Ep 216: How to stand out in a world filled with AI startups – Insights from Taplio CTO

Episode Categories:

Navigating the AI Startup Landscape: Insights for Business Owners and Decision Makers

The world of AI startups is rapidly evolving, with innovations and opportunities emerging at an unprecedented pace. As a business owner or decision maker, it can be challenging to navigate this landscape and stand out in a world where AI startups are proliferating. In this article, we'll explore insights and strategies from successful AI entrepreneurs, shedding light on valuable approaches to leveraging AI in the startup ecosystem.

Unveiling the AI Partnership Landscape

Innovations in AI-powered wearables and technology, such as AI-powered smart glasses and camera-equipped AirPods, hold immense potential for transforming user experiences and business functionalities. The implications of these developments extend to diverse industries, offering novel avenues for customer engagement, data analytics, and enhanced operational efficiency. Business leaders can harness the power of AI innovations in wearables to explore novel applications and anticipate future trends in consumer technology.

Shaping the Creator Economy with AI Tools

The emergence of AI tools tailored for the creator economy presents opportunities for business owners and decision makers to leverage AI-driven content creation, video editing, and automation. With the rise of AI-generated content and deepfake technology, it becomes imperative for businesses to discern the ethical implications and risks associated with AI tools. Proactive engagement with AI-driven tools can facilitate the streamlining of content production and elevate the quality of deliverables, aligning with the changing paradigms of the creator economy.

Balancing Innovation and Caution in AI Adoption

From the perspective of AI startup founders, the podcast insights shed light on the evolving perceptions of AI, encapsulating both excitement and apprehension. As a business leader navigating the AI landscape, it is crucial to balance innovation with caution, recognizing the transformative potential of AI while staying attentive to societal and ethical considerations. The recognition of the dual nature of AI's impact on business and society can guide informed decision-making and responsible AI adoption strategies.

Exploring Untapped Opportunities in AI Automation

The podcast outlines the concealed opportunities in AI automation, particularly in addressing prevalent operational inefficiencies and automating routine tasks within organizations. For business owners and decision makers, embracing AI automation can catalyze process optimization, resource allocation, and the enhancement of productivity across diverse business functions. Engaging with AI automation tools can unlock latent efficiencies, enabling organizations to adapt and thrive in an increasingly AI-powered landscape.

Embracing Diversity in AI Product Development

The proliferation of AI startups and products underscores the diverse array of applications and use cases within the AI domain. As a decision maker, embracing diversity in AI product development involves recognizing and leveraging the nuanced potential of AI technologies across industries and domains. By fostering an ecosystem that embraces diverse AI innovations, businesses can proactively adapt to emerging trends and cater to multifaceted market demands.

Conclusion

In the evolving landscape of AI startups, business owners and decision makers are presented with a spectrum of opportunities and challenges. Drawing insights from the experiences and perspectives shared in the podcast, it becomes evident that a judicious approach to AI integration and startup engagement is imperative. By cultivating a nuanced understanding of AI partnerships, technology roadmap, ethical considerations, and untapped potential, businesses can position themselves to harness the transformative power of AI while upholding ethical, social, and operational imperatives.

Topics Covered in This Episode

1. Leveraging AI in Startup Development
2. Successfully Building and Growing AI Startups
3. The Future of AI and Potential Product Development
4. Key Advice for Young Entrepreneurs


Podcast Transcript

Jordan Wilson [00:00:17]:
Nowadays, just about anyone can be an AI start up. It doesn't necessarily take what it used to. So maybe you're building a side hustle or maybe you have your own company that you just started, and you're thinking, how can I stand out now in this new world where everyone can create an AI startup? It seems like almost instantly. Alright. So I'm extremely excited, for today's show because we're gonna be answering that question and a lot more on everyday AI. So thank you for joining us. My name is Jordan Wilson, and I am the host of everyday AI. And we're a daily livestream podcast and free daily newsletter helping everyday people learn and leverage generative AI.

Jordan Wilson [00:01:03]:
So, as a reminder, if you're joining us on the cast, thank you so much for joining us. Make sure to check out your show notes. As always, not only do we have a link, to join our free daily newsletter, but we're gonna have a lot more information, on today's show, so make sure to check that out. And if you're joining us on the livestream, thank you. Like Tara from Nashville who's joining us live. Thank you for joining us. Make sure to get your questions in, for our guest today. And what do you want to know about how to stand out in a startup when everyone can just sprinkle some AI dust on it? Right? So as a reminder, go to your everyday AI.com.

Jordan Wilson [00:01:41]:
Sign up for that free daily newsletter that will get out after the show. And I tell people, our website is like a free generative AI university now with like 210. You can go and watch more than 210 episodes, live streams. You can go read all every single newsletter that we've ever put together. It's definitely worth checking out. But, let's get this thing started and go over as we do every single day the AI news. So, Microsoft and Mistral launched a partnership on Azure AI. So Microsoft has announced a new partnership with French AI startup Mistral, which includes Microsoft investing in the company and making its language models available on Microsoft's Azure AI platform.

Jordan Wilson [00:02:22]:
Sparks another major AI partnership for Microsoft following its recent investments in OpenAI. So Microsoft has made this new partnership, with the French, startup Mistral, taking a minority stake in the company. And as part of partnership, Mistral's language models will be available on Microsoft's Azure AI platform, making Mistral the 2nd company to offer a commercial language model on Azure after OpenAI. According to a very recent TechCrunch report, Microsoft made a small investment of about $16,000,000 US into Mistral. A little different than their, you know, reported $10,000,000,000 investment in OpenAI. But, some breaking news here. The European Commission, just announced that it's analyzing the agreements between the US software giant and the French AI developer as part of its broader investigation into the booming sector. Alright.

Jordan Wilson [00:03:12]:
Our next piece of AI news, some future AI plans from Apple have been unveiled. So Apple's future road map for wearables, includes AI powered smart glasses and AirPods with cameras according to a new report from Bloomberg. So these concepts are in the exploratory phase and could serve as a cheaper alternative to the AR Vision Pro glasses currently in development that cost, like, 10 months salary, something like that. Apple is planning to develop this AI powered smart glasses as the alternative, like we said, but it's also exploring the idea of adding cameras to the AirPods. Interesting. Which would be used with AI to assist users with their routines. So the smart glasses and camera equipped AirPods are still in the exploratory phase and may not end up as final products. Regardless, I wanna see what that looks like.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:00]:
AirPods, cameras, and AI. Okay. Last but not least, are 11 Labs in Perplexity coming for my job? Alright. 2 tools that I love and use daily have recently announced a joint partnership to produce a daily podcast. Yeah. That's right. So luckily, it's not an entirely AI podcast, but, 11 Labs and Perplexity announced this partnership to release a daily podcast called Discover Daily. It's featuring, obviously, 11 Lab voices and covering with the help from perplexity, headlines in innovation, tech, science, and culture.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:34]:
Alright. So much going on in the world of a news, AI news. There's always more, so make sure you go to your everyday ai.com and sign up for that free daily newsletter. But enough of that. Enough AI news. Right? Maybe you joined today. Maybe you're a start up and you want to hear from a successful start up founder, someone that's had multiple acquisitions. If that's you, you've tuned in to the right show.

Jordan Wilson [00:04:56]:
So please help me welcome to the show. Bring him on here. There we go. Alright. We have Tivo Louis Lucas, the CTO of Taplio. Tivo, thank you so much for joining the Everyday AI Show.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:05:10]:
Hey. Thank you very much for inviting me.

Jordan Wilson [00:05:13]:
Alright. And, hey, if you follow start ups closely, you probably know Tivo. But maybe, Tivo, if you could just give us a little bit of a background, maybe what you do, at Taplyo for maybe those that don't follow.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:05:25]:
Well, it's been 10 years that I'm doing startup, basically. But, like, 3 years ago, I've started building tweet hunter and Tapio, and I did it in a very, very different way this time. And about 18 months ago, we got acquired for a little bit more than 10,000,000 by the the team behind Lemnist. So it's been, quite a journey and, super happy to be here to to talk about it.

Jordan Wilson [00:05:52]:
No. Hey. I'm I'm excited to to have you on the show. And, also, you know, some of the, you know, software that that Tivo just mentioned that that he built. It's amazing. Right? I'm I'm a paid, Taplio user. I've used TweetHunter. Even, you know, Lemlist.

Jordan Wilson [00:06:05]:
I've used Lemlist before. So so, Tivo, you know, as someone that's been in, kind of this space for a decade, right, how much are things changing now with AI? Right? Like like, how much different is it for, you know, maybe someone that has an idea? How much quicker is that process now compared to maybe 5, 6, 7, 10 years

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:06:27]:
ago? Well, I think when I was building my first products, I quickly hired, like, a 10 people team. That's crazy. Like, 10 people to build a product, and I think that's right now, we just just meet and on, on a weekend, I'm able to do what these technical team were was doing, like, in, I don't know, like, 3 months. It's it's just insane how fast you can go.

Jordan Wilson [00:06:52]:
Maybe could you could you walk us through some of your earlier, products? Whether you wanna talk us through, you know, Taplio or Tweet Hunter, you know, your products that have been acquired or maybe some of your first. But can you give us kind of what it looks like, to build an AI startup? So you said, yeah, you might have hired 10 people, but what did it look like from a, you know, practical standpoint, day to day building it, and and how much different is it now?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:07:19]:
So the thing what what what AI doesn't change at all is, product validation and product market fits. And I think, like, it's just number one priority that it should be the number one priority for every entrepreneur out there. And when I started my first company, I did I think I did pretty much all the mistakes that you can do, and the most important ones are I pretty much wanted to impress everyone around me. Like, I I wanted to have nice stories to tell at family dinners. So I wanted to hire a big team. I wanted to raise a lot of money. I wanted to say that I was a project manager. Like, I was startup founder.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:08:00]:
I was I was managing 10, more than 10 people on a daily basis. That that was pretty much the number one KPI for me. And the thing is you can do all that without having revenue, and it doesn't last long. And so our company never succeeded in in making, a living, and we eventually had to move on and do do other stuff. And what we did differently with Twitter, and that was 3 years ago, is that instead of trying to force an ID, like, instead of instead of having setting this ID to, growing number of people, we did this crazy thing where we try to ship 1 new products every week for, like, 4 months. And if these products was not making any revenue, we we would just delete and go to the next products. I think we ship, like, 10 products like this and and and tweak them to, like, the 11th products and took off so rapidly from when we ship that we just we just stopped the experiments and went all in on tweet hunter.

Jordan Wilson [00:09:15]:
Wow. So wait. Okay. So tweet Hunter, you said was the 11th product after shipping one new product every week for 4 months. I mean, did you get to a point, Tivo, where you were like, maybe, maybe this, experiment isn't going to work or did you feel deep down like, hey. Maybe, yeah, maybe the 11th product will be the one that takes off and is a multimillion dollar, company. Like like, what was that process like?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:09:41]:
Actually actually, I didn't because, like, every new product that we shipped was working a little bit better than the previous one. It's it was like 22 things were happening. First of all, we were getting better at understanding real problems to work on. And at the same time, with this process of building, we were we're at the same time growing an audience of people both on Twitter and on our news newsletter. So every new product launch was a little bit easier because we were we we had people listening to us. So we're not, like, doing this randomly. We every single one of the 11 product that we shipped, it was kind of targeting the same people and trying to solve the same problem. And by by doing that and by get gathering all the early users in a database, we're even to be succeeded.

Jordan Wilson [00:10:36]:
So, hey, if you are joining the livestream late, don't worry. Very special guest today. We have, Tivo Louie Lucas, the CTO of Taplio, who's built multiple, companies that have been acquired for 1,000,000 of dollars. So so, Tivo, like, I'm wondering, how has your process changed on the latter half? Right? So it seems like now AI makes, you know, products much easier, you know, to validate. You were shipping them out, you know, 1 a week, which is crazy. But what about growing the product? Right? So, yes, AI can make, you know, things easier to help debug code and, you know, come up with new content ideation and marketing ideas. But what about, once you start to get those users? How has AI changed the process of growing once you've validated something?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:11:23]:
So my, my realization is that is the huge number of content stats, is is being produced every day. Like AI AI is basically multiplying the number of blog posts, of tweets, of of pretty much everything. So it's really it really comes down to to trust, to, like, to who you trust, what's your number one source of information. And and I I'm pretty sure, like, for for a lot of people, it's, like, it's it's you, Jordan. You're you're a trustable source of information. But when we started out, we were pretty much a none. So what we did is we did this bold move of partnering up with a Twitter influencer. That was definitely not the plan, but the guy was so enthusiastic about it that we just we just went all in on that.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:12:20]:
Like, we we gave this guy 25% of Twitter in exchange for having him actively promoting Twitter and, setting up marketing campaigns and handling the growth of the products. The thing is it works so well that when we started working on Tapio, like, the the LinkedIn alternative, to Twitter. When when we started working on it, we look for to replicate this strategy, and we did it with Alex Berman, which is, quite big on LinkedIn and call emailing. And, again, it worked very well and, made us able to kick start Tapio very fast.

Jordan Wilson [00:13:06]:
What it it it seems like it worked out for for both parties. Right? So at first, I think, oh, 25%, you know, of a company that was acquired for for 1,000,000 of dollars. So part of it's like, oh, man, you know, Tivo and and team were leaving so much money on the table, but maybe it couldn't have been done or been as successful as fast, right, if you didn't have that early partner. I guess what clicked, you know, in your mind to take this much different, approach than others? Because that's something you don't see every day, you know, those kind of partnerships for that amount of equity. So so what was it in your mind that said, you know what? This is the right way to grow in this new day and age of everything AI.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:13:47]:
Well, I think we are in the golden age of products and startups. Like, it's AI is making it so easy to build, then the the building itself is pretty much worthless. So it it really comes down to audience and to acquisition and, and how you grow. And so it was it was pretty obvious to us that with pretty much no acquisition channel in for us, it would it would definitely be worth it to partnering up with those guys. And what I realized, very soon it when when I was working on on on Tweet Hunter is that those guy, Twitter creators or LinkedIn creators, they are not making that much money. Like, definitely not. And so they are listening when you are talking about sharing equity of your products with potential multimillion exits.

Jordan Wilson [00:14:44]:
You know, it's and it's interesting, too, Tivo, because someone might think. Right? Most people have heard of of, you know, some of your tools like Tweet Hunter and and Taplio. And people might think, hey. After that kind of success, you might just, you you know, hang it up. You you know, you might just take some time off, you know, and enjoy a nice stroll, you know, through the countryside. But you didn't stop because you actually have another even new product, in in type frames. So, what is it, about maybe the the software space right now that still excites you. Right? Is it the fact that now you can get and and validate and create a great product so much faster? But I guess what's the what's the urge to keep going and keep creating and keep innovating?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:15:30]:
I think so I think I'm I'm, falling in love with this target audience, basically. Like, we're working for the creator economy is is so fun. Like, do doing products for social media, it's it it generate excitements all along the way. Like, something like going viral is is, giving you this insane feeling that when it happens once, you you just want to replicate that. Because it's I'm I'm really all for, excitement, hiring for that job, and this is what excite me the most. So, what I did to to grow Twisterstra and Tapio, we did this many times, and I had no idea we could do that, which is acquiring traffic oriented small products. I think we did, like, 10 acquisition with Tweets and Sur and Tapio of of very small products that was generating traffic, mostly thanks to SEO, and that was fueling our main products. It works so well that I wanted to do that on my own with my own money, and I did this with, Timeframe.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:16:49]:
Timeframe, it's, it's a video editing and video making software that is basically syncing, music with beats, like, syncing text with the music beats. And, it's been, like, a little bit a little bit more than a 5 month that I'm working on that to make it the video making software for creators. I basically I basically think that video is gonna take over the words, and I want to be part of that.

Jordan Wilson [00:17:24]:
Well, hey. A little off topic. Speaking of video taking the taking over the world, I mean, what do you feel now about these, you know, gen AI products such as, you know, Soera, from OpenAI, but it seems like, you know, when you say the creator economy, you know, all of these AI tools change. Right? Like, even even type frames here that that that I'm showing, here on the live stream. I used to spend 10, 15, 20 hours, you you know, making a simple kinetic typography, animation, which now you can do in seconds using type frames. But, you know, Thibault, how do you feel about the the the power of these new tools specifically around video, and how is that going to change things for, you know, people wanting to, create a startup?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:18:13]:
You know what? When we started working on on Twitter, I think it it was powered that by GPT 3 at the time from OpenAI, and we felt like we were so behind when we started working on it. Basically, you had, like, huge software and huge successes or with the other, like, copy dotai. And, we were so wrong. Like, we were definitely not so late. We were at the very beginning. And and I feel like this is the case right now with the video. It's you you might feel like it's it's done already. Like, you have some very big players shipping out their video generation models, and and, the game is set.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:19:03]:
I'm pretty sure we are at the very, very beginning of this AI video AI gen, wave, and it's gonna be crazy. And, it's it's super exciting to see it, like, unveil in front of your eyes, and I want to just to experience that, and I want to I want to play this game, basically.

Jordan Wilson [00:19:25]:
Oh, it's and and it's it's a nonstop game. Right? Like, it's Yeah. Rules are always changing. The players are always changing. I think, you know, playing the game is very good, analogy for for the current landscape. So great question here from from Juan Juan. Thank you for your question. So asking, Tivo, has your thoughts on AI evolved over time? From the first time starting to use it for your companies to the way that you use AI today.

Jordan Wilson [00:19:51]:
What are your thoughts on that, Tivo?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:19:53]:
Well, I think I think the the main thing that changed is that I'm getting scared, like, very scared. Like, when you and and you you you cannot not be scared. Like, when you are using AI all day long, you see what it can do, and you see how it can hallucinate, and you see how it can deep fake. And so it's it's, it's a very interesting mixed feeling to be both shipping AI products and at the same time to be to be scared by its power. The I think I think, like, just yesterday, I was listening at the, the Nvidia founder and CEO, And this guy was basically saying that we should not, teach programming to kids. And it it's resonated in my head because I'm I'm having a I'm having a newborn. It's coming on on July. And it's gonna be my my second kid.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:20:51]:
And, like, how how to raise kids in this world is something that seems so scary to me. Like, you have no idea how how you should prepare them for this world. Like, because it's it has never been done before. So yeah. Do you see what I mean?

Jordan Wilson [00:21:08]:
Yeah. Yeah. And even, you you know, bringing, bringing that up here, it's it's it's an interesting concept. So, yeah, the the CEO of, NVIDIA is saying like, hey. We don't necessarily need programming in the future. It's just your your natural language. Right? Like, that is the the programming of the future. You you know, Tivo, something you said there that that caught my ear is, you know, that it's there is this kind of, fear of of AI, but also, you know, do you think that it's it's normal.

Jordan Wilson [00:21:38]:
Right? So, maybe a, someone who's just launching their 1st startup, and they're scared. Right? So I think it's important to hear what what you said. You know, someone that's been in this industry for a decade that's had multiple successful acquisitions. It's is is it still healthy? Right? Is it still healthy to feel, you know, kind of that fear of AI? Is it healthy to to feel burned out from from shipping so many products? I mean, what what is that balance like of of, you know, having a productive company and leveraging AI versus having, you know, kind of that that healthy fear of of what's next?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:22:14]:
Well, we we have basically moved from a world where you had one very excited launch, every few years, and it was it was easy to keep up with things. And to to a world right now where in in the same week, you can have multiple crazy AI investments that would basically contradict each other. And and having, like, be being in this in this space and talking about that on my Twitter and LinkedIn every day, I can say that I feel this huge pressure to try to keep up with everything. And I'm I'm pretty sure that's at one point I would have to to give up. And, like, I'm pretty I would bet that's in 2024, a lot of creators that just started talking about AI and that are trying to keep up with AI news are gonna burn out because it's it's getting impossible to be the first to go in-depth with those topics. And, and, yeah, I think it's gonna happen.

Jordan Wilson [00:23:26]:
Oh, it's it's it's so true. Yeah. You know, that that one hit me personally. Right? Because I'm spending so much time every single day, and I feel I'm ahead of the game. But then sometimes it's like, oh, wow. Completely missed this. Right? But but, Tivo, I I wanna shift the focus, a little bit to, people who are right now maybe building their first, software company or they're building their first product. You know, with with everything that you've been through, you know, not many people out there have shipped shipped as many products as you have.

Jordan Wilson [00:23:55]:
What's your best piece of advice, to to to young, you know, start up entrepreneurs, to young developers right now, specifically as it pertains to leveraging AI to, you know, validate an idea and launch a company.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:24:10]:
So, basically, if you want to go to the shiny things, like, to all the very exciting products and IDs that are other, you need to have lot of money or you need to have an existing audience. If you don't have those, I would try to go with sometimes very hidden, but it's very abundance needs that are being just help with AI. So bay basically, you have tons of jobs to automate in companies. Like, you you have you have tons of job where basically the job is to copy information from a form and to put it in different system, that something like something like, an an ERP or something proprietary, something that just just to make the company running and to make sure it has all the information. You should work on that. Basically, that's that's the the less excited, the less interesting, opportunities that are there right now and that people should work on. And to grow to grow those products, I would start, being active on LinkedIn and Twitter. It worked very well for me.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:25:29]:
And to start to start talking about very, very specific things, like, don't go with the generalist approach. Just go with the very, very specific approach and, be be the best at that.

Jordan Wilson [00:25:44]:
So, you you know, I'm wondering, Tivo. It's it's it has to be hard, I might imagine, to be in your shoes, someone that can build and ship, successful products so fast. But I'm even curious whether it's for your own, you know, personal use or, you know, maybe for others. What do you think is is going to be, you know, one of those next, big products, you know, AI powered maybe, that's gonna help us all, solve this problem of of maybe, you know, focusing our time and our energy in the right places. Or maybe it's like, hey. What would you want to build next? I'm curious.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:26:17]:
I'm betting on visual for that. Like, visual have a very interesting approach, I think. And, I'm pretty sure they're gonna build a lot of very custom model specific to, very specific to some use cases. And, yeah, I think they're gonna be big in this space.

Jordan Wilson [00:26:36]:
Alright. Hey. So much good information. We've covered a lot here, Tivo, from, you know, how you initially shipped, you know, multiple products just so quickly to how you're using AI now. So, you know, as we wrap up today's show, I'm wondering what is the one, best piece of advice that you have to maybe a young entrepreneur on how to stand up now, stand out now in the world where everyone, can build and ship things so quickly with AI?

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:27:03]:
But I would I would, go back to what I shared earlier, which is basically stop trying to impress people. Some stop trying to boost your ego and stop trying to impress your mother at family dinner. And and starts, go with the hard truth. Start validating stuff, and run experiments. And by running a lot of experiments, by shipping a lot of stuff, You will see what sticks, and I think what sticks are gonna surprise you.

Jordan Wilson [00:27:36]:
Hey. The hard truth is this episode today is invaluable, to to you out there if you're trying to grow your company, grow your business, or start a new, you know, startup with AI. So, Tivo, thank you so much for joining the Everyday AI Show. We very much appreciate your time.

Tibo Louis-Lucas [00:27:55]:
Thank you very much.

Jordan Wilson [00:27:56]:
And, hey, as a reminder, so much good information out there. We're gonna share a lot more about Tivo's story, some of his new products that he's working on and old ones that we also use and love. So make sure if you haven't already go to your everydayai.com and sign up for that free daily newsletter. Also tomorrow, join us. I think this is going to be a great episode. The 7 steps on how to actually use chat gpt in 2024. Thank you for joining us. We hope to see you back tomorrow and every day for more everyday AI.

Jordan Wilson [00:28:23]:
Thanks, y'all.

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