AI startups: Sell work, not software


For the past 25 years, application software startups have had a singular focus: increasing company and employee productivity. AI enables a paradigm shift.

Rather than sell software to improve an end-user’s productivity, consider what it would look like to sell the work itself.

When you sell the work, instead of selling a 15% productivity improvement, you sell a 95% improvement. Incumbents are not only advantaged in selling software, they are stuck there. You don’t need to play their game.

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Sarah Tavel

native new yorker, SF-resident. general partner @benchmark. formerly product @Pinterest. originally blogging at