At 923_studio we believe that being an apprentice for an industry first provides a startup with the best opportunity for success.
This means spending time learning how an industry works and dedicating your time to making a company/leader succeed.
If you want to build in multiple industries - or build multiple products - then you can find experts in industries to become your startup CEO 🤝
After building 50 products and 13 startups we have a very simplistic marketing and sales plan that you can start for any company on day 1.
The fact that we have been honored by the Inc. 5000 list for a second year is just more proof that our model works 🏆
But more on that here.
Way back when we started just over ten years ago, it was with a simple app that gained 600,000 downloads.
We've since grown to become a startup studio offering product-building expertise to enterprises, funded startups, and our own internally-funded ventures.
All while doubling the size of our team during the Ukrainian-Russian conflict.
But how? And why a studio anyway?
An agency-funded startup studio is a business model for a software agency that produces digital products and then utilizes the profits to participate in building startups through a variety of funding methods including discounts, equity, funding, and incubation 💡
The basic idea is that the studio is a flywheel.
This is how it works:
1. Find and curate great clients that are producing innovative products.
2️. Co-Build with the client. We build the product while the client builds the core IP of the product while focusing on sales and marketing.
3️. Use the profits to invest with startups building riskier ideas.
4️. Launch startups that are profitable and then become the development agency of the product (Find and curate our own clients).
What we have discovered in the last year is that we are really good at building products.
We are not great at selling them 🤷♂️
So instead, we are just doubling down on the building part.
Hence, the change to an agency-funded studio.
There are a few other reasons why we've pivoted to become an agency-funded startup studio.
Let's say building a digital product is like building a car 🚗
It takes years of expertise to assemble the factory in the most efficient arrangement while applying procedures to every step of the process.
After the process is perfected the factory can produce coupes, SUVs, trucks, and sedans faster than any new competitor 🏁
A startup studio has already defined the culture of the team and understands which features are required for success - and which ones are fluff.
They've worked both the car factory and sales floors before and know what works and what doesn't 🙅♂️
Essentially, they have all the experience from integrating themselves into these chosen industries first, so building successful solutions for them becomes much easier.
And experienced entrepreneurs are now more interested in hiring smaller in-house teams focused on core IP and then hiring specialized agencies to build the bulk of their product which guarantees a faster time to market 📦
TL: DR Becoming an agency-funded startup studio helped us reach Inc.5000 twice and this model can do the same for you 💰