Welcome to Volume 55!
I hope everyone is having a great week! Now that October is about over, it feels like 2022 is right around the corner. But there’s still a lot of time left to achieve your goals or learn a new skill.
This is also the perfect time to start thinking about what you want to tackle in the new year. Sometimes we come crashing into the new year with a ton of new goals but burn out after a few weeks.
So take this time to think about what you want your business and life to look like at this point next year, and set some goals.
It could be as simple as writing down a list of books you want to read or conferences you want to speak at. I know I want to create more video content and webinars, so I have already started planning out some ideas in my notebooks.
It might sound like a small step to take, but it can get you in the right mindset to tackle some huge goals next year! Just from writing down some simple ideas, I feel a lot more confident that I will reach my goals next year. And you can too!
Enough about me, here’s a peek at what’s to come:
Buy now, pay later…for B2B?
These days there are a ton of options for consumers to buy now and pay later with a few clicks.
The industry as a whole is now valued at 90B+ in 2020 and is forecasted to grow to almost $4B by 2030.
Afterpay, Affirm, and Klarna are found on tons of sites ranging from Lululemon to Walmart.
But I had never heard about a buy now, pay later solution for B2B brands until I stumbled across Billie. And honestly, it makes so much sense!
Like other buy now, pay later solutions, Billie helps businesses buy more expensive things now and spread out the payments out over a certain period. This approach, especially for small businesses, should help with liquidity and boost overall growth.
They have two main products: Billie Boost and Billie Flow. Each of these solutions are built with businesses in mind and offers a ton of innovative features.
Billie Flow helps businesses pay their invoices immediately, even if they don’t have the cash on hand. And then can automatically set up a payment plan for those users to follow.
Billie Boost is more like Klarna or Afterpay, allowing merchants to add a buy now, pay later solution directly into their site. However, the features included in Boost are built to make B2B sales a little easier.
Recently Billie raised $100M after they crossed the 100k user mark earlier this year, which should help them expand massively.
Around the same time, they announced a strategic partnership with Klarna that should help Billie become a household name in the B2B industry.
Soon Billie will be integrated into Klarna’s network and product so that businesses can add their payment solutions with a few clicks.
This move should give merchants that work with businesses more tools to help facilitate larger buy now, pay later purchases that everyday consumers aren’t making.
- Billie has built a buy now, pay later platform for B2B brands.
- Billie raised $100M after they crossed the 100k user mark.
- Soon Billie will be integrated into Klarna’s massive network.
Pinterest embraces short videos
Every social network wants to copy the success that TikTok has had with shorter videos.
Facebook and Instagram have tried for years to catch that lightning in a bottle…but still haven’t been able to figure it out.
Twitter and LinkedIn tried to add Stories to their platform but decided that was a bad idea in less than a year.
Pinterest even added Idea Pins to their platform earlier this year, to some fanfare.
But I think their newest product update, called Watch, might actually be able to steal some users away from TikTok.
According to Pinterest:
“The Watch tab is a fullscreen feed of Idea Pins that are relevant to you. It shows you Idea Pins one at a time, up close, from creators you follow and creators you might be interested in following.”
Like TikTok, the Watch tab is a never-ending feed of videos that Pinterest thinks you might like to see. It also has very similar social sharing and engagement buttons stacked on the right side of the video.
Any creator or DIY expert that has a following on TikTok should feel very at home while creating Idea Pins, which is the point.
One thing that really sets this new Watch tab apart from TikTok is the ability for other users to record their own versions of the Pin called Takes. This simple feature really reminds me of the way that you can see other videos on TikTok that use a particular sound.
It will likely help people find new creators and content that might have been lost in a normal Pinterest feed.
And finally, users can organize all their Idea Pins on different boards just like any other Pin. This could be a big advantage for Pinterest, mainly because finding old videos you have liked on TikTok is a nightmare currently.
Hopefully, these new features are enough to bring the DIY-ers back to Pinterest, which I think will happen if they actually stick to this product vision.
If that isn’t enough, Pinterest also announced a $20M creator fund called Creator Rewards!
- With Idea Pins, Pinterest plans to take on TikTok & bring back creators.
- The Watch tab on Pinterest apps will show neverending Idea Pin videos just like TikTok.
- Pinterest announced a $20M creator fund called Creator Reward.
5 core values drive 5x growth
Figma has seen rocketship-level growth over the past few years, hitting a $10B valuation in less than 5 years. And as the world went remote over the last year, their valuation grew by 5x!
I knew I wanted to write about Figma’s growth for a long while. They have an amazing product, incredible branding, and an unmatched community.
I was not super clear on how they grew as fast as they did. They didn’t invest in SEO or build a fancy advertising campaign.
Then I landed on their About Us page, and everything clicked.
Toward the bottom of that page, they state what they want the future of design to look like. They want the future of design to be:
At its core, Figma wants to make design accessible to everyone. These 5 words explain exactly how they plan to do that.
A lot of companies can say they stick to certain values, but Figma adheres to them like no other brand I have seen.
Now if you want to read the whole teardown, check it out here.
And if not, here are a few highlights:
From the very beginning, Figma has preached the need for improved collaboration in the design world. It is at the very core of their business plan and is the foundation that the entire product is built upon.
Figma was built from the ground up with collaboration at its core, other brands added collaboration features later on. I think that simple distinction shows why they were able to take over the market so quickly.
When poking around the Figma site, I noticed how they have built a design tool that anyone can use, regardless of their location, financial situation, or design experience.
If you have a computer that can access the internet, you can both learn how to become a designer and turn those skills into a career. Regardless of your work hours, location, or your computer, Figma will be there.
Transparent can have two meanings in this context. The first meaning is that Figma makes the whole design process more transparent for everyone involved. For a long time, this process was pretty opaque, with files existing on a single computer or account.
Figma is also very transparent with its users; it doesn’t try to hide anything from potential new customers. It feels like they put all their cards on the table from the beginning. Any new product update, pricing adjustment, new plugin, or other major change that will impact their users is communicated very effectively and openly.
Figma has one of the strongest communities I have seen. People love Figma, like really love it.
Their customers love Figma because of the way they have built their community, both on and off-site.
At its core, Figma’s community is so strong because they actually invest in it. They provide their customers with a ton of added value and help them become better designers. At the same time, they make it extremely easy for creators to find their content, templates, or plugins. This leads to a ton of customer advocates who will shout from the rooftops how great Figma is.
Figma is showing the rest of the design community that being open-sourced is a plus for everyone involved, especially the user. First off, they have opened their API to the world to use. So anyone can build a plugin, template, or tool on top of that API:
When a user can turn Figma into their own solution to meet their exact needs with a few clicks, it creates a ton of happy customers. None of this would be possible without Figma adopting such an “open-sourced” mindset.
Like I said above, this is just scratching the surface of the whole teardown, which you can find here.
- Figma has grown 5x in the past year, hitting a $10B valuation.
- We think that growth can be tied back to 5 simple company values.
- Each of their product & marketing decisions takes those values into account.
OTHER NEWS OF THE WEEK:
📉The antitrust lawsuit against Google seems to be getting worse
🤯Zapier’s new Transfer automation will blow your mind & save some time
👵🏻iPod turns 20 years old this week, making everyone else feel super old
💵Sequoia Capital is turning the classic VC model on its head with The Sequoia Fund
✅Adobe makes it easy for creators to verify NFT ownership directly in Photoshop
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK:
If you have been following along with the newsletter over the past few weeks you probably have heard me talking about alternative working schedules.
Last week, I touched on the power of the Seventh Week Sabbatical. And I’m already using that mindset to schedule vacations and rest periods months in advance.
Also a few weeks ago I talked about how Bolt was testing a four-day workweek for all their employees. There was a ton of data out there that supported the idea that working less actually led to a boost in productivity and happier employees.
Now we have some new data from their CEO Ryan Breslow as well:
One month into Bolt’s 4 day work week experiment, and the results are overwhelming 👇
83% of the team believes they are more productive at work
86% of the team believes that their work-life balance has improved
95% of the team is in favor of continuing!
— Ryan Breslow 🕺 (@ryantakesoff) October 20, 2021
It looks like this experiment has been a success so far. Do you know how hard it is to get 95% of people to agree on anything? Impossible!
To be honest, one of my good friends works at Bolt, so I know how well it was going from the beginning. But it’s always nice to have some data to back it up!
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
Summer Friends by Chance The Rapper
These round-ups are brought to you by me, Ryan McCready, for the next few weeks!
Stay up to date with all of our latest findings by subscribing to our newsletter today. Signing up also gives you early access to Ross’ Tuesday essay full of exclusive industry insights.