We write a new business updates that are shared with our board, investors, and Moment team members. These are not status reports, instead they represent a chronological journal about what we’ve learned in building Moment. Writing these updates forces us to think about what we’re doing, what’s working, and what isn’t.

Below are updates from 2019. You can read previous updates from 2020201820172016 and 2015.


January 7, 2019

We had a solid year.

We added 143K new customers, bringing us to 350K total customers. Grew revenue from $21 to $27M. Improved gross margins from 46% to 52%. Beyond the numbers we...

  • Entered the drone market.
  • Added online video lessons.
  • Launched a bag and strap store.
  • Sold our first destination workshops.
  • Started our Gear Guides.
  • Switched to free shipping globally with Fedex.
  • Reached over 20M YouTube views in a year.
  • Repositioned Moment as an outfitter.

In reality we had an amazing first eight months of the year and a hard last four months. We were late in shipping our new products, including iPhone cases and a drone lens. This lead to frustrated customers who were waiting multiple months for their pre-orders. This was compounded by the advent of three lens iPhones, which lowered the demand for our hero Wide Lens product.

We are still closing our books but you can read our full 2019 results here. (pw: youin?)

As we head into 2020 we're accelerating our push to become the next-gen retailer for millions of creatives around the world. We started this process two years ago and will now lean into this effort as we start the new year.

Thank you for reading. Happy 2020.

Marc & The Moment Team


November 17, 2019

We launched our first two online video lessons. Priced between $50-100, these online video lessons will help you improve your photography and filmmaking.

This new product line has been in the works the last six months and it's based on our realization that customers come back to us because they want to keep advancing their creative skills. We already had trips with pro guides so we put two and two together to create online video lessons with the guides who are running our trips.

What makes our learning content unique is that each online video lesson also comes with an in person experience. Like Jesse Driftwood's lesson about filmmaking? Take his Filmmaker Workshop in Japan.

We have shipped two lessons. The second one took off faster than the first one. Although we did a much better job of launching the second lesson, this second creator has a larger engagement base.

What's most exciting is that lessons did sell trips. The first lesson came with a 6 day Photo Tour to Iceland. The second lesson is a 3 day Filmmaker Workshop in Japan. Together we've done over $120K in sales within the first three weeks, which is about 10% of total gear sales in that same time period. Keep in mind Jesse, who had the better selling lesson, also had the best selling trip we've ever had. He sold out 24 spots to Japan at $2.3K per person in under two weeks.

It's still very early but so far 62% of lesson buyers have been new customers. If this trend continues it means online lessons will be a strong driver of new customers to the brand.

We still have a long ways to go in learning how to market and sell lessons, but the initial signs are promising. We can produce a lesson for under $5K and see a positive ROI within the first 30 days.

Trailing 12 month revenue is at $28.3M, up 1.7x. That puts us at $20.5M for the year. What's hurting us the most is not being in stock with iPhone 11 cases or our new Drone Anamorphic Lens. That means we're sitting on $1.3M in open orders that we plan to ship over the coming 30 days. What's not measured here is how conversion rates suffer when your products are on pre-order and not in stock.

We are two months into Apple having three lens phones and we're starting to see the impact on our Lens product line, especially our Wide Lens. We've made up for the decline with our video lenses, but there is no doubt the demand for Wide lenses will continue to slow.

The drop in Wide Lens revenue is bigger than just the measurable impact. The product has been a cash driver for us, especially in bringing new customers to the brand. We call it a hook product and you can see the impact this drop is having when looking at a customer's first order. The Wide Lens has dropped from being in 0.56 of first orders to just 0.33 over the last three months.

We continue to build out our e-commerce store with more gear from third party brands. We have been adding new drops every few weeks and we're seeing the impact. To the positive revenue from third party gear has grown from $1.8M to $5.9M the last 12 months. (*note: period 1 is oct'19 - sep'18. period 2 is oct '18 - sep'17).

To the downside these products have lower gross margins and sometimes higher shipping costs, which is putting pressure on our gross margins.

Drone and gimbals have been a huge hit with our customer base, especially DJI products. We have launched their last to products and over the last 30 days their gear has accounted for 17.8% of our sales. This is leading us to consider the selling of more hardware (drones, phones, and cameras) to then accessorize them with our gear.


September 30, 2019

We're changing our planning process from an annual plan to a rolling 12 month plan. This means that at the end of each trimester we add one more trimester in front of it. From here we can extend to 18 and 24 month plans.

Before revising our plan going forward we analyzed the last 12 months. To the positive we've grown revenue to $28M (up 2x), customers to 290K (up 1.8x), gross margins to 53% (up from 38% 16 months ago), and NPS up to 61 (from 56). To the negative annual inventory turns have dropped to under 4x (target 4-5x), only 6% of new customers are buying non moment gear, and we can't yet connect customer data across all our channels.

Last 12 month results are here.
pw: youin?

Along with a new planning cycle we're also changing the metrics we focus on at the top of the company. Revenue has historically been our number one goal. While revenue growth matters we've come to learn what matters most is customer growth, followed by the average time between their orders. The more customers we add the faster revenue grows. The more frequently our existing customers order, the faster revenue grows.

Going forward our top goals are the following..

1. Reach > 600K Customers (currently 290K)
Why: We need more customers. The world is a very big place and in order to grow we need more customers who decide to join the brand. We also need to improve connecting our shop, amazon, app, and travel customers together.

2. Reduce The Average Time Between Orders < 30 weeks (currently 40)
Why: The more frequent customers order the more important we are in their lives. The more important we are, the deeper the relationships we can build with them. The better the chance we can create Moment customers for life. And of course, the faster revenue grows.

3. Improve Ownership > 8/10 (currently 7.4)
Why: Ownership is our biggest constraint to growing faster. Owners plan better, learn to make better decisions, and help us go faster. This is measured company wide with a survey every trimester.

We just completed our 19th team off-site where we had time to reflect on our results and updated plan going forward. This is another step forward for us in improving how we execute.

We added 9.6K new customers last month, up 1.6x over last year. We're going into our busy holiday season where we added a lot of new customers last year through the Anamorphic lens. We have a broader offering, a new print catalog, and improved ads. We're curious to see what happens this holiday.

Now that we're tracking average time between orders we have a benchmark to build upon. Once we get a customer to purchase again, their average time between order drops down to 25 weeks, which makes getting that second order our top priority. Our ultimate goal is to get this to under 13 weeks, demonstrating that customers purchase at least 4x per year.

Trailing 12 month revenue is at $28M, up 1.7x over last year. The general thread we're seeing is that our direct business is taking more of the recent order volume. We can see Amazon year over year has been up, but trending down as three lens phones hit the market. The same goes for retail, which are just a handful of accounts who were fulfilling demand when we had worse shipping. Our big push over the next 12 months is to develop our next $10M categories.

We completed our Kickstarter, raising $614K. We learned that drone gear is a smaller market than phone camera gear. This campaign is similar to our third campaign when we brought a new product to a single platform. Although average purchase value was up to $204 vs the $150 we saw in our last campaign, the number of backers was much lower at compared to 10.5K. We start shipping orders in the coming weeks.

Gear guides have worked to establish much better customer service for the brand. Next is to enable gear guides to be proactive in helping new customers make their first purchase. This includes tools to message their existing customers and implementing guides into shop pages to give people confidence that anything they purchase at Moment comes with amazing service.

We wrapped up There There, our annual photo competition. Inspired by MIFF, our film festival, we created There There to bring photography and travel together into a single festival. We had over 10K photo submissions, $30K in funding from sponsoring brands, and a private weekend with the 20 creators. We learned a lot in the first year that will inform how we make the festival even larger next year.


August 11, 2019

We are bringing Moment to drones with Moment Air - a new Anamorphic lens, filters, and accessories for a DJI Mavic 2 and Mavic 2 pro. This is our fifth Kickstarter campaign and it should be our second million dollar campaign.

Interest has been high with over 500K visitors (up 40% over the last campaign), but the conversion rates have been much lower at 0.5% vs 2.9%. Our last campaign was $1.6M and this will come in close to $1M. The data on the campaign looks similar to our first and third campaigns where we brought new gear to a limited set of devices. This makes the install base smaller and therefore the conversion rates lower.

In the meantime we are expanding the product line to support more drones with filters for the Mavic 1. From here we'll look at what other drones and accessories we can create to make Moment the best gear for your drone.

Although a smaller revenue impact than last year's Anamorphic campaign, getting to drones is important. It adds one more platform to de-risk our mobile lens line. At the same time it opens the door to a better relationship with DJI. We'll be carrying their latest drones and gimbals going forward as a launch partner. Plus discussing how they can sell our gear and cross market content together.

Like every launch we learned a lot....

  • More Time - we allowed ourselves four weeks to produce this campaign vs our standard 10-14 days. This resulted in more content we could use for advertising and retargeting. Normally we are sprinting just to release a single set of campaign content.
  • More Influencers - for the first time we paid YouTube creators to be part of the campaign. This resulted in several product reviews that hit the day of our launch, driving more traffic and creating instant credibility.
  • Learning a new category - it takes a lot of time to learn how to reach customers in a new product category. We still have a lot to learn in how to market and sell accessories for drones. Companies like PolarPro have been doing a solid job in the drone market and have a five year head start.
  • More device support - we were reminded that the breadth of our device support is correlated to revenue success. In this campaign we were only supporting two drones which makes the install base smaller.

Revenue is at $15.6M, up 1.8x year over year. At the current rate we'll end the year around $38M. We are pushing to reach our 2x goal, leaning on several smaller campaigns compared to last year where the Anamorphic was a major hit. The lens directly accounted for 4% of revenue and 13% of revenue if you look at total order value that included an Anamorphic.

We've finally consolidated all of our customer purchase history. This allows us to finally see our repeat purchase rate, which is 29% over the lifetime of the company. But when you look at this data by year you can begin to see how we're improving from 17% (year 1) to 37% (year 6). Keep in mind if existing customers are buying on Amazon we can't connect the dots. Amazon provides us with anonymous data that prevents us from connecting our customer data to theirs. Therefore this data only represents customers who have purchased on Shopmoment.

One of the drivers to improving our repeat purchase rate is broadening the gear we sell in the shop. In particular, making the shift form Moment the gear maker to Moment the creator store. To get there we have to continue to improve our offering, delivery, service, and messaging. We still have a ways to go but over the last six months we've made improvements in both first time and repeat customer buying non branded moment gear.

To improve our offering of third party gear we recently created Launch With Moment (pw: launchwithmoment). It takes all of our capabilities and packages them into services that we can sell to our favorite brands. We are still in the MVP stages, but we are learning how to price these services in exchange for better margins and exclusive launch periods.

Service from Gear Guides has continued to improve. Customer happiness from service is now over 84%, while NPS over the last 30 days has risen to a historic high of 64. The prior six months we've been between 54-59, and our ultimate goal is over 70 in line with Apple's NPS scores. The rise in score has been driven mainly by improved shipping with FedEx and faster service. Our NPS score for responses that mention 'service' is at 73.

We just launched our first Travel Sale. To the positive it helped us sell 8 trip departures, one of our best weeks yet. To the negative, a campaign that starts with "travel" has a much lower click through rate. We started by leading with trips and after the first day flipped the sale to lead with gear discounts. Like every sale, we will learn from this and make it better next year.

We launched There There, an annual photo festival. Inspired by our success with MIFF (Moment International Film Festival), we wanted to create an iconic festival that could own the intersection of travel and photography. Similar in structure it has a submission phase, voting, and an in person experience. In year one, photographers can win $60K in cash and gear, which we raised through nine different sponsors. Our initial goal was to receive 3K submissions and after 12 days we already have 4.2K with nine days still to go.


July 2, 2019

We're now at 42 people and we expect to be over 60 by the end of the year.

This is both exciting and concerning. On one hand, more people should enable us to go faster in shipping more new things that keep the business moving forward. On the other hand, more people makes it harder to maintain efficiency.

When we look at the team size we're trying to understand the value of adding one more person. For example, we know that another product person lets us ship more products or new features, which drive more revenue. Or another filmmaker creates more content we can then us to push more videos and run more ads.

To date we measure the impact of more people against revenue. But we'll want to understand the value per function to better understand where we should be investing.

We're still holding steady at 1.9x year over year. Our largest announcement of the year comes 7.9.19 on Kickstarter. We're bringing Moment to drones, which we expect to drive brand awareness that continues to drive revenue. It's unclear how large the install base is compared to phones but this does open us up to a whole new platform that we can accessorize.

We continue to watch our gear sales by channel. We've now introduced sets in our shop which gives people a vale for buying direct versus Amazon. We've also moved our logistics to Fedex so our free shipping continues to improve.

We haven't seen a huge shift in order value or items per order. The change in each month has a lot to do with the offers we put out and how easy it is to purchase. We're also looking at time between orders to better understand how we decrease this time period and increase repeat purchasing.

We are a few months into our new service model with Gear Guides. Internally the process is working much better between the Moment team and the guides, which we see reflected in lower reply times. We've also seen customer service happiness maintain a score over 80, our highest levels yet. We still haven't seen the impact with NPS which has consistently hovered in the 55-60 range over the last 18 months. Some of this has to do with the timing of the NPS email and going to people on backorder, who have yet to receive their order. But the overall thread is negative scores come if customers have any of the following with poor deliver, product quality, or in compatibility from old to new gear.

Content continues to drive new revenue purchases. We're starting to add new layers to our content strategy to see how we increase our pool of warm traffic. We've learned that paid ads to cold traffic don't convert at nearly the same rate as warm traffic. A ROAS on cold traffic looks more like 1x while a ROAS on warm traffic (ie have engaged with us before) is 3-5x depending on how far they are in the funnel. The biggest driver for content to commerce are new offerings, whether it's new third party drops, new apps, or new Moment gear.

We've learned a lot with Moment Travel in the first 12 months. The biggest learning is that we need to be running experiences in less geographies so we can go deeper in each market. By focusing on less markets we can broaden our offering from Photo Tours (5-7 day, all inclusive adventures) to include Destination Workshops (2-3 day experiences) and Online Lessons (30-60 min, paid lessons). This will provide us with lower price points and additional revenue streams for guides. We've revamped our guide pitch as we build our funnel with new guides, experiences, and learning lessons. You can see that pitch here (pw: youin?).


May 29, 2019

We announced Moment Bags yesterday.

It was also our best day of the year in total with $137K in sales. New announcements continue to be our growth engine.

From a business point of view, launching new categories is critical to scaling our business. Multiple lens phones have always been coming and we know that their importance will continue to drop over time. Therefore we need other product lines that become larger than our lens product line.

We've seen this proven just by turning Shopmoment into a retailer which has allowed us to enter new categories with third party products, learn, and then build products of our own. At a high level we can see that lenses, cases, gimbals, and bags have been our largest category in the shop. And by now entering Bags with our own gear we can accelerate that category into our largest segment.

From a launch point of view, we're learned that launching new categories much harder than launching new products or shipping new features. New categories takes more consideration, better execution, and a bigger bang in order to create sustainable momentum. They also require a new network of press and influencers, which takes more time to develop before we announce. Something we underestimated going into a new category like Bags.

Comparing a few of our recent announcements we can see how revenue compares in the first 24 hours. There is still no replacement for Kickstarter.

- Moment Bags - $137,998
- App - $92,788
- Film Life - $95,883
- Outer Limits - $91,850
- Tele 58 - $176,751
- Anamorphic KS - $576,414
- Moment 2.0 KS - $155,634

And then over time we can start to see how new product lines sell. What's clear is that the initial sales curve is everything in creating long term success. The bigger and better the initial launch, the better the product does over the long term.

This brings us back to bags and how we make those launch curves bigger. The largest takeaway from this launch is that we need to improve at transferring knowledge from the product team to the rest of the company. The product team has been researching the customer needs for several months which makes them experts on what customers want, what features matter most, and how we differentiate our gear in this new category. The rest of the company needs to understand this so the decisions they make give us the best chance to accelerate our initial growth trajectory.

Some specific learnings from the bag launch...

  • Bags are about comfort and therefore it's the number one feature we should be marketing. We didn't understand this at first, therefore we had to redo some of the content to prioritize this feature set.
  • Announcing bags requires a different network of press and influencers. Therefore we should have started these new relationships much earlier so by the time we announced people were already familiar with the brand. Everlane did this well in how they marketed their new Shoes in advance.
  • The same effort has to go into learning how to merchandise and sell a new category online. How the Moment shop wins as the place to sell bags is not something we thought about when making the bags.
  • We next need to learn how to create advertising campaigns that are separate form our organic content efforts so we can put more dollars to work at launch. Ads are still something we do at the end.

Overall it was a solid step forward, but lots of improvements to be had before we enter our next category in a month.

We're at about $10.9 year to date, up 2xx from last year. Our YoY growth rate has slowed over the last month because last year our Anamorphic Kickstarter ran during the same time period. We're combating that with bags and our next Kickstarter in a month.

One of the data challenges we have going now is sales and customers are spread across two platforms with Shopmoment and Amazon. Even though Amazon is a separate site we think of the two sites as one shopping experience. We integrate Amazon buy buttons on all our pages, take an affiliate fee, advertise on amazon, and then have to track total sales. We have found the two work in tandem and it's better for us to guide customers than to search on their own and compare.

We've migrated to a new BI tool that is giving us a more complete picture of our customers. For the first time we can look at all order history to calculate repeat purchase rate, which is anyone that has bought more than once. We're realized that 38% of customers have purchased more than once so from here we can start working on how to improve this metric. It's one of our top goals for the year.

We moved to a paid app and away from freemium. At the end we did test a freemium app with a free trial, which was a disaster. It took daily from low $1K to sub $400. Moving to paid has turned us into a top 15 paid photo/video app, while raised daily revenues to about $1.5K. Although app revenue increased it has decreased daily downloads by 90%. Paying customers appear to be higher quality customers, but the downside is the app is getting onto less phones. In conjunction to paid app revenue we also implemented email capture in app which has increased shopmoment revenue through app users. So now we're trying to figure out if it's better to just have a paid app or to bring back a free trial to get more downloads which leads to more overall revenue through shopmoment.


April 29, 2019

Moment started with attachment lenses. Now we do a lot more with gear, apps, and travel. But we still need to take another big step forward in how we position the brand from being a DTC gear brand to the place you visit on before their next trip.

This means we need a larger product catalog at the intersection of photography and travel. Better customer service than Amazon for creatives. Content customers can rely on as a source for reviews and tips. And delivery they can count on before they take off.

Over the last year we've been building out our product catalog. We've been testing a lot of iterations on what this looks like. We've been tinkering with everything from what we carry to when we carry it to how we introduce it. We're starting to get our formula down.

  • New drops, more frequent brings people back.
  • A 24-hour discount to introduce the drop.
  • Smaller collections with clearer stories.
  • Testing, reviewing, and publishing reviews with the drop.
  • Leading with non Moment gear but including a few Moment items.
  • Partnering with the brands we sell to bring traffic from their audience.
  • Including a different influencer to expand our reach.

The result has been a steady climb in revenue from third party brands. In T1 we've seen $703K in revenue from third party brands, up from $190k in 2018.


We're at about $9M in revenue year to date, up 2.2x over last year. We still have a long ways to go in reaching our 2x plan for the year.

We continue to see US customers buying from Amazon which has changed our US / International mix from 60:40 to 53:47 over the last two months. We've also added free international shipping which has helped. This an area we can be marketing more as our international shipping, especially for the third party brands, is better than their own site.

We have our first class of Gear Guides now on customer service. We plan to publicly announce our new service in T2, followed by iterating on how we match customers with their guide. Overall we've seen response times drop and customer happiness go up. NPS has risen to 58 over the last 60 days, up from 53 over a similar time period. We've also learned a lot in on-boarding our first guides, that we plan to improve upon with the next batch. Overall the message resonating with the guides is stable income they can rely on as they get their full time creative businesses off the ground.

We learned that a free trial with iOS apps doesn't work. It's a try before you buy feature they have that leads to more people trying, but not buying. We have a big release this week and are moving the app from a freemium, try before you buy, app to a straight pay to download. We're learning this is an easier pitch than try before you buy. It's just too bad we were app of the day this weekend before we made this price change.

We've run our first Moment Trips. We've seen each trip improve from an initial NPS of 50, now up to 70 with the first 20 customers. Lots of small improvements we are making but the biggest takeaway is matching customer expectations with actual experiences. This means better understanding what customers specifically want before the trip happens and then delivering on those expectations.


March 31, 2019

We're changing the Moment service model.

To date everyone on the team has handled customer service. As painful as that has been at times it has kept the customer front and center in all of our minds. You can say you're customer centric, but there's nothing like having a customer yell at you for not delivering what they ordered.

In stepping back and looking at how Moment can win as a marketplace, we realized our quadrant was to compete on community (authentic voice for photographers / filmmakers) and a unique offering (gear, travel, and content). In winning with that quadrant, better service jumped to the top of the list as an important differentiator. Although Amazon has unlimited returns, they can't compete on knowledgeable service with our creative community.

The service we're unveiling is Moment Gear Guides. They are pro photographers and filmmakers with a shared purpose...to help you get the most out of your photography gear. Some are full time, but most will be part time professional creatives who help with service in their spare time. The best, scaled example of this comes from Backcountry with their Gearheads.

Over the last month we've started this transition. The internal (non-gear guide) team has all moved over to one inbox to answer questions before purchasing. And instead of everyone answering emails daily we've moved to one full day per month per employee. This is enabling us to answer emails in a matter of minutes for customers yet to purchase. Once a customer purchases they get picked up by a gear guide to receive a deeper level of service. It's still early but we've seen a massive improvement in our service levels.

+ First response times have dropped from +15 hours to under 5 hours.
+ Customer service happiness has increased from high 70's to mid 80's.
+ NPS has increased from 57 to 61.

We're currently rolling out 1.0 of Moment Gear Guides. If you have any creative friends who are looking for stable, part time work, they can apply here to become a guide.

We posted our 2018 results. It was by far our best year. We grew revenue from $8.5M to $20.9M on 87K new customers. Gross margins improved from 42% to 45%, which is better reflected if you look at the last four months of the year where margins were over 50% even during the holiday season. We were profitable for the first time with $1.7M on the bottom line. And we were able to hold CAC costs steady at $36 to acquire a new customer despite growing our customer base 1.8x and putting more money into amplifying our content through advertising. You can read the full recap here (pw: youin?)

2019 continues to be a strong start. Up 2.3x over last year with $6.8M in shipped revenue. This is despite not launching anything new in the first three months of the year.

Amazon continues to take a larger percentage of our direct business. We did increase our product pricing to offset for this shift in purchasing but the downside is that higher prices lead to slower per unit sales. We're tracking this on a per lens basis but new lenses (tele and anamorphic) are doing well and older lenses (wide, superfish, and macro) are starting to drop off. Overall lenses are becoming a smaller percentage of total revenue but still something to watch as we change prices.

Outer Limits is our first drop of the year and represents the new way we're going to do gear drops with third party brands. The drops will be smaller and more opportunistic to new gear these brands are introducing. One of our marketplace goals is for third party brands to account for 25% of revenue. This latest drop has brought us up to 18% which is an all time high.

We continue to iterate on what works for content to lead to commerce. The downside to Amazon purchasing is we lose conversion tracking from our content efforts to what people bought on Amazon. Amazon provides advertising conversion data within their own platform but not if you drive traffic from external sources.

We've dropped eight new trips this year, which continues to prove that new trips bring customers who buy all of our trips. The downside is we're learning tough lessons about cancellations and how to manage them. There's nothing like getting kicked in the teeth when doing something new. Industry standard is 15-20% so we're a little bit higher and iterating quickly to bring these down. We're going to be testing monthly payments (vs large payments), connecting the travelers early, improving pre-trip emails, creating waiting lists, etc. Still lots of learning to be done.

One silver lining with travel continues to be that marketing these trips is bringing new customers who buy gear. This is last click revenue on anyone that started on a /travel page of the website.

The 15 finalists for the Moment Invitational have been announce.d We were blown away to receive 987 film submissions, up from the 250 we received last year. We're flying the finalists to the premier in NYC on 4.13 at 368.


March 3, 2019

YouTube is our best revenue driving channel. It brings 10% of the traffic and 3-4% of the revenue, measured on a last click basis. It also has an impact on our Amazon channel that we can't directly measure.

Over the last 18 months we've worked hard on our YouTube content game. We've iterated on content types, sharing strategies, and community tactics. We've figured out that gear reviews and tips are winning content categories. We've also learned that our vlog personalities resonate with the community, striking a balance between entertain and inform. We're now up to 224K followers.

Over the last month we've started to dive into how we take our YouTube organic approach and bring it to paid advertising. Starting with vlog style infomercials we are iterating with content and audiences.

What we're learning so far...

  • We've been able to reach a 2-3x ROAS return on our ad spend. We lean towards 2x so we stay aggressive on acquisition.
  • Last few weeks we've increased revenue on lower spend.
  • Cost to acquire on a last click for new customers is under $80 on YouTube which is comparable to FB. It's under $30 for warm audiences.
  • Cost Per View for low quality traffic is $0.01. For converting traffic it's closer to $0.06
  • The right product infomercial placed on exactly the right video can get us CTR of up to 10% which blows FB away.
  • Placing our ads on select videos is performing the best. Videos about competing products, camera phone reviews, or how-to filmmaking can see 3-10% click through rates.

At the same time there are some aspects of the YouTube platform that are frustrating.

  • It takes them almost a week to optimize a campaign. FB can do this in hours if not days.
  • You have less control to dictate which content we show up on within a campaign.
  • They are very limited in targeting and retargeting.
  • We can't measure the % of traffic that is passing our checkout button and going to Amazon. We can track this with FB.

There is a lot more to do here but we're seeing early breakthroughs on YouTube that should help us continue our 2x growth for 2019.

We're over $5M in revenue year to date on a 2.5x growth mutliple. We have a very long ways to go in reaching our goal of 2x for the year.

Amazon continues to be the largest growth channel in 2019. We've better managed the store, kept it in stock, replied faster to comments, integrated Amazon into shopmoment product pages, and increased advertising spending to new audiences.

One of the biggest drivers to Amazon increasing its share of Moment business has to do with product pricing. Prior to three weeks ago we had Amazon pricing at 20% more than Shopmoment to make the total cost of delivery equal (they had free shipping and we didn't). This was working really well until Amazon flagged our account because of their "fair pricing" policy. They removed buy buttons on our Amazon pages until we made the product prices match regardless of the cost of delivery. We went through a few scenarios but ultimately decided to increase prices on our core products (lenses and cases) by 20% to make pricing on the two sites equal. With that change we moved to free shipping and free returns world wide on shopmoment. We're watching this closely but we've seen a stabilizing of Amazon share along with a stabilizing of conversion rates on our own site. The sliver lining is that we can add "free shipping" to all of our advertising efforts.

Increased prices have increased our Average Order Value by 12-15%. We're now over $140 per order for all orders and $180 for first time orders.

The Moment Invitational is back for its 4th season. It's significantly larger with $100K in cash, gear, and trips to NYC. Of which $50K we raised from sponsoring brands. It's allowing us to make MIFF the mobile film festival. We've also made the festival 100% community submission so we're eager to see how the entries turn out. Not only does the festival build our brand with the creative community, but it also brings a lot of new traffic to the site. You can see the festival here.


January 28, 2019

We hosted our latest team offsite to Sunriver, Oregon. Now at 35 people we no longer fit in a singe Airbnb. It still works, but it's getting a lot harder to manage.

Off-sites have been the most important ingredient in creating the Moment culture. They have allowed us to build trust, empathy, and a better understanding of how we win. It's created new friendships and a depth you just don't get in slack/office meetings.

Each offsite we go through a similar agenda.

Monday: travel and get the gears going by reviewing our last trimester, discussing what worked, and going through what we need to fix.

Tuesday: we think big, brainstorm how we scale everything to the next growth point. We also get outside to explore, this year splitting into a group that rode snowmobiles and another that rode Mt. Bachelor.

Wednesday: we work on culture, breaking into small teams to talk through how we tackle select cultural issues. We also get outside for a second adventure, this time a snowshoeing photo contest.

Thursday: we plan out the next four months. Each team spends the day setting their goals, defining how they get there, and working through a schedule of what ships when.

Friday: clean, pack up and travel home.

Some quick takeaways from the week
+ We had 7 new people at this offsite, our most ever.
+ We hit two of three 2018 company goals and 62% of our T3 goals. We target 60-70% of our goals.
+ We worked through the financial framework to get to $100M in revenue.
+ We made progress on some large, cross-team projects.
+ We got through what's slowing us down and ideas for how we better scale as we add more people.
+ We rode snowmobiles and Mt. Bachelor, hosted a photo contest, ate some amazing meals, played games, and had a dance party.
+ We talked through 2019 and made detailed plans for T1.

You can read about the full offsite here. (pw: #shotonmoment)

Our high level goals for 2019 are...

1) Grow Revenue > 2x: every year our number one goal is growth. We believe it's something learned and so we have to work hard to learn how to do this at a larger and larger scale.

2) Repeat Purchase Rate > 60%: this moves us from a one-off purchase cycle to a reliable, occurring revenue. This year we have to learn how to track it across all of our channels and then figure out what really works to make it higher.

3) Developing Owners > 7/10: this is an internal survey but our first annual culture goal. We're learning how to develop ownership at every position of the company and this trimester survey tell us how we're doing towards that goal.

We've seen a solid start to 2019 at 2x revenue growth over 2018. We did carry some backorders into the new year, but despite that, we've seen better daily sales than we originally anticipated. We're at $2.4M already for 2019.

Amazon has been our strongest channel ytd, up 3.9x over last year. We've dramatically improved at store execution, staying in stock, and running advertising to new audiences. We've seen that new customers often buy on Amazon as they have more trust with prior purchase history and free Prime Shipping.

Higher revenue in T1 is also driven by Anamorphic lenses finally being in stock and off back-order. We've seen first-time average order values rise to $199 here in January. We expect this to normalize but a $150 lens has helped.

We've been broadening out our content to be more entry-level. From videos to written content it's all helping to drive more last-click revenue from content. We've also seen learning content working with paid ads to reach cold audiences who don't yet know we exist.

We're starting to get into the finer details of the Moment Capture App. Currently, we're digging into the first time experience to see if we can improve conversion rates as it will allow us to spend more on advertising. We can get a download for under $2 and are beginning to show that app installs lead to gear purchases. If we can lower that cost we can put even more money into driving the app as the first customer touch point.

JANUARY 3, 2019

2018 was our best year yet. We worked really hard but we were also fortunate to have the ball bounce our way. The bets we made worked. The slowing nature of phone innovation is keeping all of our phone gear compatible. And the disappearance of competitors is making us one of the only mobile photography companies left standing.

We will provide a full review with financials in the the coming weeks but here is synopsis.

+ We passed $20M in revenue on 2.5x growth from $8.5M and 1.7x growth the previous year.

+ The Moment brand reaches over 900K subscribers, which is larger than most direct to consumer brands.

+ Gross margins are now over 50% on a monthly basis, up from a low of 38% at the end of 2017.

+ We ended the year with $1.5M in cash and zero debt compared to $1.4M in cash last year and $250K in debt.

+ We'll be profitable on annual basis for the first time.

+ The team is now 33 people, up from 21 last year.

+ NPS rose to 58, up from 52 the previous year.

We still have a lot to accomplish, but we are both humbled and excited about the year we delivered.

T3 was our largest trimester at $10.3M and December was our largest single month at $5.2M in shipped revenue. About $1M of that revenue was driven by finally shipping a majority of our Anamorphic pre-orders. We will carry a few backorders into the new year but last minute production ramps on all of our new gear made a huge difference in the final revenue numbers. A big thanks to Alex who basically lived in China the last month making production happen.

The biggest surprise of the holiday was Amazon, which rose to $1.8M for the trimester and over $1M for the month of December. Over 50% of our revenue came through the Moment website to Amazon as we have direct, buy on Amazon, buttons on all of our product pages. For the first time we saw paid advertising to new audiences work in bringing traffic to the Moment site that then clicked through to purchase on Amazon. This in spite of increasing our Amazon prices by 20% to offset for their fees. It's clear new customers trust Amazon more and want to buy there, which is no loss to us as we make the same margin by raising our prices.

Our new Tele 58mm lens brought in $750K in revenue over the 4 day launch window, making this our best non-Kickstarter launch to date. The 58mm remained our top selling item from Nov 13 - Dec 31st selling a total of 12,572 units in the first 45 days. We learned the early November window is a great time to launch as it lands before holiday sale noise and drives momentum into the end of the year.

With 65K customer messages received in T3, we scaled our seasonal support staff to 15 while continuing our existing whole team support strategy. Over peak volumes, we’ve averaged nearly 1000 responses per day while receiving 87% great ratings from customers. The biggest area to improve in 2019 is response times, with our average response time for Nov/Dec at 9 hours. We’d like to see that below 4 hours.

We've continued to refine our content output. YouTube is about 3 videos a week and the Momentist is nearly a post per day. Most telling is the amount of mobile traffic we're starting to receive which begs the question of how we can win on mobile with our content to commerce. This will be a big focus for us in 2019.

The Moment App is starting to get some traction. Camera Apps are harder to do well, especially on Android, but we dropped new releases this trimester which again got us featured which drove more downloads which introduced Moment to new customers. We've seen about $200K in app revenue in the first six months which improved our gross margins by 3-4% the back half of the year. We are also now testing paid adverting with app installs and re-marketing campaigns to see if customers enter the brand at $5 and then level up to buy our gear. If this works we'll be able to out spend every app company by having hardware revenue as the next step for app customers. We still have a lot of work to do on conversions, but we're making progress.

Moment Travel is up to 140 reservations in the first 7 months, putting us at a $750K annual run rate. We're new into travel but already learning a lot on what sells new trips. The short answer is announcing new trips sells more trips. We're also learning which markets are hot (Japan and Iceland) and which aren't (Patagonia). But biggest upside is the marketing power with travel. We dropped our first travel giveaway which had 8M impressions, 160K website sessions, and 66K emails collected. We also sold $16K in gear revenue making the campaign both profitable and a reminder how connected travel and Moment are. The spike below is from the giveaway.