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Real Founder Lessons

Thank you David Cummings

Founder Lesson
On Saturday morning I was going through email and noticed the latest blog post from David Cummings...

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Like many founders in Atlanta, I read almost every post from David. Besides finding personal nuggets that I've been able to use over the years, I've lost track of the number of founders who have emailed me links from . . .

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August 15, 2017

Startups are mashups

(at minute 0:59)

Founder Lesson
If you are a regular reader of my blog then you know that I frequently talk about “knowing your space (and adjacent spaces) cold,” so that you can increase your odds of finding a 10x better product. In other words, learn as much as you can from other efforts around the country. This is particularly important in towns (like mine . . .

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June 21, 2017

What's your unique insight?

(at minute 14:01)

Founder Lesson
The more time I spend around startups the more I value the origin story of the founding team. And I’m not alone here. Pay attention to the VCs that you most respect. When you listen to them interview startup founders and the founders immediately launch into a product demo or describing traction, you’ll often hear the investors . . .

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March 21, 2017

Founders need to lie (especially to themselves)

(at minute 15:20)

Founder Lesson
Startups are tricky business for many reasons. One of the trickiest of reasons is the notion of “truth.”

When you have a new idea that you think will make lots of people much happier, but you haven’t built anything yet, you have to weave such a dream that you make everyone believe in your vision. Then you have to convince a few . . .

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January 18, 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

Creating an early-stage startup brand (when you are bad at brand)

(at minute 6:07)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve developed a very specific playbook for my own startup ideas. Determine what is most likely to be a 10x better product in a space. Once that’s been tested, layer a very strong brand on top of that product. There are many playbooks to be successful…this is mine.

Put as simply as possible, the brand of a . . .

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July 12, 2016

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