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Real Founder Lessons

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What's your earned secret?

(at minute 8:07)

Founder Lesson
Talk with a dozen successful founders and you'll hear a few very common themes of general startup advice...

  • Team. Nothing matters more than great people. The hugely successful Techstars accelerator values team so much that they say that the five things they care about (in order) are "team, team, team, . . .

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August 14, 2018

Make one doughnut

(at minute 13:01)

Founder Lesson
There’s a doughnut shop in my neighborhood called Revolution Doughnuts. As a neighbor I can attest that they are a tremendous local success story and their ratings on Yelp put them in the top 15% of all restaurants in town.

Silvrback blog image
I lived nearby before they launched their first location, so I saw how the owner . . .

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August 02, 2018

Focus on problem being solved rather than technical difficulty of solution

(at minute 9:22)

Founder Lesson
A few years ago I had an epiphany moment about startups...the best founders are problem solvers. They see the world as infinitely malleable and proceed to think about ways to change it to add value. This might sound obvious, but when you compare "problem solving" to money, power or fame as primary career drivers, . . .

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July 25, 2018

You can't skip steps

(at minute 4:19)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with a founder. Last year he and I were spending a bunch of time together as he manually tested his theory of human behavior. At the time he had a full-time job and the manual test that I helped him execute had some holes, so I don't believe that he validated an intense enough consumer use case in . . .

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July 17, 2018

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

Founders need a theory of human behavior

(at minute 13:03)

Founder Lesson
A trusted startup friend came to me the other day with a new idea...

He just bought a house, so he's thinking a lot about paying contractors for large projects and doing smaller projects himself. There are lots of videos on YouTube about small home projects (eg cutting down vines on the side of your home), but . . .

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May 01, 2018

Creativity loves constraint

(at minute 19:11)

Founder Lesson
I don't know where I first heard this notion, but on a monthly basis I think about the counterintuitive concept that creativity loves constraint.

On a personal level I'm a moderate procrastinator for most things. Over the years I've found that forcing myself to get 50% of the work done in a tight . . .

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March 20, 2018

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