Welcome to another edition of our new newsletter! You’ll receive the best practical startup advice straight to your inbox every week.
In this week’s edition, we discuss:
- Creating successful online courses,
- Unexpected turnarounds to become investors,
- Sources of investment during an economic downturn.
Most online courses fail. Tim Denning knows this because he failed three times before successfully launching an academy the fourth time round. Now, he’s launched seven best-selling courses on Teachable. Here, he shares 14 short strategies he uses, including,
- Two teachers are better than one — if you you don’t have all the skills required (hint: you probably don’t), partner up with someone who has what you’re missing.
- Most courses are too long — Don’t make your course feel like a prison sentence they have to complete to recoup their investment.
- Test your idea before you fully commit — soft launch or invite a few trusted people to test-tun the course.
- Send blog posts, not sales emails — Rather than send “Course open, buy now, 2 hours left” emails, provide value through blog posts or other content, and add CTA at the end.
Nabil Borhanu has a crazy story. He helped build $100m divisions of massive companies while in Saudi Arabia but got screwed over by his partners. He moved to the USA with no job prospects. He considered being a taxi driver before his life dramatically turned around and he now runs a massive venture capital firm.
- To do business with top companies, you need to build trust first.
- Don’t be afraid to bury your ego to make friends with a new client.
- The Middle East is a vastly underrated region to expand into — a large, rich population.
- If you dream big, take equity otherwise you’ll work hard for someone else to profit.
When the economy tumbles, the fundraising process gets tougher. But for founders looking to land their first $100K to stay in the game, there is hope. Daniel Kang, a founder and ex Softbank Investor, explores a few of the options available, including,
- VC-backed accelerators like a16z START and Sequoia Arc, which last about 2–3 months with a focus on specific skillsets, can provide good investment to dilution ratio and the brand value of top VCs.
- Talent incubators, like Antler and Entrepreneur First, focus on “investing in the team” rather than the idea. Founders can be pre-team, pre-product, and pre-everything, but be paid to work on the idea.
- Good ol’ crowdfunding, like Wefunder, Kickstarter, and Seers, can allow you to tap into your community to raise money, through an instrument such as equity, debt, or pre-orders.
- Remember that fundraising has little to do with your worth or your ability to build a good product. This applies in both ways.
Author: Entrepreneur’s Handbook