AI: Bigger Than Electricity or Fire?

Erich is speaking into a microphone in front of a sign that says torne

Artificial intelligence is already bringing myriad changes to our work and lives. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai has said AI could have implications for humanity that are “more profound than electricity or fire.” What does AI mean for businesses? For brands?

Artificial Intelligence: Past and Future

On June 14, 2023 at IESE Business School in New York City, Vivaldi CEO Erich Joachimsthaler, PhD, presented a talk covering AI’s past and future, explaining, “What really matters is when technologies meet a new business model.” When that happens, he says, there’s a revolution.

1. Focus on The Ends, Not Just The Means

Currently, there is a lot of hype and excitement surrounding emerging technologies like AI, blockchain, and the metaverse. However, the emphasis seems to be more on technological advancements themselves rather than their actual purpose or impact. For the needle to really move, discussions should shift towards understanding how these technologies can be applied to benefit businesses and brands.

2. Technology Meets a New Model

Technology alone is not enough to drive significant change. Historically, big shifts occurred for companies like Amazon, Google, and Apple when technology converged with a new business model, leading to revolutionary transformations. Apple’s app store, for instance, suddenly shifted the way the iPhone could be utilized. Identifying ways to combine technology with innovative business models is the key to unlocking the true potential of emerging technologies.

3. Value Creation Through Interactions, Not Just Activities

The traditional notion of value creation through activities must be challenged. Value today is generated through interactions — customer engagement, marketplace dynamics, and network effects have more lasting relevance and importance. This highlights the shift from optimizing internal processes to fostering meaningful interactions and connections with customers and partners.

Erich Joachimsthaler


  • Erich Joachimsthaler
    CEO & Founder, Vivaldi
    Erich Joachimsthaler