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Starting a side business, the future of the Satchel platform, and a request for good books for new founders

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Greetings all,

This week we get a unique look at the story behind Lead Honestly:

Starting a side business, validating a product idea, and managing people :: the Lead Honestly story with Shay Howe and Darby Frey

Lead Honestly is a web-based software platform designed to help managers have better one-on-one meetings with their direct reports. My guests Shay Howe and Darby Frey have a frank and open conversation about starting a side business, balancing family life and their day jobs, transitioning from builder to manager, validating their startup idea, holding to values when setting pricing, and advice for entrepreneurs.

Importantly, Shay and Darby are two of the people I respect most in the world when it comes to being “product people”; i.e. those with smart and relentless focus on the customer and the ability to translate that focus into a world-class (and Lean-Startup friendly) product and consumer experience.  


If you missed the announcement earlier this summer, I’m currently the lead developer behind a newsletter and online publishing platform called Satchel that we are incubating out of Prota Ventures. Satchel is deliberately aiming *not* to be a social network. Instead, the platform is encouraging multidisciplinary thought and conversation directly between creators and their audience. You can read the general overview/motivation of the project here, and I’m excited to be releasing new features on a regular basis with a great team.

For example, we recently released a drip campaign feature where authors can send a sequence of automated emails to people. Our first alpha tester is using it to send daily quotes to her audience, and you can imagine all sorts of welcome email sequences to people who subscribe to your newsletter and/or specific topic areas you write about, etc…

If you haven’t yet, go here to apply to become an alpha user on the platform.

Request: book recommendations for new founders?

If you have a minute, would you mind letting me know which books you would recommend for new founders starting their journey? I’m interested to discover resources beyond the classics (e.g. The Lean Startup, Zero to One, Built to Last, etc..).

I asked some teammates in a meeting today this question and they suggested the following:

What would you recommend?

Have a great rest of your week,