You have 2 choices today: to get crushed by A.I. - or be one of those who can harness it for your own benefit.
You're now facing the same choice as our grandparents and parents did in the 1980s when they were confronted by the choice to either learn about (and perhaps even embrace) personal computers - or to knowingly opt out.
Those who learned to work with computers opened up unheard of possibilities in productivity, scale and *wealth creation* that before was impossible (or at least a lot more difficult) in the analog world.
Those who stuck their heads in the sand like an ostrich and stuck to their slide rulers and paper spreadsheets got wiped out. Are these people still even relevant today?
And believe me - you have a choice to make right now, whether you like it or not.
Not making a choice means you have by default decided to not take action today and have embarked on the same path as those in the 80s who decided to continue living entirely in the “before” world.
Look, you don't necessarily need to be at the cutting-edge of AI tool usage.
But you do want to "bet on, and ride, the right horse" (also the theme of a great book called "Horse Sense" by Al Ries & Jack Trout, authors of the classic "Positioning").
Yes, those who master the most powerful and capable AI tools will reap the largest (and most) rewards by creating businesses with the highest leverage, fattest margins and the most scale.
Think the current tech giants are dominant?
You ain't seen nothing yet.
But here's the thing: while at the beginning of this article, I made it seem like you had a starkly binary choice between "Yes I will join our new A.I. overlords" (yay golden-era Simpsons) and "I choose the path of the Luddites", there's actually a third path.
This third path is in between the two extremes - and will be the one most people will (understandably) take.
What is it?
This third path will be for those who know how to work with A.I.-enabled tools to harness, leverage and amplify the efficiency and effectiveness of their productivity, intelligence, product development, business/personal branding and creativity.
Think of how people work today. For example:
How much of a pain in the ass it is to write cover letters and resumes.
How people painstakingly try to learn effective copywriting that converts - or failing that, being forced to pony up the big bucks for an in-demand professional.
How complex and difficult it is to develop and maintain a high usage, commercial-grade custom-coded app.
We're already seeing some of that low-level complexity and difficulty being chipped away by high-level tools such as drag-and-drop webpage builders, no-code tools and scripted assistants that can perform specific tasks within very specific, narrow pre-defined parameters.
But all of these still require some level of human input with the attendant human judgment and skill.
(For example, ever try using Webflow to build a landing page? Even though it's stripped away a lot of the complexity of dealing with CSS Flexbox, it's still a giant pain to work with)
But A.I. will change even all of the above (and a lot more).
And the recent release of GPT-4 only further confirms this hard trend.
The ability for software to understand non-specific natural human language - and then to action our commands with a degree of self-judgment and decision-making beyond the standard yes/no of boolean structures is not just game-changing, but workforce and society-changing.
We're sure as hell not going back to how things were done, and how they're done now.
You'll have the ability to ask these tools to:
Design perfectly serviceable landing pages and custom software
Create marketing copy and images that have prospects salivating to buy
Write human-level email drafts and Powerpoint presentations
Basically any number of tasks that currently require human judgment and decision-making (we’re already seeing copywriters fretting).
And these tools will only get better as time and technology continues to evolve such that these platforms graduate from being mere tools to becoming very capable stand-ins for today’s human assistants, contractors and employees.
So you don't necessarily need to "master" A.I. tools the way that higher-end technologists today can custom code, deploy, maintain and grow high traffic, highly scalable systems.
But at a minimum, you can at least decide to learn to work with A.I. rather than ignoring it and doing things the way you've always done it.
Once today turns into tomorrow, today will be the past. So don’t continue living in the past.
Wouldn't you agree you're far better off today knowing how to use instant messaging (Whatsapp, Slack, Discord, etc) or email compared to sending snail mail to friends and family overseas?
Or how you've got a handheld device right now the size of a Kit Kat bar that gives you access to knowledge that far exceeds the entirety of Encyclopedia Britannica?
Your head answers one way probably - but in your heart you already know your true answer.
But hey, it's your life.