How To Be A Great Founder

Lecture 13: How To Be A Great Founder

Link: How to Start a Startup

(You can find notes to the other lectures here.) 

Reid Hoffman (@reidhoffman)

A founder is someone who deals with a ton of different headaches.

A competitive edge is super important.

It is very hard to tell the difference between madness and genius.

What great founders do is seek the networks that will be essential to their problems and tasks.

It is very conventional to say you are contrarian these days.

It is easy to be contrarian. It is hard to be contrarian and right.

Contrarian is relative to an audience.

You have to be both flexible and persistent.

Part of being a great founder is being able to be flexible across lines.

Is your investment thesis increasing or decreasing in confidence?

If you’re not solving the problem immediately in front of you you are hosed.

If your product doesn’t get to customers you are hosed.

It is generally useful in software to be a good product person.

Founders can be very diverse.

The ability to say coherently what you are targeting and to articulate something that isn’t trying to boil the ocean, or Swiss army knife approach, is pretty important.

You have to be able to articulate a very clear mission about what you are doing.

Ignoring the world in general is usually a disaster.

It is super important that you collaborate well.