Product Innovation: The shifting concept of Competitive Advantage in the age of AI

An interview with Josh Entsminger, Senior Fellow at Ecole des Ponts Business School

Product Innovation: The shifting concept of Competitive Advantage in the age of AI An interview with Josh Entsminger, Senior Fellow at Ecole des Ponts Business School

This podcast interview focuses on how competitive advantage is shifting in an age of automation. My guest is Josh Entsminger, Senior Fellow at Ecole des Ponts Business School in Paris.

Product InnovationHe’s an applied researcher in international affairs and the fourth industrial revolution, working on the global governance of technology.

Josh serves as a fellow at the Public Tech Lab at IE’s School of Global and Public Affairs, working on next generation public services. He also recently served as a research contributor to the Future of Production Initiative at the World Economic Forum.

His work as a senior fellow at Ecole Des Ponts Business School connects him to the Center for Policy and Competitiveness, a think tank affiliated with the Microeconomics of Competitiveness network of Professor Michael E. Porter at Harvard Business School.

His work there focuses on the shifting nature of competitive advantage in a world where AI and other 4th industrial Revolution technologies make their inroads.

This triggered me, hence I invited Josh to my podcast. We discuss the how these technologies rapidly erode the position of advantage many companies used to have. We also discuss how AI is becoming a platform race, and how having access to the right data is rather than the right algorithms, is becoming the critical factor to create a position of advantage.

Here are some of his quotes:

I’m particularly focused on the governance of technology in the politics of technology.

My background is heavily on government and policy and moving into the commercialization and understanding of what makes a company successful: what are the trends that are driving the viability of competitive advantage

It’s becoming increasingly hard for me to distinguish what’s a technology company and what’s not a technology company,

The biggest issue I see is something that I’m calling competitive democratization.

This is a drive from some of the big companies to open up access for AI solutions through AI as a service.

The thing that worries me is that the means of accessing these technologies is increasingly being controlled or dominated by a few cloud service providers.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. That defensible differentiation is growing with your ability to create data dominance around a particular area
  2. Why the battle of business software will be won by those that will master scale over scope
  3. That the opportunity is exponential for those software companies that can anticipate how we’ll restructure our understanding of what is a firm, what is a career, and what is a job.

Next steps:

  1. Subscribe to my weekly musing on how to become a remarkable software business?
  2. Or subscribe to the Value Inspiration Podcast on your favorite channel