The Sugar-High Opportunities in Diabetes Tech… Simple Content Strategies for Busy Founders… Let’s Welcome a New Trendster

Happy Trends Tuesday!

What happens when a group of business builders and creatives share a house for a month in a nature-filled remote area of the world?Trendster Nico Caramella decided to find out, and the results are in:

  • Two teamed up to start a new venture
  • One finally launched a project they’d been holding off
  • One premiered a riveting documentary
  • One finished the first 10k words of their novel
  • One completed the full wire frame for a new product
  • All experienced transformational personal growth


Sometimes the best progress occurs when we remove ourselves from our routines, get vulnerable, and chase a new friend’s underwear as it blows off the clothes line and hurtles toward the pool — that builds an impenetrable bond. 😳


Trendsters, unite! Representing five countries, seven industries, and infinite laughs. 

What gets you out of your comfort zone? Tell us about it here.


Now on to this week’s newsletter…




1. Latest Research: Weighted sleep sacks for serene slumber, and opportunities to serve 15m perimenopausal women. 
2. Operator’s Guide: If you have a subscription-based business, you’re probably leaving money on the table — here’s how not to.
3. Community Insights: Opportunities to connect with Trends members, and the best insights from the Facebook group.


P.S. Speaking of traveling, Trendster Mauricio Issa Llano co-founded a luxury D2C luggage brand in 2016 and has grown it to 40k customers, including Trends editor Kristin Egan. Scroll down to the Community Insights section for a special story. ❤️

The 15m Underserved Americans No One Is Talking About 

Global Google search interest, six-month rolling average. Source: Google Trends

Before menopause occurs, women go through a lesser-known “twilight” period called perimenopause.


This is the time frame where they start to experience symptoms, but aren’t officially in menopause yet.


And it’s a huge market:

  • Perimenopause can last up to a decade
  • 74% of women experience perimenopausal symptoms…
  • … meaning there are ~15m American women in this twilight zone right now


Perhaps even more importantly, older millennials are now entering their 40s, and the demographic of perimenopausal women is changing.


Millennials don’t just prioritize their health more than previous generations, they’re also willing to drop serious dough on it.


So when these women enter perimenopause and start to notice changes in mood, memory, and sleep, it’s unlikely they’ll approach it in the same way as their predecessors — 73% of whom didn’t seek treatment for their symptoms.


Younger generations also prioritize “natural” options. According to a McKinsey survey, consumers are now 2x more likely to choose a more natural dietary supplement, even if they know it’s less effective.


But other than hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — a more drastic option with its own risks — those in perimenopause have few treatment options, if at all. And they can be in this twilight zone for years.



This brings us to the opportunity:


Science-backed nutraceuticals for perimenopause.


We won’t go into full nerd mode explaining the biology behind this (if you’d like to know, our resident scientist put the data together here), but in a nutshell:

  • There is a link between gut microbiome health and perimenopausal symptoms.
  • Specific foods and supplements have been shown to effectively alleviate perimenopausal symptoms by acting in the gut.


This means that women can eat their way to a happier menopause.


And that’s it — that’s your new company tagline.


Create nutraceuticals and foods containing science-backed compounds shown to reduce perimenopausal symptoms, like:


🌱 Chia, fenugreek, and flaxseed mucilage (a fancy word for the outer covering of the seed)

🥛 Low-sugar fermented dairy products, like yogurt and kefir
🍵 Green tea catechins
🧫 Phytoestrogens
🍠 Curcumin


Market them specifically to perimenopausal women, and don’t be afraid to explain the science behind them — consumers are hungry for data-backed health optimization.


Weighted Sleep Sacks Bank on Bedtime

Global Google search interest, six-month rolling average. Source: Google Trends

You’ve likely heard of weighted blankets, but have you heard of weighted sleep sacks for infants?

Just like the adult versions, weighted sleep sacks promote infant relaxation, decrease stress levels, and mimic the gentle hug of a parent. All of this is important because it can lead to better sleep, which is what every new parent desperately needs.

While there are large-scale distributors of sacks already (this one brings in just shy of $5m/mo. on Amazon, per Jungle Scout), they’re mostly generic — and the market is still young enough for entrepreneurs to stand out by niching down.

For example, create funky weighted sleep sack covers that parents can slip over the weighted part, or start a line of luxury weighted sleep sacks using only organic fabrics and fillers.

Alternatively, focus on the circular economy. There are ~9k babies born to millennial parents every day in the US, and 80% of these parents wish there were more eco-friendly baby gear options on the market.

You could provide them with a sleep sack rental service. Sacks are a great rental candidate, because:


♻️ Covers can easily be replaced, and the weights reused.

⚖️ The weight of the sleep sack relative to the infant is crucial; it can’t be more than 10% of body weight, but if it’s too light, it’s ineffective.

📈 This means that as babies grow (and they grow fast), parents will need to continually update their weighted sleep sack needs.


Your brand could have an app parents can use when they need an upgrade delivered to their door.

And while we have you here, we’ll just throw in this growing search interest for “adult sleep sack.” Y’all can Google the images yourselves.


The Secret Sauce That Could 5x Your Subscription Revenue

Trendster Daniel Layfield led growth at Codecademy from $10m to $50m ARR, before it sold for a cool $525m to Skillsoft. 

He recently opened the floodgates of lessons learned for the Trends community, and holy shit — his story is a gold mine of subscription growth treasures.

Daniel experienced plenty of blunders like:


✅ Launching giant projects without due diligence

🚆 Putting too much effort into expensive and whimsical growth ideas, like running ads in the NYC subway

💰 Debating for months about adding a pricing page in the header (spoiler: you should add a pricing page in the header )


But along the way, he learned one particularly important lesson: work from the bottom of the funnel upward.



🪩 Churn, baby, churn.

Source: Daniel Layfield / Trends Facebook community

There are two scenarios where people will try to leave your product, and they must be handled differently: “intentional” and “unintentional” churn.

With “intentional” churn, you’ll find both happy and unhappy customers. 

Happy customers have stuffed themselves with delicious morsels at your SaaS buffet, had their fill, and can’t stomach any more features. Treat them well on the way out, ask for a review, and maybe they’ll come back for seconds.

The unhappy customers are storming out of your buffet because they choked on a bone in the chicken soup. 

Provide them with a thoughtful cancellation survey:

😡 Start with an open-ended text field to let them air their grievances — let this run until you can identify patterns in the responses.

📊 Build a multiple-choice survey based on those responses; always keep at least one open-ended question in the mix to make room for iteration.

✂️ Propose cancellation alternatives. For example: “Would you like to try tier B for $15 less per month which includes XYZ features?” 



But remember, the best way to prevent unhappy churn is to avoid that chicken bone in the first place — by building a better product.

Finally, the “unintentional” churners are the clumsy ones, tripping over technical issues or bouncing off insufficient card balances. They’re trying to give you their money, but keep dropping it. 

For them, your job is simple — clean up the problems that are keeping them from paying you. 🧹

🫰 Finesse the levers.

Source: Daniel Layfield / Trends Facebook community

For subscription businesses, maximizing LTV (lifetime value) is key. You have two levers at your disposal that you should be constantly finessing:

💸 Monetization Levers
🖥️ Product Levers

Use monetization levers to coax subscribers into models that extend LTV. In most cases, this means piling on as many annual subscriptions as possible.

Daniel’s favorite trick is to exaggerate the difference between the monthly and annual plan — it worked wonders at Codecademy. 

One of their original packages featured a monthly plan at $19.99, and an annual plan at $15.99 per month.

“We ran a pricing test and changed the monthly plan to $39.99 and the annual plan to $19.99 monthly. This shifted a considerable amount of users over to the annual plan upfront and was one of the most successful things we ever did.”

Other important monetization lever strategies include:

  • Pushing successful monthly users to upgrade to annual plans
  • Timing discounted annual plans based on monthly LTV
  • Turning off email receipts for monthly plans (they don’t need a reminder 螺)
  • Upselling additional tiers of service or products


Your product levers are simpler: avoid that damn chicken bone, and build the best possible product.

⚖️ The free trials and tribulations.

Source: Daniel Layfield / Trends Facebook community

“One of the hardest challenges in any subscription business is determining what you charge for, what you give away for free, and why,” says Daniel.

But don’t worry — he also revealed what he has seen work best:


1. Product tiers that are easy to understand

2. Pricing that accurately reflects where the most value lies (such as metered usage and time limits)

3. A free product that attracts users who are ready for the paid product

4. A long enough trial period for users to experience the value

5. A user journey that naturally exposes free users to the paid product in a way that highlights its value



💳 Check out like a champion.

Source: Daniel Layfield / Trends Facebook community

One of the most profound things Daniel told us is that “the checkout page is the only place where a 1% increase in conversion leads to a 1% increase in new revenue.”

Losing customers here is like preparing a Michelin-star meal and forgetting to open the restaurant. Don’t. Screw. It. Up.

Daniel suggests carefully weighing all of the available checkout options  to optimize your specific use case, as there are many contradictory directions. 

For instance, the more information you collect from your customer, the more likely the transaction will be approved — but some customers will abandon the process if you ask for too much.

Also, single-click payment solutions are proven to help conversion, but at the risk of third-party technology owning your most important page.

Checkout pages are a high-stakes game that demand a ton of your attention.

Now, go back to the top bottom and start again. 

This article is a summary of information shared with the Trends community by Daniel Layfield. You can find his original posts here, here, here, here, and here. He also just started a blog, so go show him some love.


👭 Connection Opportunities


Want to host a local meetup? Let us know!

And don’t forget to integrate with our Google Calendar.


June 13 – Trends Office Hours

June 15 – Virtual Networking Series: Agencies

June 20 – Virtual Networking Series: Newsletters

⭐ June 23 – The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming Life From Work With Simone Stolzoff

✨ Greatest Hits

A roundup of killer conversations and resources from the Trends Facebook group:


💡 Member Spotlight


Trends editor Kristin Egan met Mauricio Issa Llano in one of our virtual networking sessions back in January. Mauricio is the co-founder of Arlo Skye, which “makes the most interesting luggage you’ve never heard of,” according to Forbes.


They entered the ultra-crowded D2C luggage space with only $550k in angel funding, competing against brands that had raised $10m-$30m in venture capital.


Their secret?


According to Mauricio, it all boils down to “staying lean, being first-purchase profitable, and above all — an obsessive and relentless focus on quality and sleek design.”


A loyal Arlo Skye customer, Kristin was devastated a few weeks ago when the airline lost her luggage somewhere in Europe. After nearly giving up hope, her luggage finally made its way home this weekend!


In honor of Kristin being reunited with her luggage, Mauricio is offering Trends members a 15% discount with code “TRENDS15” through the end of June. 


Reunited, and it feels so good!

Got 15 seconds? Please share your feedback by hitting the smileys below. Tell us what you liked and how we can make Trends better.


What did you think of this week’s Trends newsletter?

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This week’s Trends send was brought to you by Kristin Egan, Cait Macleod, Shân Osborn, Susie Ippolito, Cyan Zhong, Singdhi Sokpo, and Brad Wolverton. 


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