The Best of First Round
20+ most popular First Round articles, as voted by our community.
First round, first hires, first product, first customers — we’ve helped @NotionHQ, @Roblox, @Uber, @Square, and 300 others tackle these firsts and more.
New this Week
These are fresh off the press.
How to pull off the ‘zoom-in pivot,’ and other lessons in early-stage building
Kesava Kirupa Dinakaran is the co-founder and CEO of Luminai, an early-stage software startup that automates workflows by taking any multi-click process and making it one click. Formerly a world…
These are currently making the rounds on Refind.
The Silent Killer of Your Operating Practice: Fear
Amanda Schwartz Ramirez, former PayPal strategy leader and now COO advisor for startups, shares the 5 biggest fears that can derail your company's strategic planning sessions (and tactical advice for…
The Secret to an In Sync Startup? Ditch Your Meetings and Try an Asynchronous Culture
As the co-founder and CEO of Subscript, Sidharth Kakkar ditched all the company’s meetings and decided to make the startup’s culture completely asynchronous. He shares his playbook for moving away…
Lessons in Giving Away Your People
Seasoned startup operator Clarissa Shen offers a fresh perspective on Molly Graham’s ‘Give Away Your Legos’ framework by sharing her own tactics on how to proactively manage for high performers to…
«“I knew that to take on a manager role at the company, a strong command of data analysis was critical,” Shen says.»
Kubecost’s Path to Product-Market Fit
In this post in our “Paths to Product-Market Fit” series, Webb Brown sits down with First Round partner Todd Jackson to tell the story of how he and his co-founder validated the idea for Kubecost.
The Rounds' Path to Product-Market Fit
In this post in our “Paths to Product-Market Fit” series, The Rounds’ Alex Torrey sits down with First Round partner Todd Jackson to tell the story of how he came up with the idea for his eco-friendly…
First Round on Community Building
Product Hunt is Everywhere
Two years ago, Product Hunt didn't exist. Now it's the toast of the town. In this exclusive article, Found Ryan Hoover tracks its ascent.
First Round on CTO
The Best Advice We Overheard at First Round's CTO Unconference
Our second annual CTO Unconference brought together 160+ of the sharpest technical leaders we know. Here's a rundown of some of the best tactics we heard them share.
First Round on Decision Making
Make Product Decisions Without Doubt — My Lessons from Twitter and Slack
At Twitter and Slack, Paul Rosania built interfaces that millions use each day. Here, he dissects how he eliminated doubt from four high-stakes product decisions.
This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions
As CTO of Flatiron Health, Gil Shklarski has had to keep a rapidly-growing technical team aligned through many tough decisions. This is the framework that works every time.
First Round on Diversity
Eight Ways to Make Your D&I Efforts Less Talk and More Walk
It’s time to raise the bar for diversity & inclusion — and Aubrey Blanche has the playbook that can help startups couple caring deeply with acting quickly. Here, she shares eight strategies that have made a difference at Atlassian.
Here’s How to Wield Empathy and Data to Build an Inclusive Team
When it comes to diversity and inclusion, D&I leader Ciara Trinidad lets the data speak. When she left her last startup, the 125-person company was 59% women, its sales team had gender parity, and underrepresented minorities constituted the majority of its product team. Here she shares why a culture of data underpins a culture of inclusion — and how to do it.
First Round on Growth Marketing
4-Step Pricing Framework to Build Products With Scalable Unit Economics
Pricing pro Dee Sahni shares a highly customizable framework for tweaking your monetization and pricing model so that it scales with you, not against you as the company grows. She then applies the 4…
Figma’s Community-Led Growth Playbook: From Stealth to Enterprise
Claire Butler, Figma’s first business hire, walks us through the different phases of the company’s community-led growth model — from planting the seeds with power users in stealth mode all the way to…
First Round on Leadership
A Manager’s Guide to Helping Teams Face Down Uncertainty, Burnout and Perfectionism
Uncertainty, burnout and perfectionism are holding teams back — Liz Fosslien is here to share tactical advice (and her signature witty illustrations) on how managers can help.
«How does your workload feel right now? Is there anything I can take off your plate, help you delegate, or help you deprioritize?»
Radical Candor — The Surprising Secret to Being a Good Boss
Kim Scott cut her teeth as a manager at Apple and Google, and now helps create great leaders as an author and coach for companies like Twitter. Here's the secret that's made all the difference for her.
First Round on Networking
How to Become Insanely Well-Connected
Chris Fralic is a world-class super-connector. Here's how the long-time First Round Partner has methodically built bonds spanning years and careers.
First Round on Product Management
The Best Managers Don’t Fix, They Coach — Four Tools to Add to Your Toolkit
Anita Hossain Choudhry (The Grand, First Round) and Mindy Zhang (Dropbox, Oscar Health) draw on their experiences as executive coaches to unpack why managers fall into the “fixing” trap and make the…
«Empathetic listening means shifting from "What does this mean for me?" to "What's going on for this person?"»
8 Product Hurdles Every Founder Must Clear — This PM-Turned-Founder Shares His Playbooks
Repeat PM turned first-time founder Ryan Glasgow addresses the tough product questions every founder faces, from segmenting the market and iterating on early MVPs, to finding product/market fit and…
«You can't rely on your customers to figure out what to build. They can really only tell you what outcomes they're looking to achieve»
First Round on Product Market Fit
Binti’s Path to Product-Market Fit
In this post in our “Paths to Product-Market Fit” series, Binti’s co-founder and CEO Felicia Curcuru sits down with First Round partner Todd Jackson to tell the story of how her time spent shadowing…
Webflow’s Path to Product-Market Fit — Lessons on Creating a Market with Rigorous Customer Empathy
In this post in our “Paths to Product-Market Fit” series, Webflow’s Bryant Chou sits down with First Round partner Todd Jackson to tell the story of how he and his co-founders leaned into the power of…
First Round on Startups
The One Tool Startups Need to Brainstorm, Test and Win
At the heart of the Lean Startup movement, the Business Model Canvas can help early stage startups carve out a successful model.
An Exact Breakdown of How One CEO Spent His First Two Years
Sam Corcos, co-founder & CEO of Levels, tracked exactly how he spent the two years since founding the company for a rare inside look at being a startup leader.
«This article isn’t an optimistic or sanitized take on how I’d like to spend my time; it’s an unvarnished look at how I actually spent my time over the last two years.»
These are some all-time favorites with Refind users.
Stop Overcomplicating It: The Simple Guidebook to Upping Your Management Game
Russ Laraway wades through all of the competing opinions, complex frameworks and advice out there on how to be a better manager, creating a simple, data-backed leadership toolkit.
«The activities that make you successful as a manager look nothing like the activities that make you successful as an individual contributor.»
The Critical Startup Skills You Might Be Overlooking — And How to Bring Them Into Focus
We’ve combed the extensive Review archives for tactical guidance from some of the sharpest folks we know on how to get better at specific startup skills you’re probably discounting. Leaders like Annie…
Ditch Your To-Do List and Use These Docs To Make More Impact
After tackling startup challenges from Stripe Press to Figma Education, Brie Wolfson shares her personal collection of templates — the docs that she's used to stay focused on the work that matters and…
How Product Strategy Stalls in the Real World — 6 Common Failure Modes
Why does strategy tend to stall when the rubber hits the road? Nate Stewart, Chief Product Officer of Cockroach Labs, shares an essential guide for creating a resilient strategy that’s still standing…
The Design Leadership Playbook: How to Hire, Onboard & Manage a High-Impact Design Org
From the high-level perspective of what makes for a great design leader, to the tactical suggestions around the slide that needs to be in your portfolio presentation, Twilio & Segment's Hareem Mannan…
What is Refind?
Every day Refind picks the most relevant links from around the web for you. is one of more than 10k sources we monitor.
How does Refind curate?
It’s a mix of human and algorithmic curation, following a number of steps:
- We monitor 10k+ sources and 1k+ thought leaders on hundreds of topics—publications, blogs, news sites, newsletters, Substack, Medium, Twitter, etc.
- In addition, our users save links from around the web using our Save buttons and our extensions.
- Our algorithm processes 100k+ new links every day and uses external signals to find the most relevant ones, focusing on timeless pieces.
- Our community of active users gets the most relevant links every day, tailored to their interests. They provide feedback via implicit and explicit signals: open, read, listen, share, mark as read, read later, «More/less like this», etc.
- Our algorithm uses these internal signals to refine the selection.
- In addition, we have expert curators who manually curate niche topics.
The result: lists of the best and most useful articles on hundreds of topics.
How does Refind detect «timeless» pieces?
We focus on pieces with long shelf-lives—not news. We determine «timelessness» via a number of metrics, for example, the consumption pattern of links over time.
How many sources does Refind monitor?
We monitor 10k+ content sources on hundreds of topics—publications, blogs, news sites, newsletters, Substack, Medium, Twitter, etc.
Can I submit a link?
Indirectly, by using Refind and saving links from outside (e.g., via our extensions).
How can I report a problem?
When you’re logged-in, you can flag any link via the «More» (...) menu. You can also report problems via email to email@example.com
Who uses Refind?
200k+ smart people start their day with Refind. To learn something new. To get inspired. To move forward. Our apps have a 4.9/5 rating.
Is Refind free?
Yes, it’s free!
How can I sign up?
Head over to our homepage and sign up by email or with your Twitter or Google account.