I believe asynchronous working practices dramatically improve productivity and benefit the personal lives of team members, but most teams and companies pay far too little attention to it.

The pandemic has prompted a surge in distributed work but the real productivity benefits are driven when adopting an asynchronous approach. Many distributed work thought leaders share this sentiment — just read the blog posts or websites of Buffer, Gitlab or Zapier. As Sahil, the founder of Gumroad tweeted “Going fully remote was nice, but the real benefit was in going fully asynchronous”.

Asynchronous (or async for short) communication is not real-time…

The COVID pandemic forced us to replace our in-person offsite retreat with a virtual retreat. Here’s what I learnt.

In 2016 we decided to make Whisk a 100% distributed company. Instead of having everyone in an office our team can work from anywhere in the world. Today we have over 100 team members located in the US, Europe, Korea, Russia and many other countries, spanning -8 GMT to +8 GMT time zones. Each year we hold a week-long annual company offsite which we call the “company retreat”. Previous locations were Budapest (2016), Prague (2016), Madrid (2017), Lisbon (2018) and Florence…

I’ll be experimenting with working remotely for the next 3–4 months — working from co-working spaces in Australia, Japan, Vietnam and India. This blog post is about why.

Over the last 24 months our team has organically moved towards a more and more globally distributed team. It wasn’t deliberate at first but has now become part of who we are as a team.

There are a few drivers for this change:

Step 1: Hire remote talent

We found super-talented people who wanted to join our team who were however located outside our home city of Birmingham UK. We decided to…

Something that has fascinated me since starting to build companies is how certain companies do extremely well very quickly, while others fail slowly. Particularly fascinating is how some of the most successful companies are not really building anything ground-breakingly new. We should all strive to succeed with more certainty

There’s definitely a popular belief that running a tech startup is cheap, without too much consequence if you fail. The reality is quite different. Many idolise founders like Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk — especially within entrepreneurial circles. Stories of the struggles of entrepreneurs putting themselves in big personal debt and…

Looking to pitch your business to new investors? There are lists for that. These will save you some serious time.

1. Crowd-sourced Investor List

An amazing list by people involved in Techstars, made viral on twitter, then filled out by loads of people in London. This one has sheets between Company Builders, VCs, Loans, Angel Groups, Angels, Crowdfunding and Accelerators.

URL: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10S7_jBpRoWuNMnOYpkjFJArt76dPhFw0tIR7E_ndgnk/edit#gid=221563747

2. TechStars Berlin List

The team over at TechStars Berlin made this list of the European technology investment scene. Nice map and data.

URL: http://tech.eu/brief/map-list-startup-investors-in-europe/

Google doc spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1neWbVEVm5nefBMw4xrx9eQLP4YTcfGf2OVulL0QrZRE/edit#gid=314426684

Other sites worth mentioning here:

1. AngelList — https://angel.co/

2. CrunchBase — https://www.crunchbase.com/

When explaining your business to potential investors you’re probably being asked for a pitch deck for review. Crafting one that communicates the vision well in the average 3 minutes and 44 seconds that investors spend on your deck can often take more than a few weeks! I’ve certainly made hundreds of improvements to my decks as I have received more and more feedback.

I’ve gone through this process many times, and along with feedback from trusted advisors, I have found the wealth of resources available online really useful. I wanted to share what I’ve found. …

Most successful people recognise the importance of self improvement. Especially when starting out, it can be hard to know what content to learn in order to prepare yourself to run a startup. Personally I find that going through this content again while running a startup is very useful also.

This post includes some of the most useful content I’ve come across, but I’m always on the look out for more. I’ll update this post as I find/remember more worthwhile content. If you know of something I’ve missed that you think should be on this list, please do let me know.

Online courses

The discussion often arises between company founders around the questions “when shall I start marketing hard?” or “how much shall I spend on marketing?”

In the early days, investors and friends often asked why we didn’t do more heavy marketing but my gut instinct always told me to hold off. I’ve since come up with a much more structured conclusion as to when larger budgets for marketing make sense.

Large marketing budgets only makes sense when Product Market fit has been achieved

In his presentation titled “Zero to Product Market fit”, Andrew Chen talks about the post Product Market Fit…

Unless you’re lucky, it takes a lot more time than you and maybe your investors first think in order to get a tech startup to become highly successful and begin on the path of hockey-stick growth. When you leave behind the opportunity of a highly paid job you’ll get both family and friends, however much they love you, question your decision. …

I find the concept that learning and achievements compound very motivating, and thought it was worth writing a short post on it.

“If others would think as hard as I did, they would get similar results”

Isaac Newton

Consider this (unrealistic) equation for a moment. If you improve by 1% every day, after one year you’ll be 37.8 times better.

It’s not all entirely fictional though. Famous mathematician and computer scientist Richard Hamming said “Given two people of approximately the same ability and one person who works ten percent more than the other, the latter will more than twice out-produce…

Nick Holzherr

CEO of Whisk.com, acquired by Samsung.

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