Listen to this story
“Once we get over the origin story, we could really delve deeper into lives, characters and angst.”– Avi Arad, founder of Marvel Studios
Last week, I met an early-stage AI start-up founder in Bangalore. A long and usual exchange ensued on what he’s trying to build and industry at large.
When the conversation dialled down a little, he asked me reluctantly:- “Bhasker, how did you start AIM?”
The question has stopped surprising me. I get to hear it often.
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People love origin stories, be it superheroes or night brawls at your local bar. Origin stories are shrouded in mystery. You know the journey, and you witness it. But how things started; that’s something not many people witness. We marvel at what and how something has come to its current form, and that’s where our collective love for origin stories begins.
For us, it’s very relevant why people ask about our origin story. As a brand, we are unique in our offerings and make. We are a media company that talks about emerging tech. Our reader is a typical techie or at least a tech enthusiast, so we cannot dumb down tech concepts for a layperson (read non-techie).
Tech journalism is usually perceived in 2 ways in Indian media. It’s either consumer tech like gadget reviews or about technology firms purely from a business/financial point of view.
Technology journalism for the sake of technology, going deeper into tech as an area is almost non-existent. And this is where we excel. It’s also visible to our readers. The sense of marvel leads to a tiny fascination for “how did it all start?”.
“Absolutely everything undergoes evolvement – whether it’s technology, journalism, the NFL, medicine.”– Marv Levy
But not all stories need to be told. What probably matters is the journey.
We have completed ten years of existence.
A lot has changed during this time. Data Science became a buzzword, Big data grew and perished, and AI/ML/DL represent a new future. We adopted all of those, and the industry loved us back in abundance.
What would be our biggest achievement in the last ten years – recognizing analytics as a distinct tech stack. Analytics stood a bleak future of being considered as just another technology area. But perceptions matter.
We’re at a very interesting juncture as a tech media brand. Tech is evolving, and so is the discourse around it. It’s evident to me that as a formidable media brand, we have to drive a lot of those discussions and bring out stories on how tech intersects with our culture and society.
Technology journalism in India can be done better. India has high hopes for its IT sector and its burgeoning start-up culture. Our country has an image of a tech-savvy nation with an innovative outlook. But we need heroes; we need narrative; more importantly, we need great, inspiring stories. We have an opportunity to build a legacy.
This is what I call AIM 3.0
So the origin story can wait; I would rather focus on the journey ahead.