Discover more from Houck's Newsletter
SpaceX's Product Checklist
And a better way to do performance reviews
Today at a glance:
Opportunity → AI Audio Ad Blocker
Framework → Shape Up
Resource → Easy Performance Reviews for Startups
Trend → Summarizing Tools
Quote → SpaceX’s Checklist
🤝 A Message from Pesto
What’s the most common thing founders ask for? Trusted, high quality developers. There’s simply a huge mismatch in terms of supply and demand, but the right developer can 10x your startup.
That’s why I’m a big fan of Pesto. They’ve built a platform that centralizes and brings predictability to the entire developer hiring process, from sourcing curated talent to managing the interview process.
💡 Opportunity: AI Audio Ad Blocker
I know I’m not the only one who skips through podcast ads. What if they got skipped automatically?
Request for startup:
Podcast app that uses AI to automatically detect ads and skip 'em. Ad blocker for audio!
Someone could probably build an MVP for this in a weekend (I’ll be your first customer if you do).
🧠 Framework: Shape Up
Too many founders follow Agile methods by default without considering other options.
Shape Up was created by Ryan Singer, head of product strategy at Basecamp, and advocates for thinking of product development in “cycles” — self-defined, fixed timeframes for achieving a specific central goal.
The framework’s argument is basically that more flexibility with cycle structure (and fewer meetings) leads to better product iterations and shipping efficiency.
🛠 Tool: Performance Reviews Made Easy
Startups succeed when team members have a way to openly share feedback with one another, but most performance management tools are clunky and built for big companies.
Effy seems like it’s worth a shot for startups though. They just launched on Product Hunt two weeks ago and already feature an AI summarizing tool, as well as a handy Slack integration.
📈 Trend: Summarizing
Let’s be honest: LLMs are better and 10x faster at summarizing things (meetings, podcasts, legal docs, etc) than humans are.
Building tools that leverage this across various industries is one of the most clear, early applications for LLMs.
I imagine we’ll continue to see summarizing tools for niche use cases pop up over the next year or two.
This plaque hangs on the walls at SpaceX’s Starbase. It’s good advice for any startup.
💡 How I Can Help
Whenever you’re ready, here are 2 ways for us to work together: