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Real Founder Lessons

Make customer value prop one simple thing

(at minute 22:51)

Founder Lesson
Over the past week I've had two meetings with founders where I gave the same advice...

You need to identify and pin point the one magical thing that your startup will do for consumers.

This is common advice given to founders, but why?

A few thoughts...

1) Doing one thing great is better than doing a dozen things good. One . . .

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December 05, 2017

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

Do the simple thing first

(at minute 13:46)

Founder Lesson
Two years ago I was working with my co-founder to help renovate an old building in downtown Atlanta to become a startup hub. We didn't know anything about construction, so there were lots of lessons. Perhaps the biggest lesson was that construction is a process with lots of fits & starts. You decide one day to put a . . .

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September 27, 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

Why founders don't heed good advice

(at minute 00:49)

Founder Lesson
I don't have all the answers. No one does.

Your best advisor doesn't have all the answers. The best VC on Sand Hill Road doesn't have all the answers. The best founder doesn't have all the answers. That's why startups are so tricky...every straight-forward problem has been solved. So what's left (by . . .

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August 30, 2017

Focus on the what not the how

(at minute 5:58)

Founder Lesson
If you spend any amount of time around startups, you won't hear many phrases more than "product-market fit." It's used so much for good reason...until some percent of your users love what you are doing, nothing else matters. Sidenote: the definition of "love" can be found here.

Whenever I think about . . .

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August 23, 2017

Savor the surprise

(at minute 31:15)

Founder Lesson
I'm working closely with two startups right now that are somewhere between launching an MVP product and getting their first few hundred customers. Both founders are trying to determine if they have product-market fit, but not quite enough customers have used the product. Over the next six months both will be able to do a . . .

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August 09, 2017

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