It’s always great to see startups hit their stride. I’m fortunate to know the founders of MailChimp and I’ve enjoyed seeing their rapid rise over the past decade. Another company that seems to be experiencing a similar rise is Snapchat.
Two years ago I heard this podcast on Product Hunt Radio. The two founders discussed how impressed they were with the product decisions being made at Snapchat. Their main point was that the Snapchat team wasn’t creating the most polished product, but they were creating a product that had a very unique experience that was very specific to this team.
They compared the Snapchat product to an amazing restaurant. Often your favorite restaurants aren't the most polished. What typically becomes your favorite restaurant is either one amazing thing that they do (eg a favorite dish) or a combination of a dozen things that makes for a very unique/amazing experience. And most of the time they do both!
Then a few days ago - two years after this podcast - I noticed this tweet exchange...
I don’t know the Snapchat founders, but I’m sensing some of the same things that I saw at MailChimp in the early days. The founders have a crystal clear product vision and have executed well for years to make it into a reality.
What comes out of that process is often confusing to onlookers, but it’s the culmination of a clear vision by the founders, a team that’s incredibly like-minded and good execution.
If you are a first-time startup founder, this might sound like generic Startup 101 advice. It’s anything but that.
If you want to create a product that’s truly loved, you have to have an authentic culture and product. This authentic playbook can never be copied and is the foundation of all great startups.
Side note: MailChimp is in Atlanta and Snapchat is in Los Angeles. We are entering an era where great startups can happen anywhere.
Get Right to the Lesson
I’d recommend listening to the entire thing, but to get right to the point go to minute 10:52 of this podcast.
Thanks to these folks for helping us all learn faster
Josh Miller (@joshm), Director of Product for The White House (@WhiteHouse)
Ryan Hoover (@rrhoover)
Erik Torenberg (@eriktorenberg)
Please let me and others know what you think about this topic
Email me privately at firstname.lastname@example.org or let's discuss publicly at @davempayne.