ChatGPT has taken the world by storm. OpenAI’s artificial intelligence chatbot has captured the imagination around the world and has attracted hefty investment from Microsoft, which said this month it plans to pour billions into the venture and deploy its technology across a wide range of its products. integrate.
But the meteoric rise of OpenAI – it was launched in late 2015 and shared ChatGPT with the public two months ago – will undoubtedly leave some entrepreneurs wondering if they are doing something wrong with their own lesser-known ventures.
Elad Gil, a widely respected Silicon Valley angel investor – who made early bets on Airbnb, Instacart and Square – believes that “the fact that ChatGPT is down all the time right now is a good sign that the product market fits. That’s because too many people use it. That is a big problem.”
Gil made the comments on an episode of the Logan Bartlett Show podcast friday. The Google and Twitter alum pointed to the “problem” facing OpenAI after Bartlett, a software investor at VC firm Redpoint, asked him about his thoughts on product-market fit when considering investments.
One sign he is looking for is positive customer and user testimonials.
But he also added: “If a product is broken all the time, but everyone continues to use it, then clearly there is a product-market fit,” he noted in the early days of Twitter and now sees it with ChatGPT.
On the other hand, he said, many ideas just won’t get off the ground no matter how much time an entrepreneur puts into it. He said the Silicon Valley lore that “you have to grind forever and then eventually something will work” is wrong, noting that people have wasted years of their lives because of such “bad advice”.
“People end up spending years and years and years of their lives doing something that’s not going to work, because maybe if I do these three adjustments it will work, and maybe it will work this month if I keep going,” he said. “For a very small number of cases that happens, but for the majority it works immediately, or almost immediately.”
While it’s true that entrepreneurs have to endure tough times during a recession, he added, “When times are good, the worst advice you can give anyone is no matter what.”
“There’s a huge opportunity cost to your time, and most things don’t work,” Gil said. “Most of the time you actually have to figure out when to give up and when to actually stop. It’s really hard to know.”
Meanwhile, when an idea works, it usually works very quickly, something he’s seen repeatedly with companies he’s worked and invested in over the years – and now with OpenAI and ChatGPT.
“The reality is that most of the companies, not all, but the vast majority of the companies that I’ve been involved with and worked for, got to work pretty early on. And once they started working, they just kept working.”
He’s also looked at how others have made the same realization.
“One thing I’ve noticed is that people who’ve worked on things that don’t fit the product market—that they thought fit the product market—when they finally start working on something that actually works, they realize the huge difference and the extent to which they fooled themselves.”
In the former, “you’re chasing everyone and every sale is horrific and everything is a drag,” he said, but in the latter, it’s a case of, “Hey, people keep calling me.” And so it’s this transition, and until that happens, you don’t realize what that really feels like.
This story was originally on Fortune.com
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