- Biz Brainstorms by Connor Gross
- Obituary Sites, Consumer Monopolies, $100M Newsletter Co, Richest Person in Arizona
Obituary Sites, Consumer Monopolies, $100M Newsletter Co, Richest Person in Arizona
designed to be skimmed
Welcome to Biz Brainstorms –
My name's Connor.
I go down weekly rabbit holes of business ideas & lessons. Then, you get this 200 second email.
☠️ Hidden Business In Obituaries
📦 Business Case Study
🇺🇸 Consumer Monopolies
📚 Richest Person in Arizona
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Todays Sponsor: SEO for Ecommerce
Being in the e-commerce world for nearly a decade, I can’t stressed enough how great having organic traffic is that drives sales.
And working with Austin & his team over at SEOForEcommerce.com to grow our brands has been one of our best decisions. They monitor/fix our site & help us build premium content + links to grow our sales.
💡 Obituary Content Sites
Here’s an ethically-questionable way to make money.
Obituary Content Sites.
This group of companies has been coined as Obituary Pirates.
One of the most popular ones here is Echovita. Which reportedly generated $5 million in revenue in 2020. The owner took some of that cash and reinvested it into his new site called Funera – a marketplace for funeral services.
Echovite scrape Google for death notifications and reformats them in an SEO optimized way.
They primarily profit on affiliate revenue from one of the following 3 services (Flowers, Candles, Memorial Trees):
A similar business to this is Mugshots.com
But their business model is… different. They charge customers to take their mugshots OFF their high-ranking sites.
Are there other ways you could go about this in a more ethical way?
One idea would be scraping employee promotions on LinkedIn.
The monetization could be sliced a few different ways.
• Selling leads to recruiters
• Selling newly promoted leads to sells reps (ie. this person is now the decision maker)
🔎 Business Deep Dive
I recently discovered Industry Dive during a dinner with my friend Brandon.
For the uninitiated, this $100M+ revenue company is a behemoth in the B2B newsletter space and has been profitable since 2014.
You can get a preview of all of their publications here:
Their business model is simple.
They write daily emails with a super-niche B2B category (Construction, Truck Drivers, etc.)
And they have over 14 MILLION readers.
I recently read a breakdown of the company on this newsletter by Wouter Teunissen and want to call out some crazy call-outs:
Around 60% of revenue is driven by ads. An additional 30M+ is driven by a content studio they own to product content for brands.
Their business is built around being able to charge high CPMs to advertisers because they are highly targeted towards industry professionals
While the newsletter hype train has certainly exploded over the last several years, I believe there is still a huge opportunity in these Niche B2B spaces.
I plan on building a newsletter/data project soon in the Commercial Real Estate space and documenting it throughout this newsletter. I’ll share the strategies, tips & tactics along the way.
📈 Lesson: It’s Hard To Build Monopolies In Consumer Product Companies (And Why You Should Love Competition)
An interesting thing I heard from the Operators podcast last month. (Episode Here)
It’s damn hard to build a monopoly in consumer goods.
If your brain works the same way mine does, let me quickly dispel some common thoughts:
Apple has 17.7% market share of worldwide smartphones
Whereas Google has 83.49% of the Global search market
Look at DTC companies like Away – by all metrics they are crushing growth. They’ll do $400M+ in 2024.
But the carry on market is a $10B.
The chances that Away can be every travelers luggage option on your next United Flight is slim.
But, this is a good thing. Because the competition is great for consumer companies. They increase the total pie.
Think of drink ware products like Yeti, Stanley, Simple Modern, etc.
10+ years ago, it wasn’t super common to carry around a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go.
Now with massive companies exploding in the space, they’re creating demand leading to families owning 5-10 reusable to-go water bottles in their home.
And that is perfectly illustrated by Stanleys explosion in sales growth to becoming a $750M+/year brand 🤯 :
🇺🇸 Richest Person By State: Arizona
I love studying the richest people by state (see Alaska here)
Well, Ernest Garcia II (estimated $7.1B Net Worth) is certainly someone worth studying.
3 facts on Garcia:
1) Dropped out of the University of Arizona to be a stock broker and shifted into real estate development
2) He built DriveTime Automotive – the 4th largest used car dealership in the US. He bought the business for $1M in the early 90’s under the name Ugly Duckling and turned it into a monster company, with $600M+ in peak revenues.
3) His REAL wealth came from being the large shareholder in Carvana which was built by his son Ernest Garcia III – his equity today is in the billions.
✌️ See you next week
PS – What’s the coolest way you’ve heard of someone making money?