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Building More Inclusive Business Systems with Hana Mohan, Magic Bell

August 3, 2022

Creating fair, just, inclusive business systems are Hana Mohan’s ultimate goal, but she is as pragmatic as she is idealistic. In today’s episode, Hana speaks openly about how her transgender identity has shaped her journey as an entrepreneur, why she doesn’t believe in a product-led approach and the importance of focus and continuous learning.

 She also shares her thoughts on bootstrapping versus capital raising approaches (both of which she has done herself). As Hana knows from personal and business experience, growth can be very painful in the moment but it is worth it in the long term.

About Hana Mohan:

Hana Mohan is the CEO & Co-founder of MagicBell, a plug-and-play notifications inbox aimed at app developers. Prior to this, she founded two other startups: SupportBee and Muziboo. Hana was the first openly transgender woman to go through Y Combinator and she has written extensively on transgender issues and entrepreneurship, covering topics like cis-passinggender dysphoria, and HRT (hormone replacement therapy)

Episode highlights:

  • Don’t just assume that if you have a good product, you will do well. Success comes through focus, so focus on what is important to you and what will take your business forward. (4:04)
  • Experience can make people cynical. That’s why there is so much value in maintaining a “beginner’s mind.” Read, listen to podcasts, and spend time with people who you can constantly learn from. (05:14)
  • Raising money (as opposed to bootstrapping, which also has its benefits) allows entrepreneurs to expand their horizons. Through the capital raising process, you can gain a better understanding of money, and the more money you have, the more you can achieve. Sell your vision! (11:30)
  • There is so much money and so little churn up-market which means it is important to have a dedicated sales team and focus on up-market sales, rather than adopting a product-led approach. (19:56)
  • You can’t fight every battle. Dream big but also be pragmatic about what it takes to be successful. (26:40)

Hana’s best advice for entrepreneurs:

“You achieve what you focus on.” (04:04) Don’t assume that just because you have a good product or service, people will buy it. Success comes through being intentional about what you do with your time and energy.

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