TLDR Founders 2024-05-15

Cruise Founder’s New Robot Startup 🤖, The Venture Studio Model 🧰, 10 Deadly Sins of B2B Growth 👹

Headlines & Trends

Cruise Founder Kyle Vogt is Back with a Robot Startup (2 minute read)

Kyle Vogt, the co-founder and former CEO of Cruise, has launched a new venture, the Bot Company, aimed at developing robots to perform household chores. It has secured $150 million in funding from notable investors, including Nat Friedman and the Collison brothers. This move marks Vogt's return to the tech scene following his departure from Cruise amidst regulatory challenges after a Cruise vehicle was involved in a serious accident.

Social Capital's 2023 Annual Letter (14 minute read)

In Social Capital's sixth letter, Chamath Palihapitiya discusses the firm's investments across technology and company life cycles since 2011. Highlighting 2023's economic trends, he notes the end of cheap capital and AI's impact on company building, giving advice on product-market fit and capital allocation. He also explores rate hikes, a banking crisis, and generative AI's rapid growth.

Venture Studios and Incubations (8 minute read)

Venture studios are emerging as a popular model for early-stage investments, focusing on building, launching, and funding startups with a systematic approach to reduce risk and increase success rates. Unlike traditional venture capital or accelerators, venture studios act as institutional co-founders, providing extensive support, resources, and expertise to help startups grow from inception to market.
Strategies & Tactics

5-Step Framework to Uncover Growth Opportunities (11 minute read)

This article presents a 5-step framework to uncover growth opportunities that involves regularly revisiting product flows, understanding user journeys, empathizing with user emotions, leveraging behavioral principles, connecting problems with hypotheses and predictions, and identifying key success metrics. This approach helps align business thinking with user-centricity, leading to meaningful product improvements.

10 Years After Growth Hacking (5 minute read)

Growth hacking techniques have become widely adopted across the tech industry over the past decade, but their effectiveness has been limited by factors such as the maturation of mobile platforms and the difficulty of achieving product-market fit through A/B testing alone. As new AI technologies emerge, growth strategies are evolving to leverage the power of personalized content creation and engagement, opening up new opportunities for startups to drive rapid adoption and growth.

How to Calculate Net Dollar Retention (5 minute read)

Net Dollar Retention (NDR) is a measure of how much your existing customers expand in a given period, net of any churn or down-sell. It combines all your existing customer data and is arguably the best indicator of your business's health. You can impact NDR by selling more of the same product, introducing a new product, or reducing churn. Generally, anything over 110% is good, and anything over 130% is great.
Tools & Resources

Wegic (Tool)

Wegic is an AI web designer and developer.

Startup Playbook by Y Combinator (Deck)

Compiled insights from former YC partner Sam Altman.

BoodleBox (Tool)

All AIs in one platform for team collaboration.

Are Revenue Multiples a Thing of the Past? (6 minute read)

Private equity firms have shifted their valuation approach for SaaS companies from revenue-based to future EBITDA-based, influencing venture capitalists to follow suit. This change emphasizes the importance of demonstrating future cash flow potential, efficient capital use, and competitive processes to maximize company valuations at various stages of fundraising or sale.

The 10 Deadly Sins of B2B Growth (5 minute read)

To achieve sustained growth, B2B companies must avoid common pitfalls such as neglecting user feedback, prioritizing growth over product-market fit, and ignoring usage retention, as these oversights can hinder long-term success. By recognizing and addressing these mistakes, companies can focus on building effective growth systems and methods that amplify their efforts and lead to repeatable and predictable impacts.

The Big Tariffs are Here (9 minute read)

The United States is imposing 100% tariffs on Chinese-made electric vehicles, which will effectively keep them out of the American market. The tariffs may not significantly impact consumers, since few Chinese EVs are currently sold in the U.S. They are part of a broader shift towards protectionism in American trade policy, driven by concerns about jobs, trade imbalances, cybersecurity risks, and maintaining domestic manufacturing capacity for defense purposes.
Quick Links

Efficiency isn't Always Good (2 minute read)

Efficiency is not always the best approach, especially for tasks that are only performed once or on a small scale.

2021 was Crazy Because Growth Was Crazy. 2024 is Tough Because Growth is Tough (1 minute read)

The technology industry experienced a significant slowdown in growth over the past two years, with the average growth rate of leading public SaaS companies dropping from 67% in early 2022 to just 23% in 2024.

Self-Mastery: The Four Agreements (2 minute read)

The Four Agreements, based on ancient Toltec teachings, provide practical tools for personal growth and self-mastery.
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