The Future of Social Media and Building a Defensible AI Startup

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Aug 22, 2023

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The Future of Social Media and Building a Defensible AI Startup

Introduction:

In this article, we will explore the potential future of social media and discuss the strategies for building a defensible AI startup. While these two topics may seem unrelated, there are common points that can be connected to provide unique insights and actionable advice for entrepreneurs.

The Future of Social Media:

To become a dominant player in the world of social media, platforms must cater to the needs of both professionals and everyday users. With the potential advent of smart glasses replacing smartphones, the barrier to capturing moments through photography will significantly decrease. This opens up new possibilities for platforms that focus on immersive video experiences. We can expect platforms like Instagram and TikTok to incorporate full-screen videos into their offerings.

However, another trend that will emerge is the rise of startups specializing in synchronous (real-time) consumption experiences. While platforms like YouTube function as media outlets, the future of social media will require platforms that enable everyday users to share content. This shift towards user-generated content will be crucial for any platform aiming to dominate the social media landscape.

Building a Defensible AI Startup:

The most exciting innovations in AI are coming from startups that disrupt the industry from the bottom up. Companies like Midjourney, Runway, and Stable Diffusion have captured the public's imagination with their groundbreaking AI applications. Open source horizontal models like ChatGPT will serve as the foundation for the AI boom, but the real potential lies in the application layer.

Speed is a critical advantage that startups have over incumbents. Midjourney's success can be attributed to its quick product execution. Therefore, it is essential for AI startups to think creatively and explore new product paradigms and interfaces made possible by AI. This approach is more defensible than simply creating a product or tool that existing software companies can easily add to their suite.

Success stories like ChatGPT demonstrate the power of using AI advancements to drive a shift change in user interface and experience. By building conversational interfaces on top of existing technology like GPT-3, OpenAI made AI accessible to the mass market. This strategy can be emulated by other startups to gain mindshare within the AI community.

To further grow mindshare, startups should develop an online personality and engage with relevant AI topics such as development and regulation. Offering perks to existing community members and appointing power users as moderators can foster customer evangelism and attract new members. Creating a product with shareability and virality in mind will also help startups gain traction.

While speed is crucial initially, long-term success in the AI space requires going where big tech and incumbents won't. Verticalized solutions based on a deep understanding of target personas can create defensible moats. These moats can be further solidified by focusing on collaboration, integrations, permissioning, and workflow in the product development process. Understanding the market's buying power and actual needs is also paramount.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Move quickly: Startups have an advantage in speed, so capitalize on it to gain an early foothold in the market.
  • 2. Develop a unique product paradigm: Think creatively about new interfaces and user experiences that AI can enable, providing a defensible advantage over existing solutions.
  • 3. Focus on target personas and verticalized solutions: Deeply understand your audience and their needs to build a defensible moat based on specific verticals.

Conclusion:

As the future of social media and AI startups converge, it is crucial to adapt to the changing landscape and leverage unique opportunities. By incorporating user-generated content, building defensible AI solutions, and focusing on speed, creativity, and understanding the market, entrepreneurs can position themselves for success in the years to come.

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