The Power of Taking Notes and Building Engagement Loops: Unveiling the Path to Success


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 28, 2023

4 min read


The Power of Taking Notes and Building Engagement Loops: Unveiling the Path to Success


Taking notes is often seen as a way to build knowledge, but the true value lies in utilizing those notes effectively. By actively engaging with our notes, we can gain experience, strengthen our understanding, and uncover new insights. This article explores the importance of finding a balance between taking notes and using them, as well as the significance of building engagement loops for startup success.

Building Knowledge and Experience:

While taking notes helps us accumulate knowledge, it is through utilizing those notes that we truly engage in the actual work. By playing and tinkering with our notes, we build experience and gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter. This process may reveal gaps in our understanding or spark new curiosities and questions. Therefore, it is crucial to find a balance between building knowledge and experience through note-taking.

Bottom-Up and Top-Down Note-Taking:

Note-taking can be approached in two ways: bottom-up and top-down. Bottom-up note-taking involves taking notes and connecting them until clusters of related information emerge. This method allows for a comprehensive understanding of a topic by starting with individual pieces of information and gradually building connections.

On the other hand, top-down note-taking starts with a specific topic, idea, or goal in mind. It may begin with a vague concept, but as notes are taken, the overall understanding becomes clearer. This approach allows for a focused exploration of a specific subject and can lead to more targeted learning.

The Importance of Engagement Loops:

In the realm of startups, engagement loops play a crucial role in achieving success. An engagement loop is based on social feedback, where users interact with each other and draw in new users, creating a continuous cycle of engagement. To ensure the effectiveness of an engagement loop, network density and easy content creation are essential.

Content creation lies at the core of the social feedback loop. If creating content is not easy, the loop will not be sustainable. Startups should optimize content creation to encourage user participation. Pinterest serves as a notable example, as they have successfully implemented strategies to facilitate content creation within their platform.

Another significant aspect of engagement loops is the density of connections within a network. It is essential to build relevant connections, as they contribute to the effectiveness of the loop. However, there is a point of diminishing returns, where the focus should shift from quantity to quality. Bootstrapping on an existing network and employing tactics like "Find Friends" or "People You May Know" features can help increase network density.

Identifying Red Flags:

In the pursuit of successful engagement loops, it is crucial to be aware of red flags that may hinder growth. Some red flags include relying solely on inviting and friending activities for growth, without a main activity or core value proposition. This approach leads to low-quality signups and fails to sustain long-term engagement.

Additionally, new users from a low-quality channel can also be a red flag, as they may not contribute to the growth and sustainability of the engagement loop. It is important to focus on acquiring users through viral loops, where users directly or indirectly share a product with their friends or colleagues, creating a self-sustaining loop.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Find your balance: Take notes to build knowledge, but don't forget to actively engage with them. Play and tinker with your notes to gain experience and strengthen your understanding.
  • 2. Foster engagement loops: Prioritize easy content creation and build relevant connections within your network. Bootstrapping on existing networks can provide a solid foundation for growth.
  • 3. Be vigilant of red flags: Avoid relying solely on inviting and friending activities, as well as low-quality channels for user acquisition. Focus on viral loops for scalable and sustainable growth.


Taking notes is just the beginning of the learning journey. To truly unlock the potential of our notes, we must actively engage with them, building experience and deepening our understanding. Similarly, for startups, engagement loops are vital for sustainable growth and success. By prioritizing easy content creation and relevant connections, while being mindful of red flags, startups can pave the way for a thriving user base and lasting engagement.

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