In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Rob and Mike discuss why entrepreneurship is the logical path. They interview Taylor Pearson and talk about his book “The End of Jobs”.
Items mentioned in this episode:
- Taylor Pearson’s Book, The End of Jobs
- Tropical MBA Podcast
- Taylor Pearson.me
- Taylor Pearson.me/winbooks
Rob [00:00]: In this episode of Startups For The Rest Of Us, Mike and I discussed why entrepreneurship is the logical path with guest Taylor Pearson. This is Startups For The Rest Of Us episode 241.
Rob [00:19]: Welcome to Startups For the Rest of Us, the podcast that helps developers, designers, and entrepreneurs be awesome at launching software products. Whether you’ve built your first product, or you’re just thinking about it. I’m Rob.
Mike [00:28]: And I’m Mike.
Rob [00:29]: And we’re here to share our experiences to help you avoid the same mistakes we’ve made. What’s the word this week, Mike?
Mike [00:34]: Well, the podcast site has been having some pretty weird issues lately and people have been saying that like the site is down and then I check it and it looks like it’s up for me and then there’s the different websites you can go to where they like check to see if it’s down for you or for everybody and I go check those and I say that it’s not available and I’m just like, “Well, it is working for me.”
Rob [00:52]: Oh, well. So it’s the DNS?
Mike [00:53]: That’s what I thought at first and then somebody twitted a screenshot that showed a 503 error coming directly from the server. So I went and checked the server and the error logs are completely empty and I checked with support and they’re like, “Yeah. We haven’t seen any 503 errors.” So I’m just like, “Oh.”
Rob [01:08]: Weird.
Mike [01:09]: Yeah. I guess somebody have mentioned this on Twitter. This is one of those situations where cloud computing sucks because you can’t just go over and kick the server.
Rob [01:16]: Yeah. Yeah. For real. Huh, I haven’t experienced any issues with it so that’s [?] but clears up.
Mike [01:22]: I went into DNS and checked it pretty thoroughly and everything seem to be running fine so I don’t think that that was it. It seems like it might be the server or might be some sort of routing issues of some kind. So, I don’t know if they are aware of it. They’re looking into it but I don’t think they’re going to look too hard to be honest because it seems to be up and running.
Rob [01:40]: Right. So, anyway, we’ve added a speaker to the MicroConf Europe speaker doc that we have Alex from JitBit and he’s attended several MicroConfs but he runs a seven-figure software company that has a number of products; JitBit HelpDesk, JitBit CRM. He has a live chat forum software and a bunch of other stuff, so if you’ve heard of JitBit or you know Alex, his story is pretty cool. It’s totally bootstrapped and he’s grown an admirable software company. So, he’ll be talking about his experience in pulling out some tactics and takeaways for our MicroConf Europe audience this August in Barcelona. How about you? What else you’ve been up to?
Mike [02:17]: I think it was last week, I launched the AuditShark lockdown service to my mailing list and it’s been going recently well. I’ve already started on one that somebody purchased right away and I’ve got two more that I’m in the process of scheduling and then there seems to be more on the pipeline. So, the service itself kind of solves a longstanding issue where people like the software but they don’t necessarily know what to do with the result. So, instead of basically handing it off to them and they use the software, I use the software on their behalf and then interpret everything for them and do the work and it essentially is a product type of service really but it kind of overcomes a lot of the challenges that the businesses who don’t do this very often have been having with the software.
Rob [02:57]: Sure. And especially if you’re not targeting enterprises and not targeting folks with entire teams dedicated to this stuff and you’re mostly going after small and medium-sized businesses, they’re not going to necessarily going to know what to do with those results. So, having you as an expert come in I think there’s a lot of benefit to doing that. Now, is this a one-time audit where you fix? Is it subscription? How does it work?
Mike [03:17]: So, there is essentially it’s a onetime audit and then once we go to through the audit and take a look at the results, probably takes several days to go through everything because we have an initial conversation first to kind of get a rundown on what their environment looks like and then if anything needs to be built to go out into their environment, so like let’s say they have something weird that I don’t necessarily support out of the box, then I’ll go build some stuff and then add it into the product and then go pull those results from their machines and then aggregate it into a report. And then once we sit down, go over everything in the report, depending on where they’re at then it might move into like a man of services opportunity where they can leverage me on a retainer basis in the future and then there’s also the opportunity for doing a follow-up audit in the future based on any server mediation in the efforts that they need to undertake. So, let’s say that there’s 25 things that they need to fix based on the audits. They can go out and then fix those things and then we can come back in three months, or six months, or something like that and then take a look to see where they’re at and whether those things were actually fixed and make sure that their environment is getting better over time and not worse.
Rob [04:24]: Right. And this is for Windows servers only? Is that right?
Mike [04:26]: No. It’s for Windows, Linux, Unix, et cetera.
Rob [04:29]: So, someone is listening to this and are thinking, “Boy, I’d really like my server to be locked down more. How can they get in touched with you to hear more about this?
Mike [04:36]: Well, they can email me directly email@example.com or they can just come over and sign up on the email list that’s over on auditshark.com and you’ll get some brief information about what sorts of things you should be doing for your servers and then there’ll be a sales [piece?] that’s kind of included in there at some point along the way where it will talk a little bit more about the service and how if you’re not ready to do this, these things yourself, then we can come in and do them for you.
Rob [04:58]: Cool. And you said you’ve already sold one, huh?
Mike [05:00]: Yeah. Several of them actually and then soon one of them is in the process of being done right now. It should be done by the end of this week and then the other two, I’m in the process of scheduling and then I’ve heard from other people that they’re interested and they’re just kind of working through paperwork and stuff like that.
Rob [05:13]: Nice. Way to go, man. That’s cool. That’s good news.
Mike [05:16]: Yup. So how about you?
Rob [05:17]: Well, I have a couple of books that I wanted to recommend today. These are books that I’ve read over the past month or so. One is called, Becoming Steve Jobs. And if you’ve read the Walter Isaacson biography, it is an exceptional book. I think it’s just called Jobs and I highly recommend it, and I actually recommend that more than this book. I like this book a lot. This book did a good job of telling a different story. It’s about kind of the psychological and mental development of Steve. It’s written by a journalist who knew Steve from the 80s until his death, and he said that he felt like the Isaacson biography was a little harsh on Steve and that it made him out to be a tyrant and a jerk who was hard to work with and the journalist basically says that was true in the 80s and the early 90s and then he kind of figured himself out like he matured, he became easy to work with and from the mid-90s like the Pixar era on, he was a much easier person to work with. And so that was his premise, I’m not sure that I totally buy that based on a lot of the stuff stories you hear out of Isaacson stuff, but it was a unique look at it and I didn’t feel like the same stories were rehashed in this book and I’m a big fan of tech history and of Apple and all that stuff. I got my first computer, it was an Apple IIE back in 1982, so it kind of has a special place for me and it was neat kind of to hear the other side of the story.
Mike [06:37]: I haven’t read that one but I did read the Isaacson one and it seem to me like there was this, I don’t want to call it definitive turning point but it definitely seemed like Steve Jobs kind of mellowed out a little bit. He definitely seemed like he still had some of those, I don’t want to call it a meanstreak, but like a streak about him where he knew what he wanted and if you couldn’t deliver, he was going to be pissed. So, I don’t think that those completely went away but I think they feel like they were toned down a little bit once he came back and went through Pixar and had been laid off from Apple.
Rob [07:07]: Yeah. It softened a bit but it never went away like it was still part of his, and I think he always felt it but he learned to not lose it when he felt that, when he got older like he didn’t go away for him mentally, it just it didn’t come out as behaviors.
Mike [07:22]: So he didn’t pull a bomb or throw a chair.
Rob [07:24]: Exactly. Exactly. And hey, the other book that I want to recommend is, I wish I could remember who recommended this maybe it’s called Daily Rituals, and I thought that it was going to be this writer discussing a bunch of daily rituals and analyzing him and pulling commonalities, it’s not. It’s 150 short chapters and all it is is the daily ritual of some famous creative person dating all the way back into the 1700s, there’s composers, there’s writers, there’s artists. I think there are going to be some maybe some tech people, just anyone that he could pull Daily Rituals from. He’s putting a chapter in their form. And I have to say, it sounds like it’d be really bad or dry. It’s actually really interesting, and maybe I’m just kind of a weirdo in this respect but listening to people’s daily rituals is giving me a couple of ideas, there are just some things that I want to improve. I’ve been struck by all these creatives had a daily ritual. Even when it might change over time based on their life situation, like some of Mad Kids and had to change it, but it’s shocking that none of these people said, “I’m going to be a creative and I’m just going to write when inspiration strikes.” It really is a testament to having a routine if you’re going to be someone who’s trying to create and produce on a regular schedule.
Mike [08:36]: Very cool.
Rob [08:37]: Today, Mike and I have the pleasure of having Taylor Pearson on the podcast. Taylor has written a book called The End of Jobs and if you’re trying to get a frame of reference for where you might have heard Taylor’s voice before, he worked for [?]. He ran a lot of their e-commerce marketing and he’s been on the Tropical MBA podcast several times. So, Taylor, welcome. It’s great to have you on the show.
Taylor Pearson [09:01]: Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.
Rob [09:03]: So, as I mentioned, Taylor wrote this book called The End of Jobs and the main premise of the book is how investing and entrepreneurship is perhaps a more logical choice as times are changing. It’s a more logical choice than having this salary gig with the so-called stability of having a long-term job. And Taylor touches on a bunch of interesting things about how technology has shifted and has made jobs that were previously not possible, very much possible and how it’s made small niches that could never have done 15 years ago, lucrative enough that you could frankly quit your job and then travel the world doing it. So Taylor, one of the things that I like about your book landing page which is a taylorpearson.me/theendofjobs is you have a really nice summary of it and then you have this section that I always like to see and it’s who should read this book, and you have four different groups. You have early stage entrepreneurs which makes sense because you’re going to teach them how to get this doing. You have established entrepreneurs. I like your explanation for this. You basically say, “Do you have friends who don’t understand what you do? This book will help you convince folks that entrepreneurship is a reasonable choice and then students and corporate employees.” So, with that introduction, would you mind giving folks your own summary of The End of Jobs to kind of give them a frame of reference of why this might be interesting to our audience?
Taylor Pearson [10:25]: Yes. So, the book kind of starts with me starting to work with [?] from Tropical MBA. I started working with them and 2012 and that the time was basically just, I just wanted to travel. That was my fundamental motivation. I wasn’t overly interested in business. I just wanted to be able to go to the country. I want to travel and so I learned a bunch of marketing skills and was working in a marketing at the time because I knew if I develop this skillset, I’ve seen a lot of other people with the same skillset travel and I knew I could do that. So, I showed up to their conference in 2012 and I didn’t really know it was going on, but when I came back two years later in 2014, I kind of had seen some changes that were going on that kind of drove me to write this book that a lot of my friends from Memphis or I would just go in Birmingham, Alabama, we’re kind of on the same trajectory and I was looking around at the people in Bangkok and the way innate differences it was like they, clearest thing in the room, my friends at home were smart and the people on Bangkok were smart and did a lot of ways. The difference was just that they had a better choice that the opportunities they were pursuing is entrepreneurs were better opportunities and a lot of that was driven by kind of the changing nature of technology and the impact that had on jobs and on work.
Rob [11:41]: So one of the things you say in the book, you talked about how the internet has made stair stepping possible and you talked a lot about the long tail and how that works. Would you mind explaining to folks what the long tail is and why it helps entrepreneurs get started these days?
Taylor Pearson [11:54]: So the long tail was a concept that writer for Wired magazine and Chris Anderson came up with and basically what he saw happening was there were kind of three forces of technology and more specifically the internet. The first was this democratization of the tools of production. So if you look back 20 years or 50 years ago, if you wanted to make something, even something like a digital product which now we think of as like so easy to make. If you wanted to make a record album which one is a digital product. 20 or 30 years ago you had to go into the studio and you had to rent at the studio space and you had to record this expensive equipment and now people do just like GarageBand on their computer and that’s through a cross industry as the rise of SAS, all these software tools who democratized production. It’s getting easier to manufacture in China. It’s getting easier to make things. The other thing that’s happening is this democratization of distribution. So, and again, you go back 50 years and if you wanted distribution you basically had to go on NBC, ABC, CBS that there were a very limited number of distribution channels and that’s of all went to cable and with so they moved like onto YouTube and this is like cliché now but the middlemen are dying. This is through a cross distribution channels from video to text to audio, you got podcasting and blogging. All of a sudden, for a very cheap compared to what it cost 20 years ago, anyone can establish and build a distribution channel. And then the other thing is that algorithms have basically connected these two; the distribution and the product creation. I know we could talk about this a little more Rob. I know you had a duck boat E-book at some point?
Rob [13:31]: I did, it was plans actually for building a duck boat with stuff you could buy at Home Depot.
Taylor Pearson [13:37]: And what’s interesting is, you couldn’t have built that 20 years ago, or you couldn’t have sold that product 20 years ago because there just weren’t, like you’re not going to go to the neighborhood Farmers Market and sell it at the shop and sell the duck boat E-book but you have to have the internet and more specifically you have to have Google to connect people that are looking with that duck boat E-book to someone that can produce the duck boat E-book and can do it for much cheaper and can distribute it much more effectively than what’s possible. And this enabled when you look all these businesses that we’re going to talk about that are stair step businesses. They’ve been enabled by all this technology on the long tail and it’s not only continuing and that these are getting more accessible but it’s accelerating.
Rob [14:16]: Right. And that you brought up the stair step I mean that one of the two paths that you outline are scripts, I think you’re calling them, right? It’s kind of like, they don’t follow the script of get to 95 and work for 40 years like our culture tells us to, but follow one of these alternative scripts and one of them is stair stepping which we obviously talk a lot about on the podcast here. And the other one is apprenticeships and I think if you want to hear more about apprenticeships, folks can read your book. We’re not going to have time to cover them up today but we are going to talk about some examples of stair stepping and mindset behind that.
Mike [14:47]: So as part of this democratization of the internet gives everybody in terms of being able to create any product of some kind and then distribute it essentially on your own, does that render a lot of the existing distribution channels more or less irrelevant because you said those middle players are getting squeezed and they’re kind of being pushed out of existence and you that you could say, “Okay. Well, they’re getting pushed out of existence or they’re getting put into a position where they simply become larger.” Is that the case or are they just simply being pushed out of existence and they’re not getting any bigger because of the internet making everything accessible to everyone else?
Taylor Pearson [15:20]: Well, they’re certainly losing market share. Like if you look at video content being consumed, you can look at the pod sharks for three years ago, it was 100% between I think NBC, ABC, and CBS were the three original ones and now it’s like 20% YouTube and 2% Vimeo and 30% cable and like the overall market share is definitely getting much smaller for established players and seeing much larger in general for these new distribution channels. And so as those grow and gain market share, people that are investing in them are obviously getting a part of that market share.
Mike [15:56]: Well, sure, but isn’t the overall size of the market increasing? So, the question would be even though if their market share are maybe getting smaller, does that mean that they are getting smaller as well?
Taylor Pearson [16:05]: I guess it depends on the industry like if you look book publishing, I would say it seems like they are getting smaller, the publishing company, some of the smaller publishing houses are going out of business. How that affects like the very, very top of the market? I’m not sure. I guess that the point in my mind is, the opportunity here for individuals or for entrepreneurs is that these very accessible distribution channels like YouTube, Google, like social are very cheap and they’re getting more and more powerful and that that’s what individuals have access to. So kind of I guess regardless of what happens with the bigger players, there are still more opportunity for individuals.
Mike [16:43]: So in terms of more opportunity in making everything more accessible, can you talk a little bit about some of the problems that some people might have in recognizing some of those opportunities?
Taylor Pearson [16:52]: Yes. So I think one of the reasons we don’t see a lot of these opportunities is we have this very local bias, like we have Dunbar’s numbers kind of which is frequently set that were used to these tribes of 150 people and that’s how our minds work. We think if I only have one friend that likes this, then there’s probably only one friend, one person in the whole world. That’s the cognitive bias we have but say there’s going back to the duck boat example, maybe there’s only 10,000 people in the US that like duck boats, but if 10,000 people like duck boats and all of them pay $100 for an E-book, that’s $1 million in revenue.
Rob [17:27]: Cool. So, let’s talk a little bit more about stair stepping, I mentioned this earlier. There are obviously a lot of examples of folks doing this and some of whom we’ve had on the show like Phil Derksen is a good example with his WordPress plugins, he was in an episode a few months ago called Eight Years to Overnight Success. And David Hehenberger who also has WordPress plugins, he runs Fatcat apps. He’s stair stepping his way up and [Free Davies?], he’s also in the D.C. and he does a Magento plugins if I recall. There are a bunch more. We don’t need to list them all here. What are some good examples that you’ve come across and maybe other areas because it’s not all about software just because this podcast is, there are certainly people doing this and publishing maybe an e-commerce productized service, that kind of stuff. What are the stair stepping examples that you’ve come across?
Taylor Pearson [18:14]: So, kind of going back to this idea of these new distribution channels or these new markets share expanding the thing I noticed looking at people in other industries, is they tend to ride that raising tides. So you see a lot of like you were talking about WordPress plugins that as that WordPress ecosystem is expanding, a rising tide raises all boats and so kind of getting in the ground level of that as more and more people come to WordPress, even if nothing else changes about you don’t improve the market and you don’t improve anything else, there’s still going to be more potential customers for that product. And so that’s true in other markets as well like when I see a lot of people right now is Amazon, and as more and more people shop on Amazon and Amazon makes their platform more and more available to sellers, a lot of people have forgotten business moving very quickly by just using this existing and growing Amazon distribution channel and putting their products or white labeling products on that distribution channel. I see the same thing like did you look at Ramit Sethi’s trajectory? Kind of like stair stepping his way up in info product. So, I think his first info was like $9 and he likes to talk about this all the time that he went from $9 info product and then he did his earned his 1K course which I think was a few $100 and now he’s going to be selling $10,000 courses. So he’s gradually moved up this value chain. And then the same thing tends to happen with productized services that people will come in and test the productized service usually very cheap since it’s mostly their time and labor and then over time, as they moved up the market, they can afford to charge more and more for the same service. So, if you’re doing email marketing for a small business, you can’t contribute the amount of values as you can for a large business but it does what you get momentum and trajectory and you get to understand how the processes work. You get referrals up the market and to new customers and you’re like stair stepped up the value chain.
Mike [20:04]: I think in many ways, some of these things in terms of the stair step approach not just in terms of different types of products but even within in individual products like you said Ramit Sethi’s different info products or productized services and pretty much any of these types of products where you could sell it for a little bit or you could sell it for a huge amount of money based on who your customer is even though at its core, the product itself is generally the same thing. It’s just a matter of where it is that you’re selling it in terms of the small business versus the large business. But, it seems to me like there’s a correlation between how long you’ve been doing it and the experience that you had doing it as to how much you can charge for it and the types of businesses you can sell it to just based on the amount of experience that you have doing it and the amount of value that you’re providing and it’s not as if you could step in and like Ramit Sethi couldn’t have created this $1,000 products and sold it as well as he has on day one because not only did he not have the experience but he didn’t have the credibility and he didn’t have the knowledge that goes along with all the different marketing efforts that need to be in place in order to make that $1,000 product worth it. I mean he basically practiced those things at that lower level first.
Taylor Pearson [21:17]: Absolutely, and you tell what those businesses. They just have so much momentum at this point. They’ve been doing it and they have all the systems in place and they have the people in place and it gets easier and easier to launch bigger and bigger products. And I think the other thing that doesn’t get talked about as much is kind of the mindset is generally everyone, I vividly remember the first time I made a dollar on the internet and it was like this magical moment of like, “Oh my god. You can make money on the internet.” That was nothing I never done before. I didn’t know anyone that ever made money on the internet, but that progression continues to move up and as you have one successful product launch in your belt or one successful product or company or plugin, you kind of gain the confidence to move into bigger and bigger project, I mean you could see that in Ramit’s trajectory that he’s much more confident now and he’s writing in his sales and presentation when he was five years ago.
Rob [22:06]: Yeah. And I would venture to say that he’s much more competent at it as well. That’s something I grew in over time. If you look back at any of the copy that I wrote back in 2007-2008 versus what I write today, it’s night and day. I cringe now. The stuff that I were back then worked well enough but I didn’t know what I was doing in a lot of senses. In addition, there are so many aspects that I feel like stair stepping contributes to, right? It’s like there’s true competence. You just get better at something. There’s also confidence that you can do it and that helps make you more competent because you, it just builds over time and you can start tackling bigger and bigger things and you’re willing to risk bigger and bigger things because it’s a little more calculated, right? It’s not like you’re putting all the chips on the table for this huge moon shot. You’ve basically worked your way up there and you kind of deserve to be there. And then, I also think that kind of like a network effect or maybe it’s better said as like relationships because if Ramit came out of the gate and tried to sell a $10,000 product without having sold all these other products, people are just much less likely to buy it. I think that we did the same thing with the Micropreneur Academy which is a little lower priced and then launching MicroConf which is obviously a more expensive event because it’s an in-person thing. It would’ve been a lot harder for us to just suddenly jump out of the gate without having the podcast, without having my book and the academy, and all this stuff like just it takes time and I think the mistake that I see people doing when they’re not stair stepping is that they know it’s going to take time but they spent two years building something and never launching. So you’re not getting the experience, you’re not really gaining in confidence, and if it fails, you really drop, you can’t do much. But if during that two years, instead you launch some smaller efforts whether it’s a podcast or a blog or a drop ship e-commerce site or a WordPress plugin, then you can start gaining these things. By the time you get to the end of the two years coming back to what you said earlier, there’s a ton of momentum. Your stair stepping is a real big momentum play, right, that the longer you do it, the faster that fly will start spinning.
Taylor Pearson [24:11]: I thought about it again to have another analogy it was if you look at competitive weightlifting or I do amateur collar lifting competition sometimes, the people who end up doing the best, the way it works is you have three attempts but usually start in a low number and move to a much higher number and kind of take these jumps that the people are trying to start at a higher number usually end up failing because they don’t kind of get the confidence of the momentum of kind of building up gradually and being able to get eventually a higher outcome.
Rob [24:39]: Yup. And I think the same can be said for playing a sport, let’s say play baseball and you start in a little league and then you play high school, and then you play college, and then maybe you go minor leagues and then eventually you get to the pros but you don’t just try to jump into the pros when you’re 25 having never done anything before.
Taylor Pearson [24:55]: And coming back a little bit full circle to the importance of the long tail is it didn’t use to be possible to gain that momentum like if you had to lease a store front and you’d have all this startup capital, and you had to pay for advertising in a newspaper or whatever it was, like it was very expensive to start getting momentum whereas now because of basically the internet, it’s very, very cheap.
Rob [25:18]: Yeah, that’s interesting to think about not stair stepping and kind of building your way up is perhaps could be thought of as a mindset that people had 20-30 years ago because it really wasn’t an option to do the service. It was very difficult, I don’t know anyone who was doing it back then.
Mike [25:34]: One of the topics that I talked about in my book was competition and how you can’t let competition essentially either stifle you or push you away from choosing to go after a particular niche product or a type of market. What sorts of thoughts do you have on that and how that competition in the market plays into the types of markets that you can get into and the types of products that you can develop?
Taylor Pearson [25:57]: I think one role competition plays is is a lot of competition usually means a growing market and even a growing market with a lot of competition you’ll still do very well and it’s like going back to the WordPress ecosystem, it didn’t exist 15 years ago. I’m sure there was if you ask someone five years ago, is there a lot of competition in WordPress? They would say yes, but businesses that came in and grew with that ecosystem even though there was a lot of competition, it’s just naturally grown and you look at there are bigger example this might be like Airbnb and Craigslist. First there was Craigslist and now people find housing and Airbnb just like sliced off a little part of Craigslist right like we’ll just want to do vacation rentals and they actually like I think had some APR where they’re automatically posted in their listings to Craigslist to bring people over and now you see people that build business on the back of Airbnb and they rent out houses and there’s a gradual even as there’s more and more competition because the market is growing, everyone is growing and everyone is making more money.
Mike [26:57]: So the idea isn’t that you should stay away from competition, it’s that you should kind of embrace it because especially in those places where the market size is growing because it gives you greater opportunities.
Taylor Pearson [27:07]: Yeah. Like a rising tide it raises all boats and Richard Koch has actually written a great book about this called The Star Principle and it kind of goes through the math of it, but if you kind of look at a growing market and compound interest that picking the right market is or picking a growing market is more important than almost any other decision when entering into a new marketer or a new niche. And even if there’s a bunch of competition as long as the market is growing quickly, there’s always going to be new opportunities. You can always niche down as that market gets bigger and bigger and bigger as Craigslist got bigger and bigger and bigger, Airbnb just carved off like a little niche. You can carve off a little niche of again WordPress with WordPress plugins.
Rob [27:46]: Yeah. It’s interesting we say this because as we pivot a drip from being just a more of an auto responder marketing service and we pivoted in the marketing automation, I did a lot of research into the marketing automation space and I found out that it was growing very quickly and then that projection is like Gartner’s projections and all these other projections or that this market is getting substantially larger over the next three years I think and that was one of the, I want to say it wasn’t the reason we did it. I mean we’re being asked by customers to build this, but it definitely encouraged me to enter this market even though it was it was many months of development to get into it because I figured that no matter what, even if we occupied the small niche, it’s still a small niche that a lot of people are flooding into and that there are going to be folks looking for the service. So, it’s an intuitive thing I think but it’s nice to hear there’s a lot of other I guess either research or other opinions supporting that premise.
Taylor Pearson [28:39]: Yeah. If you haven’t read The Star Principle, I’d definitely take a look. He lays out the math and I can’t remember off the top of my head but basically the premise is as long as you can be the number one player in the growing market, almost everything else doesn’t matter as long as you can hold that number one position and as long as the market keeps growing and like obviously the opportunity we kind of talked about is this I need to take a niche section of a growing market whether it isn’t a clearly established one and kind of submit yourself as the established player.
Rob [29:05]: Right. Yeah. I’ve read the book actually and yeah, it’s good, but what’s nice is that you’ve pretty much summarize the entire book in those three sentences because that’s kind of the premise, right? I think it’s the market is you want to be the number one player and the market should be growing at least 20% to 30% per year, those are kind of his two criteria. I don’t necessarily agree that you have to be the number one player. I think if you raise funding and you want to become a $100 million company then yeah, probably, right you do need to be number one. But I think you can carve out a perfectly livable six or seven-figure business bootstrapped and not need to be number one in a market like this, right? Especially something like whatever, email marketing or marketing automation or WordPress. There are so huge that you can carve out a fulltime living with just a tiny slither of that market.
Taylor Pearson [29:50]: My perception is, what he is talking about and like [Mark Anderson?] talks about this as well is like taking a section in the market so it’s like making barriers or target is marketing for authors or like being able to pick a niche and be the number in that niche of Infusionsoft is like massive marketing automation but it’s not clear if they’re kind of or what their niche particularly is.
Rob [30:11]: Right. But I think their niche is SMBs, right, small and medium-sized businesses because the players that were there before them which were like Pardot, Marketo, and Silverpop, those less own enterprise. I mean they’re pricing with 1,000 bucks a month and up and it was all high-tech sales right with these big lifetime values. Infusionsoft, as far as I know was the first player to come in and be $200-$300 a month which at the time for marketing automation was cheap.
Taylor Pearson [30:33]: Was great.
Rob [30:34]: Yup. That was their niche, right, they were going for the SMBs and now you have a Drip coming in under Infusionsoft and they’re other players doing that as well. And you even have MailChimp trying to move a little bit by adding some of their automation. So, I do think there’s room. The market is big enough. There are a lot of niches in it that can make you 10 grand a month and that’s plenty to live in on most places on earth.
Taylor Pearson [30:59]: Absolutely.
Rob [30:59]: So to switch it up a little bit, I’m curious why did you choose to write this book? Was it something that you felt so strongly the world needed to hear that you wanted to get it down and communicate it? Is that something you’ve been thinking about for years or was it just kind of a stroke of insight and you dove in and did it? Why did you decide to put this on paper?
Taylor Pearson [31:18]: A list all of the above is probably the honest answer. I think what frustrated me looking out on the market and a lot of the ways people talk about entrepreneurship is that a lot of the narrative around it is very much based on I want you to this like a state the cubicle narrative of like get away and everything is terrible and your corporate job sucks. And no one is really having an intelligent discussion about the real merits of entrepreneurship as kind of an intelligent decision that is like follow your passion or escape the cubicle one and that was the way I was thinking about it and that was the way I saw a lot of other entrepreneurs around me thinking about it. I wanted to kind of insert that narrative into the dialogue and I think that there’s a better case for entrepreneurship under those premises as not a just a follow your passion thing but as an intelligent recent life decision.
Rob [32:11]: I like it as a compliment to all the tactical stuff right there. There’s a lot of places, there’s a lot of books, podcasts, blog posts, et cetera about how to do it but I think you starting to look here at why you should do it and beyond the freedom reason, right? We know that you should do it for the freedom and the ability to live where you want and hang out with who you want and spend more time with your family, and all that kind of stuff. But, you really look at it from even like a higher level point of view, right? It’s like why this could potentially be a more logical choice than long-term salaried employment.
Taylor Pearson [32:45]: Yes. And how the kind of changing marketing conditions and what the trends are going forward that as we see kind of globalization move faster and faster and outsourcing move faster and faster and technology move faster and faster that a lot of the intelligence that kind of evolved over the 20th century around long-term stable employment isn’t necessarily true anymore, that a lot of the promises or the implicit promises that were made to the younger generation based on what happened to the old generation aren’t necessarily true that the nature of markets and the way things are moving and changing so fast is people have to be able to adapt to those markets and have to develop a skillset around not just implementing kind of known systems and known solutions for being able to innovate and create and connect their own.
Rob [33:30]: Right. Because there’s even a school thought that anything that is not a kind of a creative job is either going to be outsourced to a place where it’s cheaper or frankly the computers and/or robots are going to take over, right? And I don’t mean take over in the terminal type of way but they’re going to slowly do more and more of our jobs including things like driving trucks, and driving cars with self-driving car movement, like taking orders at a drive-thru. Like, I think it’s 10-15 years until we have a computer that has good enough voice recognition and can interact with someone to where you don’t need that person taking a food order anymore. I know that obviously we’re going to have waiters and waitresses for the foreseeable future but they’re already having iPads or tablets at tables where you can order and you need fewer and fewer of those folks. So there are certainly a case to be made for kind of moving up the chain in terms of creativity and developing your skillset which I think is one of the premises here of your book.
Taylor Pearson [34:23]: Yeah, we’ve seen, I guess it’s the two-sided coin that the glass feeling is kind of disappearing but so is the glass floor in that sense that a lot of these kind of predictable, safe middle class jobs like I talked to a friend that does web design and he’s kind of saying the junior web designers are disappearing because you’ve had software comes in that lets you do basically junior web design as like drag and drop templates and that kind of work, that kind of routine work is being phased out.
Rob [34:52]: So Taylor, you’re doing something interesting with your book. Not only are you giving the book away for the first five days it’s available but you’re also giving away a number of business books when you launch. Could you tell us a little bit about that and where folks can go if they want to be notified when your book is available for free here at the end of the month?
Taylor Pearson [35:08]: So there’s a great quote by Charlie Jones it says, “The person you will be in five years is kind of the sum of the five people you spend the most time around and the books you read.” And that’s certainly been true of me and with a lot of people I’ve seen that the books they’ve read had been a big impact. So, I wanted to give away the books that I felt had been the biggest influence on me and have been recommended to me over the past five years. So I put together 67 books, they’re my 67 favorite books on entrepreneurship. It’s $1300 for the books and I will be giving them away for 10 days from June 15th to June 27th. So if people want to get, jump in that. I’m giving away the books and then I’ll let everyone that joins know about when the book is free on Amazon as well.
Rob [35:52]: Cool. And that’s at taylorpearson, P-E-A-R-S-O-N, .me/winbooks and they can sign up to both win the books and like you said to be notified because your book, The End of Jobs is going to be available for free on Amazon for five days and then after that, it’s going to cost whatever, 10 bucks or 20 bucks. So, and if they want to hear about a when it’s free they can enter their email at that page.
Taylor Pearson [36:15]: Yup.
Rob [36:16]: Awesome. And if folks want to keep up with you aside from this, what’s your Twitter handle or anywhere else they can keep up with you?
Taylor Pearson [36:20]: My Twitter handle is CtaylorMPearson or you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rob [36:27]: Sounds great, man. Thank you so much for coming on the show today.
Taylor Pearson [36:30]: Thank you so much for having me and thanks everyone for listening.
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