Lots of startups get stuck
before they get to Product-Market-Fit.
What would be the reasons?
Here are some, I see on a daily basis. They are related to issues with founders or market (in no particular order):
A: Work for a startup for a few years and learn.
A: Idea validation failure
A: If you are deep and know you are at the same league as in Steve Jobs, this makes sense
A: Spend month(s) on the problem and not on the solution.
A: Cocreate the product with a set of dedicated users or customers.
A: Co-create the product with friendly customers. At least 5 in enterprise and a group of 100+ in the consumer category.
A: Understand market sizing/TAM. If I have to guess, more than 50% fail here.
A: Understanding how angels and VCs think of categories and investment. U can always do frustrated tweets saying "VCs don't get it"...
A: Very common mistake. Spend 24 hours on Google and you will find every competitor. Benchmark them before you jump on your product.
A: Most of the founding team come together based on friendship rather than competency. In addition to friendship, there should be a massive respect for competency between each other.
A: It is a sin, in my opinion. Stupidity. Frustrating
More from Startups
Hint: it doesn’t start with a job board…
2/ Go to @crunchbase and set up a filter for the following:
1. Amount raised: $5M - $10M
2. Announced on: today - 3 days ago
3. Headquarters location: your preference
4. Investor Name: @Accel, @Greycroftvc, @Sequoia, @a16z etc...
It should look something like this.
3/ When a company raises money… they are going to use the capital to build out their team.
It isn’t rocket science!
4/ When successful venture firms with track records like, @Accel, @Greycroftvc, @Sequoia, @a16z sink money into a startup. Their chance of success increases astronomically.
5/ Filtering for recent fundraising allows you to get a pulse for when a company is going to add positions to their job board (if they haven’t already)
2/ “Being a VC” can mean a lot of different things, so it’s worth asking:
What actual activities do you want to do?
- Deep market analysis?
- Be in the flow of information and people?
- Make deals?
- Work closely w/ founders over time (e.g take board seats?)
- Manage capital?
3/ It’s worth specifying what type of VC you might like to become — as there are different archetypes. E.g.
- Benchmark (Lead series A/B - couple investments a year)
- First Round (Lead seed rounds, partner w/ a few companies a year)
- SV Angel (Make lots of seed investments)
Expa - Incubate companies
YC / Village Global - Build a platform to help entrepreneurs at scale
Do you want to join a firm or start one? There’s a lot to consider.
Different paths will require different skillsets & sets of experiences.
5/ Since the person who wrote the email is a young person trying to break into VC by joining a firm (and who doesn’t want to start a company), I’ll tailor this tweet storm to that goal. There’s some overlap.
Thanks to @chamath for laying this out in Social Capital's 2018 annual letter.
I've always appreciated his outspokenness.
2/ The hardest thing for most startups today is the path to market: first finding product-market fit & a way to reach customers, then building a ruthless machine to acquire, monetize & retain them.
3/ Because of this, when the VC industry invests capital into fast growing startups today, the plurality (if not majority) of invested capital will go into user acquisition and ad spending, for better or worse— usually worse.
4/ Todays massive venture-backed advertising, sales, and user acquisition playbook has morphed into one that champions growth at any cost.
This is creating a big bill that will soon come due...
5/ Ad impressions and click-throughs are bid up to outrageous prices by startups flush with venture money, and prospective users demand more and more subsidized products to gain their initial attention.
You should probably consider starting something
Just listen to this:
You can start with the community
I’ve identified ~8000 communities that could be unbundled from Reddit
- They are thriving
- They could make you ~$1m/year of revenue
- You often need $400 max to build MVP to tap that untapped value
- It's fun
Sounds like a dream job to me
People in Silicon Valley don’t have an edge on you
SF held the monopoly on startups for decades. Now, being in SF doesn’t matter for 99% of businesses
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
The world is flat and is staying flat
Hell yeah. That feels good to say
You have 10x the amount of funding sources
You used to have to rely on VCs. Not anymore
To name a few:
- Fund via your community
- Fund via NFTs
- Fund via pre-sales
- Fund via tokens
- Fund via accelerators all over the world
All of a sudden, you have 10x the options
Niche businesses can be worth billions
People used to laugh at niche. Why “go small” when you could “go big”?
The way to go big right now IS to go small
Large tech companies can’t be everything to everyone
This is a thread about what happened, why and my emotions about it. For more detail:
Much of this I have never talked about.
2/ My goals: I hope it helps founders feel less lonely than I did. Little public content about the challenges of transitioning exists, but I longed for it. I’m not here to provide a playbook- just to share my experience. Hope it might build greater empathy.
3/ Why: When I tell people that I’m transitioning to an Exec Chairman role their first question is always: “why?” Short answer: co. pivot + fertility issues + health issues + a false sense that grit was always the answer = burnout. Long answer: is longer so hang in there with me
4/ Over a 12-18 month period that ended in late 2017 I ran my tank far beyond empty for far too long. You know that sound your car makes when it’s sputtering for more gas? It was like that. Worst year of my life. Since then it has felt like bone on bone.
5/ Here is what happened:
Professionally: pivoting a Series C company was a living hell in and of itself, as I’ve talked about before.
1/ We Pivoted a few yrs ago. This is the story- mostly my feelings. It has never been told publicly.— Ryan Caldbeck (@ryan_caldbeck) April 16, 2019
This will be rambly and represents the chaos in my head at the time. There is [hopefully] no advice here. I don\u2019t know if we did it right.
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Create a digital "roll" with friends. Take pictures from the roll. You can't see them until: the roll is used up, a time limit expires, or you get to a specific location.
🎙 Asynch interview platform
Send a guest a video or audio clip asking a question. Guest replies when able with same medium. Repeat. When done, share produced video/podcast.
✅ 24 Hour Startup Checklist/Overlay
A web app to track the progress of your project: ideation, naming, shipping code, launching.
Page can also be a dynamic browser overlay for live streaming.
Have tools for polls, surveys, sharing, launching to various outlets, etc.
👩⚖️ Healthcare "Lawyers"
If health insurance screws you over, no one has your back but you. Instead, can pay a small monthly fee to a service to take care of BS like this for you should issues arise.
Write a tweet, tell your friends, and move on.
Once you own it, you fix it.
99% of people on Twitter/social media/internet won't do this.
Being radically transparent and honest is a competitive (and life) advantage.
From @RayDalio's Principles:
My new product has 14 users and <$400 monthly revenue. I've spent the last 4 months on it.
I'm going through a lot of pain to validate and grow it.
But if anyone asks me how it's going I will tell them exactly that.
If I asked them, I would hope they would give me the raw truth as well. Truth builds trust.
I think that goes for your internet audience as well. Authenticity is attractive.
I see this with @starter_story all the time - people don't want to share their revenue yet because they don't have any, or it's not high enough (not all cases but often).
I wish I could tell them that getting the cat out of the bag would actually fix the problem itself!!
Originally named as Lachit Deca, Lachit Borphukan, the fierce and invincible Ahom Commander, was born during the early 17th century at Betioni in the Golaghat district of modern Assam.
His father, Momai Tamuli Borbarua was the ‘Governor’ of the kingdom and also ‘Commander-in-Chief’ of Ahom army under King Pratap Singha during his reign starting from 1603 to 1639. Lachit received military training from an early age and joined the Ahom King Jayadhvaj Singha...
...(1648-1663) as a scarf-bearer. The post ‘scarf-bearer’ or ‘Soladhara Barua’ is considered as a part of the incumbent king’s personal staff. Owing to his military training Lechit was appointed "Ghora Barua", Supdt. of the Royal horses. When Chakradhwaj Singha became king..
..of Ahom dynasty in 1663,he appointed him Suptd. of The Royal Guards &finally he was appointed as Borphukan by the king.Then onwards,he was known as Lachit Borphukan.Borphukan used to be top councillor in Ahom Kingdom. This position was embedded with executive & judicial powers.
Assam was facing incessant Islamic invasion since Jan1662, when Mughal General Mir Jumla II attacked Ahom capital Gargaon. He never defeated Ahom king Jayadhwaja Singha as king retreated to hill &continued Guerrilla warfare.Prolonged fight &prospect of stalemate disturbed Jumla.
One of those strategies which I like is Iron Fly✈️
Few important points on Iron fly stategy
This is fixed loss🔴 defined stategy ,so you are aware of your losses . You know your risk ⚠️and breakeven points to exit the positions.
Risk is defined , so at psychological🧠 level you are at peace🙋♀️
How to implement
1. Should be done on Tuesday or Wednesday for next week expiry after 1-2 pm
2. Take view of the market ,looking at daily chart
3. Then do weekly iron fly.
4. No need to hold this till expiry day .
5.Exit it one day before expiry or when you see more than 2% within the week.
5. High vix is preferred for iron fly
6. Can be executed with less capital of 3-5 lakhs .
https://t.co/MYDgWkjYo8 have R:2R so over all it should be good.
8. If you are able to get 6% return monthly ,it means close to 100% return on your capital per annum.
A thread 👇
Entrepreneur\u2019s mind.— James Clear (@JamesClear) August 22, 2020
When you choose who to follow on Twitter, you are choosing your future thoughts.— James Clear (@JamesClear) October 3, 2020
Working on a problem reduces the fear of it.— James Clear (@JamesClear) August 30, 2020
It\u2019s hard to fear a problem when you are making progress on it\u2014even if progress is imperfect and slow.
Action relieves anxiety.
We often avoid taking action because we think "I need to learn more," but the best way to learn is often by taking action.— James Clear (@JamesClear) September 23, 2020