NOTE: I've been using ChatGPT a decent amount recently. I mostly use it to summarize various things, to improve short blurbs, or as a research tool. But I haven't had success using it for blogging. It feels unnatural, impersonal, and superficial to me. I feel that it prevents my brain from going as deep as I'd like. I forced myself to leverage it much more than usual for this post. Ultimately, I hate it but I already spent more time than I should have so I'm just putting it out there. At the bottom, I included a version that was 95% generated by ChatGPT just for fun. Going forward, I'll likely just stick with my own brain + Grammarly for blog posts.
70% Me / 25% ChatGPT-4 / 5% Midjourney
This post was inspired by Saira's recent tweet:
Her viewpoint deeply resonates with me. My wife and I are both 36 with dogs and no kids. If you would have asked us how many kids we'd have by now on our wedding day 10 years ago, our answer wouldn't have been zero. You get married, you buy a house, you have kids, right? Well, life awakenings are tremendously impactful. They make you question everything you thought you knew and how you view the world and your life. My wife and I experienced a few throughout our late 20s (expressed here and here) serving as one factor as to why we don't have kids.
However, moreover, and the reason for this post... I think it's indicative of a more extensive shift occurring right now – a rapid reassessment of societal norms.
Covid served as a life awakening for many who wouldn't have experienced one for many more years. And I find this really exciting. It paves the way for a surge in entrepreneurship, radically new products and ways of doing things, and ultimately a more intriguing future. Selfishly, as an early-stage investor, these are all really good things. Obviously I want to talk to any and all who view a future where something important and common will be done differently than the status quo.
I think it's fun to think through the progression of technological acceptance through the perspective of different generations.
The generational divide: Dorothy, Michael, Emily, and Kai
Meet Dorothy, a 80-year-old retiree who grew up in a time when the idea of a ride-sharing app like Uber was unfathomable. Dorothy was a common name for women born in the 1940s. Despite having an iPhone, it's still a foreign technology to her and her kids have to constantly help her out. She has never been in an Uber. She hasn't even been in a taxi in years. Dorothy's perspective is rooted in a time when tech was far less integrated into daily life. Her adoption is mostly a reflection of that era.
Meet our middle-aged friend, Michael, a 56-year-old working professional who has witnessed a rather rapid rise of technology throughout his adult life. Michael was a popular name among men born in the 1960s. When Uber first emerged, he was skeptical of the idea of getting into a stranger's car. His initial resistance to change is not uncommon among his generation, as many were slow to adapt to the revolutionary concept of sharing rides with people they didn't know. They used cash and hailed taxi's all their life. Perhaps they sprung for a limo for a fancy event. That's just how you did it. However, as Uber became more popular over time especially with his children and younger co-workers, Michael finally installed the app to try it out, instantly building trust in the platform and embracing the modern way of doing the age-old thing. It took a while, but he eventually got there.
Next meet Emily, a 22-year-old who grew up in a world where smartphones and ride-sharing apps are the norm. Emily was a popular name for girls born in the early 2000s. For her, using Uber is second nature. She couldn't imagine life before it and therefore without it. I question if she'd make it in a world where Uber disappeared and she had to literally call a taxi, guess when it would arrive, be disgusted when realizing she sat in gum, could negotiate, and had to pay with cash. Emily represents the younger generation that is lightning quick to embrace new technology. And she's not bound by traditional norms.
Lastly, meet Kai. Kai represents a future generation that doesn't exist yet. Like Emily, Kai isn't bound my societal norms much, but goes even further by challenging them and embracing the creation of new ones. She doesn't even feel guilty or like she may be doing something that could be perseived as wrong by doing so. Like Emily, Kai is a digital native and is unafraid to experiment with emerging products and services. But Kai is even more trusting of strangers, the web, and technology. Kai grew up in a world with radically new interfaces such as VR, AR, and autonomous vehicles. Kai's world is flat, growing up hyper-connected to an internet inclusive from around the world who can communicate and transact effortlessly with one another on a scale unimaginable even today. AI advancements from the 2020s proliferated throughout every product and the impacts are compounding, removing barriers to communicate like different languages.
I asked ChatGPT for some help putting their likely openness to various norms and technologies into a table.
As simple as it is, the generational framework above may serve as a valuable tool for assessing the potential of early-stage investments in the future.
We often get lost in the tech. These days, that's LLMs for many. New tech and a few audacious entrepreneurs are enough to create some world changing products, which is what we saw historically. I feel fortunate to have witnessed status quo's get upended in several ways, disrupting traditional industries with radically new ways of living, working, and interacting with each other.
But Saira's simple tweet spurred my excitement about the next chapter. The rapid reevaluation of societal norms amplifies the potential for groundbreaking innovations, and the number of them. With more entrepreneurs than ever daring to challenge the status quo, lower barriers to building and collaborating, and a growing number of people eager to embrace change, the stage is set for an unprecedented explosion of transformative products and services.
5% Me / 95% ChatGPT-4
I prompted ChatGPT by asking to draft a blog post from just the conclusion above.
The Tech Revolution: Redefining Society Through Innovation
In today's fast-paced world, it's easy to get swept up in the constant innovation and technological advancements. One area that has garnered significant attention in recent years is the development of Large Language Models (LLMs), which have the potential to revolutionize the way we communicate, learn, and interact with one another. As the world changes at breakneck speed, it is important to take a step back and appreciate how these transformative products and services are disrupting traditional industries, redefining societal norms, and paving the way for a more connected and empowered future.
The Role of Audacious Entrepreneurs
Throughout history, audacious entrepreneurs have dared to challenge the status quo, resulting in groundbreaking innovations that have shaped the course of human progress. These risk-takers have leveraged new technology to create products and services that have disrupted traditional industries and introduced radical new ways of living, working, and interacting with one another.
The Power of LLMs
Large Language Models (LLMs) represent the latest frontier in technological advancements. As more entrepreneurs continue to explore the potential of LLMs, we can expect to see a surge of transformative applications that will revolutionize industries such as education, healthcare, finance, and beyond. By harnessing the power of these advanced AI systems, we can unlock unprecedented opportunities to improve the lives of billions of people worldwide.
Lower Barriers and Collaborative Spirit
One of the driving forces behind the rapid proliferation of game-changing innovations is the lowering of barriers to entry in the world of technology. With more accessible tools, resources, and platforms, individuals and small teams can now build and launch products that were once the domain of large corporations. This democratization of innovation has fostered a growing spirit of collaboration, as people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines come together to create new solutions for the challenges we face.
Embracing Change and Shifting Societal Norms
As transformative products and services continue to emerge, we are witnessing a rapid reevaluation of societal norms. This shift in mindset opens up a world of possibilities for groundbreaking innovations, as more people embrace change and actively seek out new ways to improve their lives. With a growing number of individuals willing to challenge conventional thinking, we can expect to see an unprecedented explosion of transformative products and services that will redefine the way we live, work, and interact with each other.
The ongoing tech revolution, driven by audacious entrepreneurs and the power of LLMs, is breaking down barriers, fostering collaboration, and encouraging a reevaluation of societal norms. As we embrace this wave of change, we have the unique opportunity to shape a future defined by groundbreaking innovations that will ultimately transform our lives for the better. As we look to the horizon, it is both humbling and exhilarating to imagine the limitless possibilities that await us in this brave new world of technological progress.