The Business Advice ChatGPT Would Never Give You | by Rachel Greenberg | Feb, 2023

The business advice ChatGPT would never give you. And why ChatGPT — and other AI tools — are rapidly breeding millions of destined-to-fail entrepreneurs who haven’t a clue.
Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

There are three types of people reacting to ChatGPT:

  1. Those petrified that AI is going to take their job, but too fearful or disinterested to dig any deeper or use it to their advantage
  2. Those living blissfully under a rock, who have no clue just how much has changed over the past six months — or what it means
  3. Those with an eager, enthusiastic spirit, who’ve decided to dive right in and learn about how they can leverage AI for profits

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you fall into category #3, which means you’re at least a rung above the other 67{194d821e0dc8d10be69d2d4a52551aeafc2dee4011c6c9faa8f16ae7103581f6} of the population who’d rather keep their heads in the sand. The downside, however, is that some — and by some, I mean many — of you in category #3 are destined to fail.

Ironically, you aren’t destined to fail because of your incompetence or lack of ambition, resources, or connections. Instead, many of you will actually fall on your own sword — or rather, ChatGPT’s sword (and the swords of whatever other AI tools you’re using) — and the very tech that got you started will be your downfall.

How do I know? Because I’ve seen it; but worse, I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve almost become a victim to it, myself.

This article isn’t for the people who have no clue if or how AI could help them expedite new business ventures. Instead, it’s the warning manual for those who’ve decided to leverage AI, but who also don’t want to get burned. Here are a few signs your AI-enabled ventures are likely to fail — and how to nip them in the bud and bolster your success.

ChatGPT — and every new AI tool that hits the market — has two instant effects:

  1. It unlocks countless possibilities at superhuman speed — you know this
  2. It’s a gateway drug to the entrepreneurial ADD that may doom you all

If you peruse a single news website or social media platform, it feels like you can’t escape the countless “ways to make money with [ChatGPT or insert name of other AI tool, i.e. Midjourney, Pictory, etc.]” post. The ideas and real, easy-to-understand, sometimes easy-to-execute opportunities are seemingly endless, and they keep mushrooming. In fact, I’d almost argue that if you pair any two AI tools together, you can probably create at least a few compelling businesses out of them.

With a glut of ideas and opportunities comes a meteoric rise in SOS: Shiny Object Syndrome, also known as the #1 killer of entrepreneurial hopefuls.

The frenzy is real — and I almost became a part of it. It goes like this:

  • Lightbulb 1: I could use [AI tool] to quickly create X product or service.
  • Lightbulb 2: This is going so fast; maybe I could also use it for Y…
  • Lightbulb 3: If I pair it with another tool, I could even try Z…
  • Lightbulb 4: Maybe I should look up other AI tools and relevant business opportunities out there…
  • Lightbulb 5: I can definitely juggle all of these at once, since I have the magical power of AI speed…

At this point, you’re down an endless rabbit hole, juggling somewhere between a handful and a dozen fledgling ventures, rushing back and forth to the earlier neglected ones. In fact, on second thought, Lightbulbs #1 and #2 don’t seem quite so enticing anymore; perhaps you should shut those down…

That chaotic, erratic, research- and curiosity-driven slippery slope is exactly what’s creating a frenzy of lost, discombobulated aspiring entrepreneurs, flailing around in a sea of artificial intelligence and indecision that’s likely to drown them before they swim their way out.

As someone who runs multiple (profitable) ventures simultaneously, I assure you it can be done. However, there’s a baseline level of focus and commitment required that can’t possibly be achieved while chasing ten different tails at once, unsure which to prioritize and which to ignore or delay.

“What are you waiting for? Pump them out already!”

You know those people who like to take a small nugget of knowledge and harp on it to incite panic? These are the people who can almost inject you with irrational fear by osmosis, simply with their urgent, fear-mongering tone. That quote above was from one of them and was shouted with respect to an AI-leveraging product I’ve been working on.

Here’s the kicker: Even though this friend who blurted out the panicked mandate has never used AI tools, built a business, or operated in my industry, his anxiety was somehow contagious. I actually started to question:

  • Is he right?
  • Do I need to hurry this product, simply to beat out the competition?
  • Should I be sacrificing quality (and strategy) for speed?
  • If I take longer, or produce everything we had planned, will my delay be my downfall?

Here’s the truth: If he is right, then I’m already doomed. If the success of my business venture depends on being the fastest-to-produce, first-to-market, and perpetually running a race against my robot-wielding competition, then I might as well give up now. It’s not a race I want to run, and it’s not a game I care to win.

Why? Because business isn’t just about speed and output, and in this case, I’m simply using AI for a project that’s been on one of my company’s to-do lists for years, but for which we hadn’t had the time.

That said, I never viewed this new product as a “get-rich-quick” ploy or a “quick money grab”; it’s a piece of my company’s overall strategy that’s fully aligned with multiple of our other business assets. Point being, quality and strategy matter here — a lot. If I were to compromise quality and strategy for speed, that would only hurt my company’s reputation and likely the long-term success of this product.

The takeaway? When you have too much innovation too fast, coupled with fear-mongering over the impossible race to be first or fastest, many driven entrepreneurs will be tempted to compromise quality for speed. This is why we’re seeing — and will continue to see — hoards of low-quality AI-generated products flooding the market. It’s also why the creators of those products may be shocked when the organic sales never come…

Also, in case it wasn’t obvious, attempting to outpace AI or any of the millions of competitors using the same publicly available tools for similar ventures is a futile pursuit. If you don’t want to work on something for the next five or ten years, should you really work on it for the next five or ten minutes? Asking this question alone may shudder half your business ventures in one fell swoop, and business doesn’t need to feel like a 24/7 cutthroat race.

There’s one unsettling reality that makes leveraging AI for any business feel particularly precarious: AI is the worst it will ever be today.

You may have heard that saying, but it’s simply the fact that the AI software and capabilities out there are only going to drastically (and rapidly) improve. Therefore, you may be using a tool today that gets upgraded, revamped, or fully unseated and replaced by a better option tomorrow. If that happens, it may instantly make whatever ventures or products you’ve created or integrated with the first tool dated or suboptimal, since the replacements tools could theoretically help you create a better product.

However, if you aim to stake out the AI landscape and wait until the right tools are in just the right stage of advancement before using them or launching your venture, you’re going to be waiting forever. Likewise, if you’re worried about building a business that’s soon to get dethroned by a stealth, unreleased venture, waiting it out won’t make that risk go away.

At some point, you’re going to have to pick a lane, stick to it, and stop looking over your shoulder to see what new technology may be unseating you or dangling a tempting distraction with the promises of improving your chosen pursuit. Innovation won’t stop. If you’re always obsessing over whether an unreleased tool is going to put you out of business, you’re never going to keep your eye on the one ball that matters long enough to get your new product, service, or venture to the finish line and start making sales.

I’m going to bust a myth: There are bad ideas.

Well, to clarify, it’s not that there are bad ideas; there are simply ideas that have glaring time-sensitive vulnerabilities and thus, likely won’t stand the test of time and innovation.

For example, if you were developing the next great carriage right when they were about to release cars, your brilliant horse-drawn venture might have a limited shelf-life. The same goes for any business you build today, especially one who’s competitive advantage relies heavily upon the advent of artificial intelligence.

How do you abate this issue and ensure your new venture doesn’t go extinct before its public launch?

You can do so by being brutally honest and objective when assessing how easily your new AI-enabled venture could be dethroned with new technology that may be just around the corner of a global release.

  • What is the real differentiator?
  • Is there anything other than the AI-tool you use (and its affordability and efficiency) that make your new venture appealing?
  • How easily can others improve upon or replace your venture’s solution and how popular of a space is it now? If it’s teeming with competition who are all watching the same “how to use ChatGPT for [x venture]” videos, it may not be the best playground to inhabit.

Many businesses have a shelf life, but for some, it’s shorter than others, and if you feel it’s a sprint to find success before that rapidly closing gap makes your offer obsolete in a matter of weeks or months, I’d argue that perhaps it isn’t the venture to hang your hat on or pursue for the next five years.