Short term hype vs long term boring

jasonleow  •  8 Jun 2023   •    

Sad fact is… Hypish products get attention. Boring products don’t.

The peer pressure is a real thing. It’s a daily struggle to ignore the influence.

Dmytro about sums it up for everyone else without an AI product but too scared to say out loud:

I didn’t think that I could say it in public. But let it be. I join a party. They ask what I do? I am building a screenshot API. But everybody is building AI apps. They leave the chat… Not immediately, but you see it in their eyes. I don’t understand why this emotion of zero interest from others drives me and what I do daily. Do you understand what I mean? It feels like I need to build an AI thing to impress people, not to solve problems but to get attention and show how “cool” I am. I am a bit ashamed of my current business. It is not hypish, not changing the world, and not super ambitious. One side of me says—it is terrific, keep going 🔥 Another side says—you are not ambitious enough, it is terrible 🫠 I keep going and don’t quit 💪

AI is definitely doing the typical hype cycle through Twitter and the news. But anyone remember web3? NFTs? Clubhouse? Nope. Will it still be as hyped without the marketing machine pushing it? As it is, the hype seems to be burning itself out a little now. If it’s on such unstable grounds, makes me wonder if all that effort going into building something is worthwhile, especially now that any sort of first mover advantage on the hype train is gone, and everyone and their mother is building wrapper apps for AI.

This is not to throw shade on AI makers, though. An opportunity to make money is an opportunity to make money, hype or not. If it’s short term, it’s a chance to get rich off it quickly and move on to something else later. No saying it’s bad per se, just whether it’s worthwhile for me personally to pursue.

One thing I find solace in is the Lindy effect. The longer something is around, the longer it will be expected to be around, like how Nassim Taleb defined it in his book Antifragile:

If a book has been in print for forty years, I can expect it to be in print for another forty years. But, and that is the main difference, if it survives another decade, then it will be expected to be in print another fifty years. This, simply, as a rule, tells you why things that have been around for a long time are not “aging” like persons, but “aging” in reverse. Every year that passes without extinction doubles the additional life expectancy. This is an indicator of some robustness. The robustness of an item is proportional to its life!

The ones around longest are usually “boring”, yet they are still around because they provide long term value.

Short term hype vs long term value – which is your preferred approach?


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