MVP lessons from a burger joint
(listen to the whole thing)
I’m really loving How I Built This, a new podcast from NPR. They say it’s "a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” The founders tend to be from large businesses that people know and the podcasts dive into their origin stories.
When I started . . .
Posted in: allbootstrappingbusiness model validationcounterintuitive thingscreativitycustomer discoveryengagementexecutionfirst principlesfocusfoundershow i built thislean startuplisten to entire podcastmicromanagementmvpmy favoritespodcastprocessproductproduct market fitpsychological frictionrisksolving a problemsuper fanstractionunique playbookvalue proposition
Startups are mashups
(at minute 0:59)
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I frequently talk about “knowing your space (and adjacent spaces) cold,” so that you can increase your odds of finding a 10x better product. In other words, learn as much as you can from other efforts around the country. This is particularly important in towns (like . . .
Focus on single actions
(at minute 5:31)
How do you know that consumers love your product?
What I hear most often is “just last week a customer told me how much they loved using the product.” Or founders will say "our daily active users (DAUs) or monthly active users (MAUs) continue to increase.”
These are both decent ways to keep your . . .
Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?
(at minute 2:03)
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 . . .
Pivots can be executed very quickly
(at minute 19:29)
Every startup pivots.
If you are founder - particularly if it’s your first startup - this is an incredibly daunting statement. You are smart. You’ve had this problem for a long time. Your initial product solves your problem. Plus you’ve been thinking about and working on this idea for 6/12/18/24 months (or longer). . . .
First few hundred customers is about product
(at minute 7:10)
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 . . .
Most features don't matter
(at minute 7:04)
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 . . .