All notes below may be treated as taken verbatim from the blog other than my personal comments under AG.

The Congruent Square

Mindtickle has a top down motion / GTM, i.e., the co’s sales reps reach out to senior decision-makers (ICP or Ideal Customer Persona) in enterprises that could become potential customers. A top down motion needs a strong sales team. To get a strong sales team, the founder / CEO has to spend enough time on hiring a senior sales leader (or do it herself); post hiring she has to spend time ensuring understanding of the product and the problem amongst the sales leader (and eventually the sales team), set the right incentive structure to drive their efforts, and monitor the performance.

Postman on the other hand is a great example of bottom up motion, in that a developer in a small or a large co starts using it, and then eventually the entire co starts using it. Also sometimes referred to now as Product-Led Growth (PLG). A bottom up motion at the early stages doesnt need a sales team. Only after a certain point, when the product is seeing mass adoption in an org and you need to do an enterprise contract do you need to reach out to the CTO / CFO of the co, and given it may not be frequent, for a long time you can get away without a senior sales team.


Finally there was the huge downstream revenue potential in assessment, financing, college discovery etc.

Customer obsession - Everyone in the co is expected to share certain actions/output basis their conversation with tutors in whatsapp groups. The entire company runs on a few 100 WhatsApp groups:) (Meesho is another co that has a similar culture of talking to their resellers.)

The 3 Jobs of a Startup CEO

There are 3 core jobs of a founder-CEO in a Series A+ startup. They are prioritization, hiring and fundraising; in that order. if you set the priorities and ensure clear visibility of this across the org, then you dont necessarily need to get involved in decision-making at lower rungs. The team will use the priorities you have set to take the right decision. Now what should you prioritize? The following, in this order: first values, next opportunities and finally features aligned to values and opportunities. Hire and fundraise continuously. Netflix states this philosophy as ‘lead with context, not control’

How founders should think about product-market fit

To summarise, product-market fit has two phases, a product to problem fit, which results in the MVP or minimum viable product, and then the GTM (go-to-market) to market fit. Each of these phases has different asks of the founder. The first needs the founder to drive faster product iteration cycles to ensure that the product meets much of all customer needs or solves the problems the product was designed for. The second needs the founder to explore various paths to take the market to a wide segment of customers, so as to determine the least-energy or most cost-efficient path to scaling.