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Book Review: Lean AI

Got a great start-up idea? Before you launch swat up on what AI can do to boost your growth and let the intelligent machines do the work!

I think it is safe to say that most of us now accept the dominant role AI is going to have on our lives in the future. In fact, artificial intelligence already underpins many of our day to day online and offline activities. We might not want to think about it but our modern lives are reliant on early forms and systems of machine learning and AI. From banking to entertainment our work, financial and personal lives are already strongly influenced by AI. Taking control of what AI does for us and how that power can be harnessed to grow your new businesses faster is what this book is all about.

“AI is changing the rules of growth: those who can adapt will thrive, those who fail to ride the AI wave will perish. This book provides a blueprint of how to apply AI to growth in your business.” Jessica Osorio Lead, Mobile Growth, Mozilla

Our modern lives are reliant on early forms and systems of machine learning and AI. From banking to entertainment our work, financial and personal lives are already strongly influenced by AI Click To Tweet

Author Lomit Patel knows a thing or two about boosting growth in successful early-stage startups having worked with Roku (IPO), TrustedID (acquired by Equifax), Texture (acquired. by Apple) and Earthlink. He is now Vice President of Growth at IMVU and responsible for user acquisition, retention, and monetization. He is also a respected public speaker, author, advisor, and has been recognized as a Mobile Hero by Liftoff.

“Lomit Patel has adopted and championed the power of autonomous marketing from the very earliest of days, and his practical, no-nonsense approach to outperforming against your growth goals will be indispensable reading for anyone looking to make their mark in the world of digital marketing.” Sal Aurora Chief Data Scientist, Nectar9

Lean AI is the next in a series of best-selling books for innovators and business people which is part of Eric Ries’ “The Lean Startup” series published by O’Reilly. While previous books in the series have addressed how companies can be more innovative and nimble while being less wasteful, how to to be more socially impactful and world-changing and how to structure a modern successful company, this book provides practical advice on how innovative startups should use artificial intelligence and machine learning with automation to scale up their growth.

Lean AI provides practical advice on how innovative startups should use artificial intelligence and machine learning with automation to scale up their growth Click To Tweet

“Companies are spending millions of dollars without understanding the true ROI of their marketing investments. With the advent of machine learning and artificial intelligence, marketers will be able to deepen their understanding of the customer journey and serve them in new, exciting ways. The Lean AI provides a solid foundation for the next generation of marketing automation in the age of intelligent machines.” Shamanth Rao CEO and Founder, RocketShip HQ

The Lean Startup series is a methodology for developing businesses and products that aim to shorten product development cycles and rapidly discover if a proposed business model is viable. The books along with associated online resources and worldwide events teach how this can be achieved by adopting a combination of business-hypothesis-driven experimentation, iterative product releases, and validated learning. The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup—how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere—and grow a business with maximum acceleration. It is a principled approach to get a desired product into customers’ hands faster.

The Lean Startup method teaches you how to drive a startup—how to steer, when to turn, and when to persevere—and grow a business with maximum speed. It is a principled approach to get a product into customers’ hands faster Click To Tweet

Lean AI is broken up into six sections to help us tackle the complex and powerful features of AI and how it can be harnessed to take our businesses to the next level.

Part 1: AI + Growth Marketing = Smart Marketing focuses on Growth Marketing with an overview of the current startup landscape and the biggest challenges currently facing new companies around customer acquisition. It provides an overview of the main components of Lean AI and takes a look at industry trends for leveraging AI for smart marketing.

Part 2: Customer Acquisition 3.0 looks at the world of Customer Acquisition 3.0, which provides you with an overview to learn how to effectively leverage your customer data using “intelligent machines” powered by Artificial Intelligence. This includes reviewing how to identify tasks to automate, provides an overview of the “intelligent machine” framework, and explores whether to build it or buy it based on your resource constraints.

Part 3: What Metrics Matter to you? Moves you into the world of selecting the right metrics for success that align on driving long-term growth. It explores the importance of creative assets and the area of cross-channel attribution to help optimize your “intelligent machine”.

Part 4: Picking the Right Approach to User Acquisition looks at five proven keys to user acquisition strategies and how to pick the right one for your business. It also dives deep into the “growth stack” — a set of tools that all work together to help you get the specific results you’re looking for, given your situation.

Part 5: Managing Increased Complexity and Risk moves you into the world of managing increased complexity and risk with the data needed for artificial intelligence to work. It also explores how the future growth team which would coexist with humans and machines working together in ways that take advantage of the intelligent machine framework we share in the book.

Part 6: The Next Frontier moves into how humans and machines can work symbiotically to produce the best work — and that “next frontier,” as well as its potential for triumphs and its challenges to turbocharge your growth efforts.

“Lean AI reinforces the critical marriage between developing great creative and actionable data-insights. This has a profound impact to influence our creative ideas – something that until now, we thought would just be a dream.” Victor Zaud Sr. Director, Product Design, Disney+

Lean AI reinforces the critical marriage between developing great creative and actionable data insights. This has a profound impact to influence our creative ideas - something that until now, we thought would just be a dream Click To Tweet

Summing up the wealth of important info in this book is tough but for me, the core message of Lean AI is that modern companies now have the tools and technology at their disposal to vastly speed up the previously slow and expensive processes for determining if your product and market are aligned and to test and measure experimental iterations of your core marketing strategy. We can now turn over a lot of the time-consuming work of running a successful business to AI, acquire customers faster and more efficiently and see our business grow as a result.

We can now turn over a lot of the time-consuming work of running a successful business to AI, acquire customers faster and more efficiently and see our business grow as a result Click To Tweet

The language is pretty dense and getting up to speed with the technical jargon is essential but this book is bursting with valuable ideas and information for any business entrepreneur, leader, executive and investor who wants the competitive technical edge to scale up their customer acquisition growth better, smarter and faster than the incumbents. The startups with the best ideas don’t always win; it’s the startup teams that can execute well and leverage the right resources for optimal efficiency to get the job done well. Startups have a very low probability of success, so anything you can do to increase your chances of success or decrease your rate of failure is huge. We are moving into a golden age of AI and new companies simply must take advantage of it in order to be competitive. For those with little or no understanding of how to implement AI into their growth strategy, this book is a great resource, a must-read.

“Every now and then there is a new super-hyped technology. Most of the hype ends up in the graveyard, right next to companies that used them as their main line of business. AI isn’t just hype. AI is defining software, processes, work environments and decision-making in every aspect of our lives. I have no doubt that AI will continue to drive tremendous transformation in digital marketing. ‘Lean AI’ enables companies to view these dramatic changes as real opportunities.“ Oren Kaniel CEO, Appsflyer

Lean AI is scheduled for publication around mid-March but is available for preorder at Amazon today.

 

Tom Atkinson is Reviews & Dep. Editor at Tech Trends. Follow him on Twitter @techtrends_tech