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#127:

I've been wanting to share these with you for a while, and may already have been doing that subtly too: "The List of Keys"
By working closely with startups and talking to founders every now and then, I've realized that there are certain keys that help you grow. By grow, not only do I mean that it helps you make progress and achieve scale, but it also helps you fight back and adapt and improvise during difficult situations.
So I'm penning down a few keys, which will be my newsletter subjects/topics for the next few weeks. I understand this might be a spoiler alert, but trust me, there will be far more interesting stories mentioned under these keys, so keep your eyes and ears open 😉

List of Keys:
  • Communication & Documentation
  • Persistence & Resilience
  • Research & Planning
  • Consistency & Quality
There are a few more but I thought a good way to start would be by clubbing my favorites together.
The unicorn game shared previously was tough and we have only two legends who made to our official Hall of Fame!

🏆 Hall of Famers:
All the investors reading this newsletter, now you know who is building the next unicorn. 😛
ज्ञान
Article cred: Akshay Bhansali
Sometimes in the economy, monolithic entities that serve many needs disintegrate into an ecosystem of single-purpose entities. When that happens, there’s a huge opportunity for startups.
Take, for example, Craigslist. Since its founding 25 years ago, Craigslist’s horizontal breadth, coupled with its shallow feature set and stagnant product, has presented rich opportunities for startups to carve off vertical-specific niches. This is illustrated by the now-iconic market map of vertical-specific marketplace startups aiming to unbundle Craigslist and build optimized experiences for certain categories, from Coursera for education to Airbnb for short-term accommodations.

Many articles have been written about Jeff Bezos’ famous “Two Pizza Rule” for productive meetings. When there are too many people at the meeting, the meeting will become less productive. Jeff’s remedy is never to have a meeting where two pizzas couldn’t feed the entire group. The concept makes sense but how many people are too many?
Andy Grove’s (former Chairman and CEO of Intel) guidance is no more than eight. In his book “High Output Management”, he devoted a whole chapter on how to make meetings productive. Rather than looking at meetings as a waste of time, he suggested we use the time spent in them as efficiently as possible. Even though his book was written back in 1983, a lot of it is still relevant today. In this edited extract from his book, I have put together the list of suggestions from Andy on how to make meetings productive. I hope you will find it useful too.
Much of the work done at Google, and in many organizations, is done collaboratively by teams. The team is the molecular unit where real production happens, where innovative ideas are conceived and tested, and where employees experience most of their work. But it’s also where interpersonal issues, ill-suited skill sets, and unclear group goals can hinder productivity and cause friction.
Following the success of Google’s Project Oxygen research where the People Analytics team studied what makes a great manager, Google researchers applied a similar method to discover the secrets of effective teams at Google. Code-named Project Aristotle - a tribute to Aristotle’s quote, "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts" (as the Google researchers believed employees can do more working together than alone) - the goal was to answer the question: “What makes a team effective at Google?”
Article cred: Sehaj Singh
If you had to guess Mino Raiola’s job from his appearance and clothing, you would say: small-town pizzeria waiter on his day off. In fact, Raiola grew up working in his family’s restaurant, and his service remains impeccable. From the moment we meet in his pied-à-terre beneath his parents’ flat, on a drab downtown avenue in the Dutch town of Haarlem, he tries to anticipate my every need. Where exactly would I like to sit? Can he get me an energy drink? Am I too hot with my jacket on? This chubby, bespectacled little Dutch-Italian is arguably the world’s most influential football agent. It’s no coincidence that Manchester United this summer signed three of his clients: Paul Pogba (for a world record transfer fee of £89.3m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Raiola’s select stable also includes Mario Balotelli, the great unfulfilled talent of the current generation. Like Raiola or hate him (as Sir Alex Ferguson does), he helps shape the transfer market. He is one of the major forces determining which players end up at which clubs.
Elsewhere
Startup classifieds, events and more..
  • Big things start small, Skillbee is looking for amazing backend engineers (nodeJS), apply here.
  • Catch Shishir Mehrotra, Co-Founder & CEO, Coda.io; sharing Lessons for Product Leaders in this exclusive chat - Friday, 21st August.
Quotable
“I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

– Thomas Edison
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