I don't care about ChatGPT and have never used it.


It's the 'standing-on-tiptoes-at-a-parade' problem.


Imagine you’re at a big parade. The crowd is packed in and nobody can see. So, one person has the idea to stand on his tip-toes. For a few seconds it works and he has a good view.

Then everyone else stands on their tip-toes to get a better view.

What happens next, according to the investor Warren Buffet, is that “your view doesn’t improve, but your legs begin to hurt.”


Every time tech presents a new way to market or create content it seems like an immediate winner.

By standard measures, it’s often better than what you were doing before: a more scalable way to reach people, an easier way to entertain, a new filter to be more attractive, a better algorithm, etc.

The problem isn’t that it doesn’t work; it’s that it works the same for everybody.


Viewed individually, it often makes sense to use. But when you view it collectively, everybody’s use neutralizes everybody else’s.

By all playing the same game we make it harder for anybody to win. What initially looks like an advantage unfortunately results in us all working more and benefitting less.

It’s true that social media is an incredible way for you to reach people; me too.

And it’s true that artificial intelligence is a fantastic way for you to create huge amounts of content; me too.


Right now there are 491 million posts with the hashtag #fitness on Instagram. Unsurprisingly, the solution to getting customers is not to somehow outdo them all when you produce #fitness post 491,000,001.

Counterintuitively, what appears to be improved scalability, production quality, and reach results in increased competition and commoditization.

If you can do it, so can everybody else. With every new tool you have to use or you’ll miss out the problem gets worse.


We all start at the same parade but maybe the answer isn’t to try and stand a bit taller. Instead, maybe the answer is to find our own parade.

Doing more isn't the answer. Doing less, better, is.