Daily Standup 10
- All-In Podcast E78 reaction
- Creating high-quality monthly update emails
#allinpodcast #davidsacks #jasoncalacanis #davidfriedberg #chamathpalihapitiya #chamath #monthlyupdateemails #emailmarketing #investoremails #canadastartup
Hey good morning Tyler Bryden here making my way through my first cup of Chai. It’s a Sunday. I took a day off yesterday. I felt guilt. I felt shame, but it was well deserved and and I did. Some art did some stuff around the house. Maybe one day the art that I did yesterday will graduate upon this art wall. It’s getting better, but that’s a pretty low baseline of quality and jumping back into the daily standups. This is the daily standup #10 I’m still struggling with the name. Still figuring out the best way to do this, but I am enjoying it and really appreciate all the feedback. I had a bunch of topics that I want to talk about today, but I think there’s two things that I’m going to jump into and make sure I cover. One might be a little bit more in depth in this pretty timely for anyone here, and I’ll put that one second, but is really how do you prepare a successful monthly update today I’m looking specifically at an email that would go to supporters or possible investors. People who are following a long journey, even like grant government, granting agencies things like that. There is definitely room in space for this to have an email or a version of this.
Email to your product users if you have a software product or any type of product, but I’ll focus specifically on the on the supporters one and then the other piece that I wanted to jump into without feeling like a fan boy, you know I got to do a better job here, but I really do enjoy these all in podcasts and my partner and I. We look forward to them every week. We watch someone Saturday. They are a little dark sometimes, not not in a bad way. Just a very open transparent view from some people. Who are closely following what’s happening in the world and a couple of things that really stuck out to me from this episode. So far this image started to trend and it was basically what’s happening on the NASDAQ, and so some pretty stark percentages here are 45% down 5022 percent, 70 down 75.
5% of stocks down 90%. So only comparison periods is sortofthe.com bubble and then the housing crisis of 08. That’s basically the crash levels that they’ve seen. I did have it to read somewhere from sacks who said, you know, did anyone notice that we’re entering a recession? So based off that discussion, the the feeling the feedback is that we are almost we’re on the the edge of a recession. Slash we’re in one right now and there was some other stats and some.
Besides that they shared through this through this episode that we’re really, I mean, really insightful and pretty pretty clear that there are some challenges ahead here. What does the Fed do? They can’t. They’re really while inflation is still climbing and it’s still high, it’s going to be very difficult to raise interest rates while the you know growth is stagnating and we are entering a recession. And that will just trigger more damage. So fantastic episode, they went pretty in deep. The one other part that they talked about, which I thought was.
An excellent section was on basically student loan forgiveness and and not just student loan forgiveness but just education as a whole and this is something that I’ve wrestled with a lot. I was on this. I would say this edge of. Going to university, which felt very important, like it felt like the the cultural agenda around it was that if you didn’t go to university, you were relegated as dumb. And that’s a horrible simplification. But that was the way that people made you feel. And so I think it was in this generation where I almost felt like as a kid and they talked about this, the age that you are at when you don’t really have this understanding of what you’re about to do, that I had to go to university, and I even had an opportunity to go to a split.
University College program that would have given me a lot more practical hands on skill set and I chose to go to university only because I felt that that was required. I felt that that was a better path to success, and in that I found a bunch of theoretical, mostly unpractical education, which then I ended up going to do some education at college to get the more practical hands on skill set anyway. So what should have took four years took six years. And left you with student debt with less time to get into the market. From a career success standpoint and all these other ramifications and consequences. And obviously this is something when talked about in the United States. Huge levels of debt that are taken for programs that could be not taking you down a path of more wealth creation or income generation. So you have $200,000 and the joke they made. The example they made is talking about. Obviously someone in philosophy or Fine Arts or something like that.
But this idea that you are getting educated that these universities these education institutions are sort of their profit. They’re profiting off this system and it just because you’re going through that system doesn’t mean that you’re going to increase your income and ever be able to pay back your your loan. What you’re doing, and you’re not living your life. 1015 years in debt. Paying that off and that’s affecting every decision every day of your life. And those talks about student loan forgiveness. How does this impact?
People, it’s a small minority of the population that that will give relief to, and there’s now a lot of other parts of the population that are then isolated. Who who went to trade schools and got good jobs. They didn’t get anything forgiven or people who had just paid off all their loans, so there’s a lot of challenges with this, and it was a fascinating discussion, and I think a lot of interconnected parts of why this bill and why student loan forgiveness is a topic right now and why. Why maybe Democrats and they’re pushing this through thinking that this is going to give them more votes because it’s impacting specifically a big group of their audience. A big group of their people who are voting for them, but that more challenges may arise from this. So they talked about a lot more on this this episode, but very fascinating ones worthwhile checking out. And you know, I’m looking for friends to discuss this stuff, because I’m I really enjoy the lessons there, and I learned a lot so.
Second part that I wanted to talk about. I am not good at a lot of things in my life. And communication is one that I I try to do my best at and one of the things I’ve just had to do over this sort of journey at PKI is produce monthly updates, and this is an initiative that I took upon myself. I originally had started with quarterly updates and I would make these longer ones and it would be a Google doc that we put together export to PDF dump dump into a doc send, do a quick preview through email and then I would if anyone wanted to click open that link and view the. Review the document they cut and docs. I’m really cool in that regards because it was allowing me to see what pages people were interacting with. All these great pieces here and and then there was a moment and I’m not sure exactly what the trigger was where I said can I do more shortened condensed versions that I could then disperse every month and and get the rhythm up of communication and and I? I played around with a bunch of templates. What was really nice as some of the people in the audience, the audience, or who are receiving these emails.
Gave me feedback. Positive feedback, not necessarily negative feedback, but things to correct and ways to optimize this for success and again, successes. Defined in many ways, so mine is that the overall there’s good feet. Overall, there’s good feedback. There’s people who have seen the consistency who then reach out to support. I’d still say there’s more that should be done and like from my perspective, triggers for fundraising and things like that haven’t been as successful, but it’s put me in a place where there is trust that that we have worked hard to build something on an ongoing basis. There is progress. There is a trajectory there, and those things all add up to when you go and do those.
He says, well, it’s fundraising, or, you know, reaching out to someone who’s a supporter for an introduction. They know that there’s consistency. There’s hard effort going into this and that they can trust that they can. They can make that introduction or whatever it is and not have it be a big risk. And so just a quick look at this. And again, these are not. This is not a perfect.
Monthly email, but it’s one that has been refined over several almost two almost two years of doing it and with with some feedback, and this one was a little bit longer than I would actually do, but just take a quick look at the structure here. I think first of all, it’s just always a thank you. The reason you know if you’ve made it this far. There are a lot of people who have helped you get there, so it might be a bit redundant. I might be wasting people’s time with a couple first sentences here, but overall I do like to include.
This and just to thank you, we really do. It means a lot and and then jump into. Basically what I say is a summary of March and it’s to help people keep track of progress. Obviously there is this idea of a subject line to even get an open like is this worth my time? I’m a busy person, especially yet maybe at the start of the month, you know is this? Is this worth me reading it? So try to print a standardized structure with the March report, a little emoji or something that represents maybe that month or something that happened that month and then generally.
Three points with something that’s a little exciting. Maybe at the end there and those have changed in all different variations. This one was email was specifically very image heavy and a little bit longer because I have been doing even shorter versions, but generally the same framework. Apply so there is a an image here that shows this is basically speak apps user sign up, so make sure if you do any graphs they are labeled properly and then we just do three points from traction. So we look at 516 new users and then we show if that’s an up or down percentage growth. So month over month comparison or time period comparison adds a lot of context for people who are reviewing this and then also software revenue. So we have two buckets. One of them is software revenue alone and we want to see obviously that increasing. So we show that.
This increase and then the actual software MRR as well too, and generally MRR are very important metrics for people who are more from an investor perspective and and the other insight that we’ve been told is to label that in USD. So maybe you know for us we’re Canadian. We’re sharing this with a lot of Canadian people, but overall USD is a nice way to standardize that we’re charging an USD and and. And if you’re going to raise money, most likely you then interacting with American firms. Couple other pieces and we split this up into different ways, but is then sort of this idea of an update section and depending on how many things have gone on, we’ll split that into business updates and then product updates and you can see it gets pretty detailed in that part. But what I like to do is break it into bullet points and then put any relevant links. Try to make those as punchy as possible, and make sure that they again fit in one sentence, even in almost like a mobile view, at least in the desktop view, so it’s easy to read.
I don’t want to see big long sentences trailing off or I think other other ways you know otherwise. People just gonna gloss over it and not look at it and then product updates. You can’t see it here, but this is a moving GIF so a little bit of animation that’s embedded in a couple product updates. These don’t need to be massive updates every single time they can be small things, but if they accumulate over time you can see that there’s progress every month and that this is making an impact on the success and you know just the value of your. Of your product and then a couple of last pieces that we put into this are just like what’s next and this one got a little long. Got a little crazy and this one, but I think what you’re trying to show here is that this is not the end. Product development is not done. Business development is not done. The company is not done. You have things that are in the pipeline that you’re working on that you’re excited about. Hopefully that have been validated by customers and these things are going to increase the value of your product of your company of your customer offering and will continue to drive.
Growth and hit some of these metrics and generally on these metrics keep them consistent. I stack highest percentages and then to lowest percentages. There’s a couple ways that all do different metrics depending on the month, but I I I don’t even like that about myself. I would prefer to be standardized so people can track and follow and then again show that month over month growth and then I just have one last section which is. How can you contribute? So introducing us to great customers lead colleague seed rounds and then we link the slide deck so we get lots of people. Click on that every month. Maybe they’re small updates to the slide deck. Maybe they’re maybe they’re big, whatever the docs and link is there.
Connect us with talented researchers, marketers. So a more of a specific ask about customer acquisition and then sharing feedback. And I would say one thing that I’ve seen from this is that it would be better to. Go even more precise with the asks here because we have a more general purpose. Ask and now that we’ve done these emails a bunch of times, it almost seems repeated, and I think when it is repeated that you don’t get the same uptake or people don’t say I can help with this. So if you want to go as specific as you know we’re looking to break into Finland and we need help with tax law there, that’s very specific, and an intro might be made that is more relevant and helpful than something that we’re getting right now, which is more general.
Purpose and people feel a little bit, maybe not as helpful as they want to. And lastly, I would just say it’s an honor to return the support. Send me a note. Use my calendly. I’d like to say like.
Either option because some people get offended by county links, but overall it streamlines the experience if they want to jump on a call. I’ve got my county nicely booked, so if someone jumps in they’re never going to annoy me. I’m excited to meet with them. I’ve given them the the confidence to ask and and and book that call, and then we jump in and we have a good conversation. Thanks again and then a little note at the very end so I do have this running through active campaign. There is an unsubscribe link which is part of what you should be doing and.
Overall, if people unsubscribe, that’s good. They’re churning from the audience. They’re not interested, and that’s that’s perfectly OK. So that is a bit of how I look at monthly update emails and preparing 1 right now. So that’s why I’m doing this here today, and I hope that by going through this give you a little bit of insight into how to create one. A little bit of structure and a template. And if you’re you’re interested, you can jump on ours and follow along. And if you have any questions around your monthly updates, please feel encouraged to send me a message.
Thank you so much. It’s been Tyler ride.