Final assignment


In preparation, we'd like everyone to write a 1 page document that focuses on insights, changes and reflections you've had over the past 2 months.

This shouldn't just be a summary but rather an exercise in storytelling. The parameters of this assignment are relatively open-ended so flexing your creative muscles is encouraged. :)

You'll give an overview next week during our meeting and will trade with a peer to give and receive feedback before the new year.


Talk to users as soon as possible. Once you can articulate a hypothesis, go talk. I used to think I needed to do so much more. Many ideas sound great, and you can have high conviction in them, but that all changes once you talk to users.

  • User interviews helps with figuring out what problems your target audience has and how they articulate them. Landing pages validate whether your proposed solution makes sense for the problem as they see it.

When to do user research vs landing page

  • User interviews helps with figuring out what problems your target audience has and how they articulate them. Landing pages validate whether your proposed solution makes sense for the problem as they see it.

Don’t reinvent the wheel - finding specific templates for your specific scenario

  • SPC is known for -1 to 0, so it’s nice to use templates for evaluating markets and running ideation sprints that I know have worked for other startups. Templates for cold and warm outreach have increased reply rates for me. I skipped generic website builders like Framer for a no-code landing page builder that bundles analytics, questionnaires, and formatting.

It’s much easier working on what you’re interested in

  • It’s exciting to research and talk about stuff that you like. I remember when I was just researching general adtech concepts, which took discipline. Instead, following your gut, and understanding your contrarian beliefs, has been much more fulfilling so far!


I’ve been writing and sharing more openly.

  • I’ve gotten great introductions and valuable feedback just by sharing what I’m working on in person, or sending my writing, even when I feel like my ideas or writing isn’t ready for primetime. Writing, and promising someone a written note, has been helpful for me to clarify thoughts, especially since I’m operating solo, and as a forcing function to get it done.

I’m trying to work with others as soon as possible.

  • Previously was concerned that I didn’t quite know what areas I wanted to work on, so didn’t want to commit to putting myself out there.
  • However, brainstorming live has been great to evaluate potential cofounder fit while making progress on ideation and exploration. Better ideas are generated when you can talk back and forth, plus have time pressure.
  • Similarly, having an accountability partner with founders who reciprocate has been great - it provides some benefit to finding a cofounder.

I’ve settled into a good routine.

  • Mornings are uninterrupted time so I can work, afternoons are for meetings. Wed and Thu are for IRL meetups.
  • I write a weekly update on Friday and share it with founders who read and give feedback. I write a monthly update to keep others loosely up to date.
  • I try to focus on what’s most important without feeling rushed. I set aside time for emails, lunch, and notes after meetings. Have been using Sunsama which has been good for that.


Accepting limitations of being a father

  • Time is a great forcing function - have less time so need to validate before building
  • When I look back at the last few months, I’m happy with how I spent my time. If my daughter wakes up late, I’m happy to take an hour getting her ready for the day and taking her out for a walk, even though that takes away from work time.

Stated preferences vs. actual preferences

  • I used to say (”stated preferences”) that balancing family, friends, health, and work is my priority, yet it wasn’t actually balanced. Now that I’m fully in control of my time, I view my calendar as my “actual preferences”.
  • I set aside quality time for my wife and family, catching up with friends, getting sleep, and prioritizing work sessions with potential cofounders or uninterrupted chunks of time for brainstorming and research. There isn’t much time left after that, and I feel content with that.

It’s doing myself a disservice to not explore what I’m interested in

  • Two folks in my subsquad mentioned how they had to do that to get it out of their system. I’m privileged, and fortunate, to have the time and resources to explore, so I want to do this right.

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