90 percent of startups fail. The single largest reason? Lack of product-market fit. So, are startups going in, burning their ships, and then willingly destroying their businesses? My thesis is this: you begin a startup because you've identified a problem no one else is seeing and one you have likely lived through. And know you can build a solution. When you begin, you realize venture funds are not interested in you, until you hit traction of thousands of users and there really is no support for you to go from zero to one, let alone thousands of users. So you do what you know, build what you can, get feedback, and keep going. Except at one point, the feedback keeps getting worse, you feel increasingly despondent and you're not sure what you need to to make it get better. 

Startup by Design is the process I've invented and validated with startups for this very moment. My session was amongst the top-rated sessions at Blackbox and the Women's Startup Lab consistently. At SAPPHIRE Ventures one startup called it the "most straight-forward and useful thing I've seen". Another said "it helps me add emotion to my product." It is designed specifically to get you from zero to one, one being product-market fit. Actually, the term product-market is misleading and a likely reason for miscalibration on your part. It's really product-moment fit. Your customer feels the need for your offering in a particular moment of helplessness. Find and meet that fully and you can ask the question: is this a market? 

As a startup you need to master four jobs when getting to One: designing key moments to insert your offering into the lives of your customers, designing feedback loops or the machinery behind the screens, designing your product across various form factors, and designing experiments to test your feature, product or market hypothesis. You can start with the one that most urgent to you and build up to the others. This is everything you know from Lean Startup and Google's Design Sprint with a focus on getting your experience right and creating psychological safety to learn from your failures. Get that right and you are unstoppable.

WHOM I love working with

  • Seed stage or early-stage accelerators and venture studios who care about empathy and design. This is harder to find than you might think. 

  • Early-stage to pre-Series A startups pursuing challenges that aim to repair the fabric of society in small and big ways.

Accelerators I've loved working with