Grow Up Fast

Lessons from an AI Startup

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
276 Pages
Reviewed on 09/26/2023
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Author Biography

Zach Rattner, the Chief Technology Officer and co-founder at Yembo, is a software engineer with over 15 years of experience. He has a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech. Yembo is the leader in AI-powered virtual surveys with over 2 million videos inspected and customers in over 20 countries.

Zach's previous projects include building a flashcard studying tool that scaled to over a million users and serving as the software lead for Qualcomm's internal innovation program, Qualcomm ImpaQt.

He is in the top 2% of contributors on Stack Overflow and has 18 granted US patents with several more pending. GROW UP FAST is his first book.

He has three children and lives in California with his wife Lindsay.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Grow Up Fast: Lessons From an AI Startup is a work of non-fiction in the business, advice and guidance, and technology subgenres. It is suitable for the general adult reading audience and was penned by author Zach Rattner. In this refreshing and candid exploration of the world of artificial intelligence (AI) startups, we meet our author, the CTO and Co-Founder of Yembo. Rattner takes readers on a journey from his corporate career to the challenges of founding a startup in the ever-evolving AI landscape. His firsthand accounts of the highs and lows of entrepreneurship provide valuable lessons for anyone venturing into the arena of AI startups.

Author Zach Rattner doesn't sugarcoat the difficulties faced by startups; instead, he emphasizes the importance of staying strong in the face of adversity and being open-minded and patient when overcoming unexpected obstacles. The book's strength lies in its honesty and practical insights, woven into a friendly but direct narrative that makes it feel as though a no-nonsense friend is telling it to you straight. There’s nothing like having a mentor share their experiences and advice, and Rattner's narrative style is engaging, making complex concepts accessible to readers with various levels of expertise in AI. Whether you're an aspiring entrepreneur or simply curious about the world of AI, the work offers valuable perspectives on leadership, innovation, and the relentless pursuit of success in a rapidly changing field. Overall, Grow Up Fast is a highly recommended must-read for those looking to navigate the uncharted waters of AI startups.

Pikasho Deka

AI technology has recently become quite a phenomenon, promising to change the world forever. Zach Rattner, a software engineer from Virginia Tech, left his cushy job at telecom giant Qualcomm to begin the AI startup Yembo with his partner, Siddharth Mohan, which has since become a revelation in the moving industry. In Grow Up Fast, Rattner offers readers an inside look into the workings of an AI startup, showcasing how to ride the challenges that come in the way of a successful venture. With this book, you will learn about prioritizing the riskiest aspects of a business, examining arcs of relevance of proven companies, using deep learning tools to train AI, setting the strategy, responsibility maps and timesheets, managing time constraints with multiple global teams, empowering others, handling changing interpersonal dynamics, the future of AI, and much more.

Grow Up Fast is a book for people who seek to match the pace of the growth of AI tech with their own strides in the business world. Zach Rattner uses his own experiences of building a successful startup company to help readers venture into the world of AI startups, exploring the topics of visual inspection, team management, time management, hiring new members, communication, practicing pragmatism over idealism, etc. The book also contains interviews with current engineers and developers of Yembo, who provide valuable insights into working for a relatively new startup company. I really liked Rattner's approach to the subject matter, especially in relation to some of the technical aspects, which are described in a way so that even a reader like me, with basically no experience in the tech industry, can grasp the content. I highly recommend the book to aspiring entrepreneurs, new managers, and tech professionals.

Courtnee Turner Hoyle

Zach Rattner started out in a telecom company, but a phone call changed his career path. He writes about the process of developing new products and services and the challenges he faced in his book, Grow Up Fast. A former executive asked him to develop a hair device. After its success, an idea involving artificial intelligence formed in his mind, and Rattner was able to take that idea and revolutionize the moving industry. The author decided to share the lessons he learned and encourage AI consciousness when creating new services and products. He also includes some interesting thoughts on Radiohead, a useful list of reading material, and a coupon code for one of the products he helped build.

As readers absorb his wisdom, Zach Rattner outlines the lessons he learned by labeling them throughout the text. Readers will not have to earn a technical degree to understand the author’s work; he breaks it down in a conversational tone that’s easy to digest. Part of Rattner’s credibility lies in the success of his company, Yembo, but he doesn’t really advertise their services. He uses the company’s challenges and successes as examples to illustrate brainstorming and the best way to take advantage of business opportunities. AI is discussed, and Rattner stresses the benefit of involvement in its current integration while citing the need for governing principles. A financially secure job at a company may sound alluring, but innovators who are ready to develop an array of skills will enjoy this book. Readers who are interested in beginning a start-up project and implementing AI in business will benefit from the information in Grow Up Fast.