SAM ALTMAN 2023 – STEVE JOBS 1985 REPEATED?
If ChatGPT turned our world upside down for all times to come, the firing of Sam Altman is no less. After all he is the creator of ChapGPT and he has been at the forefront of the AI revolution upstaging the likes Demis Hassabis and many a companies who have been the AI battle for long. For once it seemed that AI is there to stay and this would not be an AI inflection point which would again vanish into its winter. Anyway, that is not going to happen, going by the recent tectonic developments in the AI world and the way it has already been enmeshed into our lives.
Sam Altman in the last one year had become synonymous with the present and future of artificial intelligence. He has been serving as the CEO of OpenAI since 2019 having been associated with it, since its inception and one of those who initially funded it 2015. He has been pioneering in the GPT research and its fruition, for the world see, experience and acknowledge. Unfortunately, not many of us understand the inner wheeling dealings of tech leadership world. More intriguing is to understand that if such a leader is pushed to the corner, what magic he can create?
The parallels of Sam Altman firing with Steve Jobs ouster, four decades ago, seems too very natural. Sam Altman founder and the CEO was fired recently. The reason put forth in the official communication says that a review found that he was ‘not consistently candid in his communications with the board.’ Quite similarly, Steve Jobs was famously ousted from the company he created after a power struggle with the board of directors. Initial speculations then suggested that it happened because of Jobs confrontational management style. He was also commented on his inability to work well with others.
The ultimate comparison in that what Sam Altman did to Artificial intelligence, was done by Jobs in personal computing. He revolutionized it and created an iconic brand. Brand Apple and brand ChatGPT, OpenAI, you can take a call. Steve Jobs drove people too hard has also been the talk of the town and been a catalyst in his ouster. Little differently, Sam Altman was fired due to lack of transparency with the board of directors. The real reasons and causes are shrouded in secrecy and might always remain. Boards react in a manner they do. In both the cases the board of directors opted to separate the company from the respective CEOs. What holds for Sam Altman no one knows, but for sure if we go by the Steve Jobs life and superlative success story, being fired from a company like OpenAI could just lead to even greater success for him. Hopefully, a similar post ouster delivery as Steve Jobs. The parallels would then have taken a full circle.
OPAQUE AND FACELESS BOARDS, WITH VESTED INTERESTS CAN BE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE LIKES OF STEVE JOBS AND SAM ALTMAN.
Have a nice evening.