The rise of the Jasper Empire
Of the 75 wealthiest individuals in human history, 14 were Americans born within 9 years of each between 1831 and 1840.
The billionaires of the Gilded Age - Andrew Carnegie, John Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and JP Morgan were all born in a four-year window in the 1830s - 25 years before one of the largest economic booms in history.
Wall Street would emerge, railroad expansions kick into high gear, and the US Oil industry bloom just as these men entered the workforce.
Fast forward 120 years to the 1950s. A similar three-year window would see the birth of Paul Allen, Sun Microsystems founders Bill Joy and Scott McNealy, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. Personal computers would go into mass production just as these men would graduate.
Armed to the teeth with a specific set of skills and hours of extensive practice, some of the wealthiest characters in human history also happened to be at the right place, at the right time - at an inflection point in cultural and technological transformation.
In 2022, we’re at another crucial inflection point in tech. Generative AI is here and advancing incrementally almost every month. Leaps and bounds.
Three entrepreneurs with a specific set of skills of 10,000+ hours of preparation under their belt are placed at the ramparts of this transformation. Right place. Right time. Right idea. An idea they call Jasper.
Jasper: The origins 🐣
A short time after earning his business degree from Kansas State University, Dave Rogenmoser sat down with his two longtime friends JP Morgan (John Philip, not John Pierpont) and Chris Hull to set two simple goals. In their words:
“1. Start a company.
2. Make $6,000 a month to support our families.”
The three friends’ two core interests were building software and digital marketing, and they would one day marry those interests into the near-perfect harmony of Jasper.
The trio would shut down two failed SaaS companies, foray into digital marketing, pivot that into a company building courses, and build Proof, a YC-backed website personalization company a la Mutiny, before distilling the ingredients of what became Jasper.
When Proof’s growth stalled in the Autumn of 2020, the three friends were burning money and growing tired. After being forced to lay off almost half of their small team, Rogenmoser, Morgan, and Hull again set their sights on new horizons.
Proof’s slow-down (but ultimate success) freed up Rogenmoser and his Jasper co-founders to take a breath and gain perspective. Nearly six years after they set those initial two goals, the three friends sat down together again. This time they asked the question that would birth Jasper: “If we could build anything, what would it be?”
They knew three things for sure:
1. They loved marketing.
2. They loved building software.
3. They wanted to use AI.
In the summer of 2020, the Gods spoke back. OpenAI released the Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3).
JP’s phone started buzzing one evening in late 2020. It was Dave.
On January 15th, 2021, the trio launched Conversion.ai—the company that would eventually come to be known as Jarvis and, finally (after Disney/Marvel came after them due to the ostensible nod to Tony Stark’s AI of the same name) Jasper.
What can Jasper do? Set Jasper afoot with a primer prompt, and it churns out compelling, clickable copy for blog posts, landing pages, social media ads, marketing emails, and more at almost 10x speed.
Today, Jasper is trusted by over 70,000 copywriters and content marketers at Google, AirBnb, IBM, HarperCollins, Logitech, Keller Williams, and others. With 26 different languages supported today, Jasper is a truly global writing assistant.
In October 2022, Jasper raised a $125 million Series A round led by Insight Partners and joined by other leading firms, including Coatue, Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, Foundation Capital, Founders Circle Capital, HubSpot Ventures, and more. With angel cheques from David Cancel, Amjad Masad (Replit founder), and Clem Delangue (Huggingface).
The latest round comes just 18 months after launch and puts Jasper at a $1.5B valuation and an est. $75M in revenue (70% growth YoY) - making it one of the fastest-growing start-ups of ALL time.
But Jasper’s story is not all about being at the right place and time. All said and done, there are many PLG companies riding the GPT3 wave. But no one has quite done it quite as spectacularly as Jasper has.
Which begs the question - what is Jasper’s secret growth sauce? Let’s dig deeper.
Differentiation through integrations 👐🏻
Jasper’s founders are marketers by trade who understand the trade deeply. And it shows.
In a market that’s becoming increasingly crowded with such players as Copy.ai, Copysmith.ai, Simplified, Writesonic, among others, Jasper differentiated early based on integrations.
And opened up the depths of the content marketing use case. Jasper offers native integrations to:
- SurferSEO - On-page SEO recommendations and article-scoring built into Jasper to target page 1 rankings on google
- Grammarly - for Grammar & Spelling checks
- Copyscape - in-built plagiarism checker
This is a superpower for Jasper’s ICP - fewer tab switches, fewer steps in content workflows, and overall fewer context switches. Productivity stonks.
Build a raving fanbase 👏🏻
Building a strong community is a lot like building an island nation. People migrate to it when they stand to benefit from it personally. There are good reasons why JasperNation is today 70k strong (and growing.)
- Give, don’t take - Jasper Nation’s motto is “We’re givers, not takers.” Jasper’s Facebook community is 70k strong and is a little corner of the internet for Jasper users to share “wins, tips, and helpful advice for generating great marketing copy.” This moderation lever ensures more value for the user in the community to take away than they have to give. This isn’t another “How can I…” community.
- Recipes - Jasper activates the community lever within the product through “recipes” - templatized prompts that provide guardrails for the AI to operate within for targeted use cases. Like writing a cold mail, a Facebook ad, or even a non-fiction book. For recipes custom created within Jasper, the tool triggers a prompt to share these with the Jasper community and indexed by the search engine Gods. User-generated product templates, anyone?
- Encourage your users’ tattoo habits - we’re kidding here, but the hype is very real.
Make TTV approach 0 📉
Time to Value (TTV) can take a real hit when most users are still new to AI and need assistance navigating the learning curve of a brand new GPT-3 powered tool. This is, as Jasper went on to show the world, a highly solvable problem.
- Templates - Productized recipes.
- Documentation (First order) - Extensive help docs.
- Documentation (Second order/Repurposed) - Extensive help docs repurposed into videos and smoothly layered into the product
- Personalized onboarding journeys - based on who you are and what you’re looking to do, to ensure that the tool doesn’t smother you with its very broad appeal
- In-app help - Extensive guides and onboarding ladders to walk you through the editor and app.
Print your own money 💸
Jasper’s pricing is usage-based and measured in credits. 1 credit = 1 word. The paid plans price you based on the estimated #words you will likely generate using Jasper in a month. With tailwinds of a strong community and a powerful ecosystem building around Jasper - AND since most content marketers think of pricing in units of #words anyway, credits ARE money in #JasperNation.
Establishing that transitive property opens avenues for marketing to do more with credits.
- For delight - Here’s a snippet from the blog announcing Jasper’s Series A funding where Dave rewards Jasper users:
- To incentivize - Here’s one from the invitation to a webinar where the CS team offers free credits for attending:
Become platform agnostic 🤷🏻♀️
All said and done, very few marketing teams have processes that are limited to Google Docs, ClickUp, Notion, or where-have-you. Across freelancers, agencies, in-house content creators, and others, the workflows tend to be cross-platform.
Onboarding a new process onto Jasper or even migrating an existing one is a high-friction task that Jasper would prefer to circumvent.
And so, on October 19, 2022, Jasper launched a Chrome Extension that overlays Jasper onto anywhere your marketing teams need content assistance.
The result? Jasper doesn’t share attention with every other tool in your content workflow anymore. Your favorite AI sidekick is now ubiquitous - because its new home is Chrome.
BRB, we’re going B2B 🔙
That third CTA on the pricing page as with most third CTAs is “Talk to Sales.” Jasper’s B2B motion now interlaces two powerful PLG GTM playbooks:
- Sales-assist: With ~5 product specialists and ~10 CSMs in-house, Jasper adds fuel to the self-serve fuel through a sales-assist motion to upsell and expand accounts.
- High-velocity sales: A sales team of ~15 AEs tackles the largely inbound pipeline generated from the 100,000k+ organic inbound website traffic + paid
The future of Jasper Nation 🔮
Dave, JP, and Chris have blown past their initial goal of making “$6,000 a month to support our families.” Jasper’s the hot new kid in town. With ventures into DALL-E/Stable Diffusion territories through Jasper Art and a brand new “Workflows” (similar to the One-Shot Blog Post with more customizations), product-market fit among marketers is growing deeper roots week over week.
With a significant head-start on competitors and a brand new $125M in the bank, how Jasper differentiates further in this increasingly crowded market will (hopefully) be a sight for SaaS to behold.
Much like the WIP tattoo designs I’m firing up on Jasper Art as I write this.