- Houck's Newsletter
- Fundraising Is A Tactic (Not A Goal)
Fundraising Is A Tactic (Not A Goal)
And a 12 million dollar startup idea
On Saturday I shared a deep dive on the risk of why low valuations aren’t actually bad. Join the community to get access to my library of 50+ deep dives, and a new one in your inbox each Saturday.
Today at a glance:
Opportunity → Blue Zone Community
Framework → DIBB
Tool → Linear
Trend → Renters
Quote → Fundraising as a Tactic
💡 Opportunity: Blue Zone Community
Whenever someone is doing a health trend they love to show it off. They’re proud of it. Whether that’s sharing your run on Strava or posting pics at the gym. A longevity challenge could be the new 75 Hard challenge. You’d have a baked-in viral component for a trend that’s not showing any signs of slowing down.
Greg does a great job outlining the strategy in his longform post on X — what I’d add is that you could continue to scale this yourself without doing his 5th step (hire an operator to take over as CEO) if you’re passionate about the space, though I am a fan of his “multipreneur” framing.
Either way I continue to be bullish on the community-as-GTM approach, as long as you can provide unique value for your community (like we do with our IRL events, fireside chats, fundraising support, and very soon courses…) and it’s more than just a Discord server.
🧠 Framework: DIBB
Spotify created the DIBB Framework to help align their entire organization around a consistent decision-making process. It helps founders derive insights from their data and identify the right calculated risks to take.
There’s four parts to it:
Data → Gather and analyze accurate data that’s relevant to the problem you’re solving
Insight → Look for patterns, trends, and insights in the data to inform decision-making
Belief → Create a hypothesis based on your insights and gain conviction
Bet → Test your beliefs with action and define expected outcomes
What I like about this is that it feels very similar to what founders naturally do: collect datapoints / trends, identify an opportunity, gain conviction, and then take a shot at it.
Not all of your bets will work out, but that’s ok — you shouldn’t expect them all to. The important thing is that each bet is focused on driving your startup’s north star goals (here’s a good guide on north stars from Lenny Rachitsky).
🛠 Tool: Pixel True
I’m always looking for ways to improve my landing page conversion, and you probably are too. Pixel True is sharing all the strategies based in real buying psychology they use to build landing pages that convert up to 15% of visitors.
Stop wasting money on traffic that’s going to immediately leave your page and build something that drives the results you’re looking for. Get their tips and tricks for free here.*
📈 Trend: Renters
If you rent an apartment you’ve probably have a gripe or two with your landlord at some point.
The r/renters subreddit is growing by 55% month over month. It’s a community for tenants to help each other with landlord situations and legal issues.
Many people are asking for advice on if they can sue their landlord or if something is legal in their state. Most of these situations likely aren’t big enough to get a lawyer involved, so a place like r/renters can help provide (hopefully) accurate answers for issues.
Renting is nothing new, of course, but with interest rates pricing most people out of the idea of purchasing a home, I expect renting (and looking for ways to get a leg up as a renter) to continue to increase.
💬 Quote: Fundraising is a Tactic, Not a Goal
It’s time for founders to revaluate the pursuit of funding.
Don’t get me wrong, raising capital is a milestone for a startup and can dramatically change the trajectory of your business. It’s also challenging to pull off — everything from your approach to how you sell it, to just some luck around the timing of the deal relative to what else investors have seen all has to go in your favor.
But don’t treat it like your goal — a founder that optimizes for fundraising above all else is likely not spending enough time on their customers or product. As Paul Graham says, the defining characteristic of the best founders is that they are relentlessly resourceful.
Scott Belsky puts it slightly differently:
Look at companies like Zapier that reached a $5B valuation while only raising $1.3M. Be proud of how much you can get done with limited resources.
🔗 Houck’s Picks
Bear markets are the best time to find your next 10x crypto opportunity. Subscribe to Raremints to get daily web3 insights and stay ahead of the curve, for free (Link)*
How long it took the top B2B SaaS startups to hit $1M ARR (Link)
How to build a company in 2023 with no investors (Link)
Questions to ask yourself when building your product (Link)
Upgrade for the full batch of picks this week:
Advice to bootstrapped founders from someone who sold their company for $500M
How to find recently funded startups to pitch your business to
Three things every founder should do
Two rules for early stage hiring
💡 How I Can Help
❤️ Upgrade to get all my weekly deep dives and founder community access
📣 Let me grow your startup faster by getting your content in front of 7.5 million people
💰 Fundraising? I’m sending monthly emails to hundreds of investors in my personal network highlighting exciting deals
💼 Hiring? I partnered with top creators to launch a boutique recruiting service
🤝 Grab time with me for a 1:1 session or a full-day sprint
🚀 Advertise in my newsletter to get in front of 85,000+ founders
“*” indicates sponsored content.