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Thomas Hansen
Thomas Hansen

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How a Mom'n'Pop store gave Silicon Valley a Whoppin

Amelia Ceja once told me "all good marketing is story telling", and this is a story too good to not be told. It's the story of how a small Mom'n'Pop store, employing a father and two of his children, could outperform Silicon Valley, and deliver product quality, none of the big tech firms were able to deliver. I am of course talking about our AI chatbots.

The Start

Back in 2021 I accepted VC money to start AISTA. The business plan was to build Low-Code software development automation tools based upon a platform I had created in my spare time as open source. An investor from Ukraine offered me €750,000 in seed funding in return for becoming a 50/50 partner in a company based upon my Low-Code framework. The idea was that I would do all the work, and he would contribute with money and connections. My partner at that time had 15,000 employees, in 50+ different companies, while I contributed with intellectual property and my time.

To say the balance of power was "misaligned" would be the understatement of the year!

Exactly one year later he lost faith in me and decided to pull out, stopping the money supply. I had only spent about 30% of my cash at that point, because I wanted to be super conservative with my money, and spend as little as possible. My own salary as the CEO of the company was probably less than 25% of the industry standard, because I wanted to be as careful with the money as I could. However, I didn't really blame him at this point. The company wasn't making any money at all, and my Low-Code business plan had basically completely flopped.

Just because you've got the best product in the world, doesn't imply you'll make money on it

The Collapse

The 15th of December 2022, exactly one year later, my partner told me he'd cut the money supply, but was willing to pay me salary out February 2023 to part as friends. I told him "great, this is when it begins". He laughed and asked me if I was joking. I told him "if you think I'm joking you don't know me". A week later I started working on OpenAI's APIs, and realised I could use my own open source framework to wrap Open AI's ChatGPT in a way that provided me with superior quality nobody else would be able to deliver.

One month later I realised I was sitting on a gold mine. Visitors to our website went vertically, and we already had started taking orders. At this point I was free from AISTA, and I could have moved onwards alone. However, I called my investor and asked him if he wanted to continue paying my salary, and build another company, based upon my new idea, that was actually making money. I had to spend a lot of energy convincing him. In retrospect I should have never told him and moved onwards alone, but we learn as long as we live I guess ... πŸ€ͺ

As sales were picking up like crazy, I asked two of my children if they wanted to help me sell in return for a base salary and commission. Tage and Aria said yes, and my partner agreed that this was, and I quote him "brilliant!"

My children worked for more than two months without any salary because they had to setup a company in Norway through which they were going to invoice from. When the time came to pay their invoice my partner refused to pay, even though we had an existing agreement, and I even had screenshots proving he had agreed. At this point my "partner" had basically violated every single part of our agreement, and I really didn't give a shit about him anymore, and I was just looking for "an out" for me and Tage and Aria ...

My partner had at that point conspired for months behind my back to basically steal the company, move it to Ukraine in its entirety, and have others taking control over it in a company structure where he would own a much larger share. There were just three tiny little problems he had to get rid of first, which was me, Tage, and Aria.

The Backlash

What my partner had "forgotten" though, was that not only was the entire framework our chatbots were built upon 100% permissive open source, but I was literally the only person on the planet that knew how to create applications in it. My framework was built in its entirety in a programming language I had invented to make meta programming easy, and the chatbots were entirely built in this programming language.

Since I had completely failed in teaching others how to use Hyperlambda, and the low-code framework had completely flopped, I was ipso facto the only person on earth that knew how to code in it. My partner at that point owned the copyright to one of the most interesting software development frameworks on earth, and couldn't get hold of a single person willing or able to maintain its code, while I could just continue using it in my own company as I saw fit, without needing his permission to do so.

Yup, the copyright is his, but I'm the only person on earth that can use it - The irony ... πŸ˜‚

At the end of the day, he had basically subsidised me €300,000 for building a framework that I was the only person alive capable of actually using ... πŸ˜‚

Why Google failed

Google tried their best to create Bard as we all know. It completely flopped, and they lost 100 billion dollars in market value in some few hours because of it. At that point we were dealing with so many leads and clients we were drowning, and at some point I had 7 available positions on LinkedIn for people I needed in AISTA.

Google could never succeed, not even in theory. GPT as a technology is simply too disruptive for their existing revenue model, so there's no way they could deliver what we and OpenAI are delivering, even if they wanted to. It would simply kill their existing cash cow.

Today we've got better search than Google, and we're allowing our clients to use it, on their own websites. You can read more about our AI Search here. This is of course at the heart of our chatbot technology again, which combined provides "a better Google experience than Google" - Except it's owned and operated by our clients, and no ads for competing businesses are to be found anywhere.

Aria, Tage, and me basically gave 100,000 Google employees a whoppin! And we LAJK it 😁

Google might have 100,000 software developers, some of whom are proably equally good as me, but they simply can't create what I create without destroying their employer's ability to make money πŸ˜‚

Why Amazon failed

Amazon's business model is based upon you buying stuff at Amazon.Com. Our business model is based upon you not buying stuff at Amazon.Com. To accomplish this, we deliver AI-based chatbots that provides a better shopping experience than what you get at Amazon.

For Amazon to successfully competing with us, they'd have to cannibalise their existing revenue model, something I doubt they'd be willing to do any time soon. This is called "Blue Ocean Strategy", and implies that instead of competing with existing companies, you create an entirely new business model, that just so happens to "replace" the existing value proposition of the existing players you're competing with.

So while we're partnering up with Shopify, WooCommerce, and small mom'n'pop websites selling stuff from their own domains, Jeff Bezos is probably making plans for how to keep his yacht, realising Amazon's days as "the internet's shopping mall" is over. I can buy it from you a couple of years from now Jeff 😁

Jeff Bezos' yacht

Jo Jeff, got a boat to spare ...? πŸ˜…

Why Elon Musk failed

Well, I'm not really sure if this requires more explanation than as follows ...

"Because Elon" ...? 😜

And I guess that's the whole of the explanation.

Lessons they will never learn

In the late 1960s a really smart guy worked at IBM. He wrote a book based upon scientific research he had conducted while at IBM. My favourite quote from this book is as follows ...

One man can do in one month what two men can do in two months

This means that for Google to actually compete with us, they will have to fire 99.999 of their 100,000 software developers, and for Amazon to compete with us they will have to fire 149.999 of their 150,000 software developers. Because at AINIRO we are one software developer, period! Aria and Tage have a lot of technical knowledge, and have even created our most amazing designs, and can bend our chatbot technology to their wills in ways difficult for even me to understand sometimes.

But at the end of the day, 100% of our backend code is Hyperlambda, there exists one Hyperlambda developer in the world, and that developer is me. And Hyperlambda is simply a superior programming language for creating stuff such as AI chatbots πŸ˜…

My "partner" from AISTA hired dozens of people trying to move my code forward. He only wasted his time, and they're still at the point they were when me, Aria and Tage left them in April - While we've added "a bajillion" features to our stuff, they can't even deploy our (open source) stuff on their own servers πŸ˜‚

However, at the end of the day, Google, Amazon, Elon Musk, and the entirety of Silicon Valley are destined to fail where we're destined to win, and that's because we are not 100,000 employees like Google, we are not 150,000 employees like Amazon, and we are not 15,000 employees like my "partner" - However, explaining this to all of the above is simply impossible, so we get to keep our little business alone, delivering kick ass quality to all of our customers, to such an extent that our largest "marketing channel" is now rapidly becoming our previous customers. Simply put because every time we deliver a chatbot, Aria and Tage delivers such kick ass service that our clients have nothing but praise to give us, and I continue coding (alone!) ensuring they've got nothing but praise to say about our technology ...

And dinosaurs like Amazon, Google, Silicon Valley, or my "partner" simply cannot compete in this space, because they will never understand the truth of what I just told you in this article, or even believe in it for that matter ... 😊

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