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I've sold 2 startups, cofounded 4, worked at 5 and crashed way more

Here are 11 lessons I learned the hard way (so you don't have to)

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Validate The Idea Right Away

"I'd buy that" and "I want that" are polar opposites

People don't want to hurt your feelings so they won't tell you the truth

If you really wanna see if your idea is worth it, ask for money

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Find Balance Between Building / Talking

Contrary to popular belief,

Building is easy

It's taking time off your day,

Putting your ego on the line,

And sitting down to talk to customers that's hard.

But it's what will make your business work (or fail)

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Ego Is The Enemy

A founder that wants to be famous is great for news and headlines

For growth?

Not so much.

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Raise Funds For The Right Reasons

Everyone thinks you're crazy until you raise funds,

But crazy is good. It's crazy that win.

Don't raise funds for:
- Press
- Bragging rights
- Validation of an idea

Not worth it.

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The Leaner The Team, The Better

Every new hire is an added layer of complexity

One more person you have to consult before doing something

Either reduce the size of the company or build autonomous teams

Less is truly more

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Build The Product You Want

I built a startup for parents but I wasn't a dad yet

I was operating on assumptions

Now I'm building Tweethunter for fellow creators

And operating directly from experience

It's easier to understand your target when YOU are the target market

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30% Of Something Is Better Than 100% Of Nothing

Great co-founders are the true hack

You can't expect employees to give their 100% if they own 0% of the company

With cofounders, they'll go above and beyond because incentives are aligned

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Raising Funds Is Way Easier Than You Think

People with the resources you want are hanging out on LinkedIn allday

Set up a meeting

Then demonstrate how they'll make money with you

I've raised $500k with this strategy, it just works.

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A Deal Is Not Done Until It's Signed

This goes without saying, but whatever you do:

Put. It. On. Paper.

I lost a huge deal for a Rayman videogame I made because I didn't put it on paper

Big mistake.

(I wasn't smiling 3 months after this picture)

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Your Employees Shape Your Company

Don't hire your friends just because they're your friends

Hire by

1. Motivation

2. Competence

And no matter how much time you spend choosing,

No matter how high the bar is,

Double it.

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Audience-First Approach Is The Future

There are huge concentrated hubs of loyal customers right under your nose:

It's called influencers.

Partnering with influencers on Twitter / Instagram / Youtube

And monetizing their audience

Will save you months of pain.

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Thanks for reading!

If you're interested in
- SaaS
- Startups
- Audience Building

Feel free to follow me!

Talk soon ?

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