Crafting Unique AI: Defensibility Techniques in Startups

How can AI startups successfully compete against tech giants?

Welcome (back) to AI Minds, a newsletter about the brainy and sometimes zany world of AI, brought to you by the Deepgram editorial team.

In this edition:

  • 🔨 How to build a defensible startup

  • 🚀 How defensibility drives innovation… and makes big-tech a bit worried

  • 🐦 Social Media on DevDay and new releases

  • 🛡️ Defensibility in action: What successful startups are doing

  • 🌳 A CMO’s guide to Startup Growth (Video)

  • 🤖 Bonus: How good, really, is AI at predicting the stock market?

Thanks for letting us crash your inbox; let’s party. 🎉

We coded with the brand-new Whisper-v3 over the past week, and the results were not what we expected. Check it out here!

🐎 The Importance of Defensibility in Startups

Following OpenAI DevDay, many find themselves excited at the new technology, while others remain steadfast with a competitive business mindset.

Defensibility is a term in business that refers to the measures businesses use to protect themselves from competitors and other circumstances. Here are some of our thoughts on that:

Only defensible startups stand a chance at surviving and growing… but how can you make this happen? Click to find out!

Yes, defensibility ensures your product will thrive and your company will grow… but what else? Well, apparently, a lot 👀 

🐝 Social media buzz

OpenAI DevDay not only showcased new models, but they also caused many to think about these innovations’ impacts on business—some more humorous than others.

For example, Linus Ekenstam’s Tweet below reveals quite the thread…

And, of course, memes about defensibility and competition arise:

🎥 Watch this! An expert’s guide to startup growth

The Deepgram startup community has now grown to support over 100 unique startups leveraging voice and AI capabilities.  

One benefit to being part of the community is the bi-weekly meetings where the community gets together to help each other level up. This past week our very own CMO Marcel Santilli joined us to talk about marketing for startups. 

In the name of defensibility, the conversation centered around how to build something repeatable, sustainable, and scalable. Each startup is in a different phase of growth mode and Marcel talked to us about what startups should focus on depending on their maturity level. 

Finding product market fit? Focus on customer retention, early adopters, personal network and referrals

Finding Go-to-market fit? Focus on scalable unit economics, building processes and leveraging one scalable measurable medium.

In the growth and moat phase? Focus on revenue growth rate, and utilizing multiple mediums that are tightly aligned with sales.

Watch the video to learn more!

📓Defensibility in Action: See how others succeed

If these companies can do it, you can too! See how these businesses are thriving and perhaps we can follow by example.

How creative can you really get with text-to-speech? Well it turns out, there are quite a few innovative (read: defensible) ways to stand out in this space.

African Langauges are typically labeled as “Low-resource,” but these startups find defensible ways to thrive and innovate!

🤖 Additional bits and bytes

Interested in this topic? Check out these additional bits and bytes to delve deeper into defensibility!

Because of the complexity of financial data and the amount of noise in the data, skeptics debate whether or not much of financial forecasting can be accurately modeled… but perhaps the tech merely needs to grow a bit more.

💰 From our Startup Community

We can’t talk about defensibility and startups without actually showcasing some amazing startups themselves! The Deepgram Startup Community is an incredible network of founders, techies, and entrepreneurs. Here’s a sneak peek into what’s going on behind the curtain 🎭


We want to show some love to every student's new favorite companion: Knowt

Knowt is an all-in-one AI-powered study app. As recent graduates, the founders Abhi Patel and Abheek Pandoh know the problems that students face on a daily basis. They provide an easy way to create flashcards, and practice tests from your notes, lecture videos, and slides.

Since making the product GA, things have been up and to the right! We are super excited to see them help students everywhere learn faster and more efficiently!


Speaking of learning….

Working on polishing your English skills? For those of us who are still learning English, Stimuler is here to help. They are building a 1-1 AI Tutor for everyone learning English as a Second Languague (ESL). 

The goal is to interact with an AI-generated tutor that can converse with the learners, engage them, and understand issues with students' verbal communication skills. After taking all these factors into account the app can give speech exercises customized to students strengths and weaknesses.