Why am I starting "Product Stories" newsletter?

TLDR: For myself

Long version:

“Product Stories” is my attempt to write about origin stories of some popular products and cover some of the less covered aspects of startup products like their metrics when they had just started, how long did it take to finally take off, how fast or slow were they in launching v1 of their product, initial target market and how they stumbled upon it, their failed experiments, etc.

I am a big fan of the book Founders at Work and podcast How I built this. I have always wished there was more origin stories kind of content for startups/products.

Lots of founder stories, not enough product stories

Some of my favorite books are origin stories of companies such as Nike, Uber, Reddit, Twitter, etc. While I like reading about the personal struggles of founders and how they overcame it, I have always found myself more engrossed in parts where the authors talk about the product and its origin story.

Lack of open metrics for popular products (especially early-stage metrics)

In my startup journey of the last 2 years, there have been lot of times when my cofounders and I would find ourselves asking questions like “wonder what DAU/MAU and time spent would be for Reddit in its first year” or “what would be daily creator percentage of Instagram in its initial days”. We would find some metrics here and there on some PR articles/interviews but never found a place meant just for this.

Unrealistic expectations are set by successful products

We see a lot of survivorship bias in the startup content these days. With every founder trying to project a healthy image of their startup, we end hearing only about the stories which ended in success. I want to hear about the failed experiments of those founders and why they didn’t work out.

Build a community of product historians

“Best product people are historians of their industry” - Jeff Morris Jr

I think it would be really cool to have a place where one can talk about their favorite anecdotes about a particular product. And I think it would be even cooler if I seeded that community. 😅

I get to complete my New Year resolution

It gives me an opportunity to fulfill my new year resolution of reading and writing more this year.


People

Amit Singh
Building social apps @Memer. Previously VC @Kae Capital . Also write at amitsingh.net