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September 2017
S M T W T F S
     
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Syndication

Dubbed "the world's most powerful startup incubator" by Fast Company, Y Combinator (YC) has been plucking startups from garages, dorm rooms, coffee shops, and assorted founder hangouts for over a decade.

With a combined valuation of more than $65 billion among its alumni, a list that reads like a who’s who of startup fame—think AirBNB, Reddit, Dropbox, Instacart, Scribd, Weebly—YC has become a Silicon Valley institution. It is described as an elite founders boot camp, a place where ideas are incubated, annihilated, refined, and polished for a period of three months, ready to be served up to a bevy of hungry investors.

As co-founder of this entrepreneurial playground, Jessica Livingston has seen it all: the tears, the tantrums, and the triumphs, while getting a bird’s eye view of some of the startup world’s biggest success stories.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How to close the gap between a failed startup and a wildly successful one
  • What Y Combinator is looking for when they take on new startups
  • The exact process that Y Combinator puts startups through in order to ensure success
  • The key traits and qualities shared by ever successful founder
  • What signs to look out for that your startup may be doomed
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP095_Jessica_Livingston.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am AEST

All entrepreneurs and startups are underdogs in one way or another. After all, in order to be an entrepreneur you're already going against the grain, and in order to be successful you must be willing to challenge the status quo no matter how large or small.

But it's not everyday you find someone who manages to completely disrupt a billion-dollar industry with nothing more than a blog, some hustle, and a keen sense for marketing.

In this modern day tale of David and Goliath, we speak with Alborz Fallah, who armed only with a blog managed to take on the centuries-old automotive industry and come out on top. Today his blog brings in millions of dollars in advertising revenue and challenges some of the biggest media companies in the world.

But it didn't happen overnight. It took some grit and a great understanding of marketing and branding to get to where he is today. Something that he readily shares with us in today's interview.

In this week's episode you will learn:

  • Tips on finding the right audience and niche for your product
  • All you'll ever need to know on how to successfully build your brand through trust and customer satisfaction
  • What it means to have a good reputation in your industry
  • Where to go when you're looking for resources to grow your company
  • The best way to foster your brand's community
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP094_Alborz_Fallah.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:50am AEST

To be a great entrepreneur, you need to have a great vision. Case in point:

Back in the 80s, we were just entering the internet age. At the time, it didn't really exist beyond a few government think tanks and laboratories, and we were only just beginning to understand what was possible. It was during that time that massive companies like IBM, Sears, Microsoft and Citigroup began investing millions of dollars into figuring out this internet business.

Despite all of the competition, in 1985, Steve Case and the team behind a fledgling startup named AOL rolled up their sleeves and helped shaped the internet into what we know it as today.

"When we started AOL in the United States, only 3% of people were online and those 3% were online only one hour a week. So it really was early days in terms of, it was still a niche hobbyist kind of market. I believed that someday it'd be a mass market, someday it'd be a mainstream market, someday it'd change how people got information, communicate, bought products and so forth."

It was that vision that they were building something for tomorrow that turned AOL from a small startup into the giant we know it as today.

In this interview you will learn:

  • Why focusing on community is the best move a startup can make
  • How to build for the future instead of building for what's happening today
  • What it means to develop curiosity and why you need it to be a successful entrepreneur
  • Exclusive insight into the early days of AOL and how they built a global brand
  • How Steve judges a startup's disruptive potential when looking to invest
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP093_Steve_Case.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:23am AEST

One of the greatest misconceptions you'll encounter in the startup world is the one about age. You'll hear would-be entrepreneurs constantly telling themselves that they're too young, or that they're too old, or that they're just waiting for that right moment to finally become an entrepreneur.

That's ridiculous.

There is no perfect moment waiting around the corner for you, because the perfect moment only comes to those who actually go out there and create it.

Ben Chaib, founder of Sell and Succeed, is the perfect example of that. After working in the corporate world for 25 years, he decided that enough was enough. He had the skills and ability to generate millions in revenue, but he wasn't getting the return that we wanted. So he set out and created his own business, and today he's consulting hundreds of other aspiring entrepreneurs on how to market for success.

"We are great at doing things for others, but we are not great at doing it for ourselves. But we deserve it more than others," he says.

While relatively new to entrepreneurship, Ben is no slouch when it comes to knowing how to make a business work.

In our interview with Ben, we get invaluable insight from one of the top business coaches in the world as he breaks down his sales process and shows us what it means to be a great marketer.

In this interview you will learn:

  • Ben's 8-step process of marketing and making sales
  • The advantages of having a business coach and good mentors to help you start your own business
  • Tips on how to make a sales process that is authentically you
  • How to find clients and target audiences through Facebook marketing
  • Why you need to get your customers to connect and feel comfortable talking about their business with you
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP092_Ben_Chaib.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:52am AEST

As the dominance of technology keeps on gaining steam, some non-techy, would-be entrepreneurs are made to feel discouraged. How can they compete with all the slick coders starting businesses in this virtual world?

That didn’t stop non-coder Brian Moran from making serious money online, and ultimately making it big in the competitive niche of Software as a Service (SaaS).

No programming geek, Moran was a marketing major, but primarily a baseball player, in college. He had hoped to continue his baseball career after graduating, but an injury forced him out of the ballpark and into the office.

His office job was stable, well-paid, low-stress … and intolerable.

“I was just bored out of my mind. I was getting paid well, great benefits, I had just gotten married,” says Moran. “But someone else was controlling every aspect of my life.”

Six years and a newborn later, Moran is now the founder of the successful SamCart checkout service, which counts Foundr as one of its many customers. In the time between, Moran was consistently hitting it out of the park with multiple online businesses.

Get ready, Moran’s story isn’t your average ball game.

In this interview you will learn:

  • How to build a SaaS company even if you don't have the technical skills
  • The 7 key elements of a checkout page that actually converts
  • Brian's marketing tactics that's led him to build multiple successful companies
  • What you need to make it as an SaaS startup
  • How to reduce churn and create loyal customers for life
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP091_Brian_Moran.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:47am AEST

The closest thing Ankur Nagpal has ever had to a job was a summer internship at Amazon when he was 18. Ever since then, he's been his own boss at companies that he's built. Outside of that brief fling as an employee, Nagpal has wholly dedicated his life to being a serial entrepreneur.

In his early years as an entrepreneur, he entered the highly competitive startup scene in Silicon Valley as a very successful Facebook app developer. Only he didn't make individual apps. Instead what he was selling was the platform that everyone used to create their own apps. From there, he bowed out with a cool seven figures to his name when that company had run its course.

Just as the real winners of the gold rush weren't those who found gold but the entrepreneurs who sold the tools, Nagpal has made a living as the one people turn to when they're looking for development tools.

Fast-forward to today and he is now the founder and CEO of Teachable, a business that teaches and trains other entrepreneurs on how to create their own online courses with his easy-to-use platform and teaching methods. What once started as a fun side project has now turned into a multimillion-dollar business with more than a million students!

With years of experience in the startup capital of the world, Ankur lets us in on how he became the powerhouse entrepreneur he is today.

In this interview you will learn:

  • What to do to turn your side project into business succcess
  • The things you need to know about creating a successful online course
  • How to create a successful business based on empowering others
  • Tips to finding paying customers if you've just launched
  • Where to go to find the best investor for you and what that means
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP090_Ankur_Nagpal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:37am AEST

Brene Brown was a meandering youth in her 20s, doing more traveling and bartending than she was building a business or focusing on school. As a result, she didn't graduate college until she was 30. Nonetheless, after finishing her bachelor’s in social work, she quickly gained her masters and PhD and started a career as an academic at the University of Houston.

But something was rustling beneath the surface for Brown—being a quiet academic and publishing papers wasn’t enough for her. That something was entrepreneurship. Brene Brown started publishing books and doing talks and coaching for executives and successful entrepreneurs.

But Brown is best known for her unique message, calling for entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs alike to open their hearts and minds to vulnerability. What many avoid and even look down upon, Brene Brown insists is a key to success, real intimacy, and happiness.

Brown is a thought leader of our time. In an entrepreneurship community dominated by masculine values and "tough guy" attitudes, she breaks the noise with her message to accept and even embrance discomfort. And she isn’t just preaching: throughout her works, and her now famous TEDx talk, Brown exposes her own vulnerability. This refreshing, data-based take on life and success has resonated with millions of people who have watched her TED Talk, and the many successful entrepreneurs she currently works with. It also informs the way she runs her own business, and was in full display during her interview with Foundr.

In this interview you will learn:

  • Why vulnerability doesn't have to be a weakness and how you can turn it into your strongest weapon
  • Where to find the strength to get back up when you've fallen further than ever before
  • The right way to deal with all the pressures of being an entrepreneur
  • How to take the data you have and turn it into a profitable business
  • What it truly means to be vulnerable
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP089_Brene_Brown.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am AEST

As the son of hardworking immigrants, David Cancel saw his parents working seven days a week to support their family. As an adult, he realized that not all people worked the way his parents did, which sparked in him a desire to make a living without getting a “job.”

Cancel always knew that he wanted to be an entrepreneur, even if he wasn’t quite sure what that meant. As a kid, he found that flipping through the pages of Inc. Magazine and other early entrepreneurial publications didn’t offer much insight. He saw ads for get-rich-quick schemes and stories of businessmen who had reached amazing heights. Although he wasn’t quite sure what it meant to be an entrepreneur, he knew he wanted in.

The term “serial entrepreneur” gets thrown around a lot, but few have lived a life that defines it as well as David Cancel. Building and selling companies has become a way of life; his obsessions around ideas or problems quickly snowball into companies. He has started and exited five companies in the past 16 years and is currently an advisor, investor, and/or consultant to several more, including BigCommerce, HelpScout, Rapportive, and Yieldbot.

In this interview you will learn:

  • What it takes to create a successful product
  • How to listen to your customer and what you can learn from it
  • What kind of feedback you should listen to and what you should ignore
  • The secret to iterating effectively and how you can start improving your own products
  • Where to find the right audience and what it means to serve them
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP088_David_Cancel.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am AEST

Justin Kan doesn’t come off as the type who lives for the spotlight. Which is funny, because at one point he live-streamed his life, 24/7 for the whole world to see, for months.

That may seem like an unlikely path to a billion-dollar sale, but in fact, the early experiment in the world of live video got Kan and his partner Emmett Shear part of the way there. That unconventional level of dedication and curiosity is a testament to how these two have been willing to dive into the opportunities before them, leading them through a flurry of tech business successes.

Kan’s CV speaks for itself: He co-founded hit companies Twitch, Justin.tv, Socialcam, Exec, and is now a partner at startup incubator Y Combinator, which invests millions annually into tech companies.

A native of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Kan was not an obvious candidate for someone who would succeed in tech. He has a certain natural charisma, but studied physics and philosophy at Yale, neither of which is necessarily a match for a career in startups. However, he received a crash course in entrepreneurship from an early age by watching his mother run her own real estate business, and it seems to have stuck.

From there, Kan experienced his share of losses and ridiculously spectacular wins, developing a series of products that define the chapters of his fascinating career in tech startups.

In this interview you will learn:

  • The exact process of coming up with, developing and selling your startup idea
  • When to pivot and the signs to look out for
  • What startup accelerators like Y Combinator are looking out for
  • How to hustle harder than everyone else around you and gain the competitive advantage
  • Why you should bet on the founders and not the startup itself and the wins that come with it
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP087_Justin_Kan.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:25pm AEST

From a very young age, it was clear that selling was encoded in Gary Tramer’s DNA.

His aptitude for sales emerged early when he was a scrappy little kid riding his bike around the neighborhood with his friends. He and his gang would steal their neighbors’ plants, re-pot them into yogurt containers, and sell them back to the same neighbors. With the money they made, Tramer and company would indulge in Fizz Wiz, Warheads, and other junk from the candy shop.

“We were crafting our humble entrepreneurial beginnings,” Tramer says.

From these humble beginnings, Tramer has evolved to start and run several successful sales-focused businesses, up to today’s LeadChat company, where revenues reach over $1 million. He’s become a true master, with roots in face-to-face selling that he adapted and scaled up using cutting-edge digital tools. And he dished all of his secrets for us in this interview.

In this interview you will learn:

  • From start to finish, what goes into making and closing leads
  • Dozens of helpful tools you can start using today for your own sales strategy
  • The different ways you can test your ads without breaking the bank
  • The process of utilizing traditional marketing techniques in a digital setting
  • What it takes to train your salespeople with no experience into becoming absolute sales machines
  • & much more!
Direct download: FP086_Gary_Tramer.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:08am AEST