Startups ...the good, the brave and the ugly

Did you ever wonder, how companies can live and thrive with a free product? There is no such thing as a free lunch. If you are not paying for the product - then chances are you are not the customer - you are the product!

But even when you are the customer, many companies don't treat you respectful. Although you are the person who pays the bills. Instead people focus on increasing revenue and margin. Tricks, hacks and "best practice" to make you buy things you didn't even know you want. It's not bad intentions, we all have done it. People are just convinced, this is what they have to do to be a pro.

The customer speaks, we listen

I believe that a successful company needs to get one thing right: Fulfilling a genuine need of their customers as good as possible. If you get this right, the rude world will forgive you for many other things. If you get it wrong, especially at the early stages, there's not much to save you.

I have recently read Company of one (affiliate link) from Paul Jarvis and it was quite an eye-opener for me.

Open Startups

Many startups (althoug by far not all..) embrace transparency and publish figures like monthly revenue online.

I found it really insightful to browse and read up on some on

baremetrics and postmake

Pat Wall drives it even one step further - on his starterstory . You get to read interviews with startup founders along with the numbers that those startups make - this really cost me quite some time ;)

Responsible Startups

Two companies that impressed me with their commitment to sustainable ecological development are

Seventh Generation and Patagonia . Seventh Generation measures their products on the impact to the seventh generation from now. Patagonia is commited to create very durable, high quality products. Both are showcases of customer-centric companies.

Helpful tools

At you can quickly create yourself an inbox that you use to subscribe to newsletters. Then you can subscribe to an atom-feed, to read the contents.

Remake is a very easy-to-use javascript framework, that makes it quick and fun to build small reactive webapps. It's very new but absolutely usable!

An even simpler approach to website building is sheet2site where you just generate your site out of a google spreadsheet - interesting!

Slite shares startup-bibles - a collection of tools, best practice, pitch decks and much more as they were developed at companies like amazon, basecamp and uber.

What do you think? Do you have any good links to share?