Consumers Don't Want to Talk to You

Abby Sullivan Feb 4 2020

You may be knee deep in February, but we're still on that new year, new you grind. Plus, we’ve got intel on how to become a truly product-led company. And we’re spotlighting Appcues’ Growth Academy: We’ve subscribed for the last three’s our take.




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2020: Let's get better

It has been a rocky 2020 to say the least—but we’re here for it and we're just looking to get better.

That’s why we’re eyeing our friend David Cancel over at Drift, who’s listing the 50 books people recommend he reads this year. And he’s even categorizing them, so my "type A" self is really beaming. Here are the topics:

    • Leadership
    • Business
    • Empowerment
    • Personal development
    • And finally, fantastic storytelling

I’ve actually dug into a number of these reads already, eyeing some of my favorites on the list—like Rand Fishkin’s Lost & Founder: A Painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World (which I review in today's episode) and Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear. 

But I really want to check out Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? by Lou V. Gerstner Jr., which tells the story of IBM's competitive and cultural transformation. In it, Gerstner offers a “blow-by-blow account” of his arrival at the company and his campaign to rebuild the leadership team and give the workforce a renewed sense of purpose, in the process defining a strategy for the computing giant and remaking the ossified culture bred by the company's own success.

We’ve also spent a considerable amount of time on the show re: expanding our horizons from what we know and love. So while we're on board with the leadership and business realm of this list, we're also eyeing the “personal development” and “fantastic storytelling” sections. Number one on my list there is Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, HER Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed by Lori Gottlieb, a read that supposedly really challenges how we see ourselves. 

I’ll be printing this one out and checking off as I dive deep on my own. And perhaps I’ll even review my very favorites. (Would you watch?)

We’ll link to the full list in your subscriber newsletter so you, too, can do the same. Please, be sure to send me which books you’re digging these days to


Consumers don't want to talk to you

Fact: consumers would rather try a product than converse with a salesperson. This means your company’s product needs to sell on its own, paving the way for a product-led growth approach.

Being product-led requires building a product users can’t live without. And not many know this better than Chris O’Donnell, SVP of Product over at HubSpot.

He gave a talk at our annual conference Recur on just that

HubSpot’s framework toward product-led growth involves, what he refers to as, rivers and pools. Being truly product-led requires having a solid framework in place. As Chris says, there are many ways you can build a framework—matrices, funnels, flywheels, and flowcharts. Chris’s favorite type of framework is built on a spectrum he calls “the rivers and pools framework.”

The rivers and pools framework, according to Chris, is very extensible. It’s something the HubSpot team uses as they talk to and learn about other companies, allowing teams to see where they’re using different flow dynamics in their product-led go-to-market to their advantage.

Part of the reason it’s so successful is because it’s a spectrum. It’s not cut and dry. The HubSpot team has done things all along this spectrum—ultimately resulting in either people who buy immediately and people who use the product before purchasing.

Linked here, Chris' full talk with all slides and touch points


Ready, set, grow

And now, we’re eyeing Appcues’ newly launched Growth Lab, “an ever-growing collection of actionable experiments built to help your product drive results.”

Each Sunday, the team drops new formulas leveraging the tools you already love. The Lab’s goal is to help all facets of your company—from sales and support to marketing, growth, and customer success—and many of them span multiple of these realms.

A few topics we’re digging as of late: 

Head here if you're interested in checking out what the Growth Lab's all about. The more you know.

That’s it for your February 4 episode of Recur Now. Check back here tomorrow for more, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me at if you have news to spread or input on any topic we hit.

This has been a Recur Studios production—the fastest-growing subscription network out there. If you find use for this show, subscribe for more like it at

By Abby Sullivan

Content Marketer

Subscription market insights you won't find anywhere else.