The Intersection of Generative Tech Startups and Personal Moats


Hatched by Glasp

Aug 11, 2023

3 min read


The Intersection of Generative Tech Startups and Personal Moats


In the ever-evolving landscape of technology startups, two key concepts have emerged as crucial for success - the waves of generative tech startups and the idea of building personal moats. While seemingly separate, these concepts actually share common points that can help entrepreneurs navigate the competitive industry. This article explores the three waves of successful generative tech startups and how individuals can build personal moats to thrive in their careers.

1st Wave: Wrappers Around AI Models

The first wave of generative tech startups focuses on leveraging AI to address customer pain points. Unlike other new technologies, AI has been widely embraced, leading to intense competition from startups, incumbents, and major platforms like Google and Microsoft. In this wave, speed, sales, customer knowledge, and service are the key factors for success. Companies that excel in these areas, rather than solely focusing on having better AI, are more likely to come out on top.

2nd Wave: Generative AI Inside

In the second wave, companies utilize AI internally to gain a competitive edge over their rivals. Instead of pitching AI as a product, these companies integrate it into their existing operations to make them faster, cheaper, and of higher quality. This wave sees AI being applied to various industries, such as apartment building renovations, security checks, and legal contract exchanges. The key here is to offer something superior to the competition, without explicitly selling the AI itself.

3rd Wave: Visionary & Non-Obvious

The third wave of generative tech startups is characterized by visionary ideas that push the boundaries of what is currently imaginable. These companies are built by individuals who are not afraid to reinvent existing concepts and explore new possibilities. Visionaries play a crucial role in shaping the future of AI and its applications. While this wave is still unfolding, it holds immense potential for groundbreaking innovations.

Building Personal Moats

In parallel to the waves of generative tech startups, individuals can build personal moats to establish unique and accumulating competitive advantages in their careers. Personal moats are based on a set of skills, expertise, relationships, and sensibilities that are difficult for others to replicate. To identify your personal moat, consider what comes easily to you but is challenging for others. This could be a combination of rare and valuable skills, unique talents and interests, or knowledge that is hard to learn and do.

An effective personal moat should be legible, meaning it can be easily described and shared. It should also be aligned with your passions and the needs of the world. If there are readily available step-by-step instructions or many people have already accomplished it, it may not be a durable or unique personal moat. Additionally, consider picking something that may not be significant now but has the potential to grow in the future, or something that relies on exclusive relationships or has no playbook.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Identify your unique strengths: Reflect on what comes naturally to you but is challenging for others. This will be the foundation of your personal moat.
  • 2. Continuously develop expertise: Once you identify your strengths, strive to become great at them. Constantly improve your skills and knowledge to become an authority in your chosen domain.
  • 3. Leverage your personal moat: Use your unique advantages to accumulate social and financial capital. Seek opportunities that allow you to apply your expertise across different areas, expanding your influence and impact.


The intersection of generative tech startups and personal moats presents a compelling framework for success in the technology industry. By understanding the different waves of generative tech startups and building personal moats, individuals can position themselves for long-term success in an ever-changing landscape. Embrace the opportunities presented by AI and leverage your unique strengths to make a lasting impact. Remember, success is a journey, and it requires continuous learning, adaptation, and the willingness to innovate.

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