The Tech Startup Playbook | Brian Long (Founder of Attentive)

Jan 10

The Tech Startup Playbook | Brian Long (Founder of Attentive) | EP007

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In today's episode, we are thrilled to have Brian Long, the Founder of Attentive, the company texting you all those deals for your favorite brands. Previously Brian sold TapCommerce to Twitter. Brian brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and he's here to share his insights on how to navigate the challenging yet rewarding world of tech startups.

Key Takeaways:

Problem Hunting: Discover the art of identifying real-world problems that are worth solving. Brian shares his journey of problem hunting, providing valuable tips on how to spot opportunities and validate your ideas.

The Startup Playbook: Dive deep into the strategies and tactics that have propelled Attentive to success. Learn about the importance of adaptability, the role of customer feedback, and the crucial steps to take your startup from idea to execution.

Building a Dream Team: Uncover the secrets to assembling a team of passionate and dedicated individuals who share your vision and are committed to your startup's success.

Navigating Challenges: Every startup faces its share of challenges. Brian opens up about the hurdles he encountered along the way and shares practical advice on how to overcome them and stay resilient.

Listen now on Apple, Spotify, and YouTube.

Where to find Brian Long:

Where to find Andy:

In this episode, we cover:

00:00:06 - The Challenge of Changing Direction

00:00:25 - Potential of Twitter as a Super App

00:00:41 - Free Speech and Twitter's Actions

00:01:04 - Podcast Episode Count and Setup

00:01:22 - Cultural Values and Taking Action

00:02:00 - Content Release Cadence

00:02:20 - Discussing the Guest's Background

00:02:41 - Fundraising and Book Manuscript Review

00:03:01 - Practical Startup Advice from Experience

00:03:22 - Tapcart's Journey and Sale to Twitter

00:03:44 - Unsanitized Startup Stories

00:04:30 - Exercise on Attentive's First 12 Months

00:05:39 - The Importance of Flexibility in Startups

00:06:00 - Initial Idea and Pivot for Attentive

00:07:09 - Market Feedback and Business Direction Shift

00:07:30 - Outreach's Origin Story

00:08:36 - Listening to the Market and Pivoting

00:09:08 - The Challenge of Throwing Away Work

00:10:38 - The Average Worker's Productivity

00:11:06 - Inertia and Its Impact on Business

00:11:17 - Attentive's Early Customer Feedback

00:13:26 - Thoughts on Twitter Under Elon Musk

00:14:02 - Impact of Twitter's Workforce Reduction

00:15:20 - Twitter's Potential and Need for Innovation

00:16:05 - Free Speech and Twitter's Direction

00:17:08 - Going from Zero to One in Startups

00:18:11 - Compensating for Early Feedback

00:20:03 - The Cost of Building and Testing a Product

00:22:02 - Using Compensation for Feedback in Prospecting

00:23:30 - Identifying a Real Market Problem

00:25:05 - Deciding Against a Big Deal to Pivot

00:27:08 - Hiring the Right People Early On

00:28:14 - The Role of a Full-Time In-House Recruiter

00:29:03 - Early Hiring Strategy and Inside Sales Importance

00:30:25 - The Danger of Hiring Too Many Engineers Early

00:31:16 - The Pitfalls of Entrepreneurial Ambitions

00:32:24 - Seeking Honest Feedback and Avoiding Yes-Men

00:33:21 - The Importance of Intellectual Honesty

00:34:17 - The Power of Simple Questions in Interviews

00:35:39 - The Three Core Responsibilities of a CEO

00:37:06 - Finding People Who Align with the Company's Vision

00:38:32 - The Power of the CEO Founder

00:39:56 - The Importance of Vision, Money, and People

00:41:49 - Delegating and Focusing on Impactful Work

00:44:09 - Hiring for Heart and Skill

00:45:46 - The Power of Simple Questions in Hiring

00:47:29 - The CEO's Ability to Make Bold Moves

00:48:40 - Encouraging Open Discussion and Feedback

00:49:50 - The CEO's Unique Power to Drive Change

00:51:37 - The Book's Pitch: A Tactical Startup Handbook

00:53:14 - Key Lessons from the Book

00:54:10 - The Power of the CEO and Making Bold Decisions

00:55:50 - Final Thoughts and Book Recommendation

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Andy Mewborn

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