Startup founder

Bet against the consensus and be right. Identify something that is a good idea, but sounds like a bad idea. Acquire product-market fit.

Test yourself Copy to your organization

Responsibilities contained in this role:



Identify and communicate the stage of the organization

The possible stage of the organization:

  • Startup
    • Pre product-market fit
    • Post product-market fit
  • Scaleup
  • Scaler

Varies with stage:

Accumulate and share an understanding of how and for whom the organization produces value

Check out how to use the concept of Profiles and Solutions to communicate how your organization produces value.



Get new stuff done

[...] this is the one thing we have learned best predicts the success of founders in Y Combinator, is that every time we talk to a team, they've gotten new things done. That's the best predictor we have that the company will go on to be succesful."

- Sam Altman


Meet up with and gain the perspectives and insights of other founders

Andrew Wilkinson talks about the advantages of belonging to a founders forum in this video.

From 31:48 - 34:21


Insight management

Market validation

Identify a target market

Segments and buyer personas (profiles).

Develop an intimate understanding of and empathy with the primary buyer personas in our target market

Check out how to use the concept of Profiles and Propositions to better understand what your target market cares about, and the concept of Alternatives to better understand how they are currently solving their problems.

Build something that the target market really wants/loves

"It's better to make a product 100 people LOVE, than a product 1 million people just like."

  • Paul Graham
Identify and understand the alternate solutions people are already using to solve the problem

Read more about Alternatives.

Be wary of an inability to identify alternatives to your solution. If people aren't using something else to solve the problem that your solution is designed to solve, it may be an indication that people don't sufficiently care about the problem to invest in having it solved.


Organizational development

Performance and reporting

Robustness and longevity

Self-care at work

Strategy and planning

Build an exit-strategy

A strategy for closing down the business if it fails.

A strategy for exiting the business if it succeeds.

Plan for success

Success is the last thing that should catch you off guard. Even though success is by no means a given, assume that you will be successful and plan accordingly.

This does not mean doing things that scale prematurely, but rather mapping out a path to success in order to better understand the road ahead and maintain accountability.

Testing and validation


Start a startup



Recruitment Scaling up Hiring



Startup selling


Startup structure

Organizational development Startup Organizational resilience Delegation

Market validation

Market validation

Communicate clearly






Get a foot in

Outreach Messaging Awareness

Organizational anatomy

Organizational development Organizational health Leadership support Leadership development

Understanding customers

Market validation


Management Startup Leadership support Leadership development

Organizational health Organizational clarity Organizational resilience Management

Employee experience Alignment and friction prevention Organizational health Organizational development

Employee experience Organizational clarity Organizational development Organizational health Onboarding Startup Alignment and friction prevention Leadership support Role clarity Leadership development

Employee experience Organizational development Organizational health Startup Leadership support Alignment and friction prevention Management Leadership development

Employee experience Organizational health Leadership support Management Leadership development

Organizational health Organizational development Onboarding Employee experience Leadership support Management Leadership development

Health checks

Engagement Leadership support Leadership development

Operational Management Focus Leadership support Leadership development

Organizational health Organizational resilience Organizational development Management Leadership support Leadership development

Product management Product development