A year or so ago, Mark Zuckerberg took to the (virtual reality) stage announcing his trillion-dollar company, Facebook, would become a subsidiary of a new umbrella company, Meta. As in the metaverse. As National Public Radio quoted him, “It is time for us to adopt a new company brand to encompass everything that we do. From now on, we’re going to be metaverse first, not Facebook first.” Then virtual land value dropped an estimated 85 percent and Meta let go of an estimated 21,000 employees (to start).
About a year or so before that, Forbes claimed “[Cryptocurrencies are] a digital gold rush. The surge in the value of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies pushed nine new crypto billionaires onto the Forbes list.” Within months, many of the listed billionaires were battling creditors, in prison, or, more recently, both.
And at this moment, it is A.I.
“[Artificial intelligence] could see a real GDP impact, that’s not nonsense,” one of many financial analysts claim. It feels all important as territories pass laws and governments hold hearings. It feels possible to miss the boat and, before you know it, your content-driven business is thrown back into the stone ages.
But weren’t these same voices telling us to buy digital land a moment ago? Or to push our startup runway into a blockchain-built currency before that?
There is a simple 3-step process to make sure your business doesn’t sink when the next tech wave turns A.I. into last year’s memecoin.
The first is to assume that there will be other macro forces influencing your business decisions within the next 12 months. On just the technology front, the innovations influencing your capacity to make a cultural impact are exponentially changing: The half-life between the social media era – pretty much all last decade – and the recent crypto era – which was like two years – show how rapid things are evolving. Yes, lean into generative A.I., but don’t pivot your entire brand based on it (see Zuckerberg’s example above).
The second step is to not completely discard resources from the past. Social media still has value, but it may just take a smaller portion of your resources, just as, say, modern day record companies still put research and development into AM/FM radio. Content also tends to run in cycles. For instance, the recent rise of Substack put the spotlight on handmade, customized newsletters, even though older platforms like MailChimp climaxed more than a decade ago. In short, social media’s fall from grace with Twitter coups and Facebook data leaks gave room for a classic style to return. You don’t want to miss investing into a classic wave now, when it is relatively cheap, and miss the return later (double entendre intended).
The last step is to invest enough new R & D to make an impact, but not so much that everything sinks if you’re wrong. The startup champions of today began their businesses not because they were desperate, but because they were curious. Don’t believe revisionist history: Everything wasn’t on the line. Instead, they gave themselves enough room to experiment, ask good questions, and try things on a small scale.
Unless you’re building the next Open A.I., artificial intelligence should not be running your business. Instead, it should be a tool that can be curiously integrated into the business. Be curious about how it could help you serve your customers better. And, like the summer intern, recognize that there will be limitations to how much you can rely on it – but accept that you just don’t know the parameters yet. If you assume you do, then you might as well buy all that virtual swampland, too.
Immedia understands that good content comes from the symbiotic relationship between A.I. and people. With the Contrend platform and Immedia Content, our proprietary analytic system will identify gaps in your specific content landscape, be it topic, style, format, genre, tone, style or length. We then enable and empower you to create a targeted and bespoke content strategy to open new marketing frontiers for you. We’re ready to talk anytime!
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.