Growing a Business? Automation Tools for Starting and Scaling a Business Quickly

Speakers: Micah Lamar, Dave Erickson, Botond Seres

Dave Erickson 0:03
Can one or two people start a business from nothing? What tools can mean the difference between success or failure? On this ScreamingBox Podcast? We are going to examine what are the types of productivity and AI tools that you can use to start and grow a business. Please like our podcasts and subscribe to our channel to get notified when the next podcast is released.

Starting or running a business, are you getting overwhelmed with all the things to do? Welcome to the ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. In this podcast, Botond Seres and I, Dave Erickson, are going to explore how to solve work overload by using automation tools with our guest Micha Lamar, CEO of wall Wall is an innovative web and mobile platform that provides technical analysis tools for stock market trading, one of the best stocks and options universities on the web, and a top financial social network with live meetups hosted by professional traders. Micah and his partner founded wall in 2015. And he has put his methodical approach and experience for mentoring about stocks and options, as well as his deep knowledge about risk management, portfolio management and options behavior all into the wall platform. Well, Micah, maybe you can talk a little bit about how you decided to start a FinTech company.

Micah Lamar 1:42
Yeah, thank you for the nice introduction, Dave. You know, I was studying financial technology, and managerial finance securities analysis in college here in Santa Barbara and at the same time, I was studying entrepreneurial classes, and they really just formed a really nice merger in the two, I loved the idea of starting a company that was digital, which means it could reach a lot of people. I also love the idea of starting a company in the FinTech space, because I was always doing math study and math really loved math, love trading, love stocks, love derivatives. So it was really just a match made in heaven there

Botond Seres 2:20
Micah, in the early stages back in like 2015, what do you feel like some of the key automation tools were, that played a crucial role in setting up this business?

Micah Lamar 2:35
Yeah, so in the beginning, we're using a CRM called Ontraport, which actually is a local company. I live in Santa Barbara, California, they're also here; a pretty big software company. And their whole idea was, you know, you get an email into your system And it helps you kind of automate the workflow so that you can send them follow up emails, make sure they understand how your product works, and are educated about your product through that follow up sequence. And before that, you know, I was kind of sending these one off emails and it was a lot of work, a lot of spinning my wheels doing that. And so the very first tool that really helped was, was Ontraport in, you know, being better organized and how I was managing my, my contacts, basically.

Dave Erickson 3:16
When you started wall, what were like, some of the things that, that you felt you wanted to do. It wasn't your first company, what were, kind of, the logical things that you were thinking about how to start this business?

Micah Lamar 3:32
Yeah. So I was, I was actually came up with the idea while reading Inc Magazine, right. So everybody knows Inc, you know, the business magazine. And I remember coming up on one of the ones that came out for 30, under 30, which was highlighting 30 Kids creating awesome businesses all under 30 years old. And I was reading this, I was like, that was me, that was my age group. And I'm like, wow, these people are like, these are my people. And I read through every one of the 30 case studies. And at the same time, again, I was studying, you know, marketing, digital marketing, entrepreneurship. I was even studying like, supply chain logistics, and a lot of accounting and securities analysis, and math classes. And I was reading through these, and there's a theme that came up in all of the most successful ones. And that theme was three things. Number one, it had something to do with community, it was building community, and leveraging community. There's a lot of really bright minds out there in the world. And a lot of people when you have a niche idea or product like ours, it was around traded apple at the time, you could get a bunch of people all talking about the same thing, very passionate about the same thing, and even more so that content that is created by the community actually becomes part of the product. So I really loved the idea of building community for that reason. And you also get this really great mastermind where, you know, other people might have different or even
better ideas that I have and I wanted to create that mastermind. So number one was community. The second theme I saw was, it was digital, the best companies were digital, which allowed you to scale, you know, rather than, you know, me making something like a cool mug, you know, and having to make the mug over and over again, and then sell and ship the mug, I love the idea of doing something digital, so that I can make the product and scale it out to you know, 1000s of people. The third aspect was something that was kind of new to me in business, which was subscription based. So if somebody signed up, you know, they paid monthly for the product and that was really a nice learning for me, because it allowed us to collect a monthly revenue, and then immediately reinvest that revenue every single quarter into making the product better, rather than just selling something once. And then you know, having to resell it and resell it, finding new clients. It allowed us to be digital, scale out, build community, get people to love our community, and also a very small, being able to collect a small monthly fee, which then allowed us to continually over the years reinvest back into the product. So inside of those three things, you know, we created at the time, it was called Apple Trader for a couple of years. And then we rebranded, renamed it wall studio once we started kind of expanding outside of Apple stock. So that was kind of the initial brain store moment of me thinking like, wow, I could really do this. And it would be underside, inside kind of this paradigm of, you know, community building, digital and subscription.

Botond Seres 6:38
I mean, that's, that's kind of the direction the whole industry is headed. software industry analysts like, everything is a subscription these days, but um…

Micah Lamar 6:47
We are certainly moving in that direction. Yeah, I’ve Been, even Apple, you know, Google, every big company is moving into subscription.

Botond Seres 6:56
Oh, yes, I love to pay the subscription and my calculator is the best.

Dave Erickson 7:01
Well, venture capital and a lot of the funding mechanisms are very focused on re-occurring revenue. And the subscription model definitely provides that. But I also think that it is better for both sides, because like you said, you have a steady stream of income that allows you to reinvest it into the product, in trying to grow the business and service to customers better. Whereas one off products, if you have margin, great, but that doesn't mean you can always put it back into the product.

Micah Lamar 7:32
That's right. That's absolutely right. Yeah. And I had some big lofty ideas and goals and, you know, as you guys know, engineering is, it's expensive, you know, hiring a team of engineers is expensive and the only way I was going to be able to do that to build the products that I knew would actually help our community even better was to, you know, have a budget for it. So, yeah,

Botond Seres 7:52
One of the main things about starting new software companies is how much of a runway can investors generate and subscriptions just get around that by getting people to sign up and funding the team, it truly is a great model. I want to ask you a bit about some of the stocks that you started out with. So as you said, Apple was the first one, but I'm wondering, what are, what, were some of the subsequent expansions after Apple? I suppose there were still like a curated set of stocks.

Micah Lamar 8:30
Yeah, so in the beginning, you know, I always loved Apple and for some reason, I had this innate ability to see the natural cycles and, you know, I kind of have a little bit of an art background. And I think that art background actually helps me see patterns in things that are occurring inside of the chart pattern. So when we started, it was me publishing my ideas around Apple stock, and then that was part of the community and grew into the social network. And then a couple of years later, is actually when we introduced the software into it. So inside of the Apple ecosystem, I mean, back then you had, you know, companies that were growing on the back of Apple, like, you know, Yelp was a, is a good example. You know, having the app in the App Store for Yelp actually helped grow the Yelp company. So that was one of the companies we were looking at; it ended up not growing as big as you know, they probably wanted to, but we're definitely looking down the supply chain, looking at some of the companies that were growing on the back of the Apple ecosystem. And in the end, there's a lot of really great opportunities. But over the years, Apple and you know, you see this in the big conglomerate companies, they have a way of, of building their own features in their own apps to kind of swallow the businesses that other companies were doing, you know, you see that time and time again. And, you know, it makes sense because Apple has all the data, you know, they know what apps people are using, they know which ones are most popular, and it's very easy for them to say, Okay, well we could actually build these apps, build these services into our own ecosystem and You've seen that with, you know, Apple TV plus Apple Music, all subscription based things that, you know, other companies did really well before, before Apple did.

Botond Seres 10:09
Honestly, I think I really do have a deep hatred for most subscription services, just just just being honest. But like Apple subscriptions are, are some of the ones that I genuinely do love. Like,

Micah Lamar 10:24
Is that because you like the product you like the price? What is it about the? Well,

Botond Seres 10:29
I think it's, it's the whole thing. I mean, the price is decent, the product is great, and, I mean, naturally, Apple music isn't gonna have the same selection as like Spotify. But some of the features that they build in our grades, like recently, they came out with the karaoke function. They even added duets to the karaoke. Since (that's awesome), pretty great. And I honestly don't know if this is a thing on Spotify, but it started to just search songs by lyrics.

Micah Lamar 11:06
And I think they've done a little bit of that, because I'm a Spotify user, myself at our house. And so you could do a little bit of that, but probably not as maybe as extensive as, as Apple.

Botond Seres 11:17
I mean, they, they really went hard on making these subscriptions. actually pretty good. Like, yeah, Apple TV. I mean, they're pulling big names in Hollywood.

Dave Erickson 11:29
Well, I mean, that's part of the subscription business model, is yes, you can start with a subscription, but if you want to grow your subscription base, you're going to have to add more and more features, make it more and more immersive. And, you know, that puts a pretty high workload on the development roadmap. Obviously, part of what you're doing is trying to manage a lot of different avenues of the business. And so this might be a good time to kind of talk about that. You know, you started the business, you got it to a point where you're kind of ready to grow it and I'm sure as you know, when you start growing a business, you get really busy. So maybe you can talk a little bit about how you're growing the business, and what tools and methodologies and automation you use to help you handle, you know, all the different responsibilities you are gaining and having to focus on.

Micah Lamar 12:26
Oh, my gosh, yeah, I mean, I could go on and on about this one. You know, in the beginning, it was certainly over, overwhelming, you have so much that you're learning. And I feel like it's, it's just like this, this pattern of you try something new, try something new, try something. And in the business world, in the marketing world, you know, you know, right away when something works, you know, from, from our experience, it's like, you could try something little iterations of something, and you might get 2% better, or 5%, better, 10% better. And then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, you do something that it's like, 600% better, and you're like, where did that come from; you get this perfect message, perfect product market fit, perfect way to advertise, perfect way to deliver and they all kind of sync up and for us over the years, you know, when those things occurred, it wasn't just a 10% improvement, it was like 500%, it was so obvious that that worked really well. And over the years, some of the tools that we use to do that, you know, I'm going way back, but I mean, we're using GoToWebinar to host webinars, educate people about our product, and we'd make them fun, we'd make them educational. We had people showing up every single week for what seemed like years, and some of them, you know, we're showing up for these educational webinars, we're not even buying our product, but they're just showing up because they're so fun. And because of that consistent process of us educating our community around our tools, you know, every week, we're getting new paid subscribers. And so one of the biggest breakthroughs for us was learning the best way to educate our community in how our product works. And we do that through, you know, an email inviting them to Webinar, joining the go to Webinar, and then sending out the replay with a special offer for our product. And as soon as we kind of got that process down, and we're starting to do that, you know, a couple of times a month, we immediately started seeing growth in our, in our SaaS business, which was our software business. And then at that point, it was like we said, You know, now, how much revenue that we have coming in? How could we use that to reinvest? Do we need to hire more engineers? Do we need to build an app now? Do we need to bring in more educators to build more content? And so we're able to kind of slowly do that over, over the course of the last, you know, almost the last decade. But some of the biggest tools for us was a really good CRM, I can't speak enough about the importance of having a good CRM and using something like GoToWebinar you know, people are using Zoom Now, and as, as somebody who's starting a company, one of the very first things you should consider is spending a lot of time talking to your clients. And, you know, if you have so much activity, which is good, that you have a lot of clients, you gotta do it in a group, and you gotta do it through some kind of webinar. And, you know, as a founder, you know, you should never think that it's below you to actually be the person who goes out does that, you know, you got to wear 20 different hats, you've got to do everything yourself at the beginning, you know. I was doing customer support, you know, product, invention, product design, like, you know, everything in the beginning, when there's just a few of us. Now, our team is obviously much bigger. But some of the tools that really helped us along the way was definitely Webinar, definitely video and email, you know, I think those three things are just a rock solid combination for, for growing a small company.

Botond Seres 16:03
I couldn't agree more. Like I think the whole job description of being a founder is to put on all the hats, sometimes at the same time. And they don't want their Micah, what are some of your favorite hats to put on? Even

Micah Lamar 16:21
Oh, my gosh, yeah. So, I loved I love doing webinars, you know, I'm here during a podcast, but I love speaking, public speaking. I also from time to time will just pick up my phone and randomly call some of our new clients and surprise them. And having a 10 to 20 minute talk with a new client. And they're just blown away that the CEO is calling them like out of the blue on a Tuesday morning. And so one of my favorite things to do is to do that, learn about how people found our product, what they're using it for, what they liked about it, what they don't like about it. And you know, so those are probably my two favorite things to do, you know, from a, from a business and growth side. And then the third one is probably my absolute favorite and that's product invention, you know, sitting down with my brother, who's our CTO, and our other product people on our team, and just strategizing about inventing products that we think could help people and these meetings will start, you know, 30 minutes, but then all of a sudden, it's like four hours later and we now have a new product that we've invented in those four hours. And you know, in those moments of, I don't know whether you call it innovation, or inspiration, or mastermind, or whatever you call them. Those are my, like, if I was to look back over the last decade of running this company, those would be my favorite, my favorite single days are the days that we all get to brainstorm and invent something new.

Dave Erickson 17:46
Well, definitely, that's more fun than trying to find hacks for your CRM to make it more efficient. Yeah, CRM is definitely a hot topic and a lot of people are using different ones. There's, you know, obviously HubSpot has a big following, Zoho has a great CRM, we used Zoho for a while. And then there's obviously Salesforce and some of the larger, more expensive ones. The promise of CRM is that of automating some of these, kind of, contact workflows, getting in touch with your customers, and helping you to sell. Although a lot of them are focused on b2b businesses. I do think that b2c has a place and a CRM, maybe you can talk a little bit about that in your experience with CRM and where do you think some of the, the automation is going and CRM.

Micah Lamar 18:42
Yeah, so this is a really important topic, because staying in touch with your community is, is important and as your contact list starts to grow, correctly, segmenting your contacts is, is so important so that you have the right messaging that gets the right people so that, you know, if you have, let's say, three tiers of your software, and you also have a free tier, or a group of people who haven't bought your your software yet, it's important that you have specific messaging that's appropriate for for where they are in your journey. And so any kind of CRM that helps you do that is going to be, you know, the absolute first thing that I would consider digging into. I mentioned, I started with Ontraport and we still have our Ontraport account and they were great, you know, for setting up automation. And so what an automation for us would look like is somebody. Somebody signs up for a webinar from us, they get a thank you message, obviously, they get an invitation to the webinar, some reminders for the webinar, and then after the webinar, they would get a couple of emails with the replay of the webinar and then a special offer and then usually some kind of expiration of that special offer. And then you, you literally can see the sales ramping up as you get closer to the expiration of your, of your offer. And having a process that you can repeat over and over and over, so not having to redo it and rebuild it every time is, is instrumental because like you said, as a founder, you're doing so much. And it's important to have these automation tools that you can lean on and see like, how well is this actually working? We did find that after we got our database over 100,000 contacts, Ontraport started to not be the thing that was going to work for us to scale, let's say to a million contacts, we're certainly not there yet. But we needed something a little bit more enterprise. And so we switched to Active Campaign, partially because it was a much bigger platform, they have, you know, 160,000 customers, I think, versus Ontraport is probably 20,000 customers and so much bigger platform, clunkier and slower; Ontraport was really smooth, easy, snappy, fast, I'll have a lot of great things to say about them. Active Campaign is slower, it's clunkier, but it has better email delivery and that became so important for us, you know, if we send out an email to 100,000 people, and we're hitting spam boxes, instead of their main box, like, that's a big issue for us, you know, our messages aren't reaching people. And so, active campaigns have had a much better deliverability on that. And they're also, we have unlimited email sends. And so with our account, and this becomes important when you start to scale, you know, we're spending, I think, three or $4,000 a month sending an email through Ontraport. And now we spent $1,000 a month with unlimited email through Active Campaign. And you know, before it's like, oh, should we send this email or not, it's gonna cost us $100 to send this email, it better be a good email, you know, and he said, tend to those and all sudden, you know, it's like, $1,000, send on email, and email supposed to be the cheapest way to get to people, right? And so now it's like, okay, well, we can send as many emails as we want. And so that was important when we hit scale, to be able to have an email, a CRM that could actually deliver a lot of emails as frequently as we needed to send them without some scaling cost. And so that was really important for us. I think there's a lot of CRMs, like you mentioned, that are b2b, more enterprise. You know, Salesforce is certainly there, HubSpot might be a little bit more enterprise and as a starting ground, you really don't need that, you know, something super basic, you know, you shouldn't have to spend over $100 a month for a CRM in the beginning, if your contact list is under 10,000 people. And so you know, starting with something basic, most of the workflows and the automations, and the funnels from one CRM hopping to another, once you understand how they are built, they're mostly the same, you know, from one to another. So as long as you understand that funnel building process, in a CRM, I think you could kind of hop through different ones. But certainly one of the most important aspects I think of growing in early stage businesses, having that good CRM, getting really good at sending emails and if I was gonna say one more thing about that is, is, when you write emails, you gotta write them like you're talking to your friend at a table next to you. You know, we've sent out a lot of emails, millions, 100 million emails, probably, and the emails that have like big graphics logos that look like something that a computer made, get no response, nothing, but an email that's like, you know, Hey Dave, hope you're doing well today. You know, I want to tell you about this cool idea I had when I was walking at the beach with my kids this weekend. You know, it's like, a very conversational email, boom, through the roof, as far as response because it's personal, it's human. And I think the more that you can bring that human touch, into your business, into your marketing, into your messaging, relate to people, you know, we're all human beings here, you know, relate to people in that way, you know, it's gonna, it's gonna really, it's gonna be really helpful. And so as a starting founder, if you're listening, you know, don't be afraid to have some personality in the way that you communicate and your messaging for your company.

Dave Erickson 24:20
Well, nowadays, you can have a chat GPT and your prompt can be please write me a human sounding email.

Micah Lamar 24:28
Yeah, you know, it's, it's so crazy, how fast that's taken off for good reason. And it's gonna it's so interesting to see it's gonna be so interesting to see how this changes the landscape and already has changed the landscape. For content creators. Not only a it's

Dave Erickson 24:50
Yeah it’s a product, it's a productivity tool, right. The problem is,, is that a lot of people are looking at it as a human being or as a replacement. It really isn't. And you can kind of tell I get lots of emails all the time, you know, basically spam. And, you know, I can tell the ones where they basically did it on autopilot and they had ChatGPT write it and you know, it sounds really robotic. And you know, there's just a style to it that I could just now I could just tell right, versus one where somebody actually they might have had chat GPT do a first draft, and then they went through it and altered it, or they had chat GPT kind of make a structural outline for it, and they filled it in You can kind of tell the different variations, at least I can. My background is that of writing. And, you know, I said, I get so much emails that I can just compare them. And I say, okay, that guy didn't make any effort. He just had ChatGPT, right. Oh, these people, they actually made an effort to make their email sound like that. And, you know, so I agree that the content’s important, I think you hit on a really important aspect of CRM, which is also part of automation tools in general and that is segmenting, right? Figuring out who the different types of customers are, or the different types of people you're trying to communicate with and then using the CRM to basically send different messaging to those different segments. I think that's key. I think a lot of people don't spend enough time on that, right?

Micah Lamar 26:24
I think it's super important. And, you know, most CRMs will have some kind of group ID or tagging mechanism. And so when somebody performs an action, you should tag them and, you know, create a score for, for your different clients, you know, and hotlist. And, you know, all of that stuff's, you know, super important. The other thing that I think is important is in the world that we're coming into, for automation, and things being presented so much that way, you know, pattern disrupt is important in marketing. And so what that would look like is, you know, let's say you have, as a founder, you're writing your emails for, for, for a follow up campaign, maybe somebody's just joined your, your newsletter, something. And every, every morning at 9am, your, your newsletter goes out and has certain branding and everything like that done in a certain way. And then all of a sudden, like on a Thursday afternoon, at six o'clock, you just plug one little small email in there with no branding, no, nothing, just two sentences, like, Hey, it's Mike here, In the afternoon, thinking about the community wanted to reach out, make sure you have everything you need. Boom. And it's like you'd be blown away, when you personalize that messaging, and do a little pattern disrupt that people see it. And that's where the best communication and like interaction comes from, because people respond to those, they tell you their life story about their journey, you get to hear about what they love, what they don't love about your product. And, you know, be creative with it. Because those kinds of situations are actually the ones that you can use to extract all that really great information from your clients about what they need, and what's gonna make your product better. And they're less likely to hit reply to that email that looks like it's just sent to a million people.

Dave Erickson 28:10
Yeah, maybe the automations in some of the CRM systems can work with you to kind of provide a fluctuation. Because a lot of the automations are very much, you know, sending an email at the same time on the same day of the week, and you know, that type of stuff. But having an automation that can help you make it more varied, might be a value. I don't I don't know if any CRM companies are working on that, but that's certainly something that would have value in a CRM environment.

Micah Lamar 28:39
Yeah, most of the CRMs I've seen are kind of just a blanket, blank thing, and you have to kind of go in there and plug in all your own automations and use your own creativity for that. So, you know, maybe something like that would be, you know, good for, like, you know, How to write great email course, or, you know, something like that for on the education side. Yeah,

Dave Erickson 28:58
Some of the content platforms or AI platforms, you know, they originally started out very simple, which was, you know, tell me what you want, and I'll write it for you. But now they're starting to get a little bit more sophisticated, asking you questions about, you know, some purpose and variations and some other things. They still have a problem and that it is not a human or a consciousness, and therefore, you know, 50% of the time it reads well, and 50% of the time, they're talking about cats on the moon or something like that, right? Where they just, they get part of it, and then it just starts drifting off into why are you writing about this stuff. So, you know, the best, the best content automation that I can think of now is having they're really good at structure, they're really good at making an outline. They're good at doing research on, putting together some paragraphs that are Based on some research. But it really takes a person going through that and kind of adding a human touch to it that makes those actually good. And again, that's a, you know, a performance or production increase, makes it more productive. But I think that the human part is really where it gets lost. And like you said that that the best messaging,

Micah Lamar 30:24
1,000%, a personalized message with a human touch that tells somebody's real story is going to speak to people much better than, you know, a well constructed organized ChatGPT email. We found that it's really good for like, brainstorming and getting started an idea. But it's been very rare, I can't think of actually a single time where I've just basically hit copy and paste, you know, because there's a certain way that, that I write, like, I still actually write all of our emails for the most part. And there's a certain way that I write a certain intellectual factor to it that I like to put in there that you just, it's the AI is just not not quite there yet.

Botond Seres 31:06
I can’t help but wonder Micah, like have you ever considered developing all this? CRM stuff in house? Since you are an automation service afterall?

Micah Lamar 31:20
Yeah, you know, there's a couple stages where we got really close, where, you know, inside of our own back end, that we had to manage, you know, our, our site, and some of the services we did, you know. We, we have built certain things that helped us that the CRM did, but didn't do the way that we needed it to, so we would build them in house. And we've slowly moved away from that, because, you know, it's expensive from engineering, you know, and we never really wanted to be in the CRM business, you know. We don't want to be a CRM partially because like, this may sound funny, but like, I, this sounds like a lot of responsibility, you know. The idea of like, oh, wow, there's gonna be 1,000 or 10,000 people relying on my software to run their business and send their emails and do all this stuff. And it's the same reason why, you know, Wall Street IO platform, it's a research platform, you know, we have charting, we have back testing, we have community, we have like, everything that a stock trader investor would would need, at our platform, but we were not a broker. So you can't place your trades through us. And for the same reason that we don't want that level of compliance or responsibility to, for, you know, somebody calling us on a Friday morning saying, I've just tried to place a trade on Apple, and it's not going through, you know, we'd rather be research and so for the same reason, you know, we probably will never be in the CRM business, because it sounds like a lot of pressure.

Dave Erickson 32:52
A SaaS business is not easy to get started and to grow, right? People think, Oh, I just know, put it out there, and people will just come build it and they will come doesn't that's not how a SaaS business works. So yes, you might make a tool for yourself and have this dream of making it a separate SAS business, but then you would need to find the team to grow that and you would need the resources and funding to grow it. On the other hand, if you build a tool, internally, the cost of building that tool, you probably will not get an ROI, maybe after 20 years, right, because the services that are built as a business that are trying to have you know, 5000 customers or 100,000 customers, you know, those companies have the resources to do all the features. It may not be exactly like you want when you get it, but it'll evolve, right? Because they're all trying to get feedback from their users. For me, the biggest example of that is QuickBooks online. When I started using it, 10 years ago, it was awful. I mean, it could barely do anything, but I stuck with it. And every year they updated it, and they grew it and they invested in it. And now QuickBooks online is pretty sophisticated and can do a lot you can handle a lot of accounting with it. It's a far shadow than what it was 10 years ago. Right. But that was a lot of financial investment into it had to do to get it to that place. Right. And if you build your own internal tool, yeah, you're gonna have the same problem, you have to keep investing in it, but you only have one customer yourself. So it's usually not enough to justify the, the expense, right? Yeah,

Micah Lamar 34:34
I mean, you know, if you're paying an engineer $10,000 a month and it takes them three months to do an internal tool, you just spent 30 grand, you know, versus spending $100 a month, just paying another service to do it and having that engineer build something that makes your product better. You know, it's always a balance, but we've certainly seen over the years that investing in our product first and just paying the money for a subscription is going to be best. And the other thing I'll say to that is, you know, I think about seven or eight years ago, there's a CRM, thought of where it was like the one platform to rule them all and like the CRMs are trying to be everything, right? It's like a landing page builder, a Form Builder, an email, better than, like, a million things. And, you know, there's a, there's a few minutes where I kind of subscribe to that idea. You know, you just get the one platform and, but then I found that they didn't really do any of the things great. And so we've slowly kind of broken apart how we do our things where it's like, okay, well, this company over here is 50 bucks a month, but they do the best landing pages and they're super fast so let's use that and then use Zapier or whatever integration or API integration tools to sync everything together. And so we've had a lot better success actually using a few different services that are really great on those specific things, rather than trying to find the Holy Grail CRM that maybe doesn't do a great job at any single thing they do.

Dave Erickson 36:01
Well, since you brought up those automation tools, Zapier and, they're starting to have a pretty significant impact in running businesses as well. Can you talk a little bit about how you use those or what you think the future is for those?

Micah Lamar 36:18
I mean, I was blown away. But Zapier is a huge company. Now. I think they're like a billion dollar company, I was absolutely blown away. But then I was looking at like, how many zaps we do every month, and how much we pay for Zapier. And it's like, okay, if there's 1000s of other companies using it the way we are, you know, I can see why they're so big. So you can use it for anything from like, taking any kind of automation. A simple, simple example would be like taking an email from your CRM into your own Google spreadsheet for some reason that you needed to do that, and make it that process automated rather than having a human do it. So you know, taking it's mostly for we use it mostly for moving contexts around from one place to another and making sure that the data comes, you know, correctly. But, you know, we've used LeadPages for a long time, I think we pay like $30 a month for lead pages, and they're just really fast and easy.

Dave Erickson 37:12
Link, link pages?

Micah Lamar 37:13
We've, it's called LeadPages, LeadPages lead,

Dave Erickson 37:18
Is that an automation, like Zapier, or is it more a service?

Micah Lamar 37:25
Yeah, LeadPages is a service that lets you build a landing page really quickly. So let's say you want to host a webinar and when people need to put their email in to sign up for the webinar, Go To Webinars, Zoom, you know, these companies have basic landing pages that you could use of theirs, but they don't look great, they usually don't convert that great. And so on the front end, understanding your conversion is really important. So if you pay, let's say, $37, is what I pay for LeadPages a month. And that lets me build in two minutes a really beautiful landing page where people can, you know, understand what my webinar is about and sign up for it. And that landing page converts at 50% versus the GoToWebinar one converts it 18% and it's free, well, it's like, obviously, for 30 bucks a month. 50% is a huge improvement. And it's worth that $30, you know, to get a 300% better conversion on our, on our webinars. And so, does that help answer your question a little bit about that? Yeah. So, that LeadPages has been around for a while. But, you know, there's been a lot of other companies that have made quick landing page builder.

Dave Erickson 38:37
I mean, that's a productivity function, and they have automation probably built in to help you do the page build. And again, it's allowing a small business, instead of paying a developer a lot of money to do a landing page that, you know, in all honesty, most of the content of the landing pages in the head of the person asking for it, right? It makes it more efficient. Some see that as an issue, but others see it as productivity. And it frees up developers to do the more significant work, right?

Micah Lamar 39:12
When people are starting businesses, it's very easy for people to think okay, for, for us, we need to have all these things done before we hit launch. And, you know, we did have this really fancy website with all these pages and all these things. Well, the reality is all you really need is a single page landing page that tells people about your product and, you know, has a place for them to put their email in or to buy your product. And then from there, you just need a thank you page and then a checkout page. It's really only three or four pages. You don't need, you know, spend 100 grand on some really crazy thing, especially if you're pre revenue and it's only you or only you and a friend starting something, you know, I'm a big believer that spending a lot of money upfront unless you're really good at business and you know, you're gonna hit a home run but spending a lot of money upfront before you have revenue is just generally a bad idea. And the faster and easier you can test an idea and bring at least the idea of a product to market and see if people will buy it or pre buy it always, always going to be better. Because what if it doesn't work? And what if people don't want it, and you just spent all this money and spent all this time building all this collateral and other stuff for something that nobody really wanted, you know? You could, instead of just putting up a webpage, with a video saying, Hey, I'm making this product, you know, it's going to be done here and you could pre buy it at a discount. Well, now you can bring in revenue that actually helps you fuel and build your product. And so I'm a big believer, when you're starting is try and figure out a way to get to revenue as quickly as possible, because that's what's going to is going to do it for you, you know, to be able to have the budget to reinvest to make your product great, but also get that immediate feedback. Well, people actually pay money for this thing that I this idea that I have.

Botond Seres 40:59
Now, that's some great wisdom, you're dropping in this Micah. Especially because most people when they think about starting a business is like, Oh, 20, 10K, 100K, a million, 10 million, 100 million, billion. It's profound wisdom that, just do this as cheaply as possible. See if it works first.

Micah Lamar 41:26
Yeah, and you don't have to have pride around it, you know, just keep it really, really simple. I listen to Shark Tank, you know, with my kids and my family every once awhile, and Mark Cuban has the same kind of philosophy around, it's kind of ironic, because he invests in companies, but this idea that you need to like go to a bank and get a loan of 100 grand to start a company or go the venture capital route right off the get go and, you know, try and raise $500,000, or a million dollars to start a company is such a dangerous concept, I think, for one because you don't even know if the product is gonna work. It, it, it makes the entrepreneur lazy, when they have money from somebody else, rather than being gritty, being hustle, and go right to the gusto of like, how do we get to this product as cheap as possible to test it to see if it's gonna work. In many cases, you could do it in a month with like, a few $100 and just your time.

Botond Seres 42:24
I think you just finished as students and started a whole race of entrepreneurs.

Micah Lamar 42:28
Probably, you know, and the thing is, is, like, because I have a lot of friends who raised millions of dollars, you know. We're now venture backed, by the way after almost 10 years of bootstrapped. And raising capital and having somebody else's money that you could then use to invest in your company is so, so different than making a revenue and using your own revenue. To grow your company. It's literally like, it's night and day. And speaking from the point of like, I've done both now. It changes the mindset of the entrepreneur, as an entrepreneur, I feel like you lose that grit. When you're using somebody else's money to grow your company, or at least try things versus that organic bootstrapped, gritty thing that, like, you're, you're working 16 hours a day, and you have to make it work, because you don't have something to lean on. You know, and I think that that's where the best entrepreneurs come from, and the best innovation comes from because you're like, you gotta make it work. You have no other choice, you know. And so anyways, those are my personal philosophies around it, take it or leave it, some people might not love it. But yeah.

Botond Seres 43:43
I think those are some great thoughts, to be honest. Like, I think everybody at some level can relate to this. When it's your own revenue, your own money. Some cases, sure, you go like, yeah, just buy the newest iPhone, or whatever. But on, on like strategic investments like, like a vehicle, or a PC or a property. It's sort of a different feeling to invest your own money than to invest someone else's, because if it's someone else's money, but just like, I think this is going to be nice, I guess. Do we have the budget? Do we not? But if it’s my own money, I'm like, Yeah, I think this is a good idea with a wait a week and see if it's still a good idea in one week. I think that's the first thing people lose when they're drowning in money.

Dave Erickson 44:44
A lot of this automation and a lot of these SaaS products that are based on automation that are coming out, are all things that allow people to become entrepreneurs, without that investment, right. Ah, 20 years ago, if you wanted to start a business, yeah, you would need a lot of funds, because you'd have to pay people to do a lot of work. Whereas now instead of paying a salary to somebody, you can pay a monthly fee and although you have to do some of the work, these tools are so efficient and productive and have a lot of automation in them, that, you know, you can do a lot of different things and try to bootstrap your business. So I see a lot of these automation tools as a boon to entrepreneurs. And the entrepreneur of the future is really people who can understand how to use and apply these different tools to grow a business, right.

Micah Lamar 45:45
1,000% Yeah, I mean, if I had started my company today, it would have been a lot easier, you know, then when we started it, just simply because of all the new tools and, and systems that are available at very, very cheap, compared to even just 10 years ago.

Dave Erickson 46:01
But, what are some of the tools that you're currently using, that you haven't talked about, that you think are beneficial for, you know, you're now in a growth stage versus bootstrapping stage. Are there some automation tools that a company who's kind of survived bootstrapping, and is now kind of, you know, got revenue and profitability, and wants to grow, are there some tools that you're using that you think are valid for those companies?

Micah Lamar 46:31
Yeah, less of an automation tool, more of a productivity tool we have. Our whole team is obviously, we're using Slack, you know, to communicate, because our team is very remote around the world. And then we also use Notion, I absolutely love Notion, it's for managing product flow. And basically just everything around launching anything. And so we use Click-up for a while. And Clickup, kind of as a project management tool that helps you, you know, you start a project. And you know, it goes from that phase of like, Hasn’t started yet to in progress to done so that everybody can see where, where everything lives basically, in that in that workflow. And when we moved to notion, it was like, boom, Notion is amazing. So I would 1,000%, you know, always recommend Notion. It's one of the best productivity tools that we have as a team that we use, Notion and Slack, for communicating to an international team to understand what projects everybody's working on what the stages of those projects are. And just using it for your own note taking in, you know, your own. Keeping everything out of your brain and into into the world Notion is a really great tool for that. So maybe less of an automation but more of a productivity.

Dave Erickson 47:48
Yeah, we use Notion for doing a lot of our marketing. And it's actually getting a bunch of automation tools. They may be more oriented towards content creation, but they are bringing more automation into Notion. But yeah, I'm a big fan of Notion. And all of our developers basically communicate via slack now. So yeah.

Micah Lamar 48:10
At Notion I was reading, I can't remember what the number was, but they just raised some capital at like, like a five or $6 billion valuation, like out of nowhere. And so I'm like, Yes, that's amazing. Because I use them, that just means they're, the product is going to get better and better over time. They're hiring hundreds of engineers, probably to make the product amazing. So I'm always, I always root for the companies that I use when they raise big capital like that, because it tells me that the products is about ready to become light years better.

Dave Erickson 48:43
Well, Botond, I know you have a lot of questions about some of the stock market and stuff like that we have a kind of an expert here. Maybe now you can take a minute to ask some of your questions about more, not so much productivity tools, but just the market in general or using Wall Street IO.

Botond Seres 49:07
Well, thank you. I mean, Micah, one of the first things I asked Dave last week is why can't, why can't I invest in the New York Stock Exchange? Dave told me that I absolutely could. And I think that's something not many people talk about. How can someone such as myself being a foreign national invest in US stocks?

Micah Lamar 49:36
Yeah, I think that there's about 30-35 countries that are allowed to invest in US stocks. I don't have them on the top of my, my head, but I'm thinking that there's very likely going to be ETFs that are made potentially more international that would allow, allow you to do it. An ETF is usually a collection of stocks, in a fund or basically in a basket. Um, there are some brokers that allow for more international investing, Interactive Brokers, I believe is one of them. Schwab is one of the biggest ones here, Robin Hood is really big, but they might have some limitations on international, international investing. You know, the US has some of the best companies, you know, in the world to invest in and I know that, you know, you might have, you know, our government and our things, there might, there might be levels of parts of the United States that, you know, people don't agree with regarding corruption and fraud and the government and all this stuff. But at the same time, when you look at the landscape around the world, the United States is still a place of innovation, it's still a place that does its best from a securities exchange compliance, to make sure that these companies are regulated appropriately. And that the financials that they're putting out in their earnings statements are true. There's very, there's not since Enron in that whole thing, there's not really a lot of like, scandals around, you know, people cooking the books and stuff. So I still think the United States is a wonderful place to invest for that reason. Some of my personal favorite companies, you know, it's still Apple. I think that the VisionPro is really interesting to me. I'm not somebody who genuinely likes electronics on my body, you know, I bought an Apple Watch and I'm like, I didn't really like having it on my body all the time, I gave it to my dad, he loved it. So the VisionPro will be interesting.

Botond Seres 51:27
I used to have an Apple Watch.

Micah Lamar 51:30
There you go. Now you know you got the, the regular watch, man. I'm with you on that. So, you know, I barely even have my phone on me. Like, it's rarely in my pocket, it's like on a desk somewhere. And so the VisionPro is interesting, because it's like this giant thing on your face. At the same time, it could potentially open up an enormous ecosystem, and new revenue stream for Apple that I think could be in the hundreds of billions of dollars. And if that happens over the next five years, you know, Apple's gonna get an enormous swell, and the stock could go up a couple 100%, which is crazy to think, because it's already a two and a half trillion dollar company. So I still think the United States is a great place to invest. Apple's a wonderful place to invest from that. As a trader, whether international or in the United States, I would shed a little bit of caution on all of the, I'm gonna call furers (influencers) out there on social, there's so many people who are on social, touting, Lamborghinis, and you know, all these get rich, quick things. And I would say a lot of them are just completely fake. So please be careful out there, listening to people who are supposedly making millions that are going to teach you to make millions overnight. And so part of Wall Street IO is a backtesting platform. And so in the trading landscape, you've got 1000s of indicators, right. And these indicators are like oscillators moving averages, things that people create to help you time when to buy and sell is supposed to help you make more money. And so we actually built Wall Street IO, the software component of it, as a, as a means to create more transparency in that world. And so normally, when you're looking at a chart, you load up an indicator like a stochastics or an RSI, or moving average. And you're basically forced to eyeball it and guess whether the indicator works, which I think is a big mistake, because using math and software, you can solve that. And so we built Wall Street IO so that when you load an indicator, you immediately see if the indicator works, we give you a whole performance breakdown of batting average, risk reward, which trades it took how well it performed, how long it lasted, average game, like all this crazy breakdown so that you could quickly see, does this even work. And so you'd be surprised how many traders who have been trading for years come into Wall Street IO, and they plug in their indicators. They're like, Oh, my God, my indicator barely even works. Like I've been using this for years and no wonder I'm not really making that much money, it just doesn't work that well, there's too much noise or there's too much frequency or, you know, whatever the reason is, but in one second, boom, they could see if it works. And so we wanted to create more transparency. So for that reason, I will shed some, some, a little bit of caution out there because of all this content and all this automation in this whole social, you know, world blowing up. There's a lot of failures out there. And we built our platform as a way for you to test like, are these guys blowing smoke? Does their thing actually work? Well, in one second, you can see if their strategy works. If it doesn't work, you'll know. And so part of the reason we back test is to debunk BS strategies, and on the other side to find strategies that are actually good. And so we've tested over 60 million strategies, since we started our back tester. And I would say 90% or more of them actually don't work that well. So that's…

Botond Seres 54:57
Regarding strategies Micah, I was wondering if You'd be kind enough to evaluate my strategy. (Share it with me, let’s go) It’s super simple. I mean it is I get only stocks that pay dividends, then reinvest those dividends in the very same stocks only from well known companies like Coke, for example.

Micah Lamar 55:19
So that's wonderful and I'm glad you brought that up, because that kind of creates a very specific kind of divide in the investing and trading world right? On one hand, you have people who want to be active, they want to use indicators, they want to use strategies, they want to buy and sell more actively. If you're on that side of the world, you really need a tool like ours that allows you to back test and validate things so that you're not just spinning wheels, trading, something that maybe doesn't work. On the other side is the long term investor, which I think is a wonderful approach. And I think that most people probably should take that approach, where you buy great companies and you hold them for a long time. You buy companies that hopefully have a dividend, and you take that dividend and you reinvest it so that you collect that dividend and you buy more shares. And so when they have another dividend, you get more dividend, it creates a compounding approach. So for somebody who is a long term investor, and doesn't have the time or bandwidth to be more active, I think your approach is the exact approach that people should take picking out a couple of really good stocks and potentially an ETF, I would suggest the Qs the QQQ over the S&P 500, because technology is growing faster than, you know, the rest of the world and the Qs have been performing. I could probably pull it up. But you know, over the last 10 years, I think the spy s&p 500 has produced like 10 to 12% annual return. and the NASDAQ has produced 16%. So that 4% might not seem like a lot, but like compounded it's enormous,

Botond Seres 56:53
That’s massive compared to the norms

Micah Lamar 56:57
Yeah, and so I would, I would strongly look at like technology just because the NASDAQ and the QQQ is it's these companies are growing faster than any other company. And when you could find one that's paying a dividend.

Botond Seres 57:09
So I think the SMP 500 is pretty self explanatory five, top, 500 companies in the US, but what is the QQQ?

Micah Lamar 57:17
Yeah, so the QQQ is an ETF that has the largest tech companies, and it's weighted, right? So it's

Botond Seres 57:26
like the FANG companies or?

Micah Lamar 57:29
That's right. That's right. So you're gonna have Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, you know, Tesla, and some of these big companies that are in the Qs are going to have a really strong weighting on the Qs. And so you also see some correlation, when, you know, when Apple goes down a lot, it's going to be heavily weighted on the Qs, and the Qs will go down in correlation with that. So what I would do is, if I wanted to be a long term shareholder in the Qs, I would go into a charging application, you can use ours, if you want, we actually our baseline charts are free, by the way, it's it's free live charts, look at the Qs and set a price alert for when it drops five to 10%. And use that opportunity to nibble you know. So there's a couple approaches, you could say, I'm going to invest two or three times a year into the Q's every time it drops, 10% or more. Right? The common ideas in trading people want to buy things that are going up. But for a long term shareholder. That's not really the approach you want to do the Warren Buffett approach, you know, if things get cheap, that's when you want to buy them when everybody's freaking out, like that's a great sign that you should go buy.

Botond Seres 58:42
That's what I see all the time. Yeah, that's what everyone sells like.

Micah Lamar 58:47
Yeah, the other way is,

Botond Seres 58:49
Honestly I don't do stocks. At the moment, all I do is crypto. Every time Bitcoin goes down, I buy and my friends are like, Oh my God, we have to sell, it's going down. It's gonna burn.

Micah Lamar 59:03
Like, you're like, it looks like it's on discount.

Botond Seres 59:07
It’s on sale. I don't know, guys, but this looks like a good deal to me.

Micah Lamar 59:12
Yeah, I 1,000% agree. The other approach is if you want to be less active, you're like, Okay, I'm gonna take $300, $500, $100, whatever it is and every month, the first of the month, the last day of the month, pick a day, and just buy a stock and do that every single month for a few years. And so you're not really looking at price, it’s called averaging in and over time, you're going to kind of get this average price. And for somebody who doesn't have a good tool to time the market, that's going to be your best approach. Because if you're trying to use a tool to time the market, it's not that great of a tool, or you get emotional or you know, or you don't have a good testing, way to test it. Trying to time to market is probably more dangerous than just closing your eyes and say, I'm gonna buy on the First day of the month, every month.

Botond Seres 1:00:01
It’s uh, Warren Buffet, Buffet. Yes, he said that timing the markets will always be timing in the markets.

Micah Lamar 1:00:11
That's right. So you think about like, the the leverage of time, it's the only consistent, right, every day is gonna pass we got 24 hours a day leverage time. 1,000%?

Dave Erickson 1:00:22
Yeah, do you have tools on Wall Street IO for the long term investors who's just, I'm trying to pick stocks that give good dividends over a long period of time?

Micah Lamar 1:00:31
Yeah, so our platform is, is more geared towards the more active trader, and hoping to create some more transparency and some of the tools that they use, which are mostly indicators for timing their stocks. And so our platform is really geared towards the people who want to be more active in the market and less towards the longer term investor. Because in all fairness, like a long term investor doesn't really need a lot of tools, they just need a broker, and they just need to put money in it and buy the stock every month. Like, you know, I was saying earlier that the more long term investor tries to be active in a market without the correct tools, it's going to be more dangerous and less beneficial for them than just closing their eyes, taking the ostrich approach, sticking their head in the sand, bite every month, don't look at it for five years, right. But if you want to be more active, that's when you want to have appropriate tools that are going to help you.

Dave Erickson 1:01:23
Or you could be a dual path strategist where you invest some money in long term, get the dividends. And instead of investing the dividends back into long term, you invest the dividends into trading.

Micah Lamar 1:01:36
Yeah, absolutely, we do see a lot of people who have long term holdings, and then they are also more active on a shorter term basis, you know, a lot of people have their portfolios divided in that way.

Dave Erickson 1:01:45
So you kind of spread the risk, and you can get some of those occasional lucky strikes, where you get a bunch of profit from the sale of a good stock, or a good trade.

Botond Seres 1:01:59
And one thing that has always perplexed me is just the whole concept of hedging. How do you determine or what tools do you use to determine what is a good hedge against the circumstance?

Micah Lamar 1:02:16
Yeah, that's a wonderful question, a little bit more advanced topic of how to have trading and stuff. So hedging for anybody who's listening who may not understand hedging is like taking a counter bet to hedge against a potential loss. And so one of the best ways to do that is with options. And so put options were created for that very reason to be able to buy insurance on the stocks that you're on. So let's say you own 100 shares of Apple, it's just gone up a lot, and you're feeling nervous about it. Because you know, the $10,000, or $100,000, you put in is now worth $200,000, you're like, Wow, this is worth as much as my house like, I don't want to drop and lose it. So you could go out there and you could buy a put option, which allows you to kind of hedge your position. And the strike price that you choose basically gives you the right to sell your stock at that price, no matter how long ago. So let's say you buy Apple at $100, over the course of a couple of years or a few years, it goes to $200, you could go buy a 200 strike price put, it's going to cost you just like an insurance policy would. But now let's say if Apple drops to $150, you still own the right to sell it for $200. And so you basically locked in a certain price. And so options are a wonderful mechanism. And actually why they were created in the first place was to act as that is…

Botond Seres 1:03:32
Is it like a subscription service? Or is it a one time fee to lock in that price?

Micah Lamar 1:03:37
Yep, it's just a one time fee. So you're gonna pay a premium for that. The more expensive the stock, the more expensive the premium, the more volatile stock, the more expensive, the premium. But the goal in something like that is that you never have to use it, right? Just like when you buy car insurance, you hope you never have to use it. In the trading world. If you own a lot of stock and you buy a put to protect yourself, you know, you're hoping that you don't have to use that put and that your stock doesn't drop a bunch. But if it does, you're now protected. So best case scenario, you lose the money that you paid for the insurance of that.

Botond Seres 1:04:15
So I know this may sound like a silly question, but just roundabouts, how much would it cost to get the put option on like, as you said 200k worth of Apple stock?

Micah Lamar 1:04:30
200k worth of Apple stock. So you'd need, every put option is for 100 shares, right? So you need 20 puts to cover that 2000 stock position. And the price is going to vary depending on how long you want the insurance policy for. Right so if you have the time of yours. Yeah, so it's like you want to buy a month of insurance. You want to buy six months, it's gonna be way more expensive. You want to buy a year, it's gonna be way more expensive. If you're like, hey, earnings is coming up. I'm which it is on Thursday, and I'm worried that they're not going to have a great earnings call. I'm gonna buy a put to protect my shares. And I only need it for two weeks, it's not going to cost that much

Botond Seres 1:05:09
much. Let's say they're gonna launch a division, a couple 100, I'm afraid it's May boom. So I'm gonna spend a couple 100 bucks to insure myself.

Micah Lamar 1:05:18
Yep. And so you can get for a couple, a few $100 a put option that will protect you for a couple of weeks, when you start going farther out in time, because they go for a year or more, now you're spending 1000s of dollars on that put option.

Botond Seres 1:05:32
I mean, it's still a bargain for like, 200k, just a couple of minutes.

Micah Lamar 1:05:38
Yeah, you're spending 1%, to make sure that you don't lose 20 or 30%, or 50%. Yeah, yep. And you can start even getting a little bit more advanced on that not to geek out too much. But, you know, there's puts there's calls. And so what a lot of people will do is they'll sell a call, which is selling the right to your stock at a much higher price. And then you take in that premium, maybe a couple $1,000 that you used to sell that call. And then you use that premium to buy your put. So net net, you haven't actually spent any money and you get free protection, it caps your upside a little bit, but I have free protection. And so you're kind of using the debits and credits of those derivatives in the options world to kind of counterbalance your portfolio a little bit.

Dave Erickson 1:06:21
But you really got to focus and spend the time to understand all this and monitor it. And really, in a sense, it's a job almost or a part time job managing that.

Micah Lamar 1:06:35
It is and you know, the education is, the learning curve is steep, you know, derivatives are not simple, you know, for whatever reason, it all clicked in my brain, like my brain just understands derivative trading. And we do have courses and things like that available, if you're ever interested in in doing that, we have courses to teach you, you know, going from knowing nothing about them to being a pretty advanced derivatives options trader, if that's something you're interested in, but absolutely, if you've got a really big portfolio, learning at least the basics of options to understand how to hedge yourself is important. You know, every single year, even Apple has one or two times it drops 20% or more. It happens every year. You know, it's just part of the components of supply and demand of a stock, the market does as well. And so having a couple extra tools to help you navigate those is always a good idea.

Botond Seres 1:07:30
Micah. What's the future of Wall Street IO?

Micah Lamar 1:07:35
Yeah, so great question, I think the future of Wall Street. So for us is, I've got this vision for our back testing right? Back, this is very data intensive. For example, you want to look at one stock back tested over 10 years, you've got to take all the open high low close points over every single day for the last 10 years, you times that by the 1000 stocks in our ecosystem, you know, all of a sudden, you got 100 million couple of 100 million data points that are in our databases and options, or a magnitude of, you know, 20 on top of that. And so for me, we're currently back testing daily candles right now. And as traders, investors, there's a lot of different candles, there's five minute there's 10 minute, there's 15 minute, there's one hour, 30,30 minute, there's one week. And so our goal is to really expand that kind of testing that people can do, outside of just the daily timeframe. And so the future of Wall Street, it looks very much like a platform that allows you to backtest anything, whether that's stocks, options, futures, forex, crypto, on any timeframe, with any potential indicator, whether it's a popular indicator, or custom indicator. And so that's where we're kind of building our roadmap towards, I've just kind of spilled the beans for everybody, but we're getting closer and closer to that it's a very long process, because just the database architecture of, you know, building a database, especially for an options database that already has 2 billion data, data points. And then every day is collecting 10 million more, because you have to take today's data. It's a big process. You know, I think at one point, we're spending $5,000 a month just to store the data that we had, you know, it's crazy. And so the future of us really looks like more testing, easier testing more evaluation of great strategies, making it easier for people to find great strategies, crowdsource strategies, and kind of be that de facto platform people go to to find more transparency in charting in, you know, the financial space.

Botond Seres 1:09:36
So, Micah, thank you so much for this great discussion on the tools you use for starting and running your business. Well good listeners, that's about all the time for this episode today. But before we go, we want you to think about this important question. What

Dave Erickson 1:09:54
tools are you going to use to grow your business? For our listeners, please? You subscribe and click on the notifications to join us for our next ScreamingBox technology and business rundown podcast. Until then, try to figure out what stocks you will invest in. Thank you very much for taking this journey with us. Join us for our next exciting exploration of technology and business in the first week of every month. Please help us by subscribing, liking and following us on whichever platform you're listening to or watching us on. We hope you enjoyed this podcast and please let us know any subjects or topics you'd like us to discuss in our next podcast by leaving a message for us in the comment sections or sending us a Twitter DM. Till next month. Please stay happy and healthy.

Creators and Guests

Botond Seres
Botond Seres
ScreamingBox developer extraordinaire.
Dave Erickson
Dave Erickson
Dave Erickson has 30 years of very diverse business experience covering marketing, sales, branding, licensing, publishing, software development, contract electronics manufacturing, PR, social media, advertising, SEO, SEM, and international business. A serial entrepreneur, he has started and owned businesses in the USA and Europe, as well as doing extensive business in Asia, and even finding time to serve on the board of directors for the Association of Internet Professionals. Prior to ScreamingBox, he was a primary partner in building the Fatal1ty gaming brand and licensing program; and ran an internet marketing company he founded in 2002, whose clients include Gunthy-Ranker, Qualcomm, Goldline, and Tigertext.
Growing a Business? Automation Tools for Starting and Scaling a Business Quickly
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