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Stoa Digest #125: 🔥 Keep the Fire Alive 🔥
Set your life on fire and seek those who fan your flames.
Well, the last few days have been ‘interesting’, to say the least. For cricket fans and the tech community. Only one will have critical, long-lasting implications.
This year went from Musk’s takeover of Twitter/X, the SBF scandal, and now this saga with OpenAI, its board, Sam Altman, and Microsoft.
If you’re curious about the journey of OpenAI and the events that unfolded the last few days, here’s a great summary by the Atlantic on what led to Sam Altman getting fired.
Careful about being bogged down in speculation. - Twitter Anon
Things are changing, rapidly.
ChatGPT (or the advent of consumer-accessible AI) has led to the rapid development & evolution of apps, tools, and systems.
I can already visualise a near future where a sales bot negotiates with a b2b-customer bot and the humans behind them are watching reels on Instagram while their bots close the sale.
Things are going to get even more interesting as time goes by, and more often than not, we’re going to wonder (or worry) about our place in the ecosystem 10x in 2024.
Things are accelerating quicker; dev-day by OpenAi showed us that. This rapid evolution will (and I’d argue already has) alter our perceptions of the workplace and our role within it.
Career Existentialism will be a real thing. Maybe. IDK. Maybe I’m being over speculative now.
Tangentially there’s something interesting about ~700 employees threatening to resign from arguably one of the most important organisations in modern history. The threat of such a significant number of employees leaving can put the company in a risky position. A majority of its workforce enables customers to use OpenAI’s products.
Can you imagine Swiggy’s entire CS team resigning if Sriharsha Majety got fired as CEO? or CRED’s design team staging a strike outside their office in Indiranagar over Kunal Shah being let go?
The sentiment surrounding organizations, especially in the tech industry, is becoming increasingly nuanced. Companies are no longer judged solely based on financial performance or market dominance. There's a growing stress on ethical practices, corporate governance, social responsibility, and managing change.
Events at companies like OpenAI and Twitter (under Musk's leadership), reflect a vocal shift. Stakeholders, including employees, customers, and the public, are voicing their concerns and expectations more loudly, influencing corporate policies and leadership decisions.
Maybe tomorrow we’ll be arguing about a ten-hour work week, while we spend time in leisure as AGI takes over 80% of our work.
~ Shelton, Team Stoa
Priyanka Jain from C12 is among the top 100 women interior designers and architects in India.
Here’s the Master Bedroom design that got her, her peak 2023 moment.
After doing her BSc. in Architecture and Design, Priyanka started her own agency, Designs By Ariya along with her twin brother who is also an architect, and who in her words “is the most reliable co-founder she could have asked for“.
One of their early YouTube videos went viral, which started their journey of building their diverse clientele. Learning by doing and being intentional while designing is how Priyanka ensures happy clients.
Coming from a Marwari family and growing up around business jargon, she was always interested in building a scalable business, and that quest for know-how brought her to Stoa. During her time in the program, she decided to take the plunge once again to open up a restaurant, Anantam, right on the Bangalore-Chennai highway. Citing the application of what she learned in the supply chain, ops, and management sprints, she wanted to put her learnings to the test.
“My brother and I would not have known what SOP or inventory management would mean if I didn’t learn about it here.”
“Post my 6-month journey, I am patiently running my interior design agency and my restaurant because I worked on myself at Stoa and learned one of the key things to be a better working professional, and that is people management.”
Anantam has been profitable since the very first month, a rare sighting in the restaurant and food business. This is a solid testament to the efforts & dedication Priyanka and her team have put in.
Priyanka made the most out of the community too. Vilas from C6, who is also a restaurant owner is now a well-wisher and peer-guide for her and they jam on every problem, idea, “ah, I am just so tired” rants and are growing in the F&B space as friends.
Kudos to her, her commitment to building things, and her love for learning.
People of Stoa
See ya, fam!