All Posts by BreakawayGlenn

The Path to Success is Paved by Investing in Others

As a leader in your industry,  it’s likely that you have run across the term emotional intelligence, which is chiefly about the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and to recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.

To truly be transformative one has to go beyond grasping and dealing with emotions. By choosing how you are being means putting the past in the past where it belongs and not letting it create your future for you. If you choose how you are being and have integrity top to bottom, nothing will stop, defeat or discourage you.

I was inspired by a recent blog by Bram Krommenhoek on Medium titled, The Sure Fire Way to Startup Success, but this can apply to you no matter if you are a CEO for a startup or a multi-national corporation.

In it, he talks about what negative people will do to you and what successful entrepreneurs do — the exact opposite. They:

  • Elevate others’ value,
  • Help build others’ image,
  • Create value for others,
  • Accelerate others’ dreams,
  • Praise others’ imagination,
  • Boost others’ abilities and
  • Are curious for your opinions.

Krommenhoek includes a brilliant video ad done by Apple in 1997 that talks about the “crazy ones” who push the human race forward and change the world. What you invest in others, has a direct impact not only on their lives but on the ways you build a business that stands the test of time.

Alexa In-Skill Purchasing is Here Now

Today I participated in a Twitch webinar conducted by the Amazon Alexa developer team. I got some news there I want to share with you. In a flash briefing series on my daily Alexa flash briefing, B2B Media Executive Insights,  I talked about the incredible opportunity for B2B media and information companies in Voice First. If you have asked, “how do I make money for my company with Voice First?” then ask no longer.

You can now make money directly by working in-skill purchasing into your custom Alexa skill.

You can do this in two ways:  First, you can do this for one-time purchases. This is your product purchase; a piece of content, a report, an ebook, anything you want to charge for.  Second, and get this. Charge for subscription.  Yes, you can subscribe people to your service with Voice First.

This is only the beginning.  There is a lot of discovery that is going into this. But one thing is certain. The time is now for your B2B media and information company to get into Voice First.

For more information go to Amazon Alexa In-Skill Purchasing

And check out Make Money with Amazon Pay for Alexa Skills (Now Generally Available)

If you have questions, feel free to ask me here, and if there is a way to help you get started with Voice First, let me know.

On solving the industry-specific problem as a Vertical AI startup with AI and subject matter expertise

Again and again, we’ve been revisiting this article by Bradford Cross and the embedded video of his talk at Data and Scale By the Bay, Vertical AI startups: Solving Industry-specific Problems by Combining AI and Subject Matter Expertise

I was reminded of the article recently when I talked with Greg Head of Scaling Point. Greg stressed starting with the need first, not the tech/software first. This is what Cross talks about with vertical AI and why AI startups should focus on providing a full-stack, fully-integrated solution to the end customer problem. Not only is this defensible, but you also control the “data value chain” and have pricing power.

So what are Vertical AI startups? As Cross says, they are full-stack products that require subject matter expertise, they gather unique, proprietary data from that domain, and then they use AI to deliver that core value proposition for that particular domain.

7 reasons that accelerators don’t select companies for their programs

Inara AI recently received a response to our program application from an accelerator. While the response was something of a “form letter,” it did include some information on a possible reason why we weren’t selected (they also stated that only 2% of applicants get into their program). This list is probably representative of the basic criteria that a lot of accelerators apply in their review of applications, but shouldn’t be construed as being complete. The process is run by humans, after all (at least until AI takes over).

Here’s what they said:

The most common reasons that we elect not to move forward with a company are as follows:

1) The company is at too early of a stage to receive the value through our program

2) Lack of focus on the problem the business is solving

3) Difficult to scale effectively

4) Too much competition

5) Unclear value proposition

6) Lack of differentiation

7) Lack of IP to protect the company from competitors

Building an AI Startup: Realities & Tactics

Matt Turck’s presentation at the O’Reilly Artificial Intelligence Conference covered several topics on the rise of Artificial Intelligence startups. Yes, AI is all the rage in tech circles, he says, yet the reality of building a startup is different, especially when building a self-standing company for the long term. The framework he uses to think through these topics is the “5P” list: Positioning, Product, Petabytes, Process and People. Read his article (and see his presentation) here: http://mattturck.com/2016/09/29/building-an-ai-startup/

Machine Learning Startups Reach the Peak of Inflated Expectations

Steve Blank’s Lean LaunchPad class at UC Berkeley’s engineering school inspired his article talking about technology infrastructure waves, and the acquisition curve common to each one. He writes, “…machine learning is following a similar pattern of previous technical infrastructure innovations. Early entrants get sold to corporate acquirers at inflated prices for their teams, their technology, and their tools. Later entrants who miss that wave have to build real products that people want to buy.” Read Steve Blank’s article at https://steveblank.com/2016/11/18/machine-learning-meets-lean/