Navigate the GenAI era with this startup map

Reflecting on the journey since ChatGPT’s debut a year ago, it’s clear that generative AI (GenAI) is more than a technological trend; it’s a pivotal shift in the business landscape.

With almost two decades of experience in strategic and operational roles at McKinsey, eBay, Nike, and now at Prosus, I have focused on translating emerging technologies into strategies that drive meaningful business growth and value. At Prosus, this has involved guiding startups through the GenAI landscape, helping them not just adapt, but also win in a market that is rapidly transforming.

In this article, I distill those learnings into a practical playbook for GenAI, aimed at helping startups to not only survive but also thrive in the GenAI era.

GenAI value creation

Balancing protective measures, like data protection protocols, with progressive strategies, such as AI-driven product rollouts, is essential.

With a dedicated focus on GenAI, our portfolio of companies has been able to realize significant value over the last 12 months across retention, sales pipeline, conversion rates, fraud prevention, and operational efficiency.

While we celebrate these quick wins, the real power of GenAI lies in its ability to lay a foundation for long-term, sustainable success in a constantly evolving landscape.

Figure 1. Example results from Prosus GenAI value creation initiatives. Image Credits: Prosus

Getting practical

Drawing on this hands-on experience, I’ve outlined a three-step process, allowing startups to assess their position, strategize and unlock value.

Disruption diagnostics: Dissect risk and readiness

It is crucial to understand your company’s current standing in relation to GenAI disruption. This involves a thorough analysis of risk exposure and operational readiness, which provides a foundation for a robust GenAI strategy.

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