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The Turing Fest Newsletter #9 – 10th March 2023

March 10, 2023

Hey Gang 👋

A few months ago at an event in his hometown of Boston, I met HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah. He seemed to be genuinely a delightful man, and two things struck me about him right away; one was his humility – the man is a self-made billionaire, but you’d never know it – and the other was his curiosity. He is interested in information, in people, in the new, in learning, and in building.

So it is perhaps no surprise that he and his team have been early adopters of ChatGPT, incorporating it in an emerging “smart CRM” product they are trying to build. In our Bonus link this week, Dharmesh walks us through the process of what they are doing – as well as how, and why – with an excellent demo. As we’re surely going to see an explosion of similar use cases very soon, it is instructive to see the thinking in action of the technical leader of one of the defining B2B products of the past decade.

For our Build link, we might be getting into controversial territory with the bold declaration that “the combination of Agile principles and Scrum practices is disastrous for startups”. Not content with destroying those false idols, our fearless author contends that MVPs are also a terrible idea. Yikes!

Like many people I know, for a long time I’ve found working from coffee shops more productive than being in a quiet office. I never knew why until I came across the concept of “body doubling”. It is a fascinating idea in and of itself – but now some remote workers are taking it to the next level, as our Lead link explores.

Given it was International Women’s Day yesterday (it’s worth checking out our latest blog post, BTW), it feels apt that our Grow link this week celebrates the successes of first-time CMO, Alice De Courcy and her team at Cognism. With an undeniably impressive run of achievements, it’s a useful guide for growth folks, from newbies to veterans.

📚 [BUILD] The age of Agile must end

In a passionate – and, perhaps, controversial – blog post, design leader Michael Burnett implores us all to ditch Agile, and all of its rites and rituals (SCRUM, sprints, MVPs), from software development. Frankly, he makes a pretty compelling case.

📖 Read the full article here

[Michael Burnett, Medium]

📖 [GROW] Diary of a first-time CMO

Over the last four years, Alice De Courcy, has helped scale sales intelligence platform Cognsim from $3m to $50m ARR, building a team from 3 to 39, and leading the shift from being a classic lead gen function to a demand gen engine. Impressive! And now, having reflected on her journey, she’s put pen to paper – and voice to mic – to share everything that she’s learned along the way.

Lots of useful lessons here, particularly given that it is such a recent account.

📖 🎧 Read or listen to it here

[Alice De Courcy, Cognism]

📚 [LEAD] Remote workers are adopting ‘body doubling,’ in which they watch strangers work online

For most of us, remote and WFH are now firmly part of our lives, and perhaps always will be. There are myriad benefits, of course, but it is not all plain sailing. Isolation and loneliness are real issues and, for people with ADHD, WFH presents challenges around focus. But, of course, hope can be found online. To paraphrase Homer Simpson (when talking about beer!): “the internet – the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems”.

📖 Read the full article here

[Chloe Berger, Fortune]

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🎥 [BONUS] Say hi to ChatSpot.ai

Inevitably, we’re going to see emerging Large Learning Models (LLM) like ChatGPT getting incorporated into existing products and workflows everywhere – and before long we’ll have new ones that weren’t previously possible. Here is HubSpot’s co-founder walking us through their first step to building a “smart CRM”.

🎥 [ARCHIVE – TF21] Bethan Vincent – How to build your first marketing team

Agency or in-house? Senior or junior? Generalist or specialist? Siloed or cross-functional? Building your first marketing/growth team or expanding a single-person department can be a daunting proposition for start-ups and scale-ups.

Especially if they lack existing marketing leadership. In this talk, Bethan will talk through the decisions required to create a high-performing marketing team and walk through how to hire the right people, set-up consistent processes and build the right skills to ensure sustained growth.

During their 2021 talk, Bethan gave practical examples of how different organisations optimised and organised their team structures and provide actionable tactics that you can use to start building your marketing capacity from the moment you leave the auditorium.

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