Hi, I'm Pavan Sethi and I got COVID.
I'm using my time quarantining to launch all the projects I started, but never launched.
Over two weeks, I'm becoming a one man startup studio. Every few days, I'll launch a new project and document the process.
Shaan Puri & Sam Parr of the My First Million podcast for planting the seeds for many of my ideasJakob Greenfeld and his Bootstrap MBA for inspirationThe communities & friends that always support me - The Trends Facebook group, Friends of Lenny's Newsletter and All Access Pass on Slack, and many more.
Subscribe for updates.
Look out for an update e-mail shortly.
Launch #1: The Insider's List
Idea: Daily alerts when market insiders (company directors, high-level execs, etc.) buy or sell a large amount of their stock.
Starting the week off with the simplest of projects - one that I can (pretty much) finish in 24 hours.
I'm still figuring out the best format for these, so bear with me and feel free to share feedback on Twitter.
I'm testing out starting each project by filling out a Project Kickoff Doc (clone it here), going through an intro to the idea, some background info, what tools I used, the user flow, then results after launch.
Shaan Puri for the Project Kickoff doc.I believe I remember writing this idea down after hearing it on an episode of My First MillionMichael Moore, who's working on a no-code web scraper tool called DataFlow
2020 brought us many things, one of which was the proliferation of the Robinhood trader and even gen-z financial experts on Tik Tok. Like many, I played the swings, learned how to trade options, and scoured Twitter to give me any edge trading. One edge I thought was interesting was the movement of "insiders" and I found this data was tough to find online.
I also came across Rich Barton & "The Rich Barton Playbook". For those that don't know, Rich Barton is the founder of three consumer unicorns - Expedia ($17.9B), Zillow ($25.4B), and Glassdoor (said to have been acquired for $1.2B). His mantra is "Power to the People" - each of his companies focus on making data more accessible to users.
Government data is terribly hard to find. Websites are ugly. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.
What is Insider Trading?
"Insider trading is the buying or selling of a publicly traded company's stock by someone who has non-public, material information about that stock." (Investopedia)
Why can it be useful?
Tracking internal buying and selling of a stock by company insiders is a fundamental part of due diligence that many casual traders ignore. It's definitely worth listening to the people who manage and understand how a company works from the inside.
A crazy simple no-code web scraper, built by my friend Michael Moore (coming soon).
Carrd + Stripe and Mailchimp Integrations
The simplest way to get a landing page up & running (shout out AJ).
Easy to install (and free to start) support chat widget to increase conversions.
A staple of any new project. Pretty much anyone can use this tool to automate manual work. IFTTT and Integromat are also great.
The best place to launch a new project & get valuable feedback from beta users.
This is the MVP flow - what I can setup the quickest, even if it's slightly manual. Once I validate the idea, I'll spend time automating it 100%.
Progress [COMING SOON]
I'll be pushing the project live on Product Hunt soon. Until then, subscribe on the Upcoming Page.
Launch #2: Sphere
Idea: The easiest way to start a subscription text list... think Substack for texting.
@FarzaTV for encouraging me to build this on Twitter
This post is a little different - the "launch" is going to be how I go about validating the idea, rather than building out a whole MVP.
When I was building The Insider's List, I couldn't find a way to simply text a bunch of people and charge them monthly. I asked Twitter, didn't find any good solutions, and figured it may be something to explore.
With the rise of Substack (Substack’s 12 top-earning writers make an average of more than $160,000 each), COVID causing people to figure out new ways to earn online, and just the Creator Economy in general, texting seems like a missing piece.
While Community exists, they seem to be approaching this from the flip side - give well-known people phone numbers, and charge them monthly to text their fans. That's cool and all, but I want to help independent creators earn more supplemental income. And this seems like a good starting point to build other tools for creators in the future.
There is room for new content types. We all know of TikTok, but other content types like Screenshot Essays illustrate the need for more short-form content. I personally subscribe to ~25 newsletters, I pay for half of them, but I only consistently read maybe 2 of them. If I'm going to pay monthly for a newsletter, I'd rather have brief information I'll actually read instead of long e-mails.
The cherry on top: open rates for texts are something like 90%+.
Umso(formerly Landen. Chose this over Unstack, Carrd, Webflow). I chose Umso for this because I wanted to test out a new no-code builder with an emphasis on analytics. I'll be able to write a review after launch.Mailchimp: My go-to for e-mails, mainly just because of my familiarity using it in the past.Perssist: A virtual assistant to put together a list of e-mail newsletter writers to reach out to (get a free 30 minutes here).Rows: No-code tool for identifying leads and finding contact info.Figma: Everyone's favorite interface design tool.
Validation & Progress
To validate this idea, I'll be:
Utilizing the tools above to cold reach out to newsletter writers. Look out for more details and updates soon.Using a small budget for Facebook ads to test interest.