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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

Share your idea with lots of people

(at minute 15:43)

Founder Lesson
A few weeks ago a first-time founder emailed me to meet-up. One of my favorite things is meeting new founders, so I'm always excited to get emails like that. However my enthusiasm quickly declined when I read this at the end of his email...

"Please see the attached mutual NDA and let me know if you have any . . .

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January 16, 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

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

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

Everything you always wanted to know about validating B2C startups (but were afraid to ask)

(at minute 8:57)

Founder Lesson
Yesterday I was talking with a first-time founder about the process of validating her B2C startup idea. Before she even decided to pursue her idea she did a survey with a bunch of consumers asking basic questions about the space and their habits.

People responded as she expected, so she decided to go all-in.

That means the idea . . .

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November 06, 2017

The job of the founder/CEO is to say "no"

(at minute 4:19)

Founder Lesson
I'm a huge fan of hack tests. For example, let's say you believe that gardeners will buy more gardening equipment if you create a content-focused startup where the content's goal is to drive e-commerce. Instead of spending months building a site/app, setup a MailChimp account today and start sending emails tomorrow . . .

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October 05, 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