Real Founder Lessons

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Iterate your first product with a small group ideal users

(at minute 2:24)

Founder Lesson
What I like to believe about startups is that two passionate founders who love a problem have a unique insight in a space and work on that problem until something clicks.

But lately I’ve been thinking about an alternative path.

What if founders just try to solve a problem without a big mission from the . . .

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Every startup is a series of pivots

(at minute 0:33)

Founder Lesson
Last week I was having dinner with a founder who had a very good exit for his startup. Halfway through dinner he begins to reminisce about the journey. It is well-known that this startup had four distinct (large) pivots, but his narrative didn't describe it that way. Because he was the person on the front lines of this . . .

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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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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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Startups are always messy

(at minute 4:56)

Founder Lesson
I’ve wrestled with a topic behind the scenes in writing my blog over the past two years…should I speak about startups topics cleanly (but less exact) or be as exact as possible (and risk watering-down the message)?

In writing about startups it has struck me that most “educators” or "advisors" on topics . . .

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Why take funding if you are successfully bootstrapped?

(at minute 2:03)

Founder Lesson
Last week I had the opportunity to meet-up with Bryce and the Indie.vc team during their quarterly retreat in Atlanta. I’ve been a fan of their approach since they launched, but hadn’t gotten a deep dive into their model until then.

In a nutshell, the Indie approach is to give a founder options. If they push hard . . .

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Going from doer to manager

(at minute 4:09)

Founder Lesson
Everyone knows that startups are “hard.” Ask anyone why this is the case and they’ll say things like “startups are risky” or “raising money is difficult.” While those things are true, they are only surface-level characteristics of startups. They don’t truly pinpoint why founders find the startup journey much more difficult . . .

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Archive

All Categories: all(114) podcast(102) process(89) focus(80) product(70) counterintuitive things(65) product market fit(64) business model validation(60) solving a problem(58) mvp(57) unique playbook(48) traction(43) founders(40) my favorites(36) execution(36) hustle(34) first principles(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) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) niche products(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) pattern matching(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) nextview ventures(9) scalability(9) matt goldman(9) michael sacca(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) pivot(9) delusion(9) team(8) competition(8) sidenote(7) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(7) bootstrapping(7) mixergy(5) risk(5) how i built this(5) retention(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) hypepotamus(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) timing(4) a16z(4) culture(4) brand(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) recode decode(2) distribution(2) product hunt radio(2) dorm room tycoon(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) startups for the rest of us(2) domain expertise(2) tim ferriss(1) accelerators(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) loose threads(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) mentoring(1) mentors(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) home