Napkin Math

Business breakdowns, by the numbers.

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Napkin Math

How Costco Convinces Brands to Cannibalize Themselves

An unlikely marriage where both sides win

139 Jul 15, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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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.

136 Sep 26, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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You Probably Shouldn’t Work at a Startup

It’s overrated—both financially and emotionally

134 May 20, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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Revenue: It’s Simple, Until It Isn’t

Finally, a clear explanation of bookings, billings and revenue

122 🔒 Feb 5, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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Why MasterClass Isn’t Really About Mastery

And other lessons from a 9-figure edtech startup

103 Jul 1, 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

101 Jun 3, 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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COGS: How I Bankrupted MoviePass

An Intuitive Explainer for How To Lose Money and Win Anyway

90 Apr 15, 2021 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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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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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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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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The Investment Opportunity in School Bus Operators

Many schools have closed, representing a unique opportunity to buy school bus operators. With a strong moat, now might be the right time to buy.

50 Sep 4, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Want to Become a Unicorn? Buy it, Don’t Build it

How Amazon Marketplace works, how Thrasio built a unicorn, the platform risk associated with the strategy, and regulation concerns.

46 Jul 23, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Why Software is More Profitable Than Content

Written by... a content company

44 Jun 24, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Cash Conversion Cycle: Bridging the Gap Between Profitability & Cash Flow

What is the Cash Conversion Cycle and why is it useful? In this post, we discuss the Cash Conversion Cycle formula, an example calculation, and a comparison of public retailer IPOs.

44 🔒 Nov 12, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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How Do You Compete with Free?

Notion: The Embattled Artist

44 🔒 Nov 24, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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Tech stocks’ favorite lie to investors

How the LTV/CAC ratio is manipulated to take advantage of retail investors

41 🔒 Sep 9, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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NFT Projects are just MLMs for Tech Elites

A somewhat impartial review of current NFT business models

38 Sep 30, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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The Future of Fitness: lululemon Buys Mirror

Why subscription hardware is better than hardware, the cross-selling opportunity, how Mirror could lead to a connected home, and why Mirror is a call option for Lululemon.

37 Jul 8, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Intangible Assets: The Invisible Value Driver

Book review of The End of Accounting: there are four problems with current financial statements and intangible assets are the biggest reason why.

34 Aug 5, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Nike: Direct Relationships & Digital Penetration

Nike just released their latest earnings report. We dive into their "Consumer Direct Offense" strategy, how they combined their brand marketing with technology.

31 🔒 Oct 8, 2020 by Adam Keesling

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Am I getting ripped off writing at Every?

Screenshots of my contract and the financial model I used to decide

31 🔒 Apr 22, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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Investing on Instinct

Why the best deals are done with no data at all

30 Dec 1, 2021 by Evan Armstrong

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How Live-streaming Ecommerce Works in China

In China, livestreaming has changed eCommerce. Learn about how it works, what the hosts do during the steam, and how it could impact American eCommerce.

30 Dec 8, 2020 by Adam Keesling