Our Q1 Business Updates – The “OMTM” Edition

Just before Christmas of last year, I wrote an annual update about the various aspects of our business.

Many of you emailed me positive feedback about it. Some of you emailed me your annual updates. Amazing.

I said to myself, “you should do this every quarter!”

And so here I am.

43 days after the end of the quarter.

Better late than never.

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

If 2021 was about “getting back to the basics,” 2022 so far has been about finding areas of focus.

Let’s start with our largest business, Dynamite Jobs.

Dynamite Jobs

Dynamite Jobs Homepage

Too busy serving clients to improve our design.

Our goal was to 4x revenue in 2022.

While that will be difficult from a gross revenue perspective, it’s achievable to get there via monthly run-rate.

As of now, we’re solidly a 7-figure business. As we’ve stated on our podcast, we believe building a useful remote hiring platform has a ton of potential. Even more so than our last serious business venture, which we exited in 2015.

In the first four months of the year, our growth rate YOY has been:

  • Jan +47%
  • Feb +146%
  • March +81%
  • April +104%

Not bad!

We’re seeing that primarily through our post a job and recruiting products.

From a vanity metrics perspective, things are going up and to the right. Just like this screenshot from Similar Web:

DJ's Traffic

Add to that the stunning fact that over 90,000 candidates have created profiles on our platform.

That’s equivalent to a home game of my Clemson Tigers.

Clemson Tigers Full Stadium

Looking back at my last report in December, we were only at 40,000. That’s the equivalent of Duke’s Wallace Wade Stadium.

Duke Wallace Wade Stadium

I think we all can agree it’s an improvement.

♠ ♣ ♥ ♦

It’s not been without challenges.

For one, late last year, our business started to feel extremely “busy” for the amount of revenue we were bringing in. Lots of projects, ideas, to-dos, and meetings.

But our revenue was flat.

In early January, we made an effort to simplify our priorities.

What were we really trying to do?

Internally, we’ve called it OMTM, AKA The One Metric That Matters. It’s an idea we picked up from the writings of Jim Huffman. In our case, it’s more of a thing.

That “thing” boiled down to this: we determined that our customers wanted to be overwhelmed by the candidate options they have from us within the first few days of an engagement (we’ve got some internal numbers around what we ‘think’ this means). It wasn’t good enough just to make the hire. Our customers wanted options.

Now perhaps you’re thinking, that’s pretty simple.

And, yeah.

But we use the damn thing all the time.

If an idea comes up in a meeting, the first question we ask is: Does it contribute to the OMTM?

Thinking backward from a goal, forced us to face some challenges: embracing the launch mechanics of a new job (rather than smoothing the curve of applications), fighting spam, getting more aggressive in our outreach, and a handful of other things that worked (or didn’t) to various degrees.

If you want to hear some more specifics about how we implemented this, we discussed it here.

As a company grows, many things start to matter-ish.

It’s worth asking – always – what is the main priority? How can we keep our effort there?

It also inspired the way we think about building features.

For example, our Ready-to-Hire Candidates have been getting traction. These are candidates who our recruiters have spoken with and think have potential, but haven’t yet been placed due to a factor like timezone. Want quality options fast? Here ya go!

Video Reviews of Ready to Hire Candidates

Similarly, embracing the idea of delivering a wealth of qualified candidates inspired us to pony up and build our own internal Applicant Tracking Software (ATS). When applications go directly to a 3rd party like a Google spreadsheet, it’s hard for us to understand what our clients are experiencing and how to improve upon it.

I’m not very experienced with software design, but it’s been fun to be a part of the process and watch the team build something from nothing. We’re trying to balance ‘why-don’t-we-do-this-too’ism with a focus on simplicity and speed.

Dynamite Jobs Application Tracking System ATS

A Screenshot of the Backend of a Client’s Job

Dynamite Jobs ATS Candidate Application

Further options when you click on Candidate Profiles

Dynamite Job ATS Application Form Builder

Our Custom Application Form Builder

(If you’d like a demo of the ATS or to see pre-vetted candidates, connect with Alex)

Our growth has created other challenges too: namely, building our team (especially developers and recruiters) while building our own business skill sets.

Also: SPAM. We’re getting a lot of it. Perhaps we’re getting our internet business bonafides by encountering it in the first place.

And: our SEO sucks. I wrote the good people at Google a personal and heartfelt note asking them to, once and for all, include our little website in their index. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Although we’re growing, things feel under control. As usual, Ian and myself are financially conservative. Our primary goal is staying in business, building valuable products, and having fun in the process.

Looking ahead to the summer, it’ll be interesting to see if we can continue to find growth opportunities even if the broader hiring market cools off.

One of the best parts of running DJ is that a lot of “our ideas” come from readers like you.

If you’re curious about how DJ might work on behalf of your company, or just want to talk shop, feel free to jump on the phone with our Senior Recruiter Greg Valentine or write me an email dan at this domain.

Dynamite Circle and Related Community Events

Holy cannoli, the DC continues to grow!

We do not do a lot of marketing for the group or its events. We rely on word of mouth.

We have a lot of great photos and videos but just can’t seem to get them on our socials, SEOs, or public registration page.

It’s a unique group of entrepreneurs and I’ve been happy to get back on the road this year to see what everyone’s been up to.

Recently, we hosted an event in Playa Del Carmen, which was attended by 120 members.

Here are some photos:

DCxPDC Event - Photo Collage

One unique thing about the DC is that it’s a peer-to-peer group, as opposed to ‘expert to student’ setup that many communities cultivate. Our speaker lineup at the recent Playa Del Carmen was one of my favorites of all time (and we’ve been hosting events since 2011). Here are some talk titles from the first morning:

  • Things that Break When Your Business Gets the Growth You Always Wanted
  • Using Systems, Processes, and Transparency to Grow to Eight Figures and Beyond
  • From Player to Coach: Taking AppSumo from Seven Figures to High Eight Figures Scaling Sustainably
  • Zero to Seven Figures on Tik Tok in Just One Year
  • Breaking Through a Revenue Plateau: The Boring Basics Pt. II

 

DCBKK 2019 Event Photo Collage

Some Images from DCBKK 2019

Recently, we announced that after a 3-year hiatus, our big event in Bangkok (DCBKK) will be returning.

I kid you not, we had 150 registrations in the first week! It’s been invigorating to get the event team back together. It’s shaping up to be our largest event ever.

DCBKK Forum Post

Recent Post in our Forum

Aside from the big DCBKK event, DCers continue to meet up at smaller events and gatherings throughout the year with regularity. For example, the community’s ‘traditional’ summer Europe swing looks to be in full motion this year.

One challenge we’re facing is trying to improve our sponsorship packages. I’d like to take a stab at positioning them for larger companies that have conference sponsorship budgets. The amount of wealth and buying power at our events is immense. I’ve never quite been able to get a sales process on rails, but perhaps this is the year. If you’re experienced with this sort of thing, I’d love to hear from you.

DCers continue to impress me with the scale and quality of the businesses they create, in most cases, 100% remotely. It’s funny to reflect that what was once considered a bunch of ‘rebel entrepreneurs bucking the mainstream trends’ turned out to be the ‘smart way to build startups’ in 2022.

TropicalMBA Podcast

Aside from bringing on a new (and excellent) audio engineer, the Tropical MBA has been consistent in 2022. One thing I suspect could have an impact on the show is the growth of Dynamite Jobs.

The origin of our show was always about two working-class guys trying to figure out how to run online businesses. Every week, we’d fire up the mics and share what we were up against and what we were learning. When our business was our podcast, aside from some topics like investing, traveling, and how to run a podcast business, we basically had less to say.

I suppose we could have evolved into a self-licking ice cream cone, and built a podcast community about how to build podcast communities (I reserve the right to do this lol!). Instead, we were happy to poke around at other opportunities and run the DC as a community first, and not a business per se.

In the meantime, we built a show around interviewing entrepreneurs who were in the thick of growing their own agencies, publishing businesses, launching ecommerce brands, and scaling SaaS companies (the makeup of the DC community). Pretty, pretty cool.

Ian and I are learning a lot this year, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that has an impact on the show.

I’ve long thought that the show (and our book) would benefit from a branding overhaul, but with everything going on, it looks like that project is going to get pushed out into the future.

Personal

At the turn of the year, I mentioned I might be spending a lot of time this year learning more about crypto. Although I do read a great deal about the topic, I haven’t actually spent much time doing work there. I’m happy with my crypto portfolio and am content to let it ride for the foreseeable.

Speaking of gambling, I have been spending a good deal of time playing poker this year. A chance trip to Las Vegas with an old friend re-kindled my interest in a game that was my first reliable source of online income.

I’ve also been revenge-traveling my way through the first part of the year. Every weekend I’m on a plane. What a change from the last few years.

Finally, I’ve been spending more time on the road bike lately in anticipation of spending the summer in Spain. I need to get in shape to enjoy the hills. I used to live in Barcelona and I miss all the outdoor adventures – especially the cycling – available there.

Ian and I will spend the summer working on the business, cracking jokes, riding our bikes, and entertaining friends.

If you ride a bike and are in Barcelona, drop us a line.

That’s it for now! I appreciate you following along.

You can always email me, dan at this domain. Send me your quarterly review! I can’t always give good responses, but I will read them, and I find some inspiration in every story.

I’ll put it in the calendar to do a Q2 update, but you know how that goes.

Cheers,

Dan
Austin, TX
May 2022