Coffee With Robbie #2 – Noah Kagan – Break the Rules!

Video Transcript

Welcome to episode 2 of “coffee with Robbie” and today, I am going to talk about a person named Noah Kagan.

Noah Kagan was the 30th employee on Facebook. He was the director of marketing at and if you have ever bought any from AppSumo. He is the “chief Sumo” and today, I am going to be talking about “how Noah changed my behavior by the things that I have learnt of him.” Firstly, I want to give a shout out to my wife for custom making this mug. “Networking equals not working”. So thank you for that. The first lesson that I learnt from Noah Kagan is…


That is a big reason why I am wearing the “breaking bad” t-shirt today. Noah likes to break the rule. I would give you a great example.

A long time ago, I went to a growth hacker meetup by a person named Shawn Johnson who was throwing it. Noah was the keynote speaker and he began his talk with questions and answers. He did not give his 20-minute speech or PowerPoint presentation and then at the end say. “what questions do you have? He actually began with “what questions do you have?”

It was mind blowing for me. He was actually, the only person that I have seen do that and it worked phenomenally well. Here is why it worked really well. He gave a presentation that he knew, while he was giving it was addressing why people showed up in the first place. They have questions, they wanted to know, and they want to learn.

Instead of giving this talk, then asking, “Did I cover everything you wanted?” he said, “what are the questions you have?” “Let me write them down and while I am giving my talk, I will answer the questions”. He gave an ad hoc talk and it is one of the best talks that I have heard. That is how Noah thought me to break the rules. It has changed my behavior quite a bit on how I address certain things.


What “being ghetto” means, is that things do not have to be perfect. When you are launching a product or your career. People expect things to be perfect and as a result, they never launch anything or they launch something that nobody else wants.

What I learnt from being ghetto is if you have an idea. Do it! Do not wait. It might be ghetto but it is fine.

That is a reason why he changed my behavior. That is another reason why I am doing this. I could have a better camera, a better sound, over all the background is really nice.

Be ghetto. Just release it, it may work or it may not work. That is a great way to test if a product will work or not. Before you do any of these marketing strategies or tactics. People have a lot of ideas. He really thought me whole doing the talk in the “growth hacker” meetup is; be able to test ideas quickly.

I remember doing that, I raised my hand and said, “I wanted to launch something related to female celebrity fashion”. He said “why are you waiting to create it?” I made up some excuses. He said, “Do it tonight! You can do it tonight and post it to the forum” I actually did it. I bought a domain and launched a simple website that night. He inspired me to create it. What I found out was; nobody really wanted it and I found out that I did not really know anything about celebrity fashion. It was the wrong thing for me to get into.

He saved me a lot of time by just telling me to do it. He gave me a dead line and I did it before midnight. I realized I was not really interested in it. It was not something I should be spending my time on. Nobody really wanted it. “BE GHETTHO” is a big thing that he has thought me.


I was always under the assumption that everybody gets too many emails and it does not work. I thought I should try something else. I was wrong and Noah was able to teach me that. It was something that changed my behavior and how I market “fire me I beg you”.

Majority of my stuff is actually done via email. If you are not on my email list go to “fire me, I beg” it is one of the best email lists you will ever be on. He thought me how to write my email. How to perform autoresponder sequences. He thought me a lot of things bout email. I have Noah Kagan to thank for that. Email has been my number one or number 2 channel when it comes to marketing.


It is finding a channel that works for your marketing. It may be social media, emails, trade shows, billboards, ADS, blogs. Whatever it may be.

Find your channel and optimize that channel to the best of your ability. Too many people think when it comes to marketing; they have to post, tweet, email and a lot of things. The first place you start is to be ghetto and find what channel that works right away.

Focus on that channel and pick up the effectiveness of that channel. He did that for He gained a million views in 90 days. He focused on finding a channel. He tried 10 or 11 channels over 2-3 months. He was able to determine the channels that work and the channels that do not work. It changed how “Mint” marketed their things. That is a reason why they did not do certain things and they did a few things very well. Noah really thought me to focus on the channels and be ghetto and to do it!

Finally, the reason I am talking about Noah Kagan today is not because he was the 30th employee at Facebook. Not because he was director at “Mint” and marketing. Not because he runs a widely successful app called App Sumo.

I am talking about him today because he was a teacher.

Like the first episode, I spoke about Gary Vayneryuk. He was a teacher. Noah is extremely generous when it comes to telling people how he did things. A normal traditional person would think that if they built mint that has multi million users, they would not tell any other person how they did it. “Why would I give away their secrets?” he realizes that by becoming a teacher. He gets more exposure and like Gary Vaynerchuck said “EXPOSURE EQUALS LEVERGE”, he became a great teacher and people respect him because of that.

That is why I am doing this today. That is why he gets a lot of subscribers on his email list. That is why he gets more people to join his company. That is why he has a lot of leverage in different negotiations. That is the reason Noah Kagan is my number 2 today. Noah has changed my behavior.

The reason I am wearing this t-shirt is because of you.

Thank you.

PS: Read the only resignation letter template you’ll ever need.