In MFM #166, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri dive into the fascinating world of chess.com, a massively successful website with approximately 200 million visitors. They also discuss a surprising Sudoku company that sold for over $600 million and provide an update on Sam’s angel investing ventures. The hosts then explore the concept of “Opendoor for X” ideas and delve into the topic of franchising tech companies in new geographies. From the success of chess.com to the potential of alternative sports businesses, this episode of My First Million is packed with humorous insights and intriguing ideas in the world of tech and gaming.
In a hilarious anecdote, the hosts recount their attempts to purchase various domain names, including crosswordpuzzle.com and a website similar to gmail.com. They also discuss the controversial figure of Roger Ver, owner of bitcoin.com, who has faced backlash within the bitcoin community for creating his own version of Bitcoin. With discussions on angel investing, pickleball newsletters, and the possibilities of franchising non-physical businesses, this episode is filled with witty banter and captivating insights into the world of startups and tech ventures.
MFM #166: Why a Sudoku Company Sold for $640m, “Opendoor for X” & Franchising Tech Companies
Sam Parr (@TheSamParr) and Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) discuss an easily overlooked, but massive business: chess.com! With ~200 million visitors, chess.com is booming. They talk about similar businesses and opportunities in big, overlooked games that everyone loves, like a Sudoku company that sold for over $600m. Sam gives us an update on his angel investing, before diving into “Opendoor for X” ideas. Finally, the guys scheme on the opportunities to franchise non-physical businesses in new geographies.
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Sam Parr (@TheSamParr) and Shaan Puri (@ShaanVP) discuss:
Chess.com and its Massive Success
In this episode of MFM, Sam Parr and Shaan Puri dive into the massive success of chess.com. With approximately 200 million visitors and 60 million registered users, chess.com has established itself as a leading online chess platform. The hosts discuss the potential for similar businesses in other overlooked games that have a cult following, such as Sudoku.
Sudoku Company’s $600 Million Sale
Building on the topic of overlooked games, Sam and Shaan highlight the impressive sale of a Sudoku company for over $600 million. Sudoku has become a popular puzzle game worldwide, and this sale showcases the untapped potential in the puzzle game industry. The hosts speculate on other games that could follow a similar path of success.
Sam’s Angel Investing Update
Sam provides an update on his angel investing ventures, sharing his recent experiences and highlighting the importance of effective communication and presentation when seeking investment opportunities. He emphasizes the value of well-written memos to promote and attract investors to these ventures. Sam and Shaan express their excitement for a potential collaboration between Sam and their acquaintance Joe in the world of angel investing.
“Opendoor for X” Ideas
The hosts engage in a brainstorming session focused on the concept of “Opendoor for X,” which refers to the idea of applying the successful model of Opendoor, a company that buys and sells houses, to other industries. They explore different potential applications of this concept, discussing the possibilities in various markets and industries.
Franchising Tech Companies in New Geographies
Continuing their discussion on innovative business models, Sam and Shaan delve into the idea of franchising tech companies in new geographies. While franchising is a common practice in the physical goods sector, the hosts explore the potential for applying this model to non-physical businesses. They discuss the advantages and challenges associated with expanding tech companies into new markets through franchising.
Company with 750 Installs and 15 Live Games
Sam introduces a company called Easybrain, which has achieved significant success in the mobile app market. Easybrain is a developer that specializes in creating number game apps, starting with Sudoku. With over 750 million lifetime downloads across their portfolio of apps and 50 million downloads of their Sudoku app alone, Easybrain has established itself as a major player in the mobile gaming industry.
12 Million Daily Active Users and 25 Million Overall Users
Sam reveals some impressive user statistics for Easybrain, with their website attracting approximately 10 to 20 million monthly visitors. In addition, their Sudoku app boasts 12 million daily active users and a total of 25 million overall users. These figures highlight the widespread popularity and engagement that Easybrain’s apps have garnered.
Ineffectiveness of Crossword Puzzle Websites
The hosts touch on the topic of crossword puzzle websites, specifically mentioning crosswordpuzzle.com and crossword.com. They express their disappointment in the lack of effective utilization of these websites and highlight the missed opportunities for monetization and engagement within the crossword puzzle industry.
The Challenge of Selling a Domain
Sam recounts his experience contacting the owner of a domain similar to Gmail.com, expressing his surprise at the refusal to monetize or sell the domain. He humorously reflects on the challenges of selling domains and the resistance some owners have towards profiting from their valuable online assets.
Exploring Typos of Popular Websites
The hosts float the idea of exploring the typos of popular websites as a potential business opportunity. They joke about the possibility of creating a business around redirecting users who make typos when entering website URLs. While this idea is presented lightheartedly, it highlights the potential value in exploring alternative approaches to common online activities.
Controversial Roger Ver and Bitcoin.com
The conversation turns to Roger Ver and his ownership of Bitcoin.com, which has caused controversy within the Bitcoin community. Sam and Shaan discuss Ver’s attempt to create his own fork of Bitcoin and his ownership of a website that supports an unpopular version of the cryptocurrency. They highlight the lack of centralized control and ownership in the world of Bitcoin, making legal action against Ver challenging.
Angel Investing and Improved Communication
Sam shares his insights into angel investing and the importance of improving communication and presentation when seeking investment opportunities. He emphasizes the need for well-written memos and effective storytelling to properly convey the potential of an investment. Sam’s experience in angel investing has taught him the value of strategic and persuasive communication.
Investment in Lobby.com
Sam reveals his recent investment in Lobby.com, a software company that aims to improve the efficiency of scheduling appointments for doctors and patients. Lobby.com digitizes the waiting room experience in healthcare, streamlining the process and enhancing the overall patient experience. Sam expresses his optimism for the success of Lobby.com and its potential impact on the healthcare industry.
Collaborating on Angel Investing with Joe
The hosts discuss the possibility of collaborating with Joe, their acquaintance, on angel investing. They express their interest in promoting their investments through well-crafted memos and leveraging their collective expertise to identify lucrative opportunities. Sam and Shaan are excited about the potential synergy and opportunities that can arise from collaboration in the world of angel investing.
Keith Rabois’ New Startup
Shaan mentions Keith Rabois, a renowned entrepreneur known for his work at PayPal, Square, and Founders Fund. Rabois has recently started a new startup, sparking the hosts’ curiosity and anticipation. They recognize Rabois’ track record of success and express their belief that his new venture will likely be of great interest and significance.
Overview of Open Door
The hosts provide an overview of Open Door, a publicly listed company that specializes in buying and selling houses. Open Door offers a quick and convenient alternative to traditional real estate methods, utilizing data to determine the value of homes and directly purchasing them from homeowners. Operating in multiple markets, including Arizona, Open Door has disrupted the real estate business model.
Open Door’s Success and Disruption
Sam and Shaan discuss Open Door’s success and the disruption it has caused in the real estate industry. They highlight the convenience and speed of the Open Door model, which eliminates many of the hassles associated with traditional home-selling processes. The hosts acknowledge the impact of Open Door’s data-driven approach and its potential for further growth and expansion.
Open Store: Buying Online Businesses
The hosts reveal that the founders of Open Door have launched a new company called Open Store. This new venture shares a similar concept to Open Door but focuses on buying online businesses instead of houses. Sam and Shaan contemplate the possibilities of applying the instant liquidity model to the online business market, envisioning the potential for success and disruption.
Rise of Instant Liquidity
Sam and Shaan discuss the rising popularity of instant liquidity, a concept that allows individuals to sell their assets quickly and easily. They highlight the appeal and value of this concept in various industries, such as real estate and online businesses. The hosts recognize the increasing demand for quick and hassle-free transactions, and the potential for this trend to extend into other markets.
Replication of Open Door’s Success in Different Industries
The hosts mention other companies attempting to replicate Open Door’s success in different industries, such as equities and used electronics. They discuss the potential for applying the instant liquidity model to various markets and explore the possibilities for disruption and innovation. Sam and Shaan emphasize the importance of identifying untapped opportunities and leveraging successful business models in new and exciting ways.
In conclusion, MFM #166 explores the enormous success of chess.com, the potential for overlooked games to yield massive profits, and the prospects of applying the “Opendoor for X” concept to various industries. The hosts delve into angel investing, the challenges of selling domains, and the controversial figure of Roger Ver and bitcoin.com. They also discuss the rising demand for instant liquidity and the replication of Open Door’s success in different markets. With their characteristic humorous tone, Sam and Shaan provide insightful analysis and ideas for entrepreneurial endeavors in the ever-evolving business landscape.