The Week in Links (Nov 23)

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Every week I send a newsletter to my email list (you’ll find a signup in the bottom right of posts as you scroll) with the best links I’ve found during the previous week. Sometimes they’re articles, sometimes they’re podcasts, but they’re always geared towards building your business.

I’m going to start publishing these here weekly as well, though do sign up to the email list because you’ll also get some special content there from time to time too.


This time of year it’s always nice to sit back and spend some time with our friends and family, tucked in around some turkey (and if you’re me, my mother-in-law’s orange jello with pineapple). Yum.

Thanksgiving time also means you’ll likely have time do so some more reading! While I always recommend reading real books (here are my recommended ones), maybe this is also a great weekend to clear out that Pocket queue (GetPocket.com is my greatest productivity hack).

Here are a few more reads to add to it if you’re looking for some great reads (and listens)!

Before You Grow

Ok. This week I want to start with a post that I was impressed came out of the YC ecosystem, simply because it goes against what a lot of Silicon Valley practices (trust me, I lived there for the last three years).

In this post, Sam Altman pumps the brakes on startups and encourages them to fix their product first and test it with smaller groups of users before you turn on the user acquisition engines. Otherwise you’re spinning your wheels and trying to fill up a leaky bucket.

This is a really understated and important point for everyone – entrepreneurs, marketers, sales, and product people. Don’t waste your effort.

Check IT out! 

Here are some of my favorite reads and listens from the past few weeks. Enjoy!

  • Tim Ferriss and DHH talk Basecamp, racing, and more (The Tim Ferriss Show) – you probably all know I am a big Tim Ferriss fan. I also really respect people like DHH and companies like Basecamp that build methodically and do what they need to do to be happy, even if it cuts against the typical grain. This is a four hour interview, so it’ll probably take you a few sittings (or one really long flight) to finish!
  • What I Learned Developing Branding for Startups like Thumbtack, AirBNB, and Dropbox (First Round) – looking to build a strong brand for your company or client? This article walks you through both the ethos behind branding as well as some poignant tips on where to start building a brand.
  • On Conferences (Tom Critchlow) – Tom is one of my good friends and I love seeing him doing more writing and putting out thoughts. He’s speaking at Distilled’s SearchLove in February, and here are some of his thoughts around conferences as an independent. Worth the read for all you solo entrepreneurs and people looking to get started speaking!
  • Instapage’s $30,000 Lead Nurturing Journey (AutoPilot HQ) – ever have an email list that is pretty stale? Instapage had this and almost deleted them, but instead decided to try to warm them back up. They added $30k in MRR from it. Learn from them.
  • Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend On It (NY Times) – this article has received a lot of hate, but I think it’s worthwhile. The tl;DR is that social media without a home of your own online won’t build your career. I agree with that.
  • Digging Into The Abandoned Cart Email (Medium) – what email newsletter would be complete without a Medium link?? This post from Really Good Emails (part of MailChimp) is a great primer to go along with the above nurturing emails post will help you get more revenue from your existing users. Think about expanding it to advertising (remarketing) and you’ll really start winning.
  • Finding Herself and Building A Kindness Driven Business (ChargeBee) – MeetEdgar founder Laura Schroeder is a great entrepreneur, and I had no idea as to her background. Another great story about a great entrepreneur who’s been making magic happen for years and now has a home run on her hands.
  • Sophia Amoruso on Grit and Intuition (Chase Jarvis Live) – Sophia Amoruso, the founder of NastyGal, is another badass female hustler entrepreneur. Her story of her hustle to start her business and how she’s gone about building a $100m in revenue business is absolutely invigorating. I started listening to this interview to help me fall asleep on a flight back from Tokyo recently, and it did the opposite. It energized me. Listen at your own risk.

As always I’d love to know your thoughts on the content I’m sharing here, and if you have ideas for blog posts you’d like me to write or share in this email, shoot me an email at john at johnfdoherty dot com!

Until next time –

John

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