💻 How Figma took over design

The Hustle

The South Park creators have agreed to purchase Casa Bonita, a Colorado-based restaurant/entertainment center that was the basis of one of the show’s most popular episodes. Life truly imitates art.

Today’s rundown:

  • Figma: The design startup is worth a whopping $10B.
  • Jaxsta: Meet the LinkedIn for music.
  • Digits: Pizza is heading to space, there’s too much weed in Canada, and other wild stats from around the web.

Let’s do it.

The big idea
Figma logo

Figma: The $10B startup transforming design

What do the Joe Biden campaign, Stripe and Dropbox have in common? They use the same design software — and they’re far from the only ones.

Figma was the 3rd-fastest-growing app in 2020, according to Okta’s Businesses at Work report, and expects revenue to double this year from $75m in 2020.

In June, Figma raised $200m in a round that valued the company at $10B, per Forbes.

Figma’s story starts back to 2012…

… when founder and CEO Dylan Field dropped out of Brown after he was given $100k to start a business through the Thiel Fellowship.

Field and co-founder Evan Wallace took the scenic route, trying out a variety of ideas, including:

  • Software for drones
  • A meme generator
  • Photo-editing

The team eventually landed on a winner: a browser-based competitor to Photoshop that allows designers to collaborate in real time (think Google Docs for visuals). They launched Figma in 2016.

Building on success

In April, the Figma team launched FigJam, a collaborative whiteboard tool to help teams brainstorm early in the design process.

By offering the tool for free through the end of 2021, Figma is getting the product in front of as many users as possible, and with early feedback looking good, they may get a big bump to the bottom line when they start charging in 2022.

Now, the team has to decide how to spend its new round

The $200m will likely go toward 3 things:

  1. International expansion: 80% of users are already outside the US
  2. Acquisitions: It’s already made 2
  3. Product: The team wants to become an end-to-end solution, turning designs into finished products

The 5-year-old firm ranked No. 7 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list this year, but if they can fig-ure it out, next year they may be No. 1.

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SNIPPETS

Twitter’s new redesign is causing eyestrain for some users… so the social app is rolling out some more changes. #big-tech

Used-car platform Carvana is building a strong lending business. Loans for used vehicles made up 36% of gross profits in the last quarter. #fintech-cryptocurrency

Bugatti unveiled a $4.7m racing car… it could be the last gas-powered one the brand makes as it shifts to EVs. #emerging-tech

To fight climate change, the latest IPCC report says we need to try everything: batteries, hydrogen, carbon capture, nuclear, etc. #clean-energy

The rise of illicit products: Last year, Amazon destroyed 2m+ counterfeit products and spent $700m+ fighting the problem. #ecommerce-retail

China to draft new national security laws… including stiffer measures on how tech firms manage data (and privacy in general). #privacy

Music Tech
recording studio

A lot of credits probably made in here (Source: Future Music Magazine / Getty Images)

Meet the LinkedIn of the music industry

We all know that the internet completely wrecked the music industry’s CD model.

But the rise of streaming also helped push the industry’s revenue to $21.6B in 2020, the highest take since 2002.

Not everyone is partaking in the good times, though.

In the pre-internet age…

… every key contributor to an album would receive a credit on the CD or vinyl jacket. Today, music streaming prominently highlights the featured artist, but other credits — songwriters, producers, musicians — may be neglected.

Those lost credits can lead to lost royalty revenue (no bueno).

This is the problem Jaxsta wants to solve

Founded by music industry vet Jacqui Louez Schoorl, the Australia-based startup is building the world’s leading database for music credits.

The company just launched its 1st paid product (Jaxsta Pro), which allows music industry professionals to set up an official profile and receive notifications any time a song they worked on charts.

“We have 160m+ official music credits from 1.2m record labels around the world,” Schoorl tells The Hustle. “With all that data, we see ourselves as the LinkedIn for the music industry.”

Another notable move

In the fall, Jaxsta received a $1m investment from Songtradr, an LA-based startup that provides revenue management for artists.

The partnership provides a full-stack solution for industry peeps to find and recover all the revenue they’re owed.

Sounds like good times!

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Free Resource

Blogging is still low-key a kingmaker

So HubSpot and General Assembly joined forces to quell all the bullshit blogging blueprints out there.

Just kidding. Kinda.

Here are 27 pristine pages that cover blog planning, setup, execution, and optimization.

Don’t miss this mashup on exceptional organic growth.

Nail your blog’s technical planning and content strategy

Blogs attract high-quality traffic. And businesses that blog get 55% more visitors than businesses that don’t, according to a HubSpot study.

Take the advice from 15-year blogging veterans with over 7m monthly views, and the digital skills education school with over 80k global alumni.

Blog like a dog →
By the numbers
skinny house

That sliver of a house is worth… $1.2m (Source: C.L. Properties)

Digits: A really skinny house, space pizza, and too much weed

1) Boston’s Skinny House — literally, a 4-story house that’s 10 feet wide — is on the market for $1.2m. As legend has it, the house was built out of spite to block the view of the owner’s brother next door.

2) A rocket that launched out of Virginia is carrying 8.2k pounds of gear to the ISS, including apples, tomatoes, kiwis, and a pizza kit.

3) At one point last year, there were ~1.1B grams of unpurchased marijuana held in storage in Canada. By now, much of it is likely schwag.

4) Morning Consult found 25% of millennials now shop for most or all of their food online. Pre-pandemic, that number was 14%.

5) NASA researchers say there’s a 1-in-1.7k chance the asteroid Bennu hits earth by 2300. It’s the width of the Empire State Building, so that would not be an ideal situation.

6) US children got 67% of their caloric intake from ultra-processed foods in 2018, up from 61% in 1999. On the other hand, caloric intake from sweetened drinks dropped from 10.8% to 5.3%.

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AROUND THE WEB

🎵 Hmm: What’s in a hit song? According to 1 study, “harmonic surprise” — a great example of which is Childish Gambino’s “This is America.”

🎸 On this day: In 1974, the Ramones played their 1st concert at CBGB in Manhattan.

🌗 That’s cool: This artist finishes their pieces using shadows cast by everyday objects. It’s surprising what shapes random things can make!

👈 Cure boredom: No matter where you hold your mouse on this website, it will surface a photo of someone pointing at your pointer. Isn’t technology amazing?

🦩 Wow: The algae Dunaliella salina turns saltwater pink. Check out these stunning photos of the phenomenon in Camargue, France, from Paolo Pettigiani.

🧠 How to: What’s a memory palace? It might be a place in your mind that can help you remember stuff.

Meme of the day
music producer meme

Source: Pinterest

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