Real Founder Lessons

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Avoid distractions and focus only on what matters most

(at minute 2:27)

Founder Lesson
Everyone has that one initial failure that helps inform their future startup work. For some people it might have been something low-risk while they were in school. For me it was my first startup in San Francisco. For the the founder in this podcast, his first “bad” startup came out of a side project in 2006.

What . . .

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Why execution is what really matters

(at minute 52:09)

Founder Lesson

One of the most common pieces of advice about startups is...

The idea doesn’t matter. It’s all about execution.

When founders ponder this statement, they often translate it into “ideas are a dime a dozen” or “ignore competition.” What is often difficult to fully grasp - until you’ve lived it - is how . . .

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Consider retention when you have new startup ideas

(at minute 42:28)

Founder Lesson
The notion of retention has always interested me when it comes to new startup ideas. I’m sure there are lots of complicated definitions for that term, but to me it simply means your customers’ propensity to continue to use you app in an ongoing cadence that’s appropriate for your type of business.

One of the topics . . .

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Startups are all about testing assumptions quickly

(at minute 4:18)

Founder Lesson
Recently I was meeting with a first-time founder who has been working on his bootstrapped startup for two years. When I asked about his progress, he said that the first version of their app was just released into the app store.

Without going into specifics, this founding team - like most founding teams - has a very . . .

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Don’t underestimate distribution

(at minute 26:01)

Founder Lesson
I’ve often said that my startup playbook is a simple, two-step process...

Step #1 - Build a 10x better product.

Step #2 - Layer on a strong brand.

The reason that I believe in this simple formula is that the dynamics that effect startup success have changed drastically over just the past few . . .

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My 50th blog post

Founder Lesson
Last summer I decided that I would try my hand at blogging. A few things had come together in my startup journey, so with this first post I was in business.

Almost a year (and a few hundred readers) later and I’m still really enjoying it. Each writing session allows me to organize my thoughts about an important . . .

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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 . . .

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Archive

All Categories: all(113) podcast(102) process(88) 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(35) first principles(33) hustle(33) video(32) value proposition(32) this week in startups(30) jason calacanis(28) ycombinator(24) persistency(24) engagement(23) lean startup(20) super fans(19) resiliency(19) vision(16) psychological friction(16) customer discovery(15) niche products(15) purpose(15) stanford university(13) growth(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) michael sacca(9) financing(9) nextview ventures(9) scalability(9) pattern matching(9) matt goldman(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