OKAY - you get ten guesses. We'll be talking about 🥁🥁🥁 ALL THINGS STARTUPS. This Week On Planet Internet, Natasha Nel, Kien Dao, and Amy Tom talk about validating startup ideas, structuring startups, and the latest startup funding news.
🔥 THIS WEEK ON PL...
OKAY - you get ten guesses. We'll be talking about 🥁🥁🥁 ALL THINGS STARTUPS. This Week On Planet Internet, Natasha Nel, Kien Dao, and Amy Tom talk about validating startup ideas, structuring startups, and the latest startup funding news.
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Natasha:[00:00:00] All right. What is up everybody? Welcome to this week on planet incident. I am your guest host, Ms. Sasha, and I'm joined this week by a hacker Nunes brand executive Ken, and your regular hosts.
Everybody's here. Everybody's here. Gang's all here. It's going to be a vibe I wanted to ask you both. How you doing considering Keon is basically here against his world. Just recording this podcast completely against his own personal wishes. And Amy, I believe just work up,
Amy:[00:00:38] roll out of bed literally less than 10 minutes ago and it is going to be great.
Okay. Let me preface this a little bit. I got my vaccine last week, so I've been sleeping mad hard since then. I think I've just been, yeah, it's wiped me out. I'm going like 12 hours a night every night. Yeah.
Kien:[00:00:59] Which one did you get? Pfizer. Oh, you're sorry. Pretty much pretty, light for fiber and Moderna.
Am I correct in there? Johnson and Johnson, I think. Yeah.
Amy:[00:01:10] Yeah. That's what I've heard too, but I've heard that this is my second dose and I've heard that it hits people harder and I didn't experience any like flu symptoms or anything. Just real tough.
Kien:[00:01:21] Okay. So just for what I know. Yeah. I'm mostly expecting my second shot.
In a few weeks. Yeah.
Amy:[00:01:26] Okay. Prepare for some long napping. That's all I got
Kien:[00:01:35] dream to me. I'm all for it.
Natasha:[00:01:40] I am pro napping. So I say thank you science for the nap time.
Amy:[00:01:45] A Pfizer isn't me. I don't know.
Natasha:[00:01:49] Are we going to question it or should we just take a nap? Exactly. Okay. All right. So you need to enable screen sharing. I think so that we can get to the headlines of the day, how things are, right.
How things are doing on the hacker noon homepage. Things are looking pretty green, pretty good. We've got headlines about the 10 best PSP games of all time ranked by sales. Sounds like an interesting read. Ted lasso is leadership lessons. Made me a successful leader says John homepage of hacker noon.
Read it there, get it all there today. Programming stories, apparently HTML and CSS needs help a cry for help story from Marcos. Sandrini how to get started with full stack app developers. Also a hot topic. You can put, learn it all. Hacker noon. We have space robots called space Bach, apparently a robot that can walk in space, exciting stuff, some AI stuff, smart trains, the usual and then boom, startups of the obviously we're going to open with that.
Very exciting. Let's talk about it behind the scenes. Launch week, look, story time. How did it go for both of you for that? For our listeners? The context is this week. How can you launched startups of the a, which is a brand new awards program designed to recognize startup founders and businesses all over the world.
Literally. In every city in the world that has a population of over a hundred thousand, I believe. And it was a lot of work, but it's looking great. The initial feedback or the campaign has been positive. So yeah, I can, let's kick it off with you. You wrote this post on launched today, which was Monday. How has your start-ups experience been from behind the scenes?
Kien:[00:03:44] Yeah, I did. It was really fun. Getting every, everything prepared for start-up I'm going to let Natasha and Amy touch base on the content of startups out. We'll be talking about the design and, the whole visual of the word. I'm really glad that we decided to go with this color.
The, with the two sheds up I won't fake green. I will fake two shades of mint. Green or mint. So it's a storm idea. I love it. I, then I shift pick it up and I go crazy with the whole promotion video. FYI ex already on YouTube at Hakkinen. Oh, I'm sorry. At YouTube slash Heikkinen slash channel slash hacker noon.
You guys make sure you check it out. Yeah, it's a whole different thing for me. I tried from styles, different if fact and it's really cool. It talks about, just basically what startups at what the awards will be about. And it's basically just to promote and to celebrate all the startups in the world that has survived through out the pandemic throughout 2021.
And just to show that we really appreciate them. They're in there. Yeah, and I think that's just another part. Do I need, what else do I need to talk about?
Natasha:[00:05:00] I want to second, your choice of design the color here. We've gone with the juror tone, which is something that is dark mint, Vincent documents, it just light to document feel. It's been a really good design journey for hacking noon. This year, we launched new brand guidelines and now we have started ups, which kind of really, I feel as all the new color direction, because as our diehard listeners might know, terminal green has always been our kind of only accent color and a while.
It's great. A lot of people do indeed say that it sometimes hurts their eyes. So we're exploring some alternatives. While, still keeping that bright and a green influenced color palette. And I think Ken's done an amazing job of that. Amy, how has your been, how has your been, how has your experience of startups been?
How has it been working on the pod side? Pod cost side of things, losing it? Yeah.
Amy:[00:05:57] Yes, my role in launching startups of the year has more so been in the podcasts and content side. So I have launched a startup summer series that is going swimmingly. Yesterday, we launched the podcast with David where and storm, where he talks about how he started hacker noon.
And I actually learned a lot of stuff because I didn't know necessarily the whole backstory of everything and how it got started. So it was nice to get like the breakdown of the timeline on how he started it. Started it, the logistical things, how he raised the money, that kind of stuff. So that was fun.
And then for the rest of the summer, I've got planned a bunch of different founders and CEOs that I'm interviewing. And they've all been nominated for the startup of the year. And it's very exciting. The content is going very well because I am getting into the nitty gritty. Who it like, how they got started.
And I feel like you don't really get that founder story a lot from these startups that maybe aren't as well known in smaller cities or haven't gotten the recognition yet, which is really what the whole purpose of the campaign is about. Like recognizing startups that haven't been able to get that recognition in the past necessarily.
Natasha:[00:07:24] Super exciting stuff and think that if everybody could visit startups dot hacker, noon.com, that would be great. Wrote up your favorite startups. We've got basically every city covered, and if we haven't covered your startup, then you can simply click on your city and scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit suggests a startup.
All of those are those submissions will be reviewed by a hacker noon editorial team, but anybody can get this start-ups in the running. And thanks to our sponsors. We are very lucky to have blocks to breaks and buy bits and many more offering great prizes this year. Do get in the running. We've got 37,961 startups and counting.
So staying with the startup theme, I thought we'd move to some funding news from this week. I've got the term sheet newsletter open here. This is a great newsletter by fortune. And it's written by Lucinda Shan who covers all daily funny funding deals. So I think. What I wanted to bring attention to and give a shout out to was Yoko, which is a south African payments and software company that raised 83 million in series C funding.
Dragnea investment group led around and was joined by investors, including Bryer capital, health, capital, and the robber partnership, et cetera. Yoko is an online payments app basically for small businesses. It allows people to accept online payments anywhere, both in in a physical sense and on their websites.
Just today. I paid my yoga membership to my studio back in South Africa, my online studio Using your car from here in Amsterdam. So yeah, there are really great startup and I'm so glad to hear that they're doing so well. Let's play a fun game. Why don't we scroll through this newsletter and it's not always care and the terms you can use it or what each startup does.
So Amy can, I'm going to ask you to stop me when you see something that interests you and we're going. Try and guess what that startup does before we actually find out. So choose a non-obvious one. Let's do this
Kien:[00:09:33] and God, I did not. I'm not a big research proofing, so it's perfect for me.
Natasha:[00:09:39] Perfect. Oh,
Kien:[00:09:40] what's Pendo I'm going to guess they have something to do with software development and wait.
No, I'm sorry.
Amy:[00:09:47] That sounds familiar to me.
Kien:[00:09:51] Yeah. We've used the software before. Okay. I feel like they are a software development they support I don't think they support website building with different developing them, which so am I right?
Natasha:[00:10:06] This is such a fantastic moment.
So Algolia is actually the software that powers the search function on hacking noone's own websites.
Natasha:[00:10:14] know this. That is why before introduced by storm. Oh, look at that. They've put a banner on the top of their website. We are now valued at 2.25 billion. Yeah, they offer flexible search and discovery, hosted API APIs and enabled developers to build next generation apps with API APIs that deliver relevant content in milliseconds.
Shall we test that theory on hacker news website? Give me something to search for. Yeah.
Amy:[00:10:45] Pet duck,
Natasha:[00:10:47] tick. What else? I'm hitting search on pet tech, expect
Kien:[00:10:54] to fish from cats or
Natasha:[00:10:56] cat first. Yay. Indeed. The first search result. Thanks to all. Girlier is the rise in pet tech, GPS tracking, smart harnesses, and more with two cats looking at a laptop.
Amy:[00:11:12] He published that middle article about AI powered software in pet tech five months ago. Still remember it? No dogs.
Natasha:[00:11:21] No. We had 21 stories on how can you know about pet tech? This is a whole new,
Amy:[00:11:27] this is my favorite sub category.
Natasha:[00:11:32] So you search this when you're looking for stories to publish hot tub, get published, foster submit a story about pet tech.
Amy:[00:11:40] listen, that article will get picked up in the Q's so fast.
Kien:[00:11:46] Like a, like an approval chip like this. So
Amy:[00:11:49] you get a dog in that future featured image. Wow. I'm done.
Kien:[00:11:53] Okay. I see one password Canadian password management provider.
A hundred million funding I've used one puff and I think it's amazing. And a keeping track of my passwords across different websites and social media accounts and bank accounts. So I don't know. Yeah, it's good. We should have them start up if they're not already.
Natasha:[00:12:15] Yeah, I agree. We recently had this problem of password management and hacker noon, and we haven't quite solved it, but I think one password was mentioned by more than one of our product team devs as a preferred solution. So good for them raised a hundred million in funding led by ASL Canadian.
I did not know of one post one password was Canadian. I'm interested to see this, that Yeah, happy, fresh, which is very funny because there's a company called hello, fresh here in the Netherlands. And I believe in the states. Yeah, they and Canada. Yeah. You guys have got HelloFresh. We do. Do you use them?
Amy:[00:12:51] No, but I'm getting the promo codes 24 7.
Natasha:[00:12:57] Yeah, they've got great
Amy:[00:12:58] marketing. Yeah.
Kien:[00:13:00] Yeah. Like I would expect I'm a bait pro for going to the grocery and pick out food and grocery stuff by myself. But I do not expect my parents to love on demand, grocery up and feel like there's a bunch in Vietnam and they've been using them way more often than I do.
Oh, I know.
Natasha:[00:13:18] Is he picking it up? That's interesting. I didn't know that was a big market segment, as you say. I wouldn't have expected that.
Kien:[00:13:25] Yeah. But yeah. Interesting. Thanks. Yeah. Cool concept. I just I don't know there's something about picking fish, do you have the skill to look at a fish and does it look fresh to you or have to really trust someone to do that?
Amy:[00:13:40] What are these motorbike drivers do? It just direct grabbing the first one on the pile. Throw it in the bag, right?
Kien:[00:13:47] Oh, I don't know about grocery shopping.
Natasha:[00:13:51] I think that's an interesting point and definitely not something I would consider I am of the segment that will pay a premium for the privilege of not having to pick out the best fish, because I'm such a perfectionist.
I think the pressure I can't take it. I'm just like, no, I don't know if it's the best fish. I can't take it. I want somebody to do it for me and I will pay for that privilege. Absolutely. I use HelloFresh.
Amy:[00:14:16] No, I don't like it because I like the grocery store experience like Keon. But it's not to me. It's not about picking out the best option.
It's about looking at all of the options. It's about looking at 50 different kinds of sauces. I'll do that all day.
Kien:[00:14:32] Yeah. It's the feeling of walking in between aisles Meyer, all the brands
Amy:[00:14:39] and to look at every aisle. Yeah,
Kien:[00:14:43] that's so fun,
Natasha:[00:14:47] right? Different strokes for different folks, while we're on the subject of startups and funding, which by the way, this whole podcast is about startups. So spoiler alert I wanted to talk about this interesting story that I published today. In fact, on hack noon called how to validate your startup idea using Delta force.
How to validate your startup idea using Delta for wealth creation theory. Got it. Nailed it. Thank you. They also fo is a stereo and we're going to work cause realists together because I don't fully understand it yet, but it was basically apparently coined by somebody on LinkedIn, as all the best ideas these days have actually are naturally by Kunal Shaw, the founder of cred app and the former founder of free charge, which was acquired by Snapdeal for $450 million.
And it can be. A framework for evaluating ideas, particularly startup ideas. And basically it is based on efficiency scoring. And I really liked this line since human beings are always hacking evolution, right? That's what we do as a species or that's what all species do, arguably all the things that are inefficient, we leave in the past and all the things that are efficient, we take to the future for our survival.
If we think about business that way it's the same principle. As the most efficient businesses will survive much like the most efficient species will survive. And he is arguing in this article that you can give things in efficiency school. And obviously that is the complicated pause. But what I liked about the idea is that.
The traits of highly efficient business ideas are things like once you use a. Started doing something that way it's so efficient for them that it's impossible for them to go back to the old way. So the first trait of a really efficient business idea is that it makes an irreversible change in the behavior of the consumer.
So for example, once you've booked a flight or train ticket online, you'll never go back. To the airport to buy wine, like something like that is an example, obviously. And then things like the universal brag where position is things like true color and example of the universal brag, where the position is the true color, which I didn't know, spent zero money on marketing and advertising.
They completely. Sprayed just by being a really useful app. Everyone said, here's how you stop spam calls, download true Cola and they are a highly valued company. Now, do you use that app or a variation of true colors of block spam? Do you get a lot of spam in Canada or Vietnam?
Amy:[00:17:35] I've never even heard of it, to be honest.
Yeah. Spam calling is definitely a thing in Canada, for sure. I think some of my other friends get it more than I do. I'm on this like very strange, like Dan Como bile, like nobody knows whatever. It's like a $15 phone plan. So I almost never answer my phone.
Natasha:[00:17:54] That's why I don't have to call them because I don't answer calls as a terminal agencies only. Yeah. Yeah. I realized the other day that the phone app on my phone is definitely one of the least used. Right on there. And I just, yeah, it's an app on my phone, but it's one of the least used, I realized it's really a misnomer to be calling that thing a phone.
So I guess what
Amy:[00:18:20] to if I call someone now I called them over wifi of some exemption app. Like I never call with my cell service.
Kien:[00:18:30] Because why what you've spent like money on like extra money on phone calls and texts, when you can do exactly what you're you already.
Amy:[00:18:41] When I came back from backpacking I spend the first six months in Canada without a phone plan at all, like nothing.
So I would go out, leave my house, leave the wifi zone. He couldn't reach me. I was absolutely in, in the dark and I loved it. It was beautiful.
Kien:[00:18:57] Yeah. If there's one ways the the wifi portable I don't know, yeah, the thing. So I don't know if that sounds like it was great startup ideas, five years ago.
You can literally go where, and you have to have wifi, but I don't know, like the downfall of it. You have to have a SIM card inside that wifi portable thing. So in, in some way you're still paying for data. Yeah. Yeah. So a SIM card. So that's one sec.
Natasha:[00:19:26] The last and final trait of a Delta for high efficient, and therefore highly profitable business idea is that it will have a high tolerance level.
So even when the product is down for an hour or two people will still return to it. It's not, they're not going to immediately be like this website doesn't work. I'm leaving. I think a great example of that is almost all of our social media. And the example used in this article is Uber. Can you guys think of any other examples of high tolerance products that you don't mind if it's down?
You'll definitely use it again. Probably like a
Amy:[00:20:03] new site, right? Okay. Yeah. Hacker and down like a new site of some sort, or I feel like high tolerance also could mean like credibility, if you've got that. Long-term standing then I would be more or less to come back if you fucked up,
Yeah. So those are the traits of adults before they make irreversible changes in behavior. They have a universal brag worthy position or high word of mouth the true Kohler example, and then the high tolerance, like you're going to come back, even if it's down the exceptions, however are affordability.
So if it's efficient and addictive and resilience, but it's not affordable, you will not unlock wealth with that startup idea. The supporting ecosystem is not present in the market then. You that also will not work. So I think crypto adoption is a good example of that. That's taken a long time for the supporting infrastructure to be widely accessible enough through user-friendly apps for people to manage wallets, et cetera.
And then if there is a huge learning curve, I think a great example is how can you recently launched a new editor? Wasn't too much of a learning curve to, to use that we didn't receive a lot of feedback that using the mock down version was hard to learn. And as a result, our story submission seem to have been increasing lately, which is very exciting.
I don't know if that's correlation or causation. I like to think that more people are writing in the new editor correlation. But yeah, so this, yeah, I can, sorry, what did you want to say?
Kien:[00:21:47] The author, Kunal Shah also mentioned something further down in the article about it, it relates to the the effort to learn point.
It mentioned operate operating system and I couldn't help myself, but to think about the very two rivals the iOS and the Android. And it mentioned how people just refused or to learn to to learn how to use on a new operating system because of the difficult to move up the different fifth.
And yeah, I just think. Like if people are using iOS, they will just keep using, I'm not talking about the the tech experts or the big tech nerd like me, just the normal normal person with daily usage, like average usage, they were subject to the current operating system that they're using.
An iPhone user will only still be an iPhone user and the, yeah. Also Android. We Android and I don't know. I think the iPhone, I don't know, like I'm a big sheep, so I I think the iPhone is taking an advantage here if, because I'm out of the of how clean and how easy, how easy to operate on there.
Operating system, it's your fault. It makes the whole experience a lot cleaner and so much faster than Android and for
Amy:[00:23:00] Ken comes on the podcast and somehow it talks about apple.
Kien:[00:23:02] Yeah, I go here I can't help it, but when I
Amy:[00:23:06] start talking about Apple's UI,
Natasha:[00:23:10] that's what I feel like a turtle boomer. Really. I feel like a complete, I feel like David actually LCE or a David Smith. I feel like David trying to learn new technology. Every time I pick up my boyfriend's phone and I'm just like, how do I make it open? What is it?
I don't understand. It's so hard to use. It's really just compared to apple, a disgusting sort of. So design and and user friendliness. I feel personally, that's just my opinion on that. I have some really just moderate it opinion. So we'll move on before that gets too heated. The last startup story that we have for today is let's talk about startup structure.
Now, the story that I published freshly today from Loma. And essentially it talks about different options and the pros and cons for startups structure runnings through hierarchy matrix, a horizontal network goes through all the details, divisional structure, line structure. I don't know what all of these are entirely.
I have not experienced them firsthand personally myself, but I thought it would be an interesting story. Talk about specifically because is a very interesting example of structure and how that can apply and work and sometimes not work in a startup. So yeah. What are your thoughts on structure and startups and team wellness and cohesion from a structural perspective?
Amy:[00:24:49] Wait. Okay. Wait, I have a question. Have you worked at a different startup, Natasha?
Natasha:[00:24:54] Yes. Yeah. If I think let's say two or three startups before
Amy:[00:25:02] you're a startup grow. Yeah. Yeah. See, it says hacker news is the first startup that I've ever worked at. So tell me our structure is I think we've got what, like 12 full-time employees now, all worldwide.
And we have maybe another 20 ish part-time employees who work, entrepreneur things again, all worldwide. It's not normal.
Natasha:[00:25:26] No, not at all. I've only worked for one. Startup that was remote. First of all, before, sir, I think that's obviously more common now post global panini, but I've only worked for one before and that was half remote and half not remote.
And that really didn't work. Trying to force both worlds into one because the people who are in office always somehow end up clashing with the people who aren't in office and it just really doesn't work. And other than that, I've always only been onsite. And in a hierarchical structure with startups before I've never experienced Hakka, Nunes very flat.
And now only recently introducing some kind of structure into the company, but still not enough structure to take away any kind of self-driven. Leadership or self driven projects. So I would still describe how can Nunez fairly horizontal, even though we do have an additional layer of kind of responsibility now, would you agree?
Amy:[00:26:24] Yeah. And I feel like the way that we structure it too, it just in terms of like culture, is that like it's flat, it doesn't feel like hierarchy collateral.
Kien:[00:26:35] But I would also add up a little bit of high our hierarchical structure. So it's a little bit of both with the horizontal structure a little bit more because at the end of the day we still do report our work to the FIO and the filo.
I would say a little bit of combination in a boat. But yeah.
Natasha:[00:26:57] It's a summarized nicely in the slide about also known as flat structure. The horizontal organization is perhaps best known for eliminating many, if not all meant middle management positions, small companies, and startups love this option because it empowers employees to make quick decisions.
But it requires you to have a well-trained workforce that you can trust to make quick decisions. That's a pretty accurate summary is you got to keep people informed and have people you can trust to make those calls to pull off what we're pulling off. In other words, just very humbly bragging about how much we achieve without flat structure.
And do you think that if you. What if you came to hack noon and there was a lot more hierarchy. In other words, you received direct directives from your VP is for example, every day of this is what you need to achieve. Do you think that would work for you? Do you think that you would sometimes enjoy that and just be like, oh good.
I don't have to think for myself today.
Amy:[00:28:03] I don't think I would have known any differently, to be honest, not that I've worked for extreme Mike, micro managers. I think you're describing like, quite an extreme, but like I just can't. I came from a corporate world. I don't think I would have known any different per se.
This is like something that is from a dream to me, like the lawlessness or like the wild west of the startup. Like anything goes, whatever, this is my dream. Because I just really don't. I don't feel like I'm meant for a quarter. Role like in an office and dress slacks and stuff like that.
It's, that's not really me. What I have been happy probably. Am I happier now? Definitely.
Kien:[00:28:42] Yeah, for me, I don't think hierarchy, hierarchical structures should be that big of a deal. I think I preferred to look at how the the style for each, for the manager and for the employee, like how, do they match?
Do they, are they compatible with each other? I think that's more important. If they are we're comfortable with working together, then yeah. I'm like, I'm okay. I'm all good. Throw in any structure. I can still work with it.
Natasha:[00:29:04] Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. They always say that people don't leave companies, they leave managers.
So it is very much a personality fits thing as well. A great speaking of great personalities and even better managers and leaders happy birthday,
Amy:[00:29:26] happy birthday.
Kien:[00:29:28] One of the reasons I want, I still want it linked to beyond here, just so we can say happy birthday.
Natasha:[00:29:34] Yes. And embarrass her with stories of how great she is as a seat. And as it says here, how can you profile hacker noon, mama and chief, but also a real mom to Nora and Lang we love you so much.
We love working for you. You are so much fun and so funny and so great to work with. I think that it's very important. Take the time to acknowledge that we don't take a lot of time. I would say enough time at how can you to really compliment each other and say Hey, you're doing an excellent job and your treat to be around.
And thanks for that. Yeah. Lang happy birthday from everybody at hacker noon. If you follow a link on Instagram, which you should, because she has fire on Instagram, then go ahead and wish her a happy birthday. Otherwise catch hacking United Instagram, and you can wish her via that channel. So she's a star on Twitter.
I don't think she loves Twitter. I think she's like a bit of a lurker on Twitter sometimes. Yeah. So maybe
Amy:[00:30:37] she'll definitely see it and appreciate it.
Natasha:[00:30:40] Got those notifications turned all the way up or is just on it. Just really on point. Okay. Any other wise words or words for Lang of happy birthday nurse before we sign off for.
Amy:[00:30:54] Happy birthday melange. Thank you for being a great, amazing, beautiful boss. And I just, I feel like Ling is such a good boss too, because she's like very down to earth and approachable and, I don't feel like, again, it's like the hierarchical structure, right? I don't feel like I have to be afraid of her or intimidated by her or.
I'm scared that she's going to be mad at me for something, or I feel like I could approach her with anything, literally anything excellent. Excellent book.
Natasha:[00:31:27] Millennial. Yeah. Millennial gen Z managers just be taking notes, just like this is where we need approachability authenticity down.
So real humanity
Kien:[00:31:39] also like she pushes people to do work, like not in a rushy way, but like she gives people the exact push that they need. When they need to get work done, when they need to get a new idea, she'll be there too. She was like Hey, you got it. Like that idea of amazing.
Just go for it. And yeah, that kind of fits the mama shift position of the team.
Natasha:[00:32:02] Amen. I love working in a family operation. I
Amy:[00:32:05] know. Isn't that the best?
Natasha:[00:32:08] It's really great. It makes things really human. I think that's part of the magic is I'm a doubt too.
All right, before we get too emotional we'll we'll sign off and everybody thank you for listening. That's it from us at the hacker noon podcast for today. Cheers. Bye. All right, let's go.
Oh, wow. Welcome.
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