Building Enduring Application-Level Value with LLMs: Escaping Competition and Creating Differentiated Offerings


Hatched by Glasp

Sep 16, 2023

3 min read


Building Enduring Application-Level Value with LLMs: Escaping Competition and Creating Differentiated Offerings


In the rapidly advancing world of technology, staying ahead of the competition is crucial for startups. This article explores the concept of building enduring application-level value with LLMs (Language Model Models) and how it can help businesses escape competition. We will discuss the challenges faced by startups leveraging LLMs, the importance of narrowness in initial focus, the significance of feedback loops, and the potential of accruing data assets. Additionally, we will touch upon the social aspect of web highlighters and their role in sharing knowledge and leaving a legacy for future generations.

Building Defensible Startups with LLMs:

Startups like Jasper and have revolutionized the copywriting industry by leveraging LLMs. However, the critique surrounding their defensibility remains a concern. The accessibility of OpenAI's APIs means that anyone can achieve similar results, making it difficult for startups to maintain a competitive edge. To overcome this challenge, startups need to focus on building enduring value and differentiating their offerings in the market.

The Importance of Narrowness in Initial Focus:

Instead of aiming for broad applications, startups should consider pursuing vertical application opportunities. By tuning their models to specific use cases and integrating them with existing workflows, startups can create unique solutions that go beyond simple API calls. This narrow focus allows for a more specialized and tailored approach, enabling startups to offer something that incumbents may struggle to replicate.

Harnessing Feedback Loops for Competitive Advantage:

One of the key advantages of building LLM-driven applications is the ability to leverage user engagement to improve model accuracy. By creating feedback loops within their applications, startups can continuously refine their models and provide better results to users. This iterative process not only enhances the user experience but also creates a competitive advantage through scale and accuracy.

Accruing Data Assets for Differentiation:

Successful startups utilizing LLMs can create a valuable data asset that sets them apart from the competition. By building applications that generate unique and useful data at scale, startups can externalize their moat beyond what is possible with LLMs alone. This data asset becomes a differentiating factor, making it challenging for competitors to replicate the offering and escape competition at scale.

The Social Aspect of Web Highlighters:

In a different context, web highlighters offer a unique value proposition through their social aspect. Glasp, for example, allows users to save and share articles with like-minded individuals. This social feature not only facilitates knowledge-sharing but also provides an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. By curating and sharing valuable content, individuals can contribute to a collective repository of knowledge and ideas.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace Narrowness: Instead of trying to conquer a broad market, focus on specific vertical applications where you can provide specialized solutions and create a unique offering that incumbents struggle to replicate.
  • 2. Leverage Feedback Loops: Continuously engage with users and collect feedback to improve your LLM-driven application. Implement mechanisms that allow users to contribute to the accuracy and effectiveness of the model, creating a virtuous cycle of improvement.
  • 3. Build Data Assets: Look for ways to generate valuable data assets through your LLM-driven application. Explore opportunities to collect unique data at scale, which can serve as a differentiating factor and escape competition.


Building enduring application-level value with LLMs requires startups to go beyond the surface-level functionality of the technology. By narrowing their focus, harnessing feedback loops, and accruing data assets, startups can create differentiated offerings that escape competition. Additionally, web highlighters like Glasp offer a social aspect that encourages knowledge-sharing and the creation of a legacy. By incorporating these strategies and embracing the potential of LLMs, startups can carve out a successful and defensible position in the market.

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