πŸ“» β€” Simple Startup Practices and the Principles that Power Them: Creating a Culture of Documentation

Reading Time: ~ 2 min.

Good morning yenizens!

A few fun links from around the internet; there’s quite a lot that’s happening out there… you all okay? Let me know how you’re doing (and what you’re building).

  1. Winnable. Fake war. Alone. Envo. 18 months. Me too. For years.
  2. AppSheet. Storybook. Fun. SpaceX. Finlo. Harmful. Foot, gas.
  3. Xi rules all. Rachel. Personal transformer. Tastey. Still. Not popular.
  4. Laundry day. Royalties. Early. Wild horses. Competition. Stuff.
  5. Slow, then fast. Scout vs soldier. Diversity. Flywheels. Classic. BOJ.
  6. Prodeasy? I am. Restore fund. Zynga. Wow. Creator econ. Britcoin?
  7. Squarespace. The future of sound. How it be. Soona. Practical. Good.
  8. Future. Lessons. Get moni. PH Pro. Exhausting. Krossa. Defense.
  9. Post covid. Baaz. Bounties. Why. Progress. Cookies. Parler’s back.
  10. Angel investing checklist. More stories. Future. Metal workers?

And then there’s this: Ingenuity. There’s nothing that can stop humanity (except itself, perhaps).

To infinity & community,

β€” john


I got a lot of great feedback from yesterday’s issue (thanks!!) and there was one part of Suhail’s tweetstorm that I sat on for a little longer than the rest β€” #20 to be exact:

If you’re a 2nd-time founder, resist the urge to button everything up. It’s a trap that makes you think you’re doing meaningful work. The first time around this blissful ignorance helped me focus on what mattered most: making a great product. It’s okay for things to be messy.

Suhail

Here’s the thing: A startup is messy by default; there’s no way around it! So, from my perspective, you don’t have to actually “work” at making things messy! As Mary J. Blige said so eloquently and accurately: “I can do bad all by myself.

Consequently, you have to work just as hard as you did in the first startup to make sure you’re creating a authentic, sustainable, and useful culture around documentation. But now you’re armed with a boatload of experience earned from your first venture and you know β€” viscerally β€” the value of documentation and what life is like without it.

Misery, that’s what.

I make weekly updates to the public handbook.

So, this time you’re making a stand, right?! You’re going to create a real culture of documentation, goddammit! Easier said than done? Maybe. But that’s the principle behind the practice; the former is the foundation but without rigorous and consistent execution it ends up being meaningless.

One of the things that I’m most proud of this time around is that I’ve kept my team’s handbook updated, weekly. I haven’t been perfect but I make updates as often as they happen. This, my friends, is the key. Don’t miss this.

The principle is the cultural, operating value of TATT which seeks to minimize documentation “debt” and maximizes the communication of vital, organizational truth at-scale. Meaning? I don’t have to repeat myself when there’s a canonical source of data about the project. As a founder, this saves me a fuckton of time.

Suhail’s comment may not have necessarily been around documentation but the point that I took away from it is clear: You need a great product to start a good business. But, without documentation your “good” business will never become great. So, you’ll need both in decent measure.

By building in business operating systems and workflows that can capture changes that happen in your startup right after they happen is the art and science of a great culture of documentation. It does take time and it can feel a bit tricky to get started, but, once you do…

… you’re good to go.

Remember:

/end

%d bloggers like this: