Life Lessons We Can Learn From Founders


Our Lean Startup Conference is just a few weeks away, and this week we were lucky enough to host a conversation with one of our keynote speakers, Noam Wasserman, author of the bestselling book The Founder’s Dilemmas, and the author of the new book Life Is a Startup.

Noam spoke with Lean Startup Co. Faculty Member, Elliot Susel, about the overlap in founder and life lessons and the importance of proactively tackling those issues in our business and personal lives.

In Elliot and Noam’s conversation, they discuss:
– Why focusing on people decisions is just as important as product.
– Key business lessons we can learn from founders and how we can apply those same lessons to our personal lives.
– The importance of doing research well.

And much, much more…


It was still early in his career when Noam Wasserman recognized the importance of focusing on the people around you. He was just starting out as an engineer when he noticed a pattern. “If we focused on anyone besides ourselves….it was the customers, and a key thing is we then neglected to think about the team we’re building with.”

Around the same time, Noam came across an article about venture capitalists by Bill Solomon. In the article, Bill found that 65% of startups that failed did so not because of product issues, but because of people problems and tensions between founders.

The importance of that statistic stuck with him. In his own experiences as a founder, Noam realized the significance of understanding the people part of the business. Because when it comes to startups, people are just as important as product. In his shift to academia, Noam continued the pursuit of understanding the key areas where founders make fateful decisions — including people decisions — and how they can make better decisions to increase their chances of success.

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