Why “Startup Real Talk”?

Hi everyone, I’m Waseem Daher. I’m a three-time founder, currently running a startup called Pilot. This is the newsletter I wish existed when I started my first company.

There’s a lot of content out there about startups, but frankly, most of it is not very helpful. Lots of vague platitudes, think pieces, and articles designed to make the author look smart, but not much to help you actually build and run your company. 

That’s a problem, because real, tactical advice can be incredibly impactful for founders. I’ve had conversations with advisors that have dramatically changed how I’ve thought about running our startup, and ultimately helped me build a stronger business, and, as a three-time founder, I’m now in a position to give that kind of advice myself.

That’s what this newsletter aims to do. I’ll feature essays on the nuts and bolts of actually getting the job done, and answer questions from you, the founder community, about challenges you’re currently facing. 

I’ll do my best to be useful or entertaining—ideally both—and I’ll always be low-bullshit.

A bit about me

In 2008, I started my first startup, Ksplice, with my cofounders who I met at MIT’s computer club (yes, it was as nerdy as that sounds). We bootstrapped the company, living in a grungy little row house in Cambridge, and eventually sold it to Oracle in 2011. We then founded Zulip, a group chat product acquired by Dropbox in 2014. In 2017, we founded Pilot—a company that runs your financial back-office for you—where I’m currently CEO.

I hope you’ll subscribe and tell your friends!