20 Common Founder Mistakes

And Amazon's product framework

Today at a glance:

  • Opportunity → Personal Trainer for Intellectual Growth

  • Framework → Product Framework Used at Amazon

  • Tool → Tango

  • Trend → Loneliness Epidemic

  • Quote → Things that don’t work

Also — a reminder that, after this weekend, most of my Saturday deep dives will be going behind a paywall. See the details here and join our new community.

💡Opportunity: Personal Trainer for Intellectual Growth

Yes, this idea is over 2 years old, but if you read it without noticing that you’d probably think “that’s a pretty good idea for an AI product.”

The rise of LLMs change this from a capital-intensive business where your salaries rise linearly with revenue to, instead, a high-margin SaaS subscription business powered by AI.

🧠 Framework: Product Framework Used at Amazon

A product manager at Amazon tweeted the 5 question framework they use for evaluating a product. It’s a straightforward and light weight framework for product decisions:

  1. Who is the customer?

  2. What is the problem/opportunity?

  3. What is the main customer benefit?

  4. How do you know customers want this?

  5. What is the customer experience?

But I actually like this framework that PM guru Shreyas Doshi shared in response just as much, if not more.

Why? It gets at the psychology of the user — not just what the benefit is for them, but what they expect and don’t expect. It forces you to prove you understand your users deeply.

🛠 Tool: Tango

Tango is like Loom, but with step-by-step walkthroughs for the viewer.

Startups move quickly and founders don’t always have time to explain how to do everything, which causes them to delegate less than they should. Tango lets you quickly put together and share a walkthrough of any process.

📈 Trend: Loneliness Epidemic

Making friends as an adult can be difficult, but search frequency for “where to meet people” is skyrocketing and social apps like Saturday are popping up to capture the demand.

The interesting thing is WHEN this spike is happening. COVID has been largely contained for a while now, but searches are spiking faster than ever. I would have expected the largest spike to have been last year, or even late 2021.

💬 Quote: Things that Don’t Work

Andrew is one of my favorite follows on Twitter. He’s been building and investing in startups for two decades. This long-form tweet is like a cheat code — packed with insights on what doesn’t work when building companies.

My favorite one that many first-time founders make: Hiring a credentialed big company person to help build an incubatory company.

Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways for us to work together:

  1. Grab time with me for a 1:1 session on fundraising, GTM and growth, hiring, finding PMF, or anything else

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