In this session of The Smart Passive Income Podcast, I'm happy to welcome Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, employee #30 at Facebook (and the brain behind the status update), #4 at Mint.com, founder of several other startups and a person who at a relatively young age, in addition to all of his success, had already went through an incredible amount of failures and had lost millions.
After a mid-life crisis and some self-discovery, Noah has become one of the more popular personalities on the Internet, most recently having founded AppSumo.com, a company which bundles popular web apps together for a discounted price. I am one of AppSumo's 700,000 subscribers and have been a paying customer in the past myself.
Noah reached out to me a while back and said he wanted to create the most popular SPI Podcast episode ever. After hearing a little bit of what he had to share, I definitely knew that his interview would be up to the challenge.
Noah definitely brought the goods.
There are a ton of extremely educational takeaways from this episode. Noah has some amazing stories to share, both wins and (lots of) failures, and he does a great job of making sure that all of us listening understand what he learned and why things work the way they do. He's a brilliant marketer, so make sure you pay attention to exactly how he does things and actually stays risk-averse, although it may not seem like it.
The section about validation is pure gold.
This session was recorded in April so please don't mind the references to the surrounding months, and make sure to catch the tail end of the show where he does a lightning round of tactics about how to find a great idea for a business if you don't have one yet, and also how to grow your existing business if you do have one.
My Favorite Quotes from Noah's Interview
- “When you play in someone else's sandbox, they are going to make the rules.”
- “The customers will always tell the truth.”
- “People should do what they want because they want to, not just because of an opportunity.”
Win a Trip to Austin, TX to Hangout with Noah and the AppSumo Team
As Noah said in the later half of this session, he's going to cover travel and lodging expenses for one commenter on this post, from anywhere in the world, to come hang out and work with him and the App Sumo team for a day.
He will award this prize if this post reaches at least 300 comments.
In order to qualify, all you have to do is leave a comment below telling me and Noah what you are going to do or what you did do TODAY to start or improve your business.
Noah will select the winner himself and we'll get in contact with you via email to talk about arrangements. Good luck!
Update: Congratulations to Tyler from BrainMadeSimple.com who Noah selected to come out to Austin to hang with Noah and his team!
Question or Feedback? Leave Me a Voicemail!
If you have a question you'd potentially like answered on the show, or just feedback in general (constructive criticism and praise are absolutely welcome!), feel free to visit my voicemail page to quickly and easily leave me a message. I may feature you and your question on a future episode!
Thank you all for checking out this session of the SPI podcast!
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On today's show, I'm talking with Noah Kagan about success, failure and everything in between.
- The first few businesses that Noah created while attending college at UC Berkeley.
- What Noah learned from his early experiences in business.
- How Noah lost millions of dollars and what he learned from his experiences.
- Why Noah says getting fired from Facebook was a good move on their part.
- How Noah got in the conference business and made $50k in profit the first year.
- The best tip for meeting people and networking.
- Why Noah says: “screw the research”.
- Totem Poles and validation.
- How to know if your idea is worth creating, and how to make sure people will pay for it.
- How Noah got his job at Mint.com after getting rejected the first time.
- Marketing = who is your customer + where are they?
- Quant-based marketing.
- The Coffee Challenge.
- How Noah is actually risk-averse.
- Noah’s experience with Facebook Apps and how his first app got 1,000,000 installs in the first week.
- Details about Noah’s mid-life crisis while he was running his games business.
- Takeaways from another failed business and how it turned into something else profitable.
- Noah’s strategy for meeting people.
- How AppSumo got started and what the inspiration was behind that. (Plus, how Noah validated it.)
- The #1 problem for every business in the world.
- Noah’s top two tips for making sure you always stay true to what you truly want.
- 10 actionable and tactical tips to help you find ideas if you haven’t started yet.
- How to Make a $1000 a Month Business
- Ok Dork | How I Made Over $100,000 Organizing Conferences
- Ok Dork | How to Deal with Depression
- Quant Based Marketing
- The Lean Startup by Eric Reis
- AppSumo.com/hipat (for the Coffee Challenge)
- Surprising Lessons from 100 Days of Rejection
Click the button to the right to download the whole episode in PDF form from start to finish.