My Contrarian Approach To Delivering The Best Learning Outcome For Aspiring Guitarists

My Guitar Course For Complete Beginners:


After learning that Massive Open Online Courses (“MOOCs”) suffer a dropout rate of about 96% on average, I wanted to implement my knowledge of a particular topic to an actual course structure, based on the principles I’ve detailed in my previous article, “Why Most Online Courses Fail, And How Yours Can Stand Out From The Crowd”. In this case, the topic of my choosing was on “playing the guitar”.

The aim of this exercise is to build a course that will actually help complete beginners become proficient in…

I take your suggestions very seriously…

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

In my past few articles, I’ve written mainly on topics that I’m passionate about. These articles come from countless iterations, to bring clarity into the eventual insights and conclusions in my articles.

I want to flip the script this time.

Comment and let me know the topics you would like to see me cover. As a brief background, my specialties lie in the following spaces:

  1. Evaluation of Tech Companies
  2. Education and Gamification
  3. Industry Breakdown and Analysis
  4. General Corporate Finance Skills and Frameworks
  5. Mergers and Acquisitions

Happy New Year!

Finally, a framework that works (for me, at least)


Purpose of This Article

I wrote this article to educate you on my methodology for evaluating fast growing tech companies, using Lemonade ( as an example.

Over countless iterations of shaping my thought process, I found this three-step process to be the most effective in evaluating such companies:

1. Identifying the problem each company is looking to tackle

2. Identifying their solution to the problem

3. Crafting a thesis to break down the key success factors of a company

Note: I did not invent this framework — this process has been adopted by countless people…

A quick and easy framework forged after speaking to multiple SaaS companies over time

Image from Pixabay

The title is almost self-explanatory, let’s get to it.

#1 Monthly Recurring Revenue (“MRR”)

Monthly recurring revenue (MRR) is income that a business can count on receiving every single month, and can be simply calculated by multiplying total number of paying users by the average revenue per user (“ARPU”).

MRR = # paying users x ARPU

If we do a deep dive of MRR over time, we see that MRR can actually be broken down into 4 different sub-metrics:

1. Existing MRR: # of existing customers (last month) x ARPU

2. New MRR: # new customers x ARPU

3. Expansion MRR: # of existing customers x Nominal Increase in ARPU. An example:

  • 5 existing users sign up for your basic package…

Articulating a message that connects with your intended audience

Patrick Tomasso from Unsplash


Marketing in the EdTech space often involves high costs. The nature of EdTech products often involves the need to educate audience on product benefits, before they come to ultimate purchase decision

On average, a private EdTech company spends 12% of its revenue on marketing. The cost for mature EdTech companies is significantly higher, at c.25% of revenue.

With marketing being a huge lever for growth, it is imperative that you ensure efficient spending on marketing dollars. …

Breaking down the process of teaching and learning


With the current epidemic compelling the need for remote learning, we are now seeing a massive scale of disruptive innovation in education.

EdTech has been a fast-growing space, with venture capital investments reaching $7 billion in 2019. EdTech investments are expected to reach over $87 billion in the next 10 years, almost triple the prior decade.

Yet, while the education and learning marketplace seems to be crowded with groundbreaking products, many of us still struggle to learn a new language, topic, or skill.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The Problem — and the opportunity

The problem lies in the fact that most innovation…

To Stay Fit, I Transformed Myself Into A Video Game Character

An experiment with Gamification

Video games meant a great deal to me during my childhood. Looking back, I can’t think of anything else that motivates a kid more than video games. Imagine — what else could get a kid to voluntarily spend hours on end, trying to perfect his/her skill in that activity?

With this thought in mind, and my recent lack of motivation to keep up with my fitness regime, I embarked to apply some game elements that excited me when I was a kid, to my training.

Photo: Jessica Lewis/Pexels

Gamification is the application…

The approach is simple and effective, but you may not like it.

Photo by from Pexels

The “Carrot” And The “Stick”

About a week ago, I wrote the article “Why It is Impossible For You To Focus”, which sought to address the benign issue of our inability to focus, even for a short period of time.

I promised to share my two-pronged approach to optimizing my focus for learning. As the name suggests, my approach has 2 components, which I call the “Carrot” and the “Stick”.

The “Stick”

The “Stick” approach, as the name suggests, is a painful but nonetheless necessary process designed to distance yourself from the toxic source which…

Hint: It has nothing to do with your willpower (or lack thereof)


Learning has never been easy. It requires a long span of focus, as well as putting substantial hours of deep work.

How many times have we found ourselves momentarily deep in focus, only to almost involuntarily reach for our phones? The next thing you know, you’re knee deep in Tweets, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Posts.

Or perhaps, when learning to play the guitar, some of us face a heavy resistance just picking up the guitar.

Our lack of focus is one key obstacle to learning. …

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Zach Covak

I detail my thought process on evaluating fast-growing companies and industries.

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