“Artificial Intelligence” & “Big Data” Are Newest Entries to My 2017 Dictionary of Uselessness

Cross-posted on Medium

Sometimes you just can’t take it anymore.

Over the past few years, I have seen an absolutely delirious spike in the number of startups quoting “artificial intelligence” and “big data” in their pitches. This would be okay if these startups actually did something with artificial intelligence or big data, but unsurprisingly for early-stage companies, they often have neither the data nor the technology to fully capitalize on these “trends.”

Much like how the words “innovation” and “Silicon Valley” have become meaningless, AI and big data no longer say anything about a startup, but instead represent a completely vacuous description of the otherwise exciting features of a new business. These terms are no longer distinctive, and my (first) advice to founders in

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