Newsletter economics, value prop stories, Stitchfix for health, B2B SaaS, ...
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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“Stitchfix for Top %0.0001 health. Gets your health stats (from Whoop, e-scale, etc) Gather more data via app (lethargic/happy/etc). Sends you pre-prepared meals for each day. Does this business exist?” - Michael Girdley
Note: Stichfix is an online personal styling service that uses recommendation algorithms to personalize clothing items based on size, budget and style.
“Does this business exist? A shopping cart that follows you around the Internet. To aggregate all products you’re considering buying from independent retailers vs. Amazon, etc” - Alex Lieberman
Note: The comments on Twitter are worth a read. Seems like a lot of companies tried to build this but no one succeeded in solving the entire problem in a scalable way so far.
“Who is making “Discover Weekly” for podcast episodes? I want personalized episode recommendations based on past listening behavior; I don't have time to dig through 30 podcast feeds to find an episode that interests me, which is why I usually only listen to specific episodes that friends recommend.” - Hacker News
Notes: “Podcast Discovery” Is A Problem But It’s Not A Company. But imo there’s definitely an opportunity to build a humble business similar to what Refind does for written content around podcast discovery. My friend Adam Thornhill is working on a solution specifically for business podcasts.
📈 Trend Signal
Pollen, an events festival tech startup, went bankrupt in August. The following table lists how much the company owes various tech companies and gives an interesting insight into how much companies spend on B2B SaaS subscriptions:
📚 Read this: Newsletter Economics in 2022
Byrne Hobart wrote a fantastic deep dive Newsletter Economics in 2022.
“Basically any media business is a balance between monetization and growth. Conveniently for newsletter writers, the same raw material can be used as either a way to advertise the newsletter or as a way to harvest that demand. Usually, the right growth pattern is to slowly reduce the share of free content as the newsletter gets closer to saturating its target market.”
“Writers have a terrible sense of which posts will be popular with readers. […] Because that's hard to predict, and because the impact of a single hit is so extreme that it's worthwhile to up the odds, and doing that means writing more.”
“So if you're building a business around content, it's a good idea to aim for volume, at least during the growth phase. Building a publication is partly an exploratory process of building an audience, figuring out what they like, and iterating on that. And volume means sample size. It's also a good way to get practice, and a good way to get mistakes out of the way early.”
The Framework: What’s your value prop story?
Explanation: One of the biggest reasons why entrepreneurs fail is that they work on businesses that simply do not provide value to people. Thinking in terms of value prop stories helps to make sure this doesn’t happen. Here’s Liron Shapira’s template:
Describe a specific person with a specific problem
A 23 year old male who can’t get dates.
Describe their current best effort to solve their problem
He gets a Tinder account and does his best to use it on his own
Describe why it’s still a problem
His matches barely respond to his messages, and when they do, the conversion feels boring and forced. He uses it for 1 hour every day but only manages to get 1 date every 2 months.
Describe how their life gets better thanks to you
Note: The value prop story framework is not only useful to evaluate your own business ideas but also a great research and learning template. Here’s a great recent example where Liron Shapira uses it to evaluate Golden.com. I’ve been using it for a while now to understand successful businesses and the exercise of filling out the template really helps me to think more entrepreneurial.
🧙♂️Take my advice
Ron Holt is the founder of Pink Zebra Moving. Here he tells us how he spotted a gap in the market and an opportunity he’s seeing right now.
How did you spot the gap in the market for Pink Zebra Moving?
My mother-in-law was scammed by a local moving company a few years ago. The movers were late, not uniformed and pretty rude. Move day wasn't a great experience. When it was all finished, she learned that her original estimate of $900 would balloon to nearly $3000. She was shocked and decided to talk with the manager to discuss the reasons behind her 300% price increase. The manager laughed at her and basically said "deal with it. That was all bad, but the experience continued to decline once she discovered much of her furniture was permanently damaged during the move. It was such a bad experience. The worst. So bad that I decided to use my 20-years of home service entrepreneurial experience to start a moving company that delivers a more positive customer experience. It's called Pink Zebra Moving and we have one goal with every single move. We strive to make moving fun by delivering unique and remarkable customer experiences. We feed people the night before their move. We leave behind surprise boxes filled with fun gifts and candy. We joke with our customers We dance and sing happy songs. We even do pushups. We do anything that's weird because moving sucks and there's no reason moving companies can't make the experience better for its customers.
What trend or opportunity would you take advantage of if you were not too busy building Pink Zebra Moving?
I love home services; mainly because no one else loves them yet everyone needs them. I believe there are several opportunities within the home service industry that offer a disruptive-minded entrepreneur the chance to change everything about the industry. We've decided to disrupt the local moving industry by delivering unique and remarkable customer experiences. It's possible this same formula can work in other home service industries. But either way, my long-term plan is to build a family of home service franchise brands that will disrupt their industry. So cheer on Pink Zebra Moving and then wait for us to recreate the magic all over again in another home service industry.
💸 Revenue and Ad Spend Signals
Mobiz is currently spending an estimated $24k/month on Google search ads. (“Send targeted SMS campaigns with personalized landing pages in minutes.“)
Pypestream spends around $16k/month on Google search ads alone. (“A cloud-based, patented AI-powered automation solution that enables leading brands to resolve customer issues instantly.”)
TRUST-able. Actionable insights for indie entrepreneurs who want to become trusted advisors in their market niche. Monthly.
Updrop is an awesome newsletter that breaks down how the fastest-growing sites are using SEO.
The 10k Creator is a new podcast by Joe Pulizzi and Daren Smith that they started to help other content entrepreneurs grow their businesses from ground zero and beyond.
I massively updated the Business Brainstorms bundle last week. (Let me know if you bought it previously and now can’t access the new resources.)
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Have a great week,
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