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Out-of-the-box ABM

Extend your marketing mix outside the "Facebook/Adwords" box

7 min read

AI vs. CEO: ChatGPT Told Me How to Transform the Advertising Industry

😲 I'm stunned.

I haven't felt this way while experiencing new a technology since I first interacted with a smartphone back in 2008. That first day, where I realized that being a phone was now the least interesting and valuable feature of my phone, was a watershed moment for me. I remember checking the app store every day to see what new innovations people had created on top of this new platform.

Screenshot 2023-02-08 at 2.42.59 PM

Also, remember when every Facebook post automatically started with "is"?

My experiences with Generative AI (specifically ChatGPT powered by OpenAI's GPT-3 LLM) have been equally stunning. I've used it to write thank you notes, letters of recommendation, product descriptions, simplified technical explanations, and even a pitch to investors for potential future fundraising.

I was curious how well it could create content based on a specific person's perspective, though. So I asked ChatGPT to write this article for you.

First, I asked it to read a few articles I wrote several years ago. It's a small sample but generally representative of my philosophies:

  1. The Difference Between Internal Disruption and Uninspired Optionality
  2. It’s not just elections and Super Bowls, it’s easier than ever to blow a big lead.
  3. I read a study recently that really pissed me off.
  4. Artists’ Lives Are About to Change
  5. Face it: Fake News is a Disruptive Innovation
  6. It’s Time to Rethink the Content Business
  7. The Hard Choices Behind How Grew 5X
  8. How to Not F*** Up Your First 90 Days as a CMO
  9. Why Medium Works.
  10. Analyzing eBay’s and Amazon’s Marketplace Strategies

Caveat: ChatGPT doesn't have the ability to fact-check itself when it comes to synthesizing from abstract concepts like innovation. It's also heavy on the jargon sometimes (innovation, much?). But it came pretty darn close to replicating an article I might have written!

As decent as it is, this article could really benefit from some solid editing. Generative AI isn't there yet in being able to totally replace writers (although it may be getting close to replacing CEOs...).

Writing like this wouldn't normally make it past our marketing team. It also appears to have confused some of my articles with each other. But I've left the outputs from ChatGPT unedited and put my prompts in quotations so you can separate the man from the machine.

I can be really long-winded, so I also asked ChatGPT to create a "tl ;dr" summary for you:


"Explain this article to a five-year-old."


Imagine you're playing with your friends and you all want to build the biggest, coolest sandcastle ever. But instead of everyone just working on their own part of the sandcastle, you all work together, sharing ideas and materials to make the whole thing even better. That's what the article is talking about, how it's important to work together with other people to make something even better. The author is saying that a computer program called ChatGPT can help people in a certain business (called Out-of-Home advertising) understand how working together with others can make their ideas even better.

Enjoy 🤓


"Now that you've read and summarized several articles written by me, write an article explaining how I would apply my philosophy of innovation to launch my own startup in the Out-of-Home Advertising industry."


First, it's important to understand the difference between incremental innovation and disruptive innovation. Incremental innovation involves making small, incremental improvements to an existing product or service, while disruptive innovation involves creating a new product or service that fundamentally changes the way people live or work.

While both types of innovation are important, disruptive innovation is what sets successful startups apart from their competition. To succeed as a startup, you need to be able to identify new opportunities and find ways to create something truly groundbreaking that will change the way people live and work.

However, innovation is not just about coming up with new ideas. It's also about being able to execute those ideas and bring them to market. This is where many startups fall short. They may have a great idea, but they lack the resources or the skills to bring it to market.

With this in mind, let me share my thoughts on how I would apply my philosophy of innovation to launch my own startup aimed at disrupting the Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising industry.

The OOH Advertising industry is currently fragmented and archaic, with many businesses relying on outdated methods and technologies to reach their target audience. This presents a significant opportunity for startups that are able to identify new and innovative ways to reach consumers through OOH advertising.

To get started, I would first focus on identifying the key pain points in the OOH Advertising industry. Talk to existing customers and companies in the industry and get their input on if you've identified pain points that matter. Instead of stealth-mode, I would tell everyone what I'm planning to build and get feedback before I build it. Even potential competitors.

Once I have a clear understanding of the problem I'm trying to solve and the potential solutions, I would begin building my team. This would involve bringing together a group of individuals who have the skills, experience, and expertise to help me bring my ideas to life. 

With my team in place, I would then focus on executing my ideas and bringing them to market. This would involve developing a product or service that solves the key pain points in the OOH Advertising industry, and launching it in a way that reaches a broad audience and generates significant buzz.

Throughout this process, it's important to stay flexible and adaptable. The OOH Advertising industry is constantly evolving, and I would need to be able to pivot and make changes along the way to stay ahead of the curve. This could involve listening to feedback from customers and iterating on my product or service.

In conclusion, my philosophy of innovation is centered around identifying new opportunities, building the right team, and staying flexible and adaptable as you bring your ideas to market. And when it comes to launching a startup in the Out-of-Home Advertising industry, these principles are especially important, as startups often face significant challenges in an industry that is often dominated by established players. With the right combination of creativity, hard work, and determination, I believe that I could launch a successful startup that would disrupt the OOH Advertising industry and change the way businesses reach their target audience.


"Expand on the above and explain how innovation includes leveraging platform strategy to cooperate with existing industry incumbents and integrate with other tech startups to create value for users rather than seeing everyone as a competitor."


As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time thinking and writing about innovation, I've come to the conclusion that innovation is not just about creating new things, but it's also about finding better ways of doing things that already exist. This idea is particularly relevant when launching a startup aimed at disrupting a mature and established industry, such as the Out-of-Home Advertising industry.

One of the key philosophies of my approach to innovation is to leverage platform strategy to cooperate with existing industry incumbents and integrate with other tech startups to create value for users. This approach differs from the traditional view that sees everyone as a competitor. Instead, I believe that by working together, startups and existing players can create a new market that benefits everyone involved.

A great example of this can be seen in my article, "How to Not F-up Your First 90 Days as a CMO," where I discuss how companies can use the strengths of existing platforms to their advantage. For example, instead of trying to build their own platform from scratch, startups can use popular social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to reach their target audience. This way, they can take advantage of the large user base and established trust of these platforms to grow their own business.

Another key aspect of my philosophy is to focus on creating value for users, rather than seeing them as just another source of revenue. In my article, "Artists' Lives are About to Change," I discuss how artists can use technology to reach a wider audience and create more value for their fans. By providing high-quality content and engaging with their audience through social media, artists can build a strong and loyal following. This, in turn, can lead to increased revenue through merchandise sales, ticket sales, and other sources.

In terms of the Out-of-Home Advertising industry, there is a great opportunity to create value for both advertisers and consumers. Currently, the industry is fragmented and inefficient, with many small players offering limited reach and targeting capabilities. By leveraging platform strategy and working with existing players, a startup could create a new market that offers advertisers a more efficient and effective way to reach their target audience, while providing consumers with relevant and engaging advertisements.

Finally, it's important to emphasize that innovation is not just about technology. While technology is certainly a key enabler, it's also about having a customer-centric approach and a willingness to experiment and fail. In my article, "Why Medium Works," I discuss how Medium has been successful in part because they focus on delivering value to their users by providing a platform for high-quality content. This customer-centric approach has allowed Medium to build a loyal following and create a unique platform that stands out in a crowded market.

In conclusion, my philosophy on innovation emphasizes the importance of working with existing players and creating value for users. By leveraging platform strategy and focusing on delivering value, a startup in the Out-of-Home Advertising industry could create a new market that benefits both advertisers and consumers. With a customer-centric approach and a willingness to experiment and fail, such a startup could build a successful business and make a meaningful impact in this mature and established industry.


"Write a closing paragraph based on your original intro paragraph."


In closing, Generative AI such as OpenAI's ChatGPT marks a significant milestone in the way startups gather and process information for their innovation and value creation strategies. The speed and precision with which AI can analyze massive amounts of data and provide contextually relevant responses open up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs. This technology has the potential to fundamentally alter the startup landscape and how entrepreneurs approach their ventures. As we look to the future, it's exciting to imagine the possibilities that Generative AI holds, not just for startups but for the world at large. The impact of this technology will be far-reaching, and it's up to us to harness its potential for good. The future of innovation is unfolding before our very eyes, and the role that Generative AI will play in shaping it remains to be seen.

Generative AI isn't an incremental innovation. It's going to change everything.

(this is Sam Mallikarjunan writing again now - hopefully my closing thoughts are at least somewhat interesting to you compared to what ChatGPT thought I would write)

Like everyone else, I'm still processing the potential applications and implications of Generative AI. The evolution of Large Language Models has the potential to significantly amplify the abilities of startup entrepreneurs to create new value for users in any market.

For the Out-of-Home advertising industry in particular, I hope that ChatGPT's summarization of innovation being a cooperative venture vs. strictly a competitive venture will encourage an OpenApI attitude where everyone creates value for customers beyond just the capabilities that our individual teams can deliver.

p.s. ChatGPT failed miserably when I asked it to imitate my sense of humor - or lack thereof as my wife would argue. But hopefully at least one person smirked at my "OpenApI" pun. OpenAI has shown the latent potential in combining information and knowledge, and few industries have more un-shared information than OOH. Prioritizing an ecosystem of open API integrations between the technologies currently being built in the Out-of-Home industry will enable the incredibly talented but very limited number of developers and technical innovators in the industry to create more value for more people faster.

... okay, I can't help myself - just one more:


"Rewrite my closing paragraph for clarity."


Generative AI has the power to revolutionize the way startups gather and analyze knowledge, leading to more innovative strategies. In the Out-of-Home advertising industry, adopting a cooperative approach and prioritizing open API integrations will help the talented but limited number of developers and innovators create even more value for customers. Let's work together to unleash the full potential of AI and drive industry transformation.

... apparently it didn't like my joke 😏