More from Andrew Chen
Background- we first met @amasad through an intro from @ycombinator. Replit is W18. Amjad's energy is incredible. He's very passionate about making coding easier, more accessible - both to students/kids but also for the productivity of professional software engineers
The emergent behavior from users was awesome - especially from novice programmers, many fo them students in high school. We saw users spending hours of their time building games, chat applications, and much more. Here's an example of a Tetris app:
The company's mission is great, but then we dug into the numbers. They are mind-blowing. 1 million active devs in just a short time! Wow! And we saw linking/embedding to https://t.co/sjjBphbedi across dev communities across the internet, including @StackOverflow. Very impressed.
I primarily focus on consumer here at @a16z - so why get involved? The lines between developer/cloud platforms and consumer applications are rapidly blurring, and this is a great example. The product is all about being easy to use, it grows virally, and people love it
2/ Marketplace startups have done incredibly well over the first few decades of the internet, reinventing the way we shop for goods, but have been less successful services. It's bc services are complex, subjective, fragmented, and often in real life. Makes it hard
3/ There's been 4 major eras at making the service economy work online. The Listings Era, the unbundled Craiglist era, the Uber for X era, and the Managed Marketplace era
4/ Each era has added more value than the last, and utilized technology innovations, from internet to social / "read/write web" to mobile. The "Unbundling Craigslist" era was particularly epic at generating startup ideas
5/ The problem is, all the low-hanging fruit has been picked off. The techniques that got us to here won't get us to the next phase. So we have to do some pretty different things. That's why "Managed Marketplaces" have been a big deal - hire folks as W-2s, certify quality, etc.
More from Startups
- Have a lot of emails in the waiting list
- Become #1 on PH
- Become #1 of HN or Reddit
- Have people that saing "I'll pay"
- Have a lot of free users
The best way to know if they're actually pay for it.
The only thing that matters is your product providing a value, and you can't know this until people will pay money for it.
We can have a first signal of a product/market fit after the launch by check how many sales we've got in the first 24h. Some scale:
200+ This has a high potential.
100+: This has a potential.
50+: Some people need it.
10+: People almost don't need it.
0+: People don't need it.
This is for a single time payment product. For a subscription probably it should be less because people hate subscription.
And obviously, you should have a lot of traffic like 3-5k+.
Here is a stat for my products (macOS apps) for the first 24h after the launch:
Today, that person co-hosted a webinar with me that had over 470+ registered and 130+ live
👇 Quick lesson on how to successfully pitch partnerships and co-marketing opportunities
How did he get in contact with me?
He sent a cold email, but not just any email. It was clearly personal, relevant, and conversational.
Lesson: Notice the language he used and how he tied it back to previous webinars.
Not only was it well written, but I could also easily judge if he'd be a good fit based on the article he wrote and linked to.
It's SUPER well-written and proved that he knew what he was talking about.
Lesson: Make your "ask" as easy as possible to consider.
There were three things that made the webinar a big success:
1. Tyler sent the webinar to his email list and did a lot of promotion.
2. He prepared ahead of time and put a lot of work into the deck, even incorporating some Baremetrics assets and references.
3. He had fun
Super appreciate all the work @TylerHakes put into today's "SEO for SaaS"
If you missed it, here's the recording:
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Even with a stellar developer team and a stellar product, your startup may not grow or survive without a great marketing and sales teams.
2. Start growing your audience before you’ve a product or an idea.
You should start promoting yourself and building your audience before you have a finished product or even before you have a great idea that you want to build.
3. Don’t wait to start building your audience after you’ve launched a product.
Most first-time developers actually ignore marketing.
They’re oblivious to the challenge of attracting people to take a look at something they’ve created.
4. At least until they see their first project crash and burn within hours of the launch.
There are so many times that I have seen developers spend countless hours building something, releasing it with no fanfare...
5. and only then trying to figure out how to promote it by asking marketing questions on Indie Hackers, Quora or Hacker News. Don’t make that mistake.
Here is why 👇
Startups fixed the problem of innovation, that corporations lack.
In big, slow corporations, innovation is a RISK and distraction from the core $$$ profitable business.
Agile startups could launch, iterate fast and eventually stumble upon new growing market opportunities.
When a startup reaches product-market-fit, it has to 🚀 "grow at all costs" and reach market dominance before some giant corporation can replicate their new product and distribute it to their existing giant customer base.
Startup's "growth at all costs" often means growth at the expense of charging customers $$$ money.
Hence, to be sustainable, startups have to constantly chase investor money.
Startup teams spend more time finding and pleasing investors, than finding and pleasing customers.
95% of startups die because they run out of (investor) money + no business model + crazy investor expectations.
Same way corporations die, when unable to adjust to new technology and market shifts.
There's a deep-rooted psychological (and biological) reason why.
And today, I'm gonna to explain all of it so you can start profiting off of this knowledge 💰💰
*Now, this thread is going to be long and in depth. Make sure to favorite the top tweet now so you can come back to it later.
So. Down to the very core of every living being (humans, dolphins, bacteria, aliens), there are only two drivers:
1. To survive
2. To reproduce
Right off the bat, we know that sex is a primary driver to human behavior.
This would also mean that each gender has its own insecurities regarding sex.
Men have a subconscious fear that their woman will leave them for someone more successful
Women have a fear that their man will leave them for someone younger & better-looking
We can conclude that men are attracted to looks, and women are attracted to status.
This is human nature down to its very core.
Crazy, blue-haired feminists will try to argue and say otherwise.
But, 50 years of feminism DOES NOT OVERRIDE millions of years of evolutionary biology.
Here's a quick visualization exercise so you can see how true all this is...
If everyone was holding bitcoin on the old x86 in their parents basement, we would be finding a price bottom. The problem is the risk is all pooled at a few brokerages and a network of rotten exchanges with counter party risk that makes AIG circa 2008 look like a good credit.— Greg Wester (@gwestr) November 25, 2018
The benign product is sovereign programmable money, which is historically a niche interest of folks with a relatively clustered set of beliefs about the state, the literary merit of Snow Crash, and the utility of gold to the modern economy.
This product has narrow appeal and, accordingly, is worth about as much as everything else on a 486 sitting in someone's basement is worth.
The other product is investment scams, which have approximately the best product market fit of anything produced by humans. In no age, in no country, in no city, at no level of sophistication do people consistently say "Actually I would prefer not to get money for nothing."
This product needs the exchanges like they need oxygen, because the value of it is directly tied to having payment rails to move real currency into the ecosystem and some jurisdictional and regulatory legerdemain to stay one step ahead of the banhammer.