Is being first to adopt conversational AI worth it? Or should you wait?
The people that go first tend to make mistakes that the rest of the market can learn from.
The concept of the fast follower is a very real concept, which is that, if you go second, you tend to learn from the mistakes made by the people that go first.
But that’s no reason not to go first.
I’ll give you an example: the very first railroad track was laid in 1821 in Stockton-on-Tees, where I’m from, and it went from Stockton to Darlington.
The UK, Britain, was benefiting from having railroad transport from 1820, all the way through to 1870. I think the next one might have been in China in 1870, and that was a narrow gauge track, laid by the British.
Yes, now there are far better rail systems, far faster trains. The one going from Shanghai to Beijing was laid and opened in 2011, and gets up to 217 miles an hour with those bullet trains.
India has got fantastic trains, so I’m told. Italy, the one going from Naples to Rome is absolutely rapid.
There are far better systems in place than the ones, and the tracks, that exists in the UK. And that’s because the infrastructure in the UK was laid a long, long time ago. We can’t get massive wide trains that go 200 miles an hour down most of our tracks.
But, we’ve benefited from transporting goods and people for 200 years, and the rest of the world hasn’t.
And so when you relate that back to conversational AI, there’s a lot of people creating conversational AI, a lot of people implementing it, but there’s a lot of people sitting on the fence and thinking “Well, we’ll just wait. We’ll wait and see what happens, we’ll wait to see what unfolds.”
Now, obviously, in the next five years, things will be better. Technology will be better and it will be far easier to do things.
But starting now and being first within your industry or your vertical, means that you get the benefit over the next five to ten years.
In the same way as the UK was getting the benefit of the railroads from 1820 onwards, you too will have the benefit of conversational AI from today onwards, if you do it today.
And the difference with infrastructure that is nailed to the ground and spans across geographies is that it’s very hard to change. Conversational AI; you can constantly improve, you can constantly iterate, you can constantly bring in and out, and swap tools as new and better technology becomes available.
And so there really isn’t an excuse for waiting. There’s no excuse. Doesn’t make any sense.
If you start today, you’ll get the benefit today.