The potential of AI to improve our use of data exponentially, and to use that data in solving our problems, both old and new, means investor interest, capital, and support has flocked to that space. For early-stage founders and new-to-market vendors, the opportunity is certainly there. But making early AI claims stand out from the others in the space is a sizable venture all in itself; below are a few thoughts for founding teams looking for differentiation and distinction in the AI space.
Standing Out In A Moment of Market Opportunity
The biggest problem in the space is the overpopulation of lofty claims. Every vendor is promising powerful market analytics, advanced data mining, and high-level behavioral learning.
The problem is two-fold. If founding teams engage in the lofty-claim approach, they face doubtful investors, who have been hearing these claims for years now, and they’re in need of a way to differentiate their claims.
But if founders fail to speak to the potential of their venture, they risk losing investor interest to another startup in the long list of AI-enthusiasts.
In finding the right investor fit and attracting funding, proof of the solution in small scale is the best persuasion strategy out there. By focusing most of their energy on the pipeline in front of them, early-stage founders can be slowly shaping and supporting their pitch, making it impossible to say no by the time they reach investors—and without losing time or sales in their actual business.
The Client’s Eye
Above all, clients are fighting for relevance in the new business landscape. While it’s true that most companies will need to leverage the power of AI and ML going forward, that fact alone isn’t enough to turn a customer’s stress into a sale. Vendors should speak with the customer’s specific goals in mind. Rather than explaining how AI is going to change the world, they should start with how AI is going to change this customer’s day, one day at a time.
Back To Business—A Winning Model
Facing a recession, any investment seems like a barrier to entry. Larger sized enterprises might still have the capital reserves necessary for big technological investments, but most companies are only a few months out of survival mode. For this reason, software-as-a-service companies (SaaS) are advantaged. Their initial ask is lower, and most business owners can better wrap their heads around paying an ongoing, manageable fee rather than making a larger point of sale payment. This is a win-win, since the optimal operating model for software companies seems to be the service model, which offers them more recurring revenue and more client visibility.