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September 24th, 2019

🙌 The $100k radio side hustle 🚨

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We explore opportunities in the ‘golden age’ of mental-health tech and uncover a new platform to get you more publicity for your startup

Time flies: We’ve been sending this email every Tuesday for more than three months. 

As you know, we obsess over your feedback. And we’ve got a 2-minute ask this week that will help us make Trends even better.

We created a short survey that will give us deeper insight into what you like and don’t like about Trends and what you want us to do more of. Please give us 2 minutes––we promise it’ll pay off.

New this week:

  • The six-figure side hustle helping small businesses grow. A look at Business RadioX, which helps startups target hard-to-reach customers.

  • Mental Health: One well-known investor says we’re in a “golden age” for mental health treatment. We explain the opportunities.

  • Finding product market fit: It’s the most important and often the most difficult task for any startup. After a Trends member asked about it in the Facebook group, we collected a few tips. 

The most-clicked items in last week’s email were a Q&A with RealtyMogul CEO Jilliene Helman and an analysis of the Inc. 5000 that featured 30-plus Signals.

Now, let’s get to it!

– Mark

PS: Don’t forget the survey. Sam’s waiting…

01  Signals
Quick snapshots from across the internet of potential trends before they happen.
HypoCat graph

HypoCat
Are we in for a cat boom? We’re paws-itively sure of it (sorry!). Swiss company HypoPet AG has created the HypoCat vaccine, which coaxes a cat’s immune system into producing less of a protein that causes allergic reactions in 10% of humans. Search interest in HypoCat spiked after updates on the vaccine last month. 

Early adopters: The vaccine is not expected to be available until 2022. US cat ownership has already increased by 20%, to 47m, since 2011. HypoCat will likely increase ownership further, creating more opportunities for pet-specific and cat-specific industries.

Vaping Alternatives graph

Vaping Alternatives 
Mysterious deaths and illnesses have been tied to vaping the last several weeks in the US, and New York became the first state to ban the sale of flavored e-cigarettes. In India, lawmakers proposed a full-scale ban expected to be passed in November. Searches for vaping alternatives, as well as for related concepts like quitting vaping, have skyrocketed. 

Early adopters: People who quit vaping may try other nicotine substitutes, like gum or patches. Those who go cold turkey are often recommended to try everything from increased water intake to carrots to CBD oil.

Jeuveau graph

Jeuveau 
Jeuveau is a French Botox alternative recently approved by the FDA that targets frown lines between the eyebrows. Its referring domains have increased substantially after being at zero at the beginning of the summer. 

Next steps: Botox has been the gold standard for reducing wrinkles, and Jeuveau has joined treatments like Dysport and Xeomin in trying to replicate its success. Jeuveau is typically the least expensive and has also used a millennial-centric marketing scheme. Botox-related procedures are up 800% since 2000, in part because millennials seek preventative injections.

02  Mental Health Tech Enters a ‘Golden Age’

An epidemic of mental illness coupled with an increased willingness to recognize these issues has led to a “golden age” for mental health tech. Last year, according to White Star Capital, investors poured nearly $800m into the space. In 2013, cumulative investments didn’t even reach $100m. 

Many startups focus on providing therapy through an app or improving wellness through activities and planning. But there are a few ways to stand out in a growing market: 

  1. Focus on a niche: About 43% of the companies that have recently earned funding target a specific condition. Even rare disorders can affect hundreds of thousands of people. Niche products can build communities and lead to more efficient products.

  2. Think outside the English box: The majority of mental health-related apps are English-only. Mental illness is a global problem, and this market is largely undeveloped outside of the English-speaking world.  

  3. Make the workplace healthier: Over $1 trillion in productivity is lost yearly due to anxiety and depression. Companies like AbleTo that take a proactive approach to the problem are not struggling to prove their ROI to employers.

Read our full report.

03  How to find product market fit

Why focus on product market fit? Because making sure a large market wants your product is often more important than the product itself. Famed investor Marc Andreessen, who popularized the term product market fit, once wrote that product market fit is the only thing that matters.

In the Trends Facebook group this week, member Jay Wa was curious about how he could find product market fit for a potential legal tech product. Several of you chimed in. We gathered your advice and combined it with guidance from well-known entrepreneurs to offer 9 tips on finding product market fit.

04  News You Should Know

Single-room rental companies (Bloomberg): As the US deals with income inequality and a housing shortage, the market for single-room rentals is expected to increase. Atlanta-based Padsplit, a startup focused on this market, has raised $5m in two funding rounds. RealtyMogul CEO Jilliene Helman also mentioned the potential of co-housing spaces in our Q&A last week. 

The best countries to invest in (US News): Uruguay comes in at No. 1, followed by Saudia Arabia, Costa Rica, Luxembourg, and India. The rankings consider investment potential in natural resources, markets, brands, and more. 

Exotic meat substitutes (WSJ): Beyond Meat and Impossible seem to have a grasp on plant-based chicken and burgers. There’s plenty more opportunity: fish, steak––even kangaroo. Exotic meat substitutes will allow consumers to try flavors that otherwise may be difficult to find.

05  Convention Chatter

 Tips, advice, and news from tech and business conferences around the world

G2 Reach in Chicago (#g2reach)

  • The best marketers can find a way to tell a story about anything. There are no dull products, only dull writing, says Dave Gerhardt, Drift’s VP of marketing.

  • “It takes 15.5 touchpoints to convert a B2B buyer. Which is why the combination of email, phone, and other channels is paramount in reaching target accounts,” says Syd Sloan, CMO of Sales Loft.

IFA in Berlin (#IFA2019)

  • “Software that is purpose-built for a new computing software always wins.” — Anthony Wood, CEO of Roku.

 Intelligent Health AI in Basel (#IHAI2019)

  • Machine learning is just a small subset of AI and isn’t all based on data. Supervised machine learning is the future. — Peter Lee, corporate VP of Microsoft Research.

  • “To scale AI in health you need a strategy, right data services platforms, and a robust data supply chain that will deliver intelligent insights.” — Arnab Chakraborty, global managing director of Accenture AI.

06  Lee Kantor shows you how to make $100k/yr. producing podcasts that help small businesses grow.

Longtime marketer Lee Kantor knows how hard it is for small to midsize businesses to get noticed. A decade or so ago, after helping a friend get his fitness center off the ground, they wrote a book about the challenges, then created a radio show to talk about it.

The show inspired him to create a national radio/podcast network with much bigger ambitions––helping small businesses get more publicity and attract their target customers.

Kantor has since helped hundreds of companies market their services in a less salesy way, earning them millions of dollars in revenue.

Read our Q&A to learn more about those six-figure franchise opportunities and to see how his podcast network could help your company expand.

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