Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Oliver Tan, Co-Founder and CEO at ViSenze:
What does your company do?
ViSenze powers visual commerce at scale for retailers and publishers. The company delivers intelligent image recognition solutions that shorten the path to action as consumers search and discover on the visual web. At ViSenze, we care about simplifying the search process on the visual web by removing the need to guess (inefficiently) at keywords. Retailers like Rakuten and ASOS use ViSenze to convert images into immediate product search opportunities, improving conversion rates. Media companies use ViSenze to turn any image or video into an engagement opportunity, driving incremental revenue.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I have been the CEO of ViSenze since the company was founded in 2012. Over the years, I’ve learned that every day is never the same and that there is always something new to look forward to. This is one of the best parts of running a business, in addition to being able to make a difference by creating positive impacts on the market we serve. What’s even better is being recognized for making this difference as our customers become more successful.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
A few of the biggest challenges when scaling an AI business is timing, talent, and specialization. If a company is too early in commercializing AI, it’s easy to encounter resistance and struggle to find a market fit. The inability to hire or acquire the right AI talents can also significantly delay development and time-to-market. Nearly all AI startups face the inherent challenge of over-specialization to the detriment of universality. Therefore, if we end up over-specializing the AI technology we build to solve specific and defined problem sets, we oftentimes limit its ability to solve larger problems.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
If I could go back in time and speak to a younger version of myself, I would most definitely encourage myself to take more risks when I was younger. Most people never regret the risks they took, but they always regret the risks that they did not. Of course, hindsight is the best teacher of taking risks and I certainly wished I had taken some key risky business decisions earlier rather than later in my career.