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Real Founder Lessons

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Raising money takes 6-9 months

(at minute 2:44)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was talking with a founder who was getting ready to raise money for the first time. During the course of our conversation it occurred to me that he's thinking the thoughts that all founders think before fundraising for the first time...

"Investors are going to meet me and hear my idea and in short order . . .

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February 13, 2018

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

Don't grow until you have product-market fit

(at minute 2:11)

Founder Lesson
A few days ago I ran across this blog post. It’s the announcement from Shyp that they are cutting headcount and closing expansion markets to focus on profitability. Too many similar outcomes come to mind recently…Sprig, HomeHero, Zirtual, Beepi, Good Eggs & Homejoy. And these are just the ones that immediately come to mind. . . .

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July 25, 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

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

First few hundred customers is about product

(at minute 7:10)

Founder Lesson
Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.

In this podcast Roelof is . . .

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February 28, 2017

Most features don't matter

(at minute 7:04)

Founder Lesson
One of the most counterintuitive lessons that I’ve learned about startups is that most features don’t matter. Having learned this lesson the hard way and talked with lots of startups founders, I can confidentially say that the vast majority of startup founders can’t pinpoint the one feature that their customers will love and . . .

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February 14, 2017

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