Again and again, we’ve been revisiting this article by Bradford Cross and the embedded video of his talk at Data and Scale By the Bay, Vertical AI startups: Solving Industry-specific Problems by Combining AI and Subject Matter Expertise
I was reminded of the article recently when I talked with Greg Head of Scaling Point. Greg stressed starting with the need first, not the tech/software first. This is what Cross talks about with vertical AI and why AI startups should focus on providing a full-stack, fully-integrated solution to the end customer problem. Not only is this defensible, but you also control the “data value chain” and have pricing power.
So what are Vertical AI startups? As Cross says, they are full-stack products that require subject matter expertise, they gather unique, proprietary data from that domain, and then they use AI to deliver that core value proposition for that particular domain.