How to Be a Great Founder with Reid Hoffman (How to Start a Startup) - Deepstash

Keep reading for FREE

How to be a great founder

How to be a great founder

Well, you should have some superpowers. It's generally speaking useful to be a good product person. It's useful to have good skills in leadership, bringing networks in, persuading people, and it's useful to be able to -and this is kind of fundamental- recognize whether you are on track or not.

Generally speaking, you have to have some things that are a unique edge to you, some things that are unique to the problem you are trying to solve, and some things that will help you get an edge. Because competitive differentiation and competitive edge are super important.

12

187 reads

The founding team

It's usually best to have two or three people you trust on a team rather than being a solo founder. It's not to say that solo founders don't actually play out successfully. But most often, two or three people are much better.

If you have two or three founders, you have different skills you can compensate. In the diversity of problems you encounter as a founder, you can actually attack them.

11

159 reads

The choice of location

The choice of location

Great founders seek the networks that will be essential to their task. And they realize it's not just about, "I am superman, I can do this anywhere". In order to be successful, you have to go to where the strongest networks are for the particular kind of thing that I am doing.

The reason why Silicon Valley startups are so successful is because of all of the great people you meet there.

9

135 reads

Being a contrarian

It's very conventional to say you're a contrarian these days. So it's actually pretty easy to become contrarian. It's hard to be contrarian and right. 

When you think about being contrarian, you have to think about how is it that smart people disagree with you, from a position of intelligence. And that there is something that you know that they don't know that will actually play out to be true.

9

138 reads

Delegating vs. doing the work

Delegating vs. doing the work

As a founder, should you be doing the work? Or should you be recruiting people and delegating the work? The answer to this is, actually, you need to do both.

In fact, not only you need to do both, but you need to sometimes do one at 100% and sometimes the other at 100%.  And so what you will see, when you start thinking about what makes you a great founder, is you navigate these apparent paradoxes.

11

115 reads

Be both flexible and persistent

And the reason for this is that entrepreneurs are frequently given the advice to have a vision and stay firm against their adversity.

  • Realize that you have this vision that is contrarian to what people think and just stay on track. Get through the difficult times and get there.
  • The other piece of advice given with each equal vigor is to listen to data and listen to customers. Pivot, be flexible.

Part of what being a great founder means is being both able to think about what it is you want to be doing, and also being smart enough that you are listening to criticism.

8

79 reads

The risk takers

The risk takers

Founders are thought of as being risk takers. Where everyone else cowers in fear, they boldly go out. You have to be a risk taker, you have to be thinking about how you make a really coherent risk because in fact the only really big opportunities happen to be ones that have more risks associated with them.

On the other hand, when you are beginning to apply how you think about risks as an entrepreneur, you have to also think about how you essentially take this risk in an intelligent way that doesn't just go, "oh yeah, risk to the wind, who cares."

10

82 reads

Long-term vision vs solving a local near-term problem

You should jump between them. You should always have a long-term vision in mind. But if you are not focused on solving the problem that's immediately in front of you, you're screwed.

So part of the question about how to put these things together is you say, "okay short term- what's the thing I need to be doing today? Have I made progress today? have I made progress this week? But is it largely on path?"

9

81 reads

How do you gather networks around you?

How do you gather networks around you?

It's a constantly changing problem to face when you are trying to found a company. There is not one skill set, there is an ability to learn and adapt. And an ability to constantly have a vision that's driving you, but also to be taking input from all sources and then to be creating networks all around you.

And that's essentially what makes a great founder.

9

69 reads

Product distribution

People frequently think product strategy is fundamental to startups- I have a product idea, that's a thing, I'm a founder.

Actually, the next level down on strategy is usually product distribution, because no matter how good your product is, if it doesn't get the customers, you’re hosed.

10

72 reads

The ability to say coherently what you are targeting

The ability to say coherently what you are targeting

That is actually pretty important in being able to judge a founder. Because if you don't have that level of clarity, you are not going to be able to assemble the network behind you.

You are not going to be able to get investors, you are not going to be able to get employees. You have to be able to articulate a very clear mission about what you are doing.

8

69 reads

CURATED BY

eme_gz

We spend most of our time with work teammates. It makes sense to be better teammates ourselves. I read and stash about that.

MORE LIKE THIS

Reid Hoffman On How To Hack Your First 100 Users

Reid Hoffman On How To Hack Your First 100 Users

Entrepreneur First

|

1 IDEA

Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP

Michael Seibel - How to Plan an MVP

Y Combinator

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro

stash-superman-illustration

Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas

Anywhere

Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.

Join

2 Million Stashers

4.8

Stars

5,740 Reviews

App Store

4.7

Stars

72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

samz905

Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Read & Learn

20x Faster

without
deepstash

with
deepstash

with

deepstash

Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations

FAQ

Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro