A written recap of our webinar "How to think and build the future of our products".
Last month, we had an exciting meetup with some brilliant minds in the tech world! Christophe Pasquier, the Founder, and CEO at Slite, Enzo Avigo, CEO at June, and Henrique Cruz, Head of Growth at Rows, discussed the captivating realm of building with AI. These pioneers have already delved into AI implementation and have some incredible features in production. Needless to say, their insights are pure gold after months of exploring the AI landscape.
Throughout the webinar, these visionary leaders took us on a journey through the why, how, and what of building with AI.
Our panelists kicked off the discussion with a contextual insight. “If you go back to 1995, Netscape had just IPO’d, and when a journalist asked Mark Anderssen ‘What as the secret of Netscape’s success?’, Anderssen replied, ‘We are in the middle of an exploding market’.” Henrique shares. “Ever since technology has been booming, and we are taking less time to adapt to it. Today AI was commercialized with the launch of ChatGPT, and it took only 5 days for the technology to be widely spread.”
AI is today at your fingertips, and it’s here to stay, but worry not. It won’t replace it all.
As of today, AI’s power excels in tasks like giving ideas for a blog post, summarizing text, or suggesting products based on past behaviors. These tasks are either verifiable because they rely on a factual dataset or subjective, so it doesn’t need verification. Both can be easily iterated and scaled at a low cost. A good example can be your suggestion section in e-commerce. Think about those smart product suggestions on e-commerce platforms that make you go, “Wow, this is exactly what I was looking for!” AI does the heavy lifting of data analysis to deliver such personalized experiences.
To better understand how you can benefit from using AI, you need to know that there are 2 main ways AI it’s being used today: As a layer on top of other technologies or as a core product that people use to build on top.
Enzo shares an anecdote where he explains that his previous employer had a team of approximately 5 people that, for 5 years, focused on cracking the AI business. Soon after OpenAI launched ChatGPT, his previous employer ditched most of the internal advancements in AI and jumped to work with the newly launched technology.
What can we learn from this?
Today’s tech landscape cannot escape the AI revolution, and even if this one does not replace human work, it can significantly improve your internal and external user experience.
Now that you understand the why, let’s delve into the how of AI-powered ideation.
“The best idea to approach it, [AI] is like product thinkers.” - says Christophe.
While AI is a powerful tool, it has its limitations. It is not a magical solution that can solve any problem. AI’s effectiveness is limited by the amount of data it has access to, and it can only work within the context of the information it has been trained on. It is crucial for product thinkers to understand the boundaries of AI and not expect it to be a panacea for all product challenges.
On the other hand, ideating with AI takes the experience to a whole new level. Imagine having an idea-generating machine by your side, constantly adding fresh perspectives and innovative suggestions to your brainstorming sessions. But here’s the catch: AI isn’t here to replace human creativity; it’s here to amplify it!
Now, here’s where it gets intriguing. Christophe shared this captivating concept of a hypothetical group of 100 CTO robots with super-smart brains but zero emotions. Imagine using this robot as an ultimate test to figure out which tasks AI can actually handle and which ones benefit from human input. The possibilities are mind-blowing! Well, that’s how Christophe talks about their AI exploration in knowledge-base applications. They applied the CTO robot concept to automate semantic searches, answer questions based on documentation, and neatly categorize documents. Not to mention the exciting launch of our first (of many) AI features: Slite Ask an AI-powered searcher that provide answers to questions with all the relevant document references. Smart move, right?
Even if in many cases, AI has not always been the optimal solution to all their problems, the problem-solving mindset and ideation process that AI empowers product thinkers to have, is key to creating products that are driven by innovation.
1. If you can’t solve it, AI won’t solve it either.
When considering AI features for your product, ensure that they are achievable and realistic, and do not attempt to build something that even human intelligence would struggle to accomplish.
2. AI is not suitable for everything.
Product thinkers must exercise a critical eye when it comes to integrating AI into their products. AI lacks empathy and cannot replace human interaction in certain areas, especially sensitive ones like mental health. Focus on building AI features that solve real problems and create value for users.
3. Embrace the era of AI and explore its potential for your product.
Look beyond traditional AI algorithms and consider different approaches that may yield better results. Sometimes, non-machine learning algorithms can outperform more complex AI methods. Keep an open mind.
By tapping into the power of AI’s analytical capabilities, businesses can dive into market trends, competitor offerings, and user feedback to shape their ideation process. At the end of the day, it is like having a reliable co-creator who’s always scouting for the hottest industry trends and presenting them to you, helping you stay one step ahead of the game, customer-centric, and innovative.
Building with AI is thrilling, but trust is the glue that binds users to your AI-powered product. “It’s very hard to make something useful. It’s actually as hard to build something useful with AI than without AI,” says Enzo. Delivering value and achieving retention is a common challenge across products, and AI is no stranger to this hurdle. That’s why it’s important to understand how AI can add value to your product internally and externally.
Here’s where Enzo dives into understanding the UX of AI, including input and output systems, to help design AI experiences that align with user expectations and product goals.
Ultimately there are 3 ways you can build with AI:
Regardless of the format you choose for your solution, here’s the key insight to keep in mind: make sure you’re building something people really want. That’s the secret to generating trust and sticking power for your product, according to the panelists.
So, how do you do it? Zero in on a specific use case that aligns with your product’s core value proposition. That way, users can easily understand and trust the magic of AI at work. And here’s the icing on the cake - embrace iterative development as your secret weapon! Don’t feel pressured to get everything perfect right from the start. Start small, gather feedback from users, and continuously improve your AI features based on their needs and preferences.
Building with AI is not just about adopting the latest technology; it’s about transforming how you approach product development. By embracing AI as your co-creator, you can unlock innovation, improve user experiences, and stay ahead of the competition.
The power of AI in product development is undeniable. It automates tasks, predicts user needs, and uncovers hidden insights in your data. With AI as your creative sidekick, ideation becomes a collaborative adventure full of fresh perspectives and ingenious solutions.
Quality over quantity. Trust is the foundation of successful AI integration. Ensuring verifiability and transparency in AI features builds user confidence and loyalty. Iterative development allows you to continuously enhance your AI solutions based on user feedback, ensuring your product stays ahead in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
So, whether you’re a product thinker or a product builder out there, remember this: AI is your superpower. Embrace it, trust it, and watch your product soar to new heights! Happy building with AI, fellow tech explorers!
Elisa Reggiardo is part of the Marketing team at Slite where she leads the Partner Marketing motions. She is also a mom, author, and a big fan of delicious wine.