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2/ Tech has gone from an industry no one cared about, to every random person I knew in college rushing to be part of it, to the evil industry destroying the fabric of society
3/ Starting a startup is easier than ever. Lots of resources: YC, more financing at the seed stage, much more information online. Starting a company is no longer a risky path.
4/ New businesses in every industry are now being built with methodologies that used to be just for tech startups (fast iteration, access to venture capital). Applies to D2C companies like Allbirds, full stack companies like Atrium, etc.
5/ Personally, I’ve felt recently that the overall risk appetite of the people working in tech has changed. People used to want to join frontier companies building something fun / cool; now everyone seems to be optimizing for salary / career stability.
2/ Sales is often viewed as either a saving grace or proof that the product isn’t good enough (because it should sell itself). Neither are ever true. Some common mistakes that result in...
3/ Mistake 1: Hire a sales rep before reaching product/market fit to get your initial batch of customers. This is a mistake because founders need to work through their MVP with early adopters to truly understand what it is they’re selling.
4/ Mistake 2: Reach product/market fit, need to scale, and rely entirely on self-serve. For enterprise products that require big commitments and internal shifts, almost no product is self-explanatory enough to sell itself.
5/ Mistake 3: Make a first sales hire who isn’t scrappy enough to help mold the sales process from scratch. Some salespeople are amazing at their jobs, but not cut out to establish the processes that others end up following. This skillset is what @rdedatta calls a “sales ninja”.
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before they get to Product-Market-Fit.
What would be the reasons?
Here are some, I see on a daily basis. They are related to issues with founders or market (in no particular order):
1) Founders haven't studied or trained on basic things of startups: idea validation, market validation, customer value-proposition, team-building, product building, basic finance, and total money required to do few iterations.
A: Work for a startup for a few years and learn.
2) Founders are solving a problem that they face in their daily life at home or work and start solving for themselves before checking whether there are others who care about the same problem. After building the product, they realize the market issue.
A: Idea validation failure
3) Too headstrong and think every potential customer can't imagine the value unless they experience the product. Hence, start building the product.
A: If you are deep and know you are at the same league as in Steve Jobs, this makes sense
4) Founders talk to few friends and colleagues and start building a product. After building the product, they realize there is no high demand for the product.
A: Spend month(s) on the problem and not on the solution.
Today, that person co-hosted a webinar with me that had over 470+ registered and 130+ live
👇 Quick lesson on how to successfully pitch partnerships and co-marketing opportunities
How did he get in contact with me?
He sent a cold email, but not just any email. It was clearly personal, relevant, and conversational.
Lesson: Notice the language he used and how he tied it back to previous webinars.
Not only was it well written, but I could also easily judge if he'd be a good fit based on the article he wrote and linked to.
It's SUPER well-written and proved that he knew what he was talking about.
Lesson: Make your "ask" as easy as possible to consider.
There were three things that made the webinar a big success:
1. Tyler sent the webinar to his email list and did a lot of promotion.
2. He prepared ahead of time and put a lot of work into the deck, even incorporating some Baremetrics assets and references.
3. He had fun
Super appreciate all the work @TylerHakes put into today's "SEO for SaaS"
If you missed it, here's the recording:
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Even with a stellar developer team and a stellar product, your startup may not grow or survive without a great marketing and sales teams.
2. Start growing your audience before you’ve a product or an idea.
You should start promoting yourself and building your audience before you have a finished product or even before you have a great idea that you want to build.
3. Don’t wait to start building your audience after you’ve launched a product.
Most first-time developers actually ignore marketing.
They’re oblivious to the challenge of attracting people to take a look at something they’ve created.
4. At least until they see their first project crash and burn within hours of the launch.
There are so many times that I have seen developers spend countless hours building something, releasing it with no fanfare...
5. and only then trying to figure out how to promote it by asking marketing questions on Indie Hackers, Quora or Hacker News. Don’t make that mistake.
Some random interesting tidbits:
1) Zuck approves shutting down platform API access for Twitter's when Vine is released #competition
2) Facebook engineered ways to access user's call history w/o alerting users:
Team considered access to call history considered 'high PR risk' but 'growth team will charge ahead'. @Facebook created upgrade path to access data w/o subjecting users to Android permissions dialogue.
3) The above also confirms @kashhill and other's suspicion that call history was used to improve PYMK (People You May Know) suggestions and newsfeed rankings.
4) Docs also shed more light into @dseetharaman's story on @Facebook monitoring users' @Onavo VPN activity to determine what competitors to mimic or acquire in 2013.
I really, *really* like SoJ's "would not use again" question, which lets people who've abandoned a tech self-identify. This is noticeable in the graph above with Flow users -- 41% of people who've used Flow say they wouldn't use it again.
React 65% (vs. 60%)
Vue 29% (vs. 24%)
Ember 5% (vs 4%, I was expecting a bigger rise)
But there's a shocker in here: Angular.
npm's survey had Angular at 40% last year and SoJ has it at either:
- 58% (if you include those who don't want to use it again)
- 24% (if you count only those who like it)
Since npm's question didn't ask if they intend to *continue* using it I think that might explain this.
Like company moats, your personal moat should be a competitive advantage that is not only durable—it should also compound over time.
Characteristics of a personal moat below:
I'm increasingly interested in the idea of "personal moats" in the context of careers.— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
Moats should be:
- Hard to learn and hard to do (but perhaps easier for you)
- Skills that are rare and valuable
- Compounding over time
- Unique to your own talents & interests https://t.co/bB3k1YcH5b
2/ Like a company moat, you want to build career capital while you sleep.
As Andrew Chen noted:
People talk about \u201cpassive income\u201d a lot but not about \u201cpassive social capital\u201d or \u201cpassive networking\u201d or \u201cpassive knowledge gaining\u201d but that\u2019s what you can architect if you have a thing and it grows over time without intensive constant effort to sustain it— Andrew Chen (@andrewchen) November 22, 2018
3/ You don’t want to build a competitive advantage that is fleeting or that will get commoditized
Things that might get commoditized over time (some longer than
Things that look like moats but likely aren\u2019t or may fade:— Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg) November 22, 2018
- Proprietary networks
- Being something other than one of the best at any tournament style-game
- Many "awards"
- Twitter followers or general reach without "respect"
- Anything that depends on information asymmetry https://t.co/abjxesVIh9
4/ Before the arrival of recorded music, what used to be scarce was the actual music itself — required an in-person artist.
After recorded music, the music itself became abundant and what became scarce was curation, distribution, and self space.
5/ Similarly, in careers, what used to be (more) scarce were things like ideas, money, and exclusive relationships.
In the internet economy, what has become scarce are things like specific knowledge, rare & valuable skills, and great reputations.