Ep 6: How AI Changes The SaaS Space w/ Aaron Barreiro

 

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Intro 

I've always asked that question, will AI take your job? And it looks like, at least for now, IBM has said, well, maybe. My name is Jordan Wilson, the host of Everyday AI, the daily stream podcast and newsletter where we tackle the biggest AI news of the day for everyday people like me and you to help them learn and understand and use the technology. So I'm super excited today to have an amazing guest, Aaron Baredo. He is the director of Sales and customer success at Poseidon. Aaron, what's up, man? Thanks for joining us.

Aaron [00:00:44]:

I'm happy to, Jordan. I'm really excited to chat and get into it today.

IBM To Replace 7800 Jobs with AI

Jordan Wilson [00:00:49]:

All right, let's do it. So Aaron's going to tag team with us on the AI headlines for the day. So let's start with that. Aaron, I'd love to hear your take on this. So IBM is one of the first companies to actually admit it out loud. So a new Bloomberg report said that they are essentially, over a five year span, going to phase out 7800 jobs. And they did say, hey, these jobs will be replaced by AI. Aaron, I don't know how closely you followed this news in general, the doom and gloom of AI taking over jobs. It's obviously a fresh report. I don't think people have talked about it a lot. But what are your initial thoughts on that? A big company like IBM coming out and saying, hey, over five years we're going to replace this many jobs due to AI.

Aaron [00:01:38]:

Yeah, it's really interesting. So a couple of things. First observations. It's coming from the upper level executive who we know. They don't make the number one decisions on these types of things. So it's sort of a PR, I think, first. And then it's going to lead to this chain reaction of how many conversations are they going to have to have throughout the organization to actually make that work? So I think it's really interesting from a couple of perspectives, but right now, to me, it's the fallout, like, what happens after this announcement that I would really like to see because that's where we're going to understand how seriously they're taking this idea on AI.

Godfather of AI Warns of The Future

Jordan Wilson [00:02:16]:

Yeah. Great response there, Aaron. Our second big news piece of the day. This actually happened over the weekend, but we haven't gotten a chance to talk about on the show yet. So the godfather of AI, I don't know who actually gave him this name or if this was just the media, but former Google employee Jeffrey Hinton, who has longtime been a leader inside Google in terms of AI development, really pushing the technology. The thing people don't understand is Google's been in AI long before they released their Bard, right, their counterpart to ChatGPT. But essentially Jeffrey Hinton kind of called it quit and he started to kind of warn over the dangers of AI and misinformation. Aaron, what's your take on that? Just kind of a very visible person in the AI industry saying, like, hey, we have to worry about information or misinformation. What's your take?

Aaron [00:03:15]:

So I'm going to read a quote that I found. It says, I can sold myself with normal excuse. If I hadn't done it, somebody else would have. That's dr hinton on the regret he's kind of felt about the work that he's led. And I think it parallels so well with what we just talked about with IBM, because these are some of the things I don't think, whether it's job losses or things like that, that's not the hope people have around this type of technology. But when it comes down to it, what we can find as the easiest way to use something is usually how it's done first. Right. And it kind of parallels going into you want to know a little about who I am? Jurassic World. Jurassic park. I think of all the mess ups that they had trying to bring dinosaurs back. Right. And you've heard that line, I think, in the last movie. It's just weird idea that AI really is that powerful, that there's that type of regret that this man is carrying. Dr. Hinston. So it's fascinating.

Box Cloud Provider Adding AI

Jordan Wilson [00:04:16]:

I love the aligning Jurassic Park with AI. Wow. I'm not going to be able to sleep now tonight. That's going to be running in my head. So our last kind of news story of the day is Box. So the cloud provider not Dropbox, but Box, adding AI features to let people ask questions of their documents, which is mind blowing to me. It was a little Twitter project. It's probably much bigger now, but I saw it when it was released. I think it was called Rewind. I'll have to mention this in the newsletter today, but it was essentially that it learns from everything on your computer. So I think that's one of the things with AI, one of the shortcomings, at least initially, is it doesn't know all of your stuff. Right. So, Aaron, what are your thoughts? Are you going to be moving to Box anytime soon? If it can read all your PDFs and your reports and your your PowerPoints and you can talk to it? Sounds kind of amazing to me.

Aaron [00:05:13]:

It is. And what I'll say is, the more you interact with generative AI pieces and that's what Box is, generative AI. It does feel like you're talking to a person. All right, so I think for the everyday person using AI, that conversation on security and privacy is one where they need to do a really good job of how does that make sense to the everyday person? Because if something is reading all your documents, it's not going to do anything with it. But still, there's that fear. There's that anxiety that comes with it. Is it a feature for me that's going to make me go to Box? Not really.

Aaron's Background

Jordan Wilson [00:05:48]:

Yeah, exactly. It's like that's a big jump. All right, so that is kind of our three biggest news headlines of the day. And just as a reminder, whether you're watching on the stream... Trevor, what's up? Thanks for the comment or listening on the podcast. We do have a daily newsletter where we go much more into depth on these topics. So I do want to transition. I want to talk to Aaron now. I want to get a little bit of your story. So before we go into because I know Poseidon is doing some amazing things in the AI space. But before we go that go into that, I would just love to hear a little bit about your nonprofit first. Right. I worked there in the nonprofit space for ten years, so I would just love to hear a little bit about what you're doing with that.

Aaron [00:06:36]:

Thank you. Yeah, my wife and I moved some operations into Mexico about five years ago. Now, my wife is from Mexico. I met her at the tail end of some things that she was doing school wise, and then she had committed to come and do some service here. So that was an opportunity for us to see if we could do something together. And we ended up starting a nonprofit for underprivileged youth in Mexico, really helping them navigate just more opportunities.

One of the biggest things that we saw in Mexico was this really broken system of education to work to opportunities, and people still getting paid a couple of dollars an hour for their work here. And we knew that. The way I kind of see it, the experience that I have from the things that I've done in the United States, a lot of that is ahead of the curve for Mexico. And so we know that there are things that I've seen that I've experienced that we could share with youth here and give them more opportunities than they would have ever thought possible. That's been some of the things that we've done and then educating younger kids. My wife is really great with young ones, so she's been doing primary education for both parents and children, also high school education. So our goal has really been just how can we support youth and really open up the opportunities for them? And it's been a ride. We've experienced a lot of things, but we've loved it.

Poseidon - Generative AI Sales Assistance

Jordan Wilson [00:07:58]:

Love it. Shout out to Aaron, doing some great work. So, yeah, if you want to talk to Aaron more about that, connect with him on LinkedIn. I know you're super active there, and I'm sure he'll give you all the details. So shout out Aaron for the great work you're doing. But now let's talk a little bit about what Poseidon is doing. Give us a brief overview of kind of what your role is there and just what Poseidon is.

Aaron [00:08:23]:

So we are in the SaaS Space. We're a sales tool for really any company that's in the SaaS Space that's doing online selling with the traditional motion of SDRs AES. That's who we're supporting. Where we start stepping into the AI space is really through generative AI. Also we have a belief that ultimate long term goal, we want to create a true sales assistance and focus on assistant. Right.

So as of right now, what we've talked about, this idea of replacing SDRs hasn't been on the table, but more empowering the SDR to be able to really do a lot of the mundane tasks. Kind of like that box report it was talking about how one of the reasons why it was implemented was because CS people had to go through thousands of files to be able to then go ahead and respond some request, whereas AI can do that really quickly. That's kind of what we want it to be. Truly use the convenience piece and empower people in sales to focus on what they're good at because the way that we say it is really AI allows the sales process to be more human.

Jordan Wilson [00:09:34]:

Yeah, I love that. Yeah. And Aaron, you bring up a good point because there has been a lot of talk, whether you're on Twitter or LinkedIn or Reddit or wherever, about what AI means specifically for sales development reps. So SDRs, I think you have a hot take on this and you kind of alluded to, but what is your hot take on just AI and just the SDR industry? Are we going to see it start to really go that way? Or is that kind of like what Poseidon is trying to say? Like, no, AI doesn't need to replace anyone in the SDR space, we can work together, but what's your hot take on it?

Aaron [00:10:13]:

So I think the IBM news kind of goes against my hot take, but I don't think as many jobs are going to be replaced, at least not as quickly. Right. We'll take that example for this conversation that's probably still two to three years away. I don't think that at the end of this year those jobs will be replaced because that's a lot of work that has to be done in terms of how do you make those decisions, honestly.

I also think that just in general, a lot of people aren't going to want to make that move. Because whether you think about how does the industry manage the changes that are coming as quickly as they are and how they want to go about making decisions. Right. So subscription based sales is pretty much what dominates all tools and I don't think big players are going to want all of a sudden there's a snap for thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of SDRs to just disappear. Those little things that we don't always think about. Like when we go into making business decisions, that stuff comes up. Right. It's been true in the oil and gas industry, it's been true in other industries. Those decisions really are made by the people at the top and it's really interesting.

Jordan Wilson [00:11:25]:

Yeah. And even like Trevor, great timing on that comment right there. Trevor just saying AI expands the role of SDR.

Aaron [00:11:35]:

Great.

AI Approach: Big vs Small Companies

Jordan Wilson [00:11:36]:

Something that I didn't think of just until right now when you said that you think it's going to be years. Aaron I think maybe one of the things is you have the biggest companies in the room, the Microsoft, the Metas, the IBMS, right. Looking at AI and saying like, oh, this is a way to replace thousands of jobs. But I think companies like Poseidon, smaller companies, small to medium sized companies, are maybe looking at AI a little differently and saying this is a way to grow, this is a way to not to scale back but to hire more SDRs. Right. What's your thoughts on that?

Aaron [00:12:12]:

I love how you frame that. Right now there's an arms race in the big world of Google and IBM and Microsoft. Amazon is in that as well. They're in an arms race. But the everyday company that's trying to build we're a bootstrap company at the time, we're not venture back. The idea of having tools that empower you to do your work better and grow faster also allows us to hire more. Right. We're not planning on growing and never having SDRs or AES because it just doesn't make sense. That is this motion and we're going to be empowered to do that because we leverage AI today. So I would definitely agree with that perspective that AI can go in both ways and one is probably going to be slower than the other, but smaller teams, smaller startups, mid to big size startups can leverage AI to really grow instead of just cut back.

Jordan Wilson [00:13:10]:

Yeah, I love it. You bring up great points and I'm actually after this conversation, I'm going to do a little bit more research on that and just see because yeah, I think anything you hear on oh, taking away jobs, it does seem to be just some of the larger Fortune 500 companies thinking that way. So. Great points, Aaron.

Hot Bots: Rapid Fire Questions

So we are almost near the end of our show. I know it's a fast show, but I actually want to see Aaron, if your game, I want to see if we can make it a little faster here. I have a brand new segment. Aaron's been just busting out the answers just without hesitation. So try not a new segment here called Hot Bots. So rapid fire questions, nothing factual here. These are just hot takes opinions and just some crazy off the wall things. So, Aaron, you want to try out Hot Bots for the first time?

Aaron [00:14:03]:

Let's go.

Jordan Wilson [00:14:04]:

Let's do it. All right, crazy questions, here we go. Let's see how many we can get through in 60 seconds. I'm putting an imaginary time on the clock. All right, ready? Here we go. If you could have AI automate one task in your life, what would it be?

Aaron [00:14:37]:

Getting things out of my email.

Jordan Wilson [00:14:39]:

Oh, let's go. Which famous person, pastor, or president would you like to see as an AI assistant?

Aaron [00:14:46]:

Obama.

Jordan Wilson [00:14:47]:

Oh, let's go. What movie robot would you trust to be your AI sidekick?

Aaron [00:14:52]:

Of course. Big hero six. What's the guy's name? That guy, the big fluffy guy from big hero six.

Jordan Wilson [00:14:58]:

Oh, gosh, yeah. What is his name? He's the best. All right, last but not least, if AI could go on a vacation, where should it go?

Aaron [00:15:05]:

Has to be somewhere perfect. So maybe something like Maui, Paris, something like that.

Jordan Wilson [00:15:10]:

Love it. Give AI a vacation. It's been working too hard. All right, we made it through the first segment of Hot Bots, that new fun segment, Aaron.

Outro: Where to Find Aaron and Win FREE ChatGPT Premium

I'm going to give a couple quick plugs. Please check out Aaron on LinkedIn. We didn't even get into all the other things that he's really creating a great platform and really pushing conversation around some topics. So please check him out. Check Poseidon out. 

Also, before we end today's call, please go to youreverydayai.com like I said, we have a daily newsletter. This live stream goes to podcast as well. And we are giving away a year, actually two year long subscriptions to chatGPT premium. Everyone knows chatGPT has the free version, but the premium version is way better. So go to youreveryday ai.com, sign up for the newsletter and we'll tell you how to go ahead and win that. Aaron, hank you again for joining us. Super appreciate it. And again, I hope to see you everyone listening tomorrow and every day on Everyday AI.

Jordan Wilson [00:16:15]:

Thanks.

Aaron [00:16:16]:

Thank you.

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