Startup School, Empathy School, Mirrors That Talk to You: Your Friday Briefing


School’s out, Pink Posse! But really, is it ever out? Are we teaching the right things and how can we keep on learning how to make better products and give better feedback? Here’s your Friday reading assignment (get it done now, or it’ll be hanging over you all weekend…)

dreamForget Coding – Teach Your Kids to Dream

You went to school, got a degree, got a job. But honestly, did what you learned at school really matter? Are there better ways of preparing people for life than algebra and history? Not that they’re not important but what if we also learned about empathy, relationships, agility, and curiosity? Isn’t that what should really matter to employers and in life? In the endless discussion about changing the curriculum, this piece really stood out for us. Time to reboot up the classroom – who’s with us?


startupBack to StartUp School: Why Start a Company?

School’s never out if you’re running a startup. And the lessons are hard learned. To help you, Y Combinator recently launched Startup School with Stanford. If you’re thinking about starting a company, their online course is really worth checking out. This week, the co-founder of Facebook and President of Y Combinator asked the basic question: Why do you want to start a company? Is it a better choice than getting a job? It’s certainly more risky. 1% of startups turn into Unicorns. Assuming you’re in the 99%, you’ve got to know why you’re doing it. Here are the questions to ask yourself, founder friend.


stickyProduct Driven Growth: Finding the Aha Moment That Makes a Product Stick

We know, it’s too late for why – you’ve already started your business. Kudos, we’re addicted too. The next challenge is finding our audience, and making your product stick. Great piece from Kieran Flanagan this week on how to get product-driven growth in the early stages: integrate with well established platforms, create viral loops, and get users to the aha moment where your product sticks. He shares practical steps for making your product stick.  It’s a must read for anyone building a product.



How to Give Feedback, from Steve Jobs and other experts

If your startup takes off, or you grow in an established company, you’re going to have employees. How are you going to give them good feedback? The performance review is dead. And please don’t revert to the dreaded SH*T sandwich method. There’s a better way. Sound advice from Steve Jobs on giving feedback, who we’re guessing never filled in a competency based balanced scorecard in his life.


Mirror, Mirror on the Wall – Please what time is my next Call?: Your Reflective AI assistant

The best feedback comes from taking a long look in the mirror. This one just might be able to tell you where you’re going wrong. Duo is an AI mirror that displays weather, news and other information to help you start the day. And like all good mirrors, it cannot tell a lie. Except those awful fake news ones. Smash those, you’re already in for 7.9 more years of hardship anyway….

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