The most successful companies that almost failed

 Hiten's Pick 

The IKEA Effect

The IKEA effect states that people overvalue things they've put a lot of effort into building. For example, people who build a piece of furniture value the purchase price 63% higher than non-builders who assess the same piece of furniture. This cognitive bias extends to organizations, leading people to fall in love with their ideas more than they should. Here's how you can defend against this bias at your startup

 Business 

10 of the World's Most Successful Companies Almost Failed

Some of the world's most successful companies have faced the threat of bankruptcy. The surprising list includes Apple, IBM, Tesla, Disney, Nike, and Amazon. These brief but revealing stories about each company are a good reminder that no matter how beloved or successful you are, there will be hard times. Remember these stories when you want to quit because things aren't going well

What History Teaches Us About Hiring and Efficiency

If we know how to analyze history well, the past can be an incredible teacher. The story of The East India Company, a British joint-stock company founded in 1600, is a good example. The analysis in this article explains how the company achieved two centuries of success and what it can teach us about hiring, incentivizing, and creating organizational efficiency. 

 Product 

How To Ship Features Weirdly Fast

Especially for startups, building products fast is a huge advantage. If you feel like your software development process is too complex and slow, this article is a must-read. It details a method to increase your ability to ship features fast. Do you think it would work for your team?

Four Ways To Build Your Side Business

If you're working on a side business, there are a handful of ways you can build your product. I prefer the user-first approach over the other three strategies described in this article. Whichever you choose, be weary of spending a lot of time building a product without testing it. 

 Marketing & Sales 

Growth at All Costs Doesn't Work Anymore

While she was Head of Marketing at Gusto, Jaleh Rezaei shifted the company from "growth at all costs" to profitable growth. As a result, the company's ARR grew 100x in four years. If you want to switch to profit-centered growth, your company needs to change these four things.

How To Tell Stories Your Competition Can't

In B2B SaaS, people underestimate the impact of strong customer relationships. It's arguably more important than your product. Stellar customer service helps, but so does how you tell stories about your brand online. Learning to foster connection through content is critical in an industry where you're not hopping on the phone or grabbing lunch with clients regularly. 

 Growth 
Growth for Startups

YC Partner and growth expert Gustaf Alstromer recently gave a compelling talk about growth for startups. It's a must-watch if you haven't established product-market fit yet, your retention is bad, you want to create a viral loop, or you don't know how to choose the best growth channels. One of my favorite parts is when he talks about metrics that lie about PMF

Startup = Growth

A decade ago, Paul Graham wrote an article about how startups are companies designed to grow fast. However, being newly founded does not inherently make a company a startup. Nor is it necessary for a startup to work on technology. The only requirement is growth, and everything else follows from that. This advice serves as a reminder, even ten years later

 Management 
How To Give Bad News

If you run teams long enough, you must be prepared to deliver bad news. Sometimes it will be mild, like announcing a beloved team member is leaving. Other times, it will be awful, like communicating lay-offs. No matter the situation, here's a framework you can follow to deliver bad news as helpfully and positively as possible

Developer Productivity and Happiness

When developers self-report their productivity, there is a surprisingly strong connection to them feeling like they had a good day and made a real difference. In other words, there's more to developer productivity than inputs and outputs. This is an interesting look at how the GitHub team measured the impact of one of their tools on developer productivity and happiness

 Insight of the Week 
The Practical Application of "Rocks, Pebbles, Sand"

When you're thinking about prioritizing work, remember that it goes beyond the scope of the work itself. Ultimately, prioritization should center around impact. Remember that a hundred "quick wins" often do not add up to sustainable advantages or the fulfillment of a long-term vision. Remember these principles as you think about what you want to prioritize next



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