Who would’ve guessed the powerful folk would win the AI fight?

One way to think about the OpenAI shakeup of the last few days is that a nonprofit board with a specific mission felt like one of the company’s leaders was not working toward those goals. So they canned him.

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Another way to think about it is that a bunch of yahoos who had no idea what they were doing executed a power play against the real engine of value at their company, and were canned in response.

These perspectives are not mutually exclusive.

But when we weigh these viewpoints against each other, one clearly tips the scales.

On one hand, the board of a nonprofit organization was trying to do what it felt was right. On the other hand, there was a mountain of capital invested in a company that had zero interest in seeing its paper markups go to zero.

And Microsoft was also in the mix. The software giant already owned as much of OpenAI as it could without things getting sticky and probably wanted the old status quo to return, given how well that investment had played out for its business thus far.