The Portable CTO
Startups · Technology · Leadership
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. As a startup, the common advice is to go narrow, and focus on a single offering or product. But, at some point, you have to expand, right?
"I think most new companies are too broad in their use cases or market segments or both when starting out. At the same time, many semi-successful ones stay too narrow." - Ev Williams
There's no right answer to this question, but it's worth thinking about. Have you run into a time where broadening your focus made sense? Let me hear about it.
I don't recommend buying individual stocks with your life savings, but if you've got a little extra cash and you want an excuse to learn about the stock market, Robinhood is the place to go. Use this link to get one free stock when you sign up!
"Employee turnover of anywhere from 15 to 58% is entirely compatible with fast-growing tech startups. This means that goTenna, with an average attrition rate of 32.5% over its seven years is typical of similarly-situated companies. It doesn’t mean it’s ideal, but it’s certainly not abnormal."
"Those who are love to tinker with their devices would love The Open Book. You can design customized enclosures such as wooden or 3D-printed cases made of plastic."
As with anything, being "20% good" at design will get you 80% of the way there. This article outlines some of the tools and tips I have picked up over the years that will make you a "20%" designer.
"While many of the arguments against PHP still stand today, there's also a bright side: you can write clean and maintainable, fast and reliable applications in PHP."
While I'm not big on writing formal business plans, sometimes it's helpful to write this stuff down.
"Userbase is the easiest way to add user accounts and user data persistence to your static site. All Userbase features are accessible through a very simple JavaScript SDK, directly from the browser. No backend necessary."
"Want to discover new ways to market your SaaS company? This guide covers 41+ different SaaS marketing strategies sectioned off by cost and impact."
"Due to the time required these small updates often fall by the wayside and over the years your projects can get painfully out of date. By employing a set of bots to do the heavy lifting for you, it's much easier to keep everything up to date."
Personal Updates
I've moved to a new work schedule where I'm off on Wednesday to stay home with my son and I work on Sunday instead. I've noticed that this has compressed my meetings on Monday and Tuesday, and gives me a huge block of focus time on Sunday (when nobody else is around).

I really like this as I still have hands-on product and engineering work to do, and having a whole day to focus on it makes me feel very in-flow.
Karl Hughes
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