The Motley Fool’s growth strategy in recent years has been to launch lots of higher-end “portfolio” services in the $1,000-2,000/yr range, usually with some kind of thematic focus… and the menu of offerings is getting a little insane now. When I launched Stock Gumshoe in 2007, the Fool had five or six different paid newsletters… now I think the total is 27, most of them at premium prices.
And the one that caught my eye with an ad recently is an example of how micro-focused these can be — they’re pitching what they call Everlasting: SaaS Superstars, which seems to have a lot of overlap with other portfolio services they’ve sold recently, particularly their Everlasting: Cloud Disruptors service.
It’s not a bad idea from a marketing perspective, naturally, this would be a reason to buy the Motley Fool if it were publicly traded, and the Agora/Stansberry affiliates that went public under the MarketWise (MKTW) name seem to have taken this to an even more dramatic extreme in recent years, so it’s not like they’re alone.
Launching so many newsletters and services under the names of some of their most popular editors may strain credulity that those pundits could possibly have deep thoughts about a dozen or more different topics or companies each week or each month, but I’m sure they’re relying on deep benches of analysts who do most of the actual work in assessing these companies.
So we should not be surprised that David Gardner’s phenomenally successful Rule Breakers franchise at the Fool has now spawned nine different niche portfolio services that each carry the Rule Breakers name (at $1,999 each), as David himself steps away from stock picking but they look to extend that brand… or that brother Tom Gardner’s world of “Everlasting” stocks has grown from his half of the Motley Fool Stock Advisor team to a new service called Everlasting Stocks a few years ago, and now has spun off now ten different Everlasting portfolio services (also mostly at $1,999/yr).
All powerful brands try to extend themselves, though not always with quite as strong an “upsell” — I think there might be 40 different flavors of Oreos now, including the sublime (mint chocolate) and the horrifying (apple cider donut), but they’re pretty much all the same price. How far away are we from an Oreos as a Service (OaaS) platform, with premium flavors only for the top-end members? The mind boggles.
But I’ve gotten off track here — there are some “secret” stocks to reveal for you, dear friends, and the pitch this time is for Everlasting: SaaS Superstars at a discounted price ($1,299 for the first year, no refunds, pretty much what they offer whenever they highlight one of these $1,999 services).
The big picture claim is that we’re entering a period of “hypergrowth” that offers opportunities in SaaS that are far greater than was available in past generations… and the spiel uses the huge success of Walmart, then the exponential step up from there at Shopify, to illustrate the shift…
“By 1967… Wal-Mart… had already hit a remarkable milestone, opening its 24th store in just five years.
“By the year 2000, after 38 years in business. Walmart had opened nearly 4,000 stores and had become the growth story of the 20th century.
“Fast-forward to 2006. A snowboarder from Ottawa launched a new online business named Shopify. Within 5 years Shopify had launched 18,200 stores….
“Today, in just its 15th year in business, 1.75 million storefronts use Shopify.
“And Shopify is up an astounding 8,953% since its IPO just over six years ago.
“Welcome to the era of ‘hypergrowth.’
“It’s an era of new business realities…
“Where growth can reach incredible heights…
“Profits margins can grow far beyond what Sam Walton imagined…
“And we’re confident the benefits of being in early to the world’s greatest businesses have never been greater.”