Welcome to Volume 106!
In last week’s volume, we talked about AI and how, like it or not, it will be a big part of our future as B2B marketers.
Now I’m not big on manifestation, but we’re just a week out from the last discussion, and that guess has already come to fruition.
Big things are happening in the AI space.
Okay, not quite that big.
Not yet, at least…
But artificial intelligence has blown up in the content creation space thanks to GTP-3. Not to mention it’s being applied across all industries — from paid advertising to managing distributed cloud networks.
Of course, AI isn’t out of the woods completely. Fears of robot overlords are replaced by concerns over ethics, copyright infringement, and systemic bias.
But, as this week’s lead story tells us, there aren’t any signs that these concerns will slow the rapid growth of AI.
Here’s what we’re getting into today:
- Jasper’s latest funding round pushes them to $1.5B valuation
- How Hopin is Seizing Market Share Through Thought Leadership
- The State of Cloud Computing Heading into 2023
Jasper’s latest funding round pushes them to $1.5B valuation
The AI content platform just cemented its position as the top option for marketers and creatives — raising $125 million in their first major funding round.
Institutional venture capital sent a loud message to the rest of the tech market as some major names joined Insight Partners in the funding round, including Bessemer Venture Partners, IVP, and Founders Circle.
Jasper CEO Dave Rogenmoser revealed that the funds would be used in three areas:
- Development of core Jasper products, including Jasper Art
- Improvement of the overall customer experience
- Creating more integrations and partnerships with other apps
This influx of capital happens to coincide with Jasper’s acquisition of fellow generative AI startup Outwrite. The company is poised to dominate this space.
Most people are familiar with Jasper as a text-based content creation tool that helps marketers and creatives generate copy for blogs, web pages, product descriptions, and social media posts.
While Peppertype, Writesonic, Copy.ai, Simplified, and other generative AI tools offer similar features, Rogenmoser believes Jasper has the key differentiators to lead the industry. (The extra $125 mill probably doesn’t hurt either.)
In a statement to TechCrunch, he explains how the language training models are a huge part of creating a successful content generation tool, stating, “the folks that win at generative AI will be the ones that have the best feedback loops. We’re committed to building the best AI feedback loop.”
The other differentiator? Dipping their toes into the widely-popular generative artwork space (It even has its own subreddit!). With Jasper Art, users can now turn simple written prompts into vivid images. Just take a look at some of the AI-created pieces of art on the Jasper Art landing page:
Like any company in the fledgling industry, Jasper still has some hurdles to overcome. There are plenty of social, ethical, and legal issues on the horizon for generative AI companies and their evangelist users to deal with.
But if venture capital is any indication of market trajectory — and it almost always is — then Jasper and the rest of the generative AI space are primed for massive growth.
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How Hopin is Seizing Market Share Through Thought Leadership
If there was a Nobel Prize for perfect timing, Hopin Founder Johnny Boufarhat would be a Laureate by now.
Unfortunately, there isn’t — so instead, he’ll have to settle for the youngest self-made billionaire in British history at the helm of Europe’s fastest-growing startup.
Boufarhat designed Hopin as the first-ever virtual venue for live online events and launched it in early 2019. Fast forward a year, and the whole world was in need of Hopin’s services.
The number of events hosted over the first six months of 2020 tripled from 11K to 32K.
But as we’ve settled into something resembling normalcy, the question remains: Was Hopin’s success a flash in the pan, or have they built on the catalytic effect of the pandemic on remote networking?
Taking a look at their site visits over the past few months, it’s clear that Hopin has weathered the storm at the very least:
In this week’s Foundation Insider case study, the team takes a look at how Hopin leveraged their pandemic success to create winning growth and content strategies. In particular:
- Acquiring 6 other SaaS brands in just under 7 months
- Pivoting their service offerings to meet the needs of a hybrid workforce
- Breaking into the established in-person event market with thought leadership
- Engaging their audience with content series on topical issues like mental health
The State of Enterprise Cloud Heading into 2023
We’re over halfway through October, which means most leaders in the tech industry are looking forward to what 2023 will bring us in a decade that’s been anything but predictable thus far.
However, one thing that is certain is the economy’s reliance on cloud computing.
This essential digital infrastructure literally supports the success of other innovations across AI, blockchain, and IoT.
It’s not surprising then to see projections of end-user spending on public cloud reaching 600 billion USD in 2023. And, with the popularity of multi-cloud infrastructure on the rise, the overall expenditure on cloud services could be much higher.
The enterprise tech expert and Forbes Contributor Bernard Marr recently outlined what he believes the coming year will bring us in terms of cloud adoption. Here’s a quick look at the top 5:
- Investment in cost-effective cloud security and system resilience measures as companies look to balance cybersecurity threats (like ransomware attacks) with the looming recession.
- A shift towards multi-cloud service delivery, relying on multiple service providers to improve application delivery, reduce the impact of system failure, and improve resiliency.
- Inclusion of artificial intelligence and machine learning features in cloud services to improve the delivery of applications and platforms across massive, distributed networks.
- Cloud service providers and adjacent businesses develop no- and low-code tools to empower their customers
- Despite Google’s decision to retire Stadia, gaming and streaming will finally come together thanks to innovative cloud service solutions.
For a more in-depth look at Marr’s insights, check out the full blog post here.
NEWS OF THE WEEK:
- GTP-3-and DALLE-2 based startup Omneky hopes to improve the effectiveness and cost of online ads with AI
- Meta, Amazon, and other Big Tech firms are battenting down for the recession, prompting the latest industry buzzword “the great hesitation”
- Uncertainty in the housing market provides opening for real estate tech startup Landis with a $40M Series B
- DuckDuckGo rolls out beta version of privacy-protecting web browser for macOS
- Byju, the massive education platform out of India, raises $250 million in their latest funding round
BRAIN FOOD OF THE WEEK
This week’s brain food is about taking brain breaks.
Actually, you should probably just use this section as your cue to go for a walk, do some stretching, or just sit and chill. It’s a lot more important than you might think.
Because marketing, despite all the tools and techniques, is still a fundamentally creative exercise. There’s still just as much an art as it is a science.
Unfortunately, you likely don’t have the luxury of toiling away in your studio, waiting for inspiration to strike. You still have meetings, emails, and a constant stream of deadlines to meet — all things that drain your mental energy and make it more difficult to succeed during deep, creative work.
As someone who’s always been interested in neuroscience, there’s a lot of data available if you’re interested in improving your performance and reducing stress.
So, do yourself, your company, and your clients a favor and step away from the screen for a little while.
TWITTER THREAD OF THE WEEK:
INTERESTING FINDS ACROSS THE INTERNET:
- Kanye West just reached an agreement to acquire Twitter alternative Parler
- Nigeria’s AltSchool for technical skills is expanding its course offering to include product marketing, design, management, and more
- For all you Sims fans out there — EA teases release of next generation of the classic game with Project Rene
- Plenty of Fish wants to reestablish themselves in the dating app race with an
IN CASE YOU MISSED SOME OF OUR GREATEST HITS:
WHAT WE’RE WIRED INTO THIS WEEK 🎧:
This week’s round-up is brought to you by Ethan Crump while Jessica gets some well-deserved PTO ✌!