This week in tech acronyms: FRB and GPT

Welcome to Startups Weekly, a nuanced take on this week’s startup news and trends by Senior Reporter and co-host of Equity Natasha Mascarenhas. To receive this in your inbox, subscribe here.

It’s been a big week for tech acronyms. I woke up Monday to the news that regulators have shut down First Republic Bank, and JP Morgan will buy $330 billion worth of assets. The news then became another question for startups: How does it feel to lose another banking partner, in a matter of weeks, in this environment?

As I learned along with my colleagues Mary Ann Azevedo and Christine Hall, entrepreneurs experience fatigue. It’s true: When First Republic Bank was in its final moments, Silicon Valley didn’t convulse or lather up in a social media uproar. Instead, there was a general malaise and awareness of the gap ahead.

Read the rest of our article on TC+: “As another emerging banking partner collapses, technology feels the gap.”

As for the other acronym, you don’t have to look far for a GPT angle these days. Alex Wilhelm and I wrote an article about ChatGPT’s impact on edtech, inspired by Chegg’s admission that generative AI has certainly hurt new user growth. As our interviews tell us, OpenAI is clearly changing the game for edtech entrepreneurs and more generally asking them to ask much more difficult questions, ironically.

Read our article on TC+: “OpenAI’s ChatGPT is revolutionizing edtech markets.”

With that, let’s get into the perfect launch pad and outsider advantage. Follow me in Twitter, Blue sky either instagram to continue the conversation. If you feel like supporting me extra, subscribe to my free substack.

Table of Contents

The perfect pitch deck

The inimitable Haje Jan Kamps has covered 47 pitch decks in his Pitch Deck Teardown series. Now he wonders: How could we do better? With the help of Trulytell (with assistance from his designer, Jake Muller), Kamps sought to improve a startup platform until it became the perfect pitching pad. The results are certainly interesting.

Here’s what you need to know: It’s hard. Take this excerpt from the teardown, if that helps:

I’m sorry, but you have to check your numbers with your senses. There is absolutely no way that Supliful’s total addressable market would be within the top 10% of healthcare spending for the entire planet. This slide feels so crazy and ridiculously wrong that it made me wonder where this calculation came from.

Come out the window at perfection, stay for the reality checks.

Image Credits: Supply/TechDigiPro/Trulytell

The external advantage that may interest your investor

At Equity this week, I spoke with Sam Chaudhary, CEO and co-founder of ClassDojo, and Chris Farmer, CEO of SignalFire, a venture firm that recently announced a $900 million fund to back tech startups. This interview is structured a bit differently in that it was actually recorded as a session for TechDigiPro Live, our weekly show that focuses on helping people start better venture-backed businesses.

Here’s what you should know: The best part of the interview was about the outsider advantage in a sector like edtech and how to balance internal awareness about the complexities of the space. Take a listen if you want a snapshot of the thinking behind a slow-monetizing company on how it achieved investor patience, vision, and early mapping.

cloud in a box

Image Credits: PM images (Opens in a new window) / Fake Images

Etcetera etcetera.

  • Programming note: If you’re reading this in a browser, get it in your inbox too! Subscribe here and share it with your friends.
  • Of course: It is already interruption season. Reminder that there is a ticket for each budget and function.
  • And finally, I have a shameless plugin: Scoops make me! If you hear about a venture firm or startup winning, rising, failing, or oh, I don’t know, firing an executive due to internal events, tell me. I love see first releases and term sheets too. Happy to talk about anonymity and explain more of my process and what I’m looking for. You can tell me things on Signal at +1 925 271 0912. No pitches please.

Spotted on TechDigiPro

How Shopify botched its latest layoffs and made employees feel like NPCs

RapidAPI headcount fell 82% due to new layoffs less than two weeks after cutting 50% of staff

Think monetized kids and other TC news

With DeepFloyd, AI Generative Art Gets a Text Upgrade

Crypto Influencers In The Crosshairs Of Kenya’s New Tax Offer

Spotted on TechDigiPro+

After all, the icebreaker IPO we’ve been waiting for may not come from the US.

AI is just someone else’s computer

Ask Sophie: Will I be allowed to enter the US if my passport expires in 5 months?

Take care of yourself,


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