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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

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

Permission to say "it's not working"

(at minute 0:22)

Founder Lesson
I've been a casual advisor to a well-known B2C brand/founder in Atlanta for a few years now. When I met him in 2014 I was super impressed by his love of the problem and his ability to walk through walls. And I wasn't the only one...he's been able to raise capital from some great investors across the country.

. . .

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March 06, 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 . . .

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February 21, 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 . . .

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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

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 . . .

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September 19, 2017

Archive

All Categories: all(109) podcast(100) process(84) focus(77) product(67) counterintuitive things(61) product market fit(61) business model validation(57) solving a problem(55) mvp(54) unique playbook(45) traction(41) founders(40) my favorites(33) hustle(32) execution(32) video(31) this week in startups(30) first principles(30) value proposition(30) jason calacanis(28) persistency(24) ycombinator(24) engagement(22) resiliency(19) lean startup(18) super fans(17) psychological friction(16) vision(15) purpose(14) niche products(13) customer discovery(13) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(12) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) raising capital(10) creativity(10) marketing(10) matt goldman(9) michael sacca(9) scalability(9) nextview ventures(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) team(8) pattern matching(8) competition(8) delusion(7) rocketship.fm(7) bootstrapping(7) advisors(6) how i built this(5) risk(5) mixergy(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(5) sidenote(5) focus groups(4) timing(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) brand(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) a16z(3) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) product hunt radio(2) distribution(2) kara swisher(2) recode decode(2) listen to entire podcast(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) eric ries(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) chris sacca(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) optimal living daily(1) time(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) joshua reeves(1) home