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Interviews with the founder: lucas liew de algotrading101

News   2021-02-09 03:03:51

Founder Interviews: Lucas Liew of AlgoTrading101 Originally posted by Davis Baer the Find out how Lucas Liew grew his online algorithmic trading course from 0 to 30,000 students. Davis Baer : What is your background and what are you working on? Lucas Liew: Hi guys. I"m Lucas Liew, founder of AlgoTrading101 , an online course for algorithmic trading (i.e. trading using code). Essentially we teach our students how to generate, code and execute their own trading ideas. We currently have nearly 30,000 students from 160 countries. What motivated you to start your business? I was trading with a proprietary trading company when I started AlgoTrading101 as a side project. The The first version of the idea was to sell code models for trading robots. Clients can then create their own ed trading robots using these templates. Bad idea. It turns out that no one wants to pay for template-based code (especially when there ishas a lot of free floating code). We then moved on to an online course for algorithmic trading. There were (and still are) many “get-rich-quick" trading courses. Our goal was to appeal to those who weren"t looking for a quick buck, or who had tried these "get-rich-quick" programs and failed. What happened to build the initial product? We tried to validate the idea by talking to "users ", that is to say to my friends who were doing part of the financial sector. Their comments were honest but bad. My friends were really worried that I would pursue this idea. Looking back, my friends weren"t my target audience. We should have talked to those looking for a career change, or undergraduate students who see commerce as a possible career path. We went ahead with the idea anyway. The plan was to launch quickly and get feedback from the market directly. Our initial investment was $ 100; it was a Blue Snowball microphone. The launch was supposed to happen within 3 months, but self-doubt and a massive underestimation of the work required brought that down to 7 months. It would have taken much longer if we had decided to perfect the course. We launched (with great hesitation) a scrappy version of our course. We should have launched earlier. Coding and testing of a trading robot How did you attract users and grow your business? We were lucky. We decided to launch on Udemy (an educational course marketplace) instead of our own hosted site. Plus, we launched right before their Black Friday massive sale. We didn"t even know they had a Black Friday sale. By evacuating Udemy "s user base, we had sales on the first day of our launch. By the end of the first month we had over a thousand students. Thousands of coupons Free were distributed over the following months for reviews and comments. This has helped us become one of the besturs course on Udemy for algorithmic trading. What is your business model and how have you increased your income? We managed to increase our income by 10% per month for the first 24 months. We have had success with content marketing and press exposure on other platforms (such as Quora and Investopedia) and SEO . For SEO, it took us about 2 years to rank first for "Learn algorithmic trading". Sadly, revenue leveled off as we ditched SEO and content marketing efforts to research new products, which did not help growth. During these first 24 months, our pricing strategy has contributed to our growth. We regularly increased prices to find our optimal price point. For the customers who were on the fence, it tipped them over. Our prices started at $ 49 (for lifetime access) in 2015 and now it"s $ 570, but we"ve also added significant amount of pa id content to the during this period. The prices were increasing every year. We usually see double the income in the month before a price increase compared to a month before. If your product does not solve a "hair on fire " problem, you will get a lot of resistance in the last mile. Having some sort of urgency to purchase your product will help you greatly. What are your goals for the future? We joined Y Combinator"s Start Up School 4 weeks ago. With the advice of our mentor YC Igor , revenues increased by 20% week after week. It"s time to keep the momentum going! The current focus is on SEO and content marketing. After which, we will look to create more online courses and tools in nearby verticals, like machine learning for finance. What are the biggest challenges you have faced and obstacles you have faced overcoming? If you had to start over, what would you do differently? Changing my mindset has made a big difference. AlgoTrading101 started as a side project. I never considered her to be unot "real " business until several months after launch. Once we sat down and decided to focus on this business, we pushed it to grow more than we ever thought possible . Some things I would do differently: Start (much) sooner Presale my product Focus on building a mailing list of happy users Be consistent with content marketing Launch more courses in verticals close to my niche For those of you running a side project, treat it like a real startup! Did you find anything particularly useful or beneficial? Former vice president of growth at Facebook, Chamath Palihapitiya, once explained how they thought about growing on Facebook . The frame: Get users through the door Hit them with the moment "Aha "(in seconds) Deliver core product value as often as possible To stand out from other courses, our course had to deliver value as often as possible. Most other coding courses tend to be taught in series, from tons of basics, followed mundane coding exercises. Our goal was for our students to feel good about their achievements from day one. So, we have organized the course so that most of our students can coder their first robot in a day. It made them engaged, happy and motivated enough to get through the more difficult parts that would come. What advice do you recommend to entrepreneurs who are just starting out? 1) Reduce the length of your comment loop. You need a quick way to know if what you are doing is working. Put something there as soon as possible to gauge interest. Spending 7 months building an MVP with no feedback is dangerous (I was lucky). 2) Money is the best validation. No inion, free trials or media coverage. 3) If in doubt, bill now and bill more. Where can we go to find out more? To learn more about AlgoTrading101, see AlgoTrading101.com .