By: Rob Wertheimer
Seeing Deere at the CES show again this year was extremely stimulating to the thought process. We spent a bit of time listening to Blue River try to explain machine learning to non-tech folks like us, and that discussion was the starting point for this note, where we are putting together that discussion with our work on market share. The idea we are grappling towards is that Deere’s natural advantages interact very favorably with what Blue River is doing, and give the company a shot at a competitive gap in technology that if started, is perhaps more easily widened than you might think.
We (hopefully) understood two things from the AI discussion: 1) machine learning, or AI/pattern recognition, requires both a large data set and a diverse one, and 2) the further ahead you get in acquiring that data, the more positive the feedback loop becomes. Once launched, with Deere’s 60%+ share in US tractors and sprayers, it will immediately start gathering more data than competitors could do.