Real Founder Lessons

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Be skeptical of customer feedback in the idea stage

(at minute 12:34)

Founder Lesson
Lately I’ve been been working closely with a group of startup founders in the idea stage. In other words, they know the space they want to focus on, but don’t have the complete business model ready to validate.

During this stage, customer feedback is always tricky. I’ll never argue against talking with potential . . .

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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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Learn as much as you can before you write a line of code

(at minute 33:42)

Founder Lesson
I graduated college in 1994. Netscape went public a year later, kicking-off the beginning of the consumer internet. Most of the technology innovation over the following decade was about infrastructure - making sure most people had broadband to their homes, developing phones with real computing power & growing wireless . . .

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How to know when you don't have product-market fit

(at minute 30:01)

Founder Lesson
Many of us have been in this spot...

1) You feel a problem so deeply that you have to solve it, so you set off on your startup journey.

2) You wireframe a product that will solve your pain for lots of people.

3) You spend 6-12 months getting your product built.

4) You launch the product . . .

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Entrepreneurship is activism

(at minute 35:50)

Founder Lesson
I frequently describe myself as a “heart” entrepreneur (versus a “head” entrepreneur). What I mean by this is that two things are most important to me before I ever think about the economics or financial gain of a new startup...

1) The “magic” of the product. I have to be able to imagine what will truly surprise . . .

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If your friends won’t use your product, it’s not ready

(at minute 42:30)

Founder Lesson
Determining whether or not there is real demand for your product (otherwise known as product-market fit) is the most important thing for an early-stage idea. As a founder with a new idea, it’s easy to believe that other facets of your startup are just as important (eg attending conferences, raising money, finding early . . .

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Fall in love with the problem (not your proposed solution)

(at minute 56:39)

Founder Lesson
Most first-time founders (and even lots of experienced founders) begin to think about any startup in terms of a product/solution. Like Peter Rojas, the founder being interviewed in this podcast, I find myself constantly giving the advice to think of all new ideas in terms of the main problem that customers have. This advice . . .

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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