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I started my first company right after graduating from Harvard Business School. I thought I was ready. I was in for a big surprise! My first business showed me that launching a startup was different from what my previous experience had prepared me for. But I knew that a ton of successful startup founders found success after they’d learned the hard way what it takes to create a successful company.
In part because there are specific approaches to company building that many new founders don’t know. Some founders join accelerators to learn these approaches. Some try to cobble the answers together online. Some learn like I did, through trial and error.
Once I figured out what the Silicon Valley insiders knew, I was able to co-found, scale, and sell a company.
After we sold our company, I dove into the startup ecosystem to help new founders learn the things that had been painful lessons for me. But working with founders 1 on 1, I was only able to help a few startups at a time. As I worked with founders, I met others like me who were advising, mentoring, coaching, and investing in startups.
I decided that it was time to share some of that collective knowledge with a broader population of founders. This interview series is a collection of over 2 dozen experts sharing valuable advice on the things they see that can spell startup success or failure.
You could choose to learn on your own, at the school of hard knocks. Or you could listen to these conversations and save yourself time, money, and aggravation.