Prioritizing as a Solo Founder: Lessons from Adora Cheung’s Talk

Aug 22, 2023 by manish

As I am learning how I should be prioritizing my time as a solo founder, I came across Adora Cheung’s video on this topic. (h/t Sean Burke)

This video (link in the comments) is an excellent resource for founders of the early stage startups. Here are a few key insights I gained from her talk (that are still a work in progress for me):

🎯 Distinguishing Real vs. Fake Progress:

Focus on tasks that contribute to real startup progress, directly impacting our primary KPI (Key Performance Indicator), such as revenue or active users. Avoid low-value tasks that only offer the illusion of progress.

💬 Focusing on Talking to Users and Iterating on Product:

Two core areas to concentrate on are talking to users and building/iterating the product. These tasks have a direct impact on understanding customer needs, and driving revenue.

📝 Importance of Consistent Weekly Updates:

Regularly sharing honest and consistent weekly updates allows us to track progress, learn from experiences, and fine-tune our task prioritization skills.

⏰ Implementing the Maker’s / Manager’s Schedule:

Minimize context switching and improve productivity by adopting the Maker’s Schedule; Manager’s Schedule. Dedicate specific blocks of time for tasks like coding and meetings/talking to users.

🚀 Embracing Fast Decision-Making and Learning:

Speed is essential for startups. Making decisions thoughtfully and quickly enables faster learning and adaptation.

📝 Keeping a Task List and Avoiding Low-Value Work:

Maintain a task list and be vigilant about excluding tasks that do not contribute to our primary KPI. Resist the temptation to engage in activities like attending conferences or optimizing irrelevant metrics.

📖 Journaling for Self-Awareness and Improvement:

Regularly journaling our daily activities helps identify and eliminate low-value work that may sneak into our schedules. This helps with better time allocation.

🎢 Striving for High-Impact, Low-Complexity Tasks:

Optimize productivity by tackling high-impact tasks with low complexity first. Choose tasks that can be completed quickly and significantly impact our primary KPI.