How a Stripe product manager predicts problems

 Hiten's Pick 

What Nobody Understands About Startups

I recently joined Ch Daniel for a conversation on his podcast, The Usual SaaSpects. We covered a lot—not just about starting SaaS companies, but also navigating human emotions, triggers, and ego. My hope is that this podcast episode encourages you to worry less and put your energy toward what you can control.


The 23 Rules of Storytelling for Fundraising

As a founder, you have to be an incredible storyteller. The point is not to manipulate people but to understand, empathize with, and inspire them. Of course, it's not just about telling a motivating story to customers and employees. It's also about communicating clearly and persuasively to investors. Here are 23 important rules to remember.

A Framework for Planning

This is an interesting thought piece about startup investing deal coverage. Alex Wilhelm makes the point that deal coverage isn't dying. It's just that a record number of deals are happening and the act of raising money isn't as meaningful a differentiator as it used to be. I thought Alex's note at the end about the shifting relationship between founders and investors was particularly interesting.


Product Validation Frameworks Are Mostly Useless

There are two main kinds of product validation frameworks: Ask customers what problems they have and build a solution for them, or rely on the taste and judgment of internal product leaders. I agree with the author's main point in this post—the most helpful methodologies have both an explicitly followable process and more nuanced "product taste." What's worked for you?

How a Stripe Product Manager Predicts Problems

Post-mortems are an increasingly standard process after a project launch—even if it was successful. What's less common are pre-mortems, where a team pretends the project has failed and has to come up with reasons for the failure. This strategy for how to do one effectively is clever and memorable.

 Marketing & Sales 

What To Do When Your Blog's Organic Traffic Is Falling

Content SEO is one of the most cost-effective and scalable marketing channels, but it requires a lot of work. On the journey to building a treasure trove of content, you'll inevitably hit plateaus and dips. When you eventually do, keep these four important things in mind

We Need Go-to-Community, Not Just Go-to-Market

I like the idea that community is the new moat, helping protect your company from competitors. The concept of "go-to-community" (GTC) shines a light on the importance of making a long-term commitment to the customer experience, far beyond initial sales interactions. Here's how GTC can work with your GTM strategy to help you build a more durable long-term business

Building a Data Team at a Mid-Stage Startup

This is a fascinating parable about what it would be like to grow a data team at a mid-stage startup company. I think stories like this make it easier to find the similarities in your real-life situation. If you had to turn your current startup reality into a parable, what would it sound like?

Product-Led Growth's Failure

While product-led growth has plenty of benefits, I appreciate this gut-check about its limitations, told through a comparison story about Qualtrics and SurveyMonkey. Here's one of my favorite lines: "The things that are popular among Twitter thought leaders are just the flavor of the moment. Build the business you want and ignore everyone else." 

Grow Your Career Like a Product

So many people work tirelessly on company growth models but rarely make the same effort with their personal career growth models. Instead, most default to using luck and intuition to navigate their careers. I really enjoyed this read about how to build a growth engine for one's own professional life. If nothing else, it's a helpful thought exercise that will provide you with some clarity.

Active vs. Lazy Thinking

Most large organizations are susceptible to lazy thinking, but I think it happens at plenty of startups, too. The core of lazy thinking is "making decisions through broad, imprecise beliefs which are either impossible to test or one is too lazy to adjudicate." Understanding these archetypes of lazy thinking will help you recognize and avoid them. 

 Insight of the Week 
The Focus on the Last Thing

We tend to remember the thing that happened just before the end, but it's often not the most important moment. This is a good reminder that whatever went wrong (or right) did so due to a long series of choices and actions. The small decisions along the way compound. Don't wait until the end to make a change or a difference. 

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