Just finished @ryanckulp’s new course “How to Buy, Grow, and Sell Small Companies”
Here are some main takeaways + my verdict 👇
Don’t have an idea? You don’t have to have one. Buy one.
Don’t know how to code? You don’t have to. Use revenue to outsource development.
Capital is not an excuse.
- Validated demand
- Leverage debt/equity partners
- Focus on going from 1-10, not 0-1
Acquiring a business that has paying customers saves you the time and energy you would have spent trying to figure out if there was demand for it in the first place.
Acquiring skips that step altogether.
It’s easy to be blinded by your infatuation with your idea.
Acquiring forces you to take a truly unbiased and logical look at a business.
Buying a business doesn’t mean you have to fork over a big pile of cash or empty out your savings to buy outright.
In fact, it’s probably best if you don’t.
Use the profits to pay down debt and float until you can pay yourself and/or pay off your debt.
Going from 0 to 1 — building, validating, and launching something from scratch — isn’t everyone’s forte.
If maintaining, optimizing, and growing is though, acquiring might be a better option for you.
Maintaining, optimizing, and growing a business requires tried and true processes.
Managing multiple businesses makes this ring even truer.
You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems.— James Clear (@JamesClear) October 4, 2018
Getting ready to sell can act as a forcing function to optimizing your business in ways it should have before.
Who knows the passwords? Yeah, that needs to be stored somewhere safer.
Spaghetti code? Yeah, that’s a liability.
I love the approach outlined in the course.
100% worth it. I follow the rule that I don’t have a budget for books — I buy whatever book looks interesting because if there’s ever something to overspend on, it’s on enabling and bettering yourself.
And that applies to courses too.
Get it: https://t.co/wcX0zFXHgL
Also excited to join the Rainmakers Club: https://t.co/hUy8DgUl5x
More from Startups
Published a new essay: The red flags and magic numbers that investors look for in your startup’s metrics – 80 slide deck included!
This was a deck that I created on my (longish) interview process with @a16z. It was a long path, starting with meeting folks at the firm 10 years ago. But the purpose of the deck was to explain how I would use my superpower in an investing context
Here's what I explain in the deck. As investors (whether angel or VC) we're often confronted with an up-and-to-the-right graph. Is it going to go up? Or down?
One solution to forecast these growth curves is the Growth Accounting Framework, where you add up New+Reactivated and subtract churned users. In each time period that gives you the difference in monthly actives.
The problem with this is that it's a lagging metric, not a leading one. We need to go one level deeper and look at the underlying loops that drive these numbers, to understand the quality.
Startups are inherently chaotic. No chaos = no opportunity. Startups exist because there is uncertainty, and new things to learn. (1/7) #startup
During a period of rapid growth, all things (structures, processes, etc.) eventually break. Some chaos is self-inflicted, and too much chaos can cause collapse / chronic harm (2/7) #startup
Agility is solving today’s problem, while not limiting your ability to solve tomorrow’s problem. There’s always a temptation to solve tomorrow’s problems.
There are good ideas everywhere, and opportunities everywhere. So focus is hard (3/7) #startup
Startups require an almost supernatural level of focus. You have to focus, while knowing full well many things are broken, and need work. Nothing is truly repeatable or efficient at this point, even when we want it to be (4/7) #startup
And that’s hard...so we tend to load up on the good ideas.
Pursuing all the good ideas will leave you (and others) burnt out. Self-inflicted chaos (5/7) #startup
Here’s what it feels like to launch something to the indie maker community:
Launching a free, open source tool:
“This is awesome! You’re awesome!”
Launching a commercial tool:
“TWO DOLLARS? You are literally Hitler”
I’m exaggerating for comedic effect of course. But there’s a lesson here...
I knew before I started working on Promomatic to be very wary of building a utility tool for makers. Makers are by definition problem solvers and their favorite hobby is finding a better / faster / cheaper way to do what your product does.
It’s so tempting to build things for makers because they seem accessible (thanks to PH, IH, Reddit etc) and you get an immediate feedback loop.
I'm constantly running tests on ad platforms and cold outreach to gauge market interest in specific products/solutions/pain points.
2/ Seems like what some people try to accomplish with an EIR, but from
what I can tell, that's usually focused on a single venture.
We are constantly uncovering new potential ventures through our outreach, and we aren't even a fund.
I have been doing individual posts on numbers every week so wanted to one big thread with all updates 👇🏽
Transparency time:— Sharath \U0001f4e3 (@5harath) February 12, 2021
It's been 24hrs @shoutoutso_ went to public launch \U0001f525
\U0001f4b0 6 rockstars bought Pro, Pro Annual plans.
\U0001f4aa\U0001f3fd 168 signups.
\u2665\ufe0f 182 Shoutout walls created.
\U0001f465 160K Twitter impressions on launch thread.
Thank you for making it a huge day for us \U0001f64f\U0001f3fd pic.twitter.com/is9Z53trIh
Transparency time: It's been 2 weeks since @shoutoutso_ launched to the public \U0001f525— Sharath \U0001f4e3 (@5harath) February 25, 2021
Here are some highlights:
\U0001f451 18 rockstars paid customers
\U0001f4b0 $240 MRR
\U0001f4aa 426 signups and counting
\u2764\ufe0f 140 walls published
\U0001f3c6 #3 product @ProductHunt
Appreciate this community so much\U0001f64f\U0001f3fd pic.twitter.com/KmKCZdHqlJ
Transparency time: Week 3 @shoutoutso_ \U0001f525— Sharath \U0001f4e3 (@5harath) March 4, 2021
Here are some highlights:
\U0001f451 29 rockstar paid customers
\U0001f4b0 $460 MRR
\U0001f4aa 475 signups and counting
\u2764\ufe0f 163 walls published
\U0001f3c6 Launched on @ProductHunt(#3) @IndieHackers
Grateful for this amazing community for all the love and support \U0001f64f\U0001f3fd pic.twitter.com/MVGo0cfZJj
Transparency time: It's been a month we launched @shoutoutso_ \U0001f525— Sharath \U0001f4e3 (@5harath) March 11, 2021
Here are some highlights:
\U0001f451 36 rockstar paid customers
\U0001f4b0 $610 MRR
\U0001f4aa 516 signups and counting
\u2764\ufe0f 191 walls published
\U0001f3c6 @ProductHunt Maker Grant Award
Grateful for this amazing community for all the love \U0001f64f\U0001f3fd pic.twitter.com/1i7LxLU4Ap
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His parents, my Omi and Opi, always considered themselves more German than Jewish, so they didn’t think they’d get swept up in the madness.
Opi was taken to city hall with other Jews and lined up against a wall. He thought he was going to be shot.
He always remembered when they got to Dachau there were pajamas with Jewish stars waiting on their cots. Obviously not a spontaneous thing.
He was very lucky. His family got him a fake Uruguayan visa and he was out of Dachau six weeks later. “Before Christmas,” my dad recalls.
I think I've figured it out.
THREAD: The four elements of writing style:
Pardon me while I open a wormhole into your brain and thrust style advice into it.
See, that’s an example of style.
I could have just said: "And now let’s learn about style."
Four elements of style I'll cover:
• Your voice
• Your presentation
• Engaging the senses
• Engaging the imagination
Part 1: Your voice
Ask your friends what it's like to talk with you.
Perhaps they’ll mention your:
• Tone of voice
• Sense of humor
Convey those traits in your writing, and readers will recognize your voice.
In other words, voice is not your choice of words. Voice is your unfiltered self.
Here we have a rare example of a GIF you can actually hear. TOMA. 💪
The Spanish Samurai
Never give up. 💪 #GraciasFernando
Winning is everything. #GraciasFernando
You refused to reveal your own STI results to me, but claimed to others they were negative and alleged I had multiple other partners, slut-shaming me. You gaslit me saying you had told me about your other partners.
You called up @justice_sisters and @SistersinIslam to tell them I was crazy, jilted. You rebuffed attempts to organise a community mediation so we could address matters. You said I was crazy for speaking to your boss and father in an attempt to keep other women safe.
You have a PATTERN OF BEHAVIOUR of misogyny, harassment and sheer disrespect for women. This was sent to a friend of mine who has never expressed interest in you and has a partner.
You think women are playthings, notches on the bedpost. You, @surendraananth, are no human rights advocate.