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Postmortem of a Venture-backed Startup — Medium

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We get a lot of advice from people to increase the engagement of PandaWhale.

So this resonated with me:

Growth vs. Engagement

We received conflicting advice from lots of smart people about which is more important. We focused on engagement, which we improved by orders of magnitude. No one cared.

Lesson learned:

Growth is the only thing that matters if you are building a social network. Period. Engagement is great but you aren’t even going to get the meeting unless your top-line numbers reach a certain threshold (which is different for seed vs. series A vs. selling advertising).

Also, I like this quote:

“Focus is saying no to 1,000 good ideas.” — Steve Jobs

This quote is excellent, too:

“What we fight with is so small, and when we win, it makes us small. What we want is to be defeated, decisively, by successively greater things.” — Rainer Maria Rilke via Tim O’Reilly

this one spoke to me:

Be steady at the wheel. The only way one startup can kill another startup is by getting into the other’s head and leading them off a cliff.

If you don’t believe me, try this proof. Are your competitors releasing a bunch of the same features that you have on your roadmap? Yes? Do you know what consumers want*? No? Great, then neither do your competitors. Get back to figuring out what users want!

*Hint: If you did, you would already have traction.

Sometimes it takes a while to get traction.

Just because you don't have traction doesn't mean you won't get traction.

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