Artificial Intelligence (AI) dominates the news a lot. If you haven’t already read about ChatGPT, you probably soon will. So, for starters, what is AI? It is a computer program designed to act, operate, learn, and react in a way that mimics human learning, reactions, and, for some elite versions, human consciousness.
That said, there are many types of AI – some very familiar (your smartphone’s guidance/mapping system that talks to you while you’re driving, smart sensors in the home, etc.) – and some that are still pretty out there (concepts like fuzzy logic, generated learning, deep learning, etc.).
Can Artificial Intelligence Really Help My Business?
Initially, and largely, AI was what they call “machine learning,” which is a data collection and analysis system that uses the accumulation of massive amounts of data points to make predictions.
In other words, if 85% of the 24 million people profiled are doing X, it’s a good bet that 85% of the next million to come along will probably do X as well.
Machine learning is still very much with us and is probably one of the most common versions of AI. For example, a fellow I met a bit ago – one of the world’s gurus of machine learning, BTW – told me that his software can predict things like: “If a customer buys a purple tie at Macy’s or Saks, here are the next five things that customer will probably buy.” And it has been repeatedly demonstrated to be true, correct, and highly accurate. Does the merchant care? To be sure.
Machine learning AI can guide and inform management decisions about marketing, budgeting, inventory management, supply chain, and CRM concepts, among others.
Can every business use AI? Probably not, but each day, the percentage of businesses that can use it, or perhaps leverage more elite types of AI, increases. Here at Cayenne, we frequently encounter three types of client issues about this:
- Clients who already have a solid AI concept in their business model;
- Clients who ask us to augment/expand the AI concepts in their business model; and
- Clients who have not yet considered whether AI can be a real plus in launch, funding, and growth.
Sample AI Case Studies for Launch and Funding
For clients seeking to launch, grow, and secure funding, it often makes sense to present to prospective stakeholders (e.g., investors) the strongest possible package. For example, investors, although they are all unique, tend to have similar priorities: how much, how long, when do I exit, annualized return/IRR, risk mitigation strategies, will management execute on the plan and – to the point of this about AI – is management taking a deep and prophetic look at the market and available AI solutions to optimally scale this opportunity for growth?
Case Study #1
A client came to Cayenne for a business plan on an AI concept to support the creation of a “smart city” with over 100 large buildings (e.g., a mix of CRE, MF, M-U, Industrial, Office, Entertainment/Recreation [theaters/amphitheaters] and more).
In this case, nothing had been built, but the AI software was already capable of presenting interior and exterior views of each room in the 100+ structures, with deeply accurate GPS capability based on the simplest of graphic concepts. In other words, if a potential buyer is considering a condo on the 23rd floor in 70-story Building 35, 2 years from now, then on January 17th, 2025, at sunrise, here’s the view to the East from that condo’s dining room, and on July 19th, 2027, at sunset, here’s the view to the West from that exact condo’s bedroom.
Again, the building hasn’t even been built yet, but the AI is capable of designing the finest details of each of the rooms in the 100+ buildings from written notes on a notepad.
In this case, the client already had a highly evolved AI strategy and then came to Cayenne for advisory consulting on other markets for the technology, a comprehensive business model, and a funding strategy. To the latter point, the client had already rejected a $100+ million offer for the software since it felt, and, after assessing market opportunities, we agreed, it was worth more, and ultimately a lot more.
Case Study #2
A client came to Cayenne for a business plan on a mobile app solution for delivery, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) on an agricultural product in a newly legal jurisdiction (as you might assume, the product was Cannabis, but it could have been anything).
The client, on arrival, had never assessed whether, or if, AI could augment their business model.
We suggested he embrace this, and, to improve the concept, after detailed research of best-in-class options nationally, Cayenne proposed to the client that his business model and mobile app could easily use AI concepts for:
- Fleet management,
- route planning,
- delivery scheduling,
- driver dispatch and fulfillment automation,
- contactless delivery,
- package tracking,
- POS integration,
- sales and order data coded by zip code and/or heat maps,
- product education,
- flash promotions/geotargeting,
- SMS blasts,
- ROI analysis,
- multiple filters (connectivity issues/disruptions, potential road/traffic/weather hazards),
- high certainty of voice recognition,
- user location,
- physical address (building schematics, user location among multiple floors, etc.), and
- the delivery person’s location in real-time with “Follow Me” map capability to allow key parties to track potential issues or problems.
Long story short, the client came in with a bare concept for a mobile app and left with a concept for the best mobile app features in the industry.
In sum, the benefits of AI augmentation can include solid confirmation to prospective stakeholders or funders that the client Company is completely, and prophetically, dialed into the industry, market opportunities (current and future), best practices, and optimal strategies to scale the Company over the next several years.
This can be music to an investor’s ears.
A Word on AI Disruption
Could this blog post have been written by an AI chatbot? Well, just to see, I asked ChatGPT to write it giving this input: “Write a blog post for using AI to launch, grow, or fund a new company.” The AI software in a few seconds wrote:
AI is quickly becoming a powerful tool for launching, growing, and funding new companies. With AI-driven analytics, machine learning algorithms, and more, businesses are now able to gain insights and make decisions quickly and accurately. For companies launching a new business, AI can provide valuable insights into customer behavior, competitor analysis, market trends, and more. AI-driven analytics can also help companies identify new opportunities in the market and create targeted campaigns to reach potential customers.
For companies looking to grow, AI can provide valuable insights into customer sentiment, customer loyalty, and product performance. AI-driven analysis can help companies refine their product offering and optimize customer service. AI can also help companies identify new markets and customer segments, enabling them to create new products and services to meet customer needs. Finally, AI can also play a role in funding new companies.
AI-driven analysis can help investors identify promising companies and investment opportunities. AI can also help investors understand the risk-reward of an investment, allowing them to make more informed decisions. In short, AI is quickly becoming an invaluable tool for launching, growing, and funding new companies. By leveraging AI-driven analytics, machine learning algorithms, and more, businesses are now able to get more.
Personal reaction to that: It’s a very nice overview, but not very incisive in specific action items. True, I didn’t provide much guidance. The software wrote that in a few seconds, and it took me about a half hour to write this post, include case studies, and some relevant experiences. In sum, ChatGPT, at present, provides a fraction of what we, at Cayenne, do. Or, as the Bard might opine, ChatGPT is a lot of fun, but it won’t soon replace human thought and personal analysis of a business opportunity. At least not yet.