How This +$80M Founder Launches A Startup In A Weekend (#546)

How This +$80M Founder Launches A Startup In A Weekend (#546)

Key to Success

  • Take action and start now, rather than waiting to be fully prepared.
  • Don't be afraid to ask for what you want, as the upside often outweighs the downside of rejection.
  • Be shameless and ruthless in pursuing your goals, and don't be embarrassed to ask for discounts or favors.

Airbnb's Sales Formula

  • The Airbnb founders' sales formula is "Some will, some won't, who cares, move on." This formula emphasizes the importance of not letting rejection hold you back.
  • Many successful companies, such as Facebook and Airbnb, started out very simply and quickly. Don't be afraid to start small and test your ideas.

Lead Generation Method

  • The speaker describes a method for generating leads using a landing page and a survey.
  • The landing page offered access to a survey with questions about founders' finances and business practices.
  • The survey was promoted on social media and generated thousands of leads.

Silicon Valley Investment Trends

  • The speaker highlights a shift in interest among Silicon Valley investors from high-risk, high-reward startups to more stable, cash-flowing businesses.
  • Success in Silicon Valley is largely determined by project and market selection rather than superior intelligence or hard work.

Persistence and Resilience

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of persistence and resilience in entrepreneurship, citing the example of Airbnb's founders.
  • The speaker discusses the tendency to glorify successful entrepreneurs while overlooking their failures and the role of luck in their success.

AppSumo's Success

  • The speaker reflects on his own entrepreneurial journey and the success of AppSumo, which has quietly achieved sustained growth over a decade.
  • The speaker highlights other companies like and Superhuman that have quietly achieved success after an initial period of hype.

Card's Growth

  • During political movements, such as the 2016 and 2020 campaigns, thousands of websites were created using Card to promote election-related causes, leading to significant growth for the company.
  • The company bootstrapped for 10 years before raising a single round of venture funding.
  • The company's net revenue for the year was $56 million, with a profit of $7.5 million.
  • The company follows an Amazon-like approach, reinvesting most of its profits back into the business to fuel growth.
  • The founder, Noah, did not pay himself a salary for the first five years of the business.

Noah's Journey

  • Noah had a million dollars in savings by the age of 30, accumulated from previous jobs and conservative spending habits.
  • Noah shared his experience working at Facebook, where he sent in mockups of potential features along with his resume when applying for a job.
  • Noah's first impression of Facebook in 2005 was that it was chaotic, with cables everywhere and desks all over the place.
  • Facebook's early days were characterized by a sense of mission and a fearless leader in Mark Zuckerberg.
  • Despite his awkwardness, Zuckerberg demonstrated impressive vision and ambition for the company's growth.
  • One of the notable decisions Zuckerberg made was rejecting a billion-dollar acquisition offer from Yahoo, showcasing his confidence in the company's potential.
  • Zuckerberg's focus was on connecting the entire world, which inspired employees and created a unique work culture.
  • To minimize distractions, Facebook provided various benefits to employees, such as paying for parking tickets, cleaning, and housing, allowing them to focus solely on work.
  • Zuckerberg's disregard for social norms was seen as a positive attribute in highly successful people, but it also had negative consequences, such as the tragic death of an employee in a biking accident.

Speaker's Experience at Facebook

  • The speaker reflects on their experience working at Facebook and the company's growth.
  • They were fired from Facebook due to their actions at Coachella and for sharing internal information with a tech blogger.
  • The speaker expresses frustration with the corporate culture at Facebook and criticizes Mark Zuckerberg's leadership.

Focus and Saying No

  • The speaker emphasizes the importance of focusing on core businesses and doing one thing exceptionally well rather than diversifying too much.
  • The speaker discusses their interactions with billionaires and observes that most of them achieved success by focusing on one thing over a long period of time.
  • They acknowledge the challenge of saying no to new opportunities, especially when they offer similar rewards to current endeavors.
  • To improve their focus, the speaker decides to dedicate the first three hours of each day to creating content, gradually increasing this time as they gain control over their schedule.

Prototyping and Testing

  • Noah Kagan is prototyping different types of content creation, including podcasting, writing, and blogging, to determine which he enjoys the most.
  • He emphasizes the importance of prototyping and testing ideas before committing to them fully.


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