I’m not a financial advisor; nothing I write in Superpowers for Good should be considered investment advice. You should seek appropriate counsel before making investment decisions. I own a few shares of Wefunder.
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Devin: What do you see as your superpower that is enabling all of your success?
Jonny: I think my superpower, my Slack bio, which is quasi-cultivated and has, I think, been my Slack bio since I joined Wefunder, is “relentless positive energy.”
Connecting with Jonny Price of Wefunder was fun. Wefunder is one of the leading investment crowdfunding sites by any measure and, I believe, has completed the most offerings.
Recently, Substack–the company that hosts this newsletter and the podcast distribution of the television show–completed a $5 million Regulation Crowdfunding offering on Wefunder–in a single day. Over 6,000 people invested. Let that sink in for a moment.
There are some easy answers anyone can posit for why Substack was so successful and why others are less so. It was fun for me to put the question to Jonny. Here’s his response (edited lightly):
I think the secret is building an incredible company and an incredible product that has millions of users that are just so passionate about the brand of Substack and what they stand for in the world–which is independent, decentralized journalism and good writing and promoting that.
So, they built an incredible product over many, many years and built an audience of millions of people. So, when they sent an email to that audience saying, “Hey, you can invest in Substack alongside Andreessen Horowitz and other VCs,” their writers and readers jumped at the chance to do that.
If you look at all the companies that have raised $5 million in a day on Wefunder–Mercury is another one–awesome kind of banking stack, mostly for startups and early-stage businesses. Same thing. They raised $120 million Series B in 2021 and then opened up a $5 million allocation to let their customers invest–and their customers jumped at the chance.
So, if you're a coffee shop with one location opening to a second, or if you're a restaurant or if you're an early stage consumer packaged goods company, you know, and you're doing $500 K in, annual revenue, and you have a much, much smaller audience, you're not going to be able to raise $5 million in a day, because you have a smaller audience.
In those cases, let's talk about how you're going to maximize it because you're going to need to pull out all the stops and put in a lot of effort, execute on a marketing plan and come up with a great profile page and all that good stuff.
But with these explosive $5 million in-a-day raises, you have a product, you have a company, you have a huge audience. For a very, very small number of companies, it's, yeah, push button, raise $5 million from 5,000 fans that are now even more supercharged as brand ambassadors and loyal customers for Mercury or Substack or whoever it might be.
While most crowdfunding raises won’t raise $5 million in one day, it is great to see what it takes. The rest of us will have to “put in a lot of effort and execute on a marketing plan” to make our offerings successful.
In all he does, Jonny leverages his superpower: relentless positive energy.
AI Episode Summary
Devin Thorpe interviews Jonny Price, VP of Wefunder, on the topic of investment crowdfunding.
Jonny has been with Wefunder since 2018 and has witnessed the growth of the company and the industry.
Jonny reflects on the progress made in the industry, citing the increase in the cap, new SEC regulations, and the rise of community rounds.
Although investment volume in the market has decreased, Wefunder has remained steady and continues to grow, contributing to the vision of expanding the market for crowdfunding.
Jonny acknowledges that while the potential for market growth is significant, it may not reach a thousand-fold increase, but a hundred-fold increase is achievable.
Jonny emphasizes the importance of crowdfunding for small businesses and Main Street SMEs, as they often have limited access to capital and can benefit from raising funds from their community.
Substack's success in raising $5 million in 24 hours on Wefunder is attributed to the company's large and passionate user base.
Jonny suggests that building an incredible product and company with a loyal customer base is the key to successful crowdfunding campaigns.
Jonny believes his superpower is his relentless positive energy and resilience, which has helped him overcome challenges in his career and personal life.
He suggests practicing gratitude and focusing on one's zone of genius to maintain a positive mindset and achieve success.
How to Develop Relentless Positive Energy As a Superpower
Jonny sees his relentless positive energy as something he inherited or learned at such a young age that it is now second nature. He explains how he uses it at Wefunder:
It's like all startups are a roller coaster, especially when you're doing a hard thing and disrupting an industry. So, I've been on a lot of phone calls with entrepreneurs, VCs, angel investors, entrepreneurial ecosystem builders–people like you–hundreds and hundreds of calls every month for five and a half years.
A lot of people would just get burned out by that. It's just hard–the startup grind. Right? I'm more optimistic and positive about Wefunder and the direction we're heading in the future of this industry than I've ever been. I have more energy now than I've ever had five and a half years in.
Jonny offers two tips for developing relentless positive energy.
First, he suggests a gratitude journal that could help you develop the pattern of seeing the positive.
Second, he suggests following the advice of Matt Mochrie, who recommends leaders focus on their “zone of genius,” the things they do well. What do you do best? Focus more energy and more time on doing that. You’ll be happier and add more value to your organization that way.
Following Jonny’s example and advice can strengthen your ability to exude positive energy even in challenging times. With practice, you may even make relentless positive energy a superpower that enables you to do more good in the world.
Jonny Price (he/him):
VP of Fundraising, Wefunder
About Wefunder: We help founders raise capital from their customers and community, as well as rich people.
Twitter Handle: @wefunder
Company Facebook Page: facebook.com/wefunder
Instagram Handle: @wefunder
Biographical Information: Jonny has led the fundraising team at Wefunder since he joined in 2018. Prior to Wefunder, Jonny founded the U.S. lending team at Kiva.org, where he worked for seven years. Originally from the UK, Jonny now lives in Nashville with his wife, Ali, and their three children, Felicity, Carlyle and Margot.
Twitter Handle: @jonnycprice