Mental models, convicted entrepreneur, email flights

Listen to… find cheap flights for 1.5 million subscribers, understand mental models and learn from a 5 time founder with a record.

Police chase to entrepreneur

From a convict to 5-time SaaS entrepreneur: the story of Dan Martell
44 mins

When a guest on a podcast starts his origin story talking about being high, drunk driving and chased by the police with a handgun in his bag, you know it’s worth a listen.

Dan Martell is a driven entrepreneur who, after turning his life around, has gone on to found 5 companies and successfully exit from 3 of them. 

In this interview on the SaaS Revolution Show, Dan shares his journey from almost game over to successful, in demand, coach for SaaS founders.

3 lessons…

  • The inspiration for Clarity.fm (most recent exit) came from solving his own problem – setting up a way to automatically contact people who were looking to him for advice. It’s a theme that comes up over and over, the seed of the idea comes from a real problem that the founder has.
  • Who not how. Connecting with the right people will make the difference in your business. “You get in a room of other peers and a lot of heavy lifting takes care of itself”. But you have to do this consistently.
  • Create assets in the business e.g. a blog. If you’ve got a firehose of traffic coming at you, you can point it at anything. 37 Signals / Basecamp had a blog with 50k uniques per month before they launched a SaaS. It makes it a lot easier to get the first revenue and feedback.


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Getting rich off cheap flights

Coffee Shop To 1.5 Million Subscribers For This Side Hustle
35 mins

Scott Keyes is the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights – an email alert for, not surprisingly, cheap flights. But not a tiny discount. Huge once in a lifetime discounts for those dream trips.

He started the service as a business in 2015 (previously doing it for friends and friends of friends) and today has 1.5 million subscribers and makes over $4M annual revenue with a team of 30 people.

Want  to know how a simple email got so big? This Hustle to Freedom interview tells all.

3 lessons…

  • Again, it’s a business that was solving the founders own problem. Scott was searching for cheap flights for himself because he couldn’t afford to pay full price to travel. Turns out that a lot of people don’t want to pay full price and don’t have the knowledge of how to search for discounted flights.
  • He went very low cost at the beginning because he wanted to test whether people would pull out their credit cards and go from free to premium. This got his first premium subscribers, confirmed product market fit and generated cash to invest in the product.
  • They don’t push premium right from when someone signs up. They encourage them to stay on the free newsletter so they can get a feel for what they are going to get. Builds a relationship with the customer before they start paying and reduces churn.


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Mental models

Charlie Munger’s Mental Models
26 mins

I’ve seen a few posts about mental models recently but not spent the time to dive down the rabbit hole. This article has been on my reading list forever.

When I saw this podcast from Rocketship.fm, I thought I’d see what all the *hype* is about.

Interesting stuff. They take excerpts from a Charlie Munger speech back in the 90’s and explain how to use a handful of his mental models.

And if Charlier Munger isn’t a familiar name to you, he’s Warren Buffett’s business partner.

3 lessons…

  • Mental models are concepts to simplify the world around you. Things proven to be true in the way the world works.
  • When you understand a mental model, you can use it to try and take the bias out of your thinking. It allows you to take a step back and see the world through a different lens / perspective.
  • We get persuaded by marketers using these models. And we can use them ourselves to do the persuading. But use them for good, not evil 😄


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If it’s something you want to know more about, Rocketship.fm released a second podcast on the topic called Mental Models for Product Managers

I also believe they’re planning another one for leaders.

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