Landon Howell | A blog about startup marketing



The Apple I
May 8 2020  •  0 comments

The Apple I, which debuted in 1976.

It sold 175 units.

Here’s the interview with Steve Wozniak from BYTE Magazine.



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The Nag Metric
May 4 2020  •  0 comments

I love the new metric proposed by Julie Zhuo: The Nag Metric

Also, if you are on a Marketing/Growth team or Product team I highly recommend subscribing to her newsletter The Looking Glass.



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TikTok hits 2 billion downloads, has best quarter for any app ever
May 1 2020  •  0 comments

“In Q1 2020, [TikTok] generated the most downloads for any app ever in a quarter, accumulating more than 315 million installs across the App Store and Google Play.”

TikTok’s growth over the past couple of years has been fun to watch, but Q1 2020 growth was insane. The app surpassed 2B downloads. It crossed 1.5B in the fall of 2019.

My tween niece formally introduced me to TikTok during the 2018 holidays. I was familiar with the TikTok in its previous form, Musically, but from my own experiences I simply found musically is that it was a place where tweens and teens would lip sync and dance… which wasn’t of interest to me, 30something father of two.

Fast-forward to May 2020 and TikTok’s audience has gone the way of Facebook and Instagram: the adults joined in on the fun.

[To note: “Downloads” does not a user make, but being an avid consumer (but not creator) myself I can tell you that at least anecdotally these growth numbers feels very real.]

The Top 3 countries driving growth…

#1 India
• 611M lifetime installs
• 30.3% of all TikTok accounts

#2 China
• 196M lifetime installs
• 9.7% of all TikTok accounts
• Numbers do not include third-party Android store installs

#3 United States
• 165M lifetime installs
• 8.2% of all TikTok accounts



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Interesting notes from Spotify’s Q1 2020 earnings call
Apr 30 2020  •  0 comments

I was really interested to see Spotify’s Q1 2020 earnings in a world of stay-at-home and work-from-home. Some items and metrics that stood out…

  • Searches for “chill” and “instrumental” playlists were up, as 20% of consumers reported listening to more music than usual to manage their stress.
  • Decline in usage of car and wearable (because ain’t nobody commuting at the moment)
  • 31% in both MAU and subscriptions YoY
  • 286M monthly active users (up from 271M in Q4 2019)
  • 130M subscribers
  • This is wild: More than 70% of new podcasts on Spotify were created with Anchor. Spotify acquired Anchor in Feb 2019 for ~$150M.
  • 1 out of 5 users “engaged” with a podcast… which I feel is an incredibly vague way of saying “some people probably maybe accidentally clicked on a podcast or two but we don’t really have a ‘whoops’ metric yet do this is the best marketing term we could use.”


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    Google Meet is now a great, free alternative to Zoom
    Apr 29 2020  •  0 comments


    For those reliant on Zoom as a free video conferencing tool, Google has now made Meet available for free.

  • The meeting can include up to 100 participants
  • No cut off time for meetings (Zoom’s free offering cut off is 1 hour)
  • People not explicitly added to a meeting via a calendar invite will be automatically entered into a green room when they try to join a meeting, and only be let in when approved by the host. (aka: no “Zoom Bombing”)
  • Previously, Meet was only available to enterprise and education customers. Now, anyone with an email account will be able to use the platform.



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    The Covid-19 Spend Index
    Apr 28 2020  •  0 comments

    Interesting data from Cardify on US credit spend in the wake of Covid-19.

    Covid-19 Spend Index



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    The Burn Multiple
    Apr 28 2020  •  0 comments

    Great article and a unique perspective as to how startups should think about burn, runway, and growth in the challenging months ahead.

    The Burn Multiple

    In a tough fundraising environment, it won’t just be growth but the efficiency of growth that are seen as the key indicators of startup performance. Tracking the Burn Multiple is an easy way for founders to make sure that burn isn’t getting ahead of traction. Over time, it also reveals important information about whether incremental spend is working.



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    Brian Chesky’s incredibly transparent interview
    Apr 23 2020  •  0 comments

    Brian Chesky, Airbnb Co-Founder & CEO, gave an interview with Masters of Scale who has launched the new podcast Rapid Response in the wake of COVID-19. The conversation was an incredibly transparent breakdown of what took place over the span of 3 weeks from mid-March to early-April, 2020. You can read the transcript here.

    “One of the most important things for me was to be optimistic. I had to carry this balance of being honest about how bad it was — and it was really bad — with this spirit of optimism, because as a leader what most people look to me to understand, if things were going to be okay. And if I was completely freaked out, they would be completely freaked out.”

  • The first week of March, Airbnb was preparing to go public.
  • They were also planning a major launch, scheduled for June 4. (Unclear if those two are related.)
  • Airbnb had more than $1B in reservations that guests wanted to cancel. Until the job is completed, that money is still considered the guests’.
  • 50% of Airbnb hosts depend on the service to pay their rent or mortgage.
  • Airbnb allocated $250M of its own money to hosts to cover a portion of the cancellation fees.
  • Airbnb voluntarily employees donated over $1M worth of travel coupons/credit to hosts. (Travel credits are a perk given to employees for use on the service.) Airbnb leadership added another $9M to that number, then formed a Relief Fund for “super hosts.”
  • Airbnb was able to mobilize hosts who implored Congresspeople to include hosts in the CARES Act.
  • They created Frontline Stays for essential personnel, which now has more than 100K locations. Chesky put in $2M of his own money.
  • Raised $1B from Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.
  • “The emotions you have are contagious, and if I was optimistic and said ‘We’re going to get through this,’ and said, ‘You know what, we’re going to be better because of this. In every crisis is an opportunity to make you stronger. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Everything bad that ever happened to me, I learned from.’ Well, that’s what this is going to be.”
  • Airbnb was cash flow-positive in 2016 through 2019.
  • Airbnb hosts have now earned $100 billion dollars.
  • Airbnb hosts have hosted 750 million guest arrivals.
  • Airbnb now has 4 million hosts.


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    Women are the frontline
    Apr 23 2020  •  0 comments

    While reading this article the following stats jumped out…

  • 1 in 3 jobs held by women are essential
  • Women represent 90% of nursing and nursing assistant jobs, most respiratory therapists, the majority of pharmacists and the overwhelming majority of pharmacy aides and technicians
  • 66%+ of supermarket and fast food workers are women
  • Nonwhite women are more likely to be performing essential jobs than any other group


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    Public Transportation Ridership in the Age of Coronavirus
    Apr 23 2020  •  0 comments

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<p><a href=Moovit Public Transit Index is analyzing the impact of Coronavirus on public transportation ridership, relative to the typical usage before the outbreak began.

    I was surprised by the top three, but I assume that NYC/New Jersey is seeing a smaller drop — though still a massive drop — due to the inherent dependency on public transportation compared to other markets.

    • San Francisco/San Jose: -80.7%
    • Seattle/Tacoma: -79.2%
    • Boston: -77.5%
    • NYC, New York/New Jersey: -75%
    • Miami: 74.4%
    • D.C./Baltimore: -71.8%
    • Chicago: -70.9%
    • Los Angeles: -68.9%
    • Philadelphia: -58.9%
    • Others: -68.7%



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