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Black Hole by Matt Anderson.

For those new to anonymous email services like Mailinator, they’re a handy way to sign up for a service or mailing list without divulging your personal information.

In a nutshell, they accept all email to their domain, like trump@mailinator.com, and make it available at a URL. Here’s the fake Trump inbox if you’re curious.

While this is handy, it has some clear drawbacks:

  • 📬 This inbox is public. Not a dealbreaker, but it requires you to think up hard-to-guess names in case someone else accidentally stumbles on it.
  • 🌬 The messages aren’t in your usual mail application and are deleted after a certain period of time. This means you have to trade convenience and permanence for privacy. …


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I’ve always kept a spare key in a lockbox outside my apartment. That habit has saved me many times when I locked myself out or had a friend stay over while I was out of town. When I got a dog, it was a convenient way to let the dog walker in.

My current apartment building doesn’t allow lockboxes and removed dozens of them—mine included—shortly after I moved in. …


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Whether you’re a veteran product manager, a first-time PM or an engineer yourself, this reference guide should be a fun (and hopefully educational) read.

Estimation & Scale

Trivial
Once we decide on the API schema, writing the endpoints will be trivial.”

Easy or unimportant. The opposite, non-trivial, is commonly used to mean that something is difficult or harder than it seems.

Order(s) of magnitude
“Seriously!? Doing this ourselves is orders of magnitude harder than just using Appcues!”

Significantly bigger/harder in relation to something else. This phrase technically describes logarithmic growth but is often used broadly (and incorrectly). …


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This October will mark the 4th Boston Drunk User Testing. What started as just a handful of “design-y” startups and a couple of kegs has grown to hundreds of people and dozens of simultaneous usability tests.

It’s no coincidence that DUT aligns with Appcues’ mission of helping teams create products their users love. This year, we’re excited to bring it to more people and more cities (more on that later).

The User is Drunk

If you found yourself in just the right part of the internet in 2015, you may remember a niche craze at the intersection of software, design and copious amounts of alcohol. …


In the Summer of 2016, the Appcues Product team was killing it. If you had a checklist for a high-performing product team, we were nailing all the important marks.

✅ Everything we were building was backed by heavy validation.
✅ We resolved most bugs as soon as they were reported.
✅ Our engineers were in touch with the customers’ needs.

We had developed incredible empathy with customers, the business was growing, and we were miserable.

Although we were heading in the right direction, it came at significant cost. Things that were urgent were prioritized over things that were important. Everything worth building was a massive undertaking (read “epic”), and while customers liked the end result, what shipped was often more than they needed. …


Earlier this week, we made a new addition to the Appcues employee benefits package. While some startups try to woo new hires with catered lunch and nerf guns, we enjoy being fun in a different way.

That’s why I’m proud to announce the Appcues Trust Fund, a budget for building relationships outside of the office.

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Reactions from the team

Ok, so I may have deceived you a bit, but hear me out. Unless your startup is composed exclusively of lifelong childhood friends, odds are you could benefit from getting to know each other better. By understanding someone as a full person, not just as a coworker, we better understand their actions and motivations.


The short answer: no. There’s a better way.

I’m a follower of Lean thinking and have become addicted to the thrill and benefits of immediate feedback. When starting Appcues, I wanted (maybe needed) to get those same benefits from my marketing activities. My ideal marketing strategy was:

  1. At my own pace (founders have other shit to do too).
  2. Gave me immediate feedback on how to improve it.
  3. Low effort, high reward.

If I’m being honest, I wanted the results of a mature inbound marketing strategy but wasn’t willing to put in the work. …


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One of the things I struggled with was saying “no” to people. I emailed my mentors about it, posted the question on Quora and sought advice often. The turning point came from something Dharmesh said.

Remember that your time is finite. Every opportunity you say “no” to means there’s more that you can say “yes” to.

I successfully used Dharmesh’s advice to dedicate myself to HubSpot 100%. That perspective continued to work when I was approached to work on side projects, but I still felt tempted when it came to networking. Meeting someone new seemed a one-time event, and armed with that attitude, I accrued a lot of weak and useless connections. I eventually learned that a real relationship requires constant gardening. …


It’s been just over nine years since Dave McClure first shared his Pirate Metrics with the world. That same year, Dropbox and Hulu were founded, T-Mobile had just IPO’d, and a share of Apple stock cost $12.

Over nearly a decade, every tech startup founder has referenced Pirate Metrics in a deck, recited them in a meeting, or come across it in some way at least once. Yet if you asked someone to name and define each step in the model today, they’d be hard pressed to get it right.

Pirate Metrics is a poorly cribbed and arguably outdated model for SaaS. While much of it still holds up, we’re overdue for a better definition of one of the least understood steps in Dave’s model: Activation. …


We’ve all heard the adages.

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“Fake it ’til you make it.”

“If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.”

“Appear weak when you are strong, and strong when you are weak.”

These sayings are motivating, but they advocate too heavily in favor of deceit. Should you really spend years as a fraud, hoping you’ll “make it”? Is being honest with yourself and others really so bad?

This is my first time at the helm of a business and as a member of a team that depends on me so much. …

About

Jonathan Kim

Just a guy who makes stuff

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