A few $30k+/month startup ideas from the most manic/genius founder you've never heard of

Summary notes created by Deciphr AI

Summary Notes


In an insightful conversation, Cody Schneider discusses innovative business opportunities, emphasizing the potential of AI to revolutionize various industries. He proposes an idea for a platform that provides weekly insights for CEOs, leveraging AI to extract key points from internal discussions and making them accessible for leadership review. Additionally, he explores the concept of creating niche podcasts or memberships tailored to specific job titles like 'Head of Growth,' providing a space for professionals to share strategies and grow their network. Schneider also critiques the monetization model of in-car entertainment systems like Play Octopus, suggesting an enhanced approach using CPA ads to benefit both drivers and advertisers. His ideas reflect a broader theme of utilizing technology to create value and streamline processes across different business models.

Summary Notes

Business Idea: Subscription Service for Cricut Designs

  • Cricut is a tabletop CNC machine used by crafters, with a large market share and a business model like printer companies.
  • The idea is to use AI to create graphic designs (SVG files) for Cricut machines.
  • AI can generate SVG files at scale based on target keywords.
  • Initial customer acquisition through Facebook ads targeting Cricut enthusiasts.
  • Offering a free package of designs to attract customers, then upselling an unlimited subscription.
  • The long-term strategy involves creating landing pages for SEO to generate organic inbound traffic.
  • This business model leverages the recurring revenue of material sales and the scalability of AI.

"Basically, you could zero to one this marketplace overnight, get your initial customers, and then the long-term play with this is you then go and build like hundreds of thousands of these landing pages on your marketplace and get those to rank organically for SEO."

  • This quote emphasizes the rapid setup potential of the marketplace and the importance of SEO in creating a sustainable business model.

Business Idea: Selling Materials for Cricut Users

  • Cricut's business model relies on selling materials to its users, similar to how printer companies sell ink.
  • The idea is to sell materials like tinsel foil and other crafting papers to Cricut users.
  • Acquisition strategy involves giving away free SVG bundles and then selling materials.
  • Materials sourcing can be done from suppliers like those on Alibaba.
  • The key is to find high-demand, repeat purchase materials and offer them at a competitive price.
  • The business model focuses on inventory management and the lifetime value of repeat customers.

"All this could be sourced from like China; you just go and [__] look on Alibaba Etc find all of these find the most high intent or the most repeat purchasers."

  • The quote highlights the approach to sourcing materials and targeting products with high repeat purchase rates for profitability.

Marketplace Disruption with AI

  • AI tools have the potential to disrupt existing marketplaces by creating niche, high-intent platforms.
  • The idea is to carve out subsets within large marketplaces for specific niches.
  • AI can automate the creation of product landing pages at scale, which was previously labor-intensive.
  • Marketplaces make money by brokering traffic and selling ads, with no ceiling on ad spend.
  • The strategy includes using AI to write SEO content and using programmatic SEO to rank product pages.
  • The approach can be applied to various niches to create cash-flowing businesses.

"Every marketplace could be disrupted with AI tools... you have these huge players like Amazon; I think you could carve these subsets like for every all these different niches that exist within these large marketplaces."

  • This quote discusses the potential of AI to create niche marketplaces within larger ecosystems, disrupting established players by focusing on specific customer segments.

Leveraging AI for SEO and Content Creation

  • AI can generate SEO content for product landing pages, enabling scalable marketplace growth.
  • The approach involves creating a large number of landing pages to rank for specific keyword phrases.
  • Building links through collaborations with influencers, like mommy bloggers, can enhance SEO.
  • The economics of the business model includes low-cost link building and high domain authority.

"You could probably get this off the ground for like 10 grand... and then it's just like you'd have to have like a little bit of technical knowledge to kind of like piece together all this."

  • The quote suggests that starting such a business would require a modest investment and some technical expertise, indicating accessibility for entrepreneurs with the right skill set.

Business Idea: Print on Demand Marketplaces

  • Print on demand products can be sold through custom landing pages created at scale.
  • AI can assist in creating product pages and content, competing with large marketplaces like Etsy.
  • The business model involves generating organic traffic and monetizing through product sales and ads.
  • Founders can disrupt specific segments of larger marketplaces by focusing on niche products and using AI for scalability.

"What if I do like 10 million product landing pages on a website right... you're talking about as many pages as an Etsy."

  • This quote illustrates the ambition to match the scale of established marketplaces by leveraging AI to create a vast number of product-specific landing pages.

Crafting and Impulse Purchases

  • Crafting enthusiasts often make impulse purchases, especially when enticed by significant discounts.
  • These purchases can result in a collection of unused materials, similar to the way quilters collect patterns for future use.
  • The behavior reflects a broader trend of people seeking tangible, hands-on activities as a return to basics.

"They'll just buy it because it's kind of an impulse purchase at like 25 bucks."

  • This quote highlights the impulsive nature of purchasing discounted crafting materials without immediate plans for use.

"They may never even touch it they've got a closet full of it that they don't use."

  • This quote illustrates the accumulation of crafting materials that are often left unused by enthusiasts.

The Macro Trend of Tangibility

  • There is a growing preference for physical, tangible activities over digital experiences.
  • Activities like quilting, crafting, and other hands-on projects are becoming more popular.
  • This resurgence of traditional hobbies creates opportunities for businesses to offer related products and experiences.

"People don't want digital stuff anymore like they want to touch feel."

  • This quote captures the shift towards physical experiences and away from digital ones.

"There's just like a bunch of old things that people used to do that now you can be like oh wait let's go build something in that space."

  • The speaker identifies a business opportunity in reviving and monetizing traditional, hands-on activities.

Low Power Hour and Digital Detox

  • The concept of "Low Power Hour" involves dedicating time to activities that do not involve screens.
  • Activities may include listening to vinyl records, writing on a typewriter, or simply relaxing without digital distractions.
  • This practice is part of a larger trend of people seeking slower, more deliberate ways to spend their time.

"No screens is the idea."

  • The quote explains the core principle of "Low Power Hour," which is to avoid digital screens and engage in non-digital activities.
  • Innovative products that sync with digital platforms can enhance the physical experience, such as an LED display that shows album covers from Spotify.
  • These kinds of products can capitalize on the trend towards tangible experiences while still incorporating modern technology.

"It's basically like an LED kind of like a larger screen of whatever the album cover was so it syncs up to your Spotify."

  • This quote describes a product that merges digital music streaming with a physical display to enhance the listening experience.

Chrome Extensions as a Business Opportunity

  • Chrome extensions that perform specific functions, such as data extraction, can be lucrative business ventures.
  • Email Extractor is an example of a successful Chrome extension with a significant user base and revenue.
  • The strategy involves identifying a niche job-to-be-done, creating a simple tool, ranking for specific keywords, and converting users through a free-to-paid model.

"This Chrome extension that's literally named Email Extractor."

  • The quote introduces a specific Chrome extension that has successfully monetized a simple function.

"You got 300,000 users say 5% turn into customers that's kind of like an average."

  • This quote illustrates the potential revenue from converting a small percentage of a large user base into paying customers.

The Simplicity and Profitability of Chrome Extensions

  • Chrome extensions with simple functionality can be low-maintenance and profitable.
  • Developers can create multiple extensions, each generating revenue, to form a portfolio of profitable digital products.
  • The simplicity of these tools means they require minimal customer service and are unlikely to break often.

"There's no customer service like there's no product scope increase you have very it's seldom that they break they just run in the background."

  • The quote emphasizes the low-maintenance aspect of simple Chrome extensions as a business model.

Anecdote on the Email Extractor Creator

  • The creator of the Email Extractor Chrome extension appears to be an e-bike store owner in Madrid, highlighting the diverse backgrounds of successful tool developers.
  • Naming the tool with a straightforward, descriptive name was advantageous for user acquisition.

"I think he's probably doing around 250 to 300,000 a month with this thing."

  • This quote speculates on the significant monthly revenue generated by the Email Extractor extension.

The Challenges and Rewards of Building Platforms

  • Building a platform like Swell AI is complex and requires more focus and resources compared to simpler tools.
  • The speaker is engaged in building such a platform and acknowledges the difficulty but also the enjoyment of solving complex problems.

"Every day I wake up and it's a puzzle."

  • This quote reflects the speaker's perspective on the challenging yet rewarding nature of building a complex platform.

The Reality of the Podcasting Industry

  • The podcasting industry is difficult to monetize, and the speaker expresses skepticism about the potential for billion-dollar companies in this space.
  • The speaker suggests focusing on AI for content marketing as a more viable business model, particularly for B2B clients.

"Podcasters have zero money; they're the worst people to sell to."

  • This quote conveys the speaker's view on the lack of financial opportunity in targeting podcasters as customers.

Entrepreneurial Strategy and the Holding Company Model

  • The holding company model allows entrepreneurs to diversify their business interests and choose projects that align with their goals.
  • The speaker advocates for building stability in one venture before moving on to the next.
  • There is a balance between pursuing exciting new ideas and managing the operational aspects of existing businesses.

"It's like turns entrepreneurship into an all-you-can-eat buffet."

  • This quote compares the holding company model to a buffet, where the entrepreneur can sample different types of businesses.

Local SEO and Service-Based Business Opportunities

  • Local SEO presents opportunities for businesses like window washing companies to dominate their market.
  • The speaker expresses confidence in the ability to grow a service-based business rapidly through local SEO.

"It's so easy right now to do local SEO."

  • The quote suggests that there is significant untapped potential in leveraging local SEO for business growth.
  • The speaker takes an ad break to promote Boring Marketing.com, an SEO company they invested in.
  • Boring Marketing.com offers technology and AI to help businesses outrank their competition on Google.

(Note: The advertisement for Boring Marketing.com is identified and not included in the study notes as per the instructions.)

Entrepreneurial Decision Making and the Value of Ideas

  • Entrepreneurs face a variety of choices and must weigh the pros and cons of different business models.
  • The speaker appreciates the concept of a startup ideas podcast as it provides inspiration to a wide audience of entrepreneurs.

"Choose your poison as an entrepreneur and like there's pros and cons to all."

  • This quote acknowledges the need for entrepreneurs to make informed decisions about their business ventures.

The Appeal of Business Idea Podcasts

  • Podcasts that offer business ideas cater to aspiring entrepreneurs looking for inspiration.
  • The speaker views the sharing of business ideas as a form of intellectual stimulation and a way to satisfy the entrepreneurial itch without starting every business themselves.

"It's like hearing business ideas that they could go start."

  • The quote captures the appeal of business idea podcasts to individuals who aspire to become entrepreneurs.

Hiring Criteria Evolution

  • Initially, hiring criteria were based on whether someone was a 'puzzle person,' could document their work, and was friendly.
  • As companies scale, the type of person needed changes to an operations-focused individual.
  • Entrepreneurs should focus on their strengths and hire people to handle operations.
  • Finding good operations people is challenging but more common than finding individuals who can bring ideas into reality.

"In the early days of the company, it was like, are they puzzle people that can document their thing and like are they friendly... when you get to scale, there's a way different type of person that that's that person and then that's like an operations person."

This quote highlights the need for different skill sets during various stages of a company's growth, emphasizing the transition from innovative 'puzzle people' to operations-focused individuals as a company scales.

The Role of Operations Personnel

  • Operations personnel are more common and are a commodity compared to individuals who can create something from nothing.
  • Startups should recruit operations personnel who can maintain the founder's vision without the need for creativity.
  • The challenge lies in finding competent operations people and integrating them into the startup culture.

"It's way more of a commodity to be a good operations person than it is to be somebody that can take an idea from non-existent and like Bend reality so that this thing now exists."

The quote underlines the relative abundance of good operations personnel compared to rare individuals who can turn ideas into reality, suggesting that startups should leverage this availability.

The Pitfalls of Over-Systemizing

  • Bringing in MBAs to systemize a startup can disrupt the fluidity and experimental nature of growth.
  • MBAs may focus too much on creating rigid systems and processes, which can hinder innovation.
  • Startups thrive on flexibility and the ability to implement new strategies quickly.

"The first thing they do is they try to turn everything into a system and a process as soon as they enter in."

This quote demonstrates the potential negative impact of introducing rigid systems too early in a startup, which may stifle the dynamic and innovative processes necessary for growth.

Importance of Internal Communication

  • Overcommunication within a company is crucial, especially in marketing and growth sectors.
  • Sharing successes and strategies internally helps in getting organizational buy-in and making invisible successes visible.
  • Internal newsletters or updates can create clarity and hype within the company, fostering a sense of involvement.

"We built a newsletter internally to basically tell people what was happening... so that we could get buy-in from the organization."

The quote emphasizes the value of internal communication in ensuring all members of an organization are aware of and supportive of ongoing projects and successes.

Scaling Challenges and Solutions

  • As companies grow, personal connections diminish, and maintaining clarity becomes more challenging.
  • Implementing internal newsletters or podcasts can help maintain clarity and engagement among employees.
  • The law of eight suggests complexity in relationships increases factorially with each new addition to a team.

"When you hit 30 employees things start to get weird because you can't know everybody in the organization... it's like the law of eight."

This quote explains the difficulties in maintaining personal connections and clear communication as a company expands, suggesting the need for innovative solutions to keep everyone informed.

Leveraging AI for Business Insights

  • AI is most effective when structuring unstructured data, providing valuable insights from conversations and feedback.
  • Businesses could benefit from a service that curates insights from internal discussions and shares them company-wide.
  • Such a service could be monetized and provide CEOs with a comprehensive understanding of their organization.

"I think that this is like actually where AI is the most effective: it's like taking unstructured data and structuring it."

The quote highlights AI's ability to extract valuable insights from unstructured data, which can significantly benefit businesses in understanding internal dynamics and strategies.

Finding and Leveraging Talent

  • Finding talented 'operators' is difficult, and they prefer not to be labeled as such.
  • Creating networks and communities for these individuals can facilitate connections and opportunities.
  • Digital presence and media can attract talent and create a growth flywheel for businesses.

"It's so hard to find them... I'm kind of working on some ideas that make it easier to find those people."

This quote acknowledges the challenge in locating and attracting talented individuals who can drive company growth, suggesting the development of platforms or communities to aid in this process.

Building Digital Gravity

  • Digital mass creates digital gravity, attracting more people to a company or brand.
  • The concept of digital gravity is more accurate than funnels for describing how customers engage with businesses.
  • Building owned media can establish trust and authority, leading to growth and customer acquisition.

"You want to build digital mass on the internet so that you create more digital gravity."

The quote introduces the concept of digital gravity as a way to explain how creating content and presence online attracts customers and leads to business growth.

Monetizing Podcasts and Communities

  • Podcasts can be used as a tool to build communities around specific job titles or interests.
  • Monetizing through the creation of schools or memberships rather than traditional advertising could be more effective.
  • Providing value through content and leveraging trust can lead to successful paid communities.

"If you make that community at $199 a month... that's a quarter of a million a month like that's unbelievable company."

The quote discusses the potential revenue from creating a targeted community or membership program, emphasizing the financial viability of providing specialized content and networks.

Community vs. Membership

  • A community is a group of people sharing information and possibly engaging in real-life (IRL) or digital events without exclusivity.
  • Membership includes a community but adds exclusive elements such as deals, software, and bundled value.
  • Membership aims to provide a high value to members, ideally more than 5x the cost of joining.

"A community is just other people sharing information IRL Events maybe digital events digital there's no exclusivity built into that membership to me is community. but it could also be like deals it could be like software it could be just bundling all this value."

  • This quote explains the difference between a community and a membership, highlighting that membership offers additional exclusive benefits.

Leveraging Memberships for Growth

  • The goal of creating a membership is to help individuals, such as heads of growth or CMOs, to level up in their roles.
  • By packing value into a membership, the business model can be successful if members feel they are getting significant value for their money.
  • An example given is a possible deal with HubSpot, offering a discount on a yearly subscription for members.

"Everyone's trying to level up as head of growth everyone's trying to level up as CMO. so if you can just Jam a bunch of value into a membership all that you have to do to make sure that this works this business model works is you just need to make sure that whatever you're charging people are getting at least 5x value."

  • This quote emphasizes the importance of providing substantial value in a membership to ensure the business model's success.

Case Study: Community Empire.co

  • Community Empire.co is a paid membership for individuals building community-based businesses without investors.
  • Members receive significant discounts on deals, free school access, events, and other benefits.
  • The membership is highly successful, generating $37,000 a month without much effort.

"We launched this thing called Community empire.co which is a paid membership of people building community based businesses that are cash flowing without investors... and then that's when I realized oh my God if this can work for this job title or this type of person this can work for other functions as well."

  • The quote describes the creation and success of Community Empire.co, suggesting the model could be replicated for other functions or roles.

Podcast Growth Strategy

  • The strategy involves creating a podcast targeted at a specific customer profile and distributing it to them.
  • Tactics include using service tools like Apollo or Snow to find emails, sending newsletters promoting the podcast, and achieving high open and click-through rates.
  • Facebook ads targeting iOS devices with deep links to the podcast on Apple's app can increase subscribers and downloads.
  • Podcast SEO is used to ensure the podcast shows up in relevant searches in the Apple podcasting app, leading to more visibility and downloads.

"My whole strategy is like this it's like build a podcast specifically for them the customer conversations you're already having distribute it to those people."

  • This quote outlines the overarching strategy of building and distributing a podcast targeted at a specific customer profile to gain traction and grow the podcast's audience.

Leveraging Podcasts for Biotech Startups

  • A biotech startup used the podcast strategy to become a top Life Sciences podcast in the US within 12 months.
  • The podcast led to VCs inbounding to pitch their portfolio companies, showcasing the leverage and influence gained through the podcast.

"We've taken their show from non existent to like a top 20 Life Sciences podcast in the US in less than 12 months... they get VCS inbounding into their form pitching their portfolio companies to come on this show."

  • The quote demonstrates the impact of the podcast growth strategy on a biotech startup, highlighting its success in gaining attention and influence in the industry.

Play Octopus and Monetization Opportunities

  • Play Octopus is a trivia game on tablets in Ubers, which also displays ads.
  • The company was bought by T-Mobile in 2022, earning around $8-10 million from display ads.
  • A proposed improvement involves using CPA ads with QR codes, allowing both the company and the Uber driver to earn affiliate commissions.

"I would do the trivia thing but the ads that I would show would be CPA ads with a QR code that when the person scanned it and gave their contact information their phone number or their email there's an affiliate commission that happens to the company."

  • This quote suggests an alternative monetization strategy for Play Octopus that could potentially increase revenues and provide better incentives for Uber drivers.

Potential Business Models and Strategies

  • Finding products with poor monetization and improving them is a smart business strategy.
  • Ideas include using CPA and cost per lead models, where multiple businesses can share a lead, increasing the potential payout.
  • The discussion also touches on the concept of turning the tablets into mobile casinos, leveraging the legality of betting and the captive audience in Ubers.

"I think your framework around finding good products that have bad monetization is just like a really smart way of thinking about it because there's other ideas."

  • This quote acknowledges the potential in identifying poorly monetized products and creating better monetization strategies to build successful businesses.

Conclusion and Contact Information

  • The speaker, Cody Schneider, is active on Twitter and LinkedIn and can be found by searching his name.
  • He is currently building Swell.ai, an AI content marketing engine for B2B companies.

"Swell ai.com is the company we're currently building it's an AI content marketing engine uh for B2B companies... you should just Google my name if I don't come up I'm really bad at my job."

  • The quote provides information on where to find more about the speaker and the company he is building, stressing the importance of online visibility in his line of work.

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