AI, Failure, innovation, open source, Rants, startup

On the Open AI coup

I of course have zero special insights into the matter (other than mostly publicly available information – growing by the hour – and having lived some), but that has never deterred me from mouthing off my opinions (and being substantially more right than wrong) in the past – so here are my two cents on the latest Open AI developments that you never asked for.

The Doomer vision of General AI, created by generative AI

The board (read: e.g. Ilya Sutskever or one Adam D’Angelo, who is also behind Poe, a ChatGPT competitor — of all things to have as an independent director — Toner, or McCauley) has had plenty of time to explain, but have so far chosen not to. Until I learn otherwise, I’ll assign ego and zealotry – two of the universe’s most destructive forces – as the reasons for this mess.

As long as there is no public explanation from the board as to why exactly they fired the co-founder CEO Sam Altman, I am going to assume the reason is one big f*ing nothing burger — and they know it. (Happy to change opinion if facts to the contrary appear — which I think is unlikely at this point, but would make for a great plot twist).

I guess the most likely scenarios so far are a) The Decel faction of the board getting cold feet about the current speed of things b) D’Angelo feeling snubbed by ChatGPT’s new AppStore stealing Poe’s thunder c) A combination of both, with or without an active coup conspiracy — although I lean heavily in the active conspiracy direction; Envy, spite, and zealotry (aka ego), are in my experience the usual suspects when it comes to the motivation behind cataclysmicly stupid decision making.

Now, Open AI is not operating in a vacuum. Open AI does not have monopoly on creating AGI; Other projects are trying to develop AGI — safely or otherwise. If AGI will happen, it will happen — with or without Open AI and with or without Open AI playing it safe & slow. Applying Game Theory would tell you Open AI would be playing a heavily biased game (which I guess you could also call hubris or ignorance — or of you’re a decel, “acting on [your religious sci-fi fantasy cult-like] conviction”). Ok, so now someone else developed AGI — what now Open AI? Congrats, you’ve become irrelevant. Who cares if you warned the world, who cares if you developed safe guidelines, who cares if you developed a “safe” neutered AGI now? I think this is also why I don’t lean towards “decel” as the real or only motivation behind the ousting, but it may have been used as an argument by the coup faction to sway the zealots on the board to make an insanely stupid decision.

Also, applying Game Theory 101 to an aftermath of ousting an “everybody’s darling” CEO with no outside or bottom up support, indicates a thinking (or perhaps just a complete lack of thinking?) that they could somehow survive this (which I guess means they have the legal paperwork to back them up — for now) — and to be fair, if the direction for Open AI is to regress into a [somewhat irrelevant] research organisation, I think they’ll achieve it quicker than they could ever dream of — and I also think they’ve already potentially achieved one of the fastest & largest destruction of value in history in the process — at least for now.

Update: I’m not the only one noticing the board flunked Game Theory 101 – Kindergarten Edition

Also, as a Norwegian, I’ll never pass on an opportunity to dunk on Swedes ;), so I guess I should also assign some blame and shame to the harebrained economist Nick Boström for fueling the AGI danger scare – I’m only half joking, though: Boström has been highly influential in turning Musk and others into doomers with his (IMO stupid and also in blatant disregard of Game Theory basics) book “Superintelligence”. And the kicker being Boström now has come to regret his scaremongering doom & gloom. Heuristic: Never believe a word an economist is saying. Ever.

Now, Sam and Greg “joining” MSFT sounds like MSFT creating an interim CYA (Cover Your Ass) vehicle (aka a story at the moment, not necessarily anything set in stone yet) to protect their AI interests (and more importantly, their share price) until situation gets further sorted out – MSFT is not exactly known for creating great products and daring innovations, so I don’t see how those two people would thrive under the MSFT (or any) corporate yoke for the long run. I’d bet against it.

I think MSFT definitely won the narrative so far, but I’m not so sure about actual value (did they sign / formalise anything yet?). Anyways, MSFT with Nadella taking a stance of seemingly extreme optionality was a good move, perhaps the only move to preserve any upside potential.

Update 2: Proof that clown car will keep on clowning: Ilya Sutskever has regrets. Regrets of the actions of the board that he was supposedly in control of. Give me a fucking break. I just can’t… How was / is any of this possible?

That said, hindsight of course having perfect vision, there was bound to be an enormous amount of friction building between the intentions of the founding of Open AI as a safety-first non-profit and the commercial entrepreneurial ambitions and speed of someone like Altman as the CEO — not to mention between egos, not to mention from having what seems like a competitor as an independent director on the board, perhaps. 

I can’t remember who said it on X/twitter, but I agree with their sentiment that the board might have still been a floppy kludge that Altman as CEO and co-founder didn’t pay too much mind to tighten up since “no CEO was ever fired by a board for being too successful”.

Now, what’s next for me as an Open AI / ChatGPT customer? What can we expect going forward? Neutered nanny ChatGPT v4 forever? Greatest come-back since Steve Jobs? I think it’s time for me to look into the current state of the alternatives again, regardless.

Although I don’t feel this soap opera is canceled just yet. I expect at least one more season of twists and turns. Stay tuned — I have a feeling The Sam & Greg Show can still surprise us.

Update: Yes, they did. Although, not so much of a surprise as a big ado about nothing in the end.

innovation, Lessons Learned, Rants

Talking about corporate innovation and the pandemic

Recently I was on Fabian Böck‘s BOECKBX podcast and talked a bit about corporate innovation and the effects of the pandemic on businesses – including my own.

Have a look and listen.


Based on my own experience working in outsourced innovation with governments, organisations and some of the largest companies in the world on and off between 1996 and 2010, I do not think it is a good idea to outsource (business model) innovation.

That’s the whole premise of my company, +ANDERSEN & ASSOCIATES.

From the +ANDERSEN mission statement:

“… we enable companies to manage and run innovation for tomorrow inside their own company, using their own people today.

Because innovation in your company will never happen by outside consultants.

It has to come from your most valuable assets – the people you already have on the inside.”

News, Rants

Featured in “Die Welt”

So it turns out there was a journalist from “Die Welt” at my recent talk at FuckUp Nights Duesseldorf and here’s the resulting piece.


On a side note, we need to keep educating journalists on the difference between “Existenzgründung” (lifestyle business founder and freelancers mostly exchanging their hours for money) and startup founders. One doesn’t equal the other.

That the journalist writes I had a “Karriereknick” (career bend, in the negative sense) also goes to show that they have little knowledge of the world of startups. I’m a startup founder. Risk of failure is assumed as real. Not an office hero, chasing the 9-5 career. One does not equal the other. The failure I spoke of was harsh, but it was the best learning experience I’ve ever had so far. If anything, it was a career bend in the positive sense upwards and onwards.

And I was wearing a OnePiece Onesie, not a track suit. Let’s get that straight too. :)


Time to Reset

Friends, readers and followers;

There is something I’ve been wanting to share with you for a while: I’m single again after a 7.5 year relationship ended a while ago.

So that means…

  1. I’m free to roam the world and do as I please again
  2. If you ever had a crush on me, NOW is YOUR time to message me for a date or start developing a crush AND message me for a date! (I promise it will be our little secret – seriously!) LOL 😉

It’s been a while now and people close already know. That is why I can share it with you by now. We tried everything and we were both miserable for a very long time – so we finally decided to do the sane adult thing and end it. I guess the breakup was as amiable as these things get and we’re still very good friends.

Things change and you start to move on.

Now I have opted to be a public person – but she has not, so this is all I am ever going to be writing about this, but I thought I’d share the life event with all of you, sticking to my philosophy (or prophylactic self-help) of full disclosure living in public, so now you know what that other thing I mentioned that I couldn’t talk about back then, because it also concerned another person with a right to their chosen privacy, not just frivolous old me.

So we’ve decided to let our shared apartment go and I have decided put all my worldly belongings, except some clothes and Macs, in storage for the next 12 Months.

Starting from August 1st I’ll be living on a mattress or a couch out of a suitcase around the world.

No worries Cologne, I’ll still be based here for now.

But stay tuned for what I’m up to in the next 12 months.

First up, I am going to take a couple of months of vacation to move on, reflect, recuperate, regain my fitness and health to prepare myself for what is to come…

Where do you think I should go next?

So good bye, home office…

And let me take a moment to clarify.

To wit:
No, I haven’t turned into a friggin’ hippie in search of “myself”. I’m not going to sit on a beach on Bali meditating and watching sunsets with you, wasting time and opportunities. Jesus H Christ on Rubber Crutches, what were you guys thinking? #lulz :P

I was always found. I know my purpose: Helping people through dispersion of knowledge. Dispersion of how to create a startup, how to create value for yourself, your family, your community, your country by private initiative, by startup entrepreneurship, by way of a more scientific approach.

Secondly, I’m already traveling the world because of this stuff – so no big changes here. Seriously. ‪#‎nodrama‬

Now let there be no doubt that I’m an self-employed entrepreneur first and foremost; So NO, of course there is no way in hell I’ll be coming to your neck of the wood if someone is not paying for my ass. Have you lost your mind? This is not how the world as we know it works. ;)

That said, if you’re not corporate or you’re not getting paid for whatever you’re inviting me for, I’ll be happy to come over if you (aka your sponsors or overlords) cover travel (economy is just fine) and accommodation (a couch and hot shower = excellent).

If you’re corporate and/or you are getting paid for your event, I’m happy to put you through to my agent for booking and availability. If you are getting paid (e.g. you have a salary), I am getting paid too. That’s a straightforward deal.

Just shoot me a Facebook message or send me opportunities and introductions at [email protected].