They had 2 weeks to pivot before Apple ate their lunch.

Neya Abdi
min read
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Hello, fearless founders. Welcome to the latest issue of Relentless, your weekly dispatch about all things testing, learning, and growing.

Odeo employees had 2 weeks to come up with new ideas before Apple ate their lunch – they’re now worth billions

When Odeo, a podcast sharing company, realized they couldn’t compete with Apple, they gave their employees two weeks to come up with new ideas. The winning idea?

Turn into a micro-blogging platform.

You now know them as X or Twitter.

As the saying goes, pressure makes diamonds, and Odeo’s leaders must have known this when they gave their employees that specific assignment with a clear time limit and high stakes. Founders today can do this, too, but they don’t have to wait for a FAANG company to start licking its chops. They can do it as a standard operating procedure, at scale, AND with potential customers.

That’s what Heatseeker wants to make possible for all founders. Our experiments allow you to test big strategic questions – like the “how do we survive?” question Odeo posed to its employees!

Try Heatseeker for Free

Stay tuned for the release of more experiments including Benefits tests, Features tests, and AI Users.

On the flip side: “You're really not competing with Google. You're competing with a PM at Google.”

Can we play Devil’s advocate against ourselves? And in the same newsletter?

Check out this LinkedIn post from VC Pablo Srugo about how a FAANG company’s bark may be worse than its bite. He talks about a founder whose idea was rejected by VCs who figured Google would build it better. His belief – dare we say, his relentlessness? – got him to 5,000 customers and $115M in venture capital.

It’s not always about who can do it bigger – it’s about who can do it better. Keep pushin’, founders!

Founder Spotlight: Arc Of Life’s Thena Johnstone

Founder and Heatseeker Thena Johnstone 🌏 is helping people better prepare for the end of life through Arc Of Life, a personal asset tracker. It’s an important, but emotional topic that requires clear, sensitive messaging to get people to stop scrolling and start planning. Hear from Thena below.

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, and his advice was to run lots of little tests and lots of experiments to validate your assumptions, and really work out what customer needs are. I’ve been running interviews, but I wasn’t quite sure what experiments to run. I stumbled across Heatseeker on LinkedIn, and I was like, ‘Magic! That’s what I need!’ – Thena Johnstone, Founder, Arc Of Life

Watch the Video

Are you doing too much for your startup?

I’m not calling you a helicopter founder or anything. I’m just saying you deserve a break wherever you can get one. Data can show you where you can do less AND get more results for your early-stage marketing and customer acquisition efforts thanks to pre-testing.

Today’s pre-testing goes beyond focus groups and storyboards as this article from MarketingWeek describes. Instead, it employs data science to predict with stunning accuracy what people will respond to. The marketing team at a large British broadcaster put pre-testing to the test by matching it up with its econometric data going back four years. You can read the full article to learn the results, but spoiler…

…It’ll make you want to book a demo to take Heatseeker’s pre-testing platform for a spin. Heatseeker is free to try and it’s self-serve, so you can test every single growth decision your business makes.

Book a Demo

Looking for more info about a specific topic? Helping founders is Heatseeker’s purpose, so leave a comment with your requests below and we’ll get you the goods.

In the meantime, Happy Heatseeking!

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Neya Abdi

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