In this article, I’m going to shed light on why should you start to consider investing in AI and how should you approach that. Obviously, this article is not meant for everyone but even if you are not in the IT field this article will highlight why business executives should pay attention to this and how it will help them in their digital transformation journeys.
Alright, so let me begin by attempting to convince you putting your money, time, and effort into this investment. Let’s look at some numbers here
- In 2015, a survey by Gartner showed only 10% reported that either they use AI or thinking about using it, while data shows that number has risen dramatically in 2019 to 37%
- In 2019 the market for Artificial Intelligence was value to about $27B with projected growth to 10X by 2027
- According to statista.com AI contribution to GDP in 2030, by region is expected to be 26% for China GDP 14.5% for north America and 12.5% for my home country
I hope this whet your appetite to know more about the investment in AI. For that I will share with you three things I believe essential for any investment considerations and more specifically so in advanced technologies.
Start a Learning Journey
You need to familiarise yourself with data science and advanced analytics. It’s so easy these day to find good courses online both free or paid. The learning is not just for the purpose of being data scientist but rather gives you understanding of the field you are investing in. Another very important topic you need to research is the problems that you think AI would be of great help. You need to envisage how the use of advanced technologies would really solve a real business problem. In other word, you need to be the digital advisor who uses his/her creativity to solve challenging problems. Remember learning is a journey not a destination. So keep on learning, experimenting and exploring new things
Work in the Field
If you can afford to work in a startup or international company do so to gain experience and get exposure to the market and access a large network of customers and therefore explore various challenges.
Surely sometimes, it may not be possible to get a job in this filed, However there are other means such as freelancing and open source communities that you can leverage.
It is very crucial to be equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical applied experience that teach you what works and what does not.
This step is perhaps discussed a lot and would vary depending on how you approach the investment. So if you are investing your money in a startup then you would want to look for few things.
- The robustness of the idea, its viability to market, visibility and impact on business and society.
- You need to look for the Founders’ past history and current competence and skills because after all they will be leading your investment
- Founders readiness of vision, clarity, go to the market and operational plans are very critical. It’s very important that you look for business models that offer resilience and flexibility that can also provide diversity rather than relying on one single product or idea because that could be risky
- look for a startup that has the right team mixture, it’s like a recipe. Every details matter. Building a thriving culture that value customer empathy and have great values is essential for any business success
- Check for Market tractions and current customers if any. Validate how will the business model attract new customers and most importantly how fast? Again I stress on the business model and its ability to organically grow in market size and consumption
On the other hand if you are investment your time, skills and energy by beginning a startup you then need to ask yourself five questions:
- Am I offering a unique value proposition that solve a problem for a large business segment and there is an urgent need at this time?
- Do I have the capability to implement this idea, on time, at budget and offer it on timely manner and acceptable price?
- Am I building an evolving business model that can sustain changes in market and can easily pivote and tranform to different business models?
- Am I able to build a thriving culture that attract talents, create shared values and goals? and above all, inspire them to make the impossible?
- Do I have what it takes to attract customers and investors and be the face and the biggest seller of the company?
These were the three tips I wanted to share with you today. AI is all about R&D so always look for startups that profoundly exert effort into the research and development because the process always involves trial and error and results only come after many many failed experiments.