Spread the word

Photo by lee Scott on Unsplash

Recently a young actress had an audition for an important role. Problem was, she was up against ‘a far better actress’ competing for the part.

Most of us find ourselves in that position. We want a chance. There’s just someone better.

Back in early 2013 when I was still testing early versions of my writing software, Draft, a user emailed to tell me he lost his writing.

Ugh. My system for auto-saving your writing still had a lot of trouble in non-perfect situations: older browsers, flakey internet connections, computer sleep, etc. He wasn’t happy, but was understanding as I helped rescue what I could.

Today, through a lot of work and code, Draft’s autosave system is (knock on wood) much more bullet proof.

But there have been many similar examples of that situation I was in. I had created writing software. It wasn’t the best writing software. But I was getting people to use it.


I had realized from years of creating businesses that most people work years building mediocre things, sometimes finally building something great, then trying (and often failing) to tell a lot of people about it.

When, they should have started with the end.

In 2011 when I was coming off a failed project at Y Combinator, I vowed to write at least one thing a week, sharing ideas, things I observed, my succcess and more often my mistakes. And my followers grew.

So, when I had early versions of Draft, they were the first people I’d tell, and occasionaly disappoint. But eventually, when Draft was ready for primetime, they were the ones who helped spread the word.

“It was between me and another girl who is a far better actress than I am, far better, but I had the followers, so I got the job.”

A group of followers she gained while we watched her play Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones.

Now, I’m no Sophie Turner. But if it’s so important for even a star like Sophie to build an audience to help propel her career, imagine how important it is for me.

P.S. You should follow me on YouTube: here, where I share more about how we run our business, do product design, market ourselves, and just get through life. Also if you’ve enjoyed this article, please help it spread by clicking the below.

And if you need a zero-learning-curve system to track leads and manage follow-ups you should try Highrise.