Jason Fried

May 10, 2023

You can learn AI later

Throw a dart on LinkedIn, or toss one into the ether on Twitter, and you'll likely hit a post proclaiming that you better "learn AI" or you're falling behind.

Master the tools and become a prompt engineer or someone else will tell the AI to summarize the long documents, kick off initial first drafts, and rewrite the headlines for you!


This isn't saying AI, ChatGPT, or whatever comes next is nonsense. It's very real, very powerful, and very here.

But there's nothing you need to learn, or do, right now, other than be curious. Play around, kick the tires, poke and prod. Get a feel for what this new sauce tastes like. Have fun, it's not a test.

But become a master at once or you're going to lose your job to some AI expert? Nah. That's pure FUD. The stuff that everyone's talking about is barely 6 months old — there are no experts, there are just people playing experts on the internet.

Besides, the best way to learn something is to need that something. Learning when you don't really need to is a good way to give up early. Learning when there's something you truly need to do, but can't, but could, is the right time to figure something out.

They say necessity is the mother of invention, but it's really the impetus for learning. The time will come, and you can figure it out then. If anything, it'll be easier to learn how to use AI once it settles in a bit. Currently it's a moving target.

So wait on it. Pop the pressure. Don't feel like you're falling behind. And don't drop everything to dig in. Start curious, stay curious, know what it's capable of, and, when the necessity strikes, figure it out. Until then, ignore the demands and focus on doing what you're already good at.


About Jason Fried

Hey! I'm Jason, the Co-Founder and CEO at 37signals, makers of Basecamp and HEY. Subscribe below to follow my thinking on business, design, product development, and whatever else is on my mind. Thanks for visiting, thanks for reading.