We’re still many years away from computers being able to write and create content at the level that humans can. But today there are a number of ways we can leverage artificial intelligence to help us write and publish smarter. This is the belief of AJ Frank, the chief executive of Verst. AJ is a technology and product veteran who’s worked at Uber, Twitter (Vine), and Google (YouTube) before coming on to lead Verst in 2016. Based in New York, Verst is building an intelligent, modern publishing platform. AJ and his team realized that in today’s publishing landscape, many of the tools are outdated, overly complex, or sometimes don’t offer enough. Verst saw a wave of publishers start to move towards building custom content management systems to manage their content, which is often both expensive and time consuming. AJ believes that publishers shouldn’t spend resources trying to build a complicated they should focus on what they do best — creating amazing content. Verst wants to be the technology layer that makes publishing intuitive, while at the same time offering powerful tools such as advanced analytics and A/B testing to help us create and share content more effectively.
Upon the launch of Verst 2.0, Greylock’s John Lilly caught up with AJ to talk about what drove their team to build a new publishing platform and how it will differentiate itself from the other tools out there. They also talk about the pros and cons of building a world class tech company in New York, how AJ thinks about interviewing engineers, and the operating principals that set the foundation for Verst’s company culture.