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Latest podcast episodes about mrr

Big Break Software Podcast
What is shiny object syndrome and how it helped Zip Message Founder Brian Casel

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 44:27


Brian Casel, founder of ZipMessage discusses his transition from Audience Ops to a new venture and what he has learned along the way. Get more insights from the podcast.  ZipMessage is a video messaging tool that facilitates asynchronous conversations with remote teams and customers. Brian Casel recently sold his content marketing company to focus on ZipMessage. He talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn Why Brian sold Audience Ops The difference between a productized service and an agency How did Brian conduct the Audience Ops sale process? What was Brian's initial idea for ZipMessage? Why the asynchronous approach is ideal for teams working across time zones Why is ZipMessage viral?  In This Episode  Brian has sufficient experience in web and front-end development, and design. He has also spoken about productized services for many years. Over the years, Brian has created a course and developed audience applications. His interest in software, SaaS, and product design and the need to improve his full-stack skills with Ruby on Rails started in the last few years. Brian says he sold Audience Ops to focus on building ZipMessage.   Knowing what you can or cannot do is crucial when starting a business. Brian says he relied on a few rules for guidance during the beginning and running of Audience Ops. While he is a good writer, Brian did not want to complete writing tasks for his clients. Instead, he hired a team of professionals from the beginning, with whom they collaborated to grow the company into a five figures MRR. Apart from being sustainable and profitable, the company gave Brian lots of liberty to focus on SaaS ideas. Brian explains how Audience Ops operates and the tools they use. Get all the details in the podcast.   Brian also touches on his first SaaS idea, Process Kit, and highlights some of the challenges he experienced with onboarding new customers and convincing them to adopt a new tool. He says Process Kit is still operational and sustainable. However, when the ZipMessage idea came along, he focused all his energy on the new venture. At some point, he mentions shiny objects, saying they often solve many of the challenges he may have encountered in the previous project. Brian's sentiments are enough to conclude that he suffers from the shiny object syndrome, where he gets distracted by new ideas easily, abandoning his current venture to focus all his attention on a new concept.   Audience Ops was already successful, but Brian says the idea of selling it had crossed his mind in the first four years of running it. He decided to delay the plans until 2021 came, and he could no longer continue running it. Brian explains what was running through his mind before he finally sold Audience Ops. He also provides comprehensive details of the sale process, picking the buyer, and why he did not use a broker. Listen to the podcast for the details.   Brians's previous SaaS experience came in handy to help him build the initial ZipMessage prototype in less than a month. His developer would then come in to help him transform the prototype into a version one MVP, and within three months they had their first paying customers.   During the ZipMessage MVP development process, Brian watched the market closely for patterns and trends. He says he has worked remotely and been asynchronous throughout his career, an experience he leveraged when dbuilding ZipMessage. Brian explains how ZipMessage works in an extensive section that you do not want to miss. The ZipMessage solution is available in three plans which you can learn about in the podcast. ZipMessage features a viral aspect and Brian explains why in the podcast.  With the world adopting remote work, various agencies are using ZipMessage to cut down calendar calls, facilitate team and sales conversations, and offer customer support. Coaches are also using it for student conversations and coaching. Brian explains what the team is doing to market ZipMessage and get more partners on board. According to Brian, the shiny object syndrome has played a core role in his growth. He believes he would not have achieved tremendous success had he stuck with one business concept. Brian concludes the podcast by advising entrepreneurs to learn along their business journey, determine what worked and didn't, and establish strategies to improve their upcoming products. He also believes that entrepreneurs do not just stumble on ideas. Instead, there is always some form of luck in everything they discover.  Resources  ZipMessage Brian Casel LinkedIn Brian Casel Twitter Brian Casel Website  

iDigress with Troy Sandidge
Ep. 43 Do You Know Your Number? Hold Yourself Accountable To Achieve Your Business Goals In 2022!

iDigress with Troy Sandidge

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 23:58


There's only one question you need to have the answer to in order to create a roadmap to make 2022 your best year yet in your business: 'What's the number?'Understand that number also represent everything you want your business to do for you. And when you have clarity about the cost that comes with the success you want, you then can reverse engineer it into actionable tasks you must achieve daily to get it.Beyond The Episode Gems:Free tool to give your website a professional audit and improve your organic traffic courtesy of Ahrefs: ahrefs.com/awtWatch the video of me talking with Phil Gerbyshak on  Sales & Marketing Processes Debunk'd on YouTubeListen to Ep 42 on how to negotiate and position your business when it comes to sales.Listen To Ep 26 to learn the two-word sales manifesto that will help you accelerate your sales strategy.#####• Rate & Review iDigress: RateThisPodcast.com/iDigress• Get Strategy Solutions & Services: FindTroy.com• Follow Troy on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, & Clubhouse @FindTroy 

The Real Estate Investing Club
How technology can help you build relationships and find partners and investors for your next deal with Perry Zheng (The Real Estate Investing Club #210)

The Real Estate Investing Club

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 12, 2022 30:20


Want to become financially free through real estate? Check out our eBook to learn how to jump start a cash flowing real estate portfolio here https://www.therealestateinvestingclub.com/real-estate-wealth-bookIn this episode of The Real Estate Investing Club I interview Perry Zheng, Perry Zheng is the founder and CEO of Cash Flow Portal, real estate syndication software, and a real investor portal founded in April 2020. The portal has reached an MRR of $10K in just six months without any paid advertising. Perry lives in Seattle, where he owns six single-family properties. Perry started real estate syndication over three years ago. Today, he has more than 2000 units, raised over $20M, and is a lead syndicator on two deals totaling 830 units. His goal is to help other syndicators succeed and overcome common challenges like raising capital and finding deals even while having full-time jobs. Before starting to work on www.cashflowportal.com full-time, Perry was an engineering manager at Lyft. He worked at Twitter and Amazon before that. Perry Zheng is a real estate investor who has a great story to share and words of wisdom to impart for both beginning and veteran investors alike, so grab your pen and paper, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Want to get in contact with Perry Zheng? Reach out at www.cashflowportal.com https://www.facebook.com/cashflowportalhttps://www.linkedin.com/company/cash-flow-portal/Enjoy the show? Subscribe to the channel for all our upcoming real estate investor interviews and episodes.************************************************************************GET INVOLVED, CONNECTED & GROW YOUR REAL ESTATE BUSINESSLEARN -- Want to learn the ins and outs of real estate investing? Check out our book at https://www.therealestateinvestingclub.com/real-estate-wealth-bookCONNECT -- Want to join one of the most active Facebook Groups for Real Estate Investors? Click here to join: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2940993215976264PARTNER -- Want to partner on a deal or connect in person? Email the host Gabe Petersen at gabe@therealestateinvestingclub.com or reach out on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/gabe-petersen/GROW -- Want for us to bring you leads and run your real estate digital marketing? Reach out to our partner agency at https://www.therealestateinvestingclub.com/off-market-lead-generation-servicesWATCH -- Want to watch our YouTube channel? Click here: https://bit.ly/theREIshowMASTERY -- Want to learn how to master your life by mastering your health, wealth, relationships and spirit? Check out our sister podcast, Pursuing Greatness, at https://www.pursuinggreatnesspodcast.com************************************************************************ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INVESTING CLUB SHOWThe Real Estate Investing Club is a podcast and YouTube show where real estate investing professionals share their best advice, greatest stories, and favorite tips as a real estate investor. Join us as we delve into every aspect of real estate investing - from self-storage, to mobile home parks, to single family flips and rentals, to multifamilSupport the show (https://paypal.me/GabrielWPetersen?locale.x=en_US)

Big Break Software Podcast
From failed Wordpress theme service to successful landing buying website & CRM SaaS with Jessey Kwong of Reiconversion.com

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2022 44:00


Jessey Kwong, CEO, and founder of REI Conversion talks about inventing the idea, building and funding the MVP, and bootstrapping from zero to 30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details. REI conversion is a SaaS company that helps users automate and systematize their land buying business. Jessey Kwong, the founder, and CEO started off as a vacant land investor before upgrading his operations. He tells Geordie about his journey.  What You'll Learn Why did Jessey's first WordPress theme flop? Why the current 50/50 equity split agreement between Jessey and his partner complicates planning Lessons Jessey has learned from the 50/50 equity split How Covid affected the business In this Episode While being a vacant land investor paved the way for Jessey's success in the land investing business, he no longer focuses on the venture. Instead, he is scaling REI conversion to meet growing customer demands. Jessey says his digital background came in handy to help him develop websites fast. At some point, he helped other people build their websites, and before long, he realized that more and more people wanted websites to market their properties. Launching his website played a core role in helping him scale and systemize fast.  After helping various people build their websites, Jessey and his team saw an opportunity to create a product. However, the process was not short of challenges. Jessey says their premier WordPress theme flopped, forcing them to go back to the drawing board, where they redesigned everything and focused on marketing. Jessey explains why their WordPress theme was unsuccessful in the podcast.  Jessey talks about meeting his fellow investor, who was already using a system he had developed for his land management operations. He explains how they partnered in improving the user experience and user interface for the whole system. The team faced various challenges along the journey but later launched the CRM part of the system in mid-2020.  REI conversion, Jessey says, has multiple products, like CRM and marketing websites that help investors systemize and streamline their businesses. Get detailed of how Jessey and his partner split the equity.  Launching a product can be exciting, but predicting how people receive it can be difficult. However, Jessey and his team were lucky to have an existing user base making it easy for them to tap into their audience who were already using their themes. In their first month after launching their MVP, Jessey says they had up to 20 new users coming through their email lists, a Facebook group, WordPress, and lots of feedback. That number grew over the months, and at the end of their first year, they had approximately 200 users. They are planning to double that number in eighteen months.  Taking up investment can open many doors for businesses, and Jessey and his partner are contemplating it. At this point, Geordie talks to Jessey about the cons of taking up investment and why opting for a business accelerator could be a better option. Are you bootstrapped but considering taking up an investment? You do not want to miss this insightful section of the podcast. It will open your mind, helping you to understand why bootstrapping is a good idea regardless of the challenges involved. Business can be challenging, and every entrepreneur can benefit from the mentorship that business accelerators offer.  Jessey says they have figured out that their CRM is incapable of doing everything. As a result, they are considering various integrations in the future to expand their business. For example, they want to venture into a different market like the housing sector. However, Jessey feels like they still have a lot to do in the land industry. Currently, they are focused on adding the most value to land investors.  Mastering the art of marketing takes time. What did Jessey and his team do differently to increase conversions? They partnered with a prominent influencer in the land investing space who guided them on land investing. They formed an affiliate relationship with the influencer, who had a massive email list, giving them a big running start. Jessey and his team leveraged the influencer's authority to build their user base and an email list.  Content is also a powerful marketing component, and Jessey says they have benefited from running podcasts and webinars. If he had a chance to turn back the hands of time, Jessey would plan for the future, prepare for scale, have a planning structure, and define his standard operating procedures Resources Jessy Kwong LinkedIn Rei Conversion   

Rich State of Mind
Episode 78: Investor Helps Raise $100M with REI Software ft. Perry Zheng

Rich State of Mind

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 35:27


Perry Zheng is the founder and CEO of Cash Flow Portal, real estate syndication software, and a real investor portal founded in April 2020. The portal has reached an MRR of $10K in just six months without any paid advertising. Perry lives in Seattle, where he owns six single-family properties. Perry started real estate syndication over three years ago. Today, he has more than 2000 units, raised over $20M, and is a lead syndicator on two deals totaling 830 units. His goal is to help other syndicators succeed and overcome common challenges like raising capital and finding deals even while having full-time jobs. Before starting to work on www.cashflowportal.com full-time, Perry was an engineering manager at Lyft. He worked at Twitter and Amazon before that.Rich State of Mind Links:Website: www.richstateofmind.comMake cash on the side: https://send.cloutzap.com/richstateofmindInstagram : @rich_statebrand and @rich_invests_Podcast links: https://linktr.ee/anthanerichiePlease like and subscribe to our channel.See our cool wealth building and real estate T-shirt designs in the links below :Rich State of Mind Store : https://bit.ly/RichStateSupport the show (https://www.patreon.com/richstateofmind)

Investor Connect Podcast
Startup Funding Espresso -- Metrics by Stage of Startup

Investor Connect Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Jan 3, 2022 1:55


Metrics by Stage of Startup Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing. Startups move through stages from pre-seed to seed to growth to scale. The metrics you apply should adjust to the stage of the company. Here's a list of metrics by stage: Pre-seed - when you have an idea, use qualitative metrics and focus on basic activity. Key metrics include qualitative feedback, website traffic, and conversions. Seed - when you have a first product, focus on initial revenue. Key metrics include MRR (monthly recurring revenue), ARR (annual recurring revenue), as well as CAC (customer acquisition cost), and LTV (lifetime value ratio). Cash flow and burn rate are also useful. Growth - when you have product-market fit and start to grow, then focus on growth revenue. Key metrics include gross margin, segment analysis, forecast sales vs. quota, and month-over-month revenue growth.  Scale - when you start scaling the business, focus on the core drivers of the business. Key metrics include customer activation by channel or segment, increasing retention, and reducing churn.  The metrics start qualitative and shift to quantitative to focus the company on what drives growth. As the company matures, so the metrics become more specific and refined. Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.Let's go startup something today. ___________________________________ For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at:   Check out our other podcasts here:   For Investors check out:   For Startups check out:   For eGuides check out:   For upcoming Events, check out   For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   Please , share, and leave a review. Music courtesy of .

Investor Connect Podcast
Startup Funding Espresso -- Metrics by Startup Objective

Investor Connect Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2021 1:48


Metrics by Startup Objective Hello, this is Hall T. Martin with the Startup Funding Espresso -- your daily shot of startup funding and investing. A startup's objective changes as it moves from early to later stages. Here's a list of metrics by stage objective: In the earliest stages of the startup, look for conversions.   Basic validation is important to prove the market wants the product. This exercise will teach you what type of customers to pursue. In the next stage, measure the CAC:LTV ratio which is the customer acquisition cost and lifetime value of the customer using a minimum viable product. This exercise will validate you have a profitable business. In the next stage, use MRR or monthly recurring revenue to test the repeatability and predictability of your business model. This exercise will help you refine your business processes. Next, measure retention. This exercise will validate you have a business that can grow revenue rather than just maintain it. Finally, measure recognized revenue which is the revenue for which you have provided the service while the remainder is deferred revenue. This exercise will validate you have a self-sustaining business.  In each stage, focus on the metric that helps you prove you are on the right track. Thank you for joining us for the Startup Funding Espresso where we help startups and investors connect for funding.Let's go startup something today. ___________________________________ For more episodes from Investor Connect, please visit the site at:   Check out our other podcasts here:   For Investors check out:   For Startups check out:   For eGuides check out:   For upcoming Events, check out   For Feedback please contact info@tencapital.group   Please , share, and leave a review. Music courtesy of .

Software Social
It's Been a Year

Software Social

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 41:44


Every doctor is concerned about your vital signs, but a good doctor cares about your overall health. Your website deserves the same care, and Hey Check It is here to help- Hey Check It is a website performance monitoring and optimization tool- Goes beyond just core web vitals to give you a full picture on how to optimize your website to give your users an optimal, happy experience- Includes AI-generated SEO data, accessibility scanning and site speed checks with suggestions on how to optimize, spelling and grammar checking, custom sitemaps, and a number of various tools to help youStart a free trial today at heycheckit.comAUTOMATED TRANSCRIPTColleen Schnettler  0:02  Hey, Colleen, hey, Michelle. Good morning.Michele Hansen  0:43  It's been a year. Oh,Colleen Schnettler  0:45  it has been a year. Yes.Michele Hansen  0:48  2020. Part Two. Okay. 2021. Part two is coming to a closeColleen Schnettler  0:56  eye. That is hard to believe, isn't it?Michele Hansen  0:59  Yeah. And so I thought maybe this would be a good time to reflect on the year that has been and think about the year to come.Colleen Schnettler  1:13  I love this idea. Wow, that's so cool that we've been doing the podcast long enough that we can have a yearly reflection. We've been doing it more than a year. I know as to how a year and a half. I love it.Michele Hansen  1:26  No. So okay, so let's start out with simple file upload. And I feel like it's been a while since we've like actually talked about simple file upload. So you know, as, again, if this was a professionally edited, produced podcast, this is where the heart noises would be. Coleen, can you take us back to where you were in January of 2021. With your business,Colleen Schnettler  1:55  so in January of 2021.So in January of 2021, simple file upload was in alpha, I believe in the Heroku add on store. And so that means it was not yet available for sale. You have to get 100 users, maybe it's beta, you have to get 100 users of your product in the app store before you're allowed to list it for sale. I've my years Right, right. Yeah, yeah, no, that was okay. It was that was 2020 2020. I launched it. Yep. It was JanuaryMichele Hansen  2:35  of 2020. That it was in beta.Colleen Schnettler  2:38  Right. It December, January, it was in beta. Right? Yeah, because I have the date as of February 4 2021, I was able to make it available for sale. So the product has been available for sale since February of 2021. Wow. And this is December. And since that time, it has grown to I'm not 1200 MRR, which is very exciting. And it has been a I mean, this year has been a wild ride professionally if I look back on it, because launch simple file upload. Learned a lot while doing that. And almost even bigger than that in August of 2021. I quit my job to join the Hammerstone team. And you tookMichele Hansen  3:25  a job and then you quite registered like because you were clear Soltan starting out the year. Okay, the next couple years like,Colleen Schnettler  3:33  yeah, I basically went on this roller coaster up, I'd been consulting for years, then one of the companies I consulted for for years, convinced me to come on full time with them. And I had every intention of that being like a long term gig. It's a wonderful company. And then I think I announced on Twitter or on the podcast that I took a job and I got inundated with offers, which was pretty cool. And good to know if you're job hunting, you should probably hunt before you just take one. But then a couple months later, I had this really unique opportunity to join Hammerstone Hammerstone stone is the company co founded with my buddies, Aaron and Shawn that's building the Query Builder component and get paid to build that out and keep the IP so I had to quit the full time job in order to do Hammerstone full time and right now I'm doing Hammerstone full time paid. Yeah, so that's what that's what's going on.Michele Hansen  4:40  I mean, that's a such a journey for you to go from consulting. And then like this sort of like how much consulting do I need to do like and there's kind of period of time where you're trying to go kind of full time or, like more time on simple file upload. Then kind of Just life necessitated taking a job.Colleen Schnettler  5:05  Yeah, I think that's accurate. And I think a lot of people who are trying to build their own businesses can appreciate this. Like, I am super, super excited for those people that can go all in on their business. But I have a lot of bills. And I moved. Oh, I also moved from Virginia to California this year, gradually, Geez, what a year, man. Yeah, so I think the decision thing for me was I launched simple file upload, and the consulting the thing about what I was doing with consulting as I had more than one client, so it was just this incredible overhead of context switching. And the full time job offered me the opportunity, I had negotiated a four day workweek. So it had offered me offered me the opportunity to only have the two things I was working on. And that would have worked out great. I think, if I had stayed there, that would have been, that would have been a great choice, too. But the Hammerstone opportunity just felt too exciting and too big. It's literally exactly what I want to do to turn down. And so I want to say join them in August, and I've been working full time for the client that is funding the development of the product, it actually gives me less time on simple file upload, which is a constant, again, everyone with a job and a side project can appreciate this. It's like a constant balance, trying to find the time for all the things I want to do. But if you think about Michelle, if we go back to 2020, I don't have any products, and I have so many products, like I don't even have time for the ball. Like it's amazing, right? multiple things, right? So it's been, it's been really, really, really exciting and spectacular. And one of our friends, Pete, he's written a couple books. And he uses this phrase, expanding your luck surface area. And the concept is, like, really successful guys will always say, Oh, I just got lucky. How many times have you met someone who's running a, you know, half 1,000,002 million ARR business? It's like, Oh, we got really lucky. It's like, Yeah, but luck played a part. But this concept, I really love this concept of luck, surface area. Luck played apart, but you did all the things to position yourself to take advantage of the opportunity when it presented itself. Yeah. And so all these things we do honestly, like the podcast and launching products, and speaking at conferences, all of those things, I think, really increase the luck surface area. And so I feel incredibly lucky. But also, I also took a lot of steps to put myself in the position Hammerstone, I think is going to be the thing, Michelle, like, it's we feel the poll. I mean, it is exciting. So, you know, we feel the poll,Michele Hansen  7:53  that's interesting, like so, I mean, being on something that's like moving and people are like customers are really excited about it. I guess how do you like contrast that with the response that you get from simple file upload? Like, does that feel like a contrast?Colleen Schnettler  8:11  Oh, yeah. And I think simple file upload meets a very pressing need people have on Heroku. But outside of that, it feels like pushing, right? Like it feels like and this is this is part of growing a business like I'm not, you know, it is what it is. But it feels like, there's a lot of competitors out there. And I have to convince people to go with me, small solo business vers go with, you know, Cloudflare images, or, you know, file stack or some huge company that has servers or they're just at their disposal. And so it feels like a lot of hustle. And I don't I mean, it's a great all of it is a great learning experience. But Hammerstone I mean, people are basically asking us, they are asking to pay us for this thing that is not even done. Like, yeah,Michele Hansen  9:01  like banging down the door. I mean, there have product market fit there. But it's like, it's like very clear that like it's going to happen.Colleen Schnettler  9:11  I mean, our Early Access, based on a couple tweets my co founder sent out, we have like 200 people on an early access list. Based on we don't even have a landing page for this thing. Like it's amazing. It's really exciting. So it's been really I think Justin Jackson has this great article, I think it was this week, he sent it out, although I don't know if everyone got it this week, but it was basically about like, your market is going to determine your success. Like you can have one person who's hustling. It's not necessarily it's not just how hard you work, like you can work really hard. But it's also your market is going to determine your success. And so I don't know it just feels like so many exciting things have happened to me this year is what I'm trying to say So and I think like the Hammerstone thing wouldn't have happened if simple file upload hadn't happened. Right? So these things compound when you think about like, getting you're putting yourself out there and and, you know, the luck going back to the whole luck surface area thing.Michele Hansen  10:17  Yeah, I mean, I think that makes a lot of sense. And like the whole thing about market like, I feel like that's that's something that that Justin hits on a lot and and valuably, so because, you know, there's a quote from a famous investor that I forget who it is. But it's, you know, if maybe it's Paul Graham, when a you know, a good product meets a bad market market wins when a good team meets a bad market market wins when a bad product meets a good market market wins. And I mean, you guys have like, you know, wind is in your sails, and you are just flying along.Colleen Schnettler  10:59  Yeah, it's, it's pretty exciting. And just to clarify, I am still, I still love working on simple file upload, simple file upload is so much fun for me, because there's such a tight feedback loop. Hammerstone is still in this phase, at least the stuff I'm working on where it's big, and it's it's kind of, it's not, it's not done, right. So it kind of feels like a slog, because it's just kind of brute force and getting the work done. Simple file upload is a joy, because every time a customer emails me a question, like I can iterate and improve it. And so I still I didn't mean to I'm not sunsetting it or anything, like I'm still way into it. And I still feel like there's a way to do both right now. Yeah, I just, it's fun, like people are engaging more, I think, if you go back to founders comp, which was in October, my I was I came out of that really excited. And my goal for simple file upload was to really push to see if I could grow it a little bit. And I had hoped to get to 1500 by the end of the year, and I'm at 1200. So that's fine, right? Like it is what it is. But I think a lot more people are engaging with me than in the beginning. Remember the beginning, I couldn't get anyone to talk to me. Mm hmm. I feel like a lot more people are talking to me now. And so I have all kinds of ideas with what I want to do with it. And so yeah, I'm just over overflowing with ideas right now. So it's cool. I think it'sMichele Hansen  12:29  valuable as entrepreneurs to also have like a, like a safe little sandbox to play in to experiment where, you know, if, if you want to try something, you can, there's nobody telling you, you can't there's nobody's job relying on you, no, you're not doing it, of course, you have customers and you're responsible to them. So you can't, you know, just decide to take down your infrastructure for no reason. But like, if you want to cut the prices, 50% like, you can do that, if you want to raise him 50% You can also do that, like and you can just kind of, like learn as an entrepreneur. I mean, that's how I, I kind of loved having a full time job and a side project for a period of time because it was it was just like my safe little playground. And I think it was really, really valuable to have it as just a side project and not intending to go full time on it, because it just took that pressure off it and it made it a joy to just learn how to run a business without that fear of, you know, this has to pay for our mortgage, and like all of that kind of stuff going into that which just adds a lot of pressure when you're already when you're learning a new skill and outside your comfort zone. Like having financial pressure on top of that is really for a lot of people not very helpful mentally, like it can drive you but it's it's it's a lot of pressure.Colleen Schnettler  14:00  Yeah, I think that's a good way to describe it for me like it's a nice side income right now. And I am learning I mean that is what's so cool is tight feedback loop and I'm learning so much how to talk to customers, I made this change to my onboarding email which seems to have made a huge difference. So stop me if I told you this but my onboarding email used to be asking questions and now it's so it used to be can you tell me why you're using simple file upload and I changed it to be quick tips to help you get started fast or something like that. And that seems to really have made a difference so all these little things I'm learning that I can apply elsewhere have been really fun like I'm really enjoying it.Michele Hansen  14:44  So we talked a little bit about at founder summit of like whether you sell the business or not. We didn't I feel like that conversation was that that was a pretty strong no that you that you really enjoy it as at you know, as this little playground So I'm curious, like, as you think about this coming year, and you know, bearing in mind that humans are famously bad at predictions, and this year had so many twists and turns that you did not expect going into the year.Colleen Schnettler  15:18  Oh my gosh, right here. IMichele Hansen  15:19  mean, not not like you set a goal or almost like, like, do you have like an intention that you would want to set for the year of like? Like, what do you mean, it's a big question, but like, what do you want out of?Colleen Schnettler  15:34  out of it? Yeah, that's a fair.Michele Hansen  15:37  Sorry, is, you know, your is your founder journey? Like, is that taking you more towards Hammerstone? Is that in like, less simple file upload? And I don't I I'm starting to answer my own question. So like, just,Colleen Schnettler  15:58  yeah, I understand. So yeah, right. The end of the year, let's look forward, oh, this will be fun, because then we can look at the end of next year and be like, Oh, how well did we align? Okay, so we're going into what? 2022? That's crazy. Okay. So my vision for 2022 would be, I am getting paid by the client to develop this, this Hammerstone product, and we agreed that I'd go until August, I'm sure that can go plus or minus either side, they're pretty flexible. So my vision for 2022 would be early 2022. We're going to start launching hammers stone in Laravel. We're gonna see what the responses there and kind of see what the support burden is. And I will finish out the rails component. While I do that, I still want to put time and effort into simple file upload. I want to get it to I just want to see what does it take to grow it to 2k? Like, can I get to 2k? What does that even look like? What I do? I'm not I mean, I think I want to see you know, what it's capable of? And yeah, if someone wants to give me $200,000 for it, I'll sell it today. But I think just FYI, I'm open to that. But I think realistic or open first. I think realistically, I have a product now I did the first thing is so many people at founder Summit. Okay, I don't know if you remember this at founder Summit, we were on the bus to go to the balloon. And one of the gentlemen on the bus named Matt was talking about how he's in the market to buy a SAS and someone was trying to sell him their SAS and they kept telling him it had really low MRR, like maybe 500 bucks. And they kept telling him, oh, there's all these opportunities to grow it like, you know, you can grow it this way. And he was like, Look, if that but but it had been like this way for like four or five years. And it just been sitting at two to 500 MRR and he said something that has stuck with me. And he said, Okay, if they can really, if there's really opportunity to grow it, why haven't they done it in the five years they've had this thing? And he said it in a way that made me think, Oh, you can just you can do things to grow your SAS like, it won't. I don't know it, it was this point that like, I have control to some degree over whether this thing grows or not. And so I want to put in the work to see I mean, maybe I'll I'll timebox that maybe I'll put in the work until I think in February, it will be a good review point because it'll be a year old. If I put in the work, what happens? Can I grow this? Can I learn how to use Google Analytics and which I don't still don't know how to use? Um, can I learn how to write better copy? Can I learn how to make landing pages that appeal to my users, like, there's so much marketing, I mean, simple file upload is a it's kind of like a playground where I can learn all this marketing stuff. And that'll help me in all products. But I think my goal would be, you know, Hammerstone is going to launch in the in the spring. And then I should be done in the summer. And then we'll be doing the rails launch and rails onboarding. So I think the preponderance of my time will be on Hammerstone. But I don't know about simple file upload. I don't know if I'll sell it. I don't know if I'll continue to grow it. But I'm not going to grow. I'm not going to sell it before February, so reevaluate in February. So I have no idea what it looks like. Yeah, but I think I think the idea would be to focus more on Hammerstone and grow Hammerstone to support me, so I don't have to consult anymore. That would be pretty sweet.Michele Hansen  19:32  I think it's also worth like reminding that when you launch simple file upload, you wanted to have a product. Oh, yeah. You also like you also did not want to be a solo founder like you have always wanted to be part of a team and I think that's something that drove you to take that job was being part of a team and why you had considered previous job offers.Colleen Schnettler  19:56  Yes, I was lonely. Absolutely. Yeah, very social person. And so I was absolutely lonely.Michele Hansen  20:03  Yeah. And so I think it would make sense if like, you know, Hammerstone becomes, you know, the the focus and the thing that you really want to go for but and simple file upload is just this, you know, cool thing you have on the side. And when you have time you learn, you know, new marketing skills to make it grow a little bit, but like, it doesn't like, it doesn't have to be the thing.Colleen Schnettler  20:28  Oh, yeah, I don't I don't know, with my current time and energies. I don't think it will be. I mean, I don't see this thing getting to 10 km RR in the next year, right. Like, I just don't I don't think that's the thing I think camera showed is going to be the thing. And this will be the side project that, you know, I can continue to dabble in, or I can sell or whatever. But you're right. I just wanted to have a product. I mean, if you look back at this year, it's amazing how far I've come. Absolutely. Yeah. So that's a my self. Oh, totally. I totally am. I'm really happy with with the growth. And the stuff that I did this year for sure. So let's talk about your year in review.Michele Hansen  21:15  Gosh, okay. January 2021. Um, I mean, I guess the point to start, there is really in February, when I started writing the newsletter book, whatever I calledColleen Schnettler  21:29  February, so good month for us.Michele Hansen  21:33  Yeah, right, we have a lot like, we should go back and listen to those episodes. They're probablyColleen Schnettler  21:37  I know, we totally should.Michele Hansen  21:41  So, so yeah, so I started writing the book, as a newsletter, I didn't really know what was gonna go. totally consumed my spring launched it in July. It's crazy. And like, I'd say, there was like, you know, in the beginning, it was like, you know, 9010, like, mostly geocode do and then just a little bit of book and then towards, like, May in June, it was like 7525. And then I feel like August to October was like, almost 5050. But I think as we kind of close out on the year, and all that I'm really realizing that, you know, so like, I wrote a book, but I don't want to be a writer. I am a software entrepreneur who happened to write a book, and not a software entrepreneur who became a writer. And I think that's an important difference. And I feel like I've been struggling with this a lot of like, should I do more books stuff? Like, should I do like paid workshops and courses? And, like, should I go, you know, like, give workshops at companies? And like, Should I do a mini book that's like the how to talk to people talk things should I do podcast should I do like, or like, you know, have a podcast for the book, like showed you all this other stuff. And I could, but I just, I don't want to, and I really miss, like, my company. Like, I really miss I like, you know, working on JUCO do stuff and just find myself really missing like SEO Marketing, rather than like Info Product Marketing. I miss working synchronously with Mateus. Because I feel like so often we're kind of working in the same office, but not actually working together, because my head is elsewhere on books, stuff and whatnot. And, you know, even if there's no pressure to, like, sell more like, like, I feel like, and maybe this is a voice in my head or from other people, or I don't really know where it comes from, but it's like people like, you know, it's like, you wrote a good book that accomplish the goals, I had to teach entrepreneurs how to understand their customers, and, you know, you know, teach them that everyone has a capacity for empathy, and that they should, you know, they could have more empathy for other people and for themselves and teach them how to do that. And like get accomplished that and yet I find myself, you know, refreshing sales reports and being like, am I going to feel like I accomplished what I set out to do when I sell 500 copies or 1000 copies or 10,000 copies and and no, because the book already accomplished what I set out for it to do. It's a all in one place. I can send other founders to learn how to understand their customers and hopefully to learn more about you know, having empathy for others in themselves. I think I'll still do podcasts about the book, but I think going into To 2022 I would like to do more geocoded stuff and less book stuff.Colleen Schnettler  25:08  Okay, that sounds like a very, it sounds like something you've thought about quite a lot.Michele Hansen  25:17  Yeah, it's it's been on my mind. I've been intending to journal about it. I didn't actually journal about it.Colleen Schnettler  25:23  Oh, God.Michele Hansen  25:25  Like, I should know this. And I, I did open my journal like once. Last week, no, twice. No, I opened it twice. Okay. And then I just have I've had a lot of things I've intended to journal about. And thenColleen Schnettler  25:42  I thought about Yeah, like, in my headMichele Hansen  25:43  kind of like drafting that in my head. That's like, I don't know is, you know, I feel like I'm sort of at a crossroads of like, do I want to lean more into this, like writers stuff? And like, right? I just sat answers, just no. Adults, couldColleen Schnettler  26:02  you figure that out. I mean,Michele Hansen  26:03  like, I liked writing the book, I had so much fun. writing it as a newsletter, especially and getting feedback as I went, and then like, interviewing all the people who are reading it, like, that was awesome. Like, I love the writing process, even the really hard parts where I felt like I was doing major surgery on it every weekend, like completely rewriting it, like, but all of the, the work of being an independent writer, like, you know, and I feel like I sound like you're, you know, sort of a very typical indie hacker when I'm like, Oh, I liked you know, creating the thing, but I don't like, like, Yes, I know, I hear that, thank you. But I don't know, I don't have to sell it, like I don't, you know, it's gonna, if it's a good book, people are gonna recommend it. Like, I'll still go on podcasts, like, I'm still gonna talk about it. But that's basically the only thing I found that doesn't really drain me. Like, I feel like I died a little bit inside when I was sending those emails Black Friday week about Lady sale. Like, it's just me, like, it's not that it's not like, that's a valid marketing approach. And it works for a lot of people, but it's just, you know, we like we kind of talked a little bit about, like, founder business fit. Yes, and I've sort of been mulling over this idea about founder marketing fit, which is that, you know, we design our businesses, right, you know, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, but fundamentally, every decision you make is a design decision in the business. And, you know, it has to be a type of business that that suits you and how you want to work and what you're good at, and, but also how you market it, that has to fit with you too. And like, for some people, you know, sending out like, sales emails, and having a cohort come in, like, whether it's for software or for a course or whatnot. Like, that's how they want to do things. And that really fits with how they like to work. For other people like me, that's like, I really like talking to people and then looking at analytics, and then writing stuff related to what people need. And then like selling that way, and actually, you know, doing active sales, negotiating with people, I enjoy all of that. And I feel like with God, I have a really, really good founder, marketing fit, like, the way we market the product works. And I feel good about it, and it plays to my skill set. And I'm always improving that skill set, but like, it's, it's very much in my wheelhouse. And I just feel like the way of promoting a book and it's just not a fit for me. Like it's just not. And, you know, I could promote it in other ways. Like, um I don't, I'm just I'm just so drained. Like, by so much of it. Like, the only thing that feels drained me is like, you know, talking to people on podcasts.Colleen Schnettler  29:16  Okay, so I felt this way about the book for a while, it feels like you're asking permission to not market it.Michele Hansen  29:22  Yeah. Because I feel like to me, like you know, there was there was this point when I was still in the drafting phase when somebody who had who had bought the preorder of it you know, made a comment I think on like LinkedIn or something that like, the book was not only helping them understand their customers better, but also helping them understand how to be a better coworker and spouse. And like, that was the moment when I knew I was like, Okay, this book has achieved what I hoped it would achieve. And then some like my like, wildest dream goal here. And now I just need to ship it. But to me like the book is a success, if I have one person have that response to it, like, I don't need to have a million people read this book, I don't even need to have 10,000 Read it, right? Like it's and it's also like this is, this is a long term asset, right? Like it's not going to expire. You know, it's sold almost 1000 copies in its first year, which is apparently a lot better than, than most books both published and self published. Like this is a long term thing, I can't exhaust myself on it now doing all sorts of things that I don't need to do that don't feel natural or like a fit to me. But just success is just not the number of copies sold. And it's not like anybody is asking for how many I've sold. But I'm like, oh, like spilled in public thing. I should be posting like a numbers update every so often. And I do that. And then I find myself like checking the sales reports every day, and I feel so drained. And it's just like, it's just, that's just not success to me. Like I just don't. I just don't, I just don't care about like, that was just not I didn't write it to make money or to sell a certain number of copies. I feel like I've kind of been stuffing down my own feelings about what success for the book looks like.Colleen Schnettler  31:38  Right? So my thought here is, why are we even talking about it anymore? don't market it. Just let it be? Oh, no, no, that that's the right thing. Right. Like I said, Okay, well do what you feel comfortable with. I'm you know, podcast. SoMichele Hansen  31:53  booked on a bunch of podcasts like, Yeah, I kind of kind of like take like a month off from doing that. Okay, but like, I like doing that. Um, but even like writing the newsletter, like, has felt like a burden. And I think it's because I've been doing all this. I've been doing all this talking about talking to customers, but I haven't had time to actually talk to customers. Yeah, I feel like I have anything to say at this point. I mean, and the point of the book was to get everything in my head out. Right, I did that. And so now I don't really? I don't know I, at least for right now. I feel like I don't have anything else.Colleen Schnettler  32:34  Yeah, well, I think that okay, so you know me very well. I am a pretty logical person. Don't read horoscopes don't go to psychics, not really into that touchy feely stuff. And I am a firm believer, despite all of that, this is totally out of line with my personality. I'm a, I'm an I'm a firm believer of like going with your energy. So if you are dreading it every time you send out a Black Friday email, I mean, you you've learned this about yourself, you know that that's not the right thing to do. So I for you, and your, you know, because you have income from another source, you can totally do that you are in no way dependent on this book income. I think it's great that you've kind of discovered this about yourself and made this decision. And you're just going to do the things that, you know, bring you energy and you love which it sounds like is the podcast promoting and just let the other stuff go turn off the notifications? Who cares?Michele Hansen  33:25  Yeah. You know, I think for like, for me, like, my theme of 2021 was the phrase soul nourishing, and I love that doing things that I felt really, really nourished my soul whether that's conversations with people who have similar values, or ideas or dreams, or writing the book, and kind of fulfilling that lifelong dream of writing a book was one of them. I don't know what 2022 is going to be, but I feel like it needs to be not just my soul getting nourished because as we've talked about, I've neglected a lot of other areas of I don't I don't know the word I'm looking for here but like, there needs to be a sort of overall wellness. Focus, I think a little bit more of a holistic, nourishing. Okay, going on. And that includes kind of like, yeah, you're such a California girl, respecting my energy, you know,Colleen Schnettler  34:43  I know right? Come over, I'll give you an SAE Bowl trophy for breakfast now. I didn't even know what else it was before I moved here. Now I'm like, Oh, I buy that shit at Costco.Michele Hansen  34:53  Yes, I'm gonna show up and you're gonna give me like crystals and essential oils. Yeah, no, no, no, no, no, no, no Yeah, I know, I, you know, it took me like a couple of months for that phrase like Soul nourishing to kind of crystallize in my head and be driving me. So it's gonna take me time for whatever this new phrase is going to be. But like, I'm very much in my head, like, like I like I went to get a massage a couple weeks ago because like, I need to work on my stress, I need to lower my stress levels, I need to go get a massage. And the massage therapist was like, I need to get you out of your head and into your body because you are so much in your head. Yeah. And and so, I don't know. I don't know. I'll let you know when I figureColleen Schnettler  35:38  out what Yeah, report back. But so for you 2020 To tell us more aboutMichele Hansen  35:43  to like I was so outside my comfort zone this year between being in a country and writing a book and promoting a book and like, all these other things, like I'm so far outside my comfort zone that I really just want like, comfort and coziness in my life. Like I want yeah, I want it to be calm and peaceful and quiet. Like I find myself missing quietness.Colleen Schnettler  36:15  And so you think for you that you don't know what that looks like, but you think that probably means more time on geocodes to working with your husband. And just chill out? Like you're kind of acclimating you've been there a year now. How long have you lived there? Gosh, when did you go here a year and a half?Michele Hansen  36:32  Like, yeah,Colleen Schnettler  36:33  the podcast. I can always no, that's because we're notMichele Hansen  36:36  talking to each other. It's like, we need a weekly appointment to make sure we talk to each other. Let's make it a public appointment. Like,Colleen Schnettler  36:44  uh, but I Yeah, okay. I know, you're talking about calm over there. And I have, for whatever reason, something you said just started all these ideas going off into my head that I'm really excited about all of a sudden. So. Yes. 2020 To be a calm year for Michelle 2023 I mean, refer to comfortingly. arity Yeah. push really hard for a yearly arity. No, I totally get that. I think, right, you worked. I mean, you hustled like, whoa, this year. So maybe this 2022 is a year where you relax into what you have built and grown for yourself. I mean,Michele Hansen  37:27  and I also, you know, did expand my luck surface area to quote peeking again. And, you know, so that means, you know, maybe there will be conference talk opportunities or other podcasts or something like, I'm open to that. It's just, I'm just Yeah, I'm just so tired. And, you know, I like, I like giving talks, but I'm not gonna, like hustle and create this, like workshop package that I can sell to companies.Colleen Schnettler  38:00  Yeah, you know what? I'm not gonna do. Okay, can I say something? Because I want to get it on record. Okay. So, earlier, you said that you were looking, you know, how drainie I'm sorry, how the marketing for the book is really draining, and you want to do things that really, you know, bring you energy. Okay, this is only 2021. So I'm thinking like, 2025 and I know, I brought this up a few times. However, now that I have a business that looks like it's gonna be really successful. Dude, we are so starting an incubator. Like we're gonna have our own venture fund, and then we're going to help people build businesses. 2025 You heard it here first.Michele Hansen  38:39  I don't know if it's a venture fund or like, it's like our own on profit income. I don't know what it looks like or something. There's gonna be a software social something.Colleen Schnettler  38:51  I feel like this is gonna happen. Like you talking about your energy levels. That'sMichele Hansen  38:55  taken but software social something is Yeah. Gonna have coming at some pointsColleen Schnettler  39:03  in the next 10 years. The future in the future. Yeah. Okay. I know, I brought it up before I just when you were talking about excitement. I was like, Oh, dude, this is this is something we're gonna maybe do someday. That'll be a good retirement job for me. Yeah, totally. Right. I mean, maybe it'll be years 20 years. I don't know. Someday. So that sounds good, though. I mean, that sounds like for you.Michele Hansen  39:29  In my backyard those are my retirement you drink gin. Yeah, like dreamed about making a little like, gin distillery My oh my gosh, are so funny on our farms smell like they smell like apricots when you bolt them. And then I'm like, Oh, Nick, amazing. Like pine. Apricot. Gin. So I don't make it now. But that's again, retirement dreamColleen Schnettler  39:48  retirement dream. Yeah, so it sounds like to sum up your money 52 Oh my gosh, to submit for 2022 It sounds like you are looking for a year of finding balance. Yeah, and all the things balance. I think I am looking for another hustle year. So 2022 is going to be another I know 2021 was a hustle year for me with Hammerstone launching and simplify, upload kind of not sure what I'm going to do with that. But 2022 for me is another hustle year I thinkMichele Hansen  40:26  2020 was like a hustle year for you as much as like a ping pong year because I feel like all over the place kind of all over the place like both like physically and yeah, work wise. And like, I would love to see you really, really grow into this role of being a founder of Hammerstone. And like, and, and bringing that to life and helping that blossom and really leaning into that because I think you have so much more to discover about yourself as a founder.Colleen Schnettler  41:04  Yeah, totally agree. I love it.Michele Hansen  41:06  Cheers to 2022 Cheers toColleen Schnettler  41:09  2022 Oh, my goodness. All right, well, I guess that will wrap up this week's episode of the software, social podcast, Happy New Year to all of you. We'd love to hear what your goals are for 2022. Or if you want to hit us with the 2021 recap. That's always fun. We love to hear everyone's stories. You can reach us on Twitter at software slash pod. Talk to you next year. It's no my favorite joke. Remember when you were a kid and used to make that joke? Like like talk to you next year? It's still a great joke. Okay,

INDIE MAKER FRANCE
Commencer petit pour arriver à faire 25k$ de MRR

INDIE MAKER FRANCE

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 28, 2021 77:54


Dans cet épisode n°70, j'accueille Mat De Sousa. Tu dois déjà avoir entendu parler de Mat de Sousa. Il est le CEO de The Wide Company et il aide les e-commerçants sur Shopify à gagner plus grâce à ses apps. Je te l'accorde, ça fait un peu nom de grosse agence de dev. Mais c'est très réfléchi. Mat ne jure que par cette phrase qu'il a entendu lors d'une conférence : “Think Big. Start Small”. Alors il applique cette devise tous les jours. Et si The Wide Company fait penser à une grosse boîte, c'est parce qu'il pense en grand. Mais il a commencé petit... Tu vas apprendre à le connaître un peu plus dans cet épisode et comprendre comment il en est arrivé à faire 25k$ de MRR avec une seule application pour Shopify. Entrepreneur au plus profond de lui et passionné depuis toujours par le web, il tombe dedans quasiment par hasard grâce (ou plutôt à cause) d'un jeu vidéo. Et de fil en aiguille, de projets perso en échecs, il va apprendre de ses erreurs, savoir saisir les opportunités au bon moment jusqu'au jour où... Mais je ne t'en dis pas plus ici. Si tu veux connaître son histoire et, pourquoi pas, t'en inspirer, tu sais ce qu'il te reste à faire. Récapitulatif de l'épisode par chapitres: 01:30 Introduction 04:30 Frustré par le jeu vidéo Dofus, il se lance dans le web 10:10 Ses premiers projets et échecs 19:50 Son premier stage chez Dassault Aviation 22:45 La découverte du Marketing avec le Dropshipping 26:50 Sa 1ere application pour le Dropshipping 35:20 La création de Wide Bundle et L'importance de la donnée et des feedbacks utilisateurs 53:20 Ses autres projets 1:04:00 Pourquoi il aime travailler seul Liens utiles : Son Facebook : https://imf.to/facebookmatdesousa Son Linkedin : https://imf.to/linkedinmatdesousa Wide Bundle : https://imf.to/Widebundle Ce qu'il aurait aimé qu'on lui dise avant de se lancer : “Pense à partir d'un besoin” “Essaie de rencontrer un maximum de gens et ne reste pas dans ton coin” “Apprends l'anglais” Sa citation préférée :“Think big. Start small” Prochain invité selon lui: Etienne Mimy Co-Founder chez Ecom Millionaires Bonne écoute! INDIE MAKERS fait en remote depuis Madeire ❤️ Abonne-toi sur les plateformes d'écoute Apple Podcast, Youtube ou Spotify. Fais-toi coacher, pour vivre de tes projets : https://imf.to/coaching Rejoins la communauté des Makers : https://imf.to/discord Remerciements : Thomas Baraban pour son travail sur l'audio des épisodes Mickael Bourgois de WeLovePodcasts.fr pour les résumés Lien de l'épisode: https://indiemakers.fr/episode/70

Human Capital Innovations (HCI) Podcast
S29E23 - Getting All Team Members to Contribute Towards the Strategic Goals of the Organization, with Tim Cakir

Human Capital Innovations (HCI) Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 20, 2021 29:14


In this HCI Podcast episode, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover (https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanhwestover/) talks with Tim Cakir about getting all team members to contribute towards the strategic goals of the organization. See the video here: https://youtu.be/tfaBgtEcVCY. Tim Cakir (https://www.linkedin.com/in/timycakir/) is a growth consultant who helps companies, entrepreneurs and students achieve fast and consistent growth.  Working with 17 startups to date, some of his best achievements include helping two startups receiving 1.7 million euros in Horizon 2020 funding, increasing MRR of one startup from $80k to $300k in less than 18 months and completing projects such as implementation of OKRs, building company dashboards, rebranding and product launches. In addition to that, Tim's passion for helping people realize their potential to bring their ideas to life means that he also teaches Bachelor and Masters programs at two universities in Barcelona, ESEI International Business School Barcelona and Geneva Business School.   Check out Dr. Westover's new book, 'Bluer than Indigo' Leadership, here: https://www.innovativehumancapital.com/bluerthanindigo. Check out Dr. Westover's book, The Alchemy of Truly Remarkable Leadership, here: https://www.innovativehumancapital.com/leadershipalchemy. Check out the latest issue of the Human Capital Leadership magazine, here: https://www.innovativehumancapital.com/hci-magazine. Ranked #6 Performance Management Podcast: https://blog.feedspot.com/performance_management_podcasts/  Ranked #6 Workplace Podcast: https://blog.feedspot.com/workplace_podcasts/  Ranked #7 HR Podcast: https://blog.feedspot.com/hr_podcasts/  Ranked #12 Talent Management Podcast: https://blog.feedspot.com/talent_management_podcasts/  Ranked in the Top 20 Personal Development and Self-Improvement Podcasts: https://blog.feedspot.com/personal_development_podcasts/  Ranked in the Top 30 Leadership Podcasts: https://blog.feedspot.com/leadership_podcasts/ --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/hcipodcast/support

Growth Marketing Today
The Early-Stage Growth Playbook with Marc Thomas (GMT155)

Growth Marketing Today

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 16, 2021 36:56


You've worked hard to build your product idea. Your product is out in the world. But no one is paying to use your SaaS. The MRR is… recurring at 0. Sound familiar?Marc Thomas, Head of Growth at Powered By Search, has been there too.When he launched my company, he toiled and ground it out for years on a direct sales-only model and it was grueling. But bit by bit Marc put into place the fundamentals of the early stage growth playbook which resulted in organic signups going up by 1330% and revenue from low or no-touch sales by 17%In episode 155, you'll learn: Why value props matter more than positioning at early-stage The difference between value propositions and positioning How to test your messaging in less than 20 minutes This episode is brought to you by 42 Agency.They are a plug-and-play demand generation and marketing operation agency for B2B SaaS Companies that are ready to scale. They can help you: Streamline operations Implement new tech stack Design ABM & demand generation strategies Create a predictable revenue pipeline They've worked with some amazing companies like Onfleet, Hubdoc, Guestlogix, Flexday, and more.Learn more at https://fourtytwo.agency/ and get $500 in free consulting time.★ Support this podcast ★

REACH OR MISS
Ep. 245 – Tim Cakir best advice: Be obsessed with the problem not the solution; if you obsess about the problem, the solution will change over time, getting better and better.

REACH OR MISS

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 32:25


Tim Cakir is a growth consultant who helps companies, entrepreneurs and students achieve fast and consistent growth. Working with 17 startups to date, some of his best achievements include helping two startups receiving 1.7 million euros in Horizon 2020 funding, increasing MRR of one startup from $80k to $300k in less than 18 months and completing projects such as implementation of OKRs, building company dashboards, rebranding and product launches. In addition to that, Tim's passion for helping people realize their potential to bring their ideas to life means that he also teaches Bachelor and Masters programs at two universities in Barcelona, ESEI International Business School Barcelona and Geneva Business School.   Most passionate about I'm very passionate about education at the moment. About 30% of my professional time, I dedicate to teaching. I teach in two master's programs in two different universities. I usually teach around digital marketing, online growth, and some business intelligence. I really love any kind of high-tech, deep-tech startup, trying to solve some of the problems that must be solved by technology. That's where my passion lies. Tim's career and story When I was about 17 or 18, in California, I sold Turkish and Persian-made carpets. It was a bit of telesales, a bit of door-to-door sales, trying to book appointments with people who visited Turkey before. In California, I would visit them and try to sell them carpets. This was, I think, my first business venture. When I moved to London, I really got into creative marketing, media marketing. I helped a few publishing companies digitalize their magazine offerings from the offline world to the digital world. That's where I switched myself, big time, to digital marketing. I was lucky enough, about five or six years ago, to move to Barcelona, Spain, where I'm residing right now. I became a sound engineer. I studied media production, concentrating on audio technologies, and found myself in the music world, which was always a passion. Best advice for entrepreneurs My biggest tip would be to focus on the problem. Why does that customer have a problem? What is the problem? Don't be obsessed about the problem, because if you obsess about the problem, the solution will change over time. The solution will get better and better, what you're building. But if you focus a lot on the solution, that's where you're not innovating anymore. You get stuck on the solution that you've already come up with. The biggest, most critical failure with customers I'm going to look at the perspective of when we targeted the wrong customers. In one of the businesses, which was the B2B SAS, we had a technology for e-commerce businesses and targeted the wrong segment. We targeted big e-commerce shops. We were closing deals, but it was very slow. I think the biggest mistake that I've made was not thinking about different customer segments or testing or experimenting with the messaging to different people. Biggest success with customers One of the greatest successes that I was involved with in a company was when some drama happened in the world – actually a major problem around the world. We had an e-commerce and we were setting products in America. There was a bigger movement of Black Lives Matter, as you're aware. We donated some money to certain charities or projects that we believed in. A percentage of our client base suddenly turned a bit racist and we started getting hate messages, hate reviews. That really scared us. We blocked these customers, these racist comments, and we said no to certain revenue. That helped us grow even better. We didn't just focus on the money. We focused on the good people whom we had. We got rid of the bad people, and this helped us grow. People started talking about it and protecting us on Reddit. We got amazing loyalty on Reddit. Tim's recommendation of a

Above Board
Sharing MRR is egotistical

Above Board

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 13, 2021 31:24


Jack and Paul get into the pros and cons of indie companies sharing their MRR and MRR milestones publicly. There's definitely an appeal to sharing this, as many companies do, but is it worth doing, or more importantly, actually helpful, useful or beneficial to do so? Or, is sharing your gross revenue, just gross?

Diario di Due Imprenditori Digitali
92 - Marketing di fine anno

Diario di Due Imprenditori Digitali

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 46:12


In questa puntata:✅ Strategia di cold email✅ 20k MRR a novembre✅ Strumenti di session recording✅ Offerte di fine anno

Slow & Steady
It's Time to Take a Break

Slow & Steady

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 56:45


The gang is all here! In addition to updates, they discuss the "sawdust" metaphor — packaging the byproducts of your primary service and putting them to good use. Brian announces he will be taking a break from the show. Blogging For Devs Community Go Rails — learn Ruby on Rails Benedicte's new plugin Yoga accountability Twitter thread Conference Buddy — an app by Mirjam Aulbach Now Hiring: Frontend Developer (Ember.js) at Userlist While he feels conflicted, Brian plans to take a three-month break from the show. He's tired of the march to grow his MRR and doesn't feel like he has meaningful updates. He is enjoying his role at GitLab and wants to spend his free time away from building a SaaS — namely on projects like board games. Last week will be his final episode before the break.Benedicte has updates on several fronts — a new plugin, a yoga accountability partner, and her first non-hourly gig! She plans to have Benedikt on an upcoming stream to talk databases after the next authentication stream. She also needs to unfollow some Twitter accounts to follow some new ones... without making 5000 clicks.Benedikt's time has been spent almost entirely in hiring for the frontend development position at Userlist. They had to say "no" to the previous round of candidates and it isn't easy. In between hiring, he has snuck in some small features and bug requests. The good news in causing stupid bugs? They are easy fixes. Usually.

Big Break Software Podcast
How getting on live chat with your customers can give exponential SaaS growth with CMO Michael Epstein of multi 7 figure ARR PostPilot

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 8, 2021 45:47


Michael Epstein of PostPilot talks about building their MVP, gaining first customesr, and navigating their zero-30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast.  We live in a digital overload world, where cost-per-click (CPC) is fast overtaking email and email engagement. Today, customers are looking forward to getting real and tangible interactions with brands. PostPilot makes these expectations a reality via direct automated mail drives. Through PostPilot, customers can send handwritten and personalized postcards as conveniently as email campaigns. This technique generates excellent ROI (return on investment) and engagement. Michael Epstein shares critical details with Geordie in this podcast.   What You'll Learn  What problem does PostPilot solve for customers? How much equity should companies set aside for potential employees? How did Michael and his team get their initial customers? Why entrepreneurs should strive to engage with their customers and understand the problems they face one on one Challenges Michael and his team faced when building their MVP What requirements do Michael and his team look for in customers before onboarding them? At what point did Michael and his team find product-market fit? Why companies should have an ideal customer  In this Episode:  Michael has been in the eCommerce industry for more than two decades, during which he started a company, grew it to millions in sales, and departed to join the private equity world. Having interacted with numerous companies and used direct mail to develop their eCommerce presence, Michael understands how challenging the process can be. Together with his business partner, they figured there had to be an easier and trackable way of sending direct mail drives. They would later meet their third co-founder, who was already building an MVP to solve this problem. Michael and his co-founder invested in their third co-founder, and they all became partners. Together, they developed the product, launched it, and started growing it.   In today's overly competitive digital world, companies need to go the extra mile to offer unique services and stay ahead of their competitors. One thing Michael and his team did differently was their ability to do granular segmentation, offer individual personalization and track elements that enabled them to determine groups of customers that were responding best. The team also focused on helping their customers track performance and improve their campaigns like they would with any digital-based marketing drive. Michael explains this concept extensively. He also talks about meeting Matt, the third co-founder, and convincing him to come on board.    Michael talks about how the team worked together to ensure the MVP met their standards. What changes and initial investments did they make to prepare the MVP for the Shopify app store? Listen to the podcast to find out. According to Michael, their messaging addresses problems that customers face. It is not an attempt to engage in postcard marketing. The team strives to help their clients reach customers who don't read emails and those not on their email list. How do Michael and his team get their messaging right?   Michael says Andrew (co-founder) and himself are the target customers. Apart from understanding customer pain points, the team also meets regularly with other CEOs and founders, where they listen to the same pain points.  Together with his team, Michael uses a wide range of strategies to understand the problems their target customers are facing. Engaging customers one on one is a key strategy that entrepreneurs should adopt. It helps them understand customer problems from a personal point of view. Find out more details from the podcast. Every business faces challenges along the way and PostPilot were not an exception. One of the main challenges that Michael and his team faced during the MVP's initial stages was teaching people about their products. Convincing potential customers to try their product was also a daunting task.  Michael talks about the two pivotal moments the company had. These, he says, did not happen until after some years. The first one was implementing a concierge-level free trial service, and the second was getting the design right. Apart from the free plan, Michael says they have other paid plans and discusses them in detail. Do not miss this part of the podcast if you want to try this service. Are you are a beginner in the SaaS industry? Michael has some tips to help you determine what your target market wants. Listen to the podcast for the details. If he had a chance to do things differently, Michael says he would have made some crucial decisions earlier. Resources PostPilot Michael Epstein LinkedIn Michael Epstein Twitter

MicroConf On Air
MicroConf On Air: TinySeed Syndicate Announcement & Q+A with Einar Vollset

MicroConf On Air

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 34:54


TinySeed, the MicroConf Startup Accelerator and Fund, announced their Investment Syndicate today. Join the co-founders of TinySeed, Rob Walling and Einar Vollset, as we discuss what it means to be an investment syndicate, how it can help startup founders more broadly than our accelerator program, and more. At TinySeed we operate several funds, all with the same underlying thesis: Invest broadly into the earliest stages of B2B SaaS companies worldwide. Typically, the kinds of companies we back are early stage — usually, $3-15k MRR at the time of application (although the range is much wider) — and those investments join our year-long remote accelerator in batches. The TinySeed Funds do not invest directly into any TinySeed company that decides to raise additional funding (a so-called “follow-on” round), or make any other kinds of investments.

Sub Club
How to Thrive Despite Apple's ATT — Eric Seufert, Mobile Dev Memo

Sub Club

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 1, 2021 63:43


On the podcast I talk with Eric about the value destruction of App Tracking Transparency, the limitations of SKAdNetwork, and how to thrive as an app developer in this new paradigm.My guest today is Eric Seufert. Eric has deep operating experience, having worked in growth and strategy roles at consumer tech companies such as Wooga and Rovio, but he also founded and sold a marketing business intelligence company, Agamemnon, and is an active investor in the mobile gaming and ad tech categories. Eric has a depth and breadth of experience with mobile apps and games that few can match. Over the past year Eric has written extensively about App Tracking Transparency and the future of mobile advertising on his trade blog, Mobile Dev Memo.In this episode, you'll learn: Will Apple's ATT be a net loss for Apple? Can SKAdNetwork be saved, and does Apple want to save it? Is focusing on organic traffic a flawed strategy? What does the future of app install ads look like? Links & Resources Rovio Snapchat Apple's Private Relay Tim Cook Outbrain Taboola AllTrails SubClub AllTrails podcast episode Stitcher Eric Seufert's Links Follow Eric on Twitter Mobile Dev Memo Heracles Freemium Economics: Leveraging Analytics and User Segmentation to Drive Revenue  Eric is on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter: David Barnard Jacob Eiting RevenueCat Sub Club Episode Transcript00:00:00 David:Hello. I'm your host, David Bernard, and for the first time ever, I'm flying solo today. RevenueCat CEO, Jacob Eiting is busy CEO'ing.My guest today, is Eric Seufert. Having worked in growth and strategy roles at consumer tech companies such as Wooga and Rovio, Eric has a depth and breadth of experience with mobile apps and games that few can match. He also founded and sold marketing business intelligence company Agamemnon, and is an active investor in the mobile gaming and ad tech categories.Over the past year, Eric has written extensively about App Tracking Transparency and the future of mobile advertising on his trade blog, Mobile Dev Memo.On the podcast, I talk with Eric about the value destruction of App Tracking Transparency, the limitations of SKAdNetwork, and how to thrive as an app developer in this new paradigm.Hey Eric, thanks for being on the podcast.00:01:09 Eric:Thank you for having me on the podcast.00:01:11 David:So, we're going to start off with a bit of a dead horse that's been beaten over and over again. Apple's motivation in enacting App Tracking Transparency, but I did want to take kind of a different perspective on it. The most interesting thing to me personally about Apple's motivation with App Tracking Transparency is what it says about what they are going to do in the future.Did they build SKAdNetwork purposely handicapped, or did they not really understand how handicapped it was? Were they really trying to kill Facebook, or was that a kind of a side benefit? I think that their motivations are important, because it forecasts what changes they may or not make moving forward as they start to see the impact.So, I think the first thing I wanted to ask you is, how do you see Apple's reaction and how they perceive ATT to be going, now that we're seeing snap drop 25% after the quarterly earnings report, and see more of the disruption that you and others were predicting, but maybe Apple didn't quite see coming? How do you think Apple sees this going currently? And what does that say about the future of privacy on iOS?00:02:42 Eric:I think Apple's primary motivation was not to capture mobile advertising market share. I don't think that was a primary motivation. I think that's happened, and I think they expected that to happen, but I don't think that was the primary driver of this decision.What I think they wanted to do was, there's kind of like a big picture idea here, and then an immediate consequence idea. I think what Apple did not like, was that they had kind of lost control over content discovery on the iPhone.When the App Store was first launched, that was how you discovered apps. It was through going to the App Store, and some small part search, but then in large part just like the editorial curation that Apple exposes there. That changed over the years, and up until the announcement, or the enactment of of ATT, the way that people discovered apps was through advertising, and primarily Facebook advertising.Apple totally lost control. The content that people interacted with on their phones was not the result of any deliberate decision on Apple's part or some deliberate consideration. It just happened to be whatever could scale ads the best. Whatever companies could scale their ads the most efficiently, that's what people interacted with. That's what became dominant on the platform, and Apple really had no say in that.Short term, narrow aperture view of this, they just wanted to regain control of that. They wanted to be the kingmakers. They wanted to be the tastemakers; the people that decided—the party that decided—what became popular on the iPhone and how the iPhone was used.And I mean, that's, it's, if you've worked in, in gaming, especially, but if you've worked in mobile apps at all and you've ever had to go and, you know, go, go through the whole process of pitching your app to Apple, and pleading for featuring You know, that that's what they want.They, they like to having that control because that allowed them to percolate their new iOS features into the app community through almost horsetrading it's like, you want featuring, We'd be happy to give you featuring, but you've got to integrate X, Y, Z thing into your app.Once you do that, we're happy to feature you. that, that was sort of the, that was the, the, the negotiating process. You know, that that process, even that process itself became less important and less prominent in the life of a developer over the last few years, In 2012 to 2015 that's what you did every time you were launching a new app, or even if you're doing a major update, you flew, you flew to San Francisco, you went to Cupertino, you went into a, conference room at Apple HQ and you pitch somebody.That just stopped being something that people did. Like just people realized that, even if we get featuring, it's not going to be that meaningful for our business, what we really need to be able to nail what we, what we have to do. Our success is dependent on our ability to scale the product with paid advertising, you know, and explicitly, you know, specifically through, through Facebook.So, I think that was the primary motivation to regain that control right now. I think there's a bigger picture idea here. There's a bigger picture motivation or, or like, projection here, which is that, you know, we're, we're moving into a paradigm where, you know, the phone you have, the, the device you have that you consume content with is totally unconstrained, in terms of what it accesses, right?Like, and, and how it accesses content. And that's what that's, that's the sort of, that's the behavioral, norm that, that people are moving into, they just expect their favorite stuff to be available from whatever device they have in their hand, at that moment, as long as it's connected to the internet, they expect to be able to connect to Disney to Hulu, to Netflix, to Facebook, to anything, they use every day.You get to a point where, you know, if you run this gatekeeping platform, like at the App Store or Google play If, if, if users have leapfrogged that paradigm into no, my favorite content is always available. It's, you know, sort of like, it's just, just persistent in the cloud and I should be able to access it however I want at any, at any given point in time.Then you've lost control of that sort of, of that gatekeeper positioning. I feel like what Apple wanted to do they, they, know that that's inevitable. we'll get there, but they wanted to prolong this dominance and the prominence of the App Store in terms of, you know, the consumer relationship, that's the first stop you've got to go through them to get to the content. because then that also, like that also provides them with some leverage over the, over the developer. And I think w w we've I think we've probably accelerated. But, but maybe not, maybe this, maybe this, you know, buys two to three more years of, okay, well, I have an iPhone that means I go through the App Store to get content, right.Or I have an Android. Maybe that means I go through Google play to get to content. And not that like, this is it. Matter what device I'm using, I'm using my Samsung TV or my iPhone and my iPad or my Facebook portal or whatever, or my, my, Amazon, echo. I want to get to the content that I have available to me in a persistent way in the cloud.Right. And so I think that was, that was also the primary motivation, or that was part of the primary motivation, but that was like, sort of like the bigger picture consequence of it.00:08:18 David:Right. I mean, where do you put, Apple's kind of stated motivation of privacy in this hierarchy of, of motivations and, and outcomes because, you know, a lot of people have said, oh, well, Apple was clearly acting anti competitively to favor their own ad business and crush these other ad businesses. It was, you know, primarily driven by the greed to expand their ad revenue.And then I think yours is really interesting as far as like the control, but then of course Apple goes and just in the quarter results recently and has stated over and over again. That it was 100% privacy motivated. do you just not buy that00:08:58 Eric:No, not at all. And I don't, I don't necessarily even think at this moment that consumer privacy, has been benefited or protected as a result of this. Right. And we can get into that in a second, but you know, I've been publishing a lot about, they're still allowing fingerprint and they said they wouldn't, that's in the policy.Right. It's explicit. Like there's no ambiguity there and they're allowing for it. Right. And they're not policing. And they could, because they've done it in the past. And so I think if you want it to be protective of privacy, That would be one of the things that you would prioritize is, preventing that from happening.00:09:33 David:And you don't think that? Not that I mean, diving into fingerprinting real quick, do you think that. It's potentially that they're just delaying the enforcement to kind of smooth some of the disruption that tra App Tracking Transparency has already caused it because them not enforcing it immediately doesn't mean they're not going to enforce it.So, but I find it baffling as well. That they're not. So do you see them enforcing it sooner do you think that this really is an indication that they don't actually care about privacy and that this is not ever going to be enforced?00:10:08 Eric:They can enforce it at some point and like they're there, there wise, like I think kind of a widespread. That in the developer community, that there was going to be a grace period. Right. They would introduce NTT, but they're going to allow for fingerprinting for some amount of time, because, you know, if, if you just, you know, made this very radical change and it was like absolute from day one, the impact would have been even more severe than, than what we saw.So I, there was a belief that there would be a grace period, but you know, we're going on like four months now. Right. And, and the thing is, you know, my, my sense was when, as soon as they, because they, you know, they talked about private relay at WWDC this year, I was like, oh, okay. That's how they do it.Right. Because, and I've talked a bunch about how it would be clunky to police fingerprinting through App Store review the store review process. Right. I talked about that in a piece. I just wrote two weeks ago or last week, and it would be clunky, but they could have introduced us in private relay.I thought that that's what they were going to do. Or at the very least they would roll private relay out. Cause it applies to, you know, safari traffic now. And they would say, look, well, we have to reach parody. Our treatment of the web and or treatment had been app traffic. And so therefore, you know, maybe for whatever technical reason we can't, we can't, obfuscate the IP address of in app traffic, it'd be too expensive or it's a technical challenge that we haven't solved yet.But like, this is the moment, you know, ad tech when you must stop fingerprinting. And I think if they said that, you know, these ad tech companies would, right, because the way that they've sort of implemented this in a lot of these solutions is it's like an option, right? Like they say, you can turn it off if you want.Right. Cause I think that these ad tech companies are surprised. They thought fingerprinting was going to be. More we're policed early on, maybe not on day one, but you'd get like two weeks a month. and so they kind of introduced this as like an optional feature. Right. And then, you know, and they, they presented it as like a, Hey, it's a feature for developers if they want it.And so, you know, it's, it's something that they could switch off and they, they they're ready to switch off. I think. So I think even if, if Apple just sort of like, you know, kind of pantomime those motions, people would stop doing it because, okay. It's, it's actually, you know, it's sort of like actually against policy now versus just before where it was like ignored, but, you know, I, I thought they were gonna introduce in iOS 15 for that reason, or at least again, like, just make the, go through the motions of saying that, that it's, it's not allowed, but, but so just, just back Betsy, it wasn't about like, where does privacy sit in the, in the sort of list of motivations?I think it's probably so my, my, the heart, the hard time that I have with like, reconciling this idea that like, and you hear this a lot, like Apple cares about policy that people say that privacy, Apple cares about product. How could it have Apples on a person Apple. Apple's a corporate structure.There's there's however many employees at Apple. They don't all agree on things. Right. Who and Tim cook is not a dictator. He can't just run the company like that. Apple shareholders, have some control. His board has some control. Right. And so, you know, at least they have influence. And so like, the Apple as a, it can't have is it doesn't have a monolithic opinion about stuff.It's not an entity in its own. Right. I I just don't buy this idea that a company can care about some abstract concept. Right? Like, here's another question for you. Apple makes the Apple watch, It's a health tracker. Does Apple care about your health Do they, are they really concerned? Are they genuinely, you know, invested in your health Or do they want to sell something. so the idea with privacy is okay. It gives us an opportunity to strike a juxtaposition juxtaposition against Android, which you know, has, is, is perceived, I believe, as less privacy-safe but even Android has gone to great lengths or Google has gone to great lengths to bring privacy to the forefront in Android.A lot of it is about informing consumers about their data being accessed, but still there. They've done some things. Right. So anyway, I just, I don't believe that a company, a corporate entity can care about an abstract concept. Right. putting that aside, what does privacy buy them It buys them that juxtaposition, and then it buys them cover, It buys them cover to do all this other stuff. Right. And then to, and then they spin up this big narrative that probably helps us sell iPhones. Because you know what I00:14:07 David:Or future AR glasses 00:14:10 Eric:Exactly 00:14:10 David:Some ways,Positioning themselves, they they care about privacy insofar as it's an incredible marketing tool for them. it, gives them cover for future devices. They become more and more and more and more private. this thing you wear on your wrist biometric sensors and tracking your sleep and everything else, customers are going to feel more comfortable wearing AR glasses that have cameras on.When it's Apple branded, than when it's Facebook branded, there's been backlash with the Ray-Ban, glasses from Facebook. So, yeah, I get, you I, you know, the Apple fanboy in me wants to believe that, you know, Apple you know, wants to do good in the world, but I've, since lost my Apple religion, but I, but I do think to a certain extent that they care about they do care about privacy whether or not any of that's motivated by Goodwill or otherwise it's incredible marketing for them.That being the case, you know, and this is where maybe our opinions diverge, or at least how we interpret some of, of what's been going on. I still am of the opinion, as naive as it may be that that privacy was a primary motivation for them, whether they're altruistic or marketing or, whatever other reasons they have to be to be positioning themselves this way.I still think that that that was primary and, and that, I don't know that they even fully understood or expected some of the. the things that have been happening, I think they thought SKAdNetwork was a better solution than it actually is. I don't know that they expected to see a company like snap that is actually fairly aligned with them, at least, in marketing and public perception as being a more privacy-focused company to see this company that has been reading and talking positively about App Tracking Transparency and see them drop 25% in a single day, because, and then say specifically it's because SKAdNetwork isn't delivering.I still think personally. This has more to do with Apple, not understanding and not listening to the industry, which we've seen for decades, Apple doesn't listen, they're not good at receiving outside feedback on roadmaps, on, on their APIs, on anything else. They think they know what to do.And they think as a product company, they can just build this product bring it to the world. And it's going to be the best thing since sliced bread SKAdNetwork is just another. Yeah. Another example of them trying that approach and then just falling flat on their face. I think this is important because if that is the case and if they really, if the primary motivation really was privacy, then maybe we do see an SKAdNetwork 3.0, that's way better than this current one.After they realized they've destroyed tens of billions of dollars of value, and also potentially handicapped their own platform because as ad efficiency goes down and as apps struggle to gain traction, they lose too. So, yeah, I mean, I guess just, I'd love to hear your kind of response to that. Cause I know we probably disagree on this a bit.00:17:37 Eric:I guess it doesn't really matter. Like it, you know, if we, I don't know, at this point it kind of seems like semantics a little bit. Cause it's like, well, all they care about privacy because privacy is good marketing messages. But my point is like, I don't think they genuinely care whether people's data is being accessed by advertising networks.Right. I don't think they cared about that to the, to the degree that, it didn't impact. It was, it was, it was happening sort of unawares, right? Like, or, you know, that these users were like sort of unawares, once it became, like a, like a sort of social rallying cry around, you know, Facebook and, you know, it's the congressional testimony and you're listening on our devices.And then once it became something that I think that they could, you know, exploit the insured, then maybe they care about it because it is a differentiator for the products and they can help them sell more products. Right. But, but I think so, first of all, so we are on a scanner 3.0, they released 3.0 3.0 is just like a minor improvement.So 3.0 added view through attribution. And I think it added one more thing. And then also with, I was 15, they allowed the post-bacc to be sent directly to the advertiser, not just the networks. I mean, those are improvements, but I don't see them continuing to do. S K I know work. I just, I just don't see that, but I think I do. I do agree. I agree with you that, that they didn't understand how consequential that this would be to the advertising. I think it's an example of like the left hand, not talking to the right hand.Apple is like a super secretive organization, not just to the outside world, right. Internally Apple teams are very secretive. Right. And, you know, I, I don't know that the App Store team was talking to the iTunes team. I, I mean, I don't even really know how that, how, how this sort of corporate structure separates those two teams.But my sense is that like the App Store team, the people that work with developers, Aware of this, like, and I I've been told that I've been told that they learned about it at WWDC two years ago. Right. And then they got up, they had to field a bunch of angry emails and phone calls. Right. you know, I think, there, there wasn't a whole lot of consensus internally around what the impact of this would be.I think the impact was underestimated. And to be honest, I don't think they would have released something if they knew that it was going to wipe out, you know, just a late, a quarter of snaps market cap in a day. Right. I don't think they would have released something if they knew it was going to annihilate a fifth of Zynga's market cap in a day last quarter, you know what I mean?I don't think they, you know, and what we saw with Facebook was that there's like this kind of slow erosion of, of, of market cap, you know, from, from like the all time high, a couple months ago. but you know, th the damage hasn't been just, just in terms of stock price, hasn't been as, as, as severe to Facebook, as it has to some of these other.You know, who weren't really doing the things that Apple wanted, you know, to sort of, to mitigate. Right. So I, I don't think that they fully, you know, first of all, they didn't, you know, workshop this with advertisers. Like I know that to be true, or, or I believe that to be true, unless some people did it in like, you know, deep secret and they've never revealed it, but I don't think they, I don't think that's true because I've talked to a lot of people.No one, no one was consulted about this that I've spoken with. you know, I don't think that they really truly grasped how sort of like fundamental performance advertising was, or is to a lot of these businesses, right. In terms of, they're just, they're, they're sort of, you know, operational success.Right. And so I think, because of that sort of differential between. I think what they thought was going to be the result of this and what the actual result was. You know, I, I feel like that does call into question, you know, not only just the wisdom of this, but you know, how well they can defend it, right.When, you know, against maybe some, some, some lines of inquiry, you know, that, that are, that are sort of like, you know, kind of a more powerful and, sort of socially instrumental than, than ours than mine are then, then app advertisers or app developers. Right.I think they've, they've invited a lot of questions about this through, through, through the severity of the impact that we've witnessed over the last couple of weeks and months.00:21:35 David:And that's where I totally agree with that. And that's been my perception as well. And I talk to folks as well, is that Apple didn't fully understand the implications. And if there were people inside Apple who had a better understanding of what might play out, they didn't have enough of a seat at the table.And that a lot of this was just ivory tower thinking was Apple building ski network thinking, oh, this is going to be a great solution with. Like you said, workshopping it with the people who would actually have to use it. And then, you know, coming up with a better solution. So then, then my question for you is, okay.You know, you were kind of chicken little for a year, the sky is gonna fall. The sky is gonna fall. The sky is gonna fall. I mean, you've been really one of the most vocal people about how big these impacts were going to be. And you had a lot of people in the industry saying, oh, it's not going to be that bad.It's not going to be that bad. Well, now the sky fell. I mean, you know, a public company having 25% of its market value wiped out in a day due to one specific policy from a platform like the sky is falling, you were right. But then so now Apple sees it. They can't, they can't avoid seeing it. What do they do from here?You said, they're not going to make SKAdNetwork better. You know, are they going to not police, fingerprinting to, continue to soften the blow? Like where does it go? That's that's, what's so interesting to me about okay, whatever their motivation, what they do in the future. In reaction to what's actually happening now that we're seeing actual results matters, you know, to, to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.And, and one of the things I put in the notes to talk about is a lot of this value that's being destroyed is not accruing to Apple. It's not as if you know, a hundred billion dollars of market cap wiped out of Facebook and Google and snap and other folks, it's not like Apple is actually capturing that because they don't, they don't have the ad inventory.They don't they're, they're not a big player in the space. So, yeah. W where does Apple go from here if they painted themselves in a corner,00:23:38 Eric:Maybe, I mean, I think what I would, you know, if I was an Apple, I'd be worried about, you know, they've got a lot of theirs are, they're already under a lot of scrutiny, right. Like, you know,00:23:47 David:Right.00:23:48 Eric:What did the DOJ, what just three days ago, decided to re reopen the investigation in that, in the Apple, related to, to the way they operate the App Store.I just think it's really tough to, to maintain this line on one front while, you know, you're obviously having to lose ground on, on another front. Right. because as we've seen, like there's just been this steady trickle of them, you know, seeding ground developers or, giving up a lot of, you know, Exclusivity and, and, you know, PR preferential treatment they have with, with apps or operation, right.Like, it just feels like maybe it's maybe it's they felt like, well, that will, it we'll expand one area of that, that preferential treatment while we're sort of like forced to abandon other, areas of preferential treatment. But I don't know that they were, I don't, but that would only make sense if they actually really understood how dramatic the consequences of, of ADT would be, which I don't think they did.You know, I don't know. Maybe they have painted themselves into a corner. I mean, I don't know. So that's the thing about asking, I know work is like the way it was designed. It's got a lot of features that on their own would be smart, you know, tech, progressive privacy, protective, you know, mechanisms.Right. But in combination just renders this thing, like totally. Dysfunctional. And that's the problem because now if they go back and they get rid of any of these given features, so like, or not features, but restrictions, right. So let's say they say, okay, so first of all, I mean, and I'm assuming most people listening are at least familiar with this.I don't want to, I won't, I won't go into the whole thing, you know, description of Muscat network from zero, but let's say they give up on the privacy threshold, which would be weird because there's a privacy threshold for Apple search ads to be fair, but let's say they gave that up. Right. then, then, okay.You move a little bit towards, you know, something that, that is functional and helpful. but you're, you've, you've, you've made a pretty, sort of like very kind of public facing kind of Mia culpa decision, which I don't, you know, or announcement. Right.Which I don't know, that is an Apple's DNA to do that kind of thing.00:25:49 David:And giving up the privacy threshold would actually allow tracking, which is what they're saying, they're trying to prevent. So that's the other problem with giving much ground on some of these things with SKAdNetwork.00:26:01 Eric:Well, it could, it00:26:03 David:And that that's kind of the broader question is like, can S K I network even be saved and, you know, let's say regulators did come in and say, this was completely anti-competitive what's the solution.I mean, if you roll back and give unique identifiers to every app, you're going to have all the same unintended consequences that came with the IDFA. yeah, I mean, that's like four questions rolled into a statement, but, can I ask that network actually be saved while maintaining some level of privacy?00:26:32 Eric:Maybe, but I don't know that you do give up. So I don't, I don't think you totally Naval tracking. If you'd give up the privacy threshold, what you'd enable would be the advertiser would be able to link the specific campaign to an individual user in their data environment. Now, if they chose to share that with a third party, Platform or as platform, I guess that that would be their decision, I don't think by default it would sort of instantly, you know, make that trackable. Right. Cause all you're really doing is adding a little bit more context every post-bacc versus just some, because you already get, I mean, if you get rid of the privacy rest, it, that just means those NOLs go away.Right. And so you're able to get a little, you're able to track, you're able to sort of observe the less frequent, transactions. Right. Or just tell me what it is. If you tell me what it is that I can design around that. Right. But we don't even know if it's dynamic they've, they've apparently changed it like without telling anybody.And so all of a sudden the number of Knoll conversion values exploded. Right? I mean, that's the thing, just make it public because if you do that, then I'm going to say, you know what? Okay, I'm going to design my app, such that like. The people I care about are going to trigger this or not. Right. It's not something that's in its early funnel.It's something that it'll happen. You know, I can build my, I can, I can sort of like Intuit, you know, just through like kind of statistical modeling, what, where I need to place this in order for it to trigger the number of people that satisfies the privacy threshold, such that I get the data that I really need to make decisions.Cause right now you have no idea. And you know, I have no idea where to place that. What, what is that? Unless you just experiment a bunch of times, but, but even then it's, it's the, the broader environments to variable because the, the campaign could go up and down in terms of like DAU or DNA every day, you know what I mean?And then if they change it, then there's like a totally unknown exhaustion is variable there. Right? So it's impossible to tune your app such that you, you say, okay, look, I get it. You're not going to let me have. conversion value if fewer than 25 people did it. Well, I know how much traffic I'm driving through all these campaigns every day.So, so I need to consolidate my campaign, such that each one drives 400 in new, new installs every day, because I know that, you know, an eighth of the installs will trigger that thing, but those will be the users that really care about. Right. And if you did that, then at least I know, and I can design everything around that, but I don't even know.I don't even know if that changes over time relative to the number of installs I'm driving. I don't know if you're changing it on the back end without telling me like, it's just, you can't operate in with that kind of opacity. It's just, it's just not functional. And then you've got the a hundred campaign ID limit, you know, you've got no creative, parameters in the post-bacc like, you just can't do anything with this.00:29:04 David:Yeah. I mean, that's where it does seem like this was designed as an academic exercise. How do we prevent any. Identification of any individual ever from being even remotely possible. And, and it was an academic exercise that they played out. Whereas if they had workshops with the people who actually have to use it and had, thought through the kind of business use cases and you made a valid point earlier, you don't automatically, enable tracking by, reducing the privacy threshold.But I think, you know, Apple She kind of rethink some of the priorities around this so that you get better business metrics, even if one or two people can slip through the cracks of being able to be uniquely identified. And I think the argument there is like, it doesn't matter at scale, like if one person slips through the cracks, Facebook is not going to build technology around finding that person here and there that slips through the cracks because it doesn't matter to their business to find one or two.It matters too to have more data on everyone. So the campaign ID limit the creative ID, like all of these seem very ivory tower thinking that just is not going to play out in the real world. So, a few minutes ago you were saying you don't think Apple will improve SKAdNetwork, but now we're talking about how they could.Where does the rubber meet the road what's going to happen?00:30:31 Eric:I mean, I don't. Cause I mean, the thing is like, you know, we're just kind of riffing right now. Right? I think like if we sat, we sat down with the chocolate or the whiteboard or something, you know, because we, I wrote an article a couple months back, right. It was, it was like right after this was announced and I kind of like, here's some suggestions here's, here's what you can do to make STI work.More helpful and you know, some really smart people in the Mobile Dev Memo, slack pointed out holes in my analysis. They know if you do this, I, I, if we, if we had enough, post-tax going, I could sort of encode the idea of V over enough of the post-tax like, event in a post-tax. I could put like one character from the 90 fee and every single one, I could get the users.So it's, that's why you can only have one post-bac per install, right. Because if you did 50 or so, that makes sense. So, I mean, the thing is like, if I'm just ripping, what I do believe though, is like, you can eat, you can either have the privacy threshold or the random. Right because I need so like ramp the privacy threshold up to a million.I don't care, but let me have real-time install accounting because without that, I can't do anything. Right. If you, if I, if you're off you skating, even the date of installed in that I can't, I can't do in Sauk county. I can't, I can't, I can't, assess the economics of my campaigns because I don't even know when the installs are produced and I can't make changes to campaigns.Right. Without having to shut the whole thing down and wait, and to reuse that, one precious campaign ID within the, within the sort of like constraint of a hundred. Right. So. my sense is that like, if you just solve for that allow that allow real-time install accounting and then do whatever after that you have to do to prevent me from figuring out who those people are.Okay, that's fine. But at least then I know this campaign drove this many installs today. These were the targeting parameters. This was the audience I was reaching. This is how much I spent. Right. And like, even if we just went, cause I don't think you would lose a lot if you just went back. Cause right.You know, the, the frontier that we reached was like, we're in, especially on Facebook, I'm optimizing for value. I'm not demising for ROAS. Right. And that was like the sort of the final form of, of, of mobile advertising measurement is like, I'm telling Facebook, give me 110% ROAS on day seven. If you do that, I don't care how you target, who you target.You know, w how much you see CPI is, is irrelevant. I've got unlimited. You know, from a, from a sort of like practical standpoint on any given day spend as much as you can, but just make sure we'll get a hundred times that was the final form. And I think even if we sort of like retreated from there back to just like CPI, the average LTV of this campaign is X and the average, you know, the CPI was Y and so therefore I'm making money.That would be much less efficient, but still like it's workable right now. What we have is not workable.00:33:10 David:Yeah, well, I think you and I could riff on all this wonky stuff for another couple of hours and, I hope Apple's listening and actually going to make some changes and, listen better now that they're starting to see some of this stuff, but I did, I did want to change gears and kind of start talking through.What this means for developers and specifically, you know, sub club podcasts, what it means for subscription app developers and, and what you were just talking about. I think, I think is actually a really important, topic that not a lot of people fully understand you've written about it in the past, but I think it's still somewhat abstract enough, that I wanted to, to kind of have you describe it in more concrete terms.And that's the fact that with these, you know, day seven ROAS campaigns and value optimization and event optimization campaigns, Facebook with all of its data and AI in incredible targeting efficiency has kind of, in some ways been doing the job of developers. It's been finding. Those unique profiles, user profiles of who's actually going to spend money.Who's actually going to enjoy the app. And, and it's like, in some ways they, they became this really efficient black box of user profiling and understanding users that developers had kind of in the past done. And then maybe now need to get good at again in the future. know, again, you've written about this before, but just describe that process, maybe a little better of, of how amazing Facebook really was at finding the best users for an app.00:34:51 Eric:Well, they were very, you know, as you said, very, very good at it. Right. So, you know, it was based on like an approach that is, was very, simplistic, right? I mean, I just gonna, I'm gonna, if I can observe everything, then I know everything about this user and I can just target most relevant ads to them.Cause I know everything about what they interact with. Right. And I know what they like and you know, it gets to a point where that, that that ability to observe is so pervasive. That I, I do agree like that, that had, gone too far. Like the pendulum has swung too far in that direction.Like it is not, I find it unsavory to think that like, literally everything I do on my phone is observed and instrumented and ingested as a data point by one company. Right. Like that's, I'm uncomfortable with that. So, you know, and, but, but like, I think, you know, to your point, like going, you know, if you go back to when, when UAC was introduced, right.So Google their mobile product UAC is that's they describe it. I think that they themselves describe it as a black box as like a selling point. Right. Because it's like, look. Worried about any of that, you will handle all of this difficult analysis for you. We'll find the best users for you. You don't have to iterate across audience, definitions, or even creative, you know, and do all that experimentation yourself.We'll do that on your behalf with our superior tools. And when they announced it, there was a lot of, you know, disquietude in the, in the developer community. Cause people are like, look, we built this. We want to do it. I don't trust you to do it. I trust you to do it well, but I also trust it to do it to your advantage.Right, right. To pursue your best interest. Not necessarily mine, what I think you'll do. So this is, and this is exactly what these platforms do is they sort of, they take whatever boundary you set or whatever standard you set around efficiency. And they, they reached that. Right. They'll they'll get you to exactly what you say is like the sort of quality threshold or the efficiency threshold for your campaigns to keep spending money, but they won't give you any more than that.Right. So they could blow out your campaigns and get you 400% real ass. but if you told them you only need 110 by day seven, that's what, that's what you're going to get. And if they get you to that 400, then they're going to buy you a bunch of crappy traffic that brings the sort of average down until it hits that one 10.Right. And so, you know, that's, that's the power that they had, which, you know, to be fair, it's like, they were really good at that. And they would probably be, and, and, and them being really good at it. And then, and then present and providing that as a product productizing that and making that available to everyone.Meant that anyone could spin up a Facebook campaign, you know, any, any Shopify retailer, any Shopify merchant, any small time app developer and spend money and grow their product, grow their audience, right. Versus go back to 2012 and like, you know, the best UAA teams won. And, and a lot of times these were like big teams, big companies that raised a lot of money.You know, now, you know, it is way more egalitarian to open it up to anybody. And, you know, the small shop owner, in, I don't know, the middle of Kentucky or whatever could, could have access to this world-class machine learning infrastructure to grow their business. Right. And then they only really had to compete on the quality of their product and not the quality of their user acquisition infrastructure.So in a way it was, I mean, it was a giant gift to these SMBs and, and if the proof is in the pudding, look at Facebook's advertiser mix, 10 million advertisers, vast majority SMBs, right? 10 million average. Right. Think about any company that has 10 million customers, that's just an absurd scale. Right?And these are people spending, you know, in aggregate tons of money on Facebook. So like, it made sense, but, but, you know, there was a lot of pushback when UAC announced that. Cause developers said, look, we, that was our competitive advantage. Like, well, should it be, if we go back to basics and everybody has access to the same quality of infrastructure and the same quality of like, sort of like, you know, marketing tools and then you can be on the basis of your product.00:38:49 David:So then are we kind of going back to that world? I mean, after I think transparency is going to degrade, Facebook's targeting efficiency because they're not going to have that pervasive tracking where they know everything that's going on on your smartphone. So, so where do we go from, from here as far as, you know, what developers need to be thinking about?And, and I forget exactly when you were at this post, but, but I really appreciated you. You kind of talked through some, some tactics even around. developers needing to get better at capturing intent about potentially kind of bifurcating experience in the app is that we're we're developers should be headed of, okay.Now Facebook can't bring me the perfect user for my app as it exists today. and instead developers need to get back to the basics of understanding their user base and kind of building out those user profiles and understanding who they should be going after. Is it, is that where we're headed?00:39:48 Eric:I think so. I mean, I think we talked about this last time I was on this podcast, but like, you know, so when I wrote my book, Freeman, economics, I mean, this was like 2013. Right. And so this AEO didn't exist yet. You know, VO was didn't exist yet. This was, you bought installed. Right. And the idea of freemium or my sort of thesis with freemium is that like, it gives you the ultimate power to personalize.And so you need some minimum scale because you need a minimum amount of people to experiment with in order to make, you know, some small percentage of people that do monetize meaningful to you. but in order to do that, you need like a sort of like very large surface area for experimentation, right?You need a lot of content to be able to test against people and make sure that, you expose to them the exact perfect thing that they want. And in order to do that, you eat a lot. And so what ended up happening was that idea of flip. And it, and it became less about doing that in the product and more about doing that with the creative, right.And allowing Facebook to do that with four year on your behalf with the creative, then they found the perfect user and you need to do any personalization in the app because they probably the perfect user just make the app for the perfect user, that individual profile, that one profile. Perfect. You make that app, Facebook will find those people through like mass, you know, wide-scale experimentation with creative.Well, now it's flipped again. And so, you know, when someone comes into your app, you don't know who they are. You don't know how qualified they are, because the targeting has been degraded to the, to the point where, you know, th th there's, there's not a whole lot of, of sort of like operatory, you know, relevancy that you can Intuit there.And so you've got to parse that out from their behavior, show them something, see how they react to it. If they react positively to it, show them more of that. And if they don't show them more. And, and that kind of personalization though. I mean, it was very powerful and I talked and that's, I wrote a whole book about it, but it's hard to do.You need a big team, you need data infrastructure, you need that's, that's the thing. And then you revert back to like, well, only big developers can do this. Right. And so you've kind of just edged out the small guy. you know, the developers that are just like a couple of people and they got to just whiff, or they, they got to take a flyer on some idea, and they better hope that it works right.Versus being able to kind of iterate into that and provide one app that gives like personalized experiences to sort of everybody that comes through.00:41:56 David:Yeah. So then those, I mean, what would your advice be today knowing that you can't just, you know, throw a hundred grand at Facebook and let them figure out your perfect user? How, you know, if you're, if you're building an app today from scratch, or let's say you're at 20 or $30,000 in MRR and you want to make that leap and really grow, what do you do?00:42:18 Eric:Well, I think so. I mean, in that post, I mean the one thing that is, you know, it's a worthwhile exercise, but it is trying to instrument these, these signals with the conversion values for SKAdNetwork. Now, the problem with that was, you know, going into this before NTT was launched and, you know, I worked, you know, I worked with some companies to do this and it's like a data science exercise, right?You just, you, you run these, you know, you go back and you have like, kind of look back models and you find out what the commonality was amongst people that ended up being good users. And you try to surface that in the app and you encode that as a signal for a scanner. The problem is going into that exercise.You're thinking that sci network was like a good faith solution. it made sense, but now we realize, well, we don't even know when they're going to te when they're going to, how many of these we need to trigger before they even start reporting them to us. Right. And so like, it's like, okay, well, that's not really an option.You know, I think the other thing is, you know, you approach this as more of like a product marketing, you know, project and just trying to figure out who your audience is right here. And that's like, going back to basics, that's saying, okay, like, what are the demo features of the groups that like this type of product and that's what I have to target against.Right. And then just, and then trying to get, you know, cause you can't do mass creative testing anymore, at least on an iOS. And so, you know, trying to work out some pipeline of like, we try concepts on Android where we can still do kind of mass testing and then we promote the, the conceptual winners to iOS, but then we've got, you know, fewer, various success there.So we've got to kind of adapt that for the iOS environment. Like it's just, you lose a lot of, there's very lossy that each time you, you sort of transfer some sort of component of understanding from a totally separate platform. To iOS and then from iOS to like different environments to, to other environments on iOS, you just, you lose signal there, you lose precision.So I mean, it's it's, but that's it right. And then, you know, trying to get away. So I think another thing is that, you know, you talk to some of these companies and Facebook had become like kind of a drug for them. I mean, it's just like they were addicted to it. and it was just so easy to only use Facebook, right?Because you could accomplish everything you want it to, but you know, that's a classic, you know, sort of, that, that that's a classic sort of blunder from, from just a commercial perspective. You never want to be totally dependent on another platform. You know, now Facebook didn't make this decision.Apple did, but, you know, nonetheless, you know, your sort of devastated by it, right. Because of that dependency. So I think the other piece of this is just trying to, is doing, doing the work you should've done a long time ago, which is diversify your traffic mix. Right. And that's actually kind of difficult because Facebook, again, they did all that creative exploration for you.You know, they have such a broad user base that you could find all these different groups in scale, right at to, to scale like these even niche audiences, niche, look, any, any sort of like niche for X strategy game. You find enough people to build out, a big da you base and that's not true.I don't the other platforms. Right. And you got to really nail the form factor for those like snap is totally different. Like the way to approach the app is totally different. The Facebook, the way to approach tick talks to even snap, right? The way to approach Outbrain, Taboola totally different than any of those.You know, the way to approach YouTube is even different. Like every, all these, these are very, you know, particular, unique, channels and, and, and the way that the ads are are exposed in the products is different across them. And so you've to, you've got, gotta go through the work and the investment it's, you're investing in a data and, and, and sort of institutional knowledge.And all was never went through that exercise because it's like, I can just00:45:46 David:Right.00:45:46 Eric:Spend more Facebook.00:45:47 David:Yeah. And, where do you think organics fall into this mix? I know, like we talked to all trails on the, on the episode before that I said, not only are they a unicorn app, likely evaluation, but in, in their success with organics, I mean, there are apps that just find incredible success with that, right.Kind of search optimization or finding that right niche that really drives organic installs. Where do you think the average app should be placing organic and how much focus should they be putting on trying to get some of this free attention and build, you know, user generated content and links and things like that.00:46:35 Eric:I mean, do it to the extent that you can. I mean, why not? you know, I, I don't think you've got to choose one of the other, right. I mean, you should be ideally maximizing the effect of both of these strategies, but I will say one thing it's that you always have to turn on paid UI, right. You've always got to turn on paid marketing.There's varying, you know, sort of, timelines, you know, over which you have to confront that reality, but it is reality. You've always got to turn it on and like, I've done enough, like advisory for like private equity funds and just big companies that are looking to buy other companies.And it's always, the reason they bring me on is because I'm going to say, we could triple this business. If you did paid UA, right. We could cut Drupal this, like how, how, how much, how much bigger could this get? Right. And you know what I mean? Like, there's always a point where they've capped out. They never developed this, you know, expertise.Internally, right. It never became like domain knowledge that they possessed. And for that reason, there been a lot of false starts. Cause it's like, well, we can always sort of lean back on organic and it's going to take time to spin up paid and they bring someone in. And within two months they haven't really materially improve the business and they spend a bunch of money.So they get fired or, you know, they get the budget cut and they quit. And then they do that three more times and then they realize we're stalled out in growth. and no one wants to come work to be our CMO because like, it's pretty obvious that they're not gonna be. You know, the full freedom and the only way to sort of like break out of that cycle is to have the company get acquired right by a private equity fund is going to say, yeah, we're going to bring in a CMO and you know, these management's kind of gone and, or they're gone, but, or they can stay with it to play ball with the new, you know, the new execs and, and we're just gonna spin up paid marketing and that's, and that's how we grow this asset and that's how we make our money.So I've just been on enough of those deals where you always turn on page away. If you, even, if you, even, if you think you never will, it happens, you know, outside of your, approval.00:48:28 David:Yeah. I didn't mean to phrase the question anyway, that made it a black or white that you had to choose one over the other. And actually I was, I was trying to, to, to kind of, throw a softball at you, because I think your, your thinking on this, is great in that the sooner you do spin up some level of paid marketing, the sooner you, you can understand the different audiences that are going to be coming into the app.And, and that's something that you've talked a lot about that I think is really fascinating. Yeah. If you can find a good organic channel, go for it and bring traffic in, but know that when you spin up ads, those that traffic is going to look different. They're going to convert different. They're going to be interested in different things.And if you, yeah, I'm stealing your, your kind of playbook here. So yeah. Tell me why you think. even if you do have a very successful organic channel and maybe that's the strategy, you kind of get from 10 K a month to a hundred, 300 K a month. But to get from there to the millions a month, you're going to have to spin it up.So what's the playbook for, for kind of building that expertise in house. And when do you start, when do you have to start ramping it up?00:49:43 Eric:So thank you for reminding me of my thoughts here. so, so the idea, the idea there is like, organic's never going to be the ultimate scale channel, right? Like it's gonna, it's gonna, it's, it's gonna, you're gonna reach some sort of asymptote with growth there and it's gonna flatten out and probably at, you know, if you kind of close your eyes and you pictured your app at like the sort of greatest potential, right?Th this sort of like greatest sort of like intrinsic potential paid is 80% of daily, you know, new users, right. Or 60 or whatever, but it's a majority. And so if you've only. You know, grown via, you know, just sort of like organic traction and organic like magnetism, and you've, you've gone through like many sort of cycles of app or product iteration to sort of optimize the product for that group of people that do look distinct that will look distinct from people that have responded to some kind of stimulus, right.And have some sort of intent, sort of like, you know, driving their, their adoption of your product, then you've optimized for the group. That's that at the greatest potential scale of your, of your product is in minority. Right. And what you really want to do is you want to optimize the product for the majority, the, where all the growth, where the growth can be, right.And so that, you know, if you delay layering in pay traffic and you, and you delay, then you delay understanding what they want out of your product. And the sooner you bring that in the sooner you can sort of, Optimize the product for them, the more efficient your pay traction will be, and you'll get an organic halo effect from that.Right. And so like, it's like, well, the sooner that you do that, the faster that you sort of reach that, that sort of, you reached that potential on the organic side. So it's more about like, are you thinking about like how, I mean, an exercise that I always love to do is it's just like pause and think about like, what would success look like?And for most apps, success looks like, yeah, we're spending a ton of money on paid you way. And there's a lot of organic too, because that's just a function of being a successful app that a lot of people know about, but, but we're spending a ton on UI. That's a good thing. That's not a bad thing. It's a great thing.And so, but, but the majority of our users came in through paid UA and so we've optimized the app for them. and so we've, we've, we've made the economics better over time. And then the other piece is like in a, talked about this a lot too. It's like, you've got to change it. Over the life cycle of your app.It, because you know, a lot of times what you see as, you know, you see an app that's new they've got like explosive growth, right? And you look at the, just like a kind of stacked, a bar chart of the cohorts by age. And it's like, well, on any given day, the vast majority of users are new or they're less than a month old.Right. And then like you go, you fast forward two years or three years, and a really good app, that'll be flipped because you've, you've retained people. The vast majority of people that use your product every day are old. I mean, in terms of like when they adopted your product, because it's sticky because it's retentive, right.And that's a, that's a great place to be. But that, that you've got to change the way that you think about product optimization at that point. Like when you're going through the product iteration process, like, well, you're not optimizing for the newbies anymore because there's way fewer than you got to keep the old timers involved and engaged and.Right. Cause, you know, that's just where the vast majority of your revenue is coming from. Right. And, and, you know, and, and at that point you've probably reached, you know, some proportion of your Tam. And so you might not even be doing new user acquisition as such anymore. You might be doing a lot of retargeting re-engagement.And so it's just like, you gotta be very conscious of like the life cycle of the app, what the, what the user base looks like in terms of composition by age and like all that kind of stuff. And it just, it just takes a lot of consideration and it's it's, you know, and if you get to any point where like any of those, any of those distributions is skewed to an extreme, to an extreme one direction or the other, you probably got a problem.Like if you're all organic, you're not you leaving money on the table. If you're all old timers, when you're not growing anymore, if you're all 00:53:39 David:Right, 00:53:39 Eric:Retaining enough. Right. It's like all these different levers that you got to pull to make sure that you hit the optimal sort of combination.00:53:45 David:Yeah. That's great stuff. I love the way you put that too. I think there is some level of magical thinking that if I have just the right app, I never have to do marketing, marketing is a dirty word. Spending money on marketing is. It is wasteful or only companies with bad products have to do marketing and that's just not true.What's especially funny. a lot of these folks or indie developers who hold up Apple to be the end, all be-all Apple spends tens of billions of dollars on marketing, Apple measures that marketing while at the same time, you know, enacting ATT. App Tracking Transparency So it is funny that dichotomy of, and the magical thinking of I shouldn't have to pay for users.My product should be good enough it, really is just magical thinking. ultimately, spending money on marketing is a good thing. Not a bad thing. I love that perspective.00:54:39 Eric:Yeah, my, we had a Halloween party for my son and his classmates he's, he's very young and he was, he like, he did this thing where, you know, he wanted to be two things for Halloween. So they had like a, you know, a parade of their school. And then, we had, you know, we just had Halloween day country competing and stuff anyway, so he wanted to be a dinosaur.And then he decided he wanted to be a vampire for the Halloween day. so we had to get him a second costume. He was a vampire and a, and we're having this party and someone was like, oh, you look like such a scary vampire. I was like, I work in digital advertising.I'll show you what a vampire. looks like, It's this idea about digital advertising. Oh man. It's, so disgusting. it's crass gross. You have to spend money to acquire users That's that's that's that's so, vulgar, but in reality, you're leaving money on the table.If you could be doing it and you're not00:55:35 David:Right. 00:55:36 Eric:That's not good. 00:55:37 David:Yeah, totally. So, so, that, that's actually a great place to wrap up. Like where, where do we go from here? So ATT App Tracking Transparency is what it is. We don't know what Apple's going to do. We hope they make things better, but, what is the future of, of app install ads? What is the future of, of marketing your app successfully?00:55:57 Eric:It's funny because I, have been the biggest, crypto skeptic since day one. I remember people were telling me about Bitcoin in 2011 and I was like, this is a joke. Like, this is a, there's no need for this. There's no use case for this. I still feel that way, but it's gotten to a point where I feel like it's actually inculcating new behaviors where this is just.Crypto in general is probably the thing that introduces us to these ideas. it's like an imperfect way to implement them, but it makes us think about them. then there's going to be a solution that follows The structure of crypto. that is, is actually the better way to, to, to implement these ideas.But I've worked with a number of web 3.0 gaming companies. Right. And, and their challenge is that they can't be on the App Store. they're running like web properties. how do you promote that? And, the thing is if you're running it on the web, you can access it from your mobile device.I can access these games from my device It's just not on the App Store. if you get one of these that blows up, you get the halo of web 3.0 games. You get the, hit game that, creates the space for this category to thrive.Then. Maybe it just becomes, you know, acknowledged that yeah, we can go through the App Store if we want specific types of games, but if we want these other types of games, we just go straight to the browser. my big question is why did Apple do privacy really in the first place? maybe it was to actually route everything through the App Store, That would be the cynical conspiratorial take. It's that they want to prevent your access to the open web or they want to gatekeep it. so they're going to decide what you're able to access. But anyway, There are a lot of web 3.0 companies thinking about this right now.They can't go to the App Store, So there's no app install ads for them. It's all web-based. and, and also, you know, they've done a great loves Web 3.0 companies have done a great job of fostering community-driven marketing, Getting a discord server with 20,000 or 100,000 people in it.And That's where you advertise. you never have to pay for anything. now that's a first-mover thing. And I think that declines as more people enter the space. There are just, you know, there's just too many of these, these sort of games to, to sort of rely on that.But a lot of companies are thinking about that right now. How do we drive people to the web to do acquisition? Right. A lot of, you know, as, you know, a lot of, subscription companies, have been doing that for a long time, There are well-worn strategies for doing this. And they've been monetizing that way for a long time too.They haven't been screaming about it. But they've been doing it. now that, well, okay, now that's probably, that's, that's a policy that's allowed to, you're allowed to do that. Apple blesses. Well, they don't, they, anyway, they say we can't stop you. Maybe the consequence of this whole thing is that it just moves people into the browser. there's the web 3.0 piece of it, which, who knows maybe that is a dud. Maybe it's a gigantic category. I'm not convinced either way yet, but you've got people that are saying I'm going to set up web shops I made the point that like, look, I don't think that, you know, there's, there's, there are systematic reasons why that probably doesn't become a mass-scale solution.A lot of people are doing that anyway. A lot of games are doing that anyway. That's the other dirty little. secret A lot of gaming companies were sending emails saying, Hey, you know what, don't buy these IAPs in the app. Be

Go For Launch — Rocket Fuel for Entrepreneurs
GFL 159: Creating a Growth Culture Based on Goals, Challenges and Opportunities

Go For Launch — Rocket Fuel for Entrepreneurs

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 32:59


There are many “frameworks” purported to help companies achieve greater levels of growth. But many of them are challenging to understand and end up being underutilized. Tim Cakir is on a mission to develop a new growth framework based on Goals, Challenges and Opportunities. He joined me in this episode of the Go For Launch podcast. Tim is a growth consultant and founder of Squad One who helps companies, entrepreneurs and students achieve fast and consistent growth. Working with 17 startups to date, some of his best achievements include helping two startups reach 1.7 million euros in Horizon 2020 funding, increasing monthly recurring revenue (MRR) of one startup from $80k to $300k in less than 18 months and completing projects such as implementing Objectives and Key Results (OKRs), building company dashboards and launching new product launches. As part of Tim's passion for helping people realize their potential, he also teaches Bachelor and Masters programs at two universities in Barcelona—ESEI International Business School Barcelona and Geneva Business School.

An Intentional Life with Tina Tower
152: What's MRR and What You Need for a Kick Arse Membership

An Intentional Life with Tina Tower

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 48:24


Software Social
Solving Your Spouse's Problem: A Conversation with Jordan O'Connor, Founder of Closet Tools

Software Social

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2021 46:40


Follow Jordan! https://twitter.com/jdnocEvery doctor is concerned about your vital signs, but a good doctor cares about your overall health. Your website deserves the same care, and Hey Check It is here to help- Hey Check It is a website performance monitoring and optimization tool- Goes beyond just core web vitals to give you a full picture on how to optimize your website to give your users an optimal, happy experience- Includes AI-generated SEO data, accessibility scanning and site speed checks with suggestions on how to optimize, spelling and grammar checking, custom sitemaps, and a number of various tools to help youStart a free trial today at heycheckit.comAUTOMATED TRANSCRIPTColleen Schnettler  0:02  Every doctor is concerned about your vital signs. But a good doctor cares about your overall health. Your website deserves the same care. And Hey check it is here to help. Hey check it is a website performance monitoring and optimization tool. It goes beyond just core web vitals to give you a full picture on how to optimize your website to give your users a happy experience. It includes AI generated SEO data, accessibility scanning, and site speed checks, with suggestions on how to improve and a number of various other tools to help you start a free trial today at Hey, check it.comWelcome back to the software social podcast. I'm your host today, Colleen. Today I am super excited to have a special guest on the pod. Jordan O'Connor, the founder of closet tools is today's guest. Thanks for showing up today. Jordan, I appreciate it. Jordan O'Connor  0:56  Yeah, no problem. Thanks for having me. Colleen Schnettler  0:58  So I specifically wanted to ask you here because your Indie hackers interviews was one of my favorites. And I'm sure you hear that a lot. Do you hear that? A lot? Jordan O'Connor  1:07  I've heard it a few times. Colleen Schnettler  1:08  Yeah. Yeah. So for those who have not heard your Indie hackers interview, could you tell us a little bit about what closet tools is? Jordan O'Connor  1:17  Yeah, so closet tools, I started closet tools almost almost four years ago now. It's basically an automation. It's software automation for Poshmark. So Poshmark is a retail selling platform. So it started out as mostly just people selling used women's clothes, it was mostly women selling used clothes on there.And the way they built the platform is more like social media than it is like, you know, like, you know, like what you would think of ecommerce is like a storefront or something like that. And so the way to get exposure to your closet, your profile, you have to do things like sharing and liking and commenting and all these different social engagement signals. And that's how you get exposure. That's how you get followers. That's how you get, you know, eyeballs on your stuff, so that you can sell stuff. And so that takes a ton of time. And my particular customer, which would be like a reseller, they don't really have time to be on social media all day engaging and stuff like that, like they just want to sell clothes. Most of them sell on eBay, they sell, you know, on their own storefront. So they just want to sell stuff. And so that's what causes tools does, it does a lot of those engagement things for them, it'll share their items throughout the day, it'll automatically respond to different events that happen if somebody likes an item, it'll automatically send that person an offer with a discount stuff like that. So it kind of automates a little bit of the sales process for them. So yeah,Colleen Schnettler  2:46  so Poshmark is like eBay, but fancy, right, like higher high end.Jordan O'Connor  2:52  It's no, it's definitely it's definitely I would say it's not that eBay is high end, but Poshmark scales, low end to high end, you can you know, you can find, you know, you can find like really nice purses or whatever on there and stuff. Or you can buy, you know, a $5 You know, screenprint t shirt, like you can buy, you know, anything you want on there, most of the appeal is that most of the items on there are like used. So you're getting get a discount on some item that's lightly used that you would normally pay a lot more for. So that's kind of, you know, the the corner of the market that they tackled, there's also a lot of new items on there and things like that, too. So, but yeah, the thing that's weird about it. So like you have like a closet, it literally is like like Instagram, so you have your closet, and it has like all the images of like your items and stuff that you're selling. And each post has, you know, a common section, people can like it, they can share it themselves to their followers. And when you share to your followers, your item, they're basically when you share to your followers, that item shows up in their main feed. So like you can go into the app and you can like search specifically for like, hey, I want like Nike shoes, or whatever. And then I'll just come up with Nike shoes. But if you just kind of like go into the app, and you have like the main feed, just like any social media platform, whatever people are sharing is what's going to show up there. And so if you're not constantly sharing, then you're not going to show up in that main feed, and people aren't going to randomly stumble onto your profile. But you literally have to physically click like two buttons for every item you want to share. And a lot of my customers are actual, you know that this is their business and they have 2000 3000 4000 items. And it would take them an hour or two just to go through and click click, click, click click. So it and that could be time there's been doing other things like even literally just like packaging items to sell send out and stuff like that. So So yeah, it saves them a ton of time, and it ends up making them more money in the long run just because you know it's doing things for them. So it's pretty, it's a win win. It's pretty cool.Colleen Schnettler  4:48  So how did you get that idea? Were you selling stuff on? Poshmark?Jordan O'Connor  4:52  Yeah, so my wife started selling things on Poshmark at the time. We kind of need some extra income and she was like no One of her friends actually introduced her to Poshmark. And so she jumped on and she was starting to sell stuff. But then right away, I kind of was like, Whoa, you're spending a lot of time, you know, night sharing and doing a bunch of stuff on there. I was like, and it was right around the time I was kind of learning web development, things like that. I had already knew how to code and stuff. But I had never really done much web development. And I said, Hey, I think I can write like a little script that kind of like automates that for you. Like, you just press a button, and it just rifled through and shares all of your stuff. And so that's what I did. And so that's how I made the first, you know, like, kind of the first version. And for a while, I just, um, let her and her friends use it. And they thought it was awesome there was that it was really cool. And all it was was a bookmarklet. So like in, you know, browsers, you can just embed JavaScript code right in the bookmark, and you just click it and execute it. And it just like, yeah, you went through, it wasn't smart, or anything, had no GUI or anything like that. I just did it. And they thought it was great. And they were doing well with it. And then I blogged about it on my personal blog. And over the course of like, six months, I started getting like a hand few handful of emails from people saying, like, Hey, I found this, you know, this thing that you posted, like, how do I use it? Like, how do I get it working, because I want to use it. And even still, at that time, I had no intention of like selling it, or like making a business out of it or anything like that. So it was like, I was just trying to be helpful. I was like, Yeah, sure. This is how you use it, you just let you set it up. And so yeah, it wasn't, like I said, it was like six, between like six to 10 months before I was like, Oh, I can actually probably, you know, make a front end for this actually build some more features and make it a little smarter and actually sell less so.Colleen Schnettler  6:33  So was this your first business idea?Jordan O'Connor  6:37  Well, um, it was, it's my first like software business idea I had for a while before that, I was I knew I wanted to kind of break free of employment, I wanted to do my own thing. So I had already learned. I learned web development, I learn how to make websites, I learned SEO and I learned marketing, copywriting sales, I kind of like went down this like course track of just like, take a course learn a skill, do it for some people to practice it. And then I kind of like nail down all these things. Yeah, and the first product idea I had actually, it was related to my wife as well, she does art she does like water coloring and hand lettering, things like that. My idea was to make a black paper notebook. And at the time, none existed and none existed with any kind of like premium features. Any of the ones that exist over like, you know, construction paper or something like that was this like awful for artists. And, and that actually would have done really well. But I didn't really have the capital upfront to actually invest in, you know, a physical product. So I ran a Kickstarter, and I think I needed like 13k. And I got like, 11k I ran, I ran probably like, I don't know, I was like $1,500. In Facebook ads, I had a couple months where I was like doing Instagram stuff, and actually learned a ton from that. And I'm kind of glad it didn't work out. Because I feel like what I do now is a lot more. I don't know, it's just more the way I would like to do things. But I learned a ton from that. And that was kind of the first thing I didn't. So the closet tools, like the first thing that I made for my wife was kind of right on the heels of that. And so like it just kind of switched over from there. But yeah, I was trying a whole bunch of stuff even before that, what I was doing when I was doing take taking the courses and learning things as I was actually trying to make, like just do freelancing basically where like, I would learn SEO, and it's like, hey, I'll go out and like do SEO for people. But then it would always get this weird feeling where like, yeah, you know, like, especially with like SEO, like, if you compare some of the like the value that you can actually get out of it. It's like ridiculous. And I'm like, why would I do this for somebody else, I got to figure out how to do this for myself. And so that was I kind of kept doing that. And then I got to the point where I was like, Okay, I'm gonna actually do this, I'm gonna pull all my skills together and actually build something. So yeah.Colleen Schnettler  8:55  So I'm really curious about this. I didn't realize when you said freelancing, I just assumed you were doing it as a developer. So you like, took an SEO course. And you're like, hey, let's see if I learned something. And you freelanced as an SEO you who are an engineer, freelance as an SEO consultant. That's right. Yeah, IJordan O'Connor  9:14  mean, I didn't. Yeah, I wasn't like, I was mostly just trying to get something to work. So like, I was just, you know, trying to do it. And also, I kind of just for some reason, I had this mindset of like, I need to practice this stuff. I need to actually get out there and do this stuff, if I really want to know it. So you know, I wasn't really like charging a lot or anything. Sometimes. Sometimes it was like, Hey, I just want to do this for you. And so, so yeah, it wasn't like I was trying to like establish myself as a freelancer, but it was more like, I want to try this. And if the freelance thing works, and it takes off, and this is good, then that's fine. If it doesn't, I'm going to learn these skills and I'm going to you know, use them later on kind of thing. So, but yeah, I was doing that for a while. And yeah, like I made a whole logistics trucking app. front end back end for a friend of mine, and he still uses it today for his trucking company. And so yeah, I did a whole, I did a whole bunch of stuff. Before I really got before I discovered that I wanted to make a product instead of like doing a service. And that was mostly just based on like personality, a lot of times, what would happen is I would start doing the work, and then they would have their opinions and their thoughts about how things should be. And I would be like, No, I'm kind of the expert. I think I know, I think I know what to do here. And they would, they would always contradict, and I just didn't really feel like messing with that. So I was like, the only way I'm gonna make money is if I if I can make a thing and sell it. And if people don't want it, then they don't have to pay for it. And then I don't have to deal with them, you know, in their opinions and stuff. So yeah, yeah. So that way, so I had to go on that journey too. So yeah, a lot a little a lot a little journeys. It was a Yeah, it was a couple years of just just doing stuff, just taking action, and then kind of landed on closet tools.Colleen Schnettler  10:59  I think that's so important. You said it was a couple years. Like I feel like we have this perception in the indie space. There's so much information. I you know, I launched my first product in February, and I feel this hard like, some guys like I made $100,000 In three months. And I'm like, What did you make? I love so I love that you I feel like a lot of your messaging from the podcast and your Twitter is you are like, hey, yeah, this thing was super successful really quickly. But I had five years of background that helped me build up the business to what it is.Jordan O'Connor  11:31  Yeah, yeah, I think I, I don't know. Yeah, I always, um, I always like to try to optimize for long term results. And a lot of those people are just, you know, really optimized on short term results, it is like this, like, oh, I made this much in one month. But then if you talk to them six months later, they haven't made anything more, it just, they had this little spike, they went up on Product Hunt or something, and, you know, whatever. And so like, to me that, you know, with a with a wife and kids, that's not really sustainable, like you can't just have a spike, and then like, kind of live off that for you know, the rest, you know, so I had to find something that was very stable and sustainable, and then actually grow over time. And I don't, I don't really know why I had that perspective, early on, I think it might may be just a personality thing. But I think optimizing for long term and actually developing great foundational skills, and then building on that organically over time, is so much better, long term, because then you build something that is just growing, you know, on its own. And you don't really have to do too much to it to make it you know, to force things to happen to you know, make it seem like you're making a ton of money or something like that.Colleen Schnettler  12:41  So the skills you were talking about, like you said, you spent a lot of time in SEO, and you learned how to do Facebook ads. So he said, so So were there any other like pivotal skills, you think that really helped you see this opportunity and capitalize on it.Jordan O'Connor  12:57  Trying to think of the different courses that I took, I think there was really it, it was web development, SEO, and then Facebook ads, Facebook ads was unique, because it taught a lot about sales without teaching sales. It was like it was it was like, you know, because you know, a lot of Facebook ads is mostly just like copywriting expertise, because you're trying to just get something really catchy. But most it was always this weird thing. For each space. It was always interesting, because like the web development course was like you're trying to teach web developers that want to get a job. So that was like the outcome of the course. But then like SEO, it was like, we're gonna teach you SEO, so you can start an SEO agency. And then like, the Facebook ads, it was like, oh, like you can use Facebook ads to sell someone else's product and get like, you know, affiliate revenue or something like that. So the outcome was always different than what I wanted. But I picked up the skills, you know, throughout that. And so because of that, I think I was able to glean a little bit of a different perspective on it. So like with the Facebook ads, I wasn't just trying to optimize my ROI, or I guess, what would you call it Roa? You know, ad spend. So, like, I wasn't trying to do that, I was trying to learn how to make really great, you know, copy and actually sell something to somebody that just saw it for the first time. And they're like, and when they see it, they're like, Oh, this is something I need. And same thing with SEO, I wasn't trying to build a big agency, I was trying to figure out the most optimal way to do SEO correctly so that I could just get organic traffic over time. And same for web development. I was just learning how to make websites, you know, for myself to make my own business not to you know, do it for other people. So yeah, so I mean, I think those are the foundational skills I think those three and then combined with writing over time over the course of the the whole well now it's been like, you know, five years ish, six years and I've been kind of doing that So I've been writing the entire time, I used to write a lot more personally back then. But it was more rambling, it was more like, this is what I think I want to do. And I'm learning this thing. And this is you know, so it's kind of documenting the journey, but also documenting some of my thoughts and emotions around what I was doing. But I think over time, I kind of honed and honed in on a good skill of writing. And I think writing effectively, is one of the best ways to save time in the future, especially when you make a product. You know, if you write really good documentation, if you're really good at communicating via text to your customers, if you're really good at copywriting and selling on your website, then you have to do less one on one sales and saves you time so that you can do other things. So I think writing is like huge. So I think those are kind of like my bundle of skills that I at least I do. And I advocate for other people have different personalities, some people really like going and doing one on one sales, I don't really like doing that. I've never asked a single person to use Clausa tools individually, you know, like they come to my website, they see whether or not they want to have, you know, want to use it. And you know, that's it. I don't have to talk to anybody or anything like that. So. So yeah,Colleen Schnettler  16:10  that's really interesting. You mentioned writing. So I was at founder summit last week in Mexico City. And we had a whole workshop on writing. So tell me, do you think the thing that I think I struggle with a lot is, it's like when you have such limited time, and you have children? So you understand? What what is the best way to use that time? So tell me, do you think your personal blog helped you become a better writer and communicator and was worth the time that you put into it?Jordan O'Connor  16:36  I do. I do. I think, um, I think it was a combination of that. And Twitter. For me. Twitter is interesting, because a Twitter is more where I used to kind of test writing, where it's like testing for feedback on writing. And especially in regards to like context and nuance because Twitter has absolutely zero context and nuance and most tweets. So if you can write in a way that has enough context and nuance where people get it and it clicks with them, then that's effective writing, because you can write very simple, clear small statements that actually contain enough information for people to like, get something out of it. And so I think that actually was really helpful for effective writing, but then having the blog to document the journey along the way, really helped me refine my thoughts, and then also keep my thoughts in line with like, Okay, this is a long term vision, this is what I'm actually doing. This is what I'm working on, here's how I'm actually progressing towards the goal. And so I think the personal writing, yeah, is more about like staying on track. And Twitter was more about writing effectively, and, you know, writing in a way that, you know, helps people understand, you know, what you're saying better with with a limited amount of text. So, but yeah, I think, yeah, I think writing is super crucial. And I think writing is, you know, just so foundational, even for any other form of content creation, you know, it most of the things can start with effective writing, if you have an effective, you know, piece of writing, you can make a movie out of it, you can make a video out of it, you can make an image out of it, you know, you can make a podcast out of it, you know, there's a lot of different things you can make out of text. Whereas the opposite isn't exactly true. Like if you, if you have a video, it might not end up being a great text piece, you know, like, it doesn't always go the opposite direction. Like even the transcript for this podcast isn't really ultimately that valuable, like you people still have to read through an hour long of text. Whereas if you have effective writing, like you can have just one idea, and you can make a whole hour long podcast episode on that one idea. So that's why I think I think writing is really, really foundational. I think it's, I think it's great.Colleen Schnettler  18:49  Yeah, that makes that makes sense. So, when you started closet tools, tell me what was going on in your life at the time.Jordan O'Connor  18:59  Um, quite a lot. So um, when I started closet tools, I actually was getting to the point so so if we backtrack a little bit, I, I went to RMIT college up here in New York, for electrical engineering. So I graduated as an electrical engineer, and I started working and I was making decent income was like 80k years, something like that. But right around the time I got hired on I got married, and then about and then we got and then we actually quickly had our first son, which was like, not really planned, but it wasn't like the biggest deal we were like, Yeah, we plan on having kids anyways or like whatever. But it kind of financially things kind of just kept eating away. And so like once I started to start paying student loans and then like I had a kid coming and there was just like all these expenses piling up and my income wasn't really like scaling to that like it was just fixed. So like more and more things are eating away my income and I have like no spare income to do anything with My wife, we had always planned on her staying home with the kids. And you know, like, now we're doing homeschooling and things like that. So that was always the plan. So I was like, I need to figure out something here to like, actually make more money. And so when I started closet tools, that was actually the last thing I was gonna try, it was either that or like, pick up a second job somewhere, like, do something to like, kind of just expand a little bit, so that I'm not in student loan debt for the next, you know, 45 years of my life or whatever. You know, like, that's, I just didn't want that at all. And so, so yeah, so that was like, kind of going on. So I had a little bit of a chip on my shoulder, I had some urgency to be like, Okay, I need to make something that works. And so I think that's partially why I went with closet tools, because I knew something was working. My wife really liked it, her friends really liked it, I was getting emails about it. So like, it was like this thing, where it's like, okay, I have all these signals that like, this thing is probably gonna, at least, you know, do something I can make, that my intention was to make $1,000 a month, I was like, hey, like, if this thing makes $1,000 a month, great, like, you know, help, you know, pay some bills, you know, and I can like, catch up on some stuff. And like, maybe, you know, it, put some, you know, put some money into savings and stuff like that. So, so yeah, it was a really, really a pretty desperate point in my life. But it was, it was, I was very stubborn, though. Because I really wanted something that I wanted, I didn't really want to, I didn't really want to get a second job. I didn't want to just like make money to make money. I wanted to do something on my own terms, where like, I had the freedom and flexibility to still spend time with my kids and my wife, you know, still come home in the evenings and have, you know, the time together with my family still do things outside of work and things like that. So it was like, I was very, it was a it was a pretty like urgent time. But I also was very picky and stubborn. So like, you know, you know, somebody might say, Hey, you could have just been less stubborn, and you wouldn't have had any of those issues. But like, if I was less stubborn, then I wouldn't have what I had now. So. So I don't know. So it was a little bit of a balance of that. And I think that's partially why it took a little bit longer to get to a point where something happened, that actually worked out really well, because I had to put all those pieces together to make something that worked for me personally.Colleen Schnettler  22:06  Yeah. So and that that makes sense. So when you were like, What was your day to day like? So you had a full time job? You're married? You have a baby? Like, how did you do that?Jordan O'Connor  22:19  Yeah, so I started right before my first son was born, I started getting up really early. At that time, it was actually really crazy. And I don't know, when I was younger than so like, I had some energy. Now I can't do this, but I was getting up, I was going to bed or like, you know, 1011 I was getting up to like for, like, you know, like, that's it. And so but what I would do is I would actually just work on side stuff, all morning until my day job. And so like, the earlier I could get up, the more I could spend time on that. And the reason why I did that there's a few reasons why I like getting up in the morning. I still do it actually, I get up at five every day. Yeah, there's actually a lot of reasons when you have kids. Nobody's awake. So nobody's like, you know, there's, there's not that like, you know, like, the family is like always distracting. And because they're always distracting, but there's no chance of a distraction, like people are sleeping, they're definitely sleeping, everybody always sleeps until like this time. So like, you know, there's no chance of distraction. So you can enter into work and get focused and understand that like, Okay, I have this block of time, that's, you know, undistracted. The other thing is, like, if you work in the evenings, typically you're pretty tired by the end of the day. And you're also just kind of, you're basically saving your worst amount of energy for this thing that you actually want to be doing. Whereas in the morning, you're pretty fresh, usually, I mean, as long as you just look good, you feel pretty good. You're pretty, you know, your heads, and you know, pretty, like, I'm pretty focused, you're not distracted by a bunch of things, you're not like responding to emails, or whatever your day job is and stuff. So like, to that morning time is pretty free to like, focus and do good work on whatever you want to do. And so that's what I did I for, you know, for the first couple years, I spent a couple months, you know, on each of those different kind of core skills that I learned web development, SEO, you know, Facebook ads, and things like that, you know, I would just take those first couple hours a day, whether it was like taking a course or it was doing the actual work for somebody to practice or doing the work for myself, or it was personal writing, you know, so like, it was like that. So really, I built most of everything in those couple hours every morning. And so that, that to me, like I was able to get a lot of work done in those couple hours a lot more than I was even able to get done like a day job. And so for me, that's kind of how I've modeled even causal is now like, I don't spend more than I don't know, maybe like three, probably four Max hours a day on it. You know, just because you don't really need that much time. In a day to be that productive, you know, the eight hour workday for you know, most jobs is mostly so that you have a window of time, if you want to reach out to like a customer or you want to, you know, be available for a customer to call you or like to reach out to a different company or stuff like that, like there's a window where you like you can do that. It's not actually like you need eight hours to get effective work done. I don't even think you can do Ultra focus work for eight hours, like maybe four hours max, before you're pretty burnt out. So So yeah, so that's, that's how I did it. So I say it all, you know, I used all of my creative energy in the morning to like, do that. And then I just kind of coasted at my day job. I mean, I basically, I got to the point where like, I did really well there. So I worked at Corning, and they make they make advanced optics, which one of the products you make is like a lithography stack. So it's like a stack of lenses that like Intel would use to image their processors. And it's pretty complicated. I didn't actually know anything about the optics, I wasn't an optical engineer, those guys are like nuts. So, but um, I was like in the testing department. So like, I would build systems that would test the quality of the optics. So I did like lasers, and I moved motors to like, move the lenses and stuff. So like, I got to the point where I had like really good autonomy in that position, because like I kind of had done all the things I needed to do at least one. So like most projects I was doing, I was reusing old things that I already did. So then they would still give me the same timeline on a project, they'd be like, hey, we need this piece of software and this like thing done in like a month. And I'd be like, cool, and it would only take me like a week. So then sometimes I did actually have time at work to you know, to do like causal stuff into like, you know, like, if something was broken, I could actually fix it right then. Yeah. And you know, as long as I was writing code, it looked like it was working. So like,nobody really questioned it. So. So yeah, it was, you know, I, but I came to my management at some point. And it was like, annual review. And they're like, oh, yeah, you're doing good. Like, is there? Like, you know, is there anything that you you know, like, do you want to, like, go big? Or like, what do you what do you want to do here, I'm like, I want to be like, really low key, like, I don't want to do you know, I don't want to be the super save the company, dude. You know, like, I just want to like show up, you know, you give me my work, I'll do my work. And then I'm gonna go home to my family. So I kind of had this like, this vibe of like, almost like a little bit untouchable, where like, you could send me stuff and like, I'll do great work. But you're not going to like make me stay over time and like, do all this bunch of crazy stuff. And like, I'm going to do things at my pace. I'm going to do it, you know, so it's like a little bit of a, so he was just kind of like that. And so yeah, so I don't and I don't know, I don't know if that's actually advice to like anybody else that wants to, you know, do their own thing if that's what they should do. I have no idea. But I know for me, like energy wise, I didn't have the energy to do all that in the morning, and then go to work and then be like, you know, crazy and do a bunch of crazy stuff. So I had to balance it a little bit.Colleen Schnettler  28:06  Yeah, I am a morning person. So you're speaking my language here. But I have not tried 4am That's pretty intense.Jordan O'Connor  28:13  Yeah, don't do for now. I do five at least Yeah. So yeah. SoColleen Schnettler  28:16  so when you were building the business, though, so you would do like four to eight and then drive. That's back in the olden days when we the drive to work. Work like eight to five?Jordan O'Connor  28:28  Yep, yeah, yeah, that's what I would do. And I did it day in day out. And so I did that for close to two years before. Well, I did that. I guess I did that for like a total of three years. So I did that for like a year. And then I kind of want to start a closet tools. I worked a job for almost, it was like a year and a half that I worked at job and did closet tools at the same time. Okay, so So yeah, so yeah, yeah, that's, that's just what I did. And looking back, it was really crazy. But it Yeah, it worked. You know, so yeah.Colleen Schnettler  29:04  Yeah, I love your point, too, about like your project, getting your best energy in the morning, as opposed to keeping your project till you know, seven to 10pm at night kind of deal. So, it sounds like with closet tools. There was a real poll from your customers. Like you knew you were onto something because people were cold. outreaching to you.Jordan O'Connor  29:24  Mm hmm. Yeah, so um, yeah, I don't know if you want me to just elaborate that. Yeah,Colleen Schnettler  29:30  go for it. SoJordan O'Connor  29:31  basically, what happened is, I you know, I started learning the SEO stuff. So I had already kind of, you know, SEO optimized my personal blog. So when I wrote about this, you know, this topic on my personal blog, I titled it like, you know, like Poshmark automation or something like that. And I just had some instructions on how to you know, how to run this script on your own browser. And so, you know, a lot of those Poshmark related keywords were pretty easy to rank for. And my site had a little bit of a already, so it was pretty simple. But so like, because I had tapped into SEO vein, I already had that, you know, like kind of that in to be able to get people to see what I was building. And then my personal website just has my email and stuff. So like they were able to just email me or whatever. And so, but from there when I actually started closet tools, I actually went on Reddit, I went to the Poshmark subreddit. And I said, Hey, I have this free script. You can you can try it and keep it you all you have to do is sign up on this email list. And you can use this thing. And then what I want from you is I want to get feedback as to what you want built around this thing, like what other features would you want? How would you use this? You know what, you know, what things do you want to see that can help you sell more stuff? And so that's what I did. And I got around like 200 signups in like a day or two. Wow, for that free script. Yeah. And so and that was kind of the the start of everything. And so then what I did was, it was like, I did that post got the 200 signups people tried out the script. And then like a week later, I sent out an email to that list saying, like, Hey, give me some feedback. What do you want to see, and then I got a bunch of emails. And then I spent the next like, four weeks building out some of those features. And then I spent like, the majority of that time just integrating stripe, because I had no idea how to do it at the time. So I had to figure all that out. And then and then and then I lost it like a month later. And I had 10 paying customers right out of the gate. So it was like 300. MRR, like the gate basically. So yeah, so So the initial start wasn't based on SEO was based on Reddit. But I also got banned from that subreddit because they don't like the self promotion and stuff. So it was like kind of this one shot thing where I was like, I'm going for it. I'm gonna sell this thing, and it worked. So then from there, from there, I started writing content. And you know, the SEO, traffic started to take off more. And that's how I've basically built it to where it is now. SoColleen Schnettler  32:06  yeah, and word of mouth to probably I mean, people love to the product. It sounds likeJordan O'Connor  32:10  Yeah, yeah, definitely. I mean, yeah. So I say SEO, SEO is the only thing I had control over that, you know, did that. But certainly, yeah, word of mouth, everybody. You know, a lot of my customers have another friend that used it, and they refer to it and stuff like that. And then later later on, probably about two years, and I created a referral program, which is interesting, because like the referral program itself hasn't been like a, like a smashing success. I think it's brought in, I don't know, I think it's like 15k over, you know, a year or two, but like, the whole gross I've made like, I don't know, like 900k. So like, it's not like this huge percentage. But it did bring in a lot of word of mouth. But then also what happened is it brought in a lot of backlinks, which reinforced a lot of my SEO because when people posted their affiliate link, it just linked back to the website. So it was kind of this like a little it was more about the SEO engine for me rather than it was like, you know, the referral program. So yeah, but it also gave a reason for people to you know, talk about it, because they could get, you know, a kickback or whatever. So,Colleen Schnettler  33:14  right. So it sounds like that was a win win, even if it wasn't a huge, like windfall. So let's talk about what your life looks like now that you know you are successful. Your business this is not that you weren't before. I'm just saying likeJordan O'Connor  33:29  even that I am now I don't know. Yeah, that's what it's all relative. I guessColleen Schnettler  33:33  it's it is all relative. That is true. So when you're building the business, you had these super long days. What do you do now? What is your day look like now?Jordan O'Connor  33:42  Yeah. So now we have three kids. We have another one on the way actually, congratulations. Yeah, thanks. Yeah. So February, that'll be you know, I'll be it'll be, it'll be interesting to see how much work I get done. But, so actually, now, like, we have a pretty strict schedule, now, we just kind of came up with it, we've over the course of like, the last year or two, we've been trying to come up with a schedule that works for both of us. And most of it centers around, like, my wife wants to feel put together and like, you know, like she has the house under control and like the kids under control and like you know, like that is gonna run smoothly. And, and but then for me, like, you know, like coming fresh out of like, you know what I was doing before I was like, oh, like I need like that whole morning to just do my best work and then like, you know, free food so but that didn't really work out for her too well, because like she would get up with the kids and the whole day was basically a mess from the start because it's like you're you get up and kids are demanding a bunch of stuff and you're just like, I don't know what I'm doing like, and so now I take the kids as soon as they wake up so I get up at five and I work for I work I kind of I don't know I go back and forth and what I use my morning time for now. And I think if I ever built a future business, I would take them out in time and do that. But now I use, I work from five to seven, and my daughter wakes up at seven, she, we have her train with a light that turns green at seven. So we have that, yeah, she would get up, like, you know, super early if she if she could. So she gets up at seven. And then so I have kids from seven to 10, I take care of breakfast, getting them dressed, and then I just kind of keep things picked up so that the house is at least, you know, in put together a little bit, and then my wife gets up around like seven or eight. But then she has time to, like, take a shower and like get breakfast, she can read, she can write, you know, she has achieved as a journal, she does like the bullet journaling. So she plans out today, you know, so like she has time to, like get put together. And that mostly like for our marriage has like been really awesome. Because it's like, it's just it, she's, she feels good. She comes into the day, the kids are already fed, they're kind of in good shape. And she comes down and it's like, okay, it's go time, like, you know, like, let's, you know, then she does school with the kids. And she you know, she takes him out to programs and stuff like that. So like, she has her, you know, a schedule and stuff that she does with them. And then so then that's when I work is like 10, like around 10am I start working. And then I go off at like three, you know, three or four. And then we kind of just tag team for the rest of the evening. So yeah, so I've worked, I actually end up getting, you know, like seven hours of working every day, so but those first two hours are kind of like free time or like personal time. Like if I have a personal project I want to work on or something like that. I'll do it during that time. So yeah,Colleen Schnettler  36:41  that sounds wonderful. So what I'm trying to get out here, Jordan, this is the real question. Were the two to three years of the 12 to 15 hours a day worth it to live the life you're living now.Jordan O'Connor  36:57  Yeah. Oh, yeah. 100%. And I think the interesting thing is, I don't think I would have been able to do it now. It would, it would have been really hard. Right? Like, like, back then, you know, when I first started, we had no kids, but then like, we had one kid. But like, you know, even before they start walking and stuff, they're not really like that much work, you know, it's only when they become toddlers is when Okay, somebody's got to be hands on all the time with at least the kids. Yeah. So. So I had your head, that window of opportunity were like, Okay, I have, you know, I can do this, I can put on a lot of hours. Whereas now, I probably couldn't even put in that many hours without some serious strain on, you know, like the marriage and just like our health and things like that. But yeah, I mean, I think it was worth it, I think, um, you know, you kind of have, you know, those those choices in life, it's like, whether you're going to go for it, and you're going to do the thing, or you're just going to sit back and let life happen to you. And so I was like, Hey, I'm going to I'm going to go for it. I'm going to get control of you know, my finances and control over my time and control over my future. And so I did what I had to do to get there, you know, some people start in a different place, and it's easier for them. So people start in a way worse place, and it's a lot harder for them. So yeah, but yeah, I think I think ultimately, it was worth it for sure.Colleen Schnettler  38:15  So you kind of made a joke earlier, like 30 seconds ago, when I said you're objectively successful. So I have met a lot of people like who are, are making quite a lot of money with their side projects, not side projects with their businesses. And you know, I've talked to people who are making, you know, $50,000 a month who still feel like they need to push, push, push, because it's not good enough. Where do you fall in that spectrum?Jordan O'Connor  38:38  Um, I'm definitely not pushing, I'm not pushing very hard at all. Um, I think, I don't know, I think most of most of my focus right now is on minimizing everything else. So that I can maintain this lifestyle, basically forever, because like, right now, honestly, if anything changed, it would only be for the worse, like, this is kind of like almost as good as it gets. I have like, almost unlimited free time, I get to work on something I want to work on. You know, like my family is well provided for, like, we can kind of schedule our day, however we want it. So those are like, like, there's really no downside. So mostly for me, it's like, okay, like, how can we, you know, get rid of, you know, some of this lingering debt quicker? How can we pay off the house quicker? You know, how can we make sure that you know, like, we're investing and actually growing our wealth, you know, in the background, while we're, you know, in while I'm working so that in the future, you know, if you know, this whole thing blows up, I have, you know, some options and things like that. So, I think for me, that's more of my focus rather than like trying to like, you know, scale closet tools and maximize it and, you know, make a ton of money. You know, I think ultimately, you know, I, I could just go that route and do that. But I think when I have the you know, the three young kids we have a five year old a three year old and One year old. Oh, yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. So like when they're all young, you know, I want to be there with them. Yeah, I think once they get a little older, you know, they can get a little more autonomous, you know, they kind of can entertain themselves, you know, they have things they want to do. And they can go do that. But for now, like, they're super young, like, I don't, you know, I want to be there I want to be hands on. So I don't want to be like, you know, business dad that was never home, you know, like, off doing his thing. You know, I'd rather I'd rather have a balance of like, okay, like, yeah, I make a decent amount of money. But I also get to spend a lot of time with my kids. So like, why would I try to change that balance, you know, to, you know, for the worse, so. So yeah.Colleen Schnettler  40:37  Yeah, that makes that makes total sense. And that's awesome. You're able to do that. Right. I mean, that's, that's amazing. So, yeah,Jordan O'Connor  40:45  that's pretty fortunate.Colleen Schnettler  40:46  Another question I had for you, I either saw this on indie hackers or Twitter, but you had, it was something like never take other people's advice when you are trying to build a business. Do you remember that?Jordan O'Connor  40:57  Um, yeah, I can I can align with that. If I said that. I think you did. It definitely. Sounds like something I would have said. Yeah, I think um, yeah, advice is always so contextual. You know, like, even my advice right now. Like, like I was talking about, like, when, you know, I told my boss, like, Hey, I don't want to be the go to guy. Like, I don't know, if that's the right advice for somebody, maybe that's maybe they need to go hard. You know, maybe they're super lazy, and they need to go harder, or something like that. You know, for me, I was a good employee that wanted to take a little bit of a break, you know, so like, yeah, you know, but you know, so like, you know, people have different, you know, financial situations, they have different family situations that have different health situations, even have different personalities, like I was talking about earlier, where like, some people really want to do like one on one sales, and they really like talking to people and they really like, you know, like, being outgoing and stuff. Like, I don't really like that. So I have to build something totally different. That aligns with me. So like, I run a totally email based business, I don't actually do any calls with anybody. And if you want customer support, you email me like, that's it. Like, I don't have a phone number or anything like that. Yeah. So but for other people, like, you know, they want to be on the phone all day, they want to talk to people, you know, they want to do stuff like that. So, so yeah, I think a lot of a lot of business advice is very, very contextual. And I think until you actually dive in and figure out what works for you, then you're not really going to know what the best advice is, or what advice actually sticks. Because I think, even to a lot of advice, you know, people mean, well, and it does really work for them. But just because it works for them doesn't actually mean it's going to work for you, too. You know, and so like for me early on, like when, when I was taking those courses, you know, a lot of those people were pitching, you know, the the freelancing in the agency style stuff. And so like, I tried it, but like, it didn't work for me, like I was awful at it, like I was terrible at that part of stuff, like I had the great skills, but like dealing with people and like, you know, all that stuff. terrible at it. So like, I was like, I can't make this work, I have to do something different. And so that's how I, you know, got on the, and actually, it was interesting indie hackers launched. I'm trying to think it was about like, a few months before I launched closet tools. It was like, right around that time. So it's actually pretty fortunate because it was cool to, you know, see a group of people kind of doing the same thing that I was wanting to do. You gave me a little bit of confidence to kind of do that. So yeah. But anyways, yeah. So that I think that advice is is I think it most advice is, I don't know, it's mostly worthless. I do think it's interesting to hear people's stories. And as long as they give enough context, like I try to give a lot of context about like, my family, and like, what my financial situation was like, because like, that's the stuff that really matters. Because like, anyway, anybody could be like, oh, yeah, like, learn these skills, and then build a business and you'll make a ton of money. But like, you know, if you don't have the means to actually do that, then how are you? You know, how can you even, you know, attempt to do that? And so yeah, so I think if you can give them enough context, I think some advice can be helpful, or at least helpful enough to where they can be like, Oh, that doesn't even apply to me. You know, like, I you know, like, for me, I see a lot of advice from people that have like, no kids, and they don't like they're not married, they have no kids. And it's like, this doesn't even like you can't do that. Right. Like, I can't do that at all. So yeah, so I think that's important, for sure.Colleen Schnettler  44:18  So what's next for you?Jordan O'Connor  44:21  Um, I don't really know, I'm trying to figure it out. I think, um, I never saw clauses was as a long term thing, but it's sticking around a lot longer than I thought it was actually gonna stick around. So just kind of hanging out there. You know, I still actually I still build and continue to grow with it, you know, I still, you know, add features to it. And I still do marketing and things like that. But I don't know, I think I think I like I enjoy writing a lot. So I would like to do some sort of writing thing. I am writing a, an SEO sales book called rank to sell. So I'm working on that. Not that I think that that's going to be like my full time thing like Oh, I'm an author now. Because I think, you know, my code is pretty valuable, too. So, um, so yeah, I mean, some kind of hybrid of writing and code. In the future. I'm definitely on board with building more simple SAS products I have no, you know, I would like to do that, even in the same niche, you know, I can serve the same customer set with some different types of tools. And so, there's a lot of different platforms that these retailers sell on. So. So yeah, I mean, honestly, it's just kind of iterative stuff. It's not like anything like, oh, you know, I'm, you know, switching my whole life over to like something else. It's mostly like, hey, like, I'm here. How can I, you know, how can I invest a little more? How can I, you know, add a little more, you know, financial stability, a little more income, or, you know, another product or something, just something a little bit more iterative. And just kind of, like, keep the thing going, basically, it's kind of that's, that's mostly what it is. So, I've been thinking a lot lately about, like, some kind of business that I can get my kids involved in, but I haven't really come up with anything yet. I think it would be super cool to like, have them, you know, work on something with me, but I don't know. That's, that's honestly, that's kind of the dream for me is like, that would be cool. You know, but I don't know. I don't know what that is yet.Colleen Schnettler  46:09  Yeah, that would be cool. Wonderful. Well, Jordan, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing your story with us. And, you know, teaching us about some of the things that helped you grow closet tools. I really appreciate having you.Jordan O'Connor  46:26  Yeah, sure. Yeah. Thanks for having me. It was a lot of fun.Colleen Schnettler  46:29  And that will wrap up this week's episode of the software social podcast. Thank you so much for listening. You can find us on Twitter at software social pod

Tribucasters, el podcast para los podcasters

Hablamos del elefante en la habitación, de la nota de prensa, de cómo va el estudio de monetización de podcasts y de nuestro epic fail con los social ads.  En este nuevo episodio premium hablamos de muchas cosas (cada vez se van alargando más...). Aquí las tienes:  Anchor/spotify ya ha abierto las suscripciones para podcasts en España.  Encuesta Primer Estudio de Monetización de Podcasts : tenemos 125 respuestas y establecemos fecha límite a 15 de diciembre. La nota de prensa que hemos enviado a los medios: repercusión y aprendizajes.  Los fallos de tarjeta van a ser un problema gordo: qué podemos hacer al respecto.  La secuencia de emails de bienvenida: un fallo nuestro que tenemos que solucionar.  Una propuesta hardcore para el Instagram de Mumbler.  Reunión con el guionista de una producción de ficción que se presenta a Los Ondas. Ojo, porque el enfoque a pequeñas productoras puede también tener sentido.  Podstatus ha incorporado Spotify: ya los estamos testeando con el podcast de Mumbler.  Sobre el tema de integrar comunidad: Telegram, Discord, integraciones... y cómo lo podríamos abordar en Mumbler.  La gente de Microaquire ha lanzado una herramienta para calcular el precio de tu startup en base al MRR. Ahrefs cambia su inversión a generadores de contenidos este 2022. Un aplauso enorme.  Sobre el podcast: Pau Ninja, episodio de balance de 2021 y episodio de objetivos de 2022.  Sobre el Epic Fail en Facebook e Instagram ads, estos son los datos:  Importe gastado: 258€ Leads en formulario: 48 CPL formulario: 3,04 Leads en landing: 38 CPL landing: 2,96€ Un podcast creado. Está claro que la inversión en publicidad irá por otros derroteros a partir de ahora, lo comentamos en el episodio.  Y eso es todo (que no es poco).  La próxima semana una gran entrevista con Pau Ninja desde Nápoles.   Saludos!

Inside Outside
Ep. 274 - Todd Embley, Senior Startup Advocate for Agora on Startup Tech, Trends & Ecosystems

Inside Outside

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 23, 2021 24:48


On this week's episode of Inside Outside Innovation, we sit down with Todd Embley, Senior Startup Advocate for Agora. Todd and I talk about the new technologies and trends from no-code tools to embedded audio and video platforms, that affect how we see, hear, and interact with each other. We also explore how companies are tapping into startups and startup ecosystems to enable founders to build and impact the world more effectively. Let's get started. Inside Outside Innovation as the podcast to help new innovators navigate what's next. I'm your host Brian Ardinger, founder of InsideOutside.IO. Each week. We'll give you a front row seat into what it takes to learn, grow, and thrive in today's world of accelerating change and uncertainty. Join us as we explore, engage, and experiment with the best and the brightest innovators, entrepreneurs, and pioneering businesses. It's time to get started. Interview Transcript with Todd Embley, Senior Startup Advocate for AgoraBrian Ardinger: Welcome to another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. I'm your host, Brian Ardinger, and as always, we have another amazing guest. Today, we have Todd Embley. He is a Senior Startup Advocate for Agora and a formerly with China Accelerator. So welcome to the show, Todd, Todd Embley: Thank you, Brian. It's good to be here. Brian Ardinger: I'm excited to have you because we've met a while back early in my startup days when I was running NMotion. You were in China. And we met at some global accelerator network conference. I think it was in San Diego, perhaps. So, you spent a lot of time in Asia, as I did. And recently moved back to the states, working for a interesting company called Agora. We had a chance to run into each other again in Lincoln. Todd Embley: Yeah. Thanks very much. I actually did come back from China and moved to the U.S. but now I'm back in Canada. I am Canadian and I'm living in Western Canada. Brian Ardinger: I wanted to start the conversation with the most recent company that you're with is a company called Agora. It's an interesting company for a couple different reasons. And it's a real-time engagement platform that a lot of popular companies are using to build on top of like Run the World, which is something that we've used for our IO Conferences and that. And some of our IO Live events. I think you guys provide like the SDKs and the building blocks to enable these types of startups to build off of. So, I I'd love to get your take, not on just Agora, but you've got an interesting role there as a Startup Advocate. So, what is a Startup Advocate? Todd Embley: It's a great role, for those of us who aren't necessarily adept at selling. And we fall under marketing. And the role is really, if I were to compartmentalize everything that we're about and our ethos and thesis. Is go out into startup land and be as helpful as possible. Try to integrate. You know, we sponsor. I run workshops. I meet with lots and lots of entrepreneurs all the time, and we're just out there trying to be as helpful as possible. And the great thing that the company and the founders and senior leadership have all gotten behind is just be out and be as helpful as possible. And wear the t-shirt while you're doing it. That's almost the be all and end of it. And for those that are really interested in what Agora is and what Agora does, then we can get into that. But essentially, we're not trying to put it in front of everybody and not trying to blast everybody with, with Agora specifically. The team is comprised of people who have been entrepreneurs, been in startups, been in VC, run accelerators. And who have just a lot of empathy for startups and that's kind of where it begins and ends. Brian Ardinger: We see a couple of different companies use this approach of startup advocate type of program to help build their business. Walk me through like, what are the benefits and the reasons why a corporation would want to put together some type of program around this.Todd Embley: You know, I think AWS and what they've been doing for as long as they've been doing it are kind of the benchmark. And they were, I would say the pioneers, at least the most famous pioneers of running programs like this. Our senior leadership had an opportunity in China to talk to the heads of AWS Activate in China.And they divulged some interesting statistics, which I think were the precipice of Agora wanting to build their own startup team as well. And that was that after 15 years of them having a program, they will now attribute up to 65% of AWS revenues today to the activities, you know, over the last 15 years, of their startup program.And what we're trying to do is invest in our future huge customers. Knowing that the world's next billionaire companies, trillion-dollar companies. The unicorns of the future are still just startups today. And if we want to align ourselves correctly with what it takes to build a startup and how hard it is, let's maybe try to get out of their way at the early stages while they're trying to cross the early chasms of, you know, and the difficulties of what it takes. So, from a revenue perspective or from a cost perspective, let's give our stuff for free. You know, until you, their revenue. You can't get blood from a stone. So, while they're still searching for product market fit and revenue, let's let them use our software for free until such time as they are then finding product market fit and then able to start generating revenue. And only at that time, should we then start to talk to them about actually paying for the service? Brian Ardinger: That makes sense. And obviously it seems to be working. I think I read on your website, you've got over 50 billion minutes of engagement on the platform. Probably going up as we speak. I don't know if you can speak to any specific use cases or specifically what you do when it comes to helping these companies get up and off the ground. Todd Embley: Sure. As you alluded to, there are some famous companies that have been using us, especially in the real-time audio space. There are a few NDAs in place. So, you could mention who those companies are. And by all means it's pretty widely known. I necessarily can't speak directly to who some of those more famous ones are. But the nuts and bolts of the program essentially boils down to free minutes. So, my Director, Tony Blank. He and another friend of ours, Paul Ford, used to do this at SendGrid. And that's where they were a big supporter of the Global Accelerator Network where you and I met in the beginning and then the Twilio acquisition of SendGrid. So, he was there. And they were doing a great job as well. And leading on some of the data from their experience there, or Tony's experience there, and then understanding our business and the data that we had over the years that Agora has been thriving. We positioned the amount of minutes at 1 million, we figured 1 million minutes of Agora should be enough for most companies to achieve product market fit and revenue.If you haven't achieved product market fit and revenue, after using a million minutes of Agora, you may have some underlying other issues that are getting in the way of that. But we really feel that upwards of 80%, even 90% of companies who do achieve and use up the million free minutes, should be at a position of having raised money and are revenue positive.At which time we feel comfortable to say, okay, though, now we do have to, for our business purposes, need to, to work on something and we'll hand them over to sales in a gentle way and work on getting them some discounts and start forecasting future usage and things like that. But those are the nuts and bolts.In our world of real-time video, real-time audio, just the real-time engagement aspect of it. There are certain verticals that are really taking off. I think health is obviously a big one where you have doctors and patients or therapists and their clients. We're seeing a lot in fitness, so for coaches training. Doing big group classes. Education is probably our biggest. I think that's a pretty obvious use case of doing real time lessons with teachers and things. But we're also seeing a lot of activity in the area of gaming where people want talk to each other. They want to be on video with each other while playing games together. Live performances and experiences around online virtual concerts or comedy shows or things like that as well. There's a lot of added context that you can get from engaging in real time, over video. That you couldn't get at an actual conference.You know, there are solutions coming around blending those where you might be at the concert, but you'll also have on your phone different camera angles that are available to a viewer. And you can get other contextual information that is happening plus chats with other people at the concert or something like that.And then, you know, a lot of multi-verse. A lot of VR stuff. I mean, I had a conversation with a startup out of New Zealand who was working in the overcoming therapy space, where if you had a phobia of dogs, you know, a psychologist would work with their client, and they would go to a kennel and slowly start to integrate and learn how to overcome. But now we can do that in a VR environment, but overlay a lot of very interesting artificial intelligence, facial recognition. Stuff like that to really be able to measure the things that are almost imperceptible to the human eye, to understand like the dilation of their pupils when faced with a small dog versus a big dog or different breeds or something, just giving a lot more contextual information to help a psychologist really work with their client to overcome a phobia. So, it's fascinating to work with the startups because they are thinking of use cases that we even within Agora can't think of. The Ewing Marion Kauffman FoundationSponsor Voice: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation based in Kansas City, Missouri, that seeks to build inclusive prosperity through a prepared workforce and entrepreneur-focused economic development. The Foundation uses its $3 billion in assets to change conditions, address root causes, and break down systemic barriers so that all people – regardless of race, gender, or geography – have the opportunity to achieve economic stability, mobility, and prosperity. For more  information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with us at www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn. Brian Ardinger: Well, and that's an interesting thing because the platform itself is really robust. You can do video calls and voice calls and interactive live streaming and real-time messaging and white boarding. And like you said, the toolkits are there. And I think this fits into one of those trends that we've been talking about, where it's never been easier for a startup founder to find the tools they need. They don't necessarily have to build everything from scratch nowadays. They can find partners and no code, low code tools and things like that to get up and going and testing the marketplace a lot easier than ever before. And get to those use case scenarios that a platform tool provider may not have thought of originally. I'm curious to get your take on some of this accessibility to tools that founders didn't have maybe, you know, 10 years ago when we started in this business. Todd Embley: Yeah, it's amazing. I think back to, I used to be with SOSV was the fund, and we were doing kind of an internal conference for all of our portfolio, all of our mentor network. Everybody that had ever been involved with us, including investors in Agora or LPs. And we had a guy named Dave McClure come and speak. And somebody had asked him is your eight-year-old daughter learning how to code. And he said, let me rephrase that. I think what you're asking me is do I think that it is important for very young people to learn how to code and essentially that's what you're looking for. And he said, you know, coding is like learning any other language, you know, in the development of the brain and how that enables young people to really grow. But it is in his opinion, he said it is just kind of a commodity. He said coding is probably going to become a commodity. And we've seen that in the low-code no-code explosion.And then he thought, you know, design would probably not be that far behind. I mean, there probably will be a day in the future where our phones will know everything they need to know about us, where you won't have to necessarily code or design the UI UX CX, of how an app works and feels. Because it can just deploy to our phone and our phone can tell the app how to develop itself as it lands on our home screen, in the way that we prefer it to be from colors to where the settings are or where our profile lives.And we can navigate that so intuitively. It has been absolutely amazing. And I think, you know, as we go, we've launched our app builder where pretty much anybody, even without any coding experience can go on and within 20 minutes create a video conferencing tool that they can use for their family reunion. You know, that is super easy. So yeah, it's been amazing. Brian Ardinger: It is kind of crazy to think what are the uses. I'd imagine obviously COVID has changed the dynamic landscape for you guys, especially. And so maybe let's talk a little bit about that. Some of the trends you're seeing with the move to more remote and more virtual environments. Todd Embley: Anybody who just watches the stock price of Zoom over the last couple of years would understand exactly where this industry has gone, but then factors like the quote unquote Zoom fatigue. And now we're seeing people that want to have more control over the layout and the design and the backgrounds and the information and the chats and emojis and music and all these other things that you can build into it. Because you know, now for instance, all our conferences went virtual, right? So we are now having to figure out how did you run a web summit or you know, like an East Meets West, that Blue Start-ups does in Hawaii or something. How do we now do this online and create a really great experience where everybody can still try to achieve those same outcomes for why they attended in the first place. It's been a pretty amazing growth that has really kind of pushed the boundaries.The work from home, I think has been the biggest thing where everybody's now at home. So, there's working with colleagues. There is collection of data. There is monitoring output and outcomes. And, you know, as a department or as a salesperson or marketing has changed. How do we do now market to people who aren't leaving their homes anymore that has now all changed.It's been such a game changer just in the future of work. I wouldn't say it necessarily changed course, but COVID has absolutely accelerated what we were already starting to think it would be. You know, it's done some damage to the world of coworking spaces, right. Or in-person accelerators or incubators. It's changed how we, even as a startup team go out and find partners and find startups to introduce them to Agora. So, it's had a tremendous impact. Brian Ardinger: You spent a lot of time ecosystem building for lack of a better term. You know, you go to different communities and see what the landscape is in the startup world. And then again, try to help founders navigate that. So, what are you seeing when you travel around to different startup communities and that. What's maybe different than it was five or six years ago? Todd Embley: There's a lot of factors. Entrepreneurship and startup land, as we know it, just even in the last 20 years, let's say since the .com boom and bust. And then, you know, Paul Graham kind of the Godfather of the accelerator starts Y Combinator in 2005. And so, the way investors started investing, and then there was, you know, a lot of information and then Crunchbase and others started coming around. And then, then we had 10 years of data from Crunchbase, somewhere around 2013. That we're now measuring how well people were investing, how well-performing that whole venture financial class was doing.And we've seen things where investors are now looking more at timing of solutions versus not just team and problem, but they had so many investments that were either too early, too late. And they started to recognize that. A lot of funds are starting to look internally and seeing, trying to reinvest inside the value that they've created to capture more of the food on the table versus being so outwardly focused. For our jobs, even in doing ecosystem development, how to startups find us versus how do we find them? If there's no meetups. If we're not able to do in-person startup weekends, then how are we able to find them, to attract them, to support them and to help them. How are investors doing their due diligence? You know, things like DocSend. Right.Having that digital data room with a lot of analytics built into it. So that founders can now not only see who's entering and who's looking at their due diligence documents at, but where in the deck are they spending time? On what slides, what is important? Where are they stopping? Where are they looking at? There's a lot of data and information that they can measure from that as well. I'm not exactly sure if that answers the question, but it is so drastically different. And now we're going back into, you know, web summit is in-person. I'm going to be going to that next week after we record this. That is going to be a different experience as well. And then there's the hybrids that are kind of doing both. It's changed a lot. Brian Ardinger: It is definitely interesting. You know, it's always been hard to find startup founders. A lot of times they're heads down doing their thing. You know, over the last five or six years pre COVID, you started to have a different environment where things like coworking spaces and events like Startup Weekend and that, started to bring some of those folks out and started to get some energy. And then COVID kind of slap that in the face to a certain extent. But now what I'm seeing at least is more collaboration across different communities. So even though I'm based in Lincoln, Nebraska, the network and our reach to different communities for the startups in our backyard, has increased and been beneficial from the standpoint of they're no longer having to be in the middle of flyover country. They can access folks that wouldn't necessarily in the past look outside of their own Sandhill Road area. So, I guess there's pros and cons to this new environment, but I was curious to get your take on that as well. Todd Embley: Constraints, breed Innovation. And COVID has drastically brought a whole new set of constraints just by not being able to meet in person as much. So, I think it's the development and the investment in developing a different skill set. You know, you take one sense away, the other senses improve. And so, we've had to become better at being able to build relationships. And we have video. And we have voice. But suddenly we're tuning in to the video and tuning into the voice. We may not have the same social cues and we may not have the same physical cues to be picking up on things. We used to train entrepreneurs on how to pitch in person. You were on a stage facing an audience. You were standing in front of an investor at a meetup. Here's how you do it. Here's how you talk. Here's how you hold yourself. Be careful of your hands. Don't shift your feet around. You know, there is all these, you know, all this kind of training, which has had to change. Which has had to develop. And now we're reaching out, we're developing partnerships and I think I've seen a lot of ecosystems lean in on having silos or verticals that they're starting to own to be seen as a place.And accelerators are now going virtual, where they're pulling from anywhere. Right. We have a focus. We're vertically focused. And so even if you're in Brazil or you're in Russia or wherever, this is the accelerator that you want to join because the world has just been absolutely flattened. And now this is the best place. This is the best accelerator, and you don't have to fly in and live here. Right? So now you've seen costs of living. People are moving out of the main centers. It's just, it's been a tremendous change. Brian Ardinger: You've spent your life helping founders. And I'd love to get your input on for our founders that are listening to this show. Some of the biggest obstacles or barriers or things that you've seen or can help them overcome. Are there particular tips or tricks that founders should be paying attention to nowadays?Todd Embley: I still think it all starts with the problem. And I still find myself having to talk about deep diving into the problem discussion. And there has been a penchant for the snapshot. And of the landscape as it is today. But I think what we're starting to understand. And what I'm seeing from a lot of questions that come from investors, is it's not as much about what. It's about why. And when you're pitching or talking about what you're doing, you have to start layering in the why.This is our go to market strategy. Great. Doesn't really matter, but why did you choose that? They're being measured on the way they think. The way they process. The way they built. What data did you take in. Which did you keep? And which did you throw away and why? And then what decision and strategy did you make off of that data?And why did you decide to strategize that? Why are you deciding to build this next? Why is this the next iteration of what you're doing, this problem that you're trying to solve? Anybody can Google and get a lot of data on a problem that exists today. But do you have a deep understanding of how we got here? You know, we have this Canadian kind of saying of the Wayne Gretzky, don't go where the puck is, go, where the puck is going to be.And as investors, we're always trying to find the entrepreneurs who are good at figuring out where the puck is going to be. But the only way that they can figure that out, isn't understanding just where the puck is, but how the puck got to where it is. Because only then do we understand the speed and the trajectory and are able to extrapolate off of that to know where it's going with some reasonable degree of accuracy. But we'll never get it right. But that I think is always be factoring in your why. Nobody is going to be blown away by your what because you're still early stage. Unless you have a hundred thousand downloads or a million MRR, you know, it's just not that impressive. Because the only thing that matters is what people use and pay for.So, knowing that. Now, we're just trying to measure size you up as a founder. So lean in on all your why of everything that you're talking about so that they can understand how you develop, how you price, how you see the world. Be unique, be different. For More InformationBrian Ardinger: Solid advice. Well, Todd, I want to thank you for coming on Inside Outside Innovation and sharing your insights and your experiences from the many years of being in the trenches there. I want to encourage people to check out Agora and that. If people want to find out more about yourself or about the startup program at Agora, what's the best way to do that? Todd Embley: Yeah. I mean, if they want to connect with me, LinkedIn is great. Just Todd Embley. I will generally show up. That's a great way to do it. And I'd love to connect. And I love to meet with everybody. And then agora.io/startups is where the entrance to the startup program lives. But Agora.io is where most of the information about Agora lives. And we're happy to talk to anybody, especially partners. Anybody doing events. Anything out there. We'd love to be a part of it. We'd love to sponsor. And try to add value. Brian Ardinger: Well Todd, thanks again for coming on the show. It's great to see you again and look forward to continuing the conversation in the years to come. Todd Embley: Thanks, Brian. It's been great.Brian Ardinger: That's it for another episode of Inside Outside Innovation. If you want to learn more about our team, our content, our services, check out InsideOutside.io or follow us on Twitter @theIOpodcast or @Ardinger. Until next time, go out and innovate.FREE INNOVATION NEWSLETTER & TOOLSGet the latest episodes of the Inside Outside Innovation podcast, in addition to thought leadership in the form of blogs, innovation resources, videos, and invitations to exclusive events. SUBSCRIBE HEREYou can also search every Inside Outside Innovation Podcast by Topic and Company.  For more innovations resources, check out IO's Innovation Article Database, Innovation Tools Database, Innovation Book Database, and Innovation Video Database.  

Big Break Software Podcast
The Godfather of Bootstrapping Rob Walling CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf and what he looks for in his SaaS invrestments

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2021 49:23


Rob Walling, entrepreneur, investor, CEO of Tinyseed & Microconf, and godfather of bootstrapping SaaS tells Geordie what he considers in his SaaS investments. Listen and learn.   Apart from building and selling different startups, Rob has been collaborating and assisting non-venture backed startup founders for nearly two decades now. He also hosts a popular podcast for bootstrappers, boasting 500 five-star reviews and over 10 million downloads. He talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn What does Tinyseed & Microconf entail, and how do they work? What makes Tinyseed different from other accelerators in the market? Why SaaS founders choose Tinyseed and Microconf over their competitors Importance of having an audience before launching your idea Why pricing is a critical factor in SaaS Why an entrepreneur's goals determine the type of product they build  Why raising your prices too high is never a good idea  In This Episode Rob highlights podcasting for startups, working on Microconf, an in-person and online community for bootstrap founders from different parts of the world, and Tinyseed, the inaugural startup accelerator that strives to facilitate success for SaaS bootstrappers as his key roles. He says he spends most of his time on the latter two. How does he manage? Find out from the podcast.  Unlike other accelerators in the market today, Tinyseed is remote, and its terms enable people to operate a profitable company. He gives extensive details about Tinyseed in this podcast which you cannot afford to miss. Together with his team, Rob has started numerous investments with their 59 launching in the next few weeks. How does Rob identify these startups? Doing due diligence is a crucial part of ensuring that you are dealing with reliable people. Both Tinyseed and Microconf come with an application process that customers should fill before becoming part of the accelerator program. Rob says they do interviews, make offers, and give their applicants a terms sheet to fill. Once SaaS founders agree to the terms and conditions, they become part of the accelerator. Rob and his team then fund them.  Rob mentions that many of the companies they deal with are not interested in funding but want mentorship, guidance, advice, and the proper SaaS network. Before investing in a potential company, Rob's team considers various factors. However, he only focuses on the three P's, people involved, product fit, and price sensitivity or pricing. Potential companies have to answer questions about their businesses and competition. Listen to the podcast to figure out some of the questions that companies must answer before being considered. During the application process, aspiring companies must describe their unique advantage over competitors and their average revenue MRR per user. It is at this point where Rob begins his rating on a one to five scale. Rob mentions the importance of MRR for companies, and you can learn about it in the podcast.  To qualify for the accelerator program, applicants should have at least $500 in MRR, but Rob says they prefer SaaS founders with between $800 and $1,000 on the lower end. He insists that they can still fund people with lower amounts.  Running a business comes with various challenges, and Rob says there is no blueprint for doing it right. While entrepreneurs may have numerous ideas, they are never sure they will work, making it one of the core challenges for entrepreneurs on their zero to 5000 MRR phase. Apart from needing guidance, SaaS founders require reassurance to counter challenges along the way and work towards success. The Tinyseed Playbook defines funnels and guides SaaS founders, helping them understand the importance of pricing their products right. This playbook is ideal for -entrepreneurs in their 5,000 to 15,000 MRR phase. In this case, the entire team collaborates to identify what works best for the companies and ensure they are doing things right. Content marketing is a critical factor that Rob and his team consider before collaborating with SaaS founders. However, he mentions that the strategy is ideal for companies within the lower price range. He also discusses the role of LTV (Lifetime value) and SEO.  Pricing is one of the factors that Rob holds close to his heart. He says that a huge percentage of his candidates admit that their pricing is either overly low or off in a way. Listen to the podcast for a more elaborate explanation of why pricing can be a difficult task and what entrepreneurs can do to get it right. Businesses that have a higher price tend to grow faster, according to Rob. Find the reason why from the podcast. Rob concludes the podcast by talking about launching Tinyseed in the UK.   Resources  TinySeed Rob Walling LinkedIn Rob Walling Website Rob Walling Twitter

The Nathan Barry Show
055: Andrew Warner - Turning Your Podcast Into a Successful Business

The Nathan Barry Show

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2021 68:07


Andrew Warner has been part of the internet startup scene since 1997. Andrew and his brother built a $30 million per year online business, which they later sold. After taking an extended vacation and doing some traveling, Andrew started Mixergy. Mixergy helps ambitious upstarts learn from some of the most successful people in business.Andrew and I talk about his new book, Stop Asking Questions. It's a great read on leading dynamic interviews, and learning anything from anyone. We also talk about longevity and burnout as an entrepreneur. Andrew gives me feedback about my interviewing style, the direction I should take the podcast, and much more.In this episode, you'll learn: Why you need to understand and communicate your mission How to get your guest excited about being interviewed What to do instead of asking questions How to hook your audience and keep them engaged Links & Resources ConvertKit Gregg Spiridellis JibJab Ali Abdaal The Web App Challenge: From Zero to $5,000/month In 6 Months Groove Zendesk Help Scout Jordan Harbinger Noah Kagan Bob Hiler Seth Godin Morning Brew Alex Lieberman Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) Notion Sahil Bloom Ryan Holiday Brent Underwood Ghost Town Living Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator Damn Gravity Paul Graham Y Combinator Nathan Barry: Authority Ira Glass NPR This American Life Barbara Walters Richard Nixon interview Oprah interview with Lance Armstrong Matt Mullenweg Chris Pearson Conspiracy: Peter Thiel, Hulk Hogan, Gawker, and the Anatomy of Intrigue Peter Thiel Gawker Nick Denton The Wall Street Journal Rohit Sharma SanDisk Jason Calacanis Dickie Bush Sean McCabe Daily Content Machine Jordan Peterson Tribes Warren Buffet Sam Walton Ted Turner GothamChess LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) Inc.com: Selling Your Company When You're Running on Fumes Chess.com Mark Cuban James Altucher Rod Drury Andrew Warner's Links Andrew Warner Stop Asking Questions Mixergy Episode Transcript[00:00:00] Andrew:The top 10 interviews of all time are news-based interviews. We, as podcasters, keep thinking, “How do I get enough in the can, so if I die tomorrow, there's enough interviews to last for a month, so I can be consistent, and the audience loves me.”That's great, but I think we should also be open to what's going on in the world today. Let's go talk to that person today. If there's an artist who's suddenly done something, we should go ask to do an interview with them.[00:00:32] Nathan:In this episode, I talk to my friend, Andrew Warner, who I've known for a long time. He actually played a really crucial role in the ConvertKit story in the early days, and provided some great encouragement along the way to help me continue the company, and get through some tough spots.We actually don't get into that in this episode, but it takes an interesting turn because we just dive right in.Andrew's got a book on interviewing. He runs Mixergy. He's been, running Mixergy for a long time. We talk about longevity and burnout, and a bunch of other things. He dives in and challenges me, and gives me feedback on my interviewing style. Where I should take the Podcast, and a bunch of other stuff. It's more of a casual conversation than the back-and-forth interview of how he grew his business. But I think you'll like it. It's a lot of what I'm going for on the show.So anyway, enjoy the episode.Andrew, welcome to the show.[00:01:25] Andrew:Thanks for having me on.[00:01:26] Nathan:There's all kinds of things we can talk about today, but I want to start with the new book that you got coming out.This is actually slightly intimidating; I am interviewing someone who has a book coming out about how to be good at interviewing. Where do we even go from here? You were saying that you have thoughts?[00:01:47] Andrew:I have feedback for you. I have a thoughts on your program.[00:01:51] Nathan:I'm now even more nervous.[00:01:52] Andrew:I've been listening, and I've been following, and I've been looking for questioning styles. Is there feedback I could give him? I mean, I've wrote a whole book on it. I should have tons of ideas on that.I don't. Here's the thing that stood out for me watching you. There's an ease and a comfort with these guests, but I'm trying to figure out what you're trying to do with the Podcast. What is connecting them? Are you trying to bring me, the listener, in and teach me how to become a better creator who's going to grow an audience and make a career out of it? Or are you trying to learn for yourself what to do?How to become closer to what Ali Abdaal doing, for example, or Sahil Bloom? Are you trying to do what they did, and grow your audience? Or is it a combination of the two?I think the lack of that focus makes me feel a little untethered, and I know that being untethered and going raw, and letting it go anywhere is fine, but I think it would be helpful if you gave me a mission.What's the mission that Nathan Barry's on with the Podcast. Why is he doing these interviews?[00:02:56] Nathan:Oh, that's interesting. Because it's probably different: my mission, versus the audience members' mission.[00:03:05] Andrew:I think you should have a boat together and, but go ahead.[00:03:08] Nathan:I was going to say mine is to meet interesting people. Like that's the thing I found that, podcasts are the pressure from two sides, one as a creator, as an individual online, like I'm not going to set aside the time to be like, you know what, I'm going to meet one interesting person a week and we're just going to have a conversation riff on something like that.Doesn't happen the times that, you know, the years that I didn't do this show, I didn't set aside like deliberate time to do that. And then the other thing is if I were to set aside that time and send out that email, I think a lot of people would be like, I kind of had to have a busy week. I don't know that I've, you know, like yeah, sure.Nathan, whoever you are. I did a Google search. You seem moderately interesting. I'm not sure that I want to get on that.Like a, get to know[00:03:58] Andrew:They wouldn't and it would be awkward. And you're right. The Podcast gives you an excuse. I think you should go higher level with it though. I think you should go deep to the point where you feel vulnerable. I think what you should do is say something like this, isn't it. You have to go into your own into your own mission and say, this is what it is.And just, so let me set the context for why this matters. I think it helps the audience know, but it also helps you get better guests to give better of themselves. I talk in the book about how I was interviewing Greg spirit, Dallas, the guy who created jib, jab, you know, those old viral video, it was a fire video factory that also created apps that allowed you to turn your yourself into like a viral meme that you could then send to your friends.Anyway, he didn't know me. He was incredibly successful. He was, I think, person of the year, a company of the year named by time. He was on the tonight show because he created these videos that had gone viral. And yes. He said yes, because a friend of a friend invited him, but I could see that he was just kind of slouching.He was wearing a baseball cap. It wasn't a good position. And then he said, why are we doing this? And I said, I want to do a story. That's so important. That tells the story of how you built your business. Yes. For my audience. So they see how new businesses are being built online, but let's make it so clear about what you did, that your great grandkids can listen to this.And then they will know how to great grandfather do this and put us in this situation. And that's what I wanted. I wanted for him to create that. And he told me that afterwards, if he had known that that was a mission, he wouldn't have put his hat on. He said that after that, he started thinking about the business in a more in depth way, visualizing his great grandchild.And then later on, he asked me for that recording so that he could have it in his family collection. So the reason I say that is I want us to have a mission. That's that important that yes. You could get somebody to sit in front of the camera because you're telling me you're doing a podcast, frankly.Right. You're with ConvertKit they're going to say yes, but how do you bring the best out of them? And that's it. And so that's why I'm doing this. And so one suggestion for you is to say something like.I'm Nathan, I've been a creator my whole life, but I'm starting from scratch right now with YouTube.I've got 435 people watching YouTube. It's not terrible, but it's clearly not where I want to end up. And so what I've decided to do is instead of saying, I've created the book authority, I wrote it. I'm the one who created software that all these creators are using a ConvertKit. Instead of, instead of allowing myself to have the comfort of all my past successes, I'm going to have the discomfort of saying, I don't know what it's like.And so I'm going to bring on all these people who, because maybe I've got credibility from ConvertKit are going to do interviews with me. And they're going to teach me like Alia doll and others are going to teach me how they became better creators, better business people. I'm going to use it to inform my, my, growth on YouTube.And by the way, You'll all get to follow along. And if you want to follow along and build along with me, this is going to come from an earnest place. Now I've obviously gone. Long-winded cause I'm kind of riffing here, but that's a mission. And now we're watching as you go from four to 500, now we care about your growth.Now there's someone giving you feedback and more importantly, there's someone who then can go back years later and see the breadcrumbs. Even if the whole thing fails and say, you know what?Nathan made it in virtual reality videos. And he's amazing. But look at what he did when YouTube was there. He clearly didn't do it, but he aspired right. I could aspire to, if I don't do it, I'll do it in the next level. That's that's what I'm going for with it. I talk too much sometimes and give people too much, too much feedback. How does that sit with you?[00:07:14] Nathan:I like the idea. I particularly love anytime a creator's going on a journey and inviting people along for it, right. When you're sitting there and giving advice or whatever else, it's just not that compelling to follow it unless there's a destination in mind. So I did that with ConvertKit in the early days of, I said, like I called it the web app challenge said, I'm trying to grow it from zero to 5,000 a month in recurring revenue.Within six months, I'm going to like live blog, the whole thing. people love that another example would be also in the SAS space, but, the company grew, they did a customer support software and they, I think. They were going from 25,000 a month to 500,000 a month was their goal. and they even have like, in their opt-in form, as they blogged and shared all the lessons, it had like a progress bar.You'd see, like MRR was at 40,000,[00:08:08] Andrew:Every time you read a blog post, you see the MRR and the reason that you don't remember what the number was is I believe that they changed it, you know, as they achieve the goal, they, they changed it to show the next goal on their list. And yeah, and you've got to follow along now. Why do I care? The groove, HQ or groove is, is growing a competitor to Zendesk and help scout.But now that I'm following along, I'm kind of invested now that I see how they're writing about their progress. I really do care. And by the way, what is this groove and why is it better than help scout and the others? Yeah. I agree with you. I think that makes a lot of sense. I think in conversations also, it makes a lot of sense.I think a lot of people will come to me and say, Andrew, can I just ask you for some feedback? I'm a student. Can I ask you for support? It's helpful for them to ask, but if they could ground me in the purpose, if you could say to somebody I'm coming to you with these questions, because this is where I'm trying to go, it changes the way that they react.It makes them also feel more on onboard with the mission. I have a sense that there is one, I'm just saying nail it, you know, who does it really good? who does a great job with it is a Jordan harbinger. He starts out his each episode is almost if you're a fan of his, it's almost like enough already. I get that.You're going to do an opt-in in the beginning of the Podcast. I get that. What you're trying to do is show us how to whatever network now and become better people. But it's fine. I'd much rather people say, I know too much about what this mission is. Then I don't.[00:09:26] Nathan:Do you who's afraid anyone else tuning in? What, what is Jordan's mission? What would he say is the mission that[00:09:32] Andrew:It's about, see, that's the other thing I can't actually, even though I've heard it a billion times, he's adjusted it. It's about, self-improvement making me a better person better, man. And so the earnestness of that makes me accept when he brings somebody on who's a little bit too academic who's, Jordan's interested in it or a little bit too practical to the point where it feels like I'm just getting too many tips on how to network and I don't need it, but I've got his sensibility.He's trying to make me a better person. And so I think with interviews, if you, if you give people the, the mission, they'll forgive more, they'll accommodate the largest and it does allow you to have a broader, a broader set of topics.[00:10:14] Nathan:Yeah. I'm thinking about the mission side of it. Like all of that resonates. and I love when an interview is questions are Like are the questions that they specifically want to know? It's not like I went through my list and this seems like a good question to ask instead. It's like, no, no, no, Andrew specifically, I want to know what should I do about, this?And I'll even call that out in a show and be like, look, I don't even care if there's an audience right now. Like this is my list, you know?[00:10:41] Andrew:Yes.[00:10:41] Nathan:But the, like if we dive into the mission, the one that you outlined doesn't quite resonate. And I think the reason. I think about, creators who have already made it in some way.And it starts to lose that earnestness. Like, honestly, I'm not that interested in, in growing a YouTube[00:11:00] Andrew:I don't think that that's I don't think that that's it for you. It's true. That's a little bit too. I don't know. It's it's a little, it's a little too early in the career. There is something there. I don't know what it is and it can't be enough. It can't be enough to say I need to meet interesting people because that's very youth centric and I'm not on a mission to watch you, unless you're really going to go for like the super right.And we're constantly aspiring, inspiring. the other thing it could be as you're running a company, you're trying to understand what's going on. No Kagan did that really well. I actually have the reason that I know this stuff is in order to write the book. I said, I have all my transcripts. I can study all the ways that I've questioned, but I also want to see what other people have done.And so Noah Kagan did this interview with an NPR producer. I had that transcribed to understand what he did and what he learned. One of the things that he did in that, that made that such a compelling interview is. He was a podcaster who wanted to improve his podcasting. And he, I think he even paid the producer to do an interview with him on his podcast so that he could learn from him.Right. And in the process, he's asking serious questions that he's really wondering. He's trying to figure out how to make a show more interesting for himself. Now. Clearly someone like me, who wants to make my Podcast more interesting. I'm like mentally scribbling notes as I'm running, listening to the podcasting.Oh yeah. The rule of three, like what are the three things you're going to show me?Well, yeah, at the end he did summarize it and he did edit. I don't like the edits at all because the edits take away some of the rawness of it and the discomfort which I personally enjoy, but I see now how he's editing it out.And it's, it's interesting to watch that progress.[00:12:32] Nathan:Yeah, I'm thinking through. The different angles that I could take with this. cause I like it and I feel like there's a, a thread that's not quite there. And I felt that on the show. Right. Cause people ask, oh, why are you having this guest on versus that guest? and it is that like, I, I find them interesting.There's also another angle of like probably half the guests maybe are on ConvertKit already. And so I want to highlight that. And then the other half of the guests aren't and I want them on ConvertKit and so that's an, you know, an incredibly easy, I can send you a cold email and be like, Andrew switched to ConvertKit.Right. Or I could be like, Hey, you know, have you on the show, we could talk. and we've gotten great people like in the music space and other areas from just having them on the show and then[00:13:18] Andrew:Can I give you, by the way, I know it's a sidetrack and I give you a great story of someone who did that. Okay. it's not someone that, you know, it's a guy who for years had helped me out. His name is Bob Highler every week he would get on a call with me and give me advice on how to improve the business.And then at one point he said, you know what? I need new clients. I want to start going after people who are, I want to start going after lawyers, helping them with their online ads, because lawyers aren't, aren't doing well enough.He started doing all these marketing campaigns because he's a marketer. And so one of the things he did was he got these cards printed up.He said, they look just like wedding invitations, beautiful. He, he mailed them out to lawyers. He got one, two responses. Like nobody would pay attention to a stranger, even if they were earnest and sending those out. And he goes, you know, and then he gets on a call. He doesn't even know what to say to people.If he just cold calling goes, I'm going to try to do that. And Andrew, I'm going to do an interview show for lawyers. He picked bankruptcy lawyers. He started asking them for interviews. They were all flattered because they also want another good Google hit. Right. And so they said yes to him and he asked them questions.Then I started learning the language. I forget all the different terms that he learned about how, about how they operate. But he said, inevitably at the end, they'll go after it was done. And say, by the way, what are you. And then he'd have a chance to tell them. And because he's built up this rapport and they trust him, they were much more likely to sign them.He signed up his customers, just like that, just like that. It's a, I think it's an, it's an unexplored way of doing it, of, of growing a business, taking an interest in someone, shining a light on them, helping them get that Google hit and helping them tell their story. And then by the way, will you pay attention to the fact that I've got a thing that if you like me, you might like also,[00:14:50] Nathan:So a few years ago, I was in New York and Seth Goden had come out to speak at our conference and he'd ever said, Hey, if you're in New York and want to make the pilgrimage up to Hastings on Hudson, you know, of outside the city, like come up and visit. And so I did that and it's so funny, cause it is like this pilgrimage to you, you like take the train up along the river. You know, I don't know what it is an hour and a half outside of the city. and I was asking Seth advice at his office, about like how to reach more authors. I think that was the question I asked him specifically and he just, he was like, well, what do authors want? And I was like, ah, I, some more books I guess.And he's like, yeah know. And so like we went through a series of questions, but he's basically what he came to was, find a way to get them attention so that they can grow their audience to sell more books. And he was suggesting a podcast is the way to do that. What's interesting is that's the side, like that's the other half of it, right.I want to meet interesting people. I want to, Like get more of those people that I find really interesting on ConvertKit pushed the limits of like, our customer base in, in those areas. And then the third thing is I want to do it in a way that's high leverage in my time. Write of, I want to do it.That creates something, for people watching and listening along so they can follow the journey. But I still don't see,I would say two thirds of that is about me, right?[00:16:18] Andrew:It's not only that, but all these things are byproducts more than they are the clear goal. You're going to get that. No matter what, if you just talk all day about what? No, not talk all day. If you do, what was it? I'm the founder of morning brew does nothing, but like a 15 minute, if that sometimes five minutes.[00:16:37] Nathan:Alex Lieberman.[00:16:38] Andrew:Yeah, just what, what goes on in his life now it's changed over the years or so that he's done it, but it's just, here's what we were thinking about today. Here's how I'm deciding to hire somebody BA done. He's just doing that. That's enough to get attention enough to also broaden his audience enough to bring us in and then so on.So I think if you just did nothing, but get on camera and talk for a bit, you'll get that. But I think a higher leverage thing is to tap into that personal mission and let all the others come through along the way and all the other benefits, meaning that you will get to meet people and change the way you think you will get to get people to switch to convert kit.And so on, by the way, that's such a, like an impressive thing for you to admit, to say, I want to have these guests on because I want to assign them up. I think a lot of people would have those ulterior motives and[00:17:23] Nathan:Oh, no, you got to just talk about, I mean, that's something you and I, for as long as we've known each other have been very, very transparent in both of our separate businesses and our conversations and it's just, everyone wants that. Right? Cause they're like, I think I know why Nathan is doing this, but he wants.And that would be weird, but if we go to the mission side of it, there's mission of like this, I'm going to improve the world side of mission, which definitely exists that can protect you. And I got my little plaque behind me. It says we exist to help creators are living. And so we can take that angle of it, thinking of like the, the goal journey side of things, since we're just riffing on ideas.One way that might be interesting is to make like a top 100 list of the top 100 creators we want on ConvertKit. And the whole podcast is about interviewing those people and reaching them. And, and so it could be like, this is what I'm trying to accomplish. And you're going to learn a whole bunch along the way as a listener, but you, you know, we check in on that.And then another angle that we could take that would be different is the, like we're going together. We're going to help the creator make the best version of their business. And so you make it more of a.We're both peers diving in on your business, riffing on it, you know, how would we improve it? that kind of thing.[00:18:43] Andrew:I think helping creators create a business, seems like something others have done, but not quite your approach, your style, the way that you will go and carve something is this is the thing that's over your head that says create. Is that something you carved in your wood shop? Then I saw on Instagram.Yeah, right. The sensibility of I've got to create it my way. Instead of that's a pain in the ass, I got a business to run who like, right. You're not going to see, for example, infusion soft, go, we need a plaque. Let's go to the wood shop. No, you're not. It's just not their sensibility. Right. Coming from a sensibility of someone who cares about the details, who every button matters in the software, everything behind your shoulder matters to you for yourself, even the stuff I imagine.If you look forward would have a meaning there, it wouldn't be random chaos. Is it random chaos in front of, on the[00:19:32] Nathan:The desk is random chaos, but there's a sign that says the future belongs to creators up there. And[00:19:38] Andrew:Okay. I think I might've even seen that online somewhere. So I think that coming, coming from the business point of view, With a sense of creator's taste, I think is something that would appeal to a lot of people. For whom seeing, for example, my take on business would be completely abhorring. All I care about is where the numbers are and what it's like.Right. Well, even allium doll's take on, it would not be, would not be right, because he's much more about every movement needs to matter. He can't just have a checkbox in notion it Ellis has to fire off five different other things that notion because otherwise you're wasting time. Why type five things when you could type one, right.It's a different sensibility. And I think you've always done really well drawing in that audience. I remember talking to a competitor of yours who started around the same time, also done really well about why you were, you were really growing tremendously faster. and they said he nailed it. He nailed who his audience is.It's the bloggers. It's these early creators who, who didn't have. Who didn't have anyone speaking for them. And you did that. And I think maybe that's an approach to saying, look, we are creators. And the business of creation is, or the business of being a creator is evolving and we want to learn about every part of it.And then it's interesting to hear how somebody growing their audience in an interesting way. How is somebody thinking about writing? I love that you asked Sahil bloom about how long it took him to write. I know he talks about it a bunch, but it's, it's interesting to hear him go with you about how it is like a five hour, seven hour writing job for him, right.To write fricking tweets. He's writing tweets, right? You've got people just firing off the tweet. He's spending five, seven hours on it. And, and he's also not a guy who's just like, right. It would be something if he was still in school playing baseball, and this is his intellectual, whatever. No, he's now running in investments.He's making decisions. He's helping promote his, his portfolio companies and he's spending five hours writing and he's doing it like one a week instead of one an hour. Right. It's all very interesting. And that approach, I think, ties completely well with ConvertKit.[00:21:41] Nathan:Okay. So where does that take us on like the mission or the hook for the show? Cause we're.[00:21:48] Andrew:Okay. Here's what I would do. I would, I would just keep riffing go. My name is Nathan Barry. You probably know me from convert kit. I'm doing this podcast because I like to meet interesting people. And here's the thing I'm trying to do or I'm I I'm doing it because I'm compelled to talk to these people who I admire.And I also want to learn from them about how they create and just riff on it. Like every week, even have every interview have a different one, until you feel like, oh, that's the one that feels just right. But if we just here, I want to have this person on, because I'm trying to learn this thing. I want to have this on because secretly I'm trying to see if I can get him to be at, see if I can get Ryan holiday to actually be on convert kit.Right. Boom. Now, now we're kind of following along as you're figuring it out. And that's also[00:22:29] Nathan:Yeah.[00:22:29] Andrew:The way, is Ryan holiday going to be on here or what?[00:22:31] Nathan:On the show,[00:22:33] Andrew:Yeah.[00:22:34] Nathan:Probably we were just talking the other day. We have a shared investment in a ghost town, So we, we often talk about that,[00:22:40] Andrew:Oh yeah. I've[00:22:42] Nathan:Other thing[00:22:43] Andrew:That ghost town. Oh, that's a whole other thing I've been watching that[00:22:45] Nathan:I need to have speaking of the ghost town, I didn't have Brent Underwood on because that Is an insane story of everything going on with town, but it's just been building this massive audience.[00:22:58] Andrew:Who's doing YouTube videos from there? He[00:23:00] Nathan:Yeah. And he's now got 1.2[00:23:01] Andrew:Yeah,[00:23:02] Nathan:Subscribers on YouTube, like 2 million on[00:23:04] Andrew:I had no idea. I watched him in the early days of the pandemic go into this place by himself. Almost get trapped, driving his car to get there. Right. I go, this is fun content. And usually when you watch someone like that and good morning, America go, and I'm going to jump out of this thing.And I've never jumped before, maybe whatever. I don't know.Yo, the producer's not going to let you die. It's fine. Here you go, dude. Who's just trying to get attention for this thing. Cause he has some investors who he wants to make sure get what they want. Yeah, you could die. What the hell is you doing?What? Like I'm going to, I'm going to go down this hole and see if there's anything over you yet. Dude, you could[00:23:41] Nathan:Yeah. It's, it's pretty wild. I actually, some of the weeks that he don't, he, that he didn't post the videos. I'd like, texted him, be like, Brett, you're still alive because you know, the video was the way that we knew every Friday, like, okay, Good Brent. Still alive, everything. Everything's good. Anyway, I got to have him[00:23:58] Andrew:All right. If you do talk to, if you talk to Ryan holiday, I feel like you totally nailed his writing style, where you, you said in one of your past episodes that he can take a whole historical story, sum it up in two sentences to help clarify the moment that he's writing about. And it's like a toss away thing, right? Just toss it away and then move on and go, dude. That's a whole freaking book. In fact, just turning the whole thing into just two sentences to fit in there would take silo, bloom five hours. You put it in a book with other, like there a bunch of other sentences. So that's good. But here's what I think you should talk to him about.Or here's my, my one suggestion. He has not talked about Marketing since he created, trust me. I'm a lot. Trust me. I'm lying, which was a phenomenal book that then I feel like he distanced himself from when he became more stoic and more intellectual. Fine. He is still a great, great marketer along your style, your tasty.And in fact, he's becoming the people who I can think of that are very, ConvertKit like philosophy in their creation plus promotion. He nails it, right? Art that takes so much pain that you've mentioned, and we've all seen it. He has boxes of index cards to create these sentences that most people would just throw away, not pay attention to, but are super meaningful.And at the same time, he knows how to promote. He knows how to get his ideas out there. He knows how to sell a coin that says you're going to die in Latin, that people put in their pockets that are more than just selling a coin. It's selling this transferable viral, real life thing. Right. So anyway. And is he should be on a ConvertKit too.[00:25:29] Nathan:He is, he is[00:25:30] Andrew:Okay. Good.[00:25:31] Nathan:Half of his list started in Berkeley. The other half are in the process of switching over. So, you know,[00:25:36] Andrew:Okay. Yeah, that's the hard part, dude. I I'm with infusion soft. I can't stand them. If you understand how much I do not like them. I do I ever talk negatively about anyone. No. Bring up politics, Joe Biden, Donald Trump. I got no strong opinion about anything you talked to me about, about infusions. Ah, but the problem is it's so hard to wean yourself off of these things because once you're in a system, that's it[00:25:56] Nathan:Well we'll make it happen. W w we'll figure out a way, but the new book landing page for it, I went on there and inspected element. It's definitely a ConvertKit for them. I was pretty happy about it.[00:26:06] Andrew:Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So truthfully it was, I said, I'm not going to school around here. It would have probably been easier for me to go with, with infusion soft because then we all we'd have to do with tag people who were interested. And then I could, I don't want that. I don't want that nonsense because it comes with overhead.That becomes an obstacle to me, communicating with my audience by, by overhead. I mean, they've got historic legacy. Requirement's that mean I can't do anything right. You I'm on my iPad. I could just go in and send a message out. Or actually I haven't sent a message out. Someone else has sent a message out.Our publisher sent a message then from damn, ah, damn gravity. But I, but if someone says there's a problem, I can go in and see it.[00:26:44] Nathan:Right.[00:26:44] Andrew:And make adjustments. The whole thing just fricking works. Right?[00:26:47] Nathan:So I want to talk about the book more. Let's talk[00:26:49] Andrew:Sure.[00:26:50] Nathan:And now I have you here.[00:26:52] Andrew:Ben needs, us to talk about the book. He's the publisher.[00:26:54] Nathan:We'll get to that, then don't worry. Ben, we've got it covered. so you were giving unsolicited feedback, which by the way is my favorite kind of feedback. Okay.So as you've been listening to the show, what are some other things that maybe you recommended the book, maybe like as you set people up for interview questions, any of that advice that you would give beyond?We started with the men.[00:27:15] Andrew:I'm going to suggest that people who listen to you do pay attention to this. One thing that they should, I I'm interrupting you in a roadway now there's some good interruption that I write about in the book and I can tell you how to do it. Right. And I also have to say that there's some new Yorker that's built in, even though I've left New York a long time ago, that I, I always interrupt when we need to get into the bottom line.Okay. Here's one thing that I think people should pay attention with you. You don't just ask questions. You will, at times interject your own story, your own, take your own experience. And I find that a lot of times people either do it in a heavy handed way. It's like, look at me, I'm equal to you. I deserve to be in this conversation too.And that doesn't just happen on Mike. It happens at dinner parties or it's more like I have to be reverential. So I'm asking questions and it's me asking about them. And one of the things that I learned over the years, Getting to know someone interviewing someone, whether it's like you and I are doing in our podcasts and shows or doing it, in a, in a dinner conversation, it's not asking questions.It's not about saying here's my next thing. Here's my next question. It's overwhelming and draining to do that. You do need to say, well, here's me. You do need to sometimes just guide the person to say, now tell me how you wrote the book. Now tell me how long it takes to, to write a tweet, right? Whatever it is, you need to sometimes direct the person.And so I call the book, stop asking questions because that counter intuitive piece of knowledge is something that took me a fricking interview coach to help me accept that. It's true, but it helps. And you do it really well. And here's why you do it. Well, you interject something personal. Somehow you do it succinctly.You don't get rambling off. Maybe you edit that.No, no, because the videos are there. Yeah. It's, it's not edited. It's just you saying here's, here's my experience with this. And then when you come back and you ask something. It informs the guest about where you are and what they could contribute to that. It lets them also feel like this is a dialogue instead of them being pounded with demands of, in the forms of question.[00:29:15] Nathan:Yeah. Yeah. I think that for anyone listening and thinking about starting a podcast, it's really like, what's the kind of thing that you want to listen to. And I like it where the host is like a character in the, in the Podcast, in the episode where they're contributing content and it's not just like, oh, if I listened to Andrew on these 10 shows, I'm just going to get Andrew.Like, I want it where it's like, no, I'm getting the blend between these two people. And the unique things that come from that intersection rather than, you know, I've heard this[00:29:46] Andrew:Yes.[00:29:47] Nathan:I've heard about it.[00:29:48] Andrew:I think also it took me a long time years of, so I started doing this in 2007, give or take a year and I think. No one needs to talk about, I don't need to talk about myself. They don't care about me. They care about, you know, Paul Graham, who I'm interviewing about how he found a Y Combinator, someone.And I would get tons of emails from people saying, tell us who you are. Tell us a little bit about yourself. And I would argue with them and say, no, but I understand now on the outside, when I listen, I don't know who you are. And it feels very awkward to hear it. It feels very much like, I don't know why, where you're coming from.And so I don't know why I should listen. It's kinda, it's it's counterintuitive.[00:30:29] Nathan:Yeah. I think it just comes with comfort over time. Like, I, I don't know this for sure. If I bet if I listen back to my first podcast episodes, the ones that I did in like 2015. I have a different style because I bet I'm less comfortable or more worried about like, make sure that I shut up quickly so that the guests can talk more because people came here for the guest and then over time you just get more comfortable.[00:30:53] Andrew:So you wrote authority and I remember you, I remember buying it and I remember you bundled it with a bunch of stuff, right. And oh, by the way, it's so cool. I was listening to it on a run and I heard you mention my name in the, in the book I go, this is great and I'm running. but I remember you did interviews there.I don't remember whether the style matches up to today or what, but you did interviews in it. Right.[00:31:15] Nathan:I did.[00:31:16] Andrew:And what you had there that I think is always important to have with all, all interviews is you had a sense of like, well, the sense of mission, I knew what you were going for, because you were trying to say, here is this book that I've written on this topic.I'm want to bring these people in to bring their, their take on it. We were all kind of working together. And I feel like, when I look at my earlier interviews, I listened to them. The Mike sucks so badly. I was too ponderous. Cause I wanted to be like, IRA glass from, from NPR, from this American life.And you could hear the same rhythm, the same cadence, like I'm copying him. Like I'm his little brother trying to learn how to be like a real boy. but I had this real need. I was trying to figure out how these people were building companies that work to understand what holes I had in my understanding to see what was working for them that I didn't know before.And you could see that and it, it helps. It helped me continue. Even when I was nervous with the guest, it helped the guests know where to go. Even when I wasn't doing good job, guiding them and help the audience keep listening in, even when the audio stopped, because there's this thing that Andrew is trying to understand.And you almost feel like you're the sense of vulnerability. If it doesn't scare you away, then it makes you want to root.[00:32:40] Nathan:Yeah. And I personally love that style because I want to follow someone going on a journey and, and trying to accomplish something specific. But let's talk about the not just the book, but asking questions or in this case, stopping it, stop asking questions. What are the things that not even just specific to this job, what are the things that you listened to interview shows?And you're like, okay, here are the three things that I want to change or that I want to coach you on in the same way that I was coached on.[00:33:10] Andrew:Okay. So what I started to do is I go through my own transcripts. I mean, I had years of transcripts to see what worked and what didn't I already done that. So I said, I need to now add to it. And so I went back and looked at historical interviews, like when Barbara Walters interviewed Richard Nixon and got him so frustrated that he didn't want to ever talk to her again.Or when Oprah finally got to sit with Lance Armstrong, how did she do that? I think. You know, you know, let me pause on, on Oprah and Lance Armstrong. She got to interview him after he, he was basically caught cheating and he was about to come out and do it. Great. Get, I think the fact that she interviewed him, there's a lesson there for, for all of us who are interviewing, interviewing the top 10 interviews, I think of all time.And you go back to Wikipedia and look it up. You see art or interview podcast or interview, sorry, our news-based interviews. We as podcasters, keep thinking, how do I get enough in the can so that if I die tomorrow, there's enough interviews to last for a month or whatever, so that I can be consistent in the audience loved me.That's great. But I think we should also be open to what's going on in the world today. Let's go talk to that person today. If there's an artist who suddenly done something, we should go and ask to do an interview with them. If there's a creator, if there's someone. So for me, one of the top interviews that people still it's been years, people still come back and talk to me about is when Matt Mullenweg decided that he was gonna pull out Chris[00:34:35] Nathan:Pearson.[00:34:35] Andrew:Per Pearson.Pearson's, themes from WordPress. And I got to talk to both of them at the same time and I published it and it went all over the internet with all over the WordPress internet. So hundreds of different blog posts about it, eventually all the people in the WordPress world write a lot of blogs, but also it became news.And so we don't do enough of that.[00:34:57] Nathan:I remember that interview because I was in the WordPress community at that time. And I remember you saying like, wait, I'm in Skype and I have both of you in two different things and you pull it together and not to pull Ryan holiday into this too much, but that's where he ended up writing the book.Was it, he realized he was one of the only people who was talking to like both Peter teal and, who's the Gawker guy.Yeah. Anyway, people know, but, but being in the intersection of that, so you're saying find something that's relevant on the news[00:35:33] Andrew:Yeah. Nick Denton was the founder of Gawker. Yes. Find the things that are relevant right now. And when people are hot right now, and they know you and you have credibility in this space, they trust you more than they trust. Say the wall street journal, even right, where they don't know where's this going.I think that's, that's one thing. The other thing is I think we don't have enough of a story within interviews. If we're doing S if we're doing at Mixergy, my podcast and interview where we're telling someone's story, we want them to be somewhere where the audience is at the beginning and then to have done something or had something happen to them that sets them on their own little journey.And then we make this whole interview into this. Into this a hero's journey approach. So I think better when I have an actual company in mind, so, or a person in mind. So last week I was interviewing this guy, Rohit Rowan was a person who was working at SanDisk, had everything going right for him. His boss comes to him and says it, you're now a director, continue your work.But now more responsibilities he's elated. He goes back, home, comes back into the office. Things are good, does work. And then a couple of days later he's told, you know, we mean temporarily, right? And he goes, what do you mean? I thought I got, I got a promotion. No, this is temporary. While our director's out you're director of this department.And then you go back, he says, the very next day, he couldn't go back into the office. He sat in his car, just, he couldn't do it anymore. And so he decided at that point, he'd heard enough about entrepreneurship heard enough ideas. He had to go off on and do it himself. And so we did. And then through the successes and failures, we now have a story about someone who's doing something that we can relate to, that we aspire to be more.[00:37:13] Nathan:So, how do you, you, your researchers, how do you find that moment before you have someone on? Because so many people will be like, yes, let me tell you about my business today. And oh, you want to know about that? How'd, you know, you know, like, as you,[00:37:27] Andrew:Yeah,[00:37:28] Nathan:That hook in that moment? That actually is a catalyst in their own dream.[00:37:33] Andrew:It's tough. It's it takes hours of talking to the guest of, of looking online of hunting for that moment. And it takes a lot of acceptance when it doesn't happen. One of my interview coaches said, Andrew, be careful of not looking for the Batman moment. And I said, what do you mean? He goes, you're always looking for the one moment that changed everything in people's lives.Like when Batman's parents got shot. And from there, he went from being a regular boy to being a superhero. Who's going to cry, fight crime everywhere. His life doesn't really work that way. There aren't these one moments, usually the change, everything. So I try not to. Put too much pressure on any one moment, but there are these little moments that indicate a bigger thing that happened to us.And I look for those and I allow people to tell that without having it be the one and only thing that happened. So if Pharaoh, it, it wasn't that moment. It could've just been, you know what, every day I go into the office and things are boring. And I think I have to stop. What I look for is give me an example of a boring.Now he can tell me about a day, a day, where he's sitting at his desk and all he's doing is looking at his watch, looking at his watch and he has to take his watch, put it in his drawer so that he doesn't get too distracted by looking at his watch all day. Cause he hates it. Now was that the one moment that changed everything?It was one of many moments. It might've happened a year before he quit, but it's an indication. So when we're telling stories, we don't have to shove too much pressure into one moment, but I do think it helps to find that one moment that encapsulates their, why, why did they go on this journey? Why does someone who's in SanDisk decide he's going to be an entrepreneur?Why did someone who was a baseball player decide that he had to go and write a blog post? Why is it? What's the thing that then sends them off on this journey? It helps. And I would even say, if you can get that moment, it just helps to get the thing that they were doing before that we can relate to. So what's the thing that they did before.So anyway, we have two different types of interviews. One is the story-based interview where we tell a story of how someone achieved something great. And so that hero's journey is and approach. The other one is someone just wants to teach them. All you want to do is just pound into them for an hour. Give me another tip another tip another tip of how to do this.Like pound, pound, pound, pound pound. If you want the audience to listen. I think for there, it helps to have what I call the cult hook because I said, how do I, how do cults get people to listen to, to these people who are clearly whack jobs sometimes. And so studying one called I saw that what they did was they'd have a person up on stage who talked about how, you know, I used to really be a Boozer.If you came into my house, you would see that there'd be these empty six packs. I was so proud of leaving the empty six packs everywhere to show myself how much alcohol I can drink. My wife left me. And when she left me, she just told me that I hadn't amounted to anything in my life. And I was going nowhere.And I just said, get I here. Instead of appreciating that this was just like terrible. And I ran out of toilet paper and don't even get me started with what, what I did for that. And so you see someone who's worry worse off than you are on this path of life. And then something has. They discover whoever it is.That's the cult leader. And they say, now I've got this real estate firm I encouraged by, oh, by the way, all of you to come over and take a look at that at this, I couldn't believe it. My whole life. I wanted to buy a Tesla. I now have the Tesla S it's amazing. It's just so great. And I did it all because I changed the way I thought once I came in and I found this one book and the book told me, I mean, anyways, so what we try to do is we say, if you're going to have somebody come on to teach how they became a better blogger, let's not have them start over elevated where everything they do is so great that we can't relate, have them start off either relatable or worse.I couldn't write here's my grammar, mistakes. My teacher told. Right. And now what's the thing that they did. They pick them from where they were to where they are today. it's this real set of realizations. Now I want to go into that.Let's pound into them and see how many of those tips we can get. Let's learn that I want to go from where he was to where he is.[00:41:28] Nathan:Yeah, I liked that a lot. Cause my inclination would be like, okay, we're we're doing the, educational, tactical conversation. I'm going to facilitate it. Let's dive right in and let's get to the actionable stuff right away. So I like what you're saying of like, no, no, no. We need to, even though this is going to be 90% packed, full of actionable material, we need to dive in and set the stage first with the story and making it relatable.And I like it.[00:41:55] Andrew:Yeah,[00:41:55] Nathan:Oh, yeah. I was just, just in my own head for a second. Cause I say, ah, that makes sense a lot, so much so that I've had three different guests or listeners email me and say like, just don't say that makes sense as much would, now that I'm saying it on the show, I'll probably get more emails every time that I say it.Cause that's like my processing, like, oh, oh, that makes sense. As I'm thinking of the next question and all that, so[00:42:22] Andrew:I do something like that too. For me. It's IC,[00:42:25] Nathan:Everyone has to have something.[00:42:26] Andrew:I can't get rid of that and yeah.[00:42:28] Nathan:So what systems have you put in place on the research side so that you're getting this, are you doing pre-interviews forever? Yes. Are you having your[00:42:38] Andrew:Almost every single one, some of the best people in some of the best entrepreneurs on the planet, I'm surprised that they will spend an hour or do a pre-interview. And sometimes I'm too sheepish to say, I need an hour of your time and I need you to do a pre-interview. So instead of saying, I need you to do a pre-interview.I say, here's why people have done it. And I've paid for somebody to help make my guests better storytellers of their own stories. And truthfully people will go through that. Pre-interview even if they don't want to do an interview, they just need to get better at telling their story for their teams, their employees, their everyone.Right. and so I say that, and then they will take me up on the pre-interview and say, yes, I do want to do the pre-interview. and so what I try to do is I try to outline the story. Ahead of time in a set of questions. And then what we do is we scramble them up a little bit based on what we think people will tell us first and what will make them feel a little more comfortable.And then throughout the interview, I'll adjust it. So for example, no, one's going to care about the guest unless they have a challenge. No guest wants to come on and say, I'm going to tell you about what's what I really suck at or where I've really been challenged. If they do, they're going to give you a fake made up thing that they've told a million times to make themselves seem humble.So we don't ask that in the beginning. We don't even ask it in the middle. We save it till the very end. Now they've gotten some time with us. They've gotten some rapport, they trust us. Then we go into tell me about the challenges, what hasn't worked out for you. And we really let them know why tell people the higher purpose you want the audience to relate.You want them to believe you. You want them to see themselves in you, and to learn from you. We need. They tell us, and then I have it in my notes as the last section, but I use it throughout the interview. I sprinkle it. So the goal is to get the pieces that we want and in whatever order makes the most sense and then reshape it for the interview Day.[00:44:33] Nathan:So on the interview itself, you would, you would flip that and you know, okay, this is what I want to start with and, and dive in right[00:44:41] Andrew:Yup. Yup.[00:44:43] Nathan:Lose. They already told you about that. And so now, you[00:44:46] Andrew:Right,[00:44:46] Nathan:In and start with.[00:44:47] Andrew:Right. That helps. Now, if there's something I want to ask someone about that they're not comfortable with. One thing that I do is I, I tip them off. So Jason Calacanis invited me to go do, interviews with, with investors at one of his conferences. It was just a bunch of, investors. And I looked at this one guy, Jonathan tryst, and he looked really great.But he, what am I supposed to do? Ask him about what startups should do to run their businesses. He's never run a startup. His, he hadn't at that time had a successful exit. As far as I knew, like mega successful exit. He's just a really nice guy. You can tell he was going places, but that's it. And the money that he was investing came from his parents.So what is this rich parents giving their kids some money. Now he's going to tell everyone in the VC, in the startup and VC audience, how to live their lives. So I said, I'm either not going to address it, which I think most people are, or I have to find a way to address it where I'm not going to piss them off and have them just clam up on me and then go to Jason and go.This guy just is a terrible interviewer, which is not true. So what I decided to do was tip him off. I said, look, Jonathan, before we do this, before we start talking to the audience, I have to tell you, I saw it, that you don't have much of a track record as an investor. Your money came from your parents and you're not like a tech startup, like people here.If we don't talk about it, people who know it are going to think, oh, this guy, Jonathan, look, who's trying to pass him soft self off. I don't have to force it in here, but if you allow me to, I'd like to bring it up and let's talk about, and it goes, yeah, absolutely. If it's out there, I want to make sure that we address it and sure enough, we talked about it and he had a great answer.He said, no, this came from my parents. It's not my own money. I don't have as much experience as other people, but I took my parents' money. I invested it, fat parents and family and so on. We've had a good track record with it. And now have raised the second Fallon fund from outsiders who saw what I was able to do with the first one.And by the way, I may not have this mega exit as a startup investor, as a startup entrepreneur. But I did have this company that did okay. Not great. Here's what it did Here's what I learned And that's all informing me. And that's where I come from now. You've got someone talking about the, the, the thing that matters without pissing them off so much that they don't say anything else.And you feel like you feel superior as an interviewer. I got them. But in reality, you got nothing[00:46:57] Nathan:Right.[00:46:57] Andrew:Cares.[00:46:58] Nathan:I think that's a really hard line of talking about the things that are difficult and like the actual, maybe things that someone did wrong or lessons that they learned without just like barely dipping into it for a second. And I liked the format of tipping them off in like full transparency.So on this show, I had someone on who I really, really respect his name's Dickie Bush. He's one of the earlier episodes in this series and in it, he, okay. Yeah. So in that interview, one thing that I knew is that his, the first version of his course plagiarized text from another friend, Sean McCabe, actually Shaun's company edits is Podcast and all that.And I've known both of them for, for quite a while. I've known Sean for like, I dunno, six, seven years or something. And I was like, struggling with how to bring that up. And I wanted from the like founder, transparent journey, that sort of thing I wanted it brought up because I, I actually like, I'm happy to talk about like some pretty major things that I've screwed up and what I've learned from it.And I just think it makes a better conversation. And then from the interview side, I don't feel good, like doing an interview and not touching on that, but I didn't tip Dickey off to it. And I, that was one of the things that I've regretted that he gave a great answer. He talked about the lessons that he learned from it.It was really, really good, but I felt bad that I didn't set him up for the most success in like in setting up. And part of that, part of it is because even at the start of the interview, I was still wrestling with now, I'm not going to bring that up that, ah, maybe I should, it wouldn't be an authentic interview if I didn't like wrestling with that, I hadn't figured out my own, like made my own decision until we were in the middle of it.And so I didn't, I didn't set anybody up for success. And so it's an interesting line.[00:48:52] Andrew:It happens. And it seems like I'm now in the point of your transcript, where you, where you ask him, it's a 31 minutes into the interview. I think his response is great. He came in and he took responsibility for it. He says, yeah, that, that, that was a dramatic mistake, or a drastic mistake on my side and caught up in it.He wasn't the most articulate here and he'd repeated words. Like I, I, a couple of times, so I could see that he probably was uncomfortable with it. but I think his answer was great. I think, I believe that we all are broadcasting out, whether we know it or not, our intentions and where we're coming from, as some people are really good at faking it.And so I'm not going to talk about the outliers and some people are so uncomfortable that they're messing up the transmission, but for the most part almost. broadcasting our intentions. If you walk into that, Nathan, with the, I got to get him because he, he got one of my friends and I need him to finally get his comeuppance.He's going to pick up on that. And truthfully, it's such a small thing for a person like you who's, who's already a likable person. You have a lot to offer people, right? As far as like promotion and everything else, it will be forgiven, but it'll be picked up on, it's also something that people could pick up on, which is Nathan really want to know this thing.It's been bothering him for a while. And if you could, just, before you asked the question, say, where am I coming from with this? And know that the audience will mostly pick up on it. And obviously people are gonna like read in whatever they feel like, but trust that the vast majority of us understand, I think it'll work[00:50:21] Nathan:Yeah,[00:50:22] Andrew:You don't have to even tip. You don't have to tip off, but it does help. It, it definitely helps.[00:50:26] Nathan:It's interesting. I was watching an interview with, Jordan Peterson who wrote 12 rules for life. He's like a very controversial figure. And I was just often these controversies pass by, on Twitter and other places. And I realized like, oh, I don't understand them. And rather than jumping on one side or the other, at least try to like dive in a little bit and understand it.So watching this interview, and I can't remember, I think it was some major Canadian TV show or something, and that you would tell the interview was just trying to nail him it every possible chance, like whatever he said, just like dive in. And, so I think you're right, that you see the intention, like in that case, you would see the, the interview, his intention was specifically to try to trip him up in his words.And then in other cases where it's like, This is something that, you know, if you take the other approach, this is something that's been bothering me, or I want to talk about it. Like I genuinely want, you know, to ask or learn from this. It's a very different thing.[00:51:20] Andrew:I think people pick up on it. I remember you, you mentioned Seth Godin. I remember interviewing him when he wrote the book tribes back before people had online communities. And I didn't just say, okay. All our heroes, all the best entrepreneurs just run their businesses. Then don't run a tribe. I brought out books.I said, here's a book about Warren buffet. Here's the book by Sam Walton. The Walmart here's a book by Ted Turner became a multi-billionaire to creating all these, these media empires didn't have communities. They don't have tribes. And now you're telling me that in addition to my job, I also have to go and build out a tribe.It feels like, you know, an extra job. That just seems right for the social first. This just sounds right on social media and you could actually see. He's watching me as I'm saying it, and he's smiling, he's watching it because he's trying to read me, is this like what I get wrapped up? Is this going to be some kind of thing where some guy's going to try to be in the next Gawker media?Or is, is this a safe place? We're all doing that constantly. And then he also saw, okay, this is someone who really wants to understand this. And he's challenging me. I like a challenge. And you could see him smile with like, this is what I'm here for. And so I think when you come at it from a good point of view, people can see it and then you can go there and you can go there and you can go there and it will be shocking to you and them and the audience, how far you go. But when you're coming from that genuine place, they get, they get it.They want it.[00:52:44] Nathan:Yeah, that's good.I want to talk about longevity in like the online world. I think that so many people that I started following in say 2007, 2008, nine, and then I didn't start creating myself until 2011. most of them aren't around anymore. Like a lot of the big blogs, Yeah, just so many that I can think of.They're not around anymore. They're not doing this. You're at a point where like you started messaging in some form in what? 20, sorry, 2004 to somewhere in there and then interviews.[00:53:17] Andrew:Yeah, I keep saying 16. It's like, yeah. 2004 is when I started the interview started 2007 ish somewhere there. Give or take a year. yeah, long. I, I will say that there are parts of my work that I am burned out on right now. This year has been that, but I'm not on the interview. And the reason I'm not is because I do enjoy conversations.I hated them for a long time in my life because I just didn't know how to have them, how to have it make sense. I also didn't give myself permission to take the conversation where I wanted it to go. And it helps now to say, I can talk to anyone about anything. That's an opportunity that, that feels fun because I know how to do it.It's an opportunity to, it feels like, like, you know how everyone's so happy. You can go to YouTube and you could get the answer to anything. Well, I could go to anybody and I could get the answer to anything and talk about how they didn't have a customized to me, YouTube, not customized thing to me, I'm watching Gotham chess on YouTube.He's teaching me how to play chess, but he will not customize to the fact that every time I get into a car con defense, all the pieces like bunched over to my side. But if he and I did an interview, or if I do an interview with an tomorrow's entrepreneur, it's going to be about, here's the thing I'm trying to deal with.How did you get past that? Talk to me about what you're up to there.[00:54:31] Nathan:Yeah, that's definitely energizing. Okay. But what are the things that you're burnt out on? Because I think a lot of people are seeing that burnout. And so I guess first, what are you burned out on? And then second, we can go from there into like, what are you changing and how are you managing.[00:54:46] Andrew:I'm burned out on parts of the business behind, behind Mixergy I'm burned out on. I was aspiring to like unbelievable greatness with the, with the course part of it, with the courses, it didn't get there and I'm tired of trying to make it into this thing. That's going to be super big. I'm tired of that.[00:55:10] Nathan:His greatness there, like linda.com? Like what, what was that?[00:55:15] Andrew:Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yes. Yeah. She was one of my first interviewees and, and so yeah, I saw the model there and I am frustrated that I didn't get to that and I, I don't have a beat myself up type a perso

Default Alive
54 | Goodbye MRR notifications

Default Alive

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2021 64:04


Corey hosts the first Swipe Files Office Hours session. Chris turns off MRR notifications as he works to make Jetboost more of a calm company. They also talk about "skeuomorphism", digital information paradigms, and the merits of keeping a changelog.Ask us a question →Notable mentions: Startups For The Rest Of Us #572 Andrew Wilkinson on the My First Million podcast PageFlows.com Chris Dixon and Naval Ravikant — The Wonders of Web3, How to Pick the Right Hill to Climb, Finding the Right Amount of Crypto Regulation, Friends with Benefits, and the Untapped Potential of NFTs (#542) More podcasts for bootstrappers Learn more about their businesses: Swipe Files Jetboost Follow them on Twitter: @coreyhainesco @c_spags

Startup Inside Stories
Pivots y adquisiciones: la experiencia de Joel Vicient con Captio

Startup Inside Stories

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2021 68:34


Esta semana tenemos con nosotros a Joel Vicient, fundador de Captio. Hace 13 años Joel fundó Ongest, un negoció de gestión de documentación de gastos para pequeñas compañías y gestorías que nace en el segundo programa de incubación de seed rocket que consiguió escalar hasta 10.000€ de MRR. Con tres años de recorrido, a pesar de tener un crecimiento constante, Joel empezó a notar que no estaban escalando a la velocidad que querían. Así, en 2012 decidió hacer un pivot de segmento de mercado, utilizando la misma tecnología, pero enfocándose a vender a medianas y grandes empresas. Conoce en este episodio el proceso que tuvo que realizar Joel y su equipo para llevar a cabo este pivot bestial y conseguir levantar financiación, para llegar a los casi €5M de ARR y lograr vender la compañía a la multinacional Emburse. Quédate hasta el final de este episodio para conocer su experiencia y cómo ha podido ver dentro de Emburse los procesos de adquisición de compañías y built ups.

Sales and Marketing Built Freedom
Why More Leads Can Put Startups Out of Business | Sean Cahill

Sales and Marketing Built Freedom

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 20, 2021 31:27


Grab your Free Copy of “The 4 Biggest Mistakes That Stop Companies From 10X'ing Their Revenue” at https://www.scalerevenue.io/10xSean Cahill started his career in sales, so it's only natural that he absolutely hated marketing. To Sean, marketing was the group that gave them garbage leads that they couldn't sell.Eventually, he landed a job at Cisco that caused him to fall in love with marketing. From that experience, he developed a thirst for working with startups, where he started working in funnel generation for startups. This led to him starting his own company and developing a pipeline for startups and working to get them into a Series B.Today, Sean works at Unify Marketing as the National Practice Leader for Marketing. He still loves working with startups!To grow pipeline, Sean stays focused on these 3 main areas:PeopleProcessesTechnologySean realized early on in his startup phase that one of the biggest issues in the startup world is that when startups get a Series A , and they develop an MVP to take to market, and then they focus on the Series B.Typically, it takes the startup getting $1M in MRR in order to get a Series B, and founders realize the only way they can close that many sales and generate that much revenue, they have to get more leads.So they work to buy more leads, which then throws off their close rates and then they try to shorten their sales cycles and every time they try to pull another level to make up the slack, it just completely puts the entire process in chaos.Startups don't need more leads. They need better leads.They need the leads that are the most likely to close within 30 days.They need the leads that are going to generate the highest ACV.So how can a startup go about getting all of these ideal leads for the goals they need to accomplish?This is what Sean would call the Perfect Customer Profile.To begin developing this, you could:Go into your CRM and identify everyone that has bought from you.Begin to identify commonalities among those buyers.Take those commonalities and set it against your entire database and start tracking who else has those commonalities.Begin to understand what features you can identify in prospects that could be able to trigger a sale.Then focus all of your sales efforts on that data set that is most likely to become a buyer.This whole process is called building a Propensity Model.The whole idea is that instead of focusing on more leads, you are only focusing on the better leads, so narrow your database down to 1000 of your best leads.Sean suggests targeting these better leads on a smaller level. These leads do not get the spray and pray marketing that gets blasted to the rest of the world.Nurturing these leads comes in many forms, but Sean has had the most success with the following methods:EmailPhone CallsSocial MediaVideo from a tool like Video CardSend a specific and targeted physical giftIf whoever you want to target could have a $30K ACV, then it's ok to spend $1K targeting them.Using this method, Sean was able to get MRR from $10K to $30K and increased close rates to 50%.Because everyone is inundated with more touch points and communications points than ever, the people who end up closing business are the people who end up being creative and thinking further outside the box.The best part about this whole concept of Propensity Modeling and then following up with your 1000 best leads can be set up with automation using tools like Salesforce and integrated tools.Being able to do this in a very personalized way at scale is the magic that can truly change your trajectory.When it's all said and done, you've basically automated your entire SDR process, and then you'd have your ADR or BDR just sort of co-pilot the lead through the entire process.When you follow this process, your conversion rates will go through the roof because you are targeting better, you are following up in a more effective way, which means you will close more sales!The biggest mistakes that companies make when trying to go from Series A, to Series B, to Series C are:Not properly defining product market fitNot having someone be your Chief Devil's Advocate to tell the Founder when they are wrong.Thinking your total addressable market is everybody.Not giving your product the Mom Test.Investing too much in top of funnel.Not moving enough people from top of funnel to end of funnel.Not focusing on having a high conversion rate.Not having the right leadership at the beginning. Just because someone is good at sales doesn't mean they should be your Chief Revenue Officer.On the marketing side of things, some of the biggest mistakes made are:Not adopting industry best practices.SaaS companies still selling perpetual licenses.Not moving towards modern marketing.Change happens slowly inside the Fortune 1000.Connect with Sean on LinkedInNeed help scaling your revenue? Apply to work with Ryan here.

Above Board
The episode where we initially think there's nothing new, but in actuality a whole ton of things are new

Above Board

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 18, 2021 40:40


Sometimes Jack and Paul feel like every day is groundhog day, and that not much changes day-to-day. But in reality, lots has been launched, updated, changed, and made progress on. Including: a content survey, a new freelance writer, Fathom NFTs, open-sourcing a Fathom project, disabling MRR emails and how we think about support as it relates to growth.

SaaS Pirates
$17,000 MRR bootstrapped SaaS with Mike Slaats (yours truly!)

SaaS Pirates

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 15:40


You've asked for it, so here it is. An interview with yours truly on how I built and scaled my SaaS business Upvoty into $17,000 MRR today. The interview was initially recorded for the Indie Bites podcast (https://indiebites.co/) So this is an interview with me, Mike Slaats, the founder of Upvoty and host of SaaS Pirates. Favorites: Book: Intercom on Starting Up (https://amzn.to/3BoOchq) Person: Arvid Kahl Podcast: Indie Bites! FB group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/saaspirates. Follow Mike: https://twitter.com/mikeslaats/, https://instagram.com/mikeslaats, vlog https://youtube.com/mikedotsaas [DISCOUNT OFFER] User feedback tool: https://upvoty.com (10% off with code 'PIRATES').

Wandering Aimfully: The Show
106 - Recapping our BEST launch yet ($214,000 in total revenue!)

Wandering Aimfully: The Show

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2021 68:14


If you love hearing tons of numbers in your headphones, this episode is for you

Indie Bites
Growing Upvoty to $17k MRR - Mike Slaats, Upvoty

Indie Bites

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 13, 2021 15:47


Mike Slaats is the founder of Upvoty, an instant feedback software which has recently hit $17k MRR. Mike also runs the SaaS pirates community, where he talks all about running a SaaS company. Previously, he scaled Vindy, an only marketplace for home development to 1m ARR in 5 years.What we covered in this episode Why did you start Upvoty? Stopping a $1m business to start from scratch Why your work should be fulfilling Should you be passionate about your audience? How to validate your idea How Mike got his first customers for Upvoty The value of an MVP and a landing page Why you should build runway or have an alternative income source How you can make your own luck Why indie hackers should build a personal brand Mike's one bit of advice for founders; validate How to build an MVP with the BML framework Recommendations Book: Intercom on Marketing Podcast: How I Built This Indie Hacker: Arvid Kahl Follow Mike Twitter YouTube SaaS Pirates Upvoty Follow Me Twitter Indie Bites Twitter Personal Website Buy A Wallet Thanks to Weekend Club for sponsoring Indie Bites.‘I absolutely love being part of Weekend Club.'‘Huge fan of Weekend Club and I love being part of it.'‘Absolutely love this community.'These are real testimonials for Weekend Club - the internet's most helpful community for bootstrappers. If you've ever struggled meeting other solo founders and staying accountable, then this is for you.We offer weekly Saturday deep working sessions with up to 30 bootstrappers, such as the founders of Simple Poll and VEED, an active Slack community and over 100 software discounts.Go to weekendclub.co and enter a very limited promo code ‘Indie Bites' for 50% off your first month.

Big Break Software Podcast
Taking a Regional approach to build a B2B SaaS problem for the Thai market with 300k ARR platform founder Saroj Ativitavas of Wisible.com

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2021 50:31


Saroj Ativitavas, CEO of Wisible, talks about funding his MVP, gaining his first customers, and navigating his zero to 30,000 MRR journey. Get more insights from the podcast. Wisible is a sales intelligence platform that enables B2B firms to reduce sales cycles, increase conversion rates, and enhance sales prediction accuracy. Listen to Saroj as he shares his exciting journey with Geordie. What You'll Learn The core problem Wisible solves for customers Why the Chinese market is not ideal for the Wisible concept How Saroj transitioned from the corporate world to a startup job How Saroj and his team transitioned from an agency to a SaaS platform The impact of content marketing for businesses In This Episode: According to Saroj, many customers who approach them seeking a tangible solution often have a leaky sales funnel. The team behind Wisible strives to help their customers determine the critical spot and underlying bottlenecks. They work together to provide a robust solution based on their needs. Wisible focuses on CRM tools while tracking any interactions and data that may have been generated during the sales procedure. The platform also features a dashboard and an analytic report that can display in the sales funnel interface. Customers can also track their conversion rate, determine their average deal amount, and sales cycle.  Saroj has been in the B2B sales sector for 20 years, during which he encountered a wide range of challenges and learned crucial lessons. He was a salesperson for a mobile telecommunication operator in Thailand before graduating to become a sales director. During his stint in the sales industry, Saroj tried numerous tools and software but could not identify the ideal option to meet his needs and those of his customers. The quest for an effective solution pushed him into developing a platform they could rely on to solve their problems. Saroj explains why he left his job at the mobile telecommunication company, and you can learn from the podcast. Currently, there are numerous click funnel options in the market. Why did Saroj feel the need to develop a new one? To answer this question, Saroj begins by defining what B2B businesses do and why they need aggressive salespeople. Get all the details from the podcast. Saroj reiterates that their system integrates with their customer engagement's business channel. This feature relieves salespeople from having to feed data into the system manually. He gives an illustration to help listeners understand this concept better. Nearly 100% of Wisible customers come from the Southern Asia region, but Saroj and his team plan to expand their business to other regions. He explains why they are not yet ready to venture into the Chinese market.  After leaving his job, Saroj first launched a robust product that focused on giving software developers a healthy platform to exercise their talent. They later quit the market to launch the sales intelligence agency. Saroj and his co-founder had worked together in the telecommunications company for ten years and were conversant with their customer's pain points. They also knew there was a ready market for their idea in Thailand. Saroj and his team would spend an entire year developing the Wisible MVP and another year before acquiring their first paying customer. At first, Saroj says they gave out the system for free and explains how they finally won their first paying customer. Find out the details from the podcast. Promoting a startup can be a difficult task. How did the team reach their target audience? Saroj says they run a blog where they share content about their services before sharing it on different social media platforms. The journey from zero to 5,000 was easier after winning their first paying customer; Saroj says and explains the phase further in the podcast. Did you know you could make money from customizing customers' platforms to meet their specific needs? Listen to Saroj as he discusses this concept and explains how it worked for their business. Apart from content marketing, Saroj and his team engage in teaching as a marketing concept, where they create courses and train their staff. Saroj mentions their go-to content marketing strategy that aspiring entrepreneurs can benefit from. While some online businesses grew tremendously at the peak of Covid, Saroj says they experienced slow growth rates. What would Saroj do differently if he had an opportunity to go back in time? He would be more focused. He concludes the podcast by explaining why he thinks Wisible is the best in the industry.  Resources Wisible Saroj Ativitavas LinkedIn

Social Marketing Nerds – Facebook Ads und Social Advertising Podcast
🚀 Marketing-Budget Planung für SaaS-Unternehmen: Wie geht's richtig?

Social Marketing Nerds – Facebook Ads und Social Advertising Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 11, 2021 46:08


“Wie viel Budget brauche ich eigentlich für mein Marketing im SaaS-Unternehmen?” 💸 Eine Frage, die uns häufig erreicht - und die oft schwer zu beantworten ist. Unsere Nerds erklären dir nicht nur, was eine Pipeline, ARR oder MRR ist, sondern auch, wie Du Fehler in der Budgetplanung im SaaS-Marketing vermeiden kannst und worauf Du achten musst. Hör rein in unsere neue SaaS-Marketing Podcast Folge! 🎧 Unsere SaaS-Marketing Reihe geht in die nächste Runde! Unsere SaaS-Experten Maren und Alexander widmen sich gemeinsam mit unserem Gast Frank der Budgetierung des Marketings im SaaS-Bereich und geben dabei viele Tipps, wie Du die Budgetierung angehen kannst. 💰

Big Break Software Podcast
Zero to product market fit with mobile app competitor analysis tool SaaS COO Eugene Kruglov of AppFollow

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2021 51:14


Eugene Kruglov, cofounder and COO of AppFollow, talks about funding the MVP, gaining his first customer, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen in for more insights. AppFollow is a platform that enables you to assemble your mobile app data from diverse sources into a centralized place. Join Eugene Kruglov the cofounder in this podcast as he tells Geordie how they navigated various challenges to build this app. He also discusses lessons they have learned along the way.   What You'll Learn   The problem that AppFollow solves for its customers Three key things that Eugene and his team offer through their service Importance of visibility for app developers  Why tracking your competitors is crucial How did Eugene and his team know that users would appreciate their app? Why video marketing can be an ideal concept for increasing visibility How did Eugene and his team come up with the pricing model in the early days? Why product developers should manage their customer support department The importance of search optimization on product visibility   In this Episode:   Eugene has been passionate about mobile for a long time. Previously, he was involved in the entrepreneurial space, where he helped launch companies in the mobile industry. He has also worked with mobile operators in the value-added services divisions, where he gained tremendous experience.    With the launch of App Store, Eugene got excited about the possibility of developing applications. He has been involved in developing products for other companies, which they used to pitch in the beginning. Find out how Eugene met his cofounder and how he (the cofounder) shared an idea with him which they would later bank on to start a company.     Eugene says they collaborate with teams and help them navigate app stores with ease. The team is committed to offering solutions from the product perspective because they have encountered the same problem before. AppFollow helps developers navigate through customer feedback. It also intensifies the customer's voice and provides numerous tools to work with reviews and feedback in the app stores.   AppFollow increases your visibility in app stores. Eugene says they understand how the algorithms function and use unique keywords to ensure users are visible in search. Through AppFollow, users can track their competitors with ease. Listen to the podcast for a detailed explanation of these features.   Developing a product that target users will appreciate can be a challenging journey. Eugene discusses what they did to ensure users would love the product. Listen to the podcast for the details. Eugene says they spent between 15 and 20 thousand dollars building the MVP in six months. All that time, Eugene was still running a different business while helping to set up AppFollow.    The platform was operating under an acceleration program that gave them some visibility. However, they needed to do something to popularize their brand, and this is where word of mouth and video came in. The team started shooting short videos of them navigating the acceleration program and distributed them in various platforms like Twitter and Facebook. They forwarded links to their friends and did everything to make the videos funny, irresistible but still relatable context-wise.    Determining the ideal pricing for an app can be difficult, especially when you are just getting started. Eugene says they are still trying to come up with the best pricing model. As beginners, they had three basic payment plans, which Eugene admits was relatively low.   Eugene says they needed to accommodate as many users on the platform as possible in terms of the pricing. As a result, they ended up giving out the app for small amounts expecting a high adoption which would translate into a high ROI. That was not to happen, and they had to go back to the drawing board.   What is their pricing currently? Find out from the podcast. Eugene also talks about the features they have added to the app to make it more effective for users. Eugene says the team was committed to handling every operation independently, seeing that they had no money to pay staff.   As a founder, he was tasked with handling customer support and answering user queries round the clock. He adopted this strategy as a way to encourage users to love their product. He was also convinced that doing demos was an effective strategy for promoting their product, mainly because they understood its features better.   AppFollow experienced tremendous growth from increased visibility. Listen to the podcast to find out some of the techniques they used to become more visible. Eugene gives a detailed explanation of how they achieved product-market fit, and you cannot afford to miss this section. The AppFollow platform has evolved over the years, and Eugene explains what they have done to improve it. Eugene concludes the podcast by mentioning the things he would have done differently when starting. Get these crucial lessons from the podcast.  Resources   AppFollow Eugene Kruglov LinkedIn Eugene Kruglov Twitter

Outbound Metrics | B2B Outbound Sales
#130: (Re-Air) Building an Inbound Engine Using Outbound: 25% cold email reply rate + Webinars + LinkedIn + YouTube + Podcasts = $2M opportunity value (Ayhan Isaacs)

Outbound Metrics | B2B Outbound Sales

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 30, 2021 46:45


Well, what do you do when cold email doesn't work? You find the right prospects and use the right messaging but the sales meetings just don't come. That's exactly what happened to my guest. Ayhan Isaacs is the Founder of Growth Rhino. A sales agency that works with SaaS companies to build scalable outbound engines. He got into a situation where he was working with a client to drive sales meetings using cold email but his campaigns weren't working. He even tried Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and pretty much every other marketing channel to drive revenue but alas - nothing materialized form his efforts for six months. At this point - most people would give up and chalk it up to a loss. But, Ayhan didn't let this stop him. As a naturally curious and talented growth hacker Ayhan took a new approach to cold outreach that opened up a flood of new business for his client. But, the results didn't come like he expected. This new angle unlocked a revenue engine for his client's business and the results have continued to compound. Over the past 12 months he has taken the agency from 0 to 25K in MRR completely bootstrapped. Previous to running the agency Ayhan worked as a BDR at a number of couple different early stage startups followed by doing a number of consulting jobs. He is certified in Conversion Optimization from CXL institute and holds a Masters in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Ryerson University. In this episode we'll take a look at the exact steps Ayhan took to connect with executives at Deutsche Bank, HSBC, KPMG, Orange Theory Fitness and other billion dollar companies. We'll discuss his outreach copy, how he leveraged Webinars, LinkedIn, and YouTube to build a content machine to drive new business 24/7, and how he iterated on his process to drive even faster results using fewer resources. Are you looking to build a multi-channel campaign that drives exponential growth? If so, make sure you listen to the very end of this episode. I'll see you on the other side. Join the Facebook Group (B2B SaaS Cold Outreach Mastery): https://morgandwilliams.com/fbgroup --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/morgan-williams0/message

Indie Bites
$250 to $3k MRR in 4 months with a Notion website builder - Noah Bragg, Potion

Indie Bites

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 29, 2021 15:06


Noah Bragg is an indie hacker in its truest form. Building in public hacking away on his project, Potion, which is a a way to host your Notion pages as websites behind a custom domain. He's also the co-host of the Product Journey podcast, where he speaks with his co-host Ben about their progress on their respective side projects.What we covered: The goal of building a huge business Project: Coffee Pass When to decide to stop a project Failing after 2 years working on something First project as an indie hacker: SupportmanSelling Supportman Starting Potion$250 to $3,000 MRR in 4 months How to do a successful product hunt launch How to get a product hunt maker grant Focusing on product instead of marketing Finding the right market / a growing market Dealing with competition Recommendations Book: ReWork Podcast: My First Million Indie Hacker: Kenneth Cassel Follow Noah Twitter Potion Website Product Journey Podcast Follow Me Twitter Indie Bites Twitter Personal Website Buy A Wallet Sponsor - UpvotyDo you want to build the best product possible? Then listening to user feedback is one of the best ways to do so. Because by listening to the problems of your users, you can build a real problem-solver that they'll love.Upvoty is a user feedback tool that gives your user's a voice and makes it really easy at the same time for you to prioritize what to build next. By installing Upvoty's feedback boards, you'll have all of your user feedback in one central place and it will really help you connect with your customers and understand their needs. On top of that, you can close the feedback loop by setting up your Changelog and Product Roadmap. Your users will be actively involved in building new features and will love you for that.Try Upvoty 14-days for free and with the code 'INDIEBITES' you'll get a 10% discount on any of their plans.Sign up here.

Connecting IT Podcast
Maximizing the Valuation of Your MSP for M&A

Connecting IT Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 23, 2021 33:56


Do you know what your MSP is worth? In this episode of The Powered Services Podcast, hosts Dan Tomaszewski and Will Bishop sit down with Rick Jordan, Founder & CEO of ReachOut Technology, to have an open discussion about how much the average MSP makes, how they can conduct a valuation of their business, how long it takes to break 1 million in MRR, and how you can maximize the valuation of your MSP for M&A.

Indie Bites
Bootstrapping two $3k MRR projects, selling one for $55k - Andy Cloke, Data Fetcher

Indie Bites

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 22, 2021 16:47


Andy Cloke is the founder of Data Fetcher, a platform for running API requests in Airtable, which is currently doing around $3k MRR. Andy has started many projects in the past, his most recent one, Influence Grid, was sold for $55k back in mid-2020, having only started it 7 months before. In this episode we talk about his framework for finding trending ideas, building a product and being successful with marketing as a developer. We also talk about the process of selling your product and how to make that go smoothly.What we covered Andy's background Kabooshi Why Andy started Influence Grid How to leverage Exploding Topics to find trending ideas Getting validation for your idea Using cold outreach to grow a platformRocket Reach Doing SEO from the start How he grew Influence Grid to $3k MRR Why decide to sell Influence Grid? Should you go through a platform for an acquisition? How to best prepare for a small acquisition What Andy bought himself after selling for $55k What he did after the acquisition The process of finding a new idea Software Ideas by Kevin Conti Micro SaaS by Tyler Tringas Why Andy started Data Fetcher How Data Fetcher has grown to $3k MRR Andy's framework for finding a successful idea How to push through when things aren't going so well Recommendations Book: Blue Ocean Strategy Podcast: Startup to Last Indie Hacker: Jon Yongfook Follow Andy Twitter Data Fetcher Follow Me Twitter Indie Bites Twitter Personal Website Buy A Wallet Sponsor - UpvotyDo you want to build the best product possible? Then listening to user feedback is one of the best ways to do so. Because by listening to the problems of your users, you can build a real problem-solver that they'll love.Upvoty is a user feedback tool that gives your user's a voice and makes it really easy at the same time for you to prioritize what to build next. By installing Upvoty's feedback boards, you'll have all of your user feedback in one central place and it will really help you connect with your customers and understand their needs. On top of that, you can close the feedback loop by setting up your Changelog and Product Roadmap. Your users will be actively involved in building new features and will love you for that.Try Upvoty 14-days for free and with the code 'INDIEBITES' you'll get a 10% discount on any of their plans.Sign up here.

Software Social
Software Social University?

Software Social

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2021 36:47


Michele Hansen  0:01  This episode of Software Social is brought to you by Reform.As a business owner, you need forms all the time for lead capture, user feedback, SaaS onboarding, job applications, early access signups, and many other types of forms.Here's how Reform is different:- Your brand shines through, not Reform's- It's accessible out-of-the-box... And there are no silly design gimmicks, like frustrating customers by only showing one question at a timeJoin indie businesses like Fathom Analytics and SavvyCal and try out Reform.Software Social listeners get 1 month for free by going to reform.app/social and using the promo code "social" on checkout.Colleen Schnettler  0:51  So Michelle, how are things going with your book tour?Michele Hansen  0:54  So the book tour itself is going well, I did indie hackers build your SAS searching for SAS one end product? I just recorded another one. yesterday. No, no, no, today? No, that was I feel like I'm doing a lot with it. Because that's what says because I had I love it. Let's see yesterday, no Tuesday, I did a session with founder summit. And then I also had a call with someone about being on their podcast yesterday. That'll be in November, and then I've scheduled another one for October. And then I did another group session today. And then yeah, actually, it was when I got off of that and Mateus was like, you know what you just did? And I was like, What? Like, he was like, you just did consulting? And I was like, No, I did. Like cuz it was Yeah. No, I did. I was like, it wasn't personalized. It was just like a workshop and people asked like questions, like, I just, I just talked about the book. And I was like, No, it wasn't he was like, yeah, it wasn't like that. No, it wasn't. Um, yeah, I think I actually kind of need to like, Cool it a bit on the promotion stuff. Like dude, like, this week, I spent like two days this week, creating a Google Sheets plugin for geocoder Oh, it was so nice to like, be playing around with spreadsheet functions again, like, after doing all this like writing and then talking about this stuff I wrote like, it was very comfortable. It was much more comfortable than talking about.Colleen Schnettler  2:42  Like, I don't know, it was your happy was when you went Excel.Michele Hansen  2:46  It really is. Um, but actually, so I have another spreadsheet that doesn't have any fun functions in it is the number of books I have sold, adding up, you know. Okay. For 490 400Colleen Schnettler  3:03  my gosh, that's amazing.Michele Hansen  3:07  I know, it's so close to 500. And it's been so close to 100 500 for like days. And like, the other day, I was like, maybe I'm, like, tapped out the market for this at 490. Like, that's really good. Like the average book sells like 300. So like, that's really good. Um, and, yeah, so so I'm going to do like, I'm going to be on some other podcasts and whatnot. And like, I remember seeing once. Rob Fitzpatrick once, I think actually, it's in his new book. He has a graph of the revenue of the mom test and like, the growth of that book is I mean, a case in compounding.Colleen Schnettler  3:52  Okay, so, right. SoMichele Hansen  3:54  you know, it's not all like in the beginning, and like, there's really positive signs, like people are recommending to other people, people are writing reviews, like, so. So yeah, I feel good. But man, I really want to get to 500. I don't know, I haven't been thinking about the numbers very much. I mean, it's only six but like, I really, I really want to get to 500. I don't know why, like it's like getting to like, you know, 1000 or what it like that's that's not even like remotely like a possibility to me, like I don't even really think about it. But now it's like so close. And like that would be so awesome.Colleen Schnettler  4:25  I wager a guess that by the time this podcast airs on Tuesday, you will be at 500.Michele Hansen  4:31  That's only six more books. Maybe Maybe. And by the way, if people want a free copy of this of the book, so if you are listening, when it comes out on on Tuesday or Wednesday, transistor.fm is running a little giveaway on their Twitter account. I think Justin saw my like, I think 490 is all I'm ever gonna sell. Okay. And I was like, no. So they're giving away five copies of the book. You just have to go retweet the tweets about the book. So yeah, nice. Yeah. If you just go to the deploy wonderful,Colleen Schnettler  5:05  that'll help expand your reach.Michele Hansen  5:07  Yeah, it was interesting hearing that I was like helping you interview people on podcast. I'm like, Yeah, I guess you could. I mean, it doesn't have to just be for. for customers.Colleen Schnettler  5:19  Anyway, oh, yeah, your book applies to so much. So that's where the,Michele Hansen  5:23  that's that's where the book is. But I gotta say, I think I think I need to give myself a little break on promotion. Otherwise, I'm gonna, I'm gonna burn out on thatColleen Schnettler  5:33  for right now. Yeah, I was thinking about that when you were talking about like, how you're hitting it so hard. I was like, wait, Isn't this what happened with writing the book? And then afterwards, you're like,Michele Hansen  5:43  Yes, I have a pattern. Yes. way overboard. And then I exhaust myself.Colleen Schnettler  5:53  So maybe we should approach it like a marathon instead of a sprint? Yeah,Michele Hansen  5:57  I think so. I haven't scheduled anything for next week. So I don't have anything scheduled until the first week of October. So okay. Yeah, kind of just, yeah. So so you know, hopefully by the, you know, yeah. Bye. By the time I'm on again, because I'm off next week. I vacation. Yeah. Oh my god, dude, I'm going to American, I'm so excited. So happy for you. Okay, um, I can't wait to just go to Target and Trader Joe's anyway.Colleen Schnettler  6:34  So if you're not have target, and then we do notMichele Hansen  6:36  have target, we have a story that's inspired by target or like more like, inspired by Walmart. But like, it's just like, there's just nothing like getting a Starbucks and walking around target. You know, it's just true story. Anyway, um, what's going on with you?Colleen Schnettler  6:52  So I did quite a bit of work on simple file uploads. Since we last talked, I actually spent a good chunk of time doing some technical work, some cleanup work that needed to be done. But I have gotten the demo on my homepage. Oh, it's really exciting. Yeah,Michele Hansen  7:10  the like, code pen demo thing that we've been talking about for a while, right? Correct.Colleen Schnettler  7:15  Okay, instead of putting a code pen up, I actually just put a drop zone. So you can literally, if you go into my site, it just says drop a file to try it. And you can drop a file. Wait, so that is something I know. Right? So that's something I've been talking about doing for a long time, which I finally got done. So that's exciting. Yeah. And there was some other stuff with like the log on flow, that wasn't really quite correct. It wasn't wrong, it just wasn't really right. So I just spent a lot of time kind of getting that cleaned up. Oh, and the API for deleting events. So that was a real hustle for me, because I have someone who reached out to me, and they were like, Hey, we totally want to use your thing. But we have to be able to delete files, you know, from our software, not from the dashboard. And so that external forcing function of this potential customer just made me do it. And so I have that done. So I Oh, I feel now that I have like a completely functioning piece of software. Did they buy it? So that's exciting? Not yet. They claim that they're going to start their project like next month? I don't know if they will or won't, but we'd have developed kind of like, relatively frequent ish email communication and stuff. So I think it'll be good. Either way, it forced me to kind of do it. So I'm happy to have that because that is something I really wanted to do. Because I wanted to make sure I had that before I allow multiple uploads. So the question now Oh, and we had a huge I mean, a huge spike. We don't the site doesn't get tons and tons of visitors. But we had a huge spike in visitors because we're actually publishing content. Oh, yeah. So like things are I'm doing things. So that's exciting to get the documentation stuffMichele Hansen  9:03  done that we talked about.Colleen Schnettler  9:05  So I decided that it wasn't worth my time to completely rip out the documentation and redo it. So but I did go in there and try to take what I had, which as your to your point, I think last week or two weeks ago, is you said, you know, it's fine. It kind of looks like a readme like it's not beautiful, but it's functional. So I tried to make it more functional by adding more documentation. And then I hired a developer to write a blog post, I shouldn't say almost more like a tutorial, how to use this in react. So his article is up. So I've been putting a lot of content on the site the past week.Michele Hansen  9:41  You are on fire.Colleen Schnettler  9:44  I know girl, I'm feeling good. I mean, part of it is like hiring my own sister has been so good for me because she can call me on my bullshit, because she works for me, but she's also like my best friend. So she's like, just stop whining and just do it. I'm like, okay, I joke like she's part marketing expert part like life coach, like,Michele Hansen  10:06  it sounds like you've got the fire under you now.Colleen Schnettler  10:11  I do. I mean, I have not seen. Okay, so it's only been a week right. So we've seen an increase in the ticket people coming to the site. I have not seen any kind of great increase in signups signups are still. Well, actually, I have not seen a great increase in signups. But what I have seen is my file uploader hit 10,000 files uploaded this week, like people are using, right. Right. So what has happened is remember the beginning I was really concerned because all these people were signing up and then like 30% of the people were using it. So all those non users have turned. So the people who are paying me now are actually using it actively. So that's good. Yeah, that's really good. Yeah. So I'm not seeing an increase my MRR still bouncing around 1000. Again, nothing to sneeze at. Like, it's a good number. But I haven't seen any kind of great jumps. But I think part of that is because the people who aren't using it have left and then the people who are using it, you know, the people who have signed up or actually committed to using it.Michele Hansen  11:14  Right. But new people have not come in that have replaced the people have checked who have turnedColleen Schnettler  11:20  right, not really like a couple. But you know, at one point, I had three people paying me 250 bucks a month. Like That was pretty awesome that now I only have one personMichele Hansen  11:28  is that is that the the whale that we talked about that like wasn't using it and wasn't Replying to Your Yeah.Colleen Schnettler  11:33  So I've had three of those people come in and come out. One is still there. Again, not using it not responding to emails. But I'm not trying to hassle them. So Alright, if that's what you wanted? Yeah. So I'm trying to figure out so I'm fit. I mean, the energy there is really good. And I feel like I've made a lot of I've done a lot of things. I haven't seen yet. The the response from that from a revenue standpoint, but I feel like if I just keep pushing in this direction, I'll get there. So I'm trying to decide what to do next. So why for so long, I had this list of things. And every time we talked, I felt like getting advice from you on what to do next wasn't really useful, because I hadn't even done the other things I was supposed to do. But now I have done the other things. So I'm trying to decide if you should focus on other ways to use it. So now that I have an API for deletion, I can open up multiple file uploads, which is kind of cool. I already do it for a client, like on the on the download secretly because I control their site, but I could. So I could write more content, showing people how to actually use it and like, and kind of go in that direction. Or I could make the UI more flashy and add a, like an image modifier editing tool, which would be kind of cool. Or I could, I don't know, that's what I got right now.Michele Hansen  12:58  What are you? What are your customers Asia doColleen Schnettler  13:01  my customer search. So we are trying to do another round of customer interviews. So I did, we offered a $25 amazon gift card. And we're going around to everyone who's actively using it to see if anyone wants to talk to us. So we are doing that we are trying to do and that was another thing. Like I'm kind of proud of myself, just because when we moved here, our schedule is so variable, I couldn't really get like solid work hours like this is when I can work. But we did send out those emails requesting customer interviews. So that is on the docket.Michele Hansen  13:34  Because like I could sit here and be like, Oh, yeah, like that sounds good. But like, Don't listen to me. Like I don't I don't know, like, you know, I have a question for you. That's kind of kind of a different topic, but I feel like you are so you're so enthusiastic right now. And I have to wonder whether working on stuff for your like, quote, unquote, day job, which was you know, the consulting before and then was the other company and now and now is Hammerstone like, like, I kind of have to wonder if like working on stuff during like work is likeColleen Schnettler  14:15  ifMichele Hansen  14:16  if that is working on something you're excited about during the day is energizing you for your side project because I just feel like the energy that I am hearing from you is like so much more than it has been before. Like you're just like,Colleen Schnettler  14:35  I fired up. I totally am Michelle, I someone had you know, all those there's always tweets like oh, all the things, the best decisions I've ever made in my life or you know, all that stuff. I saw one the other day and it was the two most important decisions you're going to make in your life are who you marry and what you do for a living. And I can tell I mean I'm literally for the first time in ever I'm in my late 30s first time in ever doing exactly what I have always wanted to do. And it's amazing. I mean, and the coolest thing is like the Hammerstone stuff. So I'm working on that I'm working with people I think are awesome. I go to sleep, and I wake up and my business partner has like, done this amazing stuff because he's just like cranking out code like a rock star. And I'm like, oh, Aaron's like, oh, while you were sleeping. I made this totally amazing thing. I'm like, glad I partnered with you, buddy. Because you know, what's up?Michele Hansen  15:32  Every day, Aaron has like some new like, thing. And yeah, who is he? When do you sleep? Like what he was? Was twins. Yeah, like newborn twins. Like not just twins, but like not like, born like, I mean, I guess babies do some kind of sleep a lot at weird times. Oh, gee, I don't know. And he has been jaw. There's also like, there's kind of the like, we want we launched you akoto when Sophie was four months old. And I feel like there was like this, we got this, like motivation from it. Because it was like, you know, she would go to bed at like seven or 730. And then, you know, we knew she was gonna wake up at like, midnight or two or whatever. But it was like, Oh, my God, we finally have two hours to ourselves. Let's use it as productively as possible. Like this thing I've been thinking about this whole time while I was changing diapers, I can do it now. Like, and it was weirdly motivating, and also incredibly exhausting, and a blur, but I don't know. Yeah, yeah. Aaron, like, dude, you're a machine?Colleen Schnettler  16:34  Yeah, it's so impressive. I think part of that too, might be you know, with that thing, if you only have three hours to do something like, you get that thing done in three hours. versus if you give yourself 30 days to do it. It'll take you 30 days. Yeah. But I think for me, I mean, my journey, you know, has been from a job, I didn't really like to all kinds of bouncing around doing different things, to learning how to code years ago, always the goal when I was learning how to code was to get to where I am right now. And I'm finally here. And it is super awesomely exciting. Like, I'm literally working with someone I have wanted to not, I mean, also Aaron, but like, not just him, working with someone I've always wanted to work with on something that's exciting. And it's like our business, I can't imagine a better knock on wood. I can't imagine a better work scenario for me. And I think that energy that comes from that scenario, absolutely bleeds into simple file upload, like, honestly, you know, a couple weeks ago, I was like, I should just sell it and be done with it. Like I was just kind of over it. And then hiring my sister really helped because she's really excited. And like, just having a higher level of energy in general, for this thing. It's been really fun. You know,Michele Hansen  17:50  I feel like I've heard you talk a little bit about how when you were first starting out, and then working as an engineer, like electrical engineer, rather. And you were like talking to people at work about how like, you know, they had all these like hopes and dreams when they got out of college. And then like, those things never happened. And then they were it was 30 years later, and they were just miserable. And you were like, Oh my god, I'm not like, I can't do that. And I like I wonder what was the moment when you realized that? Like, your solution to that was like learning how to code like, what made that happen? And but like, inspired you to not only realize that it was possible, but like, but then you acted on it, like?Colleen Schnettler  18:45  Well, I think part of it for me is I worked for a big, firm, a big company. And via I mean, that wasn't just like one of the middle managers that was like, all of the middle managers, right? Clearly these guys, they had started at 23 or 22, because they wanted to pay off college loans. They started working, it was a very comfortable job, right? They paid us well, we don't want to say we didn't work that hard, but we really didn't work hard. It was a lot of very bureaucratic, right, like lots of meetings, lots of organizing. And you know, before they know it, before they knew it, these guys were comfortable. And then they got married and they had kids and you know, most of them, their spouse stayed home. So then they felt that they were in this position where they were totally stuck. And they I mean, 30 years, I'm not exaggerating, like these guys had been there for 30 years. And they kind of it was just like this pervasive energy of like, real like, you know, the whole energy was just kind of like, everyone was just kind of bummed about their situation like no, it was sad, but they were definitely, like, felt the weight of this really boring job they'd done for 30 years. And so for me, it was really hard because like, again, it's so comfortable like they loved me. They paid me well. didn't have to, you know, wasn't all that stressful. But like my first of all, it wasn't hard at all, like your brain when you don't get to think or you don't get to be like, in you intellectually stimulated. It's just like murrah, blah, blah, blah. And I didn't know if I could, I mean, what I'm doing now has always been the dream. I couldn't see that eight years ago. Like, if you had told me I'd be doing what I did eight, I'd be here. Eight years ago, I would have been like, there's no way like, it felt like a freakin mountain to climb. I mean, like, it would never, I would never ever get there. And, I mean, I think a lot of it was just like, you know, obviously, all the work I put in seeing it as a vision I could reach and the community I was part of, and, you know, the communities I built along the way, but I couldn't see it. I mean, that's why, you know, I kind of make that parallel sometimes with what I'm doing now. Because like, back then I couldn't see I could not, couldn't see it. Like, just, I'm still amazed. And I can't see myself, my friend the other day, who has a business said, Oh, I think it's way easier to go from 1k to 5k. And I was like, I can't even see that right now. Like, that feels like a million dollars to me. And he's like, Oh, it's way easier to go from one to 5k than zero to 1k. And I was like, Really? So? I don't know. I mean, yeah, there's a lot there. Yeah, IMichele Hansen  21:23  was thinking about the other day, cuz I was talking to someone who, who has had a hard life, but it turned out that they, you know, I was talking to them about what they do. And you know, they're, and, and they, and they're like, Oh, you know, but I kind of know how to edit videos, and, you know, do some graphic design and stuff. And I was like, dude, like, if you have a little bit of technical competency, and like turnout, they've done like little bit of like Python stuff. I was like, run with that. But I realized, like, I didn't actually know where to, like, send them. Like I told him about, like, indie hackers and you know, other stuff. And I was, but I was like, I was like, I don't actually know, like, where to send you to, like, learn how to like code or like, no code. Like, I think I said, I told him about bubble. And like, I mean, it was worth the reason why like we do this podcast in the first place is to kind of like, demystify this whole thing about like running your own little internet company, which is still a weird job. And, like, show people that it's possible, I guess, um, and that, you know, they don't have to be in a dead end job or selling leggings as you are.Colleen Schnettler  22:38  Yeah, we watched the die.Michele Hansen  22:40  Lula documentary, we started it. I thought of you the whole time. Yeah, I really, I didn't even know where to send them. And it just got me thinking about your story. And it's like, you're in a dead end job. Like, not only like, like, what? I don't know, like, what was that? Like? What inspired you to be like, yeah, I have to do something about it. And here's what I'm gonna do.Colleen Schnettler  23:08  So I think for me, it was a lot of things happened at once. But it was I was at a dead end job where I had some real jerks that I worked with. And it was like, I don't have to put up with this. Like, I'm out. Yeah. And so then it was, it went when I decided to go back to work. They want to be back. I mean, they want to take me back with no, no interviews, like no hard shit, like, just come on back. And man, that was tempting, because the money is so good, was good. But I saw those guys, those guys were always in my mind, like the guys who never took a shot. And I was like, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to be that person who never takes a shot. But to your friends point. This is what is so hard about making this kind of career change. There is no roadmap. I mean, the reason people wanted to sell leggings is because they tell you what to do. Trying to like start a career in tech. There's literally no roadmap. There's no you. It's like, overwhelmingly hard. Not only everyone's like, oh, there's tons of resources on the internet. That doesn't help. There's too many resources on the internet. There needs to be a framework where it's like, here is where you go, this is what you need to do. Here are the steps. Yeah, because no one, everyone's journey is different. And there aren't any steps. And so what happens I see this all the time, because I mentor, some people that are trying to get into software, and they are totally lost, just like I was because there's no roadmap. There's no steps, like what do you do next? Like, sure, no code, what the heck do I make with a no code tool? Like what should I do? What are people going to pay for? How do I find those people? Like, it just feels like so nebulous? And I think that's why although you hear all these great success stories, I think that's why making the transition is so hard. And for me, I took a ridiculous pay cut for four years before I've now exceed my previous income but significant exceed.But, I mean, that was years. I mean, there was probably three to four years where I had taken this, I mean, you know, ridiculous paycut to rebuild, and not everyone makes it on the rebuilding stage, like, there's just so many stages, you can get stuck, and you just can't. It's just not it's just not knowing the path forward, like now that I'm speaking this to you, that would be useful to people like,Michele Hansen  25:37  where do you do? Yeah, like,Colleen Schnettler  25:38  Where do you think I'm thinking?Michele Hansen  25:40  Like, there's Okay, there's like, there's programming courses, you know, there's 30 by 500. Like, there's kind of all you know, there, there's zero to some, you know, our recalls book, but like, I mean, it's almost like, you know, there's so many things that go into it, and it's so nebulous, it's almost like you should be able to, like, go to college for starting an internet business, except you can't, because there's so many things that go into it. And like, so when you were so like you so so so let me understand this correctly. So you worked the dead end job. And then you quit, and you stayed home with your kids for a while. And then you went back to work. And then you did. So you didn't, and you decided you weren't going to go back there. And basically, it sounds like the real, like, the light bulb for you that you weren't going to do that was you know, your own self worth. It sounds like, um, and that you just couldn't do that to yourself. And you felt like you deserved better. But then so when you went back to work, did you get an engineering job? Like it like an electrical engineering job? And then like, did you learn to code at night or something? Like, how did you tackle this?Colleen Schnettler  26:56  Yeah, so I never went back to work. So the first thing I did back what this 10 years ago now, I wrote an iOS app. Because this was back in the day when people were making millions of dollars off of stupid iOS.Michele Hansen  27:07  Yeah, I was coming up in that era. And I think the most we ever made was 400 bucks a month.Colleen Schnettler  27:13  Right? This was maybe 11 1011 years ago. So I wrote an iOS app. And, you know, totally taught from scratch, there was only like one tutorial site at the time, all of this other stuff, treehouse, and all this stuff didn't exist. There was this guy, I think his name is Ray wonderlic. He had this iOS. And this was before Swift. So this is like Objective C days. I wrote an iOS app. I got it in the App Store. I made $65. And I realized I could make money on the internet. And then I was like, oh, okay, there's something here. This iOS stuff, though, is not the path because not only would I have to learn Objective C, that's decent, I then would have to learn all of these other things about like, building and selling an iOS app. And that is way too overwhelming. In the beginning, trying to learn how to code and learn how to run a business, these are not the same skill set, like learning these at the same time, when you come from a baseline of zero, I do not think it's a good idea. I kind of feel like you should pick one or the other. So being technical minded, I picked learning to code. So I literally started listening to every inspirational learning to code podcast I could find. And in one of the podcast, it was one of those real tech bro guys who's like, you could do it kinda like Gary, Gary, what's his name? It wasn't Gary, what's his name, but it was someone like that. Who was like you can do it, you know, you can start internet business. All you got to do is learn Ruby on Rails. So I was like, cool. So I started, what was the resource Back then, I think I got a book on Ruby on Rails and started building some apps. And I'm still, you know, I'm doing this at night, right? Because I still have the kids, I have three little kids at home, or maybe two at the time, I guess I only have two at the time. And then from there, Women Who Code had a bounty bug program, so they would pay you $75 to solve issues. And this was like, tremendous for me, because the $75 that doesn't sound like a lot now. Right? That was huge. Because that could pay for babysitting for like, hour. Yeah. So I mean, it would take me under these things would take me like 15 hours, I had no idea what I was doing. I mean, like, but that was tremendous. For me also finding social groups, like I got involved in some open source. And the social groups are tremendous. And by social, I mean, you know, on Slack, and from there, and from there, I ended up getting a job as a Rails developer. So it felt like clawing my way through a path that did not exist is what it felt like, right? There was no like, as an engineer previously, it was like, go to college get a job. There was no you know, the path was very clear. Where's the path here? It was like I started contributing this open source. I got so overwhelmed. I just stopped And like six months later, one of the guys just reached out to me individually and said, Hey, I see you took this issue on six months ago and you haven't solved it. Do you need help? And I was like, Yes, I need all the help. Like, I am so confused. I didn't know what I'm doing. So that guy who don't know don't keep in touch with no idea where he is in the world, but like, he was tremendous in helping me not to quit. Isn't that amazing hack someone that youMichele Hansen  30:26  don't know, over the internet just like shows up and is like, Hello, can I help you? And then you don't even keep in touch with this person or know them. But they had this like, massive v here without this influence on your life?Colleen Schnettler  30:41  I should, I should hunt him down. Be like, Hey, remember me?Michele Hansen  30:48  It's amazing.Colleen Schnettler  30:49  Yeah, it is. It is amazing. But I also think like, to this point, to your friend's point, and to me, like trying to get help my sister figure out what she wants to do for remote business. There's no path. I mean, it's so hard because you don't know what to do. Like people can work hard, I think motivated people. Absolutely. There's so many people who could change their career trajectories, because people will work hard for what they want. But when you don't know which vector Yeah, you know which direction to apply the work. You just spin around in circles, like I would love for there to be a better way to help people start internet businesses, because from our perspective, having done this for like, you know, eight years now, or whatever, it's like, oh, you just do this thing? And no, if you don't know what to do, just start with something. It's so even, I mean, everything is hard in the beginning, right? Like, how do you send emails?Michele Hansen  31:45  Like I we still don't send emails, so I don't know if I like we technically have tools.Colleen Schnettler  31:53  I think you could think of like now that I'm talking to you about this, like a fully encompassing course, Oh, my gosh, great new idea. Here, were to build out aMichele Hansen  32:02  course or something for like, for your, you know, learn to code instead of selling leggings, like you like that. Like, like that is like I feel like that is your like life's mission is to help.Colleen Schnettler  32:13  I know, right? All about going down. But here's the thing is, this is kind of my life mission. Yeah, but But the thing that I think I thought I'd make a course to teach people how to be a Rails developer. The thing is, it's really hard to learn software, well, like it's not going to happen. And here's my new thought, Oh, my gosh, it's just coming to me, you're not gonna learn software? Well, in six months, especially if you have, you know, if you're working during the day, you're just not this is not, you're not going to become a good rails developer in six months. So originally, I thought, my way was to help people learn to code. But I think what makes more sense, is actually to help people learn using probably no code tools, how to build online businesses, because that more aligns with the demographic of people I'm trying to help. Not how to learn to code, but like, how do you like cuz, you know, the joke is, every military spouse is a photographer, it's like the most prevalent, it's a very prevalent occupation. But teach these help these people learn how to like, build a site and send emails and use a no code tools. So they can you know, accept payments on their website and like basic stuff, so that people who want online businesses can still pursue what their individual passion is, because I'm finding like, I push people to try learn to code, a lot of people don't want to learn to code that's not their jam.Michele Hansen  33:36  You know, it reminds me of the something we say a lot. And then the sort of jobs to be done world is that nobody wants a quarter inch drill. They want a quarter inch hole so they can put a nail in it so they can hang a picture on their wall, right? Like learning Ruby on Rails like is not the end goal. The end goal is hanging the picture on the wall, which is building the business.Colleen Schnettler  34:02  Right? And if you want to have a real business, you got to know how to use the internet'sMichele Hansen  34:10  how to use the internet. I think my university like nothing, I think I looked into like, like, oh, like, Can I take like an HTML or like, whatever, like class, and there was literally class that was like, This is the internet, you will learn how to use a browser and I was like, and then then, and then everything else was like C Programming. I was like, This is not looking good. LikeColleen Schnettler  34:34  Yeah, Michelle. Think about this, though. You're absolutely right. Like, I approached it incorrectly thinking oh, I need to teach the world how to code. Well doesn't want to learn how to code world wants to make money doing something they're already passionate about, whether that is selling something they make or whether that is being a photographer or you know, running a home catering business. But that's what we could do. We could To help teach people how I mean, you could have a course. Okay, I have to learn I'm sure you know, no code. That's the whole point is it's not that painful, right? You could have a course that basically walked someone through how to use no code tools to set up a website where you can do things like accept money, and do things like send automated emails. Dude,Michele Hansen  35:23  Do either of us know how to use the new code stuff?Colleen Schnettler  35:27  No. Okay. But yeah,Unknown Speaker  35:29  I mean, we don't have time right now.Michele Hansen  35:31  When we put ourselves through, which is how to use No, you know, what I just realized? Is that like, you came into this conversation, like fired up, and then somehow you were even more fired up right now. And I didn't think that was possible.Colleen Schnettler  35:47  I love this though. I feel like I'm adding shalon Pauline University. We don't have time for it now. But we're so first social University. Oh, my gosh, that's coming.Michele Hansen  36:02  Um, well, before we get more, you know, ideas out there. Maybe we should wrap up also, for apparently a lot of people listen to this podcast while running. And I have been tagged in the fact that we're usually around 30 minutes is like people like great, I can go out and like, I know how long of a run that is. So we're already five minutes over, we usually plan for it. So.Colleen Schnettler  36:26  Alright, guys, it's because of all my great ideas. Well, IMichele Hansen  36:29  so I will see you in two weeks. So yes, yes, I will be drinking started wandering through target next week. So but I know Colleen has exciting plans and then we'll we'll talk to you later.

If I Was Starting Today
Nathan Barry: How to Bootstrap a Company to $30M in a Crowded Market (#41)

If I Was Starting Today

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 20, 2021 57:44


Nathan Barry is the CEO of ConvertKit, an email service provider that's gone from idea to $30M in MRR with zero funding.Topics Discussed in Today's Episode: Nathan's explains his framework: Ladders of Wealth Creation Should you start something yourself or acquire a business Why you should focus on a small niche when competing against a powerful incumbent How he has grown ConvertKit from idea to $30M MRR How he approaches capital allocation and leverage as a bootstrapped owner How to attract talented people when you have less money to offer What aged well and what didn't with Nathan's book Authority  Resources: Nathan Barry ConvertKit Authority  Jim Huffman website Jim's Twitter GrowthHit The Growth Marketer's Playbook

Big Break Software Podcast
From 0 to 30,000 MRR in 2021 with Powered By Change author Jon MacDonald

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 15, 2021 47:20


Jon MacDonald, CEO of Powered By Change, talks about coming up with his idea, funding the MVP, his first customers, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR. Listen in for more details.   Powered By Change (PBC) is a comprehensive, advanced, and robust business growth SaaS platform. It is based on the book powered by change, a Sunday Times Bestselling publication. PBC provides an integrated outlook of an enterprise's product, people, purpose, and process components. Jon McDonald, the founder, talks to Geordie about his journey.   What You'll Learn  The concepts of Powered By Change How companies started implementing powered by change as a SaaS way before the introduction of the SaaS platform What impact did Covid have on the Powered By Change platform? The Powered By Change pricing model.  In this Episode:  Being in the business industry for nearly 30 years is no mean feat. Apart from gaining tremendous experience, Jon says he has interacted with some of the biggest and fastest-growing companies across the globe. During his interactions, he helped the companies increase their turnover from 30 to 40 billion. Jon says he is delighted and blessed to have had the opportunity to watch how some of the highest-performing organizations operate. As an entrepreneur, Jon has founded nine startups where he has applied much of his lessons. Jon would later become a speaker, an entrepreneur, and an author. At some point, Jon started journaling all the lessons he had learned along the way into what would become the book; powered by change. He explains how they would convert the book's concept into a SaaS platform. The platform contains practical tips that no one teaches in business school.    Before writing his book, Jon says the entire business setting was similar to the Chinese proverb: "when the winds of change are blowing, some build a wall, and others build a windmill." During his years as an entrepreneur, Jon has learned that while there are numerous wall builders, few are willing to build a windmill. Many people, especially startup entrepreneurs, often look at larger businesses and wonder: how did they achieve such growth? What do they do differently? Do they have a big brand or colossal amounts of money in their bank accounts? Such businesses succeed because they focus on constructing a robust and functional windmill. Jon says. In his book, the term powered by change is based on the four different blades of a windmill. To facilitate change as a sustaining technique, you need four different blades of a windmill, Jon says. This observation is something he has noticed from assisting up to 45% of Fortune 500 companies and his startups. He explains the four concepts/blades of his book; powered by change in this podcast.  Powered by change includes numerous case studies. Jon and his team distributed the first publications to the people who had been featured in it. All the companies that received the book would then start applying it as a toolkit before a SaaS platform was founded. Later, those companies chose to utilize the book as a SaaS, which pushed Jon and his team to work hard to get to where they are today. What was the process of converting the powered by change book into a SaaS platform like? Jon says his co-founder played a massive role in developing the product. He gives more details in the podcast. They would later hire a developer, making him the third team member to date.  While some sections of the book were not applicable as an online platform, Jon says they released the MVP as a beta for people to test. They would then make changes on the go. He admits they have changed approximately 10% of the MVP so far. Even then, they have discovered that clients have a wide range of iterations they did not consider. Building the self-funded MVP took Jon and his developer approximately one year. Another crucial lesson that Jon has learned along the way is accomplishing your plans will cost more than you had planned for, and you will make half of your expected amount. He recommends running your MVP on half the income where possible. He expounds on this subject in the podcast. Jon also talks about their plans and expectations when they were starting, the challenges they encountered along the way, and how they countered them. He describes the pricing model that they later had to change. Get more details from the podcast. It took Powered By Change nine months to hit the 30,000 MRR. Jon explains how the journey was from 0-5,000 MRR and beyond. The team is considering angel investors to accelerate the company's growth. Jon concludes the podcast with the following nuggets of wisdom for aspiring SaaS entrepreneurs. Everything you know is wrong. Consider learning on the go Launch quicker and lighter (with fewer features) Ignore detractors, especially those coming from competitor platforms Do not raise capital if you can avoid it  Resource  Powered By Change Jon MacDonald Website Powered By Change LinkedIn

Software Social
A Tour Through Struggle: Cam Sloan, Founder of Hotscotch Product Tours

Software Social

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2021 52:45


Send Cam some love and support! https://twitter.com/SloanCamCheck out Hopscotch: https://hopscotch.club/ Michele Hansen  0:01  This episode of Software Social is brought to you by Reform.As a business owner, you need forms all the time for lead capture, user feedback, SaaS onboarding, job applications, early access signups, and many other types of forms.Here's how Reform is different:- Your brand shines through, not Reform's- It's accessible out-of-the-box... And there are no silly design gimmicks, like frustrating customers by only showing one question at a timeJoin indie businesses like Fathom Analytics and SavvyCal and try out Reform.Software Social listeners get 1 month for free by going to reform.app/social and using the promo code "social" on checkout.Michele Hansen  0:01  So today, I'm so excited we have a friend joining us, Cam Sloane. Hello, Cam. So we invited you on today because you had tweeted the other day about how you're kind of feeling stuck right now. And we're like, you know what? Maybe we like we can chat about it and help you get unstuck.Cam Sloan  1:17  Yeah, that was, I guess, shout out to Aaron Francis, who kind of like just was like, Hey, bring him on. And, and I was like, Yeah, let's do it. That'd be awesome. And I think that, you know, just speaking that tweet, it really seemed to resonate with a lot of other people, like other founders who are trying to do this. And because I had an outpouring of, you know, comments and support, and DMS, from people I don't know, and people that I do know and invite stuff like this show and stuff to just like, it's amazing, the community that has reached out to kind of say, like, well, all sorts of things I'm sure we'll get into today. So it's been really nice to it's always nice to have that because sometimes you're just going at this and you feel like super alone. So for context, I just feel kind of stuck in like, you know, do I keep going do I switch to something else? Or do I? You know, yeah, like, I've contemplated like just doing contract work. And you know, just make money that way, because it's a bit easier. So all sorts of stuff that is going through my head over the past few months? Because it's just slow, slow going.Colleen Schnettler  2:32  Yeah, Cam to get us started. Could you give us a little background about your product? And how long you've been working on it?Cam Sloan  2:40  Yeah, definitely. That would be helpful for listeners. So yeah, I am working on hopscotch. It's a user onboarding tool, specifically focusing on product tours, and kind of in app messaging and guides to kind of, you know, when a user signs up for your product, sometimes you want to kind of hold their hand a bit to show them what their next step should be, in order to help prevent them from churning by actually showing them to the thing that they want to do. And so yeah, I mean, product tours, to be honest, like, it's not the right fit for every every business. But sometimes, there are really good use cases, like if you have a complex product that has, like you get in like a CRM, or like an analytics tool that has like 10 options on the top menu and 10 on the side, and your users just get dumped, or, you know, Landon, this page with no idea what to do next, then a really good way to show them is to guide them, you know, and kind of say, you know, here's, here's what your next step should be, so that you can see value out of the product. So I've been working on this for, I mean, about a year since the inception of like, actually like the idea, but really kind of steadily since January of this year in 2021. And kind of focusing most of my time on it. Because outside of that I do freelancing contract work for you know, larger companies just doing web development work for them. And that kind of helps me to stay self funded to do my projects like this and, and hopefully grow my own software business.Michele Hansen  4:28  Yeah, so. So I kind of want to propose a structure for this conversation. So I've mentioned a little bit in my book, how the sort of core questions that you're trying to answer when you talk to a customer can also be used when maybe you're helping somebody think through something, which are what are they trying to do overall? Why? What are the steps in that process they're going through what if they already Tried, and where are they stuck? And so I feel like you've kind of you've started to give us a little bit of overview on the what you're trying to do. And why. I'm curious what led you to be interested in building an onboarding tool?Cam Sloan  5:23  Yeah. So the, you know, like, as I don't know, if you did this as well, when you were coming up with, you know, what business to go into you like make a list, you're trying to make a list of ideas, and like, most of them are pretty terrible. And, like, I had maybe 50 ideas. And this was kind of one of them that I didn't really think too much about until I actually I met someone who I, who wanted to hire me to build to work on their software company, and just doing web development for them. And we actually ended up, I didn't work for him, it wasn't the right fit for taking on that contract. But we ended up like really getting along well, kind of both having founder ambitions. And he was almost like, in the position that I'm at right now where he was feeling a bit stuck. And so we ended up saying, Hey, we should like try and work on something together. And, and we were thrown, like, what ideas have you been having, and, and we both checked kind of our lists. And, and this was one of them. So for him, he was actually experiencing, like, the pain point more than I had previously. So really, he was searching around for tools. And like came across intercom product tours and other app cues and realizing like, you know, he's a bootstrap founder cannot justify the price at like, $300 plus a month, and was looking for a tool that was maybe affordable that that could get them up and running. And we kind of ran with that together. In like, just real quick summary. Like he ended up going and building another business. So I kept going on hopscotch. And, yeah, like, as soon as I dove into the problem, like I really enjoyed it, both technically, because like you're you're kind of embedding your yourself into another SAS product by default, like by the definition of what these tools do. And so there's a lot of like, really interesting technical learnings that I've had to had to go through with that, like anytime you're dealing with like widget, embed scripts and other people's code, it's, it's a lot of interesting stuff on the technical side. But then also just realizing like that, there's a lot of interesting stuff in the human and business side of this as well. Like, I started soaking in resources from Samuel Kulik, and like the user less team and, you know, anywhere that I could find people who are talking about onboarding and realizing like how crucial it can be to a business's success. Because, you know, if you can reduce that initial churn in the first month or two, then then it can have a wild impact on the like, lifetime value of customers and how your product retains users. And so it just kept me interested From then on, which is why I didn't like end up going work on something else. After, after he, like my co founder went to do something else.Michele Hansen  8:23  So let's talk a little bit about where you are now. So you launched in April. Is that right?Cam Sloan  8:30  or me? Yeah. So I think so. Time is a blur? Yeah, like I because I've kind of been doing, like, I did a lot of stuff with early access of just onboarding one on one, like people who are signing up for the early access list. And at one point, I kind of let people sign up on their own, which April sounds, it might be even a bit early, it might have been just a couple months ago that I finally made it so that people could self sign up. And so, yeah, I think a lot of the customers I was speaking to back in April, and May and June, like I was kind of doing just they would express interest, find the landing page, and then we would jump on a demo call. And and some of them would, you know, try the product, others would just kind of like ghost off and and so that's kind of where, yeah, like I probably had about 40 conversations, demo calls and stuff. And you know, I'm setting with just a handful of like really just one main customer that is like paying me and has the product installed. And I've like kind of done a white glove service to help them get up and running with it. And then I have a couple like I don't know, like almost just like friends and family supporters or like people who have like paid but not activated. And so I don't like really even count towards the bottom line. They're like There's not a lot that I can gain from, from them, except they're $20 a month.Michele Hansen  10:07  So, what's your revenue out? Right now? If you're comfortable saying that,Cam Sloan  10:11  yeah, I'm at like 150 MRRMichele Hansen  10:14  and what are your expenses to keep it running?Cam Sloan  10:18  A pretty low. Yeah, like, I'm paying like 20 bucks a month for server costs and, and then it's really just a matter of like, I am trying to pay, you know, just paying my rent and stuff out of savings. And like all of that I have, like, the way that I kind of manage my cash flow there is just by doing a certain amount of freelance per year and then saying, I have to make this much. And then that kind of floats me on that side of things. And so yeah, it's it's like really quite inexpensive to keep it operating like this. But I have thought, like, I have quite a bit of cash in the business bank account from doing the contract and freelancing. There's about 100 and 120k. there that is kind of, you know, just setting as runway, but I have also considered like, should I be deploying this more effectively? Like, if I'm ready to work on this business? Like, which, I guess is a big question mark, like, do I keep going or not? But like, do I want to invest more in, I don't know, maybe trying some ads, or trying to hire someone to help with the content and things that I'm not doing. So hopefully, that gives a bit of a picture of the financials and stuff.Colleen Schnettler  11:38  Can we go back to the 40 onboarding calls you did? and talk a little bit more about that? I'm really curious. So you actually got on the phone with 40 people who organically reached out to you?Cam Sloan  11:51  Yeah, I would say, you know, somewhere in that range, because I had about 100 people on my, like, early access list. Well, this was over the course of several months. And so as they were joining, I would kind of do the playbook of like, you know, as soon as they sign up, or maybe a day or two later, sometimes depending how much like I was working on product, or if I was in learning mode at the time, I would, you know, jump onto calls with them, I did come out with like, a really early version of this product and sent it to like a handful of customers, and then you know, got feedback, like, oh, but it doesn't do this. And so I go back to product mode and, and rebuild and say like, here we go. But then, you know, maybe there were other other issues that it wasn't solving, like a huge part of that just felt like, maybe it wasn't a huge pain point. Because I actually went back to a lot of these, like, people and I plan to go back and even speak to, like, send some more follow up emails, because just this week, I sent about five or six of them. So yeah, where I guess I'm, I've been speaking with, you know, quite a few customers that would be requesting these features. And then I would, you know, go off take maybe a week or whatever it took to go and build the smallest version of that come back. And, and sometimes that was not really enough for they would just kind of ghost at that point. And, and just, you know, it. I know, it felt like the right thing to be it felt like the right approach and like learn from the people who are going to be our customers and you know, go build what they asked for. But then, but then didn't really see results from it, I do think still like most of what they requested and was like super reasonable and like did improve the product to where it is. Today, like where I think that people signing up today like have a much more useful product because it can do you know, an example of that would be like segmenting your product tours to only show certain ones to certain demographics of users. Like if you have a new user that is, I don't know, an agency versus a small business owner, they may have more, they might have a better understanding of tooling in general. And so they you would just show a different thing. So you want to do segmenting within the app. And so that was something that I really do feel helped with making the product better, but then yeah, it still didn't like end up driving those conversions in the way that I was hoping for.Michele Hansen  14:29  Yeah. Did any of those people you talked like you said those were onboarding calls so had those people paid for the product?Cam Sloan  14:37  And maybe I just like misspoke. It was more like demo calls I guess of like, you know, just people who had signed up for they would sign up for fill out the Early Access form. Tell me about like their use case. And then I would go and speak with them but you know, to be also just like, I don't know, just Be critical on that point. It's like a lot of these people who are signing up probably, were just following my journey of me building in public on Twitter and like, may not be like the ideal customer profile, either I have found that like, initially I thought hopscotch might be a great use are a great fit for, like, really small companies like originally was targeting like other solo founders, indie hacker types that, like, you know, to get them a tool that they could afford that they could use for doing onboarding, but really, like, you're not feeling the pains yet of having to manually onboard like hundreds of customers at that scale. And so where I'm now more leaning towards is like trying to target more companies that are kind of in the I don't know, maybe like two to three employee to 10 Plus, like 1015 employees, so they still, like feel the pains of like, apt uses too expensive, but they actually have like employees and revenue, and are probably feeling some of the customer, some of the pains of trying to manually onboard so many users. So I think it has, like, these conversations have been helpful to like, guide me slowly to where I need to be. It's, it's just slow moving still. And like, now I don't see as many people filling that pipeline by default, because I'm not really tweeting a lot. And so it's like, Okay, I got to go and like, chase my, you know, hunt my food, for lack of a better term, and like, go and, you know, either do some, you know, founder sales, like going and prospecting and doing cold outreach, or, you know, trying to work the SEO game. And, and this is kind of like, where I fall and get a little bit stuck of like, not knowing the next best steps, because they're, like, so many ways that I could go with this. And none of them show like immediate returns. And so and so I kind of get a little bit deflated, even, like, if you spend a week writing out two or three articles, or, you know, Docs or blog post type things, or like you go and fill out a bunch of Korra answers. And then there's not necessarily going to be immediate returns, these things kind of prove themselves over like 612 months. And and that can just be hard compared to I don't know, I'm sure you both can really have like, you know, going in coding a feature. And then you see that returns, like it works right there. So yeah, it's just, I feel like that's been the tricky part of where I'm at now.Michele Hansen  17:32  Yeah, it can be really hard when you're at the point of making content investments, and you know, that it's gonna take months or years to pay off. But, like, investing in general, like, my head waiting for that payoff, and being patient is so hard.Cam Sloan  17:54  Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think that's what, like, I noticed yesterday with so many founders resonating on the same points, and some of them getting through to the other side was really inspirational like to read about and hear that, like, yeah, they just, you know, keep, there's like an element of keep plugging away. But there's also like, you can keep plugging away doing the wrong thing, forever. And, and I am like, really trying to like, since day one, I've tried to avoid like sinking many years into a startup that's not going to ever see traction. And I've always been like, at a certain point, I just want to have like a cut off trigger, like wearing like a kill switch, where I'm like, if I'm not making this much MRR that or you know, have this much act like engagement in the product, then like, I should maybe switch to something that is a bit easier to get people activated. I'm still not convinced that that's not true. Like, there's been a lot of encouragement to just keep going. But I do think that this is a bit of a slow moving industry, it may be a bit more of a vitamin versus painkiller type of thing in for some people, or at least that's the way they see it. Because when I reach back out to some of those leads, and asked, you know, how did you end up solving this problem? Like, which competitor? Did you end up going with? They like, so far the answers have been nothing like we are still like just thinking about this problem. And we'd be happy to you know, some of them are like, Yeah, let's do another demo call or let's do another, you know, something like let's talk about it again and reopen the conversation. And that's since April, however many months that is like five months or something like going by without actually moving on the problem. And so that could be just the again, the customer like that type of customer or it could just be the way that people buy in the space. It's a bit of You know, kind of, it's one of those things that's like sitting in the background, we should improve user onboarding, but then a lot of people don't because like, but they don't really realize that there's like this whole element of churn and like, and like, the bottom line is so closely tied to user onboarding, and improving that experience, that there's a disconnect there. So.Michele Hansen  20:25  So let's talk for a second about what is working. I'm really curious about this customer that you have at $99 a month, you said, and I have a couple of questions about them. First of all, is this somebody who knew you from Twitter? Or is this as our friend, Mike buckbee calls and I believe I quoted him on this last week. And Mike, you're getting quoted again this week? stranger money. So good.Cam Sloan  20:54  I think it's like I it stranger money, like I know this person. Yeah. Okay. And I don't remember exactly how they like came into the waiting list, but they did like, stumble on there. But they were really looking for like, yeah, some managed service, kind of white glove service there. So I've been helping a lot to do the implementation and planning there, as well, which is important to know, it's like, not just by my SAS, like, pay me 99 a month, it's like quite a bit of hands on work for for it as well.Colleen Schnettler  21:27  Oh, that's interesting. IMichele Hansen  21:27  noticed. Yeah. And I noticed in the end, all the people kind of chiming in on the thread and offering support and advice and whatnot, that I'm Jesse from bento jumped in. And he made the suggestion, I'm just gonna read it, throw a managed account offering 899 and see how many deals you can close with that I have a feeling many people would rather you do everything for them versus do DIY, at 49 to 99. It was a huge unlock when we were stagnant at bento, so much learning. And I was curious about your thoughts on that?Cam Sloan  22:04  Yeah, I mean, I can see a lot of value in that approach, because you're learning about the problem by actually implementing but you know, trying to solve it for them as almost like putting yourself in the consultants, shoes, I guess, part of like, part of even why I've been, I don't know, like, it's kind of been draining to do that a bit from this other for this customer. But again, I'm only charging 99 a month. And so there's not like the return on on all those hours invested. But it has proven to give me some better learning and understanding of like, how people want to think through this problem, and how to solve it for them. Yeah, and I do think like, yeah, if I'm gonna be justifying outbound sales, if that's like long term approach to this business, then you need to put a higher price point on it, which like kind of goes and partially removes, like, why I started this business in the first place, which is like to make a lower cost solution that like, you know, can be more affordable for people to get into. So yeah, it's been a bit. Like, I like the idea. And then I just don't know that I want to run that kind of business long term of like having to basically do a productized service.Colleen Schnettler  23:29  So what I'm trying to understand with this one client that you have is the time you're spending with them. Is that making it more hands off in the future? Like, are you working on integration pieces that makes them like kind of will streamline it for your future clients?Cam Sloan  23:46  Yeah, like, for us, a lot of this has been for learnings like I kind of agreed to take it on, so that I could, you know, write some better documentation out of it, like, realize what questions they have been having in the process and what we need to do to implement. So it will both be like product improvements that come out of it, you know, like just yeah, tweaks to the product, when I'm implementing for them. But also, oh, what questions Am I asking the client? And and then turning those into like help Docs or articles that maybe can help other people get up and running? Like, what do I need? What information do I need about my customer to like, make a product tour that is going to be effective? Or what do I need to know about my product and the like, audience that I'm serving to, to know if I need to implement a product or not. So I'm taking kind of those notes along the way, using it as a learning opportunity. Hence, not really like charging a premium. I was kind of just like, well, I get to learn a lot from this experience as well. But the I did say like after this initial implementation, I'm handing this back off to you and your team will have to run with it. So it's yeah I'm not like signing on for a forever job at 99 a month. And I Deeley not doing that for each customer. Yeah.Colleen Schnettler  25:08  So does this customer fit into your theory that you need to go after slightly bigger companies? Two to three, what do you say three to 10? employees with pretty significant revenue?Cam Sloan  25:19  Yeah, I would say they operate mostly like with, yeah, contractors and freelancers helping them out, but they are Yeah, kind of in that range of company size. Definitely not the, you know, initial indie hacker audience, which I think Yeah, like, is an easy thing to learn, like we like, like, indie hackers don't have a ton of capital to be throwing at tools, and they would rather go build things themselves or spend like, a week like, making their own solutions. And, and it doesn't, yeah, it's just I think not having the access to the capital is like, is a big challenge there. So yeah, I've definitely learned to like, a bit about Yeah, maybe I should follow this. larger company size, at least, that's kind of where I'm at. Like, I don't know, if I want to, I don't know if maybe that ideal customer is actually a bit bigger than even what I said, maybe it's, you know, 20 plus employees. I've definitely had some companies reach out that were like 500 employees, but they tend to have much larger expectations, like, want to do NPS scores, they want to do surveys through these tools, they want to have the tours, they want to do checklist, like there's a lot of product gap, like there's a lot of big gap in what the product offers now that they kind of want a whole suite, because they're kind of nearing on like, enterprise, or like really like the larger business. So I'm trying to, like fit into this kind of smaller area where people might not have like such high expectations or like needs out of a product. And really, they're just trying to focus on this one part, which is like activation. And they can use another tool if they need to do like, survey and feedback type of stuff.Michele Hansen  27:09  Like our sponsor this month reform, for example. Love it. There we go, Peter, um, I'm interested. So you mentioned you know, you have other customers who are mostly sort of friends and family and like, indie hacker money, and as you've kind of alluded to, basically this sort of irony of, you know, indie hacker world is basically that usually, we're like, we're not very good customers for each other, for the most part. But a very good peer group community. But I'm curious, this 99 a month customer, you did 30 demo calls, you probably learned a lot about what people were trying to solve within onboarding, like what their products were like, and, you know, these things about company size, and the sort of sort of corporate demographic questions basically, but also the activity they're trying to solve and, and how complicated their products are, and and what the, you know, basically, what the cost is to them of having a poorly on boarded user. And so I'm kind of curious, like, Do you notice any differences in the kind of product or those sort of goals or whatnot, that your $99 a month customer is trying to do? That those other customers are not, that might be a clue for you on the sort of customer that you should focus on from a sort of activity based perspective?Cam Sloan  28:55  Yeah, absolutely. I think, you know, yeah, the biggest learning I've had there is, you know, when you go into their product, there are multiple use cases for it, you may sign up for one thing or another, like you're not necessarily doing. It's not like hopscotch where you come in, and the single thing that you would like, use this product towards, but you come in, and there's a suite of products. And so when you have like this complex product that has multiple offerings, then you may want to guide the user to the next step. A good example of this would be like wave accounting software, but they also do so they have like, receipt tracking, they have employee like compensation, and they have invoices and all these things. And maybe you sign up and you only want one of those things like you may not need to know about every single part of that product and you may feel a bit overwhelmed when you come into a dashboard that has like 10 different options. Like completely different use cases. And that's where I'm finding that there's some, some good opportunity there to help, like with a product tour. And so for example, like this customer that I've on boarded, part of what we did is hooking to their onboarding survey to say, like, What are you trying to do with this product, which I think is really helpful for them segmenting what you're going to show them in a tour. And so, you know, if there so it's like an SEO platform, I won't get into too much more, I don't want to like, you know, just yeah,Michele Hansen  30:37  that's fine. Yeah. But it's a it's a, it's a product that has basically multiple, different products within it that somebody has purchased. And maybe they know they need one of those but and they don't know what these other things are, that they're either they are paying for or the company would like them to start paying for. And so the value that you're providing to them in this in this case, is basically helping to introduce the customer to these other products and reduce, reduce sort of overwhelm that the customer might be feeling about coming into a complicated product. And the other the friends and family product, like those ones, were they more like single products without multiple products within them.Cam Sloan  31:26  Yeah, yeah, more like single products, and actually just a quite a slight tweak on on the other one, because like, what users will actually do is come into this product, they'll sign up, and then they are, they may know what they want to do. But because there are so many options, they don't know what the next step would be to get to it. So instead of showing them the other options that they don't need, I'm actually guiding them more towards the one that they signed up and expressed interest for. So if they say like I need, you know, I'm interested in link building, whereas this other person might be interested in local SEO, then you want to guide them to that next part of the product that's going to be relevant to that so that they can take the next steps and see value out of the product there. And then going to your other point of introducing them to the other parts, like that is a great thing to do, like over time as people use like one part of the product, and then they come back to it, you can kind of use progressive disclosure to show things over time, Hey, did you know about this feature, hey, this, like, you know, and kind of like when you have software like figma, that maybe gives you a tip every week or something? And it's just like, Oh, I didn't know I could do that. But like, it kind of does some feature discovery is what it's called. And you can help users discover new features or features that they are not actively using. So So yeah, those are a couple use cases that that customers is using. SoColleen Schnettler  32:52  ultimately, your product is about user retention, that's the value you're providing to your customer.Cam Sloan  32:59  Yeah, I would say, kind of on the activation side, as well, where you're really trying to get them from, like, there's there's a couple elements, you know, but the very first, like the core part of the star is getting them activated and getting them to take that next step once they come into your product that's going to help them to get to the outcome that they want and what and so asking yourself, what is the like, what is the thing that your customer is coming in here to do, and then making sure that you can guide them right to that next step is like, is crucial. And so that that is more in like the activation world, and then retention, it can play a role in as well. But because if you don't activate them, they're not going to stick around as well. But yeah, there are also some other things that you could do like email drip campaigns. And like, yeah, like kind of knowledge draw, like kind of an email campaign that educates your users on how to do what they want to do. Like it makes us really well with that to kind of retain them. Yeah.Colleen Schnettler  34:06  Right. So ultimately, though, when you say activation they've presumably like if I'm a user, I've already signed up for someone service because I wanted so when you sell it to the person I'm you know, assigned up with, you're selling it as we will reduce your churn, because they need to activate because if they don't activate, they're going to churn because they're not going to see value. Okay.Cam Sloan  34:27  Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it's definitely like tied into that, I guess. You know, there are just some tools like I forget as it turnkey, is like one that is like specifically focused on like, the customers who are maybe about to churn out and then keeping them around or giving them offers. So this is like primarily, I guess there because there's a spectrum of like, you know, from activation to like retention that you may find custom like that you want to focus on within that whole experience, but yeah, but Like, it all kind of adds up, it all plays really like, together in, in giving a good experience to users that's gonna keep them around. And yeah, you're right like to really what I want to do is like help help my customers to show the value of the product to keep their customers around and get them, you know, activated and using it, versus maybe getting dropped into a product that is just so overwhelming, like Michelle said earlier where they don't know what the next steps should be. Yeah, I feel like that's, that's pretty much it.Michele Hansen  35:39  So I used to work on a couple of products that had that we actually used hopscotch style tours for. And basically, the reason why we use to hopscotch it was I think we use a survey that then directed them into the proper hopscotch sequence was because the products were incredibly complicated. And we had limited ability to make those products less complicated. So it was a very painful problem for me as a product manager, who was tasked with driving retention metrics, but could not solve the foundational problems. And so we use hopscotch as a way to try to like, basically overcome the fact that the product is complicated. And kind of thinking about that, and thinking about what Colleen just said, of like, you know, what is the pain that you are solving for people, I just pulled up your website, and nudge your users to the aha moment. I like it, it's positive. But if you show that to me, when I was a product manager, you know, five or six years ago, that would not have been the problem I would have expressed to you. Right, like, reduce your churn, like, you know, your product is complicated. Your users don't have to be overwhelmed, like get them through it virt more trial, that type of thing, convert more trials, like what is that goal that someone is trying to drive that relates to what you're solving, or that's reducing churn, increasing activation, like, you know, stop losing users, because they're confused. Like, that's the problem. you're solving that people have value in their products, but because for whatever reason, whether those reasons are in their control or not, the products are complicated. And their users are, you know, their users thought there was value in it, but then they get to it, and they can't get the value back. And so like there's this mismatch, and speak to the pain, I'm not like, I'm not seeing I'm not seeing pain on your landing page.Cam Sloan  38:04  Yeah, I think in that the h1 doesn't fully address it. It's something that Yeah, like, the thread yesterday, and everyone reaching out after like, definitely gave me so many ideas of like, where to go, and what to focus on improving for hopscotch. Like, there's a lot. There's a lot, it's not like, I'm coming here, and like, I'm all out of ideas now. Like, there's nothing more that can be done. Like, there's so much more that could be done to improve the state. And so it's been like, what do I choose from that? But that's a pretty like, yeah, a no brainer, is like the positioning of it, and kind of better. Focusing on the outcomes. I think you're like, absolutely, right there. I have, like, let's see, I, because there were, I don't know, 20 people that sent me, like, it was so great yesterday, like 20 people sent me DMS, and like, had like, great conversations with some other founders. And then and then I had some other people that kind of just commented and offered their suggestions as well. And I've been trying to just, like, go through that and, like make a list of like points of like, what I could explore and take away from that, like so that it's not all just like me airing my grievances and Twitter, which actually like go and take something away from from it. And, you know, there there was, I guess some of the pieces in there include, like, what you just said is like really like, you know, you should be focusing on the outcomes more like and someone suggested like, you know, increased child conversions, improved feature adoption. And so there's more that I could do to like really? Yeah, like reduce churn to make that clear. I think there's a positioning element and and just like communication element that could be improved upon. There's also just like, number of people aren't are not coming through like there's not enough people that are Coming through my site and through the signup flow to even make, like, great. I don't know, decisions based on like data driven decisions, you know, it's if I, if we're picking it into this, like one or two customers kind of thing, it's like you need more people trying this, you need more people activating. And so finding ways that I can do that through, you know, people have given some great recommendations of like, how I can go ahead and like build like a sales campaign, or use AdWords and SEO tactics to kind of like, grow this, I guess a lot of it ends up like there's a ton of things that I have taken from that. From from that thread of like, good ideas, and now it's like deciding which things that I can do. And I think it will come down to like evaluating which are the easy ones that I can like make changes to right now really quickly like this, on a playing with the communication and wording on the on the site. And then some of it will be more like long term investment. Other things might be more immediate, like running some AdWords tests, like $10 a day and just like trying out some different headlines to see what grabs people and then using the learnings from that to maybe further update, like what my content game will be, or what my you know, what my wording on the website should be like, based on what people click on those ads has, like it's been, it's been really nice to get some of that information. And then and then other people even mentioned about the pricing, maybe not being accessible. But again, I have to take that with a grain of salt. But there's, you know, people who are saying the jump from a free tier to $50 a month, and then $100 a month is too large. And so maybe there could be a price in between that, that becomes more accessible if I am trying to target like, smaller businesses as well. And then there's like the other advice, which is go and add a price deer on the other side, that is like $800 a month and you know, do manage services. So that's Yeah, there's just been almost it's been overwhelming, like, get all this new knowledge and information overnight.Michele Hansen  42:25  It totally makes sense that you're, you're you're swimming in ideas right now. And, yeah, I sort of just added one to that pile there. And I always I'm almost reminded of kind of the situation that Coleen was in after she first started doing user interviews where like, there was like, so many ideas coming at her from customers, and she was having so many ideas. And then it was like, where do I go from here?Cam Sloan  43:04  Yeah, I remember hearing like those episodes. And when you did, like the live, you know, customer call, where Michelle interviewed your customer. And and then yeah, a lot of trying to figure out what the next step should be. It does feel a lot like that. Like, there's so many paths to go down. What's the right one? And I think, you know, a big part of it has even just been like, does it make sense to keep going down pass like down these paths at all, or try some, like, again, like, try a whole new thing. And I think that's why I was like, was then maybe am scared to even go forward with some of this stuff is like, does it make sense to keep investing the time in, in what I'm building now? if, you know, is it gonna help me see returns in a year or two years time, versus switching to something else? It seems like a lot of people think that it's definitely a good idea to keep going. And, and so I'm leaning towards that, I still think I want to have like, some kill switch, like, you know, to avoid running three years without any revenue kind of thing. And I need to see some positive signals at some point. But yeah, that's kind of kind of where I'm at. But it has given me a bit more hope of like, this is a normal feeling cam like you are allowed to feel deflated, you're allowed to feel like you don't have like, you don't aren't great at sales and marketing just by default, you know, you have to work towards those and put a lot of work in and so it's okay to feel like this and it's okay to like. Like, it's not just that the product is bad or that the market isn't there. It's just this is a part of the process. So just coming to terms with that. has been really helpful over the past day and gives me a bit more. I don't know, just like, like, a bit more of my like, desire to keep going.Colleen Schnettler  45:13  Alex Hellman has a great article on this. It's about, it's about all of the developers who take his course and how when they get to the marketing course, they all freak out. Because when someone is excellent in their field, starting over is so hard. So there's a lot of things I feel like I heard you say today, and one of them, is it, I wanted to ask you, is it that you just don't want to do marketing? Because you're convinced it's going to fail? Or, I mean, what what is your thought, like, all of this? Or do you feel like you should be making more revenue now and you're frustrated? And that's where this is coming from?Cam Sloan  45:53  I think, you know, I think that it's like it's a mix of like, Yeah, well, the marketing, see fruits at the end of like, of all that investment, because because just you know, going through 4050 calls and and then only coming out with like one customer that I'm basically doing it all for them at the end, like is that the type of business that I want to be growing? Like, do I want to do a sales driven and like hands on business versus something more like, you know, seeing what Peter has done with reform of like, really, people are signing up and get going themselves, maybe you have to have like higher numbers, but like, it's more. I don't know, like, it's, it lends itself better to self signup, and self serve, where you can do a bit more product lead, you still have to do marketing, but like, the way that the business operates, is not like hiring a sales team. It's investing in content and other other parts of the business, which is more maybe the type of business so it's been that like, question mark, about the business in general? Like, is that kind of where I want to go with it? And, yeah, I mean, there are all sorts of fears in there. I think a lot of it is also just a fear of like, yeah, it like, do I know what I'm doing. And I actually, I worked in marketing for five years, believe it or not as, like, scary as like, I worked in music marketing, for concerts, it was a much different thing. And this was like, six or so years ago. And so it's a much different beast, but then SAS marketing. But yeah, like, even with that experience, it's still just scary to go out on your own. And like, I don't know, just feel you feel back at square one again. So yeah.Michele Hansen  47:39  Yeah, I mean, towards us that I think that's a totally normal feeling. And this feeling of like struggling and like, this isn't working. And then also you get some more ideas. And you're like, Okay, wait, where? Where do I go? Like, what do I do next? And, you know, I noticed, like, you posted that thread. And I'm guessing that you woke up that morning, not not feeling so great. Yeah, you're right. And I wonder how you felt waking up this morning. After getting all of that support,Cam Sloan  48:19  today has been much different, like it's been, it's always like, Man, it's so amazing to see that people are gonna be there to lift you up when you're like feeling a bit down, I think. I don't know. I've had I've, like, wrote tweets like that, and then deleted them because like, it's very personal and just like very open and you know, you're like, our potential customers gonna read this think less of me for like, running a business then not knowing what I'm doing. You know, there's all all sorts of like, fear in that. And what I'm realizing is, like, there's been a lot of appreciation for this open approach. So I, I wake up the next day with like, just feeling very grateful to have like that, knowing that maybe I need to, like, yeah, rely on community more and maybe get more involved with like, talking to other founders a bit and ideating with them, because working alone is very challenging to like, be in your own head all the time and see, you know, things moving so slowly. But yeah, at the same time, like the next day, having 100 people reach out and I'll give you like many ideas has been overwhelming at the same time. For like, what to do next. But I guess like the core of what my challenge was, or is is not so much like what to do next, because all of these ideas, I'll put them in a list and work through them one by one. That's the only way to get things done. It's like one thing at a time. But yeah, just like knowing it's more figuring out, like the conviction around like Emma is this the type of business I want to keep working Because in a couple years, the efforts hopefully will, yeah, show fruits for the labor. And then also I keep using that term, which I've never used before. Like, I don't know why everything's bearing fruits today, but but you know, like that kind of thing of just like, really? Like, will this be the business that I want to build? And I'm making sure that I'm doing that. And I think that's been a big part of the fear that I have of, of moving forward. So I don't have an answer to that yet. But I do have a lot of people who have been like really kind of offering advice. And so I think there's still some chewing on this idea to be done. Yeah.Michele Hansen  50:39  And I think that question of, is this the business I want to build? I think that's that's a question that only you can answer.Cam Sloan  50:48  Exactly. Yeah. I've i that is one thing I've noticed, like as much advice as you soak in or people give you, you know, they could all be right, like in their own ways, but then it comes down to like a deeply personal decision on like, what, like how you want to approach things. So T, B, D.Michele Hansen  51:10  I guess that's a good point for us to wrap up today. Cam. Thank you so much for your vulnerability, both here. And on Twitter. You know, I'm reminded of something I heard. Nicole Baldy new co founder of webinar ninja say on her podcast recently, Nicole and Kate can relate, which is true vulnerability is when there is personal risk involved. And I think your tweet and thread about that really shows like there was that risk involved, and you took it and and people jumped in to help. And I think that's what's so amazing about our community. But so I encourage people to follow along with cam. You are at Sloan cam on Twitter. Your product is hopscotch dot club. Thank you so much for coming on cam.Cam Sloan  52:14  Thank you both for having me. It was such a pleasure. I love the podcast. And you know, I'm always listening and tuning in and love following along your stories, because it's really it's encouraging as well to just you know, hear what you're both, you know, working on and so that always helps me feel a little less like it's just me and having, you know, some help on the way. So thanks so much.Michele Hansen  52:39  All right. Well, Colleen, talk to you next week.Colleen Schnettler  52:42  Bye.

Big Break Software Podcast
Solving His Own Agency Problem on Increasting Profitability To Agency Solutions AI SaaS with Santi Bibilioni of COR

Big Break Software Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 7, 2021 45:21


Santi Bibiloni, co-founder and CEO of COR, talks about his entrepreneurship journey, building the MVP, and navigating his 0-30,000 MRR journey. Listen, learn, and share. COR is a SaaS platform that provides effective solutions for professional service organizations. It also helps the firms determine how to run their projects, resources, and finances in a single platform. Apart from being an entrepreneur, Santi Bibiloni, the CEO, is also a mentor specializing in startups. He talks to Geordie about his journey. What you'll Learn How COR operates What is profitability? How did Santi come up with the COR idea? What strategy did Santi and his team adopt to scale his MRR? Why do entrepreneurs need a mentor How COR acquired its first customers How effective is the COR platform in terms of ROI? Challenges that affected COR's growth What are Santi and his team doing to improve COR in the future? In this Episode Many businesses today struggle to earn profits from their projects, and this is where COR comes in. Santi says COR is an end-to-end solution targeting the billable hour's industry. The platform encourages time tracking, allowing project managers to understand, and predict their profitability per client, per project, and in real-time. Santi says a big percentage of his customers have switched from other project management platforms to COR. What differentiates COR from other project management platforms? Santi explains in the podcast. Running a project comes with numerous challenges like collaboration, but Santi says the biggest of them all is spending money on the project. He supports his argument with an eye-opening illustration that you cannot afford to miss. COR is a robust platform that collaborators can use for their collaboration, project, and task management needs. It can determine where people are spending most of their time and matches every task with the suitable project and client. COR multiplies the time spent on a project with an individual's hourly rate and subtracts all expenses from the client's budget. It calculates profitability in real-time. Service providers can leverage the COR platform to renegotiate fees, forecast, and send accurate proposals. Santi gives more details about the platform and how it works in the podcast. Profitability, Santi says, is more than earning dividends. It is what entrepreneurs require to be able to compensate their employees better. Listen to the podcast to get a more extensive explanation of the term profitability. Santi talks about strategies different entrepreneurs use to increase profitability. He says every new project comes with unique demands. For example, some projects call for more employees, but some entrepreneurs choose not to hire more workers to evade extra expenses. In that case, your employees will need to work extra hours to deliver the project on time. Such a scenario not only results in burnout but also triggers a high employee turnover rate. Santi explains this concept in depth. He also mentions that their agency struggled to make profits in the beginning. What did they do to manage the problem and pay their employees better? Research is critical in any industry. Santi and his team sought to determine what big companies were doing to deal with non-profitability, and to their surprise, there was no solution. They would then embark on developing an internal minimum viable product before proceeding to Silicon Valley. It took Santi and his team nine months to develop the MVP. They would later try it for their agency first before introducing it to some of their family members and friends in Argentina. Their first consumers thought the product was ugly even though it was functional. That feedback is all Santi, and his team needed to hear. However, he agrees the product's UX and UI needed lots of improvement. COR's first customers were small and medium-sized businesses. What was their payment model in the beginning? Santi explains in the podcast. Acquiring the first customer for a new business can be challenging. Santi says they started by understanding the critical pain potential customers were facing and the specific people that were directly affected. They would later send cold emails or give them cold, and discovery calls before scheduling a demo to show how their product worked. Listen to Santi as he explains the challenges they faced while negotiating contracts. Many companies today would pay anything to manage their time well. According to Santi, time management and its impact on profitability are the key points they are currently using to approach new customers. The team plans to invest more in time estimation and time span; that is, determining where people are spending most of their time and how long a task takes. If Santi were to turn back the hands of time, he would not second guess thinking big. To aspiring entrepreneurs, he says, think big, practice resilience, and think longer term. Resources COR Santi Bibiloni LinkedIn Santi Bibiloni Website Santi Bibiloni Twitter Santi Bibiloni Instagram  

Operation Agency Freedom Podcast
How to Grow Your MRR to 6 Figures in 60 Days

Operation Agency Freedom Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Sep 2, 2021 25:23


July was one of our slowest sales months, but it wasn't a reason for us to freak out. We knew we had the money needed to cover everything so we can continue running our agency business. This sounds like a dream for most agency owners, but the reality is you can also get to this point. You can sleep soundly, too, knowing that every month revenue will come through the door. How? You ask?  This is what Chris Martinez talks about in this podcast. He shares tried and proven ways you can generate thousands of dollars through MRR. Chris also discusses why agencies have difficulty selling and fulfilling MRR and the solutions to overcome those difficulties.  If you're an agency owner struggling with selling MRR, looking to grow your MRR, or want to fulfill MRR projects better. You will benefit from tuning in to this episode.  Discussion Points: 0:00 Introduction  3:54 For agencies, selling is the easy part  5:36 Why is MRR so difficult to sell and fulfill? 6:32 You are not positioning your MRR products correctly 7:08 Sell the team of experts and outcomes clients will get  10:17 You are not pricing things appropriately 10:30 Take a look at the Cost of Goods Sold and Net Income to price appropriately 13:37 You are breaking your backs to fulfill MRR projects  13:44 Create SOPs for all of your deliverables  14:03 Key to know what MRR products to offer  16:50 Anybody should be able to do the SOP process  17:26 What is a good churn rate?  17:54 Solve your churn problem with this method - Bridge, Connect, and Deliver  Resources:  Connect with DUDE on the following social channels  Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/dudeagency)  Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/dudeagency.io/)  Visit our YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJxNhChWk1xlo3ZhkWtYnlw)  Register for live trainings on running a profitable agency (https://dudeagency.io/)  Get a hold of more podcast episodes through our website. You can also tune in and subscribe to Operation Agency Freedom on Apple Podcasts and Spotify. Thank you for tuning in! 

The Nathan Barry Show
047: Matt Ragland - How to Go Full-Time as a Content Creator

The Nathan Barry Show

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 71:59


Matt Ragland is a productivity expert and full-time content creator. He has worked for companies such as AppSumo.com, ConvertKit, and Podia. Matt graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in recreation & tourism management.Matt was one of the earliest members of the team at ConvertKit, where he was employee number five. Since leaving ConvertKit to start his own company, he now hosts a podcast, publishes a newsletter, has created several courses, and hosts his own YouTube channel.Matt prides himself on being a skilled manager and enjoys helping his clients and audience grow and develop their agencies. He is also the proud father of two boys and is a fitness enthusiast. Matt and his family live in Nashville, Tennessee.In this episode, you'll learn: Matt's biggest revenue drivers as a content creator How to know when it's time to take your side hustle full-time How to optimize your YouTube channel and content Links & Resources Podia Ryan Delk Bryan Harris James Clear Sean McCabe Sean McCabe Levi Allen Casey Neistat Tim Ferriss Jeff Goins Ali Abdaal Marques Brownlee Roberto Blake heycreator.com Matt Ragland's Links Follow Matt on Twitter Watch Matt on YouTube Matt's website Matt's newsletter Episode TranscriptMatt: [00:00:00]If you're not sure if you want to do something, try it 10 times, and really give it a good try. Write 10 newsletters. Make 10 videos on YouTube. Record 10 podcasts. I have found that going from 10 to a hundred is definitely a slog, and there are lots of mini milestones, but once you do something a hundred times, you're going to build momentum on it.And you're also going to build your own country.Nathan: [00:00:30]In this episode I talk to my long-time friend, Matt Ragland. So Matt joined ConvertKit really in the early days. He was employee number five, and he was here for the crazy ride. Then he started a YouTube channel. He led the customer experience team at another startup called Podia. He's now as a full-time independent creator earning a living on his own.We have a really fun conversation reminiscing about the early days talking about crazy rocket ship growth, and how we kept up. We get into earning a living as a creator. How he grew his YouTube channel to 60,000 subscribers. How to choose a niche, and when you should double down on that, and what's getting traction on YouTube.The last thing that we talk about is when, as a creator, you should quit your full-time job, and some of the nuances of that, so you can go full-time on your creative endeavor. So it's a longer episode today because Matt and I just can't help but tell stories.With that, let me get out of the way and dive in.Matt, thanks for joining me.Matt: [00:01:31]Oh, it's such a pleasure. I'm thrilled to be here.Nathan: [00:01:34]I want to go back to, what year would it even be?Matt: [00:01:40]2015.Nathan: [00:01:41]2015? Okay.Matt: [00:01:44]Right around this time. Maybe a couple months later, but it was like late summer.Nathan: [00:01:49]So, it's July, like yeah. And then July right now. Yeah, it would have been when we started talking, I'm thinking, what were you doing online around that time? Cause I started to come across you on Twitter.I think Brian Delk was a mutual friend.Is that right?Matt: [00:02:06]Yeah. Ryan Delk was a mutual friend. Brian Harris was a mutual friend. The way that we got actually directly connected is that I was on Brian's email list. And I saw that you were doing a webinar with him to promote ConvertKit. And I had just signed up for ConvertKit as a customer, always like a little notch in the cap that I, I feel like I have of having like the three-digit user ID.Nathan: [00:02:32]Do you remember what your user ID is?Matt: [00:02:33]I used to know.Nathan: [00:02:36]In the three digits is pretty impressive.Matt: [00:02:38]Yeah. A three digit. Yeah, definitely.Nathan: [00:02:41]Now they're well into the six digits.Matt: [00:02:43]Yeah, it's wild. And so, I was familiar with ConvertKit. Certainly at that time it was like, okay, let me watch Nathan talk about it. What are the things that he thinks are important with it? Like some email building strategies? Because what I was really doing a lot of my online work at that time is I was doing two things.I was doing some contract work with some other SaaS companies. In terms of an audience building creator standpoint, I was doing two things. One was that I was creating the sketch notes. And so like visual, visual art of like webinars, podcasts. And that's what I would use to teach people how to take better notes so they could remember more of what they're doing.And it was a way to connect with other influencers because it was an attention grabbing thing. And so that was the main thing in terms of audience building and some course creation.The other thing that I was doing that paid the bills a little bit better at that time was I was also helping people set up WordPress themes and websites.At the time I would be like, oh yeah, you know, I kind of do some web development and then like, not really knowing like what all that meant. And then as I started to work more and more with actual developers, I would set up a theme online for people. But you also look at it and see that there's still a pretty interesting intersection between like, how can you just do something relatively simple for people that either: A, they don't have time to do, or B, they just don't want to figure out because they just want to focus on their creative work.And so that's what I was doing summer 2015 at the time.Nathan: [00:04:27]Yeah. So then at the time we were, I think four people, five people on the, let me count,Matt: [00:04:37]I think it was four if I remember properly,Nathan: [00:04:39]Myself, mark, David, Dan.Four. Yeah. and we were at 15,000 a month in revenue. Let's see now I'm trying to think.Pat Flynn had just signed up in the month of July. We'd gone from 10,000 a month to 15,000 a month, 50% growth in a single month. And that's really when the slow grind turned into, like, I started turning the corner into how are we ever going to keep up, which is where you come in with the story.But, so basically in July, Pat Flynn and then Wellness Mama, and another popular blog all signed up at the same time. And so MRR jumped, you know, we had these bigger customers that were migrating and switching over, but then as it got into August, September, they all started talking about it.And then when we went from 15,000 a month to 22,000 to maybe 35, then 50, then 80, then a hundred, like it just, in six months it went completely wild.Matt: [00:05:46]Yeah. Certainly, you know, obviously remember that. And so I was, I was brought in to help with some support initially, just to help Dan out with some support and use, you were certainly doing a ton of that at the time. And I also, roofer, I think it was the first ended up being for the first two years I was at ConvertKit.I worked on migrations for the most part. So those, you know, bigger people that were coming in, I was helping them get set up. And the other thing that I did, so I kind of had like three phases. I would do like the migrations and then I would help out out support as much as I could. And then I would also do, because not just like migrations at that point were, you know, for the, for the larger customers that we still had, like so many people signing up every single day.And so I was doing like a weekly or every other week at the most like here's how to get started workshop and just like doing that. Really like, here's how you set up your account. Make sure you do this. Here's the form. How's how you get the form on your site. If you don't want to get the form on your side, you can actually still like, you know, we had a few landing pages at the time, nothing like, you know, the lovely, lovely template library that exists now,Nathan: [00:06:56]I think by a few, you literally mean for,Matt: [00:06:59]I really, yeah. Not just like a few dozen, like literally three or four. Yeah.Nathan: [00:07:05]So when you came on, right. Cause we brought you on part-time I remember being totally overwhelmed. you and I were talking later, about like starting part-time and then gradually increasing hours. I wonder if you would share like what that was like for you, because I think there was some confusion as to like why we were ramping up your hours gradually or other things likeMatt: [00:07:27]Yeah, I think, you know, I think I understood it initially. And is there was kind of like this, there was another, SAS company that I was contracting with at the time, and I was just more excited about convert kid. And so I don't know if it was confusion as much as like, I just wanted to like go all in on what convert kid was doing.And so like maybe not confusion, but just like, I was really chomping at the bit to just like, totally focus on it and not just like step away and be like, okay, I guess, you know, kind of hit my hourly. There's still things to do, obviously. But it became pretty clear after like, I think just three or four weeks that was like, okay.Yeah. It's it's time.Nathan: [00:08:09]Yeah. And we were increasing your hours directly in proportion to the MRR at the company.Like we wanted more time from Matt, but, like needed more MRR. And the nice thing, was that MRR was coming in like week over week in a meaningful way. Whereas the previous years it had been a slow journey.Matt: [00:08:31]I know you've talked about this, you know, certainly a lot since, and ConvertKits rolled out the free plan over the last 18 months, but, you know, it was a pretty controversial thing, like in terms of building a SAS company and one that was bootstrapped that I, you know, I felt that it was, there was always a paid plan.Like there is a bit of a free-trial, but it was always paid. And so like,Nathan: [00:08:53]I think Ben, it was actually just paid from day one.Matt: [00:08:55]Yeah, you're right. we didn't even do the free trial. And so, like, you just knew that like, you know, certainly people would kind of turn out after 30 days if they didn't like it, blah, blah, blah. But we knew that there was money coming in more reliably because when people sign up or like, okay, you know, we can kind of project that. Even people that tranquility quickly, like we're still gonna have like this expected amount of LTV for the person.And we can, you know, at least forecast a little bit better that way. And so, like I thought that was, again, again, in retrospect, like really nice and probably really helpful, even if you're like, you know, and again, at the time we, you know, being bootstrapped, like you still are, that there's a, like you almost, I don't know.I wonder how you would think about this. Like, there's almost like this veil of like, how much can we handle given the people that we have and like, where is that? I remember like, feeling like we were riding that line for, you know, not just months but years.Nathan: [00:09:54]Right. No, I, I think certainly, yeah, at least a year and a half of, just things moving so quickly and like at the times, so you joined in, I don't, I don't even know like an exact date, but call it that like August, July, August timeframe, something like, that.Matt: [00:10:17]Yeah, September, I think it was like September, October around that. I always, we were talking about this pre-show but I always remember that it was right around, this is my bin. This is my like timestamp that whenever pat released his I'm switching to ConvertKit. So you can go look at the timestamp on that post.It was right around that time. So whatever that is, it was like, that's when I started like, yeah. Yeah. Obviously things started taking off a lot of that.Nathan: [00:10:43]Yeah. That post was amazing. And the, and the title even, was it like a masterclass in positioning and all of that? Cause it was titled why switched from a Webber to infusion soft to convert it?Which the reason like you're like, okay, that's a long story in a title. but the reason that was so important is because everyone at the time, like a Weber and MailChimp were the most common, but in like the blogger space, people who've been around for awhile, a wherever was even like like just as common as, as MailChimp.Matt: [00:11:17]Oh Yeah, Yeah, definitely.Nathan: [00:11:19]Then when you graduated from one of those tools, you went to Infusionsoft, everybody did.And so if Pat had written the article of why I switched from a Webber to ConvertKit, people would be like, oh, but You never tried Infusionsoft.Like, and so there's a third act to this where you go like convert it, you know, you've outgrown ConvertKit and now you'll go to, if you just offer something.And so by having that in there, it was, you know, it just told the whole story and peopleMatt: [00:11:43]Right.Nathan: [00:11:44]Was like, wait, whatMatt: [00:11:45]You already tried Infusionsoft. That's what all the big names use pat, you're a big name. What are you doing?Nathan: [00:11:53]When I remember him being on mere cat Periscope, one of the two, like in live streams, like late at night, because pat likes to work at 10 or 11 at night And people would be like, wait, what email service are you using? Cause he'd like drop hints or, you know, something like that. And then there'd be like 50 or a hundred people commenting. like what are you using? I'm thinking about, switching to it or whatever. So it was a remarkable time.Matt: [00:12:16]It was his, Yeah,And I mean, who knows what the future holds, but like, that was definitely like the most like fast paced, interesting like seat of the pants, you know, like ride that I've been on.Nathan: [00:12:32]Yeah, we'll give a talk about rocket ship.It was that.So let's see. Maybe if we fast forward a little bit, actually maybe talking about that moment, right? Cause we went from, when you joined, we didn't even have, like an LLC. We didn't have payroll. We didn't have anything because that is cause Ashley joined in November. And the first thing that she did was set up like, a companyMatt: [00:12:57]You were paying me through PayPal.Nathan: [00:12:59]That's right. Yeah. And so then she went through and set up like the company and taxes and payroll and health benefits.Matt: [00:13:07]Yeah.Nathan: [00:13:08]What were some other things from the early days? Like, I dunno, favorite memories or, stories of, of, that.Matt: [00:13:13]There was, I've been wracking my brain trying to remember it, but there's something that now I, you know, I really wish that I had found it if I do, but there's something that happened like around. I want to say, like January of that year, there was something with an account That we just all found like unnecessarily hilarious.And it was like some kind of ponder play on words that I, I, again, it's a terrible story because I can't, this is a terrible story right now because I can't remember it, but there's something in my heart and in my subconscious that I just hold so dearly, but not like closely enough, apparently there is, there are just so many moments like that and, you know, having that first, well, I kind of cheated a little bit because a bunch of us went to WDS in summer 2016 and that was the first time we all got to hang out together.And that was like really awesome and special. And then like two or three months after that was when we had our first retreat and those retreats, you know, still like, I saw, you know, Haley Jane a sec, yesterday here in Nashville. And we were talking about like the Oceanside retreats and just being able.And I always like thought. ConvertKit was like at the forefront of a lot of things, but like really making the retreats meaningful and special. And, also doing them twice a year. The thought was, you know, still think is really cool. Obviously we're in an odd time for that right now. But to be able to like see the people and like work with them in person, those are all like some of my, some of my best memories from working at the company, like even outside of like the actual rocket ship of like growth that we all went on and just having those, having, I still, like one of the coolest things, like for me is still like having connections and strong relationships with people at the company.Even now that I haven't like worked there. Gosh, I guess a little over two years now, like to be on your podcast, to like, have Haley text me and say like, Hey, I'm in Nashville, let's meet up. Like those, like, it's, it sounds like kind of trite to say, but it's like, it's the people, it's the zoom calls. It's the stand-ups that were fun.And the other thing that like, all kind of ended on is something that I've always kind of taken away that I think is so fun is I remember like our Monday stand-ups or Monday meetings and just how out of control the zoom chat would get, like, it would completely derail meetings. you know, it probably still does, you know, you set a high, a high standard, but like, I've now been like, I've been at podium in it.Like I've been on like other, like companies, zoom calls and, or just like, you know, groups that I'm a part of and all like trying to get the chat start and people are like, what are you doing?Like you're ruining The meeting. I'm like,Nathan: [00:16:10]Yeah. The peopleMatt: [00:16:11]Nope. Yeah. I guess I am ruining the meeting. If you all, aren't going to play along and like, you know, talk trash inside of the chat.I guess I'm ruining the meeting, but those, I still like, obviously think about it and just can't help, but like laugh about it.Nathan: [00:16:28]There was a meeting.I'm trying to think who it was. We had Derek on the marketing team. I don't know if that's been three years or more ago, had brought in some like growth expert. It might've even been like Sean Ellis or someone who like really knows even just like pinnacle of growth marketing. And he's like talking to the group and I'm there and it's just like, it's, it's our crew, you know?And so I'm dropping like jokes and random things in the zoom chat.And of course he didn't see it in real time, you know? Cause he's like presenting and, he's like, just so confused because normal companies don't do that. So it's like, the most converted thing that no one on the outside would knowMatt: [00:17:16]Yeah.Nathan: [00:17:17]Troll our zoom chats constantly.And it's so fun.Matt: [00:17:20]Yeah, it was definitely Sean, because we had just signed up for the growth hacker software and we're using it to run our growth tests. And when you sign up for an annual plan, we had done like some little extra special thing and, or like, you can have an hour with Sean. We're like, yes.Like if you want, we're like, yes, we'll put it, you know, put it on our tab. We'll grab an hour with Sean. And I do remember that. He was like, oh, it looks like there's a question. Oh, there's not a question in the chat. What is going on? Do you, do you want to say something? We're all like, Nope, sorry, wait, nevermind. We'll do it anymore. I just, you know, of course couldn't help ourselves. Then he was like, oh, you're doing that in the chat again. Like, Okay.Yep.Right.Nathan: [00:17:59]Yeah. That's just, That's just, how we are. there was another time that I'm curious for your take on. So, cause we, like, if we fast forward a little bit, we were, you know, trying to keep up with the crazy growth. so w like go to January and we're like a hundred K MRR. I mean, at this point we've expanded the team quite a bit.Right. Nicole, Ashley,Matt: [00:18:25]Yeah. Darryl Blake, Danny.Nathan: [00:18:28]Danny and, and others were, were a bitMatt: [00:18:30]I get, yeah, thoseNathan: [00:18:31]But like Brad Knoll, you know, more on the engineering side, just across the board. So the team's gone from like, you know, four to 11, like really quickly, and just, we're trying to keep up, like, keep the servers on, keep the support ticket it's going and all of that.But we made this move to try to get profit. from, I think it was probably February until like that February til July, I think. And we went from 3% profit margins to 50% profit margins, all through growth. like, we didn't cut expenses.Be growing 15 to 25% a month, you know, but I'm curious what that was like from your side of what, you know, like, when I came in and said like Hey, we're gonna, we're going to do this and we're gonna try to pull it off.Is it like, oh, this is going to be a death March? Or is this like, oh, we're all in it together. like we'll see how it goes.Matt: [00:19:24]I think, that at that point, and I felt like me, especially, but at that point, like we were all like that kind of classic start-up line of like, we were all like young and dumb enough to think that we could pull it off. And because like I had had a front row seat of going from like 500 to 3000 users in a few months and like all that, all of that growth, cause especially like initially for me and part of this actually.A bigger interest in like understanding more of the financials behind like startups. And because like, when you first said that, I was like, okay, well, I don't really know how we're going to, how that all works, but that's not my job, you know, that's Ashley's job. And I trust her and, you know, Nathan will figure it out too.So, but cause I tended for a long time to think of our growth. It's funny, you know, you obviously keep mentioning the revenue growth. Like I would just think of it as like month over month user growth as well. Cause like I just saw them like in the chat forever. And so I remember like just that all of us had either op he said, we wouldn't, you went from four to 11 or 12 really quickly.And so all of us were like so fresh and Fired Up that we're like, great. I mean, look what just happened in the last three months. Of course, you know, we can do this in the next, in the next six. So. I remember being like, fired up about it because like, it was that kind of classic. I didn't know any better at theNathan: [00:20:55]Right. Yeah. If we were all, we were also, you know, I was looking back at like salaries from those days and like the 40, 50, $60,000 a year salary is that like, we can not like no one would take that today. but then it was just like, we're all doing this thing. And you know, it's pretty amazing to seesomeone who was like, started at Ken Birkin on to $40,000 a year salary, like five, five years ago is now making like one 20 plus a bunch of profit sharing or other things it's like, okay, there we go.Like the bet that they made did actually payMatt: [00:21:30]Yeah, absolutely.Nathan: [00:21:35]It was tough going for awhile.Matt: [00:21:36]Yeah, And it's been a really cool thing, like even, and this comes like from the transparency, like I've consulted with some other. Companies over the last six months and I've used ConvertKit as a, reference point so many times because of the transparency, I was like, well, I mean, you can go look at what, you know, they're like, what do you think the like, numbers are for somebody?This is like, I don't have to wonder you just go look at what, you know, ConvertKit's numbers.I can tell you that it's this, this, this, like, how do you know that it's like, just go to convert, get.parametric.com. So it's all right there. You can find your numbers. It's all right.And so, like, I, you know, remember thinking that like, again, like this is where, like my dormant, like love of again, statistics and financials and all of that.Can I came, came back to life for, for me. And it was just a, it was just amazing to see like that first. And it wasn't, it was more than just the first year also. Like it just kind of kept going and again, it's just a really, it's a really unique experience. Yeah. I'll obviously never forget.Nathan: [00:22:44]Yeah. Well, you mentioned retreats earlier, and I have a favorite moment at a retreat. I think it was, probably would have been our third retreat cause we were up in, up in McCall, outside of Boise.And it was you starting like making a first YouTube video with Charlie or did you do thatMatt: [00:23:03]That was an ocean side, actually. That was an ocean side.Nathan: [00:23:05]What was it that you were doing in McCall? When were you entirely just talking about YouTube?Matt: [00:23:10]Yeah, we were doing a collab at that point as the YouTubers say. Yeah, just talking about like productivity and planning. How she plans her day, how I plan mine. Cause she's, you know, Charlie, just as a quick aside, like just an amazing person, greater friend, like she helped me so much. They get my YouTube channel started. Like I, again, she's wonderful. But to like sit down the day that we're supposed to, this is an ocean side we're supposed to like leave and two hours, everybody's like trying to pack. I don't know how ready she was to leave. Maybe she was already, but she was like, Hey, you know, Matt let's do a video for your YouTube channel.I was like the one that I haven't started yet. And she's like, yes, we're doing a video. And it was just, you know, it was six, seven minutes. And for her to sit down, I think she was around like 70 K subscribers at that time to like, kind of, I was like, I had known Charlie for a while at that time. And we were pretty close, but I was like still nervous.And then like Mark's walking through the back of the frame. Picking stuff up gathering like, you know, paraphernalia it's I don't know if that's the right word to use. Just stuff was a terrible word, terrible word, choice thing. Trash we're good people we're picking up. Yeah. After ourselves. And so it was just like this really funny moment.And I try not to talk too much about YouTube cause I know we're going to get into it. But like that video still only has like maybe 500 views is people think that when your YouTube channel gets big, like all of your videos take off. And the majority of my first 50 videos are still like, well, under a thousand views. And it's it is this like kind of it's like compounding interest. It's like, you know, compounding, like, you know, user growth that it just kinda builds on top of itself. It creates this like self, you know, like when people come to your channel, even if it hasn't taken off yet and people see. Okay. This person is serious.He has 30 videos. It's not like he threw a couple up there, like people know that you're in it. And so I can tell you what I thought you were going to say.I think it was the second McCall retreat. And so we go up to this lodge and it's right by, you know, beautiful lake in, even in August, quite chilly and so swimming around.And, our coworker, Nicole has these like prescription sunglasses, fancy, expensive, nice. Just like Nicole. And they fell off in the lake, not super deep, but like, we swam around trying to find these things for like 20 minutes at the end of the day, we're like, okay, we got to go back.It's dinner time. It's getting. And so the next morning I'll say like, I like cold water, which is a whole nother like conversation, but I like cold water. I also like particularly cold mountain water in the morning, like so brisk, so nice. And so I was like, okay, well, am I do this anyway, I'm going to find those damn glasses. And so over there I swim around because my other theory was like, okay, we kicked up a lot of like gunk at the bottom.It's going to settle. No, one's out there yet. I'm going to find them.And INathan: [00:26:26]The other thing is you had this this time,Matt: [00:26:28]I did have goggles thisNathan: [00:26:29]Because I remember I was like first thing in the morning or, or maybe it was at night. I can't remember, but like,Matt: [00:26:37]In the morning.Definitely.Nathan: [00:26:38]Like all of this, stuff on the table randomly, can you come in And you're like, and see a pair of goggles sitting there. You're like did we have these Ulta?And was like, know,Matt: [00:26:47]We had goggles the whole time.Yeah.Nathan: [00:26:52]You find those. And then, I don't know, like minutes later, you're in the lake. Yeah.Matt: [00:26:56]Yeah.And so pull, pull those out and was a great, was a great moment. Like the, to return those.Nathan: [00:27:03]Nicole wakes up late hours later, you know? Cause you're up early swimming, like, and thenshe has her like hundreds of dollars prescription sunglasses back. That was actually the very first retreat That wasMatt: [00:27:14]For street.Yeah.Oh man. Good times.Nathan: [00:27:18]Like getting, I mean, we were 20 people at the time getting that group together for the first time was those are just special moments in a company.Matt: [00:27:27]Yeah. absolutely.Nathan: [00:27:29]Okay. So would it be the next retreat then? That was Oceanside. When you did the YouTube video with Charlie or was it a year? Four year.Matt: [00:27:36]Yeah. That would have been the next, that would have been the Oceanside retreat. That would have been probably the first ocean side retreat, because it was February, 2017 that I started my YouTube channel and DV a little background. Like I had done blogging for a little while. I had like tried some service work, like I already mentioned. I had done 30 interviews on a podcast back in like 2014 when we first moved to Nashville. And that was actually one of the ways that I met Ryan Delk because Brenda elk was on the podcast.Crazy looking back the, the two, the other person that I got on the show, I don't even know how, even then was James clear, a mutual friend, James clear was on the show and now he's like James clear in 2014. No big deal is like, he was still talking about passive Panda. That's right. Matt Ragland interview that now even Matt can't find anywhere. And so you're welcome James, if you're listening to this.And so I'd done a bunch of different things online, and I would say that while I did build my creative chops and confidence through all those things, I hadn't really stuck with one thing long enough to see. Like again, that compounding growth that comes from just being consistent and showing up. and again, mutual friend, Sean McCabe talks about showing up every day for two years. And, so what I did is I decided in February I was going to post a video every day. I was gonna do 28 videos and in February, so a little, little fun, cheating them,Nathan: [00:29:13]I liked thatMatt: [00:29:15]Yeah, that's right. That's right.Nathan: [00:29:19]10% easier.Matt: [00:29:20]That's right. And so I did that and I just, I got more used to it and I didn't take off, like, I've talked with Darryl, we've mentioned derelict at times, like Darryl and I have talked about this, but like the channel did not take off. And I ended up making after Daily is, is quite the grind.I just, you know, I couldn't keep that up, but I was doing still weekly videos through the rest of the year. Yeah. Then, it was the other thing that is just wonderful about creating a body of work is that then you have a, you know, a much clearer data set to look at, to understand the, these are the topics.These are the type of videos that took off more for me, you know, if you just make a handful of videos and you see one is a little bit better than another, that's not a good enough sample size, but at the end of the year in December, I'm looking back and I've created like 50, 60 videos at this point. And I pinpoint like, what is the most popular, like as I'm going into new year?What, how can I kind of maybe narrow down my niche a little bit more and be more focused? And I saw that my most popular video of the year is one that I had released in August where I talked about how I planned my week with the bullet journal. And I'd been using the bullet journal method for a couple of years at this point.And. So I was like, well, you know, new year's coming up, I'm going to like create this video. Here's how I'm playing my year and a bullet journal. And at the time, like, I felt good about it actually like, Levi Allen, who's great. You know, YouTube and creator, graphing commerce speaker, Casey Neistat friend.He helped me with the thumbnail. I like sent him a bunch of, and so we really dialed in the thumbnail and that video is like, I think it was at like 600 ish subscribers at the time. And I hadn't had a single video go over a thousand views as like, I hope this video is the one that goes over a thousand views and it would also be cool if eventually it helped me get to a thousand subscribers because you got to remember, I've been doing this 11 months and had 600 subscribers.So I'm like, you know, maybe in like another six months I can get there and I released the video and it started to take off. Like, especially for me, but then I was really like, oh, this is like taking off for like any kind of YouTube video.It has a thousand views in the first day.And then you're definitely within the first two days. And then I had a thousand subscribers by the end of the first week, I was like, oh, okay. Interesting. But again, I was able to see that like big picture data to like pinpoint that particular type of video too. And again, it was a good time time of the year, literally to be talking about productivity and planning.I've seen that like over and over again in the year, since, as I've narrowed down on this niche. and then the way that I create and I tell creators this all the time now, is that when you see something that hits like find the, like, especially if it's like a bigger video, like I had, this was like 20 minutes.It kind of like didn't fit the normal, like YouTube things. But I talked about a lot of different elements. Of productivity in that video. And so my next four videos were basically like taking these different, like components that I had crammed into a big overview video and said, like, here's how I blocked my time.Here's how I manage my tasks. Here's how I like plan out my week. So we take like something that's big on the macro side of saying like, here's how I plan a year. You start to plan a quarter here, the months they go into that. And then like the weeks they go into the months. So I spent like my next six videos, just basically breaking down the individual aspects of that first video.And then it was just like off to the races at that point.Nathan: [00:33:07]Yeah, that's fascinating to me. What have you found about LinkedIn videos Cause I'd be like, oh, it needs to be a shorter video. AndMatt: [00:33:14]Right?Nathan: [00:33:15]The truth of the matter is yeah, just get into an online.Matt: [00:33:19]For me, I have found that my, with one exception. My longer videos traditionally have performed better because there is this interesting, like there is this interesting dichotomy of like statistics on YouTube is that they want a high retention time. But if you can kind of like overrule that with a long view time, then it like still works the same way.So like a video that I create that's 20 minutes. If someone was like, you want to be over 50% video, like time retention. But if you're talking about it's a 20 minute video and someone watches for nine minutes, well, like I've seen and you do has been changing a lot, I think. But I've seen that if you keep someone on YouTube for nine minutes, they'd almost kind of rather you have.A lower like overall retention, if you can keep them on there longer than normal. So like for example, you know, the difference would be like, if I have a five minute video with 60% of it, you know, 60% view retention, but then that's only like three minutes watched versus 40% view retention, but it's eight or nine minutes watched.Like those, those have tended to perform better for me. However, I have been working on lately, like more this year, trying to be more concise with my video and with my takeaway and my talking points. And so I've been trying to be like under 10 minutes for most videos at this point, that's where I've kind of found a sweet spot and even experimenting with some sub five minute videos that is just like, literally.Here is one tip. I'm not stacking like additional concepts on top of each other. It's kind of the equivalent of like, just doing like that 500 words a day, like maybe a thousand words a day. You're just trying to get that. Like, you're trying to get that five minute, like blitz out without like trying to expend a bunch of time, like trying to like get the perfect 12 minute video or 3000 word blog post.Nathan: [00:35:36]Yeah, that makes sense. So in that journey from breaking the thousand subscribers to now, you're about to break 60,000 subscribers. what are some of the things like if you were, if I was like, and you know, Matt, I'm going to start a YouTube channel today, or I have one that has like you know, maybe I've shown that I can like show up consistently andMatt: [00:35:55]Right.Nathan: [00:35:56]That, that ability. but what are the things like the, the tips and lessons that you've learned along the way.Matt: [00:36:02]The biggest ones are to just continue being consistent. I think I could have like actually been, have grown even faster than I did if I had been even a little bit more consistent. Like I think two videos a week is really great, even though, you know, full disclosure and you can go look at my YouTube channel.I have struggled to do like two videos a week consistently, but that is also because like, I have a bunch of other creative interests that all fuel each other. And we'll talk about those, but if you're just talking about like growth on YouTube, then it really is the consistency that will help you win the day and grow your channel.The other thing is that as much as we want to as creators, let the work stand for itself and like be a great overall piece of content.On, you know, on YouTube, the title and the thumbnail are equivalent, like to your, like, for those of us that like kind of grew up blogging a little bit more like the headline, or like with email newsletter in the subject line, like that is the YouTube equivalent and it is so, so, so important.And so, you know, YouTube gets kind of a bad rap sometimes for like the clickbaiting this, and that's definitely a thing, but it's, again, people have said that about subject lines and blog headlines for years, but that is really, really important. And if you don't grab someone's interest in like these three phases of the title, the thumbnail, and then like, literally what is your opening line?Because YouTube will show that those are the biggest things. And I think that like the amount of time that you should spend on that kind of changes based on what phase of YouTube and just content creation in general.Because if you're talking about like, okay, I want to go from five to 10 or 10 to 20, I would still probably argue that you should like focus on.And depending on, you know, what your time is, like, you should focus more on the consistent output than like really worrying about trying to over-optimize every little piece. And there are good ways about that in there, like tough ways about this. But I would basically say like, I would rather use, I would rather see you put out four video, like a weekly video than just one monthly video that you feel like, oh, this is, this is the one, this is, this is it.I spent so much time on editing and the sound is perfect and all the transitions are smooth and all, you know, the, the thumbnail just looks so good and I got the title dial.Because you can believe all that, but like the market ultimately decides like the viewer ultimately decides how much they really care about that as well.And the other thing that is kind of tough, like I think mentally for creators is, and I've, I've done this a ton of times is when you feel like, oh, I, I made this as perfect as I can. I feel so good about this. And then it just bombs. And you're like, what the hell? Now? I feel less confident. I'm less excited about the next one.Cause if I put so much effort into this video and it didn't work or this newsletter, this course, and it didn't work out, what, like, what does that mean? And you get into all these like existential creator questions bouncing around in your head.Nathan: [00:39:18]I, yes, there's a lot of that.So it sounds like you're saying optimize for like number of shots on goal, rather than like the highest probability shot and optimize it, like yeah.Quantity over Quantity and continue optimization over likeMatt: [00:39:35]Right,Nathan: [00:39:36]The clinical of the perfect videoMatt: [00:39:38]Right.Nathan: [00:39:38]Putting. All of it. IMatt: [00:39:40]Yeah,Nathan: [00:39:40]Analogies never throw an eggs in that basket?IMatt: [00:39:42]That's right. yeah. Yeah. But I think it's a good one. And I would really continue to like play out through, I'm just getting into a point personally, where I want to spend more time editing, like doing All those more optimization things, but it's not even so much from an audience growth perspective is I just want to get better.Like I see other YouTubers, other creators that I like, I admire their work so much. And I really am wondering how close can I get to that? But I'm making a choice. I'm making a personal choice to focus more on like the quality and the craft. And I do have like, I've built myself to a good benchmark to work on that.But like for so long, literally for four years is like, I'm going to record my planner. I'm going to record, you know, like notion I'm gonna. I'm basically going to do some type of screencast, whether it's analog or digital, and then I'm going to do a talking head, like, you know, in and out of everything and that's all I'm going to do.And that was really good for me because it was allowing me to be consistent. I didn't over edit anything. I took a lot of inspiration from Powell. like Tim Ferris would describe his early days with the podcast and even still like, he does it pretty raw. He doesn't over edit. And like I was like, yeah, okay.You know, Tim is Tim, but if he's willing to do that, I can certainly be willing to let go of some of the, you know, the editing, like finer details that especially early on, don't matter as much as like just actually making the thing.Nathan: [00:41:18]Yeah. That makes a lot of sense. So maybe let's go back to your arc of the story, right? So when you pass the thousand subscribers, that was 11 months into the channel, is that that's right?Matt: [00:41:29]Correct?Nathan: [00:41:30]And so that would have been a year and a half into working at ConvertKitMatt: [00:41:34]Yeah. About that actually. Yeah.Nathan: [00:41:36]20 15, 20 16, 20 17, they allMatt: [00:41:38]Yeah. It's just a blur. Yeah.Nathan: [00:41:40]And so then, like where did the channel go from there? You really doubled down on Bullet journalMatt: [00:41:47]Bullet journaling productivity. And that's really like, pretty much all I did. I tried to do a like more bloggy blog kind ofNathan: [00:41:57]Yeah.Matt: [00:41:58]After one of the, after one of the retreats, But I actually ended up, it was from, it was from that ocean side. It was from the 2018Oceanside country. Yeah,Nathan: [00:42:09]Confusing me. We'd go to differentMatt: [00:42:10]Yeah,Nathan: [00:42:11]That would, be easier. But what she told me back call, it was just like you know,Matt: [00:42:13]Yeah.Nathan: [00:42:14]Is amazing, but also really difficult for our like, mentalMatt: [00:42:18]That's right. And so I did like, Hey, you know, I traveled, I did like a travel blog thing and at the time I was doing videos, like my videos would, were pretty commonly like hitting about 5k, you know, on average, if not more. And so it was like, cool, let's see how this, and then that travel one, just like, didn't get picked up by the algorithm. People who had joined my channel, where like I joined for productivity and bullet journaling, not like to see you go to the beach. And that was kind of like, okay, well, you know, and it's an interesting thing as a creator to think about like, well, I like to make this and people are like, so how does it help me?And, you know, there's an element of that, that I, I still like very much feel like a creative tension around, but at that time it was like, okay, well, I don't need to worry about my creative output on this particular thing at a time because the other, the other thing that, I'm only now like getting a little bit more used to controlling my time as like being a full-time creator, because at the time it was like, okay, well, if I only am committing like five to 10 hours a week to this as a side hustle, and as like a thing I'm doing, obviously on the side, am I going to use those five to 10 hours to create a video that not many people are going to watch or what I know at this point, people are interested in and it just became a matter of like prioritization as well.Nathan: [00:43:39]Right. So how did that feel? Like was, were you disappointed when the, the blog, you know, this is my wife kind of content didn't resonate with your audience.Matt: [00:43:49]Yeah a little bit, because there was this element. And I actually like in, I was talking to a client about this yesterday because he was asking me some of these same questions and I wish that I had protected one video a month, or even at the least like one video every couple of months to just be like, this is me, like just doing something that I'm interested in.Like, this is a story that I want to tell. This is like a part of me that I want to show to kind of prime the audience to like, just get to know me in that slightly different way, and just being okay with those videos, not doing as well, because I think I would have like worked in more of like a lot of my personality comes through even in just like the regular videos, but just more of my life, more of my interests, more of the things that I was thinking about. As I've now started to pivot, like in lean into that a little more than I'm going through that again, of like, oh, this isn't what really what I thought I was. And now I'm just more, more confident or just more secure most of the time and being like, yeah, well, I think I've said pretty much everything that I can say about how to make lists in your bullet journal.I have like literally a hundred videos. I don't know what else I can say. And I'll still say some things, but it's definitely flipping more for me of like, instead of doing like an occasional non bullet journal video, like every month or two, it's gonna like switch back, it's gonna flip the other way. And bullet journal will be like one, one, maybe two videos, every one to two months.Nathan: [00:45:27]Are you worried about, or like, have you seen trends of what that's going to do to have you countedMatt: [00:45:31]Oh, I'm terrified. terrified. and well, part of the other like tipping point, and this is like bringing it's like more, where I am on the arc right now and I've talked to some other YouTubers about this, you know, results, results may vary, of course, but after January ended and the productivity, you know, the productivity season of December, January was over.I still stayed on like productivity bullet journal videos, but they just started to fall off a cliff in terms of, in terms of views and the like subscribers were down also, like I had a 30 day straight, I had not a 30 day stretch, a 90 day stretch. So an entire quarter that used to be like that entire quarter used to be like, basically an okay.In terms of like month over month, like new subscriber growth, new views. I still have, again, like a whole like library of content, especially the bigger videos that generate like plenty of views every month. And in terms of new videos, new views, like new subscriber growth was just like steadily going down and I'm looking at and thinking like, I just started doing this full-time this is not what I signed up for.I'm doing the thing, which is like this whole other like, weird, like transition of a mindset between like, when you're more of an employee, I was talking to Jeff Goins about this, but when you're more, when you are an employee, even at a startup, and I know I can like say this in retrospect now you're still just kind of looking to either your manager or your founder be like, what would you like me to do that you believe will bring the most growth and like good startup operators, you know?And I felt like I started to do this more towards the end and we'll be more proactive and be like, this is the thing, you know, that's what a manager and director. Yeah. But there's still like this element of like, yeah, I'm the employee. And like, this is what I need to do. And if I continue to do my job in the way that it is expected, I will get my money.I will get my career advancement. I will do my thing. I will check the boxes and being an entrepreneur and especially being a full-time creator, none of that, none of that matters anymore because there've been multiple instances even in these first six months. And like what in the world? I like, I haven't really seen these videos.I'm doing it once a week. Like check, check, check, check, check. It didn't work. I created this course. It went good so I can make it great. I spend a lot of time on it. Didn't do the launch that I wanted to, and you're like, I'm doing things. I'm checking the boxes. Why is this work? What the heck? What am I supposed to do now?And it's this whole like new mindset that I'm kind of coming into. Like when you are an entrepreneur, you create opportunity and you, like, you have to like, have this, like to bring a Ted lasso reference in like the mind of a goldfish of like, oh, that didn't work. And I think about this in like, I've started doing jiu-jitsu in the last year as well.It's like, okay, well that didn't move. Didn't work. Oh, no, I'm on my back. Now all these say this is going terribly, but like, you have to like, forget these failures really quickly and just learn as much as you can. So that, and like have a really thick skin or just like a really forgetful mind to like, okay, well, even though I felt like I did all the right things, this didn't work because, to put a, put a bow on like this particular like loop last week, I don't know if you saw this, like I put a tweet up and said, Hey, if you haven't set up a course before you have an idea, I can help you do this.It's a thousand dollars. But if you don't make a thousand dollars, I'll just give you your money back and you'll have your cool. And I just, like, I literally thought of that in the shower and then I tweeted it and now I've signed up like seven clients in a week.Like, okay, if that's going to be the thing, because it's like this other thing, I worked really hard on this course and, you know, I spent like a month on it and I did, I'm like, but I, you know, God the shower and send a tweet and made like eight grand.And it'll probably be 10 grand by the end of next week, by the end of the month. And so like, okay, well, that's, you know, just kind of how being an entrepreneur and being a creator is, and then the next stage of it is, you know, what we were talking about, like early on, just swinging at Berkeley, like, okay, you've had the central growth, how do you systematize it?How do you like scale it? And how do you get it to like, be a thing that you can really rely on instead of just like, hoping that you send like a good tweet or the right email or make the right connection. Like it's creating that opportunity for yourself and then harnessing.Nathan: [00:50:04]Yeah. For sure. What you touched on it is interesting to me is the being responsible for inputs versus outputs at a lot of jobs. you're responsible for the inputs. Like you're talking about check the boxes.Matt: [00:50:16]Right,Nathan: [00:50:17]And we like to think that the inputs always result in the output. and often that's not true. And so as a creator, you're responsible for both sides of it. And, you know, you can't be like oh, the AI didn't get the outputs that I wanted. You know, what that's okay. Because you're like, Hey, one of the outputs is money for rent, you know? And, and so there's a lot more, a lot more pressure there.Matt: [00:50:43]Yeah. And it's interesting is that even in some of these like rough months, and so I haven't told this story like publicly, because it's still so fresh, but you know, like when I have like my, Stripe and Stripe payouts come weekly, it's a nice little nice little thing. Like, okay, we're doing pretty good.I was just about to go on this week long backpacking trip, and do like a mentoring backpacking trip, with some high school kids. And I was already like, feeling stressed about as like, I haven't had a good month. What the, Hey, you know, I shouldn't be doing this. I can't just go in the woods for eight days and like not work on the business is not at that point.I've made a huge mistake and I'm like, well, I'm still going to do it. I'm not going to leave these people high and dry. But as I'm like going to the woods, I like miss, you know, stupidly open my email and the Stripe payout thing. As soon as like your payout of $30 is on its way. I'm like, oh no, but because you are, you have that, that feeling of like, yeah, it's like, you know, the only thing that's coming in is what you create and what you build in what you, what you promote.It's like this idea. That I've been talking about a lot and heard a lot of people reference as well. It's like, you know, being this full stack creator, like it's not just that you make thing, but you market the thing, you build a team around the thing. And I have seen like more and more creators, like building more teams around like things that like, they either don't like doing or not as good at.And so that's a whole and that's, but that's a whole other piece of like building out your like personal stack of skills and responsibilities.Nathan: [00:52:14]Yeah. I was talking about the front end of the day and just explaining like all the business things and realizing, oh, running a business, being a creator is a uniquely assembled collection of a ton of individual skills, because we were like, God for this competition. And I realized like, oh, you don't have the, you know, knock on this. It's just a skill that you need to learn. But the like spreadsheets, forecasting skill, like the, I wonder how this is going to work. And so I opened up Google sheets and I like model it out and it's probably ridiculous. But it's better than holding it in my head. And then like you write down your assumptions and then you compare, you know, reality to those assumptions.And that's just one of like a thousand skills that you have to learn. and then like years after you've learned it, you're like forgetting that that's actually a distinct skill that had toMatt: [00:53:07]Right?Nathan: [00:53:07]Know, like yeah. I mean, everybody knows how to do that and do that a thousand times over and like, that's the creator experience,Matt: [00:53:13]Yeah. And it goes to this, like, people get really overwhelmed by that and something that I've been hammering the last, like several months, especially in fourth graders, is this, like, I think of it like the new 10 X rule of like output and effort of like, if you're not sure if you want to do something, like try it 10 times.And like really, you know, really give it a good try, but like write 10 newsletters, you know, get 10 subscribers, make 10 videos on YouTube, record 10 podcasts, just to see, like, you don't have to make this light. We tend to think of things as like making this lifetime commitment to a ship to a pod or whatever, but like do 10 and see how you feel about it like that.Even though I said I was going to do and did like 28 videos, it was kind of like just a slightly more expanded version of like, how do I feel after 28 YouTube videos, I enjoy it. And I'm getting used to it. I'm going to keep doing it. But I had like that really specific, like benchmark of this is the, this is the number that I'm going to get to.And then I'm going to see. And I found that like going from 10 to a hundred is definitely a slog and there are lots of mini milestones, but once you do, and this kind of goes even outside of creative output, but like once you do something a hundred times, you're going to like build momentum on it. And you're also going to like, build your own confidence and yeah.Not on ironic. And I've seen this across a few different creators. I think maybe Ali doll has like a similar experience, but for me, when I made my hundreds, it was right around my hundredth video on YouTube that I hit 10,000 subscribers and it's right around like the hundredth, like email newsletter when I started to like, see that, I just felt really comfortable writing those emails.Like, you know, the growth, the growth was good, but just like my personal confidence in it was like so high. That was like, yeah. I mean, it's time to read the newsletter. I'm going to read the newsletter. It's not like this weeping and gnashing of teeth, about like, will this work or not. And then you said like, you do it a thousand times because we look at some of our most prolific creators like MKBHD, you know, Casey Neistat, Roberto Blake, like from the YouTube space, all of those guys, like Amy Landino, all of those people have like over a thousand videos published on YouTube and.Oh, yeah. And like, yes, they have great audiences and huge numbers, but like, just look at the output, like their masters, because they have published a thousand videos. And when you think of it in that way, it's like, there's so many different things that you can do in terms of mastering and optimization.And like, there are like, you know, I guess you could say there are growth hacks that you could use, but like, look at anyone that you admire and just look at the sheer volume of their work.Nathan: [00:55:50]Yeah, it's, it's substantial. I want to talk about how that volume of work turns into, an income.And so could you break down, I guess yeah. How you earn an income now, where it comes from? I think people would expect that like a lot of it comes from YouTube ads. yeah. What are the different, like in your creative stack?What are the things that drive revenue?Matt: [00:56:15]Yeah. The two biggest things that drive revenue for me, that for, especially coming from a YouTube space for a main audience, the two biggest things, it's still driving revenue?For me are courses and then consulting or coaching that comes alongside or with those courses. And so I don't even do like a huge, like, you know, tiered course like program in terms of like, yeah, it's $400 for the course, or you can do like $800 to have like some coaching with me.A lot of the coaching comes naturally from people who have gone through the course. And then usually I'll do like a, an email once the course is over, say, Hey, if you want me and I'll drop hints, like throughout some of the, throughout some of the content, but it's like, Hey, if you want to work on this directly with me here, some of my like rates and different ways that we can work together.But I would say probably 60, 70% at least comes through courses and coaching. That can shift. because I, you know, I do, admittedly not have the best evergreen, course sales funnel that I could have. It's been a big, like focus for me because, and just take a quick aside, one of the reasons I decided to do full-time creators, cause there were so many things that I wanted to optimize and that I wanted to do that I was never going to be able to get around to on like 10 ish hours a week, never going to be able to do it and stay like even remotely consistent with actually it would have been like, Hey, I'm not gonna make any videos or send any emails for three months so that I can create the system.And then it's like, I'm back and it's up. But so from the revenue perspective, the like the percentages between my courses versus coaching kind of shit. But it's, I would say like pretty even between those, between those two. and then there are all these like smaller things. Like there are, there are affiliates, I would say YouTube revenue on average is a little higher than affiliate revenue.But I also like,Nathan: [00:58:22]Yeah.How much would you be earning? so, someone like I have 60,000 subscribers, what should I expect to be making a month off of YouTube revenue.Matt: [00:58:32]I can say that the most I have ever made in one month of YouTube is 800 and around $850.That's my best month ever. And, like I mentioned, declining views over the last few months, I will bring it. It's like 250 this month, which is like, great. You're like covering software expenses at that point. Which, you know, I do think is like a nice benchmark for people to kind of shoot for is I can, can I cover my costs, but so it's, it's pretty low. Like I've never made more than $10,000 in a year on YouTube ads and same thing, kind of same thing for affiliates. But because of the jobs that I've worked in, like, I haven't done a whole lot of like software affiliate, promo, and that's like, I've done like other like smaller affiliates, mostly like for books and like smaller things like Amazon affiliate kind of stuff.And those are all like 10% is good for that. But you like for software, like that's really bad, likeNathan: [00:59:42]Yeah.Matt: [00:59:44]10%. I'm not promoting your thing for 10%. You're talking about, but like for hard goods, that's more, that's a lot more common. And so like, affiliate revenue, especially from a software side is something that I'm focusing more.But even still like between affiliates and, YouTube ads, that's definitely, definitely less than 20 K and probably more around like 12 to 15 K. And so that's one thing. And then I do some brand deals and sponsorships, but, admittedly not going super hard after those right now, because again, it's something that it takes up a lot.Like it takes up a lot of time to like, do a good brand partnership and that there are lots of good reasons behind that, but I'm having to do all of that and it slows down my creative process so much. And it's such like, like emotionally, it's not something that I like getting into. Cause it's like this back and forth and it's like, well, you know, I'd be like, well, you know, we kind of scoped out this kind of budget.Like, well, it'd be nice to have known that before we got into this conversation. And of course, and I have. Never made more than 10,000, maybe around 10,000 a year on any kind of brand sponsorship deals. So between those three things, it's anywhere from 20 to 30 K and a year, depending on how, like how well everything went and the coaching consulting courses, like the, those three CS, thoseNathan: [01:01:20]Yep.Matt: [01:01:20]That bring in like 60 to 70% of the revenue.And that's what I spend my time on.Nathan: [01:01:26]Yeah, that makes sense. So I want to go back to a conversation that you and I had, I guess if we catch people up on the arch, because we don't have a ton of time left, but, There's something that happens in startups where first year, like try to figure out what you're doing. You know, all trying to figure it out at the same time.And the next round of startups is like, can we just hire the people who have already figured that out and had done it before?And so through a transition like that, right? Podia comes in like, Matt, you've done this whole thing before we're trying to do it can like, instead of all of us figuring it out, can we just bring you in And so you, you made the jump over to Podio yet. the thing that I want to talk about is a couple of years after that middle of the pandemic And, a conversation that you and I had as you're thinking about making this leap to a full-time creator, because I think so many people are like, okay, I did the side hustle thing.This is taking off. And now I'm trying to decide when is it time to quit the day job and go all in.Matt: [01:02:25]Right.Nathan: [01:02:26]Maybe take us through that. And, and some of your thoughts on it.Matt: [01:02:29]Yeah. It was something that I had been thinking about for a while. And certainly I've talked, I've talked about this on a couple of YouTube videos, but it had been in the back of my head for years. I mean, even.Pre ConvertKit that what would it be like to do this, to do this full-time? and so I had started to, again, to bring up Jeff Goins again, like he used kind of coaching me, mentoring me through some of this process.And he was like, you just need to get better and more consistent at launching products. You're going to launch a product or some kind of service or something. You're going to launch something for sale every month in 2020. And that was, and lo and behold, when you tell people like, you know, I'm not saying it's gonna like go awesome every month.Again, like we've talked about some of the ups and downs, but it's amazing what will happen to your sales when you just offer more things for sale.And so I had been doing that more and more, and it was taking, it was taking off. And what I had really wanted to do just from a mindset perspective is I had a lot of like, like kind of emotional, like money mindset, baggage that I was going to waiting through, at the, at the time.And. I was like, I need to be matching what my Podia salary is. Not just for one month, but like month over month, I needed to do that for three months. And then I had done that for three months. I was like, oh, well, this is nice. Like, should I do this now? And, you know, we got on, we got on a call and I was talki

Sales and Marketing Built Freedom
Why Top Relationship Builders Can't Close Million Dollar Deals

Sales and Marketing Built Freedom

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 16, 2021 14:11


Grab you Free Copy of “The 4 Biggest Mistakes That Stop Companies From 10X'ing Their Revenue”  at https://www.scalerevenue.io/10xIf you've worked really hard to build deep and intimate relationships with a client and invested a ton of time and effort along the way, when it comes time to sign a deal, you want it to be with you!It's disappointing and completely deflating when you lose the deal after investing so much in the relationship.Today, I'm sharing 3 frameworks to go from having million dollar years, to closing million dollar deals.In today's market, the skills that I am going to share with you today are going to be more critical than ever.When moving from selling transactional deals to recurring revenue of tens of thousands for dollars, you have to make a shift.What you have to remember is that when the type of sale shifts to MRR from transactions, the number of people involved changes.It's no longer just your contact making the decisions, so you now have a tribe of people responsible for the decision.The tribe overrides the relationship.If there is no relationship with the tribe, they look to logic to make a decision.If there is no logic, then likely a decision doesn't get made and nothing changes.Sometimes doing nothing is more advantageous for their careers than making a wrong decision that ends up backfiring.Understand the top 3 biggest problems in their department.What are the most important projects behind those problems?Focus on those 3 biggest problems.Now look at those problems through this lens:What's their biggest problem growing revenue? - topline expenseWhat's their biggest problem reducing expenses? - bottom line expenseWhat's their biggest problem reducing customer churn? Align your solution to help all 3 areas. If you put every solution as a direct impact to those 3 main focus areas, and back it with the logic of solving their 3 biggest problems while bringing in focus the 3 outcomes the company wants anyway. Then the solution will become a no-brainer.Your job to be successful is to close all the doors except for one. So this will allow you to only pursue opportunities that will close.Don't overvalue the relationship. Focus your solutions through the lens of growing revenue, reducing expenses and customer churn.Need help scaling your revenue? Ryan can help you. Apply to work with him at https://scalerevenue.io/apply

The Bike Shed
304: MEGA Crossover Episode (The Bike Shed x Rails with Jason x Remote Ruby x Ruby on Rails Podcast)

The Bike Shed

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 11, 2021 34:38


This is the sweeps week episode, the epic crossover episode, the mega episode! We have a very special episode as Chris, and Steph teamed up with the hosts of three other podcasts to bring you one giant, mega Ruby episode! In this episode, you'll hear from the hosts of Remote Ruby, Rails with Jason, and Brittany Martin, the host of the Ruby on Rails podcast. They cover the origins of their shows, their experiences as hosts, and why podcasting is so important in keeping the Ruby community thriving. Remote Ruby (https://remoteruby.transistor.fm/) Rails with Jason (https://www.codewithjason.com/rails-with-jason-podcast/) Ruby on Rails podcast (https://5by5.tv/rubyonrails) *Transcript: * STEPH: Hello and welcome to another episode of the Bike Shed, a weekly podcast from your friends at thoughtbot about developing great software. This week we have a very special episode as Chris, and I teamed up with the hosts of three other podcasts to bring you one giant, mega Ruby episode! In this episode, you'll hear from the hosts of Remote Ruby, Rails with Jason, and Brittany Martin, the host of the Ruby on Rails podcast. This episode was so much fun to record, and we have Brittany Martin to thank as she organized and moderated this special event. So without further ado, here is the mega Ruby episode. BRITTANY: Welcome, everyone. We have a whopping seven podcast hosts recording today. So, listeners, you are in for a treat. This is the sweeps week episode, the epic crossover episode, the mega episode. We're going to need our editor to insert some epic sound effects right here. Announcer: The mega episode. BRITTANY: So let's go ahead and introduce the crew today. I am Brittany Martin from the Ruby on Rails Podcast. CHRIS OLIVER: I'm Chris Oliver from Remote Ruby. JASON CHARNES: I am Jason Charnes, also from Remote Ruby. ANDREW: I am Andrew Mason, also from Remote Ruby. STEPH: And I'm Stephanie Viccari from The Bike Shed. CHRIS TOOMEY: I'm Chris Toomey from The Bike Shed. JASON SWETT: And I'm Jason Swett from Rails with Jason BRITTANY: Today, we're going to cover the origins of our shows, our experiences as hosts, and why podcasting is so important in keeping the Ruby community thriving. Now I know personally, I really enjoy the origin story behind Remote Ruby. So, Chris Oliver, could you kick us off with that? CHRIS OLIVER: Yeah, we can go back maybe to the first time that Jason and I met, which was Jason emailed me out of the blue and was like, "Hey, are you going to be at RailsConf?" And I wasn't planning on it, but it was over in Kansas City, like four hours away from me. I was like, "No, I'm not going, but I'll meet you." So we went and drove over there and met and have been friends ever since. And Jason had the idea of doing an online meetup. And I'll let him explain where that started and turned into the Remote Ruby Podcast. JASON CHARNES: I thought it would be a good idea. There weren't any online meetups. This was pre even the idea of shutting down the world for a pandemic. And maybe I was just too soon because I got Chris to speak at the first one, and we had 40, 50 people. I spoke at the next one, and there were 20. And by the third one, there were five of us. So it wasn't really a super sustainable thing for me to do. So Chris and I got together and said, "What if we tried podcasting?" Chris, you hadn't really done your own podcast at that point, had you? CHRIS OLIVER: No, I don't think so. And you and I were just having calls every week or whatever just to hang out and chat. And we were like, why don't we just record that and publish that as a podcast? And here we are. JASON CHARNES: Yeah. So we've been doing that. I think we started in 2018, so yeah, three years in June, and somehow people still keep listening to us talk but probably because we brought along our friend, Andrew. ANDREW: Wow. Okay. No, that's not true. But yes, I was a guest on Remote Ruby before I joined as a host. And not to get into the details, but I was on another podcast, and something went down, and I no longer was on that podcast anymore. And Chris and Jason were like, "Do you want to come hang out with us?" And I was like, [chuckles] "Absolutely." So I started doing that, and at the same time, I also started The Ruby Blend with Nate Hopkins and Ron Cooke. And so we were doing that for a while until that had to tragically shut down. But I'm still here with Jason and Chris. I guess I should also mention that Jason Swett gave me my start in podcasting a month or two after I started full-time as a Rails developer on a now archived show called The Ruby Testing Podcast. BRITTANY: Which is the perfect segue because Jason Swett was also my first opportunity to guest on a podcast. So I was already hosting, but I hadn't guested, which is kind of the opposite order. So, Jason, do you want to tell the origin of where Rails with Jason came from? JASON SWETT: Sure. I'd been involved with podcasting since around 2016. I somehow ended up on the Ruby Rogues Podcast and was on there for maybe a year or so. And then, somehow, I got the idea that I could start my own podcast. And as an experiment, I started a podcast that I called The Ruby Testing Podcast, which I figured was sufficiently narrow that I could get some traction. And to my surprise, guests actually said yes to coming on the show. And also, to my surprise, people actually listened to the podcast. That gave me some confidence. So maybe a year later, I broadened, and I changed from The Ruby Testing Podcast to just Rails with Jason. And I have been doing that for something like two years. BRITTANY: That's fantastic. I want to move to probably our most experienced podcast veteran, and that would be Chris Toomey. When I was learning how to code, I was listening to Giant Robots and then was excited for the transition that The Bike Shed took. Chris, I would love to hear the story of what it was like taking over a really popular podcast and really maintaining the drive behind it. CHRIS TOOMEY: So, as you mentioned, I had done a little bit of podcasting. It was about a six-month run where I was a co-host on Giant Robots, which was the original podcast of thoughtbot. And that was more in the business and sort of how do we build a software company? So at that point, I was running Upcase, which was the subscription learning platform that thoughtbot had. So I was talking about the inner details of the business, and the marketing tests, and A/B tests and things like that that I was doing. And every week, I was sharing my MRR rather transparently in that thoughtbot way that we do. I did that for, like I said, about six months and then took a while off. And in the background, thoughtbot had started up a new podcast called The Bike Shed, and that started October 31st of 2014. So The Bike Shed has been going for a long time now, and that was hosted by Derek Pryor and Sage Griffin. And they ran that for a number of years. I think it was about four years that the two of them worked collectively on that. But at some point, they both moved on from thoughtbot, and there was an opportunity for new hosts to step in. So I took over in August of 2018. So I've been doing this now for about three years. And so, for that first year, I took the opportunity to do a tour around thoughtbot and talk with many different individuals from the company and a handful of people external to thoughtbot. But I knew that there were so many great voices and ideas and points of view within thoughtbot that I really wanted to spend some time getting to know more of them personally and then sharing that as much as I could with the existing audience that The Bike Shed had. But secretly, all along, I was looking for a person to hang out with all the more so, and Steph was the person that was a perfect choice for that. And so, for the past two years, Steph and I have been chatting. And I will send it over to Steph to share a little bit of her point of view on that transition. But from my point of view, it's been fantastic. STEPH: I still remember exactly when we had the conversation. You were running The Bike Shed and doing an incredible job of just having weekly guests. And then you'd reached out to me and said, "Hey, would you be interested in doing an episode?" And I thought, "No, absolutely not. I can't podcast. I can't begin to do this." So you continued to convince me. And finally, you said something that resonated where you were like, "Well, we can just show up and record, and we don't have to publish. We can just see how it goes." I was like, that's a perfect safety net. I'm into that. So I showed up, and I think the first episode that you and I recorded ended up being titled What I Believe About Software. And it was a lot of fun. I realized I have a lot of things to say. And after that, I think it was another month or so. You continued interviewing more guests, but then you reached out to me and asked me if I wanted to be a co-host. And at that point, I was super jazzed about it, and it's been wonderful. It's been a roller coaster. I have learned a ton. BRITTANY: I'm kind of seeing a pattern here where over the last three years, it seems like Remote Ruby came into place, Bike Shed transitioned. That's when I took over as host of the 5by5 Ruby on Rails Podcast. We're going to call it the golden era of the Ruby Podcasts. But for me, I probably have the longest-running podcast. It was started back in 2009 on the 5by5 Network, but it's gone through many different hosts. And so, I took over roughly about three and a half years ago as the main host from Kyle Daigle. And then, just a couple of weeks ago, as I announced on my podcast, we took the podcast independent. We are now just The Ruby on Rails Podcast. And I'm starting to change the model where I'm bringing in more co-hosts. So that way, I can get those regular updates that I really appreciate on all these podcasts we have featured on the show today. I am curious. I want to talk about how we put together the episodes and plan out how everything's going to go down. I know for me, I'm currently a mix of interviews and co-host episodes. So I'd love to hear from Andrew. How do you plan out what Remote Ruby is going to be week to week? ANDREW: This is an easy question because we don't at all. We don't plan. We do have some guests that come on, and sometimes, they may get their Zoom link the day of; who's to say? But we really don't have a plan. We don't talk about what we're going to talk about beforehand. We all just kind of show up, and I think we have that kind of relationship and flow where it always just works. JASON CHARNES: And I think part of that came from actually how Chris and I started the show because we were trying to make it as low stress as possible because we knew if we put a lot of pressure on it, we would stop doing it. Our first episodes were YouTube live links that we just shared out. And then in our next episodes, we were like, oh, we should start using some software to do this. And then eventually, we got an editor, but that same core of let's just keep it fun for better or for worse, I think, also affects our planning. BRITTANY: I've been lucky in the sense that I have guests sit on all three of the episodes. And I do want to give a compliment to The Bike Shed because it is very well run and very well planned. So I want to kick it over to Steph as to how putting together a Bike Shed episode looks. STEPH: Oh, thank you. That's wonderful to hear, by the way. That's wonderful feedback. So we predominantly use Trello to organize our thoughts. So we will have...and as we're capturing community questions that are coming in, so we will capture those on the board. And then, we will have a ticket that represents a particular episode. Usually, on the day of, we'll share some thoughts about, hey, these are the broad topics I'm interested in. And there's usually some hot takes in there, which is fun because the other person doesn't know exactly what's coming, and we can have real honest conversations on the mic. And then, every so often, we'll grab a beer, and we'll go through that list. And we'll chat through what sparks joy. What do we want to talk about? What would we like to respond to? And that's pretty much how we organize everything that we discuss. Chris, is there anything I've left out that you want to add? CHRIS TOOMEY: I think that mostly covers it. We do occasionally have interviews just as a way to keep some variety and different things going on, but primarily it's the sort of what's new in your world? And I find that those episodes are the ones that I think are the most fun to record for Steph and I when it really feels like a sincere conversation. I've recently taken to a segment I call good idea, terrible idea where I'm like, "I'm actually considering this, Steph. What do you think?" And live on-air, I'm getting Steph's feedback, and generally, we're very aligned. But every once in a while, she's like, "That's a terrible idea. Don't do that." And I love those, and I love being able to share that because I think it's really easy to talk about, you know, here's a list of things that are true about software, but really, everything depends. And it's all the nuance. And so, being able to share some of our more pointed experiences and then share the conversation that we have over those is hopefully very valuable to the audience but definitely the thing that I enjoy the most. BRITTANY: So kicking it over to Jason Swett, I really enjoy the interviews that you do. I'm curious, how do you select guests? JASON SWETT: Well, thanks. Selecting guests is tough. I had Peter Cooper on the other day, and I was telling him that I feel like every guest that I get on the show is the last guest I'm ever going to be able to get on the show. But somehow, I keep finding more and more guests. Early on, it was relatively easy because I would just find book authors, or if somebody else does podcasting, then it's fairly obvious okay, you're the kind of person who does podcasts, so I'll invite you. But it's a little bit tough because I don't want to invite people who aren't into podcasting and would be really thrown, although sometimes that happens. But let's see, sometimes I send an email out to my email list, and I'm like, "Hey, I'm looking for guests for my show." Sometimes I just tweet that I'm looking for guests. And sometimes I get some really interesting guests from surprising places. But at least in the start, it was looking for those authors and podcasters and the people who are known in the Ruby community. BRITTANY: I know for me, I strive to have at least 50% of my interviews be with people who've never been on a podcast before. And so that usually involves the top of the episode they're dry heaving into a paper bag. And I'm explaining to them, don't worry, about halfway through the episode, you're not going to remember that you're recording anymore. It'll be fine. And you know what? It's always fine. And so, I do love hearing from a wide variety from the Ruby community just because it really proves just how big it is. So I'm curious, could you host the podcast that you are currently hosting now if you weren't actively working in Ruby? ANDREW: I could because Chris is the one that has all the clout. I could sit back and make dumb jokes and memes during it. And as long as Chris is there, I think we'll be good. JASON SWETT: Yeah, I think I could because a good majority of what we talk about on Rails with Jason actually has nothing to do with Rails, so that would probably actually work out. STEPH: I think yes is the answer. While a lot of our conversations do focus around Ruby and Rails, we often use a lot of other languages and tools, and those are a lot of fun to talk about. So I think I would just talk about whatever new tool or language that I'm using. So I think yes, it would just take a slightly different form but would still be at its core the same where we're still talking about our daily experiments and adventures in web development. BRITTANY: I agree with you, Steph. I will say that it seems like Chris Oliver and Chris Toomey have an endless well of things to talk about just based on what they do day-to-day. CHRIS TOOMEY: I try and go on adventures and then share as much as I can. But to resonate with what Steph was saying there, we try to make the show more generally about software, and it happens to be that it's grounded in Ruby on Rails because the vast majority of the work that we do is in that. And I just recently started a new project. I was given the choice of I could pick any technology I want, and it remains the technology that makes sense to me to be the foundation of an application that I want to maintain for years and years and years. So, on the one hand, I think I could definitely talk about software more generally. I think I'm doing that most of the time. But at the other end of the spectrum, but it's always going to be based on Ruby because I haven't found a thing elsewhere in the world that is better than that. CHRIS OLIVER: I completely agree with that. I probably have a little bit of a unique thing doing a screencast every week. A lot of those are based on I'm building some project, and I need to build some random feature like Stripe Checkout. And that's a good one to do a screencast on and implement in the project. And then, we can also talk about the decisions along the way on the podcast, which is kind of nice. BRITTANY: Yeah, it feels like every week, Chris Oliver is like, yeah, I've created a new open-source library, and I'm fabulous. [laughs] Let me listen to this. CHRIS OLIVER: Too many of them. I'm currently rewriting a lot of the Pay gem. And it's just one of those things where you make a bunch of decisions. And then, if you make an open-source project, people use it in all these different ways that you didn't intend yourself, and so you want to support that. But then you need to rearchitect things in it. It is a lot of learning as you go, which is always a lot of fun. So those I think are really good topics to talk about when you're building something like that. I'm always amazed by how does the Rails core team make these decisions on what should be in the framework and what shouldn't? And what do they want to maintain, and how do they keep it flexible but yet have some sort of rule with how they allow things to be implemented and whatever? It is a very hard job to have. So I get my little taste of that with some open source but not on their level. BRITTANY: I always thought that you had a good contrast to Jason Charnes because Jason works at Podia. And while you do get to work on a lot of really cool technologies, I feel like the stakes are much higher. So you can't just rip out StimulusReflex and put in something else just because it sounds cool that week. And I love how you talk through the pluses and minuses to making a big change within the Podia codebase. JASON CHARNES: Yeah. I haven't really thought about that contrast before, but it's helpful for me even just to talk it out with two other people once a week, and luckily, pretty cool about me just coming on and talking about hey, these are the steps we took to get here. Yeah, it's a cool dynamic. BRITTANY: Steph, have you ever had a client from thoughtbot say, "Hey, were you talking about me?" whenever you're talking about your current client? STEPH: That is one of my fears at times that it will happen [chuckles] although we stay very positive on the show. That's something that's very important to us. There's enough negativity in the world. So we really want to focus on our positive experiences through the week. But there have been times where I'm speaking about some of the challenges or things that we are running into that yes, the engineering team is listening to the podcast, and they're like, "Oh, I heard you talk about this feature that we're working on or this particular challenge." And that's really cool because they get that behind-the-scenes peek to see how Chris and I are chatting about that. But yet they know enough, and they know which project that I'm on that they recognize exactly the technology and the feature that I'm trying to describe. So that has certainly happened, and it can be a lot of fun when it does. BRITTANY: Andrew, how have things changed for you now that you're not working at CodeFund, which was very much like an open-source thing? People could see what you were actively working on. And now you're working for a company where it's closed source. And so, you might not be able to reveal as much as what you're working on at any given point. ANDREW: It's different, but I don't think it's been an issue per se. I'm not like, oh crap, I let that slip, and I didn't mean to. That's not really an issue. I really cherish the time I had at CodeFund. When I think back on my experiences, that was my favorite time just because I was able to do that thing that a lot of people really want to do. I was working as an open-source developer. We were spiking StimulusReflex; that's when we were building up StimulusReflex and trying to build up the community. I joined Ruby. We started the Ruby Blend, and things were going good before a dramatic turn. But in terms of the closed and open source, it hasn't been that big of a shift just because instead of talking about what I'm doing at work, like, I still talk about it, but I speak about it in more general terms. But I also then kind of freed up to talk a lot more about the dumb crap I do on the nights and weekends. BRITTANY: So the majority of our podcasts either have the word Ruby or Rails in it, but I think we've all agreed that a lot of the topics that we're talking about are not specific to that community. But in a lot of ways, I feel that having podcasts in our community is how we're going to keep our community thriving. So I'm curious if anyone has any thoughts around...is there a way to market our podcasts so that other developers will listen to it? I get really excited when I get listener feedback saying, "Hey, I used to do Rails maybe ten years ago, but I've been listening to your podcast, and I really enjoy such and such episode." How can we make our podcasts accessible to the general software community as opposed to just Ruby? CHRIS TOOMEY: One thing that stands out to me about Ruby and Rails is because it's full-stack, because of its foundations, it tends to be holistically about web development. And so, whereas I look at React projects or other JavaScript or different things that are going on, I see a more narrow focus in those frameworks. And with Ruby and Rails, what I love about it is that it's really about building software. It's about building products that are valuable, that deliver value to end-users. And so that being the core of it, that's the story that constantly brings me back to Ruby and Rails. And it's the story that I want to keep telling as much as possible. And it's the thing that keeps me engaged with this community. And so, I think podcasts are a great way to continue to literally tell those sorts of stories and really celebrate that aspect of Ruby and Rails and why it remains such a productive way to build software. CHRIS OLIVER: I think related to that, one of the things that we should talk about more is the draw of Rails was look at what you can do with one person or two people. And I feel like we went down the JavaScript route, and now you need two teams of people, and you end up building bigger stuff. And Hotwire has kind of been like, hey, here's a reminder of what you can do with a very small team. And I think that resonates a lot with a lot of people building startups and trying to build side projects and everything. And that's one that is Rails-related. But there's a ton of people building Hotwire stuff in Laravel too. And they're all very similar. So I think at a certain point, yeah, we're talking about maybe Rails specifically, but you can apply all those things to different frameworks and just different tools. STEPH: I'd like to add on and extend that because I wholeheartedly agree with what both Chris Toomey and Chris Oliver just said. And in addition, a lot of the conversations that we have on The Bike Shed are focused on Ruby and Rails, but then we will extract that particular concept to the point that it really doesn't matter which language that you're using or which framework that you're using. We're talking more about the high level. What's your process? What are you thinking as you're going through and implementing this? And based on more of our recent conversations, you'd think we're more of a Postgres podcast, how much we hype up Postgres, and the things that we can do at the database layer. So I think there are a lot of ways that we can start with a foundation of this is how we're doing it with Ruby and Rails, but then talk about it at a higher level where then it's really applicable for everybody. JASON CHARNES: If talking about one technology defined your podcast, we might as well be a Laravel podcast because we talk about that framework more than we do Rails sometimes. [chuckles] BRITTANY: So that begs the question: is there room for more Ruby and Rails podcasts outside of who's currently on this call? JASON SWETT: I think so. And I mentioned that Peter Cooper was on our podcast a little bit ago. That's something he and I actually talked about in that episode. And I shared the anecdote about how in the new America's founding, Ben Franklin's brother or something like that wanted to start a newspaper. And somebody told him what a dumb idea that was because America already had a newspaper. And people might say, oh, there are already however many Rails podcasts. There are a small handful. But I think there could be ten more Rails podcasts or even more than that potentially because I think people have an appetite for help, and camaraderie, and stuff like that. And I don't think we've nearly bottomed out in terms of satisfying people's appetite for that stuff. JASON CHARNES: Yeah, I agree with that because a lot of times, when I listen to podcasts, the more you get to know someone, that connection becomes what it's about for me. So, yeah, there's plenty of room. I mean, brand it as Ruby and tell me about your life as a developer I'll listen. CHRIS TOOMEY: I'll also throw it out there that the way you framed the question is like, is there room for it? But one of the wonderful things about podcasting as a medium is it is distributed. It's not centralized. You can start up a podcast any day. And I will say, as someone who inherited a popular podcast or a sufficiently popular podcast and just got to run with that, it has been such a wonderful way to get my voice out there and provide opportunities that I want that for everyone. I want everyone to have this ability to speak about the way they think about software and then find like-minded people and be able to build even many communities within the larger community of Ruby on Rails. So beyond the question of, Is there room?” which I definitely think there is, I so wholeheartedly support anyone pursuing this for their own reason. ANDREW: Yeah, I think to bring it all the way back, one thing that Chris, Jason, and I care a lot about is Ruby as a community. The community aspects of Ruby are very important to us. And we're actively trying to build that up and bring in new people and bringing people onto their first podcast. We say it all the time, like, hey, if you want to come on the show, let us know. We've had a few people even, you know, recognition in jobs from that. So to us, that is the payoff of doing the show. Maybe our show is the first time someone learns about Rails. And that to me is the possibility in the future. It's like, how can we market our shows that markets Ruby as well so that this meme of Ruby being dead finally goes away because it's not. I think it's growing. And I think the more and more we push as people who are public figures in this space that we want to bring more people on, that this is a space for everyone, I think that's just kind of the ethos that all of us have, and I think that's great. BRITTANY: So I'm curious, on a lighter note, has anyone had the funny experience of realizing that you're not just podcasting into the ether and that what you're saying and what you're doing matters? For me, I have definitely been at conferences where people will run up and hug me just because they heard my voice, and they are like, "I didn't know what you looked like, but I have your voice memorized," and it just blew my mind. And I was like, "Thank you so much for being such a loyal listener." And it just proves that people are out there listening. ANDREW: I tend to talk very openly about mental health. And I very often fail in public and talk about it. And I've had a lot of people message me and email me over the past three or four years and be like, "Hey, thank you for talking about this thing that's not actually about Ruby. It's not actually about coding, but it's just about being a developer." And those are the emails that make me feel the best. Like, someone who's out there like, "Yeah, I also feel like this. Thank you for speaking about it." JASON SWETT: I had a surreal experience. I went to India in 2019 through RubyConf India. And this guy wanted to take a selfie with me because apparently, he considered me famous. So that was cool and pretty surprising because I definitely didn't consider myself famous. STEPH: My favorite has been when we receive listener questions because it lets us know that people are listening and engaged in the conversation, and I essentially feel like they're part of the conversation. They will write in to us and share anecdotes, or they'll share answers to some of the questions that Chris and I will pose on the show. But every now and then, we will also get an email from someone that says, "Hey, just thanks for doing the show. I listen, and it's great," and that's all they share. And that, to me, is just the most wonderful thing that I could receive. BRITTANY: Some of my favorite episodes from all of your shows is when we get an inside peek into what people are doing, like Andrew moving. Jason Charnes, you putting together a conference was actually some of my favorite episodes of yours, which was really early on, which proves that I'm a Remote Ruby OG. But I loved hearing the inside track as to what organizing a conference is because I think we need to get more content out there about how difficult but how rewarding it is. JASON CHARNES: Yeah, I hadn't really thought about...that was around those times we hadn't done... It feels like it's been ages since we did Southeast Ruby, but Chris and I actually podcasted from the last Southeast Ruby we did. We just met in a room and recorded. But when I started that conference, I didn't have a lot to go on. So I'm more than glad to share because the reason I started is there were no Ruby conferences around me, plus I'm an open book. So for better or for worse, maybe that's good podcast material. JASON SWETT: Side note, it's one of the most enjoyable conferences I've ever been to. JASON CHARNES: Thank you. BRITTANY: I completely agree. I miss the regional conferences. JASON CHARNES: We lucked out because we were already planning on skipping 2020 because we were tired, and then COVID hit. I just sat on the couch one night and looked at Shannon (she helps me put on the conference), and I was like, "Wow, that would have been terrible. That would have come out of our own bank account, all that loss if we would have already booked somewhere." So phew, when it chills out, we'll try it again. BRITTANY: So let's talk about legacies. I know that some of us have taken over from popular podcasts. Some of us have grown podcasts from the very beginning. So I'm curious, do you ever put any thought into the legacy of your podcast, whether or not you're going to stay with it to the end? Would you eventually pass it off? Do you think about whether or not it's your responsibility to the community to make sure that it keeps going? JASON SWETT: I, for one, plan to have my consciousness uploaded to a supercomputer upon my death so that the Rails with Jason Podcast can continue on indefinitely. JASON CHARNES: Did you recently watch Upload the TV show? JASON SWETT: No, I've never heard of it. JASON CHARNES: Oh, man. That's a whole nother conversation. BRITTANY: Consider that homework, Jason. JASON CHARNES: It's an interesting question because we started ours out of nothing. I wonder, is one of us going to get tired and just quit? I'd like to think that if one of us did, it would keep going because there are plenty of cool people who could hang out and talk Ruby on it. But it's interesting, something that's casually crossed my mind, but I think we're good. I think we're still doing it unless Chris and Andrew have a surprise for me today. ANDREW: Surprise! [chuckles] I've thought about it a few times, specifically because I'm the youngest member of Remote Ruby. What if Jason and Chris just left, and they were like, "Oh, it's all yours now." Could I keep running it by myself? I think honestly, the answer is I would probably still do it just to have an excuse to talk to someone. I enjoy it. It's almost like a hobby at this point. I don't feel any obligation to create it. To me, it's really like an excuse to hang out with two friends, and other good stuff comes from that. But at the end of the day, I cherish that time just us hanging out a lot. CHRIS OLIVER: Yeah. I think that's why we sometimes joke about it being a weekly therapy session where we are just hanging out and chatting about stuff. It's nice to be able to talk about programming things at a high level with people you don't work with that have totally different perspectives and stuff. So yeah, if Jason and Andrew dropped off, I would still try to have conversations with random people I know and keep it going just because it's enjoyable. I would hope that we would be able to keep it going and have other people on there. BRITTANY: I'd love to hear from someone from The Bike Shed. STEPH: I have thought about it. I've thought about it partially from the perspective that Chris Toomey brought up earlier in regards to being on a podcast is an incredible platform. You get to share your opinions, and people listen to you. And they know you, and it's really wonderful marketing. So I have thought about it from the perspective of I want other people to have access to this really wonderful podcast that we put on each week. So part of me is very aware of that and thinking about how more people can have similar exposures. So a sort of a similar event occurred when Chris was moving on from thoughtbot and pursuing other interests. And at that moment, I just thought, oh my goodness, Chris brought me on as co-host, and now I'm here alone, and I don't know what I'm going to do. And I just panicked. I truly don't think I even considered other options. I was like, well, okay, it's over now. This was fun. And then it turned out where Chris was going to stay with the show. So things have just gone on swimmingly, and it's been wonderful. But similar to what someone was saying earlier around when you start listening to a podcast, and you really develop that relationship and you go back to that podcast because you really enjoy hearing from those people and their adventures, it's very similar for me where The Bike Shed is very much the conversations and chats with Chris. So I think if we were to move on, it would be whenever Chris and I decided to move on and give the reins over to somebody else. I don't know if Chris fully agrees, so this will be interesting to find out. [chuckles] CHRIS TOOMEY: I agree with that. Honestly, I'm honored to have continued on in the podcast after having moved on from thoughtbot because, in a very real way, the show is thoughtbot's channel to talk about things. I was at thoughtbot for seven years. I think I live and breathe that truth. And to me, that's what maybe has made sense for me to continue on. But I really do feel a responsibility to keep the show in good shape so that someday someone else gets to inherit this thing because I was so happy to get handed it. It was such a wonderful thing. And it has been such a joy to do for these past three years. But at some point, I do presume that we will move on. And at that point, I do hope that other people pick up the mantle. And thankfully, thoughtbot as an organization, there is a group of individuals that I'm sure there will be someone wonderful that gets to step in, but I'm in no hurry to do that. And, Steph, I hope you're not either. So we'll continue the conversations for now, but I definitely do want to keep this thing alive if for no other reason than I got handed it. I don't feel like I could let it drop on the floor. That doesn't feel right. BRITTANY: Well, I think on that warm, fuzzy feeling, we should wrap up. So let's go through everybody and just tell the listeners where they can listen to your podcasts and follow you. I am Brittany Martin, @BrittJMartin on Twitter. And you can listen to the Ruby on Rails Podcast at therubyonrailspodcast.com. JASON CHARNES: So I'm Jason. We are Remote Ruby. I am @jmcharnes on Twitter. And I'll let the others tell you where you can find them. ANDREW: You can find me everywhere @andrewmcodes. And if you email me, there's a really good chance you're never going to see a response because my email is a disaster. Please don't email me, but you can contact me anywhere else. CHRIS OLIVER: I'm Chris Oliver, and you can find me on Twitter @excid3 or at Go Rails, and of course, gorails.com. And you can find the Remote Ruby podcast at remoteruby.com. CHRIS TOOMEY: I am @christoomey on Twitter. The Bike Shed is @bikeshed on Twitter. We are at bikeshed.fm for a URL. I'm pretty sure www works, but I'm going to go check that real quick after because I want to make sure that's true. And yeah, that's me. And I'll send it over to Steph for her part. STEPH: I am on Twitter @SViccari, and I post programming stuff, usually pictures of cute goats, cute dogs, that kind of content if you're into that. JASON SWETT: For me, if you want to find my podcast, it's Rails with Jason. And if you search for Rails with Jason anywhere, you should be able to find it. And then my website, if you're interested in my blog and all that stuff, is codewithjason.com. BRITTANY: Fantastic. Thank you, everyone, for being on this mega episode today. It was a lot of fun. We are going to be having a podcast panel at RubyConf; we're excited to announce and some of us will be present. So stay tuned for details around that. And if you enjoyed this mega episode and want to see more mega episodes, please let us know on Twitter. All: Bye. CHRIS: The show notes for this episode can be found at bikeshed.fm. STEPH: This show is produced and edited by Mandy Moore. CHRIS: If you enjoyed listening, one really easy way to support the show is to leave us a quick rating or even a review on iTunes, as it really helps other folks find the show. STEPH: If you have any feedback for this or any of our other episodes, you can reach us @bikeshed or reach me on Twitter @SViccari. CHRIS: And I'm @christoomey. STEPH: Or you can reach us at hosts@bikeshed.fm via email. CHRIS: Thanks so much for listening to The Bike Shed, and we'll see you next week. All: Bye. Announcer: This podcast was brought to you by thoughtbot. thoughtbot is your expert design and development partner. Let's make your product and team a success.

The Top Entrepreneurs in Money, Marketing, Business and Life
How HyperProspector Got First $4k in MRR

The Top Entrepreneurs in Money, Marketing, Business and Life

Play Episode Listen Later Aug 4, 2021 12:55


I have launched HyperProspect in August 2020 when covid started and I got a lot of time to work on my things and from there. I went from $0 to $4k MRR bootstrapped no funding. HyperProspect is a team of growth hackers that works with the LinkedIn automation tools that we have in the house and we give ""done for you service"" to clients. The pain point was lots of founders Don't know how to use automation tools and at the same time, they need someone who is an expert in these fields. So here HyperProspect comes in pictures. We have a lot of clients and working with Big Companies having $Billion dollar revenue, I have been working with their founders closely. For me, this was a great journey starting from nothing to $4k MRR. I Got lots of ups down and lots of learning I am 23 right now (solo founder) and still working on lots of projects and still exploring more and more. I would love to share tons of value around LinkedIn and how I go from $0 to $4K? www.hyperprospect.com Https://www.linkedin.com/in/neerajnegi