Two friends used AI and $185 to start a side hustle—they just sold it for $150,000: ‘It prints cash’


Sal Aiello and Monica Powers constructed their profitable side hustle in 4 days — and spent lower than $200 to get it off the bottom.

At first, they began operating their side hustle concepts previous ChatGPT, utilizing the generative synthetic intelligence chatbot as a start line for market analysis. Then, they realized they knew how to ask ChatGPT the exact right questions to get helpful solutions — and different folks in all probability did not.

Aiello is a longtime CTO for tech startups, and Powers is a product designer who at present runs a strategic design and branding firm known as Mascot. In March, they determined to create an AI-powered analysis device: Fill out a kind about your thought, and the device would enter your solutions to ChatGPT in a maximally useful manner.

“Maybe we will promote this,” Aiello, 36, remembers pondering.

Days later, they launched DimeADozen for “want-repreneurs” to pressure-test their enterprise concepts. It fees $39 for a complete report, and compiles ends in a fraction of the time it sometimes takes conventional analytics businesses or search engines like google.

In roughly seven months, DimeADozen — cut up evenly between Aiello and Powers — introduced in additional than $66,000, in accordance to paperwork reviewed by CNBC Make It. With the exception of $150 for the online area and $35 on internet hosting and a database, practically all of it was revenue, Aiello says.

Last month, they struck a deal to promote the side hustle for $150,000 to Felipe Arosemena and Danielle de Corneille, a husband-and-wife duo — one is a software program engineer, the opposite a product designer — who need to make DimeADozen their full-time jobs, says Aiello.

Aeillo and Powers plan to preserve working roughly 5 hours per week on it as firm advisors.

“It actually does print cash,” Aiello says.

AI side hustle

Powers and Aiello met final yr at a digital startup founder meetup occasion, run by Silicon Valley startup accelerator Y Combinator, and rapidly began working collectively of their off-hours. They at present have three different side hustles, with plans to start extra.

None have but reached the heights of DimeADozen, which is — by Aiello’s account — the primary AI analysis device constructed particularly to take a look at out enterprise concepts. It plugs the knowledge it receives into tons of of pre-written ChatGPT prompts, and organizes the solutions into 50-page experiences on the hypothetical firm’s potential buyers, clients and opponents.

You may do the identical factor on Google. It would take a lot longer and the outcomes could be much less dependable, Aeillo says.

“There’s no cause you’ll be able to’t do 1,000 Google searches and get the identical outcomes,” he says. “[But] it’s a no-brainer to lean on any individual [to do it faster].”

Powers and Aiello additionally used their prompt engineering abilities — a approach for asking chatbots focused questions to get extra exact outcomes — to reduce the danger of AI hallucinations, Aiello says. That’s when chatbots spit out data that sounds acceptable however is definitely fully false.

DimeADozen cannot promise to remove them fully, however “we mitigate hallucinations by tweaking the immediate parameters and by being very strict in our prompting,” says Aiello. “It took weeks of again and forth to be certain we received the response we anticipated out.”

In his dream world, the device may sooner or later get acquired by cloud-based software program big Salesforce “or one thing foolish like that,” he says. “The larger imaginative and prescient is: It turns into a ubiquitous device to run a enterprise by to validate and study it.”

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