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 → Typo

  • 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

Product-market fit always starts with the customer. And Dan Olsen’s PMF framework starts from the bottom up.

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: Typo

Typo connects with your dev tool stack (Git, Issues, CI/CD, Slack) & provides real-time visibility into the software delivery pipeline. It identifies bottlenecks, drives actions to increase predictability, and improves the quality of every release.

Houck’s Newsletter readers get 20% off — just use the code houck20 at checkout.

📈 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.

Upgrade to see my analysis of how you can create a unicorn in this space:

💬 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)

Upgrade for additional picks this week:

  • Winners & losers in the current AI market

  • Are designers more valuable than engineers?

  • A peak inside how LPs who invest in venture funds think

  • Lessons on how to evaluate great talent in other people

  • An easy way to differentiate yourself from 95% of founders

  • What makes a startup stand out to a VC even from cold outreach

  • How to avoid a drawn out fundraising process

  • Lessons on making successful exec hires

💡 How I Can Help

Here are 2 ways for me to help you close your fundraise, find PMF, or accelerate growth:

Here are 3 ways for me to help you close your fundraise, find PMF, or accelerate growth:

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