All posts in Startups


5 Common Legal Mistakes Startups Make (And How to Avoid Them)

The following is guest post from Nick Brown. Nick is a blogger and marketing expert, currently engaged on projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.

The world is full of ideas. Especially the business world, where rapidly growing competition has made innovation mandatory at any cost.

Your idea can be a real game-changer, but that doesn’t mean anything if you don’t know how to set it in motion in the right way. If you own a startup, you probably can’t wait to see it launch, and that’s completely natural.

But just remember all those space movies with close-ups of faces behind monitors drenched up in sweat – if you’re off by just a 10th of the degree, the deviation is multiplied by a hundred and you can say goodbye to your precious rocket.

In other words, launching a startup requires great precision.

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22 Business Mistakes You Have No Excuse for Making

Business Mistakes

Starting and running a business is hard enough without making the same business mistakes as everyone else.

After all, managing a team and keeping the business on track is hard enough without having to worry about running yourself into the ground through hiring too quickly, targeting a bad niche, or just plain overspending until the bank cracks.

That’s why we here at Process Street have scoured the advice of experts such as Paul Graham, Joel Gascoigne, and Sam Altman to highlight the business mistakes you should avoid, and how to do that without tearing your hair out.

Let’s get stuck in!

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Why Team Alignment Should Be Your Startup’s Holy Grail

The following is a guest post by Darren Chait, Co-Founder at Hugo. Hugo is the meeting note platform that keeps your team connected with what your customers are thinking and saying. It enables fast-moving teams to make meeting insights shareable and actionable in their existing tools.

As a startup guy, my world is full of buzzwords. We’re disrupting a space, have pivoted, got our minimum valuable product (MVP) out to our total addressable market (TAM) and even had a ‘.ai’ domain name. Undoubtedly, one of my ‘favorites’ is ‘team alignment’.

While team alignment is not a new concept and certainly not unique to fast-growing technology businesses, I’m fascinated with my peers’ obsession with this utopian concept. It’s understandable. Why wouldn’t you want your team moving forward in unison with precise coordination and execution? Why wouldn’t you listen when experts warn that misalignment kills startups?

In this guest post, I’ll share our story and perspective on team alignment and some easy-to-implement solutions to achieve this ideal state with your team.

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What is ASO? The App Optimization Strategy to Boost Your Downloads

what is aso app optimization new headerThe app market is booming and revenue is soaring.

According to TechCrunch, citing a report from AppAnnie:

Global app downloads topped 175 billion and consumer spending exceeded $86 billion in 2017, thanks to growth in emerging markets including China, India, Brazil and Russia…

One of the benefits of targeting this huge and growing market is that the Appstore and PlayStore are largely closed ecosystems. You can promote your apps directly to potential users in the one marketplace they are using to access apps.

The AppAnnie report also notes that app usage is up, with the average user spending 3 hours a day within apps on their phone. This means your app, once downloaded, is competing with the other apps on a user’s phone rather than countless other websites across the web.

So how do we get these downloads?

According to another report co-authored by AppAnnie and Adjust, titled The Complete Guide to Mobile App Marketing: App Store Optimisation, two thirds of all app downloads are organic. This means the app has been found in the store as a result of a user’s search, rather than being directed there by adverts on Facebook, Google, or elsewhere.

To harness these downloads and drive consistent traffic to your app, you need to have a strategy for app store optimization: ASO.

In this Process Street article, we’ll look at:

  • What is ASO?
  • How to build a process for keyword optimization
  • What are the best platforms to help you drive downloads?

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The 9 Best Organizational Tools to Bring Order to Chaos

Organizational Tools

Documented processes don’t just save you time, money, and give a consistent method for your team to follow. They make everything you do more reliable and efficient, even increasing project success rate by 70%.

Unfortunately, getting started is the hardest part. Whether you don’t feel like you have time to set up your management system or just don’t know what to use for your needs, it’s difficult to get over the initial learning curve.

That’s why I’m going to outline the 9 organizational tools you can use to get started right now.

From their pros and cons and best use guidelines to general tips on what to do with your organizational tools, this post will cover:

  • Process Street
  • Office 365 (Microsoft Word and Excel)
  • Trello
  • Airtable
  • Google Suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Drive)
  • Zapier
  • …and 4 process management techniques to get you started

It’s time to learn what organizational tools you need to manage your processes, and how to use them.

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53 Essential Business Metrics You Need to Be Tracking in 2018

business metrics

It’s impossible to run a successful business without taking the time to track your core business metrics.

If you don’t, then good luck knowing:

  • How much pure profit you’re earning
  • Where costs can be cut
  • Whether you’re selling enough
  • How much debt you have
  • Whether you’ll be bankrupt next quarter

Having said that, where do you start? There are so many metrics you could be tracking that it’s easy to get stuck tracking and recording everything rather than analyzing and acting on your data.

That’s why I’ve collected 53 core business metrics right here to get you started. Stop wasting time wondering what to track or flicking between 20 different posts going over five stats each – every metric here comes with a brief description and formula or method for easily tracking it.

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How to Start a Lean Process for Continuous Company Learning

The following is a guest post from Pascal van Opzeeland. Pascal is CMO of Userlike, software for website and messaging support. He and his team share tips about customer service and communication on the Userlike Blog.

In school, everyone looks forward to the day they can stop learning and start doing. But once inside hamster wheel of working life, many long back to the times in which they had the time to invest in their personal development.

At Userlike, we see this lack of time for personal learning as a serious challenge. The world is developing faster than ever, and the pace is only accelerating. To stay competitive, we need employees to keep up; to keep learning and stay up-to-date with their craft. Other benefits from  having a culture that stimulates continuous learning include:

  • Increased productivity
  • Attract and retain talent
  • The ability to grow leaders in-house and reward loyalty

The best employees have an innate desire to grow, but it’s hard to free up time when your daily tasks and duties mess up your schedule. Learning is one of those high importance – low urgency tasks that easily gets pushed aside.

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How to Analyze an Article: Don’t get Fooled by Terrible Advice


how to analyze and article don't get fooled by terrible advice headerThere’s a lot of advice on the internet. Some of it is good, some of it is terrible, and some sits in the gray area between.

Within the fields of tech and startups, a lot of what people do day to day is influenced by what they’ve learned online; I doubt many people reading this article learned in school how to effectively market a product over Instagram!

Sorting the good from the bad is a challenge we all face, and one we have to become better at as individuals and as a society.

Improving our ability to analyze information doesn’t just mean identifying fake news, though we will look briefly at it. It also means being able to take a second look at informative journalism and the reporting of research; the kind of information which you might use to inform big business decisions. We’ll look at:

  • The importance of recognizing the gray area in complex issues and reviewing the source text.
  • How media reporting of studies can often obscure the real points
  • Why certain models of investigation can have inherent flaws, and why you should be wary of that.

At the end I’ll follow up with the 10 step process you can use to improve your analysis. This process is pulled from the recommendations of Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, and Michael Shermer, and repurposed for your professional needs.

But first, let me tell you a little story…

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User Feedback: 3 Methods We Tested to Better Understand Our Users

I’ve written before about how we collect feedback on our marketing material and how that helps us write useful posts for our subscribers, but the other reason we gather user feedback focuses on expanding and improving the Process Street app.

With user feedback data, we can:

  • Choose which features to build based on the frequency they’re requested
  • Get data on bug reports which helps our engineering team build fixes
  • See the most common industries and use cases for our product, which guides our marketing in the right direction

Whether you’re in software or not, you still need to be gathering and processing feedback from everybody possible: leads, prospects, free users, and paying customers.

In this post, I’m going to outline the three methods you can use to gather feedback for your company. These are three methods we’ve used ourselves in the past as our business has evolved, so the complexity and usefulness of each method is higher than the last. Which method is right for you?

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How 4 Top Startups are Reinventing Organizational Structure

organizational structure headerWhen a city doubles in size, the productivity per person increases by 15%. When a company doubles in size, the opposite happens.

Companies like Zappos see this as a fundamental problem to solve. For them, the root lies in organizational structure.

With the opportunity to be dispersed remotely and to build complex products without factories and production lines, the tech industry is particularly able to pursue innovative approaches to structure, management, and organization.

Increased self-management, remote working, and task forces instead of departments, are all emerging trends which lend themselves to growing businesses.

Elon Musk talks about his businesses innovating the production process as much as the product. Mark Zuckerberg describes Facebook’s structures and organization as its biggest asset.

Ethan Bernstein, Assistant Professor of Leadership in Organizational Behavior at Harvard Business School, adds:

…[O]rganizations who are increasingly thinking about structure as an advantage and a form of making their employees more productive, will continue to evolve and innovate in this direction. And that’s something I think we’ll see across all organizations, regardless of whether they are trying to deliver “wow” to customers, or trying to do something very different.

So what are the competing philosophies which are driving these trends within the industry? Which companies have implemented the most extreme reorganizations and how have they dealt with the changes?

In this article we’ll look at:

  • Zappos: How they implemented Holacracy, with a why and how explanation.
  • Buffer: The steps they took to prioritize the individual within the company over management structures, with the challenges they faced and the lessons they learned.
  • Zapier: How they reflect these general shifts and why they chose not to dive in to extreme organizational innovation.
  • Basecamp: The marriage of many competing philosophies documented through their company handbook.
  • Process Street: The tool which helps you build the machine which builds the machine.

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