The One-person Billion-dollar Company, Career Transitions: A Step-by-step Framework, Apple Vision Pro, and More

Everything we published this week

DALL-E/Every illustration.

Hello, and happy Sunday! 

If you prefer to listen to our work, check out our Spotify channel to hear Evan narrate his review of Chris Dixon’s book Read Write Own. Like and subscribe to Every on Spotify so you can get our essays in your feed, and let us know what you think in the comments.

Now, on to everything we published this week, along with our take on the latest tech and business news.

Our stories

“The One-person Billion-dollar Company” by Evan Armstrong/Napkin Math: Sam Altman recently claimed that someday soon, AI would enable the creation of a one-person billion-dollar company. This is a very cool idea, but is it even possible? Evan has a personal interest in this topic because AI tools have writers’ careers in their crosshairs. Read this if you want to see the napkin math and strategy required to build what Altman is proposing. 

“Career Transitions: A Step-by-step Framework” by Stella Garber: If, on every Sunday night, you look in the mirror and contemplate burning your life to the ground, first off, welcome to Corporate America. Secondly, you should probably tackle the question of “What do I do with my life?” with a little more rigor. Thankfully startup founder and former Trello executive Stella Garber has a framework to help you intelligently approach the question of what to do next with your career. Read this if you want to be smart about your next professional move. 

🎧 “How to Make a Video Game With ChatGPT in 60 Minutes” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: The future of AI is being able to make anything you imagine come to life quickly, easily, and cheaply. In this episode of How Do You Use ChatGPT?, Dan and Logan Kilpatrick, OpenAI's first developer relations advocate, build a video game in 60 minutes with the help of ChatGPT. Read/watch this if you want to see how OpenAI employees are using the tools they built. 🔏 Paid subscribers have exclusive access to Dan’s analysis of the episode and the transcript.

“Profit, Power, and the Vision Pro” by Evan Armstrong/Napkin Math: Evan’s experience with the Vision Pro was borderline spiritual—he felt like he got a glimpse of the future. Naturally, that led him to ask the most salient question: “Who makes money off this thing?” Apple’s hardware has dictated the economics of tech for nearly 15 years, so it’s worth examining how its next product will (or won’t) change the economics of tech markets. Read this if you want a deeper analysis on how the Vision Pro will change the tech landscape.

🔏 “Should You Buy a Vision Pro? A Guide” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: Dan has been deep in a $3,500 fever dream—namely, he has been using the Vision Pro non-stop. In this piece he wrestles with the incredible potential of the technology versus the day-to-day reality of using it. Read this if you are wondering whether you should buy the device for yourself.

Chain of links

OpenAI is trying to make agents happen. OpenAI is reportedly building software that will let AI agents take over your computer to do tasks for you. (I’ve heard this from a few people as well.) When it is released, it will be an event rivaling the initial launch of ChatGPT in importance—and hopefully it includes a feature that will automatically write my emails. 

You know what’s cooler than $1 billion? $7 trillion. In The Social Network, Sean Parker (played by Justin Timberlake) famously tells Mark Zuckerberg: “You know what’s cooler than $1 million? A billion dollars.” Sam Altman is making that line from 2010 seem positively quaint with the news that he’s raising up to $7 trillion for a new chip fabrication project. I’m skeptical of this amount. It’s possible that number has been bandied about, but I doubt it’s anything close to a realistic near-term fundraising picture.

Huberman finally has an official chatbot. In the bright, early days of GPT-3, I built a chatbot based on Andrew Huberman’s podcast. This week, he launched an official version powered by Dexa. I’m still convinced that chatbots are a new content format, and it’s exciting to see big creators try them out. My suspicion is that this specific type of chatbot—scraped content archives used to answer questions—becomes souped-up site search, but that’s plenty helpful if you, like me, are always in search of the latest protocols and supplements from Daddy Huberman. —Dan Shipper

The napkin math

Disney is trying to do gaming (again). CEO Bob Iger announced a $1.5 billion investment in Fortnite creator Epic Games to create a metaverse populated by Disney characters. This is, like, a fine thing for a company with lots of IP to do! What is weird is that he tried a similar strategy in 2016 with the purchase of gaming company Avalanche. Then, inexplicably, Iger shut that division down. Most of that team went on to make a Harry Potter game that did over $1 billion in sales last year (whoops). The real story is that Disney is in the middle of a fight with shareholders, and Iger needs a win.

X wants sweaty men in latex—aka the WWE. X continues to build out media partnerships to get exclusive content on the platform. Tucker Carlson posted his interview with Putin on the site. Paris Hilton had a deal (canceled because of anti-semitic posts from Elon), and now the network has a deal for exclusive WWE matches. This would’ve been a great idea in 2013. To fill the vertical feed, you need mountains of user-generated content. The last decade of social internet has shown that people mostly prefer creator-driven stuff. In my view, professional media is unlikely to allow X to compete with other platforms. —Evan Armstrong

The examined life

Thumbs up. You may recall that I’ve been experiencing thumb pain recently. I’d been chalking it up to repressed rage until I got a Logitech MX Vertical Wireless mouse. My thumb pain almost completely disappeared. 11/10 recommend if you’re suffering. —Dan

Hear from the video game pros. I’ve been enjoying the new season of the podcast Gamecraft. Run by VCs Mitch Lasky and Blake Robbins, the show bucks the trend of most investing content by having strong, well-reasoned takes. I don’t always agree with their analysis, but I’m always learning from what they have to share. The most recent episode went deep into Epic if you want to learn more background on the Disney deal. —Evan

That’s all for this week!

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