The AppSumo & Noah Kagan Story

Okay, so let's talk about how Noah started up AppSumo.

By the way, AppSumo offers deals on software and digital tools for entrepreneurs. Put simply, you sign up and it sends you deals.

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After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2004 with a Business degree, Noah Kagan started on the typical journey of securing a "good job" at a well-established company, namely Intel. However, boredom soon set in, leading Noah to bring a sleeping bag to work and rebrand Intel as "Inhell."

The Leap to Facebook

Fed up, Noah took a leap of faith and sent his CV to a fledgling startup you might have heard of... Facebook. At just 24, he became employee #30 at Facebook, where he contributed to key features like the "Status Update," the mobile platform, and the launch of Facebook ads.

The Infamous Salary Choice

Here's where things get interesting...

Given two salary options upon joining Facebook—$60,000 and 0.1% equity or $65,000 and 0.05% equity—Noah chose the former. This decision could have netted him over $200 million today. But nine months in, he was fired. Reasons cited included "leaking" info to TechCrunch, but the clincher was a question from Mark Zuckerberg: "Do you want to be on the Noah Show or the Facebook Show?"

Reinventing at

Post-Facebook, Noah joined as employee #4, helping it grow from zero to one million users. Despite owning 1% of Mint, he left before the company was sold to Intuit for $270 million, missing out on $1.7 million.

The Birth of AppSumo

Undeterred, Noah started making games for Facebook, eventually earning enough to quit his job and pursue his dream of entrepreneurship. His startup, Gambit, transitioned into creating payment methods for games, processing $30 million in their first 12 months. However, legal battles with Facebook and competitors forced him to close shop.

Living in his aunt's basement for two years and on his mom's couch for another, Noah had a breakthrough. He loved helping people grow their businesses and promoting great products. With $50 and the help of a freelancer coder, Mohammed, was born.

Growing Pains and Ultimate Success

AppSumo grew rapidly—too rapidly. Noah and his core team made the tough decision to downsize and refocus. A transformative trip to India followed, along with the growth of and (which cost $1.5 million to acquire).

Despite missing out on big cash opportunities at Facebook and Mint, Noah turned AppSumo into an eight-figure business. Today, he focuses on strategic direction, blogs at, hosts the "Noah Kagan Presents" podcast, and shares business tips on his YouTube channel.

Here's a video of Noah sharing his journey on Brett Malinowski's podcast. (P.s Brett's podcast is great, you should check him out too.)

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