Future of APIs

JOOTSing In The World Of GenAI

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Anand Tamboli is a Creative Director with 3DOTS Studio. He is an award-winning author, entrepreneur, filmmaker, and right-brain engineer. In this article, he discusses JOOTSing In The World Of GenAI.

As engineers working in this industry, we have the spirit that says, “If I have the right tools, I can do wonders.”

Unfortunately, for a lot of us, when we look at the bigger picture, we don’t have that lever or leverage. We are always confined by what is out there available. When you look at generative AI, as an engineer or a developer, as anybody working in the API economy, how do you find your voice? How do we find your own factory? How do you make yourself noticed?

You can move laterally only if you follow some principles. Being an engineer or working in that industry, we need someone to provoke or nudge us in the right direction. This is where JOOTSing comes into play.

When anyone asks us if we are afraid of being replaced by Gen AI, we are quick to say that we have a uniqueness and do not feel threatened. So, the question is, what is that uniqueness? What is it now in the world of Gen AI? That’s where the word JOOTSing comes in.

Consider this. If all cars are black, but someone wants to be different, he may paint his car pink. This sets a trend, and everyone starts painting their cars in different colors. So, the pink car is no longer unique. So, the person returns to a black car, and the loop continues.

Now, could you put this in the context of our career? It’s a certification, it’s a new skill, it’s a new software that we learn. Suddenly, everybody’s learning, and you have lost that edge. Then, we will move on to another software, another tool. Then again, the community learns the same thing, and no more differentiation exists. It needs a lot of perseverance, effort, resources, and speed. Because now, every three months, you have to learn a new thing. You will soon feel exhausted at some point in time. Also, I am in a loop, continuously doing the same thing over and over and over again and still I can’t beat it.

Everybody loves Gen AI. It is loveable. But we also know it’s a problem if we don’t get ahead of the curve. How do we get ahead of the curve? This is where JOOTsing comes into place.

JOOTSing is not corporate jargon but a simple acronym: Jumping Out Of the System.

How do you jump out of the system while doing what you do? It doesn’t mean you stop doing what you do as an engineer or developer and start doing something else. It means the thinking changes. It means changing the way you approach a problem and provide a solution.

There are three key steps to JOOTSing –

Find a linchpin – There was a Cadbury advertisement. There’s a big in a museum, there’s a big installation made of these small sweet tablets. It is huge, and somehow, the artist has hung it on a wall. And this guy goes in, and he sees there is this one blue pill; he wants to eat that, and he picks up that one blue pill, and the whole installation crumbles down with millions of tablets. The point is that one little pill was the linchpin in the whole installation. Think about the taxi business. When Uber picked up that little blue pill, the taxi business was questioned and disrupted because that one blue pill for the taxi business was licensing and knowing the route. Even today, London black cab drivers are supposed to know every route by heart, and it’s not easy. Licensing was also very expensive. But Uber changed all of that. All these are linchpins. A linchpin is something that binds the industry and that domain. If that is gone, it becomes disrupted. So, in your domain, identify the linchpin.

So, every time you are going to solve a problem, figure out the linchpin.

Break that convention – I can change a hundred things, but that will not create an impact if it is not important. Once I find that linchpin, I exploit it by breaking the convention. I wouldn’t do it like everybody else does otherwise; it’s no different. I’ll try and find out how I do that differently.

Test – Learn – Adapt – Once you have the linchpin that breaks the convention, run through the loop quickly, as you will be trying something new. Once you’re trying something new or non-conventional, you want to quickly determine if it will work at a production scale. Can you repeat it over and over again? So testing, learning, adapting, tweaking, coming back and doing the same thing is the right thing to do.

What can you start doing? The first thing you want to do is understand the whole thing is a complex juxtaposition of control and playfulness. You have to have a bit of a controlled approach, but at the same time, be flexible and playful.

Start noticing things. When we open our eyes and start noticing those things, we exploit them differently.

Systems Thinking is the second piece you can start actively doing. Look at the system, even if you’re developing an API or a small piece of code. You will start finding different solutions.

Designing of experiments is a different approach than trial and error. You have a hypothesis, risk planning, and you are doing things in a controlled fashion.

When you start doing all this, you will see changes and miracles. The key to doing all this is not just working or looking in the same domain. It is looking across the domains and connecting dots.

Anand Tamboli
Anand is many things packed inside one person: a serial entrepreneur, an award-winning published author, a prolific speaker, a savvy business advisor, and an intense spiritual seeker.

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