Writing a startup manifesto

This week, we discuss how and when to write a manifesto for your startup. What are the reasons to write one, who should the audience be, and what can you do with a manifesto once it's written?

First off, sorry about the terrible audio this week. This is probably related to the fact that Tyler is recording from his apartment instead of his office due to COVID-19. We'll get this figured out before next week.

Here are some takeaways from this episode:
  • There are three possible audiences for a startup manifesto: customers, founders, and employees
  • The customer-facing version is very different from the founder/employee version because it should focus more on the problem that your company is trying to solve. Write that type of manifesto can be a great way to get people interested in your company before you have a product. It's mostly a marketing play.
  • The founder version is mostly useful as a way of keeping you focused on your core values which makes it easier to make decisions. It is especially helpful for knowing what not to do.
  • When you hire your first employee, that's probably a good time to take an informal founder version and write it up in more detail so that you can share your vision with employees.
  • Because Rick isn't primarily focused on marketing or internal culture right now, he's going to wait to spend time on a manifesto. Instead, he's going to write a press release about what his product might look like in a few months. This will help unblock his product work, but it's not really the same as writing a manifesto.

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© Rick Lindquist and Tyler King