Social Leverage Letter | Issue #5

Walla had us at Hello, Intangible Values, Boring Industries, and your Brain on Brand

By Pete Weishaupt Oct 3, 2021

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UPFRONT

SL Founder in Focus: Laura Munkholm of Walla

Walla is a studio management platform build for the boutique fitness industry – yogo studios, pilates studios – everything from crossfit to dance studios. And the industry is booming. The Walla software platform does client management, scheduling, billing , and a host of other things required to run a business for a studio owner. Listen to Laura take you through the start, COVID setbacks, and the massive opportunity in international markets.

You can also listen to the conversation on Spotify or Apple.

Reading

Rory Sutherland discusses the paradox business and technology needs to address - for some reason we’re happy to pay for intangible value in many domains: music, painting, fashion, etc. Yet once we mix in quantifiable things we begin to obsess over them. The magic of many things resides in the whole, not in the sum of their unremarkable parts. 

And when it comes to measuring, many don't realize ‘What gets measured gets managed.' originated as a criticism. Expressed in full it reads: ‘What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organization to do so.’

Listening

Panic with Friends: Garry Tan of Initialized Capital on Crazy Cap Tables, Crypto and Finding Balance in a World of Endless Opportunities (EP.169)

Garry is still a believer in plain old software. It’s mostly too boring to even mention, but it’s a large part of GDP. Take logistics. The world still runs on the bill of lading; a piece of paper. Look at any industry where there are file cabinets and fax machines and pieces of paper.

There are many vertical marketplaces run by the last generation of people who aren’t digital natives. They didn’t grow up with iPhones. They’re more comfortable holding a form in triplicate and using a file cabinet.

Now enter a new generation who go to lunch and post a photo of it on Instagram. They go back to their desk and email an excel spreadsheet. They don’t want to be doing that. They want smart software with structured data that makes everything better, faster, cheaper.

We’ll see a ton of businesses in obscure industries who can benefit from bridging the physical and digital economies.  A large chunk of GDP will go from paper and pencil and ‘steak dinner’ enterprise sales to digital marketplaces that have perfect pricing data that’s faster, cheaper.

“You can’t just be one of these Stanford/Harvard CS majors going out and creating something like a photo sharing app again.” Gary says. “You’ve got to actually go and find people who may have spent five to ten years in an old industry that nobody knows about.”

Pair this with people who can build software, and you’ll mint a new billion dollar company every single year.

Watching

Big Think: How Apple and Nike have branded your brain 

Coke is just soda. Tylenol is just acetaminophen. And Levi's are just jeans. Yet consumers go out of their way to select these specific brands over others. An economist would say, "How is this possible, that a rational consumer would be willing to pay more for exactly the same thing?"

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Affiliate Disclosure: Social Leverage Group, LLC ("SLG"), Social Leverage Capital Fund I, LP ("SLC"), Social Leverage Capital Fund II, LP ("SLCII"), Social Leverage Capital Fund III, LP ("SLCIII") and Social Leverage Capital Fund IV, LP ("SLCIV") are all distinct entities from Social Leverage, LLC ("SL"). Social Leverage is not a registered investment advisor. SLC, SLCII, SLCIII, SLCIV, SLG and SL have used the logo and branding of Social Leverage with the permission of Social Leverage Group, LLC.

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