Andrew Wilkinson Profile picture
Co-founder of Tiny w/ @_Sparling_. We own @Dribbble, @MetaLab, and 35+ companies. Buying, starting, and investing in wonderful internet businesses since 2007.
Stan Downs (Version 8.2.1) *Per La Resistenza* Profile picture Leo Profile picture Cameron Priest Profile picture Gary Young Profile picture Lance Tracey Profile picture 41 added to My Authors
28 Apr
Which company are you better off investing in?

High Growth Compounder 🐇
$1M earnings growing 50% per yer
Valuation: $30M (30x earnings)

Slow and Steady Grower 🐢
$1M earnings growing 10% per year
Valuation: $3MM (3x earnings)

Let's play this out....
Company 1 - High Growth Compounder 🐇

Assuming 50% growth rate continues:

Year 1: $1.5MM
Year 2: $2.25MM
Year 3: $3.375
Year 4: $5M
Year 5: $7.5M

Value if trading at 30x: $225M
Value if multiple gets cut in half to 15x: $112.5M
Value if multiple gets cut to 5x: $37.5
Company 2 - Slow and Steady Grower 🐢

Assuming 10% growth rate continues:

Year 1: $1.1M
Year 2: $1.2M
Year 3: $1.32M
Year 4: $1.45M
Year 5: $1.59M

Value if still trading at 3x: $4.7M
Value if trades up to 10x: $15.9M
Value if trades up to 20x: $31.8M
Read 4 tweets
22 Apr
It’s a lot easier to AVOID things that make you miserable than to predict what will make you happy.

There’s an incredible @Harvard Study from 1938 that sheds light on just how to avoid a miserable life.

In 2013, reading it caused me to quit drinking and changed my life...
In 1938, Harvard enrolled 268 sophomores (all men due to the time) into The Study of Adult Development.

They also recruited a group of 456 inner city male Bostonians as a control group.
268 wealthy Harvard undergrads and 456 working class men from some of Boston's worst neighbourhoods, in one long term study to see how their lives would turn out...
Read 17 tweets
19 Apr
One of the most overlooked ways to increase revenue is something called Pricing Power.

Your product is so awesome or in demand that you can charge more and your customers won't leave.

Most leaders are TERRIFIED of raising prices...
But in my experience, most customers don't blink....

For example:

We randomly own a bakery.

Our manager was absolutely terrified of raising prices, even after we showed her that we were charging 25% less than our competition...
Even crazier, in the 5 years since we'd last increased pricing our costs had increased massively.

Hourly wages had been increased significantly, ingredients were more expensive, labour became tighter, rent increased.
Read 9 tweets
5 Apr
I'm pretty confident that:

In 5-10 years, nobody will be aware of crypto 🪙

It will be long forgotten by everyone other than hardcore developers...
Not because crypto won't work.

It will.

But because, as it stands, it's CONFUSING.

The technology is pushed to the forefront when it shouldn't be.

Example: find me a crypto company that doesn't mention crypto.

In an effort to promote crypto, they obscure the utility.
As @benedictevans pointed out this morning, crypto projects are often impossible to navigate or underststand as a mere mortal.

They are built for fellow crypto nerds:

Read 10 tweets
2 Apr
A funny heuristic:

What's your Batman project? 🦇

What's something, that if you don't do, nobody else will?

Imagine your life was a movie and this is the trailer:

"In a world where....______.....one woman/man...."

Read on, to see what I mean 👇

Most businesses or philanthropic projects don't need YOU to happen.

They are inevitable.

If you don't push it forward, someone else will soon or already is.

For example...
If someone didn't start Clubhouse, someone probably would have started a similar startup soon after.

Audio still would have taken off. It was inevitable.

Maybe it would have taken a little longer, but it probably would have happened.
Read 20 tweets
30 Mar
This is a story about how I lost $10,000,000 by doing something stupid.

Ten. Million. Dollars.

Literally up in smoke. Money bonfire.

That’s enough to retire with $250,000+ in annual income.

Here’s what happened…
In 2009, @metalab was a small but profitable agency.

The business was making a couple hundred thousand dollars a year in annual profit and I was trying to figure out how to invest the profits.

Agencies can be great businesses, but they are HARD.
You lose clients at random, your pipeline dries up on a dime. It’s feast or famine and unpredictable.

I kept reading about what @dhh and @jasonfried were doing with Basecamp, building software for themselves then selling monthly access to it.

wired.com/2008/02/mf-sig…
Read 57 tweets
29 Mar
I woke up at 5AM thinking about Bitclout.

On its face, Bitclout is really stupid:

1. Stupid name 😫

2. Stupid password system 🔒

3. Stupid crypto complexity 🤓

BUT, the idea is extremely interesting:

Creating a market based on betting on people and their content...
For the first time ever, Bitclout aligns the incentives of the audience and the influencer.

Here's a refresher:

1. I claim my profile, which is scraped from Twitter

2. You can buy my "coin" (aka stock) and the price goes up and down based on demand: bitclout.com/u/awilkinson
3. When people buy my coin, I get 10% of the transaction credited to me (someone buys $100 of Andrew Coin, I get $10).

The more popular Andrew Coin becomes, based on demand, the more our jointly owned coins goes up in value...
Read 14 tweets
23 Mar
One of the hardest things to balance as entrepreneur is WHEN to hire.

Hire TOO FAST and you end up with:

Toxic culture misfits 🤡

Middle management 👨‍💼👩‍💼

Parkinson’s Law: 🤼‍♀️

“Work expands so as to fill the resources available for its completion”

TLDR...
Your company gets does the same amount of work as before, way less efficiently.

Sometimes way SLOWER due to committees and too many cooks in the kitchen.

On the flip side...
Hire TOO SLOW and your life becomes a living hell 👹

You become Lucy in the chocolate factory, barely keeping up 😖

Your time gets consumed with unimportant tasks and decisions that are way below your pay grade 😩

And you don’t have time to be strategic or spot ice bergs 🗺
Read 6 tweets
22 Mar
This is kind of on the DL, but Tiny has made $10MM+ in venture investments over the better part of a decade.

Mostly just for fun. Our day job has been buying whole companies, so it’s a side hustle.

We think of it as a way to pay it forward and back friends we love.... 👇
In 2021, we’re taking our early stage investing more seriously.

As it turns out, when you have smart friends, investing in them goes well....
We’ve been lucky enough to invest in great companies like @Pitch, @Buffer, @Squarespace, @SpaceX, @Superhuman, Waking Up, and 30+ other awesome companies...

tinycapital.com/companies

(Click on Venture Investments)
Read 14 tweets
18 Mar
Most founders are scared of marketing.

They think it's douchey.

Instead, they do Field Of Dreams marketing:

"If you build it, they will come".

They won't. You need marketing.

The problem is, most marketers are aggressive.

They think in clicks and funnels, not brand...
For years, we hired marketing agencies who would embarrass us with cheesy and overly aggressive tactics.

So, we stopped doing it. We focused on organic growth, and in many instances it meant that we lost out on huge opportunities to well funded and better marketed competitors...
This was profoundly stupid.

Finally, we came to our senses and, infomercial style, said "there's got to be a better way".

Last year, we co-founded @doubleupgrowth with @aidanhornsby to create a growth marketing agency that focuses on marketing great product tastefully....
Read 5 tweets
15 Mar
One of the most impactful things I've done in the past 10 years is join a business forum.

Every month, I sit in a room and pour my heart out about my business and life problems to a group of 5 other entrepreneurs.

It's the same group every time and it's 100% confidential...
I have multiple groups and do one most weeks for the past 10 years.

I've been in groups with people who run popsicle businesses, puzzle companies, woodworking shops, tech companies—you name it.

Entrepreneurs have oddly universal problems and I've learned something from everyone
We've helped one another navigate:

- Failed business partnerships
- Bankruptcies
- Divorces
- Fraud
- Health scares
- Lawsuits
- Exits
- Toxic employees
- Mental health issues
- Deaths in the family
- Issues with kids

You name it, we've dealt with it and learned as a group...
Read 5 tweets
15 Mar
So this oil prospector dies and goes to heaven. At the gate, St. Peter reads the account of his life and tells him that he's qualified for heaven, but there was a problem

"See that crowd over there? They're all oil prospectors who've arrived before you".... 👇
"And the way things work here, you can't get in until after them. So I'm afraid this looks like a long wait for you."

"Not a problem," replies the man. "I know how to get rid of that crowd..."
So he turns towards them and shouts, "Hey, did you hear? Oil has been discovered in hell!"

And sure enough, as soon as they heard him, every single one of them ran off towards hell....
Read 4 tweets
26 Feb
Every designer/developer in the world: Image
Image
Image
Read 4 tweets
26 Feb
One of the hardest things to figure out:

Do you want to chop wood (individual contributor) 🪓

OR

Build a sawmill (start a business) 🪚

Chopping wood is tiring but satisfying labour. You can work quietly and get into a flow state.

But...
It's 100% dependent on you. If you get sick, you can't chop wood, and therefore your income dries up.

😫No breaks.

🙃No delegation.

🤦‍♂️Limited to your personal output.

💸Hard to get wealthy.

On the flip side...
Build a sawmill and you can delegate.

Build systems.

Have others eventually do the work.

You can massively increase your output and become wealthy.

But...
Read 5 tweets
25 Feb
Yesterday I wrote a thread about Nathan Latka.

I got a lot of interesting DMs and responses 🤣

Here's a few of them (some requested to anonymity):

Promoting a conference with speakers who...didn't agree to speak:

Read 15 tweets
24 Feb
Nathan Latka presents himself as a big podcast host and "best-selling author", but he allegedly makes his money by shaking down founders.

He has them come on his podcast, then refuses to post the episode until they share their metrics and promote him.

Read on, more fun below 👇
2/ “I’m the most sued podcaster and I love it.”

@NathanLatka

Here's Vox on how his scheme works:

"Entrepreneurs who’ve gone on Latka’s show, seeking publicity for their companies, allege that the pitch for coming on his podcast is misleading"...

vox.com/recode/2019/11…
3/ "Founders claim that one of the podcast’s main goals was to extract financial data from founders that Latka then packaged and sold to investors and other interested parties."...
Read 12 tweets
8 Feb
For 15 years, we have owned @metalab, one of the world's top product design agencies - metalab.com

As our work became well known, we got a lot of attention...

And we started getting mobbed by potential buyers.

Usually private equity and big tech companies...
We didn't necessarily want to sell.

Maybe just take some chips off the table.

We loved the business, but the numbers they shared were exciting.

Then, over and over, we would realize that the buyer would ruin our culture, piss off our employees, and probably wreck our brand...
For years, we watched as many of our best competitors and friends sold their agencies in talent acquisitions to big tech companies or large conglomerates like WPP, Omnicom, and Publicis.

We think that's depressing.

It's where creativity goes to die...
Read 6 tweets
8 Feb
Would you rather have 100,000 email newsletter subscribers growing 15% a year ✉️

OR

1 million followers on Twitter growing 50% a year? 📶

For me, I would 1000% take the email subscribers.

That seems insane. Read on to find out why... 👇
The best businesses are impenetrable to competitors 🏰

Nobody gets to dictate how they operate other than the government 🙅

And they are invulnerable to competition, have a captive customer base, and control all key inputs of their business...
Social platforms are the opposite:

1. There's always an algorithm filtering your content from your audience. A post may only be seen by 5,000 followers, even if you have 1MM if the algorithm doesn't deem it worthy... 🤯🤯🤯
Read 10 tweets
28 Jan
In January, Chris and I raised $50,000 for charity 💵

It took 2 hours.

Here's what we did, and how we're going to raise a ton more in the coming months...
We get a lot of emails from entrepreneurs—many of whom are already wealthy and successful—asking to pick our brains 🧠

While we love talking to interesting people, these emails end up becoming a big time sink ⏱️

So, we did something interesting...
In January, we told all The Brain Pickers that we were going to do a paid Ask Us Anything session.

We auctioned off 25 seats for a private Zoom session where anyone in the group could grill us about anything they were curious about 🪑🪑🪑

Seats went to the highest bidders 🤑...
Read 5 tweets
27 Jan
There is one book I recommend more than any other, and I'm ashamed to share the name...

I swear to god, this is an incredible, well-written, thoughtful book.

It's called 'How To Get Rich' 🤦‍♂️

It was written by a magazine publishing magnate named Felix Dennis in 2008... Image
Ignore the title. Seriously. It's great.

He is a character. In the 90's he blew $100MM+ on alcohol and crack cocaine, then become a full-time poet in the early 2000's.

It encompasses most of the important lessons of starting and operating a large business.

Here's a few bits: Image
Fish where the fish are:

“If you wish to become rich, look carefully about you at the prevailing industries where wealth appears to be gravitating. THEN GO TO WHERE THE MONEY IS!”
Read 11 tweets
14 Jan
Something that has been driven home for me over the past year:

It's important to expect the people you work with to rise to your level 📈

When they don't, you have to let them know they are letting you down 😕

Be firm and precise as to why 🎯

Then, give them time to correct.
If they can't level up, with ample feedback and time, then you have to part ways🚶

It sounds harsh, but it's actually far kinder than the opposite...
I have always felt grateful to have smart people working with me 🙏

I still remember doing everything on my own in the early days, so it feels like a huge privilege.

As it is.

But, like a romantic relationship where I didn't value myself, I would tolerate massive screw ups...
Read 7 tweets