AI is a Feature, Not a Strategy
Dec 8, 2023
If you've been around the tech block a few times like I have, you've seen fads come and go. Lately, the term "AI" has been treated like a silver bullet, a panacea that magically transforms any old business into a Silicon Valley darling. But what many don’t seem to realize: AI is not a strategy, it’s a feature.
AI, the latest shiny object
You've seen it, right? Companies slapping an AI label on their products like it's some sort of secret sauce. But when you look closer, you'll see that most of these "AI features" are nothing more than a neat wrapper around OpenAI or similar services.
And although that isn't a bad place to start, summarising an article or writing a blog post alone isn't good enough anymore. Dozens of tools can do that for you, including ChatGPT itself. To stand out, you need to provide a much deeper integration. An integration that is unique to your product. If your entire business hinges on something anyone can cobble together in a weekend, you're skating on thin ice.
Be more than a wrapper
Take Atlassian Intelligence (AI) for example, which is now available to all customers. Atlassian added a slew of AI capabilities across their product suite. From content creation and brainstorming in Confluence, to AI agents that assist with support requests.
Content creation in Confluence is the most generic of the announced AI feature. It doesn't take much of the context into account. Using the same prompt in ChatGPT, does give similar, sometimes better results. But it is convinient to have it baked right into the editor.
More interesting are the deeply integrated capabilities. For example natural language JQL queries. JQL is extremely powerful. But only a small minority of users is familiar with any, but the most basic features. Now, users can express in natural language what they are looking for, and AI will translate it into the corresponding JQL query. Pretty neat.
This level of deep integration into the core of a product is what makes AI features compelling.
And that's how we think about it at Released. AI is a great tool to enhance the experience of crafting release notes. But we needed to figure out how to differentiate the product in a crowded market. AI alone wasn't the answer. Everyone and their dog will add generative AI in the coming months.
But one thing that nobody did was building a solution tailored to a subset of the market, Jira customers. Leveraging the deep integration and available data in Jira to create a release notes app unlike any other.
The result? A tool that can take on a heap of Jira tickets and generate release notes in seconds. To make sure it caters to the numerous ways people use Jira, user can create custom prompts to tweak the output of each issue type just right. It’s not just a wrapper. It’s AI deeply interwoven with a solid foundation.
At the end of the day, what makes Released stand out isn't the AI—it's the intuitive, human-centric workflows. It's the deep integration in Jira. It's about making a complex task like creating and distributing release notes as easy as pie, whether it's for your team or your customers. That's solving a real problem. And our customers agree.
The temptation to overvalue AI
Here's where many go astray: They lean too hard on AI, mistaking it for a strategy. But strategy is about vision, direction, and making hard choices.
So, how should a business approach AI? Simple. Pinpoint the actual pain points, the ones that keep people up at night. Design a process that addresses those points head-on. If AI can enhance the experience, perfect. But don't try to fit a square peg into a round whole. Don't use AI just for the sake of it.
AI is not the end-all, be-all. It's a piece of the puzzle, a potent one that can amplify what's already working well. The companies that get this, that weave AI into a broader fabric of vision and customer-centric solutions, are the ones that will come out on top.
AI is impressive, no doubt. But is it a stand-in for strategy? Not by a long shot. It's a lever to lift what you're already doing right. Just like at Released, where we focus on the essentials and sweat the details. Success comes from enhancing solid workflows with a touch of AI—not the other way around.
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