AMA 2: All Turtles CEO Phil Libin answers questions from founders: should early-stage founders prioritize data or instincts, building global products, ML risks, thoughts on remote work





about this episode

All Turtles CEO Phil Libin answers questions from founders: should early-stage founders prioritize data or instincts, building global products, ML risks, thoughts on remote work

Join the TWiST Slack:

Mentioned during the AMA:

Phil’s First appearance on TWiST:

Phil presents his state machine that answers all growth questions:

All Turtles Product Taxonomy podcast:


1:03 Knyck: In your state machine model, how early should companies prioritize looking into resurrection, lines 5&9, of inactive users into low and high-value users?
2:36 David: Thoughts on Notion? I’ve been an Evernote user since ’08 but Notion seems to be winning over some Evernote fans.
3:11 Tom: 1) As CEO, what brings you the most joy as a CEO, any examples? 2) As a Software Engineer, what was one of the most difficult things you had to overcome?
3) What’s one thing early founders don’t think is as important as it really is? (Besides culture)
9:54 Graham: During the early days (pre-product market fit), do you think that more metrics are always better for founders, or would you recommend focusing on those north star metrics that can keep founders focused on the most important business levers?
12:32 Craig: How have any setbacks or failures in the past changed the way you approached problems or roadblocks. What changes will you make after COVID?
17:04 Andrii: How would you compare Notion vs Roam research vs Evernote? What are some strong and weak features of each platform?
18:26 Jeff: Have you completed your goal yet of 1 pull up?
19:36 Sina: As you said: “Many companies focus on just one market and build up from there” but you guys invest in a global presence early on in the process and tried to have users from the Asia Pacific regions from the early days. How did you guys manage to do that? Was it only marketing campaigns or did you guys have strategic partners in that region?
23:31 Tatiana: Do you consider in this matter taking some mentoring as a real addressed help? If so, I would like to take this opportunity to apply for your mentoring, if possible. What will be the best way to contact you and introduce myself?
24:39 Luke: Which products being developed at All Turtles are you most excited about?
27:59 Presh: What’s your framework for deciding which products/problems you’d like to focus on/solve at All Turtles?
30:47 Catharine: Aside from changing how you eat, what are the other two things you’ve done that have transformed your life?
32:53 Jason: Can you talk about your massive weight loss and how that did/didn’t impact you as a founder/leader? Do you think you were perceived differently based on your weight as a founder/leader?
38:02 Alex: We’re building a real-time platform called answerable and we’re wondering at what critical tipping point a platform has enough data to really derive good insights?
40:49 Alex: What would you suggest for a very regulated company (SEC) where user testimonials + referrals are either straight up not allowed or require super fine inspection to avoid being sued?
42:12 Juan Juan: I remember your story when you were planning to close down Evernote then an Angel came to your rescue writing a check that gave you the runway to success. How did that happen and what were you feeling at that time?
44:04 Vitaly: How do you estimate tech risks while investing/building a ML product?
47:08 Tammy: Will remote work actually be permanent?
48:51 Vince: After scaling Evernote and then working as a VC, I’d assume you’d advise many companies not to go the VC funding route, did you raise money for ‘AT’ or did you bootstrap and when would you advise in either direction?
53:26 Charles: The fist browser plugin I ever installed was Evernote. It made me nervous. Was there friction for others?
54:42 Stef: In the aftermath of the current sanitary crisis, I wonder what is going to become the norm: companies looking to exclusively hire local folks to create stronger bonds (and minimize carbon footprints) OR distributed companies with employees all across the country/world. What’s your take?

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