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ʟ ᴜ ᴄ ʏ

ʟ ᴜ ᴄ ʏ

1 year ago

The Untapped Gold Mine of Inspiration and Startup Ideas

More on Entrepreneurship/Creators

Woo

Woo

1 year ago

How To Launch A Business Without Any Risk

> Say Hello To The Lean-Hedge Model

People think starting a business requires significant debt and investment. Like Shark Tank, you need a world-changing idea. I'm not saying to avoid investors or brilliant ideas.

Investing is essential to build a genuinely profitable company. Think Apple or Starbucks.

Entrepreneurship is risky because many people go bankrupt from debt. As starters, we shouldn't do it. Instead, use lean-hedge.

Simply defined, you construct a cash-flow business to hedge against long-term investment-heavy business expenses.

What the “fx!$rench-toast” is the lean-hedge model?

When you start a business, your money should move down, down, down, then up when it becomes profitable.

Example: Starbucks

Many people don't survive the business's initial losses and debt. What if, we created a cash-flow business BEFORE we started our Starbucks to hedge against its initial expenses?

Cash Flow business hedges against

Lean-hedge has two sections. Start a cash-flow business. A cash-flow business takes minimal investment and usually involves sweat and time.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

A Translation company

Personal portfolio website (you make a site then you do cold e-mail marketing)

FREELANCE (UpWork, Fiverr).

Educational business.

Infomarketing. (You design a knowledge-based product. You sell the info).

Online fitness/diet/health coaching ($50-$300/month, calls, training plan)

Amazon e-book publishing. (Medium writers do this)

YouTube, cash-flow channel

A web development agency (I'm a dev, but if you're not, a graphic design agency, etc.) (Sell your time.)

Digital Marketing

Online paralegal (A million lawyers work in the U.S).

Some dropshipping (Organic Tik Tok dropshipping, where you create content to drive traffic to your shopify store instead of spend money on ads).

(Disclaimer: My first two cash-flow enterprises, which were language teaching, failed terribly. My translation firm is now booming because B2B e-mail marketing is easy.)

Crossover occurs. Your long-term business starts earning more money than your cash flow business.

My cash-flow business (freelancing, translation) makes $7k+/month.

I’ve decided to start a slightly more investment-heavy digital marketing agency

Here are the anticipated business's time- and money-intensive investments:

  1. ($$$) Top Front-End designer's Figma/UI-UX design (in negotiation)

  2. (Time): A little copywriting (I will do this myself)

  3. ($$) Creating an animated webpage with HTML (in negotiation)

  4. Backend Development (Duration) (I'll carry out this myself using Laravel.)

  5. Logo Design ($$)

  6. Logo Intro Video for $

  7. Video Intro (I’ll edit this myself with Premiere Pro)

etc.

Then evaluate product, place, price, and promotion. Consider promotion and pricing.

The lean-hedge model's point is:

Don't gamble. Avoid debt. First create a cash-flow project, then grow it steadily.

Check read my previous posts on “Nightmare Mode” (which teaches you how to make work as interesting as video games) and Why most people can't escape a 9-5 to learn how to develop a cash-flow business.

SAHIL SAPRU

SAHIL SAPRU

1 year ago

How I grew my business to a $5 million annual recurring revenue

Scaling your startup requires answering customer demands, not growth tricks.

I cofounded Freedo Rentals in 2019. I reached 50 lakh+ ARR in 6 months before quitting owing to the epidemic.

Freedo aimed to solve 2 customer pain points:

  • Users lacked a reliable last-mile transportation option.

  • The amount that Auto walas charge for unmetered services

Solution?

Effectively simple.

Build ports at high-demand spots (colleges, residential societies, metros). Electric ride-sharing can meet demand.

We had many problems scaling. I'll explain using the AARRR model.

  • Brand unfamiliarity or a novel product offering were the problems with awareness. Nobody knew what Freedo was or what it did.

  • Problem with awareness: Content and advertisements did a poor job of communicating the task at hand. The advertisements clashed with the white-collar part because they were too cheesy.

  • Retention Issue: We encountered issues, indicating that the product was insufficient. Problems with keyless entry, creating bills, stealing helmets, etc.

  • Retention/Revenue Issue: Costly compared to established rivals. Shared cars were 1/3 of our cost.

  • Referral Issue: Missing the opportunity to seize the AHA moment. After the ride, nobody remembered us.

Once you know where you're struggling with AARRR, iterative solutions are usually best.

Once you have nailed the AARRR model, most startups use paid channels to scale. This dependence, on paid channels, increases with scale unless you crack your organic/inbound game.

Over-index growth loops. Growth loops increase inflow and customers as you scale.

When considering growth, ask yourself:

  • Who is the solution's ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)? (To whom are you selling)

  • What are the most important messages I should convey to customers? (This is an A/B test.)

  • Which marketing channels ought I prioritize? (Conduct analysis based on the startup's maturity/stage.)

  • Choose the important metrics to monitor for your AARRR funnel (not all metrics are equal)

  • Identify the Flywheel effect's growth loops (inertia matters)

My biggest mistakes:

  • not paying attention to consumer comments or satisfaction. It is the main cause of problems with referrals, retention, and acquisition for startups. Beyond your NPS, you should consider second-order consequences.

  • The tasks at hand should be quite clear.

Here's my scaling equation:

Growth = A x B x C

A = Funnel top (Traffic)

B = Product Valuation (Solving a real pain point)

C = Aha! (Emotional response)

Freedo's A, B, and C created a unique offering.

Freedo’s ABC:

A — Working or Studying population in NCR

B — Electric Vehicles provide last-mile mobility as a clean and affordable solution

C — One click booking with a no-noise scooter

Final outcome:

FWe scaled Freedo to Rs. 50 lakh MRR and were growing 60% month on month till the pandemic ceased our growth story.

How we did it?

We tried ambassadors and coupons. WhatsApp was our most successful A/B test.

We grew widespread adoption through college and society WhatsApp groups. We requested users for referrals in community groups.

What worked for us won't work for others. This scale underwent many revisions.

Every firm is different, thus you must know your customers. Needs to determine which channel to prioritize and when.

Users desired a safe, time-bound means to get there.

This (not mine) growth framework helped me a lot. You should follow suit.

Mangu Solutions

Mangu Solutions

1 year ago

Growing a New App to $15K/mo in 6 Months [SaaS Case Study]

Discover How We Used Facebook Ads to Grow a New Mobile App from $0 to $15K MRR in Just 6 Months and Our Strategy to Hit $100K a Month.

Our client introduced a mobile app for Poshmark resellers in December and wanted as many to experience it and subscribe to the monthly plan.

An Error We Committed

We initiated a Facebook ad campaign with a "awareness" goal, not "installs." This sent them to a landing page that linked to the iPhone App Store and Android Play Store. Smart, right?

We got some installs, but we couldn't tell how many came from the ad versus organic/other channels because the objective we chose only reported landing page clicks, not app installs.

We didn't know which interest groups/audiences had the best cost per install (CPI) to optimize and scale our budget.

First month’s FB Ad report

After spending $700 without adequate data (installs and trials report), we stopped the campaign and worked with our client's app developer to set up app events tracking.

This allowed us to create an installs campaign and track installs, trials, and purchases (in some cases).

Finding a Successful Audience

Once we knew what ad sets brought in what installs at what cost, we began optimizing and testing other interest groups and audiences, growing the profitable low CPI ones and eliminating the high CPI ones.

We did all our audience testing using an ABO campaign (Ad Set Budget Optimization), spending $10 to $30 on each ad set for three days and optimizing afterward. All ad sets under $30 were moved to a CBO campaign (Campaign Budget Optimization).

We let Facebook's AI decide how much to spend on each ad set, usually the one most likely to convert at the lowest cost.

If the CBO campaign maintains a nice CPI, we keep increasing the budget by $50 every few days or duplicating it sometimes in order to double the budget. This is how we've scaled to $400/day profitably.

one of our many ad creatives

Finding Successful Creatives

Per campaign, we tested 2-6 images/videos. Same ad copy and CTA. There was no clear winner because some images did better with some interest groups.

The image above with mail packages, for example, got us a cheap CPI of $9.71 from our Goodwill Stores interest group but, a high $48 CPI from our lookalike audience. Once we had statistically significant data, we turned off the high-cost ad.

New marketers who are just discovering A/B testing may assume it's black and white — winner and loser. However, Facebook ads' machine learning and reporting has gotten so sophisticated that it's hard to call a creative a flat-out loser, but rather a 'bad fit' for some audiences, and perfect for others.

You can see how each creative performs across age groups and optimize.

Detailed reporting on FB Ads manager dashboard.

How Many Installs Did It Take Us to Earn $15K Per Month?

Six months after paying $25K, we got 1,940 app installs, 681 free trials, and 522 $30 monthly subscriptions. 522 * $30 gives us $15,660 in monthly recurring revenue (MRR).

Total ad spend so far.

Next, what? $100K per month

A conversation with the client (app owner).

The conversation above is with the app's owner. We got on a 30-minute call where I shared how I plan to get the app to be making $100K a month like I’ve done for other businesses.

Reverse Engineering $100K

Formula:

For $100K/month, we need 3,334 people to pay $30/month. 522 people pay that. We need 2,812 more paid users.

522 paid users from 1,940 installs is a 27% conversion rate. To hit $100K/month, we need 10,415 more installs. Assuming...

With a $400 daily ad spend, we average 40 installs per day. This means that if everything stays the same, it would take us 260 days (around 9 months) to get to $100K a month (MRR).

Conclusion

You must market your goods to reach your income objective (without waiting forever). Paid ads is the way to go if you hate knocking on doors or irritating friends and family (who aren’t scalable anyways).

You must also test and optimize different angles, audiences, interest groups, and creatives.

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Scott Galloway

Scott Galloway

1 year ago

First Health

ZERO GRACE/ZERO MALICE

Amazon's purchase of One Medical could speed up American healthcare

The U.S. healthcare industry is a 7-ton seal bleeding at sea. Predators are circling. Unearned margin: price increases relative to inflation without quality improvements. Amazon is the 11-foot megalodon with 7-inch teeth. Amazon is no longer circling... but attacking.

In 2020 dollars, per capita U.S. healthcare spending increased from $2,968 in 1980 to $12,531. The result is a massive industry with 13% of the nation's workers and a fifth of GDP.

Doctor No

In 40 years, healthcare has made progress. From 73.7 in 1980 to 78.8 in 2019, life expectancy rose (before Covid knocked it back down a bit). Pharmacological therapies have revolutionized, and genetic research is paying off. The financial return, improvement split by cost increases, is terrible. No country has expense rises like the U.S., and no one spends as much per capita as we do. Developed countries have longer life expectancies, healthier populations, and less economic hardship.

Two-thirds of U.S. personal bankruptcies are due to medical expenses and/or missed work. Mom or Dad getting cancer could bankrupt many middle-class American families. 40% of American adults delayed or skipped needed care due to cost. Every healthcare improvement seems to have a downside. Same pharmacological revolution that helped millions caused opioid epidemic. Our results are poor in many areas: The U.S. has a high infant mortality rate.

Healthcare is the second-worst retail industry in the country. Gas stations are #1. Imagine walking into a Best Buy to buy a TV and a Blue Shirt associate requests you fill out the same 14 pages of paperwork you filled out yesterday. Then you wait in a crowded room until they call you, 20 minutes after the scheduled appointment you were asked to arrive early for, to see the one person in the store who can talk to you about TVs, who has 10 minutes for you. The average emergency room wait time in New York is 6 hours and 10 minutes.

If it's bad for the customer, it's worse for the business. Physicians spend 27% of their time helping patients; 49% on EHRs. Documentation, order entry, billing, and inbox management. Spend a decade getting an M.D., then become a bureaucrat.

No industry better illustrates scale diseconomies. If we got the same return on healthcare spending as other countries, we'd all live to 100. We could spend less, live longer and healthier, and pay off the national debt in 15 years. U.S. healthcare is the worst ever.

What now? Competition is at the heart of capitalism, the worst system of its kind.

Priority Time

Amazon is buying One Medical for $3.9 billion. I think this deal will liberate society. Two years in, I think One Medical is great. When I got Covid, I pressed the One Medical symbol on my phone; a nurse practitioner prescribed Paxlovid and told me which pharmacies had it in stock.

Amazon enables the company's vision. One Medical's stock is down to $10 from $40 at the start of 2021. Last year, it lost $250 million and needs cash (Amazon has $60 billion). ONEM must grow. The service has 736,000 members. Half of U.S. households have Amazon Prime. Finally, delivery. One Medical is a digital health/physical office hybrid, but you must pick up medication at the pharmacy. Upgrade your Paxlovid delivery time after a remote consultation. Amazon's core competency means it'll happen. Healthcare speed and convenience will feel alien.

It's been a long, winding road to disruption. Amazon, JPMorgan, and Berkshire Hathaway formed Haven four years ago to provide better healthcare for their 1.5 million employees. It rocked healthcare stocks the morning of the press release, but folded in 2021.

Amazon Care is an employee-focused service. Home-delivered virtual health services and nurses. It's doing well, expanding nationwide, and providing healthcare for other companies. Hilton is Amazon Care's biggest customer. The acquisition of One Medical will bring 66 million Prime households capital, domain expertise, and billing infrastructure. Imagine:

"Alexa, I'm hot and my back hurts."

"Connecting you to a Prime doctor now."

Want to vs. Have to

I predicted Amazon entering healthcare years ago. Why? For the same reason Apple is getting into auto. Amazon's P/E is 56, double Walmart's. The corporation must add $250 billion in revenue over the next five years to retain its share price. White-label clothes or smart home products won't generate as much revenue. It must enter a huge market without scale, operational competence, and data skills.

Current Situation

Healthcare reform benefits both consumers and investors. In 2015, healthcare services had S&P 500-average multiples. The market is losing faith in public healthcare businesses' growth. Healthcare services have lower EV/EBITDA multiples than the S&P 500.

Amazon isn't the only prey-hunter. Walmart and Alibaba are starting pharmacies. Uber is developing medical transportation. Private markets invested $29 billion in telehealth last year, up 95% from 2020.

The pandemic accelerated telehealth, the immediate unlock. After the first positive Covid case in the U.S., services that had to be delivered in person shifted to Zoom... We lived. We grew. Video house calls continued after in-person visits were allowed. McKinsey estimates telehealth visits are 38 times pre-pandemic levels. Doctors adopted the technology, regulators loosened restrictions, and patients saved time. We're far from remote surgery, but many patient visits are unnecessary. A study of 40 million patients during lockdown found that for chronic disease patients, online visits didn't affect outcomes. This method of care will only improve.

Amazon's disruption will be significant and will inspire a flood of capital, startups, and consumer brands. Mark Cuban launched a pharmacy that eliminates middlemen in January. Outcome? A 90-day supply of acid-reflux medication costs $17. Medicare could have saved $3.6 billion by buying generic drugs from Cuban's pharmacy. Other apex predators will look at different limbs of the carcass for food. Nike could enter healthcare via orthopedics, acupuncture, and chiropractic. LVMH, L'Oréal, and Estée Lauder may launch global plastic surgery brands. Hilton and Four Seasons may open hospitals. Lennar and Pulte could build "Active Living" communities that Nana would leave feet first, avoiding the expense and tragedy of dying among strangers.

Risks

Privacy matters: HIV status is different from credit card and billing address. Most customers (60%) feel fine sharing personal health data via virtual technologies, though. Unavoidable. 85% of doctors believe data-sharing and interoperability will become the norm. Amazon is the most trusted tech company for handling personal data. Not Meta: Amazon.

What about antitrust, then?

Amazon should be required to spin off AWS and/or Amazon Fulfillment and banned from promoting its own products. It should be allowed to acquire hospitals. One Medical's $3.9 billion acquisition is a drop in the bucket compared to UnitedHealth's $498 billion market valuation.

Antitrust enforcement shouldn't assume some people/firms are good/bad. It should recognize that competition is good and focus on making markets more competitive in each deal. The FTC should force asset divestitures in e-commerce, digital marketing, and social media. These companies can also promote competition in a social ill.

U.S. healthcare makes us fat, depressed, and broke. Competition has produced massive value and prosperity across most of our economy.

Dear Amazon … bring it.

Liz Martin

Liz Martin

1 year ago

A Search Engine From Apple?

Apple's search engine has long been rumored. Recent Google developments may confirm the rumor. Is Apple about to become Google's biggest rival?

Here's a video:

People noted Apple's changes in 2020. AppleBot, a web crawler that downloads and caches Internet content, was more active than in the last five years.

Apple hired search engine developers, including ex-Googlers, such as John Giannandrea, Google's former search chief.

Apple also changed the way iPhones search. With iOS 14, Apple's search results arrived before Google's.

These facts fueled rumors that Apple was developing a search engine.

Apple and Google Have a Contract

Many skeptics said Apple couldn't compete with Google. This didn't affect the company's competitiveness.

Apple is the only business with the resources and scale to be a Google rival, with 1.8 billion active devices and a $2 trillion market cap.

Still, people doubted that due to a license deal. Google pays Apple $8 to $12 billion annually to be the default iPhone and iPad search engine.

Apple can't build an independent search product under this arrangement.

Why would Apple enter search if it's being paid to stay out?

Ironically, this partnership has many people believing Apple is getting into search.

A New Default Search Engine May Be Needed

Google was sued for antitrust in 2020. It is accused of anticompetitive and exclusionary behavior. Justice wants to end Google's monopoly.

Authorities could restrict Apple and Google's licensing deal due to its likely effect on market competitiveness. Hence Apple needs a new default search engine.

Apple Already Has a Search Engine

The company already has a search engine, Spotlight.

Since 2004, Spotlight has aired. It was developed to help users find photos, documents, apps, music, and system preferences.

Apple's search engine could do more than organize files, texts, and apps.

Spotlight Search was updated in 2014 with iOS 8. Web, App Store, and iTunes searches became available. You could find nearby places, movie showtimes, and news.

This search engine has subsequently been updated and improved. Spotlight added rich search results last year.

If you search for a TV show, movie, or song, photos and carousels will appear at the top of the page.

This resembles Google's rich search results.

When Will the Apple Search Engine Be Available?

When will Apple's search launch? Robert Scoble says it's near.

Scoble tweeted a number of hints before this year's Worldwide Developer Conference.

Scoble bases his prediction on insider information and deductive reasoning. January 2023 is expected.

Will you use Apple's search engine?

Jano le Roux

Jano le Roux

1 year ago

Apple Quietly Introduces A Revolutionary Savings Account That Kills Banks

Would you abandon your bank for Apple?

Apple

Banks are struggling.

  • not as a result of inflation

  • not due to the economic downturn.

  • not due to the conflict in Ukraine.

But because they’re underestimating Apple.

Slowly but surely, Apple is looking more like a bank.

An easy new savings account like Apple

Apple

Apple has a new savings account.

Apple says Apple Card users may set up and manage savings straight in Wallet.

  • No more charges

  • Colorfully high yields

  • With no minimum balance

  • No minimal down payments

Most consumer-facing banks will have to match Apple's offer or suffer disruption.

Users may set it up from their iPhones without traveling to a bank or filling out paperwork.

It’s built into the iPhone in your pocket.

So now more waiting for slow approval processes.

Once the savings account is set up, Apple will automatically transfer all future Daily Cash into it. Users may also add these cash to an Apple Cash card in their Apple Wallet app and adjust where Daily Cash is paid at any time.

Apple

Apple Pay and Apple Wallet VP Jennifer Bailey:

Savings enables Apple Card users to grow their Daily Cash rewards over time, while also saving for the future.

Bailey says Savings adds value to Apple Card's Daily Cash benefit and offers another easy-to-use tool to help people lead healthier financial lives.

Transfer money from a linked bank account or Apple Cash to a Savings account. Users can withdraw monies to a connected bank account or Apple Cash card without costs.

Once set up, Apple Card customers can track their earnings via Wallet's Savings dashboard. This dashboard shows their account balance and interest.

This product targets younger people as the easiest way to start a savings account on the iPhone.

Why would a Gen Z account holder travel to the bank if their iPhone could be their bank?

Using this concept, Apple will transform the way we think about banking by 2030.

Two other nightmares keep bankers awake at night

Apple revealed two new features in early 2022 that banks and payment gateways hated.

  • Tap to Pay with Apple

  • Late Apple Pay

They startled the industry.

Tap To Pay converts iPhones into mobile POS card readers. Apple Pay Later is pushing the BNPL business in a consumer-friendly direction, hopefully ending dodgy lending practices.

Tap to Pay with Apple

iPhone POS

Apple

Millions of US merchants, from tiny shops to huge establishments, will be able to accept Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets with a tap.

No hardware or payment terminal is needed.

Revolutionary!

Stripe has previously launched this feature.

Tap to Pay on iPhone will provide companies with a secure, private, and quick option to take contactless payments and unleash new checkout experiences, said Bailey.

Apple's solution is ingenious. Brilliant!

Bailey says that payment platforms, app developers, and payment networks are making it easier than ever for businesses of all sizes to accept contactless payments and thrive.

I admire that Apple is offering this up to third-party services instead of closing off other functionalities.

Slow POS terminals, farewell.

Late Apple Pay

Pay Apple later.

Apple

Apple Pay Later enables US consumers split Apple Pay purchases into four equal payments over six weeks with no interest or fees.

The Apple ecosystem integration makes this BNPL scheme unique. Nonstick. No dumb forms.

Frictionless.

Just double-tap the button.

Apple Pay Later was designed with users' financial well-being in mind. Apple makes it easy to use, track, and pay back Apple Pay Later from Wallet.

Apple Pay Later can be signed up in Wallet or when using Apple Pay. Apple Pay Later can be used online or in an app that takes Apple Pay and leverages the Mastercard network.

Apple Pay Order Tracking helps consumers access detailed receipts and order tracking in Wallet for Apple Pay purchases at participating stores.

Bad BNPL suppliers, goodbye.

Most bankers will be caught in Apple's eye playing mini golf in high-rise offices.

The big problem:

  • Banks still think about features and big numbers just like other smartphone makers did not too long ago.

  • Apple thinks about effortlessnessseamlessness, and frictionlessness that just work through integrated hardware and software.

Let me know what you think Apple’s next power moves in the banking industry could be.