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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

Product-market fit isn’t rational

(at minute 15:43)

Founder Lesson
There isn't a topic that interests me more than product-market fit. In the 2007 - 2010 timeframe I went from a lifestyle business (where I could fool myself that it was high-growth) to a high-growth startup (where you didn't have to wonder if it had product-market fit) and that transition completely changed the way I . . .

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February 21, 2018

Raising money takes 6-9 months

(at minute 2:44)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was talking with a founder who was getting ready to raise money for the first time. During the course of our conversation it occurred to me that he's thinking the thoughts that all founders think before fundraising for the first time...

"Investors are going to meet me and hear my idea and in short order . . .

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February 13, 2018

Good ideas have to look terrible

(at minute 11:35)

Founder Lesson
Someone from a large company was asking me recently how I evaluated new startup ideas. They asked in a way that made me think of Shark Tank. I suspect that he expected me to say something like "I look for a strong technology patent" or "there has to be a big vision for a big market."

How I think about new . . .

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January 03, 2018

Every startup is a series of pivots

(at minute 0:33)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was having dinner with a founder who had a very good exit for his startup. Halfway through dinner he begins to reminisce about the journey. It is well-known that this startup had four distinct (large) pivots, but his narrative didn't describe it that way. Because he was the person on the front lines of this . . .

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November 21, 2017

The job of the founder/CEO is to say "no"

(at minute 4:19)

Founder Lesson
I'm a huge fan of hack tests. For example, let's say you believe that gardeners will buy more gardening equipment if you create a content-focused startup where the content's goal is to drive e-commerce. Instead of spending months building a site/app, setup a MailChimp account today and start sending emails tomorrow . . .

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October 05, 2017

You aren't the exception

(at minute 19:31)

Founder Lesson
About a year ago I was talking with a founder going through Techstars and he told me something that really stuck with me...

"Our behavior towards our startup totally changed when it occurred to us that we are the rule...not the exception."

In other words, this delusional founder (he's delusional because all . . .

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September 19, 2017

Archive

All Categories: all(107) podcast(98) process(83) focus(75) product(65) product market fit(60) counterintuitive things(59) business model validation(56) solving a problem(54) mvp(53) unique playbook(43) founders(40) traction(40) my favorites(33) hustle(31) execution(31) first principles(30) video(30) this week in startups(30) value proposition(29) jason calacanis(28) persistency(23) ycombinator(23) engagement(21) resiliency(19) lean startup(17) super fans(17) psychological friction(16) vision(15) purpose(14) customer discovery(13) niche products(13) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(11) creativity(10) micromanagement(10) raising capital(10) aaron harris(10) michael sacca(9) scalability(9) marketing(9) nextview ventures(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) competition(8) pattern matching(8) pivot(8) team(8) delusion(7) bootstrapping(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(6) mixergy(5) sidenote(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) how i built this(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) timing(4) brand(4) andrew warner(4) a16z(3) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) network effect(2) masters of scale(2) startups for the rest of us(2) eric ries(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) product hunt radio(2) distribution(2) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) joshua reeves(1) recode decode(1) kara swisher(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) accelerators(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) home