Tough Love, Running Effective Meetings, Making Products That Produce Emotion, and More
Cross-country flights are great times to catch up on newsletters and unread feeds. This week there’s a bunch I want to share with you.
Levels is a consumer health company focused on glucose monitoring and they run themselves in a very deliberate manner, mostly asynchronous and fully remote from what I understand. Levels publishes a lot of how they work and the above meeting guide is a great overview of system-thinking. Not all of it will necessarily be the right fit for your org, but it’ll certainly produce some ideas
2. Tough Love by Jared Hecht (Fundera and GroupMe cofounder)
Jared’s a really talented NYC entrepreneur who recently started blogging more. ‘Tough Love’ is about being good at giving hard feedback, especially as an investor. As Jared notes,
“The irony is that withholding the truth is the opposite of being founder friendly. There is a market for those who can do this exceptionally well. It’s something I try to do when I invest in companies and work with founders. And to my delight, it’s not just me who appreciates “real-talk.” Entrepreneurs crave it. They may hate it in the moment because it can hurt the ego, but it resonates. When it comes to company building, I want to partner with someone who tells it how it is and isn’t afraid to hurt my feelings than someone who prioritizes simply being liked. In my experience it’s those that dish out the tough love that I’ve grown closest to and admire most.”
Read the whole post and subscribe to his newsletter.
3. Optimism Shapes Reality by Scale.ai CEO/cofounder Alexandr Wang
One of the advantages working at a high quality company provides is understanding what excellent execution really feels like. In this post Alexandr talks about when he felt that first within Scale.ai, how he communicated it to the team, and his philosophy on maintaining it. Not so much with org charts and KPIs, but with goal setting and optimism.
4. Optimizing For Feelings by The Browser Company
An incredibly sharp team that’s doing what the company name suggests: building a modern web browser. Ambitious, yes? The team comes from a ton of different web2 successes (and beyond), and they’ve eschewed a number of the traditional ways of measuring product success. Not just shooting for numerical targets as a true north but rather vibes. It’s one of the things I was getting at a few years back in my own post, We’re Running Web 2018 With Web 2008 Dashboards. And That’s a Problem, so I’m of course down with what they’re trying. And also a personal investor, so skin in the game.
5. Applying the Burn Multiple to Marketplace Business Models by Jeff Fluhr (Craft Ventures)
Jeff modifies his partner David Sachs’ SaaS ‘Burn Multiple’ concept for marketplace businesses. I find these types of analysis really compelling and it forces you to justify why you’re a positive outlier if you aren’t tracking against their segmentation. That’s not to say that it’s 100% correct but it’s certainly directionally right. And Jeff just led a deal we participated in, so I’m excited to hopefully see this play out in that company.
There you go, five of the best things I read on airplanes this week 🙂