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    #69 - Paid News, Burning Money & Solving Climate Change

    Thinking outside the box and pursuing unconventional solutions can lead to significant positive impacts and inspire others to take bold actions in addressing complex issues.

    enApril 25, 2020

    About this Episode

    Today's ep is possible because of Superside! Head to superside.com to hire a dedicated team of designers! Sam (@thesamparr) and Shaan (@shaanvp) are back to talk about Burning money (0:36), Asia monetizing podcasts way better / paid news (3:23), Drudge report getting 1.1 billion visits a month?! (11:28), Neil Patel and where most enterprise revenue coming from maintenance (20:59), Book a YC team (29:17), Remote.com raising $11M seed (33:19), Attrition projection/modelling (37:52) and Yishan Wong solving climate change (41:08).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Cultural norms and preferences play a crucial role in developing successful monetization strategies. Learning from different countries can help identify new opportunities to make content or services financially sustainable.
    • Understanding cultural differences is vital in replicating successful models, leveraging cultural nuances can improve monetization strategies and tap into untapped market potential.
    • People are willing to pay for content if it offers added value, and companies should focus on providing a rich user experience rather than aesthetic design.
    • Drudge Report's success and addictiveness stem from its attention-grabbing headlines and utilization of "yellow journalism," but replicating this level of influence in today's saturated market is challenging.
    • Despite high demand for news in America, news apps are not fully capitalizing on the opportunity for monetization, leaving room for growth in the industry.
    • Focusing on offering SEO services alongside affordable software can lead to higher margins and success in the consultancy space, as proven by Neil Patel's business model.
    • Success in the business world can be achieved by focusing on client services and analyzing market trends, contrary to the traditional belief of relying solely on software sales and avoiding operational expenses.
    • Hiring failed YC startups as a team can provide valuable expertise and tangible data for businesses, offering a unique talent pool for assistance.
    • Remote.com eliminates the complexities and red tape of establishing local entities and hiring remote staff, providing a valuable solution for international expansion and state-to-state hiring.
    • Big companies need an automated and accurate attrition projection system that considers historical data and external factors, along with a platform for employees to anonymously express their intentions to leave. Software developers have an opportunity to provide valuable solutions.
    • Thinking outside the box and pursuing unconventional solutions can lead to significant positive impacts and inspire others to take bold actions in addressing complex issues.
    • Ambition, perseverance, and adaptability are essential qualities that can lead to remarkable achievements, whether it be in one's career or in addressing urgent issues such as climate change.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Monetizing news apps: insights from Japanese and Chinese cultures.

    Both Japanese and Chinese cultures have found successful ways to monetize news apps, which can be a valuable insight for other countries, including America. In Japan, the tradition of buying newspapers and subscribing to news is still prevalent, providing a solid foundation for monetization. On the other hand, in China, podcasts and other content creators are able to generate significant revenue through subscriptions. This highlights the importance of understanding cultural norms and preferences when developing monetization strategies. By studying successful practices from different countries, businesses and individuals can identify new opportunities and approaches to make their content or services financially sustainable.

    Success despite limited capital and unexplored potential in news aggregation app monetization.

    User base, a Japanese company, has managed to achieve great success in the market despite raising a relatively small amount of capital. They own a few key products, with three of them generating the most revenue. One of these products, News Picks, has only 150,000 subscribers but brings in around $50 million in revenue. This highlights the untapped potential of news aggregation apps like Flipboard and Pocket, which have much larger user bases but struggle to monetize effectively. Understanding cultural differences and preferences is crucial in replicating successful models from other countries. For example, live streaming is massively popular in China due to factors like suppressed sexuality and an imbalanced gender ratio. By analyzing and leveraging these cultural nuances, there is an opportunity to improve monetization strategies and tap into the vast market potential.

    The value of paid content and the importance of information-rich pages in user experience.

    People are willing to pay for content that is normally free if it is packaged differently and offers added value. The example of the trends NPS being significantly higher than the hustle, despite both containing great content, shows that people enjoy and value paid information more. Charging upfront, without offering freemium options, can also yield better results. Furthermore, companies should consider filling their pages with more information, rather than leaving white spaces, to provide a richer experience for users. An interesting case is the drudgereport.com, a simple and outdated website that receives billions of visits monthly. This shows that the content itself matters more than aesthetics.

    The Influence and Popularity of Drudge Report in Today's News Landscape

    Drudge Report, a news website with bold and attention-grabbing headlines, has amassed significant influence and a cult following over the years. Similar to other sensationalist newspapers like those owned by Hurst or Rupert Murdoch, Drudge Report utilizes the strategy of "yellow journalism" to attract readers by focusing on scandalous and sensational stories. With over 100 million unique visitors and billions of page views a month, the website has proven its addictiveness and popularity among audiences. Despite its success, replicating this level of influence and monetization in today's saturated market is challenging. Additionally, the longevity and early market capture of Drudge Report, like Craigslist, make it difficult for new players to compete and gain significant traction.

    The untapped potential for monetization in American news apps compared to their Chinese counterparts.

    News apps in America are currently under-monetized compared to their potential. Despite high demand for news, especially with Trump being elected, these apps are not fully capitalizing on the opportunity. The example of ByteDance in China, which owns TikTok and a giant news app, highlights the potential for monetization. News apps in the US are not reaching the same levels of daily active users (DAU) and monthly active users (MAU) as their Chinese counterparts. Furthermore, attempts by celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Lil Wayne to create their own news networks have not been highly successful. This suggests that there is room for growth and monetization in the news app industry in America.

    Neil Patel's Successful Consultancy Model: Prioritizing Services and Maintenance for Profitability in the Software Industry.

    Neil Patel's consultancy business model highlights the potential profitability of offering services and maintenance alongside relatively cheap software. Many people have ideas for agencies, but running them can be challenging and making a profit is not guaranteed. What sets Patel's consultancy apart is his focus on providing SEO work and generating revenue from service fees rather than software sales. This approach aligns with the insight he gained from examining the revenue breakdown of companies like Slack and Atlassian. By prioritizing the services component and understanding the higher margins associated with it, Patel has found a successful niche in the consultancy space. This concept of selling affordable software with added service and maintenance layers could be a lucrative strategy for entrepreneurs in similar industries.

    Unconventional Paths to Business Success: Client Services and Market Analysis

    There are different ways to succeed in the business world, contrary to conventional Silicon Valley wisdom. This is exemplified by the success stories shared by Neil Patel, who highlights how companies can generate significant revenue through client services rather than solely relying on software sales. This goes against the belief that technology should be adopted from the bottom up and that heavy operational expenses should be avoided. Additionally, entrepreneurs like Syed from wpbeginner and SoftBank have found success by analyzing what sells well in their respective industries and launching their own products or investing in companies accordingly. This suggests that starting a blog and closely studying market trends can provide valuable insights for building successful ventures.

    Leveraging Failed YC Startups as a Rental Team

    There is potential for a business model that allows failed YC startups to offer their services as a team for hire. This concept, similar to an agency, provides an opportunity for these startups to generate income while in between ventures. Despite concerns about the mentality of YC graduates, who may become more focused on valuation and less scrappy after joining YC, there is still value in connecting with these teams after a few months post-YC. At this point, the hype has faded, and founders are facing the reality of growing their businesses. Investing in these teams can be advantageous, as the conversations are more grounded, and there is more tangible data to analyze. As for the YC book a team concept, it could be successful if the teams are experienced and hardened by previous failures, presenting a valuable talent pool for businesses seeking assistance.

    Simplifying international expansion and remote hiring for businesses worldwide.

    Remote.com is tackling the challenge of expanding internationally by opening legal entities in different countries. This addresses the pain points that businesses face when starting their own entities in new regions. By handling the difficult tasks of establishing local entities and navigating red tape, remote.com allows companies to hire remote staff as employees on the ground in that country. This solves the problem of needing a local entity to operate or conduct ad sales in specific regions. Additionally, remote.com's approach is relevant not only for international expansion but also for hiring across different states within the U.S. This service can save businesses from the complexities and penalties associated with state-to-state hiring. Overall, remote.com simplifies the process of expanding and employing remote teams, offering a valuable solution for companies worldwide.

    The need for a better system for predicting and managing attrition in big companies

    There is a significant challenge for big companies when it comes to predicting and managing attrition. Currently, HR professionals rely on manual methods and Excel-based models to forecast attrition, which hinders financial planning and hiring decisions. To address this issue, a better modeling system or automatic projection system for attrition is needed. This system should take into account historic data, as well as external factors like job market trends or economic uncertainty, to provide accurate predictions. Additionally, another potential solution could be creating a platform where employees feel comfortable anonymously expressing their intentions to leave, allowing companies to proactively address attrition concerns. Overall, there is an opportunity for software developers to venture into this field and provide valuable solutions for companies struggling with attrition management.

    Innovative Approaches to Employee Retention and Climate Change

    There are interesting and ambitious ideas being explored in the realms of employee retention and climate change. IBM has developed an AI-backed software that can predict with 95% accuracy which workers are likely to leave their jobs, providing valuable insights for businesses. On the other hand, Yishan Wong, former CEO of Reddit, is working on a massive global reforestation project to combat climate change. While the details of how it will be monetized are unclear, Wong's logic and dedication to the cause are commendable. These examples highlight the importance of thinking outside the box and pursuing innovative solutions to tackle complex issues. Their unconventional approaches may not receive mainstream attention, but they demonstrate the potential for positive impact and inspire others to consider bold actions.

    The Power of Ambition, Perseverance, and Adaptability

    Ambition and perseverance are key to achieving remarkable goals. This conversation highlights the awe-inspiring journey of an individual who went from being a senior engineer at PayPal to a director of engineering at Facebook, potentially accumulating vast wealth along the way. The discussion also touches upon the urgency and magnitude of climate change, emphasizing the importance of addressing this looming crisis. The immense challenges and risks involved in pursuing ambitious endeavors are praised as the most inspiring aspect of this story. Furthermore, personal perspectives on remote work and the evolving nature of workspaces are shared, showcasing the ability to adopt new viewpoints and adapt to changing circumstances. Overall, this conversation underscores the power of determination and adaptability in pursuing meaningful goals.

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    Episode 579: Sam Parr ( https://twitter.com/theSamParr ) and Shaan Puri ( https://twitter.com/ShaanVP ) talk about 3 niche trends they’ve found that are guaranteed to make $1M+. Want to see Sam and Shaan’s smiling faces? Head to the MFM YouTube Channel and subscribe - http://tinyurl.com/5n7ftsy5 — Show Notes: (0:00) Shaan gets his hotness score (2:30) Reddit trend leads to $6M ARR beauty app for men (10:12) Male nail care influencers (12:42) Sam upstages Shaan's beauty score (14:00) Spin-off businesses: Med Spas (16:00) Aging influencers and modern male grooming products (20:27) The story of Teflon and Dupont's billion dollar problem (22:49) Forever chemicals are in our water (26:14) Pfas free products (29:12) A regulatory inflection point is here (33:16) Trend: Assassins with water guns (34:32) $0 - $250K MRR app (35:22) Playground virality (38:00) Trading expertise for social vouching (49:10) Exporting a profitable internal tool — Links: • Umax - https://tinyurl.com/mezh49ac • Acqua Pana - https://www.acquapanna.com • MAMAVATION - https://www.mamavation.com • Splashin - https://www.splashin.app • Splashin TikTok - https://www.tiktok.com/discover/splashin-app — Check Out Sam's Stuff: • Hampton - https://www.joinhampton.com/ • Ideation Bootcamp - https://www.ideationbootcamp.co/ • Copy That - https://copythat.com • Hampton Wealth Survey - https://joinhampton.com/wealth — Check Out Shaan's Stuff: Need to hire? You should use the same service Shaan uses to hire developers, designers, & Virtual Assistants → it’s called Shepherd (tell ‘em Shaan sent you): https://bit.ly/SupportShepherd My First Million is a HubSpot Original Podcast // Brought to you by The HubSpot Podcast Network // Production by Arie Desormeaux // Editing by Ezra Bakker Trupiano Past guests on My First Million include Rob Dyrdek, Hasan Minhaj, Balaji Srinivasan, Jake Paul, Dr. Andrew Huberman, Gary Vee, Lance Armstrong, Sophia Amoruso, Ariel Helwani, Ramit Sethi, Stanley Druckenmiller, Peter Diamandis, Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Marc Lore, Jason Calacanis, Andrew Wilkinson, Julian Shapiro, Kat Cole, Codie Sanchez, Nader Al-Naji, Steph Smith, Trung Phan, Nick Huber, Anthony Pompliano, Ben Askren, Ramon Van Meer, Brianne Kimmel, Andrew Gazdecki, Scott Belsky, Moiz Ali, Dan Held, Elaine Zelby, Michael Saylor, Ryan Begelman, Jack Butcher, Reed Duchscher, Tai Lopez, Harley Finkelstein, Alexa von Tobel, Noah Kagan, Nick Bare, Greg Isenberg, James Altucher, Randy Hetrick and more. — Other episodes you might enjoy: • #224 Rob Dyrdek - How Tracking Every Second of His Life Took Rob Drydek from 0 to $405M in Exits • #209 Gary Vaynerchuk - Why NFTS Are the Future • #178 Balaji Srinivasan - Balaji on How to Fix the Media, Cloud Cities & Crypto • #169 - How One Man Started 5, Billion Dollar Companies, Dan Gilbert's Empire, & Talking With Warren Buffett • ​​​​#218 - Why You Should Take a Think Week Like Bill Gates • Dave Portnoy vs The World, Extreme Body Monitoring, The Future of Apparel Retail, "How Much is Anthony Pompliano Worth?", and More • How Mr Beast Got 100M Views in Less Than 4 Days, The $25M Chrome Extension, and More