Extract from Ed Sohn, Factor & Jae Um, Six Parsecs’s article “Build Versus Buy Will Never Be the Same Again, Thanks to Custom GenAI”
A year after the release of ChatGPT, OpenAI endured a roller-coaster ride of senior management turmoil, with the firing of CEO Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, threatened walkouts and open offers from Microsoft to hire the entire team, and the subsequent re-hiring of Altman, Brockman and new board members. Although the software did not report any significant downtime, the rapid series of events almost felt like some kind of outage.
The question on everyone’s minds, one still lacking a clear answer: what was the source of this sudden chaos?
One of the purported sources of turmoil was between tech research and commercial product. The not-for-profit research and safety mission of OpenAI co-existed in tension with the product agenda of the for-profit subsidiary, expressed in ChatGPT and the commercial licensing of the models in environments like Microsoft Azure.
The tension became more pronounced when, on OpenAI’s Dev Day, Altman announced the ability to create custom GPTs through a feature called GPT Builder, a milestone in democratizing AI capabilities.