RE: Why SIAI is a nonprofit

From: Ben Goertzel (
Date: Sat Oct 23 2004 - 06:27:40 MDT


> 80% of all new businesses fail. Even with an
> excellent business plan, I think Eliezer is right, the
> chances of success wouldn't rise above 50%. Also
> correct is that the business would become your life.
> You'd have to do nothing else for at least 5-10 years.

Well, I am doing AGI research plus running 2 small narrow-AI-based
businesses. It's hard but not impossible.

> Finally, and this is probably the most important
> point, but wasn't mentioned by Eliezer, running a
> successful business requires a certain mind-set, a
> certain psychology.
> Someone said that there are lots of clever people, why
> can't they get rich quick? Well, brains aren't what's
> required. Business is all about people skills I
> think. I judge that Eli does not have the right
> psychology for business. Asking him to run a business
> is about as sensible as asking a hard-arse Hollywood
> Exec to become an FAI researcher. Wrong psychology.
> And I'd be the first to admit that I don't have the
> psychology for business either.

I basically agree with this -- I think Eliezer probably isn't cut out for
business, and I would not recommend him to pursue a business path unless he
were inspired to do so.

On the other hand, no one ever thought I was cut out for business either --
and, although I'll never be a typical businessman nor a world-class one, I
believe that after many years of learning I'm finally doing a decent job in
the business domain.... Sometimes you don't know what you have inside you
until you plunge into a situation and force yourself to find out ;-)

-- Ben G

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