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How to find a side project partner to work on AI?

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Entry-Level Software Engineer at Looking for job6 months ago

Hi I was wondering whether you know where I could find just entrepreneurial people that try to solve a problem with AI and maybe make a business out of it? I would be interested in working on a project from some entrepreneurial person that tries to solve a problem with AI. I would like to do my own project, since now is the time to build stuff with AI maybe using ChatGPT API. However, I am very extroverted so I can't do my own project - I don't have the motivation, so it's hard to build that way.

Or are these folks mostly in Silicon Valley?

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(3 comments)
  • 2
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    Tech Lead/Manager at Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    6 months ago

    Rather than trying to find entrepreneurial people, can you make them come to you? Start building something -- anything -- that solves a tiny problem, and then start sharing your work with others. Even if you don't build something, you could publish some writing online over a few months to attract people.

    I am very extroverted so can't do my own project don't have the motivation , not build that way.

    Can you expand on what you mean by this?

    There are builders everywhere, not just in Silicon Valley.

  • 1
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    Tech Lead @ Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero
    6 months ago

    ...and maybe make a business out of it?

    I strongly recommend against pulling money into the equation so early, especially if you're looking to pair up with someone you don't really know over the internet. If just the thought of money crosses you and/or your side project partner's minds, you're going to have all these questions like the following:

    1. How will the profit be split?
    2. If this turns into an actual business, who is CEO?
    3. What should we pay ourselves?

    It is so easy to get distracted and rabbit-hole on these conversations, wasting a ton of time instead of actually building stuff.

    Instead, you should do this:

    1. Spend 1-3 days building a very initial prototype, purely as a passion project and to bring something cool into the world. The code can (and should) be messy and completely hard-coded: Your goal is just to get something out the door, so you can easily describe your vision and do #2.
    2. Use the excitement around this prototype to find a side project partner.
    3. Split up the work as #1 makes clear swim-lanes much easier to form. The mantra at Meta was that it's way easier to iterate on an existing janky thing as opposed to trying to create something solid out the gate.
    4. If the side project takes off, hopefully you and your partner have formed a strong enough bond that you can talk money and not have everything explode.

    You can more or less follow the playbook in my Random Name Picker case study and tweak it so that you bring on collaborators earlier: [Case Study] Building An App With 1,000,000+ Users To Get Into Facebook

    Or are these folks mostly in Silicon Valley?

    Silicon Valley have the highest density of these folks, especially MLEs, but awesome builders are everywhere!

    I also recommend trying to find an in-person side project partner. The ~5 or so people I have collaborated on a side project with were all friends I knew in "real life". It is so hard coordinating software engineers, so you really need a tight bond to work together fluidly on a side project. And the unfortunate thing about remote work is that it's 5x harder to form a true bond with someone when they're just a box in your Zoom client.

    Go to local meetups, conferences, clubs - Look for your solidarity groups physically within your area and try to make friends. I recommend going through this if you haven't already: [Masterclass] How To Build Deep Relationships Quickly In Tech

  • 2
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    Student, Ex-L5 Intern at Amazon
    a month ago

    There are many open-source groups where you can find collaborators for your ML projects. I maintain a group here: https://github.com/Anirudh257/awesome-opensource-ML-collaborations