Best Playbook/guide you have come across?

Ian Johnson
37 replies
I started building out my newsletter on Substack ( and want to create some playbooks for how I approach user research. What's the best playbook or guide you have come across and why was it the best for you? Also if you have made one of these before would love to learn about how you went about it? Update: Love the responses! For the builders of playbooks Do you measure success i.e. the user got value from the playbook? If yes, how? What tools are you using to create and manage them? For the consumers of playbooks What do you wish was different? Do you prefer playbooks to have just text, video, audio or a mix of all?


Daniel Kyne
I’m a big fan of The Mom Test as a user research book for founders. Not a user research playbook, but Grow & Convert’s guide “Pain Point SEO” was an absolute game changer for my approach to content marketing.
Dylan Merideth
@daniel_kyne whats the TLDR of The Mom Test? am intrigued
Daniel Kyne
@dylan_merideth most important takeaway is that you should never tell your interviewee what you're trying to validate (ie. your opinion) because people like being nice to you and then you won't get honest or invalidating answers. The book outlines 6 deadly sins of discovery interviews: 1. Pitching (as explained). 2. Compliments (they mean nothing to you, and you probably pitched if you got one). 3. Hypotheticals (ask for specifics to get the details, hypotheticals elicit people's most ideal scenarios). 4. Requests ("you aren’t allowed to tell them what their problem is, and in return, they aren’t allowed to tell you what to build. They own the problem, you own the solution.” — Rob Fitzpatrick) 5. Segmentation (focus on one segment at a time, you're looking for patterns and you'll never find them if you interview lots of different types of customers at once). 6. Interrupting (shut up and listen, they should be telling you about their life + problems, not the other way around)
Dylan Merideth
@daniel_kyne Thank you so much Daniel, I learned alot from the synopsis you gave.
Pablo Fatas
Don’t have a specific playbook for you. But as a tip to creating your own. Cut out the fluff and make it as pratical as possible. Should feel like a step by step guide to reach a goal.
Hakim Elakhrass
By far the best guides I have come across for B2B startups, are the field guides by Unusual VC -> https://www.field-guide.unusual.... I wish they had an OSS/Community gtm guide 😅
Sergio Zaciu
we use a lot of contextual inquiry for product feedback and early community growth. my preferred method if you can get 1:1 time with your customers easily This article from adobe also has a solid list of questions if you’re just trying to understand who your users / subscribers are good luck!
Davor Kolenc
@szaciu Great stuff. Thanks for sharing :)
@szaciu thanks for sharing 🚀
David Babins
FYI, might be a good idea to review and chat with Markus for his knowledge on the subject etc...
Nabeel Amir
I've been through a ton of playbooks and guides, but the one that stands out by far is the Google Ventures Design Sprint book. It's packed with data-backed insights, graphic illustrations, and best practices. You can read it cover to cover in an afternoon; it's just that actionable and "can't put it down."
Cherie Yang
@nabeel_amir Agreed! Also, thoughtbot does a good job of distilling their take on it:
Marina Đurić
If you're building relationships on LinkedIn as a founder, CEO, or anyone, this playbook helped me do so: If you are creating content Justin Welsh Content OS: Hope it helps!
Milana Zelen
@marina_djuric that LeadDelta book is great, I found it very useful
Vedran Rasic
@marina_djuric @milana_jovic1 woohoo! Thanks for sharing Marina. 🔥
Davor Kolenc
Our post about how to make a pitch deck for investors where we shared the why and how got some really good feedback and it actually ended up helping some startups to get investment. Check it out here:
Markus Jenul
We are just building a playbook builder engine. Would be excited to get your feedback on it :)
Gerald Zankl
Over the last years, we had the honor to build several playbooks with leading startups - from small teams with no funding to big teams from Series A to C funding and 100+ people 🎉 The hard part is to structure the know-how so that others can consume this know-how effortlessly. That's why we have built Kickscale. 🌈 A platform containing playbooks of the best teams in the world which can be easily consumed and executed. Feel free to register via to get access to our free playbook builder to share playbooks with others too. Here are some example playbooks we have built: Best, Gerald
Laura Li
Thank you so much for sharing this info which really helpful to solve my issue... retro bowl
Daniel bloom
By far the best and most detailed guides I have come across for eCommerce development
Kanish Raajkumar
@falak_sher has a great guide for PH launches: Using it as we speak!
Patricia Tao
@falak_sher @kanish_raajkumar using it as we speak to launch EOW!
@kanish_raajkumar @patricia_tao thank you so much for the shoutout. All the best for your product launches. ❤️
Trey Chong
I came across many playbooks, but the one I read the most recently is Stepn whitepaper, a move-to-earn Web3.0 company.
Rich Taylor
Navalmanak - Eric Jorgenson Make - Pieter Levels PH Launch Checklist - Falak Sher
Harish Kumar
if you want to create newsletter...then you want to check CrawlQ AI Audience Tool, it has a newsletter playbook too...we launched yesterday and ended up #5 of the day despite I wrote an post great suggestion for twitter...also you may find my recent post for PH launch about it you might find useful.... don't forget to check out the tool...its has a way to automate your newsletter blueprint with careful niche research.
Bilal Ararou
Growing a startup by Julian is probably one of the best guides out there.
Thomas Schranz ⛄️
Not sure if it fits your definition of a "playbook" but one book I tend to come back to repeatedly is High Output Management by Andy Grove