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Real Founder Lessons

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Permission to say "it's not working"

(at minute 0:22)

Founder Lesson
I've been a casual advisor to a well-known B2C brand/founder in Atlanta for a few years now. When I met him in 2014 I was super impressed by his love of the problem and his ability to walk through walls. And I wasn't the only one...he's been able to raise capital from some great investors across the country.

Last . . .

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March 06, 2018

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

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

Startups are learning machines

(at minute 9:35)

Founder Lesson
Every founder has super powers and blind spots. The hope is that the results that come from the super powers far outweigh any problems that are caused by the blind spots. Once a company is growing you can hire to offset blind spots, but early on it's really about one side overwhelming the other for the founding team.

One of . . .

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August 01, 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

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