The first-time founder mindset

At 2048, we invest in first-time founders and repeat founders, and we are hyper-focused on investing in founders who have the mindset + personality traits of “first-time founders” including:

  • Grit, drive and resilience

  • Coachability

  • Capital efficiency

  • Sound reasoning re: the value of early investor-partners


Via @justinkan:

First time founders are obsessed with product.
Second time founders are obsessed with distribution.

I like how Justin positions this, though I believe the best first-time founders are also focused on GTM and distribution at the outset.  At 2048, we work closely with all founders (both first-time and repeat founders) on both product and distribution from the start.  


Founders we back are obsessed with execution, with getting their product to market, with making a real difference with technology.  We roll up our sleeves to work with them at the earliest stages.

From our perspective, the “first-time founder mindset”:

  • Is hungry to build something she feels must exist in this world, and not for purely monetary gain;

  • Understands the advantage of capital efficiency, through the lens and cycle of building, getting to market, iterating, and repeating;

  • Walks through walls, not just because it’s in her DNA, but because she does not see the walls in front of her;  

  • Leverages relevant learnings from prior experiences to think and execute more precisely, yet is not prejudiced or weighed down by anything in her past;

  • Understands that past successes or failures are not deterministic of potential success here; and

  • Effectively processes and filters feedback from various constituents, with a strong spine to take decisive action, execute, and lead.


This mindset can absolutely stick with you from your 1st venture -> 2nd venture… so if you have the first-time founder mindset, we look forward to hearing from you!

Paul Sethi