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Real Founder Lessons

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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

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

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

Think differently about procrastination

(at minute 2:56)

Founder Lesson
Startups are creative exercises. This is true because the path to creating a tool/brand/mission to solve a problem isn't known. If it were known/correct/big, it would already exist.

If you've ever done much long-form writing, it's like that. The basics of your story are in your head (eg a new college graduate moves . . .

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September 13, 2017

Startups are always messy

(at minute 4:56)

Founder Lesson
I’ve wrestled with a topic behind the scenes in writing my blog over the past two years…should I speak about startups topics cleanly (but less exact) or be as exact as possible (and risk watering-down the message)?

In writing about startups it has struck me that most “educators” or "advisors" on topics speak in broad . . .

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May 09, 2017

Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?

(at minute 2:03)

Founder Lesson
Last week I had the opportunity to meet-up with Bryce and the Indie.vc team during their quarterly retreat in Atlanta. I’ve been a fan of their approach since they launched, but hadn’t gotten a deep dive into their model until then.

In a nutshell, the Indie approach is to give a founder options. If they push hard for a year or . . .

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April 13, 2017

Archive

All Categories: all(103) podcast(95) process(79) focus(72) product(63) product market fit(56) counterintuitive things(55) business model validation(52) mvp(50) solving a problem(50) founders(40) unique playbook(39) traction(38) my favorites(31) this week in startups(30) video(29) hustle(29) first principles(28) jason calacanis(28) execution(28) value proposition(27) ycombinator(22) persistency(22) engagement(20) super fans(17) resiliency(16) lean startup(16) vision(15) psychological friction(14) purpose(13) customer discovery(12) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(11) niche products(11) aaron harris(10) creativity(10) raising capital(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) financing(9) nextview ventures(9) micromanagement(9) marketing(9) matt goldman(8) team(8) pattern matching(8) michael sacca(8) competition(8) bootstrapping(7) delusion(6) rocketship.fm(6) advisors(5) mixergy(5) how i built this(5) wharton business radio(5) risk(5) joelle steiniger(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) retention(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) pivot(4) brand(4) sidenote(4) focus groups(3) a16z(3) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) timing(3) distribution(2) eric ries(2) listen to entire podcast(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) dorm room tycoon(2) product hunt radio(2) chris sacca(1) joshua reeves(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) recode decode(1) kara swisher(1) masters of scale(1) domain expertise(1) optimal living daily(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) home