Darius Mora - Building a Lean Growth Machine for the World’s Largest Journaling App

David Barnard
January 20, 2021
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Darius Mora is the Chief Marketing Officer at Reflectly, the world’s largest journaling app. Reflectly is consistently in the top 5 Health & Fitness iPhone apps in the US, competing with companies 10X its size. Over the past 6 months, Reflectly has broadened its scope, acquiring 8 new apps in the mental fitness space.

Darius has been in the app space for almost a decade and founded 4 app startups prior to joining Reflectly in 2018. He’s been focused on ASO, free marketing, paid user acquisition, and retention for both Android and iOS apps.

In this episode, you’ll hear about:

  • Why you don’t need a large dev team to build a great app
  • How to keep a strong product focus and find product-market fit
  • Building an app growth machine on Instagram and TikTok

Follow Us:

David Barnard: https://twitter.com/drbarnard

Jacob Eiting: https://twitter.com/jeiting

Darius Mora: https://www.linkedin.com/in/moravcik

Follow Reflectly:

Here’s the Outline of Our Interview with Darius:

[0:55] Darius’s background in app development: startup wins and misses.

[2:58] How Darius joined Reflectly.

[3:58] Reflectly team size; the switch from free to paid app.

[4:26] Reflectly gained half a million subscribers organically with almost no ad spend.

[4:48] How Reflectly added subscriptions and grew to 12 million users.

[5:09] Reflectly built a successful app business with only 2.5 engineers; Flutter.

[6:33] What is the team structure like at Reflectly?

[8:15] Reflectly’s recent app acquisitions and the journey to $100M; user acquisition and onboarding.

[9:53] The “mental fitness” app space.

[13:20] Why app growth gets more difficult after the $10-15M mark; Eric Seufert.

[13:40] 3 solutions for getting past the growth “glass ceiling;” second product-market fit.

[15:38] Expanding revenue with your existing user base; Headspace; Calm.

[17:22] Is $10M ARR really a ceiling?

[18:57] User retention and churn; the “leaky bucket;” Apple’s 85/15 revenue split.

[20:56] Maintaining user-centered design and product focus.

[22:42] What’s the “magic number” for retention?

[24:52] A quick and easy hack for boosting retention: add paid subscriptions.

[27:09] Finding product-market fit; letting the market speak for itself.

[29:28] Split-testing strategies; Amplitude; Mixpanel; RevenueCat.

[39:29] A/B testing is not an exact science — don’t overthink it.

[40:08] Reflectly’s price experimentation; monthly vs. annual vs. lifetime subscriptions.

[44:43] Advertising on TikTok vs. Instagram.

[46:50] How Darius went viral on TikTok.

[49:18] Leveraging TikTok microinfluencers for mobile advertising.

[53:30] Building a lean growth machine; Upwork; Zapier.

[54:54] Reflectly is hiring Flutter devs! Connect with Darius for more information.

[55:22] Connect with Darius on his blog.


“I’ve had 25 apps on the App Store, and I feel like I’ve learned more from the failures than the successes.” - David

“[With my first app] we made all the usual mistakes… we spent half a year building it without talking to a single user, released it — crickets.” - Darius

11:30 “I think in SaaS, but also in consumer apps, the need for capital is going down… infrastructure can be rented, things can be experimented with and scaled very cheaply. It really doesn’t take what it used to to get something off the ground. And I think, strategically, it’s really smart because the leaner you are, the more options you have — and options are leverage.” - Jacob

“It does feel like we’re in the middle of a gold rush. There’s just huge opportunities and shiny objects every day, all around. So the hard thing is staying focused — and are you willing to wait out 5 years until you start generating that recurring annual revenue?” - Darius

“Most of the things that vendors are selling at conferences [solve] problems that are fixed by a better product.” - Darius

“Unless you have really good retention, you shouldn’t be doing anything else — none of the other stuff will matter.” - Darius

“You can’t fix bad retention with better growth strategies.” - Darius

“Retention is a metric that measures product-market fit; it’s not a goal in itself. If you don’t have retention, it’s not a retention problem — it’s a product-market fit problem.” - Jacob

“The truth is, a lot of times monetization is easier than retention. If you can figure out how to build an amazing product that works, monetization is not really difficult.” - Darius

“It’s nice to get annual subscriptions because you get all the money up front, but a lot of times companies will get more money from doing the monthly because you can price it higher compared to the annual. And you get a higher LTV down the line, but it comes after a couple of months instead of all the money up front. So depending on what stage you’re in and how much pressure you [have for] scaling, you can decide which one you’re going to push more.” - Darius

“When you’re running ads on any platform, it’s quantity over quality. Don’t show the market what you think is good. Show them everything you’ve got, and they’ll tell you what’s good.” - Darius

Episode Transcript

Hey, you're listening to the sub club podcast, a show dedicated to the best practices for building and growing subscription app businesses. We'll share insider secrets from the top subscription apps on the app stores. Let's get into the show. Welcome to the sub club podcast. I'm your host, David Bernard.

And with me as always my colleague Jacob hiding, say hello. Hello everybody. So today our guest is Derrius Moray. He's the chief marketing officer at reflectively. The world's largest journaling app reflect Lee's consistently in the top five health and fitness iPhone apps in the us competing against companies 10 times its size.

Over the past six months, reflectively has broadened its scope. Acquiring eight new apps in the mental fitness space. Derrius has been in the app space for almost a decade. And founded four app startups prior to joining reflectively in 2018, he's been focused on ASO, free marketing, paid user acquisition and retention for both Android and iOS apps.

Welcome to the show DeRose. Thank you so much for having me. So before we dive into some of the, uh, reflectively, um, juicy bits that I'm dying to hear about, I did want to get into some of your, your background before that. So, um, you were with four different apps, startups. And one of my favorite things to learn about is, is the misses.

So, you know, I've had gosh, 25 apps on the app store, and I feel like I've learned. More from the failures than the successes, um, that I've had a mix of both. So why don't you tell us just a little bit about some of those companies. You know, did, did they flame out, you know, were some successful and you know, how did things go, uh, before joining the rocket ship?

That is a reflection. Sure. So I started out building companies right out of college. And my, I remember my first company was actually a student magazine. Um, and you know, we worked on that for about two years and there was so much hard work and struggle. And, you know, after two years we reached like 13,000 people, which was success for a student magazine that was in Denmark.

And then I realized that we just worked our asses off and the reach was so small compared to anything tech or digital. And, and this was, you know, 10 years ago. So I'm starting to thinking about like, damn, I need to get into this whole tech thing. I had no idea, right. I was an engineer. I never built anything myself.

So I sort of switched over to looking at tech and I started off the first one was a language learning company and we did all the usual mistakes. You know, it was first just the website. I hired a bunch of. Interns. We spend half a year building it without talking to a single user release it crickets all the usual.

No, it didn't work as a shocker. At least she didn't, at least she didn't raise a billion and a half dollars. Exactly. Yeah. So bootstrap that point, but then we switched over to mobile, started to learn a bit more about apps. And I tried originally doing the typical Silicon Valley routes. We went to San Francisco, we raised a bit of money, incubators, all of that, but still sort of.

Uh, burned out. And then we tried a bunch of other companies, but nothing worked quite as well as reflectively. And I think it's, it's kind of a fun story about joining reflect leaves that I was working at four different companies at the time because all my companies failed miserably. So I was just trying to occupy myself with something else.

And I found this really cool app called reflect Lee. And I remember how I found it. I think a friend of mine showed it to me and I thought it was such a smooth, beautiful app. Um, and at this point it was just the three original founders and opening and just not working on it. And it was a beautiful app.

And I thought it was a, like a San Francisco, big startup. There's a lot of money. It was just so nice and so smooth. So I found a website or email them and I'm like, listen, guys, app is beautiful, but you're not doing a lot of the growth stuff. Like maybe I could just help you out if you want some free advice, I'm happy to share stuff.

And then basically Jacob, the CEO calls me the next day and offered me a job on the spot after I've been more back and forth. I ended up joining them as the first employee. That's awesome. That's was really cool. Um, and that actually gets into what, what I wanted to start talking about, asking you more questions on is, um, to reflect these are pretty small team for how big the app is.

Like, how has that been and how big was the team when you joined and then where are you guys at now? As far as the team size and then just, you know, being able to build such a great, uh, great big app with such a small team. Yeah. So when I joined, I was the first employee, so just three engineers, three, three of the original founders, the two Jacobs and Daniel.

Um, so we were four people. Um, and so what is interesting about roughly is that I saw the initial numbers before I joined and it just was off the charts. I've never seen anything like that. And the fact that they got the first half a million users organically without spending pretty much any money. So there wasn't a business model just yet just a free app, brewed to half a million users organically.

And I was like, shit, this is something is really good. So that's when I joined, we turned on the business model subscriptions and people started paying and we're like, okay, this is a verification. So as soon as I jumped on there, we started pouring money into marketing and sort of growth was from there.

Um, and that was about. I think two years ago now we're at, I think, 12 million users on the apps and the team is probably, I think it's around 10 people, um, of full-time employees. I think what's really fascinating that that perfectly itself has two and a half engineers on it, which is, you know, incredible.

And that's only possible because we have flutter, we can deploy Android, iOS, and web. I was going to say, I think you're one of the first, like, Well, when people ask, like, are there serious apps using flutter, like reflect Lee is the one that comes to mind as like somebody who's executed at a really high level with flutter.

And I think that, I think that's awesome and mean just generally I love the love, the like lean aspect of like how many, much impact you can have with an app company with so few people. Right. You know, and the two dab store horns, this is one of the app stores, like great secrets. Right? It's like, it gives you this, like PR you know, talk about your, uh, Your your high score and I, sorry, I should, your, your college newspaper that you had to push up Hill with probably like way more work to get to 10,000 people.

And now they're like, leverage you get with these distribution channels. It's just, it's just crazy. Yeah. And nowadays, you know, 20, 20,000 new installs a day or something like that. So it's, it's not as off the chart, but all the credit goes to the engineers. Absolutely. Like all the credit, you know, reflecting is amazing out.

People love it. And the fact that it's such a strong product, that it's beautiful. You know, we won the Google design award last year. And it's all, thanks to the engineers that, you know, they built an, a scale that to the point where we don't need to have, you know, 50 engineers or the 20 marketers on the team.

So I think all the credit should go to the engineers, but I'm here speaking on their behalf. Now, 10 people, like, how does that break down? So you only have two and a half engineers. That just, that does seem crazy to me. Even as somebody who believes in the power and scalability of apps, who else is on the team?

Like, what are the roles. Yeah. So, I mean, it's two and a half engineers just for effectively. And then we have some other engineers working on some of the other products. Um, so like I said, we've acquired a bunch of bunch of apps and we have some guys working on that and then we have on the, um, so I run the, um, um, the CMR run muscle, the user acquisition.

Um, we have, so the original founders are Jacob, the CEO, he does, most of the business stuff helps a lot on the marketing side, helps me a lot with the user acquisition and the Facebook stuff. Then we have Jacob, uh, the other Jacob, he is a chief product officer. He is a designer and incredible talent guy.

Um, he did, he's a front end engineer and a designer as well. And he won the Google design award. I've never seen anybody who can execute so well in two different areas and just be world-class in both of them. And then we have Daniel and he's the CTO. And he runs all the, all the back end. He's also incredibly smart guy.

So the base was super strong and, and really high. And, and that's sort of the basic setup. Then we have some engineers working on the front and we're starting to hire some more, uh, more in the marketing role as well. Um, so we have some great new hires that have joined us from some other big companies like Revolut and convince other people to come to us.

Nice. It's amazing. It gets a little bit easier as, as, as, as you get more successful, the, the, the selling for the company becomes, uh, a bit, a bit easier to do. Yeah, absolutely. You know, and like, you know, two years ago, nobody would answer our emails. So now we get a lot of inbound, so kind of happens overnight, doesn't it?

Yeah. Yeah. I know this is like, was further on in our agenda, but you mentioned app acquisitions. Is it too early to talk about that? Cause I'm, I'm kind of really curious. Uh, so, so you mentioned that at the beginning of the call and that, and that you've kind of decided to grow by acquire. Can you tell us a little bit about, are they public or, or what's the, uh, what's the story with, uh, with acquiring apps?

Yeah. So we haven't, we haven't disclosed all of the titles of the apps publicly. Um, but basically we have seen some incredible opportunities. And I think one thing that we realized we're world-class at as getting users to the app and then monetization and then the onboarding process and all of that, I think we're okay.

Really, really, really good. And there's a ton of apps that are high quality apps, maybe, you know, and there's a lot of times it's an indie developer or a small team of engineers that build it out. And the product is really good at retention, but they don't have to bring users to the app and they don't have to monetize properly, do the onboarding part and then, you know, take care of their attention.

So we just saw a lot of opportunities there and it's mostly Jacob, the CEO, he's very smart with it's potting on these opportunities and we decided to take an active role. And I'm not just partnering on, but starting to acquire. And it has worked out really well. So we figured we'll, we'll keep going. It's kind of interesting.

It would be interesting to see how that, uh, how that plays out in your, like your journey, you know, from one to 10 to a hundred million and just to see, cause I think, I think that's, that's one thing, I mean with, with revenue cap story, but, but more, more generally is there's a lot of commonalities, right?

There's a lot of, I think. I don't know if you're thinking about it as dinner in terms of a studio model, but that's one way maybe to look at it is like, how do we operationalize, like all of these things that are in common between these different categories. Do you have a thesis around, is it all around like self care and, you know, basically the, the reflect the vision or is it, are you branching out into like totally different verticals?

Yeah, so we were focusing on what we would call it, the, the, the mental fitness space. So it's not sort of mental health, but mental fitness. Um, and. We are very confident in that category. We've seen a lot of success with reflectively and we realized that we can copy paste what we've learned onto other products and then scale them very rapidly.

So there's a lot of, you know, scenarios for the future. You know, there might be sort of the calm route where you keep building on product, sort of keep going strong and you try to get that to, you know, a billion dollar evaluation. Or there's another model where you keep acquiring apps and do it that way.

So we see a lot of potential scenarios. Um, our objective was to sort of be able to build out a very solid foundation, solid business. So we didn't want to, you know, raise a ridiculous amount of money and then having to have an overflowing evaluation and focus on that in the metrics. When I do have sort of a, more of a down to earth solid business.

Which, unfortunately, it's just not as obvious or not as common as you'd expect. I think it's becoming more. So I think the, I think in SAS, but also in like consumer apps, like the, um, the need for capital is going down, which I think deals notice that our friend, our mutual friend, Nico might not love to hear that, but like, uh, I mean, it just means that they're going to be.

More competitive to get into companies because yeah, it's really easy, especially with things like the app store and on our side of the business, things like Stripe and stuff. And just the fact that like infrastructure can be rented and things can be experimented with and scaled very cheaply. That really just doesn't take what it used to to get something off the ground.

And I think, and I think like strategically really smart as the leaner you are, the more options you have and options are, you know, leverage. So. Yeah, exactly. And you know, and it, wasn't always easy, you know, for example, even a year ago or two years ago where we, the path wasn't so clear and, you know, once you start to grow and once you start to have millions of users, we got emails from pretty much every VC in the world.

And it's not easy to say no to some of these offers. So it definitely wasn't easy, but we feel like now there's a very stable business. It's a very predictable business. We can definitely see the clear path. So it feels it's easier to sleep at night. Yeah. That kind of gets into one of the questions I did want to ask about, um, I was talking to Thomas Pedit or actually, and he, he was talking about this on a podcast.

He did, he was talking about how, like he's been seeing more and more apps kind of hit a ceiling that, you know, you, you get to five, 10, $15 million in ARR and your, your user acquisition just gets really challenging because you've got to go beyond the Facebook and the Google and. And you, the, the unique, the economics stop working because your user acquisitions costs, aren't going up.

You need a bigger team to manage, and it just gets really tough at that 10 or 15 million Mark. So I'm curious, kind of how you you've been thinking about that. And it seems like maybe you already answered the question, is that by expanding into a portfolio. You kind of address a larger market versus just trying to go build a billion dollar business with, with reflectively alone.

But yeah. Tell me, tell me a little bit about how you think about that. Yeah, absolutely. So from, from the marketing standpoint, it definitely gets more expensive as you grow, you start out, you know, you exhaust your audiences on Facebook and Snapchat and Tik TOK and all these channels, and there's only so much you can optimize.

So there's definitely a glass ceiling. And it doesn't make sense at some point to keep acquiring more users at the current business model. So I think there's only really three solutions that I've seen sort of done successfully, um, to, to, to get past that glass ceiling. I think number one is sort of, a lot of people start to work on a hope for is the calm model where you keep building features and you find something incredible, like the sleep stories.

That come discovered, and then they're just skyrocket and they can either raise a lot more second product market fit. Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. So this is what everybody wants to achieve. The issue is that it's impossible to predict because you know, conduit and plan for sleep stories, they just kept building features, kept building great stuff, and suddenly it worked and, you know, after they went and, you know, they, they scaled billion dollars on the back of three stories and Instagram stories sort of as their, as their channel.

That's how they got it. So, yeah. That's one model, although it's impossible to predict for, and it's difficult because if you want to get so high, you need to have lot of employees. And, you know, comm has what, a hundred employees, a hundred million dollars in capital. And the management of the whole thing becomes very, very difficult, but that's one option, but impossible to predict the other option is sort of choose not wanting to grow, you know, a hundred percent year over year, but steadily grow various other business like sleep cycle.

For example, you know, that's a very lean team, I think like 20 people sort of small business, but. It, it's a very, very strong business. And for the founders and anybody in the company is generating a lot of money. So necessarily you don't have to build a billion dollar company, but it's extremely valuable.

And if you don't raise a lot of money, if you keep a lot of their business for yourself, that's a great option. And I definitely, you know, you, as a founder is going to, are going to, you're going to be very wealthy and have a big impact. So that's, that's another option. And then I think the third option is sort of.

The, um, Berkshire Hathaway of the internet, where you keep acquiring apps and you just kind of keep building a wide portfolio and, and, and, and increase the revenue in that way, become the salt and have, uh, become the salt of Copenhagen. Exactly. So these are the sort of, I think, three scenarios that we've seen done successfully.

What about the fourth? Like how do you think about revenue expansion with your existing users and the potential to either. You know, add premium tiers or consumables or any kind of additional ways to monetize the existing user base. Yeah, sure. I mean, I think a lot of companies are experiencing with that, whether it's, I don't know, for example, we've seen online courses or are physical products and Headspace has been doing a lot of that or you tried to go B2B like Headspace or all has like airport, the little, the boots.

Yeah. The partnerships. They have one here in the Columbus airport. Yeah. It's wild. Right? Exactly. Home has like a physical product at CVS. There's like a, uh, I think it's like some kind of a scent that you can buy at CVS. So, you know what it tells you as soon as it does a, those Instagram stories, ads got too expensive.

And so it was cheaper to buy ads at the CVS. Apparently you got to just go to the next channel. Yeah. So, I mean, so there is like, this is also an option and we've seen companies that what they do, they, they use the app as a, sort of a, just an acquisition channel, because if you can acquire an app install user.

For, you know, whatever a dollar 50 on Facebook is cheaper than inquiring. An email address for, for e-commerce or SAS business at $10. So there's use that as a funnel and then upsell on top of it. And we've seen that done with, for example, courses of some other products and, and just like, you know, the, some of the good YouTubers will use YouTube just as a funnel to upsell products in the backend.

So that might work. I just haven't seen it sort of scale really well. And I haven't seen anybody that can match the side revenues to the main revenue of the subscription, the subscription businesses. So incredible. Especially once you hit, you know, you're two, three, four of the recurring revenue, then it becomes really interesting.

It just takes a long time to get there and people don't have the patience to wait around. I wonder to this ceiling, I haven't dug into the data, uh, too much, because there's just not that many apps that are at that 10 million ARR and beyond. I mean, there's, there's a lot, but there's not like thousands probably, uh, maybe there's low thousands, but it would be interesting to see if this is a ceiling or if it's just a, like we're early, right?

Like apps subscriptions have just only been around for such a fixed period. People still haven't figured it out. I, I wonder if like, what's actually like, Just some experimentation, us figuring the funnels and steps out is going to be, Oh yeah, no, actually it was a $30 million like ceiling, or I don't know what the, the, the overall growth of subscriptions on the app store is, is growing double digit percentages a year.

So you just. Add that to that 10 million and that's going to become more than 10 million pretty fast. Right. So it'll be interesting to see how it plays out. I think with all these companies you're talking about, it's, it's this early inning still, I think in five years, we're going to look back and have some playbooks, right?

We'll have the way calmed that it will have the way Headspace did it. We had the way you guys do it. And. You know, of course like the ecosystem is going to have moved on point. I really going to be different, but in hindsight, it's going to be like, Oh yeah, well you just gotta copy so-and-so's playbook.

Right. Which, you know, of course not work in 2025 probably, but, you know. Yeah, definitely. And, and I, it does feel like we're in the middle of a gold rush. It definitely feels that way. Like there's just huge opportunities and shiny objects every day, all around. So the hard thing is staying focused. And then, like you're saying just, are you willing to wait out five years until you start generating that?

Recurring annual revenue. So it becomes much more interesting down the line. Speaking of which I'd love to hear how you think about and how reflectively thinks about retention. We just did a blog post about Apple's 85, 15 split and how, you know, so many people turn out, especially monthly and weekly subscribers.

Just turn out at such high rates. You know, how, how have y'all done on retention and how do you think about your retention strategies? Yeah. So, I mean like the obvious, basic thing is just building an amazing product. People love. And I think so many people forget that in the early stages and they try to do this notifications and emails and all kinds of pushing interruptions to their users and like desperate needs to get them back.

And it's so sad. A lot of times when I go to conferences is that most of the things that the vendors are selling at the conferences are problems that are fixed by just a better product. Like it's all these like quick hacks and get an SMS marketing email, and there's a time and place for that. But for example, roughly has been incredibly under optimized.

We haven't used some of the most basic strategies, like, you know, notifications and sending emails to our users and, and all of the sort of, you know, like fancy stuff. We, you know, we ran the first couple of years super undermined under optimized because we were focused on building an amazing product and just scaling it as fast as we could.

And I think people just don't realize how. Unless you have that really good retention, you shouldn't be doing anything else. Like none of, none of the other stuff will matter. You might be able to improve, you know, some of the metrics a little bit here by their, by sending one of our onboarding emails or something like that.

But honestly you have that amazing retention. You shouldn't be working on anything else. And now, for example, I've been previously in teams where they would have an intern. I was hired once to, to, to lead a growth team. And it was like a 6% growth team. And this company didn't have a product market fit based on bad retention.

And I was like, my first order of business was to fire the entire growth team because we don't need them and just build a better product because you can fix. Retention with better growth strategies, that's just all products. So I think the guys that reflectively have been incredibly laser focused, the engineers on building an amazing product and then my job and the marketing and the growth job is super easy.

So we get to take credit for their hard work. Yeah. I mean, it's, it's the leaky bucket. You hear it sometimes called, right? Like don't dump money and don't dump users and do a leaky bucket. Um, but I think, I think you hit on something true there because I've been through this path of, of like thinking, being over.

Retention is a metric that measures product market fit. Right. It's not a goal in itself. And so like, if you don't have retention, it's not a retention problem. It's a product market fit problem. Like you've not built something that people really, really need. And you can, you can, like you said, you can do hacks, you can do hacks in the product as well.

So like, you could do things like, Oh, let's take our content, split it over three days. So we boost our three-day retention or let's like put some carrots here at like X and Y dates. Right. And you maybe you'll get some lift in it. Right. You really haven't, you know, markedly improved the user's lives.

There's going to be step back and just go like, okay, what is the, why is the user here? What are they trying to get out of this and how, how can we actually help them and provide value? And I, you know, this thing with values weird, it's like, it's really hard to point at what value is and like how it's created and et cetera, et cetera.

But I think we are very intuitive at it as far as like what we'll spend money on, right? Like users, if you're providing a lot of value, Whether or not a user knows it, or you tell them with a push notification or an email or whatever your user's not going to unsubscribe. Right. Cause they're going to be like, yeah, I, I'm not gonna, you know, I'm a subscriber of likely cause like, okay, maybe I didn't use it.

Maybe I missed the, I didn't get annoyed by a push notification that told me to write it in my thing. But, but I still know it's valuable, so I'm not going to leave. And that, that all goes back to that like product focus that like user centric focused. And I think the problem is. I mean, as soon as you listen to a couple of podcasts or read some books or whatever, any watch, any course, everybody will tell you retention is the number one thing you should look at.

And so many people that I sort, especially those sort of new founders or small companies I talked to the problem is that they don't know what's the actual number they need to hit because it's such a secretive metric that no company will actually. Release it like calm and Headspace because they know that it's, it's pretty much the measure of how valuable the business is right on the product side.

So nobody's going to tell you the actual metrics and they're differ on Android to iOS, by country, the different by category. So you can go somewhere, be like, okay, if I have 20% retention on day seven, then I'm good. Nobody will tell you. And I think that's the issue. People just don't know what they should be striving for blurry of like.

I know she'll be good retention. And I feel like 10% on day seven is good. So I'm going to go with it, right? Yeah. There's a, and it shifted because I mean, there were like, Benchmarks that we would use in pre subscription land for like day one. You know, you hope for like 50 day, one, 25 day seven, and then like 10 day 30 or something like that.

They usage retention. And those were just kind of rough benchmarks, but I don't think good benchmarks have been put out yet on subscriptions. I think the onus might be on this, uh, con revenue, cat company to do that. We just have to get around to it. Um, but I think there, there is kind of a median kind of people know what the median is.

The other problem is, is like, When you ask them, like, what's your retention? There's all. Yeah. Like you're saying, there's all kinds of ways you can cut it to like good or bad. You could say like, Oh, what I'm really interested in. What's the retention of your most recent cohort. Right. But you can say like, what's your retention?

You, you just go like, well, I've got all these like hundreds of old cohorts that are really matured and already turned out. Right. And if you blend that all with like new it's like, wow, okay. My retention is really, really great. And it's like, well, is it really? But that is important. Right? And we talk about this, like, The strategy of stacking over time and getting to that past those 10 million Mark and, and whatever those old cohorts do matter a lot.

Right. So it's not like totally unnecessary or like totally like, you know, um, what you call it, vanity metrics. But yeah, I think, uh, I think, I think as the marketplace develops and matures, these will be things that become a little more clear. Yeah. So I'll, I'll, I'll give you on the listeners one hack. So, and this, this works even if your product is not great, so you shouldn't be doing this, but one hack, a better retention, and I'm not getting this works on every app across the board in every country is getting users to pay.

If they commit money, they're going to perceive it as higher value products psychologically. They're going to use it more. So a lot of times we've seen companies like the single biggest jump in their retention has been getting users to pay up front. For example, an annual subscription that jumped on retention more than any other feature.

We've seen that in a lot of companies. So that's one way to hack it, but yeah. I think you have to be a product on the, um, the level of a reflectively. I think that's, I mean, you have to have a product that people are willing to pay for it, but yeah, if you're looking at just like, If you have a certain benchmark, you would have bump it up, get people to pay up front, and they're going to perceive it as higher value because the committed money they're going to use it more and you'll have better.

You'll have better everything. Cause like, you know, turn out all the customers who didn't love you that much early. And you'll just be stuck with people who are really committed in some way. And yeah. Uh, and, uh, you know, there's also like obviously cashflow incentives too. If you can get a bunch of people to book annual revenue up front that helps with acquisition strategies and staying lean and things like that as well.

It's kind of been, that's one of the strategies I've kind of seen people coalescing around, uh, is, is this like trial into a yearly? I tell people that that's always a good place. I mean, maybe that's not the place I would suggest people start. Cause I think. I think monthly subscriptions are useful for getting some data and just like getting a low barrier to entry, getting more users paying right.

And onto your premium product. But I think when I've seen, I've seen this more than once in like longer like companies like going through some of the scaling motions is they tend to gravitate towards that over time. Like, okay, like we've got the product figured out, we've got some data, like let's move to this, like more simplified pricing scheme.

Yeah. And, and the truth is like, I think a lot of times modernization is easier than retention. Like if you can figure out how to build an amazing product that works, one session is not really difficult. That's not the difficult part is building the product. Right. Right. And if you get that out of balance, it's, it's tough to recover, right?

Yeah. Yeah. I love that you flipped that on its head to talk about product. But so then, so then I still want to answer the same question except not about retention, but about products. So then like internally in revenue, CA how do you think about finding that product market fit and improving that product market fit?

And like you said, at the outset, that reflect is really good at, at onboarding. Um, so how do you think about, and are you AB testing the onboarding? Are you like, how, how, how do you step through that process of building that product that people really care about and are willing to pay for? And then ultimately retain.

Yeah. So I think there's a great example is a great example of how smart the and thoughtful the three original founders are perfectly aware. So before they started reflectively, they had, they decided, okay, we're going to build our own business. And they had three ideas. So they built three landing pages, drove some traffic.

And then watch what happened and reflectively, if I'm not mistaken, got about 40,000 emails within a couple of weeks with just putting a bit, bit, a little bit of my behind Facebook ads. So they sell like, Oh shit, there's immediate. Let me see that this resonates with people. It just had the name, the title, and one screenshot.

And they could tell there was something there, it wasn't product market fit, but they knew they were pursuing something. An idea that had demand behind it already, then they build an MVP super quickly. Um, and actually originally it was meant to be, the idea was to do like a messenger journal or David tried to do like a voice journal where somebody calls you and you tell them, and it got really weird that out, it was all kind of sketchy.

They didn't want to build an app originally. They wanted to try sort of all the other ways, but eventually settled on building an app because everybody's asking for it. Please give us an app. They build an MVP super quickly in a couple of weeks. Using flutter and it actually, no, it wasn't a flutter.

Originally it was build an MVP. I think it was native and NSA to work. And then a month later they built a really solid product and that's how it perfectly scaled. And I think so many times people start off with, like, I have an idea that I want to push to the world. I'm going to try to push it. And the guys were like, here's a couple of ideas.

If. You know, we're going to get it out there. If, if, if people take it, then we're going to pursue it. So that was the first step of how we thought about letting the market speak for itself and never telling them what we think is a good idea. So it all evolved as on the pool side, not on a per side and in terms of, yeah, we built the original product and I think we're very, very.

Rigorous and very aggressive in our testing, in the split testing of the onboarding and every screen and every button and all of that. And the first year we spent so much time, just, just, just split, testing the product. Wow. Uh, and we would try to do a new release. I dunno, like once a week, at least, um, if not more frequently and see the numbers go up.

So I think we got to this point because I think we, we managed to tests. More than, than what the average, that's definitely early, like to be testing like that early in a product's life cycle. A lot of times you go on intuition and you know, what you think works. And then later know when you're trying to like, you know, your retention, your, your usage retention is stuck.

You're like, okay, let's try to like test our way to hit to Victor victory. But it sounds like you did it very, very early. Yeah. And, and that's like the whole name of the game. It's the same with marketing, you know, will like on the marketing side, we'll launch a hundred campaigns. 90 are not going to work.

Maybe there's seven that will kind of break even. And three of them will really sort of pull all of that money. So it's all about just you test faster than anybody else, both on the product side and the marketing side. I think that's how we got here because we just test so much faster. That's, um, that's a theme I've seen too about, uh, of companies like, uh, you know, it's it transitions from product development at some point then, you know, in your specialties being the best marketing team, like being the best at acquisition and being faster and smarter than your competitors churn is always just like high on these.

Consumer subscriptions. And I think it will always be higher than like a B2B app or a service. Um, so partially like growing your businesses, how do I push, like how do I build a machine that pushes a Boulder up Hill? Right? Like you have to find something to do it really more efficiently than your competitors.

Right. And so I've seen that theme kind of emerge. Well, I'd love to dig in a little bit to that. Cause I, I, you know, there's a, there's a lot of complexity in testing. As far as like, you know, you're AB testing something in the onboarding, and then you're mixing that with a pricing test and you're mixing that how I'd love to hear both like your tech stack, like what your, what y'all were using, but then also just kind of your testing strategy, because I also find that, you know, it seems like some people can easily.

AB tests themselves into, or actually this is again on a Thomas Petter who was talking about this. If you AB test enough, you end up with a porn site, you can over optimize in the wrong direction, gradient descent, over human desires, right? Like maybe not the, almost the best way to build something. Okay.

Just based on kind of, you know, what you've been discussing. It's like, you don't just AB test, but you have a strategy and kind of a product mindset behind that. Tell me more about that and how, how you actually implemented that, how you think about product testing. I think we consider that the general thesis is that we're trying to build a learning machine and the more we can learn, like the more tests you run, the more you're going to learn anybody you can to be.

And so I think that's the sort of overall thesis and the overall perspective. And we've put just as much effort into, into splitting and testing and figuring out what works to actually building out the product. And I think that has worked really, really well. And being obviously just incredibly knowing your numbers and being very analytically minded and be able to understand amplitude and or whatever mixed on whatever told you're using revenue cut, obviously as well, being able to understand the numbers like very, very deeply and, and, and, and, and figure out.

Not just a sort of first level data, but be able to get in. And so luckily we have amazing people on the team and the engineers are very smart and they can understand not just what happens within the product, but also sort of understanding, okay, if you change and acquisition channel is going to change some of the type of users that were coming in, and that might affect the, our conversion rates and all these things.

Uh, and when you have a super tiny theme, like we do, it's very easy to communicate and sort of be in touch what the others are doing. So that way we can, yeah. We know what, what might have an effect on, on something non-line in the product. Nice. So, so with the, with the test, Sammy were y'all, are you saying you're using amplitude for your AB testing and would you, would you just be really disciplined about like this week we're testing this, we're going to get.

A hundred thousand users through this, uh, variant and a hundred thousand through this variant. And then we're going to, I mean, would you have kind of product meetings to talk about the results of those tests and kind of think through what the real implications were versus like what the numbers were telling you and even looking at some of the downstream effects of what that specific AB test was effecting on retention or downstream numbers.

Yeah. So unfortunately there, isn't a very sort of easy and clever way to do AB test in the product at the same time. So what we would do is just, you know, get a version out, see what a performance, get another version out, see how that performs and compare the results. Like that's, I think super simple and down to earth and it's actually it's it.

Yeah. Cause the engineering team that would look at the numbers and run all these tests and, and they would do all of the onboarding stuff. So a lot of times you'll have. Then the organization split in a way where the growth thing will sort of overlap to the engineering team and just sort of mix up in between.

Or a lot of times, even the growth team will be in charge of the onboarding or the engineering team is responsible for like everything downline for retention after people have onboarded and we've done it aware where marketing growth is responsible for getting people in. And then engineers, um, and, and, and the engineering team, uh, takes them from once they got in and then sort of do all the onboarding tests and, and all of that optimization as well.

So I think they're very business minded engineering team, which has been super helpful because we, we knew exactly what our numbers were. We, and we, we knew the CAC. We knew the LTV, we knew what we needed to hit, and the engineers understood it very well. Um, and they sort of drew the push. To, to grow the business, not just build like fancy and nice features or things that work well, but it was, are we building things that are actually pushing our attention or pushing our revenue or pushing an important metric?

I think this is a, um, yeah, important. Like when people think about testing and AB doesn't always have to be side by side, like with some complex, like splitter functionality, if you have enough users and your ma two, two things need to be true. One, you have enough inbound. Three things. Okay. We need enough inbound to those inbound sources need to be fairly like uniform.

Like you need to not have like big things happening all the time that are sending different user bases your way. Um, and then third, you need to be testing things that are big enough. You need to be testing feature. Like you can't be testing like the color of a button, nine pages in, right. You're never going to get data or anything.

Interesting. You need to be taking big. Bold changes early on and ideally in onboarding or very shortly after to get data really fast. And in that case, if you're able to, you know, that's a lot on the app store to spin a release every week, right? That's not, that's not easy. I mean, you gotta have like the QA, you got to have good processes and stuff like that, but you can do that with a really small team as I think, as opposed to yeah.

Maybe like a more, a more formal or sophisticated AB testing or testing thing, which you're talking about David, which is where you're like maybe running wallets we'll test at once. And it's a big management problem. And it's like, how do I, how do I not have crosstalk between tests and how do we analyze the data correctly and stuff?

There's a time and a place for like super precise stuff. If you're making testing big changes early on, like, I think a lot of small teams could be doing more than, uh, than they might be, you know? Cause they've been told it's so scary and dangerous. Right? Yeah. And I think like, honestly I think that people just overthink it.

I think it's much easier. Then people sort of make it out to be, especially when you have a solid product. Like if you see that you have a lot of people coming in and you know, and then you'll hit a certain scale, like when you're acquiring 10, 20, 30,000 users a day, then you know, like 1% conversion rate increase makes a lot of huge difference to your bottom line.

So at some point it makes sense, but you have to be in that skull of millions of users where these like tiny chains make sense. I think in the beginning, or even if you get, you know, before we get to 10 million. ARR. I think it just, it doesn't have to be so fancy. Yeah. Yeah. That's, I'm glad, I'm glad I kept digging deeper and deeper because it feels like people are always striving for that.

Like super sophisticated. We need optimize Lee and we need to be like running all these sophisticated split tests and we need to do this and that. So it's like really refreshing. To hear you so focused on product and to kind of simplify things like, Hey, we just released one thing one week and another thing another week, and we ran the numbers and we.

Looked at what performed better. And I think that, you know, again, that's like, that's that product focus and not that like relentless, AB testing where you're changing colors on buttons and stuff like that. End of the day, AB test data is also meant to be paired with product thinking right. And talking to users.

Right. So if you have, if you're not doing any talking to actual users, Uh, I think your AB testing could lead you in very odd directions potentially. Right? So you need to take that data. And then, you know, sometimes in my past, when we may be tested stuff, we would actually find the thing we wanted to do was a decrease in some metric.

But we did it anyway because it was like something we wanted to do. Like it was, this is a broader product strategy. Thing for us. Right. So there's not always, like, you're not always like to Thomas' counterpoint there. You're not always just testing to increase the metric. And definitely sometimes you're protecting yourself from downside or just like measuring, like, you know, intuiting or trying to confirm your beliefs about what, how people are interacting with something.

But combining that with, you know, going back to the capital V founder vision or whatever, like you got to combine a bit of that as well. Yeah. And I think people forget that. It's not physics, right? This is not precise science. Like we say, AB testing. And we talk about all these like big talk about data and numbers and it just.

There's so many variables out of our control. So many nuances there's, you know, even a user acquisition, like Wednesday is different than Saturday because people just behave differently on weekends. Different weeks are different months are like, it just, it's not precise science. So trying to be a hundred percent precise on all of this testing and editor.

And it doesn't make sense because the data coming in is already blurry in the first place. So I think people just approach it maybe a too much. They're too strict on themselves, but speaking of it, experimentation, I did want to jump into, um, reflect Lee's price experimentation. So I'd love to just hear kind of, um, you know, where you started with your subscriptions and maybe even the jump from 500,000 users and seeing some product market fit to then monetizing those users.

And then to kind of like your, your, your steps in the evolution of your pricing strategies and then, you know, kind of where you landed today and why, why you think that, you know, that that's the right strategy for reflection? Yeah. So full disclosure is that I wasn't part of all of the pricing tasks, so I don't know the entire evolution.

Um, when we started off, it was super simple and I don't recall. So, yeah, we got the first half a million users organically, and then we turn the business model and I don't recall what the onboarding looks like or what the exact prices I, I, but I think from the beginning we approached it in a very simple way.

It's a common case for a product that has product market fit. Right. Like, you're like, I don't know, you remember what we were doing. Like, it didn't really matter. Right. It was just growing. Yeah. Like at that point, like we just wanted to see people pay. So I think with it's something simple, but. What we normally would do is that we would look at somebody that's, you know, a step ahead of us and be like, what are they doing?

Because they already did this. They already spent the time and money and the resources testing. We'll just copy that and then sort of use it as a benchmark and then, you know, test from there. So that's always what we did when we started off and we didn't know what was the next step. We just looked at somebody, you know, one or two steps ahead of you, and then you look at them.

And especially when you look at, and one way to do those also is look at a bigger company and look at their engineering team and see if they have a lot of engineers. I mean, I, we spent a lot of time testing and optimizing and doing all these things. So, you know, they spend time thinking about it and they already have some results.

So if it's close enough to your product, you can sort of look at that and take it and run with it. It's the same with. With, with marketing, you just see what works and then you get inspired to do something similar and you go, that's how, you know, the tow compound. They're, they're their Instagram story format.

It's just sad that it worked on somebody else copied it. Bam. It works for them. They just managed to scale it much better. Um, so that's how we sort of started off, but we're looking what works. So I don't know the entire evolution, how we got to where we are now, but I can tell you sort of general trends would we see from other companies as well?

Is that it's. It's nice to get the annual subscription because you get all the money up front, but a lot of times companies will get more money from doing the monthly because you can sort of price it higher compared to the annual and you get a higher LTV down the line, but it comes. You know, after a couple of months to have all the money up front.

So depending on where you are, what stage you're in and how much pressure you need on scaling, you can decide which one you're going to sort of push more. Um, and then, and a lot of times people will do the lifetime subscription, but not. That anybody's going to buy it, but just as a sort of psychological comparison, because if you have monthly annual or lifetime than annual actually looks pretty reasonable.

And then if you're lucky, you know, a couple of people start buying the lifetime, which was also seen as ridiculous subscription. Yeah. Surprised that, uh, we threw it in there with the same logic. And when you started to see them come in, it was two things. It was like, wow, that's crazy. And second, you felt good.

You're like, wow. Somebody really loves us that much. Right. And they, or they hate subscriptions, right? Yeah. But you know, if you can sell a 500, a dollar subscription, you know, why not go for it? A couple of those come in a week, then it's a good day. You're done. That's sort of the general trend we've seen is yeah.

Sort of monthly. If you, if you want to have a higher LTV, annual pushing, if you want to get the money upfront and lifetime, just sort of as a comparison, I think that's a sort of a general model that works in. All the different spaces. And then, you know, the annual renewal rate and the monthly renewal rate, highly varies on your country, the demographic, the category you're in and all those things, your product as well.

That's one thing I noticed for some of these core metrics is like, people ask me all the time, like, Hey, what's the average monthly re retention or whatever. And I'm just like, there is the average is an uninteresting number because the distribution is so wide. Like it doesn't really, it doesn't really serve as a good summary statistic.

Exactly. It's not physics, but I studied physics. So don't forgive me if I try to make it physics. So I feel like I know what I'm doing. We get short on time, but, uh, but before we wrap up, I did really want to hear about, um, and you've done courses on this. People can search YouTube for it and. Um, and search your name, but, um, you've done a lot of work on Tik TOK.

And so I'm really curious to just hear kind of how you ramped up on Tik TOK, even like differences in willingness to pay versus other channels. And then you've also talked about your, uh, some micro influencer strategies. So I'd love to dig into that a little bit. Yeah. So, I mean, technic is obviously very interesting cause it's a brand new platform and we've been on sweeping on Tik TOK, sort of.

Looking at it for over a year now. Um, and we've been sort of active on tic-tac for over a year and we tried all different ways of, you know, growing a company profile organically by just posting, doing influencer deals, micro or bigger influencers doing advertising. And I've been on tick-tock personally, like trying to grow my profile and to see what works, what doesn't work.

And a lot of times I've said that it's the biggest marketing opportunity of 2020, because. Nowhere else in the world. Can you get the type of, explore the type of, you know, exposure and the impressions that you can get on Tik TOK and especially because when you're getting on organically, the algorithm is different than Instagram.

So when you post on Instagram is mostly displayed through your followers. You don't have followers then too bad. You couldn't grow very, very slowly. And it's really hard to grow on Instagram right now, but tick-tock when you post something it's not a shown to your users. It's shown to a small fraction of potential users.

And if the engagement is high, then it's shown to more users. And if it's high as trends, more users, and there's no upper limits to how many users are going to be shown. Uh, except for the total users of objects docs. So that's why it's fascinating. You can see people come on, Tik TOK, post on video, and they get a million views.

And we've seen companies skyrocket because something has been viral and it just went crazy and it got to the, you know, number one, um, uh, spot in, in the app store. So that's why it's, it's an incredible opportunity, but it's also much more volatile just because you have a million followers, doesn't guarantee a certain number of views.

So that algorithm is very much. Sort of skew towards virality versus just having a lot of followers. So that's why it's a huge opportunity. And, you know, I got on and I could grow my profile like 30,000 followers in a couple of weeks and it's not rocket surgery. It's pretty simple to just do the same thing and what everybody's doing.

And wait, what kind of content you post like CMO content to a tech talk? Or how did, how did it work? Like content? Did you post to grow that much? That fast? I tried everything and I posted, you know, everything from silly dancing videos to, to, and I got a lot of. Okay. Boomer comments. That's great to be a 30 year old boomer.

Exactly. That's where we are, but Hey, that's that's but I, I tried everything, but ironically, the videos that are by far the most, like I have a couple of videos with over a million views, and those are the videos where I did one video, one video on how to, how to build an app without coding and that kind of crazy viral and have some other videos.

So I'm, it's actually about, you know, the app business. Um, which was interesting for me to see, because I got onto that side. Like, if you look at the top creators, they're all doing, you know, stupid, silly videos. You have to do that to grow up and it's not true, but people are providing a lot of value and you can grow that way.

So that's another sort of personal profile side with reflecting with a business profile is much more difficult to, to be on Tik TOK as a business, because it's very much a personal experience. People want to see a face on a product. So then we would post on behalf of likely. And when you're like, when your logo or your eye, if you're.

Profile picture is your logo. It's an already known or for other users they want to have. And the only time I've seen it done successfully is when it's like the CEO or somebody behind the business showing you behind the scene that you can be too salesy. And the thing is the sort of formula to tick-tock is just.

Post as much as you possibly can. It was all about virality and you never know what's going to work. That it really is. That really is the 20, 20 social network, right? Yeah, absolutely. Like it's all about, it's never stop posting. Yeah. And it's so much, it's so much it's quantity over quality. The leg. That's exactly what it is because you're going to post 10 video signups.

We're going to do nothing, but in one's going to go viral, but you're always going to go viral. It's the, um, it's the uncapped upsides, right? That's what Bizo says about, like, if, you know, if one in a thousand bat swings, you make a hundred million dollars, you should just swinging the bat as many times as you possibly can.

Right? Like, uh, and so the incentive is all checked out. Right? And I think it's the same formula for it, for testing content and creatives on when you're running. For example, as on any platform, It's quantity over quality. Like just want to throw every don't don't like show the market what you think is good for them, everything you've got and they'll tell you what's good.

And then you can double down, but it's so like quantity over quality on margin, on user acquisition versus on the product. That's all, you know, it's called quality. That's different. And what I understand that that's been your micro influencer strategy, right? Is that you, instead of paying one 10 influencers, a thousand dollars each and spending $10,000, you pay a thousand influencers, a hundred dollars each.

And then see what hits and then put the ad money behind the one that already kind of went viral on its own. Is that, is that kind of the good summary of how you're, how you're leveraging the micro influencers? Yeah, so I was actually. Last year we had, we saw like hypergrowth, like crazy, and we're still seeing crazy growth, but last year we did micro influencers at scale.

And I think we went from like one to 5 million users in just a couple of months. It was crazy fast. And the way we did it with it. Yeah. Micro-influencer scale. So anybody that has, you know, whatever an Instagram we did it, it was less than 10,000 and 20,000 followers. And what people don't realize about influencers is that it's not the value that they posted and you get the distribution.

That's not valuable, but the value of that is owning the content and then running the content with similar audience. So I could have a 35 year old dude in England talking about a product and we'll get the content that he produced and I would have run it to all the 35 year old dudes in England. Because it's so much better than anything I can produce in-house and we scaled like crazy and I did it myself and Jacob was helping you to see you at the time.

And we didn't have a big marketing team. We didn't have content team. We just had nothing. We just did this at scale. And it was hyper. It was very relevant. Like when he shows up on your profile, it looks like your friends, do you want me to scroll through and actually watch it? Like, we trust people that look like us and we buy from people that we trust.

So it was sort of, you know, basic psychology and we did it at scale and that was really our. Our secret. And I've given talks about this as well, and it works on any other platform. Really. I was going to say, um, we're kind of doing that right now on this very podcast. Uh, but, but, but it's interesting to think of like a company who's, who's Tam who's, who's a customer base is any, every person on the earth that makes a lot of sense, right?

Like you want, we found that, you know, in revenue cat's content journey, as we've fly, found what resonates, honestly, the best content that resonated was like, The content that one of us was writing very passionately from a place of knowledge. Right. But that's really hard to scale. Um, but it seems like this is kind of a neat little hack here where you like get a whole bunch of people to produce a whole bunch of content, and then you can extend it.

You can pick the best of it and it doesn't have to be. You know, the nice thing about not being a developer tool is like the content doesn't have to be like, you know, the expert can produce it. Right. And it that's the thing, like a lot of times it was the content of look shitty. There was the worst piece of content I saw the performance the best because it didn't look like an ad.

And I remember specifically there was one particular ad where the girl was sort of doing a selfie style video. It was like a weird sepia filter her baby's crying in the background. She's saying that she's mispronouncing the app, but that was the ad that just outperform everything else. And I was so close to not running it.

And I also did test where I was spent $20,000 on influencers and get the distribution from there. And then $20,000 on micro-influencers. They will put money behind the ads rather than distribution. And it's always the micro with the ads where out on the continent are everything else. Wow. That's amazing.

Are there platforms for this? How are you reaching out to that many influencers? There's no platforms like the ones I found flat growth team. That's the platform there are now Zack, Zack. Choquet actually introduced me to somebody who does this. There a micro-influencer video service where you pay, you pay for the videos and then they, um, then if you want them to actually run it on their channel, it's an additional fee, but it's like, you can just buy that.

You can just buy the, the video creation to then run as ads. It's just kind of fascinating. Yeah. Well, a lot of times the problem was that the platforms wanted to charge me like $400 per piece of content. I was like, I can get it for 20 bucks from the influencer. Like, it doesn't make sense to patients. So the way we scaled is like, I literally just hired one student and it's all the everyday DM influencers.

That's all she did. Like she would DM them, talk to them over email. Once they agreed they would send a video, it would be sent to the Philippines where an editor would edit for like three bucks a video and only then he would get it to me. And I wouldn't even see the content until it was in my folder.

Now to run into ads and that's how we scale it. So it was actually super easy when you think about it. So it's easy to build the growth machine if you did. Yeah. If you didn't believe my point earlier about how it becomes about building a really good growth machine, I think you've just made it very clear that like that's such a, I mean, it's important and I think it plays into your story about being scrappy, right?

Like you could go and pay this, like. Agent to get a $400 a lead, but like, no, you found it. You can do it much cheaper, but I just, and that's, you know, tying it all back together, goes back to my point about like capital needs being so much lower because you found somebody on Upwork, you hired a student to do the, like, you know, the, the, the messaging.

And then you probably automated it with some, you know, a handful of Zapier's or whatever your tool of choice is. And then you can build these like, These machines, like, so simply now that, yeah, it really just has changed so much in the last, not even that long, it's just like five years ago, six years ago.

A lot of those pieces of infrastructure were not there that we have now. It's really fascinating. We all were in the middle of a gold rush. Yeah, for sure. Well, that's a great place to wrap up. So Dario has tell, tell us a little bit more about where people can find you, um, about your, your, uh, training videos and stuff like that.

And then reflectively to go button to go download the app, right? Yeah, absolutely. So look up, you know, reflecting on the app store. I think if you type in happiness or happy world, so number one, No, it's pretty easy to find us reflecting that app on the website and it's on, um, on, on iOS and Android. So go check it out.

We're always hiring incredible people. So whether an engineer and we're built in flutter, so even better, if you can write flutter, there's not, there's not a whole. Other opportunities out there right now, if you're a flutter fan, this is your call. Yeah. And we are on the landing page of flutter. So you're gonna have the best spot to, to work on flutter.

So if you go on LinkedIn and find one of us and reach out to us soon for growth, if you know any, we're looking always ways to expand more people. So reach out to us that way. And I personally have a blog. There is more a.com. So it's D a R R U S M R a. Dot com where I talk about all this stuff in a podcast, there is more show, which you can find on Spotify and Apple podcasts, where I talk about when I talk with other app founders that are going through the same journey.

Very cool. Thanks so much for being on the podcast today. Doris, thank you so much for inviting me. This was fun to make sure you never miss an episode. Subscribe to the show and your favorite podcast player. Thanks so much for listening. Until next time.