Is this what it looks like to live with AI?
This month 👾 Living with AI | Product Studios | AI PFP Generators | Hardware Gift Guide | $1k & 90 Day Challenge + loads more…
Are you ready to peek at what it looks like to live with AI? I will warn you now, this is the first of a few pieces I've read this month relating to AI so buckle yourself in.
In this post, Dan Shipper explores Linus Lee's suite of tools he uses to get his work done. Linus uses publicly available AI tools as well as a suite of custom-built models that help him read faster, search through information more quickly, and take better notes.
What I love about this idealistic productivity suite of tools Linus is using and also inventing is they help him automate mundane tasks, be creative, reduce human error and free up time. What's not to love about that?
Inspired by this post I went in search of an AI tech stack to assist me with my writing. I've been testing a few tools recently, most notably LEX and Barely which have yielded some positive results but nothing that will dramatically save time or improve the quality of my writing just yet.
🎁 Bonus content: Check out this interesting post by Linus I've been musing on for a few days now. "Design with materials, not features".
If the truth be told, I've shared this post before. However, it recently cropped up in a great podcast episode with Greg Isenberg and Michael Karnjanaprakorn discussing Personal Holding Companies (PHC). In my eyes PHC's sound pretty boring and corporate. Personally, I prefer the sound of a Product Studio. A Product Studio is a lab for generating and testing ideas, and then turning them into businesses.
In this article, Greg discusses the potential of product studios to reduce the risk of starting a business while still allowing for the potential of high rewards. You can think of the studio model as a powerful de-risking machine. The main way it de-risks is through diversification. Studios improve their chances of success by taking a bunch of shots on net rather than just one. However, one counterpoint is they can be distracting for some (me) and stop you going all in on one idea. Additionally, depending on the amount of business being built in parallel and the scale of your proposed operation they can be costly. However, I think this can be done at a variety of different scales and by solo founders. Check out this example by Ben Issen and his Tiny Product Studio thesis.
🎁 Bonus content: Michael's approach to starting a PHC.
You know Seth Godin right? The marketing genius who published 18 books, founded countless businesses and sold one to Yahoo for a staggering $30 million. It's no wonder why he's such a big deal and an inspiring person. In this post, Louis Grenier asked Seth how he would launch a new business with just $1,000 in 90 days without using his name to promote it. Spoiler alert, the idea isn't great but to be fair to him he was put on the spot, however, his simple and easy-to-follow wisdom was on point.
Seth suggested that you focus on creating a product or service that has the potential to go viral by leveraging the power of word-of-mouth and social media. He also mentions that you should focus on creating something that is truly useful and valuable to people and avoid anything gimmicky or too complicated. Last but not least, Seth encourages entrepreneurs to create a personal brand that is distinct from their business in order to gain more reach and attention without relying solely on their own name.
In 2012 a little red book started appearing on the desks of all Facebook employees. The book was never shared outside of Facebook, in fact, the very existence of the book was unknown to most outside of Facebook. The book was designed by Ben Barry - a designer at Facebook at the time. Ben set up Facebook's print studio – known as the Analog Research Lab.
The book is filled with inspirational, propaganda-style quotes about Facebook's history and values. The book has also inspired various other businesses to create versions of their own for employees to understand their company's values. Check out this version by Hook Agency.
One of my favourite pages is the one titled "Hacking can be playful- as long as it works". This page documents a prank they played on Techcrunch. Fancy getting your hands on a copy? Good luck, I checked everywhere online and couldn't find any for sale. Although there is one possible way to get one if you really want it.
Goodbye overpriced PFP NFTs, hello AI-generated avatars. They seem to be all rage just now, my Twitter is exploding with people sharing the output from various new tools which are cropping up. I gave one a shot this month and the results are pretty incredible. I got over 60 images in different scenarios and styles, however, finding at least 20 images that worked with the criteria was a challenge. Check out some of these examples, here, here and here. So who's creating these new tools? Well, as you might expect Pieter Levels was one of the first makers to launch this followed by another prolific maker Danny Postma with profilepicture.ai both using the Stable Diffusion engine. Just recently there has been some controversy with Lensa "cloning" their products and taking it mobile and generating over $8m in 5 days.
As Ben Tossell pointed out with loads of Avatar AI tools cropping up "Building a UI is the only differentiator when all the tech comes from the same place."
🎁 Bonus content: Don't fancy using these generative image AI tools for profile pics? I found this great example of someone using them to generate images for their website using Midjourney engine.
As the year draws to an end it's the perfect opportunity to take a step back and reflect. Height just launched Height Rewind 2022 — Think Spotify Wrapped but for your project management tool.
You can connect your Atlassian Jira, Asana, or Height account to take a look back and see how many tasks have been created, who you collaborated with the most, and much more. The visuals are incredible and it's great to share with colleagues. Check out this thread by Height designer William Bout who provides some insight into the creation process.
Fancy a peek at Height Founder Michaël Villar year in review? Check it out here.
It's almost Christmas so I thought I would try something different and share some new hardware products I'm eying up below 👀
Rewire your relationship with technology with this stunning magnetic USB Pomodoro timer. In an ideal world, I personally would delete all time-wasting apps. But for me and probably you too, that's not the reality. It also blocks any distracting websites during your focus time. Goodbye Twitter!!
What could be better than a normal keyboard? A fully customized mechanical keyboard that you can customize to make a unique one-of-a-kind extension of your personality. It's like a giant lego set and literally, everything is customisable. Have a shot designing one yourself here.
Power banks are pretty dull looking. Not this one. This Cyberpunk-style transparent case looks incredible. It looks like it fell straight from a sci-fi movie set. The LED display shows all the working data, half of which I have no idea what it's telling me but it certainly looks clever.
👾 Friends of Creator Club
This month I want to give a shout-out to Founder & Lightning. I spent almost 5 years as a Product Manager there and loved every minute of it. They have recently launched a pre-seed fund for early-stage tech founders. Have a B2B SaaS Business idea but not the funds to get started? Founder and Lightning are offering each successful startup investment to fund £125,000 worth of venture building. Learn more here.
🐽 Other links to consume
I took apart my old typewriter and powered it using OpenAI GPT-3
🐦 Tweet of the month
If you're thinking about starting a new project or business but worry you might be too late to the party and it's perhaps a little crowded, just remind yourself of this tweet by James Clear.
It’s not too late.
This month I'm going to leave you with this photo taken in 1998 of Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This photo was taken in their first office, a garage they rented from their first marketing manager, Susan Wojcicki (who now runs YouTube) for $1,700pm. Check out this early office video tour from the company’s 6th employee.
Did you know Google's brand colours were inspired by "Lego" like kids' toys? Their first server rack was built using Lego bricks with 10 hard drives totalling 40 GB. Here's a photo of the Lego rack.
Lastly, the name Google was inspired by the word googol which means a vast number – 1 followed by hundred zeroes. Milton Sirotta, the 9-year-old nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner, coined it.
That's it for this month!
If you made it this far, hit reply and tell me what you thought of this newsletter. Was this 🔥 or 🗑. I read every response 👀
Until next month,
Sam | @thisdickie 👨💻