Introducing First Search—The World’s Best Startup Advice, Curated and Searchable
By Maddie Hall, Product Manager
About four years ago, we started First Round Review with the goal of liberating knowledge about how great companies get built. We’ve done our best to get extremely tactical advice out of the heads of talented operators and onto the web. And in that time, we’ve seen a couple trends.
First, startup content has exploded in quantity but plunged in quality. Anyone who’s Googled how to do something knows that search results tend to be fragmented, irrelevant, promotional, inaccurate, and contradictory. At the same time, more startup veterans are sharing secrets learned from experience — but they remain undiscoverable and scattered across Medium, Quora, personal blogs, etc. We think the startup community deserves better.
That’s why we’re launching First Search — a database of extremely high-quality, curated advice about all aspects of building companies, pulled from across the web and organized to help you find exactly what you need when you need it.
In our experience, the best advice comes from asking great people to recommend great writing. That’s what we’ve set out to productize by asking dozens of experts to share the best articles they’ve ever read, and combining that with software trained to recognize quality and credibility. Every day, we’ll serve up fresh advice relevant to industry news and emerging best practices. And on an ongoing basis, we’ll publish best-of lists from a roster of remarkable operators — like Plangrid CEO Tracy Young, Instacart Founder Max Mullen, Dropbox VP Product Todd Jackson, plus dozens more — all sharing the advice that’s transformed their companies and careers.
Consider this First Search 1.0. We wanted to get it into people’s hands as early as possible so we can start getting better and delivering more. Over time, we plan to build a personalized discovery experience for every user.
To win in tech, all startup employees — not just founders — need to know how to do a tremendous range of things: raise money, hire great people, set compensation, build a product roadmap, manage well, train new employees, run a board meeting, lease office space, evaluate performance, tackle technical debt, set policies, run all-hands meetings and retreats, find a great COO/CFO/CPO — the list truly goes on and on.
Our industry asks people to learn all of this at superhuman speed — leaving us all wishing for some Matrix-style rapid-upload option. Instead, we’re met with hastily-written listicles full of misinformation published for the sake of self-promotion under the guise of thought leadership and designed to help no one in particular. In this landscape, the best content stands out like an oasis in the desert, but is just as hard to find.
First Search cuts through the noise and surfaces premium wisdom from tech’s greatest thinkers going back 10+ years — making it the ultimate source of evergreen advice curated to be searchable, specific, accurate, and (perhaps most importantly) applicable right away. Now, all in one place, you can:
- Bookmark and share advice across 260+ disciplines and job functions.
- Discover content liked and shared by hundreds of industry experts.
- See and build curated lists of related content to deepen your knowledge.
This is just the beginning, and we’d love your feedback along the way. Share your thoughts — including articles, authors and blogs we should add — here.
And, next time you’re staring down a challenge as you build the next big thing, resist that default impulse to Google. Get the answers you need from people you can trust. Make First Search your first search.