Episode 0013 · January 19, 2023

The podcast about what to do next.

Adapting to AI

Paul Ford: [00:00:00] Hey, Rich.

Rich Ziade: Hey Paul. You alright?

Paul Ford: Proteus.

Rich Ziade: Pardon?

Paul Ford: That’s the name of the robot that replaced me at the factory.

Rich Ziade: Oh, it moves the boxes around and keeps track of stuff.

Paul Ford: It used to be like, I go in, I get my coffee, they’d be like, gotta get everything from section A to section W.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: And now Proteus, does it

Rich Ziade: Robot replaced your job.

Paul Ford: It really did, and it sucks.

Rich Ziade: Oh ya yay, sorry to hear that. I’ve seen the robot though. I think I saw a report on it, it’s pretty cool. It’s a little cooler than you, so there’s that [chuckles].

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: But sorry to hear about this, this is terrible.

Paul Ford: I’m gonna have to go get another job.

Rich Ziade: Well, good luck.

Paul Ford: So this is a story Rich that’s been playing out since the [00:01:00] fifties, where the robots started coming in, right?

Rich Ziade: If not earlier.

Paul Ford: Yeah, and we’ve sort of integrated it into society. We’re not surprised when it happens anymore.

Rich Ziade: New innovation shows up, threatens jobs, people get angry.

Paul Ford: Yeah, and it used to be the unions would fight it and so on and so forth, but now it seems like, “yep, the new robots here and, uh, those jobs are gone”, that, that, that is now kind of built in our society is like, “well you’re gonna have to retrain cause we prefer the robot driven economy because it’s so much cheaper.”

Rich Ziade: It’s an old story at this point. If you’ve ever watched like the, you know, those arm robots at like the auto factory, it’s pretty wild. They’re just moving around real quick, screwing things in and they look like they look coked up.

Paul Ford: They do, they’re really– they’re running [chuckles].

Rich Ziade: They’re kind of jittery.

Paul Ford: They do that one little run on the track into the bathroom [laughter].

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: They, they, they do a bump and they’re like, okay, let’s move some more stuff.

Rich Ziade: [laughter] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it’s, it’s kind of one, one, you know, the factory [00:02:00] sort of automation story is an old story.

Paul Ford: I hired someone, uh, to help me move once and they came and they ran up and down the stairs with all the boxes and I said, “wow, you’re running up and down the stairs with boxes. That’s a lot if you’re doing that every day”.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And he said, “I love my job. I run up and down the stairs, I put the boxes into the truck, I put them in–“.

Rich Ziade: [laughter].

Paul Ford: And I looked at them and I was like, you are addicted to methamphetamine, okayyy.

Rich Ziade: [laughter] Here’s the thing though, Paul, um, it’s not only robots that have been replacing jobs, globalization, other humans have been– it’s easy to hate a robot, I hate these robots, it’s soulless, it’s terrible.

Paul Ford: Yeah, but it’s true, like so, well, I mean– okay, go all the way, go back to on the water. You ever see On The Waterfront?

Rich Ziade: I have seen On The Waterfront.

Paul Ford: Okay, the, when you’re in the union, you get, you have your hook where you lift things out of the cargo ship.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: Yeah, and then can, nobody wants to go back to that,right? We, we like containerized shipping cause it gets us all of our, [00:03:00] we get our sea monkeys delivered to Walmart.

Rich Ziade: The march of innovation and technology is unrelenting.

Paul Ford: Well, and it’s a thing, right? Everybody has a particular point of view and it’s often a very, it’s a moral and principled point of view, and then you fast forward 20 years.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And so, so we live in that world. That’s the world we live in, and here we are and, and I’m, I’m talking to you on a Zoom podcast recording rig. That is, I, I, I don’t know where it was made, but I know where it was made.

Rich Ziade: If I can paraphrase Paul Ford, welcome to the future.

Paul Ford: Yeah, here we are.

Rich Ziade: This all reminds me of a little story.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: My dad was a very well respected diamond setter.

Paul Ford: Your, your father, is no longer with us.

Rich Ziade: He’s no longer with us. He was, uh, he had a craft.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: And his craft was, uh, the ability to set diamonds into settings, uh, a pendant, a ring…

Rich Ziade: Uh, and so, which meant a lot of like, drilling, and bending gold, and bending, [00:04:00] you know, rare metals to set diamonds. And if you’ve seen like really fancy diamonds, like, uh, fancy jewelry, you’ll see very intricate layouts of diamonds.

Paul Ford: They, they have their own words like filigree, like all these–

Rich Ziade: It’s a whole world, right?

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And he was very good at it. And in fact, the, the British Royal family, I’m sure not the very top of the chain, but they have a very big collection. So somebody like five-

Paul Ford: Of, of humans or diamonds?

Rich Ziade: Five levels down, you know, they would send pieces that needed to either be repaired or to have the, the, the gemstones replaced or whatever. And he would, they would watch over him while he did this work.

Rich Ziade: Very successful career.

Paul Ford: This is seventies, eighties?

Rich Ziade: This is late seventies, early eighties.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: And then the company he was working for, which is a large, um, jewelry manufacturer, producer, said, “we would love for you to go to India”.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: “And train 50, 80 diamond setters. Teach them your [00:05:00] craft”.

Paul Ford: Oh..

Rich Ziade: And it threw him into a tailspin. He was, he saw it as a threat. And it was a threat, it was an actual genuine threat. And he, he held his craft sacred, it’s something that he’d perfected over many years. You know, he, he, his skill, like many other skills, were skills you kind of protected, like you didn’t, it’s like sharing a recipe.

Rich Ziade: You don’t share the, the secret ingredient, right? Like he, he took pride in the fact that he was doing things that a lot of people wouldn’t do, cause if you broke the jewelry by the way you were in trouble.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: You’re breaking very expensive things. So he was good at it, and, and so he refused to do it.

Paul Ford: You know, I mean, this is, the history of the wor- of, of culture is filled with, um, you know, things like the, the textile industry of Milan, if you sold in, if you sold textiles that were manufactured elsewhere, they would set your factory on fire and the, in the 1400.

Rich Ziade: Yeah sure, sure. It’s protection. You’re trying to protect– it’s protectionism is [00:06:00] obviously a stigma of a term today, but they were protecting what they viewed as their livelihood, as their, as the status quo wasn’t about power, it was also about like families, and so they’re like, “no, no, no, no, no, we have to control this”. There’s so many examples of this, like you can’t call champ– like sparkling wine, champagne unless it comes out of a certain region.

Paul Ford: Oh, or bourbon or, yeah. Kentucky bourbon versus-

Rich Ziade: Oh parmesan is like that too.

Paul Ford: No, the French are just very particular about everything as well.

Rich Ziade: Parmesan is Italian, but Yeah.

Paul Ford: Yeah, no, well, but you know what I mean.

Rich Ziade: Of course they are very particular, yes. And look, people are trying to protect a brand, a status, a status quo, here.

Paul Ford: Well, I, you know, I think individuals have different reactions to this whole thing. Like if you’re like a very pro-union person, you’re like, absolutely, we gotta stop these robots.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hm.

Paul Ford: If you’re a very, like, if you love fine food, you’re like, oh no, I really prefer the cheese to, to be labeled Exactly right. [00:07:00] And you might not be a really pro-union, but it’s kind of, it’s, there’s a spectrum of protectionism.

Rich Ziade: For sure.

Paul Ford: For humans, and I think everybody kind of goes somewhere onto that spectrum. It’s, it’s ultimately, in a funny way, it’s always a conservative mindset, we need to slow the change down.

Rich Ziade: We always feel like we need to slow the change down.

Paul Ford: And it doesn’t, you can be really liberal and have a very conservative mindset about change in labor. You can be really, uh, conservative and be really excited about technological change, but really believe that the cheese should stay the same, which is actually almost like being pro-labor.

Paul Ford & Rich Ziade: Humans are Funny

Rich Ziade: Humans are quite complicated.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: In fact, when I hear a lot of the arguments around the dangers of of, of, you know, image generation and, and, and ChatGPT and whatnot, it, to me, it, it sounds like it’s coming from liberal voices, and I don’t mean that to stereotype or whatever.

Paul Ford: Oh, it is.

Rich Ziade: It is, right?

Paul Ford: It’s, it’s [00:08:00] people, well I mean look-

Rich Ziade: But fundamentally it’s actually to try to maintain a status quo, it’s quite conservative.

Paul Ford: It is, it, look, this is what’s tricky. So you have people online who are making, let’s say $500 a month selling pictures of wizards that they draw on their iPad.

Rich Ziade: On their iPad.

Paul Ford: Because people want wizard avatars and wizard images, okay?

Rich Ziade: Okay, that sounds fun.

Paul Ford: That’s cool, and it’s, it’s, but it’s a major source of income for them. And maybe they have a health condition or maybe like all sorts of reasons that this is a really important thing for them to do. And they finally found it, they found a way to pay some rent.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: With their, with their wizard pictures.

Rich Ziade: Probably something they enjoyed doing too.

Paul Ford: Absolutely, the greatest thing that can happen in your life is when your creative work gets aligned.

Rich Ziade: Sure, sure.

Paul Ford: Now, someone can say, and let’s say that that artist is named Squiggles, that’s their, their–

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: So now you can go to Stable Diffusion or Dolly and say, “please draw me a wizard in the style of Squiggles”.

Rich Ziade: [00:09:00] Tell everyone what Stable Diffusion or Dolly is.

Paul Ford: These are AI image generation tools. If you’ve heard about, you tell them what you want them to draw and they draw it for you, and they’ll do it in certain styles. Now, you could say, “draw me a picture of the Washington Monument and the style of Leonardo DaVinci”. No one’s gonna get upset about that.

Rich Ziade: Okay, so you, you’re typing words in.

Paul Ford: You’re typing words in, and you’re getting pictures as a result. And they look pretty good.

Rich Ziade: And it’s, so, you’re typing words in, it spins for a bit and it, it spits out a completely… a picture, an image that’s never been seen before by anyone in the world?

Paul Ford: No, but it–

Rich Ziade: It’s generating art.

Paul Ford: It has a style.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: That it can look like a photograph or an illustration, and the style, it learns the styles from looking in pictures on the internet.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hm.

Paul Ford: So Squiggles has drawn all, is is really well known for their wizard pictures.

Rich Ziade: Yeah.

Paul Ford: And, so the AI is pretty good at drawing those wizards in the style of Squiggles. Sometimes they’ll have extra arms.

Rich Ziade: Yep.

Paul Ford: Sometimes the wand will, will blur into [00:10:00] their chest.

Rich Ziade: Okay so, zoom out.

Paul Ford: I’m zooming out.

Rich Ziade: Tech has shown up again, there go the jobs. ChatGP, What is that?

Paul Ford: That is a conversational, it’s the equivalent of the art thing, but for words, so you can say, write me, we did it once on this podcast. Write me a podcast about two guys in Brooklyn. It’s pretty generic, it’s a little madlib still.

Rich Ziade: So instead of outputting an image, it outputs text.

Paul Ford: But it can also, it’s, that’s interesting, right? Cause it can also output, uh, programming, it can output code.

Rich Ziade: Whoa.

Paul Ford: Yeah, that’s some good stuff. Now what, what has got people collectively kind of hot and bothered about this is that it went into all of, let’s say, all of GitHub and it indexed all the code in GitHub.

Rich Ziade: Did it?

Paul Ford: Uh, a lot of it.

Rich Ziade: Okay, so that’s how it learned to code.

Paul Ford: That’s where the code is, but it doesn’t, it’s no great respecter of all the licenses in GitHub.

Rich Ziade: Sure.

Paul Ford: Like it, so, so licensing is a big deal [00:11:00] in code and you say, this is GPLV3 or whatever.

Rich Ziade: Ways you can use other people’s code.

Paul Ford: And it just went to town, and it’s just like, now here’s some code for you. It’s equivalent like, it’s like stack overflow or it’s just like-

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: And so, um, so I’ll, I’ll cut and paste, all good.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: And so now there’s this very tricky, like, is that fair use? Is that there are people there’s-

Rich Ziade: It’s complicated.

Paul Ford: They’re working, I think there’s a class action lawsuit underway.

Rich Ziade: Sure, sure, sure,

Paul Ford: So there’s a lot of people trying to figure this out. 

Rich Ziade: I think in many ways, this is an old story, right? Um, uh, tech finds ways to innovate and automate and whatnot. And then the status quo, and which the status quo can oftentimes mean someone’s job or someone’s livelihood is either threatened, um, uh, diminished– So yeah, [00:12:00] they still have the job, but it’s no nowhere near as valuable as it used to be, or just eliminated entirely.

Rich Ziade: Right? Like, and so, um, that is the history of technology. I, I do find, comfort in the fact that if you look at technology, the technology graph going upward, you also see prosperity generally going upward. And I am talking about the western world for the, for the moment, but even China and the Far East has seen an explosion of, of, of wealth and prosperity partially driven, or in many ways, in many cases, very prominently driven by technology.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: And so it’s not like there’s, you know, this kicked off of famine, uh, because of a piece of tech. Um, humans have been forced to adapt, but we’ve always been forced to adapt, that’s the history of humans. Um, and so I, I think if we zoom back down to that artist, that you were talking about.

Paul Ford: Squiggles?

Rich Ziade: Squiggles. [00:13:00] Um, I do have some advice. This is an advice podcast. I would, I, I have some advice for, for Squiggles, we’ll get into that in a minute.

Paul Ford: Give some advice to Squiggles.

Rich Ziade: I think if you– humans are incredibly adapt, adaptable. They’re, you ever meet someone who’s a really good writer, but they actually happen to be like one of the funniest people you’ve ever met, for example.

Paul Ford:. You’re talking about me.

Rich Ziade: I’m talking about Paul Ford. Um, you ever meet someone who’s, uh, I have a dear, dear family member who is, uh, manages an IT team, but is also a spectacular singer. Like really, really just world class.

Paul Ford: Yes.

Rich Ziade: And so humans are not monolithic in what they do. You are not defined by your wizard drawings. You’re defined by a lot more than that. You happen to have some artistic skill cause somebody’s given you money for wizard drawings, but if someone said, “okay, you know what? [00:14:00] I wanna commission you to do the mural in my restaurant”.

Paul Ford: Okay.

Rich Ziade: And then you build, actually, I know someone who paints murals and he paints them for businesses and nonprofits and whatnot. Um, makes a modest living, but he’s happy and, and, and he, his relationships are meaningful. What I’m getting at here is that you– if you, if you get too married to your output, to the form of what you produce in a very static way, you’re already sort of viewing yourself as quite limited. Uh, uh, I’ll tell you what, chat– if, if ChatGPT is ever crushed by some other startup or, or technology, I’ll tell you what, it’s not gonna do. It’s not gonna find another job.

Paul Ford: Sure.

Rich Ziade: It’s just gonna get shut down, right? And then we’ll move on. Humans are incredibly adaptable. So, back to the story-

Paul Ford: You, you think that that Squiggles made a categorical error by defining themselves in terms of their style and output as a wizard drawer?

Paul Ford: What?

Rich Ziade: In fact, I, I wouldn’t say error, I’d say they, they limited the definition of who they are and what they’re capable of, by just saying, I draw wizards for a living.

Paul Ford: You know what’s tricky here is that culturally you get into a zone where you go, this is who I am. I’m a wizard drawer, I am not part of the economy. I make these wizards, people like them.

Rich Ziade: When comes to creatives, it gets tricky.

Paul Ford: It gets real dicey. It gets real dicey.

Rich Ziade: It gets real tricky.

Paul Ford: You know, like it, it is a very complicated conversation because what happens, is all– people are in their worlds and they want to just keep drawing their wizards until they don’t.

Paul Ford: And if you say to them, “I’m very sorry, but robots can draw wizards, now you need to go do something else”, You’ve offended their soul. Like you’ve really come at them at a level that’s really deep.

Rich Ziade: You have [00:16:00] cast doubt on who they are.

Paul Ford: That’s right.

Rich Ziade: That’s a hell of a thing, right? [chuckles]

Paul Ford: And, and then that–

Rich Ziade: You are not a pilot. You’re like walking into the cockpit, “Paul, who told you, you’re a pilot. You’re not a pilot”.

Paul Ford: You, you can’t fly this plane.

Rich Ziade: You can’t fly this plane.

Rich Ziade: That’s a devastating thing to hear.

Paul Ford: And I, I do think, to me, I think the approach that might be the healthiest is for Squiggles to get into verified Squiggles because I think if there is a market where people are using robots to make avatars, of your, of the wizards and your style.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah.

Paul Ford: Then there, you probably have more value going on in what you’re doing than you’re able to to fully realize and so you should figure out how to do verified wizards.

Rich Ziade: I’m going to, I’m going to– that’s nice. Have you ever seen footage of the guy like moving the sandbags to like hold off the flood that’s coming?

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And it’s clearly useless cause there’s just too much water coming.

Paul Ford: Yup.

Rich Ziade: Uh, I think they can head that off for a [00:17:00] bit and buy some time. But the truth is, if we look at history as an indicator, you’re kind of done and then you move on and you innovate in other ways, like humans have been incredibly good at, I hate the term retrain by the way, it’s a terrible term. It’s like, we’re gonna retrain you, meaning delete what you did and who you are, and we’ll put something else in.

Rich Ziade: We’ll put new software in. And that’s not fair to that person because that, that, that skill, that craft, that culture you grew up in, that defined who you are, should be viewed in a more macro way and zoom out a bit. You’re more than just your wizard drawings. You’re an artist and you can do other things. Again, creatives, it’s a tricky conversation because you’re now asking to, to leave a, a realm of purity that they perceive.

Paul Ford: Well, and it’s also where their power is and their control.

Rich Ziade: Yes, yes.

Paul Ford: Right now, I will say, when I look at this stuff, I do think a lot of it is madlibs. I don’t think that the global desire [00:18:00] for wizard drawings in the style of Squiggles is this like, eternal thing that will never be, I, I I think people get bored. I really do. I think you need humans to come up with stuff, and we want that connection

Rich Ziade: I, I think we’ve seen it, right? 

Paul Ford: You know, I’ll tell you, I had a job 20 years ago.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: And it was, I was writing copy about Yamaha synthesizers.

Rich Ziade: I thought you were gonna say Yamaha Motorcycles, but you’re not that cool.

Paul Ford: That would’ve no, I’m, that’s, I’m definitely not that cool.

Rich Ziade: Okay so, marketing copy?

Paul Ford: Oh yeah, for like the websites and so on.

Rich Ziade: Okay.

Paul Ford: Here’s what a Yamaha synthesizer is, it’s, there might be 500 different skews. There might be, um, which are Stanford apparently Shopkeeping units. I thought that was cool. I just learned that the other day. Um, so 500 different skews, but each one has like a hundred different features.

Rich Ziade: Mm-hm.

Paul Ford: And there might be five features different between each one. Here’s a good example, Arabic music, different tuning system by default.

Rich `Ziade: Got it.

Paul Ford: So we’ll have the Arabic system built in.[00:19:00]

Rich `Ziade: Yeah, okay.

Paul Ford: So I have to write a line of copy in the outline, look, uh, features Arabic tuning.

Rich Ziade: Right.

Paul Ford: I do a hundred or I actually do like 500 of those. I put them in a database and then they get translated into 16 different languages and they get associated with the different skews.

Rich Ziade: Got it. So snippets get glued together to define different products and there’s hundreds of combinations.

Paul Ford: Yeah and it is like, it, it’s content strategy in its purest form, right?

Rich Ziade: Sounds like a terrible job.

Paul Ford: I love that job [laughter].

Rich Ziade: Fair enough.

Paul Ford: I love that one because I, I like got the database going and they were like, “wow, you don’t have to do this in a spreadsheet”. I’m like, “nah, it’s relational let’s do it in the database” high five.

Rich Ziade: That’s good control.

Paul Ford: It was pretty cool.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, that’s great.

Paul Ford: But I’m looking at ChatGPT and I’m like, and all the translations that are available now and so on. And I’m like, that is not-

Rich Ziade: You don’t need a person to do all that.

Paul Ford: You need a person to guide it. You need a person to maybe write one or two little examples. You need the info, but you know-

Rich Ziade: Yeah, is that bad or good? That ChatGPT is gonna take care of that?

Paul Ford: Personally? I mean it, I like that job. It [00:20:00] was good, but it it, but I don’t, I don’t have a strong emotional reaction to ChatGPT doing it.

Rich Ziade: I think you’re a great example of the capacity, to grow that we all have.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: You didn’t build a career as instruction manual guy or marketing guy for synthesizers. Uh, you sort of meandered if actually your career, we don’t have to get into your career, but your career is a lot of meandering and touching different things and learning.

Rich Ziade: You’re, you’re driven by learning in many ways, right?

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: And so that, you are a great example of, of how you shouldn’t view something like ChatGPT or Stable Diffusion as an existential threat to what you’re about because you can grow. That wizard, that person who’s drawing really good wizards probably can draw a lot of really good things and is probably has other skills tied to that that they can do. Uh, and-

Paul Ford: That’s not what they’re saying on their Twitter account-

Rich Ziade: It’s scary, change is scary. People, [00:21:00] people struggle with change.

Paul Ford: It is.

Rich Ziade: Especially change that threatens part of your identity.

Paul Ford: Sometimes the news is bad.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: Sometimes it just sucks.

Rich Ziade: Sometimes it sucks.

Paul Ford: Yeah. And I, I feel that as, as you know, whatever kind of capitalist we are, like there’s this obligation to be like, “no, no, the economy’s great. It’s gonna be good for you”.

Rich Ziade: Sometimes it sucks.

Paul Ford: Sometimes it sucks.

Rich Ziade: And, and I, I don’t want to, I don’t wanna like cast aside these sentiments cause it is– it can suck. It can really suck.

Paul Ford: What happened with Assad? We didn’t even finish the story.

Rich Ziade: So Assad refused to take that gig.

Paul Ford: No, he, he wasn’t gonna go to India, wasn’t gonna train people to do-

Rich Ziade: And he was eventually let go. Not related to it, but mainly because they don’t need the US staff to set diamonds with the team in India. It was a fraction of the cost and that was the end of that.

Paul Ford: So his fear came true.

Rich Ziade: He knew where this was going.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: He’s like, it’s the end. He called it the end of his craft, and, and what his point [00:22:00] was that there, he viewed it as more than like robotic, what he did, right? He viewed it as like he took pride in the quality of what he was outputting.

Paul Ford: He was interpreting what the materials were. Really great at what he did.

Rich Ziade: Yeah, yeah. So, uh, he had to figure something out. I mean, threw him into a little bit of a depression initially, but then he figured something out and then he, you know, we lived in New York City, the Diamond District is in Manhattan on 47th Street.

Rich Ziade: He knew a lot of people there, went into a partnership with someone. Uh, he became sort of something akin to like a, a B2B middle man in the jewelry business. Buy supplies of this buy, sometimes he would buy the raw materials and create the, the product and then sell that. He did all kinds of stuff. He just kind of had to figure it out. And he did well. He did in many cases better afterwards than before. And so-

Paul Ford: It’s sad that his craft went out of the world, that’s sad.

Rich Ziade: It is sad that his crafts went out of the world, but you know what, what craft didn’t exist at that time? JavaScript.

Paul Ford: Yeah.

Rich Ziade: New [00:23:00] crafts take hold in the world as well.

Paul Ford: Fair enough.

Rich Ziade: And, and there’s a lot of like, I mean, boat building like by hand isn’t a thing, uh, anymore. Uh, there was a day where you’re a craft person making, boats, but a lot it is, it is sad because a little bit of, a little bit of, um, a little bit of culture dies when a craft goes away, right?

Paul Ford: A tradition.

Rich Ziade: Yeah., beyond just the individual experience of that wizard artist, right?

Paul Ford: Often things that reach back a really long term.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: So, okay, so onward when Assad, he, he had to figure it out.

Rich Ziade: And, and that is, if there’s one piece of advice I would give to people who are sort of finding anxiety with all this stuff, it is that you are not defined by your output. You are be, there’s more to you than that. And the world, uh, is going to welcome those that adapt and grow. Retrain fine if that’s your, your plan. Pause.

Rich Ziade: A lot of times it’s about the relationships you have, the reputation you built, the skills that [00:24:00] underline, the skills that everyone sees. Having, being a good artist means you have taste. It means you have a good eye. It means you have certain set of skills.

Paul Ford: See, here’s, here’s what’s wild cause I made my living as a writer for quite a while. You are defined by your output.

Rich Ziade:  You’re not,

Paul Ford: Oh, this is the thing, right? I had to figure that out. You got you, you-

Rich Ziade: Yeah yeah, most-

Paul Ford: I realized that defining myself by my output was dangerous and bad for my family. Like I, I wasn’t gonna be able to make enough money to give them a good life.

Rich Ziade: Well, you were a writer [laughter].

Paul Ford: I was a writer in 2015.

Rich Ziade: And, and a very successful one.

Paul Ford: I was doing great and I I was playing out-

Rich Ziade: And it still wasn’t enough.

Paul Ford: No, I saw the endgame, the endgame was me at age 54 fat calling a 27 year old editor saying, can you get me that check? I need to pay my healthcare.

Rich Ziade: Okay, so you did something different. You could have kept writing you, you’re an example of preempting that in fact, and saying, “this can’t be the limit of what I can do in the world”, okay keep going.

Paul Ford: And I wanted, [00:25:00] I wanted to hustle. I wanted to sell, I like it. I like diving in.

Rich Ziade: That, that– you’re fortunate to have that built in, a lot of people don’t. I guess part of what I’m saying here is like I, I’m not gonna convince someone to go into sales, right?

Paul Ford: Yeah, I come from a line of salesman.

Rich Ziade: But I can tell people that they are more, I’m not telling people Don’t worry about it, you’ll figure it out. I’m saying you’re more than what you think you are today at this very moment.

Paul Ford: And in fact, I actually what you’re saying and this is the advice. Worry about it.

Rich Ziade: Worry about it.

Paul Ford: Alright, well that’s it. If anybody wants to get in touch with that-

Rich Ziade: If you wanna get in touch, uh, hello@ziadeford.com and give us five stars wherever stars are available to you.

Paul Ford: We love stars. Check out ZiadeFord.com it’s a website on the internet, on the global internet.

Rich Ziade: Yes.

Paul Ford: And uh, we’ll talk to you soon. Oh, follow us on Twitter ZiadeFord.

Rich Ziade: ZiadeFord. @ZiadeFord.

Rich Ziade: Have a lovely day.

Paul Ford: Bye. [00:26:00]

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