Discover more from Houck's Newsletter
Hiring for Potential vs. Experience
And what Jerry Seinfeld thinks about innovation
I’ve been in bed with a nasty case of COVID for the last week. Feeling better now and back on track!
Here’s today at a glance:
Opportunity → AI Accountability Buddy
Framework → Potential vs. Experience
Tool → CRM for Startups
Trend → AI for Finance
Quote → Jerry Seinfeld on Innovation
💡 Opportunity: AI Accountability Buddy
An AI bot that catches me when I scroll Twitter for too long? Yeah… I could use that.
Seriously though — an AI tool that can gently (or maybe intensely, if needed) reminds you of your goals when you seem to be avoiding them could create a winner here. Maybe you even give it permission to lock your phone for a certain amount of time.
There are a lot of dead businesses in the accountability space, but an AI agent could potentially be less easily thwarted, and therefore more exciting.
I want an AI companion that I can share my goals with and is integrated with key apps, that will call me on my bullsh** and help me course-correct.
💬 "Hey, you've been scrolling IG for 30 mins. Is this how you want to spend your Sunday?"
💬 "Hey, you said you wanted to learn… https://t.co/uaLlTFGtmc
🧠 Framework: Potential vs. Experience
A lot of founders have never hired someone before — but hiring is one of the highest leverage things founders need to do. Being bad at it is really expensive in the long run (ex: allegedly, the Collison brothers personally interviewed every new hire at Stripe for many years).
A core question at a startup is whether you should hire experienced players (who will be more expensive) or scrappier, junior team members who are high potential but less proven.
This simple question from Keith Rabois can help. He says each role at a startup is either value-creating (if so, hire high-potential people) or value-protecting (hire highly experienced people).
You can read more about it in a great piece by Erik Torenberg.
🛠 Tool: Attio
Most founders hate CRMs. They’re either super unhappy with their current one because it’s slow and requires a lot of maintenance, or they avoid CRMs as long as possible and stick to spreadsheets or Airtable.
Attio is a new type of CRM specifically designed for startups. You can get started for free, but more importantly is how flexible and easy to use it is — even though it’s powered by an advanced data model.
📈 Trend: AI in Finance
It’s clear that AI is exploding, but a specific area that’s growing but hasn’t been talked about as much as some others is AI in finance.
Can AI analyze financial data and provide genuinely useful insight?
Will AI eliminate the need for analysts at larger firms?
What would a Bloomberg terminal look like if it was designed in 2023 with AI tools?
This is a broad trend, but potentially a highly lucrative one to dive into.
💬 Quote: Jerry Seinfeld on Innovation
When Seinfeld came on TV in the 90’s, it was a sensation because it was about “nothing.” Every other sitcom had an overarching narrative and storyline, but not Seinfeld. Even in the finale, the main characters proved they hadn’t changed.
Jerry Seinfeld says that innovation comes from finding the things you’re sick of that other people might be sick of too.
💡 How I Can Help
Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways for us to work together: