Real Founder Lessons

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MVP lessons from a burger joint

(listen to the whole thing)

Founder Lesson
I’m really loving How I Built This, a new podcast from NPR. They say it’s "a podcast about innovators, entrepreneurs, and idealists, and the stories behind the movements they built.” The founders tend to be from large businesses that people know and the podcasts dive into their origin stories.

When I started . . .

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The 8-step startup product process

(at minute 31:25)

Founder Lesson
Creating a new product can be a frustrating & expensive process for founders. Few founders know the right steps, are able to find good resources, can effectively manage those resources (especially for first-time founders) and - even after nailing all of those - the entire process can be very expensive.

This . . .

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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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What's your unique insight?

(at minute 14:01)

Founder Lesson
The more time I spend around startups the more I value the origin story of the founding team. And I’m not alone here. Pay attention to the VCs that you most respect. When you listen to them interview startup founders and the founders immediately launch into a product demo or describing traction, you’ll often hear the . . .

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Pivots can be executed very quickly

(at minute 19:29)

Founder Lesson
Every startup pivots.

If you are founder - particularly if it’s your first startup - this is an incredibly daunting statement. You are smart. You’ve had this problem for a long time. Your initial product solves your problem. Plus you’ve been thinking about and working on this idea for 6/12/18/24 months (or longer). . . .

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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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Most features don't matter

(at minute 7:04)

Founder Lesson
One of the most counterintuitive lessons that I’ve learned about startups is that most features don’t matter. Having learned this lesson the hard way and talked with lots of startups founders, I can confidentially say that the vast majority of startup founders can’t pinpoint the one feature that their customers will love . . .

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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