Discover more from Houck's Newsletter
Painkillers vs. Vitamins
And why fractional CTOs are on the rise
As a reminder, Two Minute Startup goes out every Tuesday. I share the most interesting things I found each week about startups, and you can read it in 2 minutes or less.
Today at a glance:
Opportunity → AI-gifting
Resource → Data tool for Startups
Framework → Painkillers vs. Vitamins
Trend → Fractional CTO
Quote → Speed matters most
🤝 A Message from PartnerHero
Why do smart brands like Loom, Udemy, and Privy outsource their customer support, and why should you think about doing it too?
Customer experience is often overlooked by founders until everything is totally on fire. That’s why I love PartnerHero. They specialize in building customer operations teams for startups from seed to scale, and save you money along the way.
Book a call with their solutions team to learn how they’ve helped amazing startups like Miro, Lovepop, LMNT and others grow through CX.
💡 Opportunity: AI Gifting Tool
In 2022, the corporate gifting market was an estimated $242 billion. Yes, that’s a B, not an M — it surprised me too. It’s big business.
Can an AI tool help? Probably. Thoughtful gifts has been shown to help with employee acquisition, engagement, retention, as well as closing and maintaining strong partnerships. The ROI is there.
An idea for an AI tool I'd love to use —
I upload chat history with a person, and the tool analyses it and suggests gift ideas for them.
An even bigger market is probably corporate gifts. Analyse a person's public Twitter or IG to personalize their gifts. 👀
🧠 Framework: Painkillers vs. Vitamins
Vitamins may make you feel better, but you don’t need them. Painkillers make you feel better specifically when you something hurts.
Position your startup as a painkiller — find the pain point it solves and build for that use case.
🛠 Tool: Canvas
Founders often sacrifice data accuracy for speed. Speed is critical, but who’s going to turn down make your data more accessible across your team?
Canvas is a new tool that allows you to focus on the data and not the data engineering. They have ready-to-use templates for any type of startup. Seems like a good way to orient your team around shared goals.
📈 Trend: Fractional CTO
Great CTOs are rare — and, increasingly, they know it.
The “fractional exec” trend started with a fractional CFO, since most startups don’t need a full-time financial officer. But the fraction CTO is a new trend this year.
It’s likely being driven by the fundraising climate. Without the expectation of easy VC funding, more startups are open to part-time arrangements.
Another driver could be remote work — I’ve seen many US startups hire a fractional CTO to set the technical vision and strategy, but outsource the work to more affordable international developers.
Speed is the biggest advantage that startups have over incumbent companies. Makes sense that the fastest ones tend to be the most successful.
The biggest common thread I see between successful companies is speed.
The faster you can go (on the right path), the higher the odds of success and ultimately your impact.
💡 How I Can Help
Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways for us to work together: