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Means of Creation

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Means of Creation

Li Jin and Nathan Baschez

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Work is changing. The old structures that dominated the 20th century are gradually being replaced by platforms and cultures that have grown up on the internet that aim to help people do what they love for a living. Li and Nathan unpack this new passion economy in a weekly conversation with guests at the forefront of this change.
 
Courtland Allen interviews the ambitious indie hackers who are turning their ideas and side projects into profitable online businesses. Explore the latest strategies and tools founders are using to capitalize on new opportunities, escape the 9-to-5 grind, and create their own personal revenue-generating machines. The future is indie!
 
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Acquired LP Show

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Acquired LP Show

Ben Gilbert and David Rosenthal

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Every company has a story. On the Acquired LP Show, we join the next generation of expert founders and investors — those whose stories are being written in real-time. We go behind the scenes on their journeys and bring back emerging insights and lessons that are useful for anyone in the startup ecosystem.
 
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Nathan interviewed Li in this special episode of Means of Creation, where she talks about the $110M fund she recently raised with Jesse Walden and Spencer Noon of Variant. If you’re an avid fan of the show, you may have noticed how the podcast’s focus has shifted from platforms in the passion economy to user-owned networks within web3. In this epis…
 
(Throwback episode!) After spending years pursuing a career in science, Lynne Tye (@lynnetye) shocked her family and colleagues by dropping out of grad school. Thus began a months-long journey of discovery and experimentation that eventually saw her managing 150 people at a high-profile tech startup. But when Lynne realized the fast-paced startup l…
 
How do you make a ton of money on the internet, and how do you manage it once you've got it? In this crossover episode from the Brains podcast, we have a fun discussion about money with Anthony Pompliano (@APompliano) who's a Bitcoin 9-figure millionaire and Sam Parr (@theSamParr) who sold his startup The Hustle for a reported $27 million. Whether …
 
We are very excited to bring you a special LP interview with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Aside from Joe's well-known work as a Golden Globe-nominated, Emmy-award-winning actor in films like 500 Days of Summer, Inception, and Looper, Joe is also the founder of HITRECORD, a startup which brings creative collaborators together across film, music, books, and…
 
Today I'm talking to Justin Jackson (@mijustin). He's someone who started out in entrepreneurship by opening a brick and mortar snowboarding shop. I want to find out how he made the unlikely leap into SaaS and how having four kids at a young age changed both his journey and how he thinks about money, legacy, and the future. Follow Justin on Twitter…
 
Today I'm talking to Spencer Fry (@spencerfry), the founder of Podia. His business is super relevant right now because it is basically a one-stop shop to support creators and entrepreneurs. In this episode we discuss the importance of planning, how to iterate on a plan and how to stay persistent. Follow Spencer on Twitter: https://twitter.com/spenc…
 
Today I'm talking to Sonal Chokshi, one of the biggest experts on building a media business that I know. Currently she's the Editor-in-Chief at a16z. In this episode we'll talk about creating content in a world where media moves so quickly. Follow Sonal on Twitter: https://twitter.com/smc90 Pitch Future: https://future.a16z.com/pitch-us…
 
We sit down with Adam Jackson, the cofounder and CEO of Freelance Labs, which builds the incredible Web3 project Braintrust. (Disclosure David is an investor via Kindergarten Ventures.) We talk all about what a marketplace looks like in Web3, and why it's a completely different animal than traditional Web2 marketplaces like Uber, eBay, DoorDash, et…
 
What does it mean to crave admiration and respect? How can we handle it if we feel we're not getting it? The usual Ted Lasso gang (Dan, Nathan, Rachel) convene to recap the finale of season 2. Of course we talk about everything that happened with Nate's storyline, but we also talk about how we've all been in similar situations as Nate, and what Ted…
 
In this episode I'm talking with Andrew Warner (@AndrewWarner), the host of the Mixergy where he's interviewed over 2,000 founders in the tech and software space. His new book, Stop Asking Questions, breaks down everything he's learned about having a meaningful conversation and maximizing the value out of one-shot encounters. Learn how to have bett…
 
Andrew Gazdeki (@agazdecki) has some contrarian viewpoints when it comes to the startup ecosystem today. I invited him here to find out about his beef with TechCrunch and how he is empowering founders with his own company, Microacquire. Follow Andrew on Twitter: https://twitter.com/agazdecki Check out Microacquire: https://microacquire.com/…
 
We sit down with Roneil Rumberg, the cofounder and CEO of Audius — the decentralized music platform which currently is likely the widest-adopted Web3 project in existence with over 6m active users. This conversation was AWESOME, and covers everything from Silicon Valley history, to how the music industry works, to the technical aspects and challeng…
 
(Ahoy, there! Spoilers ahead!)This week, the gang obsesses over Dan’s galaxy brain theory connecting Nate’s downfall with Sam’s courtship by the Ghanaian billionaire. Questions include: should Nate be fired? What do you do when forgiveness doesn’t change a perpetrator’s behavior? How do you design a consequence? Will Ted use the revelation of his p…
 
Earlier this week David went on Levels' podcast, A Whole New Level, hosted by Acquired "Super LP" and Levels' head of growth, Ben Grynol. We had such a blast that we wanted to share here with the community as well! Full show notes from Levels below: When most companies start, they are single-threaded companies. More specifically, companies start wi…
 
Today I'm talking to an Indie Hacker Marie Martens (@mariemartens) who has gained over 10,000 users in less than a year for her software Tally. The best part of her story is that Tally isn't even a new idea. In fact, incumbents like Google are already in the space. I invited her here to find out how she did it. Follow Marie on Twitter: https://twit…
 
In this episode I'm talking to AJ from Carrd. I want to find how he grew from $30K MRR to over $1M ARR in just two years and what Kim Kardashian had to do with it. I'll also ask him how he thinks about fundraising as an indie hacker. Follow AJ on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ajlkn Build a simple one-page website with Carrd: https://carrd.co/…
 
Packy McCormick, author of Not Boring, one of the most widely-read analysts in tech. His newsletter now has more than 75k subscribers and he's raised a fund to back startups he finds interesting. In this conversation, we focus on how Packy went from crypto-skeptic to writing a post almost every week about crypto. We also talk about where power will…
 
In this episode I'm talking to John O'Nolan (@JohnONolan), the founder of Ghost. For the last year, he's been living on a sailboat and growing his company remotely. I want to ask him about what decisions he made early on that put constraints on how and why Ghost grows. Follow John on Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnonolan Check out Ghost: https://…
 
(Spoilers, as usual!)In this special double-header, the crew discusses some of the biggest episodes of the season so far. What is going on with Nate? What did Jamie's confrontation with his father unlock in Ted, and why? How do our parents affect us, and why is vulnerability so hard, yet so important? We explore all these questions and more!…
 
Today I'm talking to James Layfield (@layfield) a founder who put $3M of his own money into his company Clearfind. I want to find out how he pulled that off and how he's outsmarting the what he calls the "rigged-game" of Venture Capital. Check out Clearfind: https://home.clearfind.com/ Follow James on Twitter: https://twitter.com/layfield…
 
The hype around crypto-native communities such as Loot and Nouns DAO have taken over all our Twitter feeds. But how do these communities arise and gather momentum? Our guest this week, Patrick Rivera, gives us an inside look into the social and financial motivations driving some of crypto’s most prominent communities. Being a part of these communit…
 
In this episode I talk to my buddy Julian Shapiro about proven growth tactics for a SaaS he's seen within Demand Curve. I also want to find out what he did to grow his own Twitter audience to over 200k in basically a year. We'll also dig into the details of a side project he and I have been working on. Listen to our new podcast: https://www.brainsp…
 
In the this episode of Ted Lasso, Higgins decides to take Coach Beard aside and ask him whether he really thinks it's a good idea to get back into a relationship with Jane, because the last time they were together it was pretty tumultuous. We all face situations like this in the world of work: should we tell our founder when we're worried about the…
 
My guest today is Michele Hansen (@mjwhansen) and she is here to challenge the stereotype that developers fear talking to customers and are naturally bad at it. We'll also get into specific principles and tactics from her recent book, "Deploy Empathy: A Practical Guide to Interviewing Customers." Read Deploy Empathy: https://deployempathy.com/ Foll…
 
Dan, Nathan and Rachel, discuss what is perhaps the low point of a season that has already had its share of peaks and valleys. Why does the latest installment of Ted Lasso feel untrue to both the spirit of the show and the world beyond it? Listen through to find out—and to hear how each of the hosts hope the creators might turn it around in the sea…
 
The creator economy is in constant flux, with DAOs and NFTs currently having taken centre stage. Our guest this week, Kyle Chayka, is uniquely positioned to understand these shifts. As a writer covering technology and culture, he is simultaneously involved in three very different worlds: He is a contributing writer at The New Yorker, a legacy media…
 
In this episode I catch up with Rob Fitzpatrick (@robfitz) about his new book, Write Useful Books. We'll talk about how he approaches book-writing like product development and why the sales graphs for his books look more like a hockey stick instead of shark fin. Follow Rob on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robfitz Read The Mom Test: http://momtestboo…
 
Dan, Nathan and Rachel reunite to discuss the second and third episodes of Ted Lasso's sophomore season, which they much prefer to the premiere. From deeply-felt thematic throughlines about mentor/mentee relationships, to the funniest gags in the show's history, the trio is engaging with Ted Lasso—or is it Led Tasso?—from every angle, so make this …
 
In this episode I talk to Indie Hacker Valentin Hinov (@ValCanBuild). He is someone caught the pandemic wave in the best way possible. He came up with an idea that not only helps teams feel more connected but also removed a huge pain for team managers. I'll ask him how he built it and how the model for the product has a built-in growth mechanism. S…
 
In an increasingly platform-mediated world, platforms have outsized control over their participants—whether that’s app developers in the creator economy, or rideshare drivers in the gig economy. We’ve been trying to understand how this can be changed for the better—how platform participants can be made rightful stakeholders; bridging the gap betwee…
 
Confused about everything going on with The Fed, inflation and how it affects tech and startup valuations? Or why it seems like every Jerome Powell comment brings out an army of finance's equivalent of fortune tellers and tarot card readers? So were we, so we called up the best person we know to explain everything -- Matt McBrady. Matt may be the o…
 
In this episode I catch up with Samy Dindane (@SamyDindane), the creator of Twitter growth tool Hypefury. I'll ask him how he found his co-founder from an Indie Hackers post, how he grew Hypefury past $20K MRR, and why indie hackers don't have to solve a completely unique problem to be successful. Hypefury Twitter: https://twitter.com/hypefury Hype…
 
Michael Seibel (@mwseibel) and I discuss the secret sauce of what goes on inside Y Combinator and how indie hackers can create it for themselves. And because Michael sees nearly 2,000 startups a year--we'll find out the difference between companies that make it and companies that don't. Follow Michael on Twitter: https://twitter.com/mwseibel Read s…
 
We sit down with Initialized Capital's Kim-Mai Cutler to talk about her opposite journey from us at Acquired, going from journalist to VC. We riff on how the landscape has evolved from Kim-Mai's parents' "Hewlett Packard generation" in the Valley through the TechCrunch era that se was a big part of, to today and how the nature of reporting, investi…
 
It's a very special time of year—a new season of Dan and Nathan's favorite show on management, positivity and leadership is starting back up. That's right, it's Ted Lasso time—and for the Apple show's second season, Talk Therapy will be welcoming fellow viewer and editor extraordinaire Rachel Jepsen to recap each episode after it airs! In this disc…
 
My guests today have a really exciting business model and strategy that I want to dig into. Dan Shipper (@danshipper) and Nathan Baschez (@nbashaw) are the founders of Every, a bundle of business focused newsletters. By structuring Every as a "collective," the writers are happier, the readers are getting better content, and Every is profitable. I w…
 
Within traditional games like RuneScape and World of Warcraft, there have always been vibrant economies where players buy, sell, and exchange in-game assets. But these traditional games are also closed ecosystems—none of them let players transfer assets across different games or exchange their in-game assets for money. Blockchain-based games totall…
 
Nathan got himself a new fitness tracking device—and promptly found himself using it to track something unexpected: emotions. Returning to a recent management misunderstanding with Dan, he explains how the device alerted him to what he was feeling, and why his initial interpretation of his own reactions didn't hold up to scrutiny.…
 
Nathan and Dan welcome Joshua Ogundu, a fellow member of the LA tech community, to the podcast for an open and insightful conversation about the benefits of therapy, and why it's never too late to begin. Take it from Joshua, whose openness about recently starting therapy is an inspiration, and a reminder that the practice can yield surprising resul…
 
How on earth do you professionally manage a crypto investment firm? That was the question we wanted to find out, so we dialed up one of the best in the business: Multicoin Capital cofounder and managing partner Kyle Samani. Appropriately fresh on the heels of our Solana special episode (Multicoin was one of Solana's earliest investors), we dive int…
 
Sam Parr (@theSamParr) and Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) have both sold their businesses and are currently hosting one of the best business podcasts out there. In this episode, we talk about what it's like to be in their position now and what kind of businesses they would start if they were doing it all over today. Listen to My First Million: https://thehu…
 
here’s a shift afoot at Twitter. The long-time microblogging platform has recently made a series of moves to position itself beyond just tweets, including acquiring the newsletter company Revue and introducing tools to help creators make money on the platform. When Twitter acquired Revue, the company declared that it was making a “better home for w…
 
Kyle Gawley (@kylegawley) was running a high-growth, venture-backed company when he ended up in the hospital partially due to all the pressure he was under. That experience led to some introspection, which I'll ask him about in this episode. We'll also talk about his new company, which he decided to build with a completely different approach to gro…
 
Hot off a week spent brushing up on the finer points of game theory, Dan tells Nathan why a study in human behavior—specifically, cooperation—has conclusions that put cofounder relationships into a fresh new context. It turns out that just because the stakes of every interaction between founders may not be life and death, social biology makes a goo…
 
In this episode I talk to Andrey Azimov (@andreyazimov) about moving to Bali with a $3K runway and launching his "Hardcore Year." I'll ask him about the projects he launched to reach $10K MRR. Follow Andrey's journey on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andreyazimov Check out his personal site: https://www.andreyazimov.com/ Create a website from a sprea…
 
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