5 things I’ve learnt in my first weeks at Frontify (startup)

It’s been a good ride so far at Frontify. A truly worth experience, learning new aspects in software product management, SaaS products and lot’s of new helpful tools. Beside this, I have the chance working with some truly great people.

Time has flown by, here is what I’ve learned in my first ten weeks.

1. Prioritization reaches next level

Looking at your product you would have thousands options and many disciplines to look for: Developing new features, faster support 24/7, better application performance, more powerful marketing, new campaigns, testimonials, influencer marketing, content marketing, sales funnel automation,… you name it.

Tip: Try to get a long-term view of what you want your future to be look like and figuring out how to get there. In general, do less but do it right.

2. (All) you decide is based on data

Forget the time where you decide base on the mode “I think this is best”. In emerging tech companies there’s hardly anything which you can’t measure. There are data analytics tools for basically everything.

Tip: Try to pose yourself the right question: What do I really need to know? Base your decisions of underlying data and involve your engineer when you need to connect multiple data pools — they usually have a good sense for data and get your broken SQL queries fixed! ;).

3. Think big even when your work is “small”

Since you work for a common vision it’s very important that everyone in the company understand’s it and can get this bird view. On the other hand, keep in mind that there are hundreds of jobs which need to get done day by day.

Tip: Try to understand the overall vision, work on strategic concepts and challenge that vision as long as you fully understand it. To get things done, split your larger strategic ideas into tangible work packages and get (at least) some of those smaller bricks done rather than writing new strategic concepts every day.

4. You should not be limited by your job description

Since you will not have an expert for everything in house, it’s also important that you are not limited by your job description. A Cherokee jeep can also drive off road — what most first world people probably never know ;).

Tip: Try to define your specific playground and communicate your strengths and needs with your teams. Don’t try solve everything by yourself — look for external help — there are helpful services (translations, legal, design,…) accessible either on- or offline.

5. Get your hands dirty

For many tasks there is simply no one else except you in the value chain: Answer support questions, respond to social comments, reply to mails even if they seem to have the wrong recipient, send out invoices and try not to get distracted while reading long and complicated contracts.

Tip: Try to see these jobs part of your daily routine as long the company is still new and emerging. There will be specific people for these tasks in the future if you all do your job well.


Hope these tips helped to get you through your first weeks in a tech startup. Feel free to add your comments below if you have anything to add:)


Thanks for reading. My name is Johannes Waibel responsible for Enterprise Sales & Marketing at Frontify on daytime and soon to become daddy at night.