[DRAFT] Investment Memo: Earnest Fund 2 | Earnest Capital - reading time 47 minutes

Public draft of the investment memo for Earnest’s second fund with as few redactions as possible.

How Billion Dollar Marketplaces Are Built with Marco Zappacosta, Co-Founder & CEO of Thumbtack - reading time 46 minutes

Building marketplaces: it's key to early on identify the few fundamental lessons of marketplace leverage and have a laser focus on those fundamentals.


Robin Vander Heyden on Twitter - reading time 5 minutes

How to make a $1m/year productized service ($83k/month): - 279 customers at $297/month - 167 customers at $497/month - 83 customers at $997/month Some examples of productized services you can start in that range - Tweet 1
$297/month. I started ManyPixels around that price range, and we later increased the prices to $399/month.  Other ideas: Content writing, Virtual assistant services, SEO audits, Wordpress development. - Tweet 2
$497/month.  VideoHusky does unlimited video editing (you get usually 1 video per day done).  Some other ideas: Graphic design services with higher skills (Powerpoint presentations), SEO-focused content writing, etc. - Tweet 3
$997/month (and up) Usually you can charge premium services: Executive virtual assistants, outreach services, Facebook advertising, ...  Some examples @workboldly  and Lead Cookie - Tweet 4

To top things off, here's a productized services idea matrix.

Austin Petersmith on Twitter - reading time 7 minutes

It's illegal for SaaS vendors to require customers in California to email/call to cancel their plans. - Tweet 1
Asana’s price per user (on the Premium plan) increases as your team grows: - Tweet 2
Slack charges a lower price per user for customers in India - Tweet 3
Software prices went up 62% on average over the past decade. 3x faster than inflation! - Tweet 4
For a team of 10 users, Jira costs $100/year  For a team of 11 users, it costs $1050/year - Tweet 5
@baremetrics has a cool thing called Open Startups, where some cool companies are sharing all their revenue publicly: - Tweet 6
Lots of SaaS vendors run a/b tests on pricing and plans (so some plans may offer more features or consumable items for the same price). Worth opening an incognito window or turning on a VPN or checking from your phone before paying. - Tweet 7
QuickBooks lists its pricing with a discount—that only lasts for 3 months. The real price you’ll pay is the one crossed out. - Tweet 8

There are many more interesting facts beside those that I handpicked for the newsletter, follow the thread here.

Ben Thompson on Twitter - reading time 1 minute

Extremely excited about this for two reasons: 1. @BenGolliver and @andrewsharp together is my favorite podcast. 2. I strongly believe in the reader-supported model, and podcasts are an even better fit than newsletters. Try it! Works in your existing podcast player — super easy

In which Ben gets excited about podcasts as a subscriber powered medium (which I believe his right about). This brings us to:


2019 Potpourri - Our best advice - listening time 44 minutes

Matt goes into how pricing a beta might look like that doesn't penalise you for it later on. Start at the end: charge the value you want to charge when the product is built out, with a discount! Remove that discount gradually as you improve the product. - Listen at 20:31

Assessing Product-Market Fit, How to Find a Mastermind, and More Listener Questions with Brian Casel - listening time 39 minutes

Stripe has released a service that takes care of mailed in paper checks, yes really. - Listen at 23:51