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The Enterprise Play: Unpacking ChatGPT for Business

OpenAI is at it again. If I were to start a show called "What Happened at OpenAI Today," it would probably have enough material to run daily episodes. The company's latest headline-grabbing move is the launch of ChatGPT for the enterprise.

This isn't just another iteration of their conversational AI; it's a targeted play for the business sector, offering enterprise-grade security, advanced data analysis, and much more. But what does this mean for the enterprise landscape, and how does it fit into OpenAI's broader strategy?

The Offering: More Than Chat

At first glance, ChatGPT for the enterprise seems like an upscaled consumer product version. It promises higher speed, longer context windows for processing inputs, and advanced data analysis capabilities. But the devil is in the details: OpenAI also offers customization options and, crucially, a commitment not to mingle your data with their training data. This is a significant nod to the privacy and security concerns that have long been a stumbling block for broader AI adoption in the enterprise.

The Market: A Tale of Two Camps

When it comes to enterprise adoption, there are two camps. The first comprises companies that are inherently skeptical of OpenAI's offerings. These enterprises view OpenAI as a nine-month-old startup asking for the keys to their kingdom. And they're not entirely wrong; the tech landscape is littered with the corpses of companies that were once the next big thing. Remember Yahoo? Exactly.

The second camp is more intriguing: these companies already have employees using ChatGPT. OpenAI claims that 80% of Fortune 500 companies have at least one employee who has used their service. This is a classic bottom-up adoption strategy, similar to how Slack or Dropbox entered the enterprise. Employees find the helpful tool, start using it for work, and eventually, the company adopts it officially.

The Pricing Model: The Freemium Ladder

OpenAI has a tiered offering starting with a free ChatGPT version, based on the older GPT-3.5 model. For $20 a month, users can upgrade to ChatGPT Plus, which offers the latest GPT-4 model. The enterprise version will likely follow a per-seat pricing model, which is standard for SaaS products targeting businesses. This tiered approach allows OpenAI to capture a broad swath of the market, from individual users to large enterprises, each with varying needs and budgets.

The Data Dilemma: Who Owns What?

One of the most intriguing aspects of this enterprise play is the question of data ownership. What would happen if ChatGPT was trained on Stephen King’s writing if King decides he wants compensation? This legal gray area could make enterprises hesitant to adopt the technology. OpenAI's commitment not to mingle enterprise data with their training data is a step in the right direction, but it doesn't entirely resolve the issue.

The SMB Opportunity: Low-Hanging Fruit

For small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), ChatGPT for the enterprise is a no-brainer. These companies often don't have the same data sensitivity level as larger enterprises. They can leverage AI to automate tasks, analyze data, and generate reports for a relatively modest per-seat fee. It's akin to adding a super-powered employee to the team who can work around the clock and handle many tasks.


OpenAI's move into the enterprise sector is not just about selling more subscriptions; it's a strategic play to embed its technology into the fabric of business operations. By targeting the enterprise, OpenAI is positioning itself as a critical infrastructure provider, akin to cloud computing services. This long-term play could pay significant dividends, especially as AI becomes more integrated into everyday business processes.

ChatGPT for the enterprise is a significant milestone for OpenAI, but it's just the beginning. The real test will be how well the product can navigate the complex landscape of enterprise needs, regulations, and skepticism. But for now, OpenAI has made it clear: they're not just a consumer tech company aiming to be an essential part of the enterprise tech stack.

For those interested in diving deeper into the future of technology and its implications, my WTF Journal serves as a repository of thoughts and questions that can guide your exploration. After all, the future is not something to predict; it's something to be understood.