Alex Medick

December 8, 2022

Adopt the hacker mentality

It’s time for you to adopt the hacker mentality. No, that doesn’t mean to start wearing all black hoodies, chug monster energy drinks, and break into a bank database. That shit is for the movies. 

I’m not even talking about that kind of hacking. I’m talking about the kind of hacking that equates to growth, shipping products, and making shit happen. 

I’m talking about adopting a mentality that will get you from zero to one. 

To me, a hacker is someone that does whatever it takes to make something work. 

Don’t wait for the shiny and polished product that takes 2 years to build and then launch. That sucks. That’s the opposite of the hacker mentality. 

I’m talking about putting together an mvp, and hacking together ways to make things work now while iterating on it for perfection down the road.  

99% of the time, all you need is a landing page, an email tool, Zapier, and a Stripe account to get things off the ground. 

For a real-life example, I can talk to you about an experiment we’re running at Inside. We are testing a new digest newsletter format based on reader requests. When I wrote up the scope doc and submitted it to the devs, they asked me to give them 2 weeks to get it built and into testing. That didn’t sound like a good time to me. I wanted to prove the idea before investing into the dev of all this. 

So what did I do? I took on the hacker mentality.

I spun up a standalone newsletter through a free 3rd party software, added the webhooks I needed, uploaded my sample target audience, added content, put a note saying this is a new experiment and we’d love your feedback, then hit send. 

What would’ve taken 2 weeks to have this professionally done, I finished in 45 minutes. 

In 2 hours, feedback started coming back in. Feedback was solid, so I ran the test again the following week to a larger sample size under different interest segments. That test ran great too. So the next day, we made the decision to make this a full-blown feature due to its success through the sample tests. 

The whole experiment cost $100 plus my time. That’s how we hacked our way to launching our new product offering (coming in 2023!). 

The lesson from this story is, fuck waiting for things to be perfect. Most people don’t actually give a damn. They just care if it works and adds value to them.  

So hack your way to greatness. Because in the land of startups and tech, speed is a greatly undervalued key to winning. 

It’s time to be a hacker. 


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About Alex Medick

Dad, Entrepreneur // Building INSIDE