November 8, 2018

Here are my 3 top takeaways & talks from StartupSchool

Morning IH 👋! A week ago I finished the StartupSchool program. I'd definitely recommend it as it's a great way to stay accountable and grow as a maker/founder.

3 top takeaways

  1. Get a mentor: I got accepted in the advisor track and got Walker Williams (co-founder @ Teespring) as a mentor. We had a weekly catchup with the whole group I was in but you got to spend 5 mins talking about your progress. Those 5 minutes were short but super useful. It's kind of funny because the advice would be the different version of the same "compress your roadmap, do <that thing you want to do next week> earlier" but it helps to have someone telling you that.

  2. Have weekly updates: You had to do weekly updates on a single metric (weekly active users for me) and it sure made me accountable. You'd be very quick to notice when things were going flat, which is a great drive to eliminate any useless thing in your week.

  3. Stay focused: Determination, discipline and focus are much more important than being smart. If you're smart and unfocused you'll have a lot of great ideas that never get done. But if you have simple ideas and a lot of discipline, you're much more likely to have a successful business even if it's a chain of lemonade stands.

Now here are 3 talks that I'd recommend to anyone building a business, whether it's a side-thing or a full-time job.

  1. How to Find Product-Market Fit: This is a talk by Peter Reinhard (CEO @ Segment) which highlights a lot of the challenges you can face when you're trying to build something people want. If anything it made me feel better about the journey. #1 tip: talk to your users. Also makes it quite clear what PMF feels like (basically if you're wondering if you have it, you don't).

  2. How to Sell: I come from Engineering & Product Management. Selling is not one of my strength but it's incredibly important to be successful. You have to pitch to customers, but also people you want to work with, folks you want to get help from. Building a great product is maybe 50% of the job, most of the rest is about getting it in the hands of the right people.

  3. After Product-Market Fit: People, Customers, Sales: Mathilde is the CEO of Front and she's got great advice about focus and discipline. This talk gives a bit of a different perspective on PMF but it's still the same at the core: talk to people.

If you have any questions about the program just ask!


  1. 1

    Thanks for sharing! I think I'll have to signup for the next time they do it.

  2. 1

    Hi! Thanks for sharing!

    About "weekly update": I understand need to be focused, but why only one metric? Is not limiting or worse, misleading too ?

    1. 1

      If your being honest with yourself only one metric is really going to matter, this is the Michael Seibel video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C27RVio2rOs

      He explains why

      1. 1

        There's a good blog post from Neil Patel about that too: https://neilpatel.com/blog/single-startup-metric/.

        We do track more metrics but having a top one to focus on is super helpful as you need to first define what will make you successful, then make sure that progress is made.

        I also think that having a single metric is a way for them to simplify managing all the startups I guess. It makes it easier to discuss progress (in reality they tracked 2 as they were asking for your morale as well).

  3. 1

    Thanks for these ☺️

  4. 1

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