A successful framework distills the complex, and in that synthesis, gets to a timeless insight. That’s always my aspiration, to varying degrees of success.

Here’s a running list of frameworks I’ve written on a range of topics.

Recipes to build enduring, mass-market businesses:

  • 10x and Cheaper — What do Airbnb, Amazon, Netflix, Uber, and WhatsApp all have in common? They created a 10x better product and made it cheaper by recasting cost structures of incumbents.

Product / Strategy

  • Hierarchy of Engagement — How to build a consumer software product that endures.

Organizational / Hiring:

  • The Mitochondria in Startups — The mindset that makes a 10x employee in a startup. How to identify, retain, and reward these special individuals.

Measuring your business

  • The Four Stages of Using Data to Manage your Startup — I believe startups go through four phases of using data. First, you must ignore it and lean on user research and first principals. Then, you drown in data and have to figure out what matters. Next, data actually becomes necessary to make decisions, but beware relying on it entirely! And last, if you are lucky to get there, you have to consider the impact of things in your system.




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Sarah Tavel

native new yorker, SF-resident. general partner @benchmark. formerly product @Pinterest. originally blogging at