From designer to founder: My biggest lessons, learnings, and pitfalls

I spent the past 2.5 years building Brainfood. My design foundation was a strength but also came with blind spots.

Syed Hemu Rahman
3 min readNov 15, 2021

If you’re a designer, you’re already equipped with some of the most critical tools for building a company. You know how to build a damn good product. You understand the importance of customer discovery, talking to users, and the role it plays in the pursuit of product-market fit.

These advantages are a given, but as I pause to reflect, I’d like to highlight some of the blind spots I had while building my most recent startup Brainfood, a bite-sized learning app for curious adults.

1. Start with design, but move on quickly

On day one, your primary responsibility is rapid learning. Your goal: to prove or disprove hypotheses that could make or break your startup idea.

User testing, asking the right questions, and digging deeper into your audience’s…