By: Kaden Kashner
Publication Date: September 28, 2023
Reviewed by: Douglas C. MacLeod, Jr.
Kaden Kashner’s The ChatGPT Business Playbook: AI-Driven Strategies and Formulas for Business Success embraces what has become the single biggest issue of the 21st century thus far. While others vilify the Elon Musks of the world, Kashner has smartly collaborated with ChatGPT to harness its “full potential” by learning “the art of prompting” and to write a book that is “a testament to the power of human creativity synergized with advanced AI capabilities…” The audience: business owners and entrepreneurs needing new strategies to ensure optimum success. Thus, Kashner astutely understands that AI, as much as it is a pariah, is not going anywhere.
Kashner claims, as it pertains to ChatGPT, business owners must have a comprehensive foundation of formulas and starting points to prompt the AI to respond to entrepreneurial queries. These are: The Pro-Con Formula; the Growth Strategy Formula; the Scaling Formula; and, the Startup Formula. These formulas are, essentially, ways to word prompts to ensure comprehensive responses from ChatGPT. Examples include: what are the pros and cons and provide recommendations; outline various growth strategies and discuss the nuances associated with those strategies; explain critical factors and help produce more strategies when scaling a business; and, outline/provide guidance for the startup’s development stages. With each formula comes five example prompts (a reoccurring motif throughout) to help readers navigate through the virtual jungle; however, these example prompts only lead rather than pressure business owners to contemplate their own needs and ventures into entrepreneurship. Also, these formulas come after one defines, assesses, brainstorms, validates what the business is. In other words, AI does not create the business; AI enhances the businessperson’s vetted business.
Business enhancement happens when the business comes to fruition. No business can be stagnant, so what Kashner maintains is AI can help with those necessary and inevitable changes: crises, conflict, and venue (in-person vs. remote). Kashner suggests asking the AI questions rather than providing statements, because each change is going to be unique to each business. Once the business is established, no longer is it a brainchild. Instead, the business is tangible and owners may need assistance in figuring out what could be a specific problem that only they can solve. AI technologies can help those who have issues with communication, providing workable solutions to complex problems while also maintaining privacy for all involved. And, maybe there is no issue at all; there is just a need for change. How does one go about making those changes? Kashner states AI can provide answers to those inquiries. A dialogue can happen with AI, according to Kashner, as long as the conversation points are exhaustive. That dialogue will, in turn and ultimately, create more fruitful dialogue between owners and employees.
Dialogue with AI is also helpful when speaking to clients and customers, when marketing a business, when making money through e-commerce, when branding an item or the business; and when attempting to segment or retain audiences. What Kashner is most successful in accomplishing with The ChatGPT Business Playbook is recognizing technological innovations have become so powerful, they are almost impossible not to interface with. What was once science fiction has now become an amazing and frightening reality, one that can be either chastised or embraced. Kashner embraces our new truth, mixing common business lore with pioneering practices. An example of this comes in his chapter on finance and risk, where he states AI can help business owners “effectively manage their resources, ensuring liquidity, profitability, and overall financial health.” (pg. 51) Artificial intelligence, rather than human beings, could be helpful at handling money and investments. Whether it be management of capital, risk assessment, mergers and acquisitions, and/or outsourcing, AI can provide business owners with stronger financial advice using global examples as its data (what Kashner later calls “Data-Driven Decision Making”).
It is here where, admittedly, Kashner’s theory starts to lose some of its luster. The rest of The ChapGPT Business Playbook speaks about innovative technologies, market analysis, leadership and organizational culture, sustainability and intellectual property management, human resources and employee development, customer service, legal and regulatory compliance, supply chain logistics, business intelligence, and product development-all from the perspective of AI. In all of these cases, we continue to ask AI what we should do, AI accrues the data and tells us what to do, and then we do it. No longer are owners dependent on their own acumen, instincts, or autonomy; instead, owners are beholden to the machine whenever they have a question or concern.
The question I have: What are the dangers associated with this?
Quill says: The ChatGPT Business Playbook is a practical guide to helping business owners use artificial intelligence in a comprehensive way; however, sections devoted to potential issues would have been beneficial.