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  • Jason Calacanis 19:24:37 on 2021-04-09 Permalink
    Tags: Entrepreneurship, ,   

    Insights from Giggster Co-founder Hank Leber on building a location marketplace for creators & content production | E1196 


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    Top Insights


    • Building a business on top of another platform is risky, as revenue can go to $0 overnight by no fault of your own
    • Adding simple and easy solutions to archaic industries and business processes can result in rapid adoption
    • Giggster filled their marketplace supply-side first: once there was a large volume of high-quality supply, demand generation was much faster and mostly organic
    • When all sources of revenue are on the line, even archaic industries like film production can adapt quickly
    • Since Giggster has been operating successfully before raising money, they know their unit economics and are comfortable putting together an aggressive growth plan

    Intro / Problems with building on other platforms


    Guest: Hank Leber | @hankleber

    • Co-Founder & Head of Growth, Giggster (April 2019-Present)
    • Website: https://giggster.com
    • Hank previously was CEO of GonnaBE a planning social media app (they presented at LAUNCH Festival). The concept of planning socially wasn’t embraced by users.
      • Lesson learned: if you put out your plans publicly and no one comes you look like a loser.

    “You have an idea that everybody thinks sounds great, then there’s an ugly cultural truth somewhere that makes it not a real thing.”

    Hank Leber
    • Hank also had a company called Vytmn which was a “growth as a service” tool built on top of Twitter
    • Twitter shut down one of their key features, the ability for to automate actions like DMs, which killed their revenue ($1M ARR at peak)

    “… do not build on the back of another platform, if they can kill you, they will, it’s not your money. That’s their money that you’re stealing.”

    Hank Leber

    Giggster’s founding story


    • Hank and his Co-Founder Yuri Baranov were not from the film industry, they are tech entrepreneurs
    • How they discovered the market opportunity with Giggster:
      • Yuri is LA-based and lives in a nice house near the water
      • One day, a production scout knocked on his door and offered him $70K to shoot at his house over two days for CSI: Miami
      • The process included door knocking, clipboards, paper contracts and excel spreadsheets
        • this “business flow” was terrible for a $70K transaction, so Yuri told Hank about it and they started doing some research on the production location industry
        • After realizing the location industry had been run this way for decades, they started Giggster
    • Giggster is a two-sided marketplace for video production, meetings, weddings & events. Think Airbnb for production locations and events.
      • Larger clients would be Netflix, HBO, Hulu, large production companies, etc.
      • Smaller clients would be TikTokers, YouTubers, Vloggers, etc.
    • How Giggster differs from Airbnb and VRBO:
      • Short-term rental platforms do not allow production shoots because they require more overhead: insurance, more people per location then allowed, production parking, waivers, etc.
    • Giggster added a services element because some film production teams need higher-touch support (above $2500-$3000 a day) these services include:
      • Logistics
      • Permiting
      • Power
    • In California, you can rent your home for up to 14 days per year tax free
      • Giggster has some client who shut down their listing after being booked for 14 days for this reason

    Creating the marketplace supply-side first


    “What we’ve found is, chicken and the egg, locations matter first. As long as we have the supply we can generate the demand.”

    Hank Leber on starting a marketplace

    Giggster has almost 10,000 locations on the platform

    • In the early days, they filled the supply-side inventory by:
      • partnering with Hollywood agencies, who already had direct relationships with private property owners
      • they also knocked on doors for early customers
      • filling the supply-side first turned out to be a good decision, as it created an immediate flywheels with renters
    • Customers needed a lot of education, so Giggster built out detailed FAQs and comprehensive signup flows
    • Demand has been strong and scouts are now loading their locations onto Giggster
    • If a major client (Netflix, HBO, etc.) needs a location that does not exist on Giggster, they will hire location scouts to go find and matching location and on-board them
    • Giggster saw an opportunity to expand with cheap inventory from pandemic disruption (commercial real estate, restaurants, etc.)

    Pitching at Remote Demo Day, raising via Jason’s Syndicate


    ” (Regarding Jason’s Syndicate), the money is actually secondary to the quality of the network.”

    Hank Leber
    • Self-funded for 3.5 years while they figured out the business
      • Took ~3 years to build a solid base and infrastructure, and now they are seeing rapid growth
    • Yuri (Hank’s Co-Founder) told him to go try and land Jason Calacanis as an investor, so Hank started reaching out to mutual contacts and eventually got a slot in a Remote Demo Day session over the summer
    • Remote Demo Day format:
      • Seven founders pitch thousands of investors over Zoom
      • Pitches are three minutes each, with a two minute Q&A with judges after
      • After all pitches are finished, the judges vote on their top three and the audience members (accredited investors) vote for their #1 company in a poll
      • One day later, all 7000+ members of Jason’s Syndicate get an email with the recording and a sheet where they can pre-commit a dollar amount to invest
      • Any companies that receive over $200K in interest are syndicated!
    • Giggster was The Syndicate’s largest investment ever
      • According to Hank, the quality of the network of investors created additional value beyond the capital invested

    Giggster’s use cases and emerging content business models


    • Giggster collects 15% from the final host payout as a service fee
    • Daily rates for a shoot range $2-30K per day depending on how high-end the location is
      • the average is around $8-10K
      • Larger long-term deals will hit 7 figures
        • example: ABC renting a mansion for The Bachelor for three months
    • Production came back online quickly during the pandemic, the film industry was really aggressive and inventive about their protocols
      • Even in an industry resistant to change, all of the money drying up overnight caused people to change their minds FAST
    • Giggster holds production companies accountable and cares a lot about reputation.
      • Location marketplaces need to maintain a good relationship with cities & neighborhoods so they can continue to operate
      • Typically the professional production companies have outstanding reputations for taking care of properties, however, a new potential business model is more uncertain…

    TikTok content houses are a new media business model

    • Sway & Hypehouse are the most famous TikTok houses
      • These are new media operations that have very different needs and filming styles than traditional production.
      • They don’t have big camera crews but are also notoriously crazier than a film studio.
      • It’s not cut and dry how to service these creators yet, so that’s where Giggster is attacking the opportunity:
        • They are working to pick the right locations (areas with more space and fewer neighbors), and figuring out the insurance needs to service these new smaller-scale customers

    Scaling Giggster


    • The importance of network relationships and trust is key for B2B. Cold emails work worse in this category.
    • Since Giggster has been operating successfully before raising money, they know their unit economics and are comfortable putting together an aggressive growth plan

    ” [once] you get dollars in the door and deliver real value with product-market fit, adding money to scale is a math equation instead of trying to paint a picture and tricking people into buying your vision of the future.”

    Hank Leber

    The post Insights from Giggster Co-founder Hank Leber on building a location marketplace for creators & content production | E1196 appeared first on Jason Calacanis.

     
  • Jason Calacanis 15:00:44 on 2019-01-02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Entrepreneurship, , , , , , ,   

    Chrome OS is the ultimate productivity hack & will exceed Mac OS marketshare — but can it challenge Windows? 


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    The Acer Chromebox CXI3

    I recently replaced all but three of the Macs in our office (the ones used for video editing), with ~$800 ACER Chromeboxes and the stunning, ~$900, USB-C powered Dell 38″ monitors (model: U3818DW).

    Google’s Chrome OS is an absurdly fast, stable and distraction-free operating system. Over the past seven years of its short existence, it has become world-class.

    Here’s why Google has nailed it:

    1. As the world has moved to cloud-based software, running inside of browsers, the need to download client software has disappeared for almost every task. This means software startups don’t have to build clients for every desktop operating system anymore (some do, most don’t).
    2. The Chrome Browser has become the standard for cloud-based apps to be built on — because it has massive market share.
    3. Chrome Extensions are available for everything you need to do, from password management, Grammarly and advanced email with Superhuman (email jason@calacanis.com with “superhuman” in the subject line and I will help you jump the line).
    4. ChromeOS doesn’t have all the Mac and Microsoft cruft like iMessage, Apple Photos, iTunes and all the rest. It’s basically just a browser with a desktop.
    5. Chrome OS is an open source project, which is allowing folks to do insane things like making a version of ChromeOS you can install on your old iMac and MacBook Air, and because the OS is so light it makes those computers seem new again.
    6. Chrome OS now supports Google Play, so if you insist on using an App like Spotify, Instagram or Slack, you have the option of doing it in the browser AND in the app. It’s kind of mind-blowing to Instagram on your huge desktop.
    7. Hardware vendors are loving and investing in Chrome OS. The fact that Acer is making a machine that is, literally, the size of a ham sandwich with 16 Gigs of ram, 64 GIG SSD, Bluetooth, six USB ports, an Intel Core i7 processor, USB-C, ethernet, HDMI and an SD reader is bonkers.
    8. For bonus points, you can power the ChromeBox from the USB-C port on your Dell Monitor — which then acts as a USB hub, giving you another four USB ports. This means the whole setup requires one power plug (to the monitor, NOT the computer), which is really strange.
    9. The chrome box powers 3840 x 1600 resolution on the Dell Monitor — which is nuts. You can put three giant chrome browser windows side by side, which will make you and your team 10-20% more efficient.
    10. ChromeBooks are all over schools today.
    11. Google’s login system and browser sync let you log in to ANY ChromeOS device — so sharing a ChromeBook or ChromeBox is as simple as logging on and off.
    12. ChromeOS is so light that it updates and boots blazingly fast — like seconds.
    The back of acer chromebox

    For $1,700 you can give everyone in your startup a machine that is absurdly fast and a monitor that is just amazing.

    The Chromeboxes actually start at around $200, and you can get a decent widescreen for $400… so in truth you can test this setup out at like $600 total and have your mind blown.

    Prediction: Chrome OS, which had < 1% market share at the start of 2015 and is currently at 4.35% marketing share of all operating systems (desktops, tablets, and mobile phones) will catch up and surpass Mac OS in the next five years. [ Source: StatCounter, slicker chart by Statista. ]

    Comparing just MacOSX and Chrome OS

    Big Question: Will Chrome OS eventually dominate the Windows operating system juggernaut, at 60%+? Google did with browsers, which take minutes to switch, but can they do it with computers which commonly get switched every three to five years?

    The Chrome browser has taken over the world.

    Finally, the Google Pixelbook is a fantastic machine to pair with the Dell 38 monitor. You simply plug in the USB port and, again, the monitor will charge your laptop and sync up in seconds. The Pixelbook, and Chromebox setup above, are half the price of an equivalent mac.

    Bottom Line: Google’s brilliant long game: Chrome, Android and ChromeOS (aka the Chromium Project) are all open source and free, driving consumers to give their data to precious data for Google to — essentially — resell to advertisers. This builds a massive moat around Google’s ad business while putting massive pressure on Apple and Microsoft’s franchises.

     
  • Jason Calacanis 15:00:44 on 2019-01-02 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Entrepreneurship, , , , , , ,   

    Chrome OS is the ultimate productivity hack & will exceed Mac OS marketshare — but can it challenge Windows? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/ec/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77
    The Acer Chromebox CXI3

    I recently replaced all but three of the Macs in our office (the ones used for video editing), with ~$800 ACER Chromeboxes and the stunning, ~$900, USB-C powered Dell 38″ monitors (model: U3818DW).

    [ Click to Tweet (can edit before sending): https://ctt.ac/877i9 ]

    Google’s Chrome OS is an absurdly fast, stable and distraction-free operating system. Over the past seven years of its short existence, it has become world-class.

    Here’s why Google has nailed it:

    1. As the world has moved to cloud-based software, running inside of browsers, the need to download client software has disappeared for almost every task. This means software startups don’t have to build clients for every desktop operating system anymore (some do, most don’t).
    2. The Chrome Browser has become the standard for cloud-based apps to be built on — because it has massive market share.
    3. Chrome Extensions are available for everything you need to do, from password management, Grammarly and advanced email with Superhuman (email jason@18.234.176.227 with “superhuman” in the subject line and I will help you jump the line).
    4. ChromeOS doesn’t have all the Mac and Microsoft cruft like iMessage, Apple Photos, iTunes and all the rest. It’s basically just a browser with a desktop.
    5. Chrome OS is an open source project, which is allowing folks to do insane things like making a version of ChromeOS you can install on your old iMac and MacBook Air, and because the OS is so light it makes those computers seem new again.
    6. Chrome OS now supports Google Play, so if you insist on using an App like Spotify, Instagram or Slack, you have the option of doing it in the browser AND in the app. It’s kind of mind-blowing to Instagram on your huge desktop.
    7. Hardware vendors are loving and investing in Chrome OS. The fact that Acer is making a machine that is, literally, the size of a ham sandwich with 16 Gigs of ram, 64 GIG SSD, Bluetooth, six USB ports, an Intel Core i7 processor, USB-C, ethernet, HDMI and an SD reader is bonkers.
    8. For bonus points, you can power the ChromeBox from the USB-C port on your Dell Monitor — which then acts as a USB hub, giving you another four USB ports. This means the whole setup requires one power plug (to the monitor, NOT the computer), which is really strange.
    9. The chrome box powers 3840 x 1600 resolution on the Dell Monitor — which is nuts. You can put three giant chrome browser windows side by side, which will make you and your team 10-20% more efficient.
    10. ChromeBooks are all over schools today.
    11. Google’s login system and browser sync let you log in to ANY ChromeOS device — so sharing a ChromeBook or ChromeBox is as simple as logging on and off.
    12. ChromeOS is so light that it updates and boots blazingly fast — like seconds.
    The back of acer chromebox

    For $1,700 you can give everyone in your startup a machine that is absurdly fast and a monitor that is just amazing.

    The Chromeboxes actually start at around $200, and you can get a decent widescreen for $400… so in truth you can test this setup out at like $600 total and have your mind blown.

    Prediction: Chrome OS, which had < 1% market share at the start of 2015 and is currently at 4.35% marketing share of all operating systems (desktops, tablets, and mobile phones) will catch up and surpass Mac OS in the next five years. [ Source: StatCounter, slicker chart by Statista. ]

    Comparing just MacOSX and Chrome OS

    Big Question: Will Chrome OS eventually dominate the Windows operating system juggernaut, at 60%+? Google did with browsers, which take minutes to switch, but can they do it with computers which commonly get switched every three to five years?

    The Chrome browser has taken over the world.

    Finally, the Google Pixelbook is a fantastic machine to pair with the Dell 38 monitor. You simply plug in the USB port and, again, the monitor will charge your laptop and sync up in seconds. The Pixelbook, and Chromebox setup above, are half the price of an equivalent mac.

    Bottom Line: Google’s brilliant long game: Chrome, Android and ChromeOS (aka the Chromium Project) are all open source and free, driving consumers to give their data to precious data for Google to — essentially — resell to advertisers. This builds a massive moat around Google’s ad business while putting massive pressure on Apple and Microsoft’s franchises.

    The post Chrome OS is the ultimate productivity hack & will exceed Mac OS marketshare — but can it challenge Windows? appeared first on Calacanis.com.

     
  • Jason Calacanis 15:00:13 on 2019-01-01 Permalink
    Tags: , , Entrepreneurship, , ,   

    How to get an angel investor’s attention? 


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    Don’t say everything

    Got asked this question on Quora. The answer for me, and for most angels, is easy: send a short email with a link to the product or a product video.

    Protip: Do not email your life story or 3,000+ words on why you built your product. This will make you look deranged.

    The goal of your email is to get the investor to a) understand what you’re doing and to b) respond.

    You want to send just the most important thing, which is one of the following things 99% of the time:

    1. your product
    2. your traction
    3. your market
    4. your technology
    5. you

    What you don’t want to do is send an angel EVERYTHING in the first email. Get them on the hook with the best thing (perhaps two things) and try and get them to ask you more questions.

    As an example, Henry from Cafe X sent me a video of the prototype of the Cafe X machine, along with two sentences, while based in Hong Kong. Since then, I’ve invested millions in the company, I’m on the board and they have three locations rocking in San Francisco. Mission accomplished.

    Note: I don’t respond to all my emails, I get around 300–500 per day… but I do open most of them, and I do click on links often.

    PS – I’m going to try and write a blog post every day in 2019 and set them to publish at 7AM… consider this day one of 365.

     
  • Jason Calacanis 15:00:13 on 2019-01-01 Permalink
    Tags: , , Entrepreneurship, , ,   

    How do you get an angel investor’s attention? 


    Warning: preg_match_all(): Compilation failed: invalid range in character class at offset 7 in /homepages/23/d339537987/htdocs/ec/wp-content/themes/p2/inc/mentions.php on line 77
    Don’t say everything

    Got asked this question on Quora. The answer for me, and for most angels, is easy: send a short email with a link to the product or a product video.

    [ Click to Tweet (can edit before sending): https://ctt.ac/3lcnX  ]

    Protip: Do not email your life story or 3,000+ words on why you built your product. This will make you look deranged.

    The goal of your email is to get the investor to a) understand what you’re doing and to b) respond.

    You want to send just the most important thing, which is one of the following things 99% of the time:

    1. your product
    2. your traction
    3. your market
    4. your technology
    5. you

    What you don’t want to do is send an angel EVERYTHING in the first email. Get them on the hook with the best thing (perhaps two things) and try and get them to ask you more questions.

    As an example, Henry from Cafe X sent me a video of the prototype of the Cafe X machine, along with two sentences, while based in Hong Kong. Since then, I’ve invested millions in the company, I’m on the board and they have three locations rocking in San Francisco. Mission accomplished.

    Note: I don’t respond to all my emails, I get around 300–500 per day… but I do open most of them, and I do click on links often.

    PS – I’m going to try and write a blog post every day in 2019 and set them to publish at 7AM… consider this day one of 365.

    The post How do you get an angel investor’s attention? appeared first on Calacanis.com.

     
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