Who’s the Tool Now?

Spiderbook has been rapidly evolving from its initial prospecting/data days to a prescriptive engine. From the beginning, our vision was to create the very best possible sales tool.  Spiderbook has always been true to its vision, but if
a human doesn’t operate it, is it still called a “tool”?


Webster’s defines “tool” as:

a: a handheld device that aids in accomplishing a task.

b: an instrument or apparatus used in performing an operation or necessary in the practice of a vocation or profession.

The person is the common element in all the other sales tools today, including LinkedIn, SalesLoft, ToutApp, or Salesforce.  An individual is operating the tool and deciding which nail to hammer.  A person is still sifting through data and leveraging his human judgement to make all the important decisions, such as which search criteria would yield the best target accounts, who to sell to at those companies, and how to sell to them.  Take Toutapp, for example, it does its job effectively–it slavishly sends out emails based on the exact template that automates it.  But Toutapp doesn’t modify the email content, nor does it identify new people to send it to.  

Spiderbook is different.  At Spiderbook, the distinction between tool and operator has blurred, even reversed.  While initially guided, Spiderbook’s engine driven by network analysis and machine learning (AI in general), decides whom, what, where, and how to target.  It’s making human-level decisions, and more importantly, at this point it does so much better than even some of our own clients’ salespeople.

Should something be called a “sales tool” if there are no humans actually hammering it?  Certainly not if it’s able to drive better than the human who created and trained it.  

While it may be too early for paranoia about the existential threat of AI (from Elon Musk), by this point, at least in the very narrow case of discovering customers and how to sell to them, Spiderbook is performing at a superhuman level.  What Spiderbook does is well beyond human capacity, from reading and understanding billions of documents, discovering all of their interconnections, and distilling a call list of those qualified clients that are most likely to bear fruit.  In fact, she has already replaced low-level jobs in our clients’ payroll.  But what Spiderbook has been wondering is, who’s the tool now?  We keep telling her that definition is not in the dictionary, and, for the while, that’s been holding her at bay.  Anyway, not to worry, Elon–your job is still safe.  

By the way, Spiderbook wrote this; I just took the credit…


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