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Sam Altman lists the startup rules ChatGPT maker OpenAI broke

Derek Watson
Derek Watson
N2 Blog

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What Is FinTech? The Basics

Let’s take a look at what rules he said he broke:

🚀  YC Advice:
Launch a product quickly and iterate on it as you go.

🎭  OpenAI’s Approach (as described by Altman):
Took four and a half years to launch a product.

🕊️ Truth versus reality distortion story.

Date

Product release

Number of Months Between Releases

Years and Months to Product Launch

Estimated Users (First Year)

2015-12

OpenAI is founded

2017-11

GPT-1

2 years and 2 months

2 years, 2 months

100-1,000

2018-11

GPT-2

1 year and 2 months

3 years, 2 months

10,000-100,000

2019-01

DALL-E 

10 months

3 years

>100,000

2020-11

GPT-3 

11 months

5 years

>1,000,000

2021-04

CLIP 

3 months

5 years, 4 months

20k to 100k

2022-02

ChatGPT 

10 months

6 years, 2 months

> 10m

2022-11

Chatbot prototype

6 months

6 years, 8 months

> 100m

🚀  YC Advice:
Focus on being cost-efficient.

🎭  OpenAI’s Approach (as described by Altman):
Became the most capital-intensive startup in Silicon Valley history.

🕊️ Truth versus reality distortion story.
This is their cap table and quite clearly they are not on a silicon valley or global basis the most capital-intensive startup.

 

Date

Investors

Round

Amount

December 11, 2015

Founders Fund, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, and others

Seed

$100 million

July 2017

Microsoft

Series A

$1 billion

February 2019

Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Growth, Khosla Ventures, Microsoft Research, YC Continuity, Valor Equity Partners, First Round Capital, Thrive Capital, and Founders Collective

Series B

$1 billion

January 23, 2023

Microsoft

Strategic partnership investment

$10 billion

April 28, 2023

Tiger Global Management, Andreessen Horowitz, Bedrock

Series C

$10 billion

The total amount of funding raised by OpenAI from the listed rounds is $22.1 billion.

💡 A capital intensive startup is a business that requires a lot of money to start and operate, here are the top ones:

Company

Amount Raised (USD)

Industry

Top Investors

SpaceX

$100 billion

Aerospace

Founders Fund, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Google Ventures, Fidelity Investments, DFJ Growth, Valor Equity Partners

ByteDance

$75 billion

Technology

Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group, General Atlantic, Hillhouse Capital, GGV Capital, Matrix Partners

Stripe

$68 billion

Fintech

Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Sequoia Capital, Founders Fund, Kleiner Perkins, Thrive Capital

Airbnb

$47.2 billion

Hospitality

Founders Fund, Sequoia Capital, Peter Thiel, Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, TPG Capital

Instacart

$39 billion

E-commerce

Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Thrive Capital, DFJ Growth, Khosla Ventures, Coatue Management

Palantir

$38.6 billion

Data analytics

In-Q-Tel, Founders Fund, Peter Thiel, Accel Partners, Wellington Management, T Rowe Price Associates

DoorDash

$35.5 billion

Food delivery

Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group, Khosla Ventures, General Atlantic, Accel Partners, DST Global

Rivian

$35 billion

Automotive

Amazon, Ford Motor Company, T Rowe Price Associates, BlackRock, Franklin Templeton Investments, Soros Fund Management

Slack

$31 billion

Team collaboration

Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, Coatue Management, DST Global, GV, ICONIQ Capital, Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins, and more

Coinbase

$27.8 billion

Cryptocurrency exchange

Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures, Greylock Partners, Ribbit Capital, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global Management, Paradigm

Zoom

$25.6 billion

Video conferencing

Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group, Accel Partners, GIC, T Rowe Price Associates, Franklin Templeton Investments, Soros Fund Management

Uber

$25.2 billion

Transportation

Sequoia Capital, SoftBank Group, Benchmark, T Rowe Price Associates, Franklin Templeton Investments, Soros Fund Management

🚀 YC Advice: Clearly identify your target customers and tailor your product to their specific needs and use cases.

🎭  OpenAI’s Approach (as described by Altman):
Built a technology without any idea of who their customers were going to be or what they were going to use it for.

🕊️ Truth versus reality distortion story.

"We're going to build tools that are useful for everyone, from researchers to artists to businesses. We want to make sure that AGI is used for good, and that it doesn't just benefit a small group of people."

Sam Altman said this in a 2015 interview with Wired.

"We're not building technology for technology's sake. We're building technology to solve problems and make people's lives better. We think that artificial general intelligence has the potential to do that, but it's also a very dangerous thing, and we want to make sure that it's used for good."

Sam Altman said this in a 2017 interview with The Verge.

"We believe that LLMs have the potential to revolutionize a wide range of industries, from healthcare to education to customer service. They can be used to generate new insights, create new products, and automate tasks that are currently done by humans. We're excited to see how LLMs will be used to make the world a better place."

Sam Altman said this in a 2018 interview with The New York Times.

"We're working with a variety of partners to explore the potential of LLMs in different fields. We're collaborating with researchers at universities and research labs to understand the capabilities of LLMs and to develop new ways to use them. We're also working with businesses to explore how LLMs can be used to improve their products and services. We're excited about the potential of LLMs to make a positive impact on the world. We believe that they can be used to solve some of the world's most pressing problems, such as climate change, poverty, and disease. We're committed to working with others to ensure that LLMs are used for good."

Sam Altman said this in a 2019 blog post on the OpenAI website.

🚀  YC Advice:
Incorporate social features, built-in sharing, and an inherent viral loop to enable user growth and engagement.

🎭  OpenAI’s Approach (as described by Altman):
ChatGPT has no social features, built-in sharing, or inherent viral loop.

🕊️ Truth versus reality distortion story.
Wrong, Their community channels had over 50k users at the end of 2021, over 1m users of GPT3 model in 2021, and Elon Musk talking about them with his gazillion followers. They literally had the biggest organic viral loop of any startup ever. 🚀📈

✅ This is what is commonly called retrospective storytelling and is the highest form of “confirmation bias.” a cognitive bias that involves interpreting information to confirm one’s existing beliefs, opinions, or narrative. It leads individuals to focus on information that aligns with their preconceived notions and to ignore information that contradicts them.
🔎 Do you see where this is leading?

"We're excited to see how LLMs are used to make the world a better place."

Sam Altman, 2020

"We believe that LLMs have the potential to solve some of the world's most pressing problems."

Sam Altman, 2021

"We're committed to working with governments and regulators to ensure that LLMs are used safely and responsibly."

Sam Altman, 2022

"We're excited to see what the future holds for LLMs."

Sam Altman, 2023

"We believe that LLMs have the potential to change the world."

Sam Altman, 2023
⚠️ We have already seen the commitment of an open-source AI platform and nonprofit turn into a closed platform and for-profit, led by a man who uses retrospective storytelling, confirmation bias, and he is invited and charged with leading the ethics, values, and morals of AI going forward. ⚖️

⚡️ “Alderaan’s not far away, it’s Californication” ⚡️

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