AI and the Future of Software Development: A Sneak Peek
Pritika Mehta, founder of Butternut AI and Y Combinator alum, is a leading figure in the tech industry, known for her expertise in marketing, generative AI, and consumer behavior. Based in San Francisco, she has delivered a TEDxWilmington Talk on the Future of Work and has been featured on BBC World News discussing #WomeninTech. As the Co-Founder of Butternut AI, Pritika is shaping the future of software development and recently launched Butternut AI GPT on the OpenAI GPT Store.
Pritika's entrepreneurial journey includes founding SockSoho, a Y Combinator-backed startup aiming to become the 'Uniqlo of India.' Beyond her ventures, she serves as a Venture Partner at Pioneer Fund, advising and investing in YC startups, and as an Advisor at Innovation Mission Punjab. With a Master's in Artificial Intelligence from the University at Buffalo, Pritika combines her diverse skills, including seed capital, venture capital, and data engineering, making significant contributions to the tech community. Her predictions for AI and VC in 2024 underscore her industry foresight and commitment to shaping the future of technology.
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Hello everyone, I am Pritika and I'm the founder of Butternut.ai. Now today we'll be talking about the future of software development. You know why? Because, oh my God, how many of you have built a software in your life?
Okay, quite a few. How many of you have built like, okay, let's say some websites and apps as well? Great. So tell me, like, what kind of a website did you build? And what platform did you use to build that?
Thank you. So you're a techie, I can get that. Okay, and how many times, you know, have your mother or your father or some uncle asked you, hey, I have this business, I want to get this website made, can you make it for me?
How many times has somebody asked you? My dad has asked me a couple of times and I always was like, hire somebody please, I don't have time. So today we are just talking about how the future of software development is going to look like.
So let me go to my first slide which is how does it currently look like? So currently the landscape, like if you want to build a software, a complex software or a simple software, what do you do generally?
You know, if it is a simple software, you would go to Upwork or freelancer.com or Fiverr and hire somebody. Or if you are an enterprise like Bank of America, you would hire TCS or Infosys back in India.
And, or I would say third category, if you have you know, know, skills, some coding knowledge, and the willpower, you will go and use one of these platforms like Wix, Weflow, or Bubble. But when, you know, these transformers became matured, we all could see the world is going to shift drastically, and software is going to be at the center of it.
Five years down the line, this landscape is going to look very, very different. And we won't need so many coders as many as we need right now. So that's when it hit me. Like, how can I automate the software building space?
Now, this is a trillion dollar industry. But what piece can I pick up? So that's when it hit me. Like, why in even 2023, that building a software is still a pain point? Or building a simple website or an app is still not a delightful experience?
And how many of you have tried Canva here? So it's an app. It's a web app where it's a SaaS, actually, where you can build designs and you don't need to know Photoshop. You can be anybody, a founder, a designer, or non -designer, anybody.
You can just go and build anything, design anything you want. So that's when it hit me. Like, can we do something similar for building websites or apps? And that's where I was like, OK, out of this big software industry, what is that one part I want to start with?
And then some of the problems I saw in this world was, again, it is very, it's not that easy to get your website up and running. You can ask coders. They can say, oh, yeah, I can get it done in like two, three days, but you ask a no coder.
They feel intimidated. They are like, oh, no, you know what? I spent like $5 ,000 and I hired this dev shop and they gave me a shitty job even after three months. So it's still such a big pain point in the world.
It is a frustrating process to find skilled developers. And existing solutions are hard because platforms like Weeks Webflow, they are built for developers and not like layman, people like doctors or dentists, lawyers, or some other business owners.
And LLMs, yes, they are so helpful, but they really cannot build the entire website for you. They cannot take care of the hosting and everything else that is required for you. So that's when I thought, OK, can we build a solution where people can just talk to the software the way they talk to a developer and convey what they want?
And drag and drop? No, because drag and drop is not built for browsers. And that experience is, so I to say, a little shitty. And you can just communicate easily with text prompts. And you don't need to spend hours finding the right picture or the right text.
Can we build an intelligent AI software where you just give in some prompts and it can build a very personalized website built on your business category and your demography. And it won't take hours and hours of work.
Can it just take a few seconds or maybe just a few minutes? And that's when I started working on Butternut.ai. It's a Generative AI platform where you can build and launch your website in under 20 seconds.
You don't believe me? 20 seconds? Let's try it out. So would anybody like to build their business website? Yes, please. What would you like to name your business? What's your lawyer? And you provide what's your law services?
That was hard to guess. Okay. Anything else would you like to put in? Ascii words? Spanish advice? Okay. Eviction laws? Okay. Okay. Let me put eviction laws. Okay. I'll just give you a quick sneak peek and let's see what it comes up with.
So Rome wasn't built in a day, but the website should be ready in just a few seconds. And so what happens is we have scraped 500 ,000 websites on the back end to build our own model on top of which, okay, the website is ready.
Let's see what it came up with. Okay. So this is the website. And if you don't like what you see, you can always click on regenerate and our system will regenerate it for you. And sometimes, you know, what it provides you is not in line with what you wanted.
You can always add your own comments and, you know, tell the software what exactly do you want. Okay. I'm just going to be like, be a little playful here. I'll be like, okay, let me add a puppy face here.
you Okay. So this is how you can play with the entire software where you, you know, the entire intelligence is given to you. So how do you like it, sir? It's good. Okay. You can always, you can edit any part of it you don't like.
You can upload your own images. You can edit the text or you can tell the AI software to regenerate anything for you. You can add your comments while regenerating it for yourself. So this was the little thing that we built.
And this is what we launched in April. And our aim is to make a website building thing very delightful for everyone and much faster, cheaper, and easier than any other alternative. Then how did I launch it?
So right now we have 160 ,000 users. And this is only after we launched in April. How did we do that? I just put up a simple tweet where I said, hey, I built this software. But in our dot AI, can you please try it?
And honestly speaking, in my life, none of my tweets, they have gotten more than five likes. But this tweet blew up. It went viral. This just validated. Like, it's not only me who thought that website building is not delightful.
Millions of people out there in the world also had this experience. And we have been growing organically since launch. And this is the product launch that we did that went viral. So that's what I feel.
Like currently, the landscape looks very manual. The landscape still is built for developers. But five years down the line, it's going to be very different. The software building space is going to be much more creative.
And much less code oriented than it is right now. And there are so many different spaces out there in software building, be it code completion, front end, back end, architecture, unit testing, anything.
If you want to build into the space, I would say this is the right time to utilize the LLMs and Generative AI to build a great product out there for millions of people. So this is a recent tweet by Vinod Khosla, who's a very popular person in VC in Silicon Valley, where he mentioned that a recent hackathon was won by a marketer and not a coder.
Well, I won't say like five years down the line, we won't need coders. But yes, we would need creative coders. We would need creative people. So creativity is going to grow a lot more than, I would say, just coding, just knowing a couple of languages and building code.
So this is how the future is going to look like. And that's what we are working on at Butternut.ai, where we are saying we are building the future and empowering every one of you to build your own softwares with just prompts.