Silicon Valley rules say that you can pivot your business successfully, but only if you 'slash and burn' - and that is indisputably true. But what if you discover the power of a new technology, but your business is too successful to slash and burn? You find yourself in a bit of a pickle, thats what.
Yesterday I stepped down as CEO of APE Mobile, a business I founded and loved running for the last 6 years. At APE I raised over $5Million, built an amazing team, and designed an incredible product that customers love. APE Mobile is growing rapidly in Australia, USA and UK by providing contractors unprecedented access to live data whilst going completely paperless on site.
But today is my first day as Co-Founder and CEO of nyfty.ai, a spinout venture that supercharges construction workers by using the power of AI and NLP to manage and organise everything.
Nyftyi.ai follows on the success of APE's NLP powered Site Assistant, which transforms the way Foremen make decisions in the field. The work we did at APE sparked my interest in the transformative power of Artificial Intelligence and how it - when combined with Natural Language Understanding - can be harnessed to radically improve the human experience, particularly in handling the ever increasing Volume, Velocity and Vectors of information, something us humans are really terrible at. We call it the V3 Conundrum, and we're using AI to solve it, but the Financial Times describe the symptoms best: 'Digital distractions are making us dumb and twitchy'.
So why the big pivot, that isn't a pivot? Reid Hoffman makes the case very eloquently in this Masters of Scale podcast, that you can't pivot a business without slashing and burning, and APE Mobile is far to good to slash and burn. So I had to make a call, ignore the burning desire to explore this incredible technology, that will transform the construction industry, or spin out the new venture and make it happen.
I chose the later, and as we (don't really) say in Australia, we're not here to f##k spiders. So today is day 1 in the new venture, something that's only made possible by the incredible team at APE Mobile and with good succession planning. Perhaps that could be a new topic for Reid Hoffman and his awesome podcast.
We'll be launching nyfty.ai very soon, and I'll still be supporting APE's Executive Team - particularly Kevin Reece who we've promoted to CEO - and its strategic partners and investors as Non Exec Director.
Nyfty.ai is a San Francisco based AI startup that supercharges construction workers by using the power of AI and NLP to manage the ever-increasing volume, velocity and vectors of information. Stay tuned...