E19 | Spendly, ClearMindNow, The Atlanta Bitcoin Conference
Introduction: Welcome to Five & Thrive: a weekly podcast highlighting the Southeast’s most interesting news, entrepreneurs, and information of the week, all under 5 minutes.
My name is Jon Birdsong and I’m with Atlanta Ventures.
Individual On the Move:
Sometimes the 2nd, 3rd or 4th person at a company can create a transformational force needed to get the product in market. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen or heard how the first go-to-market leader connects with a technical founding team and the sparks fly. Well, this past week I met with the ideal go-to-market individual who wants to be that 3rd team member right after the founding team has built out the minimum viable product in an interesting and fast growing market. After learning more about this individual’s story, I can attest he would be a great addition in the early days based off his sales results, technical understanding, and extensive experience bringing products to market. If you or you and a co-founder are listening and looking for your first go-to-market team member, email me jon dot birdsong at atlanta ventures dot com and I'll put y'all in touch.
Event of the Week:
The premiere conference on Bitcoin is next week. Now I know several folks may be down on digital currency right now, and quite candidly it is not an area we have place much focus at Atlanta Ventures, however, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention it here as there is a big sentiment in the waters that digital currencies are going through the same cycle that the internet did after 2001 bubble popped. If you’re looking to understand bitcoin, next week is a great opportunity in Atlanta.
Company Coming Up:
This company coming up is headquartered out of Charlotte and it’s called Spendly. Imagine overpaying for merchant services for years and having now simple or easy way to shop around or price compare. Millions of SMB’s are doing it daily, right now. Spendly’s software lets you easily compare your current financial services ranging from payroll, insurance, lines of credit, retirement plans, and much more. In three easy steps, you’ll have quotes from their trusted network of providers comparing and contrasting each service you’re assessing. Check out Spendly if you’re wondering how competitive your current financial products are today.
Beta Product of the Week:
The beta product of the week comes from Birmingham and it’s called ClearMindNow. CEO, Liz Read and team are solving the cumbersome, invasive, and unaccountable process for drug testing. Their solution helps families across the country monitor and test family members in a safe, simple, and verified way through their technology. How it works is you open up the ClearMindNow App, and through facial recognition confirms the participants identity. From there, the software records you administering a test sent to you by ClearMindNow where one swabs their mouth and tongue. Upon completion, you take the swab, place it back in the holder and show the camera your test results – similar to a rapid Covid test. As the United States battles the fentanyl crisis, and more, ClearMindNow provides another way to combat the disease affecting millions upon millions Americans. ClearMindNow is an up and coming solution to put on your radar.
Concept of the Week:
Over the past few weeks in the Atlanta Ventures office, we’ve discussed the topic of how long it takes to accelerate from start date, to finding product market fit, to building a repeatable, scalable sales process. For example, the Figma team, which just sold to Adobe for $20B spent 5 years building their product before they made their first dollar in revenue. Figs, the high end scrub company spent 3-4 years before generating over $1M in ARR. Today they are a publicly traded company valued in the billions. One of the hardest aspects of entrepreneurship is maintaining the faith in the product or the market or the team during these years towards scale. Investor David Sacks calls this “The Wilderness Years.” We’ve linked to one his posts elaborating more on these intrepid years of a startups’ journey, but how does an entrepreneur know they are successfully navigating the Wilderness years? The most simple answer in the early days is the rate of customer feedback which is a direct indication of the authentic demand your product is solving. For example, even though Dylan Field, the CEO of Figma spent years, years y’all, not generating revenue, there was enough natural product demand, through feedback and excitement in the market. One unique caveat with Figma is their self-signon go-to-market strategy. It takes time to build that foundation, much more so than picking up the phone or sending a cold email, introducing and urging people to try and use your product. Regardless, if you are an entrepreneur in the Wilderness years, it is vital to be extremely honest with yourself to assess not only the overall market potential, but the velocity of market feedback and product iteration, as that is the best indicator of progress in one of the toughest stages in startups.
Annnnd, that’s 5 minutes.
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Resources discussed in this episode:
Company Coming Up: Spendly
Event of the Week: Tab Conference - The Atlanta Bitcoin Conference
Beta Product of the Week: ClearMindNow
Concept of the Week:The Wilderness Period