Always Leave Them Crying – Transcript

Marc0:04You can get someone to cry at your content. That's the key and that does not require an app, that does not require special features, that does not require bells and whistles. Those things are great. Those will differentiate you. But right now, unless you build an audience, unless you demonstrate that you're able to virally acquire customers really, really inexpensively and quickly, you're toast. Hey everyone, I'm Marc Randolph and welcome to That Will Never Work. I've been an entrepreneur for a long time. Netflix, which I co-founded, it was actually my fifth startup. Since leaving there, I've had the opportunity to work with scores of early stage companies and talk to thousands of aspiring entrepreneurs from all over the world.
Marc0:48On this podcast, I speak with folks who are at every stage of building their own businesses, whether they're leaping from side hustle to self-employed or are already generating revenue and ready to take things to the next level. My goal is to draw out their biggest challenges and then, try to nudge them a little further down the path toward realizing their dreams. If you've been told, "That will never work,", as much as I have, you've come to the right place. Together will prove the naysayers wrong. Today, we meet Nick who just prior to the COVID shutdown, launched a site to serve up exclusive content and lively conversation for sci-fi super fans.
Marc1:28It's the first place to turn after binging your umpteenth episode of Dr. Who or whatever other show is trending. With a small core friends and family audience and a franchise-by-franchise content approach, they are poised to grow, but where to focus? How can Nick balance his passion for the product with the need to grow and grow quickly? Let's listen in. So Nick, welcome. Thanks for being with me. This is going to be interesting. From what I know at least peripherally about what you're doing, one of those ideas where I'm going, "What the hell is that?" But I guess that's the whole point of you explaining to us what's going on? So why don't we just start by taking me through briefly what it is you're working on?
Nick2:13Yeah, of course. Cool. Well, first thanks for having me on. I'll tell you all about the companion. So it's a app and website, premium subscription-based content platform, really, for super fans of shows and films. So we think of ourselves as the place where fans go after their favorite show to get more coverage, in depth articles, often written by showrunners themselves, or writers, et cetera, of the shows. You can get DVD extras, watch long podcasts, all the things that are super fan would love to gorge on more after they've finished watching their show. We've started focusing on the biggest film and TV category, sci-fi, and that's where we're tapping into the most dedicated and rapid fan bases, the kind of people who get tattoos, about their favorite franchises, they might write fan fiction, they rewatched their favorite shows 15 or more times, and we're creating premium content for those people on our app and website.
Marc3:09Well, that's my first question, I suppose, is to what degree this is proprietary content? For example, it used to be when I had finished an episode of Game of Thrones or when I would finish an episode of West Wing, I would immediately go to the podcast, one of the 697 podcasts about dissecting what just happened in the episode because I usually find that's such a fantastic way to add depth and context and color to what I just saw. So are you going to be competing with those different channels or are you creating your own or are you just providing a portal that assembles existing material into one place?
Nick3:52Good question. So I guess it's at what stage we're doing what right. So right now, we're small. We're just starting out. So we're focusing on first and mainly written content, so articles. We create that ourselves with a network of journalists, but we're also having the writers of the shows and the showrunners, as I say, write their own articles. They're often fans of sci-fi themselves. They love discussing the topics in depth and so we'll commission them, but it's all outside of the IP holders, right? So we're often friendly with the studios, the broadcasters, the production companies, but we work directly with journalists, writers and the talent who make the show themselves, to create the content.
Nick4:31Of course, then you've got the people you mentioned who may be making podcasts around it, they're probably funds themselves often journalists or creators in their own right. We work with those people more and more often, we're creating more and more partnerships as we scale our content efforts and create partnerships. We don't need to create it all in-house. People have called us, maybe, the athletic fulfillment TV. So you think about it, it's really a bundle of your favorite additional content for your favorite TV shows and films.
Nick5:02It's not always films and TV shows or more often than not, they're not on TV anymore, so they're usually the most underserved fandoms people fell in love with, Star Wars, Star Trek, Stargate in the sci-fi category. Stargate, for example, hasn't been on TV for over 12 years that we've got the creator and showrunner writing articles for us, doing Asking Anythings. This is amazing content for the fans of the show who are just wanting and new show to air. But in the meantime, they can get premium content and access to the behind the scenes, through us on the Companion.
Marc5:38Why don't you take a moment now and let me know how far in are you? When did you start? What kind of traction do you have, if any?
Nick5:45So it was probably useful context to give you a bit of background because we've been working in and around this area under a different title, what production studios called The Narrative and we've been around for about five years. My background was at YouTube and my business partner was a computer scientist also in content. But the narrative really created content often for studios and broadcasters around their IP, so often we were doing the DVD extras or the podcasts or the articles for the IP holders and they would either create an app or put that out on the YouTube channel. That's what really set us off in understanding the value here and how underserved these super funds were for this kind of premium content. Studios and broadcasters are often focused on the tent-pole releases of the actual shows and films and all the content in between.
Nick6:38It's kind of less strategic for them. So we were doing that kind of focused on that last two to three years of our business and it was really last year just before the pandemic, we decided to do it for ourselves. Rather than being services company, let's build the product we've been effectively building for others because by that time we were running strategy and we were helping with tech operations, often being a satellite company for Hollywood studios and broadcasters in the UK, building the place where the fans of their shows interact with the content. So we thought we'd do it ourselves and that started, it was this time last year we started considering it and then the start of this year, just before the pandemic, we thought, "Let's try this. Let's build the app. Let's see how cheaply we can build an MVP. Let's see if people will actually pay for this because we're asking for a paid subscription."
Nick7:30That takes us to just when I guess the pandemic started and we strapped and thought, "Okay, well, people are watching more content than ever and there's some horrible things going on in the world, but people are often comforted watching old series or engaging in digital content more, so it's actually a good time for us to build this," but we didn't go out and raise huge amount of capital. We just used our current in-house team, a team of four, we just grew to a team of five, and built the product over the summer really, and then launched to a few hundred members who had already pre-bought memberships, people in our network and some bought lifetime memberships they wanted this thing so bad. Others have bought mostly year-long memberships. It's not cheap. It's $70 for the year, so we've been obsessed with just creating the best product for them.
Marc8:16So when did you launch? In this fall?
Nick8:18Yeah. Yeah. Exactly, around coming up to two months ago. So we've got about two months of data. We're starting to see how people interact with the content and the app and it's been great so far. We thought of ourselves, really, as a weekly app, I guess, because often the articles kind of 20 minute reads, 15 minute reads, quite in-depth and our early members were talking about not having a lot of time. They maybe like to conceive something about their favorite franchise with a cup of coffee on the weekend while the kids are watching cartoons and that's great. That's our first cohort that came on as deep sci-fi fans. But as we niched down and we started to think about, "Well, let's go as specifically as we can franchise by franchise. Think about who are the most underserved fandoms and how can we serve them and create some great content for them on our platform?
Nick9:05Those guys are coming back daily, so that reading every article, these articles are 20 minutes long. Some people are crying. There's this real deep engagement on our content. It's not your average review of a film or very light, fun podcasts. These are really in-depth articles. Often. I think that the kind of magic that we're trying to tap into is fandom and fans that are passionate about something because it really affects them in real life. Often these are films and TV shows that you could take for granted, but sometimes, and our members say it helps them through real moments in their lives. It's escapism, et cetera. So when we're writing about this stuff or creating content around it, we try and give it a lot of respect and make it as high quality as possible. So that's getting good traction so far.
Marc9:51So you mentioned that you sold in a bunch of people who are friends of the platform. Have people joined since you launched who are complete strangers to you and if so, how many of them and what are they doing?
Nick10:03Yeah, so I'd say probably roughly the first hundred you could say were friends and family, but sci-fi fans. And then I'd say the next tranche, we actually decided to niche down on 90s sci-fi. So it's around another hundred of those fans that came in, bought yearly memberships and we were really covering everything from Jurassic park to, there's a lot of 90s sci-fi that people love. Then more recently, like I say, we niched down on Stargate fans. So just focused on one franchise, brought in their showrunner, Brad, to create a lot of content for us.
Marc10:37How many total subscribers do you have as of today?
Nick10:39We're on our way to around 350 at the moment.
Marc10:44Are people canceling?
Nick10:45One person has canceled, but she sent us a lovely email explaining that she was gutted to do so, but COVID and moving house. But yeah, I don't think we're a leaky bucket. I think we're something that these people have been wanting for a long time.
Marc11:00Two quick questions, then, how are you finding new people?
Nick11:03The first way is word-of-mouth. We probably have a new sign-up every day or every other day through word-of-mouth. We have an ability for fans to share the article for free if they love it and that brings me people in. The biggest swings we've been taking is when we've had someone like Brad Wright who is the chairman of Stargate come on board and create content for us, that article would bring in over 20 new memberships just after being released. The other lever we've seen working is partnering with those existing fandom creators, like a fandom website, where we actually give them some exclusive content that we've created. These were never seen before, behind-the-scenes photos, behind the scenes sets. They were released on this fandom platform that brought in another over 20 fans. But we're really at the stage now where we need to find some bigger customer acquisition strategies.
Marc11:56My second question is, what is the business model? What's the economic proposition for the content creators you're bringing in?
Nick12:04Well, most of them were paying them as a freelancer or it's created in- house. The talent side, the showrunners, they're either doing it for a small fee in the same way a journalist would, or they're doing it for free because they love interacting with fandom and they don't need journalist feed for creating an article. We would like to work towards more of a partnership model where we can scale the content production so it's not all in-house and freelances, but those fandom creators can create content, but we've not started that workflow yet.
Marc12:39So before I weigh in, because I certainly have forming some opinions already, but before I weigh in with that, what in particular would you like to chat about today so we don't waste too much time.
Nick12:49You're kind of dialing in on it anyway. It's really focus, I guess. After leaving my voicemail, asking for advice, I think I was around, happy to take some big strategic swings, bringing some more customers on board. If you take a step back, it's really, as a leader of the business, probably my biggest insecurity is on resource allocation. I think of the best CEOs or leaders should really be the best resource allocators and I want to make really smart decisions there. So far, we've made the decisions around focusing on product. How do we build something for not many paying subscribers, but make something they love, make sure they come back weekly and now, daily and make it the best product possible?
Nick13:35So that's where our focus has been and now we've got to start thinking about growing, how do we bring more of those people in? In order to do that, it feels like there's got to be a balance of focus so we don't drop the ball on the product, but also we need to start getting up to that. We think of that first thousand members is going to be a real milestone for us, so what are the strategic big swings we can take to get that? So I guess it's about focus and then if the focus should just be on growth, then what would be those growth strategies? I think the one I cited in my voice mail always struck me with the Netflix 10 free rental coupon partnerships you did with the DVD player manufacturers back in Netflix. I don't know if we're too early for that kind of thing or if that's not right for us, but do we focus on that kind of customer acquisition strategy, or should we carry on creating a product or making sure the product is loved by our current users?
Marc14:28So I'm glad that you brought up focus because that's exactly where I was planning on going. So just to start off, I think the idea is pretty interesting because it certainly resonates with me. I think there is a huge appetite for content above, beyond, behind, in addition to what you're seeing now on the normal distribution channels. In other words, people do want to understand more about their shows. They want the background, they want the subplots, they do want to read fan fiction. So it's really interesting idea to say, "How do we tap into that appetite?" So you've picked something which certainly gives you the chance to take some swings and have them be wrong and still have a chance to take more swings.
Marc15:15But I am concerned with your focus and maybe not focus in the way that you're thinking about it, because if I hear you correctly, you're saying, "Okay, as a CEO, where do I focus my time and attention in terms of all the things that are being required to be done in the business?" That's certainly something you always have to be thinking about, but I'm concerned with focus of what the business actually is doing. In other words, narrowing way down, what it is you're trying to have your company do. One of them, I kind of touched on at the beginning and I'm still not quite certain about this, but it's the idea about saying, "Are we going to build our brand on proprietary content?" In essence, you say, "We're a content creator. At heart, our brand stands for creating content that's available nowhere else."
Marc16:13A different way to go, which it sounds like you're not, but I need to be sure about that, is that we become a content platform for anyone's content. We're an aggregator of content. We're certainly a curator of content, but this could be things that come from other places and knowing that and being extremely clear will make a lot of other things easier if you know, "Here's what we're about." If you're at all uncertain about which of those two directions you're going to go, now is the time to go, "No. We know what we're focusing on." It's also not necessarily preclude you from going some different direction in the future, but at the beginning, when the world is conspiring against you, when everything that can go wrong will go wrong, when you do everything you can to get some traction worrying about two different things is going to make it so much harder.
Marc17:11So if you, for example, go, "No, this is about proprietary content," we're going to be great at finding proprietary content, fantastic, which means you won't let yourself get distracted by bringing in other things. If things get offered to you, you'd have the discipline to go, No, not now," et cetera. he other one I was curious about is the fact that you built an app, which seems odd to me, because I haven't heard you say at any point, as you've been describing the business, that not only will this be proprietary content, but it will be accessed in an entirely new way. It will be geo-located or it will be the kind of thing where you can shake it and get a different person's opinion. There is nothing that says, "Why do I need an app to be able to read or watch content?" So before I go beat you about the head [crosstalk 00:18:05] something, give me a sense of how you made the decision that you needed to build an app.
Nick18:10Great question. It is to do those things you've mentioned, but I think it's too early to talk about those at this stage, because we need to build our brand around proprietary content. I'll give you the ambition. The ambition and the reason you build an app that has the ability to be personalized so you can be the ultimate companion to every fan of every show. An example being, one of our members, Dana, all our new members we interviewed, we get to know. We're trying to learn as much about them. She's a fan of Stargate. She also loves Star Trek. She also loves to travel. She also loves other aspects of sports teams. Eventually, in the future, the reason we can be an app is that we can understand all of those different interests of hers and serve content to her around those niche interests and its very personalized bundle for her.
Nick19:03The other ability is you've got, obviously, incredible tech built into the phone in terms of the Companion app, listening to whereabouts you are in a particular series. You're on show three of a seven-show series. You're in Mandalorian and your Companion app, at the end of that third show, can suggest to you the podcast and the community discussion around that show. No spoilers. It's not the show or the podcast around for the full season. You're going to meet the other fans who were also just finished anywhere around the world, that particular show at that particular time and you're thrown into a Zoom or you're-
Marc19:39I get it. Okay. So here you are, first you're the CEO, so you have to make these critical decisions about resource allocation.
Marc19:47You have to also understand that no matter what you choose to focus on, you'll still be under-resourced. So you have this very, very limited set of chips that you can move on, place your bets. So my question is, how important are those personalization features required now and how much time and attention are you spending on them now?
Nick20:11Right. So very important because we built the app and didn't build a newsletter subscription or anything like that, but expensive to build and we just don't have the capital to do so. So what we have done is built different feeds for the different fandoms, so we really only have three fandoms on our platform right now. Eventually, we would build the personalization feature where you only choose the fandoms you want, and you're only served that content. We also, obviously, through conversations, surveys, et cetera, take in, what are your shows? What are your favorite films from the fans as they join, but that feature, for example, I would love to have built as part of the sign-in process, but again, we had $190,000 capital to build the app, so it was kind of which features do you build? We focused on, "Well, actually, the differentiator here is going to be our content."
Nick21:08What's underserved around these fandoms is they have some really passionate people who have a job, but on the side, run a fan blog or they have a magazine like Total Film or Empire or Entertainment Weekly who cover current shows. For people who are a fan of a show that isn't on TV anymore or is a slightly more niche, there is no kind of premium content around that, but we know how passionate those fans are. So we really wanted to focus on, "Okay, we need to build the app as the technology, because that gives us the platform to build these features when we have the capital in the future personalization," et cetera. "But on top of that, we need to build a content reputation where someone reads an article for 20 minutes and cries and sends it to their friend and they feel like, 'I've got a real connection.'"
Marc21:55So I'm not sure I agree. So this is the part of the show where I basically, pontificate about something I only peripherally understand, but I do see a very clear theme here and it absolutely is about focus. If you want to raise more money, if you want to ever survive to the point that you can begin bringing in a team of 10 engineers to begin building out this cutting edge personalization that you can do, Shazam- like recognition of where you are in the TV show, all these great ideas you have. You're never going to get there unless you can establish that you're doing something that people really, really want. Fundamentally, I believe with a really, really going to want is the content, that all the other things so at least so far, what you've told me about your dream, are not things which blast these to the next level; they are things that make it a little bit better.
Marc22:49If you can get someone to cry at your content, that's the key and that does not require an app. That does not require special features. It does not require bells and whistles. Those things are great. Those will differentiate you. I'm not saying at some point in the future, but right now, unless you build an audience, unless you demonstrate that you're able to virally acquire customers really, really inexpensively and quickly that you have a coefficient of virality such that every one person who joins brings in one point something enough to offset the natural churn, you're toast and that no one will care about this beautiful app if the dogs aren't eating the dog food and the dog food for you is the proprietary content. So that's kind of focus one is, in my opinion, anything you're spending time with on the app that's not fundamentally changing the desirability of that content is something you should push off.
Marc23:45If there's anything on that app, which is not fundamentally dramatically changing your acquisition and retention economics, push that off. Content, content, content. If you have great content, they will beat a path to your door, even if you required them to use iPhone 3s or Commodore 64s. No one gives a shit about the technology because what they're responding to is the content and the things you're telling me are fantastic. They're willing to read 20 minute things. The things you're telling you about who you've managed to convince to write to you is fantastic. There's only one show runner for these shows, or one set of showrunners and if you can convince them, because this is the platform they want to write for, that is your accomplishment. That is something to be really proud of. That is something to be leveraged. I might even take the focus even further. I would say, "Well, let's take this. How many fans are there of Mandalorian? 16.9 trillion, maybe? Maybe I'm off by a decimal or two [crosstalk 00:24:43].
Nick24:42:00... People watching Mandalorian right now, yeah.
Marc24:44:00Yeah, and so far that's a bad one. You can look at Stargate. How many fans of Stargate are there? 231.6 million, according to my most recent studies and you've got a hundred of them. You are so far from penetrating that market and the key to penetrating that market, part of me was beating you up on one thing you'd mentioned, but the key to penetrating that market is not whether they can auto locate themselves in the series. That's a wonderful thing. It's having enough content and it's really cracking the, "How do I get more people to come in?" It's more and better content and it's, "How do I reach people to convince them to come in here?" As a CEO, if you don't solve those two problems, the rest is going to not be a problem for you because you're not going to be in business anymore, or you're going to go broke because you're paying from your own savings to make it happen.
Marc25:34:00But if you can really nail the content thing, and my point here was, you see, now you got me going. The point is that you can focus much, much tighter than you think. You can say, "Right now, we're into 100% Stargate," because you're so under-penetrated in Stargate that you can get it right with them for a long time and they'll tell you, and then you can just do a quick survey and go, "What other shows do you want to see?" Then, you can begin finding companion shows that those Stargate fans also watch and begin building that one up. It's not like someone's going to come along and beat you to some other category because the things you're learning is not, "I was here first." Who gives a shit if you have 10 people in 40 categories?
Marc26:23:00What you want is 40,000 people in two categories. Then, when you bridge over, you blow away all the stupid competitors who each have 20 people because you've solved the big problem, which is now you go, "We know what it takes emotionally to get a showrunner to write for us. We know what these super fans like, which they can't get other places." But again, the creativity has to go into, "How do I make my content more and better, and how do I leverage that into customer acquisition and retention?" Those two things right now are the key and the other stuff is, listen, it's not bad. It's not bad to be pursuing this dream of imagining how cool this app will be, but it's not required now.
Marc27:09:00Because you only have 10 chips to cover 100 spaces, you've got to be so disciplined and focused about what you put those chips on. You've only got five people to do the work of 50. You've got to be extremely disciplined about what you have those five on. It's way better if four of them are on the key thing and one person is going crazy because you've tasked him with keeping all the other shit going, because he doesn't make a difference if the other shit doesn't work well. As long as that core thing works well, they will beat a path to your door and you'll have permission to roll out these really cool features in the future once you're there.
Nick27:48:00That's great. That's great advice. I guess this is momentum that we've started, but then it's so easy to get something in your periphery of getting excited about, but the good news is I guess-
Marc27:57:00I think the technical term for that is the bright, shiny object.
Nick28:00:00Right. Right. Exactly. Especially in sci-fi, you see that quite a lot, but the niching down became a bit of a mantra about a month ago. Once we realized that the most active cohort were the Stargate fans, how do we go about giving them everything they want? Through Brad actually has been some great introductions. We've got other stars of the show with we're speaking to, and hopefully that will have the similar effect of you get exclusive content, really deep engaging content that brings new users in. But to be honest, if I'm putting more of the team's focus and energy on making those things happen sooner, we'll probably get results sooner.
Marc28:37:00Absolutely. Listen, I'm not saying this is easy. It's really hard because you're going to have half of your customer base who's on the peripheral shows going, "Oh, this sucks. It's stale," and they're going to cancel and you're going to go, "I can't let that happen," but absolutely you can. You're going to lose 50 people, but the trade-off is you're going to gain 5,000. It's harder to decide what not to do than it is to decide what to do, but you're the guy who has to say, "Blinders on, guys. Focus here. We have to get these things right. Because all of you are, I hope it doesn't come as a slur, but you're all sci-fi geeks that you've got to recognize there's other big component. You're going to have to make yourself awesome at, which is the cleverness about the customer acquisition piece.
Marc29:27:00A content model like yours requires that you learn how to acquire customers using virality. You're never going to be able to afford you're giving something away. It's a subscription, yes, but you're asking someone to pay 70 bucks a year for something. If you have to lay our on 20 or $30 of customer acquisition fee, that doesn't leave a lot for running the company. So you've got to figure out a way to make your word-of-mouth drive this, or, as you said, let the content drive this. Parse it, basically take content and release bits and pieces of it. When it gets written, say, "We want you to write this so that it ends neatly after two pages, but makes it clear there's another 18 pages for the paying subscribers," because then you can syndicate the two pages. Then you can begin blasting that shit out on social and it's almost like a freemium model. I'm not sure it's the right way. You know your customer better. You know what you've got going.
Nick30:21:00Content strategies like that we're thinking about, for example, we have these video AMAs, basically Zoom chats kind of like this, but the fan is kind of exclusive for the members and you get the showrunner and the writer, and then you might even get a co-writer pop in as a surprise guest and it feels very exclusive. We even had an announcement about the feature of the Stargate franchise, for example. So you had little viral moments that then we released as a news story. Then what we do with that hour and a half chat is cut it into lots of different assets, clips. You're teasing up until the-
Marc30:55:00Excellent. Excellent.
Nick30:56:00... which is stuff we did for the studios themselves. Right? Cause we used to do this for them, but you're talking about apps that cost and teams that cost millions and millions of dollars there and it's like, "Okay, you strip it back to what you need."
Marc31:08:00That's the thing. So the fact they're even worrying about the focus is exactly the right path.
Marc31:13:00But in my opinion, those are the two things to focus on is proprietary content if, in fact, that's the key differentiator, it's the key value. That's the key how customers think of you and acquisition and retention because it's not happening now, but the danger, here's a quick segue way, a little side note. There's an amazingly great thing about annual subscriptions, which is cash flow. You get your 70 bucks, boom, upfront. Are you doing it that way or are you charging them monthly?
Nick31:43:00Yeah, there is the monthly option, but most people go for it yearly.
Marc31:46:00Yeah. That's fantastic. So on one hand, it's awesome, but it's also a terrible thing for an early stage company who's in the process of figuring it out, because you don't know whether they hate you or not for 12 months. I'm not kidding. I was in the magazine circulation business for a long time, back in the early 1800s when I started in the business. Back then, when you sell a subscription, you'd have a mailing piece that goes out and some percentage of the people subscribe to the magazine and you go, "Oh, this is awesome." But the big hurdle is at the end of year one when you go to get them to renew and amazingly enough in the magazine business, only about half of them renew. You go, "Half? They've been getting this thing for 12 months," but that's not how it works.
Marc32:31:00When they subscribe to it on paper, the mailing piece, they were going, "Oh, this is incredible. This is going to make me younger and stronger and sexier and I'm going to get rich and have all the women." Then the thing arrives and they go, "Ah shit, it's just a magazine." But if someone's renews, that meant they didn't get value from it and then they renew after that at like a 90%. you're going to have the same problem, but you're not going to know it for 12 months, which means here's a counterintuitive thing. There's a value to make sure that a fairly large percentage of your subscribers come in the monthly subscription, because you want to see at what rate are they sequentially telling you loud and clear, "I'm not getting sufficient value for my dollar or my pound," or wherever the hell you are. Where are you, by the way? What part of the world are you in-
Nick33:18:00We're in London.
Marc33:19:00... right now? Okay. So that getting value for our pound or wherever you have subscribers or my ruble, wherever their subscribers are coming from. But you got the idea. That's just a side thing, but again, the things that in your business, a subscription business, which yours is, acquisition retention, and those are both driven by content. We got to wrap it up, but I love this and I really hope you can navigate your way through this because I personally would love to see it and potentially love to use it, although you cannot tell anybody that at heart, I have a sci-fi geek gene [crosstalk 00:33:53] right deep in there [crosstalk 00:33:54]
Nick33:54:00Tell us your favorite show and then we'll customize some content for you and send you a membership.
Marc33:59:00No. Have you heard nothing? You've got to say no to people like me if we're asking you for something-
Nick34:04:00You're not a Stargate fan, Marc? You're not coming in, sorry.
Marc34:08:00Can you do Gilmore Girls for me, maybe as a-
Nick34:10:00Two years time. Two years time, maybe.
Marc34:12:00That's the right answer. You think of your market, not as a in/out, not what shows which are in, which are out? You go as a core and we make decisions how far they are from the [crosstalk 00:34:24].
Nick34:23:00Of course. Niching down, that's what we're all about.
Marc34:27:00Fantastic. Well, listen, good luck. You all may letting me know how it goes, so drop me a note in three to six months about either, whether some of the things we talked about ended up bearing fruit, or whether I'm completely full of crap. That was the worst advice you ever got.
Nick34:43:00Trust me. I'll remember that.
Marc34:45:00Everyone's going to tell you, "That'll never work and the one thing I can say is that, listen, sometimes it does, so keep plugging on.
Nick34:52:00I appreciate that, Marc. Cheers. You have a great day.
Marc34:53:00You too, Nick. Good luck. Focus, focus, focus. It is the entrepreneur's secret weapon. Nick is really sharp and is clearly an amazing product leader, but he has to lean into the exclusive content that really differentiates his offering and leave all the complicated tech from later. He needs to trust the force and make himself irresistible to the geeks at the center of his universe because that's when hyper-speed will kick in. So that's all for today, but before I go, I want to thank Nick for sharing his business idea with me. I look forward to hearing back from him in a few months to see if my advice helped.
Marc35:33:00If you want to discuss your business challenges with me, I'd love to from you, just visit That's Marc with a C, Randolph with a ph, or call me at 1-877-MARK POD. That's 1-877-627-2763. Together, we'll figure out your best next steps. In the meantime, if a 30-minute podcast is too much for you, check out my short form, ramblings on Twitter @mbrandolph, or see it all prettied up on Instagram at That Will Never Work. Of course, you can check me out at LinkedIn at, oh shit, you can figure that out yourself. Thanks again for listening. Don't forget to smash that like button and leave us a review at Apple Podcasts. I'll see you next time.