MegaMaker - I can't believe they chose us

I've been a huge fan of the Acquired podcast for a while. They do deep-dive episodes on the history of great companies: Nike, Costco, NFL, Nintendo.

They're a big deal, with nearly a half-million listeners. So, I was surprised when they contacted me and wanted to switch to Transistor for their podcast hosting!

(Typically, bigger shows want more sophisticated "ad network" features than we offer).

But they wanted to switch! They chose us because:

  • They had heard good things about the quality of our product.
  • We had a simpler dynamic ads feature than our competitors.
  • They had heard good things about our customer support.
  • They liked our vibe. They appreciated that we were a small, independent software company. (They consider themselves an indie company as well!)

A marketing lesson here: pair a good, simple product with a certain vibe, and people will talk about you.

Mailchimp did this in email marketing: they had a great product and a really fun vibe (with their monkey mascot and cartoon flourishes on their website).

Wufoo forms had something similar: their UI, marketing, and brand felt fun and independent:

Ok, back to Acquired

David and Ben (the hosts of Acquired) are basically running a bootstrapped business. (The funny thing is... they both used to be VCs!)

Acquired has doubled its audience every year, and now it's their full-time job.

I wanted to chat with them because I think there are so many lessons from their story that apply to startups, bootstrapping, and marketing.

I did an interview with David, and I think you should watch (or listen) to it:

video preview

You can listen to the audio podcast version here.

While you're listening, pay special attention to the lessons that might apply to your business:

  • Importance of choosing the right co-founder (if you have one!)
  • Importance of choosing the right market
  • The advantages of being a member of your target market
  • How their intuition and curiosity lead them to create a product that their audience really wants.
  • Their philosophy of creating an "11-star experience" for their sponsors.
  • How organic growth (word of mouth!) lead to doubling their audience every year.

If you do listen to the interview, I would love for you to reply to this email and let me know what stood out for you.

(Heck, I'll give a free copy of Marketing for Developers to everyone who watches/listens to the episode and replies. Feel free to leave a comment on the YouTube video as well!)

Cheers,
Justin Jackson
@mijustin

PS: Have you filled out my SaaS marketing survey yet? I'm trying to get to 100 responses (currently at 72):

https://forms.gle/rLgHSQ8URv4wrmhr6

This newsletter is brought to you by:

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Transistor
2024 is a great year to start a podcast

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