2020 Year in Review – Issue 58

Most popular posts, tweets, and a reflection on the year

I started this newsletter a year and a half ago, as an experiment.

At the beginning of this year, six months into the experiment, I had 6,000 subscribers, a couple dozen posts, and no real plan for where all of this was going. I still thought I wanted to start a company, and this newsletter was still a distracting side-project. As the year progressed though, the picture became clearer.

Today, with nearly 45,000 subscribers, over ~3,000 paid subscribers, a Slack community of over 2,500 helpful-smart-driven people, and ~100 posts, I’ve never been clearer on what I should be doing: this.

To all of you who subscribe, share, ask questions, and share words of encouragement: THANK YOU. I could not be more grateful to you for allowing me to do this work 💖

Here’s what we accomplished this year:

  1. At least one post every single week of the year (64 in total)

  2. 700% YoY growth in subscribers, sitting somewhere in the top 15 most popular Substack newsletters

  3. Launched a paid plan, which went from zero to over 3,000 subscribers in ~6 months

  4. Launched the private Slack community, which continues to be one of my proudest achievements with this whole endeavor

  5. Added a second weekly email, which highlights the best advice from the community itself, curated by Kiyani

What you can expect in the coming year:

  1. More in-depth deep dives, including a “grand unified theory of growth”

  2. A live online course for new product managers

  3. A personally curated guide of the best resources for anything product, growth, startups, working with humans, or anything else that stresses you out at the office

  4. More investment in the community, including a regular cadence of fireside chats with the most interesting people in growth, product, and startups

  5. And generally, more of the same: actionable and concrete advice delivered to you weekly

I can’t wait to get started.

To leave you with something concretely valuable this week, I’ve collected the most popular posts (and tweets) from this year, along with a fun bonus. Enjoy, and see you in 2021!

Most popular posts this year


  1. How the biggest consumer apps got their first 1,000 users

  2. How today's fastest-growing B2B businesses found their first 10 customers

  3. What is good retention

  4. Strategy and tactics for increasing conversion

  5. Magical growth loops

Product Management

  1. My favorite product management templates

  2. A comprehensive survey of Product Management

  3. Getting better at product strategy

  4. Flywheels, flywheels, flywheels

  5. Managing up

Building a company

  1. How to price your SaaS product

  2. A playbook for fundraising

  3. What it feels like when you've found product-market fit

  4. How to know if you've got product-market fit

  5. The Transition: Layering sales onto a bottom-up self-serve product

Most popular tweets this year

Bonus: My favorite mother-in-law’s takeaways

For those of you who don't follow me on Twitter and have no idea what I’m talking about, I gave my mother-in-law a free subscription to my newsletter, and ever since she’s replied to every single issue with her insightful and heart-warming takeaways. Here are some of my favorites:

Thank you again so much for your support, and see you next year ✨

🔥 Job opportunities

✨ Sponsored job of the week: Product Manager at UserLeap ✨

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  4. Engineering managerCerebral

  5. Frontend engineerLevelsPracticeTome

  6. Backend engineerCodaTransform

  7. Fullstack engineer: CascadeCenteredIcebreakerIggyPrimerRunwaySnackpass

  8. iOS engineerPairplayPrimerStytch

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Lenny 👋