Christopher has been working on startups for over 5 years. Everfund emerged from their previous work building QR code donation tools for nonprofits.
Our conversation covered Chris' lessons on customer validation, hiring failures, co-founder relationships, startup motivation, and more.
Here are my top 5 takeaways from our discussion:
Key lessons when pivoting go-to-market
Focus on customers with the real "pain killer" problem, not just who likes your solution.
Learning from early hiring missteps
Fail fast and course correct - use mistakes as critical lessons for future team building.
Finding investor partners, not just money
Shared vision and belief in your mission matters more than funds from misaligned investors.
Play to individual strengths while working through disagreements constructively.
Let your co-founder be who they need to be to succeed.
Identify strengths, delegate accordingly.
Work through disagreements constructively.
The bond with a co-founder is one of the hardest but most important for startup success.
His motivation and passion
Seeing Everfund's social impact on groups like his partner's nonprofit keeps Chris driven.
I posed these questions to Chris, and here are his responses.
“Is this startup journey like a roller coaster? How do you feel daily?"
Christopher said that life and startups are not really like a rollercoaster, even though there are ups and downs.
Startup journeys have unpredictable twists and turns, unlike a rollercoaster's defined track.
The ride feels like driving fast on winding roads with surprises around each bend.
This brings daily excitement about potential ahead paired with uncertainty about looming roadblocks.
"If you had the superpower to make changes in startup life, what would they be? Can you name three superpowers?”
Removing his own biases to see solutions from the customer's eyes
Enhanced communication and mentoring abilities
Increased speed and efficiency
"You are invited to host a dinner party with three people, dead or alive. Who would you choose?"
Walt Disney: Walt Disney started the company with an amazing vision.
Frank Wells: Frank Wells and Michael Eisner worked together in a successful co-founder partnership that led Disney's renaissance.
Michael Eisner: Christopher would love to hear them discuss and even squabble over how to run Disney, with the creative visionary (Eisner) balanced by the operations-focused partner (Wells).