Aakash Gupta Profile picture
Jul 6 2 tweets 3 min read Read on X
Of all the PLG companies I'm tracking, Notion is the hottest. It's disrupting the $16.6B docs market long dominated by Google and Microsoft.

Word on the street is its AI product is already well north of $100M ARR. And it's all powered by a textbook case of product-led growth.

Let's break it down.

Layer 1: Core Problem Communication

Notion's illustration style is iconic. All their executives use it for their profile pics. And it's everywhere in their marketing. You immediately understand this is a brand that pays attention to design.

The other major lever of Notion's problem communication is its community. You can't go a few weeks without getting invited to a Notion document. These documents act as natural ambassadors.

Layer 2: Information for Decision

Notion has plans for every user. Their free plan is great for personal use. As you become a business, it has paid plans. As you grow, it has enterprise plans. This helps everyone see a version of Notion for them.

On top of that, Notion is differentiated. It's not quite a doc, spreadsheet, or wiki. It's all put together.

Layer 3: Friction

In PLG, you have to abolish friction. Notion does, beginning with its onboarding. It eschews the "add more steps" formula of B2B SaaS, and sits in the B2C camp of "fast."

Once you finish onboarding, Notion drops you into a blank page and encourages you to import. It's a great way to get people back into the work they were already doing.

Layer 4: Time to Aha

Notion makes docs fast. For instance, instead of having formatting hover in the top, formatting pops up when you highlight text. Features make themselves apparent when you need them.

Notion has a suite of integrations to embed popular files like Figma and Miro. So you can easily built it into your existing workflows, driving a quick aha.

Layer 5: Repeatable Value

Notion creates permanent changes in user behavior through its unified workflow. Companies and people are building their entire operating systems in Notion.

Moreover, Notion has a videogame-like learning curve. There are so many advanced features, that you can endlessly keep improving your Notion use.

Layer 6: Monetization

In true PLG and PLS fashion, Notion has a fantastic free plan. But then if you want to free trial a more expensive plan, it asks you to contact sales.

But, there are plenty of ways to upgrade to paid plans with built-in feature gates, like guests and page history. And with new feature gates constantly being added, like custom sites and AI, Notion's monetization engine is humming.

Layer 7: Flywheels

The final element to Notion's PLG motion is its fantastic flywheels. It all begins with its community-led growth. Templates, word of mouth, easy sharing... Notion does it all.

In addition, it has fantastic word of mouth triggers. For instance, making a website is literally 1-click. All of this comes together to create self-reinforcing growth flywheels.

And that's why Notion is one of the hottest companies in PLG.Image
I cover all the screen-by-screen details in the deep dive:


It’s an amazing growth story. news.aakashg.com/p/how-notion-g…

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More from @aakashg0

Jul 1
Steal this template for your homepage: Image
1. Above the Fold

This is the most important part of the homepage. Too many people waste the space:

A. Convey the category of software your product is in, and how your solution differs
B. Add in wow logos from industries in your ICP (ideal customer profile)
2. Three Key Value Props

Remember the rule of threes.

Deliver on your hook above the fold and make your differentiators crystal clear.

Don't just tell, either. Show. Let people experience the product. Attio's videos move when you scroll.
Read 7 tweets
Jun 10
There’s a paradox of seniority: people get more messages, yet they are even more responsive.

This is especially true for important emails.

Here’s why: Image

As an Individual Contributor, your work (outside of certain roles) mostly is internal to your company.

You can spend the vast majority of your day in Slack for responsive tasks.

Email responsiveness matters, but it’s not the most important thing.

As you become a middle manager, email starts to matter more.

You’re hiring folks externally, making calls on agencies… And there’s lots of rapid decision-making to be done cross-functionally.

Responsiveness ramps accordingly.
Read 9 tweets
Jun 1
For a company founded in '93, Nvidia's ascent to $2.7T market cap has been FAST. But what really is Nvidia's moat?

Let's break it down.


The story starts all the way back in the early 2000s. That's when Jensen Huang, Nvidia CEO, and his team were out meeting researchers using their products.

Most researchers were hacking graphics packages to run complex parallel compute tasks. It was not ideal. To say the least.

So, when the Nvidia team met Ian Buck, who had the vision of running general purpose programming languages on GPUs, they funded his Ph.D. After graduation, Ian came to Nvidia to commercialize the tech.

Two years later, in 2006, Nvidia released CUDA.

C ompute
U nified
D evice
A rchitecture

CUDA made all those parallelization hacks the researchers were doing available to everyone. Over time, CUDA became the default choice for researchers.

CUDA allowed accessible customization of the low-level hardware. So developers loved it.

Nowadays, when startups like MosaicML evaluate the available technology vs CUDA, they inevitably choose CUDA.

The ecosystem around CUDA has grown so robust that its lead is virtually unbeatable. This software layer is at the core of Nvidia's moat.


The other side of Nvidia's moat is hardware. But it's not graphics cards for crypto and gaming. The hardware that matters is AI supercomputers.

The story of these supercomputers begins in the late 2000s. As Nvidia was developing CUDA, Jensen asked the team to build a supercomputer to help him build better chips.

The result was a massive supercomputer that weighed 100 pounds and strung together many GPUs with world-class networking for ultra-fast computing.

In the early 2010s, Jensen gave a talk at a conference about this AI supercomputer. Elon Musk got wind of it and said, "I want one."

So, in 2016, Jensen actually donated one to Elon Musk's relatively unknown nonprofit, OpenAI. He hand delivered it, and there's photographic proof.

OpenAI quickly learned the supercomputer worked really well. Especially for training large neural networks. That 2016 Pascal architecture delivered an impressive 19 TFLOPS of FP16 operations.

That's 19 trillion floating point operations per second. It's a massive amount. But that was just the beginning.

Since then, Jensen and the Nvidia team have been lapping the industry in delivering more TFLOPS, growing them at an exponential rate.

The latest Blackwell architecture delivers a massive 5000 TFLOPS. That's >260x AI computer in 8 years. And sells for more than $75K. But buyers like Meta, OpenAI, Google, and Amazon just can't get enough, as their internal ASICs are nowhere near Nvidia's level.

As a result, Nvidia's profits and market cap continue to soar, cementing its position as a leader in the AI hardware and software space.Image
Jensen is one of the most impressive entrepreneurs alive.

He spotted the AI revolution before any other semiconductor CEO and bet the company on it.

That's a rare trait.
And he has a rare management style as well.

He has over 60 direct reports, and doesn't have 1:1s with any of them.

He believes in sharing feedback in public, so everyone can learn from it. And he also does it to remove layers.

Quite the maverick.
Read 5 tweets
May 25
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to GTM.

Maja Voje and I studied 12 leading B2B SaaS companies.

(including interviews with their teams)

Here’s what we learned: Image
1. PLG is eating the world

>80% of the companies in our study employ PLG in some fashion.

Even enterprise companies like Snowflake and Salesforce are adding free trials & freemium.

It’s the new normal.
Why is this working for them?

In 2024, the best marketing is often your product.

Users rarely want to lock in a $500K+ contract without trying the product first.

But you do need to layer on a strong product-led sales motion to make enterprise work.
Read 13 tweets
May 16
There's so many ways orgs mess up transforming the product team away from the feature factory.

Here's the top one's, as I see them: Image
1. Understanding and commitment

It's not enough to just have engineering, product, and design on board for transformation.

Transformation impacts marketing, sales, customer success, finance...

You need to drive top-down alignment from the CEO and Senior Leadership Team.
2. Shifting culture

Cultural shift is often the hardest element of a transformation:

• Sales is used to promising features
• Marketing is used to dates when features will arrive

The mistake people make is to gloss over the real tensions for the sake of meeting a schedule.
Read 7 tweets
May 12
The fractional CPO role is the hottest new role in product.

Here's what you need to know:

1/10 Image
1. Fractional v Interim v Consulting

It's easy to confuse the variety of non-traditional product leadership jobs these days.

You can think of a simple 2x2 to distinguish them.

You ask 2 questions:

• Do you lead product?
• Are you full-time?

This breaks down the four types:

1. Lead product & full-time: Interim CPO

2. Lead product & part time: Fractional CPO

3. Don't lead product & full-time: Regular PM

4. Don't lead product & part-time: Product Consultant or Coach

Read 11 tweets

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