Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Peter Pryharski on Unsplash

Improving productivity is such a hot button topic. You’ve read all the articles and know why it’s important. So you’ve tried different tactics to wage war against your to-do list.

But, that dastardly to-do list continues to grow!

Here’s the problem: implementing productivity tactics are just so damn hard! It’s not so easy to change your habits and every productivity trick is essentially a change in your habits.

Want to wake up earlier to improve productivity? That’s a habit change, and therefore extremely difficult to do.

Want to start writing down your goals? Another habit change.

How about exercise each day to increase energy? …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

In the startup world, you hear a lot of talk about your first ten hires. Your first ten hires will, in all likelihood, end up being your leadership team as you scale. They’ll get the most equity (roughly one point each) and play the biggest role in growing the business.

The logical takeaway then is that you need absolutely incredible people to fill this role.

It’s why Y Combinator preaches to their founders to spend ~50% of their time on hiring, and why “Thiel’s law” is that a startup screwed up at the start has no chance of recovering.

But, startups miss something very basic in their first ten hires. They miss the Head of People role. …

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Let’s level-set: it’s incredibly difficult to predict which startups will end up growing and which will collapse. There’s a whole venture capital industry based around figuring out which startups will see hockey-stick growth. If you are great at it, you’ll end up being a billionaire.

I’m not a billionaire, so it’s hard to claim that I’m great at picking startups that will grow.

But after years working at and consulting for dozens of startups, there is one similarity that really rings true about the startups that really seem to grow.

Here’s what the best startups have in common: they cannot believe that customers are paying money for their shitty product.


Dean Woods

Startup executive, recovering consultant, Wharton Grad. I write about real startups (my venture backed day job) and micro-startups (my bootstrapped nights)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store