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Newsletter business, EdTech software & Clay Collins


I’m excited to share the first edition of the Startup Remix newsletter with you. And I’ve got some great podcasts to share on this fine Monday (well, it’s fine where I am).

If you have any feedback, good or bad, let me know. Just hit reply. This is the first email so I know it’s going to be a little rough around the edges.

3 podcasts you need to listen to this week…

Happy listening

Email newsletter with 7 million subscribers

Foundr Podcast: 220: Building Community as the Foundation for a Successful Content Business
30 mins

What’s it about?

Nathan Chan interviews the theSkimm founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg on their journey from two friends with laptops to a 70+ employee company.

If you haven’t heard of theSkimm it’s daily email newsletter aimed at giving female millennials the most important stories of the day. In an easy to read, informal and informative style.

And they have 7 million daily subscribers (!)

Why should you listen?

Because it’s impressive how something so simple got so big (and keeps growing). Anyone could follow the same business model in almost any market.

And proof of that is a number of other email newsletter businesses that are doing a similar thing, and acquiring massive audiences (the Hustle 1 million subscribers, Morning Brew approx 600K subscribers).

With very little startup costs you could do something similar.

3 lessons…

  • Choose what to focus on based upon what you’re good at – in theSkimm’s case it was grow the audience and build the brand over monetize the product.
  • Understand how your product fits into the daily routines of your subscribers and double down on that.
  • If you’re going into the content business, plan for differentiated revenue streams

Episode page


For the origin story of another successful daily newsletter, go check out this interview with Alex Lieberman, founder of the Morning Brew email newsletter.

Focus for growth

Journey to 7 Figures: The 5 Laws of Setting Up a 7-Figure SaaS Business
39 mins

What’s it about?

Great interview with Clay Collins, the founder of the landing page software company Leadpages. He took the company from zero to 48,000 paying customers and 175 employees.

And it all started from a community he built around a blog.

He shares how he did it and what he’d do differently.

Why should you listen?

I’ve listened to a few interviews with Clay and every time he delivers strategies and tactics you can use in your startup, today. Doesn’t matter if it’s a SaaS, a physical product or a service (although there is a leaning towards SaaS in this interview).

You’ll finish this episode with something you can implement.

3 lessons…

  • Follow the rule of 5 ones to keep growth focused. ONE product, ONE persona, ONE traffic source, ONE conversion mechanism, ONE year of focus on this combination
  • If you can’t get someone to join your community, what makes you think you’re going to be able to sell anything to them?
  • Before you build a product, build a community and interact with it. “Building a community first allows you to get acquainted with the important players in the space”

Episode page

An EdTech gameplan

The SaaS Podcast: 190 How a Non Technical Founder Built a SaaS Company with 12,000 Users
53 mins

What’s it about?

Omer Khan interviews Lindy Ledohowski about her journey to bring an academic writing software tool, EssayJack to market.

Lindy is a professor and former teacher and had no skills to build the software product that she envisioned would change the way students wrote essays.

But she still did it and this interview is a clear and detailed account of how she did it.

Why should you listen?

If you have any thoughts on going into the EdTech sector (or already there) then out of this episode you could build a framework that will take you from an idea right through to a revenue generating product.

If you forget the specific market for a second, it’s also a great example of how someone identified a problem in their day job and built a software solution. Despite having no tech background.

3 lessons…

  • Get real feedback as early as possible on your minimum viable product (MVP), from real users. They’ll find the problems that you can’t see.
  • Clearly define and understand the problem you’re trying to solve. Lindy solved a problem she saw every day in her job. She had first hand experience of what she was trying to solve. Figure out how to get that experience before you build a solution.
  • You don’t need tech skills to build a tech product. It’s never been easier to find the resources you need, when you need them.

Episode page

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