AI Verticals

The game of horizontal versus vertical is all the rage - recently YC's request for startups mentioned ERPs as one of the spaces they're looking at - a horizontal that's been dominated by encumabts for decades.

Through all the switches of bundling and unbundling, ERPs like SAP and Oracle have been the kings of the hill. But now, with the rise of AI, VCs are looking at the space again - which I think is a massive mistake.

By deciding that ERPs are the space to tackle with AI, people are ignoring what I think is the most important part of AI - productivity gains at the knowledge worker - and its results - a quicker pace to market when building vertical-specific products.

The way I see it, AI is a tool that can be used to build vertical-specific products that are better than the horizontal ones. The way to win in the AI game is to pick the right verticals to compete in - not try to compete with horizontal players whose real moat is the network effect and distribution they've built over decades.