The formula is as follow: Idea x Product x Team x Execution.
I've bullet pointed the most important aspects in order to keep it short — see it as a memory aid.
Mission oriented: important for you and others
Passion to solve something / something you want, compelled to explore, something you think about most often
Business that's difficult to replicate, at some point
Seems like a bad (few competitors) idea but is a good idea: Take over a small market where to get a monopoly, then quickly expand so everyone will use your product
Growth rate of market (see it for yourself, what do young people use) is more important than the market size ⇒ Customers desperate for a solution in small markets
Better to have an idea you want than one that a customer wants ⇒ So you better understand the market
Be different than others, or completely new, not an X for Y.
You should be able to describe the idea/vision in a short sentence.
Why now and not 2 yrs ago, and not in 2 yrs? Important to know.
Think about the market first, what people want, rather than thinking of an idea first.
Great product first that users love (pr, partnerships etc not now)
Talk to users, and recruit them manually, have them give feedback: what do you (not) like? What would you pay for? What would make you recommend it?
Build something a small number of people love, rather than a lot of ppl that like
Great product translated to organic user growth, if you're not seeing that, it's not a good sign.
Start with a simple product that solve a small fraction of the problem.
Short feedback loops ftw: show, get feedback, tweak product
Focus on growth (not registrations but e.g. active users, revenue..)
Find co-founder in interesting companies you work for. Be friends first, know them, don't choose a random guy.
Co-founder: James Bond-like. Relentlessly resourceful, tough, calm, etc.
Try not to hire, and if you have to, find the best people (not mediocre people), who believe in the company. Call references.
Has good communication skills, you need to enjoy working with them.
To retain them, praise them for the good stuff and take the negative stuff in ur shoulders.
Fire fast when it's not working out.
Vesting on equity (4yrs): 0-1yr: nothing, 1yr - ... :10%, … , 4yrs: 50%
Don't get co-founders in a different location.
CEO's job: set the vision, raise money, evangalize, hire & manage, make sure the entire company executes (can u figure out what to do, can you get it done)
Can you get it done?
Focus is critical. 2, 3 priorities a day, other dont matter. Say no a lot.
Set goals/milestones to know what to focus on: Ship product by this date, maintain this growth rate, get this deal done, …
The goals the founders set, are the ones of the whole company and that everyone should know.
Intensity: Execution speed (move fast & break things), obsessed with quality.
Every time you talk to founders, they've gotten new things done.
Always keep growing / monumentum: keep winning. If you lose momentum, sales can fix everything. Do little things to keep the curve up.
Set an operating rythm that you look at each week with everyone:
Launching new features
Reviewing/reporting metrics and milestones