It turns out that you can make a lot of money by giving stuff away for free. That’s the lesson from Credit Karma, which today is announcing that it’s running its business profitably after earning $500 million in revenues last year.
Credit Karma launched to help consumers better understand their finances and to provide access to better financial products. Its flagship product is a free credit report and credit monitoring service, which it launched five years ago. Since then, the company has signed up more than 70 million users, which includes about one half of all millennials in the U.S.
Late in 2015, a new restaurant opened in Winter Park, Fla., a northern suburb of Orlando. It’s a big room with exposed ductwork, an open kitchen along one wall and a long bar skirting the other. The cooks there cut and smoke all the meats in house, and many of the ingredients are locally sourced. The patrons, not surprisingly, skew young, which also probably explains menu items like chicken waffles, Wonuts (a hybrid of waffles and donuts) and a pretzel braid appetizer that comes with a Samuel Adams cheese fondue. Out on the patio, you’ll find “Yappy Hour,” a happy hour with dogs invited, though you’ll probably have to wait for a table—weekends often see lines out the door.
10. Plan for Daylight | Peter Mehit
I was flying from Philadelphia to Dallas. It was an early Thursday morning flight and almost empty. I got a complimentary bump to first class and sat at the front bulkhead, half awake with a pile of papers in the empty seat next to me. The cabin PA crackled to life.
“We got a problem,” the captain said in that droll voice that we all make fun of. Then the plane went into the steepest dive I’ve ever experienced. “Everything’s going to be okay,” he added, I think as an afterthought.
But things were pretty far from okay. Oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and then floated in the air, weightless. My papers were floating off the seat cushion and in that moment, I noticed that I was weightless too. It only lasted for about five, maybe ten seconds and it would have been the coolest thing ever, if it weren’t totally terrifying.
The ability to be truthful goes directly to the heart of whether you get funding, attract customers and recruit great employees. But that is just one part of it. The ability to be wrong can determine if you survive at all.
We’ve all had bosses, friends and relatives that just couldn’t admit they’d made a mistake. We know how we feel when we know the facts and someone tells us we’re wrong or don’t understand. The longer we are in that environment, the less we trust the person, the more we doubt reality, or both.
Make no mistake, we presently live in a say anything to win environment. Sometimes people are intentionally dishonest. These situations tend to be self-liquidating. Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos, who famously said that having a backup plan is admitting failure, is the latest example where outright deceit brought someone crashing down. While spectacular, these cases relatively rare.
The open plan office has become a fixture of the modern workplace. Private offices and cube farms have been replaced by flexible workspaces with little or no partitions. 60% of companies have now adopted open plan layouts, with more than a third having changed from closed to open layout within the past five years.
The trend is particularly prevalent in London, where a rise in flexible serviced offices has contributed to the layout’s increasing popularity. A Deloitte report on office occupation in central London found that floor space dedicated to serviced offices has increased by 67% since 2004.
Millennials are six times more likely than baby boomers to set up shop for themselves, according to a new survey. And, sorry, Mom and Dad, their new role model is none other than Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In an effort to understand the future of work, GoDaddy and Morar Consulting surveyed 7,291 professionals in the United States, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong King, India, Mexico, Singapore, Turkey and the United Kingdom.
6. Investors and The Rule of Rocks
Shark Tank has done a lot to raise the level of wishful thinking in America. Many people believe that if you find the right ten slides, or the perfect 30 seconds, you’ll be able to extend your hand and a check will float from the ether and drop into the palm of your hand.
Oh, that this were true.
Media consumption habits of the younger generation are increasingly relevant to marketers as Gen Zers begin to overtake millennials as the demo du jour. In its annual Acumen Report, Defy Media studies how Gen Z and millennials consume media.
“While last year’s report revealed YouTube’s clear reign over TV and the rising influence of digital stars, this year we expand the view to their full video diet and preferred ad formats,” said Defy Media marketing evp Andy Tu. “The results prove younger audiences’ increasing appetite for video that’s satisfying a diverse set of needs, and the importance of understanding preferences or risk being easily tuned out.”
4. Minimum Viable Products Can Be Missing Valuable Pieces
Fail fast. Fail forward. Nice, glib encouragements that old farts will give you from the security of their wealth and comfort. Use lean start up techniques to consolidate your ideas into a minimum viable product (MVP) that you can get in front of the market to see if there’s interest. Use the least amount of effort and treasure to see if there are buyers. Once you get a spark, pivot toward a business model that you can monetize by adding costly but more unique aspects to your product or app.
It makes sense. Think of your start-up effort as more of a lab than a business. You’re experimenting more than launching and using the results to fine tune the next moves toward the market. If you’ve done everything properly, even your failures will teach you something as you assemble the information you need to identify your ideal customers and build the product they want to buy.
1. You’re not going to win the pitch contest – even if you win it
Shark Tank is great entertainment. It’s the perfect reality TV format. Entrepreneurs, fresh with enthusiasm and ideas vs. hostile moneyed elites tearing their dreams asunder for the entertainment of the viewing audience. America loves a good fight, and Shark Tank delivers the humiliation and put downs that make great television. But the link between it and actual reality is tenuous at best.
“But there are winners,” you protest, “Checks get written.”
Do they? We had the privilege of participating in an event where some of the contestants of Shark Tank came out to meet the faithful who were dreaming of following in their footsteps.