An emerging Kansas City entrepreneur hopes to train businesses on how they can harness the power of Chat GPT to gain a competitive advantage, he said.
Learning how to effectively utilize Chat GPT — an artificial intelligence chatbot developed by OpenAI and recently introduced into the market — can benefit all companies by streamlining operations and increasing efficiency, said Rider Harris, co-founder of GoBananas.ai.
“[Chat GPT] is something that I think everyone is doing a major disservice to themselves if they’re not at least giving it a try,” Harris said. “It’s not a superhero, but it can be a very, very powerful assistant, and it can help you with almost all of your daily operations.”
Harris specifically emphasized how individuals in sales and marketing roles could benefit from the platform’s content generation and situational analysis capabilities, noting that he used Chat GPT in his sales role at C2FO.
“The two main things it increased were my productivity and my efficiency,” Harris said. “If you’re going to increase productivity and efficiency — especially in sales roles — that means you’re going to drive even more revenue, you’re going to hit sales targets, and you’re going to grow your business.”
Helping businesses grow and gain that competitive edge is the top priority for GoBananas.ai, Harris said, explaining that the startup works with sales representatives and small business owners to train them on effective prompting and usage of Chat GPT.
Unlocking the platform’s potential can only be achieved by understanding “the science to working with Chat GPT,” Harris said, such as how to provide the proper context, desired output, and effective prompts.
“I don’t work there, so I don’t know every single thing that [a sales rep is] going to run into,” Harris said. “But what I can do is teach them the best way to prompt, and teach them the best way to have a conversation with Chat GPT. … Context is everything with these prompts. When you give it the context it needs, it can do wonders.”
Sales are just the beginning
Though Harris believes Chat GPT can provide value to all departments within a company — he’s exploring how the technology fits in with HR and finance, he shared — he highlighted sales, marketing, and operations as the most natural fits.
“With Chat GPT, you can get an in-depth operations plan with implementation steps, a marketing plan with implementation steps and examples, a sales strategy with implementation and examples, idea generation, creative idea generation — you could even draft a full-on business model,” Harris said.
That immense power only underscores the importance of proper training and understanding of the platform, Harris said, which is exactly where GoBananas.ai steps in.
GoBananas.ai trains sales representatives on how to streamline daily processes like automated emails and call scripts through effective prompting, Harris said, adding that Chat GPT’s objection handling and situational analysis capabilities can be especially helpful for sales teams.
They’ll also learn how to leverage Chat GPT to create content for social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, he added.
“The main thing that we’re going to be doing for these companies is streamlining their operations to make them more productive and more efficient,” Harris said. “Therefore, they’re able to get more done, and they’re able to hit sales targets easier.”
Crucially, Harris stressed that GoBananas.ai keeps working with clients on an ongoing basis, with training sessions being only the beginning of their relationship with a business.
“I don’t want to have one training session with them and show them what to do, and that’s all they know,” Harris said. “I want to set them up for their ability to continue to learn, that way they can tap into things that I didn’t even show them.”
The GoBananas.ai team will be available to each client to answer any and all questions, Harris said, noting that they take the follow-up process very seriously.
“That’s one of the biggest things I take pride in,” he continued. “I want to set them up to continue learning on their own.”
An idea lands
Relationship building is such a key part of what GoBananas.ai aims to create, Harris said, because he and co-founder Willem McCullough want to bring a human touch to the world of artificial intelligence.
“We just wanna humanize it as much as we can,” Harris said. “We’re not coming in and selling you recorded trainings. . . There’s still a human aspect to all of this.”
That mentality partially inspired the playful name — Go Bananas — which the duo landed on during a coffee shop conversation after meeting this March on the West Coast.
“We were at a coffee shop in Los Angeles, and one of us said, ‘Businesses are gonna go bananas for this,’” Harris recalled. “It ended up being something playful that we just thought was a cool name. … It’s playful; it’s fun; and it goes to show that this thing isn’t a robot — you still have to have the human aspect.”
Harris and McCullough — who lives in Philadelphia — formed the business concept while attending an NFT event, and were introduced by a mutual friend, Harris shared.
“Once we really started working on it, I realized how cool it was, how important it was, and how many businesses I think we can help,” Harris said.
Upon returning to Kansas City, Harris said he allowed his intuition to guide him into this next step, leaving his position at C2FO to launch GoBananas.ai.
“That was my first time landing in the new terminal, and I remember walking back and looking around, and I’m like, ‘Wow, I think it’s time to take this leap,’” Harris recalled. “I believe in myself, I believe in my co-founder, and I believe in this technology.”
Kansas City first
Though he was already spending several hours of his personal time each day learning about Chat GPT while working at C2FO, Harris said he’s maximizing that effort now so that he can pass along that knowledge to his new clients.
“Every day I learn a new way that Chat GPT can help anybody,” he said. “I’m just trying to learn as much as possible, that way I can transfer as much of my knowledge as possible to all these people who I’m helping.”
Right now, those people include sales representatives, sales directors, and business owners in the Kansas City area. Harris noted that GoBananas.ai is intentionally focused on boosting Kansas City businesses first.
“I want to lay the foundation here in Kansas City,” Harris said. “Kansas City is where I’m born and raised, and I feel like this is groundbreaking technology that’s going to help a lot of businesses, so I want to help Kansas City businesses first. I want to help all these Kansas City businesses grow.”
“It’s something that I feel like I have to do,” he added. “I grew up here for so long, that now it’s my time to give the city a boost.”
Perfect time for an imperfect tool
Harris knows that some people have already made up their minds about artificial intelligence — and Chat GPT specifically — and won’t be swayed, noting that it’s not his goal to “force this on anybody.”
However, he remains steadfast that learning how to effectively utilize Chat GPT can be “another tool to add to the toolbelt” for successful businesses.
One thing not up for debate, according to Harris, is the staying power of artificial intelligence.
“Like it or not, AI is 100 percent here to stay,” he said. “It’s not going to go away anytime soon. There’s too much money being invested in it.”
With that in mind, Harris described this as a “pivotal time” to get ahead of the curve and gain the upper hand as a business, before it’s too late.
“Just embrace this technology because it’s not going anywhere,” Harris said. “Since it’s so early, all these companies that bring it in are going to gain that competitive advantage over those that don’t.”
“I believe that getting familiar with Chat GPT this early on while it’s so new and while it’s imperfect — it’s only going to become more and more useful,” he added. “I’m just really excited to see what businesses can do with it.”