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Figma for Devs, Zoom’s COVID product strategy, and Twitter Creator Payouts

Hosts: Brian Balfour & Fareed Mosavat

Topics: Brian Raps, Figma for Dev, Zoom’s COVID product strategy, and Twitter Creator Payouts

Release Date: Sep 14, 2023

Tune in every Thursday to hear the hosts debate and dissect recent features and releases across the product and growth multiverse. No one asked for their spicy feedback, but they’re dishing it out anyway.

This week, Adam Fishman – the original Growth Daddy (as proclaimed by his Start Up Dad Podcast listeners), a Reforge mainstay, and formerly Lyft, Patreon, and Imperfect Foods — joins the fun.

Today he and our hosts are dissecting:

  1. Figma for Dev
  2. Zoom’s COVID strategy
  3. Twitter’s Creator Payouts

Figma for Dev Unlocks Unparalleled PLG

Figma for Dev has strong lessons around pricing, total addressable market (TAM), and product expansion. The experts agree it’s a brilliant move.

💰 Figma unlocked unparalleled PLG with their unconventional pricing strategy: Most tools price per seat, but Figma realizes it creates unnecessary friction. Normally, when you pay per seat, approvals are needed to add someone. Figma made it so anyone who is not editing does not incur any charges. So while most of the company uses Figma, the company pays for only a small % of those people. This has fueled their growth.

🚀 Now they’re capturing revenue from an audience already in their funnel: In every project, there are 5-15x more engineers than designers, greatly increasing the TAM.

🎯 Focus is the name of the game as Figma builds its Dev audience: Figma could have built a wide range of features for engineers, but they chose to focus on the part of engineering that is closest to design.

🤔 Fareed’s Question: Do you think Adobe's acquisition of Figma or Salesforce's acquisition of Slack will lead to a bigger payoff in 5-10 years?

🐟 Fishman believes Figma to be the bigger payoff here because Microsoft Teams is competing with Slack as a free competitor, whereas Figma has no meaningful direct competitor (free or paid).

🔑 Fareed agrees, but for a different reason. He sees Salesforce using Slack to deepen its core audience by increasing stickiness for sales/marketing, while Adobe is using Figma to break into new markets.

In other words, Figma is delivering PLG for Adobe in ways that Slack simply hasn’t for Salesforce. What do you think? 🤔💭

Zoom’s COVID Product Strategy

Zoom set the stage for a Growth Daddy Cage Match between Fishman and Balfour, with Mosavat as the referee.

Context: Zoom launched several new products: Zoom Apps, Events, and Video Engagement Center.

Round 1 🥊

  • 🐟 Fishman asks, "Is this just a spaghetti at the wall strategy? Who are they building for?"
  • 🔎 But, Balfour thinks the product velocity of the engineering team is very impressive!
  • 🔑 Mosavat errs toward Fishman in round one, pulling in a Mike Spicer (Sutter Hill Ventures) quote. Mike tweeted that the right strategy is to take a series of sequential bets, not a bunch of bets across a bunch of different things. Fareed feels like none of these are sequential bets.

Round 2 🥊

  • 🐟 Fishman zooms in on clips. It lacks all of the pizzazz and UGC magic that makes Loom successful. Put spaghetti strategy and half-baked products together, and you have a dud.
  • 🔎 Balfour is still pro-Zoom. He feels this might be the Microsoft strategy. Build 80% of the market and bundle it. Their strengths are tech and sales.That’s a winning bet.
  • 🔑 Mosavat sides with Fishman here. Microsoft has a billion people using 365 to pull that off, and by the way, is Zoom's biggest competitor with Teams. It's a bad strategy to fight Goliath with the same strategy Goliath is using. "If you don't have a navy, don't go to a sea battle."
  • 🔑 But, Fareed agrees with Balfour that Zoom is still a great business. It has the following benefits:COVID may have created some challenges, but these five core elements remain strong.
    • 📉 Low acquisition cost
    • 💻 Low R&D cost
    • 💰 Great margins
    • 💸 Profitable at IPO
    • 💰 Hadn't raised much money

Twitter Creator Payouts

Twitter's new feature aims to incentivize creators to create more content on the platform with a percentage of ad-revenue.

  • 🐟 Fishman comes out firing. The payout is dismal and creates an incentive for reply-baiting. Creators are unsure of how they are being compensated, and the execution is filled with problems. And the volume required to achieve anything meaningful is too high.
  • 🔎 Brian suggests that platforms like Patreon and Substack, and even aggregators like Twitter and YouTube, need a strategy to pay out more to creators.
  • Despite this, YouTube has figured out a way to make advertising a fuel system for other forms of payment, such as direct creator payments and merch stores.

The hosts agree, the payout isn’t much and incentivizes reply-baiting. It’s clear that platforms in general need to find ways to offer more meaningful compensation for creators.

🎵 Tune in to Unsolicited Feedback every Thursday to hear more analysis, predictions, insights, and spicy hot takes.