The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode of The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten address the whole idea of benefiting from what you’ve done in the past.

Sometimes an entrepreneur will do something significant or valuable and then go on to benefit from that thing a couple years down the line. This could be from being invited to speak at conferences or be advisors to startups and so on.

In this week’s episode, Steli and Hiten share their thoughts on this idea and what they think should be the right way to go about it.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:28 About today’s topic

01:16 Steli’s thought on benefiting from cool things you did in the past.

01:38 Why Steli sometimes looks down on some of these people.

02:08 An example of Steli’s previous work benefitting him in Greece

03:13 If it’s cool to live off a solid brand.

03:51 Professions where it’s common to live of past glory.

04:11 Why it may not be a good idea to be judgemental.

04:59 The only time to judge people with a glorious past.

06:00 A pattern Hiten has seen.

06:41 Why it can be difficult to repeat a successful feat.

3 Key Points:

If anything, judge them by the value that they’re adding to the audience at that point in time

If you got lucky, good for you.

If you’ve done something great and it came relatively easy, it’s much harder to do something great again.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.



Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah.



Steli Efti: In today's episode of The Startup Chat, I want to unpack a topic with you Hiten. I don't know how to brand this, how to word this but the basic gist of it is the thought that inspired me wanting to talk to you about this is the whole idea of benefiting from old shit that you've done. The whole idea is that what I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs go through that are well known is that sometimes, what will happen is that an entrepreneur or start-up founder will do something cool or something significant or meaningful or valuable or prominent and then, they will eat off that shit for a really long time. Eating off that shit means that they got famous, or somehow they got a spotlight on them and 5 years, 10 years later when you ask yourself why these people are still invited to, I don't know, speak at conferences or be advisors for startups or be ... Why are they still getting opportunities? It's because they did something really cool 10 years ago. They haven't really created any value recently. They're still eating off their moment of fame and there's probably people in Hollywood, people in music or business or other areas where this culture is easier to understand. Somebody's done something really cool a long time ago, they're still eating off of that. I've always looked down on these people to be honest and frankly it's like, "People still ask for this person's advice? This person hasn't done anything relevant three years or helped somebody in some relevant way recently as far as I can tell. Then recently, I was on vacation in Greece and during that vacation, a bunch of people reaching out to me and basically offering me really amazing opportunities. I was like, "Ha, it's interesting. I'm on vacation. I'm not doing anything and all of this stuff is coming inbound, my way." Then, because of the type of opportunities they were approaching me with, I don't know, I had a moment where I was like, "Shit, this still the fruits of the labor of a bunch of really amazing shit that I did a few years ago." Then, I asked myself, "This year, did I do the best work I've ever done? Did create the best content? Did I come up with the best stories, did I create the best products? Did I teach the best things?" In some ways, I have done really awesome work and in other ways, I didn't feel like it. It started this, you know, dialogue of,

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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