by Cesare Rocchi

Putting Marco's numbers in perspective

by Cesare Rocchi

Marco Arment has published the sales numbers of Overcast, the podcast application that he released six months ago.

We need more posts like this. They help a lot other entrepreneurs to explore opportunities and put things in perspective.

Before you jump to the “he made it so I can make it too” conclusion let’s put those numbers besides other facts/numbers:

  • Marco runs a very famous blog. I don’t know if Alexa is still the goto tool for measuring websites but his blog has a 45,162 global rank. Just to give you an idea this blog ranks 5,616,248.

  • Marco has 78K followers on Twitter. Some of them are fans and will probably buy whatever he builds, whether it’s high or low quality.

  • Marco runs a very famous podcast with Casey Liss and John Siracusa. Just to give you an idea, the sponsorship for an episode is $3750, which is pretty high for a podcast.

  • Marco has a reputation of building good products: from Tumblr, Instapaper and The Magazine. People trust him.

This didn’t happen overnight. It took him a long time to get to this point. As far as I remember Instapaper dates back to 2008 if not earlier.

So if you are thinking “all I need is 15 months of hard work to build a good product then I will make ~165k a year in revenue” you are wrong. The right way to read his post is:

If you have this kind of online presence AND built this kind of trust AND built a good product then you can aim for that range of revenue.

Clearly there can be exceptions. A developer/team that you have never heard of builds a great product and boom, instant success (and huge sales). That has the same probabilities of winning at Blackjack, without counting :)

The lesson I take from Marco’s post is: besides building a good product, build an audience that trusts you.