Building Confidence In Yourself and Your Ideas

Building Confidence In Yourself and Your Ideas

Rigorous Thinking (00:00:26)

  • Founders had a vision but lacked rigorous thinking.
  • They contacted 25 companies without thorough research, which was insufficient effort.
  • They assumed that because they liked the idea, everyone else would too.

Superficial Validation (00:02:10)

  • People often rely on superficial validation, such as cold emailing a large number of people on LinkedIn and getting few responses.
  • This approach is not sufficient and does not provide meaningful insights.
  • People do this because they haven't been taught differently.

Solving Problems (00:03:26)

  • PMs trained in user research struggle to get first customers because their skills don't apply to selling products.
  • People coming from big companies often have a consulting instinct, focusing on solving other people's problems.
  • This approach may not be effective for founders, who should learn from the actions of the company's first employee rather than emulating their own experiences as an employee.

High Quality Reps (00:04:09)

  • A high-quality rep is completing a full pivot cycle.
  • Spamming people on LinkedIn and giving up after no response is not a high-quality rep.
  • The most important customer is yourself.
  • Founders should build conviction in their own minds that their idea is worth working on.
  • Founders should convince themselves that the customer is worth helping.

Best Qualities (00:05:52)

  • High conviction is more important than programming skills, sales skills, or fundraising skills.
  • Founders with high conviction can focus their energy in one direction in a superhuman way.
  • Every good startup team needs at least one person with high conviction.

Conviction (00:06:57)

  • Conviction doesn't mean believing in things religiously.
  • Conviction means not letting yourself get blown off course.
  • Founders with low conviction give up on their ideas when they face challenges.
  • Founders with high conviction don't let investor feedback or customer feedback change their minds.
  • Many big companies had ideas that most investors thought were horrible.
  • Triangulating what other people say is good to decide on a startup idea is not a good approach.

Fear (00:08:26)

  • Fear can lead to bad thinking and decision-making.
  • Founders may make assumptions and base their decisions on false information.
  • Relying on anonymous sources or advice from others without verifying the information can lead to incorrect conclusions.
  • Different companies in the same batch may have different expectations and should not be judged using the same criteria.
  • Fear can cause founders to make low-effort pivots that they would not have made if they had thought through the decision more carefully.
  • Founders are often experts in the problem they are solving due to their own experiences and expertise.
  • Pivoting into an area where the founder has no expertise can be risky and may not be in the best interest of the company.

YC Standard Deal (00:12:52)

  • YC's new standard deal provides founders with half a million dollars without the pressure of raising additional funds.
  • Founders should avoid constantly seeking validation and instead build conviction in their ideas.

Pivotitis (00:13:33)

  • Companies that pivot from a place of knowledge and learning can make forward progress.
  • However, random pivoting, or "pivot itis," can lead to wasted time and energy without significant progress.

Random Walk (00:14:01)

  • Randomly changing directions without a clear vector can result in stagnation and a lack of progress.
  • Founders who engage in a "random walk" often feel like they've wasted their time and energy.
  • This can lead to a negative perception of startups and discourage founders from trying again or working in the startup space.

A Useless MVP (00:16:11)

  • MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is often misunderstood and misused.
  • A true MVP should provide value and be viable for at least one user.
  • If you can't get anyone to use your MVP, it's not a viable product.
  • You should be willing to use your own product and be proud of it before trying to sell it to others.
  • Many companies never build a true MVP and never make a single customer happy.
  • Focus on getting one happy user before worrying about 10 million happy users.

Learn A Good Rep (00:19:40)

  • Building confidence takes time, so don't have unrealistic expectations.
  • Fear can hinder your intelligence, so don't let it control you.
  • Solve your own problems and be your first customer to gain confidence in your abilities.
  • Understand that you need to develop a good approach or "rep" to build strength and avoid injury.
  • Just like in exercise, having good form is essential for learning and improving a skill.
  • If your form is bad, you won't progress and may even injure yourself.
  • Having good form makes the process more enjoyable.

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