Jano le Roux
Jano le Roux
10 months ago
Quit worrying about Twitter: Elon moves quickly before refining
Elon's rides start rough, but then...
Elon Musk has never been so hated.
They don’t get Elon.
He began using PayPal in this manner.
He began with SpaceX in a similar manner.
He began with Tesla in this manner.
Elon had rocky starts. His creativity requires it. Just like writing a first draft.
His fastest way to find the way is to avoid it.
PayPal's pricey launch
PayPal was a 1999 business flop.
They were considered insane.
Elon and his co-founders had big plans for PayPal. They adopted the popular philosophy of the time, exchanging short-term profit for growth, and pulled off a miracle just before the bubble burst.
PayPal was created as a dollar alternative. Original PayPal software allowed PalmPilot money transfers. Unfortunately, there weren't enough PalmPilot users.
Since everyone had email, the company emailed payments. Costs rose faster than sales.
The startup wanted to get a million subscribers by paying $10 to sign up and $10 for each referral. Elon thought the price was fair because PayPal made money by charging transaction fees. They needed to make money quickly.
A Wall Street Journal article valuing PayPal at $500 million attracted investors. The dot-com bubble burst soon after they rushed to get financing.
Musk and his partners sold PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Musk's most successful company was PayPal.
SpaceX's start-up error
Elon and his friends bought a reconditioned ICBM in Russia in 2002.
He planned to invest much of his wealth in a stunt to promote NASA and space travel.
Many called Elon crazy.
The goal was to buy a cheap Russian rocket to launch mice or plants to Mars and return them. He thought SpaceX would revive global space interest. After a bad meeting in Moscow, Elon decided to build his own rockets to undercut launch contracts.
Then SpaceX was founded.
Elon’s plan was harder than expected.
Explosions followed explosions.
Millions lost on cargo.
Millions lost on the rockets.
Investors thought Elon was crazy, but he wasn't.
NASA's biggest competitor became SpaceX. NASA hired SpaceX to handle many of its missions.
Tesla's shaky beginning
Tesla began shakily.
Clients detested their roadster.
They continued to miss deadlines.
Lotus would handle the car while Tesla focused on the EV component, easing Tesla's entry. The business experienced elegance creep. Modifying specific parts kept the car from getting worse.
Cost overruns, delays, and other factors changed the Elise-like car's appearance. Only 7% of the Tesla Roadster's parts matched its Lotus twin.
Tesla was about to die.
Elon saved the mess as CEO.
He fired 25% of the workforce to reduce costs.
Elon Musk transformed Tesla into the world's most valuable automaker by running it like a startup.
Tesla hasn't spent a dime on advertising. They let the media do the talking by investing in innovation.
Elon sheds. Elon tries. Elon learns. Elon refines.
Twitter doesn't worry me.
The media is shocked. I’m not.
This is just Elon being Elon.
Elon makes lean.
Elon tries new things.
Elon listens to feedback.
Besides Twitter will always be Twitter.
Jano le Roux
10 months ago
Never Heard Of: The Apple Of Email Marketing Tools
Unlimited everything for $19 monthly!?
Even with pretty words, no one wants to read an ugly email.
Not Gen Z
Not Gen X
I am a minimalist.
I like Mozart. I like avos. I love Apple.
When I hear seamlessly, effortlessly, or Apple's new adverb fluidly, my toes curl.
No email marketing tool gave me that feeling.
As a marketing consultant helping high-growth brands create marketing that doesn't feel like marketing, I've worked with every email marketing platform imaginable, including that naughty monkey and the expensive platform whose sales teams don't stop calling.
Most email marketing platforms are flawed.
They are overpriced.
They use dreadful templates.
They employ a poor visual designer.
The user experience there is awful.
Too many useless buttons are present. (Similar to the TV remote!)
I may have finally found the perfect email marketing tool. It creates strong flows. It helps me focus on storytelling.
It’s called Flodesk.
It’s effortless. It’s seamless. It’s fluid.
Here’s why it excites me.
Unlimited everything for $19 per month
Sends unlimited. Emails unlimited. Signups unlimited.
Most email platforms penalize success.
Pay for performance?
$87 for 10k contacts
$605 for 100K contacts
$1,300+ for 200K contacts
In the 1990s, this made sense, but not now. It reminds me of when ISPs capped internet usage at 5 GB per month.
Flodesk made unlimited email for a low price a reality. Affordable, attractive email marketing isn't just for big companies.
Flodesk doesn't penalize you for growing your list. Price stays the same as lists grow.
Flodesk plans cost $38 per month, but I'll give you a 30-day trial for $19.
Amazingly strong flows
Foster different people's flows.
Email marketing isn't one-size-fits-all.
Different times require different emails.
People don't open emails because they're irrelevant, in my experience. A colder audience needs a nurturing sequence.
Flodesk automates your email funnels so top-funnel prospects fall in love with your brand and values before mid- and bottom-funnel email flows nudge them to take action.
I wish I could save more custom audience fields to further customize the experience.
Flodesk's editor is Apple-like.
You understand how it works almost instantly.
Like many Apple products, it's intentionally limited. No distractions. You can focus on emotional email writing.
Flodesk's inability to add inline HTML to emails is my biggest issue with larger projects. I wish I could upload HTML emails.
Simple sign-up procedures
Dream up joining.
I like how easy it is to create conversion-focused landing pages. Linkly lets you easily create 5 landing pages and A/B test messaging.
I like that you can use signup forms to ask people what they're interested in so they get relevant emails instead of mindless mass emails nobody opens.
I love how easy it is to embed in-line on a website.
Wonderful designer templates
Beautiful, connecting emails.
Flodesk has calm email templates. My designer's eye felt at rest when I received plain text emails with big impacts.
As a typography nerd, I love Flodesk's handpicked designer fonts. It gives emails a designer feel that is hard to replicate on other platforms without coding and custom font licenses.
Small adjustments can have a big impact
Flodesk remembers your brand colors. Flodesk automatically adds your logo and social handles to emails after signup.
Flodesk uses Zapier. This lets you send emails based on a user's action.
A bad live chat can trigger a series of emails to win back a customer.
Flodesk isn't for everyone.
Flodesk is great for Apple users like me.
Jano le Roux
10 months ago
The Real Reason Adobe Just Paid $20 billion for Figma
Sketch or Figma?
Designers are pissed.
The beast ate the beauty.
Figma deserves $20B.
Do designers deserve Adobe?
Adobe devours new creative tools and spits them out with a slimy Adobe aftertaste.
Frame.io — $1.3B
Magento — $1.7B
Macromedia — $3.6B
Nothing compares to the risky $20B acquisition.
If they can't be beaten, buy them.
And then make them boring.
Like that friend who dabbles in everything creatively, there's not enough time to master one thing.
Figma was Adobe's thigh-mounted battle axe.
a UX design instrument with a sizable free tier.
a UX design tool with a simple and quick user interface.
a tool for fluid collaboration in user experience design.
a web-based UX design tool that functions well.
a UX design tool with a singular goal of perfection.
UX design software that replaced Adobe XD.
Adobe XD could do many of Figma's things, but it didn't focus on the details. This is a major issue when working with detail-oriented professionals.
Design enthusiasts first used Figma. More professionals used it. Institutions taught it. Finally, major brands adopted Figma.
Adobe hated that.
Adobe dispatched a team of lawyers to resolve the Figma issue, as big companies do. Figma didn’t bite for months.
Figma helped designers leave Adobe. Figma couldn't replace Photoshop, but most designers used it to remove backgrounds.
Online background removal tools improved.
The Figma problem grew into a thorn, a knife, and a battle ax in Adobe's soft inner thigh.
Figma appeared to be going public. Adobe couldn’t allow that. It bought Figma for $20B during the IPO drought.
Adobe has a new issue—investors are upset.
The actual cause of investors' ire toward Adobe
Spoiler: The math just doesn’t add up.
According to Adobe's press release, Figma's annual recurring revenue (ARR) is $400M and growing rapidly.
The $20B valuation requires a 50X revenue multiple, which is unheard of.
Venture capitalists typically use:
10% to 29% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 1 to 5
30% to 99% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 6 to 10
100% to 400% growth per year: ARR multiplied by 10 to 20
Showing an investor a 50x multiple is like telling friends you saw a UFO. They'll think you're crazy.
Adobe's stock fell immediately after the acquisition because it didn't make sense to a number-cruncher.
Designers started a Tweet storm in the digital town hall where VCs and designers often meet.
Adobe acquired Workfront for $1.5 billion at the end of 2020. This purchase made sense for investors.
Many investors missed the fact that Adobe is acquiring Figma not only for its ARR but also for its brilliant collaboration tech.
Adobe could use Figmas web app technology to make more products web-based to compete with Canva.
Figma's high-profile clients could switch to Adobe's enterprise software.
However, questions arise:
Will Adobe make Figma boring?
Will Adobe tone down Figma to boost XD?
Would you ditch Adobe and Figma for Sketch?
Jano le Roux
11 months ago
Apple Quietly Introduces A Revolutionary Savings Account That Kills Banks
Would you abandon your bank for 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 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 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
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.
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 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.
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 effortlessness, seamlessness, 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.
Jano le Roux
11 months ago
My Top 11 Tools For Building A Modern Startup, With A Free Plan
The best free tools are probably unknown to you.
Modern startups are easy to build.
Start with free tools.
Web development — Webflow
Code-free HTML, CSS, and JS.
Webflow isn't like Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify.
It's a super-fast no-code tool for professionals to construct complex, highly-responsive websites and landing pages.
Webflow can help you add animations like those on Apple's website to your own site.
I made the jump from WordPress a few years ago and it changed my life.
No damn plugins. No damn errors. No damn updates.
The best, you can get started on Webflow for free.
Data tracking — Airtable
Airtable combines spreadsheet flexibility with database power without code.
Airtable is modern.
Airtable has modularity.
Scaling Airtable is simple.
Airtable, one of the most adaptable solutions on this list, is perfect for client data management.
Clients choose customized service packages. Airtable consolidates data so you can automate procedures like invoice management and focus on your strengths.
Airtable connects with so many tools that rarely creates headaches. Airtable scales when you do.
Airtable's flexibility makes it a potential backend database.
Design — Figma
Better, faster, easier user interface design.
First, design in Figma.
Export development assets.
Figma lets you add more team members as your company grows to work on each iteration simultaneously.
Figma is web-based, so you don't need a powerful PC or Mac to start.
Task management — Trello
Tacky and terrifying task management products abound. Trello isn’t.
Those that follow Marie Kondo will appreciate Trello.
Everything is clean.
Nothing is complicated.
Everything has a place.
Compared to other task management solutions, Trello is limited. And that’s good. Too many buttons lead to too many decisions lead to too many hours wasted.
Trello is a must for teamwork.
Domain email — Zoho
Free domain email hosting.
Professional email is essential for startups. People relied on monthly payments for too long. Nope.
Zoho offers 5 free professional emails.
It doesn't have Google's UI, but it works.
VPN — Proton VPN
Fast Swiss VPN protects your data and privacy.
Proton VPN is secure.
Proton doesn't record any data.
Proton is based in Switzerland.
Swiss privacy regulation is among the most strict in the world, therefore user data are protected. Switzerland isn't a 14 eye country.
Journalists and activists trust Proton to secure their identities while accessing and sharing information authoritarian governments don't want them to access.
Web host — Netlify
Free fast web hosting.
Netlify is a scalable platform that combines your favorite tools and APIs to develop high-performance sites, stores, and apps through GitHub.
Serverless functions and environment variables preserve API keys.
Netlify's free tier is unmissable.
100GB of free monthly bandwidth.
Free 125k serverless operations per website each month.
Database — MongoDB
Create a fast, scalable database.
MongoDB is for small and large databases. It's a fast and inexpensive database.
Free for the first million reads.
Then, for each million reads, you must pay $0.10.
MongoDB's free plan has:
Encryption from end to end
field-level client-side encryption
If you have a large database, you can easily connect MongoDB to Webflow to bypass CMS limits.
Automation — Zapier
Time-saving tip: automate repetitive chores.
Zapier simplifies life.
Zapier syncs and connects your favorite apps to do impossibly awesome things.
If your online store is connected to Zapier, a customer's purchase can trigger a number of automated actions, such as:
The customer is being added to an email chain.
Put the information in your Airtable.
Send a pre-programmed postcard to the customer.
Alexa, set the color of your smart lights to purple.
Zapier scales when you do.
Email & SMS marketing — Omnisend
Email and SMS marketing campaigns.
This is an excellent Mailchimp option for magical emails. Omnisend's processes simplify email automation.
I love the interface's cleanliness.
Omnisend's free tier includes web push notifications.
Send up to:
500 emails per month
60 maximum SMSs
500 Web Push Maximum
Forms and surveys — Tally
Create flexible forms that people enjoy.
Typeform is clean but restricting. Sometimes you need to add many questions. Tally's needed sometimes.
Tally is flexible and cheaper than Typeform.
99% of Tally's features are free and unrestricted, including:
Tally lets you examine what individuals contributed to forms before submitting them to see where they get stuck.
Airtable and Zapier connectors automate things further. If you pay, you can apply custom CSS to fit your brand.
Free tools are the greatest.
Let's use them to launch a startup.