Should a small business be forced to diminish just because it is small?

Updated: Oct 6, 2019

It is not the size that matters

Everyone knows that AI brings a serious competitive advantage. Think Uber vs. local taxis or Amazon vs. local stores. Uber started small and quickly took a huge share out of the local taxi’s market. Same happened when Amazon came in. It now dominates the market and local stores are not selling as much anymore. Get the picture?

This is a David and Goliath story. Goliath is big and strong. It seems difficult to fight someone who has such a serious advantage.

Could small businesses be smarter? Why don’t they use AI?

AI development is cumbersome. It is a multi-step-multi-skill process to make predictive models from data. A large company hires a team of business analysts, data engineers, cloud developers, QA/QC, and data scientists. These professionals bring their method and practice with them. Being human, they also create redundancies and are prone to errors. The team learns to work together. They can usually get a model out to deployment every few months.

Quite like any software, AI is not like build & forget. Bugs have to fixed and improvements added over time. The models decay and have to be tuned and refreshed. Every model created also creates the baggage that nobody has the time to deal with later.

The models also live in the minds of the developers. And of course, it creates job security. What happens if the person leaves? The next person has to start all over again for the model to continue to make sense.

Small companies have limited resources - it is IMPOSSIBLE for them to run this cumbersome process. What they want a simple way to get insight from their own data. They need results in days, and not next year!

That’s what pushed Braintoy to figure out a solution. We want AI to be accessible by everyone, anywhere. We are data scientists and believe that AI shouldn’t be complicated or expensive. The playing field between big and small ought to be levelled. AI should produce results for you and not take the time and money away from your business. We made a platform to do that.

The question - how do I start?

Try small stuff that can have a real impact. I found that these are problems that you normally react to, but it would be better if you could be proactive. For instance, if you are a store, what if the returns of your products could be reduced? You already have data for product sales and returns. Why not let an AI make sense of it? Or what if you are a financial brokerage that recommends products, would it not be nice to know what products could work better for your customers? Your customers will like it - and so will you!

AI is not as difficult as you think it is.

Think about it.

I’m glad to know your thoughts on how the playing field between big and small could be fixed.

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