Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #223

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the start up therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rein joined as always by my friend, the founder and CEO of start ups dot com will Schroeder. We are also joined as we are now want to do once a month by our live studio audience brought to us by Zoom. And uh this is a great time to do this because we're gonna be talking about A I taking over the world. So having you all here feels a little bit like safety in numbers. Uh So, well, I think today we wanna, we wanna kick around this notion, the macro theme here is that we often get scared by trends and things happening in the world as as start up founders A I happens to be one. It's at the tip of everybody's tongue as of the filming of this episode. So let's date stamp this in case the machines do take over at this point. August of 2023 humans are still largely in control as we think, you know, it's interesting. So when we initially put this topic together, it was talking a little about A I and A I has obviously been a wildly popular topic but the more we got into it, the more we talked about it, the more we started to realize that A I is just a moment in time. Right. A I just happens to be the thing that we're talking about, but this whole, it's gonna change everything and displace everyone has been happening since the dawn of time and guess what? It does displace everyone and guess what? We're all geometrically better off for it. Which right now a lot of people look at a, I like, oh my God, you know, a I is coming, it's gonna replace us all and it's like, no, dude, it's not. It's probably not. It's a million times better. And every time we go through these cycles it doesn't matter. It was the industrial revolution or, or bring computers to every desk. We always had the same feeling like what we're doing now is the only way it should be done and anything that displaces that is inherently bad. So I think we could talk about writing today isn't really just about a I, and I think we could use it because it's topical and I think it's a great, you know, fun topic. What we're really talking about is how often is it that a technology or something comes around that changes the game? And do we embrace it or do we try to go on the opposite end of it? Because, you know, TLDR to the end, going on, the opposite end of progress does well, for anyone now tends to end poorly. Right. Unless you're North Korea. Well, no, that's still ending poorly. Let's talk about why it always happens. Ryan F, from your standpoint. You've been through a few of these revolutions yourself now that we're old scraggly bastards. What are some of the ones that you've been through? And kind of, what did it look like for you? Well, let's, let's use the obvious. Well, I, a bunch of them, right. Cell phones were, were a huge one. I don't know that anybody looked at that one with the same fear or hesitation. Landlines did. Yeah. Well, that's the thing, right? Like if you're the incumbent, right? So, right. If you were, you know, Captain Ahab, when fossil fuels came out and replaced whale oil, that was a bad deal for you, but pretty much good for everybody else up to a point, I think. And this is the irony here is, and I'm sure that's true for you as well. The vast majority of people that I'm talking to who are scared about being displaced by A, I work on around or through the internet almost exclusively. Right? The irony there being that was the last time that this really kind of happened in this way. Right. So if that hadn't happened, the job that you're worried about being displaced didn't exist, right. So, so without that level of progress yet. But that's, that tends to be, you know, the, the one that I go back to and think about the most is probably just internet, internet related technologies clearly. Like, you know, you and I both came up through the computer revolution, the pervasiveness now of broadband internet access because it wasn't just about the internet, it was then about, you know, universal access to it. Lots of things have changed and, you know, maybe this is the, the start up optimist in us. But I've always embraced, said, like, how do we make the most of this? How do we have fun with this? Right? Like the, the eight year old nerd that continues to live inside my head is so excited about a I, I don't have time to be scared of it right now. Well, let's look at it in a couple of different capacities. First off, let's talk about what happens when a revolution does come around. Like, what does it look like? Right. Initially, it terrifies everyone. You know, we can go back to the industrial revolution and, you know, I, I've mentioned before, I'm an avid carpet. I don't go back that far. Will. I'm much older than you are, but I'm an avid carpenter and whenever I'm out building something and I pick up a hand tool like a hammer or a handsaw, which I hardly ever do. And I build a ton of stuff versus power tool. I sit there and I'm like, you know, sawing by hand, I'm thinking to myself, always some poor bastard used to have this be the only way he could cut through something. Right. So this was the choice. Somebody introduced a machine that could do it for him. Now, here's what he thought he was like, but that's all I had. I was handsaw guy now that something can cut logs or, you know, mill lumber then, you know, I must be displaced and it's not the case. And we'll get way into that, you know, later on as we talk about, you know, being the operator, not the actual tool. Every time when that moment happens when people see automation or they see a revolution, their first thought is, well, I guess the way I'm doing it is no longer practical and so there can be no other way to do it. And I wanna push back when I was getting started in my career in building an internet company. In 93. I was just starting to understand that the, the underpinnings of the, the internet itself, like kind of pre web like the, the web browser hadn't really been a thing yet. And then in 85 I started with like bulletin boards and Commodore 64 you know, like war stuff back then. Thank you, Compuserve. And so anyway, my point is I grew up with the technology. So for me being online was second nature. So when I started a web design company in 94. Ok. So I saw him at the internet and what ends up happening was every single person that I talked to was like, what's the internet? It wasn't like, how does it work or, or what? They didn't even know what it was. It made no sense. There is no context for it. So as I'm explaining it and I'm explaining how commerce is gonna work on it. It, it, these ideas were heretical at the time. Ryan, you remember that period? For sure. The idea of unseating Blockbuster or unseating Barnes and Noble or, you know, the stalwarts of retail was just unheard of. It was one of the few times where the hyperbole of the moment undersold what actually happened, you know, we're all used to the hyperbole of flying cars and things that never actually happened. I have to say the internet and certainly computers before, but the internet was the one technology where it surpassed the hype by orders of magnitude. You know, it pretty much undid everything and you lived through it too. I mean, you, you had the same experience, right. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, it was one of those things where, and I was out doing the same thing, you know, we were hoofing around explaining to people what the value of this thing was gonna be and I was so far under the mark. Right? I wasn't, yeah, I was nowhere close to the amount of change that we saw because keep in mind at the time we were doing this, like, the idea of using your credit a card to buy something online. Nobody was going there. They were like, wait, what you would give that information to strangers. Yeah, kind of like you do at the gas station every day. But yes, yes, I would. But no, nobody would at that point. Right. It was, it was not a thing. And so there was so much change to the point where, you know, we saw ways in which we thought it would take over, we saw ways in which we thought it would impact. But the fact that it's become kind of the universal life tool at this point uh is not what we were thinking. Right? Did not imagine that entire new industries, new, new categories would be created around types of businesses, around types of work. Yeah, it's, it's, it's changed far more than we thought it would. But I want to stick for a second on, on what you're talking about there and in terms of the, the replacement factor, right? And the fear that comes with this because that's a big part of what we're talking about today is why are we afraid of this? Should we be afraid of this? And I think it's worth, worth touching on. We talked about this a lot. Well, which is that our identities get wrapped up in our start up companies, our identities get wrapped up in our work because we spend so much of our time doing these things, anything that calls into question that identity, right? Like I will no longer be it. We take this like so deeply personal and we've talked about this in terms of like founders selling their businesses and all a sudden finding themselves without an identity because they literally just sold the biggest part of who they thought they were. And I think the same thing is true. Any time we see these types of innovations, whether it's something small within a particular sector where all of a sudden, you know, like aerial footage, right? That changed big time where you no longer needed to hire a helicopter or plane, you could use a drone that cost $1200 and you could use it over and over again, right? That displaced some things, right? Things, this one's far more ubiquitous, but the same thing at play here, which is that now we're starting to feel our identities being challenged as humans and wondering where we fit into that value equation, which I think is scary. And so I, I also don't want to gloss over this and just say like, ah stop worrying about it, right? I get where it comes from, right? It is, it is a deeply scary and it's a deep psychological phenomenon. Fear of the unknown is a real thing. There was also interesting is Ryan when you and I came up through that era, through the internet era, we had nothing to lose. In fact, it was the opposite. Like, like all of those gains were pure gain for us, right? Like we didn't have careers that were being displaced in any way. We were the people that were gonna create careers out of this. But stick with that with every one of these revolutions, there are a whole new group of founders or a whole new group of stakeholders that also have nothing to lose and everything to gain, right? And that's who we're actually competing against. And the idea is always, oh, well, let's slow things down. Let's make sure that the incumbents, you know, aren't injured. Let's make sure that the guy, you know, with the saw can keep his job because it's important to keep his job and, and we'll get into that in a second again, around the being the tool versus uh the output. And I get that right now, you know, Ryan and I, you have been talked about this a lot, I do a ton of writing or a ton of writing. And now when I go into chat GP T, I'm like, OK, I can write an article uh around the future of A I and, and how it could be, you know, used progressively by founders or I can kind of just put the concept into Chat GP T. And even now when I, and this is still a very much a beta product compared to what it'll be, probably get 80% of what I was gonna say. Anyway, output it in two seconds. And I'm like, huh, like, I've been paid for a long time to have thoughts and all of a sudden all of a sudden a computer can replicate most of what I was gonna say. Anyway, last week I was setting up a website with my son. Uh he's seven years old and he wants to create this Ecommerce site called Will Store. He has really thought through branding much. And uh anyway, so we're, we're setting up the site and we're on Wix. Now, Wix allows you to just type in a couple of keywords and it will write a full product description. Now as a guy who's a creative by heart, the idea of having something else do something better than I could do it. Like, normally I would impress him with my ability to type words and I type like four words. I hit a button and I'm like, that's way better than I was gonna do. I could look at that one or two ways I could look at that as, oh my, I guess my skill is worth nothing. Or I could look at that and say, hey, man, instead of using the handsaw, maybe I should use the power saw and build more stuff. Yep, which that's been, that's kind of been my consistent pushback. When people are like, look, if this reduces, you know, my, I was talking to somebody a week ago, they were talking about the fact that they've realized within their Dev team, it's reduced their time to release features by 80%. And so the, the Dev team is scared to death and they're saying, you know, like this just mean that, you know, uh four out of five of us are gonna be let go. And he's like, or we could ship five times as many features too much of it before we get done. Right. There you go. All right. We're not moving to a one day work week. We can just get a lot more done the same amount of time, right? I love like, so when we talk about things like the the creative aspect of it, I don't use it to, to usurp my own creativity, but I can iterate creatively way, way faster. Now. In fact, what I've found is that I can spend more time being creative and less time being productive without sacrificing the productivity. I can spend the time that I normally would have to say, well, I can only afford, how many times have we done this where we were like, well, how much time can we put into thinking through this versus the doing of it? If something else can handle the doing, I can spend more time thinking. And that's where I have more value as a human right. My creativity can still come to the forefront, but the productivity can be handled by something else. That's where I'm finding this to be absolutely incredible and accelerative in the things that I'm doing. It. Also. I think it also starts to force you to look at how things were being done. And this doesn't take long in reflection. Right? Great example is my 11 year old daughter. She knows that maps used to exist and she just doesn't understand why. And she's like, we just got back to Niagara Falls yesterday and, uh, and we drove up there was like a six hour drive and I'm like, hey, you know, in the summer, I was like, hey, some, you know, there used to be a time that if you want to go to Niagara Falls, you actually just had to know how to get there. And she was like, well, how do you, huh? And exactly. I was like, well, you'd buy a map and then my son was like, well, what if the roads change? I'm like, you buy a new map. Yeah, I was like, and then what you'd do is you'd, you'd get off the, uh, the highway and you talk to a gas station attendant who would be like, your little, your little Magellan to kind of get you to the next you're trying to go and you'd work your way toward that direction and sometimes kind of eventually get there if you could read a map which most people could, most people could not. And they were like, that sounds so backward and sore and they're right. Right. And people use maps for like 8000 years. Right. What is they sucked? And every time we go through these, these iterations, it doesn't take us that long once we get over the hype of it to start to realize how incredibly boring writing product descriptions, what's on wit right? Or anything else that you were going to do and how like thank God, we don't have to do that anymore. Which kind of leads me to my next point, my next point and, and you just touch on this. I think our mentality is just broken. I think we embrace things improperly, I think. And like I said earlier, I think we should focus not on being the tool, the hand saw, right? The power saw. We need to be the person that is the operator of the tool. And as the tools improve, we need to become better operators. It turns out that me killing my arm while I'm trying to handsaw through a log is a shitty use of my time. But me grabbing a chainsaw and ripping right through. It is a great use of my time in the not too distant future. A robot doing it for me is also a great use of my time because as a human, my ability isn't limited to be able to move saws back and forth. There's a million other things I could be doing with my time. That isn't that be careful here will? Because I think this is pretty much how things started to go wrong in the lower a what a great movie? Good reference. But think about it, like, what we're learning to do is we're starting to learn to use these new tools. So instead of me saying, like I said, like, hey, I'm gonna write a description or write an article, I'm realizing I don't have to do that anymore. Why? Because what I'm about to do is basically a boring robotic behavior. That the fact that a robot can do it so to speak indicates that it's probably not the best use of my time. So I need to be able to say instead of writing one article that would take me two hours, can I write 10 articles that'll take me 15 minutes and get the same outcome, you know, edit them down to what I want. And that's the part I'm not speaking to A I we tech technological change general its miros by founders, you know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. Again, like the way I'm looking at any time we have something that increases efficiency and let's just stick with your writing example, right? We write about things that we know of, right? These are the things that we like to write about things that we've experienced things that we know and so that that's just an extraction process, right? Yeah, we have to think of the clever ways of describing it and pulling all that out. But it was the, it was the lived experience that makes it valuable. It's the knowing that made it valuable. And so the way I've started to look at this is anytime there's a way I can increase efficiency around the production side of things, the extraction, the output, it means I can spend more time doing new things or doing more of the same things to no better, right? So I've, I've tried to turn the corner on this and say, like, look rather than spending 20% of my time accumulating knowledge and 80% of my time repackaging that to make it useful for other people. If I can spend 80% of my time accumulating new knowledge and 20% of the time and still deliver the same amount or more of that package knowledge. I've become infinitely more valuable. We talked about this a few months ago and when we were talking about, you know, if you extend your career and what happens in the exponential value that's added is you stick around longer and longer. If you remain relevant, how much more, you know, and how much more you've experienced and how much more you can share. And so I started to combine these two thoughts and think about, wow. And now you can really accelerate that knowledge gain and transfer in a way that just makes it that much easier, that much more palatable. Also the idea that we no longer have to just write the one thing, right? I can now take that core concept and I can write it for five different audiences, for example, make it specific and contextual to them. So that not only is my knowledge now been repackaged, it's been repackaged specifically for a use case, which makes it infinitely more powerful, you bet. And there's other things too, like maybe you don't have to write it at all. In other words, we've taken all of the articles that, that kind of are the basis of start-up there. But we've got, you know, nearly 250 articles and we've loaded them into chat GP T and now we have a basis of knowledge that allows us to extrapolate from that to say, hey, you know, what are our best tips for fundraising? Hey, I'm creating my problem slide. You know, what's the best advice we tend to give around creating the problem slide. Instead of having to do that one by one on the phone with people in a webinar or whatever manually, I can automate that and help 100 x more people. Now, again, this almost maps back to the, the real fear that um that folks are feeling, which is, yeah, but doesn't that displace me? We keep getting hung up on us being the constant that our input is the constant, our ability to saw through a log. The time that it takes and the effort that it takes is the constant. We're looking at the wrong thing. What we're able to do every time we make one of these changes when the internet comes around, when mobile comes around, et cetera is we are able to exponentially create more output with, with a finite amount of input by comparison. So we should be thinking more about how can I build 10 houses where before I can only build one? Can you imagine what the world would look like if we didn't have power tools? Like how many fewer, fewer everything we'd have, you know, functionally or machines, et cetera. I I'd be pretty happy living in the forest. But yeah, I see your point. Yeah, I mean, you got the lumberjack look but I, I think from, you know, from my standpoint, I keep thinking of like if the internet never existed, how many companies would have never existed, how much wealth generation would have never existed. How many people who didn't have access to information are now connected in a way that's never been seen before. And I'm not just talking about like your ability to grab stuff off the internet. I'm talking about, you know, revolutions in different countries where they have access to information where they're like, oh shit, this is what the rest of the world looks like and this is how people are thinking and can express themselves for the first time, the weight and the transformative power of all of these revolutions. It just, it, it covers so many spectrum. And when I look at it, I think to myself, OK. Yeah, there will be some short term pain. But then what in right now start ups dot com, you know, we're thinking about every aspect of how, what Ryan and I are doing or the rest of the team can be done totally differently. We can help a million people. Now, what if we could help 1020 100 right? And we're trying to embrace that change. Also knowing that it's, it's gonna make obsolete some of the things we do fundamentally, which is OK. I mean, we talk about displacement and, and, and we act as if that's a really bad thing, right? It depends on where you get moved to in that displacement. Like I also, it cracks me up, especially when you're talking to founders, how many founders do you know who are just super cool with status quo and want things to stay the way they are, right? And yet something like this that comes along, that forces that rethink forces redirection, forces displacement. And we're like, I don't like that, but come on guys, come on. All right, this is what we're here for, right? This is one of those shake up moments where we can start to build things in entirely different ways, in better ways, you know, another thing. So we've talked about it kind of from the, the generation standpoint, which is, well, how do we, how do we use this to, to create more stuff? But then in terms of content, I, I was working with somebody a couple weeks ago and I showed them how to take existing content and have it applied to their situation using chat GP T, right? So basically say like here's a bunch of advice which is great advice. But their problem was how do I contextualize this? How do I make this right for me? And I said, OK, well, let's go teach chat GP T these two things, let's teach them a bit about your business and your current challenge. And here are the frameworks that you're in, interested in applying and let's start to let it build those solutions for you. So it isn't even just about the generation of the knowledge, it's about then the application of the absorption of and, and the utility there in which means that as we are exponentially increasing our ability to output people who are receiving it can make it exponentially more useful in their own lives. Yes, please. Like I want every bit of that. I am not against any, any little bit of that. When you look at jobs that pay per hour, you know that that's always a really important rubric, my father-in-law just recently retired. He was, um, running a law firm for his entire life. And, you know, a I to him is terrifying. Right. You know, his, his words were pretty much, I'm glad I got out when I did. And I'm like, you know, you're not wrong, you're not wrong because a lot of what you're getting paid for was just being able to move paper. There's a certain percentage where you're able to take a voluminous amount of information and bring it down to a decision point. And that is incredibly valuable. The rest of the stuff where people are just running around doing Lexus nexus searches and, and, and filling out templates was bullshit work all along and you're lucky you made it that far. No, I'm not being a jerk. I'm saying like you're lucky you made it that far to do it. I'll give you an example in 2000, specifically Ryan, you and I have talked about this. We were charging on average somewhere around like a million dollars minimum for what essentially is a brochure. We website, we were a web design company. Million dollars minimum. And I'm talking for like a 30 page website that we've been on a go the amount of time we're billing by the hour by the way. So like that is how long it took us right? To create something of that level. What ends up happening though is that same year 2000, I'm on the internet and I'm searching around and somebody mentioned something called template monster dot com if you can give you a throwback, right? It's like 23 years now. And I go to the site and these guys had created a whole series of beautiful web templates, right? Actually, better than what we could do. And we were like a top 10 digital, which is pretty sad when I think about it. But they were created these beautiful websites and you could download the template and modify it yourself for $25. It's like we're so, yeah, we're done, we're out. And I remember thinking at the time, I'm like, OK, remember this directly affects me, right? This is like literally what I get paid for. And the moment I saw that I was like, how could I in good conscience go to a major brand and be like, you need to pay us a million dollars usually a lot more than that for a site that you could essentially download and mo a template for like $25 right? And unfortunately, we sold, we sold the agency like a year later and I was like, OK, we're done. But, but my, my point is the same, same with my father in law where we see something that we are getting paid for handsomely because we were the only way to get that output even one other example. And I just because Ryan, this is happening right now inside our company for about 30 years, when we built websites, we would build them in Photoshop, essentially, we'd mock them up in Photoshop. And it was this really painstaking pixel pushing process and you had to like create a screen for every single instance of every single action, et cetera, et cetera. And then over the last few years, people started to use FIG A which was a design tool specifically made for creating websites and apps and things like that where instead of creating every single instance of a screen, you could just actually design this the pieces on the screen itself and get exactly what you're looking for. Then it went a step further. This is where it's at now where you can also start to take all those interactions you created and save them as code, right? So like skipping massive parts of what used to be a hellacious design process and we're over the moon about it, we think about how much more we can create. But if I'm a designer that up until now only got paid to make Photoshop templates. Or if I'm a developer that only got paid to take Photoshop templates and write them into code. I'm terrified. I'm looking at that dude. This is literally exactly what I do. Our CTO Steve G, a great guy. He gets into chat GP T and he's like, dude, I'm getting to the point where I'm just telling chat GP T to write the code for me and it's writing beautiful code. He's like, this is what I get paid to do in every one of these cases. And again, we're citing all these cases, everyone's affected, right? And everyone cases, we're gonna look back a year, two years, three years from now. And we're gonna laugh at how we used to use of like, you know, paper maps to do our job. It sounds as ludicrous as having to have quarters in your pocket so you can make a phone call, right? Like it, what we used to have to walk places to pick up phones, right? And look, it worked at the time, right? It wasn't, it wasn't that it was a bad solution. But what we have now is significantly more convenient and uh, and, and drives a lot of activity that wouldn't have otherwise been possible. Right. So, yeah, to stick with that, you know, to direct that be the operator, not the tool kind of concept. We're gonna look at everything we are doing today in a very short future time period. From now, I'm, I'm talking like 234 years tops and we're gonna look back at how we were doing things in the olden days in 2023 and laugh at how ridiculous, like, like how manual everything was. It reminded me of like back in the day when you saw those big typing pools where the there it was somehow all female and like all of a sudden computers came around, you could just save stuff and use a word processor. Like, and then people figured how to type and like all of those jobs became something more meaningful. Now, what I see uh more than anything is this super consistent timeline in history and lesson where all the people that didn't embrace the future became a part of the past summer. And I were watching a series right after you've seen this in the history channel. The Men That Built America, I have, it's one of my favorite series and it, and it goes through like, like the, the early days with like Vanderbilt, you know, kind of in the early early days and the railroads and the shipping lines before that. And it talks about how there are these major, major changes in technology, you know, the, the idea of, of steel, of oil, uh, et cetera. And how in every one of these cases, a little bit glorified, there was a person who came in and embraced it when everyone else was trying to go the other direction. They talked about how Rockefeller, you know, who was obviously in oil was so pissed off when with Edison and JP Morgan were financing electricity, right? And he was trying to do everything he could to show that, you know, electricity was bad, right? And burn your house down and again, and that's Rockefeller kind of keep nothing right? And built out of the oil industry. So what fascinates me is we have a long and very persistent timeline. We're not embracing the future, kind of destroys you. And yet every time it happens, founders like, well, maybe this time it won't matter. It's like that it continuously matters. And I mean, like it, it is always funny too and I, I get like, once you've built your fedom, you don't want it to go away. Right. You wanna. Right. So, you know, clearly, you know, Rockefeller was, was all about, you know, innovating into oil, but then when things changed and then we've got electricity. Yeah, that's, that feels bad to him. But, you know, it's, it's one of those things where I think sometimes it's embraced by the incumbents, they continue and they evolve and they move on. But it's also a really exciting time because it opens the doors for smaller nimble opportunistic, right? People with that growth mindset and people who are willing to adopt the technology to do things they otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. Right? And I did, I find that not only do we get these, like the, the macro innovation of A I, but like the number of innovations that are going to come out of what happens through A I super exciting. Right. Again, like I, I think it really depends on how you approach these things and how you think about it. And you know, in the founder space, I'm tending to feel a lot less hesitance, a lot less resistance, a lot less fear. There's a lot more excitement. There's a lot more, you know, kind of an upbeat mentality. But again, we're not just talking about a I today, we're, we're talking about kind of, you know, when change comes along sweeping or otherwise, even if just specific to your industry or message here and this, which you were alluding to a second ago. Embrace it. right? Because when you simply try to resist it and hold it back from happening, it's highly unlikely. Even if all the incumbents do so, somebody who isn't part of the incumbents is going to do something with it to gain advantage over the incumbents, right? So it's either adopt and, and, and move with the flow or, you know, how often does fighting the zeitgeist work? Just rarely if ever I agree. And so I, I think, you know, from our standpoint, every time we see this, the folks that get in early, that get on the right side, especially, you know, when incumbents do that, when when incumbents look at this and go, hey, you know, this is actually gonna be a problem for us. We need to be on the right side of this versus the wrong side of it, even though they weren't entirely successful. Microsoft was all about this, like, like actually there's a bunch of tweets that went around today where Bill Gates was predicting in the early days of the internet, he's like this is going everything and we need to be on the right side of that, which is why they tried to make internet explorer, like the de facto web browser and they made some inroads, but they never really became, you know, the internet dominant player like Google or anybody else like that. But regardless, he knew well enough that he had displaced, you know, so many people through his operating system and really the right of the PC, he knew exactly what that looked like and he was smart on what that looked like. Yeah, to be able to try to react to it. But the reality is once again, all the people that ended up displacing him, you know, Mark and Dreessen and Netscape in the early days and then obviously later with, you know, Google and I'm talking mainly browsers in the later days, they were people that had nothing to lose, right? Like like windows had to worry about being able to displace. Well, what if the browser takes over the operating system? And, and that was a issue for a long time and becomes the operating system, you know, that would hurt our core business. So let's make sure that it's always about the, the two working hand in hand. And Google is like, well, we don't have an operating system, we don't, we don't have that problem. And now my entire desktop is really just a chrome browser. What fascinates me is that even when you see it coming, it is very difficult to stop that progress. The harder thing is to get in front of it. We're trying to get way, way in front of it in our business. And I would encourage all the folks that, that are listening, you know, no matter how you feel about A I, the robots are coming, whatever, it kind of doesn't matter it's coming with or without you, right? The only thing you can do as a founder is be on the right side of, of the change when it comes and it's coming and make sure that you have a reason to prosper from it and build something with the new tools in mind and step back and say it doesn't matter what we did before what matters is where the future is going and how we're gonna be part of that story. You know, something that's really funny about everything we talk about here is that none of it is new. Everything you're dealing with right now has been done 1000 times before you, which means the answer already exists. You may just not know it, but that's ok. That's kind of what we're here to do. We talk about this stuff on the show, but we actually solve these problems all day long at groups dot start ups dot com. So if any of this sounds familiar, stop guessing about what to do, let us just give you the answers to the test and be done with it. Agreed. And with that, that's a wrap for the podcast portion of the podcast. Now, let's get on to the discussion with all of our friends here. Will you gonna kick this off? You've already kind of started talking with Darlene about this, Darlene. You wanna join us on stage change and risk is scary. It is, it is what aspects of change and risk? And are there limitations to that for you is all change and risk scary. I mean, clearly, like as a start up founders, we have to embrace some level of risk. It's, it's kind of comes, comes along with what we're doing in that type of change. Like there are some scary elements there. Is there anything in particular you're scared about around A I or is there another example you have around change? That's, that's scary right now. Just becoming a founder is scary. The company that I chose to launch has nothing to do with my, I wouldn't say completely nothing. But the bulk of my background is college athletics and my company is dealing with natural skin products, how they correlate. Um Number one is that I want to do something completely different than what I've done before. I wanted to explore a different side of who I am. And the other part is, it's, it is part of who I was in terms of college administrators. They are terrible at taking care of themselves. Terrible. They're really good at taking care of student athletes, but they are terrible at taking care of themselves. And so that's what I want to explore is how can we do better at taking care of ourselves and the environments that we find ourselves in will. And I spend a lot of time talking about them. It's part of, that's the main reason we do this podcast. I think it's therapeutic for the two of us and, and hopefully it's therapeutic for other people as well. And the founders can help to understand better how to take care of themselves. One of the things I want to react to there in, in what you said, Darlene was so part of change was, was what led you to do this, like there was a desire to change, you want to be someone different, you wanted to have a different. So, you know, change was what led you to do what you wanted to do. And I think that's the, that's the two edged sword and it kind of goes back to Will's point around this thing. Change is a tool, right? How we wield it matters a lot, right? So whether we, whether we let that change become something that we're, we're scared of and, and I'm not saying, don't be scared of being a start up founder scared, right? It, it, it can be a scary thing but don't let it get, don't let it get out of control and remind yourself that, that that change is a big part of why you wanted to do this in the first place. All right, Marco, you said that you like the approach of the tool operator with technology in general with A I, there is a real possibility that the tool could take decision instead of the operators. For example, self driving car. What did you like about the analogy?

Wil Schroter: Yeah, I mean, II I like the fact that any, any kind of new tool or, or new evolution is like a tool that you can use and you can profit for it. And, and that's perfect. I mean, it was like that since history, since the wheel, the thing, I mean, uh uh I really like also um A I because it's the basis of my business. So I'm, I'm in favor of Australia that uh we are giving uh the possibility to the tool. So to this A I to take decision instead of us, I'm working in the medical field. And uh I mean, the point is that uh A I can take decision instead of the medical doctor and this could be good or could be wrong. It depends. Uh but uh i it's a feature that never happened before. It's not just a new tool, it's a tool with a special features,

Ryan Rutan: you know, Marco, it's interesting to say that you mentioned doctors, I, I was at a conference about a month ago and there was this leading urologist that was there speaking about a whole bunch of topics and a I came up and he was like, you know, a I will isn't likely he, he wasn't being as it, but he was like a, I, I just don't see how it's going to replace the, the skill set and the experience of a doctor. And I pushed back a little respectfully and I said, yeah, but you know, you're kind of missing something you're at the top of your field. So in your mind, it can't replace your level of experience. But what about a doc? That's five years out of residency. They don't have those experiences, but they are called on to make the same quality of decision as you are. How could they possibly synthesize all that experience and knowledge that's out there and diagnose something with your experience without having access to it in America. I'm just gonna build on, on one more concept. The internet gave us an option to upload. If you will, a tremendous amount of information, we have more information accessible than ever, what it didn't do real well. And I think you'd appreciate this is, it didn't give us a way to synthesize it quickly right in the way that chat G BT, I can tell it to do something, you know, to, to run a query and it can synthesize exactly what I'm looking for or in a very you know, almost infinite, at least quickly period of time and make me use it. Whereas now I'm, like, in a Google search and I'm reading through articles and my synthesis of getting the information back out is really painful and now it's not, and, and how many people need to be able to synthesize the best of information, like doctors at the moment it matters.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. II, I absolutely agree. The thing, I think uh medicine is a, is a bit of special case because basically you cannot make a lot. So without GP T is your father believe in what child GP T says? But to is not correct. No one is to check because it's so dense. The info information that GP T put together, there is no chance to control if it is 100% correct is a big difference because uh you don't want to make errors. So at least you want to make less errors than a human and is at the moment is something that is not well understood possible. So for me, it's OK because this is really the basis for my business. So I'm in favor of this, but it's uh

Ryan Rutan: I'll give you an example as a use case and Ryan, your dad's a doctor as well. So you can appreciate this. And Ryan, you went through this with me about 10 years ago. I didn't know it yet, but I had come down with a condition called trigeminal neuralgia. Which is like one of the most painful things you can have. It's basically when the trigeminal nerve in your, in your face fires indiscriminately, even though it's not actually being attacked, like being tasered in the face nonstop, it's exactly as painful as it sounds. But I didn't know what it was. And so I went to a series of specialists, right? And everybody from a dentist who thought it was TMJ to a pain doctor who just wanted to put me on as many drugs as possible. I even did acupuncture Ryan. You remember like the condition I was in, I was in a bad place trying it all. You know, all the people that wound up figuring out diagnosing what it was. It was my GP who I, I never thought in a million years like I would have been the person to diagnose it just because he happened to have had a patient like 15 years prior that happened to have had the condition and he happened to have had the connection and he saved my life. I mean, he, he saved me from years of, of indiscriminate pain. I say that to say I am fundamentally limited in so many ways. I'm using the doctor as an example by the specialist domain, by the specialist experience, by the specialists ability to synthesize. And maybe the chat G BT answer is wrong. But if the only answer I get right now is what's stuck in that person's head that scares the hell out of me.

Wil Schroter: Not true. Exactly. But is, is, is that these, let's say, in the 95% probably the doctors in this case and it made the same, the difference is the, in the 5% that really could make a change. These are, I agree.

Ryan Rutan: Yeah. All right. Let's keep going. Let's see. Uh, Marco, you meant that mentioned that people are lazy by nature. I wanna build on this one a little bit. If you don't mind, I wanna build on this one because one of the things that always gets way under hyped or undersold when a new technology comes out is how willing people are to actually use it, use it properly, et cetera. There was this great quote in the dumbest movie. What was this Jay and Silent Bob movie where they're introducing, I, I can't remember who it was to the internet, you know, but, but it was Jay and s they had their own movie and there was this great scene where they're introducing somebody to the internet for the first time. And he's like, we've created this engine that's given the world access to information on the grandest steel possible and we've chosen to use it to create memes or whatever he said he's like we created the dumbest you cases possible for the most important technology ever. I think we tend to undersell people's ability to absorb technology, right? How many parts of the world still don't have internet access, right? Like we just think eventually, immediately everything changes. It does not, my grandparents still don't understand how to work. The BC R like grandpa, there's two buttons, dude, and start and stop. You're not gonna rewind anyway. Like that's all there is. And it is confounding him. I think just because something comes around, it doesn't become universally used in demarco's point and people are damn lazy. So, I, I think there's a lot of conditions here that need to be met for like a true change or revolution to happen.

Wil Schroter: Yeah. Yeah, I know. It's

Ryan Rutan: Ryan. Your thoughts on people are lazy. Not that, that's, that's harder. It's, look, I, I think that laziness can be a quality when, when applied correctly, right. When we use it to try to find more efficient ways of doing something. Right. Like, would you rather have somebody who's intelligent and lazy who figures out a faster way of doing something or somebody who's just really energetic, who will keep doing exactly the same job over and over and over again. Right. I think we'd all agree that we'd rather have somebody who's actually thinking about how things are getting done. Right. It's the whole work smart, not hard concept. You can of course, take that too far. But I, I think that there are, again, are we being lazy or are we being efficient? Right. And so I think there's, I think there's a difference there. Right. So, you know, one of the use cases that I've, I've talked about a lot with people and this touches on something that, that Darlene asked about kind of consolidating things, making them snack or bringing, bringing things down. It's one of my major use cases. So if I, if I find something that I think might be interesting. Right? But it's like, let's say it's a 2500 word blog post. I may ask it to summarize it for me first pull out the key points, you know, what are the things that I should know from walking away from this? And it doesn't mean that I'm not going to read the article, right? I'm not being lazy about reading the article. I'm being time efficient by saying before I engage in 2400 words, I want the the tweet version to say yes, this has the right type of value. This is going in the right direction, right? Because previously it was limited to things like, well, let me scan it. Well, if I scan it, I can miss a lot, right? If I'm just looking at 10 12% of the article, I'm not gonna get the same thing as something that looks at all of it. Right? Conversely, how often have you not read something? And then maybe somebody said, oh, hey, by the way, did you check out? And you're like, hm, I actually skipped over it. Now, I'm going to same thing, right? You're just getting a summary from a human in that case. So I think it's important to, to consider like what's really happening there and is it just laziness or is it just a desire for efficiency? A desire for efficiency? And then I can consume four or five more articles maybe just the right one for me today. I'm better off. Right. So I think again, and I'm not just rose colored glasses here. I, I do understand there are plenty of potential downsides to all of this. And I think there, there are so many ethical questions that still have to be answered. Not least of which is just because something can do something doesn't mean that it should. Right. So in the case of, of medicine should, should we replace doctors with A I? Should it be making the same decisions? Maybe, maybe not. I don't know yet. There isn't enough data around it, but there's certainly really cool use cases for it. I, I used one recently when we had to take my, my father to see a bunch of physicians for checkups after you know, his post stroke care. I asked chat GP T to give me questions per doctor about the type of things that I should be asking to make sure that we're getting the level of care that we should be getting right to make sure that I'm heading the right direction, asking the things. What are the things that I don't know that I need to know so that I can be a well informed self advocate. Right. I think that's a fantastic use case for it. And there were certainly things I would have missed. Right. I can't be an expert in everything. I love it. Hey, let's do one more. Uh, let's go to Hector Hector. I'm gonna like this one. I agree with most of what's being said, but it seems we are not looking at the whole picture. In many cases, people's fears are, are not unfounded. It's human nature to maximize the benefits and minimize the drawbacks. And we can see history in many examples in which technologies had terrible consequences. Great comment. Give us some examples. A light us up a little bit.

Wil Schroter: The part that concerns me is that we are as a human race, we're really very slow in responding and taking action when things go unchecked. And we've done that multiple times throughout history. The fossil fuels and internal combustion engine, right? It became mainstream and now we cannot live without it and look what it is and look at where we are now in the global warming. It's, it's a serious issue. Plastic terrific invention, fantastic invention. But look at what it is now, right? So we're very slow in reacting to the negative side of new technology. And I, and I agree with everything you're saying, creates opportunity, there's new ways to do things, but we haven't learned from our mistakes in keeping things in check and in balance and visual intelligence has that potential to be as helpful and as destructive as those previous technologies. And there is, it is definitely not a, a point uh arguing that it's not going to change our lives. It is definitely gonna change our life. The real question is how and how quick are we going to be in reacting to those negative effects? I mean, social media, the fact that it's having on teenagers, we let it go on check and rampant through our society and now we're dealing with, you know, teenagers with serious psychological issues. So that's my only concern that this has a potential to affect not just one area but many areas, almost every area of life and, and we have to get better and putting boundaries or checkpoints in those things that unfortunately, we're very slow in responding or, or catching up to those negative effects. I will especially be very afraid of someone who has nothing to lose because that's a person that doesn't measure the consequences.

Ryan Rutan: You mean like Mark Zuckerberg, I know seriously, like he had all upside, you know, I don't know, Mark Zuckerberg. So for all I know he's, he cries himself to sleep every night over, over this horrible invention that he's created, but I think he's too busy practicing the fight. So I think what you're saying is great. Like if we go back as far as the invention of a pointy object, a spear, right? Great innovation for hunting until you turn around to your buddy and throw it at him. Right? And all of a sudden it's a very different weapon. Right? And I think everything that we create has the ability to do true damage. You know, we're talking about damage in the case of displacing a job or displacing an industry, et cetera. And obviously, those have real costs. I don't want to diminish the fact that like, yes, Netflix decimated Blockbuster. And it's like, you know, such a, a David and Goliath, but there's a lot of people that worked at Blockbuster that didn't have jobs anymore. Right. There's a lot of people that actually liked going to Blockbuster, they couldn't go there anymore. So everything does have a cost. I think it's a really good point. Ryan. What's your thought? Well, so there's where I take a slightly different view on this. I don't disagree with anything you're saying about these things historically and I'm not trying to underplay the damage that A I could do. There's a subtle difference that I find pretty exciting here and that's, that plastic can't check itself, right? Guns can't check themselves. The internet can't check itself a check in, in terms of like, prevent itself from doing bad things. A I is a technology that actually has the possibility when built ethically to check itself, right? And, or you can build other A I systems to check other A I systems. Right. So for the first time, an ability to have a bit of a self weeding garden here, I think the, the other side of this and I keep, I've been saying this since the very beginning, I think the, the more people that come out and do good things with this, the less likely we are to have bad things happen. And it's not that people won't still try bad things, but it's because of the very things that I'm talking about, right? The self policing, right? As we as good people are using these things, we're going to come across the ethical concerns. We're gonna come across the moral boundaries of this thing and understand better how to control that and how to identify what some of the risks are. Right? I think this is one of those cases where if, if we resist this the best way to resist and kind of police A I is to understand it very well and to use it and to have it become nearly ubiquitous, right? Agreed. Agreed.

Wil Schroter: You know, like I agree with everything you guys said, like, let's embrace it, let's make the most out of it and let's not be afraid of, you know, the changes, but, you know, just looking back just as human nature, we're, we're kind of bad at that. We kind of suck at measuring like, oh my God, the house is born, right?

Ryan Rutan: Well, with that said, folks, I have to go fight a army that's massing outside my home right now. Uh It was great having everybody here today. Thanks for joining. Thanks for listening in from wherever this may find you. Hopefully, as you're listening to this, humans are still in control and or A I is taken over and, and it's a much better planet like this will be the worst time. I can't rule that out either guys. Thanks a lot. We love having you. I can't wait to see you next month. Take care guys. So in addition to all the stuff related to founder groups, you've also got full access to everything on start ups dot com. That includes all of our education tracks, which will be funding customer acquisition, even how to manage your monthly financers. They're so, so much stuff in there. All of our software including biz plan for putting together detailed business plans and financials launch rock for attracting early customers and of course, fundable for attracting investment capital. When you log into the start ups dot com site, you'll find all of these resources available.

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