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Real Founder Lessons

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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 timeframe - . . .

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March 20, 2018

Iterate your first product with a small group ideal users

(at minute 2:24)

Founder Lesson
What I like to believe about startups is that two passionate founders who love a problem have a unique insight in a space and work on that problem until something clicks.

But lately I’ve been thinking about an alternative path.

What if founders just try to solve a problem without a big mission from the start? What if they . . .

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December 20, 2017

The first three phases of marketing

(at minute 39:55)

Founder Lesson
One of the things that has most surprised me about launching Switchyards Downtown Club is the skills that new founders are requesting. My guess before launching was that new founders would want developers first and then designers right after that. Idea-stage founders are certainly looking for those skills, but much to my . . .

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July 11, 2017

Fall in love with the problem (not your proposed solution)

(at minute 56:39)

Founder Lesson
Most first-time founders (and even lots of experienced founders) begin to think about any startup in terms of a product/solution. Like Peter Rojas, the founder being interviewed in this podcast, I find myself constantly giving the advice to think of all new ideas in terms of the main problem that customers have. This advice is . . .

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May 17, 2016

At the very beginning focus on a niche, passionate group of potential customers

(at minute 25:04)

Founder Lesson
Founders who focus on their own passion projects are often told that their ideas are too niche & small. While this is sometimes the case, it’s important to remember...

  • Lots more people are coming online and spending more money online, so all online markets are growing over time.

  • Many successful startups were niche products . . .

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January 19, 2016

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