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Real Founder Lessons

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Even startups that rely on a network effect can be validated early

(at minute 1:04:56)

Founder Lesson
I was meeting with a very successful local founder this week and he was describing his current strategy - after years of honing it - of finding a group of initial "happy customers" for a new product. Like this founder, over the past year it seems like I'm constantly telling founders...

"Distill . . .

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February 03, 2016

The best founders combine vision & micromanagement

(at minute 42:50)

Founder Lesson
It’s common wisdom that startups are defined by their limited resources. The actual definition of a startup could be “a new business that grows quickly despite limited resources."

While this startup rule-of-thumb is known by most everyone, very few people have been in the trenches enough to truly understand . . .

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February 01, 2016

The best founders eliminate risk

(at minute 36:16)

Founder Lesson
The notion of “risk” in new businesses has always fascinated me. The best founders that I know believe passionately in their idea and space, but they spend most of their time/energy/creativity removing risk to increase the likelihood that they will succeed. And if they can’t property remove/mitigate risk then they don’t . . .

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December 23, 2015

What angel investors want to see

(at minute 41:46)

Founder Lesson
As a group of investors, angel investors fall into a tricky middle ground that founders should understand and appreciate. Angels are typically individuals who are able to invest $10,000 to $100,000 personally. Most angels that I encounter act like friends & family investors - they focus on the people and idea. Like your . . .

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December 14, 2015

Who are your real competitors?

(at minute 21:54)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve struggled with how to think about competition. There are obvious competitors in your industry that you can find with a simple Google search, but I’ve found that the best founders think more deeply about this topic.

The best founders fixate on their primary customer value proposition and who else . . .

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November 25, 2015

A good startup education for anyone

For this post, I decided to switch things up a bit to give a little backstory on where I get most of the content for my blog.

I frequently have coffee meetings with first-time founders where they ask for advice on how to learn the basics of startups.

Here are the best four ways to learn about startups...

1) Best way . . .

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November 20, 2015

The whole concept of a startup is that the business model isn’t proven

(at minute 30:01)

Common Founder Issue
Just a few years ago I had an epiphany regarding how the very early participants in a startup - particularly founders and initial “friends and family” investors - should feel about the likelihood of success of a new venture. Prior to this moment, I considered every phase to be pretty much the same as a startup grew. . . .

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October 26, 2015

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) value proposition(32) video(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) psychological friction(16) vision(16) niche products(15) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(10) marketing(10) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) jay acunzo(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) financing(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) pattern matching(9) pivot(9) delusion(8) competition(8) team(8) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(6) retention(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) how i built this(5) mixergy(5) brand(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) culture(4) a16z(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) kara swisher(2) distribution(2) recode decode(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) listen to entire podcast(2) eric ries(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) joshua reeves(1) time(1) accelerators(1) loose threads(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) optimal living daily(1) home