The Commons Digest (11/16/2022)

The COmmons Insider Newsletter

This week's discussion...

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๐Ÿ”ฅ Hot topic: Make the Most of a Funding Announcement

โœ๏ธ Career Resource: Jobs roundup

โœ… Community Reccos: FP&A Tools

๐Ÿ’ญThought Starter: #MondayContemplation

๐Ÿ’กBrain Teaser: ๐Ÿ”ค

๐Ÿš€ Community Share: Biz (B)Ops


The Tech Discovery Summit | Registration Open!


๐Ÿšจ Less than 15 seats left at the early bird pricing! ๐Ÿšจ

๐Ÿ’ฅ We're excited to re-launch The Tech Discovery Summit: a two-day virtual Summit to introduce you to strategic roles in tech and give you a leg up in your next interview. The Summit is open to everyone - you don't need to be a member! ๐Ÿ’ฅ

Change the trajectory of your career by learning about different paths in tech directly from mentors who work at Google, Wealthsimple, PartnerStack, Astranis, Dolly, Juniper, and Uber.

Over the course of a weekend, you'll dive into the following sessions:

  • Business Teams in Tech: a 360 view of all of the typical business, non-technical teams at a Tech company including: Product, Strategy & Operations, Business Development and Partnerships, Chief of Staff, Strategic Finance and more. Mentors in each role will walk you through what their team does, a typical day-to-day and project they work on.
  • Office Hours - Dive Deeper: You'll select two roles you're interested in and join those mentors in office hours for candid Q&A sessions filled with insight and advice.
  • Data Viz & Dashboarding: An introductory workshop on how to build strong data visualizations, a key skill for take home cases and on the job! Weโ€™ll dive into how data viz fits into dashboards - an operator's snapshot on the health of their projects and initiatives.
  • Tackling a Case Interview: Join two of our mentors for an in depth look at how they tackle an ambiguous project, like one you'd see on the job or in a take-home case. Walk away with best practices to apply in your job search or a new role.


The Details

โฐ December 3-4

๐Ÿ“All live and online

๐Ÿ‘‹ For ambitious professionals who are exploring a new role in the tech industry. We built this to make your journey easier and more successful.

๐Ÿšจ Take advantage of reduced pricing. Less than 15 spots left at $20 (save $30 off the regular price!).

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Whatโ€™s happening at The Commons

Upcoming events


Acing the Recruiter Screen

Join two community members, Marlies (Tech Recruiter @ Pinterest) & Shaurya (Talent Management @ Wealthsimple) with extensive experience in recruiting, as they share helpful tips on how to stand out during a crucial phase of the interview process: the recruiter screen.

November 17, 7 - 8PM ET | Virtual
Community only
Register here


IRL Meetups!
With the help of our Geo-Captains we are taking URL to IRL to a whole new level with 8 IRL Meetups happening over the next 3 weeks (spanning 3 countries across 2 continents). Meet fellow members in these cities: New York, Chicago, San Fransisco, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary & London UK.

Multiple Dates | IRL!
Community + limited spots for non-community members
Community members register here
Non-community members register here


Mentor Office Hours, November
Join two of our incredible mentors, Alex (General Manager & LaunchOps @ Instawork) and Chris (Revenue Advisor, Fractional CRO and GTM Professor | ex-Bonsai & ex-Ritual), for an Office Hours with an AMA-style Q&A, covering everything from breaking into tech, to perfecting your GTM strategy! We'll kick off by letting both of them share their trajectory and how they broke into tech and then use the rest of the time for questions and discussion.

November 21, 7-8PM ET | Virtual
Community only
Register here


New Circles Topics!
Our Circle topics for November have dropped ๐Ÿช‚

Go upvote your favorites and even better, sign up to co-lead one!

ICYMI, Circles are small groups of community members with a common interest in a topic. They meet at a set cadence to explore that topic together.

Community only
Check it out here


Past events

โ€ICYMI we recently hosted these events. Members, you can find relevant recordings on our platform.

  • Automating Workflows with Alexis from Spotify | Alexis, a BizOps Tech & Automation Manager at Spotify, kicked off a three-part series on automating workflows ๐Ÿค– Part 1 covered advanced Google Sheets formulas to take your Sheets game to the next level. Stay tuned for subsequent sessions on automated trackers, emails and building your own Slackbot ๐Ÿ‘€
  • Building Your Personal Brand | From diving into areas of interest and starting side hustles, to opening up new opportunities and connections, there are plenty of reasons to think about your personal brand, so we brought in mentor Christian (Chief of Staff at Astranis) to provide a primer and Q&A on the topic.


Application Alert: Join the Waitlist

โ€Looking to join The Commons? Your way in is through an application. We've officially closed new memberships for a while. We'll be re-opening seats at the end of November. Be sure to apply asap to join the waitlist ๐Ÿ‘‡ once the waitlist opens up, we'll be reviewing applications in the order they were received.

โ€Join the Waitlist 2023

โ€We'll be kicking off the following Sprints in January 2023:

  • Strategy & Operations
  • Strategic Finance
  • Product
  • Revenue Growth


โ€Learn more // Join the Waitlist



โ€All 2022 Sprints are now closed!

โ€Join the Waitlist


HOT TOPIC - Making the Most of a Funding Announcement

The Commons community constantly looks to each other for advice on how to deliver more impact at work. Here was a recent Slack question on fundraising announcements...

For additional context, the above poster's company is in the Green/Hard-Tech space.

โ€The Commons community never fails to offer thoughtful and tangible advice. Huge s/o to Will B. for this reply โฌ‡๏ธ

Big congrats, and kudos for you for starting to think about this as early as possible. I'm no expert, but here's how we approached this at my company (insura-tech) for our recent Series A announcement.

โ€We approached this like an integrated marketing campaign, not a press release. With that, it was important for us to align on:

  • Target audience: Financial institutions (FIs), fintechs, and insurance carriersโ€
  • Outcome: Secure X inbounds / meetings for strategic partnerships
  • Narrative: Highlight our series A raise as external validation from the industry + ambitious product / distribution roadmap

When you're marketing to everyone, you're marketing to no one. Often companies go out with a generic press release expecting to be picked up by every major news publication, not get any coverage, and wonder why...

โ€Based on this, we decided that our channels for reaching this audience would be:

  1. Industry publications to reach FIs
  2. Local tech publications to reach Fintechs
  3. Organic social (LinkedIn) to reach all 3 audience
  4. Directly sharing our press release with our targeted list of potential partners

Next, we asked ourselves if we had the capabilities in-house to access all these channels successfully - if not, we'd outsource support

  1. We weren't confident in our ability to pitch media publications, so we hired a PR agency with pre-existing industry + tech relationships
  2. Important here: you hire PR agencies for their relationships, less about their ability to help you craft your narrative. This means that different PR agencies have different types of relationships
  3. We had confidence in our ability to amplify on LinkedIn, but knew that merely posting on our company account wouldn't be successful
  4. We geared up a series of posts + company-wide engagement 1-2 weeks ahead of time to flood LinkedIn with our Series A announcement
  5. We found ways to get our partners, investors, friends, family to share / promote our Series A announcement on LinkedIn
  6. During our announcement week... we were EVERYWHERE
  7. We had emails teed up for our founders to directly share our press release with select potential partners

There are no "hacks" here - your amplification strategy should depend on your audience / outcome / narrative, just like any other marketing campaign. Think about where these investor eyeballs (and ears) are, and build your amplification strategy and narratives are from there. You're on the right track thinking about major VC podcasts...

Be wary of thinking that your funding announcement IS the story, because it's not. People don't care about that fact that you've raised money, people care about what the funding represents (change in customer sentiment, high impact technology, etc. etc.). You're essentially using the funding announcement announce to tell your story, not the other way round.


Your weekly level up


A CFJ (cool f'ing jobs) Roundup

โ€Our community has been buzzing, sharing ๐ŸŒถ jobs and introductions to hiring managers.

Below is a round up of a few exciting opportunities!

โ€Legend:๐Ÿ“A community member works here | ๐Ÿค A recruiter or hiring manager intro is available for community members

  • ๐Ÿค Senior BizOps Associate at Hotel Engine (remote USA). Hotel Engine is a corporate hotel booking platform. Think of it like but for businesses. Plus, it's a closed network (only for businesses that apply to join, no rates publicly posted) so users get better rates. Check out this post for additional info from the hiring manager. Apply here. Community members, DM Loren if interested!
  • ๐Ÿ“Sr. Growth Marketing Analyst at Homebase (Toronto). You'll be working with the GM team that's been growing rapidly in Toronto (plus, you'll join community member, Zafer, at the company!). Additional context: "We are a VERY data driven company so analysts have a lot of say in decision making and exec exposure (though with great power comes great responsibility and expectations of course)". Apply here. Check out the full Slack post here.
  • ๐Ÿ“๐Ÿค Product Designer, Accounting Manager and Data PM roles at (Phoenix and US Remote). Join community member Jake M. at this growing Series B. "Happy to intro you to our in-house recruiter for any of the roles. We're a Series-B startup focused on optimizing the residential construction process. We likely will be hiring more next year once we start to dial in on fundraising our next round, so if you're interested in the company but don't see anything for yourself currently, let's chat anyways." Check out the company, roles and apply here. Community members, check out the Slack post here and DM Jake if interested!
  • Analyst, Baseball Analytics for the Chicago Cubs (Chicago). Check it out here (thanks Haley for the share!)

Pop into #job-openings for more!


FP&A Tools ๐Ÿ”ข


Here's what the community had to say โฌ‡๏ธ

  • Vareto: "Can intro you to the founders of Vareto." - Elliot F.
  • Pry: "I experimented with a few tools at my previous startup role (they were mostly relatively new and built for early-stage startups though, a la Pry). I found that these tools did make reporting easier, but I'm not a huge fan of them for forecasting. They would work alright for basic forecasting, but it would take significant work to get them to do more complex types of calculations. If I were making the choice now, I'd likely go for a tool that works in conjunction with Excel/Sheets, allowing me to keep the flexibility of spreadsheets but helping with data integrity/reporting/etc...Happy to chat more if you'd like." - Diego G-A.
  • Equals: "IMO it depends on what you are trying to solve for, happy to chat more on this, I assume your team / operations are still lean, I would actually highly recommend Equals which seems to solve most of your challenges and allows you to stay in a spreadsheet environment. I know the founders wells and can make intro (FYI we were on Mosaic before I didn't find it super useful without a dedicated FP&A person). Also cost effective which is a great benefits in this macro environment." - Jeff W.

Have more suggestions? Add them to this thread.

โ€PS if you're intersted in FP&A roles in tech, check out our Strategic Finance Sprint (and join the waitlist!)



โ€Thanks Sean for this share earlier this week (and Sahil Bloom for the original post!) โฐ



Hop into this tread to check out the images.

โ€Here's a link to Sahil's thread.


The alphabet is written here but some letters are missing.

Arrange the missing letters to give a word.

What is it?




Check out the answer here.


Biz(B)Ops: Songs to Automate a Process to

โ€A thread our community really tuned into ๐ŸŽถ...


Check out the playlist here and add to the thread here.

Interested in more?
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