Jon Francis, lauded as PwC’s 2008 British Entrepreneur of the Year and an ex-data scientist at Google, has transformed the property landscape with his latest venture, Chimnie. Launched in 2020, Chimnie offers a user-friendly, complimentary platform providing an unprecedented wealth of information to buyers, insurers, lenders, and other key stakeholders, so they can make more informed decisions when it comes to property.

Traditional AI has been a central component of Chimnie ever since its inception and has contributed significantly to its success. It’s therefore no surprise that Jon and his team have embraced the advent of Generative AI to make use of its capabilities. As a panellist at our recent Three Things Summit, Jon shared insights into how AI bolsters Chimnie’s operational efficiency and boosts his personal productivity.

1. TimeOS: Enhancing Time Management

At the core of Jon’s efficient routine is TimeOS, an AI-driven tool that organises his calendar for him. “TimeOS functions like a personal assistant”, Jon explained. “It manages my calendar, allows me to attend meetings I’m not at, and sits in on meetings that I am.”

Jon Francis

Jon Francis’s CV Highlights //

2019-2023 // Chief Product Officer – Chimnie

2014-2021 // Various Roles – Google

2018-2021 // C-Suite Training Leader – Gemba

2014-2017 // Product Marketing Manager – YouTube

The tool transcribes every meeting Jon is involved in, whether he’s there himself or not, and provides a summary of the key points. This is so useful because it means Jon can revisit the entire conversation, line by line, if he’s looking for something particular, or remind himself of what transpired at a glance via the summary.

TimeOS also suggests actions based on the contents of a meeting. It may, for example, suggest that you send an email to someone mentioned in the conversation, and if you accept, it can write the email for you. This tool is indispensable for professionals like Jon as it ensures their time and responsibilities are managed effectively.

2. Chalk: Automated Personalised Email Drafting

Although TimeOS can write Jon’s emails, he prefers a tool called Chalk for this task. “Chalk integrates with Gmail, analyses your inbox to determine your style, and then writes emails for you as you would, yourself”, he shared. “So, for me, Chalk has noticed that I typically start with ‘hi’ and sign off with ‘best, Jon’, and it’s these little touches that make it feel like I’m actually writing these emails, myself.”

For professionals with busy inboxes, Chalk is an invaluable timesaving tool. It automates a necessary, but largely mundane responsibility, to a high standard, according to Jon. “I’ve found that it generally does a very good job”, he clarified. “I rarely have to make any adjustments.”

3. The Gist: Simplifying Team Communications

Jon has also integrated a tool called ‘The Gist‘ to further streamline Chimnie‘s operations. “We implemented The Gist to round up our snippets”, he revealed. “It looks through our conversations on Slack to give us a weekly digest so you can stay up to date every week, or if you’ve missed a meeting, you can catch up.” This makes sure you can always get an overview of team dynamics and project progress at a moment’s notice, which is particularly useful for those managing expansive teams or multiple projects.

4. GitHub Copilot: Coding Assistance Made Easy

GitHub Copilot is another AI tool that has become essential to managing technical tasks at Chimnie. “Copilot is like having a coding partner that knows what I’m trying to do,” Jon told our audience. This AI-powered tool predicts and completes code snippets as you go, making software development smoother and more intuitive.

“Whether I’m writing new code or troubleshooting, Copilot offers suggestions that are often spot on,” he added. For developers and programmers, GitHub Copilot is not just a time-saver; it vastly enhances coding accuracy and efficiency, making it a staple in Jon’s tech toolkit.

5. ChatGPT: Revolutionising Content Creation

For written content, Jon and his team primarily use ChatGPT. To demonstrate just how useful it is Jon referenced a particular outcome ChatGPT has helped to achieve, unique to Chimnie’s website.

“We use ChatGPT to generate descriptions of every city, town, and village in the UK”, Jon shared. “No other site does that at the moment, but we think it’s important to know what a town is like if you’re going to buy a house there. Doing this helps our search engine ranking, but fundamentally we offer these descriptions to give people better information.”

These descriptions are not short, either. They offer comprehensive insights into what it is like to live in any given area. To do this without the help of Generative AI would require an inordinate amount of work when you consider that, according to the House of Commons Library, there was a total of 7,215 settlements in the UK as of June 2018. This demonstrates how GenAI tools can help businesses achieve outcomes that would not have been viable in the past.

Jon’s account serves as a practical demonstration of how Generative AI can simplify, streamline, and ultimately achieve maximum efficiency in the workflow of a modern professional. He and his team at Chimnie have integrated a suite of new AI tools so successfully that they exemplify what Claudia Harris OBE, CEO of Makers, describes as a Centaur – someone who blends artificial intelligence with human intelligence to supercharge their capabilities.

Our previous article delved into the insights from Claudia’s keynote speech and podcast appearance, highlighting how embracing AI is not just a trend, but a necessary undertaking in the evolution of the human condition. To learn more about Makers’ Centaur concept and what the advent of GenAI will bring, listen to the podcast episode on Spotify, Apple, and other major platforms, or read the article, here.


If you would like bespoke advice on how to implement Generative AI into your business’ operations, sign up to All Together today for up to 5 hours of pro bono mentoring, every year.