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Real Founder Lessons

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Focus on problem being solved rather than technical difficulty of solution

(at minute 9:22)

Founder Lesson
A few years ago I had an epiphany moment about startups...the best founders are problem solvers. They see the world as infinitely malleable and proceed to think about ways to change it to add value. This might sound obvious, but when you compare "problem solving" to money, power or fame as primary career drivers, . . .

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July 25, 2018

You can't skip steps

(at minute 4:19)

Founder Lesson
I was recently talking with a founder. Last year he and I were spending a bunch of time together as he manually tested his theory of human behavior. At the time he had a full-time job and the manual test that I helped him execute had some holes, so I don't believe that he validated an intense enough consumer use case in . . .

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July 17, 2018

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.

. . .

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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 . . .

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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.

. . .

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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 . . .

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July 25, 2017

Archive

All Categories: all(112) podcast(102) process(87) focus(80) product(70) counterintuitive things(64) product market fit(63) business model validation(60) solving a problem(58) mvp(57) unique playbook(48) traction(43) founders(40) my favorites(36) execution(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) video(32) value proposition(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) persistency(24) ycombinator(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) purpose(15) niche products(15) customer discovery(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) marketing(10) raising capital(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) pattern matching(9) pivot(9) competition(8) delusion(8) team(8) rocketship.fm(7) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) advisors(6) how i built this(5) retention(5) mixergy(5) joelle steiniger(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) brand(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) hypepotamus(4) timing(4) culture(4) a16z(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) dorm room tycoon(2) eric ries(2) listen to entire podcast(2) recode decode(2) product hunt radio(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) distribution(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) founder's journey(1) fred wilson(1) loose threads(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) time(1) indie.vc(1) accelerators(1) optimal living daily(1) chris sacca(1) domain expertise(1) home