Why we’ll see more successful small businesses with AI

This was a LinkedIn post from HubSpot Co-Founder and CTO, Dharmesh Shah on May 16, 2024.

The future will be full of more small businesses.

Hear me out.

If more people have access to AI that makes it easy to start and grow a business, and those tools aren’t just reserved for the bigger players with bigger budgets, we will actually have more successful businesses of all sizes.

After seeing this week’s updates from OpenAI, the pace they’re moving with GPT-4o across audio, video, and text; with Google’s AI Overviews for search and DeepMind’s Project Astra, it’s made me even stronger in my conviction about the future. Especially when I reflect on my own experience as a founder…

When Brian Halligan and I founded HubSpot in 2006, it was really hard to start a business. Scaling a business was equally as difficult – especially if you were selling to other small businesses (like we were).

By 2016, 10 years and some advancements in computer processing, software, open source, mobile, and social later, starting a business became easier. But scaling? Still hard. Especially for the long term.

What we saw this week really opens up what I believe the AI future holds for businesses for the next 10 years and beyond. Very soon, it will be easier than ever to both start AND scale.

The key word here is easy.

The future isn’t just about helping businesses grow, but making it easy. OK, fine. Easy-er (easy is an aspiration). When I look at GPT-4o’s coding capabilities, and the promise of #AgentAI to actually automate work and give humans time back to build and grow, the ease and availability of these tools will truly create more thriving businesses. It’s what I’m hoping to do with agent.ai, and what HubSpot will bring to millions of businesses.

SMBs are already the backbone of global economies. With AI, they could also become the legs running us all toward an exciting future. (Yes, yes, I know analogies are not my strong suit. Don't worry, I’m keeping my day job).

Soon, we’ll not just have more small businesses and startups, but more that can scale and grow.

That's a future worth looking forward to. 

Learn more about how to leverage AI to grow your business here.

Originally published May 22, 2024 11:00:00 AM, updated May 22 2024