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Real Founder Lessons

Pivots can be executed very quickly

(at minute 19:29)

Founder Lesson
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).

So how can . . .

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March 08, 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

The three parts of organic growth

(at minute 4:05)

Founder Lesson
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m a product-first founder. I just looked at the various tags that I use for my blog and 40 of my blog posts (over half) are tagged “product.” I love product.

I focus so much on product because I believe it’s like the foundation of a house. If you make the foundation amazing, then everything . . .

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January 25, 2017

Startups come from where people aren't paying attention

(at minute 44:19)

Founder Lesson
Over the past few weeks - for no particular reason - my mind has been focused on the topic of unique product visions. Partly fueled by some recent thinking about MailChimp and Snapchat, I find myself thinking about what it means to have a truly contrarian view of the world.

With all of these thoughts swirling around in my head, . . .

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October 04, 2016

Remain true to your product vision

(at minute 10:52)

Founder Lesson
It’s always great to see startups hit their stride. I’m fortunate to know the founders of MailChimp and I’ve enjoyed seeing their rapid rise over the past decade. Another company that seems to be experiencing a similar rise is Snapchat.

Two years ago I heard this podcast on Product Hunt Radio. The two founders discussed how . . .

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September 27, 2016

Avoid distractions and focus only on what matters most

(at minute 2:27)

Founder Lesson
Everyone has that one initial failure that helps inform their future startup work. For some people it might have been something low-risk while they were in school. For me it was my first startup in San Francisco. For the the founder in this podcast, his first “bad” startup came out of a side project in 2006.

What he learned - . . .

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September 21, 2016

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