Costco for X, Exploding Subreddits, App Ideas, ...
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.
💡 Social Listening
“My family went to visit family this weekend and I stayed home to do taxes, which on the one hand “Yay I am sufficiently organized to get an extremely complex situation distilled for accountants to file” and OTOH clearly there is a company that if it existed would buy me a weekend” - Patrick McKenzie
Really just a reminder that doing taxes is still such an incredibly painful problem for almost all self-employed people.
Competent accountants are usually not willing to work with you since they can make 10x more by working with big companies. And even if you find one, there’s usually still a lot you have to do yourself.
So everyone simply accepted that they have to waste a few days every year on tax stuff that really should be automated/outsourced.
It’s not even about optimizing taxes, but really just enthusiastically complying.
“What's the equivalent of Ahrefs/Semrush but for TikTok? That lets you search for high volume keywords/hashtags, ideally filtering for low competition?” - Charlie Ward
In case you haven’t heard the news: TikTok is the new Google.
Okay not really, but there’s definitely always a huge opportunity to import successful tools into a new ecosystem.
“Always thought that "college cafeteria" would be a model that could work somewhere with population density.” - Eric Jorgensen
I have a subscription at a local coffee shop here in my local town in Denmark. It’s awesome. I pay around $30/month for “unlimited” filter coffee (you can order a new one every two hours). There are also more expensive subscriptions that include fancier drinks.
Really wish there was something similar for food.
Or you could do the Costco model: Food sold at cost. Memberships = profit.
Costco for X is generally an interesting framework. Italic, for example, is applying the Costco model to clothing.
“Indie Hacker product idea: ChartMogul/Profitwell competitor that has: - useful iOS app - no bogus MRR movements like these $0.01 from CM - costs $50-100/ month Distribute on Stripe app marketplace? Happy to pay & give feedback if someone builds this!” - Andy Cloke
📈 Trend Signals of the Week
I today prepared this list of subreddits that are exploding right now. A few highlights below.
Sales engineers specialize in facilitating the sales process for technologically and scientifically advanced products.
/r/DoneDirtCheap is a job board where anyone can offer their services “well below market rate”.
Could be an interesting opportunity to unbundle this subreddit.
One possible angle: When you’re just starting out it can be extremely difficult to get a foot in the door. No one will reply to your messages on Upwork, for example, until you have a proven track record. So having a marketplace for people just starting out who are willing to work for free or offer their services well below market rates, could be a win-win.
Fiverr definitely was DoneDirtCheap when they started. It was always crystal clear what you were paying ($5!) and what you were getting. Now it’s really just another freelancer marketplace.
“This is a request forum for people who would like to see their ideas, photos, and concepts created by both paid and volunteered artists.”
Definitely another interesting unbundling opportunity.
Maybe add some AI image generation to the mix? Maybe the platform could work a bit like 99Designs?
👨🎓 Framework of the Week
The Framework: Where there’s muck, there’s brass.
Explanation: “The one thing that so many of today’s cute startups have in common is that all they have is a simple little Ruby-on-Rails Ajax site that has no barriers to entry and doesn’t solve any gnarly problems. So many of these companies feel insubstantial and fluffy because, out of necessity (the whole company is three kids and an iguana), they haven’t solved anything difficult yet. Until they do, they won’t be solving problems for people. People pay for solutions to their problems.”
💭 Prompt of the Week
The Prompt: Where do people have a good reason to rent something instead of buying it? Where could you create a new category by selling it instead?
Example: A lot of SaaS tools fit the bill. It can be very expensive to pay a monthly subscription per user every month for years. So offering an option where people pay just once and are then able to download the software + run it themselves can be a very attractive offer. (People still might want to buy a new version every now and then just as they did with Adobe Photoshop back in the days.)
💸 Revenue Signals of the Week
“Twitter's new products like Super Follows, and Twitter Blue, really aren't generating much revenue - $190k MRR” 😬
📚 Business Read of the Week
“Building a product is the act of repeatedly testing hypotheses that solve a particular problem.”
“In terms of thinking of app ideas, you want your brain to be fertile ground so that when lightning strikes or you happen to stumble upon an idea, you can properly nurture it into existence. I define fertile ground as you being a cultured, well-informed person. You read books and blogs, both fiction and nonfiction; you talk to smart, creative people frequently; and you’re generally a curious and optimistic person.”
“Acknowledge that the world can be incredibly unintuitive. So many businesses exist today that would’ve been considered unthinkable, even insane by people living a few centuries ago. Roblox, Uber, Twilio, iPhones … it takes an incredible amount of foresight to acknowledge the value of an idea before it gets traction. That’s because ideas, i.e., what works and what doesn’t, are incredibly unintuitive.”
As an aside: he used to share all of his metrics publicly but the page seems broken right now, unfortunately.
My friend Ryan Doyle currently offers custom sales advice for just $19. He’s the smartest sales guy I know and I keep telling him to raise his prices but he won’t listen. (His cold email course is also amazing. I’m seeing some incredible results applying what I learned from him.)
No-Code Exits by Katt Risen is a super inspiring newsletter that shares stories of how no-code makers went from 0 to acquired.
Highrise — Free marketing news and actionable strategies, right in your inbox every week.
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