Well I haven’t sent one of these out since August 2nd, at the time it felt like a personal indulgence to get to write this when I had real client deliverable work to do. August we survived our 4th liquidity crunch in our 3 year history as a company.
I’m grateful for how our team came together and held tight to weather those rough few weeks. We had some money that was pulled forward in July, that paired with delays collecting client payments, and delays delivering contract work, lead to us netting ~$200 in August.
September & October have been a return to July’s momentum. We anticipate October’s numbers to be bigger than September’s, continuing our growth trajectory seen in the graph below.
Our MVP for the grant we won in July, is ahead of schedule, with expectations of a functional product in several clients hands in December, which enables us to be able to start promoting it for sale to SMBs and be far more aggressive in our outreach.
The TLDR is that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and we have lots to be excited about.
*if you need a refresher, we’ve been on a mission to build a smart wallet for digital identity since October 2020, because, especially in the age of AI, we believe people should have full ownership over their data & digital breadcrumb trail.
$SOL +25.7% | $30.16
$BTC +19.8% | $33,911.11
$LINK +51.9% | $11.14
$AFIB -5.00% | $0.57
(Price changes reflect past 7 days as of 10.25.23 @ 4:20 PM EST.)
The playBASKET is a group of cryptocurrencies, commodities, & securities that Connor hand selects for reasons he may or may not expound upon in an ad hoc manner via this newsletter.
Reflections from my 29th birthday
Every year I take time to reflect on how I want to grow over the next year and take account of the last year. This will be verbose, speculative, pseudo-philosophical BS, so skip ahead to the next section if you want to see our numbers. We included our full 3 year financial history.
Perhaps it’s a personal quirk, but I’ve always lived by a foundational motto or creed that guides my overall direction. In my younger years, I was somewhat aimless, living by the “YOLO” (You Only Live Once) philosophy. I often reacted to life’s opportunities with a “let’s see what happens” attitude. While this approach expanded my horizons to some extent, it felt empty and unfulfilling. This hedonistic approach often has led to setbacks.
These challenges prompted deep introspection about what I truly wanted from the myriad opportunities before me. I began to change my ways around my 23rd and 24th birthdays. However, my new guiding principle didn’t crystallize until I turned 25. Four years later, I can confidently say that this mantra has significantly improved my life, which is why I’m eager to share it:
The most selfish thing you can be is selfless.
To put it another way, the most selfish pursuit is cultivating genuine altruism within oneself. To resonate with this belief, one must have faith, whether in a god, a higher power, or cosmic forces beyond our understanding. I hold that by doing good, we accumulate intangible value in the form of good karma and goodwill, which eventually comes back to us.
Connor, why frame your philosophy around ‘selfishness,’ a term often seen in a negative light? The answer might not surprise those close to me. Growing up, a recurring observation from friends and family was my self-centeredness. I’ve always considered this trait a strength, especially in how I harness it. However, it’s a double-edged sword that can unintentionally hurt those I cherish the most. Perhaps I’ll delve deeper into this topic next year as I explore ways to balance this trait. By framing my philosophy through the lens of selfishness, I aim to embrace my inherent nature while also striving for a noble goal that, logically, should yield positive outcomes.
My journey to this realization wasn’t straightforward. Throughout my career, I’ve gone above and beyond my job description, helped acquaintances, and consistently exceeded expectations. These actions have opened numerous doors for me. Unlike my indiscriminate approach during my YOLO phase, I now evaluate opportunities based on their alignment with my goal of becoming a technology entrepreneur in the marketing data sector. This mindset propelled me from an entry-level sales position at a burgeoning ad tech startup to a prestigious technical advisor role at Google, all while completing a master’s in data science within two years.
A heartfelt letter from my birth mother, which I received during a particularly challenging summer, prompted another wave of introspection. I realized that the driving force behind my success was this mindset of paying it forward that I had been following.
Some might be skeptical about my emphasis on fairness in business, likely due to our competitive economy and the cynicism stemming from witnessing others exploit well-intentioned entrepreneurs. I’ve learned the hard way about setting boundaries, especially concerning my time, a lesson that’s only recently reflected in our financials. However, despite the challenges of undervaluing my time, I’ve built a robust support system around our mission-driven business. This community includes subscribers, investors, clients, partners, contractors, and early team members.
The support from these stakeholders has allowed me to allocate my time more efficiently, fueling our current growth. While it might take more evidence of our business’s success to persuade the skeptics in my personal philosophy, my confidence in it remains unshaken.
Without complaining too much about the hardships about bootstrapping this company, it’d feel great to raise some institutional capital to help us through these growing pains. Regardless of a financial partner, the release of our publicly available self-serve platform and our ability to reinvest our earnings into profitable advertising initiatives gives us a flywheel to grow from. Q1 2024 couldn’t come faster from our perspective.
The takeaways from this graph should be, we know how to generate revenue, and now its recurring and growing, and that when we have to be scrappy and readjust to be more efficient with our dollars we can be. Growing out of our own pockets, and of course the funds from our Friends & Family round, has certainly been a journey.
While fundraising is very much actively on our docket as we are looking to raise a pre-seed of $750k and close it before Q1 is out, our priority lies on expanding our roster of SMB clients with monthly budgets north of $5,000 per month because we can make those same ad dollars perform like the equivalent $7-8,000 investment.
Reach-out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to see our latest investor deck.
playhaus is helping to promote the larger adoption of blockchain technologies and web3 by serving as the technology & marketing provider for the Heartland Web3 Conference in Kansas City, MO on November 8th. Please consider attending to hear from the amazing speakers, and use our Promo Code: web3 to save $75 on your tickets!