Competition in the Age of AI

How to compete when the world is turned upside down.

#14

GenAI is taking the world by storm. It seems like every week there is a new update. The business world is changing rapidly! How can small business leaders keep up?

This week’s simple strategy is three part - and it will help your business stay relevant in the age of AI.

The Simple Strategy

When competing against AI, use a personal touch and specialization to stand out.

-Nate

The Reality of AI Advancements

Generative AI is reshaping industries right now. Customer service will be one of the first to get flipped, but many other functions are following soon after.

Klarna, a swedish fintech company, recently introduced an AI based customer-service bot, in partnership with OpenAI. Within a month the AI had completed 2.3 million conversations and was working at the equivalent rate of 700 full time employees. 🤯 

This might seem like a threat at first — what will happen to all the jobs???— but it also opens up avenues for new business models that only human-driven businesses can provide.

Where AI is ubiquitous, a personal touch stands out.

Competing in the Age of AI

There are two primary ways that I see competition being shaped by AI in the near future. AI will be essentially the “smartest and cheapest person in the room” at any task that has repeated steps. This could be things like phone calls, or texts, or like the work I used to do as a data analyst.

I use ChatGPT4 now to do in 30 minutes what used to take me 30hrs. It’s insane.


But, when there is generalized capability, the market will search for specialized ability.

  1. Personal Touch in a Digital World: A PwC study shows that 82% of U.S. consumers want more human interaction, not less. This highlights a significant advantage for small businesses: the irreplaceable value of personal touch. In sectors like financial services, where trust is crucial, many people are going to prefer dealing with a real-live-person over a robo-advisor. This preference is a key competitive edge that small businesses should leverage.

  2. Specialization Over Generalization: There are about 18,000 full service car dealerships in the US. They do auto-body work, oil changes, tires, brakes, glass…you name it they do it. There are also over 2,000 JiffyLube locations. They just do quick-stop oil changes. You’re in and out in 15 minutes. How did they grow to 2,000 locations if there were many more full service shops already?

    Where there is generalized competition, you can stand out by doing ONE THING very well. AI is going to do a lot of things well. Pick your one thing.

A new thing coming….

My wife and I have 6 kids. We both work full time - I doing this, she as an officer in the US Navy. In the summers, we’ve decided it’s best for our big kids to stay at home with me.

School lets out in 3 weeks. As I said last week, coaching is closed for the summer - because I gotta take the kids snorkeling and bowling 😎.

3 weeks isn’t enough time to onboard new clients, but it’s too much time to write newsletters.

And to really learn a new technology, you have to use it a lot, so I set myself a challenge.

Could I build a saas product using AI in 30 days, while my kids were asleep or at school?

Every time I start a new client, I have them download a years worth of sales data from Shopify or Square and get their P&L report from Quickbooks. You need both, cause if you just look at one you only get half the profitability story. But the dashboards only ever show one side.

The saas product, with the magic of AI, aims to tell the full story of your small business’s data, so that you can increase your profit margins. It will do that one thing well.

TBD if I can pull it off, but I’m 5 days in and having a blast!

You can follow along on LinkedIn or Instagram. I’m calling it DashBird.

I’m doing everything with AI, even the logo.

I’m not sure if I can use Dashbird, but when you’re small need to make reversible decisions lightning fast. So I did 🙂 

An AI Product to help you

I used Wegic today to create a landing page for DashBird in about 10 minutes. You can create fully functioning web pages just using a text prompt. It’s pretty close to magic.

Conclusion.

Competing in the age of AI isn't about beating the technology; it's about making AI your edge, not your undoing.

Find what makes your business uniquely human. Lean into that. Use AI to lower your costs, but don’t worry too much about it ruining your work. It’s artificial intelligence after all, not artificial heart. So use the intelligence and add your heart. Customers will appreciate you.

Catch you next week!

-Nate

Whenever you’re ready, I help bootstrapped entrepreneurs increase their profit in two ways.

  1. If you need a third party look at your business, the 1-hour, 1-on-1 might be right for you. These are best for businesses in the launch stage, usually under $200k in revenue. It’s amazing how much we can get done in an hour.

    Book your call here.

  2. Dashbird is flying in soon. 🐦

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