Reference checks as a service, the need for more competition everywhere, GPT travel planning, leaving work broken, ...
this is Jakob Greenfeld, author of the Business Brainstorms newsletter - every week I write this email to share the most interesting trends, frameworks, opportunities, and ideas with you.
Let's dive in!
“Business idea: Reference checks as a service. Do thorough on-book and off-book references, and then build the world's best private database of references that other companies will keep paying you for as they make hiring/investment decisions etc.” - Erik Torenberg
Note: here’s a great analysis of the idea by the founder of CBInsights.
“side project idea -- WordPress/Ghost plugin that generates featured image using words in the post. should work within the CMS inline editor. (ideally hooks up to e.g. Midjourney API although i understand they haven't released yet)” - Ryan Kulp
“Need more competition in SaaS. Clickfunnels sucks. Active campaign sucks. Hyros is overpriced. Webinarjam sucks & overpriced. So much money to be made by just building a better version of the existing options.” - Ben Bader
Note: This is true in any SaaS category. Tools always look shiny and polished on their landing pages but once you start using them seriously, you start noticing that it’s really just a ton of duct tape under the hood. For example, we recently started using ClickUp for our agency. It’s incredibly slow and buggy and yet it’s better than all the alternatives we looked it.
Note 2: The same is definitely also true when it comes to services. On their landing page and posts every agency looks like they have their shit together but behind the scenes, it’s usually pure chaos and underwhelming results. If you ever talked to business owners about their experience working with different agencies, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Note 3: The general lesson here is to never be discouraged only because there are already many competitors. I really can’t think of any category, software or services, where I’d say “don’t even bother, these guys are too good to compete against”.
“GPT is a better therapist than any therapist I've ever tried (I've tried ~10)” - Kat Woods. Also: “GPT-4 helped me brainstorm an approach to a health issue i have been dealing with 10x better than any doctor i have spoken to, most of which just kind of shrug and say I don't know, with helplessness flowing through their veins” - Paul Millerd
Note: There are definitely plenty of opportunities to build niche consulting/coaching AI tools. But an opportunity just as big is to use GPT-4 just for yourself as a personal coach in whatever area you’re struggling in. For example, just yesterday I used it to brainstorm career moves with my girlfriend and today I just used it to get unstuck on an issue in our agency.
I just came back from a week-long trip to Porto and was once again reminded how much travel planning sucks despite all the information available on the internet. (I wrote about this before.) For example, you definitely can’t trust Google Maps reviews since 99% of people won’t share your taste. It’s only useful to avoid the absolute worst businesses. Similary, Google, Tripadvisor, etc. offer just lists of generic, boring, touristy stuff. What I’d love to have access to is a properly categorized itinerary of “great days in X” or more atomic “great experiences in X”. I think there is now an amazing opportunity to build it using GPT (especially now that it can browse the web). Fun to build, easy to monetize. Solid example of what’s possible here. Had this idea too late to test it in Porto but will definitely test it for my next trip to Bangkok in two weeks.
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👨🎓 Framework: Leave your work broken
This is an incredibly useful approach to avoid the cold start problem every day.
Instead of working until you’ve finished whatever you’re working on, stop while there is still something to be done and you know exactly what needs to get done next.
This way, you’ll have no problem getting back into work mode the next morning.
You won’t be tempted to browse Twitter etc. until you finally feel like starting to work if you know exactly what needs to get done next. One of the biggest drivers of procrastination is uncertainty in terms of what you should be working on.
📺 Watch This
This is a great talk by the founder of Calm on how he grows his businesses creating web assets in the same verticle.
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Have a great week,
Thanks for this! I'm trying to figure out business case studies for how Japan differs to other markets