Discover more from Houck's Newsletter
Resilient Founders Always Have A Move
And how to build a unicorn in AI story generation
On Saturday I shared a deep dive on paths to explore when you’re considering a down round. Join the community to get access to it and my library of 40+ deep dives, including a new one each week — all along with a supportive founder community.
Today at a glance:
Opportunity → Auto-Vetting Candidates
Framework → Product-Market Fit Framework
Tool → Coframe
Trend → AI Story Generator
Quote → Resilient founders always have a move
💡 Opportunity: Auto-Vetting Candidates
Most people don’t actually put a lot of effort into applying for a job. For founders like us who care immensely about what we build and how we spend our time this may be surprising, but it’s true.
Since job sites like Indeed and even LinkedIn make it incredibly easy to apply to a job, the superior strategy for most candidates is to “spray and pray” — apply to as many jobs as possible with the same resume and hop on an interview with whoever gets back to you
This creates a massive, time-consuming problem for founders and hiring managers. Manually sorting through hundreds of applications is soul-draining, painful, and not a great way to spend time.
I’d love to see a new applicant tracking system (ATS) with advanced AI features that enables:
Top candidates to be surfaced (and connected with for interviews) automatically based on the job description
Other candidates to be filtered out by AI
Companies would pay for this simply for the time and efficiency gains, as long as the right candidates were surfaced vs. filtered out.
🧠 Framework: Product-Market Fit Framework
Research your target customer to understand their underserved needs. Then develop a value proposition that addresses them and define your features and UX only from there. Many founders think its the other way around.
You can also refer back to my piece on how to use PMF Score to measure how well your product is meeting your customers needs.
🛠 Tool: Coframe
A/B tests are useful, right? Well, wouldn’t it actually be better if your website used AI to know how to improve itself and was constantly working to do it so that you didn’t have to think twice about it? That’s what Coframe is building.
📈 Trend: AI Story Generator
A while ago a designer at Brex went viral for posting on Twitter about a children’s book he’d made entirely with AI tools.
6 months later and we’re already well past that, in terms of the available tech.
AI story generators can now create plots, characters, and entire stories from a simple text prompt.
Tons of writing-assistant tools have popped up since ChatGPT was released. Why? Well, because of this extremely fast rise in interest.
The problem is that many of these tools are being marked down and doing layoffs right now.
Here’s how you can create something in this space:
Build a moonshot.
Jasper wasn’t a moonshot in the same way Copy AI wasn’t a moonshot. It was a UI with ChatGPT underneath. Tough to build a venture-scale business if your secret sauce is actually the same secret sauce everyone can use elsewhere too.
A small number of AI startups qualify as a moonshot because they fundamentally reimagine how humans interact with something, or perform some task.
An interesting example is Cursor.so. It could very well set a new paradigm for IDEs… or it call fall flat and people choose not to adopt it. But it’s radically different enough to have a shot at going big.
A moonshot in the story generation space will require a highly creative person thinking about how humans create, consume, remember, and share stories from a place of first principles.
💬 Quote: Resilient founders always have a move
As a founder, there will come a point where your backs against the wall, runway is short, and you’ve got to fight for your companies survival.
Every founder has been there. Always look to have another move in your back pocket for when you need it. Ben Horowitz has walked the walk on this — here he is answering why he made the unpopular decision to refocus his company.
🔗 Houck’s Picks
A list of accelerators worth considering (Link)
A compilation of all the lessons learned by Keith Rabois (Link)
A lesson about making hard decisions (Link)
Chamath shares a real-world example of Peter Thiel’s theory that “competition is for losers” (Link)
Sarah Guo explains the history of “runway” in startups (Link)
Detailed breakdown of why and how Threads may be failing (Link)
💡 How I Can Help
Here are 3 ways for me to help you close your fundraise, find PMF, or accelerate growth: