The 2 Extremes of Generative AI Startups: Kid vs Boss mode

There are 2 extremes of startups looking to take advantage of the generative AI boom.

black and white robot toy on red wooden table

Photo by Andrea De Santis on Unsplash

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Firstly, there are those in “Kid Mode” - their branding is heavily focused on AI, but they aren’t necessarily solving any specific customer problems. Their primary motivation is simply to use AI technology. They are building cool features that generate interests temporarily and then, the interest fades away.

AI is their hammer looking for a nail.

Secondly, there are startups in "Boss Mode " who are focused on solving real, complex customer problems using AI and related technologies.

They are deeply married to solving their customers’ problems and use AI as an effective tool to achieve their goals.

An example of a company in this category is TikTok, who have been using AI since the beginning, but don’t market it as a selling point. The end users of such products won’t even know that the product is using AI.


As with startups, there is no right or wrong way, but it’s important to know which mode is one aligned towards.

Kid mode is the hustler’s zone while boss mode dons a serious avatar.