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They say a big competitor is market validation, but boo it still sucks.
God damn it, it happened again.
During the latest OpenAI DevDay this year, OpenAI announced their GPTs feature (oof, that name) and burying the lede for me at least, are working with Code.org on leveraging LLMs to help teachers with lesson plans.
Years back, a few friends and I had an idea for a custom table-top RPG miniature company, leveraging OpenGL ES to bring easy modeling to the browser and interface with 3D printing tech to provide on-demand printing. Then we found HeroForge and pretty much gave up on the entire idea.
This time will be different.
One of the common beliefs in the startup community upon discovering well funded incumbents are muscling in on your territory is that you’ve just validated your idea. If other successful businesses are pursuing a niche that you yourself have identified and want to pursue, that’s a huge vote of confidence in your vision.
It still sucks.
It’s scary. I’ve never founded a successful company and I’ve definitely never personally competed against a corporation for money. I also don’t have deep bank accounts to hire other people to fill the gaps in skills that I have. I’m just a lone person swimming against a huge current. Like a salmon.
Still, there is some upside.
I don’t have to share my vision with anyone else, at least right now. I don’t have to convince an entire company to pivot when I see the world shifting. My smallness is my advantage. I’m also not burdened by systems bigger than myself, and trashing my entire app stack and starting over is completely consequence free for myself.
I try to remind myself of this when I really consider what I’m trying to do and who my competition is. Sometimes I want to stop - sometimes the whole thing feels fruitless. ‘
But what else am I supposed to do?
This isn’t something I’m doing because it’s fun (it is), or to pad my resumé/build clout. This is something I can’t not do when I think about the future of education and my own potential children entering into that system.
Even though 9/10 businesses fail, even though I’m not the smartest person in the room. I just can’t not do it.