Discover more from Late Checkout - a Substack by Greg Isenberg
I'M FEELING SPICY TODAY
12 spicy takes on the the state of the tech industry
Welcome back to Greg Isenberg’s weekly newsletter where I give you high-quality insights on building businesses powered by community. Free ideas that get you thinking.
So, since we last spoke, 139 people joined Community Empire. And it’s changing lives.
These people are serious about building their own cash-flowing empire.
Reminder, Community Empire includes:
Courses: 2 courses that teach you how to build an audience, community and help you find killer startup ideas for niches
Research: monthly email with 2-3 niches worth building for and why
Accountability: weekly sessions to keep you accountable like Q&As, office-hours, peer group sessions etc.
Software: includes a free $99/month Skool subscription which is where I host all my communities. So, the membership is basically free lol
The price is $99/month and can cancel whenever if it isn’t your vibe.
This is the cheapest community empire will ever be. We will raise prices as the community grows but wanted to make this a no-brainer offer for you.
Secure your spot if you care about building your own empire.
🌶️ The other day I was feeling very spicy.
So, I published a “spicy” hot takes on the tech industry on X where “I said the quiet parts out loud”. And, it went mega viral.
I expanded on the tweet for you my wonderful, newsletter subscribers and added a few more.
1. We're in a newsletter bubble. Half the "subscribers" didn't even mean to sign up or don't remember doing so.
Most of the readers probably hit delete faster than they open. The ones getting hurt are the advertisers. They are buying ads in newsletters with ghost subscribers.
2. Solopreneurs = Solo Burnouts. Think you're a one-man/woman army? Cool, give it a year. You'll be so fried you'll hire a team just to get a day off.
Many solopreneurs will hire teams and be even more profitable and happy than being a solo-operator.
3. That leads me to my next point. MOST SUCCESSFUL SOLOPRENEURS HAVE TEAMS ALREADY. Which is totally cool.
I think solopreneurship is incredible way to find a niche and build something that people love. But I fundamentally believe for the majority of solopreneurs, they should hire themselves out of their roles or build teams.
Yes, less profit but more scalable business and better for your mental health.
4. People are saying ChatGPT wrapper startups are dead-on-arrival. Couldn't be less true. There's MILLIONS to be made on finding a niche and slapping on AI. I think this narrative is driven by VCs and some VC-backed founders.
There will be some really big winners that are wrappers on-top of existing LLMs. It reminds me of the saying “the next big thing will start out looking like a toy”.
5. Most creator-led productized services will be dead in 18 months. These are the services that are services They'll see big jumps of revenue in the first 90 days but churn will eat them alive. And they'll be without a sustainable growth channel. And have big teams to support. with very little work.
Now, I know this might sound hypocritical because I co-founded Late Checkout (innovation agency), Dispatch (design subscription) and Boring Marketing (SEO to bring you more revenue), but my role with these businesses isn’t that just of a creator… I’m actually involved in the operations.
6. There's a new generation of X creators that think it's okay to steal content. Some with hundreds of thousands of followers. "Copying is the sincerest form of flattery". No, it's stealing and you aren't adding to the conversation. Being copied is way more interesting than copying.
7. VCs are going to have to figure out what to do in a world where it's so damn easy to bootstrap a business, partner with creators, powered by community, have 60% margins and print mega cash.
95% of early-stage startups do not require pre-seed/seed venture capital in this day and age. It’s so cheap to build a minimum viable product, giving away 20% of your company with venture dollars makes way less sense today that it did 5 years ago.
8. Building in public is generally a bad idea. Big in semi-private, with your community but out in the open in the early days on X attracts the sharks.
9.MRR charts are whack. You see this everyone on X. Business owners showing their Stripe MRR charts. This feels very much like a vanity metric. Show us your net operating income or nothing. Bottom line > top line.
10. Buying a boring business is...boring but not necessarily in a good way. I know the boomers are retiring but running a network of laundromats sounds like hell to me. Anyone else?
11. If you screenshot an empty Google calendar and post it on X or LinkedIn, that isn't your real schedule. You actually have tons of meetings. Probably more than the average Joe on X
80% of top X tech-creators are in an engagement pods. The constant cycle of these top creators boosting each other's engagement with comments like "nice thread" overshadows genuine content from fresh voices.
❤️ Greg’s bookmarks:
2022 → 25% of my startups made money 2023 → 71% of my startups made money. What changed? Link
Some honest reflections building Maven from the Co-Founder of Udemy. This hit hard. Link
You can be rich, happy or neither. Look at this graph and aim for up and to the right. Link
“It takes character to sit with all that cash and to do nothing. I didn’t get to be where I am by going after mediocre opportunities.” - Charlie Munger
New episode of my pod is live with Jay Clouse
We break down How Jay Built a $500,000 ARR Community (in Less than 2 Years) and how you can too
👋 Ways to work together?
Are you looking for design sprints around retention, acquisition and building community? Well, my agency Late Checkout is the leader in the model. We help design and your favorite apps & websites with this approach. Learn more here and fill out the form to get in touch.
Work with Boring Marketers. I’m astonished how they can drive revenue using SEO. Free call and you might learn a thing or two about using AI-assisted SEO to bring revenue for your business.
And enjoy Community Empire. I built this for you because so many people ask me how to build a profitable empire. Stick to this program and you can.