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063: Back to School
A new course for entrepreneurs; some AI advancements + an amazing story about the history of presentations
The three words in this post’s title used to be my least favorite pattern of three words between ages nine and 18.
But this coming Monday evening I’ll be back in the classroom at MCAD teaching a brand new course for entrepreneurs to help them “build and nurture their tribe, and beat the odds.” Syllabus here if you’re into those. In short: Being an entrepreneur is hard enough. Students will meet and learn from angel investors, engage with Twin Cities Startup Week, BETA, Lunar Startups, the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization and E-Fest, among other national organizations, giving them access to potential capital, sponsors, and investors for their creative project. They’ll learn best practices for distilling a pitch deck. They’ll hone and strengthen their networking practice. And learn to build a “kitchen cabinet” who will nourish and vouch for their vision and integrity.
And we’re going to end with a pitch fest which I’m sure you’ll hear about in late November if you’re still subscribed.
All this to say, I will be writing about this new course a fair amount, in addition to the regular corpus of AI and creativity content you’ve come to know and love. And I think I can make it fit within my loose constraint for this newsletter of leveraging “courage and creativity.” Mostly because I believe teaching and coursework are just other ways of creating and sharing ideas, albeit stretched out over many episodes. I also believe there’s a lot of overlap between creativity, entrepreneurship, and topics like networking, incubators and accelerators.
So it’s time to get on the bus.
That’s my six year old, Felix, heading off to kindergarten last year. Felix begins first grade in a few weeks, and his older brothers begin their junior and (gasp!) senior years of high school.
Does it feel like the top of the roller coaster?
Gartner puts “generative AI for sales” at the peak of inflated expectations (I think those last two words should be emphasized because they’re not describing “generative AI for [creativity or some other pursuit]) . Which is another way of saying maybe it’s time for reality to sink in. Which would be awesome as far as generative AI is concerned.
Someone once told me the key to interpreting Gartner’s Hype Cycle was to skip the emotional construct. Instead, think of each zone in terms of the work and/or investment volume. Expectations into Disillusionment is really a signal of scaling, and that’s so often really difficult and boring. But there’s tons of opportunity in that zone.
“Hello, Lili.” McKinsey launches its AI-KM platform
Custom, private AI-Knowledge Management is going to be the next hot thing for corporates. Sure, you’ve got a brand campaign, or private jets, maybe a stadium, but do you have your own AI-enabled GPT to query 100s of thousands of documents that’s named after the first woman your company hired?
McKinsey’s effort might be the first, but will soon be followed by everyone. Because “the tool serves up information, insights, data, plans, and even recommends the most applicable internal experts for consulting projects, all based on more than 100,000 documents and interview transcripts.” Combine this with the promise of Microsoft’s Copilot operating alongside employees, and you can see how and why knowledge management will be where the real work of AI comes to lasting fruition.
😳 It’s like a cherry-red Ferrari plowing through a guardrail
“Only hours after the IPO, Barnhart plowed his brand-new cherry-red Ferrari through a guardrail near the company’s headquarters in Los Gatos, California, flipped through the air, crashed into a ravine, and died. The slide business would soon follow.”
Honestly, I think Claire L. Evans buried the lede with her MIT Tech Review story: A brief history of the corporate presentation. It is so amazing and totally worth your time.
If your first foray into presenting was merely within Powerpoint, you’ve missed an entire era of coordination, complexity and expense. And Ferraris.
My grandpa, Art, was a multi-image A/V technologist at Bell Telephone. Our family would gather in the basement to witness the marvel of a half dozen slide projectors, synchronized with taped music, displaying family vacation presentations. Back then, who would have guessed this marvelous industry would shrink into the size of Powerpoint on your laptop?
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