The first goal is to keep learning

My first goal as a college senior was to have the kind of job where I would never have to wear a tie. Achievement unlocked. But that didn’t really get to the core of the issue. I was really trying to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. A person who helps customers…

Donuts make everything better

A couple of years ago, my wife started a donut business. Her purpose was simple: make delicious vegan and gluten-free food that people liked for a reasonable price. She test marketed batches of donuts, did some product-market fit work by selling in batches to friends, and then opened a market stall in a farmer’s market…

Be right when someone asks.

This essay is written as part of the Startup Edition project – check out the other essays here. Think. When was the last time you were right? Absolutely, positively certain with no chance of being wrong. Now, think of the last time you knew you had the answer, and someone asked you to be right?…

The Feedback Machine: How do you discover what people really want?

  This essay is written as part of the Startup Edition project – check out the other essays here. How do you discover what people really want? People are not effective at self-reporting, or letting you know what they will do with your product when you’re not there to help them. Often, customers will tell…

What tools and skills do you value in your startup?

This post is a contribution to Startup Edition. Tools are a Commodity We could talk all day about the tools we use. Agile is Best! Pomodoro is Best! Pen and Paper is Best! Getting everyone in a room is Best! (You get the idea.) Because everything in a startup changes ALL THE TIME, it’s also important…