Watching the world of technology evolve at its fastest rate ever due to AI hitting its stride is absolutely nerve wracking. As an entrepreneur focused on software, I feel like I’m experiencing an existential crisis. I imagine most founders are going through something similar. It’s anxiety inducing. We are grappling with unanswerable questions right now: What is the future of software? Will what I’m working on be made obsolete by AI over the next 12 months? 24 months? 5 years? What does it mean if the rate of progress and change continues to accelerate? What The Fuck?
Most people building things have been living in a relatively safe world. Tyler Cowen hits the nail on the head when he proclaims, “Virtually all of us have been living in a bubble ‘outside of history.'” Technology entrepreneurs have certainly experienced a lot of change in the past two decades with the transition to cloud and mobile, but those moments felt much more understandable. Sure, there were plenty of surprises and disruption, but nothing even remotely comparable to the seemingly inevitable radical AI upending that is upon us.
It’s a moment in time where we experience equal parts excitement about what is possible and absolute dread at the thought that everything we know how to do and excel at feels like its growing increasingly irrelevant by the day. I am immensely grateful that Fundera was acquired two years ago and I’m a free agent that gets to soak this all in and think deeply (although it’s unclear what good the deep thinking will actually do). I do not envy founders who are many years into company building and need to grapple with the existential questions this moment in time requires. I have a great deal of empathy for you.
It’s difficult to make predictions in times like these. It seems as if even the best builders will be subject to significantly more volatility and randomness when it comes to their success. And the bar was already dauntingly high. One thing I believe to be true is that this new world will put a premium on people who deeply focus on problem-solving instead of opportunism. The past decade has been riddled with people searching for arbitrages in software, and I think AI will likely drive the returns of that approach close to zero. Dedication to solving a problem (even if it’s coupled with opportunism) will pay dividends. Primarily because it gives you a more profound reason to wake up motivated in the morning and the willpower to battle through what will certainly be the most insanely volatile decade in technology in history.