[Click here to listen to Ben discuss this idea in more detail on an episode of the Whole New Level podcast.]

Most companies, when asked, would say they are committed to a great customer experience. But what does that really mean? How does it influence daily decision-making and long-term strategy?

Those are the questions that we asked ourselves when we came up with the company goal of becoming an NPS Unicorn — a company with an NPS score higher than 90. …

Is email effective?

Lately, I’ve been talking with a number of people about the effectiveness of email. For what it’s worth, I’m a huge fan of it – when it’s used correctly.

I recently started using Superhuman as my go-to platform for writing, triaging and managing email communication. The experience is 10x better than any other platform, and the speed at which a person can process email is at least 5x faster.

Yesterday, a friend sent this article from The New Yorker, which is what inspired this post.

It’s not the first time I’ve read something like this, but it did get me…

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Well, it’s almost 2021.

Not gonna lie…2020 was a pretty good year. I know many people feel differently about the year and, if I’m being objective about it, COVID had detrimental effects on many people’s lives and businesses.

Others, however, strived and rode the tailwinds created from the pandemic.

Personally, I found the year was a great opportunity to dig deeper into the online relationships that I’ve built over the past 10+ years.

Being in lockdown made it feel like I was never really working – it was just something that I did throughout the course of a day, and…

The Five Factors model uses Velocity, Frequency, Volume, Value, and Margin to understand business performance.

Eric Yuan, founder of Zoom + Enzo Ferrari, founder of Ferrari

There are many models that exist for assessing businesses and startups. The world doesn’t need another one, but I do. Models and frameworks are shortcuts — heuristics, if you will — which allow people to better understand things about the world.

Popular Models & Frameworks

Some of the models which I think about regularly are:

Is it an effective way to control crime and degradation in cities?

The Broken Window Theory

“People [respond] to an environment that consists of other people responding to their environment, which consists of people responding to an environment of people’s responses.” — Thomas Schelling


What is the Broken Window Theory?

Probability — the simple concept that many people get wrong, time and time again.

Random Chance Outcomes

If a coin tossed, there are only two outcomes: Heads (H) or Tails (T). The probability of a coin landing on either H or T, when flipped, is exactly 50%, every time. And that doesn’t change.

If there is a streak of seven tosses in a row, and they all land on heads — (H–H–H–H–H–H–H) — the probability of the next toss landing on Tails is not any more likely than it is Heads. It’s still 50%.

That’s where people get things wrong. The probability in…

Common questions about Marketplaces

  • How do I create liquidity in a Marketplace?
  • How do I grow a Marketplace once there is initial traction?
  • Should I start by aggregating supply, or driving demand?
  • And the list goes on…

Well, the least helpful and most political answer is, “It depends”.

The type of Marketplace being built matters

The reason “it depends” how to get traction with a Marketplace, is because Marketplaces need to be broken down into the type of Marketplace that is being built, before recommendations can be made about how to get traction.

Sarah Tavel, Partner at Benchmark, has written some great material about the three stages of growing a Marketplace…

Some things in life require an immense amount of patience, and others don’t.

When patience is necessary

Patience pays off when you’re fishing. Patience is required when you’re teaching. Patience is a coveted skill when listening.

When patience is detrimental

Patience isn’t always great to posses in every job.

No one wants a patient ER Doctor — people want a Doctor who is highly experienced, calculated in their approach, and someone who acts urgently.

No one wants a casual Firefighter. People want someone who is careful and experienced in putting out dangerous fires (such as forrest fires), that require specialized skills to extinguish.

Startups require patience

With startups, the key is…

Why abrasion is important

It takes a saw to cut wood.

It takes sandpaper to smooth out the bodywork on a car.

Abrasion is necessary for progression, but this is counter-intuitive in the business world. When people are abrasive, we often see it as a negative quality. And it can be, if it’s used incorrectly or disrespectfully.

However, when used properly, abrasiveness can be used to make things better – much better.

Abrasiveness in the business world

Some of the world’s most successful business people have been notoriously abrasive and difficult to work with – at least from the lore that surrounds them.

Steve Jobs was abrasive. Bill Gates…

Often, I end up connecting with new startups that are launching and, occasionally, there will be someone who is interested in designing, manufacturing and distributing products.

With more than 20 years of experience in making mistakes in manufacturing and retail, I’m always happy to pass on thoughts about the things to consider.

The list below is not exhaustive. Rather, it highlights a number of things for people to think about before going deeper in the process of making a product.

Design considerations

  • What type of product are you designing?
  • Is it a hardgood, (chair) or softgood (jeans), or piece of hardware (iPhone)?

Ben Grynol

Head of Growth: Levels / Startup Team: SkipTheDishes / Co-founder: Thisten, Top & Derby / Host: Character Podcast / Rotman MBA

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