Don't Buy AI Products Off the Shelf—Build Your Own

by Elon Salfati, Founder / CEO


Building custom AI tools utilizing your company's data unlocks valuable insights, automates processes, and provides a competitive advantage, increasing operational efficiency and personalization at scale.

Off-the-shelf AI products may lack customization and pose risks to data security, limiting their effectiveness and exposing organizations to potential privacy breaches and reputation damage.

Developing custom AI solutions by integrating existing APIs and working with fractional teams of AI experts enables tailored applications, mitigates risks, and harnesses the full potential of AI technology for innovation from within.

If you're a business leader in today's competitive landscape, it's likely that you're contemplating how to harness AI to its fullest extent for your company.

The temptation for many is to jump on the bandwagon and purchase one of the readily available AI tools—like Writer, Lavender, Jasper, ChatGPT+, and more. And while these tools are undoubtedly powerful, forward-thinking leaders looking to genuinely leverage AI's capabilities might consider building their own solutions.

This isn't as daunting as it sounds. With the right approach, businesses can craft powerful, bespoke AI tools in a short time frame using existing APIs. One of the standout reasons to take this approach? Data. Enterprises, in particular, are sitting on goldmines of proprietary data. Even startups have their niche data sets.

By building a dedicated AI tool, this data's potential can be exponentially magnified, leading to insights and automations that were previously out of reach. Moreover, a custom solution means embedding AI seamlessly into your operations and extracting utmost value from your exclusive datasets, giving you a distinct edge over competitors.

There are two ways to harness AI: Choose a ready-made solution or craft your own

Take this illustrative case. Lemlist, an automated outreach tool, recently showcased its capability to generate an "icebreaker" for campaigns based on a LinkedIn profile.

But is a single sentence enough? Effective prospecting requires creating genuine connections. This led us, at Salfati Group Venture Studio, to design our proprietary tool that crafts a full-fledged campaign comprising numerous tailored LinkedIn and email messages for each lead.

Check out this sample:

Through our custom tool, we witnessed accelerated generation times, enhanced specificity, and the freedom to harness diverse data sources. This is the quintessence of crafting your own solution—unveiling AI's power to achieve hyper-personalization at an unprecedented scale.

Why limit yourself with generic tools when you can design an AI solution perfectly attuned to your needs?

The trade-offs of purchasing vs. crafting

Readily available AI solutions provide instant utility but often falter when it comes to customization. This can curtail their applicability and overall impact on operations.

Furthermore, depending on external entities for pivotal functions can introduce vulnerabilities, particularly concerning data security—a paramount concern for businesses handling confidential data. By crafting custom tools and utilizing APIs directly, companies can exercise enhanced control over data protection, thereby minimizing potential hazards.

Crafting your bespoke AI tool

Crafting a unique AI solution doesn't equate to inventing an entirely novel AI system. Firms can employ existing APIs, enjoying the best of both worlds: immediate functionality and personalized tailoring.

Our venture studio, Salfati Group, achieved this by amalgamating a CRM platform with an AI-enhanced lead generation mechanism. If you're keen on crafting a personalized AI application, you can either undertake this task in-house or recruit a fractional team—experts who can provide their AI proficiency on a project or part-time basis.

Such teams assist in pinpointing AI integration opportunities, ensuring solutions that truly resonate with the company's goals and challenges.

Even with budget constraints, basic tools can be forged with just an API key and a dedicated engineer. More intricate tools, naturally, require a larger talent pool. For instance, ClearCo, a platform dedicated to empowering founders, employed a software architect to seamlessly integrate GPT-3, aiming to automate coaching mechanisms to extend their reach across multiple founders.

While readily available AI tools offer allure due to their convenience, businesses ought to evaluate the potential pitfalls tied to these solutions. By crafting tailored AI tools, organizations can truly harness AI's prowess, propelling innovation from within.

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