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Shadow and the duality of ai. Both a painkiller and vitamin in B2B Sales

Updated: Nov 9, 2023



I don’t usually write multiple blogs in the space of a few days but Andy Kessler’s article in the WSJ this morning has compelled me. Kessler is discussing concern, on the one hand, around ai, and the excitement on the other. Kessler uses a Silicon Valley investment metaphor (that of painkillers and vitamins) to help us in our categorization. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’m always warning against using these kinds of extreme positions and how humans gravitate toward them They make our lives easier (or we think they do). The question here is using Kessler’s advice, how does Shadow stack up? Vitamin or painkiller? Net contributor, or net destroyer? I think its both, and here’s why.


AI's Rollercoaster Ride in 11 Months

In a mere 11 months since OpenAI's ChatGPT was introduced, the AI landscape has expanded exponentially. New players and capabilities have emerged, extending beyond text into uncharted territories. The question that lingers: Will generative AI steal our jobs, lead to human extinction, or create unprecedented wealth? The answer, as always, is complex.


Some perspective:

  • Sam Altman's Vision: UBI and Existential Risks - Sam Altman, the mind behind OpenAI, envisions a future where AI shoulders an increasing share of human work. He predicts that by 2031, AI's profits could fund a universal basic income (UBI) of $13,500 per year for every American, even without them lifting a finger. Yet, Altman remains acutely aware of the grave existential risks AI brings to the table.

  • Venture Capitalist Vinod Khosla's Bold Prediction - Vinod Khosla joins the conversation, boldly declaring that within a decade, AI could handle 80% of 80% of today's jobs. However, he overlooks the fact that AI has the potential to create 80% more and better jobs, not just displace existing ones. And to quote Leslie Neilson in Naked Gun, "there's only a 50% chance of that."

Shadow as the Perfect Balance

Shadow embodies the duality of AI as both a painkiller and a vitamin in the realm of B2B sales. Here's how:

  • Painkiller Aspect: Streamlining Sales Operations

Shadow acts as a painkiller by automating some mundane sales tasks, allowing sales professionals to reclaim their time and focus on higher-value activities. It enhances efficiency, and effectiveness. It's the tool that eases the burdens and time constraints sellers confront. As we say; it helps sellers be better prepared, faster and with less effort. It a poster child for the idea of “working smarter, not harder.”

  • Vitamin Aspect: Fueling Revenue Growth

Shadow AI, in its vitamin role, empowers B2B sales teams to basically “be better.” You’d think if that’s true, sellers using Shadow will win more, therefore boosting revenue. Shadow provides personalized insights and recommendations that lead to higher conversion rates. And it’s not that Shadow is always sharing something you didn’t know (so all you cleverest people in the room can relax) they’re sharing subtleties and nuances. They’re reminding us, in this world of cognitive overload, about fundamental thoughts and ideas that are often forgotten or ignored.


Roy Bahat's Perspective: Looms, Slide Rules, and Cranes

Venture capitalist Roy Bahat offers a refined perspective, categorizing AI projects as looms (replacing workers), slide rules (assisting humans), or cranes (extending human abilities). Again, it’s hard to pick one category, it often depends on how you use such tools and how good you are at using them. Shadow is a slide rule AND a crane, assisting and extending the capabilities of sellers, not replacing them.


Shining a light - Shadow AI's Dual Role in B2B Sales

In the evolving realm of AI, Shadow embodies a delicate equilibrium. We are both a painkiller, streamlining sales for efficiency, and a vitamin, fueling effectiveness and success that leads to revenue growth. Our multifaceted nature extends beyond categorization, acting as both a slide rule, aiding daily tasks, and a crane, elevating capabilities.


We mentioned duality earlier, so not to wrap things up too dramatically, but maybe ai is even more similar to us, in that it possesses its own duality. You know, like Matthew Modine, as Pvt Joker, pointed out in Full Metal Jacket when being asked about having "born to kill" on his helmet and a peace symbol on his uniform - "you know the Jungian thing."

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