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2 minute read / Jan 31, 2024 / trends /

Experience as a Status Symbol

Last year, I argued every company would need an AI strategy because AI would infuse most products.

But, I missed an important concept in the post.

Talent. In the last year, AI experience has become a status symbol on a resume & a path to materially higher salaries.

I’ve spoken to many executives seeking their next role. “I’m looking for a role in an AI company” is a refrain in every conversation.

There are many reasons for this :

  1. AI is the fastest-growing part of software. AI startups are richly valued & will make appealing M&A targets & IPOs in the near future.
  2. Expertise in the current wave is relevancy. Sustaining relevancy over decades is critical to a long-term successful career. Without that relevancy, the leap to the next wave will be that much harder.
  3. People are curious. AI is new, exciting, not well-understood. Learning new skills, new markets, new products is particularly alluring.

Most companies today are just starting to plumb the depths of AI : the applications within the company for internal productivity & deploying it externally.

The surface area for innovation is staggeringly large, which means opportunity & career progression : a magnetic pitch to ambitious candidates.

When technology waves crest, they cycle through a euphoric phase & then a trough of despair/disillusionment. Deriding AI as just another one of these, & anticipating the trough is logical.

A compelling AI story is important to remain competitive both in the commercial market with modern products & to vie within the talent market.


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