He made $1M in 10 days with a team of 4 people.
Gas App 🧵
The story is even more impressive as the app was only available to download in 12 states.
So how did they go viral?
They made the account private, & then followed every student from these high schools.
The good old fashioned ‘velvet rope’ approach.
Then on the launch day, they had guys park outside the schools.
When the end-of-day bell rang they accepted all the requests.
The Gas app team changed the bio of these planted accounts to direct the students to download gas, by saying “see who likes you.”
Not per DAY.
Not per WEEK.
30,000 users PER HOUR.
They named it after an internet slang “Gas”, which means to “pump someone up” with a compliment.
BUT, you can’t talk with or message anyone.
So questions like:
“Who has the best smile?”
“Who will be the best DJ at the party?”
“Who is likely to be a millionaire?”
When someone selects a name, they receive flames.
Which are meant to gas them up and boost their self-esteem.
A user can see WHO answered the poll questions about them by purchasing ‘God Mode,’ which costs $6.99 a week.
That’s $28 a month which is almost double to Netflix’s standard subscription plan (!!)
Nikita broke the news on Twitter in classic style:
After a few days, accusations that the app was involved in Human Trafficking began to surface.
Police departments, local TV news, and school district officials began issuing statements encouraging parents to NOT allow their children to use the app.
Google search was filled with news articles about “Gas app kidnapping” and “Gas app sex trafficking”.
He announced they had been targeted by two DoS attacks, with many IPs originating from China.
The big question I have…
Could it have been TikTok???
Gas App continues to grow at a rapid clip.
Nikita just said yesterday that 1/3 of American teens have downloaded the app!
>Fighting through the tough times to build a great business
Excited to see what Nikita and team continue to do with the Gas App!
Follow @lukesophinos where I share my learnings from founding, operating, investing, and advising software companies https://twitter.com/lukesophinos/status/1593268198064824320
I fucked up, and should have done better.
Transparently–my hands were tied during the duration of the possible Binance deal; I wasn’t particularly allowed to say much publicly. But of course it’s on me that we ended up there in the first place.
But that’s different from liquidity for delivery–as you can tell from the state of withdrawals. The liquidity varies widely, from very to very little.
The first time, a poor internal labeling of bank-related accounts meant that I was substantially off on my sense of users’ margin. I thought it was way lower.
USD liquidity ready to deliver: 24x average daily withdrawals
Liquidity: 0.8x Sunday’s withdrawals
Because, of course, when it rains, it pours. We saw roughly $5b of withdrawals on Sunday–the largest by a huge margin.
Which tells me a lot of things, both specifically and generally, that I was shit at.
And a third time, in not communicating enough. I should have said more. I’m sorry–I was slammed with things to do and didn’t give updates to you all.
And I’m going to do everything I can to do that. To take responsibility, and do what I can.
I can’t make any promises about that. But I’m going to try. And give anything I have to if that will make it work.
We’ll see how that ends up.
After that, investors–old and new–and employees who have fought for what’s right for their career, and who weren’t responsible for any of the fuck ups.
I clearly failed in that. I’m sorry.
I’m not sure–that depends on what happens over the next week.
But here are some things I know.
They aren’t doing any of the weird things that I see on Twitter–and nothing large at all. And one way or another, soon they won’t be trading on FTX anymore.
Giving as close to on-chain transparency as it can: so that people know *exactly* what is happening on it.
All of the stakeholders–investors, regulators, users–would have a large part to play in how it would be run.
This was about FTX International. FTX US, the US based exchange that accepts Americans, was not financially impacted by this shitshow.
It’s 100% liquid. Every user could fully withdraw (modulo gas fees etc).
Updates on its future coming.
But you know, glass houses. So for now, all I’ll say is:
well played; you won.
I WAS NOT VERY CAREFUL WITH MY WORDS HERE, AND DO NOT MEAN ANY OF THEM IN A TECHNICAL OR LEGAL SENSE; I MAY WELL HAVE NOT DESCRIBED THINGS RIGHT though I’m trying to be transparent. I’M NOT A GOOD DEV AND PROBABLY MISDESCRIBED SOMETHING.
I sincerely apologize.
We’ll keep sharing updates as we have them.
1. Us vs them
2. Founder story
3. Before and after
4. three reasons why
5. Press release screenshot
6. Static Image with the core benefit
7. Problem – Agitation – Solution UGC
Example of each ad-types with the breakdown:
It’s easier to place yourself against a common enemy so that views immediately get it.
Here are some that have wor ked for me or on me.
With paid social ads, you are selling a transformation.
What are you promising as a transformation? Make that an after image.
Why? Immediate credibility. Newsworthy.
An ad that does not look like an ad.
UGC ads bring immediate social proof. They are relatable.
Full video is here: https://app.foreplay.co/share/ads/SSob0rbH1NwpXPqqjDKg?user=Aazar%20Shad
When founders can grab attention with their gripping stories — tell “why” it is valuable to viewers.
Idea credit and source: @mrsharma
Gets brain and emotion working together.
Easy to understand and execute.
Sells one idea or problem solution. Gets the attention of viewers to learn more.
Usually they have the cheapest CPMs.
Join 2500+ other people learning from the best marketers: https://aazarshad.com/newsletter/
Gets brain and emotion working together.
Easy to understand and execute.
1/ How FTX (a multi billion dollar co) almost died overnight
2/ And why this is a god tier strategic move by @cz_binance
Steph curry, tom brady, they cut huge marketing deals.
SBF becomes the famous “fro of crypto”
(coinbase and others are smaller)
Binance decides to sell it’s stake in FTX.
As part of the buyout, they agreed to take $2B of it in “FTT” — a token that FTX created that it uses for trading fees.
Binance owns a sh*t ton of FTT ($2B)
There’s not a lot of FTT trading volume (this is important soon)
lobbying in a way that would hurt binance
So he announces publicly on twitter to his 7M followers that he’s going to DUMP his entire $2B FTT stash
$2B of sell pressure would crush price
So they start to panic sell
Price of FTT drops like 15-20% overnight.
Nobody wants to buy FTT (too risky, a whale is about to dump) and everyone wants to sell. Number go down.
They are kings.
But news leaks showing the emperor has no clothes
They have ~$12B in assets, $7b ish in liabilities…but half their “assets” are in FTT token
which is plummeting & illiquid
Alemeda might die
They are sorta sister companies. Market makers on FTX. And possibly hold/trade customer deposits. The relationship has been unclear for years. (achilles heel?)
They wait for he or alemeda to show they are in good health
*narrator* but they were not in good health
but it feels to all of crypto like a girlfriend saying “i’m fine”
But something tells us that it’s not so happy, even with the exclamation mark
if they had the financial strength, they would have shown it by now
This starts to feel like the “steady lads” moment right before luna collapsed
Ya know, just in case it collapses like celsius, blockfi, voyager, luna all did in the past year
$1B+ of withdrawals
FTX is facing a liquidity crunch
best code phrase since
“FTX was in trouble. We bought them to save them”
Binance basically started a rumor, made a threat, and ended up buying its biggest competitor overnight.
magnus carlsen approves
crypto crisis averted
if ftx failed…that would have been devestating for all of crypto
you never want to be the main character
more room for tomfoolery in the coming days
I accidentally discovered how Elon uses persuasion when I was reading about his hostile takeover of Twitter.
Here are 13 persuasion tactics Elon Musk uses on Twitter:
I want you to take a look at the marketing spending breakdown major car manufacturers.
Did you notice it?
(hint: look at Tesla)
General Motor spent $3.4 billion in ads.
Fords: $2 billion
Volkswagen: $5 billion
Let me clarify that adversiting is not marketing.
While Elon’s companies don’t spend money on ads…
They do market the hell out of their products using a few persuasion secrets I’ll be telling you about today.
These tactics work even if you’re not rich – except for one 🤫
How it works:
Give something away for free. Get something in return.
How Elon used it:
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria knocked out the power in Puerto Rico. Musk sent help. He got free press.
Post your Ls
How it works:
Posting about your failures makes you appear trustworthy and transparent. It helps build trust and empathy towards you.
How it works:
Post controversial ideas you truly believe in. It’ll help you build a rock-solid following by scaring away the weak and attracting the hard-core people.
How it works:
Post memes and jokes. Memes carry an emotional punch. It’s impossible to hate someone who makes you laugh. It makes people think “He’s one of us”
Delete your tweets
How it work:
Post something valuable. Then delete it. People will be asking for it in your DMs. Deleting tweets and threads creates a sense of urgency and scarcity.
(musk deleted these tweets)
Let people know that there’s limited spots for your programs. This will make your followers jump over hurdles so they don’t miss the chance to buy.
Use social proof
When in doubt, people look at what others are doing. If they see the behavior is acceptable and common, they’ll be open to doing it too.
(30,000 people bought Elon’s “Burnt Hair” perfume and Twitter is usage is at an all-time high)
Reply to followers
Content is king. But engaging with your followers is what helps you build a repution. Connect with your followers in the timeline and your DMs.
Keep people informed.
Let your followers know about your future plans. Announcing your products pre-sells people.
People want to follow real people. Just be yourself.
Build in public
Are you creating something new? Post about your progress, learnings, and the challenges you’re facing. It’s a great way to build hype for your stuff and make people root for you.
Open a pre-order period.
Promote your products before they’re ready. That way, you can gauge interest.
(Elon Musk pre-sold 250K Cybertruck back in 2019)
Buy Twitter for $44 Billion Dollars
If nothing else works to make your account grow… buy Twitter
This is thread 2/24 of the #HyperThread challenge.
So if you enjoyed this it:
Retweet the first tweet of the thread to share it with your audience https://twitter.com/17730766/status/1589950410609025024
“In the first quarter, Tesla just reported a net income of $3.31 billion. By comparison, GM recorded a net profit of $2.93 billion in the same period. Ford […] posted a net loss of $3.1 billion”
Apple, Tesla, and your favorite creators use them to make millions.
Use them in your landing pages and branding.
It’s easy to get caught up in your own POV.
Use the words “you” and “your” in your copy…
> connect with your readers
> empathize with them
> engage them
Fonts have personality.
Match your fonts to the intented tone of your landing page.
Sans Serif portrays stability and strongness.
Serif – tradition and formality.
Script – elegance and stylish.
Slab – bold and friendly
Imagine selling a “get shredded” product for men and making your landing page pink.
Don’t expect sales.
Therefore, understand the colors of business.
Hick’s Law says that the more options a person has, the longer it takes for them to make a choice.
The longer it takes, the more likely it is that they’ll leave your page.
Make sure this doesn’t happen by giving your readers fewer choices.
Visual hierarchy helps people find their way around your page.
It also help them process in the information in the way you want.
And finally, it shows which elements are related.
Things appear more attractive when they are limited.
People move quickly when they feel it’s their last chance to buy something.
Never use fake scarcity.
And be clear about why your supply is limited.
Bring your readers into the action.
Tell them what to do next.
Is it to click? Read more? Buy? Make an appointment?
Tell them what to do.
In his book “Don’t Make Me Think,” Steve Krug talks about the 3 rules of usability:
Law #1: Don’t make me think
Law #2: Make every click an obvious choice with no need to think
Law #3: Half the words on each page, then half them again
Give away free stuff: trials, bonuses, free content, free services.
Doing so, triggers people into reciprocity mode.
Do a favor, and people usually pay you back.
Most people scout for others’ opinions before making a decision.
Therefore, add testimonials to your landing pages to make you look more trustworthy.
Also, highlight popular options.
“Join for less than the cost of one cup of coffee per.”
As soon as you read this, you knew you would be paying less the 5 bucks.
This is because people make comparisons before buying.
So frame your pricing in an unexpected ways.
Trigger a sense of urgency by adding a deadline.
Add a countdown timer to make the deadline more obvious.
Some people hate these, but they work.
The idea that people buy features is fake.
What they actually buy is the emotion and transformation you promise.
A simple way to achieve this is by telling a story with your headlines.
People are hurry or just want to muddle their way through.
So use an F-shape in your designs and text layout.
An F-shape to makes your content easier to read.
Strengthen the argument that your product is a good one by showcasing authority figures who endorced it.
83% of people read only headlines.
Spend 80% of your time working on your headline.
Because if your headline sucks, your copy sucks.
Therefore, add tons of headline in your copy.
Asking a girl to marry you at the bar is creepy.
So first, offer her for a drink.
Next, ask her to join you at your table.
Then you ask her on a date.
And so on.
Ask for a small commitment and then ask for a bigger one.
In the early 1900s…
Advertising legend Claude Hopkins revolutionize the sales of Schlitz beer.
He developed a new sales strategy.
He just described how the product is made.
Bring your process to life. Tell your story.
Conversion Rate Experts: https://conversion-rate-experts.com/100-year-old-persuasion-strategy/
Influence (book): [https://t.co/6dqgfjlgfP](https://t.co/6dqgfjlgfP)
If you enjoyed this thread:
1. Follow me @joserosado for more of these
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24 days of daily threads.
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Join us ⚡️
It’s even easier when you have the right formulas.
Here are the 9 copywriting formulas that have helped me sell millions:
P → Identify a problem
A → Agitate said problem
S → Give a solution
(This is my go-to formula for newsletters)
Picture → Paint an attention-grabbing picture (story)
Promise → Make your promise related to this picture
Prove → Add testimonials/ case studies as proof
Push → Push readers toward your CTA
Features → Talk about the “what” (what does your service include?)
Advantages → Talk about the “why” (why is your service useful?)
Benefits → Talk about the “what’s in it for you” factor
Star → Introduce the main character of your story (this could be you too in case of personal branding)
Story → Elaborate on the story
Solution → Show how the Star won (and pitch a related service/ product)
Awareness → Create awareness of the problem
Comprehension → Explain the consequences of the problem and pitch your solution
Conviction → Convince your reader to try out your solution
Action → CTA
1. Context → Start with a strong hook
2. Attention → Grab your reader’s attention
3. Desire → Show them what they’re missing
4. The gap → Show how you help overcome the gap between reality & dreams
5. Solution → Pitch your solution
Before → Life with the pain points
After → Life after solving the pain points
Bridge → The “how” – aka, your product
(I use this strategy in sales calls too.)
Star → Talk about your offer
Chain → Keep the copy going by creating a chain of facts, case studies, testimonials, etc
Hook → CTA
+1: Credibility → Add testimonials & case studies
Useful → Have something of value
Urgent → Create a sense of urgency
Unique → Showcase the USP of your product/ service
Ultra-specific → Be ultra-specific with the first three U’s.
If you enjoyed this thread:
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some surprising learnings and observations I hadn’t stumbled across in my prior research:
It’s pretty clear to me how a small team maintain a strong culture, the quality bar high, & the vibes consistent.
It’s pretty shocking to witness 100k+ staff members constantly smiling and waving, picking up trash, and cheerily answering guest questions.
Ticket Takers are called greeters. Janitors are called Custodians. This helps clarify the role for outsiders *and* insiders.
@browsercompany’s user-facing teams work in “Hospitality”
@watershed’s account managers were originally called “climate advisors”
Everyone on the staff is expected to keep the park clean. Added benefit–Disney needs to employ far fewer custodians to keep the park clean.
This is a norm in the outdoor community. I found this this in high-functioning kitchens I researched, too.
They honestly look like they’re about to go golfing.
I really like the symbolism here.
I really, really like the way it forces the organization to build in systems/processes that ensures their cleaning crew can stay clean all day.
I hadn’t been to Disney since I was was 7. I didn’t remember that I remembered anything about it.
But at the sight of certain iconic landmarks, warm fuzzy feelings of childhood wonder and happiness came rushing over me.
Some things should stick around.
-Car horns make cute sounds instead of obnoxious ones
-There’s a popcorn production run every morning at 9am to get the smell in the air
-As dusk sets in, the faint sound of crickets starts playing over the speakers
The early parks team decided it would be best for guest experience and the environment if they sorted our the recycling from the trash on behalf of their visitors behind the scenes.
The problem? No one believed the sorting was actually happening.
Disney introduced recycling receptacles along trashcans so the guests would have faith that recycling was happening…
and continued the sorting anyway because of course trash still finds its way into the recycling bins and vice versa.
I’ve always appreciated the discipline and maturity of teams behind Easter eggs.
I know how tempting it can be to create something wonderful and then want to point people to it.
But, it’s miles more delightful to uncover it yourself.
Turns out, it’s also good for business because guests will come back an infinite number of times and have infinite little treasures to discover.
We had the incredible privilege of being led around the newest world, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, by one of the lead imagineers responsible for its creation.
She was pretty awkward in front of the group–soft-spoken, fumbled over words, and fidgety…
We can’t always do that with software or early projects, and this was a good reminder to listen to everyone.
To get the best in life, learn the best way to ask.
• The right words to use
• When and who to persuade
The lion’s share is negotiated.
In life you’re either seductive or being seduced.
Here are books you should read;
– The mystery method
– The art of seduction
– The truth: A uncomfortable book about relationships.
Which one have you read?
99% of people are chasing money.
Be different and understand money is created;
You do this by;
– Buying assets
– Building business
– Investing in your health
– Hiring people better than you
The more you create, the more you have.
Know the current trends.
The world is competitive and you should know;
– What’s working now
– What’s best for you
– How to stay on the winner’s side
What worked then might not work today.
You get respect from;
• Your appearance
• How you talk
– Invest in clothes, shoes, lotion and sprays
– Have a killer haircut/hairdo
– Sharpen your communication skills
You’ll win over 99% of people.
No one will ever complete you.
Being alone shouldn’t translate to loneliness.
Spend time alone to;
– Understand the world around you
– Learn more about yourself
– Guard your energy
The more you spend time alone, the stronger you get.
Success is more about;
• Who you’re
• Who you know
• How many people know you
– Learn communication skills
– Talk to new people
85% of your success is hidden in connections.
Self-defence is both mental and physical.
• Learn how, when and who to fight
• Set boundaries
• Stay humble
The stronger you are, the less you show.
How you talk and relate with people should be free and fun.
• Be goofy
• Tell jokes
• Be fun to talk to and about
Note: There’s a difference between being fun and funny.
You’ll only be bored if you’re boring.
Follow @Copywriting_Dad and continue learning more on;
• Making Money Online
• Audience building
• Persuasive writing
At the same VCs often they pass if they feel that the market is TOO SMALL.
Here is everything you ever need to know about MARKET SIZING.
Market size is the amount of money your prospective customers spend.
For example, cloud computing market is $1,600 BN by 2030 => https://www.globenewswire.com/en/news-release/2022/05/13/2443081/0/en/Cloud-Computing-Market-Size-to-Hit-US-1-614-1-Billion-by-2030.html
Or Healthcare & Heath Ins in USA is $1.1 T https://t.co/zj2xMZK7U1.
VCs want to only invest in big markets. The reason is simple:
– Venture scale return company is > $100M in Revenue
– Say you are in $1B market, to get to $100M in revenue you need to capture 10% of this market
– That’s hard
– Also most markets are NOT winner take all. Think Uber and Lyft — they compete. Space X and Blue Origin — compete, etc
– Most markets are CROWDED
– In a crowded market, revenue opportunity shrinks – pie is split
– VCs don’t want to invest into a small market because it will likely be a small outcome.
– VCs rely on power law – big outliers – to make their math work
– Small outcomes aren’t good for them!
There are two ways people look at the market size – TOP DOWN and BOTTOM UP.
TOP DOWN is what founders mostly put in their decks and it is typically incorrect for two reasons.
A) Its way too big
B) Its not even their market
Say you are launching a new cloud based database for machine learning.
If you put entire $1,600 BN market for cloud tools as your market size, this is INCORRECT – you are WAY OVERESTIMATING it.
You are NOT proving all cloud tools.
Similarly, if you put $189B – size of ML tools, you are still over estimating it.
There are MANY tools for ML and data layer is only 1 piece of the puzzle, one slice of the market!
Even worse than over estimating is claiming totally wrong market.
For example, if you selling digital software to healthcare industry, NEVER put $1.1 T spent on Healthcare in US in your deck. NEVER.
It is completely IRRELEVANT!
If you selling digital software to healthcare industry, even $185B for Digital Health market IS NOT YOUR MARKET SIZE.
Your market is Medical Software which is somewhere between $10B and $20B, and thats not all…
Ultimately your startup is going after a sliver of that market.
So you need to really drill down!
For example, if you are selling to dentists it is $1 – $2B market for entire amount they spend on managing their practice.
In general, TOP DOWN MARKET SIZE is NOT VERY USEFUL, but …
– Google YOUR SPECIFIC MARKET
– Research revenue / market cap of larger companies in the space
– Trim down and be conservative
Estimate you can capture 1-10% MAX!
Bottom up is MUCH BETTER approach, especially for early stage founders who need to build credibility with investors.
It is also A LOT simpler.
Market size = # Of Customers X Revenue Per Customer.
There are 180,000 dental practices in US.
If you sell them software for $500 MRR or $6K ARR you are going after 180,000 X $6,000 = $1B opportunity.
To get to $100M in ARR you need to sell to 10% or 18,000 dental practices – and keep them!
Let’s look at another example – Netflix.
$20 a month or $240 ARR, assuming they sell to each of 120M households in US, Netflix can get $28.8B. Sanity check, it is currently at $7B in US or about 1/4 of total market.
So what looks like a small market?
Say we are selling SaaS tools to Universities in US at $100K ARR — which is nice size contract.
There are 5,000 universities so $500M market.
Most if not all VCs will consider it too small.
Go back to the formula:
Market size = # Of Customers X Revenue per Customer
Either there are A LOT OF CUSTOMERS who PAY A LITTLE or
A FEW CUSTOMERS who PAY LOT.
Hack – use Netflix as a baseline
100,000,000 households paying $10 a month
Order of magnitude for Netflix is $10B – venture size market.
Learn to shift zeros from left to right.
100,000 restaurants in US =>
Each would need to pay you $10K a month to get the same $10B market – Impossible!
VCs love > $10B+ markets.
VCs don’t like < $1B markets.
If you know how many customers you COULD HAVE (Google it!) and you know how much they would pay (ASK THEM!!!) then you know exactly where you would fall.
There is NO EXCUSE whatsoever to not get the BOTTOM UP MARKET SIZE right.
Stop using TAM / some crazy out of this world numbers that have NOTHING TO DO with your business numbers in your decks.
Use BOTTOM UP MARKET SIZE & get it right!
Also to know about the markets is are they EXPANDING.
For example, EV Market => Expanding, Gasoline based vehicles — shrinking!
VCs love quickly growing markets – forward looking.
VCs dislike shrinking markets – backward looking.
This gets tricky…
Digital Health – Growing!
Traditional Health — Likely Shrinking!
Overall education – Growing!
Traditional education – Likely Shrinking!
VCs are going to get into the weeds!
Some founders get upset hearing that their market is too small, but the best founders DO NOT CARE!
Best founders are on a MISSION to solve a problem, not to generate venture scale returns. Those two don’t always align!
If you are passionate about small market you should still go and build a business!
You can still raise capital, structure it smartly, and grow through the best $ out there – CUSTOMER REVENUE!
VCs are NOTORIOUSLY WRONG about market size. Even Uber and Airbnb initially were told their markets are too small 😂.
The best founders can EXPAND MARKETS. They see the future the way others can’t.
Don’t be deterred!
– VCs are RIGHT to care about MARKET SIZE
– Avoid HUGE RANDOM TAM # into your deck
– Do research & use BOTTOM UP MARKET SIZE
– Even the market is small but your are passionate – GO FOR IT! What VCs think DOES NOT MATTER!
Good luck & follow @2048vc for more!
Then went on to coach the CEOs of Reddit, OpenAI, Coinbase….even Sequoia Capital.
Here are 5 “MAGIC” questions he has all his leaders ask their teams:
As @balajis would say, he is “post-economic.” He only works for the people he chooses.
His clients are either the fastest-growing tech companies or the top 5 VC firms.
Fortunately, he is very generous with sharing his techniques
The questions are so effective they feel like “magic.”
He calls them the MAGIC QUESTIONS.
When asking these questions, you show your team:
1) You want them to get to their highest level of potential
2) They have great ideas about how to get there
3) You care about them
1 – It couldn’t be any worse
3 – Meeting expectations
5- It couldn’t be any better
Let’s break them down:
Why this works:
This question makes them feel seen and heard as people, not employees.
As a leader, you also get critical context on how to support them at work.
Why this works:
If you are even partially remote, this helps you understand if there are any productivity blockers.
You’ll find out if there are any inexpensive items that could make a difference.
Why this works:
You get an assessment of company performance against THEIR expectations.
Their ideas about how the company could do better enters the conversation.
Why this works:
The day-to-day of what it feels like to be on your team gets a chance to be expressed.
The good and bad of team dynamics get the attention it deserves.
Why this works:
Most managers don’t know what it feels like to report to them.
You get direct feedback about what it is like to be in their shoes to work with you.
Most people have great ideas on how to improve things when asked in a structured way.
-incredible understanding of how my team is feeling
-fabulous, actionable insights on how to improve as a leader and a company
-When you can make the next level clear…
-And help them achieve the next level…
Motivation goes THROUGH THE ROOF
But you can give these questions a try and see what you notice.
The questions are free, but the insights from your team are invaluable.
• Follow me @mattschnuck for more threads on EQ, entrepreneurship, and growth.
• Retweet the first tweet to share these questions with a leader
The Great CEO Within
Here’s what it is & how to use it to handle any sales objection:
But a mentor taught me how true sales Jedis handle objections BEFORE the pitch.
It’s called REVERSE selling & it makes the sales process unscripted & effortless.
1. Uncertainty (unsure of results/timing)
2. Financial (can’t afford)
3. Support (unsold partner/spouse)
To avoid them:
1. Control the call
2. Have a natural conversation
3. Gather info to handle objections
…before you pitch.
1/ What problem is the prospect experiencing?
2/ How badly do they want to fix the problem?
3/ What have they tried already?
4/ Can they afford your service?
5/ Are they the decision-maker?
Let’s them break down:
Something pushed them to book a call.
What was it?
The answer they give you may not be the real answer.
Dig in, ask probing questions, & get to the root cause.
Asking these questions will help:
What’s the severity of the problem?
Are they ready to take action?
If they’re not, the call is ending with “can you send me some more information.”
Avoid that outcome by asking these questions:
Are they shopping around?
What do they think about your competitors?
Have they had bad results trying something else?
This information helps you craft a perfect pitch.
Ask these questions to avoid sounding like every other service:
If they can’t afford your service, you’re not making the sale.
Asking a prospect about their budget seems obvious, but few small businesses do it.
Doing this before the pitch helps overcome price objections.
The final objection to overcome is “I need to talk this over with my partner/spouse.”
Always find out if there are others involved in the buying decision.
If there are, save your time by getting all the decision makers on the call.
Once you have, you’re ready to:
•customize your offer for the prospect
•handle objections before they happen
The result: a frictionless sale.
Follow me at @JohnIsBuilding for more business-building strategies.
If you found this helpful, thank me by retweeting the first tweet. https://twitter.com/JohnIsBuilding/status/1578730522854846465
Let me share some thoughts on the single most important concept we wish we knew before starting @readwise.
It’s called 📈 CARRYING CAPACITY 📈
(We’re still early in our journey, but we have been working on @readwise for 5 years now, and we have created a sustainable business, so I like to think we’ve learned some lessons along the way.)
(Excel is the *one* domain where I’m not a wordcel 😛)
In a series of LinkedIn posts from 2015, he defined it as:
“The number of users where the rate at which we lose users equals the rate at which we gain users.”
This is in stark contrast to enterprise where the best companies not only don’t lose customers, but those customers grow in size over time.
(This is referred to as “negative net churn”)
Sure, they lose some accounts, but the expansions more than offset the losses.
Negative net churn is actually growth.
You *will* lose subscribers. Period.
It’s especially pronounced in consumer productivity (versus, say, entertainment):
As your customer base scales, you’ll notice the number of subscribers cancelling each month steadily increases even though the percentage churn remains ~fixed.
👆 This is carrying capacity.
It’s an asymptote. You’re done growing.
You can even calculate it as (a) average new subscribers per month divided by (b) monthly churn.
At capacity, each month you’re losing 1,000 subs (10,000 x 10%) while replacing them with 1,000 new subs.
The limit, sadly, does exist.
I had a hard time believing this too, but @rahulvohra (as always) was right.
There will be spikes here & there, but the trend is predominantly linear due to a mix of app stores, WOM, paid advertising, integrations, SEO/SEM, influencers, hustling, referrals, etc.
This is exactly what the growth chart of a (successful) consumer saas product looks like in the 2022 era.
Let’s apply them to a fictional but typical consumer productivity saas biz.
I’m basing “typical” on a half decade of talking to other founders in the space, reading everything I can (thanks @readwise), and, of course, my own experience.
During this free beta period, you accumulate 100,000 active users.
(For the record, this would be world class hustle & retention for a first-time founder.)
After 1 year, we had 3K users. (lol, yes)
After 2 years, 10K.
After 3 years, 30K.
These are onboarded users. Not active users. Not paying customers.
0 to 100K in 2 years would be a feat, but let’s go with it anyways.
Freemium will offer greater top of funnel growth, but lesser conversion. Free trial the opposite.
Assume you choose freemium to maintain growth and not alienate your beloved beta users.
Pricing is an unbelievably hard decision, well beyond the scope of this thread.
For our purposes, let’s just assume you paywall a subset of premium features for $8.33/mo ($100/yr) comparable to other productivity tools.
How many of your existing 100,000 active users will convert to premium?
Rule of thumb conversion rates on freemium are ~2% to 5%.
So let’s use the upper end of the range (5%) for the initial paywall event.
100,000 x 5% = 5,000 subscribers paying $100/yr = $500K ARR
You can look at your historical website traffic and signup rates to make an educated guess, baking in new growth initiatives.
For our example, let’s assume you’ll add 50,000 new signups per month (to be clear, this would be ~INSANELY GOOD~ 🤯).
Let’s return to benchmark of ~2% to 5%.
Assume it drops to 3.5% as you’re spreading to less core users.
50,000 x 3.5% = 1,750 new subscribers per month
This is ~60/day, which any consumer saas founder will tell you is a huge day.
The final number we need is churn.
We can look to @lennysan who’s compiled the best benchmarks around.
A more down-to-earth assumption for your biz might be something like @duolingo which retains ~20% after 1 year.
Let’s use the GOOD churn midpoint: 4%/mo.
1,750 subs/mo divided by 4% churn/mo = 43,750 subs
At $100 ARPU, that’s $4.4M ARR.
This is as big as this consumer product will get.
Building for 2 years, converting 5,000 initial subs, adding 1,750/mo thereafter, and churning 4%/mo results in a 5- to 6-year journey to asymptotic growth.
This thread is really just a redux of that talk and @rahulvohra’s articles on carrying capacity.
You can play with ARPU, steady state growth, and churn, but they’ll only stretch so much.
e.g., it’s hard to charge more than $20/mo (in consumer) or drive churn below 2%.
Trust me. I get it.
But I would advise you not to expect to outperform the base rates unless you’re deep in the idea maze with a validated breakthrough. Growth is HARD.
In many ways, it’s like starting over.
(I now speak from experience thanks to @ReadwiseReader.)
But these transformations are rare.
If you this is the outcome you seek, you should just avoid consumer saas from the get-go.
If you had explained all this to me before @readwise, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Even a few years in, I wouldn’t have because churn takes so long to notice! But this is how it goes.
If you have a consumer software product you want to work on, we advise you to plan to operate within the limits of this carrying capacity math.
Hopefully you outperform, but hope is not a strategy.
Why raise $10M to spend 5 grueling years on a startup that’s barely worth your liquidation preference?
If you want to go VC-scale, just go enterprise or consumer social.
Those are the ways.
I hope this thread helps you in yours.
Here’s how you get into the top 10% (and survive):
Do you remember Homejoy, Fab, or BranchOut?
3 companies that had:
• Talented teams
• Impressive high growth
• Heavily funded by top VCs
These companies had all the right elements in their favor to be successful
So, why did they fail?
They couldn’t hold on to their customers.
Why is it typically put on the back burner of a startup?
Couple of reasons:
1. Prioritize new user growth (shorter-term gains)
2. Easy to cover up poor retention metrics
3. Defined retention metrics incorrectly
There are 3 mistakes to avoid:
1/ Choosing the wrong metric
2/ Choosing the wrong frequency
3/ Choosing the wrong core action
And learn how to choose the right retention metric to set your startup for success.
Defining your retention metric is critical to get right.
It has deep implications for how you’ll run your business.
The metric should reflect your product’s core behavior, not outputs like revenue or # of transactions.
Word of caution: AVOID combining different actions into one metric.
For example, back when Casey Winters was on Pinterest, they created a custom metric:
WARC = Weekly Active Repinner or Clicker
Highlight here: *or*
• Clicker – clicks to the source of the content
Both metrics, in theory, suggested that Pinterest showed you something interesting.
However, there were 2 problems:
In this case, clicks.
This encouraged clickbait-y content and reduced quality.
2) Stopped encouraging the creation of new & different content because you double down on what works – making the content grow stale
• Behavior – your product’s core behavior
• Frequency – the right frequency (natural frequency the user experiences the problem)
• User – the user we should optimize for
Ask: How often does my user need to engage with the product to be considered active: daily, weekly, monthly?
If you set the frequency too low = forget about you
Either option will lead the team to build features in the wrong direction.
Understand what’s the right cadence for the problem they encounter.
Ask: Which action indicates that we have delivered value?
Similar to what we discussed in selecting the core metric
We need to know what underlying behavior that metric will be based on.
How are we helping users solve the problem?
People came to Pinterest because they were bored & wanted to find things around their interests.
What core actions could from that problem?
> Viewing feed
> Pin/Repin content
> Clicking on something on the feed
Now, let’s validate each hypothesis with quantitative data.
i) Group users based on the completion of each core action (view, pin/repin, click) + frequency
ii) Create retention curves for the different hypotheses
iii) Analyze the retention by comparing each hypothesis
Part I. 3 key components define your retention metric:
This will influence what features you’ll build and actions you’ll take moving forward.
1. Prioritize new user growth
2. Cover up poor retention metrics
3. Defined retention metrics incorrectly
– Choosing the wrong metric
– Choosing the wrong frequency
– Choosing the wrong core action
• The team at Reforge
• Casey Winters, CPO at Eventbrite
If you found this thread valuable:
1. Follow me @samanthalcc for more marketing insights to grow your startup
2. RT the tweet below to help your audience avoid critical retention mistakes https://twitter.com/1487096611/status/1578003683534594049
1. Discover the topics you *want* to write about
2. Get *specific* with those topics so readers will trust you (even if you’re not an expert)
3. Come up with *engaging* ideas about those topics that go viral
Let’s dive in:
During this exercise, do not judge the quality of your ideas.
The goal here is to generate a ton of raw materials, knowing you won’t write about 90% of them.
BUT—you will emerge with crystal clear clarity.
Step 1. Use the 2-Year Test to find your topic ideas
Step 2. Add specificity to match your credibility
Step 3. Use the 4A Framework + proven approaches to generate ideas
Step 4. Choose 3 ideas to write about over the next 3 days
Finding the general topics you want to write about starts with 1 simple question:
“What are all of the problems I’ve solved and topics I’ve learned about over the last 2 years?”
Why 2 years?
Thinking they have to be an “expert” to write about something.
But this is wrong.
The truth is, people don’t want to learn from experts.
They prefer to learn from those just a few steps ahead of them on the same path.
• Skills have you built?
• Struggles have you faced?
• Transitions have you made?
• Hobbies have you picked up?
• Problems have you overcome?
• Stories have you experienced?
• Topics have you learned about?
Write down as many as you can.
(Here’s my list from earlier this year, which I’m still referencing.)
Now, it’s time to narrow it down.
From that list, which 1-3 topics jumped off the page when you wrote them?
Lean into those and latch on.
• How to build a writing habit
• All things journaling and asking high-quality questions
• General golden nugget growth frameworks
You should have your 3 buckets as well.
Now, onto Step 2: Getting specific
That was only half-true.
It’s true you don’t need to be an expert in a topic to write about it.
But, you need to add specificity to match your level of credibility.
And there are 7 ways to do this:
• By price
• By problem
• By industry
• By location
• By situation
• By experience
• By demographic
And the goal with each of these levers:
Make the audience you’re writing to *the same person you were 2 years ago*
Here are examples:
1. How to build a writing habit for beginner writers
2. Journaling for entrepreneurs who aren’t yet journaling but know they should be
3. General golden nuggets of wisdom for ambitious 20-somethings
Then, add 1 more level.
That’s when you know you’ve gotten specific enough.
From here, we move on to Step 3 where the real fun begins:
Using the 4A Framework to write headlines:
You can write every idea in 4 ways:
• Actionable (here’s how)
• Analytical (here’s a breakdown)
• Aspirational (yes, you can)
• Anthropological (here’s why)
And here’s an example using the topic of personal finance:
These are actionable, implemental pieces of content.
The reader should gain some new insight or instruction they didn’t have beforehand.
• Ultimate guides
Take your core idea and help the reader put it into practice.
These are breakdowns involving numbers, frameworks, and processes.
Take your core idea and support it with numbers and analysis.
• Swipe files
Help the reader unlock a new way of thinking.
These are stories of how you or others put your core idea into practice.
• Underrated traits
• How to get started
Help the reader understand the benefits they unlock when they see the world through this new lens.
These are things that speak to universal human nature.
• Why others are wrong
• How you’ve been misled
Create a sense of urgency for the reader to fully embrace your core idea or be forever left behind.
Now this brings us to the final step: choosing 3 ideas.
This is better than having nothing to write about!
But many writers will fall into the analysis paralysis trap here.
Here’s how to overcome it:
Your next 3 days of content.
The 3 ideas that most resonated with you from that list.
And that’s all you’re allowed to take away from these ideas (for now)
Because here’s what’s going to happen:
And in the process of writing, more ideas are going to jump into your head.
From there, your creative flywheel has started to spin.
This is the whole point of the Endless Idea Generator—to get you started.
So take your 3 ideas and start writing!
The rest will take care of itself.
• Start with a massive 2-year test brain dump
• Grab the 2-3 buckets that resonated most with you
• Tailor the specificity to match your level of credibility
• Use the 4A framework to generate ideas
• Pick 3 ideas, then get going and iterate from there
If you did:
1. Follow me @dickiebush for more threads like this on digital writing
2. Jump back to the top and retweet it so others can use the system too (and you can find it later!)
Here’s the link:
So if you want a deeper dive into this framework, sign up for this FREE Endless Idea Generator workshop with me and @Nicolascole77.
When: Friday at 1 PM ET.
Replays sent to everyone who registers: