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Real Founder Lessons

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

Why execution is what really matters

(at minute 52:09)

Founder Lesson

One of the most common pieces of advice about startups is...

The idea doesn’t matter. It’s all about execution.

When founders ponder this statement, they often translate it into “ideas are a dime a dozen” or “ignore competition.” What is often difficult to fully grasp - until you’ve lived it - is how many different ways there . . .

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September 13, 2016

Don’t underestimate distribution

(at minute 26:01)

Founder Lesson
I’ve often said that my startup playbook is a simple, two-step process...

Step #1 - Build a 10x better product.

Step #2 - Layer on a strong brand.

The reason that I believe in this simple formula is that the dynamics that effect startup success have changed drastically over just the past few years. Today it’s so . . .

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August 17, 2016

New products need a clear vision

(at minute 21:50)

Founder Lesson
How would you like to be a startup competing with Apple? I love competing with big/slow/dumb companies, but Apple isn’t one that I’d want as a competitor.

The founder in this podcast didn’t feel that way. He founded Pebble…a watch that made crowdfunding history in 2012 when it raised $10 million and broke that record again in . . .

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July 06, 2016

Entrepreneurship is activism

(at minute 35:50)

Founder Lesson
I frequently describe myself as a “heart” entrepreneur (versus a “head” entrepreneur). What I mean by this is that two things are most important to me before I ever think about the economics or financial gain of a new startup...

1) The “magic” of the product. I have to be able to imagine what will truly surprise & delight . . .

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May 26, 2016

If your friends won’t use your product, it’s not ready

(at minute 42:30)

Founder Lesson
Determining whether or not there is real demand for your product (otherwise known as product-market fit) is the most important thing for an early-stage idea. As a founder with a new idea, it’s easy to believe that other facets of your startup are just as important (eg attending conferences, raising money, finding early . . .

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May 24, 2016

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