For the joy of making it


In the bottom section of Y Combinator's website we read:

Make something people want.

Make. Something. People. Want.

Make. It's about making. Creating. Crafting. This is about art. Not fine art, but the art — or craft — of whatever one is creating.

Something. In other words make anything. We don't care what it is. As long as—

People. As long as people want it. People can be anyone. Anyone willing to pay for it.

Want. We want them to want it. To want it to buy it. To almost need it. Because it's useful.

I like the idea of business as service. Not as something that is generally provided — a service. But service as in community service. To be motivated to make something because you want to offer this thing in the world. To work in the service of the world. Not in the service of you, i.e. to become a high status startup founder or a high status billionaire. But in the service of everyone to have the thing you are making!


Today, Financial Times published an article titled: "OpenAI courts Hollywood over plans for video generation model Sora". Sora is a video AI software that once given instructions, makes a video precisely as instructed.

OpenAI has launched a charm offensive in Hollywood, holding meetings with major studios including Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros Discovery to showcase its video generation technology Sora and allay fears the artificial intelligence model will harm the movie industry.


This could be revolutionary. Depending on how high quality Sora is, it could mean the end of how Hollywood works. People will no longer become enamoured with becoming a famous Hollywood icon. People will no longer move to Los Angeles to become actors and actresses, because all actors and actresses will be computer generated. In a Hollywood where movies are not made with people playing in them, a whole industry goes away. No agents, no makeup artists, no costume designers, no personal trainers, no bodyguards, no cooks, no special effects teams, no stunt performers.

To be clear, I don't think this is what will happen. The West, and especially the United States, are also enamoured with authenticity, the idea that some performance or service or production is more original than another. Another indication is that we can already do things like that (eg. vocaloid concerts in Japan) but we are not interested in them in the West. Here, I want to argue for a different point.


The point of making movies with human actors in a world with Sora would be to enjoy making them. In more general words, the point of making anything when anything can happen in extremely high quality by an AI is to have fun while doing it.

Creative endeavours are usually full of frustration and stress, not relaxation and enjoyment. Things don't work, predictions fail, accidents happen. It's a mess and it causes pain because of expectations other than enjoying the process. But if results can also happen with minimal effort using AI, maybe we can enjoy the process of crafting it.

It's the same in book writing. Book authors are crazy, sleepless, erratic. In contrast, book critics are calm, elegant, refined.

It doesn't have to be a contrast between creating and consuming, though. Consider the professional piano player and the amateur. The professional plays concerts; they are tired and anxious, training while ignoring their other commitments. The amateur plays every Sunday morning before making breakfast. When the amateur plays they enjoy every moment. When the professional plays they are stressed in every moment.

To conclude: in the future, movie producers won't be making movies with humans to make millions. In the future, movie lovers will be making movies with humans to enjoy making them.

There won't be a Y Combinator that needs to scale their startups faster and better with a footer that reads "Make something people want". There will be a Z Combinator that exists just for fun with a footer that reads "Make something you will enjoy making"!