First and foremost, I want to send my condolences to all parents, family members, friends, colleagues of the victims of the wars going on at the time – especially the one that spiked in Israel and Gaza over the weekend.
Our HQ is in Bulgaria, which is almost geographically between Ukraine and Israel (same time zone). Israel is ~1,500km away from here (900 miles) and Ukraine is 768km (477 miles) away. Far enough from the premise of the rockets, but close enough to follow the impact closely, welcome immigrants, and meet locals every week.
The last war in the area I recall was with Yugoslavia, adjacent with Bulgaria, in the 90s. I vividly remember military aircrafts and falcons cruising the airspace and the distant roar of action 11 miles from the border.
We should be forever grateful for being alive past the times of the first or the second world wars, or the Spanish flu of the 1918-1920. WWII reported over 50M civilian deaths and about 20M military victims, and the flu has wrecked havoc over 50M people as well (compared to under 7M reported covid deaths.) But the past 2-3 years have shifted the realms of normality – and I’m very much looking forward to a brighter future instead.
Sending prayers for peace to everyone out there, regardless of political or religious beliefs and preferences. Everyone is a brother/sister, son/daughter, father/mother, or a relative, colleague, friend to others.
As far as business goes…
This is still the longest streak of ups and downs I can remember with industries reporting massive growth vs. tanking for months and a row. The constant battle of remote work + stimulus checks during covid with S&P skyrocketing up until a serious of brutal layoffs and cutting the cord on funding.
Mix it up with crypto uncertainty facing crypto exchange shutdowns – followed by actual banks going out of business.
In the service segment, businesses report ups and down in a wave of inconsistent reports – some months being wildly successful while other tanking 6 figures in losses in the interim.
Last week was pretty hardcore on the stock market, and while I expected solid dips due to gas costs going up and uncertainty of a war, the market is actually growing slowly this week.
Shopping-wise, the highest credit card debt reported a month ago, plus the US government nearly defaulting just 10 days ago – yet Amazon’s shopping days this week report a very strong season across hundreds of stores we work with on the Rush side + several high ticket partners on the DevriX end.
As pivoting is integral to surviving, the world definitely plays the waiting game. Businesses and individuals give up, close shop, sell their practices, move to corporate, abandon entrepreneurship hopes or transition to a recovery mode for a few years. Only the strongest ones survive.
Which camp are you in?
1. If you’re still fighting, keep reading – I published a Forbes report on handling RFPs and how to navigate retainer plans for agencies, along with some tips on landing page generation.
2. If your business is up for sale or you’re consolidating and acquiring, hit Reply and let me know. I’ll put you in touch with our Flippa contacts or other angels to provide a boost if possible.
3. And if you want to enable a growth engine internally, the DevriX agile CRO solution may be a good fit (standard retainers start at $10K/mo for ICP identification, pain point research, spinning up landing pages, running traffic, finding winners, rebuilding your site and scaling forward – one of the key offers sold over the past quarter.)
Retainer Model as an RFP Alternative for Agencies – Wrote an article for Forbes again. The traditional approach of using requests for proposals (RFPs) in web development projects can be flawed due to inaccurate estimations, limited discovery time, restricted access, and other inherent flaws. As an alternative, some agencies are adopting a retainer model, which provides ongoing support and development services, acknowledging the dynamic nature of web development and allowing for continuous iteration based on user feedback and evolving market trends.
Optimize Your Landing Page for Lead Generation – The landing page of your website frequently serves as the initial point of contact between your brand and potential customers. Hence, it’s imperative to ensure it leaves a lasting impression, by designing a compelling landing page that not only captures the interest of prospective customers swiftly but also encourages swift conversions. This week I and the Young Entrepreneur Council gave some recommendations for optimization.
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.
The Average Joe – Market trends & insights that are simple, concise, and impactful. This newsletter stands out to me due to the 200,000+ audience that go through market trends and ideas together.
The Early Bird – А special 7:00AM newsletter for those in the US, who feel to be at an information disadvantage. This newsletter covers early stories, that will impact the market every day.
Morning Brew – Аn absolute classic, the Morning Brew delivers top news from a business-minded angle, and deliver it in a short, easy-to-read, actionable, and entertaining way.
Message Ads Campaigns are back – LinkedIn has reintroduced Message Ads within their Campaign Manager based on customer feedback. They have also highlighted Conversation Ads as another effective advertising format, and they will continue to explore new features and enhancements for Sponsored Messaging in the future.
Israeli Tech Workers head to war – The tech workforce of Israel moves to the front lines against Hamas. In some cases, at least 10% of Israel-based employees have already been deployed to the frontlines. This is due to Israel’s extensive reserves system.
The Misinformation of war – The recent Israel-Hamas conflict witnessed a surge in disinformation on X (formerly Twitter), with users facing difficulties in finding verified and primary sources. Changes in X’s algorithm and the absence of effective fact-checking systems have led to the proliferation of false content, including old videos and manipulated images, further exacerbating the challenge of obtaining accurate information about the conflict.
The Most Downloaded Apps – TikTok remained the most downloaded app worldwide in September, with 50 million new downloads. The top rankings saw no significant changes compared to August, with Meta’s trio (Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp) following TikTok, while Telegram maintained its position in the top 5. Overall, app downloads experienced a decrease in September compared to the previous month.
OpenAI developing AI chips – OpenAI is considering developing its own AI chips to address the shortage of chips for training AI models. The company is exploring various strategies, including acquiring a chip manufacturer or designing chips internally, with CEO Sam Altman prioritizing the acquisition of more AI chips.
With U.S. stock markets set to open in two hours, Bio-Techne Corp. (TECH) was up 7.4% in pre-market trading, and Ally Financial Inc. (ALLY) was up 5.0%. Meanwhile S&P 500 futures were up 0.34%, with futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising 0.32%. The Cboe Volatility Index futures were down 3.38%.
- S&P: 4,358 (+0.52%)
The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed-rate loan topped 7.5 percent in late September. After a stretch of record lows, rates climbed in 2022 as inflation spiked and the Federal Reserve responded aggressively. The Fed last hiked its key interest rate in July, which brought up borrowing costs on a variety of financial products, including mortgages.
- 30-year mortgage rate: 7.83% (-0.05%)
- 15-year mortgage rate: 7.04% (+0.08%)
Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael Bostic on Tuesday said the U.S. central bank need not raise borrowing costs any further, and sees no recession ahead even as the Fed’s rate hikes so far slow the economy and bring down inflation.
This week’s news are painful to cover. An old conflict has arisen again, with developments of a scale unseen in the last 50 years:
- Rep. George Santos has been hit with 23 additional federal charges, including identity theft and conspiracy to commit offenses against the U.S.
- Israel orders a “full siege” of the Gaza Strip in what officials say will cut off power, food and fuel.
- The U.S. is “actively working” to verify reports that several Americans may be among the dead in the Israel-Hamas conflict, as well as reports that there could be some U.S. hostages, Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.
If you’re more interested in networking opportunities, you can visit ISTAcon in Sofia on October 12th. In any case, let’s have a look at this week’s offers:
- Swipe– raising €1,000,000 to scale its refurbishing smartphones solution in Central-Eastern Europe.
- Unison– raising €650,000 to improve the hiring process in the medical sector.
- Tendertec – raising €225,000 to scale its plant-based snacks in a $5.8Bn market.
Note: Got a round going that you want to feature – your own business or a portfolio company? Get in touch.
- Pet Treats FBA – This thriving business sells premium pet treats to a loyal and returning customer base. It sells only 12, carefully curated SKUs, with an average rating of 4.5-star from hundreds’ reviews.
- Monthly Profit: $1.5K
- TTM Revenue: $123.7K
- Average Order Value: $34
- Gaming Website – This is a seven-year-old gaming website in English and Spanish, monetized through ads. It has a library of 15K posts and 92% organic traffic. It has a high profit margin and generated an annual revenue of $130K.
- Monthly Profit: $10.8K
- Monthly Page Views: 1.3M
- Authority Score: 51
- Trading Strategies SaaS – This six-year-old platform is a trustworthy source of valuable insights into the world of trading. It generates revenue through various channels including ads, the sale of digital products, and subscriptions. It is supported by 8.3K email subscribers.
- Monthly Profit: $4.1K
- Annual Revenue: $52.1K
- Authority Score: 35
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