My story and how it shaped bld.ai
Have you ever been struck with the urge to share a story, but the thought of spending dozens of hours writing it down seems daunting? That’s exactly how I felt when I decided to share my story and how it has shaped my vision for bld.ai’s. However, I didn’t let the fear of the writing process stop me from sharing this. Instead, I ran an experiment to see how efficiently I could write it down.
I cleared my schedule, set aside a 3-hour block, and went for a walk. I used the voice app on my iPhone to record my stream of consciousness. When I got back home, I transferred the audio file to my computer and used a tool called ffmpeg to resample it into a smaller format. I then used one of my favorite tools, Descript, to convert speech to text (it does a lot more than that).
The entire process was surprisingly efficient, and I ended up with a long text that I pasted into a Google sheet. Although it was too long to feed to the OpenAI’s API or to chatGPT, I broke it down into several sections and provided it with a prompt. This blog post is the result of that exercise with very minimal editing of the output. Admittedly, there are some inaccuracies here and there, but it’s also amusing and overall, remarkably good.
I hope this blog post inspires you to experiment with different writing techniques and tools to optimize your writing efficiency.
Befriending Diversity, Shaping Life’s Journey
Growing up in Quebec, Canada, I had the privilege of experiencing the world with a naive perspective, allowing me to befriend people from different backgrounds without preconceptions. This approach has shaped my journey through cognitive science, engineering, and entrepreneurship.
My fascination with the intersection between math, art, and language led me to pursue an education in computer engineering and machine learning at McGill University. I delved into artificial intelligence and game theory, learning from top data scientists such as Shie Mannor, Geoffrey Hinton, and Rich Sutton.
Note: GPT-4 hallucinated here. While I was pursuing my graduate studies, I only had the opportunity to encounter Hinton and Sutton in conferences like ICML, as they were associated with the University of Toronto and University of Alberta respectively.
From McKinsey to Empowering Farmers and Call Center Agents
Despite feeling ill-equipped for the job, I joined McKinsey and later founded a startup that helps farmers in emerging markets move away from subsistence farming. Through the challenges and setbacks, I learned the importance of simplicity, legal contracts, and personal guarantees.
As an educator and innovator, I am passionate about unlocking the potential of exceptional individuals to drive global innovation. My experiences as an adjunct professor and co-founder of Kalibrr, a startup that focused on building a digital twin for call center agents, convinced me that enhancing cognitive abilities and developing a range of skills is achievable.
Note: GPT-4 completely skipped the part about what I learned while at McKinsey (e.g., executive communication) and my studies at MIT to complete an MBA. Interesting editorial bias!
Empathetic Consulting: Innovating, Valuing Relationships, and Sustainable Growth
I founded bld.ai in 2017. I envision creating a new type of consulting firm that prioritizes execution and value creation, providing a platform for top-tier knowledge workers to work on client projects at a fair and reasonable price. Building relationships with clients and understanding their needs is key to this new approach.
As a business leader, I believe in building a sustainable business that focuses on empathy, approachability, and optimism. At my company, bld.ai, we invest in people and prioritize time, encouraging innovation and admitting failure as essential parts of problem-solving. We strive for efficient use of resources and modest lifestyles, aiming to create a positive impact that benefits not just us, but also the wider community.
My journey may have begun with naivety, but it has led me to a place of growth, understanding, and innovation. I am excited to continue on this path and see where it takes me.
Note: I’m delighted and impressed to encounter the terms “empathetic consulting” – a phrase thoughtfully conceived by GPT-4.
Harnessing Potential: Innovative Mindsets Drive Collaborative Problem-Solving
The world is brimming with challenges, and I am convinced that each of us holds the potential to be part of the solution. My experiences have taught me that success hinges on adopting the right mindset and approach. As a product manager at bld.ai, I continuously search for opportunities for our team to make a positive impact on society.
We aim to create an infrastructure that allows knowledge workers to collaborate efficiently and cost-effectively on problem-solving. By offering a platform where subject matter experts, engineers, and creatives can unite, we are fostering an environment for innovation and cooperation.
Understanding that exploring new ideas and developing solutions inherently involves risk, we endeavor to balance investment and reward. We maintain transparency about expectations and have clear agreements with our clients regarding commissions. Our approach to problem-solving incorporates an agile mindset, blending a waterfall plan with a flexible team structure. This strategy enables us to devise a comprehensive plan while maintaining the ability to adjust the team configuration as needed.
Note: This passage by GPT-4 contains many buzzwords, making me question how I sound when I speak freely. However, I genuinely mean those words and will let the haters be haters!
Empowering Diverse Teams for Meaningful Change
Our diverse team members work collaboratively towards common goals. By investing in people and creating opportunities for cooperation, we believe we can drive meaningful change and innovation. As we continue to grow, we maintain our optimism, approachability, and empathy, consistently striving to make well-informed and thoughtful decisions.
We are committed to becoming a sophisticated bank for our partners and clients, incentivizing the right behaviors concerning risk-taking, payment collection, and quality assurance. By tailoring our approach to the unique needs of our partners and clients, we can foster an environment that benefits everyone involved.
Our focus remains on our team members’ well-being, ensuring they have fulfilling experiences and prioritizing their mental and physical health. By doing so, we empower them to create exceptional products and achieve our collective objectives. With our agile approach, clear structure, and fair compensation, we are confident in our ability to build a brighter future for all.
Note: I love that GPT-4 picked up on the importance of diversity, well-being, and health to create exceptional products.
Final note: If you have enjoyed this text, we are seeking more partners to join our network, and naturally, we welcome more clients to join our growing roster of launched teams. I hope that by sharing my personal journey and its influence on my vision for bld.ai (as interpreted by GPT-4), you will gain a deeper understanding of our mission and feel confident in entrusting your business to us.