192: TZ Discussion – Trillions and Trillions of Stars

Justin and Jason discuss how Jason missed Rob Walling’s text message, the hiccups and challenges of the Pluggio mass emailing and why Pluggio is probably competing with HootSuite despite Justin being in denial about it, moving the AnyFu payment system to Balanced, why Ben Reyes needs to settle on a name, why Justin “needs” to tabulate the show’s donations, how Jason is using DragonBox to teach algebra to his 7-year old son Colby, using projects and games as teaching tools for math and science, the rise of Google+ and why power Twitter users are rooting against it, Orrick LLP’s documents, how SocialWOD reduced their cancellation rate by 87.5%, the 14-year old who was hit by a meteorite, the incredible size of galaxies, the Science Channel show Through the Wormhole and the theory that a black hole gives birth to a new universe, the surprisingly effective method of first mastering a new technique and then seeking out formerly difficult problems that will yield easily to it, Jason’s idea of resolution-based learning, Kurt Vonneguts’s advice to start as close to the end as possible and how that can be applied to teaching, Jason’s drive to learn genome hacking and why he believes it might be possible to do without years of formal education.

Executive Producer:

Ben Matthew Reyes ($50) http://benreyes.com

  1. My thought on HootSuite $10 model:

    The leap of becoming a paying user from a free one is huge, so making the initial lure as sweet of a deal as possible helps more of them do that. Creating different plans that allow, say, 15 accounts and 50 accounts would confuse and/or scare the free users who would potentially convert. $10 for unlocking the number limit is just a simpler product to sell.

    On the other hand, for companies that has a marketing team devoted to online profile managing, “number of twitter account” is not the biggest challenge in the team’s daily work (for they can simply add more people to the team), therefore won’t serve as much value as you might have imagined. For these users, services that enhance team cooperation (task delegation, statistics, content approval, etc.) are more valuable, therefore more fit to be in the more expensive plans. This kind of users will pay for these other services anyways, why not sweeten the $10 deal a little more for the more critical conversion?

    “Infinity” might sound like a big number, but my guess is that the significant majority of the paying users don’t need to manage that many twitter accounts. I bet very small percentage of HootSuite’s users are managing more than 100+ profiles (counting the same profile on different platforms), and those who do probably are paying more than $10. So, really, the unlimited amount is just a perk that keeps most of the paying customers happy.

  2. Dave says:

    ‘Balanced’ is a terrible product name. Just try googling it. Thanks for posting the link in the show notes, otherwise I would have never found it.

  3. David says:

    Hey Jason…at the risk of being “that guy” who, only after an event has ended tells you how relevant it was to you and says, “you should have been there!”……and in hopes that you were already aware of just such an event……the most recent @launchconf by hosted by @jason (calacanis) had as its theme “Children’s Education”.

    In case you did miss it and for the benefit of other readers of this comment, here’s the @YouTube link to the page that has a plethora of clips (any clips dated prior to June 2012 are from a different @launchconf event):


    There is also a longer, though more narrowly focused preview of the event on @TWiStartups #263 that featured interviews with a few of the entrepreneurs in the children’s education realm who were going to be presenting at the event:


    A tongue-in-cheek aside, you might have greater success harnessing the attention of high school aged students (though I acknowledge this isn’t your initial intended demographic) if you referred to the “study of advanced mathematics” instead as….”a hands on study of gorgeous figures”. 🙂

    Hey Justin….given that you are a proponent of and case study for what @RobWalling calls “micropreneurialism” I’m curious about your micropreneurial status viz a viz your relationship with Company52. Setting aside your current lack of time to do such a thing, in the future would you still be “allowed” (per any contractual arrangement you have with Company52) to develop another of your own “lifestyle” / micropreneurial applications (i.e. another Pluggio) or does all your future work require their involvement? Just curious.



  4. Jason says:

    @David – Thanks for the heads-up on the LaunchConf. Now that you mention it, I do remember Calacanis talking about it in one of his emails. I guess I’ll just watch some of the videos. 😉

  5. Joshua says:

    @Justin – something that has been getting on my nerves for a while. You have 3 videos on your landing page, but they are completely hidden! Use cursor:pointer or at least make the 3 buttons looks clickable. I’m using Chrome and I’m clicking ‘Don’t miss anything”, ‘Get more followers’ and ‘Tweet awesome stuff’ to launch the videos. On the latest version of Firefox the videos don’t even pop up. You are missing an opportunity to engage potential customers!

  6. Justin says:

    @Joshua, Ok thanks! I removed those videos

  7. Tony says:

    @Dave: ‘Balanced’ is a terrible product name. Just try googling it. Thanks for posting the link in the show notes, otherwise I would have never found it.

    Somehow Balanced had slipped through my radar, so I appreciate you bringing it to my attention as well. As a Stripe user, I love to see companies trying to bring sanity to the payment processing and PayPal world.

    Now if they would have only named them something easier to search. Stripe and Balanced, while fine names, make them very difficult to search. “Stripe AND credit cards” obviously brings back results for the ubiquitous magnetic strip.