📶 Confluence.VC Behind the Scenes: August 2023 Update

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August has ironically been a busy month, and we’ve spent most of it cleaning up small things about our business. Hopefully you start to notice some improvements.

Here’s what we’ve been up to over the past month.

What went right:

Redesigned our community home pages. Our hosting provider (Super) has made it easier to clean up hosting pages, so we’ve taken advantage of that to match more of our style and brand. If you’re a member, check it out, and let us know what you think.

Expanded what is included in the Basic package. The free version was already a no brainer, but now it includes LP lists (family offices, fund of funds, foundations), ChatGPT prompts to use, plus a list of VC chatbots. Our goal is to continue to invest more and more into our free product so it becomes easier and easier to attract the right kinds of people while also giving us more pricing power for the premium product.

Built an affiliate program and ‘Earn’ sections for members. We’ve been lucky, and most of our members come through word of mouth. Until this point, we didn’t have a way to reward people for new members. Now we do. We used Rewardful to build this, and it integrated with our hosting provider (Memberspace). We thought this would be more difficult than it was. Happy to help anybody looking to build their own referral engine.

Changed the trial period for the premium plan. We thought about it, and we don’t want to rush people into a decision. So we decided to change the trial period from 3 days to 30 days. If members decide it’s not worth it after a month, that’s okay. Our goal is to provide as much value as possible over the first four weeks in order to justify their decision to stick around. Let us know what you think below.

Made our first guest post through the newsletter. We had Bernardt Vogel share a deep dive on ChatGPT prompts he uses to gain leverage as an investor. Below is a screenshot of the impact it had on his blo

g. If you have content you think our audience would be interested in, we’d love to talk about how to collab.

Expanded our newsletter referral system. A common theme of the month was “how can we give members and readers more for sharing our business with more people?”. We’ve added more rewards to our referral program, and we’re adding more swag after we partnered with Slingshot. Stay tuned for that.

Redesigned Commonapp.VC. Give it a look, and let us know if you like it or hate it.

What went wrong:

Premium newsletter subscriptions have not been a huge hit. We restarted our premium newsletter subscriptions last month. So far they haven’t been a huge hit. Premium subscribers get all of these newsletters with zero ads, but we’ve started packaging up more things that come along with the subscription to make it an easier sell.

It’s taking longer than expected to set up conversion events in GA4. We migrated our Google Analytics account last month. It’s taking FOREVER to get it to where we want it to be. Tracking conversions is important so we can know what campaigns are working / not working, so we need to get this sorted out soon.

August media:

Most popular:

📶 Sequoia shakes things up

Macro VC fundraising takeaways, potential trouble for platform roles, what we’ve learned starting an outbound sponsor sales process, plus nine of the best resources from the week

📶 Does “venture-backed” mean anything anymore? VC-backed businesses are failing at record rates, finding life’s “work”, plus nine of the best resources from the past week

📶 some power law math: How rare it is to find true winners, why we’re building an affiliate program, plus the eight best links from last week

📶 ChatGPT: For VCs, Angel Investing, and Research: Guest post on helpful prompts and use cases

📶 17 Lessons From Arthur Patterson (Co-Founder @ Accel): Protecting the value of your franchise, developing an up-or-out culture, the value of pain, and the role of chance in startup world

📶 14 Lessons from Asheem Chandna (Partner @ Greylock): The role of being ‘discoverable’, finding repeatable customer acquisition strategies, and the value of building curated networks of talent

📶 17 Lessons From Ann Miura-Ko (Co-Founding Partner @ Floodgate): True passion, identifying inflection points, timing adoption, and where the best ideas come from

📶 13 Lessons from Aydin Senkut (Founder & Managing Partner @ Felicis Ventures): Creating better outcomes by removing distractions, gauging referral quality, and the role of engineering serendipity as an investor

Most-clicked resources:

🎡 Creator Flywheels: How to create systems to win attention

💰 Billion Dollar Creator: Why the next era of billionaires are going to be those that master turning attention into equity value

🆓 What’s a Good Free-to-Paid Conversion Rate? Lenny Ratchisky explains with data

📜 Pmarca Archives: Marc Andreessen’s best pieces of writing from years ago

📝 Silicon Valley Career Guide: Andy Rachleff’s timeless lessons on making a career in tech

💯 First 100 Users: How some of the best startups hacked their first 100 customers

🧠 12 Pricing Psychology Tips: Things to help you sell more stuff

🏃‍♀️ Nike’s Best Ads: Nine of the best ads Nike has ever produced

💭 Venture Investing Frameworks: Chris Paik shares his frameworks for investing in technology

🧠 17 Lessons from Arthur Patterson: Wisdom, quotes, and reading from the founding partner of Accel

 How I Stay Up-To-Date on Trends: How I find signal through the noise

💬 How to Use Words to Get People to Do What You Want Them to Do: Sam Parr from The Hustle shares

📧 Daily Newsletters: shares their research report on the opportunity

🔥 The highest signal-per-word page on the internet: Useful things to think more clearly

🧲 $100M Leads: This is the best course I’ve ever taken, and I’ve consumed all the information twice

🧠 Charlie Munger wisdom: Notes from Poor Charlie’s Almanack

🔎 AI VC: Bain Capital Ventures built a chatbot to help founders with their pitch


Do you know anybody that should join the paid version of Confluence?

The ICP is somebody just starting their career in venture that needs help getting up-to-speed, quick.

If you know a few people, let us know, and we’ll get you set up with our referral program so you can start earning for sending them over.

Confluence.VC Recruiting

Helping elite VC funds build world-class investment teams

Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

If you’re currently hiring or planning to in the future, get in touch with us. We’ll send you a few names before officially getting started so you can see if it’s a good fit.

Thanks for reading this far and giving us a little bit of your attention this week.

Feel free to unsubscribe whenever this stops becoming valuable to you.

Clay and Tyler

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