Good Markets and Getting Investor Meetings

This is Week 08 of 09 of Astra’s Y Combinator Startup School Journal.

The highlight of this week’s program content was hands down from Founder, Author, and Investor Elad Gil. His talk covered a great range of topics from the role of the CEO by stage of your company,  the velocity of your team, and product market fit (PMF).

PMF has been a topic throughout Startup School, but there were two salient points made in this conversation:

1. A commonly undervalued measure of PMF is organic growth month-to-month. Even if you’re numbers are small (100 users) but you are adding 20% new users each month organically, that is a strong indicator of PMF.

2. Markets are frequently the most heavily weighted (and Elad’s) component of PMF. They should be evaluated as a part of any startup’s first principles.

The singular determinant of startup success is a great market.

He also referenced Rachleff’s Law, which is so good, we are going to add it again here, drawing a citation from Marc Andreessen’s “The only thing that matters“:

  • When a great team meets a lousy market, market wins.
  • When a lousy team meets a great market, market wins.
  • When a great team meets a great market, something special happens.

The other lectures covered How to Get Meetings with Investors and Raise Money by Aaron Harris and Understanding SAFEs and Priced Equity Rounds, both of which have great tactical advice on those topics. We’ve included the recording from Aaron’s because it’s the most direct (and often counterintuitive) info we’ve seen on getting meetings.


Program:

Like last week’s event with Scott Belsky, the bonus lecture with Elad this week was so valuable. The High Growth Handbook is a great companion resource in reviewing Elad’s talk a second time.

  • Attended lectures on Tuesday and rewatched Conversation with Elad Gil to unpack further
  • Office Hours on Thursdays
  • Spent some more time on outreach via SUS forum and Reddit

 

Product:

Most importantly, we officially kicked off development for Sweep Transfers, which not only requires a significant amount of new functionality because the transfer amounts vary each time they are processed but also will be our biggest feature release since launch!

  • Spec’ed and developed “ondemand authorization” for user opt in to Sweep source accounts
  • Updated Action types to accept “sweep”s
  • Patched some minor fixes

 

Growth:

Tracking our engagement metrics we are seeing positive trends like Andrew Chen’s “smile-pattern” for a Power User Curve. But we are still experimenting with user growth channels to see what might significantly improve our growth rate.

Power User Curve

We also spent some time on marketing efforts with our existing partners, which so far have been the most successful.

  • Analysis of user loyalty and Power User Curve (above)
  • Participated in Udacity UFest Panel
  • Prepped case study articles for Plaid and Dwolla

Per our refined dashboard, this week’s user stats:

  • 241 Total Users (+4)
  • 227 Signed Up Users (+6)
  • 104 Onboarded Users (+2)
  • 61 Verified Users (+4 or 7%)

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