How I Fix Broken Products For Struggling Startups

A common-sense guide to building your product based on your vision

Joe Procopio


Every startup’s product has its genesis in the primordial ooze that is the company’s vision, mission and product position.

Whenever I get called into a company because their growth got stuck, their vision, mission and position are the first place I go. I could make many and severe changes to the process, the org, the feature set, etc. but it’s all guessing until the high-level stuff gets straightened out.

This Is Straight Out Of My Product Playbook

Getting stuck in the growth phase happens a lot with startups, especially product startups. I found I was answering so many questions so often where the answers came straight from my product playbook, I eventually just documented that playbook in the most concise, common-sense and plain-English way I could.

Then I published it piece-by-piece in Teaching Startup, my startup to help founders build better startups, using Teaching Startup itself as an example in the playbook, because I built Teaching Startup on my own in my spare time using only no-code.

Founders loved the playbook. I have since given an overview as a talk at one startup’s annual meeting, and I’m using it with another startup I’m on the board of and another I’m advising.

So first, to be able to understand the example, you need to know what Teaching Startup is:

Teaching Startup provides access to actionable, insightful and honest startup advice for entrepreneurs at all experience levels, regardless of their connections or resources.

By the way, that’s not a sales pitch, that’s Teaching Startup’s mission statement, and it’s what guides me to build a product that helps other startups figure out how to build their own products.

So meta.

With that in mind, let’s start rethinking our product from the top. And I mean the very top.

Vision, Mission and Position Are Not Fluff

In product development, the hardest switch to flip is from the subjective hopes and goals of the…



Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building & GROWERS. Write at and More at