🦾 From A Podcast to $145M+ (Nathan Latka)
Ever hear business people talk about "leverage?" This is what it actually means.
This is The Level Ups. Modern business news for the future business leader (in plain-Jane English).
Today, we cover one of the best one-person businesses I’ve ever seen:
Nathan Latka and everything he’s doing.
What “leverage” really means, with examples.
How it all comes together.
Full disclosure, I worked with Nathan for nearly a year. While most of my articles include external research, much of this is from my experience working directly with him.
Let’s get into it.
You may have heard of him. He runs a podcast with over 18M downloads, has one of the best databases, wrote a bestselling book, is a prolific investor, and much more.
I don’t say this lightly: what he’s done is amazing.
But his story isn’t about his success but his process. How he leverages every part of his business for even bigger gains.
“Leverage,” if you’ve ever heard people use the word, is a business term that means “to use.” When you leverage capital, you’re using money. When you leverage technology, you’re using it. You get the idea.
“I can leverage $2M for $4M in value” means someone can use their $2M to get something worth $4M, like purchasing a property. They use the money to get a loan or something else that increases the overall value (not necessarily in cash).
Nathan leverages every part of his business in tremendous ways.
For The Love of Data
Nathan’s podcast is a series of interviews with founders of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies.
He asks his guests questions about their business. When they started, how much money they’re making, strategies they’re using, how they’ve built their team and more.
After thousands of interviews, he’s become an authority. But unlike most podcast hosts who finish the interview and post, he uses (leverages) those interviews into so much more.
What is he using? The data is the founders’ answers.
He takes all that information, puts it on one giant spreadsheet, and sells it.
To who? Investors looking for opportunities.
But the leverage doesn’t stop there.
He then publishes the same data in a magazine that includes the datasets, some of those interviews, ad placements, and nudges to purchase a subscription to the database. Investors love this stuff because that data saves them so much time.
Want Customers? Win Over People They’re Watching
His datasets work both ways.
As more investors are interested in the companies on it, companies want to be on it.
After all, founders of software companies are often looking for investors. It goes both ways.
The podcast is a great way to get in front of investors who listen to it.
The interviews are then reposted to his Youtube channel for even more exposure. (Same interview in two places).
Being featured in a magazine adds to all this. (Much of his existing content is repurposed for this magazine).
The story of how he become a founder and investor is made into a best-selling book.
He then adds incredible speaking gigs to his list. One of my favourites from a few years ago:
Think it stops there?
He also has an online community (invite-only) for amazing founders to get together, talk shop, and share insights. I was the community manager for an earlier version of this community.
He’s talked on his podcast about how he’s a Limited Partner in several funds. Makes sense. He has all the insight in his database (and probably more than just what’s posted).
All of these are opportunities to make money. But they’re all based on the single premise of a dataset.
This is how you use one asset for more opportunities.
The Next Level:
When you thought that was the end, it was just the start.
Up till now, we’ve talked about exposure. He’s a one-man media company. Revenue often came from paid placements in these media properties.
But there’s more to it now.
The next level is FounderPath, where founders of software companies go to get funding. It’s a genius move because SaaS founders already know him (he’s interviewed thousands).
Would investors be mad? Probably not.
A few months ago, he raised $145M in debt and equity to continue funding these companies. He’s deployed (given with terms) about $60M so far. The investors are most likely in on it and happy to be. This is an opportunity for them to get returns for their money to Nathan.
His system lets companies plug in their metrics and determine how much they can get on the spot. The money is often wired overnight. This is a way of using (leveraging) technology to grow exponentially.
Speaking of which, those podcast episodes and the datasets. Do you think he was manually typing every digit into the database (or having an assistant do it)? No. He used a spectrograph that listened to the audio and automatically entered the numbers.
This is where it gets even more interesting.
Haters Gonna Hate:
If you Google his name, you see a hit piece from Vox. Other entrepreneurs have had beef with him before. Some call him unethical.
I don’t know if it’s true. In my experience, he was great to work with.
But whether it’s true or not doesn’t matter.
You see, Nathan uses this hate for more media impressions, which makes him more money. If they’re going to talk smack anyway, he might as well.
This interview with Dan Martell explains it all.
He uses everything to his advantage—even the bad press.
From a podcast to a media empire, to $145M, and much more. He’ll probably be a billionaire soon.
This is real leverage.
Thanks for reading!
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See you tomorrow,