ContrarianAI – AI Founders Chat

Picture a realm enriched with a staggering 1.15 billion consumer insights meticulously gathered from social media narratives, competitor evaluations, and user interactions. ContrarianAI joined the AI Founders program to further develop their solution to not only validate but also propel product ideas to new heights by leveraging this invaluable reservoir of information. In this interview, we have the privilege of delving into the world of ContrarianAI with Michael Jancen-Widmer.

In your experience, what role does passion play in the success of a business?

Sam Altman among many others listed passion and endurance as one of the key factors for the success of a startup, as seen in this video (starts at timestamp). But what’s missing is a minimum bar of what qualifies for passion. If you’re passionate about building and talking to customers when you’re weeks away from bankruptcy, that’s passion. And if you’re thinking of pursuing a career as a startup founder, it’s probably not real passion.

How do you personally define your passion for your business and what motivates you to work on it every day?

I would equate “passion for my startup” with the sacrifice we made as founders of Contrarian, and they’re a lot. What motivates us, is accelerating the pace of how fast innovation plays out, and the urgency is created through an observation Peter Thiel made, which is that little to no progress outside of the world of bits and bytes has been made. Meaning we’re stagnating in areas like biotech or transportation as opposed to accelerating.

How has your passion for your business evolved over time, and what lessons have you learned from this evolution?

It’s hard to reflect on that but we’re both invested more and more with each day working on this problem. Even though passion shouldn’t be conditional based on momentum, it definitely did help with it. And I expect that passion to convert to responsibility over time, where you’re committed to it, because employees or other people are dependent on you.

What can we expect from ContrarianAI in the next months?

I think Contrarian will grow beyond providing market validation for product ideas and grow beyond startups to play a fundamental part in the innovation ecosystems, such as assisting accelerators with supporting founders in building their products or helping VCs validate pitch decks.

How is your journey going so far in the AI Founders program and what are your expectations from the Demo Day?

The program was better than other accelerators in fostering deeper connections within the cohort by offering free apartments as well as bringing us into interesting conversations or exchanges with the ecosystem. It’s also helped my co-founder and me with spending more time in person since we’re located in different countries. My expectations for demo day are to well-vetted VCs to pitch in front of in order to finish our fundraising.