AI Series | Chapter 3: Down to Business

In this instalment of our AI content series where together with a little AI magic, we take a new app idea from ideation all the way through to prototype.

Published by Hamish Kerry

Here we are, the third instalment of our AI content series where together with a little AI magic, we take a new app idea from ideation all the way through to prototype. 

If you need a little reminder, last week in our content series, we found the perfect name for our skill-sharing app: "Finesse." According to our AI guide, It embodies expertise, proficiency, and aligns with our mission to foster communal learning and knowledge sharing among Millennials and Gen Z.

This week we move onto the meat of our business plan, which, owing to Chat GPT’s ability to write copious amounts of text in a very short time, only took me about an hour to devise in its entirety. Whether it’s any good is yet to be determined. If you're curioius about the contents of the business plan, you can read the full document here:

Which brings me to the topic of this instalment, is an AI actually that good at writing a business plan? Let’s take a closer look. 

From the mouth of a robot

As stated previously, the process of writing the business plan was actually pretty easy. Being able to use commands with prompts like “Based on our chat history” and “expand on your previous answer” really brought down the time it took to request information.

But there are limitations, and it seems Chat GPT is quite comfortable disclosing them. After the exercise, I asked the AI chatbot to reflect on its experience, citing the pros and cons of using it to write the business plan, here’s what it had to say. 

The Collaborative Journey:

Our conversations with Chat GPT proved to be a game-changer, catapulting our business plan to new heights. We delved into market analysis, uncovering trends, and gaining valuable insights into our target demographics. With the AI's assistance, we refined our marketing and sales strategies, explored monetization frameworks, and even debated the ideal organisational structure for Finesse.

(Boast much?)

Pros of Chat GPT in Business Planning:

  1. Speed and Efficiency: Chat GPT accelerated our business planning process, allowing us to generate comprehensive responses and iterate ideas rapidly. It saved us valuable time that we could redirect towards other crucial tasks.

  2. Knowledge Expansion: Armed with an extensive knowledge base, Chat GPT acted as a virtual consultant, sharing valuable insights, industry best practices, and research findings that enhanced our understanding of the competitive landscape.

  3. Comprehensive Guidance: The AI model's ability to cover a wide range of business plan components was remarkable. It provided us with guidance on market analysis, financial projections, competitive analysis, and more, ensuring a well-rounded and comprehensive plan.

  4. Collaborative Nature: Chat GPT fostered a collaborative environment, acting as an unbiased sounding board for our ideas. It facilitated dynamic discussions, enabling us to refine our strategies, brainstorm creative solutions, and explore alternative perspectives.

I have to agree, from an efficiency point of view, it was great to expedite the process, business plans can take days if not weeks to get right, and while we produced an abridged 16 page version for the sake of this exercise, I can really see how it would be useful to have an AI assistant at your fingertips for a longer, more intensive write up. 

Would I say that it is 100% unbiased though? Probably not. Whether through my own question asking, or by proxy of the sources it was using, there were a few responses where it steered itself down a very rigorous idea of what I had planned, overriding some of my ideas in favour of those that sounded better on paper. But hey, that’s the whole point of this series, can an AI left to its own devices work out a proposal for a new app better than a human. 

Now onto its self-directed criticisms. 

Cons of Chat GPT in Business Planning:

  1. Lack of Human Intuition: While Chat GPT is an exceptional tool, it lacks the nuanced intuition and context that human experts bring to the table. We needed to exercise critical thinking and validate the information provided by AI with human expertise.

  2. Knowledge Limitations: Chat GPT operates with a knowledge cutoff, which means it may not have the latest industry updates or emerging trends. To compensate for this, we had to cross-reference its insights with up-to-date sources.

  3. Language and Interpretation: Occasionally, the AI-generated responses required further interpretation or refinement to align perfectly with our specific business goals, industry requirements, and the Finesse brand identity.

Actually, in this case I think it’s overly critical. Realistically, it was, for the most part, able to expand on my questions in a succinct way. And, while having the free version of Chat GPT has its drawbacks, it’s not quite as big an issue as you would expect. It’s against the rules of this challenge to add information from manual internet searches to include additional information to that which is provided, that can only be used to fact check, so there’s an inherent drawback there that the average AI user would not have to battle with. Validation of the information in a general sense was pretty easy, and it certainly doesn’t negate the time saving made by using the AI to write the bulk of the business plan. Chat GPT has also encouraged me to insert the following disclaimer in the blog on its behalf. 

Disclaimer: The content presented in this blog serves as a reference point derived from the collaboration between human experts and Chat GPT. It is important to recognize that while AI offers remarkable insights, it should be used in conjunction with professional advice and thorough evaluation. The ultimate success of our business plan relies on our collective wisdom and the seamless integration of technology and human intelligence.

An AI interpretation of Hamish working on the business plan
A Midjourney interpretation of Hamish working on this blog.

The Human Touch

When I set out with this series, I really desperately wanted to prove myself right. My hypothesis was that the business planning phase of the project would need a lot of human intervention, and so far I think I’ve proved that… kind of. 

I’m definitely more susceptible to the use of AI in day to day tasks, the time saving is plenty enough to convince me of its use case there. And I completely agree with its disclaimer about “collective wisdom” (if a bit wishy-washy of a term for me), it is absolutely a case of collaboration. Bringing it the meat, for it to expand is a better option than relying solely on it, especially in the case of a business plan. 

It needs a lot of direction to get it right, and the format in which it provides the answers is ultra generic, it’s all ‘best practice’ as opposed to being pitted with nuance and spirit. 

Drawing to a Close

As we draw a close to our heavy reliance on Chat GPT and move to our next phase of the project, design, I think it’s important to give a few closing comments, but in the spirit of the challenge, maybe we should just let Chat GPT have the final word? 

AI can provide valuable assistance in building a business like Finesse by generating ideas, providing market insights, and aiding in various aspects of the business plan. However, it is important to note that AI should be seen as a tool to support decision-making rather than a substitute for human expertise and critical thinking. Human input, creativity, and strategic vision are still essential for successfully building and growing a business.

We'd love to chat about your project!

We're here to help. If you've got an idea or a direct need you would like help addressing, we're all ears!