#227 - Shikhar Shrestha, CEO of Ambient.ai - On creating unique SaaS products that people desperately want

A story about transforming the security industry from being reactive to being preventive

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to create a world free from security incidents. My guest is Shikhar Shrestha, CEO and Co-Founder of Ambient.ai.

Shikhar ShresthaShikhar is a tech entrepreneur on a mission. He builds and leads teams that invent new technologies that transform markets, all with the end goal of delivering magical outcomes for our customers.

After several years of R&D in Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence in academia at Stanford and industry at Apple and Google, he realized that the reactive approach to security doesn’t work for today’s world. 

That sparked the idea to found Ambient.ai in February of 2017.

Ambient.ai is a computer vision intelligence company. It’s on a mission to transform security operations by preventing every security incident possible – without sacrificing privacy. They’re building solutions for the world that we want to live in.

And this inspired me, and hence I invited Shikhar to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the world of security prevention. Shikhar shares his vision to transform the industry and how the journey he’s following to make the biggest possible impact. He explains what he’s done differently to build traction momentum by creating a strong pull from the market. Lastly, he shares his big lessons learned from dealing with disbelief from customers, investors, and employees – and how to build a software business that cannot be ignored.

Here’s one of his quotes

“In the first phase, the only thing that really matters is getting to product market fit. And I think, over time, the success or failure of the company really depends on the strength of the product market fit. 

You want to be able to answer this question, which is: what do you uniquely offer that someone desperately wants. And unique and desperate are really important words there because if it’s not unique, other people will copy you, and the company is not really going to be valuable. And if the customers or prospects are not desperate to solve the problem, it’s going to be very hard as a startup to convince anybody to buy the product.”

During this interview, you will learn four things:

  1. How to design for creating pull from the market
  2. Why going against conventional wisdom is often the route to creating very defensible differentiation.
  3. Why early disbelief is a precondition for a good entrepreneurial opportunity
  4. Why companies should be built to be anti-fragile and how to go about that


For more information about the guest from this week:


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