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Real Founder Lessons

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Good ideas have to look terrible

(at minute 11:35)

Founder Lesson
Someone from a large company was asking me recently how I evaluated new startup ideas. They asked in a way that made me think of Shark Tank. I suspect that he expected me to say something like "I look for a strong technology patent" or "there has to be a big vision for a big market."

How I think . . .

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January 03, 2018

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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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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 . . .

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September 27, 2016

Archive

All Categories: all(109) podcast(100) process(84) focus(77) product(67) counterintuitive things(61) product market fit(61) business model validation(57) solving a problem(55) mvp(54) unique playbook(45) traction(41) founders(40) my favorites(33) hustle(32) execution(32) video(31) this week in startups(30) first principles(30) value proposition(30) jason calacanis(28) persistency(24) ycombinator(24) engagement(22) resiliency(19) lean startup(18) super fans(17) psychological friction(16) vision(15) purpose(14) niche products(13) customer discovery(13) vc(12) stanford university(12) growth(12) micromanagement(10) aaron harris(10) raising capital(10) creativity(10) marketing(10) matt goldman(9) michael sacca(9) scalability(9) nextview ventures(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) team(8) pattern matching(8) competition(8) delusion(7) rocketship.fm(7) bootstrapping(7) advisors(6) how i built this(5) risk(5) mixergy(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(5) sidenote(5) focus groups(4) timing(4) joelle goldman(4) sam altman(4) brand(4) culture(4) hypepotamus(4) andrew warner(4) a16z(3) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) product hunt radio(2) distribution(2) kara swisher(2) recode decode(2) listen to entire podcast(2) network effect(2) startups for the rest of us(2) eric ries(2) dorm room tycoon(2) masters of scale(2) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) chris sacca(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) optimal living daily(1) time(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) domain expertise(1) joshua reeves(1) home