Build In Public | Business

The Why of CrowdTamers

Inspired by a recent Twitter thread of mine, let’s talk a bit about the why behind CrowdTamers

I’ve been running a freelance business I’ve called CrowdTamers for about 14 years now, working as a freelancer at companies all over the world. As I’ve had kids and now as I’m fast approaching the creaky old age of 40, I’ve considered what I’m good at, what I like doing, and what I could do that would add value to the world. After reflection, I realized this:

I’m good at launching startups.

I’ve done it enough times to learn lessons and apply them to make repeatable processes to launch businesses. Something like 99% of startups never make even $1 million dollars, dooming them to fail, but I bet 10% or 20% of them could have succeeded if they knew how to grow. These startups have phenomenal ideas, many of them. They’re creating new hardware to help the hearing impaired, or enabling new ways of building and launching AI for companies all over the world or…you get the idea.

So the best use of my skills I can think of is to help launch as many startups as possible. Some will make huge differences in their field. There’s no point in setting easy goals, so CrowdTamers’ 7 year vision is this:

I want CrowdTamers to have launched 1,000 startups from $0 to $1MM+ in ARR by the end of 2028.

Once I set myself a goal that ambitious, it clarified a few things:

  1. This was no longer the time to run a freelance business. I wouldn’t even be able to hit 10% of that goal without a team.
  2. Even with a team, this goal requires that I find ways to scale beyond just what humans can do. I need to invest in AI & automation to drive innovation in my agency and in the space in general.
  3. Even with AI & automation built into my growth, I also need to build and share systems that help people self-serve into launching their startup.

At that point, I needed to investigate what I wanted to build using one of my favorite mental tools: Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle.

So “Why CrowdTamers” is answered simply “I want to make the world a better place and helping exciting new ideas succeed is the best way I can think of to do it.”

The “How” is a roadmap I’ll talk about in a moment.

And the “What” is “CrowdTamers is a marketing agency that launches early stage startups to $2MM ARR in 16 months.”

So…how?

How I’m getting there

Getting a thousand startups to $1MM in ARR requires solving several problems of scale that a freelancer just can’t do by himself. Over January of 2021, I researched and sketched out what I need to do in order to have a chance of hitting that goal. It looks like this:

There are 3 big elements at work here:

  1. Building an agency is a short term model for scale. We can get maybe ~200 startups in the next 7 years if I grow a startup-focused agency like crazy. I need more than that.
  2. Agency team members will be supported in the medium term with custom-created AI software to assist in copywriting, design, ad management, and reporting. There are already great engines for text generation and image generation. With work these tools serve as the basis for an AI-powered agency. This increases how many startups we can reach through a mix of lowering our prices and speeding up delivery for all team members. I estimate we can get about 600 startups in 7 years with this approach.
  3. Finally, we need to enable self-service for startup founders who are too scrappy to even afford $3k – $5k a month for a full service growth agency. That takes 2 tracks.
    1. A knowledge product + Grow To Market community + cohort-based courses
    2. Building out the internal AI tools used to support the agency services team into a full-fledged SaaS that can work (albeit less effectively than a managed service) for startups who need to validate ideas quickly and affordably.

I’m embracing the idea of #BuildingInPublic by sharing what I’m building and why, laying out the goals and timelines.

Right now I’m in the agency building phase, so if you’re reading this: I’ll be hiring as fast as I can for the next 12 / 16 months to build up my team. Want to join me on this ride and make a difference for 1,000 startups? Check out open roles here, and you can always DM me on Twitter if you don’t see a good fit for you right now.

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