Patrick Pistor

Apple Design Award Winner and Venture Capitalist

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Standup Comedy and Startups

What do standup comedy and startups have in common? More than you might think. Although they are two very different fields, standup comedy and startups have one very big aspect in common. They are both about delivering what your customers want. When people go to a standup comedy show, they want to laugh. When people sign up for your app, they want it to solve a problem. So how do you know what makes people laugh? How do you know what problems people have? The best way to solve both of these problems, is to test on your customers.

Comedians write jokes that they find funny. Similarly, a startup founder will build a product that they likes, or that solves a problem in their life. The only way that comedians know whether their jokes are funny or not is if they get in-front of a crowd and “ask” them if they are funny. They doesn’t literally ask the crowd though, they tells then the jokes...

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Why I am glad that I don’t have a mentor

There is an immense amount of value in having a mentor. Mentors are people that have had the same problems that you are currently struggling. Mentors can show you all the steps that you need to reach to goal.

There is an immense amount of value in being a mentor. Being a mentor allows you to apply concepts that you are studying, and reapply concepts in order to gain an even greater understanding of these concepts.

Is it possible to be a mentor without ever having a mentor? Definitely. It is just much harder. I currently act as some sort of advisor/mentor for startups from time to time. I have never had a mentor. So far this has worked out okay for me. I usually advise people with one or two tasks related to their startup. Tell them to re-examine their feature set, or offer feedback on a design.

Lately though, I am starting to take the role of a full-time advisor. Not full time as in...

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Squirrels and Tomatoes

When growing Tomatoes, you have to be aware of predators. They come in all shapes and sizes. Bugs, animals, and weather play are the biggest reason why your tomato plants won’t grow. One of my friends was growing tomatoes. The squirrel kept breaking into her garden and eating her plants. The obvious solution was to put up bigger fences around the garden and make cages around the plants. These weren’t solutions though. The squirrels would break through any barrier that she set up. The barriers also made it harder to take care of the plants, causing more problems that needed to be solved. After several growing seasons of back and forth, my friend realized that squirrels don’t like tomatoes. They only eat them since it is the best option available. My friend put out food that she knew squirrels loved. Bird Seed. The squirrels went crazy for the seed, and never touched her plants again.


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Introducing Time Lace


I have no idea what I am doing. This isn’t the first game that I have made. Not even close. Is it because I want to tell a story about my life, something that means something to me, and not make another arcade game with a boring repetitive game-play?

I am not the best writer. Not even close. Which needs to change if I want to write a compelling story. That in itself is hard enough, but to convey that in a visual form that is both entertaining and enlightening, is going to be a huge challenge. Do I write a poem? Short Story? Blog post?

I was supposed to talk about my new game, not talk about the struggles that I am facing trying to make it. The game is called Time Lace. You play as a character named Finn, in a world that is shifting and unpredictable. In this world, Finn needs to collect orbs to stay alive. This provides a life force for him. Even though the orbs keep him alive...

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