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Boring business trends, IRL renaissance, costume popup operations, ...
this is Jakob Greenfeld, author of the Business Brainstorms newsletter - every week I write this email to help you level up your entrepreneurial game and discover better opportunities.
Let's dive into today's ideas, trends, and opportunities.
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“It's time to get serious about influencer marketing but we don't have agency-level budgets, so where do I start?” - Danielle Johnson
“We have such an absence of '3rd space' areas, otherwise called 'community spaces' that literally the language seems to be missing, and we can nary fathom it into the analysis!” - Hacker News
“As remote work and exorbitant housing prices draw my generation out to the suburbs and exurbs, I wonder, how will we replace social serendipity? In my bones, I feel an IRL renaissance is coming. We want to be social. Tech didn’t deliver.” - Zach Klein
“Demand for the “real world” never waned. Our best places just became too expensive and dysfunctional.” - Dror Poleg
“If I didn’t have Alts I’d start a Spirit-style costume popup operation in Australia.” - Stefan von Imhof
📈 Trend Signals
I put all 5000+ business categories listed on Google Maps into Google Trends to see what kind of local businesses are taking off right now. 5 trends that caught my eye below. (Let me know if you’d like to see more trends like this.)
Agencies that enable Instagram-worthy holidays are on the rise.
The #vanlife trend is far from over and “cabin rental agency” searches are seeing similar growth.
Interest in landscaping is declining. But at the same time, interest in landscaping supply stores is exploding.
Anyone got a good theory of what’s going on here?
A wine storage facility is a place where wine can be safely stored, often in a climate-controlled environment.
So while interest in self-storage facilities is declining, more specialized businesses are growing nicely.
Interest in “chauffeur services” (whattup Uber?) and “vacation home rental agency“ (whattup AirBnb?) are seeing similar growth.
People gained weight during Covid lockdowns.
Now trying to lose it again.
If you can help them -> $$$
The Framework: The more specific your offer, the more you can charge.
Someone asked: “How many features does your product miss?”
His response: “None, really! The key is the expensive product has chosen an extremely specific niche, and selected their terminology, marketing, and integrations accordingly.”
“I am writing you this email because I have noticed that you own a Domain name and thought that maybe you would be interested in Website Design & Development.(WordPress, HTML, Ecommerce, Opencart, Shopify, Builder Platform, Wix, Squarespace, and PHP development).”- cold email I received last week.
What do you think this guy is able to charge for his completely generic offer? And how much more could he charge if he offered something more specific? (e.g. “I’m helping fashion brands running on Shopify that get more than 10k visitors/month improve conversions through tailor-made page load optimizations.”)
💸 Revenue Signals
📚 Read this:
This old thread by Julien Smith is a great reminder that it’s far too easy to waste time on projects that only impress the wrong kinds of people.
Example: reading 52 books a year. “It looks impressive but it's insanely useless.”
The same is true for most indie hacker projects. They will only impress fellow indie hackers and have no real potential beyond that.
Great related comment by Shawn Swyx Wang: “Young people have more ambition than direction; this is a trap because there is no shortage of older folks all too happy to make ambition traps for you and only a small % benefit you as much as them”
🧙♂️Take my advice
Aabesh De is the founder of Flora. Here, he tells us how he spotted a gap in the market and shares what he didn’t pay enough attention to early on.
How did you spot the gap in the market for Flora?
There simply wasn't a great physical solution for checking your plants' health - in other words, I couldn't find the perfect "FitBit" for my plants, and so I created Flora. Furthermore, I realized that existing sensors and plant monitors regarded software as an afterthought (which led to terrible user experiences), and none of the standalone plant-care apps had a physical solution. Flora puts the user experience and software first, and the hardware serves as the follow-up retention tool, much like Peloton does with its premium subscription app paired with its hardware.
What's something you didn't pay enough attention to or ignored early on, then had to learn the hard way?
We should have tested our premium subscriptions on our apps and gone to market way sooner. We waited about 5 months after launching our app in July '21 to do so. We could have been testing, refining, and gathering feedback for all those months, and been able to pivot much more quickly given our smaller size back then.
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And whenever you're ready, here are two specific ways I can help you:
If you want to brainstorm ideas with me, need some honest feedback, or have specific questions about newsletter growth, web scraping, or indie making you can get 1:1 help here.
If you need help with your cold outreach strategy or are looking for someone to handle it for you, my friend Ryan Doyle and I would love to help you. We write custom software for each client to find, verify, and contact the most relevant prospects with tailor-made messages. (Most others rely on the same handful of saturated lead databases and spam them with generic emails.)
Have a great week,
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