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by | Jul 15, 2022 | Latest News

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It’s been quite the first half of the year to say the least, and the stock portfolio has so much red it may as well be the next Saw movie.  It’s a new quarter though, and that always gives me a bit of hope since it represents a mini-reset, and an opportunity to evaluate my thinking and plan my next investing steps.  To go along with that theme, today’s founder focus is a lesson in perseverance, and that failure doesn’t have to mean the end, it can be a chance to reset and restart.

Nicholas Woodman is the founder of GoPro, the action camera company that is popular with extreme sports athletes.  Those of you with kids are probably familiar with the devices since they like to film their neighborhood bike rides with the intensity of the X-Games.  Before GoPro, however, Mr. Woodman started another company in 1999, which you probably haven’t heard of…FunBug.


FunBug was an online gaming platform that was supposed to let users win cash through game play.  By early 2001 the company crashed and burned and became one of the original dotcom era’s biggest busts.  This taught Mr. Woodman that while passion and enthusiasm are fantastic assets, a good idea matters, too. A lot.

Being a Silicon Valley native with experience in the private equity industry, Mr. Woodman could have chalked the failure up to youthful exuberance and settled into an easy life at PE shop, but instead he took the FunBug battle scars and applied them to GoPro.  His approach with GoPro was to focus on getting the product right rather than focusing on growing as fast as possible.  

He took the FunBug failure personally, so he obsessively made sure every component of the product was exactly what he wanted so he wouldn’t have to feel the sting of failure again.  


Mr. Woodman also focused on selling – he drove up and down the California coast, personally visiting surf shops to convince customers to stock the cameras.  I think this is an important takeaway – many young companies can fall into the trap of “If you build it, he will come” but good old-fashioned selling will always be paramount.

When I’m evaluating startup companies, I don’t immediately panic if I see a past failure (or several failures) in the founders’ history.  I’m more concerned about what the founders learned from failures, and how they apply those lessons to the current venture.  Failure can be a great teacher for founders smart enough to listen.  Our featured partner has such founders fortunately, an executive team with three companies started and two successful exits.  Keep reading to learn more about RAD AI.

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RAD AI is taking the power of artificial intelligence and applying it to marketing! It is the world’s 1st marketing platform with emotional intelligence (EQ–think of IQ but with an E!).


The company uses historical data to detect the best form of language needed to communicate authentically with millions of customer profiles. This should enable companies to create higher-performing social media posts, blogs, captioned videos and paid media ads. 


The company leads the industry in terms of accuracy of language – an impressive 92%! In other words, it is transforming marketing gibberish into authentic language that resonates with the target audience. The aim is for brands to develop even more meaningful connections with diverse and global audiences AT SCALE.


Further, Rad AI appears to beat “Bert” – Google’s language AI – by 30…That’s no easy feat given that Google itself uses AI in its algorithms and has a market capitalization of $1.4 trillion. 

That just gives you an idea of the power of the Rad AI platform.

Furthermore, some of the biggest companies in the world use RAD AI. To name a couple, some of its more well-known customers include: 

  • Accenture, a financial services company with over $50 billion in revenue and $6 billion in income last year and a Market Cap of over $179 billion in June 2022
  • Condé Nast a magazine giant that publishes Vogue and Vanity fair with $2 billion in revenue last year

According to the company, RAD’s customers like these have seen about a 250% increase in performance metrics across digital channels. To achieve this increase in effectiveness, Rad AI’s IP was built on $20 million of research and development by Atomic Reach, a martech (marketing technology) company Rad AI acquired to scale its artificial intelligence capabilities.

Along these lines of martech, the global martech market value was estimated at nearly $345 billion in 2021 according to Statista. It’s no surprise, then, that RAD AI states its annual revenue growth to be around 310%. Rad AI is trying to get its share of this pie!

Artificial Intelligence appears to be the future. It is being positioned to take over the future of the workplace, reducing the time humans need to spend on processing, design and targeting significantly. Rad AI is poised to grab its share of the marketing technology market by providing marketing with emotional intelligence, increasing connections with audiences and enhancing performance for customers.

In sum, RAD AI is a company with ENORMOUS POTENTIAL, in my opinion. I encourage you to watch this video or check them out here to learn more about this amazing company attempting to shake up the marketing industry using AI!

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