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🗒️ Who's Laughing Now
We have to confess that we'd never heard of Rocketbook until late last week.
Five years ago, two guys took their idea to Shark Tank - and were laughed at. Five years later they're selling at least $800,000 dollars worth of their product every month. And that's just on Amazon.
We don't usually dive into e-commerce here, but that's not what's important about this business.
What's important is understanding why this great idea was laughed at, and how you can avoid making similar mistakes when looking at new investments.
How could these wealthy investors have missed such an obvious opportunity?
How did a joke from one Shark derail the hopes of the RocketBook's inventors?
Just like there's a whole psychology behind "pitch order" when you're trying to raise funds, there's an equally powerful psychological phenomenon called "groupthink." According to Wiki, groupthink results in " irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcomes" and
causes the group to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation.
As humans we desire harmony within a group. It's hard being the only person who speaks up - either to disagree with a decision or to challenge the group's thinking.
In his article, Spencer Haws calls the Sharks' decision:
one of the biggest “misses” of all time on the show.
The next time you're evaluating a website investment or making an important decision within your business, consider these tactics to avoid groupthink.
Always have a 'devil's advocate' on hand; someone who will challenge your thinking. This person has nothing to gain or lose by offering their honest opinion.
Ask yourself whether you're doing something because it's "comfortable" or it's the way you've usually done something in the past. Is there a better solution now?
Ask yourself, “What would I do or say if I were alone? What would I do if there were no consequences?”
If you're the boss, let others give their opinions first. People often bow to social pressure and defer to a leader instead of offering their own ideas.
If you're fixated on what is popular, what your friends are investing in, or what your business partners are pushing, you may miss an important opportunity.
The willingness to see the world differently and invest in something that others don’t yet see is what leads to true innovation and wealth creation.
📛 Sell Your Names To Startups
If domain name trading is your thing, then you're sure to have your own theories about what types of domain offer the best investment opportunity.
About once a year, Crunchbase takes a survey of domain name trends. They gather around 1,000 new domains for analysis and then ask a naming expert for their take on the naming practices used.
This year, Athol Foden, the president of Brighter Naming, said:
The crazy, silly, weird spelling name trend seems to have waned a lot.
The 2020 data shows that startups are increasingly choosing brand names made up of recognizable words or nouns that describe what they actually do. One example is Grow Credit - a business that helps consumers establish or build credit.
Of course, there are still plenty of creative misspellings, words that evoke some type of positive emotion, and domains that incorporate a first name.
The latter is particularly popular amongst artificial intelligence and chatbot developers. Crunchbase noted:
Apparently there is something comforting (albeit kind of frightening) about an AI-enabled best friend with a name that sounds human.
As investors, we tend to believe that if you don’t own the .com, your name choice will ultimately create confusion as you grow. That is, if your name ends in .co, .io or any of the other top level domains on offer these days, then you're going to spend a ton on advertising before you get noticed.
Surely, if you have several startups with the same name but different tlds, the only one who's going to win is Google.
Are we wrong?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
🏗️ Niche Website Builders
Looking for a fully hands-off approach to outsourcing your content? Niche Website Builders is a marketing agency designed for content sites. Their packages come with keyword research, formatting and uploading to Wordpress (using templates that have proven to convert) and are written by native English speakers. Check it out.
🍳 Flipping Great
Who better to write a quick course on buying and selling on Flippa than one of their customers?
Steve McGarry is about to walk you through how to get the best out of this marketplace. He's spent several years dealing on Flippa, has a good-sized portfolio of websites, and boasts an online community that reaches 2.4 million people every month on social media.
The first part of this 5 part series concentrates on all the basics for both buyers and sellers. This series promises to be a great resource for those new to Flippa - or website markets in general.
If you're looking to buy, Steve explains how to navigate the site, watch a listing, make an offer - and more. He notes that, even if you're not interested in a particular asset, the ability to watch a seller is a smart way to keep tabs on the assets they're listing for sale.
Another great feature on Flippa is 'user reputation' which shows how buyers and sellers rate each other. This rating is similar to a review on an e-commerce site. At the least, it gives you an indication of a trader's level of trustworthiness, and what someone's overall experience was like when dealing with them.
From the seller's point of view, Steve goes on to cover the requirements for Google analytics data, the financial statements, and how to price a website for sale. Naturally, one of the most frequently asked questions involves money. All the info on listing fees, success fees (for selling a business) and the escrow process is clearly shown.
💪 Top Performing SEO Domains & DFY Sites
ODYS is the place for best-performing aftermarket SEO domains to build money sites out on. They also offer DFY Affiliate Sites from $2,700 for 50K words, which include keyword research, redirecting any old URLs that they can’t rebuild, and one year’s hosting. And they are about to launch Ready Made Sites, immediately available to purchase. Request access today.
🏀 Key Person Risk
Michael Jordan just took an equity interest in the sports betting company, DraftKings. Their stock is listed on the Nasdaq and it immediately surged in value after this announcement.
How does this relate to you and your website investments?
It demonstrates that your business has the potential to gain (or lose) much due to those with whom you associate.
When you're looking at equity partners, strategic partnerships, influencers or even a new COO, ensure that their image aligns with the vision you have for your business.
As soon as you partner with someone, their business background, ethics, and personal image become a reflection of your business’s identity.
The people you surround yourself with send a message about you to the world. Make sure it's a positive one by completing as much due diligence on the people you involve as you do on your projects.
Keep in mind that your associations will always impact the value of your brand and investment.
🤖 Intelligent Platform for Publishers
Ezoic is an AI-driven platform built for publishers to optimize ad revenue and maximize site speed. As a Google Certified Publishing Partner, they have access to Google Ad Exchange, as well as top-performing ad networks. Their real machine learning optimizes ads and layouts for each individual visitor, resulting in much higher revenue, whilst improving UX. Start a free trial of the Ezoic platform today.
😎 Publication Sponsorship
Interested in sponsoring this publication? Every update gets emailed to over 2,500 people and averages ~ 1,500 views, with click-through rates as high as 8% on links. The web version of the posts get shared on social. Visit the sponsorship page for newsletter and podcast advertising opportunities.
That’s it for another week, hit us up in the comments at the bottom of the web version.
Juliet Lyall & Richard Patey
ps Richard wasn’t sure what subject line to go for this week so just chose this one