Food for Thought #10: End of the Unicorn, Bubble, Great Teams, Hardware Marathon

Age of Product’s Food for Thought on October 11th, 2015 on the end of the Unicorn, the bubble in Silicon Valley, how to build great teams (by building a great culture), and lessons learned from building a hardware startup:

Danielle Morrill (via Mattermark): Somewhere Over the Brainbow: The Unicorn Window is Closing

These are the companies who are spending $1 to make $0.20, with the hope that customer acquisition will pay off down the road (Draft Kings, Fan Duel). These are the companies who have to re-acquire their customer every time they want a repeat purchase (Kabam). These are the companies with unit economics that just don’t make sense (WeWork).



Aswath Damodaran (via TechCrunch): How Do You Value A Company Like Uber?

Bottom line: The total market for Uber is bigger than the urban car service market that I visualized in June 2014, and will attract new customers, and expand in new markets (with Asia becoming the focus), and perhaps even in new businesses.

Gabriel Weinberg (via Medium): 32 Fast and Cheap Marketing Tests You Should Consider Running

Below are some basic marketing test ideas across all nineteen traction channels. These tests are designed for businesses trying to get to product/market fit, either preparing for a successful launch or post-launch, but may be useful for any business.

Sanjeev Agrawal (via Medium): Want a Great Team? Build a Great Culture

They say building a company is all about building a team. I disagree. I have discovered, sometimes by being a cultural m…

Great Culture happens:
– When you empower people.
– When you demonstrate that ideas, not the highest paid person in the room (HIPPOs), win.
– When you demonstrate that there are no rules just for others.

(via First Round Capital): Slack's First Product Manager on How to Make a Firehose of Feedback Useful

“The problem is not that startups lack feedback, it’s that they don’t know what do with it, or what they should react to,” says Berger. “More than anything, people respond to what they have history with, or what’s in front of them, or what’s most easily accessed.” As a result, certain channels are prioritized, while others may be given short shrift, and it seldom has anything to do with what’s actually useful or valuable.

Ben Thompson: Twitter's Moment

Twitter has had a rough stretch, and most are pessimistic about its chances. I was previously, but I think the upside is looking much brighter than it did before this week.

I think, though, it’s time for a new prediction: that the summer of 2015 will be seen as the low point for Twitter, and that this week in particular will mark the start of something new and valuable. Crucially, the reasons why are directly related to why I was bearish for so long: the product, the CEO, and the stock.

redgsnodgrass (via Medium): Hardware is a Long Game — Let Me Give you the Playbook

4 Things That Will Make or Break Your Hardware Business: There are four steps involved in the e2e process of readying a product idea for successful full-scale production.
(1) Design for Manufacturing
(2) Value Engineering
(3) Prototyping
(4) Scaling

Roger D. Hodge (via New Republic): What's It Like to Work at a Company With No Bosses?

In recent years, however, Hsieh’s experiments with corporate culture have become more philosophical. About three years ago, he introduced an arcane management system, called Holacracy, that baffled many longtime Zapponians. Then, in March, he sent out an email to all 1,443 Zappos employees. “This is a long email,” he wrote. “Please take 30 minutes to read through the email in its entirety.”

Find this content useful? Share it with your friends!