The startup employee’s guide to success

Working at a startup is demanding, to say the least. This collection serves you our best courses for founders and employees at startups. You’ll learn about product design, marketing and about how to keep your organization productive and stress free.

9 courses

Courses in this collection:

  • 1

    Why People Fail

    Four significant obstacles to success and how you can overcome them

    Mastering failure is surely a vital step in achieving your aims, hopes, and dreams. After all, success is often just a moment—a goal fulfilled, soon to be replaced with new goals. But failure is the ambitious person’s constant companion, often dogging us for months, years, or even decades. We need to understand and conquer failure if we are ever to master success. You’d never know it from our education system. At school we’re taught geography, history, mathematical formulas, and obscure facts never to be used for the rest of our lives, yet how many of us, in all our years of formal learning, were ever taught how to overcome obstacles to any goal?

    In this course, we explore four main causes of failure, in any field, and reveal solutions for overcoming them and creating a successful, happy life.

    The most important message in this course is that failure leads to success. Even if you have experienced countless failures in your life, it doesn’t mean you are destined to have success pass you by.

    This course, published in collaboration with Wiley, is based on the book Why People Fail: The 16 Obstacles to Success and How You Can Overcome Them by Siimon Reynolds

  • 2

    First-Time Leader

    The BRAVE framework for effective leadership

    Did you know that 40% of new leaders fail within their first 18 months? 

    And, did you know that most leadership failures are completely avoidable?

    In fact, every new leader is perfectly capable of inspiring people to achieve successes and improve performance beyond what they thought possible. Best of all, leadership excellence is easy if you recognize a few key leadership truths. In First-Time Leader, transformational leadership experts George Bradt and Gillian Davis tell you what you need to know to ensure that your first time at the helm makes—rather than breaks—your career.

    Drawing on the insights of proven leaders from around the world, as well as from their own experience as leaders and consultants, the authors of First-Time Leader have distilled the most essential lessons on leadership into a coherent approach that can be applied anywhere. With the BRAVE leadership framework (Behaviors, Relationships, Attitudes, Values, Environment), you’ll learn how to work your new role from every relevant angle, resulting in confident leadership that will inspire and enable your team.

  • 3

    The Psychology of Pricing

    A practical guide to using behavioral science for good

    In our experience at Irrational Labs, we find that it’s the companies trying to help consumers become happier, healthier and wealthier that make the most mistakes valuing their products. This course will help you better understand these mistakes and how to avoid them. 

    Have you ever been curious about questions such as:

    • Why people get so excited about buying things that are in short supply? 

    • What causes promotions to drive short-term spikes in sales yet become counterproductive over time?

    • When can offering a product for free actually be bad for the customer? 

    In 22 short and fun lessons, you will learn the answers to these questions as you are introduced to key concepts from the field of behavioral economics. You will get examples and exercises to help you take what you’ve learned and apply it to the pricing and promotions of different products and services.

    This course is primarily for product managers, designers and creators of products and services that are helping improve people’s well-being

    If you choose to apply any of these insights within your company, we ask that you answer one question before making any changes: “Will this make people better off?’ This simple rule of thumb will help ensure you’re making changes that improve your customer’s bottom line as well as your company’s.  


    Irrational Labs: Kristen Berman, Ingrid Melvaer Paulin, and Evelyn Gosnell 

    In collaboration with Dan Ariely and Jason Hreha 

  • 4

    Craft Your Job to Suit You Better

    Job crafting: the secret to being engaged at work

    Have you ever thought about how engaged you are at work?

    If you haven’t, it’s about time you did. Research shows that when we’re engaged at work, we’re more likely to have better mental and physical health, act according to our values, feel physically energized and focused, have a positive attitude and feel like we are in control over events that affect our life.

    So it’s not just in the interest a company to have engaged employees; it’s a win/win scenario, really.

    Let’s start by admitting that, as employees, we’re not passive actors in our own work life. We care about our own well-being at work, because work is such a large part of our life.

    In this course, we’ll dig into the secret ingredient of work engagement: job crafting.

    Job crafting enables us to fit our jobs to our skills, our abilities and our knowledge, as well as our preferences and needs. It’s what keeps us engaged, creative and productive.

    We’ll teach you the ins and outs of job crafting and how to turn the job you have into a job you want (and even like).

    Course photo by Victoria Bilsborough via Unsplash

  • 5


    How to Build Habit-Forming Products

    This is the bite-sized version of the book Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal. The course (as well as the book) is written for product managers, designers, marketers and startup founders. It is designed for people who want to keep users coming back to their products on their own, without expensive advertising and spammy messages.

    This course will help you build behaviors rather than just building products.

    Not sure if you need this course? Well, consider this:

    • 23,000 products are launched in the US every year, of which 80 percent will fail.

    • 92 percent of all startups fail within three years.

    • Less than one percent of apps in the App Store will be financially successful.

    Sign up using the form below to get ten bite-sized and actionable lessons on how to create habit-forming services. The lessons will be delivered every weekday for two weeks. Most lessons include inspiring cases that show how real companies use the Hook Model.

    The course is produced by the team at Daily Bits Of with the permission from Nir Eyal to use parts of his book and articles.

    Said about the course:

    "Applying psychology to product development seems to be the big thing these days but no one helps you do so better than Nir Eyal. Our entire team took this course at the same time which led to daily ideas and actions on how to improve our product"

  • 6

    Build a Daily Meditation Habit

    Reduce stress with a simple meditation habit that anyone can learn

    Too much stress in your life? Don't seem to have any healthy ways to deal with it?

    Sadly, this is true for too many of us. We all face too much stress, and then the advice around stress is either "just don't be stressed," which doesn't help, or to indulge in distractions that don't actually help us deal with stress.

    Yet there is a simple daily practice that can help us significantly decrease stress, and increase our ability to deal with stress when it comes up: meditation.

    But even with all the scientific proof of meditation working, and so many people advocating for it, there remains a simple question: how do I get started?

    In this course, John Turner, founder of QuietKit, a guided meditation platform, will help you get started with meditation, teach you how to approach it and think about it, and show you how to build meditation into a daily habit, so you can better face the challenges that life throws at you.

    Over the course of one week, just 7 days, John will show you how become a meditator.

  • 7

    Hacking Human Nature for Good

    A Practical Guide to Changing Human Behavior

    Join more than 7000 product developers and marketers in taking this free bite-sized course!

    “When we understand human behavior, we can build and sell products that change lives.”

    This course is for people who create and build products and services that change behavior for the good. If you are a product manager, designer or marketer, you are also a choice architect.  By understanding human behavior, you can help your users/customers and humans, in general, make better decisions.

    In 22 short, fun and information-packed lessons you will get a brief introduction to interesting research findings from the field behavioral economics.  You’ll also get examples on how to best apply these findings to your product or service.

    Irrationally yours, 

    EvelynDanKristen & Jason

  • 8

    Marketing for early-stage startups

    Getting your app off the ground

    What should a marketer do at a startup and why do we need a marketing team? Some people believe that marketing equals advertising. It does not. Marketing is the link between a firm and its customers, it relates to all aspects of the firm that touches the customer. To serve as a marketer in a new company with big ambitions to grow (aka a startup) can be challenging. It’s often different from a marketing or communications job in a bigger organization where there are clear plans and strategies to follow. In a smaller startup, it falls on you to define the market, validate your product/service and identify how to get and keep customers in the most cost-efficient way.

    This email course covers five areas of startup marketing:

    1. Positioning and branding

    2. User insights

    3. Acquiring customers

    4. Retaining customers

    5. Management and operations

    You’ll be getting one email per day for 21 days, each one focused on one part of the smorgasbord of tasks and challenges for a startup marketer.

    I’ve written this course for the startup marketers I’ve mentored and bounced ideas off of over the past years, for founders who’ve reached out for help and for future startup marketers. It contains a lot of those things I wish I had known when I entered this world several years ago. I hope you learn something new and I welcome all feedback.

    Lisa Enckell

  • 9

    How to Beat Procrastination

    Insights and tools from psychology that will help you get things done

    Having a hard time getting started with work that needs to get done? Do you wait until the last moment before you start working? Procrastination, or consciously postponing what should be done today, is less about personal traits than it is about behavior. In the same way that you once learned to always deal with tasks at the last moment, you can learn to act differently. With the help of psychological insights about motivation, rewards, and distractions you can increase the probability of completing your tasks - on time.

    In this course, you will receive practical tips on how to change your approach to learned behavioral patterns, as well as how to achieve your goals through a better structure, time management and problem-solving. Getting things done on time doesn’t have to be exhausting - things like coffee breaks, encouragement and friends are some pleasant ways of making your tasks easier to deal with. 

    This course is based on scientific studies by leading researchers in the fields of motivation, goal setting, and procrastination. You will be provided with exercises and principles of treatment from cognitive behavioral therapy within areas such as stress management and procrastination.

    The creator of this course, Alexander Rozental, is a licensed psychologist and a researcher at University College London.


    Said about the course:

    "The only thing you need to read about procrastination. So many insights, so many useable tools, such a great package!"

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