The Uneven Impact of AI Expertise on Entrepreneurial Success
Our World of Workflows research discovers that the benefits of AI support are not evenly distributed but rather significantly skewed toward businesses and entrepreneurs that are already succeeding.
- AI promises real-time coaching for entrepreneurs, but early studies show uneven benefits—AI boosts novices but they also make bigger mistakes in judgment.
- A study found AI benefits are skewed towards already successful entrepreneurs and businesses - they ask more focused questions that AI can readily answer.
- Struggling entrepreneurs ask more complex, foundational questions that may surpass current AI capabilities.
- The definition of "low performing" is unclear—it could mean inexperience or facing difficult obstacles. This complicates interpreting productivity research.
- Effectiveness of AI likely depends on both its capabilities and the specificity of the questions it's asked. The human skills matter hugely.
Few things are more challenging than being an entrepreneur. They find themselves wearing multiple hats, from marketing to finance, customer service to recruiting, and technical solutions to strategic vision. AI promises a personal, real-time coach, an expert in every conceivable domain, accessible at any hour. Early studies show that AI can be extremely effective as a proficiency booster, especially for novices. But they also show that those same novices make bigger mistakes with AI because they can't readily judge the quality of AI answers. And most studies so far have been constructed to be within specific narrow boundaries. What we all want to know is how effective is AI advice when it's delivered "in the wild", dealing with real business problems in real time?
A recent study conducted by researchers from Berkeley Haas and Harvard Business School shows that expert AI assistance is uneven. The research anticipated a universal improvement in entrepreneurial outcomes, but the results revealed a more different picture: the benefits of AI support are not evenly distributed but rather significantly skewed toward businesses and entrepreneurs that are already succeeding.