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2/ Earliest mistake is picking the wrong co-founders. You have to be value-aligned (don’t have conflicting personal goals) and respect each other. With both of these, any other differences are irrelevant - can be worked out. Without them everything else you do is irrelevant.
3/ If you launch, next mistake is chasing top-line vanity metrics (sign ups) instead of growing the number of users who *really* love you. @paultoo advice - better to have 10 users who depend on you than 100 who a lukewarm. This requires patience and killing your ego.
4/ If you raise a seed round, it’s tempting to ignore retention. With money, there are always ways to grow top-line (buy ads, launch a new location). Strong fundraisers can do this for multiple rounds (though investors are more savvy to this now). Eventually, the bottom falls out
5/ Once you’re growing without churn, you find you have a diverse set of customers and can’t make them all happy -it’s easy to fail trying. Commit to a long term strategy for going public and build for the users who get you there, even if you lose the others. You have to focus.
Such as if the beach is dog-friendly, have free wifi or 3g coverage, what are the main activities there, and many more... 🐶📶🏄♀️
Let's build this in public (thread) 👇
🚀 After some code optimizations today, the Poll component is ready!!
👉 How it works: It's flexible and accepts different types of Polls, e.g.: Yes/No or Ratings (from Great to Really bad), etc...
🙋♀️ Users will be able to vote and the most voted option will be chosen.
🙌 Just had an amazing conversation with @rylandking we're partnering for a better world for beach lovers!
👉 You'll be able to find in-depth information for surf such as best spots, surf schools, and many more via SurfTripList!
💫 This is how BeachGuide is looking now on mobile, almost launching! Just need to finish the API and implement front end connections to it
Ps: logo its not mine and it will not be the official, only testing
When I saw that @gumroad supported Pay What You Want, I had no doubt that this would be the pricing strategy for CSS Scan.
I'd always recommend PWYW with a minimum price instead of a fixed pricing. Why? [...]
It turns out that some people just value your product more than others!
👉 With PWYW you're not only receiving the value that you expected but also donations for a good work.
Plus, with a minimum price, you'll at least earn the same amount you were supposed to if it was fixed.
💡 You only need 1 person paying more to already make it worth.
It's not easy, though. CSS Scan started at $1.99. It was selling like water, so I raised the price to $2.99, and after that, $3.99 - in about 3 days.
❗️ What I didn't expect was that 30% of people were paying more!
I realized that the price could still be higher by looking at the average of the sales prices. E.g., when it was $3.99, the average price of it was actually at $4.69!
I left it at $3.99 for 3 months. Based on the $4.69 average, 1 week ago I decided to raise it again to $4.99.
🧐 Now let's look at the data!
📈 Previous conversion rate: 6,5%
📉 Current conversion rate: 5,7%
It received 1403 views this month. Doing math:
(1403*6,5%)*3,99 = $363
(1403*5,7%)*4,99 = $399
🤔 So there's actually a growth in revenue
⬆️ $363 to $399
🎉 +$36 or +10% per month
Drop some questions in there! Happy to answer anything, esp around building side projects with a full-time job :)
My high level plans for Starter Story.
On almost quitting
@daviswbaer How I find so many businesses to interview
@daviswbaer On balancing different projects
There should be be evidence that folks are already spending money in the space you’re thinking of entering.
Before AirBnB, folks paid money to stay at hotels, B&Bs, cottages, vacation homes, and hostels.
Annually, people spend $570 BILLION on travel accommodation.
Entrepreneurs need to follow the money:
“Where is it already being spent, and how can I get a piece of it?”
Don’t look for “problems that need solving.”
Look for categories where people/businesses are already spending money.
From an entrepreneur’s POV, if folks are willing to spend money on it, it’s a problem worth solving.
Apple has consistently followed this approach.
They didn’t make the first:
- MP3 player
- Smart phone
They saw the existing demand, and built on it.
On a serious note, it's interesting to observe that you can build a decent business charging $20 - $50 per month for something that any good developer can set up. This is one of those micro-saas sweet spots between "easy for me to build" and "tedious for others to build"— Jon Yongfook (@yongfook) September 5, 2019
Every year at MicroConf I get surprised-not-surprised by the number of people I meet who are running "Does one thing reasonably well, ranks well for it, pulls down a full-time dev salary" out of a fun side project which obviates a frequent 1~5 engineer-day sprint horizontally.
"Who is the prototypical client here?"
A consulting shop delivering a $X00k engagement for an internal system, a SaaS company doing something custom for a large client or internally facing or deeply non-core to their business, etc.
(I feel like many of these businesses are good answers to the "how would you monetize OSS to make it sustainable?" fashion, since they often wrap a core OSS offering in the assorted infrastructure which makes it easily consumable.)
"But don't the customers get subscription fatigue?"
I think subscription fatigue is far more reported by people who are embarrassed to charge money for software than it is experienced by for-profit businesses, who don't seem to have gotten pay-biweekly-for-services fatigue.
Ultra-portable elliptical trainer.
Why the 📈?
-Part of growing workout @ home trend
-Super small (fits under a desk or table)
-Proprietary tracking app
-Smart "fit while you sit" branding
-Sizable community of Cubii users
Open source illustration library.
Why the 📈?
-1000s pro-level illustrations
-As illustrations replace stock photos, demand for illustrations=📈
-Part of growing open source media libraries (music, images and icons)trend
@unDraw_co 3/ @flodeskinc
Email service provider that focuses on design.
Why the 📈?
-Appeals to Shopify stores
-Attractive email templates
-Designed for ecommerce marketing
@unDraw_co @flodeskinc 4/ @pushpay
Venmo for church donations.
Why the 📈?
-7900+ churches use it
-Disrupting cash donation baskets
-Taps into cashless payments meta trend
3 yrs ago, @neerajberry and I shut down @Sprig, which raised $60M from @GreylockVC + @socialcapital & grew to $20m revenue.
Then, it all fell apart.
For an honest story about failure,
In 2013, I was @lyft, envious of how fast it was growing!
What about @lyft for food?
We looked @Postmates + thought:
- the food arrived sloppy / restaurants don't care about delivery
- it took forever (1hr)
- too expensive
We struggled through product iterations until we found "magic":
3 taps and $15 for a healthy meal delivered in 15 min
To make it possible, we had to run the restaurant ourselves; it would be expensive but worth it
We recruited @n8keller, Morgan Springer + @mattkent as founders
We launched and had immediate success. The buzz was unbelievable. Within months we were on track to do $1M revenue/year.
Our Series A was a hot round. I did 4 partner meetings on the same day. Raised $10M.
Great investors, great team, off to the races - @omal and @simonrothman
2 challenges arose:
1) Govt. SF health + planning made our lives hell. They didn't like our innovations. We had to bribe officials ("lobbying").
2) Gross Margins (GM). As we grew, our burn rate grew too. We were losing money on every meal. If only we could get to critical mass.
Get your time right by eliminating most entertainment and leisure.
Produce (work) more than you consume (watch/read/listen to entertainment).
Work intentionally, have fun intentionally, create a balance that you control. Free up a few (3-4) hours a day.
Use that new time to build new skills + knowledge by doing work for free for other people.
Do free work that helps save them time, make them money, or save them money (things that people will pay for).
Do a bit every day. Because it's free, there's less pressure to perform
Enhance learning by purchasing courses, reading books, and taking action to learn those skills by applying them to the free work you're doing.
Figure out what you like to do and what you don't like to do (do more of what you like to do and less of what you don't).
Figure out what works and what doesn't work (there's definitely a lot of advice out there that doesn't work or is contextual to the environment it works in).