In life as in gaming, CHA is the strongest stat

As I write this post, the board of directors of OpenAI is under extreme pressure to reinstate Sam Altman as CEO and giving him complete control of the company while they're at it. If they don't do that, it's likely that they'll lose the company's financial backers, compute enablers and a significant portion of their most important employees - the proverbial members of technical staff. Oh, and be sued to high Heaven by Satya  Nadella.

Far from accusing Sam of being just talk as the title of this post may imply, but however intelligent he is what he brought for the company certainly wasn't his AI development capabilities, but the external and internal support that the company needed to move forward.

Contrary to everything I would like to be true, this skill - convincing people, selling to them - is more important than being able to build what they want. Technically being able to, I mean, because actually forming a team to deliver, and presenting it in a way that convinces people to give you attention, will always be more effective than trying to do it on your own and hoping the interested people just show up waving their money at you.

Now, I'm not implying that the board was morally right or that Mr "I Love You All" programmed GPT-N by himself on his basement or anything like that. I'm saying that EVEN IF that was true, Sam was the face of the company, he was the one with the whole support. Not the board, who technically just did what it could always do, for reasons that might not even be wrong according to its charter. But legal abstractions, while certainly not meaningless, can only do so much.

This is a bitter pill for nerds dreaming about their technical startups to swallow, but doesn't make it any less true. Even if you don't want to open your own company and just want to raise the ranks within your current workplace by technical prowess alone, I assure you it will be a thousand times easier if you manage to be a little bit more like this girl.

And if you nominally have the position and power you want, don't forget to occasionally ask yourself, in Bane's voice: "Do you feel in charge?"

Addendum 2023-11-23: This might be relevant to whoever finds the text above useful


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