The Power of Preparation: The Nvidia Story

For the past few months, I’ve been following the world of AI. The development in the field has been accelerating since the launch of ChatGPT in November last year. Bill Gates wrote back in March that the age of AI has begun.

One of the winners of this AI boom is Nvidia. Its chips power most of the AI applications being used today.

But what’s most interesting to me is the fact that Nvidia was already prepared long before the AI opportunity came. In a recent earnings call with investors, Jensen Huang – the CEO of Nvidia – said this:

It costs a lot of money to do it because you have to do all the software and everything, and you have to build all the systems and so on and so forth. But we’ve been at it for 15 years.

And what happened is when generative AI came along, it triggered a killer app for this computing platform that’s been in preparation for some time.

Isn’t that interesting? Nvidia had been building its computing platform for many years before generative AI came along! When generative AI did come, it became the killer app for something that had been prepared for years.

It reminds me of this quote by Abraham Lincoln:

I will study and prepare myself, and someday my chance will come.

I really like this quote. Why? Because it reminds me of the power of preparation. You prepare first, and someday your opportunity will come. You don’t wait until the opportunity comes before you start preparing; no, that would be too late. Instead, you prepare yourself before you even know what the opportunity might look like.

In the case of Nvidia, it’s so prepared that it essentially has no competitors. Here is what WSJ wrote:

The company currently has no competitor that can match it in its breadth of chips and software for the computing-intensive demands of generative AI.

Furthermore, its advantage is not easy to replicate:

Huang said Wednesday that the company’s software would not be easy to replicate.

“You have to engineer all of the software and all of the libraries and all of the algorithms, integrate them into and optimize the frameworks, and optimize it for the architecture, not just one chip but the architecture of an entire data center,” he said on a call with analysts.

I think this is a great example of the power of preparation. Prepare yourself, and someday your chance will come.