Napkin Math

Business breakdowns, by the numbers.

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Napkin Math

You Probably Shouldn’t Work at a Startup

It’s overrated—both financially and emotionally

178 May 20, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

Napkin Math

Substack Rhymes With Medium

Substack can't decide if it's a CMS or a media brand. Neither could Medium. Their indecision will likely lead to similar outcomes.

171 Sep 26, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Why MasterClass Isn’t Really About Mastery

And other lessons from a 9-figure edtech startup

170 Jul 1, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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How Costco Convinces Brands to Cannibalize Themselves

An unlikely marriage where both sides win

161 Jul 15, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Product-Led Growth’s Failure

How a Scrappy Utah Software Company Ignored Every Silicon Valley Heuristic and Won Anyway

153 Jun 3, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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The Addiction Economy

Addicted, Overwhelmed, Oversubscribed: How Technology Hooked the World

135 🔒 May 26, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Snapchat’s Probably Screwed

Apple's ATT Fallout Continues

132 🔒 Jul 28, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Revenue: It’s Simple, Until It Isn’t

Finally, a clear explanation of bookings, billings and revenue

125 🔒 Feb 5, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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Crypto’s Failed Promise

The problem with crypto-as-a-nation-state

115 May 12, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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The primary trends I’m investing in next year

Inflation, web3, embedded fintech, investing in people, and the newsletter winter that is coming

101 Dec 16, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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COGS: How I Bankrupted MoviePass

An Intuitive Explainer for How To Lose Money and Win Anyway

95 Apr 15, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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What You Need To Know About The Ant Financial IPO

The largest IPO in history is happening in China with Ant Financial. In this post, we discuss all the services Ant Financial provides and what to expect in the future from Ant.

94 Oct 30, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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The Inventor of the iPhone Has Some Thoughts

Build by Tony Fadell: A Review

93 Jun 2, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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How AB 5 Will Break Uber’s Business

The difference between a contractor and an employee, what Uber's existing business looks like and how AB5 will impact their financials.

90 Aug 20, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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The Empire Stripes Back

A $100B Bet on Two Brothers

87 🔒 May 5, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Should you invest in Wish? An S-1 Analysis

A look inside the S-1 of Wish. Included is the background of Wish, a look at their margins, how the universal postal union is changing their cost structure, how their CAC is rising and if they are viable long-term.

85 Dec 1, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Twitter’s Probably Screwed

The Rugged Landscape of Digital Advertising

78 🔒 Mar 30, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Selective Optimism

People who promise high returns forever are liars

73 🔒 Jun 16, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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The Quest for Monopoly

A history of stock market exchanges: from fragmentation to monopoly, monopoly to fragmentation and back again.

69 Aug 25, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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The Futility of Utility

A personal essay

69 🔒 Apr 8, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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How Chegg Grew Their Share Price 20x In Four Years

Chegg grew their stock price from under $10 to over $85. They did it by changing their business model from the ground up and investing in digital media content.

64 Sep 18, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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How Startups Can Survive the Creator Economy Winter

The Race for Revenue Share

64 May 19, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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The Meh-taverse

A Book Review

64 Aug 4, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Software is Eating the Individual

The Embedded Human

58 🔒 Jun 10, 2022 by Evan Armstrong

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Has Venture Lost Its Soul?

A Book Review of The Power Law

55 Jul 15, 2022 by Evan Armstrong