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Yucel F. Sahan

Yucel F. Sahan

1 year ago

How I Created the Day's Top Product on Product Hunt

More on Marketing

Tim Denning

Tim Denning

1 year ago

I Posted Six Times a Day for 210 Days on Twitter. Here's What Happened.

I'd spend hours composing articles only to find out they were useless. Twitter solved the problem.

Photo by Humphrey Muleba on Unsplash

Twitter is wrinkled, say critics.

Nope. Writing is different. It won't make sense until you write there.

Twitter is resurgent. People are reading again. 15-second TikToks overloaded our senses.

After nuking my 20,000-follower Twitter account and starting again, I wrote every day for 210 days.

I'll explain.

I came across the strange world of microblogging.

Traditional web writing is filler-heavy.

On Twitter, you must be brief. I played Wordle.

Twitter Threads are the most popular writing format. Like a blog post. It reminds me of the famous broetry posts on LinkedIn a few years ago.

Image Credit: Josh Fetcher via LinkedIn

Threads combine tweets into an article.

  • Sharp, concise sentences

  • No regard for grammar

  • As important as the information is how the text looks.

Twitter Threads are like Michael Angelo's David monument. He chipped away at an enormous piece of marble until a man with a big willy appeared.

That's Twitter Threads.

I tried to remove unnecessary layers from several of my Wordpress blog posts. Then I realized something.

Tweeting from scratch is easier and more entertaining. It's quicker and makes you think more concisely.

Superpower: saying much with little words. My long-form writing has improved. My article sentences resemble tweets.

You never know what will happen.

Twitter's subcultures are odd. Best-performing tweets are strange.

Unusual trend: working alone and without telling anyone. It's a rebellion against Instagram influencers who share their every moment.

Early on, random thoughts worked:

My friend’s wife is Ukrainian. Her family are trapped in the warzone. He is devastated. And here I was complaining about my broken garage door. War puts everything in perspective. Today is a day to be grateful for peace.

Documenting what's happening triggers writing. It's not about viral tweets. Helping others matters.

There are numerous anonymous users.

Twitter uses pseudonyms.

You don't matter. On sites like LinkedIn, you must use your real name. Welcome to the Cyberpunk metaverse of Twitter :)

One daily piece of writing is a powerful habit.

Habits build creator careers. Read that again.

Twitter is an easy habit to pick up. If you can't tweet in one sentence, something's wrong. Easy-peasy-japanese.

Not what I tweeted, but my constancy, made the difference.

Daily writing is challenging, especially if your supervisor is on your back. Twitter encourages writing.

Tweets evolved as the foundation of all other material.

During my experiment, I enjoyed Twitter's speed.

Tweets get immediate responses, comments, and feedback. My popular tweets become newspaper headlines. I've also written essays from tweet discussions.

Sometimes the tweet and article were clear. Twitter sometimes helped me overcome writer's block.

I used to spend hours composing big things that had little real-world use.

Twitter helped me. No guessing. Data guides my coverage and validates concepts.

Test ideas on Twitter.

It took some time for my email list to grow.

Subscribers are a writer's lifeblood.

Without them, you're broke and homeless when Mark Zuckerberg tweaks the algorithms for ad dollars. Twitter has three ways to obtain email subscribers:

1. Add a link to your bio.

Twitter allows bio links (LinkedIn now does too). My eBook's landing page is linked. I collect emails there.

2. Start an online newsletter.

Twitter bought newsletter app Revue. They promote what they own.

I just established up a Revue email newsletter. I imported them weekly into my ConvertKit email list.

3. Create Twitter threads and include a link to your email list in the final tweet.

Write Twitter Threads and link the last tweet to your email list (example below).

Initial email subscribers were modest.

Numbers are growing. Twitter provides 25% of my new email subscribers. Some days, 50 people join.

Without them, my writing career is over. I'd be back at a 9-5 job begging for time off to spend with my newborn daughter. Nope.

Collect email addresses or die trying.

As insurance against unsubscribes and Zucks, use a second email list or Discord community.

What I still need to do

Twitter's fun. I'm wiser. I need to enable auto-replies and auto-DMs (direct messages).

This adds another way to attract subscribers. I schedule tweets with Tweet Hunter.

It’s best to go slow. People assume you're an internet marketer if you spam them with click requests.

A human internet marketer is preferable to a robot. My opinion.

210 days on Twitter taught me that. I plan to use the platform until I'm a grandfather unless Elon ruins it.

Victoria Kurichenko

Victoria Kurichenko

1 year ago

What Happened After I Posted an AI-Generated Post on My Website

This could cost you.

Image credit: istockphoto

Content creators may have heard about Google's "Helpful content upgrade."

This change is another Google effort to remove low-quality, repetitive, and AI-generated content.

Why should content creators care?

Because too much content manipulates search results.

My experience includes the following.

Website admins seek high-quality guest posts from me. They send me AI-generated text after I say "yes." My readers are irrelevant. Backlinks are needed.

Companies copy high-ranking content to boost their Google rankings. Unfortunately, it's common.

What does this content offer?

Nothing.

Despite Google's updates and efforts to clean search results, webmasters create manipulative content.

As a marketer, I knew about AI-powered content generation tools. However, I've never tried them.

I use old-fashioned content creation methods to grow my website from 0 to 3,000 monthly views in one year.

Last year, I launched a niche website.

I do keyword research, analyze search intent and competitors' content, write an article, proofread it, and then optimize it.

This strategy is time-consuming.

But it yields results!

Here's proof from Google Analytics:

Traffic report August 2021 — August 2022

Proven strategies yield promising results.

To validate my assumptions and find new strategies, I run many experiments.

I tested an AI-powered content generator.

I used a tool to write this Google-optimized article about SEO for startups.

I wanted to analyze AI-generated content's Google performance.

Here are the outcomes of my test.

First, quality.

I dislike "meh" content. I expect articles to answer my questions. If not, I've wasted my time.

My essays usually include research, personal anecdotes, and what I accomplished and achieved.

AI-generated articles aren't as good because they lack individuality.

Read my AI-generated article about startup SEO to see what I mean.

An excerpt from my AI-generated article.

It's dry and shallow, IMO.

It seems robotic.

I'd use quotes and personal experience to show how SEO for startups is different.

My article paraphrases top-ranked articles on a certain topic.

It's readable but useless. Similar articles abound online. Why read it?

AI-generated content is low-quality.

Let me show you how this content ranks on Google.

The Google Search Console report shows impressions, clicks, and average position.

The AI-generated article performance

Low numbers.

No one opens the 5th Google search result page to read the article. Too far!

You may say the new article will improve.

Marketing-wise, I doubt it.

This article is shorter and less comprehensive than top-ranking pages. It's unlikely to win because of this.

AI-generated content's terrible reality.

I'll compare how this content I wrote for readers and SEO performs.

Both the AI and my article are fresh, but trends are emerging.

Here is how my article written with SEO and users in mind, performs

My article's CTR and average position are higher.

I spent a week researching and producing that piece, unlike AI-generated content. My expert perspective and unique consequences make it interesting to read.

Human-made.

In summary

No content generator can duplicate a human's tone, writing style, or creativity. Artificial content is always inferior.

Not "bad," but inferior.

Demand for content production tools will rise despite Google's efforts to eradicate thin content.

Most won't spend hours producing link-building articles. Costly.

As guest and sponsored posts, artificial content will thrive.

Before accepting a new arrangement, content creators and website owners should consider this.

Jon Brosio

Jon Brosio

1 year ago

This Landing Page is a (Legal) Money-Printing Machine

and it’s easy to build.

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

A landing page with good copy is a money-maker.

Let's be honest, page-builder templates are garbage.

They can help you create a nice-looking landing page, but not persuasive writing.

Over the previous 90 days, I've examined 200+ landing pages.

What's crazy?

Top digital entrepreneurs use a 7-part strategy to bring in email subscribers, generate prospects, and (passively) sell their digital courses.

Steal this 7-part landing page architecture to maximize digital product sales.

The offer

Landing pages require offers.

Newsletter, cohort, or course offer.

Your reader should see this offer first. Includind:

  • Headline

  • Imagery

  • Call-to-action

Clear, persuasive, and simplicity are key. Example: the Linkedin OS course home page of digital entrepreneur Justin Welsh offers:

Courtesy | Justin Welsh

A distinctly defined problem

Everyone needs an enemy.

You need an opponent on your landing page. Problematic.

Next, employ psychology to create a struggle in your visitor's thoughts.

Don't be clever here; label your customer's problem. The more particular you are, the bigger the situation will seem.

When you build a clear monster, you invite defeat. I appreciate Theo Ohene's Growth Roadmaps landing page.

Courtesy | Theo Ohene

Exacerbation of the effects

Problem identification doesn't motivate action.

What would an unresolved problem mean?

This is landing page copy. When you describe the unsolved problem's repercussions, you accomplish several things:

  • You write a narrative (and stories are remembered better than stats)

  • You cause the reader to feel something.

  • You help the reader relate to the issue

Important!

My favorite script is:

"Sure, you can let [problem] go untreated. But what will happen if you do? Soon, you'll begin to notice [new problem 1] will start to arise. That might bring up [problem 2], etc."

Take the copywriting course, digital writer and entrepreneur Dickie Bush illustrates below when he labels the problem (see: "poor habit") and then illustrates the repercussions.

Courtesy | Ship30for30

The tale of transformation

Every landing page needs that "ah-ha!" moment.

Transformation stories do this.

Did you find a solution? Someone else made the discovery? Have you tested your theory?

Next, describe your (or your subject's) metamorphosis.

Kieran Drew nails his narrative (and revelation) here. Right before the disclosure, he introduces his "ah-ha!" moment:

Courtesy | Kieran Drew

Testimonials

Social proof completes any landing page.

Social proof tells the reader, "If others do it, it must be worthwhile."

This is your argument.

Positive social proof helps (obviously).

Offer "free" training in exchange for a testimonial if you need social evidence. This builds social proof.

Most social proof is testimonies (recommended). Kurtis Hanni's creative take on social proof (using a screenshot of his colleague) is entertaining.

Bravo.

Courtesy | Kurtis Hanni

Reveal your offer

Now's the moment to act.

Describe the "bundle" that provides the transformation.

Here's:

  • Course

  • Cohort

  • Ebook

Whatever you're selling.

Include a product or service image, what the consumer is getting ("how it works"), the price, any "free" bonuses (preferred), and a CTA ("buy now").

Clarity is key. Don't make a cunning offer. Make sure your presentation emphasizes customer change (benefits). Dan Koe's Modern Mastery landing page makes an offer. Consider:

Courtesy | Dan Koe

An ultimatum

Offering isn't enough.

You must give your prospect an ultimatum.

  1. They can buy your merchandise from you.

  2. They may exit the webpage.

That’s it.

It's crucial to show what happens if the reader does either. Stress the consequences of not buying (again, a little consequence amplification). Remind them of the benefits of buying.

I appreciate Charles Miller's product offer ending:

Courtesy | Charles Miller

The top online creators use a 7-part landing page structure:

  1. Offer the service

  2. Describe the problem

  3. Amplify the consequences

  4. Tell the transformational story

  5. Include testimonials and social proof.

  6. Reveal the offer (with any bonuses if applicable)

  7. Finally, give the reader a deadline to encourage them to take action.

Sequence these sections to develop a landing page that (essentially) prints money.

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Nicolas Tresegnie

Nicolas Tresegnie

1 year ago

Launching 10 SaaS applications in 100 days

Photo by Mauro Sbicego / Unsplash

Apocodes helps entrepreneurs create SaaS products without writing code. This post introduces micro-SaaS and outlines its basic strategy.

Strategy

Vision and strategy differ when starting a startup.

  • The company's long-term future state is outlined in the vision. It establishes the overarching objectives the organization aims to achieve while also justifying its existence. The company's future is outlined in the vision.

  • The strategy consists of a collection of short- to mid-term objectives, the accomplishment of which will move the business closer to its vision. The company gets there through its strategy.

The vision should be stable, but the strategy must be adjusted based on customer input, market conditions, or previous experiments.

Begin modestly and aim high.

Be truthful. It's impossible to automate SaaS product creation from scratch. It's like climbing Everest without running a 5K. Physical rules don't prohibit it, but it would be suicide.

Apocodes 5K equivalent? Two options:

  • (A) Create a feature that includes every setting option conceivable. then query potential clients “Would you choose us to build your SaaS solution if we offered 99 additional features of the same caliber?” After that, decide which major feature to implement next.

  • (B) Build a few straightforward features with just one or two configuration options. Then query potential clients “Will this suffice to make your product?” What's missing if not? Finally, tweak the final result a bit before starting over.

(A) is an all-or-nothing approach. It's like training your left arm to climb Mount Everest. My right foot is next.

(B) is a better method because it's iterative and provides value to customers throughout.

Focus on a small market sector, meet its needs, and expand gradually. Micro-SaaS is Apocode's first market.

What is micro-SaaS.

Micro-SaaS enterprises have these characteristics:

  • A limited range: They address a specific problem with a small number of features.

  • A small group of one to five individuals.

  • Low external funding: The majority of micro-SaaS companies have Total Addressable Markets (TAM) under $100 million. Investors find them unattractive as a result. As a result, the majority of micro-SaaS companies are self-funded or bootstrapped.

  • Low competition: Because they solve problems that larger firms would rather not spend time on, micro-SaaS enterprises have little rivalry.

  • Low upkeep: Because of their simplicity, they require little care.

  • Huge profitability: Because providing more clients incurs such a small incremental cost, high profit margins are possible.

Micro-SaaS enterprises created with no-code are Apocode's ideal first market niche.

We'll create our own micro-SaaS solutions to better understand their needs. Although not required, we believe this will improve community discussions.

The challenge

In 100 days (September 12–December 20, 2022), we plan to build 10 micro-SaaS enterprises using Apocode.

They will be:

  • Self-serve: Customers will be able to use the entire product experience without our manual assistance.

  • Real: They'll deal with actual issues. They won't be isolated proofs of concept because we'll keep up with them after the challenge.

  • Both free and paid options: including a free plan and a free trial period. Although financial success would be a good result, the challenge's stated objective is not financial success.

This will let us design Apocodes features, showcase them, and talk to customers.

(Edit: The first micro-SaaS was launched!)

Follow along

If you want to follow the story of Apocode or our progress in this challenge, you can subscribe here.

If you are interested in using Apocode, sign up here.

If you want to provide feedback, discuss the idea further or get involved, email me at nicolas.tresegnie@gmail.com

Joseph Mavericks

Joseph Mavericks

1 year ago

5 books my CEO read to make $30M

Offices without books are like bodies without souls.

After 10 years, my CEO sold his company for $30 million. I've shared many of his lessons on medium. You could ask him anything at his always-open office. He also said we could use his office for meetings while he was away. When I used his office for work, I was always struck by how many books he had.

Books are useful in almost every aspect of learning. Building a business, improving family relationships, learning a new language, a new skill... Books teach, guide, and structure. Whether fiction or nonfiction, books inspire, give ideas, and develop critical thinking skills.

My CEO prefers non-fiction and attends a Friday book club. This article discusses 5 books I found in his office that impacted my life/business. My CEO sold his company for $30 million, but I've built a steady business through blogging and video making.

I recall events and lessons I learned from my CEO and how they relate to each book, and I explain how I applied the book's lessons to my business and life.

Note: This post has no affiliate links.

1. The One Thing — Gary Keller

Gary Keller, a real estate agent, wanted more customers. So he and his team brainstormed ways to get more customers. They decided to write a bestseller about work and productivity. The more people who saw the book, the more customers they'd get.

Gary Keller focused on writing the best book on productivity, work, and efficiency for months. His business experience. Keller's business grew after the book's release.

The author summarizes the book in one question.

"What's the one thing that will make everything else easier or unnecessary?"

When I started my blog and business alongside my 9–5, I quickly identified my one thing: writing. My business relied on it, so it had to be great. Without writing, there was no content, traffic, or business.

My CEO focused on funding when he started his business. Even in his final years, he spent a lot of time on the phone with investors, either to get more money or to explain what he was doing with it. My CEO's top concern was money, and the other super important factors were handled by separate teams.

  • Product tech and design

  • Incredible customer support team

  • Excellent promotion team

  • Profitable sales team

My CEO didn't always focus on one thing and ignore the rest. He was on all of those teams when I started my job. He'd start his day in tech, have lunch with marketing, and then work in sales. He was in his office on the phone at night.

He eventually realized his errors. Investors told him he couldn't do everything for the company. If needed, he had to change internally. He learned to let go, mind his own business, and focus for the next four years. Then he sold for $30 million.

The bigger your project/company/idea, the more you'll need to delegate to stay laser-focused. I started something new every few months for 10 years before realizing this. So much to do makes it easy to avoid progress. Once you identify the most important aspect of your project and enlist others' help, you'll be successful.

2. Eat That Frog — Brian Tracy

The author quote sums up book's essence:

Mark Twain said that if you eat a live frog in the morning, it's probably the worst thing that will happen to you all day. Your "frog" is the biggest, most important task you're most likely to procrastinate on.

"Frog" and "One Thing" are both about focusing on what's most important. Eat That Frog recommends doing the most important task first thing in the morning.

I shared my CEO's calendar in an article 10 months ago. Like this:

CEO's average week (some information crossed out for confidentiality)

Notice anything about 8am-8:45am? Almost every day is the same (except Friday). My CEO started his day with a management check-in for 2 reasons:

  • Checking in with all managers is cognitively demanding, and my CEO is a morning person.

  • In a young startup where everyone is busy, the morning management check-in was crucial. After 10 am, you couldn't gather all managers.

When I started my blog, writing was my passion. I'm a morning person, so I woke up at 6 am and started writing by 6:30 am every day for a year. This allowed me to publish 3 articles a week for 52 weeks to build my blog and audience. After 2 years, I'm not stopping.

3. Deep Work — Cal Newport

Deep work is focusing on a cognitively demanding task without distractions (like a morning management meeting). It helps you master complex information quickly and produce better results faster. In a competitive world 10 or 20 years ago, focus wasn't a huge advantage. Smartphones, emails, and social media made focus a rare, valuable skill.

Most people can't focus anymore. Screens light up, notifications buzz, emails arrive, Instagram feeds... Many people don't realize they're interrupted because it's become part of their normal workflow.

Cal Newport mentions Bill Gates' "Think Weeks" in Deep Work.

Microsoft CEO Bill Gates would isolate himself (often in a lakeside cottage) twice a year to read and think big thoughts.

Inside Bill's Brain on Netflix shows Newport's lakeside cottage. I've always wanted a lakeside cabin to work in. My CEO bought a lakehouse after selling his company, but now he's retired.

As a company grows, you can focus less on it. In a previous section, I said investors told my CEO to get back to basics and stop micromanaging. My CEO's commitment and ability to get work done helped save the company. His deep work and new frameworks helped us survive the corona crisis (more on this later).

The ability to deep work will be a huge competitive advantage in the next century. Those who learn to work deeply will likely be successful while everyone else is glued to their screens, Bluetooth-synced to their watches, and playing Candy Crush on their tablets.

4. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey

It took me a while to start reading this book because it seemed like another shallow self-help bible. I kept finding this book when researching self-improvement. I tried it because it was everywhere.

Stephen Covey taught me 2 years ago to have a personal mission statement.

A 7 Habits mission statement describes the life you want to lead, the character traits you want to embody, and the impact you want to have on others. shortform.com

I've had many lunches with my CEO and talked about Vipassana meditation and Sunday forest runs, but I've never seen his mission statement. I'm sure his family is important, though. In the above calendar screenshot, you can see he always included family events (in green) so we could all see those time slots. We couldn't book him then. Although he never spent as much time with his family as he wanted, he always made sure to be on time for his kid's birthday rather than a conference call.

My CEO emphasized his company's mission. Your mission statement should answer 3 questions.

  • What does your company do?

  • How does it do it?

  • Why does your company do it?

As a graphic designer, I had to create mission-statement posters. My CEO hung posters in each office.

5. Measure What Matters — John Doerr

This book is about Andrew Grove's OKR strategy, developed in 1968. When he joined Google's early investors board, he introduced it to Larry Page and Sergey Brin. Google still uses OKR.

Objective Key Results

  • Objective: It explains your goals and desired outcome. When one goal is reached, another replaces it. OKR objectives aren't technical, measured, or numerical. They must be clear.

  • Key Result should be precise, technical, and measurable, unlike the Objective. It shows if the Goal is being worked on. Time-bound results are quarterly or yearly.

Our company almost sank several times. Sales goals were missed, management failed, and bad decisions were made. On a Monday, our CEO announced we'd implement OKR to revamp our processes.

This was a year before the pandemic, and I'm certain we wouldn't have sold millions or survived without this change. This book impacted the company the most, not just management but all levels. Organization and transparency improved. We reached realistic goals. Happy investors. We used the online tool Gtmhub to implement OKR across the organization.

My CEO's company went from near bankruptcy to being acquired for $30 million in 2 years after implementing OKR.


I hope you enjoyed this booklist. Here's a recap of the 5 books and the lessons I learned from each.

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — Stephen R. Covey

Have a mission statement that outlines your goals, character traits, and impact on others.

  1. Deep Work — Cal Newport

Focus is a rare skill; master it. Deep workers will succeed in our hyper-connected, distracted world.

  1. The One Thing — Gary Keller

What can you do that will make everything else easier or unnecessary? Once you've identified it, focus on it.

  1. Eat That Frog — Brian Tracy

Identify your most important task the night before and do it first thing in the morning. You'll have a lighter day.

  1. Measure What Matters — John Doerr

On a timeline, divide each long-term goal into chunks. Divide those slices into daily tasks (your goals). Time-bound results are quarterly or yearly. Objectives aren't measured or numbered.

Thanks for reading. Enjoy the ride!

Rachel Greenberg

Rachel Greenberg

1 year ago

The Unsettling Fact VC-Backed Entrepreneurs Don't Want You to Know

What they'll do is scarier.

Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

My acquaintance recently joined a VC-funded startup. Money, equity, and upside possibilities were nice, but he had a nagging dread.

They just secured a $40M round and are hiring like crazy to prepare for their IPO in two years. All signals pointed to this startup's (a B2B IT business in a stable industry) success, and its equity-holding workers wouldn't pass that up.

Five months after starting the work, my friend struggled with leaving. We might overlook the awful culture and long hours at the proper price. This price plus the company's fate and survival abilities sent my friend departing in an unpleasant unplanned resignation before jumping on yet another sinking ship.

This affects founders. This affects VC-backed companies (and all businesses). This affects anyone starting, buying, or running a business.

Here's the under-the-table approach that's draining VC capital, leaving staff terrified (or jobless), founders rattled, and investors upset. How to recognize, solve, and avoid it

The unsettling reality behind door #1

You can't raise money off just your looks, right? If "looks" means your founding team's expertise, then maybe. In my friend's case, the founding team's strong qualifications and track records won over investors before talking figures.

They're hardly the only startup to raise money without a profitable customer acquisition strategy. Another firm raised money for an expensive sleep product because it's eco-friendly. They were off to the races with a few keywords and key players.

Both companies, along with numerous others, elected to invest on product development first. Company A employed all the tech, then courted half their market (they’re a tech marketplace that connects two parties). Company B spent millions on R&D to create a palatable product, then flooded the world with marketing.

My friend is on Company B's financial team, and he's seen where they've gone wrong. It's terrible.

Company A (tech market): Growing? Not quite. To achieve the ambitious expansion they (and their investors) demand, they've poured much of their little capital into salespeople: Cold-calling commission and salary salesmen. Is it working? Considering attrition and companies' dwindling capital, I don't think so.

Company B (green sleep) has been hiring, digital marketing, and opening new stores like crazy. Growing expenses should result in growing revenues and a favorable return on investment; if you grow too rapidly, you may neglect to check that ROI.

Once Company A cut headcount and Company B declared “going concerned”, my friend realized both startups had the same ailment and didn't recognize it.

I shouldn't have to ask a friend to verify a company's cash reserves and profitability to spot a financial problem. It happened anyhow.

The frightening part isn't that investors were willing to invest millions without product-market fit, CAC, or LTV estimates. That's alarming, but not as scary as the fact that startups aren't understanding the problem until VC rounds have dried up.

When they question consultants if their company will be around in 6 months. It’s a red flag. How will they stretch $20M through a 2-year recession with a $3M/month burn rate and no profitability? Alarms go off.

Who's in danger?

In a word, everyone who raised money without a profitable client acquisition strategy or enough resources to ride out dry spells.

Money mismanagement and poor priorities affect every industry (like sinking all your capital into your product, team, or tech, at the expense of probing what customer acquisition really takes and looks like).

This isn't about tech, real estate, or recession-proof luxury products. Fast, cheap, easy money flows into flashy-looking teams with buzzwords, trending industries, and attractive credentials.

If these companies can't show progress or get a profitable CAC, they can't raise more money. They die if they can't raise more money (or slash headcount and find shoestring budget solutions until they solve the real problem).

The kiss of death (and how to avoid it)

If you're running a startup and think raising VC is the answer, pause and evaluate. Do you need the money now?

I'm not saying VC is terrible or has no role. Founders have used it as a Band-Aid for larger, pervasive problems. Venture cash isn't a crutch for recruiting consumers profitably; it's rocket fuel to get you what and who you need.

Pay-to-play isn't a way to throw money at the wall and hope for a return. Pay-to-play works until you run out of money, and if you haven't mastered client acquisition, your cash will diminish quickly.

How can you avoid this bottomless pit? Tips:

  • Understand your burn rate

  • Keep an eye on your growth or profitability.

  • Analyze each and every marketing channel and initiative.

  • Make lucrative customer acquisition strategies and satisfied customers your top two priorities. not brand-new products. not stellar hires. avoid the fundraising rollercoaster to save time. If you succeed in these two tasks, investors will approach you with their thirsty offers rather than the other way around, and your cash reserves won't diminish as a result.

Not as much as your grandfather

My family friend always justified expensive, impractical expenditures by saying it was only monopoly money. In business, startups, and especially with money from investors expecting a return, that's not true.

More founders could understand that there isn't always another round if they viewed VC money as their own limited pool. When the well runs dry, you must refill it or save the day.

Venture financing isn't your grandpa's money. A discerning investor has entrusted you with dry powder in the hope that you'll use it wisely, strategically, and thoughtfully. Use it well.