Real Founder Lessons

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Mentoring founders is hard

(what's your superpower?)

Background
When my startup was growing like crazy and I felt like we had product-market fit, for the first time in my career I tried to mentor some startup founders. In 2012 I reached out to a half-dozen founder/CEOs with a simple offer...

If you agree to meet with me for coffee every month and tell me everything, I'll advise . . .

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June 08, 2019

Raising money takes 6-9 months

(at minute 2:44)

Founder Lesson
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 . . .

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February 13, 2018

Focus your time on the right investors

(at minute 6:42)

Founder Lesson
I remember the first time that someone experienced told me some version of this advice...

  • "Don't waste your time with that investor...they don't invest in your type of startup."

  • "Don't waste your time with that investor...they aren't that active."

  • "Don't . . .

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November 15, 2017

The value of accelerators

(at minute 36:07)

Founder Lesson
There's a bunch of startup stuff happening in downtown Atlanta this week, so I've been thinking a lot lately about programs that support startups.

The startup programs that have emerged over the past five years fascinate me. I'm old enough to remember the first startup hubs that emerged across the . . .

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October 11, 2017

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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April 13, 2017

First few hundred customers is about product

(at minute 7:10)

Founder Lesson
Sequoia is one of the top venture firms and Roelof Botha is one of their top investors. As with all members of the PayPal Mafia, I pay particular attention when I hear them speak because that group is so thoughtful about how disruptive companies are created. And Roelof in particular is very thoughtful.

In this . . .

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February 28, 2017

Test investor reactions before running a full process

(at minute 33:33)

Founder Lesson
Once founders have a good handle on their startup, the topic of raising money is never too far behind. Because raising capital takes so much time & energy I’m always looking for lessons to help me think about this topic.

This podcast captured my attention because the founders detailed a step-by-step process . . .

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November 10, 2016

Archive

All Categories: all(115) 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) purpose(15) customer discovery(15) niche products(15) growth(13) stanford university(13) vc(12) creativity(11) raising capital(11) micromanagement(10) pattern matching(10) marketing(10) aaron harris(10) matt goldman(9) financing(9) jay acunzo(9) michael sacca(9) nextview ventures(9) delusion(9) pivot(9) scalability(9) competition(8) team(8) bootstrapping(7) advisors(7) rocketship.fm(7) sidenote(7) retention(5) joelle steiniger(5) wharton business radio(5) risk(5) how i built this(5) mixergy(5) timing(4) joelle goldman(4) andrew warner(4) sam altman(4) focus groups(4) hypepotamus(4) brand(4) a16z(4) culture(4) kat manalac(3) 33voices(3) distribution(2) product hunt radio(2) recode decode(2) eric ries(2) network effect(2) dorm room tycoon(2) listen to entire podcast(2) masters of scale(2) startups for the rest of us(2) kara swisher(2) domain expertise(2) optimal living daily(1) twenty minute vc(1) joshua reeves(1) accelerators(1) tim ferriss(1) loose threads(1) chris sacca(1) mentoring(1) founder's journey(1) indie.vc(1) mentors(1) fred wilson(1) time(1) home