Hackernoon logo6 Startup Lessons I Learned This Week by@startuplab

6 Startup Lessons I Learned This Week

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@startuplabStartup Lab

Most insightful ideas I’ve learned about business, rationality, productivity, creativity, tech.

1. Optimize behaviors, not outcomes.

You can directly control the actions you take, but not the results they lead to.

Reward yourself based on taking the right action, use outcomes as analytics to learn from.

Confusing the two leads to anxiety, frustration, and beating yourself up over things you can’t change.

Don’t burn your mental energy on things outside of your circle of control, instead — try to spend all of it on taking actionable steps.

2. Ways to evaluate your market

- Urgency — how badly do people need this?
- Market size — how many total potential customers are there?
- Pricing — how much would a typical customer be willing to spend?
- Customer acquisition cost — how much will it cost to generate a sale?
- Competitive advantage — do you have an unfair advantage unique to you?
- Speed to Market — how quickly can you create something to sell?
- Upfront investment — how much will you have to invest before your first sale?

3. Most important problems

Periodically ask yourself: “what are the top five most important problems in my field (and life), and why am I not working on them?”

Since you can only work on one problem at a time, it’s usually sufficient to pick the most important problem, work on that, and ignore everything else.

4. Feynman technique

Feynman technique is a simple and powerful way to rapidly learn and retain new concepts.

1. Write down the name of concept you’re trying to learn.

2. Explain it in plain English, as if you were teaching it to a new student.

3. Identify things you couldn’t explain well, re-read the source material and research them. Try explaining again until these knowledge gaps are gone.
4. Simplify your explanation, get rid of technical terms and use simple analogies. ELI5.

5. Focus on high-leverage activities

Leverage = Impact / Time

Prioritize your activities based on return on investment for effort you put in. Use this as a guiding principle to determine where to spend your time.

Keep in mind 80/20 principle, look for things that produce disproportionately high impact .

Try to develop sustainable high-leverage habits, and systematically increase your leverage by:

- Reducing the time it takes to complete tasks.

- Increasing the output of tasks.

- Replacing tasks with more high-leverage ones.

6. Commit to making decisions, become biased for action.

Decisions are progress. Each one is a step forward. You can’t build on top of “I’ll decide later,” but you can build on top of “Done.”

You have the most information when you’re doing something, not before you’ve done it. Most important decisions are easily reversible anyway, if circumstances change, your decisions can change.

Don’t get stuck waiting for the perfect answer. You’re as likely to make a great call today as you are tomorrow.


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