Inside the Pod: A Guide to Launching a Successful One-person Company

Ben Tossell on using AI to start, run, and evaluate a business

DALL-E/Every illustration.

Thank you to everyone who is watching or listening to my podcast, How Do You Use ChatGPT? If you want to see a collection of all of the prompts and responses in one place, Every contributor Rhea Purohit is breaking them down for you to replicate. Let us know in the comments if you find these guides useful. —Dan Shipper

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In the first week of April, I came face-to-face with the part of being a freelancer I hate the most: tax season.

The idea of wading through invoices, account statements, and 1099 forms fills me with existential dread that rivals walking into the high school cafeteria dressed head-to-toe in neon spandex.

I don’t like doing taxes and, for reasons both rational and irrational, it takes up an unnecessary amount of my time—time that I would rather spend writing.

I imagine that a founder running a bootstrapped startup must come across several tasks just like this—boring, yawn-worthy, and yet frustratingly unavoidable tasks that they must do if they want to build things, and earn money doing it. In this episode of How To Use ChatGPT, Dan Shipper interviewed Ben Tossell about how he uses AI to do the grunt work more efficiently.

Tossell is an experienced founder whose no-code platform Makerpad was acquired by Zapier in 2021. He currently writes Ben’s Bites, a daily AI newsletter with more than 100,000 subscribers, and invests in promising early-stage AI startups. Tossell has a knack for building one-person internet businesses that end up being sneakily big. 

In this interview, he told Dan how he’s incorporated AI into his workflow in order to:

  • find great business opportunities,
  • run a company efficiently, and
  • evaluate the performance of a venture.

I think anyone interested in making money on the internet—as a freelancer, indie hacker, or solopreneur—will find their conversation useful. This essay dives into the nitty-gritty of how Tossell leverages AI to start, run, and evaluate businesses, complete with screenshots of his interactions with various tools.

How to find a great business opportunity with AI

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