Table of Contents
- Tell us about your product and what inspired you to start it?
- How long did it take you to acquire your first 50 customers, and what was your growth strategy?
- Which technology stack are you using and what challenges and limitations does it pose?
- What are some of the most essential tools that you use for your business?
- What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
- Your recommended books/podcasts/newsletters etc.:
- What other products are you working on?
Amrit Rupasinghe is the founder of Wall St. Rank - a web app for helping retail investors access smart money signals from Wall Street.
I noticed a lot of first time investors participating in the stock market during the pandemic. A lot of them were Gen Z or a little older, and didn't come with any financial background. They wanted to actively participate in the market, but they didn't understand fundamental analysis. Due to this, they would go on Tik Tok, YouTube and Reddit to seek 'experts.'
Sadly that gave rise to a genre of pseudo financial advisors catering to this demand, who were basically hyping up dangerous investments.
Search results for 'what stock to buy today' skyrocketed. It was clear that this breed of investor was looking for signals from experts to navigate the complexity of the market. They just wanted some expert-vetted investment ideas.
I knew there was expert advice that was circulated, but it was difficult for a retail investor to aggregate manually. It started with a simple question, what if we could see a list of the highest rated stocks by Wall St analysts, daily. It would be the ultimate top of funnel research tool - expert analyst vetted stock ideas from reputed research houses. That's exactly what we built, and called it Wall St. Rank (and the .com domain only costed $11.99!).
It was initially a totally free product to use. I validated the idea by answering questions on highly engaged Facebook groups with data from the site. When I saw organic growth, and retention, I realised that it was a service that was helping people time, and giving them signal, which meant I could charge for it.
1 month.. I was connected to a Tik Tok influencer who was fascinated by the product. His post got me at least 30 customers. I followed that up with two more influencer posts and I hit the 50 customer mark.
Google brings us a few sing-ups daily, but I have put 0 effort into organic channels. Starting in July 2022 I am putting all my effort into a repeatable content engine generating significantly more impressions daily. I am keen to see how this strategy pans out.
The web app is built on React, Python, Node.JS and AWS
Outseta handles all the payment, communications and user management aspects of the projects.
Google Analytics to understand traffic
Outseta for user management, billing, customer comms, support and SaaS metrics
Stripe for payments
Slack for internal comms
Miro for workshopping ideas
Trello for prioritisation
Jira for delivery management
Canva for building in public
Feather for blog
Emojics for feedback
What have been some of the biggest insights you've gained since starting your entrepreneurial journey?
A strong mentality is the most foundational tool fo waking up on the days where things aren't going well, and pushing on. I think it's very important to have systems (coach, meditation, walks, peer-group etc) to relax, and cleanse your mindset.
Gaining fans, supporters and community around what you're doing is an underrated moat for your business. ) It ensures you build the right thing 2) It ensures that you have a tight feedback loop 3) It gives you purpose which helps you navigate the entrepreneurial rollercoaster.
Creating a compelling a story and vision has been vital for finding supporters, customers and partners.
Growing slow is probably better than growing fast in the early days. It helps you really understand the problem space, the people who face that problem, and how best you can solve it.
The Minimalist Entrepreneur by Sahil Lavingha
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore
Contagious by Jonah Berger
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg
Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Purple Cow by Seth Godin
I have a blog launching soon (moolahtv.com) - focusing on simplifying investing and personal finance. Follow me on LinkedIn or Twitter for more updates on that.