Playbook

Every business has a Playbook that builds off this template. All of our businesses have two goals: ROIC and Revenue Growth. A business does a set of tasks repeatably leading to a ROIC. This document lists the set of processes and the associated tasks that can increase this. The Playbook for each business should be a max of 10 pages and the team should be a max of 10. If a playbook becomes too big it may be time to split the company. A company should do one thing well with three features.

This Playbook is based on a few specifics that are unique to it. We are focused on hyper-specific vertical markets meaning each business is a Job to be Done for different customer segments.

  • PR/FAQ
    • Press Release
    • FAQ
    • 7 Powers
  • Single Threaded Team
  • Flywheel
    • Finance
    • People
    • Product
    • Marketing
    • Sales

PR/FAQ

Press Release

Every time a new feature or product was proposed, [Jeff Bezos] decreed that the narrative should take the shape of a mock press release. The goal was to get employees to distill a pitch into its purest essence, to start from something the customer might see—the public announcement—and work backward. Bezos didn’t believe anyone could make a good decision about a feature or a product without knowing precisely how it would be communicated to the world—and what the hallowed customer would make of it.

Everything Store

Every company should start as a press release. A press release is a mission statement written from a customer standpoint. It forces the problem to be explained and addresses the goal of the mission from the point of view of
the Customer First. We use this to then solve the rest of the problems of
delivering to the customer, but a press release defines the first step of why
the customer needs this and why we are doing the product or service.

The template for a press release looks like the following:

[Title]
[Product and who the customer is]
[City, State]–[Intended Launch Date] ****– [Intro paragraph]
[Problem]
[Solution]
[Quote by leader in your company]
[How the product/service works]
[Quote by a customer of the product/service]
To learn more, go to [URL].

It should be clear and solve a singular problem well. It shouldn’t be divergent
ideas, and if they are they should be separate ideas. The goal is to clarify
what we are building.

Every company should start as a press release. A press release is a mission
statement written from a customer standpoint. It forces the problem to be
explained and addresses thegoal of the mission from the point of view of the
Customer First. We use this to then solve the rest of the problems of
delivering to the customer, but a press release defines the first step of why
the customer needs this and why we are doing the product or service.

FAQ

Answer from the customer standpoint.

7 Powers

Single Threaded Team

Organization

Director

Leads

A lead runs a miniature company. They are responsible for getting specific tasks accomplished. This leads to the outcome that a Lead is focused on

Operators

Operators are our workers. They are a gig workforce either: consultants or agencies. They are hired to the high bar of YerraCo based on our principles. The Leads oversee the use of Operators to get the job done.

Positions

Role

Responsibilities

Ownership

Flywheel

The primary objective of a company is the time from order to collecting cash while removing any non-value adding tasks to deliver the order.

Taiichi Ohno

Be fearful when others are greedy and be greedy when others are fearful.

Warren Buffet

We are in the early days of computing and zero-carbon clean energy and making both more easily accessible will result in a profound positive change for humanity.

Ventures builds and invests in various businesses. Our investment strategy has the following criteria:

  • Long Term. Invest in assets that have a fair present value that will do well in 5-10 years.
  • Debt-free. Invest using cash on hand and reduce the use of leverage. We use debt if it is beneficial to get it at a low interest rate and pay it off fast. Using debt for growth creates bad habits.
  • Poker. Play the game when the odds are in our favor and stop when they aren’t. Not every hand needs to be played.
  • 80/20. Most opportunities will be losers, only a small portion will be winners. We get better at sorting out losers.
  • Technology. Leverage technology to make decisions quickly and test hypotheses.

Ventures builds hyper-specific niche businesses. They are easy to run and operationalize. The approach is fire, aim, ready. Experiment fast, see what sticks, and iterate to a more planned approach.

  1. Write a Press Release describing the product where customer does a max of three steps to get to an outcome. Ex, the customer goes to s3out.com, they enter their s3 bucket and cloudflare r3 bucket information, they pay and their files are transferred.
  2. Build a hyper low fidelity product. It should be Cloudflare Pages and just use Notion and Airtable as backends. Use Gumroad, Stripe or Shopify Buy Button. No fucks should be given for good engineering.
  3. Launch with small amount of ads targeting that niche.
  4. See if there are any takers or build an experiment and iterate this cycle.

Investments does the following:

  • Taxes. Pay taxes for the entire company so we are in compliance with the law.
  • Cash. Manage cash needs for the businesses including getting access to capital when needed.
  • Stocks. Invest in public and private equities.
  • Crypto. Minor investments in crypto to understand its evolution.
  • Build. Build new ventures.
  • Buy. Build entire businesses.

Our criteria for investments are simple:

  • They are an adjacent capability to ours, we understand the business.
  • They have a competitive moat.
  • They have amazing management teams.
  • They have a strong Return on Invested Capital and the other core metrics we track.

Finance

Our financial KPIs are simple we are just looking at revenue growth and return on invested capital.

People

Cadence is a six week cycle. The first four weeks are focused project work, the last two are a cool down period relaxing and planing for the next period. Every December is a cool down period where we spend time with family and reflect on the year.

While we have a generate long term plan we do not do quarterly or yearly planning. Every iteration we reorient our long term plan.

Four WeeksBuild & LaunchFocused. Working on a piece of the elephant.Focused execution on what we have defined as part of the Iteration.
Two WeeksPlan & Cool DownDiffused Step back and look at the whole elephant.Diffused big picture thinking, bug bashes, and learning.

Breaking down tasks into chunks of one hour or less.
Figuring out long terms projects to accomplish for customers.

Designing and planning which ventures to work on and build scaffold for them.

Hire the appropriate people needed to accomplish the tasks we need.

Weekly

On a weekly basis do a review with the following questions:

  • What three things went well last week?
  • What three things didn’t go well last week?
  • What is blocking progress on the Iteration?

In addition to this we should go over a:

  • Trigger List
  • Customer Need List

1:1

“If you were to quit what would your reason be?”

Run a 1:1 Project Template to go through 1:1s, Hiring and Onboarding. This will cover all aspects of what people need to be onboarded with.

Note: Let them talk, they own the agenda.

  • On a scale of 1 to 5 how do you feel about your work?
  • On a scale of 1 to 5 how do you feel about working for <company> ?
  • Why do you feel that way
  • What one thing would make you happier?
  • What could be eliminated?
  • What is holding you back from accomplishing what you need?
  • What is your time commitment?
  • What feedback do you have for me?
  • Are you growing on your projected career path? How can I get you there?

Daily

Health

Email & Todos

Meetings

Meetings are there to find and discuss problems not to mull successes.

Features & Bugs

We need to create postmortems whenever something goes wrong. This can be when a sale we thought should go through doesn’t go through, a system failure on our customer end, a system going amiss. This is important because we need to understand what went wrong and how we can fix it in the future and learn from them.

Not every bug needs to be fixed immediately. Things can usually wait till the next iteration if they are not severe. The goal is that major bugs stop happening within 6 weeks. If they continue happening the planning is not catching for these issues. The way these issue arise is to demarcate every bug that has arisen even if they are duplicates and plan them as a single unit during planning.

Template:

  • Root cause identification: Ask Why five times.
  • Quick Solution: What was the quick solution we tried?
  • Long-Term Solution: What are the long-term changes we need to make to prevent this?

Retrospectives

• We planned for this to happen.

• It happened like this

• We expected to happen like this

• We are doing the following projects, follow ups and tasks.

Retrospectives provide critical thinking needed to make hard decisions. Hard decisions need even more diving into than shallow thinking. It requires asking the 5 Ws and How.

Retrospectives allow us to make better decisions because it allows us to critically think through hard problems that need to be made. Certain retrospectives can happen on a daily basis that involve deep diving into certain topics that are of interest to you. Others need to happens after Sprints, others need to happen when Stories failed. We need to analyze why something failed. And other need to happen every quarter and every month.

We need to think through the hard stuff and the good stuff and the bad stuff.

• Financial Siruation

• Economic and Industrial Situation

• Anything else that needs critical thinking

Migrate all of this into a task for review and execution. In a sense

Celebrations

Off-Sites

Every business needs an optimal set of people that fit with its comparative
advantage. This team should each have the capabilities to execute the strategy
and flywheel and are completely focused on this task.

Roles, Responsibility, Outcome

Training

Product

A business does one thing well, with the appropriate people to run it, and technology to support them. It should be incubated using existing internal infrastructure to find product-market fit and then divested to be run independently as fast as possible with its own leader and PnL.

Going from incubation to divesting has a few benefits the first being that we can use the existing infrastructure and capabilities and not have to start from scratch. The second is that when we find someone we can completely divest the company after a certain amount of revenue.

1. Incubate the project internally and build a prototype, use existing resources.

2. Setup a separate Stripe / Bank account.

3. Market and find traction.

4. Find and

Find a Single Threaded Leader

• Have them invoice me for work.

• They are paid through the profits.

• Once paid they are 

Divest

• Once we have built a process and can execute repeatably we split it into its own company.

Marketing

Sales

Sourcing

Every product

Prospecting

Closing

Challenger Sale

Partners

Figure out people to partner with. Work with them to get the task done together.

Competitors

Figure out who the competitors are and how what they are doing fulfills what you are trying to achieve. Then figure out what features could be competitive advantage for you as well. Should do this every so often.