AsiaIndustrial NetNews: Do you want to join an AI start-up company? I met several friends recently, and they all faced this major choice problem.
They have all worked for more than 5 years, have good titles and income in large companies, and their professional skills are becoming more mature; but seeing that the artificial intelligence industry is so hot, they can’t help but be interested in looking at opportunities in the direction of AI, but on the one hand, they do not know their own What can I do in the AI industry, on the other hand, I am a little reluctant to jump out of the current comfort zone…
1. What can you do in the AI industry
From the Internet transformation to the workplace transition in the AI industry, I have defined 3 types of models: 1) skill overlap; 2) scene overlap; 3) literacy overlap.
Take the “transformation from Internet product manager to AI product manager” that I am familiar with as an example:
Skill overlap class (skill overlap 80%). For example, Xiao Ming is the product director/product manager of the XX open platform of a large company. His daily work is mainly about the website product framework process, account system, message notification, data analysis, developer operation, etc., which is very suitable for AI open platform website. Product manager positions; 20% of the non-overlapping parts are new AI-related content such as knowledge bases.
Scene overlap class (50% skill overlap).For example, Xiaohua is a content practitioner, app product manager or children’s toy product manager in the direction of children’s reading. She is very familiar with children’s scenes, understands the various mentalities and needs of parents and children, and even has some hardware (technical) background. suitable for childrenRobotDirection of the product manager. 50% of the non-overlapping parts are new content such as AI dialogue and chat, product experience design combining software and hardware.
Literacy overlap (skill overlap 10%). For example, Xiaoqiang is a product manager with a search background and has relevant experience in natural language processing, knowledge graphs, etc., so he may be more suitable to be a product manager in AI dialogue and chat; ), especially many traditional Internet PMs have no relevant background at all, so they need extremely strong basic literacy of product managers, such as the ability to learn quickly.
Other technical positions can also be analyzed by analogy. In short, if you have the time and the ability to dig information, you can research the suitable transformation path and company by yourself.
Of course, if you want a more efficient way to save time, you can talk to someone who has walked this road before, and maybe he can recommend direct job opportunities to you.
However, after all, these are still second-hand experience. The “Artificial Intelligence” train has arrived at the station. The best way is to get on the train first.
In addition, after getting on the bus, there may still be doubts about career development. For example, in the original industry or company, you are in the core position, but in the new AI company, will your skills be limited and become marginal? Future career skills and job development How to plan?
These seem to be problems, but in fact they are also opportunities, because in the future AI era, some new job directions and even new opportunities will surely emerge; and those who enter the AI industry early will become pioneers and those who define the rules. . Embrace the uncertainty and the unknown. The whole industry is not clear, and it is very refreshing to make it clear with your own hands.
2. Reluctance to jump out of the comfort zone
Personally, this is almost equivalent to the question of “how to make major decisions in life”, and there are 4 ideas to share:
1. The key is not courage, but cognition
The so-called decision that requires courage to make actually means that you have doubts in your heart. Such doubts are not good enough origins; if the origins are not good, the results are often not very good. And cognition will bring about natural decision-making, full of mentality, and light weight.
For example, in order to make the change of “switching to AI”, one must first recognize that industry choice is more important than personal efforts in the long run.
The industry leader caoz said in the article “From campus to workplace – don’t easily characterize yourself”:
Of course, AI is such a new window.
2. Major decision-making is mainly based on emotion, and rationality is used to reverse the logic to check for omissions and fill in the gaps
A quiet person can listen to the inner voice, the so-called follow your heart, intuition and so on.
Then what about most people whose hearts are not quiet enough? Follow the people you trust. See if there are people around you who you truly trust, and see if there are people in your favorite company who you think are trustworthy. They give you advice.
However, how to judge, I believe /follow this intuition or person, is right? This question is not without solution, but it is not the focus of this article, omitted.
When that moment comes and you say to yourself, “Okay, I’ve decided”, that’s enough.
Then, how to use logic to reverse check? Seek advantage and avoid disadvantage——
The risks of not switching to AI now may include:
1) The current BAT may be a foreign company twenty years ago. If you can’t continue to improve your scarcity on the original track, when you are laid off in your 40s, you can just accept it.
2) Now is the perfect time to switch to AI. On the one hand, the scarcity is high, and it is very likely that after 1 or 2 years, the starting salary of AI talents will drop by a lot (of course, high-end talents are still very expensive). On the other hand, the threshold for getting an interview opportunity is really low, unimaginably low—as long as there is a little bit of relevance on your resume, companies are willing to give you an interview opportunity; of course, the requirement to get an offer is still very high.
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What can you gain by switching to an AI startup now?
1) If it is mainly for “predictable big money (more than 10 million)”, it is likely that “the greater the hope, the greater the disappointment”.
Of course, I’m not saying it’s wrong to hope for financial freedom, but I’m saying there’s just too much uncertainty about it.
For example, when choosing the most potential AI startups, how to judge whether the company’s business direction is reliable? For investors who focus on the AI industry, and even senior practitioners themselves, they cannot be 100% sure. Maybe figure it out on your own. So, the more feasible way for more people is, A) choose a boss and team with integrity and you are willing to work with him, even if you fail, you won’t blame him; B) depends on luck 🙂
Moreover, even if the company’s product direction and team are good, it is still far from commercial success, and it is even more uncontrollable when the options can be cashed.
In short, there are too many uncertainties, so don’t make making big money as your first goal.
2) To enjoy the team atmosphere of a startup? This is more dangerous.
Yes, the team atmosphere of many startups is nicer than that of big companies, but it is not how much happiness you can enjoy, but how much grievances you can bear.
At the beginning, when the company is developing well, the atmosphere of startups is very high, and everyone does not feel hard; but the reality is that most startups will definitely enter a bottleneck period, when all kinds of hidden dangers will emerge, such as overtime work. Too much, not enough salary (there are also headhunters to poach people, just compare them…), the process system is not standardized, the morale is not high, the financing is inconclusive, etc. What do you do now? Will you leave?
Aside from the values and the company team culture, for us individuals, what we need most is mature professionalism and way of thinking. What I want to say is that the inadequacy of the company is not the reason for us to leave, but the opportunity for us to stay.
There is no perfect company (organization) in the world, and many large companies are complaining inside and outside. The probability of changing another company is not as good as the previous one. So, don’t make decisions that affect your life just because the object is not good.
The company has serious problems, you see it, and you lead or push to solve it. If you do it, how much credit is it? If it doesn’t work, your lessons are still there. You know, in a large company, you may not have the opportunity to solve or even find this kind of problem at all.
3) For individuals, the real value of AI startups is the opportunity to enter the cusp of the AI industry
This is reflected in the following points:
Do the most cutting-edge work in the industry and quickly improve the actual combat ability.
Fill gaps in the industry. The AI industry is still in its early stage, and even if we do not have the strategic vision to explore new territories, as long as we are serious and attentive, we still have the opportunity to discover and fill the gaps in the industry. This is worth thousands of dollars, not much to say.
Long-term compounding value in terms of experience/connections. Although it is never too late to enter the AI industry, the sooner you enter the better.
Growing up with the entrepreneurial team, fighting friendship is a very different emotional wealth.
1 or 2 years ago, I went to a closed-door conference in an industry. The host (a CEO) said that there were more than 20 people present, and each of them had their own unique dry goods, and they could come on stage to share for 15-20 minutes . ——I was very surprised at the time, because the host didn’t know me at all, but just based on the attribute of “presence”, I knew that I would have something to do. This is what I have experienced very deeply in the past two years – I have been pushed to the forefront by the industry and the company.
Of course, if the company has serious problems, do we have to be with us all the time? No, if you work hard (at least 1 year), you can’t change it (especially people’s problems), and within this 1 year, you If you have the ability to improve and better career opportunities, you can consider changing companies.
3. The best decision (investment) mentality: If all investment costs are lost, you can still fully accept it in your heart, and it will not affect your life.
Is going to an AI startup risky?
If family factors (such as children) are not considered, only from the perspective of career development, the risk is almost zero. Because after working in an AI startup company for 1 year, even if the company or product fails, the experience and lessons you have accumulated cannot be taken away by others; at that time, you want to find another AI company, or go back to your previous level Company or career direction is still easy. If you don’t even have this confidence, you don’t have to think about many things.
If in the end, you are still hesitating and tangled, what should you do?——
4. If you worry about gain and loss, don’t change it
Everyone’s values and family factors are very complicated, there is no need to follow the trend, and a flat life is just as beautiful. (On the contrary, many people who came out of big companies to start businesses because of greed are actually very miserable.)
In addition, let’s talk about a related issue, join an AI startup company, as long as the business ability is enough, can/should go in? Personal advice, but also need to be cautious, because——
3. Joining AI startups will seriously magnify 4 risks
1. Startup companies need high initiative, sense of responsibility and professionalism
Large companies can guarantee work results and personal growth to a certain extent through systems. But in a startup company, if it is a “push, move” person, it will definitely be very painful – 1) things are not doing well (because there is no initiative to ask and do everything possible to solve the problem); 2) but It is still very hard; 3) The progress is very small, and the further you go, the less you can keep up with the company’s development speed. .
In short, the key is not what the company wants you to do, but you should think clearly about what you want to do on the premise of meeting the needs of the company.
How to judge whether you have “sufficient” initiative? Provide a “self-assessment” standard: in the past 3 years of work, how many things have you done that were not asked by others, but only based on your own interest, and Persistent for more than 1 year, and something that has been valuable? (Have quantifiable approval by others or monetary income.) If you can’t say it, it is very dangerous.
2. Startups need to sacrifice family time
Young bachelors can still “crazy” to do things, and can endure the leaders calling you after get off work; but if they have a girlfriend or get married or have children, they will definitely face family pressure or puzzlement. At this time, it is necessary to have a good internal helper or improve communication skills.
3. Startup companies need good physical fitness
CEOs of start-up companies, the physical quality is really not comparable to ordinary people. When our CEO was in college, he ran 5,000 meters a day, recorded 100 push-ups per minute, and did pull-ups/handstands at will… So, if the body If it is not very good, or if you love your body very much, you should try to be cautious first.
4. The most important thing is that AI startups need a strong ability to learn quickly
Why? Because I personally think that the difficulty of transitioning from the Internet to AI is greater than the difficulty of transitioning from traditional industries to the Internet! This is something that no one in the AI industry has mentioned yet, because many people haven’t felt it yet, but this is on the contrary. is very dangerous.
If you have worked for more than 5 years, do you want to join an AI startup?
If you can see the friends here, you probably already have a self-assessment, right? In short, don’t be so entangled, enter calmly in your heart, don’t enter after hesitation, and what suits you is the best.
Editor’s note: This article is from the WeChat public account “hanniman” (ID: hanniman), the author hanniman, former Tencent product manager, now Turing Robot VP, WeChat public account / Zhihu / “hanniman”; 36氪 authorized to publish.
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