Discover more from Box of Amazing
If Sam Altman started another company
how would he do it?
Banks will charge you when you spend or transfer money abroad. That’s why over four million people have switched to Revolut. Sign up and get Revolut Premium free for 3 months!
I’m starting to think about the future. November comes in and the predictions for 2024 are well and truly in play. I’ll make time in December to read, digest and review - and then curate my best 50 for you to read. I might even ask ChatGPT to help speed up the process.
Talking of openAI - it really was a plot twist to hear Sam Altman had been fired. As a couple of my friends said - it feels like a Steve Jobs moment. Either way, it’s an interesting moment in the most watched field of the day. What does it mean when the most powerful AI executive is out of a job? It will make the others stronger, and level the playing field. If OpenAI was publically traded, it would be down 35% on the news, given how synonymous he is with the company. But it’s not, and bar the announcement made, no one knows why or what happens next. Microsoft’s share price tanked, however.
I’ve been thinking about organisations and what it might take to grow them. If you’re building out the next unicorn, what does it take? I haven’t built one personally, but I’ve seen a few - and I am sure Sam Altman will build again. Here are my thoughts on what it takes:
If you were setting out to build the biggest and best company that there is today and a serious sense of purpose around it. Maybe using AI to solve climate change, or lack of education, or leveraging solar power to solve power shortages for the poor - or any number of big world problems - you would have to think differently. If Sam Altman puts his mind to work on a next venture this is what he would do. He would design an org that leveraged accelerating technologies and set up the processes to adapt rapidly to change. You would set up for aggressive change, using technology as a central process and knock your competitors out of the park. Your secret sauce is to have an engine (technology) that is bigger and better than the incumbents. and thus growing at an exponential rate compared to its peers.
Focus on assets that scale: Focus on scalability, leveraging assets like community, big data, algorithms, and new technology, rather than just physical and human resources - which are also important
Be Data-Driven: Organizations that harness data and analytics to make informed decisions and predict trends stay ahead of the curve. That’s internal data and external data. Many organisations get obsessed with their own product and forget what’s going on elsewhere and miss the opportunity.
Always embrace Disruption: Market makers are not afraid to disrupt their own business models to stay relevant in changing markets, often leading them to disrupt themselves. Meta is the current poster child for this, but sometimes you’ll see others.
Leverage networks and the crowd: Utilizing crowdsourcing and community involvement is a major aspect for growth in any organisation.
Leverage digital Assets: There was a term that was used in the early noughties - “digital first”. Essentially, the companies of the future are digital only. leveraging assets like cloud technology, AI, and other digital tools, rather than owning physical assets.
Agility and Adaptability: The ability to pivot quickly in response to market changes is critical, like chatGPT this last 12 months. This involves a flat and flexible organizational structure, clear goals and processes, with mechanisms like OKRs that help focus organisations.
Having a clear Vision and Purpose: There needs to be passion in the mission. And that is even for orgs that are considered dinosaurs. No passion at the top and you will not inspire and motivate both employees and external stakeholders.
A culture of Experimentation and Innovation: Constant experimentation and innovation are part of the culture, encouraging risk-taking and learning from failures. Fail fast - learn quickly. Think Google’s 20% time side projects.
Strong Leadership : Leadership in organizations the future promot a culture of autonomy, empowerment, and a focus on the whats next..
Partnerships: Building and nurturing ecosystems help scale companies to grow with their mission.
It’s not rocket science but it requires an ability to be squarely focused on what matters. And if you had a clean slate, that’s what your mentality needs to be. But most of us don’t have a clean slate - and we do have ambition - so how do we traverse through? We pick out bullets from the list above and address them one by one.
Who knows what Altman will do next? It’s sure to be interesting - but whatever he does - he will do it similarly to the above approach. It’s a little like Travis Kalanick setting up Cloud Kitchens after being fired from Uber. You rarely get the opportunity to see unicorns being built but get ready for Sam to build his next company- and watch his playbook.
Stay Curious - and don’t forget to be amazing,
Key ideas from bestselling non-fiction books, distilled by experts into bitesize text and audio. Explore our vast library of over 5,500 titles and stay up-to-date with 40 new titles that are added each month. Join the reading revolution!
Here are my recommendations for this week:
Skillshare is a platform that offers thousands of classes in a variety of subjects. From creative arts to business and technology, there's something for everyone. Expert instructors guide students every step of the way and a community of passionate learners provides support and inspiration. Get One Free Month of Skillshare Explore thousands of hands-on creative classes with one inspiring membership.
Picture personal growth as a video game - I have often thought what are the two main ways to think about growth (there are others). But Kensho (growth by pain) and Satori (growth by enlightenment) are critical routes. Related: I gave up wanting to belong and embraced being a maverick. I have never felt more free
The case for inviting everyone to everything: In a time when loneliness is more pervasive than ever, why not extend an invitation?
How Stories Help Us Make Sense of the World: Language doesn't just inform; it transcends individual understanding to construct shared references and shape collective perspectives.
This Is How To Make Emotionally Intelligent Friendships: 8 Secrets - this becomes even more important with age. Banter and surface-level conversations are great, but the shift changes at some point. Related: First-Gen Social Media Users Have Nowhere to Go
Chat with your enterprise databases using secure generative AI and empower business users in your team to do their own data analyses in seconds. Check out Hal9
An AI Doctor In A Box Coming To A Mall Near You: Armed with $100 million in new funding, digital health startup Forward is betting that people will buy telehealth from its “CarePod” kiosks for monthly fee.
A Coder Considers the Waning Days of the Craft: Coding has always felt like a multi-faceted career - with lots of avenues for growth - but are we at the end of coding as a skill? Related: “Make It Real” AI prototype wows devs by turning drawings into working software
Interview with Imran Chaudhri: the founder of Humane
Crispr gene editing shown to permanently lower high cholesterol: Folks with hereditary high cholesterol would be able avoid lifelong medication
Free your newsletters from the inbox: Meco is a distraction-free space for reading newsletters outside the inbox. The app has features designed to supercharge your learnings from your favourite writers. Become a more productive reader and cut out the noise with Meco - try the app today
If you enjoyed this edition of Box of Amazing, please share and help me grow this group. If you share it on LinkedIn, please tag me so that I can thank you.