Real Founder Lessons

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What angel investors want to see

(at minute 41:46)

Founder Lesson
As a group of investors, angel investors fall into a tricky middle ground that founders should understand and appreciate. Angels are typically individuals who are able to invest $10,000 to $100,000 personally. Most angels that I encounter act like friends & family investors - they focus on the people and idea. Like your . . .

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The only metric that really matters for an early startup

(at minute 7:05)

Founder Lesson
Momentum is oxygen for startups. This is something that I’ve experienced many times. Momentum can be anything that motivates you and your team. Getting selected for a big conference. Convincing a local angel to invest. Getting a good press story. All of these small victories keep the founders going and make the difficult . . .

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It's really hard to get minimum viable product right

(at minute 24:01)

Founder Lesson
Since product-market fit is maybe the most important step in a new startup, deciding what to test and what initial product to create becomes pretty important. I find that most founders do the “kitchen sink” method of including everything. This methods takes too much time and money. Another group goes the Lean Startup route . . .

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Who are your real competitors?

(at minute 21:54)

Founder Lesson
Over the years I’ve struggled with how to think about competition. There are obvious competitors in your industry that you can find with a simple Google search, but I’ve found that the best founders think more deeply about this topic.

The best founders fixate on their primary customer value proposition and who else . . .

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Expect a new startup to take 18 months to find product-market fit

(at minute 8:25)

Common Founder Issue
I didn’t believe this when I started and this constantly surprises first-time founders, but a good general rule is that new startups will take about 18 months to find decent product-market fit. Sometimes it happens as quickly as 12 months and often (of course) it never happens, but 18 months is what I’d expect if I . . .

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Just fu@%&ng launch already (what's most engaging)

(at minute 33:47)

Common Founder Issue
Anyone who’s ever launched the initial product for a startup knows the drill. The temptation is to add lots of features because you don’t know which will be most popular and your ultimate vision for the business is huge, so you might as well start on that big vision now.

The reality is that your small startup . . .

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The whole concept of a startup is that the business model isn’t proven

(at minute 30:01)

Common Founder Issue
Just a few years ago I had an epiphany regarding how the very early participants in a startup - particularly founders and initial “friends and family” investors - should feel about the likelihood of success of a new venture. Prior to this moment, I considered every phase to be pretty much the same as a startup grew. . . .

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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) execution(36) my favorites(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) resiliency(19) super fans(19) vision(16) psychological friction(16) customer discovery(15) purpose(15) niche products(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) aaron harris(10) micromanagement(10) marketing(10) pattern matching(10) jay acunzo(9) financing(9) pivot(9) delusion(9) matt goldman(9) scalability(9) nextview ventures(9) michael sacca(9) competition(8) team(8) rocketship.fm(7) advisors(7) bootstrapping(7) sidenote(7) mixergy(5) risk(5) wharton business radio(5) joelle steiniger(5) retention(5) how i built this(5) hypepotamus(4) sam altman(4) timing(4) brand(4) culture(4) focus groups(4) andrew warner(4) joelle goldman(4) a16z(4) 33voices(3) kat manalac(3) startups for the rest of us(2) distribution(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) kara swisher(2) recode decode(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) domain expertise(2) product hunt radio(2) accelerators(1) joshua reeves(1) tim ferriss(1) twenty minute vc(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) time(1) optimal living daily(1) loose threads(1) mentoring(1) mentors(1) fred wilson(1) chris sacca(1) home