• Howie Town
  • Posts
  • Sunday Reads and Listens..I Picked A Bad Week to Quit Sniffing AI..and How Am I Investing In This AI Speed Race

Sunday Reads and Listens..I Picked A Bad Week to Quit Sniffing AI..and How Am I Investing In This AI Speed Race

Happy Sunday…

While I was running around NYC, the AI world exploded in activity this week, so I wanted to catch myself up here and coordinate my thoughts.

Four people I lean on right now to catchup/keep up and follow these trends include:

I would pay for all four and only Ben has a small subscription (I subscribe).

Luckily I get to talk with Om and Michael whenever I like. I do have to get Ben and Jeff on Trends With Friends.

Jeff summed up the week well in his recent piece ‘Google’s End Game’…

The latest developments at OpenAI, Google, X (Twitter), and even Meta may seem distant or even irrelevant to some of us, given the advanced technology being used.

But I assure you, these topics we’re exploring are going to dramatically impact our lives, whether we drive trucks, lay concrete, balance books, sell insurance, or work in healthcare.

What these companies are building are the foundational models upon which thousands of AI-powered applications will be built.

The technology is already being woven into products we use every day. It won’t be long before we don’t even think about it. “It” will just be there.

And because these companies have technology platforms that reach the majority of the world’s population, and the technology is software based, distribution and adoption will happen at light speed.

Jeff also penned ‘Is Google Doomed’ (short answer NO). The Open AI release of Chat GPT-4o got everyone’s attention…

OpenAI’s GPT-4o is too good not to be used. Google knows this, and we can be sure that it’s racing to improve its own Gemini software to have just as much utility as OpenAI’s GPT-4o.

And how about Apple, which has been woefully behind in AI technology. The rumors have been swirling that a deal with OpenAI is pending. In the short-term, that would make perfect sense. Apple can integrate with GPT-4o APIs, and it can still call its voice assistant Siri, it will just have a major upgrade.

Most consumers will think that Siri has just massively improved, and they’ll love it. Apple can take a portion of the $18 billion a year it receives from Google related to search… and use that to pay for the licensing of OpenAI’s technology. 

And when it finally has something good enough developed in-house, it can simply make the change on the backend.

Time is of the essence though.

These new personalized AIs will be very sticky for consumers. And in many cases, humans will develop emotional ties to their new artificial companions. Changing AI assistants will be difficult for many. 

“Owning” consumers with a personalized AI is how money will be made with search-related advertising. Trillions of dollars are at stake.

Adoption will be the fastest in history, which is why getting in early is so critical.

The faster the world seems to be going, the slower and simpler I think about investing in it.

I am keeping it very simple with my investing in this period of great flux.

I am sticking with the giants through my indexing ($QQQ, direct indexing with Frec.com for the most of my stock exposure) as the market cap weighting works in my favor. If two or three new giants emerge to catch $NVDA $AAPL $GOOG $META they will show rise up through the indexing magic of market weights.

At the seed level, the ‘chase’ has pushed any startup in AI to silly valuations which makes it easy for me (Social Leverage) to pass. Furthermore, I agree with what Om had to say this week - ‘The Age of AI Ambiguity’…

With tech giants unleashing ever more powerful models and piles of money to accelerate their AI efforts, startups find themselves in a precarious position. Startups must hustle to find and defend their AI niches as the landscape rapidly evolves.

Startups’ advantage is agility and singular focus. They can build superior solutions in specific verticals and use cases. A good lesson from the past is vertical search and marketplaces like Booking.comExpedia.com, and Zillow.com, that have carved out big niches despite Google. 

Startups can bet big on their deeper domain expertise and tighter customer relationships. Nevertheless, we are still going to see a lot of wreckage as a result of the “AI Ambiguity” because it will make it ever so much harder to rise above the noise. 

We (Social Leverage) did invest in Finchat.AI which is right in our passion and domain expertise sweetspot. The product is fantastic.

What this week does confirm though - from Michael Parekh - is ‘Mainstream AI Is Getting Closer’.

Finally, here are TWO deep dive AI discussions with Michael Parekh…

Have a great Sunday.


or to participate.