Fixing artist newsletters, selling sawdust, viral comment hunting, ...
this is Jakob Greenfeld, author of the Business Brainstorms newsletter - every week I write this email to help you level up your entrepreneurial game.
Let's dive into today's ideas, trends, and opportunities.
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💡 Social Listening
“Last summer, Cherie Hu and I analyzed the websites of 57 top recording artists across genres and subscribed to all their newsletters for 3.5 months. (Our data is here) Five didn't have newsletters, 27 never sent a newsletter, and only 5 sent more than 10 emails. More importantly, only 3 artists newsletters were normally written in first person and only 2 sent newsletters that weren't entirely transactional (George Ezra and Nick Cave). Nearly every single newsletter for every artist just blasts out advertisements to buy merch or concert tickets. They are spam even to devoted fans, offering less substance that what is already gained from following the artist on Instagram.” - Newsletter
Note 1: In online marketing circles everyone knows “the money is in the list”. But outside our little bubble, most people don’t realize how valuable a list of people who opted in to hear from you is. So there is definitely an opportunity to explain, for example, to artists how much money they’re leaving on the table by not using their email lists more effectively.
Note 2: Similarly many celebrity websites are severely underoptimized or flat-out broken. So here too is an opportunity to offer a service to upgrade and monetize these sites. Even just helping them install a Facebook tracking pixel and then running some highly targeted ads to their cameo pages could be a quick but effective win.
“Q: What boring but important tech no one is working on? A: Educational games. Hear me out. The way we teach is basically how we did it 500 years ago. This is stupid, boring, and not scalable. We don’t have enough teachers, attention span is short, and education is costly. So we need something that scales, is fun, and involves all types of media plus gamifies education. Think Skyrim or GTA meets MS Encarta” - Hacker News
📈 Trend Signals of the Week
Quiet quitting is a term and a trend that emerged in mid-2022 from a viral TikTok video. The philosophy of quiet quitting is not abruptly leaving a job but doing exactly what the job requires, no more no less.
A related phenomenon is people “working” multiple full-time jobs by doing only the bare minimum in each.
Given this, it’s hardly surprising that tech company get more aggressive about tracking productivity now. Mouse movement, clicks, typing, ….
And of course, programs will emerge that help workers spoof activity, analogous to the ones people use to generate Git commits that fake activity on GitHub.
Stable Diffusion is machine learning morel capable of generating photo-realistic images given any text input.
Here’s an incredible catalogue with over 5M+ Stable Diffusion images and prompts.
I’m pretty sure this will mean the end of traditional stock photo sites. But finding the right kind of prompts is an art. So there’s an opportunity to build a stock photo site with millions of pre-generated AI photos that can be used for commerical purposes.
Oat cleansers are advertised as mild, gel-cream cleansers that remove dirt without damaging barrier function.
Whenever a new type of product like this emerges, there’s an opportunity to either start selling it or build an affiliate/review site.
👨🎓 Framework of the Week
The Framework: Sell your sawdust.
Explanation: Brainstorm how you can turn the scraps of your build process, your sawdust, into an asset. What byproduct of your creative work can you repackage as a product?
Example: A great example is Nat Eliason selling his book notes.
Another example is Ford. In the 1920s, they realized they were creating lots of waste from the wood used in the Model Ts. They put that waste to work and created Kingsford Charcoal.
💭 Prompt of the Week
Prompt: What company is currently growing like crazy? Could it make sense to create a plugin, extension or complimentary service?
Example: Remote AirBnB consulting to help hosts get better reviews and optimize their listings.
💸 Revenue Signals of the Week
Mogul Networking is at $569 MRR. (“Mogul helps you remember all of the easy to forget details about the people you meet, remind you where you left off and even tell you when its time to reach back out, almost like a second“)
Daily Checkin by my friend Andrew Lynch grew to $12 MRR immediately after the launch. He also shares his journey transparently on Twitter. (“You know what you need to do to get there. We'll keep you accountable with a daily check-in.“)
📚 Business Reads of the Week
One business models quite a few indie solopreneurs are seeing a lot of success with is job boards. This post is a great deep dive into that world.
“In total, it may cost $2,400, plus domain cost + marketing cost. The profit margin can be around 95%.”
This thread by Moiz Ali on his business failures is full of valuable lessons.
“Do something not sexy. Sell office supplies. Don’t try to become the playboy of NYC by creating a sexy app. I almost cried after he tore into our idea, but he was right.”
🤖 AI Idea of the Week
The Idea: Viral Comment Hunter
The Pain Points: Lots of incredible content gets buried in the comment sections of popular news sites and social networks.
The Opportunity: If someone can create a service that can automatically find viral comments and possibly turn them into longer form content, there’s money to be made. A manual solution would work to start with too.
Ty's 5 Agency Growth Secrets. 5 free growth secrets all agencies & freelancers need to scale past $10K+/month.
Anthony Castrio runs the amazing Indie Worldwide community. What makes it different is that there are weekly virtual meetups and you get introduced to like-minded founders. I’ve participated a few times and always met great people.
As always, if you’re enjoying this report, I’d love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up.
And should you come across any interesting businesses, trends, or ideas this week, send them my way!
Have a great week,
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