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“No one else thinks about your failure as much as you do”,Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT talks about his failed startup

Sam Altman, the CEO and co-founder of OpenAI and the developer of ChatGPT, which has gained hype, once shared a lecture in 2014. Nine years from now, the course is still required. He once said, “One must have a great team, a great product, and a great execution to create a successful startup.”

ChatGPT: an app where manifestation meets hard work

ChatGPT was launched in November, and was used to serve as a research prototype and has gained attention worldwide. Although the application has proved to be an integral component capable of answering customer support questions, writing cover letters, training documents, and whatnot, it has been predicted that the future of the human industry does not seem bright as the AI tool can replace jobs in the tech industry. It has been asserted by Elon Musk, co-founder of OpenAI.


Sam Altman once shared these outlooks in a lecture conducted at Stanford University in 2014. It was called “ How to Start a Startup.” During that time, he was the president of the startup accelerator company Y Combinator.

The startup environment was new during that time and has undergone many transformations since then, much of his advice is still applicable today in this competitive environment.

Sam Altman has always asserted that startups are the way to the future, and it’s worth trying to understand their operation being different from normal companies.

A great idea: the most potent fuel to drive a startup:

Sam Altman once warned the audience that starting a start-up is a long commitment, so one must be assured that they are pursuing the right concept. If one has many ideas for the startup, one should pursue the one they are constantly thinking about while working.

But, the integral part is that the founder needs conviction in his own beliefs. If she doesn’t believe the idea and what she is building, she may give up at some point.

Sam Altman has even asserted that aspiring founders often try to overlook the bad ideas. But, it could be an advantage because other investors are not likely to steal such ideas because the general public would not be unaware of the potential until the startup gains prominence.

Finding the right small market to expand the startup:

While designing a great product, the founder must focus on the small market where the customers are looking for the right solution. Sam Altman stated.

He has mentioned the importance of the right market, mentioning that anything in the startup can be changed except the market.

Often investors seek to invest in a company that has a small but rapidly growing market compared to a big small growing market.

Young people have the added advantage of identifying such prospective markets because they are usually connected with trends.

Old people often have to guess about the technologies that are in trend. But, it is often important to look at the surroundings and observe what the people are doing and using, it will help them to get better instincts.

To design a product people love:

Sam Altman stated in the interview mentioning that once the founder has an idea, he will need a great product to attract people.

Sam Altman

But when one is initially starting, it is easier to start with a product that has a small base of customers rather than a product that is overhyped by a large base of customers. Because the fundamental point in a startup is that the customer base should increase organically.

He has stated the most potent risk for startups: very few startups die from the competition. Most of them are unable to make it because they can not develop a product that they love, instead, they spend their time on other things.

Users will help to gain insights into what products they are likely to pay for rather than paid ads:

An integral point of a startup is creating a customer base organically. Sam Altman has recommended that founders should gain feedback from the users “by hand” rather than with paid advertisements.

Sam Altman cited an example of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann. He gained his first base of users after gaining opinions about his application in a coffee shop.

It is integral to attract users manually, and get them to love the application. The founder must be clear about his goal and must do anything to make the user love the application. It is crucial because it will further attract the next base of users.

It is useful to understand the feedback of the users and incorporate it into the product. It is because, at the end of the day, the users will pay for the product. 

Failures are part of the startup environment. And no one thinks about one’s failures more than the person himself. Who is now regarded as a prominent member of AI, once failed in the development of Loopt, a location-based social networking site?

A startup is all about risks, great execution with a great idea, and a product.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma



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