Startup Ideas Recap of My First Million 💵 Podcast Episode #92
Here's a quick summary of all the ideas Shaan Puri and Sam Par discussed on the podcast episode on July 15, 2020 with time stamps
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10:50 Pendulum swinging back to Made in USA products. Big opportunity. Medical PPE equipment like masks.
Example: Loyd Armburst of Armburst American who makes masks in USA.
We’ve had too much dependence on China. After the virus crisis arrives, our supply chain was severely depressed and US companies could not get materials to sell to US consumers
Sam Parr surveyed his audience on Twitter and asked how many would pay extra for items made in USA. “Significant amount said they would”
Financials from an unnamed mask business:
Doing around 2,000 to 5,000 orders a day
Making around $30K to $90K net profit per day
Company launched around May 2020
Sam and Shaan would not be viewing this as a durable business
“Don’t start a masks business unless you know what you are doing” - Shaan Puri
19:25 Software publishers: In many other industries like music and books you have publishers. There is a separation from the creatives that makes the thing and the body that does the sales and distribution. Weirdly, there are very few software publishers.
Software publishers would not be creating products, but would curate the best in a give niche, etc
Why not have an independent software creator pitch a software to a “software publisher” so they can focus on creating, not selling?
The software creator may not be good at sales and publishing so he might do better giving it to a publisher who does know how.
Sam Par says he knows a little about this: In 1980s and 1990s this was the model.
Softbank had one of these and why Softbank is so big today
Sam’s friend had one called Micro Warehouse. Went from $0 to publicly traded company in only a few years.
Gaming still works like this
This would be like the Amazon for software
There’s a lot of apps that manage social media for companies. Why not another type of app that takes one part of a business (like HR tech) or one type of business (like Saas) and becomes the best HR tech publisher or the best SaaS publisher or best Chatbot publisher.
One example is a company called G2 but is more of a review house than a publisher
24:48 The Hollywood agent model for top programmers
Same way top athletes, actors, musicians use an agent to do negotiations, booking, etc.
Top engineers are compensated in millions of dollars. Why not have agents for them?
A good agent may be able to get an additional 20% or so?
Sam asks how many engineers at Twitch make over 7 figures annually? Twitch has under 2000 employees. Shaan guesses 10 to 15 people (senior execs or super senior engineers). But you have to factor in stock value. Sam thinks this is why this does not exists because of the low numbers. Shaan disagrees and thinks up to 250 people at google could be making 7-figures—maybe 1,000 people.
Shaan things there are more technology employees earning $1M+ than athletes.
If NBA players can have agents, why not top tech talent?
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28:50 CB Insights: Tech market intelligence platform analyzes millions of data points on venture capital, startups, patents, partnerships and news mentions to help you see tomorrow's opportunities, today.
“We are a cover you ass” (CYA) research company to cover your ass if you make a bad decision.
Most famous from a newsletter written by the CEO
PE companies subscribe to them
Sam say’s they are HUGE but can’t reveal that data
Pricing: top their is $250,000 per year! 😮
Shaan loves that CBI calls itself a CYA company. He loves that.
Provide value by helping with more uncertain things you want to know
32:45 WGSN.com: We help designers create the right products at the right time for tomorrow's consumer.
Tells you which color is going to be popular for the next year. I.E. kitchen appliance colors / accents
Fashion forecast focused on colors
Makes around $90M/year in recurring revenue
Scentair.com similar but with scents / smells you want your office, hotel, bar to smell like
Shaan asks how do they get customers? Sam: Get a sales team bro! Content marketing and outbound sales. A sales team creates demand says Sam. He got up to $30K / month in sales then hires 2-3 sales people and went to $200K immediately.
Economics of a sales team: Need to give a low base (50-100K), then 2-5% of all the sales you bring in.
How much does a sales person need to generate: Generally $1M+
38:40 Twitter for companies
Non-essential chatter for companies so you don’t fill other communication lines and add unnecessary work
Not a new idea. This is was Yammer was a decade ago or so
SHaan thinks there’s still a need for this
[From Wes: Yammer still exists as a free tool with Office 365 subscriptions. I’ve never used it but I see it in the Apps suite.]
Shaan would write a $50,000 check to someone who could do this well
42:40 A media company but only for internal stuff
Washington Post is toying with a software arm
Highschool newsletter / paper for companies
AirBnB built one of these
Shaan loves this idea more than the previous Twitter for companies
Document all the happening of the company: announcements, someone could contribute to a column,
Sometimes a quick tweet adds more value than a huge article. So you’d have to build this thing in such a way that you can solicit this info to you employees in a low pressure way
Axios (media company) is doing internal newsletters
You could charge a lot of money
It’s probably pretty sticky (less churn)
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47:20 “Get notified when your company is mentioned on Reddit”
What about other niche platforms?
Use Reddit ads to distribute it and market it to companies who want to know
49:25 Bubble.io is a new no-code platform.
Can build apps and have a back end
Bubble enables anyone to design, develop, and host fully functional, powerful web applications.
51:30 Kid’s “Etsy”
Kid’s make stuff all day all the time
They are not very good at making stuff
What if there’s a kid’s etsy where they open a store with one click, take a photo of their creation to easily upload it to their store and becomes a listing
Kids can browse other kid’s stuff
It’s all fake, no shipping and it uses fake money for “transactions” but would give you feedback, etc
Maybe you could charge a monthly subscription fee
Could get thousands of parents to pay $15/month
Sam likes the idea
56:25 Golden hippo: We build brands that makes the world a better place
They partner with a line of pet foods and gut health.
They buy Outbrain ads and use long form copy to sell their stuff
They do $1 billion / year in sales ?
Dr Marty Pets is one of their brands
Dr. Steven Gundry : 2M visits per month
Spent $1B in online media
Golden Hippos says: the the notion people have to see your ads multiple times before they buy is BS; no matter how long you’ve been doing this what think is working could be wrong; influence marketing is for companies that like burning money; your customer cares zero about your customer story, brand…all they care about is what you can do for them.