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Founder Insight

Posted by Joe Garza 2 days ago

Customer Definition: Customers Are People Too

The article, "Customer Definition: Customers Are People Too", was written by Ben Larson, the Director of the Summer 2015 Semester of the San Francisco Founder Institute. It has been republished with permission below. One of the biggest and most common mistakes that I see early entrepreneurs make is a failure to properly define ... (more available)

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Posted by Travis Levell on 2015-03-24

Before You Create Your Product, Create Your Value Proposition: A Formula For Success

Your value proposition matters. It is the face of your product and how customers perceive your company. But most founders decide to create their value proposition after they create their product. Why is that? A few weeks ago, I wrote a post, "How to have your customers build your product for you," that covered a variety of top... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-03-11

Interviewing Customers is a Special Kind of Torture. Here’s How to Fix That.

In this post from the Customer Dev Labs blog, Founder Institute mentor, Justin Wilcox, shares the process of how he interviews customers to get insight on how to build great products.    "Interviewing Customers is a Special Kind of Torture. Talk to a stranger. Fun. That stranger is immensely busy…and hates... (more available)

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Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2015-03-08

How to Embrace Failure as You Transition from Employee to Entrepreneur

Transitioning from employee to entrepreneur isn’t an impossible feat, but it does come with its share of obstacles and failures. To fail, is to succeed at testing an assumption, and this notion is laughably demonstrated in the comic #entrepreneurfail. Due to personal experience, creators Kriti and Shivraj Vichare, underst... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-03-04

Why Most New Entrepreneurs are Not Ready to be Mentored

In this post from his Tropical Gringo blog, Alan Colmenares, Managing Partner at Socialatom Ventures and Director of the Bogota Founder Institute, shares his experience as a startup mentor in Colombia.  Below, an excerpt of How to find a good mentor for your startup has been republished with p... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-27

5 Tips to Improve Your Teachings as a Startup Mentor

This post was written by Jimmy Hendricks - CEO and Co-Founder of Deal Current, and top-rated mentor of the San Diego Founder Institute.  It was an honor this year to receive the highest rated global mentor award from Founder’s Institute. I always received feedback from our San Diego organizer, Jeanine Jacobson, that... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-27

Is Your Startup Fundable?

Have you ever wondered what qualities investors look for in a startup to consider it fundable? Benjamin Chong, a partner at Right Click Capital and a Co-Director of the Sydney Founder Institute, has created a three question test to help determine your answer in the article “Three ways to test if your startup is fundable,&r... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-26

Paying It Forward: How to Help New Startups Rise to the Top

We once asked Seattle Founder Institute mentor, Dan Shapiro why it's so important for experienced entrepreneurs to mentor new founders. To answer our question, Dan directed us to this gem of a blog post. Below, How to Help Startups, has been republished: "It’s been seven years since I started my first company. My su... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-22

To Grow Your Local Startup Community, First Map it Out

If you ask a local startup leader what is holding back their community from growing, chances are the answer you will get is “a lack of capital”. However, in our experience working in nearly 100 markets across the globe, "lack of capital" is nowhere near being the biggest hindrance to startup community growth. In fac... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-20

The Lean Branding Approach to Business Naming

For most, if not all, entrepreneurs crafting the perfect name for a company is a daunting task. Not only must a business brand be memorable, but it must also encapsulate the values and mission of the business. Fortunately, Margot Bushnaq, founder of BrandBucket, has delineated a simple yet effective method for creatin... (more available)

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Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-02-18

Where Do You Fit In? A Founder’s Guide to Startup Roles

For many people who are considering a jump into the startup industry, there is one often mysterious question they must answer: "Where do I fit in?" If not as the founder of your own company, which startup position should you take? As Jason Freedman says, "We startups are collectively still really bad at helping them break into o... (more available)

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Posted by Nailah Morgan on 2015-02-13

A Beginner’s Guide to Brand Storytelling

“Make sure your brand stories are page turners” ~ Susan Gunelius Storytelling is an irreplaceable component of our lives. We think, dream, and communicate through stories. Jeremy Hsu, a science and tech journalist based in NYC, found that "personal stories and gossip make up 65% of our conversations." Narratives app... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-02-11

An Expert Guide to Developing the Perfect Startup Idea

"An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.” – Oscar Wilde For entrepreneurs, ideas that are deemed impossible by the masses are oftentimes the only ones worth pursuing. Yet how does one stumble upon those rare gems that lead to prosperity and recognition? True, many major companies we... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-10

Why These 3 CEOs Quit Their Day Jobs for their Startups

There’s a lot of debate over when and why entrepreneurs should quit their day jobs so that they can fully pursue their startup projects. Some say that entrepreneurs should keep their jobs so that they can keep a steady source of income, while others argue that once you quit your job will you put in the necessary effort int... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-04

What Investors Are Looking for in Your Startup

Getting funding for your startup company can be difficult, as most investors hear thousands of pitches and only have the time and money to give funding to a small number of entrepreneurs. As Tim Weingarten, a Venture Capitalist and CEO of The Hunt says, the first questions you must ask yourself before you go looking for funding... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-02-03

How You Can Build a Socially Impactful Company

In a recent VentureBeat article titled “How to Build a World-Saving Startup”, graduate of the Washington, D.C. Founder Institute and CEO of Causevox Rob Wu writes about how difficult it is to create a lasting company; especially one that has the intention of making a social impact. He says:   Social good sta... (more available)

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Posted by Travis Levell on 2015-02-02

How to Have Your Customer Build Your Product for You

Do you know why most startup projects fail? Some attribute it to a lack of funding. Others might say that they didn’t have enough time to build their product or they didn't learn how to tell a great brand story. But in the midst of all of those excuses, the real element that is lacking is customers. If you had customers k... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-30

Three Lessons I Learned While Starting My Company

Everyone knows the saying, “hindsight is 20/20”, but too often in life do we fail to appreciate the meaning of the phrase. And in the world of entrepreneurship, sometimes second chances are hard to come by. That’s why as a founder, it’s important to learn as much as you can before launching a company to a... (more available)

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Posted by Ezra Oyarce on 2015-01-29

How to Create Your Minimum Viable Product

So after you learn that the market for your business is validated, where do you go from there? It’s time to create a Minimum Viable Product. A hugely important concept to startups and entrepreneurs, the MVP can help set your business on the right track. But what exactly is an MVP? How do you use it and what purpose does it... (more available)

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Posted by Travis Levell on 2015-01-28

4 SaaS tricks to Increase your Customer Engagement and Retention

The following is a guest post from Dave Schneider, of Ninja Outreach. The post covers 4 techniques that they are currently using to increase their customer engagement and retention. Use this real life actionable business advice to increase your customer retention and engagement. Enjoy! At NinjaOutreach, our blogger prospecting ... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-22

5 Essential Steps for Developing a Winning Startup Idea

A company is only as strong as the idea it grew from. However, for many entrepreneurs conceiving a billion dollar startup idea is not as easy as we would like. Because the process of ideation can be daunting, we often give up on our dreams of launching and running successful companies. For, as Napoleon Hill once said, "All achie... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-22

Six Reasons Why Washington, D.C. Is A New Hub For Female Entrepreneurs

A lack of gender and ethnic diversity is a pervasive issue in the world of entrepreneurship. However, more and more efforts are being made to ensure that businesses are more inclusive and diverse, and that those that are typically left out of entrepreneurship are given the same opportunities as everyone else to launch ventures o... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-20

How This Consultant Turned His Idea Into a Startup

Ryan King has never liked working for people. As he says it, he is “psychologically inept at working for other people.” A native of Melbourne, Australia, King started his own graphic design business after graduating from high school. Having studied and worked for several architecture projects, King joined the Melbour... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-14

How Benjamin Young of Nexercise Went From Employee to Entrepreneur

Making the leap from employee to entrepreneur is no easy task. Just ask Benjamin Young, the founder and CEO of Nexercise, a mobile app that uses friendly competition and real rewards to motivate busy people to lose weight and stay in shape. Benjamin and Nexercise are also Graduates of the Washington, D.C. Founder Institute. RSV... (more available)

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Posted by Joe Garza on 2015-01-14

Why Profits Are Not Enough: Mitch Kapor Asks Startups to Strive for Impact

Sure, “traction”, ARPU, and profits are important for a startup to succeed, but do too many startups overlook the potential for generating a positive social impact, as well? Mitch Kapor, the Founder of the Lotus Development Corporation and designer of Lotus 1-2-3, certainly thinks so. A pioneer in personal computing... (more available)

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