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  • Writer's pictureJason Smith

Sawdust and Society: How AI is helping in my sawmill business

Why are you not using AI? It's kinda like the internet was in the mid 90s, it was new and a lot of people said it was stupid and it won't last. I have been experimenting with it for the last year in my business and have found that its become a useful tool for me. Here's the thing, if you are concerned AI is going to take your job and make you miserable, then you probably weren't significant in your space to begin with. AI isn't going to take your job but someone who understands how to use will take your job. Also, be on the lookout for new companies that spring up because of AI. Remember the dot com bubble that burst? Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

Here are a couple ways its helped me specifically in the portable sawmill space.

  • Marketing segments - I have been able to use it to define specific marketing segments that I didn't realize I was missing. For example, I asked this question: Who can benefit from a portable sawmill in the excavation and residential construction space? It listed quite a few that I had already thought of but a couple really got my attention. Pool builders and guys that put in septic systems... I never thought of these segments to market to but it made perfect sense too me. When guys are building pools a lot of the time they are taking down trees in order to build pools. The opportunity here is to have the pool builder save the logs and I can mill those into custom lumber to incorporate into the new pool build. Custom beams or maybe even a pergola if the logs yield enough lumber.

  • Content creation - This one is probably obvious but I started using it to create content for social media post and to aid in the writing of some the older blog post I created. I would only use it to help write snippets of paragraphs. Nevertheless, after reading the book, On Writing Well, by William Zinsser I have decided to stick to my own writing style. However, it can be a useful tool with content creation.

  • Brainstorming new ideas - I have found that the more specific you are the better the results. You can really dive into the details of a new idea with the help of AI. For example, I gave AI a couple different business scenarios for my portable sawmill operation and it gave me predictions on outcomes and consequences I didn't necessarily consider or even think of. Very powerful when you are thinking about what direction you should take your business.

Just a couple things to consider and think about the next time you want to trash AI. So far its been a useful tool for my business. I haven't been able to tie revenue to it yet but it has helped me think creatively and critically. I have always been a believer that new ideas can create new revenue streams. I'm also aware of some of the dangers of AI, like its power to analyze data and make decisions, something humanity has never dealt with. Yuval Noah Harai describes these in his book, 21 lessons for the 21st Century.

Please share this with friends if you find this interesting!


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