Strategies for Saying No

And team building regrets

Hey y’all — here’s today at a glance:

Opportunity → Costco for B2B SaaS

Framework → Strategies for Saying No

Tool → Podallies

Trend → Ping Minimalism

Quote → Team Building Regrets

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🔗 Houck’s Picks

My favorite finds of the week.

  • Organize your Inbox with personalized AI algorithms that show your most important messages first, while filtering out the noise. Sign up today and save $25 on any subscription.*

  • How to make sure users actually share your product (Link)

  • Why messaging issues are usually due to positioning (Link)

  • An insanely detailed set of free playbooks for how to operate a SaaS company (Link)

  • An analysis of Mark Zuckerberg and Peter Thiel’s thoughts on the next decade (Link)

  • 20 pieces of counterintuitive advice about building AI products (Link)

  • An important piece of hiring advice (Link)

  • Box founder’s 5 lessons for startup founders (Link)

  • The three natural competitive advantages of early-stage startups (Link)

  • The stages of a bottleneck in every business (Link)

💡 Opportunity: Costco for B2B SaaS

Two weeks ago I mentioned why Charlie Munger says Costco uses a membership model.

He explained it was to avoid the wrong customers.

Someone should apply the same principle to B2B SaaS.

There are a lot of benefits to focusing on higher-ticket clients or users, one being fewer support tickets. If you can condense the sales cycle, you can also scale revenue more easily.

There’s been a rise of companies selling “boilerplates” for engineers to get the backend of a new product set up super fast.

My favorite is ShipFast, built by a Product Hunt maker of the year — it combines the right tools, templates, and webhooks to get up and running in literally a few minutes.

But I haven’t seen anyone try this strategy outside of engineering. Worth a look!

🧠 Framework: Strategies for Saying No

When you’re in the idea maze, say yes to everything.

Once you find a problem to solve, say no to everything else.

The problem is that saying no can be hard.

When things are going right, everything can seem like an opportunity. And when things go wrong, everything can seem like a way out.

But founders need to say no. Spreading yourself too thin will stop you from making progress on any one thing.

Lenny Rachitsky shared some great strategies for saying no that are applicable to anyone, but particularly founders:

🛠 Tool: Podallies

Podcasting is projected to be a $130 billion industry by 2030 (I’m starting one soon).

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📈 Trend: Ping Minimalism

There are times where I get 10 pings per minute.

Slack, text, email, X DMs, Telegram, WhatsApp… it gets crazy.

I’ve started keeping Do Not Disturb on for most of the day. Otherwise the switching costs would drain so much time that it’d be hard to be productive.

With AI, outreach will become less human and more frequent. I expect there will be a trend of adding friction for people and messages to get in touch with you, and tools and services that support this.

💬 Quote: Team Building Regrets

If you ask founders what the most important thing that made their startup successful, many would say the people they hired.

I know that’s true for me.

A big reason we were able to grow to millions in revenue and raise a Series A in 2 years was because we hired some incredible people (here are my tips for what to look for).

And a big reason the company ultimately failed was because we made some bad hiring decisions too.

Another example: Stripe’s founders allegedly remained part of the interview process for their first 1,000 employees.

The bottom line is that your people determine your culture. There’s nothing more worth investing your time into.

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