Do you know why OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, spent time in an ashram after selling his first startup?

He claimed to the magazine that visiting an ashram had improved his life. 2014 saw Altman's blog post regarding the "Founder's Depression."

Startup owners are renowned for putting in a lot of overtime to grow their business. And quite a number of millionaires got their start that way. You run the danger of acquiring health problems if you labour too hard and push your body over its breaking point. Sam Altman, the founder of ChatGPT, experienced exactly what is stated above.

Altman’s struggles are well known in the IT community; he is currently the CEO of OpenAI. After working entirely too hard on his first venture, the millionaire, according to New York Magazine, suffered a Vitamin C shortage. Altman took a year off after selling the business to give himself time to recover.


Sam’s story is frequently presented as one of a young genius who was “a rising star in the techno whiz-kid world,” as described by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. At age 3, he began repairing the family VCR. Altman’s parents, real estate broker Jerry Altman and dermatologist Connie Gibstine, gave him a Mac LC II for his eighth birthday in 1993. This gift, according to Altman, is “this dividing line in my life: before I had a computer and after.”

The scurvy story

The Stanford dropout Altman and Nick Sivo co-founded Loopt, a social networking mobile application, at the age of 19. Sivo and Altman dated for nine years. Since their sophomore year, they had been developing Loopt. Sam Altman submitted an application to Y Combinator at the same time Jessica Livingston and Paul Graham launched the Summer Founders Programme as a component of it. During the incubation, little Altman worked so hard that he developed scurvy.

According to the New York Magazine, Altman’s initial venture Loopt, which incorporated Geo tracking to let users find their pals wasn’t as successful as Altman expected his startup to be, and it ended up being sold to Green Dot for USD 43.4 million.

Altman took a year off after selling the firm because he had grown discontented with it. During that time, he read books, played video games, toured, and even visited an ashram. He claimed to the magazine that visiting an ashram had improved his life. In spite of the fact that he still experiences anxiety and tension, “his perception of it is that he feels very relaxed, happy, and calm.” His life was transformed by it. 2014 saw Altman’s blog post regarding the “Founder’s Depression.” Many founders experience depression, but they never talk about it, the CEO of OpenAI observes.


Shortly after Loopt was acquired, Altman and Sivo split up. He and his brother Jack Altman formed Hydrazine Capital in April. He has been a partner at Y Combinator continuously since 2011. In February 2014, Altman was appointed president of the startup accelerator. With funding from Amazon Web Services (AWS), YC Research, and Infosys, Sam co-founded OpenAI in 2015 alongside LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Peter Theil, Greg Brockman, and Jessica Livingston. In 2020, Altman resigned from YC to devote all of his attention to serving as CEO of OpenAI. When Yishan Wong, the CEO at the time, left in 2014, Altman took over for eight days.

The Release of ChatGPT

Next, OpenAI launched ChatGPT on November 30, 2022. The programme attracted 100 million users in just two months, making it the biggest IT product launch ever. Galactica had been made available by Meta two weeks prior, but the bot’s inability to discriminate between fact and fiction forced the business to remove it after three days. Furthermore, ChatGPT was delusional and lied. Altman, though, claimed it was a good thing that he still released it. The entire world must adjust to this. Decisions must be made together.

Sam Altman

A former coworker who assisted Altman in the early years of OpenAI said, “Sometimes amorality is what sets a winning CEO or product apart from the rest.” Why did Zuck win when Facebook wasn’t really that interesting? He was able to “scale more quickly and build products without getting bogged down in the chaos.”


Sam Altman’s World Tour

Altman set out on a 22-nation, 25-city world tour in May 2023. It began as an opportunity to get to know other ChatGPT users but quickly evolved into a sort of debutante ball. Altman portrayed himself to diplomats as the inevitable new technological superpower, frequently donning a suit but occasionally donning a grey henley. He had meetings with the leaders of several countries, including the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the Presidents of France and Spain, Emmanuel Macron and Pedro Sánchez, Olaf Scholz of Germany, Narendra Modi of India, Yoon Suk-yeol of South Korea, and Isaac Herzog of Israel. He posed for a picture with Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the European Commission. He appears like Where’s Waldo in it, his phone visible in his front pocket, and his green eyes bulging on weariness and cortisol. She appears classy and uninterested.

Altman then appeared to unpack his mind as well as his wardrobe upon his return home. He tweeted a lot from the end of June until the middle of August. This was gold if you wanted to understand him.

Please, also have a look into : Game Of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin and other authors sue OpenAI for copyright infringement

Dr. Shubhangi Jha

Avid reader, infrequent writer, evolving

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