What do I look for in a founder

I have been asked a number of times what type of founders will succeed or will I invest or even remotely spend time with. I have spoken and talked about this in bits and pieces over the years. To summarize, they tend to possess a few of these traits below:

  • Ability to speak to anyone sincerely: Mirroring oneself to speak at a level to a 3 year old or a 70 year old (Shows empathy, sincerity)
  • Stubborn but listens with a little curiosity, craziness and humbleness: Some level of fearlessness, going against the grain (Shows the love of risks, chaos, and challenges)
  • Grit: Hustles and perseveres (Shows staying power, never ever give up)
  • Obsess with the product or the market he or she is in (Shows passion or domain expertise)
  • Someone I would like to get drunk with (Shows the ability to be a total package ok maybe not)

Lastly, to be all of the above and not come across as a total asshole.


Build a product that evokes emotions

I listened to a podcast recently from The Kevin and Bean Show on KROQ morning show (my all time favorite morning radio show) where they were interviewing the Red Hot Chili Peppers’s launch of their new album and what they are doing differently with regards to the new album and their upcoming live concerts. Despite being musical legends, they are still keeping up to times in terms of knowing what their true fans want.

According to RHCP, the best songs they are proud of are those that get played multiple times over a long period of time. That engagement level comes from fans that are truly emotionally connected to the song.

Think about the last time you played a song 2-3 times in a row, what were you feeling or thinking about then?

The same goes for products that you build at your startups. Invoking emotions that drives users/customers to engage with your product again and again where each time is a new journey. Hopefully, the more they engage the more they fall in love with your product.