Expensive readers,

I’ve solely been writing sporadically not too long ago on right here — largely as a result of I’m working on a brand new e-book venture (more to come back quickly on that!!) which has been taking all my time. Within the interim, I’ve stayed fairly energetic on Twitter, writing tweetstorms that generally flip themselves into essays on right here.

For a fast abstract of the essays that did make it onto right here, together with a pair visitor collaborations, right here’s a simple set of hyperlinks:

OK, and now for the tweetstorms. Listed here are all of the tweetstorms I’ve written in the final 12 months or so, all in one place. Hope you take pleasure in!

Decrease Pac, San Francisco, CA


1. American children need to be youtubers, and the Chinese language children need to be astronauts.

More from the article here.

2. Is your startup thought already taken? And why we love X for Y startups

I turned this from a tweetstorm right into a for much longer dialogue, and needed to share it there! Here’s the link.


3. Cameras versus smartphones.

The iPhone comes out in 2007 and adjustments the digital camera trade. Wonderful to see a 90% decline in simply 10 years after development for many years

Wonderful that one thing can go from peak to trough in actual 10

Makes you ask- What’s the subsequent product the place this can occur?


4. 2019 state of tech investing:

Pre-seed- Wager on the entrepreneur 👨‍💻
Seed- Wager on the staff 👨‍👩‍👦‍👦
Sequence A- Wager on the traction 🏒
Sequence B- Wager on the income 💸
Sequence C- Wager on the unit economics 💰


5. Do you know: 61% of all meals supply is pizza 🍕.

The typical American eats 23 kilos of pizza per 12 months. 93% of american citizens eat pizza each month. Omg proper?


6. Dashboard muddle

Dashboard muddle – the addition of more KPIs over time – results in technique muddle.

The more you add, the much less you (and your staff!) understands your corporation. Then individuals return to creating choices on instinct not information.

Through this 😂 comedian by @tomfishburne beneath!


7. Fascinating infographic: Top grossing media franchises of all time.

Pokémon, Howdy Kitty, Mickey Mouse, Star Wars, and so on

– a lot of the cash has been made in merchandise and video video games
– so many Japanese manufacturers! 5 out of the top 10
– many created in the previous decade


8. The web tradition provide chain

The web tradition provide chain works like this:
Asia ➡ US teenagers ➡ Adults ➡ B2B.

A number of information factors on this already: Emojis, video streaming, esports…

Emojis are a basic instance. First it was large in Japan, then teenagers. Now all of us use it. Then it was baked into Slack and every thing else. (Btw, that is an incredible learn of pre-smart telephone Japanese cellular: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_mobile_phone_culture …)

Need to know what B2B communication/collaboration will appear like in 5 years? It’s inevitable that livestreaming, digital items, asynch video, and so on all finally find yourself in the enterprise. There’s a 3-5 12 months lag, nevertheless it undoubtedly occurs

TikTok is a superb instance that’s mid-phase. Crossing from Asia into US teenagers, and we’ll see if it’ll be the best way we do standing updates at work in just a few years 🙂


9. Magic metrics indicating a startup in all probability has product/market match

1) cohort retention curves that flatten (stickiness)
2) actives/reg > 25% (validates TAM)
3) energy person curve exhibiting a smile — with a giant focus of engaged customers (you develop out from this sturdy core)

3) viral issue >0.5 (sufficient to amplify different channels)
4) dau/mau > 50% (it’s a part of a each day behavior)
5) market-by-market (or logo-by-logo, if SaaS) comparability the place denser/older networks have increased engagement over time (community results)

6) D1/D7/D30 that exceeds 60/30/15 (each day frequency)
7) income or exercise growth on a *per person* foundation over time — signifies deeper engagement / behavior formation
8) >60% natural acquisition — CAC doesn’t even matter!

Having even one is spectacular — it’d make me sit up!


10. What’s your greatest miss thus far in tech?

When it comes to a completely incorrect / unhealthy prediction. This was mine from years again — not getting Fb and how large it was going to be: https://andrewchen.co/why-i-doubted-facebook-could-build-a-billion-dollar-business-and-what-i-learned-from-being-horribly-wrong/

Additionally for the primary few years, I assumed Uber was a bizarre area of interest service for tremendous wealthy individuals to get limos. I managed to repair that unhealthy prediction 😎


11. What’s your least common however deeply held opinion on tech/startups? Lively discussion here


12. The Regulation of Shitty Cohorts.

It’s common for a startup to have “meh” retention. However then normally, staff says it can enhance retention through higher activation, lifecycle advertising, enhancing product options, and so on.

However the legislation of shitty cohorts says that is unlikely to occur.

The reason being that the early cohorts of customers — let’s say the primary couple million or so — are normally your greatest cohorts. They discovered you through phrase of mouth, they’re the early adopters of tech, and you haven’t any market saturation but.

Nevertheless, as you scale, every cohort will get worse

In rideshare, all of the city dwelling energy customers who don’t have vehicles, and use apps day by day – they’ve all signed up. Now we’re buying rural/suburban customers who’ve vehicles and solely use it to get to the airport. Big distinction.

While you purchase customers with paid advertisements, it’s even worse

So even whereas groups enhance their product, activation, and lifecycle, there’s an reverse (and generally even stronger power!) of worse cohorts becoming a member of your product over time.

(Impressed by the Law of Shitty Clickthroughs)


13. My order of operations after I sit down with a startup to determine develop their new product.

1) first, is it working?
Normally the reply is not any 🙂 I take a look at retention charges, DAU/MAU, session lengths, what number of visits are pushed through push notifs, and so on and so on. A number of benchmarking

2) whether it is working, then how will we scale it?
I take a look at the acquisition combine — how are new customers discovering the product? Are they utilizing all of the channels that different related merchandise are already doing?

If there’s one thing that’s working, can we scale it to be a lot, a lot bigger?

3) what can we do in the product to amplify all the above?

Since product is dear to construct, let’s focus on top of funnel and work all the best way down. Optimizing acquisition, then activation, then retention/churn, then reactivation (for later stage)

Tbh, #1 is the toughest!

Longer dialogue on this here.


14. The Head/Coronary heart/Arms framework

Or in emoji kind, 👩/❤/✋– for firm cultures and personalities at work. The concept is that each work tradition may be described as a pie chart of those three components. (credit score to my pals/coworkers at Uber who first described to me)

Not solely does every firm have this breakdown, so does every particular person on the staff. And the more their particular person profile matches that of the general firm, the more in sync they’re, the simpler it’s to get issues executed. Or that’s the speculation.

👩 Head = how a lot of the tradition emphasizes analytical means, technique, planning, and so on. Cultures which are sturdy at this do loads of evaluation, data gathering, and so on to strive and make the precise decisions, however generally at the price of shifting rapidly or bringing everybody alongside

❤ Coronary heart = how a lot the tradition emphasizes staff cohesion + happiness. Groups that do that make investments so much on inside values, having a transparent mission, making choices that take into account the staff’s views, not simply enterprise outcomes. A number of apparent downsides when this goes too far, too

✋Arms = how a lot the tradition emphasizes motion, and getting issues executed. Cultures that do that can transfer rapidly, are iterative, and are agile in the market. However they break issues, can have a “fireplace first, goal later” mentality the place loads of vitality is wasted

Individuals mentioned Uber 1.Zero was a 30% head, 5% coronary heart, 65% fingers type of place. Ridiculously listed on motion. Usually doing the incorrect factor for the primary few iterations, however with a lot exercise, issues would get found out later. Wanted more love for drivers and staff although

One other startup that I’m shut with, which might be unnamed, is more like 30% head, 50% coronary heart, 20% fingers. Nice tradition, individuals have been shut pals, didn’t get a lot executed. Yet one more is 70% head, 20% coronary heart, 10% fingers. Extremely clever however doesn’t ship.

I like this framework in that it says, hey, there’s no proper tradeoff – it’s simply totally different. Some industries require hardcore orientation in a method, and others in one other means. The VC trade doesn’t want 75% fingers, as an illustration

Equally, if somebody’s not understanding in one culture- they may in one other tradition, the place issues resonate. Maybe they’re too action-oriented in a spot that requires so much more deep pondering as a result of choices are arduous to reverse. Once more, there’s no “greatest” working type

As with Myers-Briggs, this train is more for enjoyable, than science. Nevertheless, you’d be stunned by how fascinating of a dialog it generates. Ask somebody to interrupt down their firm’s head/coronary heart/fingers, and press for examples. You’ll study a ton

While you’re interviewing at an organization, this is usually a enjoyable factor to ask. In any other case in the event you ask “what’s the corporate tradition like?” you’ll usually simply get generic stuff like, “oh individuals are are so good and good.”

A associated query is: “What’s one thing that occurs in this firm tradition that doesn’t at different locations?” Or, “who’s the kind of one who’s profitable right here who won’t be at different locations?” (or the reverse). Fascinating to grasp the contrasts


15. the LA client startup ecosystem

the LA client startup ecosystem is coming into its personal — Honey, Snap, Riot Video games, Tinder, Chicken, Greenback Shave Membership.

Probably the most $1B+ client startups outdoors of the Bay Space?

Just a few years again, I might need guessed that NYC could be the rising chief. However fairly clear it’s LA.


16. “The One That Didn’t Work Out.”

Startup founders, you recognize what I imply: We spend years on a product – beginning it from scratch, recruiting pals, getting it off the bottom. We expect we’ll spend years on this. That is the one. We inform that to ourselves, traders, and pals

We have a good time all of the milestones we’re alleged to. The primary workplace. First test in. The product launch. Enjoyable emails from the primary customers. An necessary rent. Staff dinners. These are fantastic, nice reminiscences!

When it’s time to lift cash, we inform potential traders that that is it. We’re gonna work on this for years, as a result of we imagine. And we do! However that’s not what occurs…

There’s a messy second 12 months. Traction’s not so good as what we would like. Or perhaps new customers are exhibiting up, however retention sucks. A number of the key hires go away. Fundraising isn’t as simple correctly. Monetization is sluggish. It’s powerful

When issues get arduous, it’s simple to enter hermit mode. Don’t go to tech occasions, as a result of individuals will ask how issues are going, and you don’t need to faux it’s nice. As a result of it’s not. Simpler to remain at residence and watch Netflix

You already know the top of this story: Just a few years in, the as soon as shiny new startup acquired by a bigger firm. Or it’s shut down. Individuals perhaps even make a ton of cash. However the staff splits up. The product that you simply stared at, day by day, for years, will get shut down. It’s time to maneuver on

However it’s arduous to maneuver on. It feels bizarre to stroll previous your outdated workplace. You don’t discuss to your staff anymore. You progress your outdated pictures, outdated decks, outdated prototypes right into a folder deep in your Dropbox drive. Higher to not give it some thought!

Sure, it is a story of my very own journey for a startup I had years in the past that didn’t work out. However I do know it’s not simply me. It’s a lot of my pals, and a lot of you, who’re on their new startup, or a brand new large tech job, however nonetheless bear in mind the one which didn’t work

You will have seen the fantastic tweetstorm by @dflieb about Bump from 10 years in the past. You possibly can see how a lot he grew from his journey. Regardless that Bump didn’t thrive, it’s now a part of Google Images and the concepts influence tons of of tens of millions of individuals. He needs to be proud! https://twitter.com/dflieb/standing/1050990035892199424

The current @andrewmason interview on Groupon is identical. You possibly can inform how a lot he each cherished his expertise and additionally how tough it was. Value studying: https://twitter.com/andrewchen/standing/1051576009454116867

There’s an exquisite journey that occurs in the creation and ending of latest merchandise. The vast majority of startup journeys appear like this – even in the success case – and all of us study a ton from constructing them. It’s an incredible expertise, but in addition, it may be tough.

You probably have the identical Dropbox folder I do, it’s time to open it up. Scroll by way of the outdated pictures, open up the outdated decks. It might be the startup that didn’t work out, nevertheless it’s additionally the one which made you stronger and smarter.


17. Uber alumni and the subsequent technology of founders

There’s a TON of latest startups coming from Uber alumni – I do know of a half dozen in stealth, and Chicken is already a breakout. It’s obv that the creativity and hustle required to make Uber work in its early years has educated tons of of entrepreneurs. Very bullish on this group

As y’all know, Uber had a really decentralized mode of operation with every metropolis being run as its personal firm. Every GM owned their P&L, employed their very own individuals, and in the early years, would simply put Fb advertisements and different bills on their bank cards! Nice background

The product groups seemed like this too. We had a “Applications and Platforms” mannequin courtesy of Amazon / @jeffholden the place every program was full stack, and the PMs ran arduous once more their mission/KPIs with out introducing interdependencies

For everybody who joined in the early years – 2010 to 2014 – they’ve already hit their Four 12 months mark and many are spinning out. The actually early of us are investing. People like @williampbarnes @joshmohrer have fashioned angel teams supporting alumni spinouts (and different startups too!)

From an investor standpoint, myself, @fffabulous @akad have all joined enterprise companies prepared to take a position in the subsequent technology

The ATG / Otto of us are making strikes as nicely. My good buddy @drewjgray joined as CTO of the autonomous startup @voyage with @olivercameron. Additionally Kodiak, Kache, and many others.

Let’s speak about my fav matter, 🛴. @limebike has of us like my good buddy @uber_ed_baker as an advisor, and is slowly amassing ex-Uber alumni (and Lyft! And different on-demand of us). Chicken’s exec staff consists of Uber’s prev “Provide development” staff – @travisv, RF, Schnell, others

Not everyone seems to be doing startups, after all. A number of of us on “sabbataquit” – Uber’s coverage of permitting sabbaticals after Three years of labor implies that individuals usually do that earlier than leaving. After which they preserve touring, generally for a 12 months+. Many of us doing that

Whether or not they’re beginning, becoming a member of, or on sabbatical, it’s clear that this group is aware of loads of necessary, venture-fundable markets nicely. There’s now 10,000s of focus who’re specialists on transportation, marketplaces, mapping, autonomous floating on the market. That is the subsequent gen.

Very enthusiastic about my ex-uber colleagues! Wanting ahead to what y’all do 😎



In fact, if you’d like more of those as they arrive in real-time, follow me at @andrewchen! More in 2020.

The submit My top essays/tweetstorms in 2019 on product/market fit, investing, KPIs, YouTubers, and more can also be revealed on andrewchen.

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