders. The topics “what matters most to my startup?” and “how should we think about competition?” are endlessly fascinating to me because startups by nature have very limited resources, so focusing on what matters is . . .

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October 19, 2015

The best predictor of startup success is getting lots of small stuff done

(at minute 35:55)

Common Founder Issue
I tend to focus on startups that are very early stage. This typically means just a few passionate founders working 24/7 on an idea. Over the years I’ve struggled with how to identify the most promising teams before their businesses have had enough time to show traction.

Before even seeing this video, I . . .

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October 06, 2015

Most startup products are 10% better. 10x better is required to beat incumbents.

(at minute 16:33)

Common Founder Issue
Founders typically try to get as many users as possible as early as possible. What typically works better is for a startup to find 100 super fans initially because "it's a lot easier to take something that has a real depth of appeal - something that people really love - and grow that than it is to take . . .

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October 02, 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) value proposition(32) video(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) niche products(15) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(10) marketing(10) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) pattern matching(9) pivot(9) delusion(8) competition(8) team(8) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(6) retention(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) how i built this(5) mixergy(5) brand(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) culture(4) a16z(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) kara swisher(2) distribution(2) recode decode(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) listen to entire podcast(2) eric ries(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) joshua reeves(1) time(1) accelerators(1) loose threads(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) optimal living daily(1) home