i got pokemon in the tesla

We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies.

That JFK quote in the subtitle above is always one I go back to. I like it a lot :).

What’s up everyone!!!!

here is me rn @ a cafe i just payed $5 for a mocha hahaha i hate myself hahaha fml hahaha hahaha hahahahahah

I’m giving myself an hour to write this email. It was a very busy week, so lets move fast.

Incorporation

I had the idea for Zip 2 weeks ago. This week, I incorporated it :).

Zip Education Inc is born.

Excitement doesn’t really begin to describe how hype I am about Zip. When I wake up to pee in the middle of the night I just immediately start thinking about Zip and 1) how big of an impact it can have on the lives of millions of kids and 2) how it can be the next massive company in the world of education.

I’m not going to start talking about my crazy visions for this company and how I think it can be worth a lot. Just going to take it day-by-day. Lets start by being worth a couple $100 :).

Zip Has Revenue

Zip charges $9 a month for ZipPro and $4 a month for ZipEssentials.

As of today, we have revenue and customers. Two weeks into existence :).

This is pretty wild I’m not going to lie. Like, dude. With my augmented reality menu app company, Noni, it took nearly a full year before we had $10 in revenue. Here’s a video demo of the app if you’ve never seen it!

We had to:

1) Build the augmented reality tech.

2) Build the procedures required to create realistic 3D models of food for restaurants.

3) Actually convince restaurants to pay for it.

I remember me + my cofounders (Hammy, Alec, Evan <3) were literally going door-to-door to restaurants trying to convince restaurant owners to pay for our service. It was insane. I’m likely going to write a full blog post just on Noni. Anyways, the point is it took us nearly a year to get $10 in revenue. Zip did it in 2 weeks.

But it makes sense.

Zip solves a major problem (starting a homeschool) in a highly-regulated industry (every state has different laws for homeschooling) that is growing every year (# of homeschooled students in the US is up from 2,000,000 in 2012 to 4,000,000 in 2019).

This upcoming week is going to be the same drill. Get revenue. Build product.

Isn’t it awesome how simple that plan is? All that matters is increasing revenue and “giving your customer a 10/10 experience” as my boi Furqan says. Startups are complicated, but chasing after these two things makes things way clearer.

I think with my other companies I complicated this a lot. For example, Kanga (the previous company I was at) was a consumer gaming startup and the whole plan was to somehow get a lot of users and hopefully figure out how to monetize in the future.

The company I was at before that, Visor, it was the same thing. It’s so weird looking back. Why didn’t we just focus on driving revenue? Why were we so in love with this idea that we were going to have a massive userbase that we could somehow monetize in the future?

I feel so stupid.

I want to go back and slap Farza.

Ads

So, basically, I’ve been driving traffic with ads. I started the ads as an experiment and found that they actually did a really good job at driving traffic + leads for cheap.

Here’s one of my ads that has been performing really well:

I’m pretty good at writing copy that captures people’s curiosity so this has mostly come pretty natural to me. I’m having a bunch of fun w/ it to.

I’m paying around $0.11 per page like right now. This is helping me to cheaply and effectively build a community. I got around 200 likes right now and it only cost me $20.

I can’t understate how insane this is. For $20 I got 200 potential users for me to talk to.

Facebook Ads are magic.

I’ve also been doing Google Ads which are so expensive but they’ve been driving a decent amount of quality leads.

Oh and of course every time a new leads comes in from the landing page I’m notified on Slack so I can reply ASAP.

I reply to every customer in under 60 minutes.

No Code So Far

I’ve written zero code for Zip so far.

The landing page was built with Webflow, payments were built with Stripe Checkout, I setup analytics with Mixpanel + Google, and all the email automation has been done with Zapier + Google Sheets.

Writing code is the most expensive thing you can do.

In fact, today is the first day I’m writing code for Zip. And I told myself I’d only write code after I had revenue because I wanted to validate the idea of Zip itself.

I don’t care if you’re trying to build extremely complex software that can fly jetpacks. You don’t have to actually write any code to validate the idea. Make the landing page. Find people ready to throw money at you. Make sure people actually want the thing you want to make. Otherwise, you’ll have a bunch of code to fly jetpacks that no one wants.

Closing Thoughts For The Week

Zip has been stressing me out lately but 100% of that stress comes from being stressed on behalf of my customers. Zip takes the stress of setting up homeschool away from the parent and plops it on the company (AKA me).

But dude. If I’m stressed about this, imagine how stressed other parents who don’t use Zip must be.

This is how I know that Zip needs to exist.

This is what my screen has been looking like most of the week:

That’s me reading Texas state law, specifically Sec. 25.085 which details some homeschool law. That’s wild dude. Parents literally read the law directly like this to start homeschooling. Wtf.

Also, I saw the movie Uncut Gems this weekend. 9/10 pls watch it. Adam Sandler had an amazing performance. I was literally at the edge of my seat the entire time. It’s a story of greed told in a way that makes you feel disgusted on behalf of the characters. I felt uncomfortable just watching it. That’s how you know it’s a good movie - when the characters + plot immerse you so much that you truly forget that you’re watching a bunch of pixels projected on a screen.

see u next week.