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Ryan McMillan from Atlas Digital
Ryan McMillan

#005 JD Trask: Unpacking the AI Hype Cycle

We started this issue of The Raise by asking ourselves, ‘what can we add to the conversation around artificial intelligence?’ There are well-founded debates on issues with bias, privacy, security, transparency and job losses. We’ve taken the optimistic ‘founders view’ in this week’s interview with JD Trask, CEO & Founder of B2B SaaS company, Raygun.

Date Published:
Ryan McMillan from Atlas Digital
Ryan McMillan

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Get the key insights from JD's interview in less than 1-minute 💡

JD (a.k.a John-Daniel) is a software fanatic. At university he ran a PC repair business. After leading various software ventures, he founded Raygun, where they provide diagnostics services for fellow developers. JD was nine years old when he wrote his first piece of software on his parent’s PC. Fast forward to 2024 - and it’s AI that’s capturing his imagination.  

AI compels founders like JD by having the potential to:

  1. Be 100x faster - in experimentation, in the ability to solve customer needs, and launching new products
  2. Completely strip out unproductiveness - operate like a 10k person company with only 50 people
  3. Build impenetrable competitive moats - advantages pile up when AI is applied company-wide 

Learning how to use AI feels like we are in a giant classroom and the teachers have left the room. There’s every archetype of person, we are making the rules up as we go along. We are relying on our human good to avoid a ‘Lord of the Flies’ situation. The smart kids know how to use it, the rest of us are feeling self conscious that we don’t know enough yet.

JD’s outlook on AI boils down to a simple idea - it takes experimentation to derive meaning.

So let’s unpack the AI hype cycle with JD 👉


Experience JD's enthusiasm for AI by watching the full interview.


In this week’s longform article, JD runs us through how to experiment with AI at work. Here’s the summary:

Just do it - “AI is not just for nerds. That's one of the huge mistakes that I've seen some organisations make. It's going to affect everybody. It's like pretending in the 90s that the internet would only affect software developers. This is going to affect everybody. So we need to take everybody on the journey.”

Form AI habits - ““GPT4.0 is a lot better than the free version. GPT4.0 is where you can upload like a CSV and ask questions. It's twenty dollars a month. Seriously, just pay for it.” 

Free up your team for what’s most important - “What you want to do is be able to say hey, we're a 20 person company, a 30 person company, or a 50 person company. But we can operate as [equivalent to] a 10,000 person company now. That is the great democratizer.” 

Don’t forget metrics - “I would fully anticipate that in a business that is able to dramatically leverage AI that the revenue per employee skyrockets. You know, when we look at ‘mega-techs’, they're typically in the sort of $1 to $2 million of revenue per employee. We think we're probably looking at a future where you're going to see the first billionaire, that was a one man band, right, because you can leverage these systems and scale up a person substantially.”

JD’s call to action is direct: embrace AI, experiment boldly, and learn continuously.


Trends: The Tik is Toking

ByteDance, owner of TikTok, has 9 months to divest their operations in the US before Federal Legislation effectively bans it, prompted by concerns that the Chinese government could access sensitive user data through the short-form video app.

For advertisers, this poses the obvious questions; ‘Where should we advertise?’, ‘what will users use instead?’ and no doubt throw a spanner in the works of businesses’ organic content creation efforts on the platform.

Read my take here.

SaaS Spotlight: Authsignal

AuthSignal is a drop-in authentication platform delivering passkeys and other modern authentication factors, enabling mid-market and enterprise businesses to seamlessly authenticate customer identity, mitigate fraud, and secure customer data.

In an era where digital security threats are escalating, Authsignal is a pivotal solution for enhancing user authentication without compromising convenience.

To enable your business to adapt to best in class security practices like Passkeys, Passwordless authentication, eKYC, Biometric authentication, and more, get in touch with Authsignal.

Authsignal secures customer journeys and stops fraud.

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