The Real Story Behind Shaan's Best Investment (Bought For $52M?!)

The Real Story Behind Shaan's Best Investment (Bought For $52M?!)

Shepherd gets acquired for $50M (00:00:00)

  • Sean, co-owner of Shepard, a company founded by Marshall Hos to hire offshore talent for e-commerce businesses, chose not to sell his shares despite a $52 million buyout by Nick Huber.
  • Nick Huber, an expert in cost segregation, joined Shepard and contributed his expertise in hiring offshore talent, leading to the company's growth.
  • The growth of Shepard was driven by effective branding and the increasing trend of small businesses hiring offshore talent.
  • Shaan, an investor, became a part-owner of Shepher, a real estate software company that assists real estate investors with depreciation reports through video walkthroughs of properties.
  • Shaan initially had an affiliate deal with Shepher, receiving a portion of the fees generated from traffic he directed to the company.

Invest in your P&L (00:05:44)

  • Shaan learned the lesson of investing in his profit and loss (P&L) the hard way while running his startup studio.
  • He realized that he could have made more money by investing in the products and services he was already using and was a fan of.
  • Shaan reached out to companies like Slack, Elastic Search, Pager Duty, and Figma, offering to invest in their next funding round in exchange for a favorable deal.
  • Shaan struck a deal with Marshall, the founder of one of the companies he was using, to invest $52 million in the company.
  • Shaan initially thought he was getting a favorable deal, but it turned out to be even better for Marshall.
  • Marshall understood the power of Shaan's audience and the value they could bring to the company.
  • The business grew by 300% in the following year, exceeding Shaan's initial projections.
  • Acquisition offers started coming in, but Shaan believed the company still had a lot of potential for growth.

The ballsiness of Nick Huber (00:07:57)

  • Nick Huber acquired a controlling interest in Support Shepard for $29.7 million, valuing the company at $52 million, more than tripling its value in a year.
  • Unlike other social media platforms, Twitter has yet to produce billion-dollar companies, making Huber's investment a bold move that signals a potential change.
  • Shaan, known for his large Twitter audience and affiliate deals, took a significant risk by investing $100 million in self-storage units, betting his career and net worth on a new venture with substantial potential rewards.
  • The concept of an "audience co-founder" emerged, suggesting that entrepreneurs can leverage their audience to gain support and resources for their ventures.

The evolution of celebrity partnerships (00:13:42)

  • Celebrities have evolved from simply endorsing products to taking equity in companies.
  • This trend is becoming more common in the software space, with influencers like Russell Brunson and horoi partnering with companies like Clickfunnels and School.
  • Shaan and Nick's partnership with Shephard is an example of this trend, where they combine their knowledge of branding and private equity to create a unique proposition in the market.
  • This trend is likely to continue as more people realize the benefits of using their cap table as a tool to break through the noise and get their products off the ground.

A large, trusted audience (00:17:04)

  • Trust is the key factor in an audience.
  • Number of followers, views, and impressions are easy to measure but not as valuable as trust.
  • Depth of trust is the most important metric.
  • The ultimate source of truth is revenue.
  • Other trust tests include:
    • Number of people who would show up if the creator announced a meetup.
    • Number of people who would set an alarm to access a new product or service.
  • The product must be relevant and valuable to the audience.
  • The creator must understand the needs and interests of their audience.
  • The product must be positioned in a way that resonates with the audience.
  • The creator must be able to effectively communicate the value of the product to the audience.

2. Product-audience fit (00:20:30)

  • Product-audience fit is crucial for successful product sales.
  • Shaan sells high-priced products to a smaller audience, while Logan Paul sells low-priced products to a larger audience.
  • Danny Austin's personal experience with postpartum hair loss led her to create a hair care line called Divvy, which resonated with her audience and achieved product-audience fit.
  • The highest level of product-audience fit occurs when the creator genuinely experiences a problem, shares their story authentically, and their audience resonates with it due to shared experiences and trust.

3. That Viral Touch (00:21:42)

  • Creating an ongoing stream of content that promotes the product is essential but challenging.
  • Shaan, Nick, and the speaker are skilled at consistently creating viral content.
  • Nick, in particular, posts frequently on Twitter and excels at creating viral hits.

Creators who are the best at this (00:22:12)

  • Logan Paul and KSI used a photoshopped image to create viral cardboard cutouts placed in Walmart stores.
  • Logan Paul's unique and engaging content strategy drives virality.
  • Dr Disrespect successfully integrates product promotions without alienating his audience.
  • Shaan is impressed by Justin Meers' company, TrueMed, which focuses on HSA spending and healthy eating.
  • TrueMed's co-founder, Kayy Means, advocates against processed foods and obesity, convincing Shaan of their approach.
  • Shaan notes the effectiveness of non-mainstream individuals promoting products to specific audiences.
  • Shaan seeks collaborations with cash-flow positive, bootstrapped companies offering great products.

280 millions dollar tumblers (00:29:29)

  • Simple Modern is a website that sells mugs, tumblers, and other products.
  • The company started in 2015 and has grown rapidly since then.
  • In 2023, Simple Modern had a revenue of $180 million and a profit of $45 million.
  • The founder of Simple Modern, Mike, started the company with $200,000 and owns half of the business.
  • Mike is based in Oklahoma and is described as a "real soft sweet wonderful nice guy."
  • Mike started the company because he wanted to create a product that would make people happy and to provide for his family.

Giving as you go: Do it early, make it uncomfortable (00:31:10)

  • Shaan Puri, founder of Beckham Creek Ventures, has pledged to donate 7-10% of his company's profits to charities.
  • He has consistently given away $100,000 per month, totaling $4 million to date, and intends to continue giving throughout his life rather than leaving a significant inheritance.
  • Puri believes in the joy of giving while alive and finds inspiration in generosity.
  • His approach involves making meaningful contributions rather than small, regular donations, as exemplified by a collaboration with Tony Robbins where they gave away event tickets worth $25,000 to $50,000.
  • Puri emphasizes the importance of giving an amount that is slightly uncomfortable and acknowledges the potential tax benefits of charitable giving, though it is not his primary motivation.
  • He acknowledges the strong motivation that religious beliefs can provide for giving, expressing admiration for those driven by such beliefs.

The curse of familiar riches (00:37:11)

  • The speaker describes a pattern they've noticed in themselves and others called the "curse of familiar riches."
  • This curse refers to the tendency for people to become accustomed to a certain amount of money and then start thinking of ways to make more money at a similar level.
  • For the speaker, a million dollars used to represent a significant amount of wealth, but as they achieved that level, they realized there were many ways to make a similar amount of money.
  • This pattern exists at every level of wealth, making it easy for people to get stuck in a cycle of chasing familiar riches.
  • The speaker reflects on their journey from making $25,000 per year to $120,000 per year.
  • Once they reached $120,000, they realized there were many other ways to make a similar amount of money.
  • This highlights the "curse of familiar riches," where people become accustomed to a certain level of wealth and start thinking of ways to make more money at a similar level.

How to 10x your annual income (00:39:57)

  • Shaan was initially surprised to learn that some individuals can earn millions of dollars annually through platforms like Twitch.
  • Inspired by Nikita Bier's goal of making $1 million in 90 days, Shaan challenged himself to think about multiplying his earnings tenfold.
  • Contrary to the common belief, Shaan suggests that money does contribute to increased happiness, but there is a threshold beyond which wealth does not guarantee lasting contentment.
  • The pursuit of wealth can become a never-ending cycle, and it is important to find contentment and enjoyment in the present regardless of one's financial status.
  • While increased wealth brought Shaan more happiness, freedom, and fewer problems, he acknowledges that money alone cannot guarantee lasting contentment.

For the same inputs, can you get more outputs (00:48:32)

  • The speaker poses a question about leverage: for the same inputs, can one get more outputs?
  • Changing one's mindset to explore unfamiliar methods of achieving wealth can lead to greater success.
  • The speaker gives an example of seeking growth for a podcast by asking if there's a way to get a million views per video.
  • The speaker suggests that there's a "curse of familiar riches" where people who are successful at a certain level tend to stick to familiar methods and miss out on opportunities for greater success.
  • As a thought exercise, it's valuable to consider options that would 10x one's current success, even if one doesn't end up taking action on them.

Acting As If (00:50:08)

  • The speaker introduces the concept of "acting as if" and asks if someone would spend 10 times more than they currently do to get used to a wealthier lifestyle.
  • The speaker clarifies that "acting as if" does not mean spending money foolishly, but rather making decisions from an abundant mindset.
  • The speaker provides examples of how they use "acting as if" in their own life, such as saying no to opportunities that don't align with their goals and putting themselves in a mindset of ease and presence.
  • The speaker emphasizes that "acting as if" should not be used to increase one's burn rate or create unnecessary stress.

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