Chris Reilly - Why AI Can't Replace Human Gut-Feel and Experience
Updated: Apr 13
Episode - 019: In this episode, we welcome Chris Reilly, founder of Mission Capital Consulting and Financial Modeling Education, as he shares insights on self-employment, marketing, financial modeling, and the impact of AI on the finance industry. We discuss strategies for transitioning to self-employment and the importance of marketing and sales skills for finance professionals.
Chris also highlights the pros and cons of low-code tools versus Excel, the role of junior finance professionals in mergers and acquisitions, and valuable resources for learning more about finance. We explore the limitations of AI in surfacing context and the skills needed for building financial models, the issue of trust in AI, and its potential impact on education. Additionally, we examine the future of AI, its integration into various industries, and the challenges of policing and securing the technology.
Don't miss out on this engaging conversation with Chris Riley, packed with valuable insights, advice, and resources for finance professionals and those considering a transition to self-employment.
Audio Podcast Links
Where to find Chris
Chris on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-reilly-mission-capital/
Chris' Linktree - https://linktr.ee/chrisreillymissioncapital
Oana Labes - https://www.linkedin.com/in/oanalabes/
Justin Welsh - https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinwelsh/
Glenn Hopper - https://www.linkedin.com/in/gbhopperiii/
Motion - https://www.usemotion.co/
ChatGPT - https://chat.openai.com/chat
(0:00:00) - Navigating the Transition to Self-Employment
(0:09:18) - Marketing & Sales for Business Success
(0:16:39) - Mastering P&L and EBITDA
(0:26:33) - AI Assistance Risks & Benefits
(0:37:53) - Human Perspective in AI Age
(0:47:48) - Leveraging AI for Time Management
(0:55:13) - Business Modeling
(0:00:00) - Navigating the Transition to Self-Employment (9 Minutes)
In this episode, we explore the challenges of trust in AI and discuss the journey of starting a business with Chris Riley, founder of Mission Capital Consulting and Financial Modeling Education. Chris shares his experiences in building his own business to gain more control over his schedule and spend more time with his family. He offers advice for those considering starting their own venture, emphasizing the importance of building a passion project on the side while maintaining full-time employment. Chris also shares the benefits of leveraging technology and content creation on platforms like LinkedIn to gain traction in the market.
(0:09:18) - Marketing & Sales for Business Success (7 Minutes)
In this segment, we delve into the importance of marketing and sales skills for finance professionals and discuss the pros and cons of low-code tools versus Excel for financial modeling. Developing marketing and sales skills can lead to increased visibility within an organization and enhance one's ability to find and secure new business. In addition, we examine the role of finance business partners in translating financial information for the rest of the business.
(0:16:39) - Mastering P&L and EBITDA (10 Minutes)
In this part of the conversation, we examine the role of junior finance professionals in mergers and acquisitions and discuss the importance of understanding EBITDA. We also touch on the impact of AI technologies on the finance industry and the need for discernment when evaluating AI tools. Additionally, we mention valuable resources and courses for learning more about EBITDA and finance.
(0:26:33) - AI Assistance Risks & Benefits (11 Minutes)
In this discussion, we tackle the limitations of AI in surfacing context and the skills needed for building financial models. We address the issue of trust in AI, as it currently exists in a vacuum and can be both a valuable resource and a source of misinformation. We also explore the potential impact of AI on education and the importance of retaining human-developed building blocks for AI to function effectively. Finally, we consider the future of AI and its integration into various industries, as well as the challenges of policing and securing the technology'
(0:37:53) - Human Perspective in AI Age (10 Minutes)
In this portion of the conversation, we explore the importance of human judgment in the age of AI and the potential role of AI in financial decision-making. We discuss the limitations of AI in predicting the future, especially in industries dependent on external factors like agriculture. We also touch on the potential risks of relying on AI for investment advice and how AI should be used as a tool to help us, not a tool to make decisions for us'
(0:47:48) - Leveraging AI for Time Management (7 Minutes)
In this part of the conversation, we discuss how AI can help alleviate mental fatigue and aid in decision-making for personal and professional matters. We share experiences with AI chatbots and AI-based scheduling tools like Motion, which can help prioritize tasks and organize calendars. We also emphasize the importance of not getting too caught up in experimenting with every new AI tool, and instead focus on finding the ones that work best for individual needs and preferences. The conversation also highlights the challenges of changing behavior and adopting new tools, suggesting a trial period to determine whether a specific tool is worth the investment of time and effort.
(0:55:13) - Business Modeling (13 Minutes)
In this section, we focus on the day-to-day work of building financial models and the tools used in the process. We also discuss the potential future of AI in modeling and the importance of understanding a business's KPIs to create accurate models. The conversation concludes with a discussion on the essential gadgets and apps that help keep life organized and efficient.
What I'm personally struggling with is trust, and I say that because I've had it help me with a handful of Excel things that it didn't quite do correctly. It's important to remember that AI is trained on a bunch of people who did that manual work in the first place and build all the building blocks from which AI can't work. That's that gut feel that I feel like there's still just this human component that we know from our experience. That would bring a great perspective to this potentially AI produced model. Hello, and welcome to Tectafinance where we help finance professionals leverage technology to level up their lives. I'm your host, Adam Schultzen, and in this episode, we're gonna be chatting with Chris Riley. Chris is founder of both mission capital consulting and financial modeling education where he provides custom built M and A and FP and A models for businesses and teaches advanced financial modeling to FP and A and PE professionals. After holding positions in consulting, corporate finance, mid market private equity, Chris decided to build his own business so he could spend more time with his wife and three kids. Chris lives in Colorado, which is a big algal state in his spare time nights golf general fitness and also video games.
Before we start, if you like what you hear today, please make sure subscribe to Tech and Finance on your favorite podcast platform and on YouTube. But for now, thanks for joining me today, Chris. It's really good to have you on. Yeah. Thanks so much, Adam. Throw to throw the beer. Thanks for having me. No worries. No worries.
So it's morning to you, evening for me. So who knows? It's all good. I'll try not to to keep you too long in in next in in the middle of the day or working towards the middle of the day to you. So I guess, getting straight and straight to the good stuff. I mean, the the the point that stands out there is you basically deciding that you you wanna control your own schedule so that you can, you know, spend more time with the people that matter most here. And that's that's amazing. I mean, I've got two kids myself as as we were speaking earlier. And a lot of people are a little bit scared at making that move even if they're thinking about starting their own business. So I guess the first question is, for anybody that's thinking about going it alone, What what would you say? Yeah. It's a good question.
I feel like actually now is the best time at least in my career for somebody to give that shot because we now live in this economy where you can have full time work, but you also have theoretically some room on the side to pursue some kind of passion project that can be complementary to your full time income. So there's a nice testing ground. That's a that's more acceptable now than I think than once acceptable pre COVID. So I think if you have the time and the interest It's a great idea to just start building a passion project in your off hours. See if you can get a little bit of traction. For me, like, tactically speaking, I I found that hosting content that I was really good at on LinkedIn was a quick way for me to gain traction and sort of like measure my results as opposed to just like that way going where to start. So that was a great way to test the market and very easy and low lift, something you could do in your off time. And the only thing I'd say is if you are working for an employer, depending on the success of your part time project that some point you may need to get a blessing or disclosure from them that you can work on self promotion in addition to working full time on and your your full time role That's really the only tricky part, but I'd say it's a perfect time to try it. You know, everybody's a little bit more flexible. In lifestyle, we have a lot more technology terms of communication and scalability than we did even a couple years ago. And, again, if I was doing it all over, that's probably how I would do it.
What I ended up doing was it was different. I actually didn't have a job at the time. I was just trying to build my own thing right during COVID, and I was actually pretty desperate. I was doing hourly work. And I was trying to scale at the same time with no backbone of full time income. I'd I'd left my private equity job. And so it ended it ended up working in the end and sometimes that that killer instinct of what I have to make this work is also good. And I felt like that forced me to push through and like make things work in times what if I had a bail out in not have, but I'd say a much safer route now is let's take the full cut time thing, presuming you have enough time. And then in your part time, work on trying to build this passion project. And just just see where it goes. You know, maybe it maybe it turns into something you can scale or maybe not, but it's a good It's a good it's a good time to try it in that in that downtime between your full time work. Thanks to that. And and it makes you smile a little bit.
So because I've listened to quite a lot on others that decided to to to go at alone. And there a lot of them said, like, you know, they went down the failure is not an auction rip. Yep. If you don't have any other options, then you can you've no choice but to make it work. Right? And I think it it's kind of a it's kind of like, you know, at some point, you've got to rip off the band aid or rip off the past. Right? And and just just just get stuck in, I guess. And and I think that's what a lot of people struggle with that it's that fear piece, you know, it's that, you know, I'm not gonna have the the monthly income. You know, I can't guarantee that it's gonna be a success. So I think it's fair what you're saying and I don't know whether you follow him.
But Justin Welch, he's he's actually one one of the the influence of if what influences if you like that it really promotes so that so that you pronounce it. And and his recommendations are to start with, like, just just try and replace one element of your expenses, you know. So so if you're paying utility bills, for example, you know, start there, you know, make enough money just to to cover that expense and then slowly grow from there. And I think that that aligns with what you're saying there is you do have the time, it's worth testing the water before you go all out and jump into the deep end, I guess. Yeah. No. Definitely. I mean, I say you gotta make your first dollar before you can make your hundred you just have to go step by step.
And I think if you can get it to a point where you've replaced, you know, fifty or sixty percent of your income, then maybe that is a good time to go all in, but some of the some of the things you have to factor that are different from being a w two employee at least in the US is that you have to cover your own insurance, which is typically covered by an employer. It's also much harder to get a home loan because your w two income at least you know, proves out in theory some longevity. Whereas your own business, you need a lot more years of operating history. So there's some like red tape and admin frustration that can happen from going all in, you also pay a little more tax. So like if you replace your income one to one, you're not really replacing your net income one to one because you're paying both the employer and the employee tax piece, so There's a lot of detail that goes into it once things start to scale, but a good a good litmus test to kick things off is okay if I can in my part time.
Spare time at least create a portion of my old income. Well, you know, that's pretty good. And then if you're over half, then maybe that's the time to consider going all in. But it is it's tricky for everybody. It kinda depends on everybody's family situation. You know, if you have a spouse, they're working or not, you know, that that factors into it too. And I mean, Perhaps I'm very fortunate. You know, my my wife works at the at the Children's Hospital. She's a nurse. And she covers the insurance for our family. So that's not a business expense that I need to carry right now, which made starting it up much easier. So I didn't have to bear that expense early on. So, again, that was just a unique situation that I was fortunate take advantage of, but it won't it wouldn't be the same for everybody. So you kinda have to, you know, compare your new project in in the whole lens of your entire life and what you're what you're solving.
For. And I suppose yeah. We'll we'll we'll come on so to tools and stuff in a second course, you know, to tech refinance, we need to talk about the the tech at some place. Well, I suppose that the last thing that I'll say regarding the the sole entrepreneurship and the the governance alone is I'm hoping with technology as it is now, it makes the initial phase of building, whether it's a website, whether it's, you know, just something like a simple news letter landing page or something like that. You know, we can get the stuff set up in minutes now as opposed to, you know, previously when it take hours or days to learn how to create the website and then learn how to to do whatever. So I'm optimistic that it's now becoming easier for people to start the patching projects and and the side puzzles. So we'll we'll come onto to the tech, I guess, in in a bitch.
But before I forget, because we've we've gotta assume a lot of a lot of the listeners here are still in full time employment and maybe don't have ambitions to go at alone just just yet, whether they're early in their finance career or their just looking so to learn and more about tech and and how that that reflects in finance. But there's there's evidently a lot of skills that you probably picked up and working for yourself and and being the the founder of the business that you might not have considered could relate to being an employment. So I suppose there's a short version of that question is, is there anything that you've learned working for yourself that you think would be useful skills of people that are employed? Yeah. It's a really good question.
I would say the number one thing that I've learned working for myself is marketing and sales. Because I coming from a finance background, I mostly had my head in spreadsheets all day, and it was very involved in, like, the technical side of the business. And fifty of the junior employee, a lot of that work was handed to me. But when I especially when I work for larger companies, smaller companies, it was a little bit different. You have to kinda go go out and find your own work a little bit. But Typically, I was behind the scenes and being asked to complete projects.
Working on my own, I figured out not only do I have to go find the work, which is hard, then I gotta go do the work, but in order to find it, I have to be good at marketing and good at sales, which is something a good skill I'd never ever learned before. And I think if you can apply that to a what I'll call a full time or FTE position. It's just really, really helpful because it'll start making you a little bit more visible in the organization, probably help you get up a little bit higher because at some point, regardless of company size, when you get to a high enough level, you are at the point of finding the work. As opposed to doing the work. And so the sooner you can you can develop that skill of going out and actually bringing in new business to the company. I think that that is a key thing as opposed to just kind of being a worker bee and cranking behind the scenes. And I think that that was the biggest inflection point for me. Like, I love to build financial models and that's my core skill. But in order to go find that, I had to learn how to sell and how to acquire those customers. And that's that's the biggest change from me from me going from, like, more of an employee to it to an owner. So That's fair. That's that's interesting.
And and coming to that I suppose you're coming back to building influence, doesn't it? And there's there's a lot of focus right now. On small businesses as well as large businesses on the role of finance business partners and how you need to translate, you know, finance information into the form that's understandable to to the rest of the business. And and those skills always tend to come back to sales and marketing because you've got to argue a point of view, you've got to build a business case, you know, you've got to influence as as we sell. So I think it's it's a fair shout. You know, people don't often realize that they're selling sometimes or as, you know, everybody sells.
And I've I've mentioned the book before, you know, downpink to sell as human. You know, even if you're not in sales and see is book that's worth reading. Just because it's it's really good reading in in applies to everybody, you know, just just salespeople soon. I think I think you're right there. Thanks for that. So I suppose coming back to what you mentioned there would be really good at building financial models. Obviously, I would recommend that everybody follows you on LinkedIn because you you do some really great videos. I think you also fifty fifty five thousand followers or something like that a seat. So you must be doing something. Right? Right? And of course, you've you've got the advantage of being really really good with Excel.
And of course, Many people that work in finance love Excel, you know. Even if they are using other software tools, you often find that they still revert back to, you know, doing a lot of work in Excel because it's so flexible and something that that they're used to. Right? So when we look at building a model and and this does relate to to tools. But of course, we've now got a generation of companies that be are being developed that are trying to get finance teams to buy local low code tools for specific purpose. You know, we've we've had some on on the podcast. Right? So we've had Adam Segornis who does Blue Koch which is an epiatal specifically for SaaS companies, you know, which which is really good. He's really, really found his niche that and spoken to other people that building stuff like ChatGPT into the likes of Zero and all of those sorts of things.
So from your perspective, And what are the pros and cons of, say, a a a preset off the shelf local tool, low code tool versus you know, building your own model in Excel would be good to to hit your perspective on that? Yeah. It's an interesting question. I I think at some point, every company that at least matures beyond, you know, a small group of people, I guess, kind of like fifty, hundred plus employees. Is gonna need a more robust FTNA software type system. I think you just you can't rely on at least from a data repository. You need you need a true system for data. You you could make an argument that you could run an operating model through an through Excel, even for a company that size, which I I have done before. So I think it's reasonable. But, like, your data needs to be in a secure place that's reliable.
I would also say now with, like, the FP and A software that's out there, it's a great idea to also implement a tool like that for FP and planning that you can bring in teams and run more live reports and get away from some of the pain points that exist with Excel. And so as an Excel guy, that might seem like, well, that's the opposite of what I would say. But the the truth is Excel has its place when you start getting a little bit more complex with in the M and A space specifically related to EBITDA adjustments, layering in buyouts or multiple transactions. And every conversation I typically have with FP and A Software is that's usually the stomping point. They have great software that is for steady state budget versus actuals. So really great SaaS tools to kind of aggregate all the products and or the contracts and recognize revenue, that's all well and good.
But once you start getting into we have to build an EBITDA schedule that's got four or five different tiers for different audiences, and then we have to factor in each and every buyout that we're gonna do as like a roll up strategy and all the pro form a adjustments had we owned it the entire time, people say, well, yeah, you still kinda need excel for that. And and I I agree. I think you do. I think is there gonna be a day when you can do all that through software? Maybe. But you you start getting into the boating element of that software. And the whole sales picture that is is no code. So I think data one hundred percent needs to be in like a secure repository and you can either siphon that into a cell. If you want or you can layer through a P and A software. Keep in things in Excel is a, of course, more finicky, more risk prone but cheaper way to do something that also has more flexibility if you're taking your company out of the FP and A space and potentially into more of a roll up or M and A M and A pipeline.
And I did see one of one of your courses, so a bit bit of a plug plug here for you on the the financial model education. But I think your your your terminology, yes, so, Jade, the financial model of products, see deep learning differentiators. Learn to model a leveraged buyer or LBO. If you ever want a senior finance for you need to understand how a transaction works. Which is which is fair. I I completely understand with that. And I spoke to you when businesses are looking for senior staff that may be part of the job's work that you have had it experience in in that sort of area.
And it's slightly different question. Not on those topics at all. And but But for somebody using a little bit more junior, and some sometimes they might have this sort of thing thrown on them. You know, so so they might not go into the role knowing that the company is planning, you know, some, you you know, some something going on in the future. So one day, you know, oh, this is the root, you know, this is what's happening. You know, we we need help and and so on. So, again, to shorten my question is, for anybody that's not got experience that maybe ends up in a situation where they're having to tackle this sort of stuff. What would your recommendations be?
I think it's to distill it and down into its most simplest form is a business can kind of operate like a home in that. At some point, it may be eligible for sale. And I think we're all semi familiar with the fact that, like, you can buy a home it appreciates in value. And then if and when the time is right, you can bring it out to market and sell it. And conceptually, a business operates the same way. It's either acquired in the first place or potentially started by founders. They will work their hardest to improve the business and grow it and either keep it forever if they want or sell it just like you might sell a sell a house. And so for a more junior finance professional, The way a business is sold is generally by assessing the profitability of the company and the quality of the financials.
And the better the profitability and the better the the quality of those numbers, the higher price that the company will will fetch it auction or hybrid sold in the market. And so it's getting an understanding of the income statement. That's really the key piece of like, you know, where do I start the income statement? Then at the bottom of that income statement, we're only going to be going to net income for GAAP accounting purposes, at least in the US. But we build an ancillary schedule called the EBITDA schedule, which is designed to normalize the profitability a little bit.
And there's a old debate you can have on EBITDA whether it's good or bad. I know both sides of that argument. But for purposes of our discussion here, typically, the EBITDA is used as some kind of market multiple or comparison to other companies that were sold. And so if you can calculate the EBITDA for your business, you have a great starting point of what your company might be worth in the open market, and that kicks off the conversation. So To zoom out, somebody who's junior, mastery of the P and L, understanding how to build that EBITDA schedule that will immediately kind of get you a seat at the table if you're in an M and A situation where we're saying, hey, we might be going out to market, you know, what do we do and and where do we start?
And and coming back to the to this discussion earlier, I mean, I suppose, if people are unfamiliar with how to build something like a like an EBITDA schedule or or stuff like that. Providing the dates is decent, you know, anybody who knows how that works could essentially build that in Excel, for example. Right? You know, providing you've got that core financial data, you can at least start generating some of those numbers. I mean, correct me if I'm wrong. Yeah. No. That's correct. Every everything that you need is in the income statement, at least to build your generic EBITDA. And I imagine a lot of FP and A software could probably build that too.
Where it starts getting creative is and this is what people tend to dislike about EBITDA as you get a lot of discretionary adjustments that come from the management team where one time items might be buried in certain expenses. And it's your job as the business owner or the analyst in this case too help the team pull out that information to build an adjusted EBITDA schedule to again, try to you're just doing your best efforts and normal wise the profitability. A good example could be, you know, your advertising expense is a million dollars, but five hundred thousand of that was campaign you're never gonna do again. You could argue, well, there's five hundred thousand dollars of expense that we're not gonna have going forward. That should be sitting in my EBITDA schedule. Because on a normalized basis, my profitability should be five hundred thousand greater, but nothing else changes.
So That's the creativity that comes into, like, layer two, layer three of the EBITDA schedule, and that's where a lot of the negotiation comes from because a buyer's gonna have a different opinion than a seller. On the legitimacy of those adjustments. And that's also where I feel like FP and A software tends to break down a little bit, at least from the ones I've seen. Could be other ones out there that handle this. But how do you get in there and sort of hand pick out adjustments for purposes of evaluation? And then at at that point, how different really are you than doing it in Excel in in the first place. So that's that's where that that breakdown, you think. A little bit. But to zoom out, you do have a majority of that information in the income statement and a and a junior finance professional can pull most of it right in the list.
And do you have you got any courses that revolve around EBITDA or any recommendations for people looking to to build that knowledge though? Oh, yeah. I and not to plug it too hard, but, like, yeah. So that my my LBO course is all about that. It's, like, brick by brick, building up a buyout transaction, a mid market US company. It goes through all the EBITDA stuff, the new debt, the new equity, and Mike, how to propose a recommendation to the managing partner. It comes from a perspective of a private equity firm, but it's equally applicable to somebody in FP and A who might be on on the company side as opposed to the buy side.
So, yeah, I include that in all of the content that I put together because I came from private equity and we basically I lived and died by EBITDA, whether that was, like, the right way to do it or not. That's just what the world revolved around. So all all my content builds to EBITDA. But the nice thing is, like, there's a lot of great free content out there on EBITDA. You can do research on YouTube, which of course done plenty of. They're also a bunch of great LinkedIn personalities that put out really nice content on that. So there's there's plenty of of free stuff too, but it's when you when it gets to the modeling piece, it's just nice to see, like, how all the pieces come together to know to know how to build it. But it's it's such a ubiquitous top. There's there's a lot of free content out. Right? Fine. Yeah. And we'll we'll put some eggs in the show notes. I think the the most recent one I saw was it ten And I might be really mispronouncing her name here.
Oh, why not? Labes or Labes? Labes, yes, I think, is the surname. I think I've seen quite a lot prepared recently about EBITDA. So I'll see whether I can pull out some post as well and put them in the show notes. It's at least false people as well, sir. Yeah. Yeah. I've actually spoken to her a few times. She has really, really informative content, especially around the EBITDA area. And even from my private equity background, I feel like reading her stuff. I've I've learned a lot, so I definitely recommend just either finding her profile and reading her stuff. It's helped me especially in like the M and A FP and A space in terms of she's very good at, like, simplifying a lot of concepts so that that just helps me when I'm trying to communicate to clients. That's the same kind of thing. So that's definitely recommend sure. Her profile. Yeah. And I'm he's got a newsletter as well. He called the finance channel and subscribed to. That's really good too. So All good. So moving more into the tech then. So without labor in the point too much because I've I've had a lot of conversations and a lot of the recent podcast.
Content has been around AI and chat g p t. Sync we need to recognize it. But could you just get to the point that we just can't be ignored, right, in the same way that the internet became or like they probably seen generative AI or AI in general is is gonna be the next I suppose, you know, a lot of people comparing to, you know, industrial revolutions and all that sort of stuff where, you know, things just speed up really really quickly. And I and I don't deny them. But I think at at the same time, there is also a lot of, I won't say misleading, but there is a lot of unuseful content being bandled around at the moment just because it is such a buzz word. And I did a post on it this morning, you know, LinkedIn at the moment just seems to be a breeding grounds people recommending a list of fifty AI tools. And with a lot of people not having actually research or signed up or given the tools ago. And so and and it said it's a bit of a bit bit of a side note, but then yeah, I've spent quite a lot of time in AI tools over the past months or so because it's, you know, it's part part of what I do. It's it's an interest for me.
And a lot of the AI tools at the moment. People are still testing the words to see whether people actually want it. So a lot of them, you'll end up on the website. Say, oh, you know, add to add to the waitlist. And that's not a wait list to say, oh, we're actually building this. Sometimes it's a wait list just to see whether they do wanna build it or not. It's like a prequalification of whether the product is viable or not. So it just because you're on a way, but it doesn't mean that the product is ever actually going to exist.
But the reason I mentioned that is probably fifty, sixty percent of the tools that I was looking at. Not not particularly good, tips, or just or just reiterations of another tool that's good. People are trying to Did you see what I'm saying? So I think when we look at these, we need to be mindful of the fact just because AI is now more accessible and there's more tools available doesn't mean that we to completely upend the way that we've been working, you know, for the past however many years. So I suppose the question for you, And I know it's still kind of early days. So you're looking into some of these AI tools, which which which I understand, but it'd be good to get your impression for what you think at least in the short term.
AI just can't make up for. Right? Because because we know that you can start plugging in chat DPTs for cheese now, and that that's fine. But it'll only surface information that exists on the spreadsheet, you know, if you're plugging it into that data source. Yes. You could potentially say, you know, look at the data from this spreadsheet and then compare that to an industry benchmark, for example. But even still, you've got to make sure that you're really, really there with the accuracy because because you can't guarantee that the benchmark that it's finding for you is accurate, for example. You know, you're just taking that generative AI and whatever has been trained with this this gospel. Right?
And then what I'm seeing as well at the moment is is another big gap with context, you know. And this this, I think, is where Adam at Flow COGS did really good, is he's training that context specifically for people in in SaaS into the platform so that he knows that when they ask the AI question, he's gonna give more of a contextual response than just around them. This is something that we found that we were trained with. So I suppose that's a long question. The short question is, What are the fundamental bits of information that AI just won't be able to surface from an organization in terms of context? And what skills do you think are still fundamental in building financial models? See, AI potentially is being quite poorly at the moment? Yes. It's a good question.
I think right now it's for me the biggest thing is still trust. You know, it's so it's so early. And what I what I'm finding is that you can use eat all these AI models for a lot of valuable stuff, and I've I've done it a ton. You know, I've I've used it to help me with Excel files, and I've used it on the content side too. And it it certainly is very impressive and very scalable.
But I what I'm personally struggling with is trust and I say that because I've had it help me with a handful of Excel things that it didn't quite do correctly, like it's run some calculations wrong, or, you know, if you're a true excel nerd, it was giving me like some indirect recommendations to make text based formulas, which I just wouldn't normally do because it sets your file up for a lot of risk. And so when I could just sort of pull out of my hats, a better solution than AI could come up with for something that I think it should be good at, you know, like an Excel problem or something that's very definitional based, I start to lose. Trust. And so I have no doubt that's gonna improve. You know, there's gonna be GPT five six seven, whatever it's gonna be. And it's gonna get better, better, and it's gonna get integrated into spreadsheets with with a lot more context.
But right now, it almost I feel it kind of exists in a vacuum a little bit for me and what I'm using it for that I find as a grant use case is related to content that I'm already pretty good at, or I already have a decent idea of what the results should look like, but I kinda want the sanity checker, double check my my thought process. And especially from modeling perspective, I like having a double check some of my accounting logic, like I was working on a working capital build the other day of linking up the inventory accounts payable in the accounts receivable and flowing it all through the income statement. And I wanted I was just asking, you know, hey, I'm trying to think about this relationship, this relationship, but it it was sort of validating what I was thinking. And it helped me make a a nice model. So I think that's a perfect use case for it now.
But it's obviously, it could be taken advantage of. It can definitely be abused. You know, I get really scared when people get lazy about it and they just ask you questions without thinking it kind of turns our brains off and we copy paste and just, you know, shotgun this content out there because it's done the work for us. But I think that's gonna change. You know, I mean, it's only it's only been half since November, I think, just kind of crazy to me. And it's become such a common thing we use in everyday life. At least those of us are kind of focused in this sort of tech content space.
So it's early, but the the future kind of worries me a little bit because it's so it is so powerful and and everything is AI defined right now. You know, it's images and video and content and modeling like, everywhere you look, somebody's got AI sprinkled on something. You know, it kinda feels like the blockchain hype from a couple years ago where it's just sort of everywhere. So, you know, I don't I don't really know what's gonna happen with it. I I think it's just it's just interesting to watch it play out real time. It's good to be involved in it and use it as a reliable assistance. And just see how other contextual functionality for our changes down the road. And it nope. Nobody's got a crystal baller.
You know, and I and I think that's what unsettles people the most is, you know, you've got some very influential people across the world that are saying sub flight, we need to put the brakes on it for six months. You know, and and there's there's one argument to say that some of those influential people are behind in terms of their own technology. So it's kind of a oh, you need to slow down. We need to catch up a little bit. But I think part of it is also so the more founded argument in in Midea, which is how do we police it? You know, how do we ensure it secure? You know? And because we've heard stories think It was a ban of it in Italy or Chatea City specifically in Italy because of whether it's a dates breach or something like that. So so those are those are real scenarios that we've got to be mindful of. But in terms of that hockey stick where we are now and the next iteration, which Again, we've got to assume that the jump between d t three and d t four is going to be substantially more with the jump from d t four t to d five. And again, we we don't know what that's that's gonna look like.
And I think the whole concept of artificial general intelligence, which is when we're getting into thinking for itself is you know, the the real scary bit because, as I spoke about, indeed, Steve, with with Glenn Hopper, and, you know, then you start getting sort of the the territory of right, well, when a on a do everything? What does everybody else do? You know, do you have the concept of universal income? You know, do you are you just given, you know, a function to do? Because the guy says that based on your skills and your best of doing this and this is how you need to to conform. But again, I I don't don't get too far ahead with that. But I think what you you said coming out there relating to accuracy and assistance for where we are now. Because, again, we can only comment on where we are now.
I think you'd hit hit the nail on the head whereby and Microsoft is sending it co pilot because they're gonna build it into office. Right? I think they're already calm. It's just not done anything publicly available yet. But it's it's gonna be strictly two point o. Right? You know, where you've got your little thing in the bottom right at the screen. Right? So, oh, I see you're trying to do this. Think about doing that, you know, and that should speed up the workflow with the more administrative stuff. You know, for people like you and I that have way too much to do and not enough time to do it. I think that's where the real wins are.
I think, for me, the concern is as you say, for the people that are maybe growing up with this technology that don't have the experience and having had to do everything manually to begin with. You know, there is that risk as you say that people end up not thinking for themselves anymore, you know, and we could have this whole new generation of people that are just basic be giving AI, you know, onus to to to control everything. I think what I'd say there is there's a lot to be said sometimes going back to basics just doing doing stuff manually, you know, and and going through the step by step, you know, and building something from scratch. Because it's only them when you've got that foundation. Correct me if I'm wrong is it, you're going to be able to ask the AI better questions in the future. You know, there's some things in terms of fundamental skills to, you know, and I was just fucking mad at me, like Right. And I think, you know, it's important to remember that AI is trained on a bunch of people who did that manual work in the first place and build all the building blocks, you know, from which AI can work. You know, if if we just let it kind of take over, you know, it it stops getting the building blocks that it needs that we're sort of human human developed in the first place. Now if the words would think for itself, you know, who knows. But then we're like kind of off in, you know, in speculating.
And I feel like right now, the great use case for it. And sort of my focus for it is, you know, somebody who's a little more seasoned in their career and knows how to use it responsibly and can understand its power. I wanna use it to make my work more efficient so I can help more clients. Right? Ideally, I'd love to say, hey, Instead of me cranking up this three step in model AI, why don't you do it so that I can actually look at the results and we have a faster conversation with the client? And then for me from a revenue perspective, you know, I could get away from charging hourly. If I was charging hourly for somebody and do a more value based on track and it's kind of a win win for everybody. So I I could see where scaling that technology in that sense is great for somebody in a position who kind of knows or at least the best of their ability how to use it responsibly.
What I what I worry about more is you get away from finance or whatever else, like, I'm thrilled that I'm not in high school right now and have the ability to use AI to, like, put out some English paper that I have you know, didn't read the book for or whatever else. I can imagine that that is exhausting for teachers. And while it seems cool for students and I'm sure I would find it cool if I was a high school. It's it just sets a dangerous precedent for, you know, softening our brains, not really challenging ourselves, so learning the classic way. And it just can create a lot of confusion and misinformation for people that are growing up with this this technology. And so I can really see it going both ways where you've got the the core users that wanna use it for the best intentions to the best of its ability, and then people that either don't wanna use it for the right reasons or or even unaware that they're using. And for the wrong reason, then that could really break the split in where the technology helps and hurt it hurts everybody. Yeah.
And it turned back to that point again about, you know, does does education need to to shift? And I think the short answer to that is yes. You know, and and my own perspective has always been, I didn't retain any knowledge from from my early education. You know, all of those biology and chemistry classes and all that sort of stuff. Anybody asked me now, what I learned during that time, I'd come back saying, I I honestly can't remember Ebix. And and it's because maybe it's just my learning stuff, but I I do believe that people learn by doing. You know, so so if you are not taking those concepts and actually doing something with them, then why why would your brain need to retain them because it's learning about other stuff. Right? So I've always thought even, you know, before church EPTs.
And there were some fundamental changes and it did, you know, in terms of core life skills. You know, I I don't think there was enough focus on diet and nutrition, for example, you know, entrepreneurship, you know, you don't start getting into that sort of territory until you choose to do it. For university or college or whatever happens to be. So but I think that's gonna be even more relevant now because, you know, you you take away the majority of the the factual based stuff because an AI can just throw information at your left right and center. All you've gotta do is know how to ask the right question. But then the question The next question is more, I guess, going down the philosophical angle, which is right, well, how do we think?
You know, how do we provide value? You know, what skills do we need to are outside just learning concepts. Okay. And and my prediction as well, and, you know, we'll we'll we'll have to see what happens.
But I AI is now into the point where people can use AI to build AI tools, you know, you can use it to write code and and all of that sort of stuff. But as I mentioned previously, people can also use it to build really rubbish in the same way that people would build rubbish products and fail even pre AI. Yeah. So I think that the same rule still starting to it is still gonna be about quality of ideas. You know, it doesn't matter how much tech you've got backing you up in the background, if the app is rubbish. You know, so so I think that needs to be a focus for people. You know, it's one thing to do stuff quickly. It's another thing to do stuff quickly and produce a quality output, I guess. Yeah. That's great. That's a great point. Yeah. So go go back a little bit, Link. So Sorry. I've gone on for one of my one of my rums there a little bit. I just want to follow the jokes.
But coming back to to the stuff to people still have the advantage with. Right? So we've we've still got the ability to work from experience, build that context, and and provide that judgment, you know, to validate accuracy and that sort of stuff. So so coming back to to the sort of stuff that you do, whether it's you know, an M and A project or, you know, building a model. There are points when building that you do need to make a judgment. And that's not necessarily call it gut feel because, you know, it's always a bit risky when you start relying on gut feel. You know, I I do like trying to say it used to be the correct balance of dates and stuff. Right? But AI at the moment, Exane produced that that gap fill.
You know, and and coming back to what you said earlier about, you know, do we need to include this as something that is regular? Or is it always gonna be a one off? You know? So I'd I'd love to get your perspective on how important do you think that human perspective and that gut feel would something like, you know, an M and A project, you know, still warrants human effort as opposed to AI. Yeah. It's I think a great example I can draw on is So I've I've built out an agriculture company for many, many years.
And from an AI perspective, you know, whether it could do this now or not. You basically give it the historical data for much you want, hook it up to, you know, economic trends and and whatever else, and it will probably generate a reasonable forecast, you know, of what the business might do in the future, but Agriculture especially is a tricky business because it's so seasonal and it's so dependent on weather And typically, the type of person who is kind of making sales in ag is not the kind of person that's making financial model. And so what the what the technology cannot really and not do is it it can't It can't relate to the person who's just sort of been out in the field who knows the local market, who knows how to sell, who just has a sense of what the company is gonna be doing for their specific products because they've been doing it for so long. You know, they're and that's that that's that gut feel that I feel like there's still just this human component that we know from our experience that bring would bring a great perspective to this potentially AI produced model that's hooked up to all these different data sources but it's never gonna be I think it always needs to be double checked by the people that have this lifelong expertise and experience in their field. And I and again, I think ag is such a good example because AI could come up with this amazing model that's hooked up to, you know, crop data weather data, historical data, economic data, anything else, and it just might not rain next year. You know? And then and then it was a good model to start, but it's kind of useless at the end of the day. Now a person can't predict whether it's gonna ring either. Right. But it's nice to have them have that double checking ability to what the what the technology can produce. So I I hope that our ability to leverage gut feel based on experience remains and that we can use AI as a great sanity check as a great double checking tool. That's like a, you know, horsepower, ten analysts in one kind of tool, but that we don't blindly rely on it to kind of to set our forecast.
Mhmm. And you did right, you know. And and it's probably nice. Sensible to the smaller end of the market. Right now. Right?
But there there are a number of enterprise FP and A platforms that do allow you to to hook up external external data, whether it's in the form of weather or accident the gas finish. I know you and I both know Paul Beinhurst, but you've been on FP and A, said, hey, haven't you? Yeah. And he was on the puck. I think he was guest number five on on this podcast actually, but he he was talking in those terms, and that was pretty chapter to see. Right? But but you're absolutely right, you know. A prediction is still a prediction, you know. That's I'm not saying number of data points is irrelevant. Because if the data points are reasonably accurate and and AI is it's it's got lots of data saying when it comes to history, you know, it can infer quite a lot, but, you know, I think weather's a great example because you can have as many past data points on the West Earth.
But that doesn't necessarily mean that that is a hundred percent, you know, happening, you know, in the teach you know, and and I'm sure there's there's cross of different industries that probably don't have time to to go into today's. The only one interested actually, and I I don't know whether you saw it, and I can't remember whether it was today or or a few days ago. I believe Bloomberg have just released their own, like, AI talk or like Bloomberg Bloomberg. GPT or something like that. I I might be making a a hash of the name. And I don't know anything about it, but my guess is is a a chat or that you can use to to cook to gain information on on financial markets and and that sort of stuff. It immediately made you panicked a little bit. Because are we now getting to a situation now as well where if you do have cash in ballot, you know, and because AI is cooked up to a loaded historic data points about where a market didn't and didn't do well.
And people just gonna ask, chat t p t or what stocks should I invest in? And and I find that terrifying. I don't know whether you do. Oh, yeah. I think Absolutely.
I mean, I think asking a computer for investment advice. You know, it has two folds. I mean, if you're if you're assuming it's gonna be old technically based and you're a technical trader using, you know, all the different trend lines and whatnot, you know, that's one approach. But I think you could you could maybe use AI to recommend a portfolio based strategy where you're putting in the same dollar amount every single time and it's an emotionless business model where hopefully you hit it right sixty percent of the time. You know, that that's one approach.
But if you just kind of a mom and pop and, like, asking you, well, you know, what should I do here? I mean, I just don't feel like that's a great approach, you know. But I think now somebody just totally weighing that too going by their gut also is a great approach, you know, necessarily. So I just it's more as opposed to it giving financial advice. I just more worried about people mentally, like, handing over the keys. This technology and just letting it do what it wants and it -- Okay. -- analyze the news and the past market and correlation between the last nine recessions. And so, like, let's just buy a bunch of put options and let it ride. You know, that that sucks to me. It's just kind of a scary way and I think a way that people could really lose their shirts on investing when, like, this part of the famous maybe, to just do nothing, you know, keep it in cash or or whatever else.
So, yeah, I I actually hadn't seen the Bloomberg thing, but again, it doesn't surprise me because I feel like, you know, the acronym GPT is everywhere and and AI and whatever else. And it's just getting stamped on the end of stuff. Just like the Kodak blockchain thing from whatever year that was. You know? So it's it's I'm not surprised at all. And it's it's all the rage right now, so I know it's everywhere. I'm I'm kinda hoping it maybe settles out a little bit, you know, and we kinda get back to It's a tool that's here to help us, but not a tool that's designed to take us over and make our decisions for us. Yeah. Yeah. Let's say I I mean, I've just looked out now is literally called Bloomberg GPT. A sixty billion parameter language model that's trained on a wide range of financial data. So is that kinda cool? No. I don't know whether it is actually one ship. So due to be launched two days ago, so I don't know whether it's actually here. Yet. Might be here by the time the podcast are, but we'll we'll have to see it. But but it's something in in terms of because you mentioned decisions there, Again, this this this doesn't really relate to our conversation even, but we're talking about it now is I struggle quite a lot with decision fatigue.
Whether you do as well. You know, what do I focus on? What's my priority? You know, what's next? How do I organize my to do this? And all that sort of stuff? And I guess to the point where I've got so much going on with work and so much in my head that it comes to personal decisions And and I just don't I sometimes just don't have the mental capacity to think about what is generally simple stuff. You know, and and what I have sound quite useful recently. And and again, it's only for those sort of really low risk decisions when you want a sounding board, but to have a chatbot. And I don't think it's therapy. Not quite in the therapy, it's still quite weird units.
And but but so so so gonna need a new car at some point, because he used my white light like you guys. I mean, she wants to have kit number three at some point. So the car at the moment, you know, isn't big enough she's got a little tiny car. So that would be the next thing, you know, getting a new car. Because there's all sorts of different finance models. You've got personal hire but just these contracts, you've got to get in a band and flow, you know, well, that sort of stuff. And to me, so you even think about that sort of stuff that at the moment, you know, just don't have immense capacity.
So putting it into charge EPT, and again, I won't make my decision solely on this, but just having a soundly board to sage, these are my three options these are what sort of cars I'm looking at, narrow down my options. You know, at least as a first pass, it takes a little bit of that, you know, mental fatigue away from the whole process. Yeah. But there's a balance, isn't it? You know, that's that's not investing ten thousand pounds, you know, were stopped. You see what I mean? Yeah. No. It's I've I've found it's actually surprisingly good at trying to help you relate to real life scenarios a little bit where it's I am working I've got this going on and what do you think? It it does spit out a decent list of ideas for you to weigh some options and Yeah.
It can sort of be, like, a helpful resource to organize your thoughts. So that actually, and I know exactly what you mean. I mean, I'm a one person business I have three kids. I mean, it's it's on my mind constantly of how am I gonna grow the business? How am I gonna make sure the business is crash? And, you know, help take care of my family. And Sometimes just well, if you appreciate it as I I run my calendar through AI. So I like AI. It helps me. Right? It helps me get organized of what I'm gonna do next. You know, that's kinda one way of doing it. Anything I can do to leverage it clear up some of that mental capacity so that when I am with family, I can be present on that and not always have my head thinking about what I gotta do with the business next because there's no there's no break. So I feel like, you know, that's a great way to use it to free up some of that headspace because we all do have a lot going on whether you're a business owner or you're a full time employee. Just we have a lot, you know, a lot of things to balance and I haven't I haven't used it quite as much as sort of like that personal life context like you mentioned, but the once or twice, and I'm definitely like, wow. That's It's certainly interesting. It certainly provide the handful of, like, decent recommendations and and Gray would just get your get your thoughts, thoughts organized and clear up some of that mental capacity.
And you say you run your calendar through AI. Is that a specific tool? Or yeah. So it's actually the tool called motion. Which I like I like a lot. It's probably eighty percent good. You know, it's got some bugs, but it's It's cool. You know, the short of it is not so, like, overly pitch it, but, like, you kinda put in what you gotta do, give it the relative priority, and it will spit it out back on your calendar in order a priority and go around your your meetings and whatever else you have. So gotta you gotta stay on top of it. It's a tool. Right? If you're gonna get to put something in, it's not gonna be there. But actually really like it. And, like, if I they have a, you know, half decent app on their phone that's not great. But, like, I was I'll say to myself, oh, I'm gonna get back to my tax guy. Like, I'll put a thing in the in the app that just says, do that and do it right away. And it will prioritize that task about everything else to do on my list. So it's nice.
I've learned to use it again well enough to get the job done to save me time. Is it perfect? No. Regular things above the chains? Sure. And can I get, like, lost in the system sometimes? Like, I wanna, like, over automate it and make it so sweet? And then I find I'm wasting time. Yes. That happens too. So, like, you have to learn the, you know, the learning curve and get used to it. But now that I god. And I just keep it up. I keep looking at my left here. It's on this other monitors. Okay. I got that to do next and that would be a good way to prioritize my time. And that's been a great way for me to leverage AI to stay organized. So, yeah, that the thing is called motion. It's pretty cool. Yeah. We've we've had motion recommended before. I've used motion. I've used a similar tool called scheduler power. I don't know whether they're still going, but but that were quite well for his time. And but yeah. I I mean, it's it's great.
There's a guy called Howard Tumidless. Here in the UK who's a finance director for the economist. And I set my challenge a few weeks ago because he's he's a pen and paper guy. So it's you need to at least start using some tech to at least do a brain dump, whether it's a a a a a virtual notepad or just a task manager and app just to to get it off the paper and I have your head in and into something like that. And I did recommend you try a scheduling tool. So I recommended motion and and he had a go and and in the the response put together when he was doing a review.
His his his comment was basically too much AI for me. And and, you know, for for him just getting sort of the the fundamentals of the the cloud notes and the cloud task management was was enough to then go to that next level or somebody who isn't as, you know, he admits himself that he's bit of a technical probe. To go in and set up something like motion. He just found it quite fatiguing. And he said he could a hundred percent see the use case for. In the week that he had to trial these tools, you know, he said, look, as you said, the lead the learning curve is too much, and it's goes That's another takeaway that I'd give people listening.
You know, we mentioned how many AI tools are appearing, you know, left, right, and center. And they've got Brian's funny business cases and, you know, and flashing lights, you know, all, you know, use this tool to generate your presentations for you, and and I'm guilty. Some of them were were really well or use this hour to do that. And and without even knowing it, you spend hours with this particular tool. You know, trying to understand the way that it works on the basis that it can help you with that business case. But actually, when you take a step back and think Hang on. I could have probably done that quicker. Like, without using the tool. You you see what I mean? So so my recommendation is spend like half an hour, like experimenting, but then pass that if you don't see the immediate result from just just move on because otherwise you could spend forever in a day experiment with all these tools and just lose lose a load of time for no reason. Oh, yeah. Absolutely.
I think, you know, another thing that's important to remember is Even though we have amazing software, it's it's hard as people to change our behavior. So to get this AI tool that you have to onboard and learn and then ultimately actually use it to change your behavior. I mean, that that's a big shift that you have to make. And so I think I like your recommendation of, like, you know, spend twenty, thirty minutes on it. If you like it, cool. Maybe give it a try. And if not, just just call it a day and move on.
And I've done that with a handful of software, I like to, you know, automate presentations, automate whatever else, and I just find, man, this is too hard this is too hard to onboard or I don't have the patience for this or I could just pull together some piece of crap and PowerPoint that is at least better than or faster than, you know, the pretty graphics that this thing is gonna generate theoretically on on my behalf. So yeah, there's a there's a key lesson there. Like, you can you can get lost in these tools because they're so shiny and cool. But are they really helping you get closer to your long term goal? Are they really buying you an extra hour during the week? Like, you know, make it on time for dinner? Or is it just some other tool that's gonna you know, occupy your brain capacity that you maybe would have had if you did nothing in the first place. Yeah. Yeah. That's it. Coach if you would find Chris, who would come up to say two hours. But have you gone another five minutes or so? Hold on one second. Yeah. For sure. Yep. So Coming back to what you do day to day then, and this is more of a focus on on tech.
Right? So you you talked a little bit about, you know, more specifically, the point at which, you know, a low code tool might not work because the complexities got to the point where you know, there needs to be that extra, you know, used the example of, you know, M and A and all that sort of stuff. So just day to day, when you are approaching your work, say somebody's asked you to to build a model or or do whatever. What are the fundamentals for you? Do you you start in Excel? Do you have a template you work from, you know, can you talk to the the process? I mean, I don't know whether using AI is part of any of the the stuff that you generate in mind. It would be good to get an idea of your step by step. And what sort of tools you used to facilitate the end result? If you could spend five minutes just walking us through that. Yeah. Sure. So I would actually see my approach is probably surprisingly old school compared to all the templates and AI that is out there.
You know, I I pretty much live in Excel. I do a lot of work in Google Sheets now, but mostly Excel. I do have some template based models because every business at some point or another can roll up into the three statements. And so I'll have pre built income statement, balance sheet, statement of cash flows, and a lot of that is automated and formulaically built. And what I will do is just manipulate a handful of accounts. I'll basically take a company's chart of accounts in one column and then in the column next to it, map them according to the buckets that I want them to go into the three statements. Like, revenue or head counts or on the balance sheet, accounts receivable. And so long as I have them grouped like that, then at the operating model, the level, the free statement level, it should it should sort of flow automatically. So that's that's a template based approach I take to most mid market companies where the customization comes in is actually building out typically, elements of the P and L.
Like, if you're gonna model out the revenue, you know, the way I model out the revenue for an agricultural company is much different than a bucking company, different than a SaaS company, not because the very statements are all different. They're gonna be the same. It's just it's the input. It's the underlying pieces that you have to build to get it to work so it fits that business. So I'll have a bunch of underlying schedules where I meet with the management teams and map out exactly how they do, how they grow their business. And then that loads into my three statement model from, like, a modeling perspective. So the structure is typically like a raw data from my from their accounting system.
That's one. Let's get the history in there. Then the middle section is now let's let's have tactical discussions on how does the business actually work Let's build that underlying detail. All of that sub totals into the three statement model in its respective position. And then the three statement model runs automatically because that's pretty much template based. And then the summaries on top of that are also pretty much template based because I'm just pulling information from the three statement model. So it's kind of like you know, it's almost like a fifty fifty approach. People say eighty twenty, but really, like, the three statement model is only about fifty percent of it because there's so much that goes underneath the model to get the underlying metrics correct and then to page your summaries so that your, you know, your KPIs are relevant to the to the business at hand. So I'd say it's fairly manual. You know, I'm I'm still in models, customizing them as much as I can, trying to make them custom fit for the company, but then the updating piece is very streamlined and that's quick and we dump in the new financials like a switch and boom and it's kind of done.
So it's the old school in the modeling side. You know, when I do my my content and marketing business, that's a little a little bit different. I try to use a lot more technology for that in terms of sometimes I use AI. I don't use it a ton. Bought these for, like, idea generation. Sometimes, I'll also use a scheduler to preschedule on my social media post. I use another software to analyze the data and, like so there's a lot of software for me on the content side. So I can see what's working for marketing marketing because my marketing brings in the clients to help me build those models. Right? So once you get into the client case, it's much more manual in old school in nature, but the tip of the spirit of the long word, long tack to it.
But I mean, it's coming back and just just summarizing it probably our entire conversation today just to hearing you talk to that model. There's a a huge amount of your work based on that understanding. And understanding those KPIs. You know, and I I think that's that's still the biggest gap, isn't it? You know, it's it's what we've gotta be mindful. It's your experience you know, it's the experience of the people running the company. But somehow, well, they know their business that then allows you to put the data together.
You know, and and I don't know when it will come, but, you know, may maybe in the future, there's a world where, you know, you give an AI a type of business and and immediately knows what the KPI should do. And and and you give it, you know, an output to say, this is the model we want to produce and it and it sells in the gaps. But but may I think it's still really, really far away. Yeah. I I I agree with you. And I it would surprise me if that is the future. Some point, you know, you have been encrypted AI, so you could give it the chart of accounts, say, you know, here's what we need and have it spit it all out. And you know, that would be an awesome an awesome tool. Like, I'd love to see it. I'd love to see how it would work.
I think the the tale of building trust around that you know, that's a much longer cell, that's a much longer tail. I would think the technology is there much, you know, much sooner than the reliability. But it wouldn't surprise me if it comes. I mean, it's at the end of the day, whether we're human or artificial, we're all we're all doing our best to make data driven decisions about the future, even if that data is kind of gut feel. You know, gut feel is still just another data point. So it would be Wouldn't surprise me if we have such an aggregated amount of data that we can spit out these forecast models, but I think for a very, very long time.
I'm just gonna need some element of human double check before we put it into into action because people still have to do the work when at least for now. You know, until we all have the AI integrated into our brainstems or something and the computer's working for us. We still have to look at the output and say, okay. Somebody's actually gotta go do that. You know, it's one it's one thing to make a pretty model and have it look nice. But, like, who's gonna be out knocking on doors or picking up the phone or, you know, who knows whatever tech we're using at that time? But, like, Some some human has to actually achieve those results for our models to be worth, I think, per day. Hundred percent. That's that's great, Chris. Really appreciate that.
So so the last question is the question that I always ask. You mentioned motion. That's something that helps you with scheduling. Obviously, we know that you're a big fan of Excel. So you can't say there are those two. Nor can you say your smartphone because that's a cop out. But the the question is, If there was wording or gadget in either your personal or professional light, that you are completely reliant on the couldn't live without what would it be.
Oh, interesting. That's a good question. Yeah. I mean, a lot of that is on my phone. The top question. I couldn't live without. We've had audible, had spotted fire from a personal perspective. We've had angels. She she's got an app that she uses thought for chopping up chopping up our videos and doing captions and all that sort of stuff. So if if it's tiny, if you if you wanna reserve your answer on them. We can we can pick up up late today. That's absolutely fine. I mean, if I can can I pick something on the phone? Because, like, I have spots playing audible on the phone. Oh, okay. Yeah.
Then I I would say that I truly couldn't live without this is so simple, but it's just It's just I Chen. Like, be that bitch that's just the texting platform because with the with the three kids and be working and my wife working. We just need to be in communication at all times to, like, manage and navigate the family. And so I and I feel like, you know, you can't always pick up the phone and call somebody. So just the ability to communicate, to keep the family organized. I think that'd be like the number one thing. That would be that would be really if I couldn't do that. Everything else I might be able to just just wait, you know. But I think just having the semi live communication to keep the family organized if I could help but that. And that's part so that's interesting. Overhand, you can go in.
I don't know how different in the States, but people tend to favor WhatsApp over the standard I messaging. Interesting. Yeah. But I don't I don't have I mean, there's a big thing about it being more secure than I I can't remember. But but but looked for whatever reason, I can't figure it out. People decided that they were gonna use WhatsApp for I m so even though I messages, but you, I you guys. You don't say, yeah. I've been I've used both, but I I said that Chad is pretty pretty common over here, and that's where we with us, we use them most of the time. Yeah.
The and it's a recommendation for you, and I and I'm really annoyed because I can't remember the name. But it it is a family based AI assistant. And and and I I will track it now. I'll put it in soapbox and I'll send it across to you, but he is and and AUI, I think is like a bird from the system, that is solely geared around making family life easier. So, like, booking lists, activities that needs to be scheduled, you know, all all of that sort of stuff. And I saw that the mom's singed for it. And I thought, that's amazing that. It looks really good. And I say, do you find it up on the waitlist? Another one of those talks about there's a waitlist. Right? That's right. But find it in big hours, send it send it along to you. Again, it might might fall into that category of one of those tools where you'd get back past a half an hour. But we'll have to see. We'll have to see. But so No. Yeah. I'd I'd love to see it. I'd love to see it. Definitely. Yeah. We really just have you on.
So before we leave, what where can people find more about your I'll put your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. Where else? Yeah. It's I mean, so LinkedIn is is, of course, number one. That's kind of my primary marketing strategy. I try to I mean, I run you know, I build a business through that, but I'm always posting finance content, modeling content all the time on there. It's just been a great been a great channel for me. And then that I have another website for my consulting called missioncapital co dot com. That's the more tactical FP and A and M and A work that I'll do for clients. And then through my LinkedIn, I've also got other website for my courses and stuff. It's it's technically called private equity modeling dot thinkific dot com, which is a very long URL working on changing that. So you know, keep that one out of the show notes. But I'd say LinkedIn is probably the number one. I'm pretty responsive on there. I'd like to get to know people and that's where I put a lot of my my best content house. Well, you can get that get to know me a little better kinda what I'm what I'm all about.
One. And you've got the linking your LinkedIn bio is a split link, because I don't know what you do. Is it Linktree or something like that that you use? Linktree. Yep. Linktree. So basically, click on that one link. And it and it will give everybody a link to all of your other resources as well there as well. So, yeah, LinkedIn first, the link in the buyer, and it all but Cool. The other ones in the show notes as well, sir. No worries. Yeah. Perfect. That's that's the best place. Right. Perfect. Absolutely. Pleasure, Chris. I'll I'll let you get off But once again, thanks thanks for coming on. I really appreciate you taking the time. Yeah. No. I'm thrilled to be here really enjoyed the conversation. Thanks so much for having me. Really appreciate it.