Two Big Questions About SenseTime and AI Software Business Models (Tech Strategy – Podcast 114)


This week’s podcast is about SenseTime, which is a leader in computer vision in China / Asia. It’s a fascinating company for looking at the evolving business models of AI software. The two big questions are:

  • What are the unit economics of large AI companies?
  • What types of scale advantages and network effects do large AI companies?

You can listen to this podcast here or at iTunes and Google Podcasts.

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I break the network effects question into three sub-questions:

  • Do existing AI models get better the more they are used?
    • How much? Does it flatline? Does it keep increasing?
  • Do existing AI models make each other smarter and better?
  • Do existing AI models and the data they collect make additional AI models smarter? Do they make them faster and cheaper to train?

My working for conclusions are:

  • This is mostly an integrated software bundle going for global scale.
  • It’s a learning platform with a new type of network effect.
  • It is building an innovation platform, with another network effect.


Related articles:

From the Concept Library, concepts for this article are:

  • Learning Platforms
  • Integrated Bundles
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Vision

From the Company Library, companies for this article are:

  • SenseTime

Photo by Nick Loggie on Unsplash


I write, speak and consult about how to win (and not lose) in digital strategy and transformation.

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