What The Best Startup Founders Have in Common


Don’t worry about failure; you only have to be right once.Drew Houston, Dropbox Co-Founder and CEO

Many of the world’s most successful B2B entrepreneurs didn’t initially set out to do what you now know them for.

Hiten Shah, Co-Founder of KISSmetrics famously spent a million dollars on a web hosting company that never launched, and Bill Gates failed to build a computer business that automatically read paper tapes from traffic counters for local governments.

One of the big reasons why these entrepreneurs became successful is that they were able to move on when their businesses didn’t work out.

Most of the entrepreneurs I’ve interviewed for Lean B2B did not use a formal Product-Market validation process; they developed their own system. Sometimes that system was inspired by the available literature and other times it was wholly made up.

The consistent theme among successful B2B entrepreneurs is that they understood the importance of customer insights. They never stopped listening, testing and adapting. The market changes and so should they.

You do this enough times and you learn that even the most seasoned of us really don’t know. You’re constantly learning. You can sit down with any entrepreneur in the Valley and, no matter how successful they are, they will tell you about the failures. They will tell you about the 90% of the things that they did that didn’t work at all. – Ranjith Kumaran, PunchTab Co-Founder

Deep customer understanding is an incredible barrier to entry. As a startup founder, your ability to understand the market gaps and react accordingly will be one of your strongest competitive advantages.

How well do you know your customers?


⚡⚡ Enjoyed this content? I go into way more detail on this subject in Lean B2B. The book covers the ins and outs of finding traction in the market for B2B products. Check it out »


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