You can't skip steps
(at minute 4:19)
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 . . .
It takes 3 years to know what you have
(at minute 2:24)
I'm talking weekly with a very good founder who's working on a startup to disrupt hiring. He checks all the boxes. He loves the problem...check. He's a visionary...check. He's smart with a strong work ethic...check. He has very relevant experience...check. He has a proven track record of building . . .
Product-market fit isn’t rational
(at minute 15:43)
There isn't a topic that interests me more than product-market fit. In the 2007 - 2010 timeframe I went from a lifestyle business (where I could fool myself that it was high-growth) to a high-growth startup (where you didn't have to wonder if it had product-market fit) and that transition completely changed the way . . .
Raising money takes 6-9 months
(at minute 2:44)
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 . . .
Good ideas have to look terrible
(at minute 11:35)
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 . . .
Every startup is a series of pivots
(at minute 0:33)
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 . . .
The job of the founder/CEO is to say "no"
(at minute 4:19)
I'm a huge fan of hack tests. For example, let's say you believe that gardeners will buy more gardening equipment if you create a content-focused startup where the content's goal is to drive e-commerce. Instead of spending months building a site/app, setup a MailChimp account today and start sending emails . . .