Integrity
Write
Loading...
Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

3 months ago

Here's what happened after I launched my second product on Gumroad.

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Navdeep Yadav

Navdeep Yadav

1 month ago

31 startup company models (with examples)

Many people find the internet's various business models bewildering.

This article summarizes 31 startup e-books.

Types of Startup

1. Using the freemium business model (free plus premium),

The freemium business model offers basic software, games, or services for free and charges for enhancements.

Examples include Slack, iCloud, and Google Drive

Provide a rudimentary, free version of your product or service to users.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Google Drive and Dropbox offer 15GB and 2GB of free space but charge for more.

Freemium business model details (Click here)

2. The Business Model of Subscription

Subscription business models sell a product or service for recurring monthly or yearly revenue.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Examples: Tinder, Netflix, Shopify, etc

It's the next step to Freemium if a customer wants to pay monthly for premium features.

Types of Subscription Business Models

Subscription Business Model (Click here)

3. A market-based business strategy

It's an e-commerce site or app where third-party sellers sell products or services.

Examples are Amazon and Fiverr.

Marketplace Business Model
  • On Amazon's marketplace, a third-party vendor sells a product.

  • Freelancers on Fiverr offer specialized skills like graphic design.

Marketplace's business concept is explained.

4. Business plans using aggregates

In the aggregator business model, the service is branded.

Uber, Airbnb, and other examples

Airbnb Aggregator Business Model

Marketplace and Aggregator business models differ.

Aggregators Vs Market Place

Amazon and Fiverr link merchants and customers and take a 10-20% revenue split.

Uber and Airbnb-style aggregator Join these businesses and provide their products.

5. The pay-as-you-go concept of business

This is a consumption-based pricing system. Cloud companies use it.

Example: Amazon Web Service and Google Cloud Platform (GCP) (AWS)

Pay-as-you-go pricing in AWS

AWS, an Amazon subsidiary, offers over 200 pay-as-you-go cloud services.

“In short, the more you use the more you pay”

Types of Pay-as-you-plan

When it's difficult to divide clients into pricing levels, pay-as-you is employed.

6. The business model known as fee-for-service (FFS)

FFS charges fixed and variable fees for each successful payment.

For instance, PayU, Paypal, and Stripe

Stripe charges 2.9% + 30 per payment.

Fee-for-service (FFS) business model

These firms offer a payment gateway to take consumer payments and deposit them to a business account.

Fintech business model

7. EdTech business strategy

In edtech, you generate money by selling material or teaching as a service.

Most popular revenue model in EdTech

edtech business models

Freemium When course content is free but certification isn't, e.g. Coursera

FREE TRIAL SkillShare offers free trials followed by monthly or annual subscriptions.

Self-serving marketplace approach where you pick what to learn.

Ad-revenue model The company makes money by showing adverts to its huge user base.

Lock-in business strategy

Lock in prevents customers from switching to a competitor's brand or offering.

It uses switching costs or effort to transmit (soft lock-in), improved brand experience, or incentives.

Apple, SAP, and other examples

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Apple offers an iPhone and then locks you in with extra hardware (Watch, Airpod) and platform services (Apple Store, Apple Music, cloud, etc.).

9. Business Model for API Licensing

APIs let third-party apps communicate with your service.

How do APIs work?

Uber and Airbnb use Google Maps APIs for app navigation.

Examples are Google Map APIs (Map), Sendgrid (Email), and Twilio (SMS).

Types of APIs business model

Business models for APIs

  1. Free: The simplest API-driven business model that enables unrestricted API access for app developers. Google Translate and Facebook are two examples.

  2. Developer Pays: Under this arrangement, service providers such as AWS, Twilio, Github, Stripe, and others must be paid by application developers.

  3. The developer receives payment: These are the compensated content producers or developers who distribute the APIs utilizing their work. For example, Amazon affiliate programs

10. Open-source enterprise

Open-source software can be inspected, modified, and improved by anybody.

For instance, use Firefox, Java, or Android.

Product with Open source business model

Google paid Mozilla $435,702 million to be their primary search engine in 2018.

Open-source software profits in six ways.

  1. Paid assistance The Project Manager can charge for customization because he is quite knowledgeable about the codebase.

  2. A full database solution is available as a Software as a Service (MongoDB Atlas), but there is a fee for the monitoring tool.

  3. Open-core design R studio is a better GUI substitute for open-source applications.

  4. sponsors of GitHub Sponsorships benefit the developers in full.

  5. demands for paid features Earn Money By Developing Open Source Add-Ons for Current Products

Open-source business model

11. The business model for data

If the software or algorithm collects client data to improve or monetize the system.

Open AI GPT3 gets smarter with use.

Graphic Credit: Business Model toolbox

Foursquare allows users to exchange check-in locations.

Later, they compiled large datasets to enable retailers like Starbucks launch new outlets.

12. Business Model Using Blockchain

Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that allows firms to deploy smart contracts without a central authority.

Examples include Alchemy, Solana, and Ethereum.

blockchain business model

Business models using blockchain

  1. Economy of tokens or utility When a business uses a token business model, it issues some kind of token as one of the ways to compensate token holders or miners. For instance, Solana and Ethereum

  2. Bitcoin Cash P2P Business Model Peer-to-peer (P2P) blockchain technology permits direct communication between end users. as in IPFS

  3. Enterprise Blockchain as a Service (Baas) BaaS focuses on offering ecosystem services similar to those offered by Amazon (AWS) and Microsoft (Azure) in the web 3 sector. Example: Ethereum Blockchain as a Service with Bitcoin (EBaaS).

  4. Blockchain-Based Aggregators With AWS for blockchain, you can use that service by making an API call to your preferred blockchain. As an illustration, Alchemy offers nodes for many blockchains.

13. The free-enterprise model

In the freeterprise business model, free professional accounts are led into the funnel by the free product and later become B2B/enterprise accounts.

For instance, Slack and Zoom

Freeterprise business model

Freeterprise companies flourish through collaboration.

Loom wants you to join your workspace for an enterprise account.

Start with a free professional account to build an enterprise.

14. Business plan for razor blades

It's employed in hardware where one piece is sold at a loss and profits are made through refills or add-ons.

Gillet razor & blades, coffee machine & beans, HP printer & cartridge, etc.

Razor blade/Bait and hook business model

Sony sells the Playstation console at a loss but makes up for it by selling games and charging for online services.

Advantages of the Razor-Razorblade Method

  1. lowers the risk a customer will try a product. enables buyers to test the goods and services without having to pay a high initial investment.

  2. The product's ongoing revenue stream has the potential to generate sales that much outweigh the original investments.

Razor blade business model

15. The business model of direct-to-consumer (D2C)

In D2C, the company sells directly to the end consumer through its website using a third-party logistic partner.

Examples include GymShark and Kylie Cosmetics.

Direct-to-consumer business Model

D2C brands can only expand via websites, marketplaces (Amazon, eBay), etc.

Traditional Retailer vs D2C business model

D2C benefits

  • Lower reliance on middlemen = greater profitability

  • You now have access to more precise demographic and geographic customer data.

  • Additional space for product testing

  • Increased customisation throughout your entire product line-Inventory Less

16. Business model: White Label vs. Private Label

Private label/White label products are made by a contract or third-party manufacturer.

Most amazon electronics are made in china and white-labeled.

Amazon supplements and electronics.

White-label business model

Contract manufacturers handle everything after brands select product quantities on design labels.

17. The franchise model

The franchisee uses the franchisor's trademark, branding, and business strategy (company).

For instance, KFC, Domino's, etc.

Master Franchise business model

Subway, Domino, Burger King, etc. use this business strategy.

Opening your restaurant vs Frenchies

Many people pick a franchise because opening a restaurant is risky.

18. Ad-based business model

Social media and search engine giants exploit search and interest data to deliver adverts.

Google, Meta, TikTok, and Snapchat are some examples.

Ad-based business model

Users don't pay for the service or product given, e.g. Google users don't pay for searches.

In exchange, they collected data and hyper-personalized adverts to maximize revenue.

19. Business plan for octopuses

Each business unit functions separately but is connected to the main body.

Instance: Oyo

OYO’s Octopus business model

OYO is Asia's Airbnb, operating hotels, co-working, co-living, and vacation houses.

20, Transactional business model, number

Sales to customers produce revenue.

E-commerce sites and online purchases employ SSL.

Goli is an ex-GymShark.

Transactional business model

21. The peer-to-peer (P2P) business model

In P2P, two people buy and sell goods and services without a third party or platform.

Consider OLX.

OLX Business Model

22. P2P lending as a manner of operation

In P2P lending, one private individual (P2P Lender) lends/invests or borrows money from another (P2P Borrower).

Instance: Kabbage

P2P Lending as a business model

Social lending lets people lend and borrow money directly from each other without an intermediary financial institution.

23. A business model for brokers

Brokerages charge a commission or fee for their services.

Examples include eBay, Coinbase, and Robinhood.

Brokerage business model

Brokerage businesses are common in Real estate, finance, and online and operate on this model.

Types of brokerage business model
  1. Buy/sell similar models Examples include financial brokers, insurance brokers, and others who match purchase and sell transactions and charge a commission.

  2. These brokers charge an advertiser a fee based on the date, place, size, or type of an advertisement. This is known as the classified-advertiser model. For instance, Craiglist

24. Drop shipping as an industry

Dropshipping allows stores to sell things without holding physical inventories.

Drop shipping Business model

When a customer orders, use a third-party supplier and logistic partners.

Retailer product portfolio and customer experience Fulfiller The consumer places the order.

Dropshipping advantages

  • Less money is needed (Low overhead-No Inventory or warehousing)

  • Simple to start (costs under $100)

  • flexible work environment

  • New product testing is simpler

25. Business Model for Space as a Service

It's centered on a shared economy that lets millennials live or work in communal areas without ownership or lease.

Consider WeWork and Airbnb.

WeWork business model

WeWork helps businesses with real estate, legal compliance, maintenance, and repair.

Space as a Service Business Model

26. The business model for third-party logistics (3PL)

In 3PL, a business outsources product delivery, warehousing, and fulfillment to an external logistics company.

Examples include Ship Bob, Amazon Fulfillment, and more.

Third-Party Logistics (3PL)

3PL partners warehouse, fulfill, and return inbound and outbound items for a charge.

Inbound logistics involves bringing products from suppliers to your warehouse.

Outbound logistics refers to a company's production line, warehouse, and customer.

Inbound and outbound in 3PL

27. The last-mile delivery paradigm as a commercial strategy

Last-mile delivery is the collection of supply chain actions that reach the end client.

Examples include Rappi, Gojek, and Postmates.

gojek business model

Last-mile is tied to on-demand and has a nighttime peak.

28. The use of affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting other companies' products and charging commissions.

Examples include Hubspot, Amazon, and Skillshare.

Affiliate business model

Your favorite youtube channel probably uses these short amazon links to get 5% of sales.

affiliate link from a youtube video.

Affiliate marketing's benefits

  • In exchange for a success fee or commission, it enables numerous independent marketers to promote on its behalf.

  • Ensure system transparency by giving the influencers a specific tracking link and an online dashboard to view their profits.

  • Learn about the newest bargains and have access to promotional materials.

29. The business model for virtual goods

This is an in-app purchase for an intangible product.

Examples include PubG, Roblox, Candy Crush, etc.

virtual goods business model

Consumables are like gaming cash that runs out. Non-consumable products provide a permanent advantage without repeated purchases.

30. Business Models for Cloud Kitchens

Ghost, Dark, Black Box, etc.

Delivery-only restaurant.

These restaurants don't provide dine-in, only delivery.

For instance, NextBite and Faasos

Cloud kitchen business model

31. Crowdsourcing as a Business Model

Crowdsourcing = Using the crowd as a platform's source.

In crowdsourcing, you get support from people around the world without hiring them.

Crowdsourcing Business model

Crowdsourcing sites

  1. Open-Source Software gives access to the software's source code so that developers can edit or enhance it. Examples include Firefox browsers and Linux operating systems.

  2. Crowdfunding The oculus headgear would be an example of crowdfunding in essence, with no expectations.

cdixon

cdixon

7 months ago

2000s Toys, Secrets, and Cycles

During the dot-com bust, I started my internet career. People used the internet intermittently to check email, plan travel, and do research. The average internet user spent 30 minutes online a day, compared to 7 today. To use the internet, you had to "log on" (most people still used dial-up), unlike today's always-on, high-speed mobile internet. In 2001, Amazon's market cap was $2.2B, 1/500th of what it is today. A study asked Americans if they'd adopt broadband, and most said no. They didn't see a need to speed up email, the most popular internet use. The National Academy of Sciences ranked the internet 13th among the 100 greatest inventions, below radio and phones. The internet was a cool invention, but it had limited uses and wasn't a good place to build a business. 

A small but growing movement of developers and founders believed the internet could be more than a read-only medium, allowing anyone to create and publish. This is web 2. The runner up name was read-write web. (These terms were used in prominent publications and conferences.) 

Web 2 concepts included letting users publish whatever they want ("user generated content" was a buzzword), social graphs, APIs and mashups (what we call composability today), and tagging over hierarchical navigation. Technical innovations occurred. A seemingly simple but important one was dynamically updating web pages without reloading. This is now how people expect web apps to work. Mobile devices that could access the web were niche (I was an avid Sidekick user). 

The contrast between what smart founders and engineers discussed over dinner and on weekends and what the mainstream tech world took seriously during the week was striking. Enterprise security appliances, essentially preloaded servers with security software, were a popular trend. Many of the same people would talk about "serious" products at work, then talk about consumer internet products and web 2. It was tech's biggest news. Web 2 products were seen as toys, not real businesses. They were hobbies, not work-related. 

There's a strong correlation between rich product design spaces and what smart people find interesting, which took me some time to learn and led to blog posts like "The next big thing will start out looking like a toy" Web 2's novel product design possibilities sparked dinner and weekend conversations. Imagine combining these features. What if you used this pattern elsewhere? What new product ideas are next? This excited people. "Serious stuff" like security appliances seemed more limited. 

The small and passionate web 2 community also stood out. I attended the first New York Tech meetup in 2004. Everyone fit in Meetup's small conference room. Late at night, people demoed their software and chatted. I have old friends. Sometimes I get asked how I first met old friends like Fred Wilson and Alexis Ohanian. These topics didn't interest many people, especially on the east coast. We were friends. Real community. Alex Rampell, who now works with me at a16z, is someone I met in 2003 when a friend said, "Hey, I met someone else interested in consumer internet." Rare. People were focused and enthusiastic. Revolution seemed imminent. We knew a secret nobody else did. 

My web 2 startup was called SiteAdvisor. When my co-founders and I started developing the idea in 2003, web security was out of control. Phishing and spyware were common on Internet Explorer PCs. SiteAdvisor was designed to warn users about security threats like phishing and spyware, and then, using web 2 concepts like user-generated reviews, add more subjective judgments (similar to what TrustPilot seems to do today). This staged approach was common at the time; I called it "Come for the tool, stay for the network." We built APIs, encouraged mashups, and did SEO marketing. 

Yahoo's 2005 acquisitions of Flickr and Delicious boosted web 2 in 2005. By today's standards, the amounts were small, around $30M each, but it was a signal. Web 2 was assumed to be a fun hobby, a way to build cool stuff, but not a business. Yahoo was a savvy company that said it would make web 2 a priority. 

As I recall, that's when web 2 started becoming mainstream tech. Early web 2 founders transitioned successfully. Other entrepreneurs built on the early enthusiasts' work. Competition shifted from ideation to execution. You had to decide if you wanted to be an idealistic indie bar band or a pragmatic stadium band. 

Web 2 was booming in 2007 Facebook passed 10M users, Twitter grew and got VC funding, and Google bought YouTube. The 2008 financial crisis tested entrepreneurs' resolve. Smart people predicted another great depression as tech funding dried up. 

Many people struggled during the recession. 2008-2011 was a golden age for startups. By 2009, talented founders were flooding Apple's iPhone app store. Mobile apps were booming. Uber, Venmo, Snap, and Instagram were all founded between 2009 and 2011. Social media (which had replaced web 2), cloud computing (which enabled apps to scale server side), and smartphones converged. Even if social, cloud, and mobile improve linearly, the combination could improve exponentially. 

This chart shows how I view product and financial cycles. Product and financial cycles evolve separately. The Nasdaq index is a proxy for the financial sentiment. Financial sentiment wildly fluctuates. 

Next row shows iconic startup or product years. Bottom-row product cycles dictate timing. Product cycles are more predictable than financial cycles because they follow internal logic. In the incubation phase, enthusiasts build products for other enthusiasts on nights and weekends. When the right mix of technology, talent, and community knowledge arrives, products go mainstream. (I show the biggest tech cycles in the chart, but smaller ones happen, like web 2 in the 2000s and fintech and SaaS in the 2010s.) 

Tech has changed since the 2000s. Few tech giants dominate the internet, exerting economic and cultural influence. In the 2000s, web 2 was ignored or dismissed as trivial. Entrenched interests respond aggressively to new movements that could threaten them. Creative patterns from the 2000s continue today, driven by enthusiasts who see possibilities where others don't. Know where to look. Crypto and web 3 are where I'd start. 

Today's negative financial sentiment reminds me of 2008. If we face a prolonged downturn, we can learn from 2008 by preserving capital and focusing on the long term. Keep an eye on the product cycle. Smart people are interested in things with product potential. This becomes true. Toys become necessities. Hobbies become mainstream. Optimists build the future, not cynics.


Full article is available here

Matthew O'Riordan

Matthew O'Riordan

5 months ago

Trends in SaaS Funding from 2016 to 2022

Christopher Janz of Point Nine Capital created the SaaS napkin in 2016. This post shows how founders have raised cash in the last 6 years. View raw data.

Round size

Unsurprisingly, round sizes have expanded and will taper down in 2022. In 2016, pre-seed rounds were $200k to $500k; currently, they're $1-$2m. Despite the macroeconomic scenario, Series A have expanded from $3m to $12m in 2016 to $6m and $18m in 2022.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Valuation

There are hints that valuations are rebounding this year. Pre-seed valuations in 2022 are $12m from $3m in 2016, and Series B prices are $270m from $100m in 2016.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Compared to public SaaS multiples, Series B valuations more closely reflect the market, but Seed and Series A prices seem to be inflated regardless of the market.

Source: CapitalIQ as of 13-May-2022

I'd like to know how each annual cohort performed for investors, based on the year they invested and the valuations. I can't access this information.

ARR

Seed firms' ARR forecasts have risen from $0 to $0.6m to $0 to $1m. 2016 expected $1.2m to $3m, 2021 $0.5m to $4m, and this year $0.5m to $2.5m, suggesting that Series A firms may raise with less ARR today. Series B minutes fell from $4.2m to $3m.

Generated from raw data for Seed to Series B from 2016–2022

Capitalization Rate

2022 is the year that VCs start discussing capital efficiency in portfolio meetings. Given the economic shift in the markets and the stealthy VC meltdown, it's not surprising. Christopher Janz added capital efficiency to the SaaS Napkin as a new statistic for Series A (3.5x) and Series B. (2.5x). Your investors must live under a rock if they haven't asked about capital efficiency. If you're unsure:

The Capital Efficiency Ratio is the ratio of how much a company has spent growing revenue and how much they’re receiving in return. It is the broadest measure of company effectiveness in generating ARR

What next?

No one knows what's next, including me. All startup and growing enterprises around me are tightening their belts and extending their runways in anticipation of a difficult fundraising ride. If you're wanting to raise money but can wait, wait till the market is more stable and access to money is easier.

You might also like

Jayden Levitt

Jayden Levitt

2 months ago

How to Explain NFTs to Your Grandmother, in Simple Terms

Credit — Grandma Finds The Internet

In simple terms, you probably don’t.

But try. Grandma didn't grow up with Facebook, but she eventually joined.

Perhaps the fear of being isolated outweighed the discomfort of learning the technology.

Grandmas are Facebook likers, sharers, and commenters.

There’s no stopping her.

Not even NFTs. Web3 is currently very complex.

It's difficult to explain what NFTs are, how they work, and why we might use them.

Three explanations.

1. Everything will be ours to own, both physically and digitally.

Why own something you can't touch? What's the point?

Blockchain technology proves digital ownership.

Untouchables need ownership proof. What?

Digital assets reduce friction, save time, and are better for the environment than physical goods.

Many valuable things are intangible. Feeling like your favorite brands. You'll pay obscene prices for clothing that costs pennies.

Secondly, NFTs Are Contracts. Agreements Have Value.

Blockchain technology will replace all contracts and intermediaries.

Every insurance contract, deed, marriage certificate, work contract, plane ticket, concert ticket, or sports event is likely an NFT.

We all have public wallets, like Grandma's Facebook page.

3. Your NFT Purchases Will Be Visible To Everyone.

Everyone can see your public wallet. What you buy says more about you than what you post online.

NFTs issued double as marketing collateral when seen on social media.

While I doubt Grandma knows who Snoop Dog is, imagine him or another famous person holding your NFT in his public wallet and the attention that could bring to you, your company, or brand.

This Technical Section Is For You

The NFT is a contract; its founders can add value through access, events, tuition, and possibly royalties.

Imagine Elon Musk releasing an NFT to his network. Or yearly business consultations for three years.

Christ-alive.

It's worth millions.

These determine their value.

No unsuspecting schmuck willing to buy your hot potato at zero. That's the trend, though.

Overpriced NFTs for low-effort projects created a bubble that has burst.

During a market bubble, you can make money by buying overvalued assets and selling them later for a profit, according to the Greater Fool Theory.

People are struggling. Some are ruined by collateralized loans and the gold rush.

Finances are ruined.

It's uncomfortable.

The same happened in 2018, during the ICO crash or in 1999/2000 when the dot com bubble burst. But the underlying technology hasn’t gone away.

Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

3 months ago

Apples Top 100 Meeting: Steve Jobs's Secret Agenda's Lessons

Jobs' secret emails became public due to a litigation with Samsung.

Steve Jobs & TIm Cook — Flickr/Thetaxhaven

Steve Jobs sent Phil Schiller an email at the end of 2010. Top 100 A was the codename for Apple's annual Top 100 executive meetings. The 2011 one was scheduled.

Everything about this gathering is secret, even attendance. The location is hidden, and attendees can't even drive themselves. Instead, buses transport them to a 2-3 day retreat.

Due to a litigation with Samsung, this Top 100 meeting's agenda was made public in 2014. This was a critical milestone in Apple's history, not a Top 100 meeting. Apple had many obstacles in the 2010s to remain a technological leader. Apple made more money with non-PC goods than with its best-selling Macintosh series. This was the last Top 100 gathering Steve Jobs would attend before passing, and he wanted to make sure his messages carried on before handing over his firm to Tim Cook.

In this post, we'll discuss lessons from Jobs' meeting agenda. Two sorts of entrepreneurs can use these tips:

  1. Those who manage a team in a business and must ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals, upholding the same principles, and being inspired by the same future.

  2. Those who are sole proprietors or independent contractors and who must maintain strict self-discipline in order to stay innovative in their industry and adhere to their own growth strategy.

Here's Steve Jobs's email outlining the annual meeting agenda. It's an 11-part summary of the company's shape and strategy.

Steve Jobs outlines Apple's 2011 strategy, 10/24/10

1. Correct your data

Business leaders must comprehend their company's metrics. Jobs either mentions critical information he already knows or demands slides showing the numbers he wants. These numbers fall under 2 categories:

Metrics for growth and strategy

  • As we will see, this was a crucial statistic for Apple since it signaled the beginning of the Post PC era and required them to make significant strategic changes in order to stay ahead of the curve. Post PC products now account for 66% of our revenues.

  • Within six months, iPad outsold Mac, another sign of the Post-PC age. As we will see, Jobs thought the iPad would be the next big thing, and item number four on the agenda is one of the most thorough references to the iPad.

  • Geographical analysis: Here, Jobs emphasizes China, where the corporation has a slower start than anticipated. China was dominating Apple's sales growth with 16% of revenue one year after this meeting.

Metrics for people & culture

  • The individuals that make up a firm are more significant to its success than its headcount or average age. That holds true regardless of size, from a 5-person startup to a Fortune 500 firm. Jobs was aware of this, which is why his suggested agenda begins by emphasizing demographic data.

  • Along with the senior advancements in the previous year's requested statistic, it's crucial to demonstrate that if the business is growing, the employees who make it successful must also grow.

2. Recognize the vulnerabilities and strengths of your rivals

Steve Jobs was known for attacking his competition in interviews and in his strategies and roadmaps. This agenda mentions 18 competitors, including:

  • Google 7 times

  • Android 3 times

  • Samsung 2 times

Jobs' agenda email was issued 6 days after Apple's Q4 results call (2010). On the call, Jobs trashed Google and Android. His 5-minute intervention included:

  • Google has acknowledged that the present iteration of Android is not tablet-optimized.

  • Future Android tablets will not work (Dead On Arrival)

  • While Google Play only has 90,000 apps, the Apple App Store has 300,000.

  • Android is extremely fragmented and is continuing to do so.

  • The App Store for iPad contains over 35,000 applications. The market share of the latest generation of tablets (which debuted in 2011) will be close to nil.

Jobs' aim in blasting the competition on that call was to reassure investors about the upcoming flood of new tablets. Jobs often criticized Google, Samsung, and Microsoft, but he also acknowledged when they did a better job. He was great at detecting his competitors' advantages and devising ways to catch up.

  • Jobs doesn't hold back when he says in bullet 1 of his agenda: "We further lock customers into our ecosystem while Google and Microsoft are further along on the technology, but haven't quite figured it out yet tie all of our goods together."

  • The plan outlined in bullet point 5 is immediately clear: catch up to Android where we are falling behind (notifications, tethering, and speech), and surpass them (Siri,). It's important to note that Siri frequently let users down and never quite lived up to expectations.

  • Regarding MobileMe, see Bullet 6 Jobs admits that when it comes to cloud services like contacts, calendars, and mail, Google is far ahead of Apple.

3. Adapt or perish

Steve Jobs was a visionary businessman. He knew personal computers were the future when he worked on the first Macintosh in the 1980s.

Jobs acknowledged the Post-PC age in his 2010 D8 interview.

Will the tablet replace the laptop, Walt Mossberg questioned Jobs? Jobs' response:

“You know, when we were an agrarian nation, all cars were trucks, because that’s what you needed on the farm. As vehicles started to be used in the urban centers and America started to move into those urban and suburban centers, cars got more popular and innovations like automatic transmission and things that you didn’t care about in a truck as much started to become paramount in cars. And now, maybe 1 out of every 25 vehicles is a truck, where it used to be 100%. PCs are going to be like trucks. They’re still going to be around, still going to have a lot of value, but they’re going to be used by one out of X people.”

Imagine how forward-thinking that was in 2010, especially for the Macintosh creator. You have to be willing to recognize that things were changing and that it was time to start over and focus on the next big thing.

Post-PC is priority number 8 in his 2010 agenda's 2011 Strategy section. Jobs says Apple is the first firm to get here and that Post PC items account about 66% of our income. The iPad outsold the Mac in 6 months, and the Post-PC age means increased mobility (smaller, thinner, lighter). Samsung had just introduced its first tablet, while Apple was working on the iPad 3. (as mentioned in bullet 4).

4. Plan ahead (and different)

Jobs' agenda warns that Apple risks clinging to outmoded paradigms. Clayton Christensen explains in The Innovators Dilemma that huge firms neglect disruptive technologies until they become profitable. Samsung's Galaxy tab, released too late, never caught up to Apple.

Apple faces a similar dilemma with the iPhone, its cash cow for over a decade. It doesn't sell as much because consumers aren't as excited about new iPhone launches and because technology is developing and cell phones may need to be upgraded.

Large companies' established consumer base typically hinders innovation. Clayton Christensen emphasizes that loyal customers from established brands anticipate better versions of current products rather than something altogether fresh and new technologies.

Apple's marketing is smart. Apple's ecosystem is trusted by customers, and its products integrate smoothly. So much so that Apple can afford to be a disruptor by doing something no one has ever done before, something the world's largest corporation shouldn't be the first to try. Apple can test the waters and produce a tremendous innovation tsunami, something few corporations can do.

In March 2011, Jobs appeared at an Apple event. During his address, Steve reminded us about Apple's brand:

“It’s in Apple’s DNA, that technology alone is not enough. That it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities that yields us the results that make our hearts sink. And nowhere is that more true that in these Post-PC devices.“

More than a decade later, Apple remains one of the most innovative and trailblazing companies in the Post-PC world (industry-disrupting products like Airpods or the Apple Watch came out after that 2011 strategy meeting), and it has reinvented how we use laptops with its M1-powered line of laptops offering unprecedented performance.

A decade after Jobs' death, Apple remains the world's largest firm, and its former CEO had a crucial part in its expansion. If you can do 1% of what Jobs did, you may be 1% as successful.

Not bad.

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

7 months ago

Here's What I Learned After 30 Days Analyzing Apple's Microcopy

Move people with tiny words.

Apple fanboy here.

  • Macs are awesome.

  • Their iPhones rock.

  • $19 cloths are great.

  • $999 stands are amazing.

I love Apple's microcopy even more.

It's like the marketing goddess bit into the Apple logo and blessed the world with microcopy.

I took on a 30-day micro-stalking mission.

Every time I caught myself wasting time on YouTube, I had to visit Apple’s website to learn the secrets of the marketing goddess herself.

We've learned. Golden apples are calling.

Cut the friction

Benefit-first, not commitment-first.

Brands lose customers through friction.

Most brands don't think like customers.

  • Brands want sales.

  • Brands want newsletter signups.

Here's their microcopy:

  • “Buy it now.”

  • “Sign up for our newsletter.”

Both are difficult. They ask for big commitments.

People are simple creatures. Want pleasure without commitment.

Apple nails this.

So, instead of highlighting the commitment, they highlight the benefit of the commitment.

Saving on the latest iPhone sounds easier than buying it. Everyone saves, but not everyone buys.

A subtle change in framing reduces friction.

Apple eliminates customer objections to reduce friction.

Less customer friction means simpler processes.

Apple's copy expertly reassures customers about shipping fees and not being home. Apple assures customers that returning faulty products is easy.

Apple knows that talking to a real person is the best way to reduce friction and improve their copy.

Always rhyme

Learn about fine rhyme.

Poets make things beautiful with rhyme.

Copywriters use rhyme to stand out.

Apple’s copywriters have mastered the art of corporate rhyme.

Two techniques are used.

1. Perfect rhyme

Here, rhymes are identical.

2. Imperfect rhyme

Here, rhyming sounds vary.

Apple prioritizes meaning over rhyme.

Apple never forces rhymes that don't fit.

It fits so well that the copy seems accidental.

Add alliteration

Alliteration always entertains.

Alliteration repeats initial sounds in nearby words.

Apple's copy uses alliteration like no other brand I've seen to create a rhyming effect or make the text more fun to read.

For example, in the sentence "Sam saw seven swans swimming," the initial "s" sound is repeated five times. This creates a pleasing rhythm.

Microcopy overuse is like pouring ketchup on a Michelin-star meal.

Alliteration creates a memorable phrase in copywriting. It's subtler than rhyme, and most people wouldn't notice; it simply resonates.

I love how Apple uses alliteration and contrast between "wonders" and "ease".

Assonance, or repeating vowels, isn't Apple's thing.

You ≠ Hero, Customer = Hero

Your brand shouldn't be the hero.

Because they'll be using your product or service, your customer should be the hero of your copywriting. With your help, they should feel like they can achieve their goals.

I love how Apple emphasizes what you can do with the machine in this microcopy.

It's divine how they position their tools as sidekicks to help below.

This one takes the cake:

Dialogue-style writing

Conversational copy engages.

Excellent copy Like sharing gum with a friend.

This helps build audience trust.

Apple does this by using natural connecting words like "so" and phrases like "But that's not all."

Snowclone-proof

The mother of all microcopy techniques.

A snowclone uses an existing phrase or sentence to create a new one. The new phrase or sentence uses the same structure but different words.

It’s usually a well know saying like:

To be or not to be.

This becomes a formula:

To _ or not to _.

Copywriters fill in the blanks with cause-related words. Example:

To click or not to click.

Apple turns "survival of the fittest" into "arrival of the fittest."

It's unexpected and surprises the reader.


So this was fun.

But my fun has just begun.

Microcopy is 21st-century poetry.

I came as an Apple fanboy.

I leave as an Apple fanatic.

Now I’m off to find an apple tree.

Cause you know how it goes.

(Apples, trees, etc.)


This post is a summary. Original post available here.