How to start, run & grow your Bot / AI business

In this post, I would like to make a quick review of the book Bot Business 101: How to start, run & grow your Bot / AI business by the successful bot entrepreneur Ekim Kaya.

To this day this is the only book about chatbots that I’ve read. Even though I’ve been studying bots full-time since November 2016, I’ve learned so much from this book. I can implement the information well in my business. Thank you, Ekim.

Short video version:


Where did I hear about the book?

It all started with a Facebook post. Like many great things these days, right?

 

Bot-business-101-starting-post-web

Ekim posted this on the 9th of December last year in a Facebook Group.

I founded Botego on January, 2007. We have built bots for enterprise clients from 8 countries. Millions and millions of conversations later, I decided to share my experience with my fellow botmakers with a book that will be available on Amazon.

So, today, -less than one month left to our 10th birthday-, my editor and I are going through each chapter carefully to provide value to the bot community.

If there’s any other question that you think I need to cover, I can still add a chapter or two.

Anybody interested in downloading it for free before it’s publicly available as a Kindle ebook or in paperback? Say ‘yes’ until December 10th, 4PM EST and I will share the link with you as soon as it’s available.

You can already see his value giving attitude, that you will notice during reading the book as well. It also created a great buzz in the group 🙂

As I was one of the commenters, I received the book for free in February. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time to do the review before, but here we go.

10 years in the bot business is quite a long time. I mean most of the people who are active in the chatbot scene as of now, haven’t been in the chatbot business for more than a year. And most people haven’t even started yet. 🙂

So if someone, it is Ekim who understands how dynamic this whole area is. As an adjustment, he has lots of links inside the book. It might be annoying for some but think about the updates that are coming with this method. You get more value for the book. He even created a website https://botcompanybook.com/ and a Fb page for it

Who is this book for?

Primarily it is written for people who are interested in building a bot business (great title huh?). But I wouldn’t stop there.

Having read it I would recommend it to everyone who thinks about implementing a bot for his or her business. Not all the chapters will be relevant, but the ones can help you have a better understanding before investing a lot.

I would go further and say it is a great book for everyone who has a bigger interest in AI and chatbots.

 

Table of Contents

So, you want to start a Bot / AI business
Introduction
My “Three Bots Theory”
My story
The size of the market
How it all started
Deciding to start a Bot business
B2B or B2C
Making your Bot discoverable
Managing the sales of your Bot / AI services
Choosing the correct distribution channel
Digital agencies
Systems integrators
Direct contact with brands
The correct approach to a potential client
Customer service related departments
Sales related departments
Marketing related departments
Pricing your Bot
Typical sales cycle
Designing the Bot experience
Choosing a development platform
Finding a good idea for your Bot idea
Finding content to feed your Bot
Designing a solid conversation flow
Handling clients with care
Managing expectations
Typical answers for typical questions from enterprise clients
End User License Agreement
After-sales support
Growing your business
Marketing-PR
Increasing retention
Financial expectations and growth strategies
Investor relations
Raising investment
Bonus chapter
Bot resources
Looking into the future
List of publicly traded companies in some major industries, grouped by country
List of influential people in the AI/Bot space

I am not going to go into details about the sections. Just buy the book and read it.

 

Some learning points

Some of my notes without a real structure:

Sometimes it is hard to understand how big the bot market is going to be. Ekim says that any business that uses email can be a potential buyer. I use ifttt.com on a daily basis and just realized that even on an email level some basic automation can save a lot of time and nerves for a business.

Ekim is pushing our thinking about the future with statements like that:

One day you will have to explain to your child that you used to call customer service representatives – manually, on a smart phone. And your child will look at you with that amused expression and ask “so you didn’t have global Net gene back then?“

“Right now, Bots and humans are like two different species that are yet to know each other. The more encounters take place between them, the easier the interactions will get.”

I really liked his comparison about how the market reacted back then to websites, later to applications and now to chatbots. The cycles are shorter and shorter.

„it is not the idea that brings the business, it is the correct execution.”

„a Bot is as valuable as number of its returning users.”

He brought up an example that people are more likely to talk about sensitive topics with a bot than with humans. A bot managed to increase tampon sales by 12%.

He mentions that discoverability even though an issue as of now, it will most likely be easier when the big firms like Facebook, Microsoft or Amazon start utilizing bots even further.

Ekim comes up with practical examples and lists to market your company or chatbot. As a marketer, there wasn’t anything revolutionary new in it, but still learned from it and created new ideas. I’m sure I can implement some of his teachings into my business.

The negative

I’ve noticed a couple of spelling mistakes. Not being an English native myself I don’t consider it as a big issue. Also, the contract example inside the book was a bit too much, I just skipped it with my Kindle. Maybe it could be part of the Appendix.

Conclusion

I am really happy that I made the time to read this book. I wish I didn’t wait for the sun to start reading.

The nice weather gave me an extra nudge to start

I was reading-bot-business-101 and taking notes

Reading and taking notes on one of the first sunny days after a cold winter. #rooftop #sun

It is a nice, compact book about the bot market. If your business is somewhat related to the market it is a no brainer. If you are looking for implementing a chatbot or AI technology into your company, you’ll still learn a ton from this book. I also recommend reading this book if you are just interested in chatbots or just in technology client businesses.

 


I hope you liked this review, below you can also give the book a rating. If you have an interest in buying it, you can go to Amazon and get it on your Kindle. You can follow Ekim on Twitter @ekimnazimkaya