The Complexities of the Big Model Era: Exploring the Investments of Amazon and the Insights of Paul Graham

Vincent Hsu

Hatched by Vincent Hsu

Oct 15, 2023

4 min read


The Complexities of the Big Model Era: Exploring the Investments of Amazon and the Insights of Paul Graham


In a rapidly evolving tech landscape, companies like Amazon are making strategic investments to stay ahead in the big model era. One such investment by Amazon, totaling up to $4 billion, was made in Anthropic, a prominent big model company known for its ChatGPT competitor, Claude. This move comes after Microsoft's successful investment in OpenAI and their ChatGPT priority usage rights. However, Amazon's investment in Anthropic goes beyond simply "locking in" customers for AWS or focusing solely on big models. This article delves into the motives behind Amazon's investment while also incorporating insights from Paul Graham on how to make a significant impact in the industry.

Amazon's Investment in Anthropic:

The official collaboration details reveal that Anthropic will utilize AWS Trainium and Inferentia chips for building, training, and deploying their future base models. Additionally, both companies will collaborate on the development of Trainium and Inferentia technologies. This investment in Anthropic allows Amazon to accelerate the development of its own AI chips. By deepening their cooperation with Anthropic, Amazon aims to strengthen its core competitive advantage in the cloud computing market – AI chips.

The Significance of Amazon's Investment:

Amazon's decision to invest in Anthropic can be attributed to various factors. One obvious reason is the desire to attract customers in the big model industry. As big model vendors and AI application enterprises become crucial customers for cloud computing, major cloud providers like Google, Microsoft, and AWS are vying for their business. This year, these companies have strategically invested to "lock in" customers, even though this approach has faced financial criticism.

However, Anthropic has been an existing customer of AWS since 2021. By deepening their collaboration with Anthropic through a $4 billion investment, Amazon aims to gain deeper cooperation in two key areas: big models and AI chips. This investment serves as a tuition fee for Amazon to learn how to excel in the big model field and compete with OpenAI's challenger.

Insights from Paul Graham:

In his latest article, Paul Graham emphasizes the importance of completing projects, even if they require more effort than anticipated. He suggests that some of the best work happens in the final stages of a project. Graham acknowledges the acceptable lie of exaggerating the importance of what you're doing to yourself, as it can help uncover new insights.

Graham also highlights the need to be willing to abandon and restart certain endeavors. Overcoming the biases and laziness associated with redoing work may require effort, but it is essential for growth. Confidence in making necessary cuts is crucial, as holding onto unsuitable elements out of pride or effort invested can hinder progress.

Simplifying the Essence:

Graham argues that simplifying your work to its essence can be beneficial in certain types of projects. It allows for concentrated results and a better understanding of the work's authenticity, making it harder to deceive oneself. This concept aligns with Amazon's push to promote the Amazon Bedrock big model platform, enabling customers to access services from various leading big model vendors, including Anthropic.

Exploring New Perspectives:

To discover new ideas, Graham advises capturing signs of disruption instead of avoiding them. This approach, exemplified by Einstein, helps identify peculiar effects and fosters innovation. Sometimes, carrying a question for an extended period leads to groundbreaking work. Great achievements often arise from revisiting questions that caught your attention years ago, even as far back as childhood. Maintaining youthful curiosity and unresolved questions is crucial for continued growth.

The Unique Nature of Expertise:

Graham points out that expertise in certain fields is vastly different from common impressions. In popular belief, experts are seen as definitive, but in reality, the more confused one is, the better – as long as the confusion pertains to significant matters that nobody fully comprehends. Curiosity serves as the best guide, as it never lies and knows better than you what is worth pursuing.


Amazon's investment in Anthropic demonstrates its commitment to strengthening its competitive edge in the big model era. By collaborating with Anthropic, Amazon aims to accelerate the development of its AI chips and expand its influence in the cloud computing market. Meanwhile, Paul Graham's insights provide valuable guidance for individuals and companies navigating the complexities of the tech industry. In summary, three actionable pieces of advice derived from this discussion are: 1) Embrace confusion and curiosity to uncover new perspectives, 2) Be willing to abandon and restart projects when necessary, and 3) Simplify work to its essence for better focus and understanding. Following these principles can help individuals and companies thrive in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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