TLDR Founders 2024-06-07

The Consumer Renaissance 🎨, AI Agent Infrastructure 🤖, Building a Better Sales Pitch 📣

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Headlines & Trends

The Consumer Renaissance (10 minute read)

The consumer technology sector is poised for significant growth and innovation in the coming years despite being currently undervalued by investors. Venture capital data shows that consumer startups have a higher likelihood of going public and achieving valuations over $10 billion compared to enterprise companies. The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence are creating opportunities for disruptive consumer applications, such as AI-powered avatars for language learning and other use cases, which have the potential to challenge incumbent consumer internet companies.

VC Funding to Female Founders Peaked in 2023 (3 minute read)

In 2023, a record-breaking 25% of U.S. venture funding, amounting to $34.7 billion, was invested in startups with at least one female co-founder. The AI sector, in particular, saw over 50% of its investment going to companies with female founders, driven by significant funding rounds raised by companies like OpenAI and Anthropic. Despite this progress, the majority of funded AI startups still lack female founders, and sustained efforts are needed to support women entrepreneurs across all funding stages.

The Rise of AI Agent Infrastructure (4 minute read)

The rapid development of GenAI apps is being driven by improving models and platform infrastructure, but the pace of development means that new requirements are constantly emerging. AI agents, which are autonomous actors that can plan and execute multi-step tasks, are becoming a common interface for end-users and a core abstraction for developers. A rich ecosystem of AI agent infrastructure is emerging to support the rise of AI agents, including agent-specific developer tools, agents as a service, browser infrastructure, personalized memory, authentication for agents, and managed hosting and orchestration services.
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Strategies & Tactics

Doing Stuff with AI (9 minute read)

AI systems have become more capable and user-friendly in recent months, offering a range of playful and serious applications. Large language models like Claude 3 Opus, Gemini 1.5, and GPT-4 now connect to the internet, generate images, run code, analyze data, see images and video, and work with documents. However, the rapid pace of AI development means that even the most advanced models today may soon become obsolete as new, smarter systems emerge.

Why Pricing and Packaging Matters More When You're Launching Your Second Product (7 minute read)

Launching new products is crucial for B2B companies to expand their market and deepen customer relationships, but it requires finding product-market fit again with a slimmer margin for error. Considering pricing and packaging early on can help determine the viability of a product idea and efficiently capture its value. When pricing a new product, companies should revisit their pricing metric, segment their current and potential customers, and assess customers' willingness to pay to avoid common pitfalls and ensure a successful product launch.

How to Improve Your Voluntary Churn (7 minute read)

This guide explores how to measure, mitigate, and recover voluntary churn. Voluntary churn, as opposed to involuntary churn, is when a customer leaves your product on purpose. Most importantly, you need to understand why they're churning. Is it price, product gaps, or they simply don't need it anymore? Understanding why enables you to build measures within your product to win them back–like automatic discounts, the ability to pause their subscription, or simply remind them what they'd be missing out on.
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Tools & Resources

Pump (Tool)

Pump can help developers save 60% on AWS by using group buying and AI.

YC S24 Batch (Application)

Last Chance to apply for YC's S24 batch. Applications close June 13th!

FlowMapp 3.0 (Tool)

Visual website planning in the most powerful way.
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Miscellaneous

Pessimism, Positioning, and How to Build a Better Sales Pitch (6 minute read)

Nailing your product positioning and sales pitch is make-or-break for B2B growth. April Dunford, expert on both, shares her insights on avoiding common traps and winning more deals. Buyers really want market perspective and option navigation help. Teach them what to value and prove you deliver it better than alternatives. Don't just hope they figure it out. You can influence their decision criteria more than you think.

TikTok, Robots, and Opportunities in Consumerland! (17 minute read)

While the common sentiment is that we're in a “consumer VC winter”, there are still interesting sources of alpha for consumer entrepreneurs & investors. This post explores how TikTok/Xiaohongshu's product design and Roborock's commercialization culture have enabled these companies to dominate the Western markets. These companies are presented as case studies & potential playbooks for other consumer startups to follow.

Billboards Are Still OP (6 minute read)

Startups are increasingly turning to offline advertising methods like billboards to boost brand awareness and complement their online marketing efforts. While measuring the effectiveness of billboards can be challenging, companies use various methods such as tracking signup data, conducting surveys, and monitoring changes in website traffic to gauge their impact.
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Quick Links

The Simple Notification That Boosts Retention (2 minute read)

Certain apps provide value by preventing undesirable events from occurring, rather than through active usage.

Every Complaint Implies a Dream (2 minute read)

When people complain, they are indirectly describing their ideal scenario, providing clues for better understanding their needs.

13% of VC Firms Aren't Planning to Raise Another Fund (3 minute read)

Venture capital firms are facing challenges in raising new funds due to institutional investors' concerns about overexposure to the asset class.
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