Ep 10: Is AI helping or hurting mergers and acquisitions?

 

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Intro

Jordan Wilson [00:00:00]:

Warren Buffett says AI will change the world. But how? That's one of the things that we're going to be talking about today on everyday AI. Your daily newsletter, podcast, and live stream, tackling the latest development in news and AI and helping everyday people like you and me learn and leverage it today. Very excited to have Loam exit CEO Seth Waite join us on the show. Seth, thank you so much for joining us.

Seth Waite [00:00:31]:

Yeah, it's great to be here.

Apple's Slow Approach to AI: Problematic or Strategic?


Jordan Wilson [00:00:32]:

All right, we're going to get into Seth's background here in a minute, but we're going to go over some of the top news items of the day first and get Seth's take on it as well. So, Apple CEO Tim Cook said three very important words over the weekend that I wanted to talk about. And unlike a lot of the biggest competitors, apple has been staying somewhat put in AI kind of just development and pace of everything. And the three words he kind of said are that Apple wants to be deliberate and thoughtful. Seth, I would love your take. What do you think Apple's kind of doing in the AI space compared to some of their biggest competitors? Microsoft, Facebook, all these others? What are your thoughts on Apple's movements?

Seth Waite [00:01:14]:

I think Apple's going slow, and I think that's actually the real issue. Like thoughtful and deliberate means we're trying to play catch up and we don't want to make mistakes. And that's my take, at least initially, is they watched Google rush ahead with Bard and a couple of those things. It didn't go well for the brand, and they got a lot of egg on their face in the process. And Apple is somebody that should be ahead because of Siri. They invested early in this space and then they haven't done much since. And so it's an interesting take on the fact that they should have so much data on how consumers are using AI, but I think they're behind and I think that's leading them to wait and see how the market plays out and whether or not text interfaces truly are the next two months, five months, or five years. And what does Apple need to do to adjust as part of it?

Microsoft Investing in AMD

Jordan Wilson [00:02:14]:

Yeah, it should be exciting to see and to follow along. Our second piece of news today is Microsoft, someone, I think, on the completely opposite end in terms of development and at least public facing focus on AI. So a report came off that said Microsoft's getting into chips. So they are investing $2 billion with AMD So, a chip maker and apparently more than 100 employees. So, real quick, the background on this.

So all of this new AI technology, for the most part, if you're not super technical, it uses something called a GPU chip. It's a special chip in order to really use and leverage this technology. And for the most part, another company, Nvidia, has probably about 90% of the market share. So this is Microsoft saying that they're investing billions and more than 100 employees to team up with another big chip maker to try to say, like, hey, we're going to lead the space. Seth, what are your thoughts on the moves from Microsoft in Adm here to try to catch up with Nvidia?

Seth Waite [00:03:17]:

I think it's great for the market at large. I think it will reduce the prices of GPU chips, which everybody needs. If we want to continue to push AI across the board, those costs have got to continue to drop. So I think that's great for the market. And I like this version of Microsoft. This is my favorite version of Microsoft that I've seen in a really long time, which is making bold bets in AI. And I love seeing that.

Jordan Wilson [00:03:45]:

Such a good point. Yeah. For the first time, I think, myself in 15 years actually using Microsoft products, and it feels weird. So kind of our top news story of the day and a perfect intro to dig into Seth's background a little bit more. So Warren Buffett said this very recently at the shareholders meeting. So for Berkshire Hathaway, they have their annual shareholders conference. It's usually a pretty big deal in the world of investing. So he kind of talked about Warren Buffett for the first time publicly, really in depth about AI. And he did say a lot of things, but we're going to keep it a little brief. But he said that AI will change the world, but that it's not going to take away from opportunities for investors, which I thought was pretty insightful and pretty interesting, depending on what angle you want to look at that from.

What is Loam Exits?

So, Seth, I'd love to hear, even before, what you really think of this. Just tell us a little bit about Loan Exits, what you guys do, and then let's dive into this piece of news a little bit more.

Seth Waite [00:04:52]:

Yeah, that's great. So Loan Exits is a business that helps business owners prepare to sell their companies. And there's a growth process to it as well, which is oftentimes in that preparation. Your business isn't ready to get the maximum value when you go to market. So we help you increase your value by being a better company, a more sellable company, and then we get maximum value for you as we take you to market, looking for the best buyer, somebody that matches up with that.

And so I will say it's part MNA mergers and acquisitions and helping with all the mechanics. And honestly, it's also part therapy for the business owner. It's getting them emotionally, mentally ready for this kind of an exit or sell, which is hard to do, and it's taxing because you've invested so much of your life, especially as a first time business owner, in the company you've created. And so there's a lot of preparation for you personally and for the business to get ready to have an amazing transaction.

Jordan Wilson [00:05:58]:

Yeah, great. It sounds like this space in general could potentially really get heavily impacted by AI. Maybe it won't.

Warren Buffet Says AI Will Change The World

So I'd love your take on kind of even what Warren Buffett said, without getting into too many of the details, that AI will change the entire world, but the kind of investors, they're still going to have the same or very similar opportunities being in the space. Right. So you're working with business owners, you're working with investors, kind of. What are your big picture thoughts on that statement from Warren Buffett? And also how do you see kind of from a 30,000 foot overview, how do you see this playing out for just the space in general? Maybe just the mergers and acquisition space?

Seth Waite [00:06:50]:

Yeah. So if you looked at Warren's statement and usually what he says becomes like the Bible for the next year, it's Jeff Bezos, like Amazon annual letter. It was that same kind of weight. But in the words that he said, I think my question was, do we think he was talking macro? Like big picture, there will be jobs. And this is like him describing his perspective on capitalism and the economy at large, which is humans will continue to have a role in generating and creating value. That could be a possibility.

The other one is he could just be talking specifically about the acts of investment at large, buying and selling and going through that process, which is an interesting statement considering how prevalent AI has been in robotrading and all of these kinds of trading components. So as you think about that at this macro, like stocks and shares being invested in trading, and then you take it really personal into the merger and acquisition side, where you're talking about businesses selling to either other individuals or businesses, then there is some good translation there.

And my take is AI is going to have a growing role and we're going to see that change really over the next twelve to 24 months. And it's happening right now at the earliest phases. And I think that looks a lot like most industries. It's analyst roles, it's content, it's selling, marketing, it's those pieces that are getting impacted today. And as there are more models of AI trained towards this industry in particular, it'll play a much bigger role. Yeah.

AI Tools Provide Great Insights for Business Owners

Jordan Wilson [00:08:37]:

So something I'm really interested in, Seth, is kind of with you've already mentioned Bard. We've mentioned a couple of these different platforms and many times on the show already, but you kind of mentioned something analysts, so researching right. With these chat, GPT, Google, Bard, all these different kind of AI chats or the future of smart search. So for the everyday person, from my perspective, it seems like a lot of people aren't tapping into the actual power of this technology. They're maybe just helping it to finish a paper or to write an email or something like that.

But I think you have some interesting takes on just using it for research. And then how can the everyday person, maybe an entrepreneur, a small business owner, how can they actually use this technology in ways that can make their company worth more money? That's something that you're working with, with business owners on, is to make their companies more profitable, more valuable. How can people use the technology to do just that?

Seth Waite [00:09:43]:

Yeah, I think we've seen a lot of applications over the last year especially be applied in the marketing and sales piece. And I think that's because marketing and sales is typically an early adopter in a lot of spaces. You just look at the marketing technology world, that landscape is saturated. There's so much. And so when you start pushing into mergers and acquisitions and how business owners can make more money, it's easy to say, start there, bring in some tools, create some opportunity.

But when you feed AI information, it then can really take on a new role. You can think of it more like having an expert available to you. So in Google Search or some of those kind of components, which is a smart search capability, it's still pulling back information from other sources and showcasing those sources and saying, is this what you're looking for? The smartest thing is like, it's referrals, but with tools like Chat, GPT and Bard, you can feed it information. Historically, that would have been just some keywords. But you can say, if you're seeing this piece of data and this piece of data and this piece of data, what would that tell you about buying this company or selling this company? Or how much would this company be worth? There are expert opinions that it can provide.

They're not 100% right all the time. That's the caveat. But they can start pointing you in some really creative directions as you're thinking about, what should I do next? And they help you break the mold of a lot of the typical junk you're going to see online, like mediocre advice. They're going to give you totally fresh perspectives. And I think that's where the value is today. Is it's having an analyst who will think outside the box because they can see a bigger picture? I'm using tools that way, yeah.

How To Become an AI Expert

Jordan Wilson [00:11:45]:

What do you think is maybe the simplest and most practical way for people to actually start doing that? Because I think one of the things from someone that's both using this and reading about it, it seems like there's almost too much information out there. There's too many ideas. Even from your own experience, what's one practical piece of advice or tip for people to start using this technology kind of regardless of maybe if they own a business, what their role is, what's one of the simplest and easiest ways to just start using it?

Seth Waite [00:12:19]:

Yeah, I think a big part of it is pick a tool and really dig in and figure it out. Sometimes I'm like, don't try everything. You want to really understand how to be expert in this space. It's no different than other tools or resources. Sometimes when you're just dabbling in a lot of things, you don't figure out how to properly extract enough information. So if you're talking even chat GPT, become an expert at how to ask it great questions.

So 15 years ago, 20 years ago, I remember in school learning boolean. How do you ask search engines the very best questions so you can get really smart results and you'd like, go to the library and the librarian would teach you how to do this. And my push right now would be, take the time like you did 20 years ago to figure out search engines and keyword like management, so you got really great results. Do the same with AI, figure out how to get the smartest responses by giving it the information it's looking for. And if you can take some time to really figure out the prompt engineering side of this, like how to ask the right questions, you'll find that it's going to give you way more than a three paragraph answer on Moby Dick and something you need for a paper at school. That's the game changer is asking it great questions and giving it data that influences its answer.

Seth's AI Hot Take

Jordan Wilson [00:14:00]:

Yeah, I love that. So Seth, you've talked a little bit about your personal experience and what you think it means for the industry. But moving forward, which it's hard to think in the future, I think when it comes to AI, because the developments are so fast. If you had one hot take on what is AI going to be for the mergers and acquisition space, what's it going to be for small businesses? If you had one take looking at AI in the short future, maybe a year or so out, where do you see everything going?

Seth Waite [00:14:36]:

So I see mass adoption happening over the next year. I think that's going to be a key part of this is more people are going to try it. There's a little bit of burnout in a few communities right now. People are like, oh, I don't want to hear about this one more time, but they're going to get over the hump and then they're going to actually try it and it's going to blow their mind. And then the challenge will be in the next year is can people figure out valuable uses to get the most from it?

And so in mergers and acquisitions, small businesses, organizations of any size, I think what's going to happen is they're going to realize it doesn't have to replace all your people, but it can lower costs significantly in the business because it can shortcut tasks that historically took you more time. And it's that shortcut component, I think, that's really valuable. Like it isn't going to say, hey accountant, you're gone in the next twelve months, or all your core staff, they're not just going to disappear, but they can get more done. And I think that's the really valuable part here is it's about helping people go faster.

I also think it's about lowering the bar on having certain skills and talents or experience that historically allow are allowing people with less experience to step into bigger roles and jobs. I think that's super powerful. It's powerful for the people and individuals and it really is upskilling an entire generation of employees, staff and business owners themselves. And that upskilling component in the office environment especially, it's going to make people so much smarter and we'll make better decisions because of that.

Outro: Win ChatGPT Premium for a Year

Jordan Wilson [00:16:25]:

Yeah, I think the upskilling piece is not talked about enough, I'd say. But it's such a crucial component of everyday people using this AI technology. This was a fast one today, Seth. I feel like a talk for another 30 minutes, but we are winding down. So just as a reminder, first of all, Seth, thank you very much for joining us. If you are listening live, feel free to drop a comment in this live stream. If you're joining us on the podcast, thank you so much. As a reminder, please go to your everyday Ai.com, something that Seth talked about. We talked about Chat GPT. We are giving away two premium me a year long subscriptions to Chat GPT. So just sign up for the newsletter on your everyday Ai.com. Thank you for joining us. Seth, thank you for coming on. We're going to have to have you again, but until the next time, hope to see everyone else tomorrow and every day. Thanks. Bye.

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