AppSumo: Reshaping the Way to Epic Success
Jumpstarting a business a decade ago wasn’t the picnic it is today.
With no shortcut to success, young entrepreneurs took care of business in a far more traditional - and limited - fashion.
Placing the right product on the market back then relied on various key factors - proper advertising, developing an in-demand product, and uncovering a fruitful way to profit in the meantime.
When Noah Kogan first entered the online business market, he seemed to have the perfect platform to help thousands of start-ups worldwide succeed - AppSumo!
By enabling startups to advertise their products in a manner yet unseen on the market, Noah’s AppSumo put worldwide businesses into motion!
What began with lending a helping hand to struggling businesses, had slowly turned AppSumo into a million-dollar-worth business baby!
In a nutshell, AppSumo is a story of failing hard, succeeding even harder, and resisting conformity in the name of productive success.
Read more about this incredible journey here:
Ambition Grows Roots
Many often consider failure the hindrance of success - but not Noah Kagan.
An ambitious young fellow, American-born Noah got his first taste of achievement in 2000, when he enrolled at Berkeley University to attend Haas School of Business, ultimately acquiring a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration.
Immediately after graduation, Noah wasted no time in putting his skills to practice within the employment sector.
In early 2004, Noah’s career took off when he joined Intel as a geography marketing analyst. Despite his expectations, Noah didn’t find his job as challenging as he had hoped, and instead, spent most hours sleeping under his desk.
Without a rewarding job experience at hand and the burning urge to make a greater name for himself, Noah saw no future at Intel and quit his post after just nine months.
No stranger to dusting himself off and trying again, Noah had always nurtured a special bond with both failure and success. Instead of dreading dereliction, Noah accepted it as a necessary part of the success journey as well as a valid stimulus for working harder - and smarter!
The Right Path
For many, 2005 was the year of technological booms.
With MySpace dictating, and basically dominating the social networking service industry- with over 100 million users a month- Noah saw the immense potential in joining the company and learning from the best.
Having already settled for an unfulfilling job before, Noah wouldn’t rush himself into deciding his career path just yet, but would, instead, do his homework and ensure MySpace was the place for him.
By the time Noah could actually put his foot in the company, another online platform would take the media world by a storm - and it had Mark Zuckerberg's name written all over it. Trusting that Facebook would grow into the largest social network to date, Noah abandoned the idea of joining MySpace, sent his resume to the social media mogul-to-be - and got accepted shortly after.
Still partially inexperienced, Noah took on the role of product manager at Facebook and discovered a newfound love for building ads, managing sales and everything in between. Without allowing himself to fall into a rut yet again, Noah focused on developing new ideas and concepts to further fortify Facebook’s success.
Out of his brainstorming came a groundbreaking idea and one of the most impactful platform features to this day- the ever-beloved Facebook status.
His efforts were not in vain, and Noah was soon recognized as one of Facebook’s top thirty employees, holding company shares worth $185 million. As the company continued to evolve, however, Noah realized he had not just outgrown its business ways, but also the mission Facebook stood for. Unfortunately or not, this disinterest and unwillingness to pitch in the company’s further growth eventually led to Noah’s firing.
Without a viable alternative in mind, Noah next applied for another job, at Mint.com.
To his dismay, even after presenting the company with a free-of-charge business project - Mint’s CEO was less than impressed with Noah’s work and ultimately turned him down.
But, when one door closes, two others open - and Noah’s ambition to produce something of his own was yet to flourish!
In 2007, Noah and two of his friends immersed themselves in a whole new line of business - building video games.
While working on the project, however, the team noticed there were various visible flaws within the payment method process, which ultimately obstructed the genuine user experience.
After finding no feasible solution to this issue, the team of three decided to develop it themselves, and designed a platform that could algorithmically recognize the most suitable payment system for a particular video game.
The concept took an incredible two days to build and launch, and after a busy weekend, Gambit made its way to the market.
With a launch worth less than $50, the team was still unaware of the expansion the company would soon witness, growing into a million-dollar enterprise. Gambit’s beginnings were more than solid, with the company acquiring seven million users within a few months.
Noticing its fast-paced development, it didn’t take investors long to pour in the big bucks into the company, with the team ultimately accepting only $100,000- a modest yet sufficient figure to help further boost Gambit’s performance.
A year into its launch, however, Gambit’s dark days ensued.
Namely, despite the growing number of applications, the company failed to acquire the anticipated advertising revenue, leading to a mass crack within the company’s financial structure.
Dog Days are Over
With no way to go from rock-bottom but up, Noah focused on developing a whole new concept of working.
Realizing that Gambit’s main problem lied in the way the company interacted with customers, Noah now aimed to create a platform that can easily connect to a variety of related apps.
Although the idea was standing on solid grounds, Noah felt a key aspect was missing from the equation - the catch! After doing some proper research and comparing the performances of several different forums, Noah came across a Reddit debate, where users elaborated on the need for product discounts.
Combining the best of both worlds, Noah decided upon developing a site to help startups not just advertise their products but sell them on a discount, too.
Working from his mother's basement and counting no more than $60 in his pocket, Noah launched AppSumo in 2010! It wasn’t spectacular, and after the launch, AppSumo earned its first dollar by commissioning ImgurPro - the first start-up to join the platform. Although slow-paced, the company’s growth was nonetheless steady and promising. Initially, the company made its first 200 sales using a serial newsletter campaign for its first customers.
Once this method entered into full force, AppSumo’s smooth-sale business journey commenced - and the gloom days were over!
Not fond of using investors’ money, Noah was eager to find an alternative to financially support his business. As a result, he reached out to various business experts to help him create AppSumo’s educational file formats, destined to attract far more customers than before.
As it turned out, this would ultimately be one of the most revenue-friendly moves Noah would make, and by its second year after launching, AppSumo would skyrocket its number of subscribers - from 50,000 to 500,000!
From this point forward, Noah and his team carried out a number of giveaways through their platform, ultimately rounding up their subscription count to a million users - an awe-worthy company record!
AppSumo in the Modern World
Today, AppSumo counts over eighty employees worldwide, with headquarters located in Austin, Texas. With annual revenue of over $4 million, the app is ranked first among its top competitors.
Notably, the app has partnered up with various big-time tech companies, including Evernote, MailChimp, and DepositPhotos, among others. Through building collections of useful products and scoring the ultimate entrepreneurship tool deals, AppSumo has consistently found new ways to help build the businesses of the future!