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Idea Generation

Startup Lessons From Warby Parker, Dodocase, and More From Day 2 of the Pop-Up School

No matter what you're working on, solve a real problem. The customers (and satisfaction) will come.

Whether you work for a company or are embarking on our own side hustle, you’re an entrepreneur. To succeed as creatives, we must be free radicals, agile and innovative, no matter what company name is on our business cards.

In order to shed light on how to adopt a startup mindset, we invited Kathryn Minshew, Neil Blumenthal, Patrick Buckley, Craig Dalton, and Alexis Ohanian to share their lessons learned at Day 2 of the 99U Pop-Up School here in NYC on Sept. 19. Below are some of our favorite takeaways as shared on social media during the event.

1. Your Mission Must Come First

It can be tempting to focus on your product. Or the press. Or what your peers think. But the best companies, the ones that are truly iconic, stand for something. That’s what brands like Warby Parker have done from day one, and it’s what keeps customers coming back for more.






2. Don’t Chase Perfection

You don’t know what you don’t know. The only way to test your hunches is to launch, and launch fast. As creatives our pride can often prevent us from releasing our work until it’s just right. But wait too long and an up-and-comer may beat you to the punch, or worse, you’ll find out that you were focused on the wrong details all along.






3. Solve a Real Problem

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian leads a Master Class on Day 2 of the Pop-Up School. Photo: MACKME.COM

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian leads a Master Class on Day 2 of the Pop-Up School. Photo: MACKME.COM

The world has enough companies that are startups for startup’s sake. The entrepreneurs that succeed are the one’s that sniff out a real problem and then throw all of their resources behind solving it.





4. Build Authentic Relationships With Customers

If you have no customers, you have no business. But customers can sniff out fake sincerity from miles away, the fastest growing startups nail the customer interactions early and quickly build a base of diehard fans that propel the brand to success.






All Pop-Up School Recaps:

Day 1 recap“Make Your Own Job” + 3 Other Lessons From Day 1 of the Pop-Up School

Day 2 recapStartup Lessons By Warby Parker, Reddit, and More From Day 2 of the Pop-Up School

Day 3 recap“We Now Live In An A.D.D. Culture” + Other Digital Strategy Lessons from Day 3 of the 99U Pop-Up School

Sean Blanda

Sean Blanda is a writer based in New York City and is the former Editor-in-Chief and Director of 99U. Find him on Twitter: @SeanBlanda.

Comments (3)
  • growthguided

    Incredible !

    I love the message here!

  • Julie Dawn Harris

    Impressive article, I do really agree to “Build Authentic Relationships With Customers”.
    Like what Jeff Bezos did he write personal letters on the front page of to recognize that even as CEO of the world’s largest online retailer he can create emotionally valuable connection with his customer. So you can’t be authentic when you outsourced social media activities and customer service.

  • Devid

    Actually the identity about the ways “You don’t know what you don’t know” is really amazing. No need to signify the justice about the words because it was ongoing with everyone. Should need to keep behind the lecture about negative role! 🙂 Strongly appreciated my wife that she has stolen the ideas from here and told to have a look upon the another one! Ha ha. No words because the design has good enough capability to deserve the appreciation! It made my day while working with

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