Most Founders are Wasting Time
Week of August 13th, 2023
Real Work vs Fake Work
As I transition into my second year of Snazz, I’ve been introspectively examining how I allocate my time. It’s alarming how many founders, including myself, grapple with distinguishing “real work” from “fake work”. Let’s break them down:
Real Work: This drives your startup forward. It’s about attracting users, securing customers, and enhancing profits. Primarily, it’s about Building & Selling.
Fake Work: This encompasses all tasks that aren’t directly tied to building or selling. Think of excessive mentorship meetings, attending every startup event, and endlessly pitching in competitions. If you’re not frequently interacting with customers or team members, then there’s a pivot to be made in your priorities.
I’ve succumbed to the allure of fake work more times than I’d like to admit. Its appeal lies in its simplicity and the immediate validation it offers. It’s undeniably gratifying to be invited to a prestigious conference, to mingle with VCs, or to clinch a startup competition. But this is a seductive trap, focusing on short-term rewards.
Your audience – the customers – couldn’t care less about the accolades you’ve amassed or the events you’ve graced. They’re invested in your solution and its efficacy in resolving their problems.
Real work is hard work. Setting up a successful product velocity mechanism is intricate. Iterating based on user feedback is demanding. And selling your solution when customers don’t want to pull out their wallets sucks. It’s these setbacks, though, that become the crucible of genuine learning and where your venture truly takes shape. Building a business is a tough endeavor, and it’s meant to be.
Yet, this isn’t a manifesto for perennial grind and gloom. The journey has its joys. There’s undeniable pleasure in witnessing satisfied customers, seeing your vision evolve, and in taking on these challenges to forge ahead.
To all the dreamers and doers out there, remember this: Pursue the hard work, because that’s where the real magic happens.
Keep building and selling,
Discover the future of Climatetech innovation in our latest mini-doc
Greentown Labs: Unpacking the Largest Climatetech Incubator in North America
In this 21-minute video, we showcase the exceptional Climatetech innovation that Greentown Labs fosters, right here in the Greater Boston Area and beyond.
We highlight three remarkable startups – Transaera, H2Ok Innovations, & Sol Clarity – who call Greentown Labs their home for innovation.
🥁 The Boston Beat
All the juicy gossip, trends, and seismic shifts shaking up our very own startup scene
AI-Driven Dermatology Service by MIT-Founded Company Revolutionizes Care
Piction Health Dermatology, born out of MIT, is launching its advanced AI-powered virtual dermatology clinic for Massachusetts residents. This innovative service uses AI to bolster the expertise of board-certified dermatologists, offering rapid, accurate diagnoses. Patients submit a brief medical survey and high-quality skin images, with most receiving treatment plans without the need for in-person consultations. Inspired by CEO Susan Conover’s personal experience with a skin cancer scare, the clinic aims to make dermatology services accessible with “90% less friction.”
Endorsed by industry experts, Piction’s service is set to redefine dermatological care, ensuring prompt, expert care right from one’s home.
FIGUR8, an MIT Spinout, Secures $25M for AI-Driven Musculoskeletal Analysis
Boston-based FIGUR8, which uses an amalgamation of hardware, software, and AI to assess musculoskeletal health, has successfully raised $25 million in a Series A-1 funding round. The funding was spearheaded by First Spark Ventures and saw participation from DigiTx Partners and Phoenix Venture Partners. The company, which stemmed from MIT’s Media Lab and is helmed by Nan-Wei Gong (a former Google research lead), specializes in standardizing musculoskeletal health data.
They employ lightweight sensors that patients wear to monitor joint motion and muscle functionality during exercises. The software platform of FIGUR8 subsequently offers medical providers a detailed insight into the patient’s significant biomarkers, facilitating the design of personalized treatment regimens.
The funding aims to accelerate the uptake of FIGUR8’s “bioMotion Assessment Platform,” which translates biomechanics data into actionable insights for musculoskeletal health improvement and injury rehabilitation.
Quantum Computing Renaissance in Boston: QuEra Computing Takes the Lead
Once a global hub for computer manufacturing, Greater Boston could witness a resurgence in computing prominence, thanks to the evolution of quantum computing. Alex Keesling, CEO of Boston’s QuEra Computing, is optimistic that his company can rejuvenate the region’s reputation in the computing domain. QuEra offers a leasing program allowing businesses to experience its quantum machines firsthand.
Unlike traditional computers that use data bits, quantum machines use “qubits,” which can represent both 0 and 1 simultaneously, promising unparalleled processing power. QuEra’s flagship “Aquila” machine uses rubidium atoms, which function at room temperature, eliminating the need for sophisticated cooling methods. Despite the incredible potential of quantum computers, their current capabilities are restricted. QuEra’s system, one of the most advanced globally, can handle only 256 qubits.
However, Keesling is confident that their technology can be scaled up significantly. While tech giants like IBM and Google are investing heavily in quantum technology, IDC Corp. analyst Heather West believes niche players like QuEra have the potential to shine in specialized computing problems.
🛠️ Toolbox & Tactics
Bite-sized wisdom & tech to dodge startup pitfalls
Zero to One:
“Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future” is a book by entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel. In it, Thiel advocates for the idea that true innovation comes from creating something entirely new (“going from zero to one”), rather than iterating on existing products or ideas (“going from one to n”). He argues that monopolies, in the sense of businesses with unique offerings, are good because they can drive meaningful progress, while competition can sometimes lead to stagnation.
Drawing from his experiences in co-founding PayPal and investing in startups, Thiel offers unconventional wisdom on startup culture, the value of contrarian thinking, and the future of innovation. He challenges readers and entrepreneurs to think differently, question the status quo, and strive to build the next big “zero to one” idea.
🌯 The Wrap
Our final thoughts on this week’s whirlwind, in a nutshell
Reclaim Focus: Slash Your Screen Time and Boost Productivity
Over the past year, in collaboration with some brilliant minds from Boston University, we’ve been sculpting an application: Snazz. We’re on a mission to make it the premier tool for managing screen time, reducing digital intrusions, and uplifting your overall performance and well-being.
Yes, I’m attached to my phone. It’s transformed how we bond with loved ones, supercharged businesses, and even added a touch of the James Bond flair to hailing cabs. Yet, amidst all these benefits, it’s undeniable that these devices can sometimes divert our attention from what truly counts. In the breakneck world of startups, every moment is precious, and undivided focus can be your edge over rivals.
Are you ready to level up? Dive into the future with us and be among the first to experience our beta: https://snazzapp.co/