The Mint Recap: Fireside Chat II with Immad Akhund of Mercury

The Mint Recap: Fireside Chat II with Immad Akhund of Mercury
Originally published on JC's LinkedIn here and Twitter here.

We loved having Immad, Co-Founder and CEO of Mercury, back at The Mint!

It was a great conversation reflecting on the journey of building Mercury: the lessons learned from building a product at the earliest stages.

Here are some of those insights and learnings:

1. Don’t wait to pivot, and be bold.

Immad had 4 pivots at Heyzap before selling. Despite evidence that action was needed (poor retention + incremental growth), pivots were too late and too modest.

The learning: act decisively and don't fear pivoting into something new.

2. A customer-centric approach accelerates PMF.

Immad emphasized that focusing on customers led to faster PMF at Heyzap and now Mercury. His teams prioritized engaging with customers to understand their needs, which guided product development and helped inform the right feature set.

3. You’ll know what PMF is when you get it.

Immad shared that the difference between finding PMF and not is quite stark. In his experience selling to startups, before you get it, you don’t know what it is. But when you have it, it’s hard to keep up with demand.

4. Know what your product vision is and how it’s differentiated.

Immad urged founders to have a good idea of their product vision from the earliest stages. If you are competing against incumbents, you should have a good idea of why they wouldn’t copy what you are doing.

5. Growth and unit economics aren’t mutually exclusive!

Immad highlighted a false stigma: startups must either grow fast or focus on profitability. As a startup, it’s not only important, it’s actually your job to innovate and find organic, cost-effective growth strategies.

JC is an investor at BTV, where he also co-leads The Mint, the pre-seed program for fintech founders. They accept applications and introductions on a rolling basis.

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