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    Recurring Revenue Business Models

    Recurring Revenue Business Models

    Entrepreneurship is not known for being the most consistent and reliable industry– one month, you’re on top of the world, and the next, you struggle to stay afloat. Is this just how things go, or are there ways to manage a business that increases steadily? Recurring revenue businesses like subscription services and memberships are a great way for businesses to predict future business trends more accurately, and provide a dependable source of revenue. This week, we were joined by Peter Lamantia of Authentic Web Inc., and Gary Toste, both experienced in the tech and SaaS world, to learn more about launching and growing a recurring-revenue business.

    “These business models are basically digital cash registers.”

    Colin C. Campbell 

    Should your business follow a recurring revenue model? 

    ‘Software as a Service’ businesses aren’t the only ones who can employ an automated, recurring sales model– any product or service that’s replenishable can be turned into a subscription model! Before switching up your current business plan, consider adding a subscription option in addition to existing payment options. 

    Don’t get discouraged if your competitors are larger and more established companies– use this as an opportunity to stand out and provide what those customers are missing out on. Instead of trying to be and do everything for every consumer, find verticals where you can differentiate your business. Peter suggests having laser focus and working on one small area that you can do better than your competitors and growing that. 

    Maintaining subscription models’ profitability 

    We asked about the Key Performance Indicators and metrics to track to ensure your business is growing in terms of profit and numbers. Start with your cost-per-acquisition, Gary suggested, always aiming to keep that number positive. Keeping an eye on how much it costs your business to find and attract new customers gives perhaps the best insight into overall chances of future success. It’s also important to remove as many barriers to entry as possible, ease of use, and clarity making your business the clear choice against competitors. 

    For more insight, listen to the full replay above, and join us this Friday on Clubhouse to continue the discussion!

  • Read the Transcript

    Serial Entrepreneur Club – EP70: Recurring Revenue Business Model

    [00:00:00] 

    You’re listening to the Serial Entrepreneur Club hour on Startup.Club. By the way, we have almost 850,000 members on Startup Club and if you’re not already a member of startup club, please click on the greenhouse above. Gary, I know you’re brand new to clubhouse, but you can also be a member to, startup club as well by joining it.

    and you can see Gary’s profile picture. He’s very, very new to clubhouse, which is great to have new members on. We are going to talk today about my favorite type of business. It’s my favorite investment. It’s my favorite type of company. They’re recurring revenue businesses, A.R.R., and I call them digital cash registers.

    So why doesn’t everybody just launch their own digital cash register? I mean, that’s the [00:01:00] question we’re gonna ask. We’re try to figure out. What it takes to launch a subscription business, a business that can keep making money every single month over and over again. 

    So Michele, welcome Peter. Welcome Gary.

    Welcome Jeff. Welcome. Uh, it’s gonna be a fun afternoon today. Uh, Jeff or Michele? Any thoughts about the show today before we get into it with Peter and Gary?

    Yeah, I would say, you know, subscription businesses. I know Colin said monthly, but it could be annual. It could be more, and there’s so many, it could be software as a service or just, um, you know, so a virtual product or even a physical product might be called a replenishment program. So there’s so many business models and it can be so extremely lucrative, but we’re gonna get into how it can be extremely difficult too, to break even, and be [00:02:00] profitable on these.

    So back to you and Michele, why, why is a subscription business? Something that a startup should consider because of the big, RR, the double R and the double R is not rolls Royce, but maybe lead to a rolls Royce. The double R is recurring revenue, a subscription business. If you can do it successfully provides predictable recurring revenue, which is enormously powerful to build and grow and scale your business.

    Well, that’s awesome. And if you are in the audience and you’re interested, uh, in this topic and you wanna ask, uh, Question of our two guests, Gary and Peter, or ourselves, Jeff, myself, or, or Michele. You’d like to ask a question, please raise your hands. Um, it’s gonna be an interactive afternoon. I, I can tell you, this is, this is a phenomenal business model.

    I’ll kick it off with you, Peter. Peter, can you talk a little bit about what you [00:03:00] do and when you started, give us a little bit of history and let’s get, let’s not get into the KPIs and all the other stuff. We’ll talk, we’ll ask questions about that later, but just give us a little bit of your background.

    Yeah, sure. Um, first of all, just I’ll just reiterate, there’s nothing like a subscription business. Um, because as Colin said, originally, they’re bloody hard to get to a certain scale, but once you get there, you just got this revenue sweeping through. So what we do, so, um, I guess I had 2015, um, I started this business and, well, I guess it was even a year or two before that, before we, we started building a product, but we do, um, we’re an enterprise SaaS business.

    So we focus on large organizations greater than a hundred million and we provide them a digital control system to help their teams manage their domains, their DNS, and their certs. So we’re also a corporate registrar. But we’ve integrated this control system into DNS providers and as certificate authorities.

    So [00:04:00] our difference is really, you know, we combine workflow integration, audit history to bring all these assets and all these aspects of the DNS into a single, um, single system as a single pane of glass. Um, so it’s, uh, you know, it’s, it’s been a long road and, you know, one comment I’d say to people that if you’re thinking of starting a business to go after enterprise, be prepared for a long cycle.

    Um, but it’s been great. You know, what we really deliver value and benefits around helping companies improve their security and their digital footprint compliance over change management and performance as well. Because if you’re operating your DNS, Um, you’re gonna improve your SEO and your digital performance on the other side of performance, because we’ve got a very simple to use system.

    We help teams improve their performance and their ability to execute. We really just make it really easy for these teams. [00:05:00] And, uh, um, and, and in turn, what that has the effect of doing is reducing their total cost of ownership, both in people and also by consolidating into a single platform and vendor. Um, it makes it easier for them.

    And how we, Peter, how would you start? Yeah. When did you start? 2015 first customer came on in 2015. Well, that’s awesome. Uh, let’s move to Gary for the intro, Gary. I know you’re brand new on clubhouse. You also run a, a, uh, a digital platform. Can you talk a little bit about that, your background, and when you started as well?

    Yeah, absolutely. So, yeah, I literally just joined clubhouse. So as you can see, I don’t got a picture. I, I just finished kind of signing up uh, didn’t even know this existed. Very, very cool, uh, little bit of background. So, um, my background is engineering and, uh, way back when I’ve always run product companies and they were, this was before the whole SAS model, but about 10 years ago, [00:06:00] I started a services business and it was in mobile.

    And at the time mobile was really hot. So ran a, uh, a mobile services business was going great, but as I was doing. Service business. Um, I started realizing, man, this is a lot of work. Like every month you gotta get new new work and it’s not recurring. And it’s just a constant grind. And I realized this is, does not have longevity.

    Like I need to get back into products. And this was at the time when SaaS was, was starting to, to become a thing. So we started looking at, uh, you know, on the side, can we kind of build a product? Can we, uh, get outta services and, um, around. Uh, 20 15, 20 16. Um, we had an opportunity around, uh, the management of safety data [00:07:00] sheets.

    So we had a customer, we had done some work for that was having issues with, uh, managing their safety data sheets. Now there’s a lot of companies out there doing this, um, but this was a school board and we took a look at what was out there and this, and, uh, what they were using. And there really was a gap.

    There was, there was a need for. Uh, these, these school boards that wasn’t being met by the products out there, and they were paying money for products that really didn’t work for them. So we decided this was the opportunity we’re gonna take. And, and we kind of built out this product and we built, um, out a, a model around this and we, we got that customer, we got a couple of others and it kind of was very slow.

    But in, in the start of 2021, we decided that’s it, we’re going full on, uh, into [00:08:00] this we’re dumping services. We’re gonna become a, uh, a SAS business. And, um, that’s, that’s what we’ve done. So, uh, we really, again, uh, focused on the education market and that’s expanded out into county’s kind of public sector, uh, and.

    How we differentiate ourselves is, is that those sectors have a different need than the products that are out there. And we’ve been able to differentiate ourselves and be able to, um, quickly start generating revenue. Now, I think one thing to remember with a SA model is it, it is a bit of a slow grind, right?

    But, um, uh, Peter mentioned enterprise enterprise is, is a tough sale. Public sector is also a long sale mm-hmm , but when you get a sale, um, it it’s a, you have it for a long time. So your contracts are typically 3, 5, 7 years [00:09:00] long, and they really don’t wanna move. So if you’re providing a great service, uh, along with a product, um, you are entrenched.

    So once you get that revenue, you’re gonna be in there for a long time. So it may be slow to build up, but, um, your, your, um, turnover is very. And if you’re in the audience right now, if you’re in the audience right now and you think this topic’s interesting, please share the room with clubhouse. There’s the, it’s that second button on the left at the bottom of your screen.

    I just shared the room. It’s gonna be an excellent hour. And I know we’re gonna learn a lot about subscriptions and the whole model and what it takes to launch it. Um, and if you have a question for Gary or Peter, please raise your hand as well. It’s it’s gonna be fun. Um, I will say that it’s interesting to, to hear both of you speak about the, the long sales cycle to signing up enterprise clients at host Topia.

    My prior company, uh, I think it was [00:10:00] two up to two years before we actually got, um, our sales site. So we actually got the contract and, uh, at.club it was B2B, but it was 10 bucks a year. And it was two minutes before we would sell the next domain name. So in some ways it was a lot more enjoyable cuz you, every hour we’d be seeing, oh, we signed a hundred names in the last hour.

    Oh, we signed 50 names in the last hour. You know, it was much more gratifying in some ways. But when you have those big, you know, big, big contracts and there’s a lot of work to close, one of them takes a lot of time. It can sometimes be, you really have to keep a strong mental state. Peter. Yeah. Oh boy. Do you ever, um, you know, our sales cycle, like we’ve had guys who have been three years in the sales cycle, um, I’ve had other ones that, you know, two that had closed within 60 days.

    So there’s this. There’s sort of this broad perspective, but you have to be prepared to do that. So, you know, we are [00:11:00] really, you know, it’s, we are very much a consultative sale, so, um, we give them content and value from that content build up trust that we know what we’re talking about. And you know, also also needing to sort of address a buyer committee.

    Uh, we can talk about it later, but you know, we’ve got different types of personas that we pursue, you know, the sponsor decision making and end users and, and inside and enterprise, you’ve really gotta convince every one of these people, but then to Gary’s point, um, you know, once you get them, you know, and they’re happy, they’re not, they’re not going anywhere.

    And, uh, I’ll talk about negative churn later in KPIs, but you know, the whole premise here is you get them and then you grow them and they’re buying services that they need. And you’re increasing your MRR with every client every month.

    All right. So I [00:12:00] see Colin. We have some people already up here on the stage. I think we should go right to the audience. Sounds good. So let’s go to Asia. Kay. And I, and before you start Asia, I just wanna mention, you know, Gary and Peter and call him and myself and Jeff were experts in B2B, but don’t forget.

    There are a lot of, um, consumer applications like streaming and like physical goods. So please feel free to ask your question, Asia, the mic is yours. Oh, I appreciate it. Thank you. Can you hear me okay? Yep. All right. Excellent. I’m glad to be here. Um, this, I love this topic and, um, thanks for having this space.

    The subscription start out a startup. What I just gathered from Michele was. Something to consider is look at your content as your asset. That is your [00:13:00] intellectual property. And that in itself has value that somebody is going to be, they’ll put it in their budget to subscribe to you every month because you have people stream Hulu and Amazon and Netflix.

    It’s such a great business. And that there’s, it’s, it’s nice that you, um, can offer advice for smaller competitors because that’s who, in a sense, what feels like you are completing against, if you are to be doing a streaming service, like something like a Netflix or Hulu, like, how are you, how do you, how can you become the little Hulu subscription is what it makes you feel like?

    Yeah, this is scary. I think this is Gary. I think the biggest thing is, um, finding a niche and differentiating yourself. So I, I’m not in consumer we’re B2B, but in my space, [00:14:00] there are very, very large competitors. Uh, and we’ve been able to take business away from them, uh, because instead of. Focusing broadly and trying to be everything for everyone.

    Our approach was to take a look at the market. Let’s find some verticals that, uh, we can play in and we can differentiate ourselves. And I think it’s the same with, uh, consumer content. Um, if you take a look at, at, at TikTok, you know, when TikTok started, um, how did they differentiate themselves? Well, they came up with this idea of a short little video and everything’s the short little content burst now.

    All the now obviously they’re huge, but when they started, they were small. Uh, and then all these other companies are trying to emulate them because they, they see the power of that. So I, I think, um, you know, taking a look at your content and how can you differentiate and make it [00:15:00] different than, than your competitors and, and kind of, you need to have something you can hang your hat on that can differentiate you so that whether it’s an enterprise sale or a consumer that you’re trying to entice, you have to, you have to kind of show them.

    This is why I’m different and better. So, and when you say enterprise sale or consumer, so enterprise sale, that’s, you know, business to business and then consumer you’re telling people the thing, the thing that struck me about what you first said is that they have to decide one thing that, that bite size thing that they do like that they offer, like the ball that they have.

    There’s no factors about the ball yet. like, it could be any kind of ball, but first thing’s first it’s ball. And then maybe, yeah, next it’s a red ball and next it’s a blue ball. Yeah. Depending on who your niche customer is. Right. When you mention TikTok, I am [00:16:00] being, uh, told that there are, um, different ways that TikTok markets, depending on location of the user.

    So in China, as opposed to, well in us, we know what it is. It’s funny, it’s random kind of stupid. They have more, their audience wants to see or is forced to see, you know, kids doing, getting school. Like how do you be a better, the smart people. So that’s, that’s huge what you do, because it really forces people to choose, like, okay.

    You know, what kinda, what do I support in like the future of what these kids are watching? Yeah. I think when you’re looking at consumer content, definitely, um, region matters, right? Content is very different in the [00:17:00] us to Europe, to Australia, to China, et cetera. So. Definitely, you know, if, if you’re looking at a global consumer platform, uh, you do have to take into account, um, what each region would like.

    But the one thing I would say is, as a startup, you have to be flexible and you have to be willing to Zig and zag because, uh, what you may think is your differentiator and what is really working, if you’re monitoring, uh, your content and how it’s being ingested. And, uh, what’s kind of, you know, if we’re talking consumer content, you know, how long is someone staying on those types of things?

    Um, uh, you may find that. X was what’s driving my product, but it’s really Y and you have to be able to Zig quickly and start focusing on Y and I think [00:18:00] that’s one thing that a successful startup has to be able to do is, is you have to be able to Zig a zag because sometimes, uh, you know, what you believe actually changes.

    Once you start taking a look at the data of how your, your content is being consumed and used. Ooh, I think it’s that really, you know, that’s I can, if I may respond it’s okay. Um, go ahead. Cause it made me think of something like, uh, let’s go. Okay. Um, so with the data and how it’s being used, that might be smart to put a good item in your budget for user experience.

    So having the tools that track. Okay. How long is this person on the site? Why did they, when they clicked on this button, where did they go next? What problems did they have when they encounter this situation? The tools that provide that service sound to be a great value, because it seems [00:19:00] you’re getting into a niche.

    And I think that Gary, what you’ve talked about, this sort of laser focus and yeah, you’ve got large competitors, uh, but yet you focus on one particular segment of the SDS market schools and municipalities and counties, and you do it better than anyone else. Peter, you are also in domain management and you’ve got massive competitors.

    Can you talk a little bit about that laser focus? Yeah, no, very much so. Um, I think Gary hit it, you know, finding that gap. I call it the whole. Right. So how, you know, what is it that we do that we do better than everybody else? Um, we sort of pin in on that, on, you know, the security of the infrastructure.

    There’s lots of other things we could be doing, but that’s really what we do. And to make that easy for teams to do it. Um, and you know, when we get into, you know, the valid or the raising money side, um, that’s gonna be critical. If you wanna raise money, you need to demonstrate that you’ve got that. So all of what we [00:20:00] do in terms of how we engage and try to get people to come and look, have a look at us and see why they want, might wanna move.

    We, we just produce a ton of content. So, um, whether it’s articles, white papers, webinars, and we try to engage people there to say, well, these guys are doing something different and this is, uh, something that we need that nobody else is doing. Peter. What I wanted to add too, uh, Colin real quick is, is, you know, when you think about a subscription based business, Um, understanding who your target audience is.

    Yeah. Means the size of the audience doesn’t matter as it does in other business models. For example. Yeah. If you’re building a business based on an advertising business model, then the size of your audience is everything. Then all you’re trying to do is, is reach as many people as possible because you need those eyeballs to drive any meaningful, um, advertising revenue.

    But when you switch your model to a subscription [00:21:00] based business, you know, the number of paid customers you need is what’s important. And that number of paid customers is a fraction of sometimes even a fraction of a fraction of the kind, the size of customer base that an advertising based business would need.

    So you need to understand. You know, who’s, who’s your target audience? How big is that? And more importantly, the way your business is operating, what you expect to make as a profit, how you expand to how you expect to expand and scale, how many customers do you need to get to break? Even how many customers you need, right.

    To, to meet your annual revenue goals. How many customers do you need to grow by each year to meet your growth goals? Um, and, and it’s much in many respects, easier to break it down. When, you know, you have a subscription service, because you can actually multiply user by number, uh, and know your, uh, revenue amounts, which is much harder to do in an advertising model.

    Yeah, very much. And you know, like we, [00:22:00] we employ an EBM strategy. So count based marketing where we have, you know, we have our target list. We generally, you know, we know what companies want to go after. Um, and then we say, okay, well, who are the people in those companies? And what personas are they, as I mentioned before, sponsor decision maker and users.

    So we’re trying to engage with those folks to help them understand how we can make their lives easier. And, you know, that’s much easier. And, and, you know, as a, as a focus, um, you know, however you define your ideal customer, whether it’s by vertical niche or by the makeup of that customer, or, you know, how many domains or what kind of digital business they operate, um, allows you to focus much more to, to build it up.

    And you don’t, you don’t need many, um, thank goodness. You, it’s amazing to see how many platforms to know that I’ve seen, uh, out there that people have built these platforms, and yet don’t have any users. If you build it, they won’t come. No Gary . How do [00:23:00] you get customers, Gary? How do you get customers? And Peter talked a little bit about webinars.

    You talked a little bit, um, about a couple of the ideas, but you, I know you do RFPs, like, do you have some tips and tricks of how you actually. Get customers to your platform. Yeah. So since, since we’ve got a very specific vertical we’re, we’re targeting it, it makes it a lot easier to farm, right? Because, uh, every state has X number of, of they’re either called school boards, school districts, school divisions, every state will call it differently.

    And then, and every state will be set up different. Uh, some are, uh, independent where every, uh, school board is buying on its own. And in some states they have groups of, uh, school boards that are together, maybe 10, 15 school boards, a buy as one. Um, so really what we’re doing is we’re. Getting those, uh, those [00:24:00] lists of, of all the school boards in, you know, Utah, Texas, et cetera, and then figuring out who the correct person is.

    And depending on the size of the school, it’ll be a different person. Right? So in, in my world, uh, the bigger boards have risk managers and the risk managers are responsible for, uh, safety, data sheets and bunch, a bunch of other things. Um, the great thing about MySpace is, uh, OSHA, which is a government organization, um, mandates that everyone has to, if you have hazardous chemicals, you have to have data sheets and you have to manage them.

    So this is a problem that all school. To do and they have to do it, whether they like it or not, if not, they’ll get fined by OSHA. Um, so there’s, there’s an absolute need. So it’s not like I’m calling on someone, they’re gonna say, oh, we don’t do that. Well, you have to either you’re doing it manually or, or you’re doing it electronically.

    [00:25:00] And. Since there are a lot of players in this space, what ends up happening is, um, what we’re really trying to do is just build out that calendar of when is your product coming up? Uh, either for renewal or, or RFP. And again, depending on the size of the organization, some require that it has to go out to bid and others don’t, but our key is just knowing, okay, well, this company’s, contract’s coming up in two years, so we wanna be contacting them six months before them and start trying to get a demo with them, show our product, show how we’re different, why we’re better, um, and, and go from there.

    So, um, a lot of times. It’s rare when we call someone, although it happens, we, we call on someone and they’re like, oh yeah, I need that. Or I still do that manually. Or my contracts do in two months. Most of the time it’s oh, I’ve, I’ve still got a contract for a year or two years. And it’s [00:26:00] just building up that database of dates to, to get back to people.

    And that’s, that’s what we’re really focused on and, and doing. Um, we did some, some trade shows early on. And, uh, not the right focus that there are the right trade shows. So we’re gonna start looking at those, but we, we thought, okay, yeah, safety we’re in the safety space, right? Safety, hazardous chemicals.

    So we’re gonna go to these, uh, tons of shows they had around safety or, uh, for school boards and so forth. And it turned out it’s all police officers and, and, uh, dealing with security and safety and active shooters. And, and it’s a shame that that’s our world now with schools, but unfortunately that’s, that’s a big part of it.

    So we weren’t quite right in, in those. So we kind of stopped and were resetting and, and looking for the right, uh, kinds of trade shows that we can go to and, and start, um, uh, seeing people at shows. So that’s another [00:27:00] that’s that we’re gonna be mm-hmm one other thing I’ll ask later. Yeah, no problem. One other thing.

    Um, I’ve done, Gary. In a similar space Walters clear, which is a massive publisher of, you know, legal documents, right. Is we always try to get in the reviews. All of, for example, we are targeting, um, this particular case CPAs or trust administrators. What we would also do is find those publications. Um, typically they do annual reviews of products and that ended up for us being a phenomenal lead source.

    If we could get ranked per, you know, hopefully as number one in those kind of publications, then we would oftentimes see, you know, an onslaught of leads because in that industry, accuracy and reputation in the whole fear, so are really, really valuable. Right? [00:28:00] Yep. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And, and a lot of those, um, I’ve, I’ve.

    I know before in, in another space and, uh, a, a lot, let’s be honest, a lot are paid opportunities. You pay them enough money, you get ranked . Yeah. So, so a lot of times, but the users don’t know that. Right. Users look at that and say, oh wow, they’re, they’re ranked top five. What they don’t know is you actually paid money to get that spot.

    But yeah, but, uh, it, it is, it does work, but that’s that Asia, Asia, I do wanna get to you again. We’ll come back to you, but Justine, you’ve been waiting very patiently. Do you have a question or a thought about this topic that you wanted to share with us? Uh, thanks Colleen, for having me up on stage, I have both a question and a contribution, but let me do an introduction first.

    My name is Jasmine Unku. I am a business consultant here in Canada, my company [00:29:00] at peak perfectly. Currently works with startups. We work to ensure that startup founders can build their companies with less stress, less cost and less gray heads. So we work to support them well, like the Mackenzie and co for startups and sometimes skill ups.

    So I just wanted to add the conversation on recurring models. And I saw a question in the comment. I think it was by, I can’t remember the name of the person. and I know that most of the time startups and businesses, they misconstrue, or they kind of misinterpret the different types of recurring models.

    So you have the subscription, which is when people pay to consume recurring value. Then there’s also membership, which is totally different from subscription with a membership, people don’t just pay to consume value. They pay to engage with the value they pay to engage with fellow consumers. They, they pay to, to be in a community essentially.

    So if you don’t, if people don’t understand the difference, they go about approaching them wrongly because the, [00:30:00] the sales branding, customer retention and all of those approaches differ across these two, um, recurring models. So I just said to drop that as a thought, and I’d also love to hear what the other experts have to say about that.

    Talking about business models in general. This is on another topic. Um, many people talk SA SA SA software as a service, but there are other technology models that do exist in the marketplace. And I would love to hear how those can be leveraged in for recurring models as well. So when you talk about technology business models, you would have SA, which is a very popular one.

    You’d also have marketplace as a service. Many, there are many entrepreneurs. I know who, who are trying to build marketplaces. They don’t have a software per se, but they have an idea to bring a two-sided market together or two ends of a market together to foster interactions and value exchange. There are other, a host of other models [00:31:00] across.

    The world today. So I’d love to hear some thoughts on other business models, not just SA because when you think technology, people just go SA they start thinking SA SA, but there are other ways that we could create value that does not have to be about a software. It could be data, it could be a marketplace, it could be a platform.

    So I’d love to hear your thoughts on those. I’m done. Thanks. Anybody want to take that? I know we’ve had on, um, the gentleman who did boxy charm and they did the, you know, box of the month type concepts and he sold his company for a half billion dollars. So you’re right. It doesn’t have to be SaaS. There are so many subscription models.

    In fact, you might even have a product space company. I know we do@pot.com, uh, that Jeff’s the CMO of pot.com. And we have been attempting to start up some of the subscription models around, um, nutraceuticals for animals. Um, but. [00:32:00] So if you have an existing products company, you can actually think about launching services.

    Any thoughts from, uh, Jeff? Well, I was just wondering Colin. Oh, sorry. Go ahead, Jeff. I was just gonna say that any, anything that’s replenishable, any product that is replenishable is ideal for a subscription model. I subscribe to two different coffee subscriptions because I drink a lot of coffee and, and instead of buying it every time in the supermarket, it shows up.

    But when you think about your product, just think, is it replenishable? I subscribe to a sock of the month club. Um, one of the dock club companies, um, because socks wear out pretty frequently. So getting a new pair of socks every month, you know, 12 pairs of socks a year, not a problem cuz you’ll wear through them.

    So any product, yeah, that is replenishable is, is ideal for a subscription model. Yeah, I was just gonna say something similar Jeff around, was it shave dot. You know, the guys that yeah. The dollar yep. Dollar shave. Yeah. You know, so anything we, um, you know, the [00:33:00] fact it’s consumable means that you need a fresh one.

    I was also wondering about, you know, sort of the, you know, when you were speaking, JE was sort of thinking about the brokerage side, right. Or how do you bring two parties together? So, you know, if you’re in, uh, you know, there’s lots of, sort of analogous ones to this, um, where you create communities, you know, bright talk is something we subscribe to, you know, they’re providing a place for us to pre put up our, our, um, content and they’ve got an audience of people seeking content in our space.

    So there’s, I think there’s lots of different opportunities, but they’re all come down to that same principle of, you know, the, the consumer pays an amount of money per month or per year to be part of this group or this service. . Yeah. And I, I think if you really try to step outside of the box of what your business is and what you’re so entrenched in, you’ll find oftentimes can [00:34:00] find these recurring revenue models is an equation and that equation is what’s my cost

    time value per subscriber. And obviously I’m going to want, have a positive number when you can.

    We’re having hard. So churn rates, well, you know, the number of users you’re dropping per month, and then ultimately, now you’ve got these KPIs and everything. Jeff mentioned it everything’s very predictable, uh, at doc club. It was amazing to see how it came in place, where we were at the very beginning, you know, we, we came out pretty strong and then, you know, it was slow and then it began to pick up over time and accelerate and become very profitable.

    Any thoughts [00:35:00] about that?

    Yeah. I don’t think he realizes, can you repeat the question? I’m sorry, I didn’t get it personally, but go ahead with your answer. If you can repeat it after you answer or Peter and then Gary. Yeah. Colin you’re breaking up. It was hard to really get it when you’re, you’re, uh, talking, but except for, I think you’re transitioning into KPIs where on the cost of acquisition.

    So if you’re cost of acquisition per, um, you know, client or subscriber, um, that needs to turn a positive, you know, a positive ROI at the end of the day. So, which is all different. You know, our clients can spend over a hundred thousand dollars a year with us so we can spend quite a bit of money to get an individual client.

    Where a dog club, you know, you need, you know, you’re getting whatever the dollar was, you know, 10, 20 bucks. Um, so you can’t quite spend as much, I think that was the basis of it, but you were, you’re breaking up there a bit. Yeah. Thank you. Sorry about that. It was just all [00:36:00] about an equation and yeah. Uh, cost of acquisition versus lifetime value customer.

    Exactly. And I do know that at stock Clubb, we would spend about two to three years to acquire a customer, and yet it was still profitable to us. So two to three years of that customer’s revenue was our acquisition cost. When you, when you, you think of acquisition, acquiring new customers, Gary and Peter, can you talk us to us a little bit about, you know, what’s the investment you make to acquire these customers and base it on?

    Not dollar-wise, but based on the time they’re subscribers. So let’s, I get my money back in one year, two years, three years. I’ve always liked in these businesses to try to get your money back in one year. but.club is probably about a two year. Go ahead, Gary. Yeah, our, our goal is to try to get our money back after one year.

    The reality is, um, as I kind of mentioned before, they’re they most likely are already using a product, which means you’ve got a bunch of data you need to transition over [00:37:00] from one system to the other. And, um, From, from my perspective, uh, I have a belief that you, you just have to keep lowering the, the barrier to entry for a user to, to jump.

    So every obstacle you put in their way is a reason for them to say no. So if you charge them, um, a setup fee or you charge them to move data over, uh, at least in my space, uh, because again, since it’s public sector, they have fixed budgets. So, uh, they have money allocated for this, but they only have so much.

    So if you start saying, well, I have to move all this data over. So I have to charge you this much up front. Uh, and a lot of our competitors do that. We don’t. So we kind of, uh, uh, take that on as an acquisition cost. I mean, obviously there’s the cost of, of just farming and calling people and so forth. But at the end of the day, um, our biggest acquisition cost is [00:38:00] actually the transferal cost.

    What it costs us to move. Someone over from another system or if it’s manually, they’ve got this in spreadsheets and we have to now take it and put it into the system. Um, we, that eats up a lot of our first year costs, but the reality that’s gonna cost you that digitization process. That right then is if I could just pause there for a minute.

    I really appreciate,

    sorry. Um, Asia, could you just give us one second, Gary, did you wanna finish your point and then Asia, and then we’ll go down to ACA. So the reality is that, um, Most of our customers are signing a minimum three year contract. Uh, sometimes five, we’ve got a couple of seven years, uh, but three years is kind of the going rate.

    So yes, that first year, a lot of, of their, uh, uh, cost, uh, or their revenue is eaten and cost and transitioning [00:39:00] them over. But the reality is we know we have at least two years of, of guaranteed revenue. Uh, plus once they’re in, if they’re happy, they just stay. So that continues on and on. And our, um, cost to keep a customer on is substantially lower.

    Once we’ve put them in the system. Um, uh, we don’t have a lot of costs. The support costs are pretty low. The reality in our business is that, uh, one it’s, it’s a requirement. They have to have this, uh, because of OSHA, but. People aren’t generally using this system a lot unless there’s emergency. So it’s not like we’ve got a ton of traffic, but the system has to be there and has to be available when someone needs it.

    So our costs from a infrastructure perspective are all around having an infrastructure that, um, will stay up. So we’ve got, you know, multiple locations that [00:40:00] do, you know, DNS Rero and all this stuff to make sure that the system is always available 24 7, that’s our cost. But as in support costs and user costs, they’re generally low.

    Once they’re in the system, you know, they may add some SDSs a year, but our, our cost to maintain a customer, uh, is low after our initial cost. So the second, third year in future years, our profit is very high on every customer. Whereas our first year profit may be very low. Sounds good. Um, Asia has promised I’ll let you go one time, but I do do keep it brief because we have five more people who are on stage.

    We wanna ask questions or have some comments. I did turn off the hand raising. So, so we, we won’t be adding any more people to the, uh, audience, but Asia real quick. I just hope you’d be talking about RFPs a little bit. That would be helpful from my perspective and for the idea that you’re presenting, as far as these contracts that are requiring five to seven years [00:41:00] from maybe a school district, but in the first year, you’re gonna be paying a lot more money on the digitization process.

    And that’s a whole nother company that doesn’t seem in, you know, that’s great. So I appreciate that insight, um, that, so will you be talking about RFPs in, in a sense, and also the second question is, um, how can the NFT artists or artists that. Are creating NDS, um, benefit from this model. And what are some of the, what advice would you have for, for this, um, demographic?

    Thank you so much. I appreciate it. Let’s start with, um, the R the RFP tricks. Like, how do you get, how do you win your RPS, Peter and Gary, and then maybe we’ll open up to the entire, I don’t wanna go into the NFT realm right now. Um, and we don’t, we don’t have a lot of time left and we haven’t covered, you know, building of the platform and other things.

    So let’s hold off on the NFT question, but Gary, go ahead. Yeah. So RFPs, [00:42:00] um, I mean, If you, if you can build a relationship with the customer before they have to go to RFP, um, that’s actually a, a great space to be in because typically once an RFP goes out, then your contact points are, are, are very closed and what you can do.

    But if you can build that initial relationship, a lot of times they will actually come to you and ask for direction of, well, what kind of things should I ask for in an RFP? And you load those questions and you give them questions that point directly to you. Um, that’s a great strategy. If you can get that, obviously those are rare, but when that happens, that helps you at least guide what questions may get into the RFP when, when it does come out.

    Oh, that’s excellent. Thank you. Some of the. Yeah. Some of the tips and tricks we use is since we are public sector focused, um, a lot of times, [00:43:00] uh, if there is an incumbent, we can actually find out who it is, uh, uh, freedom information, especially when you get to counties and so forth, uh, those contracts are available.

    It takes some legwork, but if you can find out what the contract is, how much it was before, who was in, you can then really, um, guide your answers to differentiate yourself from the incumbent. Yes, there’s gonna be others, but the incumbent probably has the best chance to stay in. So you need to really differentiate yourself from the incumbent.

    So, um, if you can figure out who the incumbent is, that’s great. Doesn’t hurt to ask. The worst thing they can say is no. So I will always ask, you know, do you have someone using the system who’s using it? Sometimes they’ll answer it sometimes they won’t, but if you can figure out who it is, then you have a leg up because you can, you can, um, direct, uh, your responses to differentiate yourself from the incumbent.

    Uh, what was [00:44:00] be some of the points that, that the incumbent, the incumbent is just the person that’s currently in. Okay. That currently has the contact. So have a relationship with them as well. Sounds like what? No, no, not, not with them, but a relationship with whoever the buyer is. Right. So you have to know who you’re selling to.

    So like in my example, what would that job title be? Okay. Well, I do wanna move on. I do wanna move on very Gary that’s. My only question is what would their job title BES? I’m sorry. Thank you so much. What? Enthusiasm and all your Mohans. That’s awesome. Uh, Hey calling, I’ll just give you quick. Yeah, I’ll go.

    I’ll be quick. I love RFPs. I just think it’s an opportunity to, to demonstrate the difference in the marketplace. We have, uh, two government clients, both gained through RFP and, um, the key for us on that really is to at some point, get a chance for someone in the decision group to see what we’ve gotten, how it’s different.

    Um, but I just think it’s a great opportunity because I know clearly there’s a need and they, they need to, um, you know, move [00:45:00] systems or to renew a contract. I just love them cuz it gives you the opportunity and you’ve got an attentive audience. Yeah. Great, great. Let’s move on. Cause I know we’re running at a time.

    We got 15 minutes left. We got, um, five more people in the audience who have questions or comments. ACO. Am I pronouncing your name correctly? Yes. Hi. Yeah, go ahead. Do you have a question or a comment about this subscription businesses or a question for Peter and Gary and how they manage to actually do.

    Yeah. Thank you guys. Thank you for having me. I am a, a CPA from Canada. Um, I was interested in the, uh, the discussion because, uh, starting out, I provided accounting and tax services to startups and, uh, growing business. And then I felt the need [00:46:00] from my clients that they want, uh, somebody to talk to on a regular basis, not just, uh, compliance.

    So I started, um, the, the, me, it’s not a membership, it’s like a subscription. They know that they have access to a CPA when they need to, and we have, uh, regular calls. So now what I’m do I started doing is, um, I opened, uh, the, the opportunity to other CPAs who. Who shows the availability. Usually there are CPAs who are in industry.

    They don’t necessarily have a company, so they make themselves available through my company to help those, uh, businesses like on a regular basis is like a CFO service. [00:47:00] So, um, the question I have is, uh, like based on your experience in working with, uh, subscription based model, um, is that something you guys think we can scale?

    And also we’ve been talking to, uh, developers and see how we can streamline the advice we give to them. That means usually they give us financial statements and, uh, we give them advice from scratch. I’ve got comment on that. go ahead, Peter. Yeah, AKA. Um, so I want, you know, I just have a personal experience on that that, you know, when we first started, we started using accounting firm on a subscription basis.

    So for a fixed amount per month, um, this firm does our books and, you know, as we’ve grown that description’s increased, but modestly, um, but this person just [00:48:00] operates as if they’re a member of our team and, you know, we get what we need when we need it and we have a fixed cost. So it’s, um, for them it’s great because they are, they can apply their skills elsewhere as well.

    Um, gives them some flexibility and the owner of that business. Um, I know that he’s expanded his team to be able to support the growth of clients and support the growth of new subscribers, um, fairly significantly. So by my own experience, I’ve seen it and, and I would, I would Inc even. Even in traditional spaces like, uh, doctors, for instance.

    Yeah. Michele, you’ve had a little bit of, uh, exposure to this, um, through your sister, this idea of, you know, subscriptions for your doctor, I mean, or, or higher level access. Can you talk to that? Yeah. I mean, it’s really cool. Typically they refer to themselves as either a concierge service or a V I P service.

    And it works very well across professions. Um, specifically [00:49:00] for medical, you know, let’s just assume you have insurance, but if you, you know, many of these, you can pay just even as low as $5,000 a year or $2,500 a year, and you get, you know, very fast turnaround and first access to appointments. Um, you know, it can be immensely beneficial to particularly busy people, or if you’re in need of just, you know, quick healthcare all the time.

    So there is some very, um, interesting professional services for people that feel like they need that extra level of care in a faster turnaround. Thank you. Danish. Do you have a thought or a comment on this topic? Well, thank you for, um, letting me speak and great, uh, conversation. Um, I just, uh, want to share my experience and maybe, [00:50:00] um, I think I do have a question.

    Um, my son is calling me up. Maybe I’ll come back again. Oh, he’s gone. Sorry. Um, so, okay. Yeah, he’s coming. I’ll come back again. so, all right. Great then. Uh, are you okay? Yeah, it’s okay. Again, I just have a quick question. Um, the other side of the, uh, subscription part we are working on right now is, uh, machine learning.

    Uh, we are trying to streamline the work and see, uh, if the machine can help give them a diagnostic or consulting before the, the CPAs, uh, look at it, or it can only be that for the people who don’t wanna pay that much. Do you guys feel like that’s a viable solution? Well, it’s not only a viable solution. I invested in a company called Zue, which does exactly what you’re talking about and was actually thinking about inviting Lil Roberts on to the show.

    She’s done a number of [00:51:00] shows with us. She’s developed a platform, an AI platform that FinTech, that connects with your bank accounts and can actually do a lot of the work in advance. And then it’s cleaned up, you know, at, at, at, you know, it’s cleaned up after they do that, AI, that analysis of the bank accounts.

    So I think you’re onto something there. Check out Zendo type in, uh, AI accounting systems on Google. You’ll probably see a few models. I don’t know if anybody in Canada’s really killed it. And I think there might be an opportunity for you there, or maybe reach out to, uh, reach out to little Roberts. Maybe he can partner with her on, uh, on Zendo and bring it to Canada.

    I’m just gonna throw this in there real quickly. When I said I worked at Walter’s clear, I actually worked on very high end tax software and there absolutely is ACA, um, a place for that. And I think of it like, you know, what we used to call it was diagnostic reports, but for tax planning purposes and alerts, I think.

    [00:52:00] You’re onto something for sure. May I, can you say the name again? Zue Zue X, E N D O O. And Ron, we will get to you cuz you’re gonna be the, you’re gonna close our show. Ron, Ron. Really great to see you again, Ron. Exactly. Prepare yourself. Prepare yourself. Exactly. No press data. I know you were on the phone a minute ago.

    Are you able to talk now? Yeah, I’ll make it quick. So, uh, 10 years ago I started at a tech education platform. Uh, basically, um, uh, it was a membership, uh, type of platform in the beginning because we, I wasn’t, uh, like thinking about creating something, uh, like a subscription model. Uh, so the product that we have built is based on a community that, that kind of, uh, basically became pretty large, uh, online, like 70,000 members.

    So we created a product based on that. So I think. One other thing that I, I kind of heard that, yeah, these two are very [00:53:00] different. Uh, if you’re gonna go into specifics, but, uh, some platforms can use both at the same time for like, for example, ours. Yes. We have a membership run community, but we also use subscription insight that because of the services that we provide, so you can have a membership subscription, which is something that you guys can search around.

    So yes, this can happen, but you really have to understand your. Your customer, uh, and how, uh, uh, the retention is the, the biggest key right here, which let’s say for the past 10 years we’ve been providing tech education. So how can you retain, uh, certain customers because that is so, um, you know, specific to their career now.

    Um, and one of the things that I found that if your product, um, is not talking back or not, uh, providing something, um, like, you know, there’s an automation going on, then it’s super hard. In content creation, or we create labs for [00:54:00] systems, for people to learn skills. These are hands on labs using servers and technology.

    So if our product is not engaging our members, so first few years, we found a big drop in our, uh, subscribers, or you can say members. So a lot of people just dropped after first year because they felt like, okay, you know, what’s my next step. Um, there’s not, not too much going on. So we, we picked on it in the early stage that we have to make our product automated, where it has to go back to these members and, and not become such a labor and manual job for our team to, to get engaged because then you’re looking to invest so much in labor.

    Then your membership is not making too much sense because that break even is not happening. So once, once we did the automation, that is where we found a pretty big value in our own membership. And, and, and right now, uh, of course, then you can go to that other models where you can just totally go to the B2B where you can sell it to [00:55:00] a college because you have a full platform in your ownership.

    Now, my question to Gary is this, uh, this is a quick question, Gary. I know you were in the education space and I think I asked this in the chat too. Uh, what is your preferred method? If you don’t know a customer, I know you said that you want to make a connection with them and then things becomes easier, but let’s say you have like, there’s no connection, but you really want to get that B2B business.

    What is your preferred method or the method that is, that really worked for you in, in this business? Yeah, so, um, In fact, a lot of our customers, we initially didn’t have, um, any type of contact with. So, uh, the great thing is we do get a lot of referrals, which is great, but when we’re doing those, those cold contacts, um, I actually like to start with email, um, just with our space.

    We’re typically going after, uh, a health and safety person, a risk manager. [00:56:00] Um, these people are generally very busy, right? They’re they have a number of schools across their board and they’re dealing with emergencies, right? Like some kid fell, some teacher got hurt. Uh, some spill happened, so they’re running around typically like a chicken with their head cut off.

    So a lot of times if you call them, they kind of get annoyed. So I, I actually like to start with email. Um, and, and typically, um, they’re also a lot of followers. So once I get. A school board in a, in a state, I start using that and I’ll reach out and say, Hey X and Y school board just moved to our system.

    I’d love to talk to you and show you, uh, you know, uh, how we’re different and how we improved, what they’re doing. And sometimes you won’t get a response, be honest, many times you don’t, but that you kind of go back to them. And a lot of times I’ll just say, Hey, if you’ve [00:57:00] got an existing system, just let me know when it renews and I won’t bother you until then.

    A lot of times I get a response with that and they’ll come back and say, uh, you know, June 20, 24. Perfect. Now I know I’m gonna be contacting you six months before. Um, if I’m not getting something that way I I’ll, I may. The the board and say, Hey, I’m looking for, who’s responsible for safety data sheets.

    Cuz a lot of times I may think it’s the risk manager. Uh, but it’s not, it’s the, it’s the maintenance person or the custodian who in this board handles it. And a lot of times they’ll tell you and then I’ll, I’ll contact them and uh, and say, Hey, I was speaking to such and such and they, they gave me your name.

    So a lot of times you’re really just trying, you’re trying to get a response in some way. Right. And for me, if I get a response with a renewal date, that’s gold, right. That that’s gold because then I know when I should be bugging [00:58:00] them. Cause I’m bugging them two years before. They’re not interested.

    They’re gonna ignore you no matter how hard you try, but if I can make it easy to just say, Hey, just tell me what date and I won’t bug you till then a lot of times they come back to me. Thank you. That that was really that’s awesome. Awesome. Tip the second one. I really appreciate it. No problem. All right.

    We also have Ron, uh, GA Ron GA on stage here as well. I think you’re a bit of an expert at subscription models, raving fans. So Ron GAT, did you wanna, yeah, yeah, I wanna up with us. Yeah. First of all, I, I wanted to thank you, Collin Michele, Jeffrey, Gary, Peter Asia, Jasmine Ioco Danish, and bro sending flowers on this special Friday to Michele Asia, Jasmine and Ioco.

    And uh, yeah, I just, I have a, a comment and a, and a question, um, from my perspective, I, uh, uh, we [00:59:00] working on a, on a couple things. Uh, one is, uh, data as a service and I really appreciated how, uh, uh, Jasmine, uh, Indi indicated the differences and the difference, uh, the different business models. And I’m also, uh, working on a community, uh, let’s say, as a service or community platform.

    Uh, U utilizing, uh, no code and low code, uh, platforms such as bubble and software. Uh, and I, I wanted to indicate to a Yoko that right now you, you mentioned, uh, uh, you’re looking to add, uh, Uh, AI and, uh, machine learning. And you can, you can add that via no code and low, low code platforms as well. If you look it up, I’ll, I’ll help you around as well.

    But my question is as follows, uh, for the, for the NFD or artist side, uh, we’re looking to launch within the next month, uh, uh, a community platform, right? Uh, let you know, let’s call it, [01:00:00] uh, a connection platform where we don’t wanna monetize, meaning I don’t wanna charge artists and the community members.

    How would you, uh, think about monetizing, such a platform going forward where the, let’s say the initial end user. I, and I think Danish, maybe, I don’t know if you, if you, how, how you structured it when you began your, uh, membership, uh, platform, uh, subscription platform, uh, in terms of monetization. Uh, initially, uh, again, my, my, my, my current, uh, situation, I don’t wanna monetize them.

    Yeah, not too dissimilar to startup club. We have 850,000 members. Uh, it’s free and we don’t, you know, we don’t make a profit on this club, but we do want it to ensure it’s sustainable. Does anybody here maybe Danish or, uh, someone on the panel wanna talk to this one? Jeff? Yeah. Colin, one way I’ve seen, um, free membership communities monetize is with [01:01:00] events.

    So I’ve been a member of several groups where the membership is free, but you know, every quarter they might have an event that’s only available to members. So there’s some exclusivity to the event, but then they do charge for the event. And so they can monetize, um, through the events yet still maintain, um, membership and many year long membership benefits that are free to those members.

    And then only those members who want to participate in the events can pay for the events. And I know we had Proctor and gamble and QuickBook sponsor startup club. So we’re looking for more sponsors for startup club, because if you have the members and you can get the message out, sponsorship will follow.

    I think I will agree with Jeffrey in this case when we started our community, uh, because there was a need. So we started from just basic YouTube. Um, that was one of the best for us. So then we converted that YouTube community into a free membership [01:02:00] on the website. Then that’s where we started adding more, uh, more values to, uh, you know, those same members because YouTube people will get distracted on the website.

    We told people that, look, you, you cannot get distracted with this. But when we created so much that we started to, uh, you know, uh, pay a lot of money even just to maintain our website because we were doing. Development, not just, uh, uh, putting content on the website, but we’re actually creating a whole LMS system for free.

    And that’s where the, the, the community found a very big value into us that look, you guys are real for many years, we’ve been doing that and we straight up reached out to the same community and say, uh, look without money. We just cannot achieve the, the bigger goal because we really wanna take this education, this technical skills education into colleges.

    So would you help us in doing that? And we were pretty much transparent into that. Every single thing that we have done in this platform for 10 years, we, we, we will even show our maps of development of this is how we [01:03:00] develop this product. And this is what the, the outcome of this. So our members became kind of like a mission driving force behind us, where.

    College is approaching us without zero marketing, a college approach to us and say, Hey, we need your help. And that is why I asked Gary that we are at the position where now we are in more of the corporate side. So now we are going into that. Hey, now let’s go ahead and go for that. Uh, you know, our own way of marketing, because we already got a lot in our back to show that we can do a lot of changes.

    So that’s how we started Ron. Uh, it takes a lot of time to build a community, I would say because it’s like a brand. It it’s like if you don’t have that reviews, you don’t, if you don’t have that, uh, outcome where people are gonna be, um, uh, you know, watching for you then. Yeah, it’s pretty hard to, uh, run something like that.

    But I, I mean, everybody have a different way to do this. That’s awesome. As promised Ron you’re you’re the last, you’re gonna close it out. Ah, second, the second run. [01:04:00] Take it away, Ron. Thank you. I wanted to comment on the approach. That’s most attractive to me right now. I’m very struck by how, if you give people something free, a massive free sample.

    Uh, I wanna take that to the limit. All, all my ventures have been learning since one part or another. And let me re let me relate this free sample approach to what Jeffrey was talking about. Jeffrey, the subscriptions you refer to of coffee and socks. There’s a significant variable cost there to deliver the coffee and the socks, but in a learning system, once you build a learning system online, you could add a million people at essentially no cost.

    So what would be the ideal [01:05:00] subscription plan there? I think it’s the following. I’m about to try this out with a couple of the ventures that I’ve invested in and that I’m mentoring and building. We’re going to offer the services free indefinitely, not just at trial month, but for as long as the person wants to use it free, we’re going to make the fairness argument that at some point when they find that the profitability to them has gotten so outlandish that they don’t feel right not paying for it anymore, that they then start to pay a monthly subscription.

    I think it’s the massive free sample of all time. I, I believe in it. Why shouldn’t, why shouldn’t you prove your value before someone starts paying and then as many people as want to, because [01:06:00] there’s no cost of goods. As in Jeffrey socks and coffee, and many people as want to can try, they can use it as long as they want.

    It’s not a burden on the company. And then if it is massively powerful, they’ll start paying. That’s the model I’m about to play with. I, I don’t know that anybody’s doing and I’d be very interested in anybody. Right. I have one, one comment. Yeah. Yeah, no, I, I think it’s really interesting. You’re you’re right on that far spectrum of something that we, you know, we’re really starting to work on is like the notion of product, like growth, you know, it’s like, prove the value first, then ask for the money.

    Um, you know, yeah. So, you know, try versus demo and all this stuff, there’s been all sorts of stuff online. I’ve been reading up on it recently. Lots of companies are driving it. Um, so, you know, good luck, you know, like, you know, people being willing to pay when you don’t force it. Um, I don’t, I don’t know how that’ll work.

    It’ll be interesting to see, but [01:07:00] I’m a big believer in this whole notion of give them value before you demand them, pay your money. So very, I agree with you, Peter, Ron, the one suggestion I would make, I love the idea, but I would set it up right up front so people know because if you wait. Give it free for us.

    And then try to introduce idea. Now, if you like, what it, please pay us. I would start right from day one saying this is free, but it’s a donation based as you find value, please pay us what you think it’s worth. And I think it was Radiohead. Um, I might be wrong, but who put out an album like that, they put out an album, the downloads are free.

    And they basically said, pay us whatever you want. Um, for this album, some people paid nothing. Some people paid $5. Some people paid $500. Um, indeed. But if you didn’t say that up front more people would just take it for free and never switch over to that donation. Cuz the hardest jump in, in business is going from zero to a [01:08:00] dollar from, from free to paying anything.

    Yeah. Yeah. And I almost wonder, like if you look at Wikipedia and sort of their experience, you know, like they rely on donations, you never expected to pay, but you, if you get a lot of value of it, which you know, we all do, um, Maybe 50 bucks here and there is worth it to make sure that stays as a vibrant community.

    Indeed. Very interesting. Well, you’ve given us a lot of food for thought Ron, on startup club because you know, we are in that mode as well. This has been an incredible hour, but I don’t know about you, Peter, Gary, Jeff, Michele. I feel like we didn’t cover the cost of building the SaaS platform and investment investors and investment, you know, setting up that investor, uh, communication about the, the, the number of years it takes to break even.

    And I feel like we had only covered half the topic and I don’t know Michele is possible to [01:09:00] do another show next week, or I don’t know if we have, or do we have that booked. Michele. Um, I think we should jump right in there and set up to continue this conversation next week. Absolutely. Yeah. And, and get more into the nitty gritty about building the platform.

    So let’s do that. I don’t know Gary and Peter if you’re available, but if you are, that would be great. And Ron and Ron and Danish and all your JE and ACO and Asia, you’re all welcome back next week as well to come on stage and let’s, let’s finish the story. Let’s see if we can’t figure it out because I’ll tell you this.

    It’s not easy, uh, to build a software platform, it could cost millions of dollars, but I know that Peter and Gary figured out ways to do it, that doesn’t cost millions of dollars. And, uh, it’s a very challenging business, but when you get it, ultimately it generates huge wealth. Uh, when you actually sell it one day and we should talk about that more next week as well.

    So thank you very much for being [01:10:00] on the serial entrepreneur club hour. If you don’t already know this, we are a podcast as well now. And you can go to your favorite podcast, channel and search for serial entrepreneur club. Feel free to share this room, uh, on the recording or check out the podcast and leave us a nice review.

    If you felt you got value, thank you very much. And everyone on stage really appreciate it really shows you the community of clubhouse and what, when you come together, how you can really ideate and come up with some pretty cool thoughts. Thanks everyone. Yeah. Thank you. Have a wonderful weekend. Be well, appreciate, appreciate everybody, everybody.

    Thank you. Bye everyone. Thank you. Well then moderators.[01:11:00] 

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