Rather than sell software to improve an end-user’s productivity, founders should consider what it would look like to sell the work itself.
For the past 25 years, application software startups have had a singular focus: increasing company and employee (including developer) productivity. This looked like building software that increased productivity at the employee level, increased collaboration across employees and teams, and/or enabled better oversight and management at the leadership level. More often than not, this software has been priced on a per seat basis, in essence benchmarked against the cost of the headcount itself and increasing that headcount’s productivity.
Enter Large Language Models (LLMs). The first tranche of products and startups leveraging LLMs has kept within the mental model of selling software to achieve step-function improvements in end-user productivity. The “Copilot for [x]” trend reflects this mental model. While there are fantastic startups innovating to improve employee productivity, LLMs create an opportunity for startups to look beyond this way of thinking and discover surface area that previously was out of bounds for selling software given the required GTM and pricing limitations of software. To do this, rather than sell software to improve an end-user’s productivity, founders should consider what it would look like to sell the work itself.
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