The latest from the PostHog community

HogMail #17: The personal traits that can't be taught

Nov 23, 2022

Welcome to HogMail, our newsletter featuring the best of the PostHog blog, tutorials, product guides, and curated articles on building great products and companies. We send it every two weeks. Signup here so you don't miss it.

Welcome insight seekers, very British ContentHog here. Some quick updates for you:

Coming up: how we made revenue go up and to the right, the important traits you can't coach, and more.

– Andy Vandervell, ContentHog


🚀 How we found our Ideal Customer Profile: Creating an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is one of the most important things we've ever done. Why? Look at that graph.

📲 How we built an app server (MVP to billions of events): Marius dives deep into how PostHog apps went from three-day MVP to a service handling billions of events.

💰 How to run finance at your startup without hiring a finance person Charles shares his practical guide to how we run finance without a dedicated finance role – essential read for startups.


🧰 How to set up cross domain tracking in PostHog: Do you use multiple domains or subdomains? This guide explains how to track users across them.

👯‍♀️ Understanding group analytics: frontend vs backend implementations: The two different ways to implement group analytics, so you can understand how companies use your product.

📈 How Brainboard raised conversion rates by 350% with PostHog: Learn how DevOps platform Brainboard uses PostHog as their single source of truth.


How Intercom Grows explores how Intercom grew from $1m to $100m ARR in just five years. Some takeaways:

  • Growth really exploded when they unbundled their product and embraced a Jobs To Be Done model to marketing their product.

  • Avoid inflexible pricing models. Intercom employs different pricing strategies to address different ends of the market – self-service for small and mid-market companies, and complex sales for high-value enterprises.

  • An effective content strategy + paid retargeting is a great way to keep potential customers warm and convince them to try your product.

How to communicate effectively as a developer by Karl Sutt provides some useful tactical advice for developers:

  • Slack et al. can drive people toward what Karl calls "low-resolution writing" – i.e. messages like "this [thing] isn't working" that don't communicate context. Even in Slack, it's worth taking time to craft useful messages with proper context.

  • Good communication starts from taking an "unselfish perspective" – do what's easy for the reader, not for you, and don't expect readers to put up with your quirks.

  • Bad writing compounds – all readers have to expend energy to digest and understand it, leading to frustration and inaction.

Traits You Can Change, and Traits You Can't via StaySaaSy:

  • It's important to understand what traits can be coached and which can't when hiring or developing talent. Not doing so leads to missed opportunities or wasted time investing in the wrong people.

  • Traits you can change: seeing the big picture; industry and technical knowledge; confidence; cultural norms; working with leadership. Traits you can't change: raw intelligence; emotional reactivity / intelligence; natural working speed.

  • "Inexperienced but sharp team members who have all of the raw skills that you can’t coach can make great leaders. Don’t let them leave your company."


We send HogMail every two weeks. Signup here so you don't miss it.