This post is a bit longer than average but it's really worth it.

When Javier Bardem was asked what his favorite movie was, he said “the first few minutes of Up”.

Those first minutes are masterful.

They tell what happens to you as soon as you lose your focus.

What happens with life, I mean.

What was going to be and how shitty it has been…

That it passes quickly.

It passes and you haven’t lived it because you were postponing it.

For a few years I was teaching innovation in a program for the pharma industry and at the end I played this excerpt from Up.

I wanted to tell them that nothing really mattered.

Business, master’s degree programs, the pharmaceutical industry.

The only thing that matters is living.

When my son gets a little older, I will play Up for him.

And I will tell him: “Son, you go and live”.

Because there will be problems anyway.

Conflicts.

Recently a client looked me in the eye and said:

“If I were you, what I would feel is shame.”

The man was angry.

A good man and a good professional.

He was partly right.

And partly not.

He was right that we had not delivered what he wanted.

Because when we did that project, we were young and immature.

We had poorly designed the study population and consequently the predictive model had not identified interesting predictive variables.

But he wasn’t right because you can’t be ashamed of your mistakes when you are doing new things.

And I tell you one thing.

This customer is the kind you want to have.

The ones you don’t want are the ones who don’t pick up the phone.

But he called me to tell me off because he wanted to keep working with me.

Why? To help me?

No, and he didn’t have to.

He did it because he knew we can give him something he can’t get by other means.

Look…

When you jump into doing a project in AI, a lot of things are going to go wrong.

At first.

Then it gets better.

But for a while they will tell you things.

They will make you doubt.

Because they will be pissed off that they were not the ones who took the plunge.

Don’t doubt that’s the reason.

But it turns out that doing is the only way to learn.

And one thing is clear: this machine learning stuff, sooner or later, you have to learn it.

It turns out that we have learned so much, between successes and mistakes, that we will make sure that at least you don’t get wrong what most people are still getting wrong.

We’ve got 3 or 4 years on them.

To those who know AI or science, but not both.

And sometimes they know neither.

By the way, months later, we turned in the project again and the one who received it, who was a colleague of the previous one literally said, “I’m going to invite you for Gin tonics”.

If you want to discover AI and feel proud, not ashamed, you can do it here.

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