Daniel Vassallo

Daniel Vassallo quotes on business insights

Building a portfolio of small bets. Quarter-time with Gumroad. Building userbase.com. Creator on dvassallo.gumroad.com. Ask me anything at daniel@hey.com.

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If you manage to build a business that you can operate at a very low cost (including your time), you almost cannot fail. Worst case scenario is a slow success.


You don’t have to wait until you have a product to start promoting. You already have yourself. Promote yourself. Try to get people to follow you. I can assure you that getting followers is much easier than getting people to pay you.


Product first: You start with an idea & try to make it a reality at all costs. Business first: You start with a business strategy & try to maximize profit via prudent risks. Lifestyle first: You start with a preferred lifestyle & try to find business activities that enhance it.


The science says that a $10 product sells significantly more when priced $9.99. Yet, I prefer pricing my products in multiples of $5. A $9.99 price makes me feel as if the seller is taking advantage of a bug in my brain. I prefer if my customers don't experience that feeling.


Starting a business is a good cause. If strangers are voluntarily giving you their hard earned money (and not regretting it), you’re helping. Both yourself and others. It’s marvelous!


Business success is mostly a discovery problem, not an execution problem. You won't find success by optimizing and polishing your products (or by making them scale!). You find success by discovering things that work, despite the abundant room for improvement.


Trying to validate a business idea before it's on the market is like trying to validate a lottery ticket before the draw. You can't ignore uncertainty in a randomness-laden venture. Validation is an invalid concept in these activities.


Best thing I learned about business writing is that details (even when very relevant) tend to dilute the core message. After I realized this, all my emails started looking like tweets!


Doing business requires as much creativity and imagination as creating art.


You can never eliminate uncertainty in business. You're either placing bets or fooling yourself.


Variable income is thrilling. Every day starts at zero, and it’s always a pleasant surprise when the day doesn’t also end at zero. Very hard to take it for granted (unlike my old steady paycheck).


If your friends and colleagues show interest in something you know or experienced, chances are that thousands of people on the internet would find that interesting too.


Nobody buys info products for their production quality. Focus on information quality instead.


The only way to do business on social media is this: Give x 100 And only then, Ask (to visit your website, to buy your product, to vote in your poll, to join your newsletter, to answer your question, etc). Both the order & frequency matter.


A one-time purchase is just a recurring subscription with the full lifetime value paid upfront.


In the real world, the expected value of a 30% chance to make $3M is not the same as a 0.3% chance of making $300M. Because if you can’t fit enough repetitions in your lifetime to realize the payout, your expected value will be $0.


If you want to help (both yourself and others), do something where people will voluntarily exchange their hard earned money for it (and not regret it).


People will always prefer to business with people they like. You know who’s hard to like? A big faceless company with a board of directors and an army of lawyers. If you’re a small business, the playing field is tipped in your favor. Let people know you, and some will like you.


Conversion rates are fascinating. When 4.5% of visits convert to a sale, day after day, with very little variance, it shows you how similarly we behave when looked at collectively.


How I can teach myself sales & marketing Once you have your own skin in the game, your gut will become a very reliable guide. Just keep your bets small, and you’ll learn more this way than if you were to consume everything ever written about this topic.


Something I learned while running availability monitoring software for 8 years is that you want to trade efficiency for capacity. You’ll run at 5% utilization for yrs, but when the big one comes and every monitored system fails at once, you’ll use that headroom to remain online.


Want to make a living as an author? Then treat it like a business, not a lottery ticket. You need to have an idea of how you're going to produce it, distribute it, promote it, etc. Nothing is certain, but you need a strategy. And "write it and they will come" is not a good one.


Someone asked me if I consider making my business metrics public. I really like being transparent. But I still want to choose what to show and when to show it. I fear that making metrics public may corrupt my freedom to do what I really want (to not make the metric look bad).

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