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Though AI (via media buying algorithms) has always played a role in ecommerce, tools like ChatGPT and Dall-E have brought the conversation about AI and work into the mainstream. In this episode, Richard and Taylor dive into the relationship between AI and margin efficiency, the unique ways we’ve used AI to speed productivity, and the role humans play in a world where computers can do everything better than we can.

Show Notes:

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[00:00:00] Richard: Hey everyone. Welcome to the E-Commerce Playbook Podcast. I'm your host, Richard Gaffin. I'm joined today, as always by Mr. Taylor Holiday, the CEO of Common Thread Collective. Taylor, how you doing today? 

[00:00:10] Taylor: Doing well. We had we have about 15 of our media buyers in town for a summit at our office. And so I was out like past 10 o'clock last night. So little, a little tired. Better than that. I'm doing okay.

[00:00:22] Richard: Wow. Yeah, I was gonna say I haven't done that in ages. Some real real post covid stuff going on, dude. 

[00:00:27] Taylor: Exactly. 

[00:00:28] Richard: Sweet. So interesting kicking off with an anecdote about like sitting down and talking with a bunch of real people and being in a real space with them because our topic for today is something that's been part of the e-commerce conversation for a really long time, but has only recently, maybe in the last few months, entered the cultural zeitgeist in a major way, which is of course the role of artificial intelligence.

In creation generally, but specifically in e-commerce. So as I had just alluded to, we've been talking about, especially you Taylor, you've been talking about the Facebook algorithm and how we should trust it and how Facebook's media buying decisions are better than our meeting by decisions.

And that's been a conversation of ours for, maybe three or four years. But now the kind of like aperture of what AI is capable of has expanded dramatically. And the possibilities for e-com sort of seem endless at this point. So I think in this episode we're gonna break down specifically how this conversation applies to business decision making in e-commerce.

And then we're gonna go a little bit into maybe some specific tools that we think you should be using or we've heard of or we think makes sense in this space. But let's maybe start off by posing the question to you, Taylor, how would you describe your relationship to the prospect of AI as a whole? Like what do you think about it? So I just make you excited, I guess

[00:01:44] Taylor: Yeah, it does. I'm always been a futurist that sort of loves the idea that there's a better tomorrow coming for all of us. And e-commerce in particular, a topic that I feel really passionate about is this idea of what I call margin innovation.

And if I look at sort of an e-commerce P&L and the desire for these businesses to produce value in the form of profit, and what's happened over the last two years really is that every point of your P&L is under margin pressure. You had inflation that creates a rising cost of goods. Okay? So that's a primary part of your P&L.

We've had labor costs that have gone crazy through the roof that that puts pressure on your opex. We've had rising CAC that's well documented. That puts pressure on your ad spend, and every part of that just means that it's more difficult to produce profit, which makes it more difficult for the e-commerce industry as a whole to thrive and for our business and our partners businesses to grow.

And so I am endlessly curious about the ways in which that problem's gonna be solved. And one of the beauties about a capitalistic society with whatever drawbacks that it also has, is that those, the incentives to solve these problems tend to drive to innovation. And so when I say margin innovation, I think about the ways in which those three things, CAC, opex, and cogs are all gonna be solved.

And we've talked about this in previous episodes, but to me, AI represents a really meaningful mechanism to solve potentially all three portions of the P&L in that way. So, CAC you just mentioned, it's well documented. We believe that these automated buying tools and delivery systems and bidding strategies allow you to produce the best possible efficient outcome in your acquisition.

And removing yourself from the process and leaning on these tools makes your media buying more efficient. So that's an obvious one. We've talked a lot about that. But the other two first on the labor side is where I think we start to see AI offer real opportunities. Obvious ones are like customer service.

How many responses can a ChatGPT get through with quality substantive answers in an hour, way more than any human typing on a keyboard, right? It's just infinitely greater scale at infinitely lower cost to deliver the same idea. Now you just take that and you go, okay. Think about how much you have to pay for product photography or video production or all these other things that happen.

Even media buying itself. Like there's all these ways in which any commoditized or generative form of your production copywriting, it all can go incrementally faster and incrementally cheaper. And so that just creates opportunity on that side. Then you think about on the supply chain side, things like designing fulfillment based on geolocations and shipping prices based on your specific customer order profile to lower your shipping costs to the most efficient delivery system or demand planning, inventory purchasing, forecasting. All these things that machine learning tools are gonna optimize at an incredible level re relative to the network of spreadsheets that exist from humans.

And so I just look at it and I go, man, there is such a bright future for e-commerce businesses to find more dollars in our pocket through AI as a tool. 

[00:04:58] Richard: Is there a specific example or specific use case of AI that you're most excited about? 

[00:05:03] Taylor: So because so much of our work sits in this world and part of, our value proposition is the world is to connect marketing efforts to financial outcomes and to think about forecasting and demand planning. And so much of the e-commerce risk sits on the inventory side of things. The work that we're doing is around thinking about how machine learning and modeling and AI can inform better forecasting, better considerations of how the macroeconomic environment affects your individual brand, how spending CAC relationships get built into the future.

And so I think that there's so much that is out there for brands to be able to better understand and make decisions about their future in an informed way, that's going to really reduce the risk of ruin that comes from bad inventory purchasing and bad planning. That creates unrealistic expectations that whole have all these downstream effects.

So that's probably where I'm spending the most time thinking about it because it's so practical to what we do for our partners on a day in and day out basis. But there's so much stuff on the creative side that's really fascinating that I think is just so, amazing in terms of what's possible on that side of things.

And then even just in terms of the productivity side of things too, it's hard to even comprehend what, how different the world's gonna be in a little bit of time. Yeah. With this stuff, 

[00:06:20] Richard: A common theme through e verything that you've just discussed is this idea that ai, or part of the function of AI is to save us from ourselves, essentially, right?

Every single one of these circumstances you're describing an inefficiency that's just caused by our limitations as human beings. Like we're fundamentally, even though we're the only rational creature, we're still able to understand somehow that we're not that rational. They're actually not very good at computation.

So what AI offers us is the possibility of transcending some of our own limitations. So I think that raises the question then. You talk a lot about what machines are good at, that people aren't good at, but let's flip that on its head. So in this sort of future world it sounds kind of like what you're describing is like everybody just lives in a pod or whatever, while the machines do all our work for us, right? But what is the, at least in the near future, let's say what, what's the role? What can people do that machines can't do? And so in that sense, what is the, what does the future of work look like? 

[00:07:14] Taylor: So I think there's a very, very human like, so if we think about what humans possess that computers don't, that the most obvious answer to me is now you can ask a system to write with emotion. You can ask it to mimic tone, but part of what humans experience is like, we have feelings and business ultimately as an entrepreneur is a mechanism to deliver to its owner some feeling or experience. And so when you think about business strategy, business strategy has to flow out of an end state that the owner wants, and this is a little philosophical, but I think the primary job for us as humans is to decide what we want.

To get in tune with our own desires such that we can build systems to help us manifest them, right? And so business is one of those things where there's so many different things a business can be, it can be in pursuit of being a billion dollar company that tries to take market share. And a system could probably help you design a great strategy to do that.

Or it could be a lifestyle business that creates cash flow that lets you get off work every day at three and be with your kids. Like that part of the equation is what does this system exist to do and serve, that is a fundamental human question. And so I think that before, it's just like when we talk about designing Facebook ad campaigns, the part of the equation the system doesn't know is like how much margin are you willing to accept on this purchase, right?

Like, and that very, at this point, human question comes down to how do you wanna capitalize your business? What kind of partners do you want? How much risk are you willing to take? And those are the kinds of questions that are individually understood at only a human level. And so I think that that's where we have to begin. And then we can think about how these tools serve us. But that's also our challenge for us as humans, is to actually get clear on why we're doing what we're doing. And I think that's where we gotta start. 

[00:08:58] Richard: Yeah, it's interesting, like before we hit record, we were talking a little bit about how AI as it exists right now isn't truly self-aware or sentient. Totally. It doesn't have a reason, it doesn't have a why. 

[00:09:07] Taylor: Mm-hmm. 

[00:09:07] Richard: And so the direction of these tools is ultimately, I think what work ends up being like you as the business owner have the choice to use the tool in a way that will assist you and

[00:09:17] Taylor: Totally.

[00:09:17] Richard: Whether or not you as a person are the best at making that decision doesn't really matter because you're the only one who can. The other kind of wrinkle to this, I think is interesting is we, spoke a little bit in our podcast last week about, there's a quote in that book, a hundred million dollar offer by Alex Hormozi, where he talks about business solutions are solved psychologically, not logically.

That's right. And there's something interesting about using these rational machines to communicate to human beings who do not really process information rationally. So there's a certain element here where I guess we're, we as human beings are much better equipped to intuit what other people want to hear.

And so for the example I always go back to, is it right now with Chat GPT, for instance, and maybe this has actually developed to the point where it can do this, but a computer at least historically has always been better, can write, can write a PhD level paper that's easy. Mimicking, let's say two eighth grade girls talking to each other about how much they hate their homework or whatever is really, really difficult for a computer to do because it's all tone.

It's all these like tiny, tiny gradations of like feeling basically. So you can imagine the conversation being like, and she was like, yeah, and I was like, Uhhuh. And then I was like, 

[00:10:26] Taylor: mm-hmm. 

[00:10:26] Richard: Yeah. Like those are just sounds that mean something very specific to that context of those people. So I guess that kind of like, maybe segues into the question about, you had mentioned being excited about what AI can do with creative so what's the machine human relationship there? Like how do you envision the future of creative? What are you excited about and what are the potential drawbacks? 

[00:10:45] Taylor: So I'm not naturally a person that sees creative innovation. Like, I don't, it's not my gift. I think I can recognize patterns amidst things that exist, but to imagine how it's going to be utilized is very difficult for me.

So someone was telling me about how this is happening in music where right now there are AI generators of melodies. And then there are AI generators of lyrics, and then there are AI voice generators. Where what's happening right now is people are like publishing Drake songs that is like a made up melody with made up lyrics trained on a Drake database with Drake's voice, and it now sounds like there's a new Drake song that Drake had no part in creating.

And so that sort of premise is like, oh man, like what? But what's interesting there is that it's all a composition of a thing that was, right, it's not necessarily, again, still this idea of novelty. I think as someone who has limited technical skills, one of the things that I am most fascinated by the is the idea of being able to speak into existence.

The idea in your head, so, 

[00:11:46] Richard: mm-hmm. , 

[00:11:46] Taylor: As somebody who, like, I'm not a designer, so I've never been great at Photoshop. I'm not a developer or an editor. Anytime I'm paired with somebody that has those skills, I feel like they're a magician. Because I can say like, so great example is my working relationship with Qua, our lead developer on STAs.

Like I can say to Qua, okay, this is what I want it to do. This is the report that I want and how I want it to exist and what I want it to communicate, but he has to go and make it and he brings it back to me. It's like and it's like magic to me. It's like, wow, yeah, what I think is that for somebody like me, there might actually be more opportunity for me to manifest things in my head without some of those core competencies, and there's probably more people like me that don't have necessarily the technical skill, but have some vision in their mind of a thing that now have an outlet or resource for manifesting that in a new way. And so I think it probably brings more people into the creative sphere maybe than were in it before, because there was like a technical barrier, 

[00:12:42] Richard: mm-hmm.

[00:12:43] Taylor: in some ways to knowing Photoshop or learning how to code or whatever to get the thing outta your head. And so as a, as a non-technical person that I think might be creative, but is it naturally felt that way, it's really exciting to me about the possibility of being able to say like, okay, make the video, do this and then do that and then edit this, do this cuz like I have those feelings drives Paul or designer at CTC nuts when I express them.

But but they're there. And so I think it's like that part of it is like who, who gets the play on the creative side now I think is gonna be more inclusive is my sense. 

[00:13:12] Richard: Yeah. It's interesting that the, disconnecting the technical ability from the vision, I guess is, is a way to say it.

Yeah. Like there's always been, that's always been attention in art. Oftentimes the most technically skilled artists aren't the most famous. Because that's ultimately, like what matters really is the idea, and then it's how it's expressed. And I think in the realm of advertising where the specific artistic expression of the work is like not that important.

In some ways, it's like can you give me a picture of this on that? And in someone's hand, that's kind of all that ultimately matters. And if there's no technical barrier to doing that, then I feel like the way that it transforms creative volume is really, that's interesting as well. Yeah.

[00:13:53] Taylor: Yeah. So I think that, yeah, exact. So right now, one of the things that. I believe in it is like rooted in me is that there should be no constraint on volume of creative right now in the world. Like you should be able to make a million things instantly, if your sort of acceptance level for quality is, low enough, right?

So the, there's all these tools, right? Like the pencil AIs, triple rail has a new thing, whatever, that just allow you to be like, here's your product photo, boom. Now it's on 1000 different background colors. Here you go. Or like, 

[00:14:21] Richard: mm-hmm. 

[00:14:21] Taylor: here's one person. Now there's 42 different kinds of people smiling in your video, right? Like, it's just that kind of like duplicitous manifestation of variation is going to be so proliferated. Now, when you think about that, combining that with cost caps like, and a media buying mechanism, basically what you're saying is like iteration, this idea of like trying variations until you find the one given enough time and budget that the sort of idea that there's a solution that gets you through the delivery mechanism seems totally possible to me. Like that's gonna totally unlock a meaningful amount of people reaching their highest potential, upper bound outcome, like the 99th percentile variation. It's gonna be easier to find that, cause you can produce so many more. Over time, I think it's gonna give a big edge to big budgets too, that have a capacity to leverage that larger testing distribution in, in a very real way as well.

[00:15:09] Richard: Yeah. That goes, or, so speaking of that of volume, we had a conversation again before we pressed record that was really interesting to me, which is around the idea of, essentially deep faking UGC. 

[00:15:19] Taylor: Mm-hmm. 

[00:15:19] Richard: So this is another thing that's really fascinating because a lot of, to some extent the success of an ad in platform, and particularly the success of that style of ad, at least when it was, cool five, six years ago or when it first started out, was that it was authentic.

Like there's something deeply compelling about seeing somebody, maybe a famous influencer or whatever using the product. The, the sort of the grain of like a kind of bad iPhone camera really adds an extra layer of, oh my God, this is really happening, this is what the box actually looks like.

[00:15:48] Taylor: That's right. 

[00:15:49] Richard: And so as we enter this world where the desire for creative volume necessarily maybe constrains the authenticity of the final product like how do you see. Playing out, is that going to be an issue anytime soon or 

[00:16:01] Taylor: so it's gonna be really interesting to see how we as humans begin to respond to AI as authentic or inauthentic? 

[00:16:07] Richard: mm-hmm.

[00:16:07] Taylor: I think it's gonna matter less for our kids than it will for us. I think we're gonna be this bridge generation where we're gonna like have a sense of real people in a way that's gonna be very different than future generations. Like my kids' relationship with Alexa is like fascinating to me. It's like, it's just part of them, it's part of their knowledge set and they're, more interested in getting information from Alexa than me. It's just like a resource. It's part of their reality. But the thing you're talking about is, so there, there's a company out. That does large scale production of U G C and has been doing this for like 10 years.

Their CEO and I were on a call last week and he was telling me about something that they're working on, which is they're taking their library of thousands of hours of user-generated content and they're using it as the foundation for AI to build generative video. So basically what it enables you to do is, let's say I have a U G C video and it.

You know those ones where you're like pointing to different words and it's like, dude, and it's like giving, and then at the end it's like a product and it's like anything that's in this general U G C category, they have made it so that you can replace the product that's in the video with any other product you want and you can rewrite the script and the person will say the new words that you've written.

So basically any U G C video can instantly be turned into a video for any brand. What's hilarious about this is that you probably started with a video that was inauthentic because it was a person being paid to say a thing that they may or may not have believed to begin with, and now you've turned it into a completely fake thing, which is them not actually saying a thing that they don't actually believe about a product that they've never used.

Mm-hmm. And the question is like, what's that worth? I don't know. I think it's gonna be, for some people enough, it's gonna look real and feel real. And the experience is gonna be like, oh, this person thinks this is interesting. I'll check it out. And we're gonna see. But there has to, in my mind, Be an inverse relationship between the volume of an asset type and the performance of that asset type.

So in other words, as it proliferates its impact degrades. And so as this like proliferates to infinity where there's like endless videos of made up people saying anything about anything, what happens, and little aside, okay, this is a little X-rated here. So if you want to pause or fast forward, or if there's kids in the room, feel free but I saw somebody put out on Twitter the other day a thread about like trends on PornHub, and one of the terms that was like the highest increase in search volume was the word real then followed by whatever query they were after. And so this idea that there will be some desire or mechanism for discovering authenticity.

Which is how we began this whole UGC thing to begin with. I think that's gonna be, that's gonna be a big part of the future, is how do we now begin to discover what is real when it's indistinguishable. If it's me talking or the AI version of me talking, and you cannot tell anymore. 

[00:18:51] Richard: Yeah, no, there's definitely gonna be a, push pull between those who are creating the fakes and those who are trying to uncover it or whatever.

I think one thing that like really struck me as you were talking just now is like, you're right. Like this, this is not a new problem, so to speak, in the world of advertising at all. Like advertising has always had a strange relationship with the concept of authenticity. And you can make an argument that, these posters on my wall back here, which make you feel like everybody's driving a giant car, for instance, the one on the bottom right here.

Those are in a sense as fake as somebody as a UGC ad where the person's mouth is being moved to say something else. You know what I mean? That's right. So there's always, yeah, there's always this relationship between like ads taking on the shape of authenticity. Until that, the impact fades away because people understand that really, nobody's actually driving a big car and they know that now.

And then somebody who's able to come in, and maybe this is the thing, whoever's able to innovate the ad product that fuel realer, then faked. U G C is the person who's going to win. That's the next creative innovation that we need to. 

[00:19:49] Taylor: Yeah. And there's something about, it's a very Seth Godin purple cow idea, which is that like as the format moves into mainstream, your job is to break the mainstream format, right?

And so, yeah, there's this way in which there's this weird thing that marketers do, which is that we find something that works. We assert that it then would work not because of its novelty or nuance, but just because its existence. And so we replicate it Ad Infinitum until it's like, oh, it doesn't work anymore. I wonder why. And then we have to replicate that process. And that's just the sequence of things. And then it has been forever and I think this will just be another part of it where for a while it's going to be an effective thing to do to probably produce fake people saying fake things and it's gonna help you suddenly lower your cost of U G C and all these like this micro tier of creators, they're in a probably a heap of trouble, 

[00:20:36] Richard: mm-hmm.

[00:20:37] Taylor: But at some point people are gonna be like, a fake person saying a fake thing has got to just not have the same effect.

[00:20:44] Richard: Yeah. It's just like another example of the communicating you're doing via an ad is not to another computer. You know what I mean? Yeah, and sometimes I feel like we can really fall into that trap where it's like on the other end are people who operate the same way, who are going to ingest this the same way that I created it, which is to say, mechanically we know that this works, so we'll make a bunch of it, and maybe people on the other end will respond because it's supposed to work or something like that. So maybe that's another answer to the question of like, what are people good for anymore? It's being able to outthink or innovate in a way that a computer can't at least not yet. 

[00:21:17] Taylor: Right? Or yeah. To, to one step directed ahead. Now the question is like, is that going to pass us?

Are we actually going to be able to maintain the innovative frontier edge? Yeah, we'll see. I think the other thing too, just to very practically give people is that there's a bunch of tasks in e-commerce that are just productivity related. So last night we were having a conversation, we had a customer that requested for us to place a TikTok pixel through Google Tag Manager on a WordPress site.

Okay, and so the specific person that received this request didn't know how to do that. And so it became this thing where slack message gets sent out. A bunch of people respond, I don't know, I think you could try this, da da da da. And it ends up like a bunch of, people flitting about trying to solve a task that fundamentally just soaked up time, which is money, which is energy and we were talking about this at the bar last night and we're like, I wonder if Chat GPT would do this if we could solve this problem right now here over a beer. And so we pulled open Chat GPT, and we said, write us a code snippet for installing TikTok on a WordPress, our TikTok pixel on a WordPress site through Google Tag Manager.

Boom snippet instantly created. Then we were like, could you write this in an email to a customer with a step-by-step explainer of how they should install it on their site? Boom, email done. Click copy. and that's an example where again, if you think about what a human's attempting to do in solving that problem, they're trying to access external information.

And transfer it to another place. That's all that's happening there. And that's an example of a thing that we should not be in the middle of like 

[00:22:48] Richard: mm-hmm. 

[00:22:48] Taylor: It's just a bad, we don't have that information readily available in our head. At least not all of us, to recall it instantly, like Chad GPT, and then to distribute it to another person in a format that's very simple to understand, like there's the pace of our typing and all these other elements that are very limited, that's an example of a system and process of the kind of thing.

Eventually just gets automated down to nothingness, like so instantaneous. And so that's where all this space then gets opened up for us to discover what it is that we're here to do. And we'll find out. 

[00:23:19] Richard: We'll find out. Yeah. So may, maybe the practical takeaway here is that we now have these tools available to us that can maybe do anything. So it's up to you to figure out what it can do and like push it to its limits, find the places where you can make, like, I'm sure like everybody out there is really, really aware of inefficiencies right now. Identify them and say like, maybe, maybe a robot could solve this right now. Maybe I can run this in ChatGPT and something could happen.

Guys, just stay on that practical jag then. Like do you have a sense of like what tools you feel like e-commerce entrepreneurs should be using? Is there anything specifically we've come across that would be good for folks to know about or that we've applied? 

[00:23:53] Taylor: So I think that one of the ones that's just like, hey, this is very, of the moment right now is that there is like Bing today on has Touch EVT in their browser. It's now part of that. And so one of the things that I would do is I would begin to play with searches around your brand terms and things surrounding it and see what the experience is for users in that space.

 If being really, I saw a great interview with Satya Nadela basically saying like, we wanna make Google dance, and I think we've made them dance and we're coming after this thing. Like basically saying like, they're going after search. And so if you think about how important that is, the e-commerce world, like I would really play with that landscape and play with it, not just in the like, Best shoes, but hey, I'm looking to go on a run in this neighborhood, like the kind of things that ChatGPT will bring to the table and think about your brand and how it will interact in that space and what the landscape looks like for a user.

I think it's really important to start to reimagine the digital real estate that your product shows up on in ways that is really helpful. But here's a, I'm gonna give you a list of some practical tools that I've seen. That are helpful, okay. So there's something called that will generate patterns for your product using ai.

So if you want, just see your product. If you're an apparel brand and you wanna imagine what if we did leggings that look like this or that, or whatever, really interesting will create Amazon listings into instantly for you if you're in the agency world, unbalanced is doing a cool thing where they're AI generating cold outbound emails.

That's pretty interesting. is doing automated customer service which is pretty, pretty interesting. Sound draw. dot io is for royalty free music for your ads based on the content of the ad. Cleanup.Pictures, we'll remove any unwanted object from your pictures.

Let's see. What are some other ones that I like. Stock is a massive collection of free AI generated stock photos. So this is a thing, like even for us on our, our blog headers, it's like we're always trying to find stock photos. Like the other day we were looking for one for retail store window, right?

Oh yeah. And like you're going into this, these libraries of free assets, but they're really limited. This is like an infinite library of AI generated stock photos. So that's really cool. What else do I like? Those are, oh, there's one that's called trust FinTech, that's a fund that will like automate your entire fundraising workflow if you're looking to raise money.

Like that's an interesting area, that's not exactly where you think AI would show up. Another cool one is if like you want a voiceover, there's something called that will turn text into someone speaking on an AI basis. So I think about how many times, like we used to do this a lot at K-Lo, we had to pay for voiceovers on video.

Yeah. That's gone. will give you a voiceover from a human. You can change intonation, you can pick the depth of their voice, all sorts of different things, and they'll read it until you're perfectly happy. So there's so many different things that are out there. Just go play with it. Go play with it and see what's, see what you can discover.

[00:26:44] Richard: Yeah. possibilities are endless. So actually on that note about the idea of possibilities, maybe let's let's wrap this up by Taylor, stepping outside of your usual roles of futurist, what do you think the drawbacks are of this potentially, where can this go wrong? And maybe specifically, where can this go wrong for us in the e-commerce world?

[00:27:01] Taylor: I mean, there's so many things I heard that there's a currently there's a scam happening that targets some of our parents' generation. That is your voice, Richard, calling your mom asking for money. And it's basically indistinguishable, right? Sounds like you in trouble needing help. And that I think is a very dangerous proposition, right?

 I think that there's also this risk of what is truth. So this is a pretty philosophical one, but if chat G B T is going to answer things like the difference of Google search was it just simply brought to you what existed in the world and you got to make some choices. But the second we start answering questions, There's now an assertion of truth.

And I think about this for my kids, again, going back to the Alexa example, is that when they ask Alexa, whatever she says back is the truth. and I can't even argue with it. Like, it's the highest form of truth. And so there's all sorts of ways in which, this can be really useful.

Like I asked chatGPT an accounting question the other day about like, how do I handle gift with purchase on my P&L? Does it show up in discounted sales or is it just cost of goods? And it helped me answer that and that's like an objective reality that it can help me sort through. But some of the other questions, I think it begins to wander into areas where we as a society have to decide how singular we want the answer to questions to be. And I don't know that it's always helpful that the answers are singular. So there's a question of where does it take us as a group of people to be better as a society. That's a pretty deep, deep question. On the e-commerce side, I think it could push you to sameness, right?

Like if we're all rooting from the same source material to the same end outcomes. The question is what comes out of that. That's novel and exciting and serendipitous and

[00:28:37] Richard: mm-hmm. 

[00:28:37] Taylor: delightful and all the things that we as humans really appreciate about being human. But I think it's gonna, I think that's probably narrow.

I think it probably does serendipity. Maybe better than us. I don't know. And it's hard to see, but we're gonna have to live into it and discover it. As of right now, it's fun and exciting and every, I haven't seen anybody be like, oh, I'm, this is like really bad. I haven't hit that moment yet, so.

[00:28:58] Richard: Mm-hmm.

[00:28:59] Taylor: Time will tell. 

[00:28:59] Richard: Yeah, yeah, yeah. what's your thoughts on, the future of, labor as it relates to this too? Because like, a lot of what we're saying is like, we can just get rid of everybody if we need to down the line. So what does, where does that leave us and what do you think, like, what's your, what's your take on that?

[00:29:13] Taylor: I think there's a very deep question about what is work and how important is work to us as people. It's I put the tweet about going back to the office, the other day, and how I felt like I had such a, Gen Xer, like boomer, like just like I was just like, the office is important to my existence as a species.

And I'm like, is that real or is that just like my wiring of what I was brought up to experience and believe and will the next generation like not need or want those things in the same way? And that tends to be what I believe happens is that like my perception of the answer to that question is actually just like I just.

Not equipped to answer it because my children's children's experience of the world and what they find valuable and meaning in will just be so different. And so I think for me it might be hard is that it might, and for the people that I work with and some of us in our skills that we were brought up in, it's like, Yeah, if you were a if your job was to drive the horse-drawn carriage, like suddenly your meaning in the world probably got put into question and you felt like, what did I give my life to?

And sometimes I feel that way a little bit with media buying, like, why am I spending time trying to learn this skill that is going to become obsolete in the world? Like it feels futile. But when I get out of that, I come back to the moment and know that today I have something to offer that's a meaning, and I'll discover what it is next week.

But for today, there's still something to do. So I think that the time that these things get eliminated is often overstated. It takes time. There's more room for discovery. Not all designers are gonna be fired tomorrow. So I think that, that we'll have to watch it play out. But there's a chance for us to discover new work and new meaning. That's a thing I'm excited to sort through. 

[00:30:50] Richard: Nice. Okay, let's let's cut there. Unless you want to hit anything else. 

[00:30:54] Taylor: No, but surprise, Hmm. Either of us are real. This is actually entirely AI automated episode, so there you go. First fake episode. Or are we, I don't know.

Leave it in the comments. What do you think? Will we real or not 

[00:31:06] Richard: making meaning man, here we go.

Thanks for joining us for another episode of the E-Commerce Playbook Podcast. Remember to rate and review, like, and subscribe, all that good stuff. It really helps us out. The podcast mailbag, as always is open. It's podcast common thread That's Thanks for joining us and happy scaling.