Founders Notes

Leadership is about empowerment

If you’re going to be the leader, you need to lead.

Leaders are responsible for propagating the big vision for the company.

They sell the dream and inspire through passion.

They battle to maintain company focus and drive execution.

They set goals, align resources and push for success.

Most importantly, they are responsible for attracting top talent.

Recruit the best people and empower them to be great.

The central role of any leader is to inspire others to achieve.

Founders Notes

Forget your competition

You’re wasting time worrying about your competition.
Many companies grow stale while watching and mimicking their competitors.
Founders become paranoid and reactionary at the expense of their own creativity.
Forget what others are doing.
Focus on what your customers need and how best to deliver.
Blaze your own trail and ensure you’re being driven by passion rather than fear.


Founders Notes

Attitude is everything

A great startup is made up of “can do” people.
Individuals who proactively solve challenges, who naturally collaborate and actively support one another.
Teams need to have a shared passion for success and conviction about the business vision.
No leader can afford negativity to permeate their organization.
Negativity is a contagious disease that kills hope, enthusiasm and optimism as it spreads.
Eliminate naysayers immediately, whenever they reveal themselves, and hire only those with positive energy.
In a small company, attitude is everything.
Founders Notes

Release often, release early


Many startups struggle with when to launch.
Desperate for perfection, founders often fall prey to fear and delay bringing their products to market.
Don’t agonize over having your full vision brought to fruition immediately.
Concentrate on simplifying your service to a smaller core and execute that.
Get feedback as early as possible and see criticism as key learning.
Aim for constant improvement and deliver ongoing iterations that continue to better the user experience.
Release often, release early.
Founders Notes

Check your ego at the door


Creating a new product is a roller coaster of intense, rapidly changing emotions.
Euphoric epiphany and excited anticipation can quickly give way to unbearable anxiety, stress and paranoia.

A founders mindset can be both her greatest ally and her greatest foe.

User testing and feedback is a necessary and humbling exercise.
Critical analysis and scrutiny are required in order to improve the product and gain customer acceptance.
Egos need to be checked at the door in order to effectively solicit criticism and honest review.
Ensure that you’re not letting your pride get in the way of creating the best product possible.


Founders Notes

Everyone Needs to be Able to Handle The Ride

Great companies start around a core of incredible people.

In a startup, the first few recruits are critical.

Beyond shared passion, vision and motivation – every one needs to be able to handle the ride.

Startups are hard.

Every one needs to be prepared to bleed, sweat and sacrifice.

Every one needs to be flexible enough to handle changing tides and tenacious enough to persevere despite ongoing difficulty.

Hire only those who are going to be relentless in their pursuit of success.

Founders Notes

Build Your Narrative

Building a sales strategy for the first time is a daunting task for every startup.
Work on crafting your narrative through discussions with your potential audience.
Hone in key messages and iterate with every pitch.
Identify customers that have similar views, ambitions and focus on winning their support.
Early progress is made conversation by conversation, handshake by handshake.
Leverage each contact for a new connection and be relentless in your pursuit.