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How Haroon Choudery is Leveraging his Expertise in the AI Space

Riding the Waves of the AI Interest Explosion

How Haroon Choudery is Leveraging his Expertise in the AI Space

This creator spotlight has been reposted from creatorspotlight.com

Haroon Choudery is committed to making technology accessible to anyone. Haroon and his brother Hamza immigrated to Brooklyn from rural Pakistan in 1998, and both brothers launched tech careers after college.

But while they were finding success in the tech world, they were watching how tech could destroy a blue-collar business owner in real-time. The Chouderys’ uncle was a New York City taxi driver who lost everything when the ride-share boom exploded. He had to start from scratch after spending two decades and investing his life savings in a business.

The juxtaposition of watching their uncle lose everything to new technology while they were building lucrative tech careers had a powerful effect on the Choudery brothers. As a result, they co-founded one of the world's largest AI education nonprofits, AI for Anyone.

How Haroon Choudery is Leveraging his Expertise in the AI Space

The brothers’ mission at AI for Anyone is to enable underrepresented populations to participate in the tech revolution rather than being bulldozed by it. Over the past five years, the org has taught over 3,000 students in New York City the basics of AI to help them prepare for the future. In addition to those in-person classes, AI for Anyone has taught over 70,000 people online.

Haroon Choudery has been running a newsletter as a separate entity alongside the nonprofit.

A Personality Facelift to Fit a Popular Space

When AI became the hottest topic on the planet, Choudery decided a rebrand was necessary.

How Haroon Choudery is Leveraging his Expertise in the AI Space

"Our original newsletter had a different purpose. Once every two weeks, we would cover the latest AI research. So it was very academic, in a sense. But very recently, we saw a huge influx of people and interest in the AI space, and a lot of people [started] creating AI newsletters."

But interest does not mean expertise.

"Very frankly," Choudery laughs, "most of them have no idea how AI actually works. Obviously, it's a bit of a gold rush. We've been doing this for quite some time, and we realized that we need to play the game in order to be successful. Otherwise, we're going to be washed out by a ton of the newer AI newsletters that are doing a better job of growing."

That's when Choudery decided to rebrand the newsletter. He changed the name from All About AI to Not a Bot. Also, he says, "We moved over to beehiiv and haven't turned back."

Why make the change?

Choudery says, "The rebrand was focused on making the newsletter less academic and more practical. More plugged into the latest tools and the latest news in the space. And also shifting from a biweekly cadence to a once-a-weekday cadence. And then, alongside that, we went with a name rebrand and a logo rebrand. A personality facelift, I guess you could say, for the newsletter."

The Friction of Reinvention

Change always involves friction. Choudery was very aware that his subscribers at the time of the transition had signed up for a more academic and less frequent version of the newsletter.

"I was okay with taking a hit on subscribers to reposition ourselves so we were set up for more long-term success. I didn't think the academic angle would be conducive to growth, so even if it took a little friction to make that pivot, I was fine with that."

How Haroon Choudery is Leveraging his Expertise in the AI Space

He decided to meet the challenge with lots of clear communication and a commitment to building a solid audience for the new brand.

"We made it very clear we were going through a rebrand and that the cadence and personality would change. The first issue was very transparent around all of those details. I also made it very easy to unsubscribe — although most folks enjoyed the new format and stuck around."

Choudery also seized the opportunity to clean his list and start fresh.

"I actively removed about 10 or 11,000 inactive subscribers from our list. I wanted to start from a fresh slate of folks who were engaged and interested in the content. So after about three issues, I cleared from the list who hadn't opened those editions or the last three issues of the old newsletter."

Choudery feels like the transition has been worthwhile. "Obviously, there are some growing pains associated with a rebrand. But again, my main priority was setting ourselves up for long-term success. And I think the short-term hit we took in removing some folks will pay dividends in the long run, and we're already seeing that.”

All signs pointed to success for the rebrand. Early on, those signs were most evident on social media.

“From a social media perspective, the buzz has never been higher around our newsletter — we're seeing a lot of buzz and interest. We have some exciting projects we're going to roll out that align with the new ethos of our brand, Not a Bot...

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