6 min read
My thoughts on AI
Nov 20, 2022
We are at a VERY unique moment, on the cusp of a revolution that will usher in a number of trillion-dollar companies/industries.
It’s a moment that reminds me of a number of disruptive and highly opportunistic periods:
The birth of the internet
The adoption of smartphones
The launch of cloud services
Business models are about to change across all industries, and the technology that is driving this is the widespread use of artificial intelligence everywhere.
How should you think about this? Here are a few summaries:
“Artificial intelligence could have more profound implications for humanity than electricity or fire.” - Sundar Pichai, CEO, Alphabet
“Companies have to race to build AI or they will be made uncompetitive. Essentially, if your competitor is racing to build AI, they will crush you." - Elon Musk
I summarize it like this: “There will be two kinds of companies at the end of this decade... Those that are fully utilizing AI, and those that are out of business.”
AI is about to be the biggest investment theme in the world and now is the time to insert yourself in this exponentially growing opportunity as an investor or an entrepreneur—regardless of your industry.
According to Zion Market Research, the global artificial intelligence industry is expected to grow from $59.7 billion in 2021 to $422.4 billion by 2028. Virtually every industry is being disrupted by AI, automation, and robotics.
Here are some actions you can take, made available to you regardless of your experience or expertise:
***CAVEAT, don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose.
If you’re an investor in the public markets, the choice is easy. Most of the true AI companies are significantly depressed and have huge continued upside. Here’s my top 10: APPLE (AAPL), GOOGLE/ALPHABET (GOOG), AMAZON (AMZN), MICROSOFT (MSFT), NVIDIA (NVDA), TESLA (TSLA), PALANTIR (PLTR), SALESFORCE (CRM), META (META), and IBM (IBM).
If you’re interested in private companies still in the realm of venture investments, you’ll want to find a smaller venture fund to invest through. It’s critical for you to ask to see their track record in finding AI companies early in their pre-seed, seed, and Series A. Ask them to show you their track record of early-stage exits. The fact is those venture funds that get early access to deals will continue to get early access, and will consistently come out on top. Allocate some capital in a few of the VCs you are able to access. I’m mentioning smaller funds here because it may be difficult to access the bigger funds as a solo investor. You can find details on investment rounds by searching for the breakout companies on Crunchbase.
Attend the demo days at Y Combinator and similar accelerators and incubators. Go hang out at Stanford and MIT and ask the graduate students who they know who’s staring fun AI companies. Allocate lots of small checks to these entrepreneurs. Stay in touch. Add funding at every stage as they continue to hit their milestones. I know the guy who put the first $100,000 into Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they just started Google out of Stanford. He is a very happy man! Rinse and repeat. (If you’d like to go deeper on angel investing, here are 2 long-form articles from Naval Ravikant, the founder of AngelList and a prolific angel investor: Angel P1 & Angel P2).
Find a community of investors. This will help you get more deal flow, which is one of the most important parts of angel investing. I have one called A360, but there are many.
FOR FOUNDERS/CEOS TO LEVERAGE AI:
Go on Product Hunt, a site where lots of new software products are published and reviewed. Search for AI products that were published recently and reach out to the builder of said products. Contract or hire them to shadow your organization and present potential ways you can leverage these AI tools in your business (or assign this task to an employee).
You can follow the same logic above on Twitter. Many of the entrepreneurs building with AI tools are publishing their work on Twitter and looking for gigs to support their entrepreneurial endeavors. As an organization, these people are very valuable to you. Find them and bring them on board to support you. As an organization, you can compare this to finding a young internet entrepreneur in the early 2000s to support your entry into the Web.
And again, find a community or apply to join my community here.
IF YOU’RE JUST GETTING STARTED:
If you are a software engineer, start building with these big models like GPT-3, DALL-E 2, and Stable Diffusion. Find products on Product Hunt or Twitter that you think are interesting. Attempt to replicate the product for practice. Perhaps make some slight modifications to the product to make it different, then publish it yourself on Twitter or Product Hunt. The key here is to start shipping products, this is not the time for perfection. You don’t need to know what you are doing, just START.
If you are not technical, find AI products on Product Hunt or Twitter that you think are interesting, reach out to the Founder and offer to partner on the marketing/growth side. Do this a few times until you find a partnership that fits. Same applies here, you don’t need to know what you are doing, the only thing that matters is repetition, START today.
And of course, find a community. There are plenty of free communities of builders and developers on Discord and Twitter.
This post was meant to be something you can use as inspiration to take action immediately. If you try any of the above, please tell me on Twitter.
If you’d like to go a bit deeper, in the last few weeks I’ve written 4 blogs on Artificial Intelligence as breakdowns from my annual Metatrends Report.
METATREND #1: EVERYTHING IS SMART & EMBEDDED WITH INTELLIGENCE
METATREND #3: AI-HUMAN COLLABORATION WILL SKYROCKET ACROSS ALL PROFESSIONS
I sincerely hope this blog is of value to you.
P.S. If you’d like to join my community (Abundance360) which I mentioned a few times above and attend our Summit in 2023 you can apply here. We have limited availability but there are still a handful of spots if you want to apply.