How Jeff Bezos Makes Decisions

And an idea for a GPT Proxy

Sharing a small milestone today — my new product for lead generation and social media growth, Megaphone, just crossed 100 paying users! We’ve taken users from 0 to 13,000 followers in 3 weeks and we’re seeing CPMs as low as $0.09.

In total we’ve driven over 10,000,000 impressions in the last month!

Anyway here’s today at a glance:

  • Opportunity → GPT Proxy

  • Framework → Managing Complex Change

  • Tool → Zupyak

  • Trend → Help Me Find This

  • Quote → Decision Making Speed

💡 Opportunity: GPT Proxy

We’re not quite at the point yet where AI is doing tasks on our behalf without any input from us but we’re getting close (though there are rumors that OpenAI has already achieved near-AGI).

For now at least, many businesses rely on some combination of automation-centric tools like Zapier to automate processes for them. If you can add the ability to train a model based on the data it’s fed it could be much more powerful than typical automations.

But what if you could use automatically feed tagged data into the OpenAI API that would, over time, improve your processes and how they perform their tasks?

One downside — I’m pretty sure this is against OpenAI’s terms of service (which probably means it’s at least a decent idea) though, somewhat ironically, a YC company is working on something similar that has an interesting hack to get around that.

🧠 Framework: Managing Complex Change

If your startup is successful you’re going to go through periods of unmanageably rapid change. This is especially true about how your team feels about you, the company, and your decisions.

It’s a constant battle to keep everyone on the same page, since it quickly becomes impossible for everyone to have all of the relevant information.

This framework gives you a way to think about the different steps of creating a large scale change at your startup. For each missing piece there’s an attribute you need to tweak within your team that will help you manage change.

🛠 Tool: Zupyak

Consistently coming up with new ideas for content is hard (I would know). But Zupyak can help you create an SEO optimized article in 30 seconds.

It’s an incredible straightforward SEO-optimized AI writer. Think ChatGPT but specifically for SEO. You can grow your traffic from search engines without agencies or expensive SEO tools. Use the code HOUCK for a 30 day free trial.*

📈 Trend: Help Me Find This

The subreddit r/HelpMeFindThis has shot up to over 24k members in the last few months. It’s a forum where people can post a picture of a household item or anything that they’re not sure what it’s called or where to buy it and get crowdsourced help finding it online.

It’s sort of like that guy who is ridiculously good at finding places on Google Maps (seriously — he’s insanely good), but for finding items online.

There are at least two interesting products you could build for this community.

The first is a straightforward GPT-4 wrapper where you take a picture of something and find a link to it online. You could monetize it through affiliate links for any purchases that come through via the app if you wanted to focus strictly on ecommerce. You may also be able to get away with charging a per-item fee but unless the results were absolutely correct the vast majority of the time you’d end up with unhappy customers this way.

Upgrade to see the second idea to capitalize on this trend:

💬 Quote: Decision Making Speed

The best startups operate right on the border of chaos and order. If things are too chaotic you don’t have the right processes in place. If everything is organized then you’re not moving fast enough. So if things always seem a bit crazy at your startup it likely means you’re moving at the right speed.

Unlike at a big company where decisions require coordination across multiple teams, most of the decisions founders make at startups are reversible. In fact this is the primary advantage a startup has.

It’s better to make a quick decision without all the info instead of slow everyone down to wait for all of the information. Speed is survival. Jeff Bezos agrees:

🔗 Houck’s Picks

  • Folk is the all-in-one CRM. One workspace for all your relationships: sales, recruiting, fundraising, investing, partnerships. (Link)*

  • How to acquire your first customer from a five-time founder (Link)

  • The trick to creating high-quality work (Link)

  • Acquiring products 101 (Link)

Upgrade for the full batch of picks this week:

  • Peter Thiel’s best tip for hiring people

  • Insights from a successful founder on building in public

  • What really attracts and retains top people

  • A simple hiring formula that just works

  • A blueprint to build a $100 million holding company

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