More on Entrepreneurship/Creators
11 months ago
If you don't crush these 3 metrics, skip the Series A.
I recently wrote about getting VCs excited about Marketplace start-ups. SaaS founders became envious!
Understanding how people wire tens of millions is the only Series A hack I recommend.
Few people understand the intellectual process behind investing.
VC is risk management.
Series A-focused VCs must cover two risks.
1. Market risk
You need a large market to cross a threshold beyond which you can build defensibilities. Series A VCs underwrite market risk.
They must see you have reached product-market fit (PMF) in a large total addressable market (TAM).
2. Execution risk
When evaluating your growth engine's blitzscaling ability, execution risk arises.
When investors remove operational uncertainty, they profit.
Series A VCs like businesses with derisked revenue streams. Don't raise unless you have a predictable model, pipeline, and growth.
Please beat these 3 metrics before Series A:
Achieve $1.5m ARR in 12-24 months (Market risk)
Above 100% Net Dollar Retention. (Market danger)
Lead Velocity Rate supporting $10m ARR in 2–4 years (Execution risk)
Hit the 3 and you'll raise $10M in 4 months. Discussing 2/3 may take 6–7 months.
If none, don't bother raising and focus on becoming a capital-efficient business (Topics for other posts).
Let's examine these 3 metrics for the brave ones.
1. Lead Velocity Rate supporting €$10m ARR in 2 to 4 years
Last because it's the least discussed. LVR is the most reliable data when evaluating a growth engine, in my opinion.
SaaS allows you to see the future.
Monthly Sales and Sales Pipelines, two predictive KPIs, have poor data quality. Both are lagging indicators, and minor changes can cause huge modeling differences.
Analysts and Associates will trash your forecasts if they're based only on Monthly Sales and Sales Pipeline.
LVR, defined as month-over-month growth in qualified leads, is rock-solid. There's no lag. You can See The Future if you use Qualified Leads and a consistent formula and process to qualify them.
With this metric in your hand, scaling your company turns into an execution play on which VCs are able to perform calculations risk.
2. Above-100% Net Dollar Retention.
Net Dollar Retention is a better-known SaaS health metric than LVR.
Net Dollar Retention measures a SaaS company's ability to retain and upsell customers. Ask what $1 of net new customer spend will be worth in years n+1, n+2, etc.
Depending on the business model, SaaS businesses can increase their share of customers' wallets by increasing users, selling them more products in SaaS-enabled marketplaces, other add-ons, and renewing them at higher price tiers.
If a SaaS company's annualized Net Dollar Retention is less than 75%, there's a problem with the business.
Slack's ARR chart (below) shows how powerful Net Retention is. Layer chart shows how existing customer revenue grows. Slack's S1 shows 171% Net Dollar Retention for 2017–2019.
3. $1.5m ARR in the last 12-24 months.
According to Point 9, $0.5m-4m in ARR is needed to raise a $5–12m Series A round.
Target at least what you raised in Pre-Seed/Seed. If you've raised $1.5m since launch, don't raise before $1.5m ARR.
Capital efficiency has returned since Covid19. After raising $2m since inception, it's harder to raise $1m in ARR.
P9's 2016-2021 SaaS Funding Napkin
In summary, less than 1% of companies VCs meet get funded. These metrics can help you win.
If there’s demand for it, I’ll do one on direct-to-consumer.
9 months ago
How much did YouTube pay for 10 million views?
Ali's $1,054,053.74 YouTube Adsense haul.
YouTuber, entrepreneur, and former doctor Ali Abdaal. He began filming productivity and financial videos in 2017. Ali Abdaal has 3 million YouTube subscribers and has crossed $1 million in AdSense revenue. Crazy, no?
Ali will share the revenue of his top 5 youtube videos, things he's learned that you can apply to your side hustle, and how many views it takes to make a livelihood off youtube.
First, "The Long Game."
All good things take time to bear fruit. Compounding improves everything. Long-term work yields better returns. Ali made his first dollar after nine months and 85 videos.
Second, "One piece of content can transform your life, but you never know which one."
Had he abandoned YouTube at 84 videos without making any money, he wouldn't have filmed the 85th video that altered everything.
Third Lesson: Your Industry Choice Can Multiply.
The industry or niche you target as a business owner or side hustler can have a major impact on how much money you make.
Here are the top 5 videos.
1) 9.8m views: $191,258.16 for 9 passive income ideas
Ali made 2 points.
We should consider YouTube videos digital assets. They're investments, which make us money. His investments are yielding passive income.
Investing extra time and effort in your films can pay off.
2) How to Invest for Beginners — 5.2m Views: $87,200.08.
This video did poorly in the first several weeks after it was published; it was his tenth poorest performer. Don't worry about things you can't control. This applies to life, not just YouTube videos.
He stated we constantly have anxieties, fears, and concerns about things outside our control, but if we can find that line, life is easier and more pleasurable.
3) How to Build a Website in 2022— 866.3k views: $42,132.72.
The RPM was $48.86 per thousand views, making it his highest-earning video. Squarespace, Wix, and other website builders are trying to put ads on it and competing against one other, so ad rates go up.
Because it was beyond his niche, Ali almost didn't make the video. He made the video because he wanted to help at least one person.
4) How I take notes on my iPad in medical school — 5.9m views: $24,479.80
85th video. It's the video that affected Ali's YouTube channel and his life the most. The video's success wasn't certain.
5) How I Type Fast 156 Words Per Minute — 8.2M views: $25,143.17
Ali didn't know this video would perform well; he made it because he can type fast and has been practicing for 10 years. So he made a video with his best advice.
How many views to different wealth levels?
It depends on geography, niche, and other monetization sources. To keep things simple, he would solely utilize AdSense.
How many views to generate money?
To generate money on Youtube, you need 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time. How much work do you need to make pocket money?
Ali's first 1,000 subscribers took 52 videos and 6 months. The typical channel with 1,000 subscribers contains 152 videos, according to Tubebuddy. It's time-consuming.
After monetizing, you'll need 15,000 views/month to make $5-$10/day.
How many views to go part-time?
Say you make $35,000/year at your day job. If you work 5 days/week, you make $7,000/year each day. If you want to drop down from 5 days to 4 days/week, you need to make an extra $7,000/year from YouTube, or $600/month.
What's the quit-your-job budget?
Silicon Valley Girl is in a highly successful niche targeting tech-focused folks in the west. When her channel had 500k views/month, she made roughly $3,000/month or $47,000/year, enough to quit your work.
Marina has another 1.5m subscriber channel in Russia, which has a lower rpm because fewer corporations advertise there than in the west. 2.3 million views/month is $4,000/month or $50,000/year, enough to quit your employment.
Marina is an intriguing example because she has three YouTube channels with the same skills, but one is 16x more profitable due to the niche she chose.
In Ali's case, he made 100+ videos when his channel was producing enough money to quit his job, roughly $4,000/month.
How many views make you rich?
Depending on how you define rich. Ali felt prosperous with over $100,000/year and 3–5m views/month.
YouTubers and artists don't treat their work like a company, which is a mistake. Businesses have been attempting to figure this out for decades, if not centuries.
We can learn from the business world how to monetize YouTube, Instagram, and Tiktok and make them into sustainable enterprises where we can hire people and delegate tasks.
Watch Ali's video explaining all this:
This post is a summary. Read the full article here
11 months ago
How I made $160,000 from non-fiction books
I've sold over 40,000 non-fiction books on Amazon and made over $160,000 in six years while writing on the side.
I have a full-time job and three young sons; I can't spend 40 hours a week writing. This article describes my journey.
I write mainly tech books:
Thanks to my readers, many wrote positive evaluations. Several are bestsellers.
A few have been adopted by universities as textbooks:
My books' passive income allows me more time with my family.
Knowing I could quit my job and write full time gave me more confidence. And I find purpose in my work (i am in christian ministry).
I'm always eager to write. When work is a dread or something bad happens, writing gives me energy. Writing isn't scary. In fact, I can’t stop myself from writing!
Writing has also established my tech authority. Universities use my books, as I've said. Traditional publishers have asked me to write books.
These mindsets helped me become a successful nonfiction author:
1. You don’t have to be an Authority
Yes, I have computer science experience. But I'm no expert on my topics. Before authoring "Beginning Node.js, Express & MongoDB," my most profitable book, I had no experience with those topics. Node was a new server-side technology for me. Would that stop me from writing a book? It can. I liked learning a new technology. So I read the top three Node books, took the top online courses, and put them into my own book (which makes me know more than 90 percent of people already).
I didn't have to worry about using too much jargon because I was learning as I wrote. An expert forgets a beginner's hardship.
"The fellow learner can aid more than the master since he knows less," says C.S. Lewis. The problem he must explain is recent. The expert has forgotten.”
2. Solve a micro-problem (Niching down)
I didn't set out to write a definitive handbook. I found a market with several challenges and wrote one book. Ex:
- Instead of web development, what about web development using Angular?
- Instead of Blockchain, what about Blockchain using Solidity and React?
- Instead of cooking recipes, how about a recipe for a specific kind of diet?
- Instead of Learning math, what about Learning Singapore Math?
3. Piggy Backing Trends
The above topics may still be a competitive market. E.g. Angular, React. To stand out, include the latest technologies or trends in your book. Learn iOS 15 instead of iOS programming. Instead of personal finance, what about personal finance with NFTs.
Even though you're a newbie author, your topic is well-known.
4. Publish short books
My books are known for being direct. Many people like this:
Your reader will appreciate you cutting out the fluff and getting to the good stuff. A reader can finish and review your book.
Second, short books are easier to write. Instead of creating a 500-page book for $50 (which few will buy), write a 100-page book that answers a subset of the problem and sell it for less. (You make less, but that's another subject). At least it got published instead of languishing. Less time spent creating a book means less time wasted if it fails. Write a small-bets book portfolio like Daniel Vassallo!
Third, it's $2.99-$9.99 on Amazon (gets 70 percent royalties for ebooks). Anything less receives 35% royalties. $9.99 books have 20,000–30,000 words. If you write more and charge more over $9.99, you get 35% royalties. Why not make it a $9.99 book?
(This is the ebook version.) Paperbacks cost more. Higher royalties allow for higher prices.
5. Validate book idea
Amazon will tell you if your book concept, title, and related phrases are popular. See? Check its best-sellers list.
150,000 is preferable. It sells 2–3 copies daily. Consider your rivals. Profitable niches have high demand and low competition.
Don't be afraid of competitive niches. First, it shows high demand. Secondly, what are the ways you can undercut the completion? Better book? Or cheaper option? There was lots of competition in my NodeJS book's area. None received 4.5 stars or more. I wrote a NodeJS book. Today, it's a best-selling Node book.
So long. Part II follows. Meanwhile, I will continue to write more books!
Follow my journey on Twitter.
This post is a summary. Read full article here
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Tech With Dom
6 months ago
6 Awesome Desk Accessories You Must Have!
I'm gadget-obsessed. So I shared my top 6 desk gadgets.
These gadgets improve my workflow and are handy for working from home.
Without further ado...
Computer light bar Xiaomi Mi
I've previously recommended the Xiaomi Mi Light Bar, and I still do. It's stylish and convenient.
The Mi bar is a monitor-mounted desk lamp. The lamp's hue and brightness can be changed with a stylish wireless remote.
Changeable hue and brightness make it ideal for late-night work.
Desk Mat 2.
I wasn't planning to include a desk surface in this article, but I find it improves computer use.
The mouse feels smoother and is a better palm rest than wood or glass.
I'm currently using the overkill Razer Goliathus Extended Chroma RGB Gaming Surface, but I like RGB.
Using a desk surface or mat makes computer use more comfortable, and it's not expensive.
Third, the Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 or any from the MX Master series is my favorite mouse.
The side scroll wheel on these mice is a feature I've never seen on another mouse.
Side scroll wheels are great for spreadsheets and video editing. It would be hard for me to switch from my Logitech MX Master 3 to another mouse. Only gaming is off-limits.
Google Nest 4.
Without a smart assistant, my desk is useless. I'm currently using the second-generation Google Nest Hub, but I've also used the Amazon Echo Dot, Echo Spot, and Apple HomePod Mini.
As a Pixel 6 Pro user, the Nest Hub works best with my phone.
My Nest Hub plays news, music, and calendar events. It also lets me control lights and switches with my smartphone. It plays YouTube videos.
Google Pixel Stand, No. 5
A wireless charger on my desk is convenient for charging my phone and other devices while I work. My desk has two wireless chargers. I have a Satechi aluminum fast charger and a second-generation Google Pixel Stand.
If I need to charge my phone and earbuds simultaneously, I use two wireless chargers. Satechi chargers are well-made and fast. Micro-USB is my only complaint.
The Pixel Stand converts compatible devices into a smart display for adjusting charging speeds and controlling other smart devices. My Pixel 6 Pro charges quickly. Here's my video review.
6. Anker Power Bank
Anker's 65W charger is my final recommendation. This online find was a must-have. This can charge my laptop and several non-wireless devices, perfect for any techie!
The charger has two USB-A ports and two USB-C ports, one with 45W and the other with 20W, so it can charge my iPad Pro and Pixel 6 Pro simultaneously.
These are some of my favorite office gadgets. My kit page has an updated list.
Links to the products mentioned in this article are in the appropriate sections. These are affiliate links.
You're up! Share the one desk gadget you can't live without and why.
7 months ago
Ethereum No Longer Consumes A Medium-Sized Country's Electricity To Run
The Merge cut Ethereum's energy use by 99.5%.
The Crypto community celebrated on September 15, 2022. This day, Ethereum Merged. The entire blockchain successfully merged with the Beacon chain, and it was so smooth you barely noticed.
Many have waited, dreaded, and longed for this day.
Some investors feared the network would break down, while others envisioned a seamless merging.
Speculators predict a successful Merge will lead investors to Ethereum. This could boost Ethereum's popularity.
What Has Changed Since The Merge
The merging transitions Ethereum mainnet from PoW to PoS.
PoW sends a mathematical riddle to computers worldwide (miners). First miner to solve puzzle updates blockchain and is rewarded.
The puzzles sent are power-intensive to solve, so mining requires a lot of electricity. It's sent to every miner competing to solve it, requiring duplicate computation.
PoS allows investors to stake their coins to validate a new transaction. Instead of validating a whole block, you validate a transaction and get the fees.
You can validate instead of mine. A validator stakes 32 Ethereum. After staking, the validator can validate future blocks.
Once a validator validates a block, it's sent to a randomly selected group of other validators. This group verifies that a validator is not malicious and doesn't validate fake blocks.
This way, only one computer needs to solve or validate the transaction, instead of all miners. The validated block must be approved by a small group of validators, causing duplicate computation.
PoS is more secure because validating fake blocks results in slashing. You lose your bet tokens. If a validator signs a bad block or double-signs conflicting blocks, their ETH is burned.
Theoretically, Ethereum has one block every 12 seconds, so a validator forging a block risks burning 1 Ethereum for 12 seconds of transactions. This makes mistakes expensive and risky.
What Impact Does This Have On Energy Use?
Cryptocurrency is a natural calamity, sucking electricity and eating away at the earth one transaction at a time.
Many don't know the environmental impact of cryptocurrencies, yet it's tremendous.
A single Ethereum transaction used to use 200 kWh and leave a large carbon imprint. This update reduces global energy use by 0.2%.
Ethereum will submit a challenge to one validator, and that validator will forward it to randomly selected other validators who accept it.
This reduces the needed computing power.
They expect a 99.5% reduction, therefore a single transaction should cost 1 kWh.
Carbon footprint is 0.58 kgCO2, or 1,235 VISA transactions.
This is a big Ethereum blockchain update.
I love cryptocurrency and Mother Earth.
3 months ago
Comparing poor and excellent managers