Startup Product Building 101

A product-building guide for startup founders

Photo by David Travis on Unsplash

🔍 Some Definitions (to get us on the same page)

✏️ Lesson 1: Building Products is Hard (but we knew that)

Not really, but’s let’s dive in anyway (via
Product building is like an onion (via

The Takeaway: Building good products is hard. Just like you do in every part of your business, lean on your community, think creatively and iteratively, and create a process that works for you.

✏️ Lesson 2: You Don’t Need a CTO

The internet telling you how necessary it is to find a CTO (you don’t have to listen)

The Takeaway: Whether you have a CTO, work with an agency, hire professionals, or work with freelancers — you’re still the owner of your company and your product. Getting better at product management will bring you a long way in understanding how to approach product building, hiring, and contracts — all skills you can use in lieu of finding the perfect CTO.

✏️ Lesson 3: Start Small and Iterate

Lean Startup by Eric Ries

The Takeaway: Think big and start small. There is always a smaller version of the product you want — a version that will cost less to build and get you a launched version of your product much sooner.

✏️ Lesson 4: Your Business Goals == Your Product Goals (and they should be simple)

When you know you’ve got the right analytics for your company (via

The Takeaway: Core, simple metrics are good for your business. Those same metrics should define your product.

✏️ Lesson 5: Stick With Your Gut

Sometimes running a startup comes down to trusting the process (via

The Takeaway: Product building can feel foreign to those who haven’t done it before. Software development, product design, and product management are complicated, but necessary parts of many startups. You won’t be an expert, but can still apply much of the same approach.

👋 What Comes Next?

If you’re excited, so am I (via

🗺 Appendix



Product Builder | Digital Health | VP @ Guaranteed Health

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