Discover more from Deplatformable Newsletter
Sam Altman - How To Be Successful
CEO at Open AI
Podcast by Lex Fridman interviewing Sam Altman below…
Who is Sam Altman?
Sam Altman is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and startup advisor who was born on April 22, 1985, in Chicago, Illinois.
He attended Stanford University but dropped out after two years (at age 19) to found Loopt, a location-based social networking mobile startup. The funding was from Y Combinator.
Altman served as the CEO of Loopt, which raised over $30 million in venture funding until it was acquired by Green Dot Corporation for $43.4 million in 2012.
After Loopt, Altman and his brother Jack co-founded Hydrazine Capital, a San Francisco-based early-stage venture capital firm that invests in life sciences, specialty foods, marketplaces, big data, healthcare, consumer networks, enterprise software, internet-connected hardware, and education sectors.
He has made angel investments in Airbnb, Stripe, Reddit, Asana, Pinterest, Teespring, Zenefits, FarmLogs, TrueNorth, Rescale, Alt, Helion Energy, BRINC, TrialSpark, Roboflow, Wave Mobile Money, Humane, Coco, Kami, LeadGenius, Soylent, and Wevorce.
Under Altman's leadership, Y Combinator expanded its operations and launched new programs to support entrepreneurs from around the world.
Altman stepped down as president of Y Combinator in 2019 to focus on other projects, including the creation of OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research laboratory, where he serves as CEO.
Altman co-founded OpenAI with Greg Brockman, who serves as CTO, Ilya Sutskever, who serves as research director, Trevor Blackwell, Vicki Cheung, Andrej Karpathy, Durk Kingma, John Schulman, Pamela Vagata, Wojciech Zaremba, and Elon Musk, who served as co-chair along with Altman until 2018.
When asked about his role in development of OpenAI, Elon responded on Twitter saying he "donated the first $100 million" when it was a non-profit. Mr Musk also clarified that he has "no ownership or control" in OpenAI now.
Microsoft does, though.
Microsoft Corporation has extended their “partnership“ with OpenAI company. They have committed to investing more than 10 billion dollars with OpenAI.
Altman has received numerous awards and honors for his work in technology and entrepreneurship. In 2008, he was named one of the "Best Young Entrepreneurs in Technology" by BusinessWeek.
In 2015, Forbes named him the top investor under 30, and in 2017, he received an honorary degree from the University of Waterloo. 🇨🇦
Altman is also a prolific writer and speaker on topics related to technology, entrepreneurship, and politics. He has written articles for publications like The New Yorker and The Washington Post, and he has given talks at events like the Code Conference and the World Economic Forum.
Sam Altman remains a highly influential and well respected figure in the technology and entrepreneurship communities.
ChatGPT is a product of the Open AI company where Sam is the current CEO.
The mission of OpenAI is "to ensure that artificial general intelligence- highly autonomous systems that outperform humans at most economically valuable work- benefits all of humanity."
ChatGPT had more than 100 million users within the first two months of its launch and has more than 13 million daily visitors as of 2023. In January 2023, ChatGPT crossed 100 million users, making it the fastest-growing consumer application in the shortest period of time.
You can find out more about Open AI and ChatGPT at https://ai.com
07/12/23: Sam is also the Chairman of the Board of Oklo. Oklo is an advanced nuclear fission microreactor startup. (Source CNBC)
In 2019 Sam wrote a 3500 word blog post that has been read more than a million times. It is called “How To Be Successful“.
Sam shares his thoughts on what it takes to be successful. He argues that success requires a combination of hard work, intelligence, and luck, but that the most important factor is grit - the ability to persevere through difficult times.
Altman offers several pieces of advice for cultivating grit and achieving success:
Pursue a goal that you're truly passionate about, rather than just chasing money or prestige.
Focus on the process of achieving your goal, rather than the end result.
Be willing to take risks and learn from failure.
Surround yourself with people who are also committed to achieving their goals.
Continuously improve your skills and knowledge through deliberate practice and self-education.
Altman concludes by acknowledging that success is not guaranteed, even if you follow all of his advice. However, he believes that by developing grit and working hard, you can increase your chances of achieving your goals and living a fulfilling life.
“Good at Sales“
Sam mentions the importance of being good at sales for achieving success.
When Altman refers to being good at sales, he is essentially talking about the ability to persuade others. In almost any endeavour, whether it's starting a business, getting a job, or pitching an idea, the ability to sell yourself and your ideas is crucial. This involves being able to communicate your value proposition (your benefit statement) clearly and convincingly and to address potential objections and concerns that your audience may have.
Some people may have a natural talent for sales, while others will need to work on developing this skill. Fortunately, sales is a skill that can be learned and honed over time. Some strategies for improving your sales skills include:
Practice: Like any skill, the more you practice, the better you'll get. Try practicing your sales pitch in front of a mirror or with a friend, and ask for feedback on how to improve.
Listen to your audience: Sales is not just about talking, it's also about listening. Make sure you understand your audience's needs, wants, and concerns, and tailor your message accordingly.
Highlight your unique value proposition: What sets you or your idea apart from the competition? Make sure you communicate this clearly and concisely.
Be persistent: Sales often involves dealing with rejection, but it's important to keep pushing and trying new approaches. Don't give up at the first sign of resistance. It has been said that it may take 7 or more interactions with a potential client to finally get a sale.
Be authentic: While it's important to sell yourself and your ideas, it's also important to be genuine and authentic. People can usually tell when someone is being insincere or manipulative, so make sure you come across as honest and trustworthy.
Sam emphasizes the importance of working hard in order to achieve success. Here are some additional points that expand on this idea:
Set clear and specific, measurable goals for yourself that will help you track your progress and stay motivated.
Develop a routine: Establishing a consistent routine can help you stay focused and productive. This might include setting aside dedicated time each day to work on your goals, minimizing distractions, and prioritizing tasks based on their importance.
Embrace hard work: Success often requires putting in long hours and doing tasks that may be unpleasant or challenging. Rather than avoiding hard work, embrace it as a necessary part of achieving your goals.
Stay motivated: Working hard can be tiring and challenging, so it's important to stay motivated and inspired. Find ways to remind yourself of why you're working towards your goals, such as by keeping a vision board or regularly reflecting on your progress.
Be adaptable: Sometimes, even with hard work, things may not go according to plan. It's important to be flexible and adjust your strategy as needed in response to challenges or setbacks.
Take breaks: While working hard is important, it's also important to take breaks and recharge. Make sure to take breaks throughout the day, and to take time off when needed to avoid burnout.
Celebrate progress: Celebrating small wins along the way can help you stay motivated and make the hard work feel more worthwhile. Take time to acknowledge your progress and reward yourself for your accomplishments.
"Bend the world to your will"
Sam talks about the importance of having big, ambitious goals and trying to "bend the world to your will." Here are some additional points that expand on this idea:
Dream big: When it comes to achieving success, having big goals can be motivating. Rather than setting modest goals that you know you can achieve, challenge yourself to dream big and set audacious targets that will push you out of your comfort zone.
Believe in yourself: In order to bend the world to your will, you need to have confidence in your abilities and the belief that you can make a difference. While it's important to be realistic about the challenges you'll face, don't let self-doubt hold you back from pursuing your goals.
Take risks: Achieving big goals often requires taking risks and stepping outside of your comfort zone. Be willing to take calculated risks and try new things, even if there's a chance of failure.
Be persistent: Achieving big goals is rarely easy or straightforward. You'll likely face setbacks and obstacles along the way, but it's important to stay persistent and keep pushing forward.
Collaborate with others: While it's important to have big goals and a strong sense of purpose, it's also important to collaborate with others to achieve your goals. Build relationships with others who share your vision and can help you achieve your goals, and be willing to work with others to make a bigger impact.
Focus on impact: When setting big goals, it's important to focus not just on what you want to achieve, but on the impact you want to make in the world. Consider how your goals align with your values and how you can use your skills and resources to make a positive difference.
Embrace failure: When trying to bend the world to your will, it's inevitable that you'll face failure and setbacks along the way. Rather than viewing failure as a roadblock, try to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, and to use your failures as fuel to push you towards your goals.
Trying to bend the world to your will require having big, audacious goals, a strong sense of purpose and the willingness to take risks and persist in the face of obstacles. By collaborating with others, focusing on impact, and embracing failure, you can work towards achieving your goals and making a positive difference in the world.
Another interview with Sam by REID HOFFMAN:
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on Learnings from GPT-4 and ‘Impromptu’
More reading about Sam Altman and Elon Musk: The secret history of Elon Musk, Sam Altman, and OpenAI
Please share, like and comment if you’d like. Peace!