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Big Ideas: “AI-powered dynamic pricing that shifts in real-time to changes in supply and demand” with Alex Shartsis CEO of Perfect Price | Thrive Global

The world’s most successful companies (Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, and many others) already use dynamic pricing to predict changes in supply and demand, optimizing prices in real-time to maximize revenue. Consumers are already familiar with dynamic pricing: Uber rides, flights, hotels, and even Disneyworld tickets are all examples. The benefits of AI and Dynamic pricing are still far from fully realized.

As a part of my series about “Big Ideas That Might Change The World In The Next Few Years” I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Shartsis. Alex is co-founder and CEO of Perfect Price, an AI company empowering companies to make better decisions about pricing, profitability, and utilization. Previously, he led business development as the fifth employee at Drawbridge, where in just 13 months he grew the company to a $100M valuation. Prior to Drawbridge, Shartsis led business development at TripIt, from its Series A through its $120 million acquisition by Concur (subsequently acquired by SAP). Alex holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, an MSc from the London School of Economics, and an AB from Dartmouth College.

Thank you so much for joining us Alex. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always wanted to work in technology–software specifically–as an entrepreneur. I learned to code when I was in 8th grade and wrote my first program for pay when I was 12 (I way underpriced it!). My parents quit perfectly good jobs in their late 20’s to start what is now a very successful law firm, and I saw their career path and thought that that was what I wanted to do–without the billable hour part.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

There are many stories, and it’s hard for me to pick out the “most interesting” one. Looking back on it I’d say probably our first customer meeting at Perfect Price. We hadn’t incorporated yet, and a cold email got us a meeting with a unicorn company. Half the executive staff showed up for it, and we met in one of the strangest conference rooms ever–more like Sherlock Holmes’ salon than the SoMa office lobby we had walked through to get there. We were the experts, and we’d only been working on this for about a month. It was eye-opening.

Of course, we didn’t get the business. But we learned a ton and that meeting led directly to our first financing. It showed us there was a clear problem, and it was only another month before we found a paying customer. Persistence!

Can you tell us about your “Big Idea That Might Change The World”?

Let’s call it a “Big idea that WILL change the world.” AI-powered dynamic pricing is radically altering how we buy products and services, dramatically reducing structural inefficiencies and eliminating billions of dollars of waste.

The world’s most successful companies (Uber, Amazon, Airbnb, and many others) already use dynamic pricing to predict changes in supply and demand, optimizing prices in real-time to maximize revenue. Consumers are already familiar with dynamic pricing: Uber rides, flights, hotels, and even Disneyworld tickets are all examples. The benefits of AI and Dynamic pricing are still far from fully realized.

How do you think this will change the world?

Dynamic pricing makes markets more liquid and improves the lives of both customers and suppliers. It will be reflected in consumers getting what they want, more often, at a price, they’re willing to pay. Whether it’s cheaper baseball tickets for certain games or the new car they wanted not already being sold in a promotion, but still being available when they want it.

In the short run, suppliers’ businesses will be more efficient, and they will improve margins. From gas stations to rental car agencies or even airlines, inefficiencies cost billions per year. But the change is bigger. Setting accurate prices is the sort of rote, math-heavy process that humans are not good at and do not enjoy. As AI dynamic pricing enables more and more companies to offload this unpleasant task, while achieving better results, those people will be able to impact the business in more strategic ways.

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Big Ideas: “AI-powered dynamic pricing that shifts in real-time to changes in supply and demand” with Alex Shartsis CEO of Perfect Price.