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Product Management learnings from Shreyas Doshi

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The Internet Shreyas Doshi
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Homeschooling is the trend I’m most bullish on relative to how little attention it receives. Institutional trust is falling, online education is getting better fast, smartphones are getting cheaper, and it’s getting easier for parents to team up and educate their kids together.

Saved to
The Internet David Perell
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I’ve always admired Stripe, and based on the people I know there, this is the right way to think about their culture. Especially the kindness part. pic.twitter.com/lbPdqBqQHJ

Saved to
The Internet David Perell
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Pre-internet: Scarcity of teachers, information, and distractions. Post internet: Abundance of teachers, information, and distractions. It's never been easier to learn something new. It's never been harder to filter out what's worth learning.

Saved to
The Internet George Mack
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Are people just realizing that after a few weeks of meetings via @zoom_us you may also need @SlackHQ if you need to do work?!?! Slack + Zoom = basic resilience for every organization STARTING NOW.

Pod

Kanye 2020 - Red Scare (podcast) | Listen Notes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The ladies discuss #JewishPrivilege trending, Wayfair's kids in cabinets trafficking drama, Kanye teasing a presidential bid, and The Guardian's sexist skyscrapers piece. Suggested reading below.

Leslie Kern, 'Upward-thrusting buildings ejaculating into the sky' — do cities have to be so sexist?

English
United States
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Disclaimer : The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Red Scare, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

01:33:39 - The ladies discuss #JewishPrivilege trending, Wayfair's kids in cabinets trafficking drama, Kanye teasing a presidential bid, and The Guardian's sex…

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FB, Twitter, YouTube, Snap.... The ENTIRE Internet has come together and effectively cancelled Trump. It’s nuts.

over 1 year ago
Video

On Apple, Bitcoin, And The Internet

Post

The Great Unbundling – Power of Vertical Networks with Greg Isenberg | Podcast Notes | The Wisdom Project

Listen Up, IH! — Episode 2

“There are two ways to make money in business: You can unbundle, or you can bundle.” — Jim Barksdale

Greg Isenberg is the Co-founder of LateCheckout — a community first studio for tech businesses. He is the former head of product strategy at WeWork, and was an advisor at TikTok.

But most of all, he is a builder of communities.

Courtland Allen interviewed him on the Indie Hackers podcast , back in July 2020. They talked about the work required to build viral products and how Indie Hackers can exploit niches to gain an advantage over larger competitors.

But most importantly, they discussed how Twitter & Reddit’s rapid growth has created a short window of opportunity for awesome business ideas.

👇

The Pandemic Play

Greg started You Probably Need A Haircut during the peak of the pandemic when most of the world was in lockdown.

This was one of the most viral products to come out of COVID.

( It was #3 on PH the day it launched with 410 upvotes)

He needed a haircut and his girl-friend had no idea how to give it to him, He got her in touch with his stylist, who taught her everything she’d need to know.

That was the birth of the idea.

The site basically pairs you with a great stylist who would coach you through the process of cutting your own hair, or a friend or partner.

It got great PR, was on major TV networks. Millions of website visits and thousands of haircuts. It was covered on the Today Show, ABC, FOX, and NPR!

So how did it go Viral?

A product’s name can make or break its success.

Once he found out that the domain youprobablyneedahaircut.com was available, he knew it would go viral!

Of course, there is luck associated with it, but viral hits can be manufactured. Greg says viral hits are where art and science meet.

The Art is the positioning, the design, and the image that you can put in people’s mind.

To promote the website, he paid an influencer to talk about his product. The influencer had a TV show and thousands of IG followers.

The Science is how you systematically get in front of everyone’s face , so it imprints in their minds.

He got multiple media outlets(like ABC, FOX, NPR) to talk about his product. He cold outreached a bunch of journalists through Twitter DMs.

He also replied to every person on Twitter who spoke about needing a haircut.

He even found a way to partner with folks at Philips and their electronic razor product.

This didn’t happen overnight.

He had to put in the work to make the right connections and “ manufacture ” luck for himself.

Marketing R&D

A lot of people talk about tech and design R&D, but not enough people talk about “Marketing R & D”. They don’t talk about investing in new channels that are going to help them succeed.

Each day he would put in a couple of hours on Twitter for a week, talking to a lot of people, and once he knew it was working, he hired someone else to automate the process.

And just like that, he has a marketing channel.

One to Many vs One to One

One of the cool shifts that we are seeing now is the shift away from a one-to-many model to a one-to-one model of communication.

And the internet is enabling that.

“You Probably need a haircut” is a great example of this.

This is model where you get great one-on-one mentorship from an expert from anywhere in the world. This is way better than just watching a video or reading an article from some expert. It’s a very personal mentoring/coaching experience. Where you get this great one on one mentorship. This is not a video or an article by an influencer stylist, it’s a very personal mentoring experience.

It may be the future of the gig economy.

The Great Unbundling

in 2010, Andrew Parker wrote a fascinating post — The Unbundling of Craigslist.

The post talks about all the interesting opportunities that came out Craigslist:- Stubhub for tickets;

  • Indeed for jobs;
  • E-lance for gigs;
  • AirBNB for housing, etc.

Simply put, the companies that came out of that unbundling are now worth more then total value of Craigslist.

And over the last few years, what’s quietly happening is the great unbundling of Reddit.

Discord

Discord is a multi-billion dollar company that built itself of the gaming subreddit League of Legends. It made its way to CS and DotA and other vertical networks within Reddit.

It became the bespoke communication tool for all those gaming subreddits.

Eventually, it expanded horizontally and went beyond gaming.

Why is unbundling a good model for Indie Hackers?

— It’s a positioning and marketing innovation more than technology innovation, so it’s less resource incentive.

— There’s a big opportunity if you can understand what a community wants and build products specifically for that. Something like that doesn’t require venture funding.

The IH unbundling

Indie Hackers is itself is a splinter of Hacker News.

Courtland noticed that on HN, every month or two, people get together to talk about the projects they are working on. And there was a lot of enthusiasm around this.

He built IH to cater to that sub-community within HN.

The Unbundling Playbook

  • Research the community , what are they talking about, what do they care about?
  • What makes the community unique compared to other people.
  • Work backward from there to figure out the features that can be built specifically for them
  • Brand it on point , name is important here again.
  • You can do this without a ton of validation because the community is validated already.
  • To make money, focus on communities who have a disposable income and want to either earn or learn .

“If there is a subreddit about a topic, if there is a Facebook group about a topic, if there is a Slack community about a topic, there is a business.” — GI

Questions to ask on Day 1 before starting a business

  • Distribution — How will I get this product in people’s hands, is there a community or channel.
  • Monetization — Do these people make money, do they spend money, can I make off of them?

The Story of “Islands”

“Islands” was Greg’s startup that got acquired by WeWork.

The core concept was that group chat was going to be the next social network and it’s going to verticalize .

They decided to start with college campuses.

Iterated over the idea for 18-24 months across many campuses. In fact, Greg himself lived on many campuses during 2017. (at 28)

He attended Frat parties, classes, chapter meetings, the whole American college experience.

This was important because they wanted to really understand the communities they were building for.

At every school they launched, they got 5-25% penetration. Retention was good, virality was there.

But 2018-2019 was a cold year for social. It was the worst venture funding environment for social apps startup. The market was not positive.

Eventually, it made sense for them to be acquired by WeWork.

Late Checkout

Late checkout is a community design firm Greg cofounded.

Communities have a lot of potential, and Greg thinks there’s a playbook to unlock this potential.

So they are finding cool communities and building products and networks around those communities.

Silicon Valley’s opposing bets

Silicon Valley’s VC effectively bet against mass niches.

They are betting on the “Walmarts” of the internet.

They are betting that if a new trend comes along then there is going to be one big platform that is going to gobble all of the market up.

They are looking for the next Facebook or Youtube.

Greg thinks sometimes the biggest businesses look like the smallest businesses.

Uber in it’s early days was a black car, on-demand service in San Francisco.

It wasn’t a very big market, and look at it today.

The insight here is that with time, these “niche” businesses start to look like really big businesses.

“It’s inevitable that every vertical network becomes a horizontal network at scale”

Distribution as a Moat

When you think of startups, you think of moats, defending your business.

In the era of the internet, technology is less and less of a moat. No matter what you build, some other developer is going to figure out a way to build it as well.

The real moats are distributions-based.

Building an audience, a community, knowing the community like the back of your hand.

And then building products for that distribution channel that only you can own.

👇

“Before an idea, just think about yourself. Think about who you are and think about all the things that make you who you are and what you love to talk about.” —GI

Find out in what space are you a nerd.

In the world of niches, you have a competitive advantage over big players like Facebook.

Come up with an idea around that niche and see what you can build.

“Dig deep and think about in what way you are a nerd.” —CA

🙏

Listen to the complete episode on IndieHackers

Read more from Greg Isenberg on his Substack — LateCheckout

Every week, I listen to the best podcasts around Indie-Hacking and share the most actionable and inspiring tips from some awesome conversations.

Sign up to Listen Up! IH 👇

https://www.indiehackers.com/series/listen-up-ih

👇

Daniel Vassallo’s Lifestyle-First Approach To Indie Hacking | Podcast Notes

How “The Winner” Of Indie Hackers Built A $38K/Month SaaS Business With A ‘Dollar A Day’ Product

Making 1.5M/Year By Re-Imagining Local News With WhereByUs

👉 Podcast Notes | The Wisdom Project

Cover photo credit: Jessica Lee on Unsplash

Notes from Greg Isenberg's interview on the Indie Hacker's podcast. He talked about the power of unbundling communities and vertical networks.

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What are some (once hot) assets being under managed inside big corporate teams that could thrive in a spin out? Give me your top 3. I’ll reply tomorrow with my top 3...

over 1 year ago

The Internet has made facts a commodity. Now, the value is in the analysis and the speed in which you do it. Investing is the most lucrative area where this is playing out and can gives individuals the chance to compete and win against the Goliaths. Its manifest destiny.

over 1 year ago

Calendly is a great app I discovered for overcoming unnecessary time wastage when booking in meetings and calls 📆 pic.twitter.com/ykpTT0SK95

Saved to
The Internet Ali Abdaal
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

people don’t realize how badly they want and need private online communities and the general decentralization of platforms like twitter, ig, etc where niche groups that were once special are hardly able to cut through noise

Saved to
The Internet Alex Tan
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Probably good for your sanity to practice social distancing with the internet at this time too.

Saved to
The Internet Alex Tan
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Good morning and happy Tuesday!

At the beginning of the year I wrote a newsletter expressing my struggle with writing over the last several years, and that this would be the year that I’d write 52 newsletters. I haven’t been perfect (I’ll make up for the two weeks I missed), but I’ve felt so encouraged and surprised by the response to this little project.

I’ve realized that there are some weeks where this project will be more intensive, and other weeks where I can only give a fraction of that. But that’s okay. I’ve had people send me nice messages , tag me on Twitter when I try to fly by the radar, and support from my team at MW all along the way. Your responses via email have been so thoughtful and have challenged my methods of thinking in very healthy and enlightening ways.

There are probably 15x more of you reading this than I ever expected there to be. So this is a quick thank you.

I hope this newsletter has done as much for you as it has for me. If you look forward to receiving it each week, encourage a friend to subscribe

— Alex

Ideas from me

I. YES

A more consequential and critical method of making choices is not by thinking about the positive outcomes of saying “yes” to something, but rather the implications that occur by understanding that our “yes” to one thing is a “no” to most everything else.

II. THE FUTURE

Glimpses of your future are hidden inside your daily routine. Is the person you are today a smaller version of the person you wish to become?

III. INTENTIONAL INTERNET USAGE

With attention being a finite resource and the Internet being a place with unlimited information, how we choose to spend our time online is a direct reflection of what matters to us.

It's tough to argue that social media has any upside since it is designed to distract. TikToks, Instagram Ads, and viral tweets leave us with little to walk away with.

Use the Internet for research, collecting ideas, and developing new methods of thinking. The long term outcome of saving links, images, and text results in some form of self discovery.

And more importantly, we can begin to recognize patterns in our own thinking.

Quote from somebody else

“Remember that in order to recover as an artist, you must be willing to be a bad artist. Give yourself permission to be a beginner. By being willing to be a bad artist, you have a chance to be an artist, and perhaps, over time, a very good one.”

— The Artists Way: Protecting the Child Artist Within

Links worth sharing

Advice

Album Colors of 2020

Rules for Online Sanity

LA Times Ad announcing the Hollywood Cinerama Dome Theatre in 1963. Yesterday it was announced that the historic landmark would be closing permanently .

Sixteen Journal Volume 5

Sound of Metal . I forgot what watching a good movie felt like.

MW shop , thanks for purchasing and supporting last week!

favorite albums last year. Read this interview with him via Pitchfork.

Thanks for another week!

Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. It hits your inbox every Tuesday at 9:17am.

ℹ️ Read more about Common Discourse here .

sharing with others who might enjoy it as well .

sign up to receive future briefings.

Here is every Common Discourse weekly briefing to date.

Good morning and happy Tuesday! At the beginning of the year I wrote a newsletter expressing my struggle with writing over the last several years, and that this would be the year that I’d write 52 newsletters. I haven’t been perfect (I’ll make up for the two weeks I missed), but I’ve felt so encouraged and surprised by the response to this little project.

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Saved to
The Internet Alex Tan
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

I’m pretty neurotic about my email inbox and the tidying of it. I’m consistently trying to trim the fat and get rid of things that aren’t a straight line of communication to another human OR providing some sort of value in one way or another.

I scroll straight to the bottom and unsubscribe every time. They keep coming back.

The first email in my MOUTHWASH inbox touched down over four years ago on January 28th, 2017. Since then there has been 9,668 emails. A lot of them are calendar invites, but many of them are real communication threads with real people (besides the Chipotle promotional).

I sorted by Oldest First this week and treaded through the timeline of everything that has happened since the beginning of it all.

I found things like us pitching people to write for a Medium publication, asking friends like Sam Elkins , Patrick Chin , and Carter Moore to talk with us on a podcast about their creative journeys, and sharing access to a Google Sheets where we were putting together budgets for our first print magazine.

Encouraging message from a friend I got yesterday

The rabbit trail into my inbox got me curious about all time analytics on our communication channels from 4 years ago. I’ve really never looked at all of these in one sitting until now…

I have 9,668 emails in my inbox since January 2017.

We’ve sent 188,671 messages in Slack since January 2017.

We self-produced and published two print publications that have sold over 150 copies, combining the efforts of +30 photographers and +12 writers.

We’ve produced and released 33 episodes of a podcast that have been played over 41,000 times since June 2017.

We’ve written and published 28 interviews on our website that has garnered over 83,106 visits since we launched in November 2019.

Our team of three turned to a team of six going on seven in 1.5 years of operating as a full time project.

We partnered with over 60 clients in 2020 alone.

When I think about how we’ve gotten this far, there’s only one real answer: We just kept showing up. We kept showing up when it got difficult, when people ghosted our pitches, and when we hit dead-ends.

Creative projects often get killed before any significant progress is made because we’re so quick to give up when long-term desired outcomes aren’t reached in the short-term.

There was a moment in time where MOUTHWASH was making things for an audience of zero.

There was another moment later down the road where everything that we had done up unto that point finally broke the straw on the camel’s back. All the work we had put in since the very beginning eventually led to a desired outcome. Every email, Slack message, podcast, and interview built a foundation that has added up to where we are now.

This quote lives rent free in my brain. It especially surfaces when I’m in the midst of problems that seem to have no end:

“When nothing seems to help, I go back and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it — but all that had gone before.”

— Jacob Riis

After 4 years, thousands of messages, and a lot of output later, you land somewhere. And it’s probably a lot further down the road in comparison to when you first started, as long as you keep hammering away at the rock.

— Alex

Ideas from me

I. PROGRESS

Progress still counts no matter how fast or slow.

II. TIME LIMITS

Limiting time on a problem-solving can help relieve frustration since there is always an end in sight.

Instead of throwing more time at a problem, encourage yourself to exert more energy over shorter amounts of time to get the job done.

III. TAKING ACTION

Tall orders remain tall when we fear them and decrease in size as we work through them. By the time we’re in the midst of a problem, we’re usually focused enough to forget why it was daunting in the first place.

Anxiety settles when we find ways to take action.

Quote from somebody else

"A man who cannot climb a tree will boast of never having fallen out of one." —Ludwig Klages (1872)

Links worth sharing

⚡️ Same.Energy is a new kind of visual search engine tool.

photographer directory

RT

✨ Perfectly Imperfect Newsletter is entertaining. The Discord is also super fun.

hiring a Growth Marketing Manager at Squarespace / Unfold

this podcast

official website in 1996

Only-Fans.org

Thanks for another week!

Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. It hits your inbox every Tuesday at 9:17am.

ℹ️ Read more about Common Discourse here .

sharing with others who might enjoy it as well .

sign up to receive future briefings.

Here is every Common Discourse weekly briefing to date.

At the hundred and first blow it will split in two

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Saved to
The Internet Alex Tan
over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

There are three kinds of replies on Twitter: 1) Reactions positive/negative - valuable 2) Questions - valuable 3) Bitter Reply-Guys - worthless Auto cancelling #3 would triple Twitter usage imo.

over 1 year ago
Pod

Shame Theory - Red Scare (podcast) | Listen Notes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The ladies talk about the latest Whitney Biennial, Alabama's proposed abortion ban, Elizabeth Warren's "green military" tweets, and Jameela Jamil's calls to stop fat-shaming Trump.

English
United States
.
Disclaimer : The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Red Scare, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

00:57:06 - The ladies talk about the latest Whitney Biennial, Alabama's proposed abortion ban, Elizabeth Warren's "green military" tweets, and Jameela Jamil's …

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What kids must understand about the news: • Fake news travels faster than true news. • For-profit news (nearly all mainstream news) exists to make money, not to maximize truth. • Bad news makes more profit than good news. • Journalists are everyday people with biases too.

over 1 year ago
Pod

No Man's Land - Red Scare (podcast) | Listen Notes

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

The ladies address listener concerns from the bottom feeders of Reddit, leak a hot tip from a highly credible source re: The Wing's discrimination investigation, and recap the Stormy Daniels scandal. Plus, more ice clinking sounds for the fans!
English
United States
.
Disclaimer : The podcast and artwork embedded on this page are from Red Scare, which is the property of its owner and not affiliated with or endorsed by Listen Notes, Inc.

00:44:50 - The ladies address listener concerns from the bottom feeders of Reddit, leak a hot tip from a highly credible source re: The Wing's discrimination i…

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over 1 year ago