The Library: Build Notes

The Library: Build Notes

Chris Murphy · 12 December, 2020

I think it’s important to share as you build. There are valuable lessons that can be learned from the front lines of building a startup.

Sadly, these lessons often aren’t shared, usually for one of two reasons:

  • the founders are too busy building the startup to find the time to write and document their process; or
  • the stories that are the most valuable can’t be shared, because they’re deemed too negative from the perspective of an origin story. (For example: I have lessons like this – where things went wrong – from our journey building Get Invited.)

I’d like to rescue the lessons I’m learning – good and bad – here, if only for my memory. I’ll be adding to this page as I go. This page also links to other notes I’ve kept throughout the process of building:

12 December, 2020

The Library is built using a combination of Notion and Super.

Super has made a world of difference: It allows me to: use a custom domain name – – which looks more professional and trustworthy; customise the site meta data for search results; and, most importantly, add analytics to the site, to see what content is working and what content isn’t.

21 November, 2020

I had a conversation with Anne-Laure Le Cunff this week that changed my thinking: before the conversation, I was selling courses; after the conversation, I was selling memberships.

  • The Past: If you paid for a course, you were given access to the community.
  • The Future: If you pay for a membership to the community, you’re given access to courses (and everything).

This shift fundamentally changes things. It’s also better value for members: every time I add a course – even a half day, ’Starting to Roam‘ course – members access it.

3 August, 2020

One of the biggest lessons I've learned – after six months of building – is this: With your vision established (and shared) up-front, start testing right away.

When I first launched The School of Design, it was called designtrack and the focus was UX +/ UI education. I quickly learned – by actually teaching this – that this wasn't my true passion. What I was really interested in was the bigger picture of design. By testing my thinking and putting it through its paces, I was able to:

  1. Start to establish a revenue flow (no matter how small); and
  2. Test my thinking.

So, no matter how small your first step, make a start!

30 June, 2020

I noticed Tiago Forte's Version Notes the other day and I love this level of openness. This is something – time permitting – that I'd like to track here.

The Pitch
The Pitch
How to build your own school…
How to build your own school…
Revised Membership
Revised Membership


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