Efficiency or the hamster wheel – company reset takes a toll (and how I move back to basics)

What are the key differences between outsourcing a specific service to a professional vendor vs. Fiverr?

Before I dive in, I want to say my personal thanks to Cal, Simeon, Alexandar, Gert who were kind enough providing a TrustPilot review or a tweet recommending my educational content. With 4,377 opens of the review email, this is a great primer on giving back, endorsing quality content, building stronger connections. And if I missed yours by chance, please send it over and I’ll include in the next blast!  

If you haven’t browsed Fiverr lately, they elevated from their $5 per task pricing years ago – but still a tiny fraction of what you’d get when approaching a large brand.

In fact, I spent $960 on a task there on Monday and another $180 the day after. Not counting pennies, but offloading very specific, niche, well-defined services I know would work.

I see this augmentation with the “year of efficiency” clearly kicking in this year. We lost some recurring work in favor of blended smaller retainers vs. quarterly roadmap or ad-hoc requests. Or splitting brand budgets between 3 different departments and coordinating with separate stakeholders for each division.

Agencies, coaches, consultants I speak with broadly share the same sentiment.

  1. Average contract size has dropped in half
  2. Recurring contracts are harder to sell vs. one-off individual activities
  3. Service segmentation plays a more crucial role – the Fiverr example of specificity and A to Z walkthrough
  4. Hard adaptation to automation and AI for creatives, content, data analysis, outreach etc. Even if not used in-house, the “Why” matters.

There are some pros of optimizing contracts and refining SOPs internally. No question here.

But slashing budgets and playing to one-off fees has the elephant in the room waving in:

The race to the bottom is here.

Cutting corners, plugging in AI and boilerplates, reshuffling designs and templates, dismissing best industry practices is getting more common.

Swapping $10K/mo retainers with $3K one-offs means the “efficiency” is wasted on sales and RFP processes. SDR teams are slashed, therefore leadership teams are directly involved in these, and expensive executive time is alotted to one-offs instead of nurturing and growing teams and servicing clients continuously.

One-off contracts don’t incentivize investing in long-term relationships and building a foundation of success. Sure, recommendations or repetitive contracts can happen, but attention is spread thin, and lower contract values will affect the level of quality.

This is where abundance mindset kicks in. Infinite resources and time spark creativity, innovation, inspiration, freedom of speech. But also slow things down, incur overhead, don’t incentivize efficiency or iterating fast enough.

As going back to the basics, I grew my new business newsletter past 2,000 subscribers and covered the following two actionable playbooks:

The ultimate guide about digital businesses – launching a new business or a product from scratch, including business models, problems, LLC formation. Also suitable for second-time founders, digital transformation, or just piloting a separate product/SaaS in an agency/consulting space.

Launch ideas fast – cutting through the noise and launching new ideas, landing pages, product pilots in no time.

Also, a bonus third plug is the complete Product Bible by my friend Basilis, featuring everything around personas and journeys, product feedback and frameworks, growth loops and GTM, product-led growth, and hundreds of other high-tier topics. Definitely bookmark this one.

I’ll wrap this up with three PSAs and hope I see you next time.

  1. Once again, thanks for everyone reviewing my content and spreading the word. I’ve been producing free content for 15+ years, I’ve taught free courses for anyone from university students to foster children; I’ve published and aggregated 10,000+ hours of free content online. Between billable work or just sitting on the couch and spending a Saturday night on a new guide or a research, feedback and community support makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE.
  2. I’ll be working on my MBA book in the coming weeks. After over 900 pages of business content produced on my blog alone, let alone Forbes, Entrepreneur, interviews, guest articles, and newsletters, I can write 5+ books already. But this one is about to be a dream come true. If you want an early draft when ready, let me know.
  3. Third, we live in difficult times. After a long lonely and scary pandemic, the recession isn’t coming in better times. We’ll live through it and survive and move back to growth in 6-12 months from now, but it’s a lonely journey for many. The reason I’m spending more time on LinkedIn/X, launched a new list, and recording 15 new short videos today is the community element and building a stronger network of inspired and resilient individuals. Your network is your net worth, don’t stay silent.


✍️ Storytelling in Martech – Once upon a time… Think storytelling isn’t important in Martech? Think again. Stories help you create a connection with your audience. They help you explain complex ideas in a simple way. And, they help you stand out in a crowded market.

✍️ Growth and Diversification – Understanding the levers of scaling a business make the difference. Content sites require an SEO playbook, an assistant running the show, and leveraging additional income sources like ads, affiliate links, and guest posts.

✍️ Buying Roles and Their Troubles – Calling arbitrary stakeholders in your ICP list is a dead end. According to 6sense survey data, the average B2B buying team has just over 9 members. To compete in the market, you need to address all diverse pain points and problems. And educate continuously.

📧 Stacked Marketer – One of my go-to newsletters and a business that we’ve worked with a while ago on the DevriX front. It is loved by marketers who get hands-on with campaigns, who need to stay up-to-date with frequently changing platforms., who need to get an edge, and who need to achieve outsized results with limited resources, aka performance-focused marketers.

📧 Boldpush – А special newsletter for those interested in marketing intelligence and strategy to the most ambitious brands. Props to Julius Solaris for creating one of my top newsletter reads for GTM strategies and actionable content.

📄Promo codes on Instagram ads – After announcing it last week, Instagram ads now have the ability to incorporate promo codes within them. This move marks a continuation in Instagram’s effort to push for more sales incentives and ease of use.

📄Nvidia announces new AI chips – Nvidia on Monday announced a new generation of artificial intelligence chips and software for running AI models. The new AI graphics processors are named Blackwell and are expected to ship later this year. The announcement comes as companies and software makers still scramble to get their hands on the current generation of H100s and similar chips.

📄Fed meeting this week –  Americans are bearing the financial burden of higher costs for every type of loan, from mortgages to credit cards, after two years of interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. With the central bank meeting Wednesday, economists and consumers alike have one question on their minds: When will the central bank start cutting rates? The answer: Almost certainly not this month, and probably not at its next meeting, according to Wall Street forecasters.

Apple and Google AI deal –  Apple Inc. is in talks to build Google’s Gemini artificial intelligence engine into the iPhone, according to people familiar with the situation, setting the stage for a blockbuster agreement that would shake up the AI industry.

📄TikTok Shop’s revenue –  TikTok’s U.S. revenue reportedly was between $16 billion and $20 billion in 2023, but CEO Shou Zi Chew has said the company is in the red. Spending is heavy for moving data to servers and it’s also paying out to grow its e-commerce business and a data security project with Oracle.

📈 On the roughly one-year anniversary of the U.S. banking crisis, the money manager highlights PNC Financial Services Group. When it comes to banks, it’s all about focusing on “the best quality companies. Best credit quality, good commercial real estate portfolios and conservative financing. PNC meets that.” The same goes for U.S. Bancorp and Bank of New York, but he avoids the “lower-quality companies” owing to an uncertain risk picture. “We think if the Fed starts lowering rates and we don’t have a recession, which we’re not forecasting, these companies should do quite well,” he said.

  • S&P 500: $5,149(+0.63%)

📈 Average mortgage rates fell on all loan terms compared to a week ago, according to rate data collected by Bankrate. Rates for 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed, 5/1 ARMs and jumbo loans all declined.

  • 30-year mortgage rate: 6.88%(-0.07)
  • 15-year mortgage rate: 6.41%(-0.06)

 📈 Most economists polled by financial data company FactSet think the Fed will keep its benchmark rate steady on Wednesday, as well as at its following meeting on May 1. Consumers holding out for lower borrowing costs may have to wait until the following month for relief, with about half of economists now penciling in the Fed’s June 12 meeting for the first cut in four years, FactSet data shows. 

📰 Here are some of the most prominent headlines this week:

  • President Biden warned Israeli PM Netanyahu against Israel carrying out a planned military operation in Rafah
  • Vladimir Putin says he had agreed to swap Alexei Navalny with prisoners held in the West shortly before the Russian opposition leader died in prison
  • Supreme Court rules that members of the public, in some circumstances, can sue public officials for blocking or muting them on social media.

  • NXTLVL – raising €2M to supercharge their soft skills training platform for kids. Backed by Metavallon, Lateralus Ventures, Genesis Ventures, and angel investors.Atmos UAV – raising €800,000 to scale its land surveying drone solution.
  • Corekeesraising up to €1M to facilitate profitable investment projects with a net positive impact.
  • Curieraraising €400,000 to upgrade the courier industry in Romania by providing eco-friendly and efficient delivery solutions. 

Note: Got a round going that you want to feature – your own business or a portfolio company? Get in touch.

Now let’s have a look at the latest top Flippa offers

Vehicle & Device Mounts EcommerceThis business sells various types of mounting hardware to B2B, government, and private clients.

  • Monthly profit: $51.5K
  • Monthly page views: 133K
  • Business age: 5 years

Digital Marketing Training SiteThis business teaches specific digital marketing topics and is monetized via ads, affiliate commission, and services.

  • Monthly profit: $9.9K
  • Profit margin: 97%
  • Business age: 10 years

Email Marketing SaaS PlatformEstablished in 2012, this cloud-based SaaS platform offers various email marketing services.

  • Monthly profit: $8.2K
  • Monthly page views: 157K
  • Business age: 11 years

I’m involved with a number of initiatives – here’s what I can do to help you:

🌐 Scalable and secure WordPress? DevriX provides WordPress retainers to SMEs, publishers, eCommerce, SaaS, and more. Our plans start from $1,200/mo to $40K/mo for anything from support through engineering, CRO, performance, security, to fractional CXO services and managing the data stacks of large corps.

🚀 Want to scale and optimize your business? Growth Shuttle offers personalized advisory plans starting at $600/hr. Tap into my personal pool of business know-how and my data warehouse of industry data.

👥 Want access to my blueprints/books and a weekly Slack planning session? Join my Community and grab my Entrepreneurship book

📈 Looking to start a US company? Check out doola and their “Business in a Box” model. Suitable for both foreigners and US citizens and both for residents and non-residents.

📊 Have you tried buying and selling digital property? Have a look at Flippa’s marketplace. They offer a vast variety of online businesses for any buyer’s interests. Or if you’re ready for an exit, Flippa provides you with the necessary tools to list your business and close the deal.

💼 Looking for investment opportunities? Check out SeedBlink and use Nimity to manage it.

💡 Eager to incorporate my recommended solutions? Track my angel investments. Sharing, applying for open roles, or writing reviews helps a ton.  And anything else I try to publish on my blog and my courses here!