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

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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.

🧠 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.

💬 Quote

Speed is the biggest advantage that startups have over incumbent companies. Makes sense that the fastest ones tend to be the most successful.

💡 How I Can Help

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  1. Grab time with me for a 1:1 session on fundraising, GTM and growth, hiring, finding PMF, or anything else

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