About the author: Kristian Kabashi is a visionary in the realm of work and technology. With a distinguished career as a top-level international executive, he leads the charge in rethinking the connection between work and technology. Kabashi believes in his philosophy, "Work is for Bots, Life is for Humans," where technology should serve as a tool to enhance human potential, not hinder it.
Kabashi has given a name to this new era of work with his creation of the "blank collar" term, referring to individuals who thrive through collaboration with advanced technologies. According to the Blank Collar philosophy, people should focus on strategic and creative tasks, leaving the monotonous duties to the machines.
This idea is embodied in Kabashi's co-founding of Numarics, a Swiss fintech company that embraces the Blank Collar philosophy.
As an entrepreneur, you need to be always looking for ways to stay ahead of the game. The rise of AI-powered entrepreneurship is a trend that cannot be ignored. We now have the opportunity to become what I call "blank collars," creative generalists who can master expert tasks from many different fields through advanced technology. We have the opportunity to create output as we imagine it, just-in-time, and to improve our skills by learning from the output AI gives to our ideas as we refine our judgment. In this article, I will look at some of the use cases that AI already offers us today, to give you an idea of all the possibilities that are opening up now fast.
Consider the ambitious task of building an apparel brand from scratch. In this endeavor, you must curate compelling text, devise and program a visually appealing website, design clothing that reflects a specific aesthetic, procure models for showcasing the garments, and secure the services of a photographer to capture these models in the desired context. Traditionally, hiring models for fashion shoots can be a costly and time-consuming venture, yet recent advances in AI technology have introduced digital alternatives that can generate models digitally, thus obviating the need for physical models altogether. By incorporating these AI-generated models, you can transform the presentation of their brand from ordinary to extraordinary, projecting an image of elegance and sophistication to potential customers. Moreover, these digital models can be placed in a myriad of environments to demonstrate the versatility of the product, lending a heightened sense of realism and desirability to the items being sold. In essence, AI-enabled entrepreneurship empowers creators to situate their products within the desired context, bringing their vision to life seamlessly and cost-effective.
In the realm of web design and content creation, AI has proven to be a valuable asset, facilitating the process in unprecedented ways. Consider Figma, for instance, a cutting-edge web design tool that eliminates the need for traditional programming. With Figma, you can create a design and leverage Webflow - a no-code website builder - to automatically generate a website. Additionally, Figma allows for plugins that extract design elements from favored websites and import them into the user's design, which can then be edited to meet their specific brand requirements. This reduces dependency on designers and programmers, and enables the user to customize their website at a high level, with only the need to bring in a designer for minor tweaks. Notably, this process can be completed in as little as two weeks and at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. In addition, ChatGPT offers plugins that automatically integrate into the design process and simplify the task of creating copy in the length of each design module.
In the past, the task of cropping product photos required an expert in the field, and the quality of the outcome was dependent on the proficiency of the professional. However, with the advent of AI-enabled software, such as background removal tools, this process has become incredibly streamlined. With just a single click, these tools can seamlessly remove the background from your product photos, eliminating the need for specialized knowledge or skills.
Moreover, even a mobile device, such as an iPhone, can now perform such photo editing tasks with remarkable ease. Additionally, photo retouching, which used to require a professional's touch, can now be accomplished through AI. By simply providing the AI with the parameters of a high-quality photo, the software can transfer those same parameters to your product or campaign photos, thus producing impressive results with minimal effort.
A prime example of the power of AI in streamlining business processes is the creation of business cases in minutes. Recently, I conceived a business idea and developed a full-fledged business plan in 30 minutes using AI. As a manager, I realized the value of having a personal assistant to help document ideas and ask relevant questions, acting as a philosophical counterpart. In essence, a "genie in a bottle". Now a robot was to take over this role. I used ChatGPT to turn my idea into a comprehensive business plan by detailing the services I needed, identifying my target audience, creating a website with appropriate content, creating email blasts, and designing a landing page to gauge audience interest. In just 45 minutes, my business plan was complete, a process that previously would have taken months. With these building blocks in hand, I was able to effectively engage others in the business idea.
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The utilization of AI has brought forth a remarkable advancement in briefing and managing people. The art of briefing individuals on tasks to be performed is a formidable challenge faced by many individuals in leadership positions. Fortunately, AI has provided a solution to this conundrum by enabling the generation of briefs with the help of a few simple parameters. The ability to adequately brief individuals is an essential aspect of effective management. Successful managers are defined by their ability to guide people towards the achievement of organizational goals while tracking progress along the way. As an entrepreneur, you may not translate into a manager, but still you need to possess the expertise to effectively brief team members and contractors to perform tasks quickly and cost-efficiently. A common pitfall of this process is the misinterpretation of instructions, which often leads to additional costs and delays in delivery. However, with AI, you can provide precise and detailed briefs from the onset, thereby reducing cost-to-serve and time-to-market.
In today's world of entrepreneurship, there are two distinct paths to success. The first is taken by seasoned professionals who recognize the value of technology and embrace it as a means to accelerate their progress towards true mastery. By investing over 10,000 hours in their craft, they have already achieved a high level of proficiency. With the help of AI, they can now leverage their expertise and exponentially improve their output.
The second path is taken by those who have not yet reached mastery, but possess the potential to do so. They may lack the necessary experience or have limited time to devote to the craft. However, AI provides a unique opportunity for them to skip the 9,000 hours required to reach mastery. By using AI as a tool, they can augment their skills and knowledge, and learn from the AI in the process. This creates a symbiotic relationship where the AI becomes their own personal trainer, helping them to achieve mastery at a faster pace than ever before.
As businesses and individuals increasingly adopt AI technologies, it is important to understand how to maximize their effectiveness. To work with AI successfully, there are three critical factors to consider. Firstly, you must define a specific object for output. This means clearly articulating what you want the AI to produce. Secondly, you need to specify a specific format for the AI's response. This ensures that the output is tailored to your needs and can be easily utilized. Finally, it is essential to provide the AI with a list of things to avoid. This includes things you do not want the AI to include or consider in its output. It is often overlooked, but excluding certain elements is just as important as specifying what you want.
When working with AI, it is important to remember that the AI's output is solely based on the prompt given. The AI does not think outside of the parameters set, so it is crucial to define your goals as specifically as possible. One effective way to train AI is to provide it with a sample of your own work and ask it to write an article using the same tone of voice. This not only helps the AI learn from your style, but also ensures that its output aligns with your brand or personal voice. By paying close attention to these considerations, you can maximize the potential of AI and achieve optimal performance.
In today's digital age, a content creator or influencer has the potential to become their own media agency by utilizing the power of AI. By incorporating individual AI tools, an influencer can become a content creation powerhouse, covering the entire content creation lifecycle on their own. With AI, they can effectively control the content creation process, provide value to the client, and create the image of a massive team working behind the scenes. This not only saves the client money, but also helps the influencer deliver high-quality content in a timely manner. Those who master the use of AI can turn themselves into a content creation factory and take their reach to the next level.
AI-powered entrepreneurship is when advanced technologies collaborate with humans to enhance their creativity and strategic thinking. The blank collar philosophy encourages people to focus on high-level tasks, while leaving mundane tasks to machines. We are the first generation of fully AI-powered entrepreneurship - let’s write our chapter of history!
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