Have you been following the recent explosion in Artificial Intelligence?
I don’t mean the mass of companies claiming their software uses AI. I’m talking about things like ChatGPT which threatens the very existence of Google search.
There’s no question AI will change the world. Much the same way the internet did in the mid 90’s. But this new tech, like the technology that came before it, will only take you so far.
As much as it pains me to say, I remember when social media wasn’t part of a companies marketing strategy. Back before facebook and instagram spawned an industry of ‘content marketers’.
A lot has changed in the last 10 years. I was posting videos to Youtube in 2009. A time when most of the world couldn’t stream video in real-time. Today you can stream 4K movies to you cell phones while waiting for your car to get serviced.
Yet the numbers don’t lie. None of this technology has improved the success rate of businesses at all. Here are the numbers:
According to the Commerce Institute, 5.4 million new business started in 2021. A 22.7% increase over the previous year. Yet the success rates haven’t changed at all. 20% of new businesses won’t survive their first year.
Let’s put that into perspective. It means of the 5.4 million businesses that started in last year, 1,080,000 will have already shuttered their doors. By year 5, half of them (2.7 million) will be gone.
Technology is a tool you can leverage to grow your business or it can be a noose you hang yourself. with.
I recently interviewed an old friend who now runs one of the most successful real estate brokerages in the midwest. We talked about his strategy for staying connected with is clients and prospects. Social media didn’t come up once in the conversation.
Instead, he teaches his 19 agents to write two postcards a day. Two hand written notes to his former clients and those he’d like to do business with. And that’s something AI will never be able to do.
AI can’t write this letter no matter how good it gets because it can’t be me.
It can’t tell you about the amazing dinner I had at Gertrudes last night. Or the stroll my wife and I took through the botanical gardens afterwards. All thanks to Michelle, a member of our online community who graciously invited us to a free night out.
It can’t explain the joy and laughter I shared with my family last week as we celebrated Christmas together. Or the excitement I felt when my daughter told her stepmom she loved her for the first time.
AI isn’t a replacement for being human, in the same way an auto-responder email sequence isn’t a replacement for a handwritten note.
So as we move into next year remember, your customers are buying you as much as they are your product or service. For you to succeed you have to show up.
I’m not telling you to give up on social media or to ignore the amazing benefits of AI. Just remember that while technology continues to evolve the core tenants of running business haven’t changed at all.