Yeah, I mostly focused on the Q1 question so didn't have time to do a proper growth analysis across 2021
Yeah, I was talking about the Q1 model when I was trying to puzzle out what your growth model was.
There isn't a way to get the expected value, just the median currently (I had a bin in my snapshot indicating a median of $25,000). I'm curious what makes the expected value more useful than the median for you?
A lot of the value of potential growth vectors of a business come in the tails. For this particular forecast it doesn't really matter because it's roughly bell-curved shape, but if I was using this as for instance decisionmaking tool to decide what actions to take, I'd really want to look at which ideas had a small chance of being very runaway successes, and how valuable that makes them compared to other options which are surefire, but don't have that chance of tail success. Choosing those ideas isn't likely to pay off on any single idea, but is likely to pay off over the course of a business's lifetime.
Thanks, this was great!
The estimates seem fair, Honestly, much better than I would expect given the limited info you had, and the assumptions you made (the biggest one that's off is that I don't have any plans to only market to EAs).
Since I know our market is much larger, I use a different forecasting methodology internally which looks at potential marketing channels and growth rates.
I didn't really understand how you were working in growth rate into your calculations in the spreadsheet, maybe just eyeballing what made sense based on the current numbers and the total addressable market?
One other question I have about your platform is that I don't see any way to get the expected value of the density function, which is honestly the number I care most about. Am I missing something obvious?
Hey, I run a business teaching people how to overcome procrastination (procrastinationplaybook.net is our not yet fully fleshed out web presence).
I ran a pilot program that made roughly $8,000 in revenue by charging 10 people for a premium interactive course. Most of these users came from a couple of webinars that my friend's hosted, a couple came from finding my website through the CFAR mailing list and webinars I hosted for my twitter friends.
The course is ending soon, and I'll spend a couple of months working on marketing and updating the course before the next launch, as well as:
1. Launching a podcast breaking down skills and models and selling short $10 lessons for each of them teaching how to acquire the skill.
2. Creating a sales funnel for my pre-course, which is a do-it-yourself planning course for creating the "perfect procrastination plan". Selling for probably $197
3. Creating the "post-graduate" continuity program after people have gone through the course, allowing people to have a community interested in growth and development, priced from $17/month for basic access to $197 with coaching.
Given those plans for launch in early 2021:
1. What will be my company's revenue in Q1 2021?
2. What will be the total revenue for this company in 2021?
I recommend Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.
Going through several startup weekends showed me what works and what doesn't when trying to de-risk new projects.
This is great! Was trying to think through some of my own projects with this framework, and I realized I think there's half of the equation missing, related to the memetic qualities of the tool.
1. How "symmetric" is the thing I'm trying to spread? How easy is it to use for a benevolent purpose compared to a malevolent one?
2. How memetic is the idea? How likely is it to spread from a benevolent actor to a malevolent one.
3. How contained is the group with which I'm sharing? Outside of the memetic factors of the idea itself, is the person or group I'm sharing with it likely to spread it, or keep it contained.
Here's Raymond Arnold on this strategy:
This is great!
I'd love to be able to provide an alternative model that can work as well, based on Saras Sarasvathy's work on Effectuation.
In the effectuation model (which came from looking at the process of expert entrepreneuers), you don't start with a project idea up front. Instead, you start with your resources, and the project evolves based on demand at any given time. I think this model is especially good for independent projects, where much of the goal is to get credibility, resources, and experience.
Instead of starting with the goal, you start with your resources: What are my skills, interests, connections, and resources? What can I do with them?
And then, instead of doing something like Murphyjitsu to check for risks , you might reach out to a few of the people who are in your network, tell them about vague ideas, and chat with them about it. They may help crystalize what the project is, and you can get them onboard to help. Now you've effectively derisked by splitting up the work of the MVP among multiple people. If you can't get anyone to commit, that may be enough validation by itself to not continue.
Then, you may launch your MVP - not to validate doing the full project, but even to figure out what the full project is. By getting feedback on your MVP, seeing what people are excited about, and not, this can help crystallize the project even further.
Once you've gotten some momentum, you can write up, rather than a project proposal, a "project summary" showing your momentum so far and using that to get things like funding and clarify to yourself what has happened. Then, you can evaluate next steps.
I happen to think that relative utility is very clustered at the tails, whereas expected value is more spread out.. This comes from intuitions from the startup world.
However, it's important to note that I also have developed a motivation system that allows me to not find this discouraging! Once I started thinking of opportunities for doing good in expected value terms, and concrete examples of my contributions in absolute rather than relative terms, neither of these facts was upsetting or discouraging.
Some relevant articles:
But if it took on average 50 000 events for one such a key introduction to happen, then we might as well give up on having events. Or find a better way to do it. Otherwise we are just wasting everyone's time.
But all the other events were impactful, just not compared to those one or two events. The goal of having all the events is to hopefully be one of the 1/50,000 that has ridiculous outsized impact - It's high expected value even if comparatively all the other events have low impact. And again, that's comparatively. Compared to say, most other events, an event on AI safety is ridiculously high impact.
It can't take more that ~50 events for every AI Safety researcher to get to know each other.
This is true, much of the networking impact of events is frontloaded.