How AI is transforming entrepreneurship: a real life example

by | Mar 2024 | Start a Company

I’ve read many predictions of how AI will transform entrepreneurship, but this is the first time I’ve seen it first-hand…

I met a chap before Christmas, who was introduced to me as “a gifted entrepreneur”.

He’d recently left a startup he founded, despite it growing to >$20m ARR and running at a profit. (He still owns a decent stake and hopes the new CEO will deliver an exit, but he couldn’t stay involved any longer.)

When I asked him why, he said the following:


“We raised $35m from VCs and hired a bunch of people. My job shifted from innovating and selling – the two things I’m best at – to management, reporting and HR three things I suck at. And while $20m ARR might sound good, when you’re backed by VCs, it isn’t. They want more. I’m out.”


 

So, what’s this entrepreneur doing next?

He’s already started a new company with a single employee – him. Armed with Chat-GPT and a few freelancers, he’s built a highly profitable business by automating complex-yet-valuable processes, turning what was previously several days of work into minutes.

He showed me everything – his processes, and even his prompts. It was seriously impressive, and yet surprisingly simple.

This gentleman has no intention of raising capital. He’s keeping it small, retaining 100% control, picking customers he likes and delivering as much value as possible, all while spending more time with his family and making more money than ever.

Are we returning to an age of self-employed “tradespeople” (only this time, the tools of the trade have become understanding complex processes and prompt writing)?

Just as Instagram, TikTok and YouTube transformed wannabe media personalities and celebrities into rich and powerful influencers, it seems AI is about to unleash a new generation of highly successful solopreneurs.

Just one more thing: we probably won’t hear much about them…

I showed my new friend this post and asked if he wanted to be named, to promote his new business. He declined. Like many bootstrapped founders, he didn’t want to attract unnecessary competition.

Anyone else witnessed this?

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