Grateful to Perplexity AI co-founder and CEO Aravind Srinivas for sitting down with me and Josh Albrecht to talk Perplexity’s origins, the decision whether to build on top of OpenAI, and staying focused despite the near-constant stream of new models, companies, and $100M+ funding rounds. Our top takeaways...

On staying grounded: "It's always fun to prove the world wrong. There's nothing better than that… Scarcity cannot be faked. The one who has so much more to gain from winning eventually wins."

On choosing to build on top of OpenAI: "I'm just willing to be pragmatic here. Obviously, if you ask anybody in this room if they want to be the owner of GPT-5, they'll say yes, right? I'd love to have our models be as capable as the next LLM coming from OpenAI. But what is practically feasible today is that we can probably get to GPT-3.5, but we can probably never get to GPT-4 with the funding we have, and definitely not to GPT-5. So we are happy to work alongside OpenAI's APIs."

On how Perplexity outperforms ChatGPT and Bard on key engagement metrics: "We only focused on this one thing we were doing, which is answer engine and supportive citations. Nothing else."

On reducing hallucinations within Perplexity: "The core tenet of the product is only say what you can cite. Same as in academia or journalism. You need to have sources."

On iterating fast, per Nat Friedman: "Get your dopamine from making things happen."

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