Recommended reads

Recommended reads

A collection of articles & videos we consistently recommend to Pioneers.

Lessons for early stage founders - Calvin French-Owen

  1. Set goals
  1. Send investor updates
  1. Launch
  1. Consider working in public
  1. Know when to hire
  1. Optimize for learning
  1. Pick the partner, not the firm
  1. Focus

Web Design in 4 Minutes - Jeremy Thomas

"Let's say you have a product, a portfolio, or just an idea you want to share with everyone on your own website. Before you publish it on the internet, you want to make it look attractive, professional, or at least decent to look at. What is the first thing you need to work on?"

The 19 channels you can use to get traction - Gabriel Weinberg

  • Viral Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Unconventional PR
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Social & Display Ads
  • Offline Ads
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • Email Marketing
  • Engineering as Marketing
  • Targeting Blogs
  • Business Development
  • Sales
  • Affiliate Programs
  • Existing Platforms
  • Trade Shows
  • Offline Events
  • Speaking Engagements
  • Community Building

The double opt-in email introduction - Fred Wilson

"When introducing two people who don't know each other, ask each of them to opt-in to the introduction before making it."

Starting your fundraising pitch deck - Stripe Guides

"Act I: Make your case. What are you building? What can it become? Why now? Why you? Act II: De-risk your approach. What have you done to increase your odds of success? Act III: Broaden your case. What does success mean to you, your investors, and the world?"

How to pitch your company - Patrick McKenzie

"Stripe Atlas has helped a few thousand companies get started and assisted dozens with refining their pitches. We distilled these lessons to help the community. They are focused on pitching investors, from the perspective of an early-stage company. We’ve worked with Y Combinator to update this guide with perspective from YC CEO Michael Seibel, YC and YC founders who started their companies on Stripe Atlas."

Why Figma Wins - Kevin Kwok

"Figma is a prime example of sequencing loops. They’re now widely viewed as successful, but the key factors in their success and what bets they must make to get to the next level are less widely understood."

Fast: Some examples of people quickly accomplishing ambitious things together - Patrick Collison

"Tony Fadell was hired to create the iPod in late January 2001. Steve Jobs greenlit the project in March 2001. They hired a contract manufacturer in April 2001, announced the product in October 2001, and shipped the first production iPod to customers in November 2001, around 290 days after getting started."

How Airtable became a unicorn by reinventing the spreadsheet - Hiten Shah

"The real brilliance of the product was the ability to do all this without writing a single line of code. There was no need for server-side scripting or knowledge of SQL, which made the product very consumer-friendly. The product’s accessibility also made it potentially attractive to a much wider target market. Liu’s instincts about the potential for an innovative spreadsheet/database hybrid were right on the money."

Good writing is a business advantage - George Tannenbaum

"Definitional writing informs people of what a brand is or what it sells and why it’s better and why you need it. Can you really succeed without that? Demonstrations show how things work and helps people believe in the verities and realities off a product or service. In a unique, memorable and ownable way."

How to Talk to Users - Eric Migicovsky

What are the growth channels you use to scale - Andrew Ng

"You grew your chess education platform to over a million users. How did you do that?"

The first 18 months of a startup - Suhail Doshi

Marc Andreessen's blog

An excellent collection of evergreen posts from 2007 including The only thing that matters (product/market-fit).

Stripe Guides

"We’ve worked with experienced entrepreneurs and industry experts to give you authoritative, actionable guidance on how to run the business side of your company, so that you can focus your efforts on building something people will love."

Daniel Gross's blog

Pioneer founder Daniel Gross's writings on everything from deciding what to build to getting acquired.


Netflix culture deck