Zapier GPTs

November 10, 2023

“A mole on a mountain eating pizza uncontrollably backflipping.”

I asked my four-year-old what coloring page he wanted. 

I nodded my head in heavy agreement with his prompt and punched it into ChatGPT’s new “Coloring Book Hero” GPT. 

“Good job, son.”

OpenAI’s release of GPTs has every techie drooling and uncontrollably tapping “like” on every “it’s been XYZ hours since OpenAI’s GPT announcement—here are 37 shocking things people have built” social post.

I understand. If you’re a builder, you’ve been given the GPT version of Roller Coaster Tycoon.

“You can now create custom versions of ChatGPT that combine instructions, extra knowledge, and any combination of skills” which makes GPTs the apps of ChatGPT. 

Today, I’m going to explain why you should build GPTs, how to use Zapier actions to differentiate, and why automation will still live in Zapier.

Why GPTs?

There are two reasons why I’m trying GPTs: 

  1. I love building.
  2. You can quickly add any Zapier actions to bring your GPT to life. 

What’s better than AI? AI that takes action. Send me an email. Slack message Bob. Get customer info for my call.

Here’s the full guide on how to add Zapier into your GPT.

There’s a potential payoff to building GPTs: OpenAI is planning to release a GPT store. If you build a valuable and hard-to-replicate GPT, people might pay you for it.

And because it’s an extra configuration step, Zapier actions in GPTs will go underutilized at first. But if you want to differentiate as you build, add Zapier actions.

Building valuable GPTs (with Zapier)

Here are two ways (among many) you can be thinking about building GPTs so that you can crowd surf to the stage:

  1. Proprietary information. You can upload data into your GPT. What data do you have that no one else does and would it benefit from a conversational way to access it?
  2. Actions. Difficult to add out-of-the-box. Easier to add with Zapier AI actions.

Successfully combine proprietary information with actions and you’ll stand out.

While you might think about Zapier as automation, GPTs challenge you to think of it in a new way. It’s an authentication center so that your GPTs can take action. 

Instead of laboring through API docs and auth configuration for your GPT, you can add Zapier actions to easily tap into thousands of existing authentication and app actions.

OpenAI and Zapier are like two ballroom dancing partners while hungry Silicon Valley apps play their instruments in submissive support.

What about Automation, though?

Here’s the catch about GPTs. 

You have to explicitly tell GPTs to take action: “Go get me all the emails I’ve sent to Bob and summarize them.” 

But what about automating actions that can run on repeat?: “Every Monday, summarize all the emails I’ve sent to Bob last week.”

GPTs can’t do that, yet. You still have to use Zapier to automate.

It’s unlikely that OpenAI will be able to build this functionality themselves—they’ll need to use Zapier. This is where embedding a ChatGPT into Zapier might be more powerful than using Zapier inside of a GPT.

How do you embed ChatGPT into Zapier? Here are three templates that show you what I mean:

On the surface, these are similar to GPTs. The Chatbot is like a GPT with specific instructions and a knowledge source. The content idea generator takes an idea and sends it through a workflow like a GPT action to generate more ideas. The image generator is like the Coloring Book Hero GPT I showed earlier.

What’s different?

Within Zapier, you’ll be able to take these GPT-like experiences and automate them. GPTs you build won’t give you triggers based on different ways people use them, but apps you build in Zapier give you full control over triggers, workflows, and data. 

Want a summary of all the ways people use your Zapier AI content idea generator? Automate a digest to send to you each week. 

Want to embed a Zapier chatbot and collect lead information? Automate a workflow to put lead info into your CRM everytime someone interacts with your chatbot.

Zapier enables action and automation. Time to build.

To recap:

  • Build custom ChatGPTs with their newest GPTs
  • Add Zapier actions to differentiate what you build
  • Zapier still owns automation—build GPT-like experiences in Zapier and position yourself to automate.

That’s all for this week!

Happy Building,


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