Founder Brand – Dave Gerhardt Book Summary

Founder Brand – Dave Gerhardt | Free Book Summary

Founder Brand – Dave Gerhardt

The power of authentic leadership

Founder Led Marketing

Getting a startup noticed is hard, as Dave Gerhardt, a marketing specialist who worked at various tech companies, noticed. Nobody wants to hear from yet another company, but the founder could act as the spoke-person, bringing:

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Authentic Leadership: The founder should be an authentic and interesting individual.

If you are the founder of a tech startup, stop thinking of yourself as the CEO.

Become the CSO, Chief Storytelling Officer.

The Founder’s Story Kernel

The first step is framing the founder’s story. The founder is the leader of this movement, but the story must tie back to the company. Dave recommends answering these stories: 

  • What is the founder’s (company’s) backstory?
  • What’s the problem your business exists to solve?
  • Who’s the villain your customers are facing?
  • What’s the solution that you offer?
  • What are the benefits of using your product?
  • What’s life like before and after using your product?

3 Steps to begin Founder Led Marketing

  • Craft A Simple Authentic & Compelling Story
  • Publish consistently using social media & podcasting
  • Creating a feedback loop with other thought leaders

The founders usually lack the time, but startups that are movements need a leader.  

  • The founders need to make time
  • The marketing team can rally around the founder & do the heavy lifting: planning, editing, publishing, and measurement.

Focus On A Niche And An Enemy

A “niche” is a specialized segment of the market for a particular kind of product or service. When you have a niche, it means that you have a clear focus on your intended, targeted customer for today. not the vision of the product you are selling, but the product you are selling right now. 


When you create a villain, the niche works best. It gives you a conflict and allows for conflict resolution. You want your brand’s product or service to be seen as the resolution to that struggle—a hero to save the day.

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