Founders Uncut: Real Startup Stories

6. Mike Quinn From Zoona - Failing To Win, The Difference Between Having Failed And Thinking You Are A Failure, Navigating Self Doubt, How To Manage Your Board, The Fewest “Right” People, Why Being A Parent Makes You A Better Leader, Reduce The Drag Coefficient Of Your Startup Board And Talk About What Actually Matters, Exiting A Key Executive, When International Expansion Fails, Culture Exists Whether You Care about It Or Not, Managing Culture In A Contraction Moment Versus Scaling And Growing

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Episode notes

With me today is Mike Quinn, the founder of  Zoona, one of Africa’s startup darlings for a period of time. He and three other cofounders built Zoona, a money transfer and remittance business, to over 3000 agents transactacting $2.5Bn across two African markets - Zambia and Malawi. They earned $86 million in revenue along the journey. He was one of the first founders on the continent to ever raise venture money and raised through Series B before their Series C and ultimately the future growth of the company went into a death spiral. He wrote his reflections in a book titled “Failing to Win” and he is now on to building his next venture, Boost. Hear more from him on:

1) Learning from Failure - The Startup CEO & Founder Reality

  • We are All Failing All the Time
  • The Difference Between Having Failed and Thinking You Are a Failure
  • Navigating Self Doubt in Tough Moments
  • Making the Decision to Leave Your Own Company
  • You are Not Going through the Founder Journey Alone if You Do it Right
  • How Being a Dad and Husband made Mike a Better Leader

2) Managing Your Board

  • Managing the Culture of Your Board as You Would Your Team
  • Reduce the Drag Coefficient of Your Board
  • Talk about What Actually Matters at Your Board vs Reporting and Updates
  • How to Communicate to the Board When You Are Disappointing Them

3) Exiting a Key Executive

  • Deciding to Exit A Key Executive Who Doesn’t Fit Your Culture
  • When Your Culture Is Misaligned Internally and How You Know
  • When Someone Breeds a Different Culture Internally to What You Have
  • When International Expansion Fails in a New Market after it Worked in Others

4) Team and Culture

  • How to Hire The Fewest “Right” People
  • Culture Exists Whether You Care About it or Not
  • Managing Culture and Morale When Contracting not Scaling
  • Behaviours not Values are What Matter
  • Finding a CoFounder Who Complements Your BlindSpots

Find Mike's book on Amazon and Audible

Find out more at KindredCapital.VC/FoundersUncut

This podcast was produced by Fascinate Productions