Daesun is the growth guy behind a product that has 283,000 beta signups. Learn the psychological triggers and the innovative viral loop that allowed him to achieve these massive results.
Bronson: Welcome to another episode of Growth Hacker TV. I’m Bronson Taylor and today I have designed him with us. Jason, thanks for coming on the program.
Daesun: Yeah. Aw, man. Good to be here.
Bronson: We’re glad to have you because you have the best mustache of anyone that’s ever been on the program.
Daesun: Well, thank you very much.
Bronson: That is a beautiful start. But we’re also excited to have you because you’re the lead growth engineer for Robin Dot IO. A new product. That is very exciting. What’s that? I’m the. Oh, you got the.
Daesun: Got the domain. Yeah, we got the domain.
Bronson: Can I ask how much you paid for it?
Daesun: Not that much, actually. You know, the guy who owns the domain is a wonderful guy. And it turns out that he’d been sitting on the domain for a while, and a lot of people have flocked to buy it. And he always felt like it didn’t feel like it was going to, like, a worthwhile cause. Mm hmm. But then he checked out what we were doing, and he really liked that. So, you know, he offered to sell those for significantly less than we were expecting to pay.
Bronson: That’s awesome. So you used to be Robin Hood. I know. Now Robin Hood icon, which is an incredible domain name. So tell us a little bit about Robin Hood. As soon as I saw it, I was interested. It has such a it’s a great idea. So what is Robin Hood?
Daesun: Well, you know, plain and simple, six words or fewer. It’s a zero commission brokerage. Right. So you buy and sell stocks and, you know, normal brokerages make you pay 7 to $10 and commissions. But we charge no commissions.
Bronson: Yeah. So who’s the market for this? Is this mean that people that maybe don’t have the money to trade at a high level or they want to make more micro trades? Who’s the market for this? Or does anybody that makes trades really, I guess.
Daesun: Well, so for starters, you know, anybody who makes trades is that I think it’s a I personally believe that it’s a compelling product for anybody who trades. But I also believe that one of the more interesting aspects is we can significantly lower the barriers to entry for trading. Mm hmm. Like you take the market of people who you take the market or people who want to pay 7 to $10 per trade. And you can make that such. You can reach such a wider audience by taking away that that one bottleneck, that one barrier to entry. And there are many secondary, you know, barriers to entry that you can remove as well, making the signup process easier. For instance, to essentially say, hey, you know, your trading platform wasn’t right for you in 2013, but in the future and maybe Robinhood is the way to go.
Bronson: Yeah. You know that that idea of take away friction. I haven’t used the product yet, but looking at the website, it seems like you have taken away a lot of friction. You have screenshots on there of the app. It doesn’t look like a stock trading app. It doesn’t look that intimidating. It looks like a modern, you know, productivity app or something, you know, the way it’s designed and kind of the way it feels. So I do think you’ve taken away some of the friction there. But here’s the obvious question that I have.
Daesun: Right. How do you.
Bronson: Make money when you got $0 transaction fees? I upselling people to something else while some way.
Daesun: Well, it’s the brokerage. Yeah, it’s. It’s sort of like an iceberg, right? Where you as a consumer, you only really see one way that the brokerage makes money, which is through commissions. Right. But, you know, below the surface of the water, brokerages make money in other ways, you know, by providing value to various financial institutions. So we believe that, you know, in the future, as Robinhood, we can provide several services such as, say, providing liquidity to exchanges in exchange for money is, you know, for instance, one way of making money that doesn’t require, you know, charging charging customers for charging customers commissions. And this works better now than it did, you know, say, ten or 20 years ago, because the unit economics now work out. There have been lots of advances in trading technology that have gradually been decreasing, have been pushing down the price that a brokerage is required to pay. Right. To execute an individual trade. I guarantee you that right now you’re you know, your average brokerage is paying less portrayed than your average brokerage was paying to execute a trade in 1975. Yeah, right. Mm hmm. So the unit economics are now beginning to play out. And then from a marketing perspective right now is there are a lot of multipliers that you can take advantage of in a growth position that simply weren’t available before the advent of, say, social media, before the advent of mobile.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, one of the insights there is that, you know, what you guys are promoting. You know, I ask you, what is Robinhood? Is oh, it’s $0 trading. That’s what Robinhood is. But that’s not how you’re making your money. And so I think that’s an important lesson for people watching this or listening to this. Is that what you market and how you monetize may not be the same thing. And if you market what you monetize, it might turn off people. So there’s a way to present your offering in a way that actually allows you to, in a sense, grow. And I think that’s just an important lesson for people to kind of realize. You know, I think about Google and they have their Android phones for almost free. That’s right. They don’t care about making money on Android phones. They make money off the ads. They show on the phones. And so their whole economical universe is just different. And I think that’s something for entrepreneurs. Come. To really get their head around that. You guys just recently passed the big threshold, right? You made your first trade using the app, I think.
Daesun: Well, so we made our first. There’s a little distinction that I like and we made our first internal trade. Okay. So what that means is we made, you know, we have all these back end systems set up and we sent the first trade, we routed our first trade through our internal systems and then hit our clearing firm and then purchased and sold security through that.
Bronson: Nice slow goes into getting to that moment is that just months and months of work to make that happen and.
Daesun: Years and years years and years. So it takes you know, it takes a highly nontrivial amount of time to actually receive the license to be allowed to make those trades.
Bronson: Definitely. That’s a big competitive advantage that you know how much work it took to get here and for someone else to cross that chasm would just be extreme.
Daesun: You know, it’s a it’s a phenomenal amount of effort that goes into doing this. And I think that one, you know, one thing that sort of a blessing in disguise of that is that once you cross that chasm. Right, it’s that’s that’s already a fairly risky thing. So to innovate on top of that is oftentimes an unpalatable amount of risk. Yeah, it’s it’s a lot of risk, you know, just to go about doing this and then to take a less conservative path, right? In terms of strategy, in terms of in terms of just the way you build a brokerage, that’s in many ways that’s more risk than a lot of people are willing to take. You know, and and we believe that there are many, many, you know, rewards to be had by exploring you know, by exploring these pathways. Yeah.
Bronson: No, I think that’s another great insight. You know, just the the amount of hard work and the amount of hard things you have to do to get to the point that is your competitive advantage in a sense. So don’t always be afraid of hard things. Sometimes there’s a reason you won’t have competition in the same amount later on down the road. Now, you guys have had a staggering number of signups on your early access program. What’s the toll up to now? How many early access sign ups do you have?
Daesun: I checked last night and there’s around 283,280.
Bronson: 3000 emails on file emails. Want access to this app to do trading? Yes. All right. Now, how long did it take to get that number? How long have they been able to give you their email address?
Daesun: You know, about three months. Three months.
Bronson: So okay. We’ll make the number simpler here. Almost 300,000 in about three months. So yeah, that.
Daesun: Sounds about.
Bronson: 3000 sign a month a roughly. Is that comparable to what you guys expected or is that just way exceed what you were really intending?
Daesun: Well, you know, the Holy Grail, right, is like 10% week over week. And we’ve been tracking fairly close to 10% week over week over the course of 2014. So far, I think last we measured is 13%. So it’s it’s slightly more than, you know, than any than any reasonable person might expect. But then again, you know, it’s this isn’t exactly right. This is kind of it’s you know, it’s a lot of hard work that went into it.
Bronson: So, yeah.
Daesun: So we’re very happy with the way that the waitlist has and you know, is continuing to turn out.
Bronson: Yeah, and we call it a waitlist because the app is not public for everyone yet. Right. It’s still private and you’re going to start rolling in, you know, a few people at a time.
Bronson: Correct. So needless to say, the direction this interview is going in is how did you get almost 300,000 sign ups in three months, everything from now on in the rest. This interview is going to dig in to that and we’re going to come at it from different angles and ask two different questions and only try to figure out what is it that made this thing such a juggernaut in such a short amount of time? I think I have some hunches on what mattered or what didn’t, but I’m like, You tell me. All right. So first, let’s talk about the name a little bit from the second that I heard your dad’s name, Robin Hood.
Daesun: Right. I mean.
Bronson: You know, take from the rich, give to the poor, right. You’re taking the $10 trade and you’re saying, hey, you don’t have as much money, but you can still trade like everyone else. The name is extremely compelling and clever. But does that do you think that actually mattered? What’s your take on that?
Daesun: So my take is that it matters, you know, in a kind of subtle sense, right? It matters in that, you know, consumers tend to, you know, as as a consumer, right. Like the first time I hear about an app, I kind of say, oh, that sounds cool, right? And then maybe the sixth or the seventh time, maybe then I will fully engage with the app. Right. I got download it up the other day because my roommate was bugging me about it, but then one of my other roommates before was bugging me about it and one of my colleagues was bugging me about it and that each time I was kind of like, Well, all right, that sounds cool. And then, you know, the second the seventh time I heard about Quiz, I was finally like, you know, all right, I’ll download it, right? Yeah. And so having yeah, having a good name, you know, it makes it much easier, right, to be if that sort of threshold crossed the threshold.
Bronson: Yeah. And for me, it made it easy to remember, you know, I have a lot of people that come on this show and a lot of times I’m sorry, there’s someone in the background.
Daesun: Is there somebody I see? I see that person in the background as well.
Bronson: I’m extremely distracted, despite the fact that you’re doing a. The stock trades. You haven’t lost the humor in the in the office place, at least. So that’s good. What it say is a lot of times, you know, I have company on the show and I’ll book them and then I’ll hear their name later before the interview and I’ll be like, Wait, what do they do again? Who are they? I have to actually remember who they are, even though I’ve already booked them and already done research on them. Robin Hood. I saw the homepage. I’ve never forgot the name. It stuck with me. I think it I think it matters. It may not be the reason you have 300,000 sign ups, but it definitely hasn’t hurt. I think it’s definitely a part of the equation. Now, after the name, the first thing I look at on our website personally is the hook kind of main headline, the big words in Bold that takes up most of the screen above the fold. What is your all’s hook right now? What’s it say?
Daesun: Zero commissions, essentially. You know, we we basically say what matters, you know, what about Robin Hood is that that matters to our customers. And it’s worth you know, one thing that’s really worthwhile doing is just sitting down for a little bit, sitting down with the people you work with and kind of thinking, what is it that we do that matters? Mm hmm. Why are we doing? Why do we exist? Why are we providing a valuable service? What is the service? Because if you can tell people what the services, then that’s part of the battle right there. Right. Then you’ve accurately described to people. Here’s the here’s this handshake agreement. You will pay attention to us, and in exchange, we will solve a problem for you.
Bronson: Yeah. And I love that mentality because there’s so many bad headlines you could have had. I mean, let me just give you a few that, you know, you would expect from a company that doesn’t really understand their customer. You could have said something in the big headline like, you know, this is the future of stock trading.
Daesun: We could have used the word here’s.
Bronson: About the future of stock trading. Like that’s an irrelevant promise to me. Like, I don’t know if your version of the future is the same as my version of the future, right? I don’t know what the future is. It’s nebulous. It’s vague. When you tell me $0 trading, I give you an email because that’s what I want, you know. So I think that that is such a great thing for people to understand that the main headline is extremely powerful and when you create that main headline, tell them the main thing that you’re alleviating. Don’t be vague and overly clever. Just tell them what it is you’re going to do for them. Like you said, what is the promise that you’re going to uphold over time? And let me ask you, how important do you think that that hook, that headline has been to the 300,000 sign ups?
Daesun: Extremely important. You know, one thing that I found really interesting, actually, is there’s a service called Peak, right? And you can use Peak to kind of see how people view your website. And I was looking through people using Peak and I remember watching like a friend’s video of like he submitted his website to his startup, he submitted at the peak and one of the users on peak actually, you know, didn’t know how to scroll down. Right. And I remember he commented, you know, that this website would be much better if it didn’t involve so much scrolling. Right. And yeah, that’s that’s one anecdotal, rather plural of anecdote doesn’t necessarily comprise, you know, like a rigorous data set. But still, you know, it’s it just goes to show you that in some instances, it’s very worthwhile. In most instances, it’s worthwhile keeping the most relevant and pertinent information above the fold. You don’t you never want to bury the lead.
Bronson: Absolutely. Yeah. It’s a great way to put it. Don’t bury the lead. It’s what we learned, the link baiting. If you want to write a blog post, make the title compelling. If you want to sell something on a website, make the headline compelling like no one will get to your third feature. Bullet point down below the fold. If the headline isn’t perfect, the.
Daesun: Inverted pyramid.
Bronson: Is. There you go. Exactly the important stuff at the top. Less important as you go down toward the point, right?
Daesun: Mm hmm.
Bronson: Now, another thing you guys do is I notice, though, you put your investor logos on the bottom of the website, right? I’ve seen that a few times, but it’s not the norm you don’t normally see in big logos. Here’s all of our investors. What was thinking behind that? I got an idea, but why did you guys put your investor logos there?
Daesun: Well, you know, brokerages are a very trust based business, right? Much more so than any any other standard, you know, average consumer start up. The brokerage business is very trust based. And it makes sense because I wouldn’t trust an ordinary, average company to steward my money properly. Right. To take good care of it. And if something went wrong, you know, I wouldn’t trust like an unaccredited like a normal business to, you know, to take care of me properly. And, you know, the thing is, if these titans of each big, massive brokerage that’s out right now, they’re young, wants to ride, there are new ones as well. And, you know, we use these investor logos to signal that we’re not like a fly by night operation that’s going to, you know, gobble up your bitcoins, right?
Bronson: Absolutely. And the reason I’m touching all these, you know, points is because obviously your page is converting in a thousand emails. Almost whatever you’re doing on that home page, it is absolutely working. So I want to touch on some of the little things, you know, that may have went into that to kind of, you know, peek behind the scenes. Another thing is the video. The video’s great. That guy that does videos for start ups, I’ve seen him a few times.
Daesun: The sandwich. Sandwich videos?
Bronson: Yeah, he’s the one man. He also does the video for a coin, right? Is that him?
Daesun: I believe so.
Bronson: Every video he does, it just seems like their product is going to work.
Daesun: He doesn’t do videos that he doesn’t for products that he doesn’t believe in. I believe.
Bronson: Yeah, I actually heard, you know, maybe you can verify. I don’t know. I’ve heard he actually takes equity sometimes for these videos because they’re so he really.
Daesun: I wouldn’t be able to confirm or deny that, but I would not be surprised if that were the case.
Bronson: Bronson Now that is a guy who’s a baller when you start making videos for start ups and taking equity. So anyway, go to the Robin Hood dot com. Watch the video and then you’ll see why they’re doing it, because it’s a fun video. Now, here’s the part that I think a lot of our audience is really going to want to hear about. In a sense, they buried the lead, right? And that is the waiting list system. So you guys have some unique mechanics and some unique processes that went into your waiting list. Now walk me through it and do it in, you know, detail enough that we really get our head around it. What happens when somebody puts in their email on the site that really compels them to do other things?
Daesun: Well, so, you know, when you put your email on the site, it first it tells you your position in line. Right. It tells you that there are a certain number of people in front of you. And since you’ve just signed up, you know, there’s nobody quite behind you in line yet. But you can check back to your position and you can kind of see people accumulating behind you. But you can also see people coming in front of you. And that kind of gets to the heart of the metric is that your position in the waiting list is essentially determined by two factors, right? The first factor is how many people you’ve referred on to the waiting list. And the second is how long you’ve been in line. So there’s an there’s an inherent virality in the system where if you’re really interested and excited about Robinhood, you know, you tell your friends about it. So that when we do start rolling out our product to people, you know, from the waitlist, then you get the product before you get the product before everybody else or other people get.
Bronson: Behind the link to send people to the homepage. So you’re tracking which people they sent.
Daesun: Right. Right.
Bronson: And are you giving them tools like, hey, here’s the tweet button, here’s where to put it on Google Plus? Are you kind of putting it for them on a platter? So they just kind of hit a few buttons or are you making them do the work of copy and paste the link in all their places online?
Daesun: Well, so we have the option for Facebook, right? For them to kind of click a button and then it also and you can type in your message here and then share this time. You can share this with your friends on Facebook. And Facebook is actually where the bulk of our you know, the bulk of our referrals come from. So it’s on that. It’s very.
Bronson: Good. Yeah. Are you guys tracking? You may or may not be. What amount of people are coming through a referral? I mean, is it like, hey, 50% off from a referral and 50% are just coming to the page through some other method? I mean, do you guys have those kind of numbers or.
Daesun: 5050 is quite close.
Bronson: Is that it? Yeah. So, I mean, you think about that. That’s a big deal, this little loop, because without it, we’re down to 150,000 sign ups, which is still incredible. But it is literally half of what you have which, you know, you work the funnel through time in the future. That’s half the revenue you would have from that initial launch phase. So, I mean, it’s a big deal the way you guys have done this referral loop.
Daesun: And maybe it’s fewer than 150,000 brands because remember what I said earlier about, you know, people signing up for apps and people kind of willfully engaging with products after they hear about it multiple times. You know, I’m sure that there are many people from the wait list who have joined Robinhood, not because of the first person who referred them, but because of the fifth or the 10th person who has referred them.
Bronson: Especially if you’re in a well-connected network that right under to this product, you’re going to hear about it from a couple people.
Daesun: Right. Right.
Bronson: And you when your whole little group is using it, you got a little mini movement. And so I can see how that can become very powerful. And I like the idea of knowing where you’re at in the queue. So, you know, because I’ve done the same launch method before selling that product, I didn’t tell them where they were in the queue. I just said, you’re going to be bumped up higher if you share. And it had great results for us I think would have been better if I’d done it your way and added another layer which is and here’s where that in the queue because essentially you’re telling apps, here’s the algorithm it’s based on when you signed up and it’s based on how many people you referred and you can watch yourself rank in that algorithm higher and higher. And so I like that. If I do it again, I’m going to build that into it. That’s a cool thing. Now, another thing you’ve done is you kind of spaced out the product releases and the product kind of news. Tell me about that. What have you guys done there with the product itself to kind of drive interest and engagement?
Daesun: Well, so there’s you know, there’s two perspectives on that, right? One is like the data perspective and the second the other is just the intuition perspective. And I’ll talk a little bit about both, you know, I guess the data perspective first, it’s you know, you can look at successful product launches, releases, press releases and unsuccessful press releases and you can use classifiers, right. To determine what constants or what factors tend to correlate well with successful and unsuccessful ones. And one big factor that we found is that, you know, Tuesdays and Thursdays tend to be good days. Mm hmm. That’s like a that’s like a fairly simple, actionable heuristic. Yeah. There are a lot of more complicated heuristics that you can’t really act upon. So it’s more of the simple, more actionable ones that are really more valuable. Mm hmm. And that’s. That’s sort of like how we approach that from a data perspective and from an intuition perspective. You know, it’s. It’s basically. You don’t have anything worth sharing. There’s. There’s really no need to hurt, you know.
Bronson: Gotcha. So you want to have something meaningful, and then you push it out on a day when people will see it and then just. Yeah, definitely. I mean, it’s it’s not a complicated strategy, but things don’t have to be the work. You know.
Daesun: It’s not a.
Bronson: Complicated strategy. They’re able to look at it.
Daesun: Mm hmm. It’s not a complicated strategy, but it’s one that requires, you know, a surprising amount of collective self-control. You know, it’s like it’s it’s like, you know, when you’re five, right? You’re in kindergarten. You know, I draw a butterfly and then I show it to my mom. It’s a terrible butterfly, you know? But she’s like, Jason, that’s beautiful. And she puts it up on the refrigerator and, you know, you can have them body when you’re five, but you can’t have that mentality if you want to grow, if you want to grow a start up.
Bronson: No, I like that.
Daesun: It’s kind of incompatible, you know?
Bronson: Yeah, no, it totally is. Now you’ve, you know, you’re getting a lot of sign ups from this wait list and the viral loop that you have built in there. But obviously, there’s a chunk of sign ups that are not from that loop. You said it may be, you know, less than 150. So let’s say it’s 50,000 or 100,000 still. There’s a big chunk of people coming to your site that are not being referred by a friend. How are they learning about you? Do you have some kind of PR strategy? Are you getting the message out to bloggers? Are they coming from some other source? Where does that other pool of people find you from?
Daesun: You know? Well, this goes back to, you know, sort of like sort of messaging, right. To sort of make it extremely clear what the value proposition of your product is. Mm hmm. And a lot of these people, you know, find their way to us through through secondary channels, through blogs, even through direct Google searches. Right. Or through hearing about this is like a non web setting. Mm hmm. And if you don’t have a product that if you don’t have a very good way of messaging and basically saying, this is why we’re valuable, no matter how big your virality multiplier is, you still won’t have, you know, a very widely, you know, very widely adopted product.
Bronson: Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Anything else you’ve done that has really been a conscious effort to drive growth? Is there something we haven’t covered where your team made a decision? Yeah, let’s do this. It’s going to add to the number of emails we end up getting.
Daesun: Right. Right. Well, you know, actually, it’s the growth strategy is it’s fairly simple. You know, the the growth strategies that we’ve adopted, I think there really aren’t that many true gotcha kind of, you know, gimmicky strategies that we adopt, that we employ or that we’ve seen be particularly effective. Mm hmm. I think the core of it, you know, is building just a great product. And we anticipate that when we release this product, it will you know, it will be a fantastic product. Mm hmm. And messaging it appropriately.
Bronson: Yeah, no. Makes sense. So.
Daesun: Yeah, there are things in the pipeline that I can’t quite tell you about yet, and I assure you that, you know, at least one of them, maybe. Definitely not all of them, but I anticipate that at least one of them will turn out very well.
Bronson: Yeah, we have to come back on, you know, maybe in a later episode.
Daesun: And then.
Bronson: On some new strategies. Which ones work? Well, we’ll have you guys back on. Now, we’ve talked about none of the things you’ve done so far, because essentially up to this point, what you’ve done is you created a product that has a great hook, that has converted people on the website. And we talked about some of those elements. You know, it’s a great name. You have a great hook to get them excited. You have a great video to introduce them to it. You have a great website that shows them the features and the benefits. And then you have a viral loop built under the email system itself. And then you got, you know, people finding you through other channels as well. So it’s kind of all those things. Which ones are the most important? Can you say that? Yes. This one thing or these two things, that’s the most important things and everything else. We could still have one without those.
Daesun: You know, I think that it’s probably the weight loss that has been most important out of all of these things from a growth perspective. I think that this is really sort of the core the core thing that kind of ties it all together. And it’s it’s really important having sort of like a core number also to kind of anchor yourself to what you make is what you measure. And having the waitlist sort of tells us, you know, this is how many people are interested in Robin Hood. And then it gives us a number essentially to improve. You think of over the course of a day, you know, you think of dozens, hundreds of different possible growth strategies. Let’s see what happens if we move that button or what happens if we switch from these two slides in the sign up process. Right. And then you ask yourself, you know, we have finite resources. I can only work, you know, like seven and a half hours a day and the commute is 30 minutes. You know, there’s only so much work I can do in a given day, and that’s enough to aggressively prioritize. And then having a wait list not only provides, you know, the on the surface are a benefits, but it’s also good in a really sneaky way in that and lets you know what’s important. And everything we do, we can press out. Now, does it stand a chance of impacting this important number? If yes, then let’s pursue it. If no, then let’s. Let’s think about pursuing something else.
Bronson: Yeah. I like through the focus on a metric because it’s a good internal metric for you guys. Like you said, you can measure your success, you know, week after week.
Bronson: It’s also a good metric for the user in terms of social proof because they see so many people are using it because they’re with the right crowd.
Bronson: One of the mass that is finding value. And then it’s also a good number for the gamification of getting people to share it. So kind of on three levels, it works with the social proof of the user, the gamification of the user and right internal metric for you guys. And yet it’s a simple one number that everybody’s looking at. And honestly, it’s the one number that got you guys this interview. You know, as I was, you know, e-mailing back and forth with you guys. Yeah, you know, I have to vet people and I say, okay, well, how many times do you have? And when you respond back, you know, it’s almost 300 K. I’m like, Yeah, when you want to come on. I mean, it’s like, that’s an indicator, it’s a shorthand way for me and everyone else to know that what you’re doing is working. There’s no marketing speak, there’s no cleverly disguised failure. It’s just that’s the number. It is what it is. So I like that there’s a real focus on that. Now, given everything that’s.
Daesun: A lot easier to.
Bronson: Go ahead was that.
Daesun: Makes my job a lot easier as well. Right? Instead of having to think of fanciful ways of phrasing things, I just got to put my head down and think, all right, how do I get this? You know, how do I make this work?
Bronson: Absolutely. You just put that number out and there you go. Done. That’s where we’re at now seeing kind of the growth of the company in terms of, you know, getting over all the hurdles of being to the point that you can make trades and then also having this waiting list and building it. What has surprised you about the growth process of Robinhood? Has anything occurred or happened or taking place? There really wasn’t what you expected, maybe.
Daesun: You know, positive feedback is probably one thing that I hadn’t really I hadn’t really expected. There’s not a lot of actual positive feedback yet. Robin Hood, the Robin Hood app, just as family fingers reaching out and saying is something really interesting that you guys are working on. And you know, it very validating on two fronts, but it’s very validating from an engineering perspective. And, you know, wow, there’s something that I’m working on that I’m kind of, you know, putting quite a bit of time and effort into. And it’s it’s quite rewarding. And it’s also for everybody from a growth standpoint as well because, you know, you take your mission, which is increasing at the end of the day and increasing the number of we use the app. And it’s a much more powerful thing. So the higher the more difference I’m making, that’s a much more powerful statement that the higher this number goes, the bigger the company evaluation will be for, the bigger my equity player, right? That’s like that’s inherently a much more powerful. Mm. Yeah. So that’s one thing that’s definitely surprised me the most about this whole process and a very good way to get a very good one right now.
Bronson: It’s good to be surprised by positive feedback. That’s so some entrepreneurs are surprised by negative feedback. So this situation, that’s awesome. Yeah.
Daesun: Negative feedback I think is never particularly you’ve read it. Yeah. You read any kind of threat and.
Bronson: Yeah exactly and that’s the people have to realize is, you know, enjoy the good comments that people have for you. And there’s always going to be negative because everyone is not your market. So when somebody does have negative, just get over it and move on. They’re not your market and not going after them anyway. It doesn’t matter. Now, obviously there’s some customer development where you got to take feedback sometimes in some ways, but you can’t get caught up on the negative. So but it is good that you guys are having so much positive. So now you have this huge waiting list, almost 300,000 people waiting to get in. Are you guys going to pick a day and let them all in? Are you going to stagger the release, let a few in here and then kind of up the number over time? What’s your strategy there or is there no strategy there?
Daesun: The engineering team will kill me. You know, if if I say, you know, if I were to if I were to intimidate or to imply by any way, that we were to, you know, let them all in at once. Absolutely. And that’s and yeah, there’s there’s a tradeoff between releasing the best product that you can and releasing the biggest, you know, releasing the product as many people as you can. And, you know, just technical implementation standpoint, there are, you know, having an infrastructure that can support several people is extremely different from an infrastructure that can support, you know, several orders of magnitude more people.
Daesun: And the way you scale upwards is different for each company. So that’s why we’re going to gradually let people in at a rate that allows us to say with confidence, we’re going to we’re going to release the best product that we can release. Anything else would be, you know, it will be a failure to our customers of a much higher order than rolling out the product too slowly. Yeah. At the end of the day, right. You know, one currency that we have that you can’t get back is trust, you know, and what I.
Bronson: Was going to say, you know, it goes back to, you know, the trust you’re trying to put forward on the front of the website. You know, having a stock trading app that is glitchy is a really big deal. Having a Facebook app is glitchy is not a big deal, you know, so you got to know what space you’re in and how fast you can roll things out.
Daesun: Right? Right.
Bronson: Yeah, that’s right. So kind of given everything we talked about this, the last question that I asked, everyone that I have on the show is what’s the best advice you have for any startup that’s trying to grow?
Daesun: It’s a tough question. That’s the quote. I saw the list of questions that you gave, and that’s one that.
Bronson: That’s when everybody gets hung.
Daesun: Up. Yeah. Yeah. Well, I’m not stuck on it. Yeah. It’s just the most difficult one, I would say. And I think the there’s a very it is a very nice answer one and that’s a nice, concise one too. It’s always play devil’s advocate.
Bronson: Okay. By that.
Daesun: And you know, when you’re when you’re by yourself, right? You know, when you’re thinking of a strategy to implement, you can think about how can I change the strategy, right? How can I take the logical opposite of the strategy? And what happens if I try to implement that when you’re in a meeting with people? You know, when you’re talking with people about strategy, you know, you can be like, you know, just to play devil’s advocate, what if we do the exact opposite of this? Right? And the phrase just to play devil’s advocate is a nice one because it kind of absolves you of any personal. Not right. It’s not me, you know, it’s just play devil’s advocate, right? Yeah. So it’s a very good way. It’s a very useful phrase and very defensive phrase. And it’s also a very good way to think about problems, you know, genuinely in an outside of the box manner.
Bronson: Yeah. You know, we get so stuck thinking the way we think that we just have to change gears and be like, Oh, what if we did the opposite? What if it is something totally different? What if we, you know, did not didn’t do that even though our email says we should? Because that’s one things about I’ve seen and great entrepreneurs, they’re not afraid to have bad ideas and they’re not afraid to bring up things even when you’re not supposed to or even when it’s not the thing that is known general knowledge that everyone’s agreeing with. Right. And often or they they put things out there they’re not afraid of their own thoughts, I guess is what I’m trying to say.
Daesun: And they don’t surround themselves by yes men, because 95% of the time when you play devil’s advocate, you’re throwing out a legitimately bad idea. Yeah. And it’s very hard to pick the good from the bad. And you need talent. The people around you. And I can fully attest that everybody I work with that Robin Hood is extremely, extremely talented and extremely hard working. It’s been a pleasure for all these people as well.
Bronson: You know, I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but this is a part of my own experience, is that, you know, the smarter people are and the better they are, the more bad ideas they allow to go through their mind every day. And the more bad ideas are allowed to say out loud, because it’s cycling through all those bad ideas. And if you’re honest and you have colleagues that can really help you whittle it down to the good ones, you end up in a really great place because your amount of ideas is just so great or the top of the funnel. And then as you, you know, narrow it down. So that’s been my experience anyway is great. People have tons of bad ideas and mediocre people don’t allow themselves to think very long and hard about things that aren’t aren’t already known to work.
Daesun: I think we try extremely hard to cultivate a culture, you know, by Robin Hood. It’s you know, it’s it’s interesting. And I really like the way you phrased that because, you know, having bad ideas is an extremely natural part of this process.
Bronson: Yeah. Yeah. Well, this has been a great interview. I mean, I’ve learned a lot of my pleasure by watching you guys grow. It’s been fun. So this one just thanks again for coming on growth of TV.
Daesun: Thank you. Bronson.
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