He has to work hard to keep it afloat.
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NVIDIA is one of the most important tech companies in the world, especially now, with the rise of AI. One might think it's enough to sit back and enjoy the success, but it can't be farther from the truth for Jensen Huang, NVIDIA's CEO.
Huang is still constantly concerned about his company, and it's an everyday fear. During the 2023 New York Times DealBook Summit, he said that he can't help fearing that NVIDIA might go out of business, and this feeling haunts him every morning.
"I don't wake up proud and confident. I wake up worried and concerned," he said. "It just depends on which side of the bed you get out on."
Image credit: Acquired
The chip maker almost went bankrupt in the 90s, and this was enough to fuel this fear for years, apparently: "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."
Is there a reason for Huang's fears though? Well, NVIDIA definitely has some powerful competitors, like TSMC, AMD, and Intel to a certain extent.
"I don't think people are trying to put me out of business – I probably know they're trying to, so that's different," he said. "I live in this condition where we're partly desperate, partly aspirational."
And this feeling helps him move forward: he believes adversity makes him more focused and hard times actually calm him down.
"I like to live in that state where we're about to perish, and so I enjoy that condition," he shared. "I do my best work in that condition."
This sounds motivational, but waking up every day filled with the fear of failure can't be easy. In fact, Huang said in October that if he could do it all again knowing what he knows now, he would not start a company at all, and this is probably one of the reasons.
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