Friday roundup: the ultimate growth hack, trusting your gut and emphasizing distribution.

Happy Friday.

DC’s been an interesting (read: weird) place this week: Trump’s motorcade rolled into the White House yesterday. I’m still processing.

If you’re new this week, these are the top 10 clicks across my tweets this week. You can always get the full firehose here.

  1. “the ultimate growth hack is a love for your craft, and a willingness to immerse yourself in the details” [Link] [Tweet]

When you’re starting something new, you’ll know if you’re going to fail within a few weeks (even if you don’t admit it to yourself) but you won’t know if you’re going to succeed for years.

If you meet anyone that’s successful, you’ll quickly notice that they’re always in it for the long haul and they care about the details. It’s the why of the thing that drives them, even if they can’t articulate it themselves.

2. “The people who live in these places aren’t stupid.” [Link] [Tweet]

There’s a lot about this election that doesn’t sit well with me (more on that in a later blog post) but this piece sums it up: each side never took the time to listen to the other. It was far too easy to just assume that the other side was dumb, disconnected and just plain wrong.

If you can spare a couple days in 2017, join us on the tech tour. You’ll quickly notice that the vast majority of Trump voters aren’t racist, misogynists and homophobes that finally found the candidate that said what was on their mind. In fact, they’re hard working people that feel so disconnected from the rest of us that they were willing to look past Trumps misteps (and there were many) to finally have their own voice heard.

3. “It is impossible to react to this moment with anything less than revulsion and profound anxiety.” [Link] [Tweet]

Why not leave the country? But despair is no answer. To combat authoritarianism, to call out lies, to struggle honorably and fiercely in the name of American ideals—that is what is left to do. That is all there is to do.

4. “When somebody calls, I can usually tell within two or three minutes whether a deal is likely to happen or not.” [Link[Tweet]

Trust your gut. Then do your homework.

5. “Startups are overdosing on ambition these days.” [Link] [Tweet]

If more founders would start with the goal of making $1,000/month in revenue, the better off they’ll be in the long run.

In the worst case, they’ve got an extra $1,000/month to spend as they see fit and a side project to showcase their talent. In the best case, they’ve got the base necessary to scale to $10,000/month or more.

Focus on making your first buck, then add a zero. Then repeat infinitely.

6. “On the Internet, no one really cares about you when you’re small.” [Link] [Tweet]

Distribution of your product is probably more important than the product itself.

7. “One of the odd aspects of modern air travel is that it’s not really getting any faster.” [Link] [Tweet]

I grew up in Northern Virginia watching the Concorde takeoff and land at Dulles Airport. I miss those days.

8. “Deep inside a Silicon Valley unicorn lurks a time bomb.” [Link] [Tweet]

The only people that want (and need) unicorns are VCs with huge funds. Everyone else, for the most part, is just trying to build something important.

9. “The tricky part isn’t the technical stuff… it’s the customer stuff.” [Link] [Tweet]

One of my favorite investments on the tech tour was a company that sold ten customers a product before they wrote their first line of code.

I wish more entrepreneurs would think like them.

10. “there’s nothing quite so rare or sexy as proving your product market fit with decent traction.” [Link] [Tweet]

I met Mac during our stop in Knoxville, TN last month. I owe him a call still (sorry Mac!) but he took the time to write down all the things we talked about during office hours.


You can get the full stream of the things I read, it’s all on Twitter — follow me: @paulsingh.