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Founder Fridays No. 29
Practical tips to help founders scale smartly.
Happy Friday. This week’s briefing is focused on building product. Enjoy!
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Simple Is Beautiful
Over the years, Craigslist has all but refused to modernize; its mobile app only came out in 2019 after nearly 25 years in business. So why is the site’s leadership so stubborn when it comes to changing? According to Craigslist founder Craig Newmark, “People want stuff that is simple and fast and gets the job done. People don't need fancy stuff. Sometimes you just want to get through the day.” As an engineer, Newmark thinks “simple is beautiful, functional is beautiful.” PC Mag (7 minutes)
Good Activation Rates
Increasing an activation rate is one of the highest-leverage growth levers across most products, and it’s often the single best way to increase your retention. But knowing what a good activation rate is, and how to improve it, can be tough. However, this global benchmarking survey includes 500 responses from readers sharing how they’ve learned to increase their activation rates. These were the eight most popular tactics: simpler onboarding UI/UX; reducing onboarding friction; emails and follow-up comms; optimizing copy; smarter top-of-funnel targeting; sales outreach; adding incentives; and showing value earlier. Lenny’s Newsletter (14 minutes)
Founder FAQ: What Is a Diversity Rider?
A diversity rider is a recently developed term that promotes diversity efforts to increase the representation of underrepresented minority groups in venture capital. If included in a term sheet, a diversity rider will typically require lead investors to seek diverse co-investors in their deals, including African American, Latinx, women, or LGBTQ+ individuals. A minimum of 10% or $100K of the total round should be allocated for such a co-investor. Westaway (4 minutes)
Startup Funding Guides
I’ve put together a series of guides to equip founders to excel at fundraising. These guides break down the deal term by term and give you negotiation tips so that you can speak to investors with confidence.
Move Fast. Don’t Break Things.
Hi! I’m Kyle. This newsletter is my passion project. When I’m not writing, I run a law firm that helps startups move fast without breaking things. Most founders want a trusted legal partner, but they hate surprise legal bills. At Westaway, we take care of your startup’s legal needs for a flat, monthly fee so you can control your costs and focus on scaling your business. If you’re interested, let’s jump on a call to see if you’re a good fit for the firm. Click here to schedule a 1-on-1 call with me.