Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang says he constantly worries that the company will fail

midian182

Posts: 9,581   +120
Staff member
In brief: In the thirty years since he co-founded the firm, Jensen Huang has helped take Nvidia from a company with $40,000 in the bank to one of the ten largest organizations in the world by market cap. But despite its $1.19 trillion valuation, the Team Green CEO still worries that Nvidia may one day fail.

Huang made his confession during the 2023 New York Times DealBook Summit (via Insider), where the NYT's Andrew Sorkin asked Huang why he keeps talking about how he does everything to keep the company afloat.

Huang said that the challenges Nvidia has faced in the past have left him with the unshakable feeling the company won't survive. In 1995, following the release and commercial failure of its first chip, the NV1, Nvidia nearly went bankrupt and had to lay off half its employees, leaving just 40, and move to a smaller office. Nvidia has had other close calls since then, too.

"I think when you build a company from the ground up, and you've experienced real adversity, and you really experienced nearly going out of business several times, that feeling stays with you," Huang said.

In 2021, Huang appeared on the cover of Time magazine after he was named one of the most influential people of the year. He topped the 'Most Popular CEO' survey in October and Nvidia's AI-driven soaring stock price has seen him become one of the 30 richest people in the world with a net worth of $44 billion. That would make most people feel pretty good about themselves, but it's not always the case with Huang.

"I don't wake up proud and confident. I wake up worried and concerned," Huang said. "It just depends on which side of the bed you get out on."

The Nvidia boss also talked about his company's rivals in the industry, such as AMD, Apple, and Intel.

"I don't think people are trying to put me out of business – I probably know they're trying to, so that's different," Huang said. "I live in this condition where we're partly desperate, partly aspirational."

But Huang said living in a constant state of worry over Nvidia suddenly losing its crown and somehow going bankrupt has its advantages.

"I think during adversity you're more focused," Huang said. "And when you're more focused, you could perform better.

"I like to live in that state where we're about to perish, and so I enjoy that condition," he continued. "I do my best work in that condition."

Huang has previously spoken about how much more difficult running Nvidia has proven compared to how he envisioned it, admitting that he wouldn't become the CEO again if he could do things over. But it seems there are perks to the job – and not just the money.

"I like going home and telling my wife I saved the company today," Huang said during the DealBook summit. "Maybe it wasn't true, but I'd like to think so."

Earlier this week, we heard about another one of Nvidia's co-founders, former CTO Curtis Priem, who would be worth around $70 billion if he'd kept his Nvidia stock. Priem now lives an "off the grid," philanthropic lifestyle and is a big fan of writing earth-saving manifestos.

Permalink to story.

 
Any business manager who feels a sense of ownership feels this. What's new? Him admitting to his "emotions" like reality TV?

"I am human. I worry."
<owns 3.6% of a trillion dollar company, whose shares are at an all-time high>
"I am not a heartless profiteer"
<rakes in billions of dollars>
"I hear you"
<raises prices on GPUs>
"We are working with our AIBs to bring you more cards"
<strangles supply>
 
Approval rating by who? It must be the share holders because customers, both commercial and customer, hate him.

They couldn't have their monopoly on ray tracing, that's how this started if anyone remembers, so they moved to AI. They created the AI market as we know and now people like Amazon, Microsoft and Tesla are designing AI chips.

nVidias AI supremacy isn't going to last.
 
Unlike him, I am not worrying... I WISH they will fail.

This company is a cancer and people needs to understand it. I hope their datacenter venture will make them prioritize the sector so fanboys endup with another 1600-2000$ mainstream GPU they can't afford.
 
I'm more worried about Nvidia maintaining that Monopoly position. At this rate, their flagship cards are going to continue going up in prices...

The 4090 is already over 3k here in Australia...

I just wish there was stronger competition from AMD's GPU.
 
At some point, something will happen to nvidia, that will give another manufactor its prime-time. Looks what happen to Intel behemoth ? .... well AMD got the market traction after Intel year to year failures and ignoring the buyers.
Nvidia is on that stage ... ignoring the buyers. Its a matter of time.
 
Arent we all CONSTANTLY worry when nvidia fails?

The difference is, when Nvidia (or Jensen himself) misread the room like a dyslexic arsonist (or worse) nobody cares and any immediate concerns are forgotten and outright offense forgiven quicker than clickbait sites can put up vids about next gen cards.

AMD go through a bad patch, nm make what is in truth a comeback for the ages on both fronts (that nobody else until recently bothered even trying) and it might as well still be 2015. Hell, even Intel get better treatment and look at the issues they've made for themselves.

If Jensen has cause to worry over anything, it's minor trifles easily solved with those kind of resources that his company left hanging overlong. And why worry then? Such things were never a big deal, never did Nvidia much harm in the past. I won't say Nvidia are too big to fail but it's unlikely even if, say, the consumer GPU fanbase that they've neglected up and walk away. All this is, is a distraction piece for one segment of Nvidia's profit base while they make unprecedented bank with another. Nothing new under this sun.
 
Nah, I'm looking forward to it. Monopolies are never good.

But in all seriousness, we need a more even landscape. I don't want NV to fail, I just want AMD to be a stronger contender.

For that to happen more needed to buy into it.

I'm constantly atm reminded of a meme I saw doing the rounds a while ago. That one comparing the number of ppl who thought AMD were doing good vs the number that actually put the money where that opinion was.
Now, I may be wrong but I'll happily bet that AMD's rising (lol, Ryzen, geddit?) from literal ashes not so many years ago to putting a boot up Intel's rear AND jumping up on the GPU side cost significant investment.
The kind of cash that hasn't yet fully been accounted for by where they haven't inspired or done well. Consoles and business deals don't cover for going evens on consumer CPU's and underwhelming sales in consumer GPU's, not when they're the smallest of the three and the only (until very recently) going full throttle on CPU and GPU development/markets.

You can be all but sure that is the prime cause and reason for AMD putting the brakes on for RDNA4/next gen GPU's. If the money isn't there to get the hard working out done, then you go slow and/or pick better fights. That AMD might be taking a leaf out of Nvidia's book and following that is neither surprising nor contentious, not vs any reasoning as to why Nvidia have done so. The difference is, the latter literally have no dangers or threats to face bar themselves.

Which leads to my biggest concern of all this... with AMD out of even contending for second place runner up (which is actually good enough, or should be) and Intel not yet ready imo to fill those shoes, will Nvidia change what and how they do re consumer GPU's or move further out of touch with real world conditions?
 
Any business manager who feels a sense of ownership feels this. What's new? Him admitting to his "emotions" like reality TV?

"I am human. I worry."
<owns 3.6% of a trillion dollar company, whose shares are at an all-time high>
"I am not a heartless profiteer"
<rakes in billions of dollars>
"I hear you"
<raises prices on GPUs>
"We are working with our AIBs to bring you more cards"
<strangles supply>

"You have to worry more to make more"

Or something.
 
I do not wish his company to fail. But I would be very happy to see few other companies making GPUs for desktops and laptops. We could still be getting near tops at 600-700 dollars even with crypto, if it wasn't just him and AMD.
 
The difference is, when Nvidia (or Jensen himself) misread the room like a dyslexic arsonist (or worse) nobody cares and any immediate concerns are forgotten and outright offense forgiven quicker than clickbait sites can put up vids about next gen cards.

AMD go through a bad patch, nm make what is in truth a comeback for the ages on both fronts (that nobody else until recently bothered even trying) and it might as well still be 2015. Hell, even Intel get better treatment and look at the issues they've made for themselves.

If Jensen has cause to worry over anything, it's minor trifles easily solved with those kind of resources that his company left hanging overlong. And why worry then? Such things were never a big deal, never did Nvidia much harm in the past. I won't say Nvidia are too big to fail but it's unlikely even if, say, the consumer GPU fanbase that they've neglected up and walk away. All this is, is a distraction piece for one segment of Nvidia's profit base while they make unprecedented bank with another. Nothing new under this sun.
AMD bought ATI, and resolved to fix their garbage drivers.....12 years later. Can you point to a time where nvidia waited that long to fix glaring problems? Or how about AMD ignoring frame pacing issues for 5 years.....until nvidia made the first FCAT test, then OOPS we're actually aware of the problem and working on a solution.

AMD gets raked over the coals because they have a long history of pulling off stunts like this. Nvidia doesnt. People will misconstrue this as "oh nvidia has mindshare AMD lose" to continue feeding their victim complex as to why a company that treated its customers like second class citizens sells like a second class company. FFS they made the issue of "taking 3 years to optimize our GPU drivers instead of 2 months like nvidia" as a "feature" called FineWine.
 
Well, first we all know that nothing lasts forever. Just look at Sears, they were gone after a hundred years. Anyway, I have not purchased a Nvidia card in two generations now. Before that, I had purchased four Nvidia cards. But when Jensen started Jipping out on certain features like VRAM or overpriced cards with the VRAM I wanted (like 4080), I passed on those cards. So if they continue down this same path, they will lose more and more customers.
 
Honestly I don't want nVidia to fail even though their cards are priced outright outrageous. More competition is always the best, that would push others to make something even better in an affordable price range.
Let's say Nvidia goes bankrupt suddenly, who would take control of the GPU market then? AMD, they will without a doubt increase their GPU prices right away. We need the competition to be stronger.
 
AMD bought ATI, and resolved to fix their garbage drivers.....12 years later. Can you point to a time where nvidia waited that long to fix glaring problems? Or how about AMD ignoring frame pacing issues for 5 years.....until nvidia made the first FCAT test, then OOPS we're actually aware of the problem and working on a solution.

AMD gets raked over the coals because they have a long history of pulling off stunts like this. Nvidia doesnt. People will misconstrue this as "oh nvidia has mindshare AMD lose" to continue feeding their victim complex as to why a company that treated its customers like second class citizens sells like a second class company. FFS they made the issue of "taking 3 years to optimize our GPU drivers instead of 2 months like nvidia" as a "feature" called FineWine.
As someone who's finally been able to move over to an AMD card: lol. nVidia's control panel is barely-functional junk that hasn't changed since 2011. The experience of switching to nVidia surround for some games to run at triple-wide was PAINFUL. Now, I'm almost two months in with my 7900 XT, and have still not encountered a single driver issue. Not one. Also, switching to triple-wide in EyeFinity is literally "click button to turn on, click again to turn off." Remembers the entire configuration and everything. The reputation of both companies is largely in people's imagination.
 
Back