You can't do that

A field-guide for building startups differently

You can't do that

Rediverge is a collection of stories and guides about building a different kind of life - and a big part of that, for me, has been building a different kind of company.

You can't do that is the book I wish I'd had when I started out. It's a collection of all the hard lessons learned over a 10 year journey to build a sustainable business. As with all things Rediverge, this is a work in progress. Rather than write something for years in isolation and then releasing it, I'm writing it live and you can follow along.

Comments and feedback are welcome!


I'm still working on the structure here, but it's broadly chronological. The sections are written according to the lifecycle of the business. The first chapters are about starting a business, the last chapter is about running a $3M/year company of just under 30 people, which is where we are now.

The order of the sections is in itself a story, one of where to focus at each stage, and the evolution of challenges as a company grows.

Part I — Idea

  1. Introduction
  2. Building on principle
  3. Growing an audience
  4. Finding an idea
  5. Telling your story
  6. Making a prototype
  7. Funding
  8. Defining your business model
  9. Launching

Part II — Company

  1. Co-founders
  2. Setting up a remote company
  3. Hiring team members 1-5
  4. Culture
  5. Compensation
  6. Management
  7. Retreats

Part III — Product

  1. Building a product roadmap
  2. Shaping
  3. Reference material
  4. Making technology decisions (leverage)
  5. Recognising what matters (and what doesn't)

Part IV — Growth

  1. Marketing
  2. Growth hacks & analytics
  3. Strategy
  4. Competition
  5. Hiring team members 6-15
  6. Process
  7. Finance
  8. The long, slow SaaS ramp of death (phases of growth)

Part V — Health

  1. Routine
  2. Burnout
  3. Developing a thick skin
  4. Creating boundaries

I'll be filling out these chapters week by week. Please excuse any raw/early edits!

There's more to this story

Sign in to view the members Q&A with John for this post, and get access to the full library of 49 members-only posts, with new updates every week!