"Doing things that don't scale" let's unpack...

Vedran Rasic
6 replies
Here's what I learned in the past 7 years of SaaS startups: ā€¢ Before PM/F: IF you distance -> you don't learn -> slows down progress ā€¢ After PM/F: IF you don't distance -> you micromanage -> slows down progress As a founder of an early-stage startup (before Product/Market Fit), don't try to be a smartass instead, learn as much as possible. You don't do that by automating but by executing yourself. When you distance ā€“ you don't learn. And how will you get to PM/F if you don't learn? "Doing things that don't scale" means doing something ridiculously manual, critical, and done by YOU. Example 1: I've scheduled 15min calls with almost every of our first 200 users to learn how they discovered us, how they use networking tools and how they go about their tasks that involve their network. That worked out to be our current roadmap dot leaddelta dot com. Example 2: I repeated the same process for our first 100 subscriptions. I would also send a highly personalized email. That turned into referrals and growth loops. ā€” What are your experiments with "Doing things that don't scale"? šŸ™Œ

Replies

Jakob Thusgaard
Isn't it a fine line? Sometimes, to do a lot of things that don't scale, you need to do other things at scale with automation. Carefully selecting which things to automate and which to not automate seems important, right?
Vedran Rasic
@jakob_thusgaard this is the key: ā€¢ Before PM/F: IF you distance -> you don't learn -> slows down progress ā€¢ After PM/F: IF you don't distance -> you micromanage -> slows down progress But ya it's a fine balance. Example: I am against sending sequences to first 100 customers when you know nothing about them. Later on at scale that makes sense, even before you find PM/F.
Daniel Illenberger
The Cold Start Problem by Andrew Chen talks about this issue. He calls it Flintstoning and shows how it is a critical part of most successful startups. The alternative is to build out complex automated processes before you know something is useful, which runs a high risk of wasting recourses.
Vedran Rasic
@daniel_illenberger interesting point Daniel. Complex automated processes and systems before you know you are onto something in my experience ended up being wasted resources.
Adam Casole-Buchanan
My CEO and I wrote personal notes to everyone that we met on LunchClub last year to get an update on their journey, and let them know that our product was out of Beta, and in full swing. Conservatively, this was 300 people. It not only allowed us to reconnect with a lot of people we enjoyed talking to, but also earned us a lot of valuable feedback for our launch.
Vedran Rasic
@adamcbuchanan thats neat! @igor_stankovic something you kept talking about...