Bard, Big Ideas, Product-Market Fit, Book Review and Middle Earth
Weekly Roundup of AI, Technology, and UX
Here’s the latest news, resources, and use cases from the world of product, UX, AI and technology. Let’s go:
🔊 Amplifying Intelligence
📒 Google Notebook
🤔 Big Ideas in Tech
🤖 Choosing a startup
📖 Book Review
🎧 Product Market Fit
🗣️ Middle Earth
From the early days of AI and AI assistants, Kevin has spent his career building technology and companies. With his experience at General Magic paving the way for OnStar, Siri, and Alexa, to modern applications of AI, we discuss Nobel prize winning auction theory, biometric cybersecurity, and AI driven software testing, along with lessons learned and what is coming next.
In this episode, we explore AI tools that amplify productivity today, from coding to finding bugs in software, and how these tools will become as intertwined in our lives as computers or the internet. We also discuss becoming an expert in a field and applying expertise from one field into other areas of your life, whether in business or personal, like music or theater.
News and Useful Reads
I’m incredibly interested in this line of products as a writer. Any tool that will help organize, research, and create will be incredible. It is one of the most difficult parts of creating content: doing research and organizing thoughts coherently. So getting help from AI to do that more effectively will be great. But then the question becomes whose opinions and writing will it eventually be?
As we use more AI tools, more heavily, this question is critical. After spending the entire year of 2023 writing and thinking about AI, I can now summarize my key concern, more succinctly than NotebookLM might. Our future will be characterized by a tension between copilot (AI as collaborator) and autopilot (humans as sidekick to AI). The latter is more efficient and cheaper in a narrow labor economics sense but troublesome in all sorts of ways.
Google also announced this week that it released Gemini—more powerful models for its Bard AI. These have brought it much closer to OpenAI and ChatGPT:
When comparing the old Google Bard to the new, Gemini-powered version, there has been clear progress in the quality of Google's AI-generated output. In our math, summarization, factual retrieval, and creative writing prompts, Google's system has shown marked improvement in the eight months since we last tested it.
Andreessen Horowitz has released their big ideas and predictions for 2024. So if you're wondering what might come next year, or at least what they think might come (spoiler, lots of AI), check it out.
In 2024, I predict we’ll see narrower AI solutions. While ChatGPT may be a great general AI assistant, it’s unlikely to “win” for every task. I expect we’ll see an AI platform purpose-built for researchers, a writing generation tool targeted for journalists, and a rendering platform specifically for designers, to give just a few examples.
I really like this framework for choosing a startup or choosing a role in general. I’ve made some mistakes he mentions (like prioritizing compensation above other items) and also avoided some pitfalls after that by prioritizing stage and team ahead of other things. So this is a useful framework.
If you are highly intentional about choosing startups using a framework like this one, and give yourself time to take multiple swings, I believe your likelihood of picking one that goes on to grow dramatically is pretty high. Doing that will be an incredible accelerant for your career.
This month’s book review was a book by Debbie Levitt—Customers Know you Suck.
How often are we guessing at what customers want and then delivering mediocre experiences in the name of “moving fast?” We all like to say we’re customer-centric, but too often we fall well short of our customers’ expectations because we prioritize “good enough” or “MVP” or many other excuses.
Looking for more discussion on product-market fit? Maybe. I feel the same way. Because we talk about it so much (at least I feel that way). But this post has a pretty extensive discussion, so if you’re interested or need a thorough analysis, take a look.
Without having product-market-fit you can never go past a certain size in your business because the rate of customers that you start to lose at some point becomes bigger than what you can acquire in the same time frame.
Other Interesting Finds
We’re watching the Lord of the Rings movies with our kids as a new winter tradition this year, so I’ve been using this interactive map to help place all the events. I love maps, so it is fun and relaxing for me to study it along with re-reading all the books as well. Even if you’re just a casual fan, you’ll probably enjoy looking at a nice map and seeing some journeys from the movies.