Thank you for coming by.

I've been very lucky to be part of awesome teams that launched and grew Hulu, Crunchyroll, and HBO Max. More recently, I founded a company Yem to help individuals and small teams build their own media businesses. Yem was acquired by Substack, where I currently work on growth.

Growth Croissant will be an evolving home for all the stuff I've learned over the past decade. My goal is to deliver you a comprehensive and actionable guidebook on how to grow your business.

Why and for who?

When I joined the team in 2012, Hulu was mostly a free, ad-supported streaming service. Netflix had 25 million paid subscribers, spurred mostly by their DVD service (Netflix now has more than 220 million paid subs). Most people subscribed to Amazon Prime for free 2-day shipping and were totally unaware they offered video streaming. There were some positive signs that people would buy video over the internet, but skepticism was far more common.

When I got to Hulu, I was barely qualified for any job at that point and happy to finally have a paycheck. Not surprisingly, my assignment was Hulu Plus, our recently-launched subscription video service.

Hulu Plus in the early days

I had no idea what I was doing. Everything was new and there were no guideposts. It was early days "digital marketing". Facebook and Google’s ad products were far more primitive than today. There certainly weren't any major online subscription businesses to learn from. Concepts like "customer acquisition cost" & "lifetime value" were far from the buzz words they've become.

I'm lucky to have been so inexperienced and naive, mostly oblivious to my ignorance. More than anything, I was incredibly fortunate to work with some incredible people. Together, through many painful lessons, we eventually figured it out. That theme would carry through to Crunchyroll, HBO Max, Yem, and now Substack.

Over the past decade, we've talked to various teams about how to launch and grow their own consumer subscription businesses. We kept returning to a few key principles and decision-making frameworks. We also kept seeing entrepreneurs, founders, and operators running into the same mistakes.

I want to help you avoid the painful lessons we learned (and saw others learn) the hard way. I want to give you a playbook to amplify the growth of your business.

What is it?

To be honest, I'm not totally sure!

Early posts will likely be slightly revised versions of stuff I’ve written in the past (here and here). From there, we’ll likely cover a wide variety of topics, including how to think about:

  • what value to give your paid subscribers vs. your free subscribers

  • better retaining your paid subscribers

  • pricing and managing a portfolio of revenue streams

  • how to use data to better understand your audience

  • investing in accelerating the growth of your business

Some posts may be more-of-the-moment, like talking about learnings from Netflix or Spotify, or discussing emerging growth tactics and opportunities. But for the most part, I hope most posts are more enduring and have a longer shelf life.

Over time, I'm hoping it can be increasingly community-driven and become more of a collective knowledge base. It would be awesome to have guest posts from experts to add depth or clarity for certain topics.

Early on, I’ll be publishing twice a month with most posts being available to everyone. If you find my work valuable, please consider a paid subscription — it will help me know that we’re on to something and to keep doing more of it.

Thanks for reading,

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A guidebook to growing consumer subscription businesses.


Writing & tinkering.