I talk to hundreds of SaaS startup founders and software CEOs every year through mentoring, networking, speaking, advising, consulting, investing, events, and now the Dallas Software Podcast.
I’m amazed that every story is different.
- Different founder personalities and backgrounds
- Different times
- Different markets
- Different cities
- Different technologies
- Different business models
- Different funding and end games
Yet there are common threads that are always there.
1) A misfit founder who wasn’t “normal” like everyone else
2) Going deep into a market to find and create an opportunity before it’s obvious
3) Way more hard work and sacrifice than founders let on
4) Way more experimentation and zigzagging than you can see from the outside. We don’t see the tries that didn’t work.
5) A continuous barrage of seriously hard challenges that would stop normal people
6) Dedicated and magical teams that don’t give up when it’s tough
7) Lots of help and advice from experienced outsiders who know their stuff
8) Starting wide in either their product or market, then scaling fast by focusing in when they find leverage (aka product-market fit)
What do you see in every tech venture that hasn’t changed over time?