Info

Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders

Revealing conversations with the leading creators of our time. From proven entrepreneurs building the companies of the future, to non-profit founders creating change and the artists shaping our culture - we go beyond the surface to find the nuance in what it takes to turn your ideas, into action.
RSS Feed Subscribe in Apple Podcasts
Creator Lab - interviews with entrepreneurs and startup founders
2022
September
August
July
June
May
April


2021
December
November
August
June
May
April
March
February
January


2020
December
November
October
September
August
January


2019
September
August
July
June
April
March
February


2018
December
October


2017
December
November
September
May
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August


Categories

All Episodes
Archives
Categories
Now displaying: March, 2021
Mar 25, 2021

Alex Lieberman is the co-founder & CEO of Morning Brew. They're a leading new media startup with over 2.7mil newsletter subscribers, making them one of the largest daily newsletters around.

Alex & his co-founder sold a majority stake in the business to Insider Inc for a reported $75mil in Oct 2020.

After listening to this conversation, you'll understand:

  • growing from a newsletter to a full-on media business
  • 3 step audience funnel: rented, owned + monetized
  • hub + spoke model
  • how they got their first 1000 subscribers by doing things that don't scale
  • growth stages: from 1k to 10k, 100k and 1mil+ subscribers
  • how to grow through email swaps, paid ads + partnerships
  • a framework to reinvent old formats like Shark Tank or QVC

Let us know what you think on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/bzaidi
https://twitter.com/businessbarista

Watch with visuals referenced on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/12KYBLPvEIg

Timestamps:

  • 0:00:00 - Preview + What You’ll Learn
  • 0:02:17 - Sponsor Break
  • 0:03:08 - Interview Start
  • 0:03:44 - Grandma Likes Morning Brew
  • 0:04:59 - Growing From Newsletter To Media Brand
  • 0:07:23 - Acquired For Reported $75mil By Insider Inc
  • 0:08:21 - Scale of Morning Brew: 2.7mil subscribers
  • 0:11:28 - Audience Building Done Well
  • 0:14:02 - Audience Funnel: Rented, Owned, Monetized
  • 0:17:39 - “Who Is This NOT For?”
  • 0:21:47 - Audience ≠ Distribution
  • 0:25:25 - Unwritten Contract With An Audience
  • 0:26:27 - Focus vs Breadth of Interests
  • 0:29:05 - Ask Yourself Why 3x
  • 0:33:14 - Hub & Spoke Model For Audience
  • 0:38:23 - Getting First 1000 Subscribers + Growing Through Referrals
  • 0:41:10 - Stages of Growth From 1k to 100k to 1mil
  • 0:43:42 - When To Grow Through Paid Ads
  • 0:47:20 - Growing Through E-Mail Swaps + Paid Ads
  • 0:49:28 - Programmatic E-Mail Ads
  • 0:50:43 - Snapchat Ads, YouTube Influencers + Channels That Worked
  • 0:53:23 - Cross Promotion + Strategic Partnerships
  • 0:55:59 - Signals Of Consumer Intent From E-Mail Clicks
  • 1:00:13 - Multimedia + How To Grow A Podcast
  • 1:02:11 - Re-Inventing What Worked In Legacy Media Business
  • 1:05:05 - Macro + Micro Of Promotion
  • 1:08:07 - 3 Types Of Content That Work Well For Podcast
  • 1:08:38 - Timely News Hooks
  • 1:10:26 - Evergreen “Service Content” - Solve Problem or Passion
  • 1:13:35 - Vulnerable Content + Imposter Syndrome
  • 1:19:04 - Future Of Monetization
  • 1:24:14 - Talent vs Learned Skill
  • 1:26:00 - Jay-Z, Mr. Beast + Ownership
  • 1:30:03 - Building A Writing Habit + Ship 30 For 30
  • 1:32:13 - Accountability
  • 1:35:11 - Business Idea: Shark Tank For The Digital Age
  • 1:39:09 - Re-inventing old formats: QVC + who wants to be a millionaire
  • 1:42:51 - Dealing With Bad Times + His Dad’s Loss
  • 1:48:01 - Survivor Guilt

Thank you to our sponsors:

Space - the easiest way to engage your team over audio:
http://www.JoinSpace.co

Micro Acquire - the largest startup acquisition marketplace, join 50k+ others and buy or sell your startup:
http://www.microacquire.com

Mar 18, 2021

Dru Riley is the founder of Trends.vc, a community + newsletter that helps 35,000 entrepreneurs discover new markets + ideas.

Trends makes tens of thousands of dollars/month in subscription revenue + was ranked "Product of The Month" on Product Hunt.

In this conversation you'll learn about:

– the meta-trends behind what Dru writes about, the things that don't change, after studying the things that do change

– democratization, positive-sum networks + fractional ownership

– trends he's excited about including: DeFi (decentralized finance) + DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations) and NFTs (non-fungible tokens)

– the 80/20 of his research + editing process, including how he processed 172 podcasts for 1 recent report

– we go behind the mind & discuss some of his rules for life, we touch on incentives, stories + courage

Let us know what you think on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/bzaidi
https://twitter.com/DruRly

Watch on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/q5rdqLzy-Gw

Timestamps:

  • 0:00:00 - Preview
  • 0:02:46 - Intro To Dru + Trends
  • 0:04:57 - Scale of Trends
  • 0:05:39 - Software Engineering Background + Knowing When To Leave
  • 0:08:14 - Starting Books In The Middle
  • 0:11:46 - Making First $15 after saving up $250k
  • 0:21:00 - Rejecting An Offer Of Investment
  • 0:22:22 - Decision Dilution + Stakeholder Types
  • 0:25:14 - Content vs Trust Treadmill
  • 0:26:01 - Refining Like A Standup Comedian
  • 0:28:34 - Signals To Look For In Feedback
  • 0:31:37 - Meta-trends
  • 0:33:45 - Democratization
  • 0:36:18 - Ability To Build Smaller
  • 0:38:06 - Coders vs Builders - “Code Is Being Commoditized”
  • 0:40:57 - Decentralization
  • 0:43:06 - Positive Sum Networks
  • 0:45:26 - What are DAOs (decentralized autonomous orgs)
  • 0:46:53 - Fractional Ownership
  • 0:48:45 - NFTs
  • 0:51:41 - Direct To Consumer
  • 0:52:44 - Research + Writing Process
  • 0:54:57 - Processing 172 Podcasts
  • 0:59:10 - Podcast Speed + Dopamine Hits
  • 1:02:15 - Edit - “How Many, How Much”
  • 1:03:52 - Filtering Feedback
  • 1:05:49 - Constraints
  • 1:08:34 - Starting From Scratch Today
  • 1:11:37 - Behind The Mind - 100 Rules To Live By
  • 1:12:15 - Hard choices easy life. Easy choices hard life.
  • 1:13:05 - Think Grey, Not Black + White - Annie Duke
  • 1:14:09 - Stories vs Insight
  • 1:16:59 - Incentives
  • 1:17:56 - “Life Is Short, Not Fair”
  • 1:19:27 - Don’t Try To Change Someone’s Worldview
  • 1:21:20 - “It’s Not About The Bag”
  • 1:23:24 - Memento Mori
  • 1:24:29 - Life Is Not Baseball - Play Asymmetric Games
  • 1:25:23 - Courage

Thank you to our sponsors:

Space - the easiest way to engage your team over audio:
http://www.JoinSpace.co

Micro Acquire - the largest startup acquisition marketplace, join 50k+ others and buy or sell your startup:
http://www.microacquire.com

Mar 11, 2021

Lexi Lewtan the founder of Centered, where she's building the Masterclass for Mental Health.

Previously she ran operations for AngelList's Talent Platform, scaling it from zero to $20m
in revenue.

She has a deep background in the startup world, previously working at Hired & betaworks.

In this conversation you'll learn:

  • lessons in recruiting & the 80/20 of hiring
  • the business model behind AngelList Talent & Hired
  • tools to help you deal with focus, anxiety, depression & work stress
  • the difference between CBT & DBT
  • why depression feels like playing life on "hard mode"

Let us know what you think on Twitter, I'm @bzaidi and she's @lexilewtan

Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Preview
  • 00:02:12 Lexi Intro – Betaworks, Hired, AngelList, Centered
  • 00:03:36 Hired Raised $150mil – What Went Wrong?
  • 00:07:23 Moving to AngelList
  • 00:09:34 Superpower
  • 00:12:24 Experiments at AngelList
  • 00:15:50 Hiring Pricing Model – 15% of salary vs flat fee
  • 00:21:30 Lessons In Recruiting
  • 00:23:54 Scraping & Growth Hacking
  • 00:26:57 80/20 Of Recruiting
  • 00:29:35 Advice To New Grads
  • 00:33:46 Centered Origin Story
  • 00:35:57 CBT vs DBT
  • 00:40:17 Tools For Mental Health
  • 00:42:54 Focus: Planned Obsolescence
  • 00:44:45 Motivation + Values
  • 00:48:04 Tool for managing anxiety – “shut the door”
  • 00:49:28 Managing Depression
  • 00:51:00 Inner Child Exercises
  • 00:53:37 Journaling
  • 00:56:08 “Life Becomes Hard Mode” - Defining Depression
  • 00:59:55 Future Of Mental Health

Thank you to our sponsors:

Space - the easiest way to engage your team over audio:
http://www.JoinSpace.co

Micro Acquire - the largest startup acquisition marketplace, join 50k+ others and buy or sell your startup:
http://www.microacquire.com

Mar 4, 2021

Jake Gibson is the co-founder of NerdWallet & Founding Partner at Better Tomorrow Ventures, a $75mil venture fund, investing in the future of Fintech alongside Sheel Mohnot.

He's been involved in fintech for over a decade. Prior to NerdWallet, he studied math and quantitative finance at MIT and traded interest rate derivatives at JPMorgan.

Let us know what you think on Twitter: @bzaidi & @iamjakestream

Full video with timestamps on YouTube:
https://youtu.be/s-Tcuootl7s

In this conversation we discuss:

  • NerdWallet's business model + growing to a $500mil+ valuation
  • the transition from founder to investor + the 80/20 of investing
  • mental models to figure out your next step
  • why "everything is fintech" + examples of this thesis
  • DeFi, NFTs, stock market highs & ideas from a global fintech market

Timestamps:

  • 00:00:00 Preview
  • 00:02:20 Intro To Jake + Nerdwallet
  • 00:06:57 Nerdwallet Deep Dive + $500mil Valuation
  • 00:15:02 Opportunity: Nerdwallet Model In Other Verticals
  • 00:18:40 Audience First Business in 2021
  • 00:22:24 Trend: Audience Business Selling To Software Companies
  • 00:26:09 Founder To Investor
  • 00:31:12 Mental Model For Thinking About Next Step
  • 00:35:29 "I want to be rich" - more context
  • 00:39:48 Finding Motivation In Struggles
  • 00:42:43 Role of Luck, Golden Handcuffs + Lifestyle Creep
  • 00:48:51 80/20 of investing
  • 00:51:31 "Everything Is Fintech" - Raising A $75mil Fund
  • 00:56:04 Starting A Neo Bank
  • 00:57:48 Fintech Opportunity In Ridesharing, Tesla & Airbnb
  • 01:02:37 Facebook + Whatsapp Payments
  • 01:03:06 Asia Market + WeChat Model
  • 01:05:24 Problem vs Product…Verb vs Noun
  • 01:10:54 Jake's Take on DeFi
  • 01:16:40 NFTs + NBA Top Shots
  • 01:20:59 Tesla's Balance Sheet
  • 01:23:00 Elon + Chamath: Meme Masters
  • 01:23:19 Global Market Ideas
  • 01:29:09 Why Do We Have Stock Market Highs?
  • 01:31:54 Investing Advice To A 25yr Old
1