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Hello AI Startups: Here are some DOs and DONTs

VCs are herd- minded, say startup founders.

Startup founders are herd-minded, says VCs.

Today, if a startup does not have two words in it’s description, ‘AI’ and ‘Disruption’, it shall never lay eggs. Influenced by the desire of of being a ‘wannabe’, the herd-minded startup founders are ruled by greed rather than passion.

Passion has this unbridled quantity where it listens to only the signal sent by gut and intuition. Greed on the other hand only listens to rest of the useless noise.

For those who are sitting on the fence line and not sure, whether they should listen to passion or greed, but also impatient to use ‘AI’ and ‘Disruption’, the Forward Partners have some guidelines for them.

These are the Do’s and ‘Dont’s for an AI Startups (Also, wannabe Startups):

a) AI for ‘X’ and AI for ‘Y’ approach never works. It may look and hear nice, but that’s where it ends, where it ends. AI is an enabler that works ‘big’ only when the previous approaches have failed to solve the real pain problem. Finding such a problem and then amplifying the results with the use of ‘AI’ 10X distinguishes those who appear in press releases and those who change the world.

b) When technology is the hammer, everything seems like a nail. Just because one is a CS graduate with major in ML, one would be founder of disruptor ‘AI Startup’ never holds good. Good problems with elegant solutions applied to them are hard to find and apart from common-sense, they require business sense. Sticking every thing with ‘AI’ and trying to be cool, does not mean you are an ‘AI Startup’.

c) Those who have spotted the right problem with ‘business opportunity’ clearly visible in it, infrastructure is no more a hurdle. Tons of brilliant open source projects with amazing cloud computing from big technology majors available. Use them. Don’t invent the wheel, when it has already been done.

d) For an ‘AI Startup’ it is imperative that they trust their data. Technology is commodity and Data is king. The one who has right set of dataset, would win the battle. For a startup, that calls for some unique ways of obtaining right data. Be creative with your data hunting.

e) The ‘AI’ part of a ‘AI Startup’ is just one more thing. Comprehensive product building would require a 360 degree approach, like always. Focus on an over all, well rounded team.

f) AI has the potential to change landscape of every one of the thing which we see around us. Look for niches, which are undiscovered. The one who looks pauper today, has actually the potential to be the king of tomorrow. It is all how you groom it.

g) Don’t follow the biggies under the greed of a being a potential acqui-hire. They can trample you, run over and you would barely even notice it, except when the company is dead. Blaze your own path.

Above all, Enjoy the journey!

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