The article “Six imperatives for AI-first companies” by Christine Deakers on Bessemer Venture Partners outlines key strategies for building successful AI-first companies, particularly in healthcare and life sciences. Here’s a summary of the six imperatives:
- Create and Sustain an Undeniable Data Advantage: AI-first companies should have a strong appetite for data and employ creative means for sustainable acquisition. They need to focus on data synthesis, curation, and optimized model architectures. The data strategy must align with the model’s purpose, considering scalability, continuity, propriety, fit, and diversity.
- Recruit and Empower AI Scientists: These companies require teams skilled in AI research and industry/business expertise. The team design should reflect the advancement of AI as a key business activity, with a structure that supports AI research and development.
- Support a Flexible AI Stack: AI-first companies should avoid rigid decisions about their AI stack. They should build modular AI stacks that leverage publicly available models for best-in-class performance, focusing internal resources on areas where they have clear advantages.
- Establish Distribution Moats: AI-first companies need to obtain early distribution advantages to integrate with or displace incumbent technology providers. This can be achieved through product-led growth, partnerships, and white-labeling strategies.
- Center Safety and Ethics in Model Development: Investment in AI safety and ethics is crucial. This includes strategies like continuous performance monitoring, fail-safes for human intervention, re-validation against real-world data, and user training.
- Earn Trust by Solving Real Problems: Trust is fundamental for AI-first companies. It is earned when stakeholders perceive the company as solving real, significant problems.
The article emphasizes that AI-first companies, especially in complex industries like healthcare, must navigate a range of challenges, from data management to ethical considerations, to build enduring and impactful businesses.