ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. OpenAI’s artificial intelligence chatbot has captured the imagination of the world and attracted major investment from Microsoft, which said this month it plans to invest billions in the company and integrate its technology in a wide range of its products.
But the rapid rise of OpenAI – launched in late 2015 and shared ChatGPT with the public two months ago – will no doubt leave some entrepreneurs wondering if they’re doing something wrong with their own less-noticed businesses.
Elad Gil, a well-respected Silicon Valley angel investor – he made early bets on Airbnb, Instacart and Square – believes that “the fact that ChatGPT is down all the time right now is a great sign of fit for the market.” product market. This is because too many people use it. That’s a big problem to have.
Gil commented on an episode of the Logan Bartlett Show Friday podcast. The Google and Twitter alum noted the “problem” facing OpenAI after Bartlett, a software investor at venture capital firm Redpoint, asked him his thoughts on product-market fit during investment review.
One sign he looks for are positive testimonials from customers and users, he said: “It really comes through in the enthusiasm the small initial cohort has for the product.”
But also, he added, “If a product is broken all the time but everyone keeps using it, there is clearly a product-market fit,” noting that he has witnessed this at debut of Twitter and now sees it with ChatGPT.
On the other hand, he said, many ideas just won’t take off no matter how much time an entrepreneur puts into them. He said the Silicon Valley tradition that “you should grind forever and eventually something will work” is wrong, noting that people have lost years of their lives to such “bad advice”.
“People end up spending years and years and years of life tinkering with something that’s not going to work, because maybe it will work if I make those three more tweaks, and maybe it will work this month if I continue,” he said. “For a very small number of cases this happens, but for the majority it works immediately or almost immediately.”
While it’s true that entrepreneurs may need to get through tough times during a recession, he added: “When times are good, the worst advice you can give someone is to keep going no matter what. .”
“There’s a huge opportunity cost on your time, and most things don’t work out,” Gil said. “Most of the time you have to know when to give up and when to quit. It’s really hard to know.”
Meanwhile, when an idea works, it tends to work very quickly, something he’s seen many times with companies he’s worked and invested in over the years, and is now seeing with OpenAI and ChatGPT.
“The reality is that most companies, not all, but the vast majority of companies I’ve been involved with that have worked, ended up working pretty early on. And once they started working, they kept working.
He also observed that others have made the same realization.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that people who have worked on things that didn’t fit the product market – that they thought they had a product market fit – when they finally go to work on something that really works, they realize the immense difference and the degree to which they were wrong.
In the first case, “you sue everyone and every sale is horrible and everything is a chore,” he said, but with the latter case, it’s about “” Hey, people don’t stop not to call me. “And so it’s that transition, and until that happens, you don’t realize what it’s really like.
This story was originally featured on Fortune.com
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