The Whirlwind Drama of OpenAI Sam Altman's Firing & Rehiring
Special: Unpacking the storytelling perspective
How are you? I hope you had a great Thanksgiving holiday if you’re celebrating here in the US.
One of the highlights of last week I bet you’ve noticed too is the incredible whirlwind story of the firing and rehiring of OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman.
If your head was spinning trying to keep up with the barrage of changing events in only 5 days - I don’t blame you.
Each action in this tale triggered a bunch of responses that kept swirling.
This saga carries so many implications from the clash of AI doomers vs Effective Altruists, Microsoft leader’s lesson in a swift response to changing conditions, Altman’s towering leadership that drew massive solidarity from employees and investors, and OpenAI’s unusual organizational structure from the early nonprofit days that garnered absolute power - to the role of the weakened X (formerly Twitter), key characters shared their thoughts on as the story evolved.
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Today I’ll just focus on the fascinating storytelling perspective of this yarn.
Writing this on Wednesday (11/22) assuming the story has concluded, I couldn’t help myself notice the unique storytelling formula that emerged.
It’s one of my favorite models I often use in my work.
This story structure is called False Start.
It has 3 acts:
False direction - Tell a story leading to destination X.
Twist - Surprisingly transition to radical destination Y.
Resolution - Finish up with inspiring moral.
With this in mind, I decided to visualize this unique story arc in a colorful infographic along with my analysis, character roles, and tips you can apply to your brand.
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