Chamath Palihapitiya: Money, Success, Startups, Energy, Poker & Happiness | Lex Fridman Podcast #338

thumbnail
0:00-0:59

in terms of your mistakes Society tells you don't make them because we will judge you and we will look down on you and I think the really successful people realize that actually no it's the cycle time of mistakes that gets you to success because your error rate will diminish the more mistakes that you make You observe them you figure out where it's coming from is it a psychological thing is it a you know cognitive thing and then you fix it following is a conversation with your mouth a venture capitalist and engineer founder and CEO of Social Capital

0:59-1:30

previously in early senior executive at Facebook and is uh the co-host of the all in podcast a podcast that I highly recommend for the wisdom and the camaraderie of the four co-hosts also known as Besties this is the Lux Friedman podcast to support it please check out our sponsors in the description and now dear friends here's chamath balajapatia you grew up in a dysfunctional household on welfare you've talked about this before what war for you personally psychologically some difficult moments in your childhood I'll answer that question in a slightly different way which is that

1:30-2:01

I think when you grow up in a household that's defined by physical abuse and psychological abuse you're hyper Vigilant all the time and so it's actually easier for me to point to moments where I was happy or I felt Compassion or I felt safe otherwise every moment I'll give you a couple of examples like you know I was thinking about this a while ago there was a tree outside of my apartment where we lived when I was growing up and my father would sometimes would make me go outside to take the tree branch that he would hit me with

2:01-2:65

um and so you can imagine if you're a 10 11 year old kid and you have to deal with that what do you do well a hyper Vigilant child learns how to basically estimate the strength of these branches right how far can he go before it breaks you have to estimate his anger and estimate the effective strength of you know branches and bring back something because you know I remember these moments where if it was he would look at it and then he would make me go out again and get it right get a different one um or you know there was a certain belt that he wore that had this kind of um

2:65-3:23

belt buckle that stuck out and you just wanted to make sure if that if that was the thing that you were going to get hit by that it wasn't the Buckle facing out because that really hurt and so you became hyper aware of which part of the Buckle was facing out versus facing in in those moments and there are like hundreds of these little examples which essentially I would I would say the through line is that you're just so on edge right and you walk into this house and you're just basically trying to get to the point where you leave the house

3:23-3:85

um and so in that microcosm of growing up any moment that's not like that is seared in my memory in a way that I just can't describe to a person I'll give you an example I volunteered when I was in grade five or six I can't remember which it was in the kindergarten of my school and I would just go and the teacher would you know ask you to clean things up and at the end of that great five year she took me and two other kids to Dairy Queen and I'd never been I've never I'd never

3:85-4:50

gone to a restaurant literally because we just we didn't have the money and I remember the first time I tasted this you know this Dairy Queen meal it was like a hamburger fries a coconut a blizzard and I was like what is this and I felt so special you know because you're getting something that most people would take for granted oh it's a Sunday or it's a you know or I'm really busy let me go take my kid to to fast food I think that you know until I left High School I think and this is not just specific to me but a lot of other people it's you're in this hyper Vigilant Loop

4:50-5:19

punctuated with these incredibly visceral moments of compassion by other people you know a different example um we had such a strict budget and we didn't have a car and so you know I was responsible with my mom to always go shopping and so I learned very early on how to you know look for coupons how to buy things that were on sale or special and we had a very basic diet because you have to budget this thing really precisely but the end of every year where I lived there was a large grocery chain called Loblaws and Loblaws would discount

5:19-5:98

a cheesecake from 7.99 to 4.99 and my parents would buy that once a year and we probably did that six or seven times and you can't imagine how special we felt myself my two sisters we would sit there we would watch the you know the New Year's Eve celebration on TV we would cut this cheesecake into you know five pieces it felt like everything um so that's sort of how you know my my existence when I was at that age is For Better or For Worse that's how I remember it the hyper vigilance Loop is that still with you today what are The Echoes of that that's told you today the

5:98-6:70

good and the bad if you put yourself in the mind of a young child the thing that that does to you is at a very core basic level it says you're worthless right because if you can step outside of that and you think about any child in the world they don't deserve to go through that and at some point by the way I should tell you like I don't blame my parents anymore it was a process to get there but I feel like they did the best they could and they suffered their own issues and enormous pressures and stresses

6:70-7:34

and so you know I've really for the most part forgiven them how did you start to interrupt let go of that blame that was a really long process where I would say the first 35 years of my life I compartmentalized and I avoided all of those memories and I saw external validation right going back to this self-worth idea if you're taught as a child that you're worthless because why would somebody do these things to you it's not because you're worth something you think to yourself very viscerally you're worth nothing

7:34-7:89

and so then you go out and you seek external validation maybe you try to go and get into a great College you try to get a good job you try to make a lot of money you try to you know demonstrate in superficial ways with the car you drive or the clothes you wear that you deserve people to care about you to try to make up for that really deep hole but at some point you it doesn't get filled in and so you have a choice and so for me what happened was in in the course of a six-month period I lost my best friend and I lost my father

7:89-8:59

and it was really like the dam broke loose because I the compartmentalization stopped working because the reminder of why I was compartmentalizing was gone and so I had to go through this period of disharmony to really understand and Steel Man his perspective and can you imagine trying to do that to go through all of the things where you have to now look at it from his perspective and find compassion and empathy for what he went through and then I shift you know the focus to my mom and I said well you were not the

8:59-9:27

victim actually you were somewhat complicit as well because you were of sound mind and body and you were in the room when it happened so then I had to go through that process with her and steal man her perspective and at the end of it I never Justified what they did but I've been able to forgive what they did um I think they did the best they could and at the end of the day they did the most important thing which is they gave me and my sisters a shot by emigrating by giving up everything by staying in Canada and doing whatever it took between the two of them to sort of claw and scrape together

9:27-9:93

enough money to live so that my sisters and I could have a shot and I'm very thankful for them could they have done better obviously but I'm okay with what has taken place but it's it's been a long process of of that steel Manning so that you can develop some empathy and compassion and forgive do you think if you talk to your dad shortly after he died and you went to that process or today you'll be able to have the same strength to forgive him I think it would be a very complicated Journey I think I've learned to be incredibly

9:93-10:66

open about what has happened and all of the mistakes I've made I think it's it would require him to be pretty radically honest about confirming what I think he went through because otherwise it just wouldn't work otherwise I would say let's keep things where they are which is I did the work you know with with people that have helped me obviously but you know it's better for him to just you know kind of hopefully he's looking from some place and he's thinking it was worth it I think he deserves to think that all of this because you know I think the Immigrant challenge we're not even the Immigrant

10:66-11:30

challenge the lower middle class challenge anybody who really wants better for their kids and doesn't have a good toolkit to give it to them some of them just they choke up on the bat they just get so agitated about this idea that all this sacrifice will not be worth it that it spills out in really unproductive ways and I would put him in that category and their self evaluation introspection they have tunnel vision so they're not able to often see the damage they did I mean I've I know like yourself a few successful people that had very

11:30-12:00

difficult relationships with their dad and you take the perspective of the dad they're completely in denial about any of it so if you actually have a conversation there would not be a deep honesty there uh and that I think that's maybe in part the way of life yeah and you know I remember pretty distinctly after I left and in this you know in my middle 30s where you know by all measure I had roughly become reasonably successful and my dad didn't particularly care about that which was so odd because I had to confront the fact that you know whether it was a title or money or press

12:00-12:59

clippings he never really cared he moved on to a different set of goals which was more about my character and you know being a good person to my family and really preparing me to lead our family when he wasn't there and that bothered me because I thought I thought I got to the finish line and I thought there was going to be a metal you know meaning like I can tell you Lex you know he never told me that he loved me I'm not sure if that's normal or not it was my normality and I thought there's going to be something some gold star which never appeared

12:59-13:21

and so that's like a hard thing to kind of confront because you're like well now what is this what is this all about um was this all just kind of a a ruse but then I realized well hold on a second there were these moments where in his way again putting yourself in his shoes I think he was trying to say he was sorry he would hold my hand you know and he would interlock the fingers which I felt is that's a really intimate way of holding somebody's hand I think um so I remember those things so you know these are the things that are just etched in at least in my mind and

13:21-13:88

at the end of it you know I think uh I've done a decent job in repairing my relationship with him even though you know it was posthumous it does make me wonder in which way you and I or we might be broken and not see it it might be hurting others and not see it well I think that when you grow up in those kinds of environments and they're all different kinds of this kind of dysfunction but if what you get from that is that you're not worthwhile you're not you're less than many many other people when you enter adulthood or you know semi-adulthood in your early 20s you

13:88-14:43

will be in a cycle where you are hurting other people you may not know it hopefully you find somebody who holds you accountable and tells you and loves you enough through that but you are going to take all of that disharmony in your childhood and you're going to inject that disharmony into whether it's your professional relationships or your personal relationships or both until you get to some form of rock bottom and you start to repair and I think there's a lot of people that resonate with that because they have

14:43-15:21

each suffered their own things that at some point in their lives have told them that they're less than and um and then they go and cope and when you cope eventually those coping mechanisms escalate and at some point it'll be unhealthy either for you but oftentimes it's for the people around you well from those humble beginnings you are now a billionaire how has money changed your life or maybe the landscape of experience in your life does it buy happiness it doesn't buy happiness but it buys you a level of comfort for you to really amplify What happiness is

15:21-15:84

I kind of think about it in the following way let's just say that there's a a hundred things on a table and the table says find happiness here and there are different prices the way that the world works is that many of these experiences are cordoned off a little bit behind the Velvet Rope where you think that there's more happiness as the prices of things escalate right if you live in an apartment you admire the person with the house if you live in a house you admire the person with the bigger house that person admires the person with you

15:84-16:45

know um an island right um some person drives their car admires the person who flies who admires a person who flies business class who admires a person who flies first you know to private there's all of these escalations on this table and most people get to the first five or six and so they just naturally assume that items you know seven through a hundred is really where happiness is found and the just to you know tell you the the Finish Line I've tried a hundred and back and then I've tried to 400 to it uh

16:45-17:06

and happiness isn't there um but it does give you a level of comfort I read a study and I don't know if it's true or not but it said that um the absolute sort of like maximal link between money and happiness is around 50 million dollars and there was a it was just like a social studies kind of thing that I think one of the Ivy Leagues put out and underneath it the way that they explained it was because you could have a home you could have all kinds of the Creature Comforts you could take care of your family

17:06-17:73

um and then you were left to ponder what it is that you really want I think the challenge for most people is to realize that this escalating arms race of you know more things will solve your problems is not true more and better is not the solution it's it's this idea that you are on a very precise Journey that's unique to yourself you are playing a game of which only you are the player everybody else is an interloper and you have a responsibility to design the gameplay

17:73-18:38

and I think a lot of people don't realize that because if they did I think they would make a lot of different decisions about how they live their life and I still do the same thing I mean revert to basically running around asking other people what will make you like me more you know what will make me more popular in your eyes and I try to do it and it never works um it is just a complete dead end is there negative aspects to money like for example it becoming harder to find people you can trust I think the most negative aspect is that it amplifies

18:38-18:99

a 360 degree view of your personality because there are a lot of people and Society tells you that more money is actually better you are a better person somehow and you're factually more worthwhile than some other people that have less money that's also a lie but when you're given that kind of attention it's very easy for you to become a caricature of yourself um that's probably the single worst thing that happens to you but I say it in the opposite way I think all I've ever seen in Silicon Valley as an example um is that when somebody gets a hold of

18:99-19:60

a lot of money it tends to cause them to become exactly who they were meant to be they're either a kind person they're either a curious person they're either a jerk you know they're either cheap and they can use all kinds of masks but now that there's no expectations and Society gives you a get out of jail free card you start to behave the way that's most comfortable to you so you see somebody's innate personality and that's a really interesting thing to observe because then you can very quickly bucket sort where do you want to spend time and who is really you know additive to your gameplay and who is really a negative detractor

19:60-20:30

to your gameplay you're an investor but you're also kind of a philosopher um you analyze the world in all these different uh perspectives on all in podcasts on Twitter everywhere uh do you worry that money makes puts you out of touch from being able to truly empathize with the experience of the general population which in part first of all on a human level that could be limiting but also as an analyst of human civilization that could be limiting I think it definitely can for a lot of people because it's just a it's an abstraction for you to stop caring right

20:30-21:00

um I also think the other thing is that you can very quickly um especially in today's world become the scapegoat just to use a girardian like Rene Gerard if you look if you think about like memetic theory in a nutshell you know we're all competing for these very scarce resources that we are told is worthwhile and if you view the world through that gerardian lens what are we really doing we are all fighting for scarce resources whether that's Twitter followers money Acclaim notoriety and we all compete with each other and in that competition you know Gerard writes like the only way

21:00-21:61

you escape that Loop is by scapegoating something or somebody and I think we are in that Loop right now where just the fact of being successful is a thing that one should scapegoat to end all of this you know tension that we have in the world I I think that it's a little misguided because I don't think it solves the fundamental problem um and we can talk about the solution to some of these problems are but um that's I think the loop that we're all living and so if you become a character caricature and you feed yourself into it I mean you're not doing anything to to

21:61-22:22

Really Advance things your nickname is the dictator how did you get the nickname since we're talking about the corrupting nature of money that came from poker in a poker game you know when you sit down it's chaos especially like in in our home game there's a ton of big egos there's people always watching you know rail birding the game all kinds of interesting folks and in that somebody needs to establish hygiene and rules and I really care about the Integrity of the game and it would just require somebody to just say okay enough uh and so and then people were just like okay stop dictating and that's where

22:22-22:86

that's where that nickname so who to you speaking of which is the greatest poker of uh player of all time and why is it Phil Hellmuth exactly you know mute probably knew this question was coming yeah here's what I'll say I think helmuth is the antidote to computers more than any other player playing today and when you see him in a heads up situation so I think like he's played nine or ten heads up tournaments in a row and he's played like basically call it 10 of the top 20 people so far and he's beaten all but one of them when you're playing heads up you know

22:86-23:48

1v1 that is the most um GTO understandable spot meaning Game Theory optimal position that's where computers can give you an enormous Edge the minute you add even a third player the value of computers and the value of their recommendations basically falls off a cliff okay so one way to think about it is Helm youth is forced to play against people that are essentially trained like AIS and so to be able to beat you know eight out of nine of them means that you are playing so orthogonally to what is

23:48-24:09

considered Game Theory optimal and your overlaying human reasoning the judgment to say well in this spot I should do X but I'm going to do y it's not dissimilar in chess like what makes you know Magnus Carlson so good you know sometimes he takes these weird lines he'll sacrifice positions you know he'll overplay certain positions for certain you know Bishops versus Knights and all these spots that are very confusing and what it does is it throws people off their game I think he just won a recent online tournament and it's like by move six there is no GTO move for his opponent to make because

24:09-24:76

it's like out of the rule book maybe he read some game you know I read the quote it was like he probably read some game in some bar in Russia in 1954 memorized it and all of a sudden by six moves in the computer AI is worthless so that's what makes helmuth great the there is one person that I think is superior um and I think it's what Daniel also said and I would Echo that because I played Phil as well but Phil Ivey is um the most well-rounded cold-blooded bloodthirsty animal he is he's just and he he sees into your

24:76-25:41

solex in a way where you're just like oh my God stop looking at me have you ever played him yeah yeah we played we've played and you know he crushes the games crushes the games so what what is feeling crushed mean and feel like in poker is it like that you just can't read at all you being constantly pressured you feel off balance you try to Bluff and the person reads you perfectly that kind of stuff it's it's a this is a really really excellent question because I think this has parallels to a bunch of other things okay let's just use poker as a microcosm to explain a bunch of other systems or games

25:41-25:91

maybe it's um running a company or investing okay so let's use those three examples but we use poker to explain it what does success look like well success looks like you have positive expected value right in poker the simple way to summarize that is your opponent let's just say you and I are playing are going to make a bunch of mistakes there's a bunch of it that's going to be absolutely perfect and then there's a few spots where you make mistakes and then there's a bunch of places in

25:91-26:57

the poker game where I play perfectly and I make a few mistakes basically your mistakes minus my mistakes is The Edge right that's that's pure that's how poker works if I make fewer mistakes than you make I will make money and I will win that is the objective of the game translate that into business you're running a company you have a team of employees you have a pool of human capital that's capable of being productive in the world and creating something but you are going to make mistakes in making that maybe it doesn't completely fit the

26:57-27:20

market maybe it's mispriced maybe it actually doesn't require all of the people that you need so the margins are wrong and then there's the competitive set of all the other Alternatives that customer has their mistakes minus your mistakes is the expected value of Google Facebook Apple Etc okay now take investing every time you buy something somebody else on the other side is selling it to you is that their mistake we don't know yet but their mistakes minus your mistakes is how you make a lot of money over long

27:20-27:76

periods of time as an investor somebody sold you Google at forty dollars a share you bought it and you kept it huge mistake on their part minimal mistakes on your part the difference of that is the money that you made so life can be summarized in many ways in that way so the question is what can you do about other people's mistakes and the answer is nothing that is somebody else's game you can try to influence them you could try to subvert them maybe you plant a spy inside of that other person's company to sabotage them I guess there are things

27:76-28:42

at the edges that you can do but my firm belief is that life success really boils down to how do you control your mistakes now this is a bit counterintuitive the way you control your mistakes is by making a lot of mistakes so taking risks you have to is somehow you have to you to minimize the number of mistakes let's just say you want to find love yeah you know you want to find something go on deeply connected with yeah are you do you do that by not going out on dates and yes sorry sorry the only person that thinks that's yesterday no I'm joking I'm

28:42-29:02

joking no but you know what I mean like you have to date people you have to open yourself up you have to be authentic and like you put you you give yourself a chance to get hurt yes but you're a good person so you know what happens when you get hurt that is actually their mistake okay and if you are inauthentic that's your mistake that's a controllable thing in you you can tell them the truth who you are and say Here's my pluses and minuses my point is there are very few things in life that you can't break down I think into that very simple idea and in terms of your mistakes Society

29:02-29:67

tells you don't make them because we will judge you and we will look down on you and I think the really successful people realize that actually no it's the cycle time of mistakes that gets you to success because your error rate will diminish the more mistakes that you make You observe them you figure out where it's coming from is it a psychological thing is it a you know cognitive thing and then you fix it so the implied thing there is that there's a uh in in business and investing in poker and dating in life is that there's this platonic GTO Game Theory optimal thing

29:67-30:33

out there and so when you say mistakes you're always comparing to that optimal path you could have taken I think uh slightly different I would say mistake is maybe a bad proxy but it's the best proxy I have for learning but I'm using the language of what Society tells you sure got it Society tells you that when you try something and it doesn't work it's a mistake so I just use that word because it's the word that resonates most with most people got it the real thing that it is is learning yeah it's like in neural networks it's lost the neural network is lost exactly uh yeah all right so you're using the mistake that is most uh the

30:33-31:07

the word that is the most understandable especially by the way people experience it I guess most of life is a sequence of mistakes the problem is when you use the word mistake and you think about mistakes it actually has the counterproductive effect of you becoming conservative in just being risk-averse so that if you folk if you re if you flip it and say try to maximize the number of successes somehow that leads you to take more risk um mistake scares people I think mistakes scare people because Society likes these very simplified boundaries of who is winning and who is losing

31:07-31:75

and they want to reward people who make traditional choices and succeed but the thing is what's so corrosive about that is that they're actually not even being put in a position to actually make a quote-unquote mistake and fail so I'll give you if you look at like getting into an elite school right Society rewards you for being in the Ivy Leagues in a way that you know in my opinion incorrectly doesn't reward you for being in a non-ivy league School there's a certain level of status and presumption of intellect and capability

31:75-32:38

that comes with being there um but that system doesn't really have a counterfactual because it's not as if you both go to MIT and Ohio State and then we can see two versions of Lex Friedman so that we can figure out that The Jig Is up and there was no difference right and so instead it reinforces this idea that there is no truth-seeking function there is no way to actually make this thing whole and so it tells you you have to get in here and if you don't your life is over you've made a huge mistake you know or you've failed completely and so you have to find different unique

32:38-33:15

ways of dismantling this this is why you know part of what I realized where I got very lucky is I had no friends in high school I had a few cohort of acquaintances but part of being so hyper Vigilant when I grew up was I was so ashamed of that world that I had to live in I didn't want to bring anyone into it I could not see myself that anybody would accept me but the thing with that is that I had no definition of what expectations should be so they were not Guided by the people around me and so I would escape to Define my expectations it's interesting but you didn't feel um like your dad

33:15-33:83

didn't put you in a prison of expectation or we because like that's if you know a friend like that so the flip side of that you don't have any other signals it's very easy to believe like when you're in a cult that well he you know he was angry he pushed me he used me as a mechanism to alleviate his own frustration and this may sound very crazy but he also believed in me and so that's what created this weird Duality where you were just I was always confused that you could be somebody great he believed that you could be he did him because I couldn't reconcile then the

33:83-34:49

other half of the day you know those behaviors but what it allowed me to do was I escaped in my mind and I found these archetypes around me that were saviors to me so you know I grew up in Ottawa Ontario Canada I grew up right at the point where the Telecom boom was happening companies like Nortel and Newbridge networks and mitel Bell Northern research these were all built in in the suburbs of Ottawa and so there were these Larger than Life figures entrepreneurs Terry Matthews Michael Copeland and so I thought I'm going to be like

34:49-35:04

them I would read Forbes Magazine I would read Fortune Magazine I would look at the rich people on that list and say I would be like them not knowing that maybe that's not who you wanted it to be but it was a lifeline and it kept my mind relatively whole because I could direct my ambition in a Direction and so why that's so important just circling back to this is I didn't have a group of friends who were like I'm going to go to Community College you know I didn't have a group of friends that said well you know the goal

35:04-35:62

is just to go to university get a simple job and like you know join the public service have a good life and so because I had no expectations and I was so afraid to venture out of my own house I never saw what middle class life was like and so I never aspired to it now if I was close to it I probably would have aspired to it because I my parents in their best year made 32 000 Canadian together and if you're trying to raise a family of five people on thirty two thousand dollars it's a complicated job and most of the time they were probably making 20 something thousand and I was working since I was 14. so I knew that our

35:62-36:32

station in life was not the destination we had to get out um but because I didn't have an obvious place it's not like I had a best friend whose house I was going to and I saw some normal functional home if I had had that in this weird way I would have aspired to that what was the worst job you had to do the best job but the worst job was I worked at Burger King when I was 14 years old and I would do the closing shift and that was from like 6 p.m till about two in the morning and in Ontario where I lived Ottawa borders Quebec in Ontario the drinking age is 19 you can see where I'm

36:32-36:98

going with this the drinking age in Quebec is 18 and that year made all the difference to all these kids and so they would go get completely drunk they would come back they would come to the Burger King you know you would see all these kids you went to high school with can you imagine how mortifying it is you know you're working there in this get up and they would light that place on fire vomit everywhere puking pooing peeing and when the thing shuts down at one o'clock you know you got to clean that all up all of it changing the garbage taking it out it was um a grind

36:98-37:55

and it really teaches you okay I do not want this job I don't want to but it's funny that that didn't push you towards the stability and the security of the middle class like I didn't have any good examples of that I didn't have those around me I was so ashamed I could have never built a relationship where I could have seen those interactions to want that and so my desires were framed by these two random rich people that lived in my town who I'd never met and what I read in magazines about people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett

37:55-38:25

you were an early senior executive at Facebook uh during a period of a lot of scaling in the company history I mean it's actually a fascinating period of human history in terms of Technology well in terms of human civilization honestly uh what did you learn from that time about what it takes to build and scale a successful tech company a company that has almost immeasurable impact on the world that was an incredible moment in time because everything was so new to your point like even how the standards of Web 2.0 at that time were being defined we were defining them you

38:25-38:83

know I mean I think if you if you look in sort of the if you search in the patents um patent Library there's a bunch of these patents that like me and Zuck have for like random things like cookies you know or like cross-site JavaScript like all these crazy things that are just like these duh kind of ideas in 2023 we had to invent our way around how do websites communicate with each other you know how do we build in the cloud versus in a data center how do we actually have high performance systems you mentioned data science the term and yeah we invented this I invented this thing

38:83-39:40

called data scientist because we had a PhD from Google that refused to join unless because he got a job offer that says data analyst yeah um and so we said column of scientist because he was a PhD in particle physics so he really you know he was a scientist and I said great you're a scientist here and that launched a discipline that launched it just made a term you know what's a rose by any other name but yeah like you know sometimes words like this can launch entire fields and it did in that case and you didn't I mean I guess at that time you didn't anticipate the impact of machine learning on the entirety of this whole

39:40-40:03

process because you need machine learning to have both ads and recommender systems to have the feed for the Social Network exactly right the first real scaled version of machine learning not AI but machine learning was this thing that Facebook introduced called pymk which is people you may know and the simple idea was that can we initiate a viral mechanic inside the application where you log in we grab your credentials we go to your email inbox we Harvest your address book we do a compare we make some guesses and we start to present other people that you may actually know that may not be in

40:03-40:66

your address book really simple you know a couple joins of some tables whatever and it started to just go crazy and the number of people that you were you were creating this density and entropy inside this social graph with what was some really simple basic math and that was eye-opening for us and what it what it led us down this path of is really understanding the power of like all this machine learning and so that infused itself into news feed you know and how the content that you saw could be tailored to who you were and the type of person that you were so there was a moment in time that all of this stuff was so new

40:66-41:33

um how did you translate the app to multiple languages how do you launch the company in all of these countries how much of it is just kind of stumbling into things using your best like first principles gut thinking and how much is it like 5 10 15 20 year Vision like how much was thinking about the future of the internet and the metaverse and the humanity and all that kind of stuff like because the news feed sounds trivial I'll say something but that's like changes everything well you have to remember like you know news feed was named and we had this thing where we would just name things what they were

41:33-41:93

and at the time all of these other companies and if you go back into the Wayback machine you can see this people would vent would invent you know an I you know an MP3 player and they would come up with some crazy name or they would invent a software product and come up with a crazy name right and it sounded like the Pharma industry you know blockazimab you know tag your best friends yeah and you think what is this this makes no sense and you know this was zuck's thing he was like well this is a feat of news so we're going to call it news feed this is where you tag your photos so

41:93-42:58

we're going to call that photo tagging I mean literally you know pretty obvious stuff um so the thing the way that those things came about though was very experimentally and this is where I think it's really important for people to understand I think Bezos explains this the best there is a tendency after things work to create a narrative fallacy because it feeds your ego and you want to have been the person that saw it coming and I think it's much more honest to say we were very good probabilistic thinkers

42:58-43:16

that tried to learn as quickly as possible meaning to make as many mistakes as possible you know I mean if you look at this very famous placard that Facebook had from back in the day what did it say it said move fast and break things in societal language that's saying make mistakes as quickly as you can because the minute you break something that's you don't do that by Design it's not a feature theoretically it's a bug but he understood that and we embraced that idea um I used to run this meeting once a week where the whole goal was I want to see that there was a thousand

43:16-43:87

experiments that were run and show me them all from the dumbest to the most impactful and we would go through that Loop and what did it train people not that you got celebrated for the right answer but you got celebrated for trying I ran 12 experiments 12 failed and we'd be like you're the best can I just take a small tangent on that is to move fast and break things has become as like a catchphrase of the thing that embodies the toxic culture of Silicon Valley in today's uh discourse which uh confuses me of course words and phrases get sort of captured and so on becomes very

43:87-44:50

reductive you know that's a very loaded set of words that together can be many years later people can view very reductive can you still man each side of that so yeah pro move fast and break things yeah and against yeah um so I think the pro have moved fast and break things is saying the following there's a space of things we know and a massive space of things we don't know and there's a rate of growth of the things we know but the rate of growth of the things we don't know is actually we have to assume growing faster so the most important thing is to move

44:50-45:16

into the space of the things we don't know as quickly as possible and so in order to acquire knowledge we're going to assume that the failure mode is the nominal state and so we just need to move as quickly as we can break as many things as possible which means like things are breaking in code do the you know root cause analysis figure out how to make things better and then rapidly move into the space and he or she who moves fastest into that space will win it doesn't imply carelessness right it doesn't imply moving fast without also aggressively

45:16-45:82

picking up the lessons from the mistakes you make well again let's let's steel Manning the pro which is it's a thoughtful um movement around velocity and acquisition of knowledge now let's deal man the con case when these systems become big enough there is no more room to experiment in an open-ended way because the implications have broad societal impacts that are not clear up front so let's take a different less controversial example if we said you

45:82-46:50

know Lipitor um worked well for all people except South Asians and there's a specific immuno response that we can iterate to and if we move quickly enough we can run 10 000 experiments and we think the answer is in that space well the problem is that those 10 000 experiments May kill 10 million people so you have to move methodically when that drug was experimental and it wasn't being given to 500 million people in the world moving fast made sense because you could have a pig model a mouse model a monkey model you could figure out toxicity but we picked all that low hanging fruit

46:50-47:16

and so now these small iterations have huge impacts that need to be measured and implemented different example is like you know if you work at Boeing and you have an implementation that gives you a two percent efficiency by reshaping the wing or adding winglets there needs to be a methodical move slow be right process because mistakes when they compound when it's already implemented and at scale have huge externalities that are impossible to measure until after the fact and you see this in the 737 Max so that's how one would Steel Man the the con case which is that when an

47:16-47:87

industry becomes critical you got to slow down this makes me sad because some Industries like Twitter and Facebook are a good example they achieve scale very quickly before really exploring the big area of things to learn so you basically pick one low-hanging fruit and that became your huge success and now you're sitting there with that stupid fruit well so you're you're I think so as an example like you know if you had to you know if if I was running Facebook for a day you know the big opportunity in my opinion was really not the metaverse

47:87-48:48

but it was actually getting the closest that anybody could get to AGI and if I had to steal man that product case here's what how I would have pitched it to the board into Zuck I would have said listen there are three and a half billion people monthly using this thing if we think about human intelligence very reductively we would say that there's a large portion of it which is cognitive and then there's a large portion of it which is emotional we have the best ability to build a multimodal model that basically takes all of these massive inputs together to try to Intuit

48:48-49:17

how a system would react to all kinds of stimuli that to me would have been a profound Leap Forward for Humanity can you dig into that a little bit more so in terms of uh now this is a board meeting how would that make Facebook money I think that you have all of these systems over time that that we don't know could benefit from um some layer of reasoning to make it better um what does Spotify look like when instead of just a very simple recommendation engine it actually understands sort of

49:17-49:87

your emotional context and your mood and can move you to a body of music that you would like what does it look like if you know your television instead of having to go and channel surf you know 50 000 shows on a horrible UI you know instead just has a sense of what you're into and shows it to you um what does it mean when you get in your car and it actually drives you to a place because you should actually eat there even though you don't know it these are all random things that make no sense a priority but it starts to make the person or the provider of that service the critical reasoning layer for all

49:87-50:50

these everyday products that today would look very flat without that reasoning and I think you license that and you make a lot of money so in many ways instead of becoming more of the pixels that you see you've become more of the bare metal that actually creates that experience and if you and if you look at the companies that are multi-decade Legacy kinds of businesses the thing that they have done is quietly and surreptitiously move down the stack you never move up the stack to survive you need to move down the stack so if you take that OSI reference stack right these layers of how you build an app from the physical layer to the

50:50-51:04

transport layer all the way up to the app layer you can map from the 1980s all the big companies that have been created right all the way from Fairchild semiconductor and Nat semi to Intel to Cisco to three com you know Oracle Netscape at one point all the way up to the Googles and Facebooks of the world but if you look at where all the Locking happened it's by companies like apple who used to make software saying I'm going to get one close I'm going to make the bare metal and I'm going to become the platform or Google same thing I'm going

51:04-51:74

to create this dominant platform and I'm going to create a substrate that organizes all this information that's just omnipresent and everywhere so the key is if you are lucky enough to be one of these apps that are in front of people you better start digging quickly and moving your way down and get out of the way and disappear but by disappearing you will become much much bigger and it's impossible to usurp you yeah I 100 agree with you um that's why you're so smart this is uh the depersonalization and the algorithms that enable deep personalization almost like a operating

51:74-52:43

system layer so pushing away from the interface and the actual system that does the personalization I think the challenge is there there's obviously technical challenges but there's also societal challenges that it's like in a relationship if you have an intimate algorithmic connection with individual humans you can do both good and bad and so there's risks that you're taking you can so if you're making a lot of money now is Twitter and Facebook with ads surface layer ads what is the incentive to take the risk of guiding people more because you can hurt people you can piss

52:43-53:04

off people you can um I mean there's a cost to forming a more intimate relationship with the users in the short term I think you said a really really key thing which is um which was a really great emotional instinctive reaction which is when I said the AGI thing you said well how would you ever make money from that that is the key the presumption is that this thing would not be an important thing at the beginning and I think what that allows you to do if you were Twitter or Google or Apple or Facebook anybody Microsoft embarking on building something like this is that you can

53:04-53:73

actually have it off the critical path and you can experiment with this for years if that's what it takes to find a version one that is special enough where it's worth showcasing and so in many ways you get the free option you're going to be spending any of these companies will be spending tens of billions of dollars in Opex and capex every year and all kinds of stuff it is not a thing that money um actually makes more likely to succeed in fact you actually don't need to give these kinds of things a lot of money at all because starting in 2023 or right now you know you have the two most important

53:73-54:35

tectonic shifts that have ever happened in our lifetime in technology they're not talked about but these things allow AGI I think to emerge over the next 10 or 15 years where it wasn't possible for the first thing is that the marginal cost of energy is zero not gonna pay for anything anymore right and we can double click into why that why that is and the second is the marginal cost of compute to zero and so when you when you take the multiplication or you know if you want to get really fancy mathematically the convolution of these two things together it's going to change everything so think about

54:35-54:91

what a billion dollars gets today when we can use open AI as an example a billion dollars gets open AI a handful of functional models and a pretty fast iterative loop right but imagine what um openai had to overcome that to overcome a compute challenge they had to strip together a whole bunch of gpus that to build all kinds of scaffolding software they had to find data center support that consumes all kinds of money so that billion dollars didn't go that far so it's a testament to how clever that openai team is but in four years

54:91-55:53

from now when energy costs zero and basically gpus like you know they're falling off a truck and and you can use them for effectively for free now all of a sudden a billion dollars gives you some amount of teraflops of compute that is probably the total number of teraflops available today in the world like that's how gargantuan this move is when you take these two variables to zero there's like a million things to ask I almost don't want to get distracted by the marginal cost of energy going to zero because I have no idea what you're talking about that is fascinating can I give you the 30 seconds sure okay yes okay so if you

55:53-56:20

look inside of the two most Progressive States the three most Progressive States New York California and Massachusetts a lot of left-leaning folks a lot of people who believe in climate science and climate change the energy costs in those three states are the worst they are in the entire country and energy is compounding at three to four percent per annum so every decade to 15 years energy costs in these states double in some cases and in some months our energy costs are increasing by 11 a month but the ability to actually generate energy is now effectively zero the cost per kilowatt hour to put a solar panel

56:20-56:82

on your roof and a battery wall inside your garage it's the cheapest it's ever been these things are the most efficient they they've ever been and so to acquire energy from the Sun and store it for your use later on literally is a zero cost proposition so what's how do you explain the gap between the cost going great question so this is the other side of regulatory capture right you know we all fight to build monopolies while there are monopolies hiding in plain sight the utilities are a perfect example there are a hundred million homes in America there are about 1700 Utilities in America so they have captive markets

56:82-57:48

but in return for that captive Market the law says need to invest a certain amount per year in upgrading that power line in changing out that turbine in making sure you transition from coal to wind or whatever just as an example upgrading power lines in the United States over the next decade is a two trillion dollar proposition these 1700 organizations have to spend I think it's a quarter of a trillion dollars a year just to change the power lines that is why even though it costs nothing to make energy you are paying double every five every seven or eight years

57:48-58:06

it's capex and Opex of a very brittle old infrastructure it's like you trying to build an app and being forced to build your own Data Center and you say but wait I just want to write to AWS I just want to use gcp I just want to move on all that complexity solved for me and some law says no you can't you got to use it so that's what consumers are dealing with but it's also what industrial and Manufacturing organizations it's what we all deal with so how do we get rid ourselves off this old infrastructure that we're paying so the thing that's happening today which I think is

58:06-58:67

this is why I think it's the most important Trend right now in the world is that a hundred million homeowners are each going to become their own little power plant and compete with these 1700 utilities just just deal with the United States for a second because I think it's easier to see here 100 million homes solar panel on the roof and by the way just to make it clear the sun doesn't need to shine right these these panels now work where you have these UV bands that can actually extrapolate beyond the visible spectrum so they're usable in all weather conditions and a simple system can support you

58:67-59:35

collecting enough power to not just run your functional day-to-day life but then to contribute what's left over back into the grid for Google's data center or Facebook's data center where you get a small check the cost is going to zero how obvious is this to people you're making yourself okay so because this is a pretty profound prediction if the cost is indeed go to zero that I mean the compute the cost of compute going to zero I can so the cost to compute going to zero is can kind of understand but the energy seems like a radical prediction of yours well it's just it's just naturally what's

59:35-59:92

happening right now now let me let me give you a different way of explaining this if you look at any system there's a really important thing that happens it's what clay Christensen calls crossing the chasm if you explained it numerically here's how I would explain it to you Lex if you introduce a disruptive product typically what happens is the first three to five percent of people are these zealous believers and they ignore all the logical reasons why this product doesn't make any sense because they believe in the proposition of the future and they buy it

59:92-60:58

the problem is at five percent if you want a product to get to mass Market you have one of two choices which is you either bring the cost down low enough or the feature set becomes so compelling that even at a high price point an example of the latter is the iPhone the iPhone today the 14 iPhone cost more than the original iPhone it's probably doubled in price over the last 14 or 15 years but we view it as an essential element of what we need in our daily lives it turns out that battery EVs and solar panels are an example of the former because people like President Biden with all of these subsidies

60:58-61:20

have now introduced so much money for people to just do this where it is a money making proposition for a hundred million homes and what you're seeing as a result are all of these companies who want to get in front of that Trend why because they want to own the relationship with 100 million homeowners they want to manage the power infrastructure Amazon Home Depot Lowe's you know you just name the company so if you do that and you control that relationship they're going to show you they're going you know for example Amazon will probably say if you're a member of prime

61:20-61:76

we'll stick the panels on your house for free we'll do all the work for you for free and it's just a feature of being a member of prime and we'll manage all that energy for you it makes so much sense and it is mathematically accretive for Amazon to do that it's not a creative for the existing energy industry because they get blown up it's extremely accretive for peace and prosperity if you think the number of Wars we fight over natural resources take them all off the table if we don't need energy from abroad

61:76-62:32

there's no reason to fight you know this you'd have to find a reason to fight um meaning sorry there'd be a moral reason to fight but the last number of wars that we fought uh were not as much rooted in Morality as they were rooted in yeah it feels like they're very much rooted in uh conflicts over resources energy specifically and then sorry just the last thing I want to say I keep interviewing apologies but the chips all what what people want to say is that you know now that we're at two and three nanometer scale for typical kind of like transistor Fab

62:32-62:91

we're done and you know forget about transistor density forget about Moore's Lots over and I would just say no look at teraflops and really teraflops is the combination of CPUs but much much less important and really is the combination of Asics so application specific ICS and gpus and so you put the two together I mean if I gave you a billion dollars five years from now the amount of damage you could do damaged in good way in terms of you know building racks and racks of gpus the kind of models that you could build the training sets and the data that you could consume to solve a problem

62:91-63:52

it's it's enough to to do something really powerful whereas today it's not yet quite enough so there's this really interesting idea that you talk about in terms of Facebook and Twitter that's connected to this that if you were running sort of Twitter or Facebook that you would move them all to like AWS so you would uh have somebody else to come the compute the infrastructure it probably if you could explain that reasoning means that you believe in this idea of energy going to zero compute going to zero so let people that are optimizing that

63:52-64:25

do the best job and I think that's a you know the initially in the early 2000s and the beginning of the 2010s if you were a big enough scale oh sorry everybody was building their own stuff then between 2010 through 2020 really the idea was everybody should be on AWS except the biggest of the biggest folks I think in the 2020s and 30s I think the answer is actually everybody should be in these public clouds and the reason is the engineering velocity of the guts so you know take a simple example which is you know we have not seen a massive iteration in database design until snowflake right I think maybe postgres

64:25-65:01

was like the last big turn of the dial why is that I don't exactly know except that everybody that's on AWS and everybody that's on gcp in Azure gets to now benefit from a hundred plus billion dollars of aggregate market cap rapidly iterating making mistakes fixing solving learning and that is a best-in-class industry now right then there's going to be all these AI layers around analytics so that app companies can make better decisions all of these things will allow you to build more Nimble organizations because you'll have this Federated model of development

65:01-65:55

I'll take these things off the shelf maybe I'll roll my own stitching over here because the thing that where you make money is still for most people and how the apps provision and experience to a user and everybody else can make a lot of money just servicing that so they work in a really um they play well together in the sandbox so in the future everybody just should be there it doesn't make sense for anybody I don't think because you know if you were to rule your own data centers you know for example like Google for a long time had these massive leaps

65:55-66:19

where they had GFS and bigtable those are really good in the 2000s and 2010s and this is not just throw shade at Google it's very hard for whatever exists that is a that is the progeny of GFS and bigtable to be anywhere near as good as a hundred billion dollar Industries attempt to build that stack and you're putting your organization under enormous pressure to be that good I guess the implied risk taken there is that you could become the next AWS like um Tesla doing some of the compute in-house I guess the bet there is that you can become the next the next AWS for the new

66:19-66:89

wave of computation if that level if that kind of computation is different so if it's machine learning I don't know if anyone's won that battle yet which is machine learning Centric well software has a very powerful property in that there's a lot of things that can happen asynchronous asynchronously so that real-time inference can be actually really lightweight code deployment and that's why I think you can have a very Federated ecosystem inside of inside of all of these places Tesla is very different because in order to build the best car it's kind of like trying to build the best iPhone which is that you

66:89-67:49

need to control it all the way down to the bare metal in order to do it well and that's just not possible if you're trying to be a systems integrator which is what everybody other than this modern generation of car companies have been and they've done a very good job of that but it won't be the experience that allows you to win in in the next 20 years so let's Linger on the social media thing so if you you said if you ran Facebook for a day let's let's let's extend that if you were to build a new Social Network today

67:49-68:08

how would you fix Twitter how would you fix social media if you want to answer a different question is if you were Elon Musk somebody you know and you were taking over Twitter what would you fix I thought about this a little bit um first of all let me give you a backdrop I wouldn't actually build a social media company at all and the answer is the reasoning is the following um I really tend to believe as you've probably gotten a sense of sort of patterns and probabilities and if you said to meth

68:08-68:77

probabilistically answer where where are we going in apps and social experiences what I would say is Lex we spent the first decade building platforms and getting them to scale and if you want to think about it again back to sort of this poker analogy others mistakes minus your mistakes is the value well the value that was captured was trillions of dollars essentially to Apple and to Google and they did that by basically um attracting billions of monthly active users to their platform then this next way were the apps Facebook qq10 Tick Tock Twitter Snapchat

68:77-69:55

that whole panoply of apps and interestingly they were in many ways an atomized version of the platforms right they sat on top of them they were an ecosystem participant but the value they created was the same trillions of dollars of Enterprise Value billions of monthly active users well there's an interesting phenomenon that's kind of hiding in plain sight which is that the next most obvious Atomic unit are content creators now let me give you two examples Lex Friedman this random crazy guy uh Mr Beast you know Jimmy Donaldson just the two of you alone added add it up okay and you guys are

69:55-70:11

going to approach in the next five years a billion people the only thing that you guys haven't figured out yet is how to capture trillions of dollars of value now maybe you don't want to and maybe that's not your State admission right right but let's just look at Mr Beast alone because he is trying to do exactly that probably yeah and I think Jimmy is going to build an enormous business but if you take Jimmy and all of the other content creators right you guys are atomizing what the apps have done you're providing your own curated news feeds you're providing your own curated communities you're allowed you let

70:11-70:75

people move in and out of these things in a very lightweight way and value is accruing to you so the honest answer to your question is I would focus on the content creator side of things because I believe that's where the puck is going that's a much more important shift in how we all consume information content and are entertained it's through Brands like you individual people that we can humanize and understand are the filter but aren't you just arguing against the point you made earlier which is what you would recommend is the invest in the AGI the the depersonalization because because they they could still be a participant

70:75-71:38

in that in that end state if that happens you have the option value of being an enabler of that right you can help improve what they do again you can be this bare metal service provider where you can be a tax yeah right you can participate in every thing that you do every question that's asked every comment that's curated if you could have more intelligence as you provide a service to your fans in your audience you would probably pay a small percentage of that Revenue I suspect all content creators would and so it's that stack of services that is like a smart human being it's like you know how do you help produce this information you

71:38-71:84

would pay a producer for that I mean maybe you would but so back to your question so what would I do I think that you have to move into that world pretty aggressively um I think that right now you first have to solve what is broken inside of these social networks and I don't think it's a technical problem so just to put it out there I don't think it's a you know it's one where there are these nefarious organizations that happens brigading XYZ that happens

71:84-72:59

but the real problem is a psychological one that we're dealing with which is people through a whole set of situations have lost belief in themselves and I think that that comes up as this very virulent form of rejection that they tried to put into these social networks so if you look inside of comments on anything like you could have a con like you could have a person that says on Twitter I saved this dog from a fiery building and there would be negative commenters and you're like well again put yourself in their shoes what do you

72:59-73:16

how do I steal man their case I do this all the time you know I get people throw shade at me I'm like okay let me steal man their point of view and the best that I can come up with is you know I'm working really hard over here I'm trying I played by all the rules that were told to me I've played well I played fairly and I am not being rewarded in a system of value that you recognize and that is making me mad and now I need to cope and I need to vent so back in the day my dad used to drink he would make me go get things to hit me with

73:16-73:72

today you go to Twitter you spot off you try to deal with the latent anger that you feel so a social network has to be designed in my opinion to solve that psychological Corner case because it is what makes a network unusable to get real density you have to find a way of moving away from that toxicity because it ruins a product experience you could have the best pixels in the world but if people are virulently spitting into their keyboards other people are just going to say you know what I'm done with this it doesn't make me feel good

73:72-74:35

so the social network has to have a social cost you can do it in a couple ways one is where you have real world identity so then there's a cost to being virulent and there's a cost to being caustic a second way is to actually just overlay an economic framework so that there's a more pertinent economic value that you assign to basically spouting off and the more you want to spend the more you can say and I think both have a lot of value I don't know what the right answer is I tend to like the latter I think real world identity shuts down a lot of debate because there's still too

74:35-75:02

much um you know there's a sensation that there that there'll be some retribution um so I think there's more free speech over here but it cannot be Costless because in that there's a level of toxicity that just makes these products unusable what about a third option and by the way all of these can work together if we look at this what you call the Corner case was just hilarious what I would call The Human Condition uh which is uh you know that anger is rooted with the challenges of life and what about having a um

75:02-75:79

an algorithm that shows you what you see that's personalized to you and helps you maximize your personal growth in the long term such that you're challenging yourself you're improving you're learning there's just enough of criticism to uh keep you on your toes but just enough of like the dopamine rush to keep you entertained and finding that balance for each individual person you just described an AGI of a very empathetic well-rounded friend yes exactly and and then you can throw that person even Anonymous into a pool of Discord and they would be better I think you're absolutely right that's a very very very

75:79-76:50

elegant way of stating it you're absolutely but like you said the AGI might be a few years away so that's a huge investment like my concern my gut feeling is this age thing we're calling AGI is actually not that difficult to build technically but it requires a certain culture and it requires a certain certain risks to be taken I think you could reductively boil down the human intellect into cognition and emotion and you know depending on who you are and depending on the moment they're weighted very differently obviously um cognition is so easily done by computers

76:50-77:16

that we should assume that that's a solved problem so our differentiation is the reasoning part it's the emotional overlay it's that it's the empathy it's the ability to steal man the opposite person's case and and feel why that person you know you can forgive them without excusing what they did as an example um that is a very difficult thing I think to capture in software but I think it's a matter of when not if if done crudely it takes a form of censorship just Banning people off the platform let me ask you some tricky questions

77:16-77:79

uh do you think Trump should have been removed from Twitter no what's the what's the pro case can you I'm having fun here you still man each side yeah um let's deal man to get him off the platform here we have a guy who um is virulent in all ways he promotes confrontation he lacks decorum he incites the fervent Believers of his cause to act up and push the boundaries bordering on and potentially even

77:79-78:53

including breaking the law he does not observe the social norms of a society that keep us while functioning including an orderly transition of power if he is left in a moment where he feels trapped and cornered he could behave in ways that will confuse the people that believe in him to act in ways that they so regret that um it could bring our democracy to an end or create so much damage or create a wound that's so deep it will take years of conflict and years of Confrontation to heal it we need to remove him and we need to do it now it's been too long we've Let It Go on too long

78:53-79:29

the other side of the argument would be he was a duly elected person whose views have been run over for way too long and he uses the ability to say extreme things in order to showcase how corrupt these systems have become and how insular these organizations are in protecting their own class and so if you really want to prevent class Warfare and if you really want to keep the American dream alive for everybody we need to show that the First Amendment the Constitution the Second Amendment all of this infrastructure is actually bigger than any partisan view no matter how bad it is and that people

79:29-79:98

will make their own decisions and there are a lot of people that can see past the words he uses and focus on the substance of what he's trying to get across and more generally agree than disagree and so when you silence that voice what you're effectively saying is this is a rigged game and all of those things that we've told we were told were not true are actually true if you were to look at the crude algorithms of Twitter of course I don't have any Insider knowledge but I could imagine that they saw the let's say there's a metric that measures how negative the experience is

79:98-80:65

of the platform and they probably saw uh in several ways you could look at this but the presence of Donald Trump on the platform was consistently increasing how shitty people are feeling uh short-term and long term because they're probably yelling at each other having worse and worse and worse experience if you even do a survey of how do you feel about using this platform over the last week they would say horrible relative to maybe a year ago when uh Donald Trump was not actively Tweeting or so on so here you're sitting at Twitter and saying okay I I and I know everyone's talking about speech and all that kind of stuff

80:65-81:31

but I kind of want to build a platform where the users are happy and they're becoming more and more unhappy how do I solve this happiness problem well let's ban let's let's uh yeah let's ban the sources of the unhappiness now we can't just say you're a source of unhappiness so we'll ban you let's wait until that Source says something that we can claim uh breaks our rules like insights violence or so on that would work if you could measure your construct of Happiness properly the problem is I think what Twitter looked at were active commenters and got it confused for overall system happiness

81:31-81:99

because for every piece of content that's created on the internet of the hundred people that consume it maybe one or two people comment on it and so by over amplifying that signal and assuming that it was the plurality of people that's where they actually made a huge blunder because there was no scientific method I think to get to the answer of de-platforming him and it did expose this idea that it's a bit of a rigged game and that there are these deep biases that some of these organizations have to opinions that are counter to theirs and to their Orthodox view of the world so in general you lean towards keeping

81:99-82:63

um first of all presidents on the platform but also controversial voices all the time I think it's really important to keep them there let me ask you a trick tricky one in the recent news that's become especially relevant uh for me what do you think about if you've been paying attention to yay Kanye West a recent controversial Outburst on social media about and Jews black people racism in general slavery Holocaust all these topics that

82:63-83:38

he touched on in different ways on different platforms but including Twitter what do you do with that and like what do you do what do you do with that from a platform perspective what do you do from a Humanity perspective of how to add love to the world let's um should we take both sides of them sure option one is he is completely out of line and option two is he's not just the same sure right so the path one is he is an incredibly important taste maker in the world that defines the belief system for a lot of people

83:38-84:05

and there just is no room for any form of racism or bias or anti-Semitism in today's day and age particularly by people whose words and comments will be Amplified around the world we've already paid a large price for that and then the expectation of success is some amount of societal decorum that keeps moving the ball forward the other side would say life I think goes from Harmony to disharmony to repair and anybody who has gone through a very complicated divorce

84:05-84:74

will tell you that in that moment your life is extremely disharmonious and you are struggling to cope and because he is famous we are seeing a person really struggling in a moment that may need help and we owe it to him not for what he said because that stuff isn't excusable but we owe it to him to help him in a way and particularly his friends and if he has real friends hopefully what they see is that what I see on the outside looking in is a person that is clearly struggling

84:74-85:51

can I ask you like a human question and I know it's outside looking in but there's several questions I want to ask so one is about the pain of going through a divorce and having kids and all that kind of stuff and two when you're rich and powerful and famous I don't know maybe you can enlighten me into which is the most corruptive um but how do you know who are the friends to trust so a lot of the world is calling Kanye insane and if orlick has mental illness all that kind of stuff and so how do you have friends close to you let's say let's say something like that message

85:51-86:11

but from a place of uh love and where they actually care for you as opposed to trying to get you to shut up the reason I ask all those questions I think if you care about the guy how do you help him right I've been through a divorce it's gut wrenching the most horrible part is having to tell your kids I can't even describe it to you um how proud I am and how resilient these three beautiful little creatures were when my ex-wife and I had to sit them down and talk through it

86:11-86:77

um and for that thing I'll be just so protective of them and so proud of them and um it's hard now I don't know that that's what he went through um but it doesn't matter in that moment there's no Fame there's no money there's nothing there's just the raw intimacy of a nuclear family breaking up in that there is a death and it's the death of that idea and that is extremely extremely profound in its impact especially in your children um it is really hard really hard could you have seen yourself in the way you

86:77-87:49

see the world being clouded during especially at first to where you would make poor decisions outside of your outside of that nuclear family so like business poor business decisions poor tweeting decisions poor uh I think that writing decision if I had to boil down a lot of those what I would say is that there are moments in my life Flex where I have felt meaningfully less than and in those moments the loop that I would fall into is I would look to cope and be seen by other people so I would throw away all of the work I was doing around my own internal validation and I would try to say something or do

87:49-88:13

something that would get the attention of others and oftentimes you know when that Loop was um was unproductive it's because those things had really crappy consequences so you know that was that was yeah so yeah I I went through that as well so I had to go through you know this disharmonious phase in my life and then to repair it you know I had the benefit of meeting someone and building a relationship um block by block where there is just enormous accountability where my partner not had has

88:13-88:77

just incredible empathy um but accountability and so she can put herself in my shoes sometimes when I'm a really tough person to be around but then she doesn't let me off the hook she can forgive me but it doesn't make you know what I may have said or whatever you know uh excusable and that's been really healthy for me and it's helped me repair my relationships be a better parent you know be a better friend to my ex-wife who's a beautiful woman who you know I love deeply and will always love her and it took me a few years to see that that it was just a

88:77-89:36

chapter that had come to an end but she's an incredible mother and an incredible businesswoman and I'm so thankful that I've had two incredible women in my life that's like a blessing but it's hard so with that it's hard to find a person that has that I mean a lot of stuff you said is pretty profound but having that person who has empathy and accountability so basically that's ultimately what great friendship is which is people that love you have empathy for you but can also call you out on your [ __ ] she's a LeBron james-like figure and the reason I say that is

89:36-89:96

I've seen and met so many people I've seen the Distribution on the scale of friendship and empathy she's the LeBron James of friendship she's a goat well what's so funny is like you know we have a dinner around poker and it's taken on a life of its own mostly because of her because these guys look to her and I'm like whoa whoa [Laughter] her registers are already full she's thinking of all kinds of crap with me um but um but it's a it's a it's a very innate skill and it's paired with you know it's

89:96-90:51

but it's not just an emotional thing meaning she's the person that I make all my decisions with these decisions we're making together as a team I've never understood that you know there's that African pop proverb like go fast go alone go far go together and Lex since since I was born I was by myself and I had to cope and I didn't have a good tool kit to use into the world and in these last five or six years she's helped me and at first my toolkit was literally like sticks you know and then I found a way

90:51-91:11

to you know she helped me sharpen a Little Rock and that became a little knife but even that was crap and then she showed me fire and then I forged a knife and that and that's what it feels like where now this toolkit is like most average people and I feel humble to be average because I was here down here on the ground so it's made all these things more reasonable so I see what comes from having deep profound friendships and love to help you through these critical moments I have another friend who

91:11-91:74

um who I would say just completely unabashedly loves me this guy Rob Goldberg he doesn't hold me accountable that much which I love like I could say I killed a homeless person he's like ah they probably deserved it you know whereas that would be like that was not good what you just did so but I have both I mean I have Nat every day you know Rob I don't talk to that often but to have two people I had zero I think most people unfortunately have zero um so I think like what what he needs is somebody to just listen you don't have to put a label on these

91:74-92:31

things and you just have to try to guide in these very unique moments where you can just like de-escalate what is going on in your mind and I suspect what's going on in his mind again to play Armstrong quarterback I don't know is that he is in a moment where he just feels lower than low and we all do it we've all had these moments where we don't know how to get attention and if you didn't grow up in a healthy environment you may go through a negative way to get attention and it's not to excuse it

92:31-93:04

but it's to understand it that's so profound the feeling less than and at those low points going externally to find it and maybe creating conflict and Scandal to get that attention the way that my doctor explained it to me is um you have to think about yourself worth like a knot it's inside of a very complicated set of knots so it's like a some people don't have these knots it's just presented to you on a platter but for some of us because of the way we grow up it's covered in all these knots so the whole goal is to loosen those

93:04-93:72

knots and it happens slowly it happens unpredictably and it takes a long time and so while you're doing that you are going to have moments where when you feel less than you're not prepared to look inside and say actually here's how I feel about myself it's pretty cool I'm happy with how where I'm at I have to ask on the topic of friendship you do an amazing podcast called all in podcast people should stop listening to this and go listen to that you just did your 100th episode I mean it's one of my favorite podcasts it's incredible for the the the technical and the human

93:72-94:39

psychological wisdom that you guys constantly give and in the way you analyze the world but also just the chemistry uh between the between you you're clearly there's there's a tension and there's a camaraderie that's all all laid out on on the table so I don't know the two Davids that well but I have met Jason what do you love about him I mean I'll give you a little psychological breakdown of all three of these guys sure um just my opinion yeah and I love you guys um would they agree with your psychological breakdown I don't know you know I I think that what I would say

94:39-94:98

about Jay Cal is he is unbelievably loyal um to no end and you know he's like any of those movies where which are about like the the mafia or whatever where like you know something bad's going wrong and you need somebody to show up that's jcal so if you killed the said proverbial homeless person he would be right there to help you the body yeah but he's the one that he'll defend you in every way shape or form even if it's not doesn't make sense in that moment he doesn't see

94:98-95:61

that as an action of whether it'll solve the problem he sees that as an act of Devotion to you your friend and that's an Incredible Gift that he gives us the other side of it is that you know J Cal needs to learn how to trust that other people love him back as much as he loves us foreign because he assumes that he's not as lovable as the rest of us but he's infinitely more lovable than he understands he's I mean you have to see Lex like he is unbelievably funny I mean I cannot tell you how funny this guy is um Next Level funny yeah his timing

95:61-96:20

timing everything charm the care he takes so he is as lovable but he doesn't believe himself to be and that manifests itself in areas that drive us all crazy from time to time which makes it for a very pleasant listening experience okay so what about the the two David's Deus Ex and David Friedberg David sacks is the one that I would say I have the most emotional connection with um he and I can go a year without talking and then we'll talk for four hours straight and then we know where we are and we have this ability to pick up and have a level of intimacy with each other

96:20-96:84

and I think that's just because I've known David for so long now um that I find really comforting and then Freeburg is this person who I think similar to me had a very turbulent upbringing has fought through it to build an incredible life for himself and I have this enormous respect for his journey I don't particularly care about his outcomes to be honest but I just have I look at that guy and I think and he did it and so if I didn't do it um I would be glad that he did it if it makes any sense um and you can see that he

96:84-97:62

um feels like his entire responsibility is really around his kids and just kind of like give a better counterfactual and uh and you know sometimes I think he gets that right and wrong but he's a very special human being that way on that show the two of you have a very kind of like from a geopolitics perspective I don't know there's just a very uh effective way to think deeply about the world the big picture of the world he's a very systems level thinker yeah very very absolutely fairy systems levels very rooted in you know a broad body of knowledge which I

97:62-98:28

have a tremendous respect for he brings all these things in sax is incredible because he has this unbelievable understanding of things but it has a core nucleus so free bird can just basically abstract a whole bunch of systems and talk about it I tend to be more like that where I try to kind of I find it to be more of a puzzle socks is more like anchored in you know a philosophical and historical context as the answer and he starts there but he gets to these profound understandings of systems as well on the podcast in life you guys hold to your opinion pretty strong uh what's uh what's the secret to being

98:28-99:04

able to argue passionately with friends so hold your position but also not murder each other which you guys seem to come close to I think it's like strong opinions weekly held yeah like you know like look today you and I yeah what have we we Steel Man like the two sides of three different things yeah um now you could be confused and think I believe in those things I believe that it's important to be able to intellectually Traverse there whether I believe in it or not and like steel man not Superman like that's a really but we introde those things by saying let us steal men in this position sometimes you

99:04-99:73

guys skip the uh we skip you're right we we edit those things out and sometimes we'll sit on either sides and we'll just kind of bat things back and forth just to see what the other person thinks so that's how like as fans we should listen to that sometimes like so sometimes because you hold the strong opinion sometimes uh like for example the cost of energy going to zero is that like what's the degree of certainty on that is is this kind of like you really taking a prediction of how the world will unroll and if it does this will benefit uh a huge amount of companies and people that will believe that idea

99:73-100:44

so you really you you like uh you spend a few days a few weeks with that idea I've been spending two years with that idea and that idea has manifested into um many pages and pages of more and more branches of a tree but it started with that idea so if you think about this tree this logical tree that I built I would consider it more of a mosaic and at the at the base or root however you want to talk about it is this idea the incremental cost of energy goes to zero how does it manifest and so I talked about one traversal which is the competition of households versus utilities but if even some of that comes to pass

100:44-101:00

we're going to see a bunch of other implications from a regulatory and Technology perspective if some of those come to pass so I've tried to think think sort of this you know six seven eight hops forward and I have some like to use the chest analogy I have a bunch of short lines which I think can work um and I've started to test those by making Investments tens of millions over here to 100 Millions over there but it's a distribution based on how probabilistic I think this these outcomes are

101:00-101:54

and how downside protected I can be and how much I will learn how many mistakes I can make you know Etc and then very quickly over the next two years some of those things will happen or not happen and I will rapidly re-underwrite and I'll rewrite that tree and then I'll get some more data I'll make some more Investments and I'll rapidly re-underwrite so you know in order for me to get to this tree maybe you can ask how did I get there it was complete accident the way that it happened was I have a friend of mine who works at a great organization called Fortress his name is

101:54-102:08

Drew McKnight and he called me one day and he said hey I'm doing a deal will you anchor it we're going public and it's a rare earth mining company and I said Drew like if I'm going to get tart and feathered in Silicon Valley for backing a mining company and he said just talk to the guy and learn and the guy Jim lotinski blew me away he's like here's what it means for energy and here's what it means for the supply chain here's what it means for the United States versus China but LAX I did that deal and then I did seven others and that deal made money let's have another

102:08-102:75

but I learned I made enough mistakes where the net of it was I got to a thesis that I believed in I could see it and I was like okay I paid the price I acquired the learning I made my mistakes I know where I am at and this is step one and then I learned a little bit more I made some more Investments and that's how I that's how I do the job that's the minute that you try to wait for perfection in order to make a bet either on yourself or a company a girlfriend whatever it's too late so if we just Linger on that tree it seems like a lot of geopolitics a lot of international military even conflict

102:75-103:42

is around energy so how does your thinking about energy connect to what you see happening in the next 10 20 years maybe you can look at the war in Ukraine or relationship with China and other places through the lens of energy what what's the hopeful what's the cynical trajectory that the world might take through with this uh drive towards Zero Energy Zero cost energy so the United States was in a period of energy Surplus um until the last few years some number of years in Trump and I think some number of now the current Administration with President Biden um but we know what it means

103:42-104:15

um to basically have more than enough energy to fund our own domestic manufacturing and living standards foreign and I think that by being able to generate this energy from the Sun that is very capex efficient that is very climate efficient gives us a huge Tailwind the second thing is that we are now in a world in a regime for many years to come of non-zero interest rates and it may interest you to know that the really the last time that you know we had long-dated Wars supported you know at low interest rates was World War II where I think the

104:15-104:73

average interest rates was like 1.07 in the tenure and every other War tends to have these very quick open and closes because these long protracted fights get very difficult to finance when rates are non-zero so just as an example even starting in 2023 so the Practical example today in the United States is President Biden's budget is about 1.5 trillion and for next year that's not including the entitlement spending okay meaning Medicare Social Security right so the stuff that he wants to spend that he has discretion over is about 1.582 trillion is the exact number

104:73-105:42

next year our interest payments are going to be 455 billion dollars that's 29 of every budget dollar is going to pay interest so you have these two worlds coming together right Lex if you have us you know hurtling forward to being able to generate our own energy and the economic Peril that comes with trying to underwrite several trillion dollars for war which we can't afford to pay when rates are at five percent means that despite all the Bluster the probabilistic distribution of us engaging in war with Russia and Ukraine seems relatively low

105:42-106:22

the the override would obviously be a moral reason to do it that may or may not come if there's some nuclear proliferation but now you have to steal man the other side of the equation which is well what were to happen if you were sitting there and you were Putin let's deal man setting off a tactical nuke someplace okay I'm getting calls every other day from my two largest energy buyers India and China telling me slow my roll I have the entire world looking to find the final excuse to turn me off and unplug me from the entire world economy the only morally reprehensible thing that's left in my Arsenal that could do

106:22-106:90

all of these things together would be to set off attack nuke I would be the only person since World War II to have done that you know it's it seems like it's a really really really big step to take and so I think that X of the clamoring for war that the military-industrial complex wants us to buy into the financial reasons to do it and the natural reason resources needs to do it are making it very unlikely that is not just true for us I think it's also true for Europe I think the European economy is going to

106:90-107:55

roll over I think it's going I see a very hard Landing for them which means that if the economy slows down there's going to be less need for energy and so it starts to become a thing where a negotiated settlement is actually the win-win for everybody but none of this would be possible without zero interest rates in a world of zero interest rates we would be in war so you believe in the financial forces and pressures overpowering I believe in the human lives I really do believe in these even in in international War more so there I think

107:55-108:25

the Invisible Hand and by the Invisible Hand for the audience I think really what it means is you know the the financial complex and really the Central Bank complex and the interplay between fiscal and monetary policy um is a very convoluted and complicated set of things but if we had zero interest rates we would be probably in the middle of it now see there's a complexity to this game at the international level where the nation some nations are authoritarian and are there's significant corruption and so that adds uh from a game

108:25-108:84

theoretic optimal perspective you know the invisible hand has is operating in the mud preventing War the person the person that is the most important figure in the world right now is Jerome Powell he is probably doing more to prevent more than anybody else he keeps ratcheting rates it's just impossible it's a mathematical impossibility for the United States unless there is such a cataclysmic moral transgression by Russia so there is tail risk that it is possible where we say forget it all bets are off we're going back to zero rates issue a hundred year bond we're going to finance

108:84-109:50

a war machine there is a small risk of that but I think the propensity of the majority of outcomes is more of a negotiated settlement so what about I mean if you what's the motivation of Putin to invade Ukraine in the first place if Financial forces are the most um the most powerful forces why did it happen because it seems like there's other forces at play of uh maintaining superpower status on the world stage yeah it seems like geopolitics doesn't happen just with the Invisible Hand in consideration I agree with that I can't beg to know to

109:50-110:16

be honest I don't know um but he did it and I think it's easier for me to guess the outcome from here it would have been impossible for me to really understand it is what got him to this place but it seems like there's an end game here and there's um there's not much playability yeah I feel like I'm on a sturdy ground because there's been so many experts at every stage of this that have been wrong well there are no experts well on this uh there are no experts Lex I understand this well okay let's dig into that

110:16-110:75

because there's some because we just said Phil helmuth is the um is the greatest poker player of all time he has an opinion yeah he doesn't he's so he would be mistaken hey poker Phil has an opinion Ivy has an opinion as well on how to play all these games meaning an opinion means here's the lines I take here are the decisions I make I live and die by those and if I'm right I win if I'm wrong I lose I've made more mistakes than my opponent I thought you said there's an optimal so aren't there people that have a deeper understand a higher likelihood of being able to

110:75-111:38

describe and know the optimal the optimal set of actions here at every layer well they're they're they're being theoretically set of optimal decisions but you can't play your life um against a computer like meaning the minute that you face an opponent and that person takes you off that optimal path you have to adjust yeah like what happens if a tactical nuke it would be really bad um I think the world is resilient enough I think the ukrainians are resilient enough to overcome it it would be really bad it's just an it's an incredibly sad

111:38-111:96

moment in human history but do you wonder what U.S does is there any understanding do you think people inside the United States understand not not the regular citizens but people in the military do you think Joe Biden understands do you think I think Joe Biden does understand I think that I think they have a clear plan I think that there are few reasons to let the gerontocracy rule but this is one of the reasons where I think they are better Adept than other people um you know folks that were around during the Bay of Pigs folks that hopefully have studied that and studied

111:96-112:73

you know nuclear de-escalation we'll have a better Playbook than I do my suspicion is that there is a you know in an emergency break glass plan and I think before military intervention or anything else I think that there are an enormous number of financial sanctions that you can do to just completely [ __ ] Russia that they haven't undertaken yet um and if you couple that with an economic system in Europe that is less and less in need of energy because it is going into a recession it makes it easier for them to be able to walk away while the U.S ships a bunch of

112:73-113:42

you know LNG over there so I I don't know the game theory on all of this but does it make you nervous that uh or we're just being temperamental does it feels like the world hangs in a balance like uh it feels like at least for my naive perspective I thought we were getting to a place where surely human civilization can't destroy itself and here's a presentation of what looks like a hot war or multiple parties involved in escalating escalation towards a world war is not entirely out of the realm of possibility it's not I would really really hope that

113:42-114:10

he is spending time with his two young twins well this is part of what I really I really hope he's spending time with his kids agreed but not kids not just kids but friends and the the uh he may not have friends but it's very hard for anybody to look at their kids and not think about protecting the future well there's um partially because of the pandemic but partially because of the nature of power it feels like you're surrounded by people you can't trust more and more I do think the pandemic

114:10-114:72

had a effect on that too the isolating effect a lot of people were not their best selves during the pandemic from a super heavy topic let me go back to the space where you're one of the most successful people in the world how to build companies how to find good companies what it takes to find good companies what it takes to build good companies what advice do you have for someone who wants to build the next super successful startup in the tech space and you know have a chance to be impactful like Facebook Apple that's I think that's the key word if your precondition is to start something

114:72-115:39

successful you've already failed because you're now you're playing somebody else's game what success means is not clear you're walking into the woods it's murky it's dark it's wet it's raining there's all these animals about um there's no Comfort there so you better really like hiking and there's no short way to shortcut that so isn't it obvious what successes like success scale so it's not what are the no I think that there's a very brittle basic definition of success that's outside in um

115:39-116:09

but it's not that's not what it is um you know I know people that are much much richer than I am you know and they are just so completely broken and I think to myself the only difference between you and me is outsider's perception of your wealth versus mine but the the happiness and the joy that I have in the simple basic routines of my life give me enormous Joy and so I feel successful no matter what anybody says about my success or lack of success um there are people

116:09-116:71

that live normal lives that have good jobs that have good families you know I've this like idyllic sense like I see it on Tick Tock all the time so I know it exists these neighborhoods where there's like a cul-de-sac and these beautiful homes and these kids are biking around and every time I see that Lex I immediately flash back to what I didn't have and I think that's success look at how happy those kids are so no you there is no one definition and so if people are starting out to try to make a million dollars 100 million dollars a billion dollars you're gonna fail

116:71-117:35

there's a definition of personal success but is there's also some level of um that's different from person to person but there's also some level of the responsibility you have if there's a mission to have a positive impact on the world so I'm not sure that Elon is happy no in fact I think if you focus on trying to have an impact on the world I think you're going to end up deeply unhappy but does that matter like what may happen what happens it may happen as a byproduct but I think that you should strive to find your own personal happiness and then measure

117:35-118:01

how that manifests as it relates to society and to other people but if the answer to those questions is zero that doesn't make you less of a person no 100 but then the other way is there are times when you need to sacrifice your own personal happiness Force for a bigger thing for that you've created yeah if you're if you're in a position to do it I think some folks are tested Elon is probably the best example and it must be really really hard to be him um really hard I have enormous levels of empathy and care for him I

118:01-118:65

really love him as a person because I just see that it's not like it's not that fun and and he has these ways of Being Human that in his position I just think are so dear that if he never I just hope he never loses them just a simple example like two days ago I don't know why but I went on Twitter and I saw the perfume thing yeah so I'm like ah [ __ ] it I'm just gonna go buy some perfume so I bought his perfume the burnt hair thing yeah and I said and I emailed him the receipt and I'm like all right you got me for a bottle um and he responded in like eight

118:65-119:33

seconds and it was just a smiley face or whatever yeah just deeply normal things that you do amongst people that are just so nobody sees that you know what I mean but it would be he deserves for that stuff to be seen because the rest of his life is so brutally hard yeah um he's just a normal guy that is just caught in this Ultra Mega vortex why do you think there's so few elons it's an extremely lonely set of trade-offs because to your point if you get tested so if you think about it again probabilistically there's eight billion people in the world maybe 50 of them get

119:33-119:85

put in a position where they are building something of such colossal importance that they even have this choice and then of that 50 maybe 10 of them are put in a moment where they actually have to make a trade-off you know you're not going to be able to see your fam I'm making this up you're not going to be able to see your family you're not you know you're going to have to basically move into your factory you're gonna have to sleep on the floor but here's the outcome energy Independence and you know resource abundance and peace you know a massive peace dividend

119:85-120:38

and then he says to himself I don't know that he did because I've never had this combo yeah you know what that's worth it and like and then you look at your kids and you're like I'm making this decision I don't know how to explain that to you yeah you want to be in that position there's no there's no amount of money where I would want to be in that position so that takes an enormous fortitude and a moral compass that he has and that's what I think people need to need to appreciate about that guy it's also on the first number he said it's confusing that there's 50 people or 10 people

120:38-120:93

like that are put in the position to have that level of impact it's unclear that that has to be that way it seems like there could be much more there should be there's definitely people with the potential um but you know think about think about his journey you know his mom had to leave a very complicated environment moved to Canada moved to Toronto you know a small apartment uh just north of Bain Bloor you know if you've ever been to Toronto um I remember talking to her about this apartment is so crazy because I used to live like around the corner from that place and raise these three kids and

120:93-121:53

just have to so how many people are going to start with those boundary conditions you know and really grind it out it's just very few people in the end that um will have the resiliency to stick it through where you don't give in to the self-doubt and so it uh you know it's a really it's just a really hard set of boundary conditions where you can have 50 or 100 of these people that's why they needed to be really they need to be really appreciated yeah well that's true for all humans that

121:53-122:21

follow the the threat of their passion and do something beautiful in this world that could be in a small scale or a big scale appreciation is a that's a gift you give to the other person but also a gift to yourself that's somehow it becomes like this uh contagious thing I went to this you are so right you just like it my my brain just lit up because yesterday I went to an investor day of my friend of mine um describe Brad gerstner and you know on the one very reductive World Brad and I are theoretically competitors but we're not he makes his own set of decisions I make my own set of decisions we're both trying to do our own view of

122:21-122:87

what is good work in the world but he's been profoundly successful and it was really the first moment of my adult life where I could sit in a moment like that and really be appreciative of his success and not feel less then and so you know little selfishly for me but mostly for him as well I was so proud to be in the room that's my friend that guy plays poker with me every Thursday he is crushing it it's awesome you know and that's the it's a it's a really amazing feeling I mean to to linger on the the trade-offs the complicated trade-offs with all this

122:87-123:45

uh what's your take on work-life balance in uh in a in a company that's trying to do big things I think that you have to have some very very strict boundaries but otherwise I think balance is kind of dumb it will make you Limited I think you need to immerse yourself in the problem but you need to Define that immersion with boundaries so if you you know if you ask me like you know what does like my process look like it's monotonous and regimented but it's

123:45-124:23

all the time except when it's not and that's also monotonous and regimented um and I think that makes me very good at my craft because it gives me what I need to stay connected to the problem without feeling resentful about the problem which part the monotonous all in nature of it or the the when you say hard boundaries essentially go all out until you stop and you don't stop often I'm in a little bit of a quandary right now because I'm trying to redefine my goals and you're catching me in a moment where I have even in these last

124:23-124:87

few years of evolution I think I've made some good progress but in one very specific way I'm still very reptilian and I'm trying to let go which was that exactly if you can you know in my business it really gets reduced to what is your annual rate of compounding that's my demarcation you know Steph Curry and LeBron James Michael Jordan it's how many points did you average not just in a season but over your career you know and in their case to really be the greatest of all time its points rebounds assists steals there's all kinds of measures

124:87-125:58

to be you know in that Pantheon of being really really good at your craft um and in my business it's very reductive it's how well have you compounded and if you look at all the heroes that I have put on a pedestal in my mind um they've compounded you know at above 30 percent for a very long time as have I but now I feel like I really need to let go because I think I know how to do the basics of my job and if I had to summarize like an investing challenge or investing I think

125:58-126:21

really it's you know when you first start out investing you're a momentum person you saw it in GameStop just a bunch of people aping each other and then it goes from momentum to you start to think about cash flows you know how much profit is this person going to make whatever so that's like the evolution you know this is the this is the basic thing to this is a reasonably sophisticated way then a much smaller group of people think about it in terms of macro geopolitics but then a very finite few cracked this special code which is there's a philosophy and it's the philosophy that creates the system

126:21-126:85

and I'm scratching at that furiously but I cannot break through and I haven't broken through and I know that in order to break through I gotta let go so this is the journey that I'm in as in my in my professional life so it is an all-consuming thing but I'm always home for dinner you know we have very prescribed moments where we take vacation the weekends you know like if I I can tell you about my week if you're curious but it's like I would love I would love to know your week it's since it's regimented and uh uh monotonous I woke up I wake up at 6 45. um

126:85-127:49

get the kids go downstairs we all have some form of you know not super healthy breakfast I make a latte I've become in and and the latte is like I have a machine I measure the beans you know I make sure that the timer is such where I have to pull it for a certain specific ratio you know just so you know 20 grams I gotta pull 30 grams with the water and I got you know I got to do it 30 seconds Etc so your uh coffee snob it helps me stay in rhythm sure um before I used to have another machine I just pushed a button yeah but then I would push the button religiously in the exact same way you know what I mean because actually uh

127:49-128:19

on that topic you know the morning with kids can be pretty stressful thing are you able to find sort of happiness is that also that morning is a source of Happiness it's great my kids are lovely their maniacs um I just see you know and maybe I don't I've never asked Friedberg this but I'll just put my words I see all of the things in moments where there was no compassion given to me and so I just give him a ton of love and compassion I have an infinite patience for my children not for other kids yes

128:19-128:85

of course but for a lot of kids so anyway so we have a breakfast thing um and then I go upstairs um and I go I change and I and I work out from eight to nine and that's like the first 15 minutes I walk up on a steep incline you know uh 12 to 14 you know three and a half to four miles per hour walk and then you know Monday's a push day Tuesdays front of the legs Wednesdays pull Thursdays back of the legs um eight to nine Monday I always start I talk to my

128:85-129:47

therapist from nine to ten so as soon as I finish working out I get on the phone and I talk to him and it helps me lock in for the for the for the week and I and I and I'm just talking about the past um and it's just helping me the recent past usually sometimes the recent past but usually it's about the past past something that I remember when I was a kid because that's the work about just loosening those knots you know so I put in that hour of work um respect that hour but then I'm in the office and then it's

129:47-130:07

like you know I go until 12 15 12 30. go home have lunch like a proper like go home sit down have lunch with Nat talk she leaves her work can we talk how are we doing you know just check in our youngest daughter will be there because she's one and she's making a mess and then I I'll have another coffee that's it my limit for the day oh no more caffeine that's it and then uh I go back to the office and I'll be there until six seven sometimes and I do that Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday

130:07-130:79

I'm allowed to have meetings Wednesday nothing it's all reading must be unless it's a complete emergency it has to be uh kind of a full reading and reading is a bunch of blogs uh YouTube videos so I'm not trying not to do any talking no talking it's like being in silence being present thinking about things by the way how do you take notes give us a sketch I have a pad and I write stuff down sometimes I go to my phone I'm a little all over the place sometimes I do Google Docs I don't have this is one thing I need to get better at actually but typically what happens is I actually do a lot of thinking in my mind and I'm sort of filing a lot of stuff away and

130:79-131:30

then it all spills out and then I have to write and then that gives me a body of work that I can evaluate and think about and then I usually put it away um and a lot of the time it goes nowhere but every now and then I come back to it and it just unlocks two or three things and I have a sense of how else I'm thinking about things um and then Friday at the end of the day uh Nat and I talk to a couple's therapists um and that's about checking out properly so it's like okay now it's like focusing the weekend is

131:30-132:05

family being present being aware you know and if there's email obviously if I have to do meetings from time to time no problem um but there's boundaries checking out properly um oh man that is so powerful just like yeah officially transitioning yeah so these are these are really important boundaries so that I can be immersed and what that means is like look on a Saturday afternoon you know on a random day she'll be like where's your mouth and I'll be up in my room and I've found a podcast talking about like um uh decis which is like ductal cancer in situ because I've been fascinated about

132:05-132:65

breast cancer surgeries for a while and uh learning about that and she's like what are you doing I'm like I'm listening to podcasts about decis and she's like what's that like you know ductal cancer in C2 she's like okay and so you know I so I have time to continue to just constantly learning learning putting stuff in my memory banks to organize into something and that's like a that's a week but then in these fixed moments of time phone down everything down we go on vacation you know we go on a boat we go to whatever where it's just us and the kids

132:65-133:25

is there a structure when you're at work is there instructed to your day in terms of meetings in terms of south side of Wednesday you know because you're having to keep meetings to less than 30 minutes have to and you know oftentimes meetings can be as short as like 10 or 15 minutes because then I'm just like okay because I'm trying to reinforce that it's very rare that we all have something really important to say and so the ritual that is becomes really valuable to get scale is not the ritual of meetings but the ritual of respecting the collective time of the unit

133:25-133:81

and so it's like you know what folks I'm going to assume that you guys are also tackling really important projects you also want to have good boundaries in this immersion go back to your kids and have dinner with them every night it's not just for me it's for you so how about this why don't you go and do your work this painting didn't need to be 30 minutes it could be five and the rest of the time is yours and and it's weird because when people join that system at Social Capital they just it's like face time and it's like let me make sure and let me talk a lot so I can't say anything I respect the person that says nothing for two years and the

133:81-134:39

first thing that they say is not obvious that person is immensely more valuable than the person that tries to talk all the time what have you learned from your um so after Facebook you started social capital or what what is now called Social Capital what have you learned from all the successful investing you've done there about investing or about life yeah or about running a team if I'm very loath to give advice because I think it so much of it is situational but my observation is that starting a business is really hard any kind of business and most people don't know what they're

134:39-134:92

doing and as a result we make enormous mistakes but I would summarize this and this may be a little heterodoxical I think there are only three kinds of mistakes because if we go back to what we said before in the business it's just learning you're exploring the dark space to get to the answer faster than other people and those the mistakes that you make are three or the three kinds of decisions let's say you'll hire somebody and

134:92-135:70

they're really really really average but they're a really good person oh yeah you'll hire somebody and they really weren't candid with who they are and their real personality and their morality and their ethics only expose them over a long period of time and then you hire somebody and uh they're not that good uh morally but they're highly performant what do you do with those three things and I think successful companies have figured out how to answer those three things because those are the things

135:70-136:28

that in my opinion determine success and failure so it's basically hiring and you just identified three failure cases for hiring but very different failure cases and very complicated ones right like the highly performant person who's not that great as a human being do you keep them around well a lot of people would air towards keeping that person around what is the right answer I don't know it's the context of the situation um and the second one is also very tricky what about if they really turned out that they were just not candid with who they are and it took you a long time to figure out who you were these are all mistakes of the senior person that's

136:28-136:84

running this organization I think if you can learn to manage those situations well those are the real edge cases where you can make mistakes that are fatal to a company yeah that's what I've learned over 11 and a half years honestly otherwise the business of investing I feel that it's like a it's a secret and if you are willing to just keep chipping away you'll peel back enough of these you know layers will come off and you'll see if the scales will come off and you'll eventually see it I really struggle with

136:84-137:57

maybe you can be my therapist for a little bit well that first case which you originally mentioned because I love people I see the good in people I really struggle with just a mediocre performing person who's who's a good human being that's a tough one I'll let you off the hook yeah I think those are incredibly important and useful people I think that if a company is like a body they are like cartilage can you replace cartilage yeah but would you if he didn't have to no okay can I can I play Devil's Advocate yeah so those folks because of their goodness make it okay to be mediocre

137:57-138:43

they they create a culture where well we what's important in life which is something I agree in my personal life is to be good to each other to be friendly to be good vibes all that kind of stuff you know when I was at Google just like the good atmosphere everyone's playing and just it's fun fun right um but to me like when I when I put on my hat of like having a mission and a goal what I love to see is the superstars that shine for some in some way like do something incredible and I want everyone to also admire that those Superstars and perhaps not just for the productivity's sake or performing or successful company's sake

138:43-139:07

but because that too is an incredible thing that humans are able to accomplish which is shine I hear you but that's not a decision you make meaning you get lucky when you have those people in your company that's not the hard part for you the hard part is figuring out what to do with one two and three yeah keep demote promote fire what do you do and this is why it's all about those three buckets I personally believe that folks in that bucket one as long as those folks aren't more than 50 to 60 percent of a company are good and they can be managed as long as they are one to two degrees away from one of

139:07-139:69

those people that you just mentioned yeah yeah because it's easy then to drag the entire company down if they're too far away from the LeBron James because you don't know what LeBron James looks and feels and smells and you know so you need that tactile sense of what Excellence looks like in front of you a great example is if you like if you just go on YouTube and you search these clips of how Kobe Bryant's teammates described not Kobe but how their own behavior not performance because there's a bunch of average people that Kobe played with this whole career but their behavior changed

139:69-140:30

by being somewhat closer to him and I think that's an important psychological thing to note for how you can do reasonably good team construction if you're lucky enough to find those generational talents you have to find a composition of a team that keeps them roughly close to enough of the org that way that group of people can continue to add value and then you'll have courage to fire these next two groups of people and I think the answer is to fire those two groups of people because no matter how good you are that stuff just injects poison into a into a living organism and that living

140:30-140:97

organism will die when exposed to poison so would you invest in a lot of companies you've looked at a lot of companies what do you think makes for a good leader so we talked about building a team but a good leader for a company what are the qualities you know I um when I first meet people um I never asked to see a resume um and when I'm meeting a Company CEO for the first time I couldn't care less about the business in fact um and I try to take the time to let them reveal themselves now in this environment you know I'm doing most of the talking but if this were the

140:97-141:62

other way around and you were ever raising capital and usage math I'd be interested in you looking at this business I'd probably say eight to ten words for hours and just listen prod you know I throw things out prod and let you Meander and in you Meandering I'm trying to build a sense of who this person is once I have a rough sense of that which is not necessarily right but it's a starting point then I can go and understand why this idea makes sense in this moment and what I'm really trying to do is just kind of like unpack where are the biases that may make you you know fail

141:62-142:25

and then we go back to you the thing that Silicon Valley has the benefit of though is that they don't have to do any of this stuff if there's momentum because then the rule book goes out the window and people clamor to invest so one of the things that I do and this is again back to this pugilism that I inflict on myself is I have these two things that I look at thing number one is I have a table that says how much did we make from all of our best investments how much did we lose from all of our worst Investments what is the ratio of winners to losers over

142:25-142:96

11 years and in our case it's 23 to 1. on you know billions of dollars so you can you can kind of like you can see a lot of signal but what that allows me to do is really like say wait a minute like we cannot violate these rules around how much money we're willing to commit in an errant personality you know the second is I ask myself of all the other top VCS in Silicon Valley name them all you know um what's our correlation meaning when I do a deal how often does anybody from Sequoia Excel Benchmark Kleiner who you name it do it at the same time or after

142:96-143:58

and vice versa and then then I look at the data to see how much they do it amongst themselves what's a good sign I'm at zero as virtually close to zero as possible that's a good thing well it's not a good thing when the markets are way way up because it creates an enormous amount of momentum so I have to make money the hard way I have to you know because I'm trafficking and things that are highly uncorrelated to the the Gestalt of Silicon Valley which can be a lonely business but it's really valuable in moments where markets get crushed because

143:58-144:19

correlation is the first thing that causes massive destruction of of capital massive because one person all of a sudden with one blow up in one company Boom the contagion hits everybody except the person that was you know not and so now those are like more sophisticated elements of risk management which is again this pugilism that I inflict on my nobody asks me to do that nobody actually at some level when the markets are up really care that when markets are sideways or when markets are down I think that that allows me to feel proud of our process you know but that requires you to think

144:19-144:87

a lot a lot outside the box it's lonely because you're taking risks also your public personality so you say stuff that if it's wrong you get yelled at for constantly for uh for being I mean your mistakes aren't private no and that's something that um has been a really really healthy moment of growth it's like an athlete you know if you really want to be a winner you got to hit the shot in front of the fans and if you miss it you have to be willing to take the responsibility of the fact that you bricked it and over time hopefully there's a body

144:87-145:46

of work that says you've generally hit more than you've missed but if you look at even the best Shooters what are they 52 percent so these are razor thin margins at the end of the day which is really so then what can you control I can't control the defense I can't control what they throw up me I can just control my preparation and whether I'm in the best position to launch a reasonable shot you said that the world's first trillionaire would be somebody in climate change in the past um let's update that what's uh today as we stand here today what sector will the

145:46-146:05

world's first trillionaire come from yeah I think it's energy transition so energy so the things we've been talking about yeah really so isn't it okay well I think I think the way that I think about so this is a single division it's hard to interrupt you see their ability to actually build a company that makes huge amount of money as opposed to this distributed idea that you've been talking about yeah I'll give you my philosophy on wealth um most of it is not you um an enormous amount of it is the genetic distribution of being born in the right place and blah blah

146:05-146:76

irrespective of the boundary conditions of how you were born or where you were raised right so you know at the end of the day you and I ended up in the United States it's a huge benefit to us second is the benefit of our age it's much better and much more likely to be successful as a 46 year old in 2023 than a 26 year old in 2023 because in my case I have demographics working for me with a 26 year old he or she has demographics working slightly against them can you explain that a little bit what are the demographics here in the case of me the distribution of population in America looks like a pyramid

146:76-147:41

and in that pyramid I'm swedged in between these two massive population cohorts the Boomers and then these you know gen Z and millennials um and that's a very advantageous position it's not dissimilar to the position that Buffett was where he was you know packaged in between Boomers beneath him and the silent generation above him and being in between two massive population cohorts turns out to be extremely advantageous because when the cohort above you transitions power and capital and all of this stuff you're the next person that likely gets handed it so we have a disproportionate likelihood to be you know we are lucky

147:41-148:06

to be older than younger um so that's that's an advantage and then the other advantage that has nothing to do with me is that I stumbled into technology I got a degree in electrical engineering and I ended up coming to Silicon Valley and it turned out that in that moment it was such a transformational Wind of Change that was at my back right so the wealth that one creates is a huge part of those variables and then the last variable is your direct contributions in that moment and the reason why that can create

148:06-148:71

extreme wealth is because when those things come together at the right moment it's like a chemical reaction I mean it's just crazy so that was sort of part number one of what I wanted to say the second thing is when you look then inside of these systems where you have all these Tailwinds right so in Tech I think I benefit from these three big tail ones if you build the company or are part of a company or a part of a movement your economic participation tends to be a direct byproduct of the actual value that that thing

148:71-149:37

creates in the world and that the thing that that creates in the world will be bigger if it is not just an economic system but it's like a philosophical system it changes the way the governance happens it changes the way that people think about all kinds of other things about their lives so there's a reason I think why database companies are worth acts social companies are worth why but the military industrial complex is worth you know as much and I think there's a reason why that if you for example were to go off and build

149:37-150:00

some newfangled source of energy that's clean and Hyper abundant and safe that what you're really going to displace or reshape is trillions and trillions of dollars of worldwide GDP so the global GDP is I call it 85 trillion right it's going at two to three percent a year so in the next 10 years we'll be dealing with a hundred trillion dollars of GDP right somebody Who develops clean energy in 2035 will probably shift 10 of that around 10 trillion dollars a company can easily capture thirty

150:00-150:54

percent of a market three trillion dollars a human being can typically own a third of one of these companies one trillion dollars so you can kind of get to this answer where it's like it's going to happen in our lifetime but you have to I think find these systems that are so gargantuan and they exist today it's more bounded because price Discovery takes longer and an existing thing it's more unbounded because you know what it is you know the tentacles that energy reaches right of that 80 trillion dollars of

150:54-151:17

worldwide GDP I bet you if you added up all the energy companies but then you added up all of manufacturing you know if you added up all of Transport you'd probably get to like 60 of the 80. do you have an idea of which energy uh which alternate energy sustainable energy is the most promising well I think that we have to do a better job of exploring what I call the suburbs of the periodic table so you know we're really good in Seattle you know the upper Northwest yes you know we're kind of good in Portland

151:17-151:78

but we're not existent in San Diego and we have zero plan for North Carolina through Florida yeah and so is that a fancy way of saying nuclear is should be part of the discussion I think nuclear I think room temperature semiconductors I'm I'm not convinced right now that the existing set of nuclear Solutions will do a good job of scaling Beyond bench scale I think there is a lot of complicated technical problems that make it work at a bench scale level even partially but the energy equation is going to be very difficult to overcome in the absence of some leaps in Material Science

151:78-152:42

have you seen any leaps is there promising stuff like you're you're seeing The Cutting Edge from a company perspective yeah I would say not yet I do but the precursor yes I have been spending a fair amount of time so talking about like a new framework that's in my mind is around these room temp superconductors um and so I've been kind of bumbling around in that Forest for about a year I haven't really put together any meaningful perspectives but again talking about like trafficking in in companies and Investments that are very lonely but they allow me to

152:42-153:05

generate returns that are relatively unique and independent that's an area where I don't see anybody else when I'm there I'll give you another area you know we um I think are about to unleash in a world of zero energy and and zero compute costs computational biology will replace white chemistry and when you do that you will be able to iterate On Tools that will be able to solve a lot of human disease I think like if you look at the head of like the top 400 most recurring rare diseases

153:05-153:70

I think like half the number 200 is a specific point mutation as just the mismethylation between C and T I mean that's like whoa wait you're telling me in billions of lines of code I forgot you know semicolon right there that's causing this the whole thing to miscompile so I just got to go in there and boom and it's all done that's a crazy idea that was a C plus plus c c throwback for people that don't know there's two people who are two people there everybody it's perfect sense um but but um so that couldn't that be a truly a source of uh the competition biology unlocks I mean obviously medicine is begging for the

153:70-154:33

thing with energy though is that the groundwork is well laid um and talking about sort of like the upper bound is well defined the upper Bound in medicine is not well defined because it is not the sum total of the market cap of the Pharma Industries it is actually the sum total of the value of human life and that's an extremely ethical and moral question isn't there special interests that are resisting uh moving making progress on the energy side so like uh governments and how do you break through that I mean you have to acknowledge the reality of that I think

154:33-154:93

it's less governments in fact like I said I think President Biden has done a really incredible job while Chuck Schumer really is done a really incredible job because so just to give you the math on this right like back to this so three percent of everything is of a market or zealots but when you get past five percent things tend to just go nuclear to 50 60 percent the way that they wrote this last bill the cost I'll just use cars as an example the cost of an average car is 22 and a half thousand the cost of the cheapest battery car is thirty thousand and lo and behold there's a seventy five

154:93-155:54

hundred dollar credit and it's like to think the Invisible Hand didn't know that that math was right I think is kind of a little bit malarkey and so the battery EV car is going to be the same price as the thing and it's going to go to 40 50 percent um so we're already at this Tipping Point so we're kind of ready to go um in these other markets it's a little bit more complicated because there's a lot of infrastructure that needs to get built so you know the the gene editing thing as an example you know we have to build a tool chain that looks more like um code that you can write to Facebook

155:54-156:33

is written in I think PHP originally HBO which is I'm still a big fan of sometimes you have to use the ugly solution and make it look good versus trying to come up with a good solution um which will be too late let me ask you you consider a run for governor of California then decided against it what went into each of these decisions and broadly I should have maybe a selfish question about Silicon Valley is it over as a world leader for new tech companies as a this Beacon of Promise of young minds stepping in and creating something that changes the world I don't know if those two questions are

156:33-157:05

connected so it's not it's not over but I think it's definitely we're in a challenging moment because so back to that analogy of the demographics if you think about the like if you bucketed forget like our relative successes but there's a bunch of us in this mid 50s to mid 30s cohort of people that have now been around you know for 20 years 15 years to 25 years that have done stuff right from Andreessen to zoc to Jack Dorsey Etc Elon you know whatever maybe you throw me in the mix David sacks whatever okay

157:05-157:68

none of us have done a really good job of becoming a Statesman um or a States woman you know um and really showing a broad empathy and awareness for the broader systems so Silicon Valley is to survive as a system we need to know that we've transitioned from move fast and break things to get to the right answer and take your time if that's what it means and so we have to be a participant of the system and I believe that and I think that it's important to not be a dilettante and not be thumbing your face to Washington or

157:68-158:34

not push the boundaries and say you know we'll deal with it after the fact but to work with folks that are trying to do the best again Steel Man their point of view you know work with them potentially run for office so potentially like be you know understand the system it makes me sad that there's no tech people or not many tech people in Congress and certainly not in the presidential level not many Governors or Senators well I think that we also have roughly you know our rules will never allow some of the best and brightest folks to run for president because of just the rules against it but you know

158:34-158:88

if if Oh you mean yeah yeah I mean like more than this I think David sacks would be an incredible presidential candidate now I also think he'd be a great governor no he was born in South Africa you know I think he'd be a great Governor I think he'd be a great um Secretary of State I mean he'd be great at whatever he wanted to do um you know Friedberg you know wasn't born here um so there's there's a lot of people that could contribute at different levels and I hope that by the way the other thing I like about the Pod is like I also think it helps normalize Tech a little bit because you

158:88-159:49

just see like normal people dealing with normal situations um and I think that that's good you know it is a really normative place it's not the caricature that it's made out to be but there is a small virul and strain of people that make it caricature-like with this in One Direction what do you think about the whole uh culture of um I don't know if better turns but woke activism so sort of activism which in some contexts is a powerful and important thing but infiltrating companies I'll answer this in the context of Renee Gerard so like he says that people tend to copy each other

159:49-160:06

and then when they're copying each other they're really what they're fighting what they're doing is they're fighting over some scarce resource and then you find a way to organize against you know the group of you against a person or a thing that you think is the actual cause of all of this conflict and you try to expel them the thing that wokeism doesn't understand is that unless that person is truly to blame the cycle just continues and you know that was a that was a framework that he developed that you know he's really conclusively proven to

160:06-160:73

be true and it's observable in humanity in life so these movements I think the extreme left and the extreme right are trying to interpret away to allow people to compete for some scarce resource but I also think that in all of that what they don't realize is that they can scapegoat whoever they want but it's not going to work because the the Bull Work of people in the middle realize that it's just not true yeah they realize but they're still because in leadership positions there's still momentum and they still scapegoat and they continue

160:73-161:33

and it seems to hurt the actual ability is more successful In fairness though if you had to graph the effectiveness of that function it's decaying rapidly it's the least effective it's ever been you're absolutely right being canceled five years ago was a huge deal today I think it was Jordan Peterson on your podcast he said I've been canceled and it was amazing he said 38 times or 40 he said some number which was a ginormous number a that he kept account of it and B was able to classify it yeah I'm like what classifier is going on in his mind where he's like Ah that's an attempt to cancel me but this one is not but my point is was clearly not working

161:33-161:97

and so the guy is still there and the guy is you know putting his view out into the world um and so it's not what not to judge whether what he says is right or wrong it's just to observe that this mechanism mechanism of action is now weakened but it's weakened because it's not the thing that people think is really to blame yeah you've been canceled on a small scale a few times so let's not I'm sure it didn't feel small actually it wasn't small I'm trying to minimize uh did that did that psychologically hurt you yeah it was tough I mean in the moment you don't know what's going on but I would like to thank a certain CEO

161:97-162:76

of a certain well-known company and he sent me basically like uh a step-by-step manual uh and uh does it involve mushrooms no no and uh and he was right you know the storm passed and life went on is it uh I don't know if you can share the the list of steps but is the fundamental core idea is that just life goes on the the core fundamental idea is like you need to be willing and able to apologize for what is in your control but not for other people's mistakes your mistakes yes and if you feel like there's something then you should take

162:76-163:35

accountability of that but to apologize for somebody else for something that they want to hear isn't going to solve anything yeah there's something about apologies if you do them they should be authentic to what you actually want to say versus what somebody else needs to wants to hear otherwise it doesn't ring true yeah and people can see through that and people can see through it and also what people see through is not just the fact that you know your apology was somewhat Hollow but also that this entire majority of people now walked away the mob was like okay thanks

163:35-164:03

yeah and then people are like also you didn't care at all this is like and so then it reflects more broadly on them yeah I know you said you don't like to give advice but what advice would you give to a young person you've lived an incredible life from very humble beginnings difficult childhood and you're one of the most successful people in the world so what advice I mean a lot of people look to you for inspiration kids in high school or early college they're not doing good or um are trying to figure out basically uh what to do when they have complete doubt in themselves

164:03-164:91

what advice would you give them it is really important that if somebody that you respect and I'm gonna just for the purpose of this put myself in that bucket and if you're listening to this um I wish somebody had told this to me um we are all equal and you will fight this demon inside you that says you are less than a lot of other people for reasons that will be hard to see until you're much much older and so you have to find either a set of people far far away like what I did or one or two people really really close to you

164:91-165:55

or maybe it's both that will remind you in key moments of your life that that is true otherwise you will give in to that Beast and it's not the end of the world and you'll recover from it I've made a lot of mistakes but it requires a lot of energy and sometimes it's just easier to just stop and give up so I think that if you're starting out in the world if you've been lucky to have a wonderful life and you had wonderful parents man you should go and give them a huge hug because they did use such a service that most folks don't do to most kids

165:55-166:09

unfortunately and it's not the fault of these parents but it's just tough life is tough so give him a kiss and then figure out a way where you can just do work that validates you and where you feel like you're developing some kind of Mastery who cares what anybody else thinks about it just do it because it feels good do it because you like to get good at something but if you're not one of those lucky people um you can believe in your friends or you can just believe in me I'm telling you preserve optionality

166:09-166:79

how you do that is by regulating um your reactions to things and your reactions are going to be largely guided in moments where you think that you are not the same as everybody else and specifically that you are less than those people and you're not so just save this part of this podcast and just play it on a loop if you need to um but that is my biggest learning is I am equal I'm the same as all these other people and you can imagine what that means to me to go out in the world to see people and think okay I'm the same as this person I'm I'm as good as them and you could imagine what you're

166:79-167:45

probably thinking of what I'm thinking is not that thing right you're probably thinking man this guy yeah this guy I'm so much better no I am fighting this thing all the time well I've also met a bunch of folks who I think is a counter reaction to that once they become successful they start developing a philosophy then they are better or even some people are better than others I understand you know there's LeBron James versus other people and so on but I always really resisted that thought because I feel like it's a slightly better

167:45-168:02

they have Mastery in a thing that they fall in love with yeah I'm trying to develop Mastery in a thing that I love you know I love the art I love investing it's like solving puzzles and I love that I love trying to develop Mastery and poker I really love that um I'm learning how to be a parent to a teenager because I have finally have one it's all new stuff to me and I'm learning um that's what it's all about yeah so you don't want to think you're lesser than and you don't want to think you're better than because those both

168:02-168:62

Lead You astray I've never thought I was better than I manifested better than because I was trying to compensate for feeling less then my goal is just to feel like everybody else feels on the presumption that everybody had like a normal life given your nickname is the dictator do you trust yourself with power like if I if the world gave you absolute power for a month no no because I think that you know I'm still riddled with bias I I don't I don't deserve that position I don't and I would not want that weight on my shoulders

168:62-169:30

I had a I had a spot naturally where it was a very important and big poker game and it was a spot where I was in the pot and it was a really large pot it was like a million dollar pot and uh I had to make a ruling and the ruling was in in my favor and okay I was just beside myself because I don't play I play for the challenge I like to get pushed to the limit of my capabilities I want to see can I think at the same level of these folks you know because these guys are all experts they're all Pros and I get enormous Joy from that

169:30-169:89

challenge and I like to win but I like to win just a small amount you know what I mean and then I never wanted to win in that way but because it was you know my game I had to make this call on a million dollar pot and I wanted to just shoot myself I just was like this is gross and disgusting and and he was a complete gentleman which made it even worse so I do not want absolute power well those are the people you do want to have power is the ones that don't want it which is a a weird system to have

169:89-170:57

because then you in that kind of system don't get the leaders that you should have because the ones that one power aren't the ones that should have power it's a weird weird system what do you think let me sneak this question in there what do you think is the meaning of life I don't well why are we here look up at the stars and think about like the big why question I think that it's a chance to just enjoy the ride I don't think it really like I don't believe in this idea of Legacy that much

170:57-171:18

I think it's a real trap so do you think you'll be forgotten by history I hope so I really really hope so because if you think about it there are two or three people that are remembered for positive things and everybody else it's all negative things and the the likelihood that you'll be remembered for a positive thing is harder and harder and harder and so the surface area of being remembered is negative and then the second what will it matter I'll be gone I really just want to like have fun do my thing learn get better

171:18-171:87

but I want I want to reward myself by feeling like oh that was awesome like I've told this story many times and I have put again my own narrative fallacy on top of this but you know Steve Jobs's sister wrote this you know obit in the New York Times when he died and she ends it by saying his last words were oh wow oh wow oh wow that seems like an awesome way to die you're surrounded by your friends and family not the fact that he died obviously but in a moment where what I read into it was your family was there maybe you thought about all the cool [ __ ] that you were able to do

171:87-172:56

and then you know you just started the simulation all over again and so yeah just on the off chance that that's true I don't want to take this thing too seriously you know what I mean just enjoy it so you're not afraid of it the end good in tomorrow get in right now so every day you can go and you're happy you're happy with the things you've done yeah you know there there are obviously things I want to do that I haven't done um but there are no gaping things I've really really been in love total gift there have been moments where I've

172:56-173:24

really really felt like everybody else there have been moments where I have deep deep deep Joy and connection with my children there are moments where I've had incredible giggling fun with my friends there's moments where I've been able to enjoy really incredible experiences wine food all that stuff great I mean what more do you want like I I could keep asking for more I would just be a really crappy human being at some point you know what I mean it's enough yeah yeah it's enough it's enough this life this life is pretty beautiful if you

173:24-173:97

allow yourself to see it yeah it's really great and it's better than it's ever been um for most of us actually yeah it's pretty nice you know and all of the like you know Millennials and gen Z's you're about to get a boatload of money from your parents and you better figure out how to be happy before you get that money yeah because otherwise you will be miserable get a lot of Dairy Queen no that would that only worked the first time it worked two times in grade five and grade six my God that next year Flex I worked my ass off I'm like but I could

173:97-174:61

never bring myself to ask her yeah and then she did it and I was like man she's This Woman's Miss Bruni the room is a gem yeah but the third time it faded isn't that the sad thing in my life you know the finiteness of it the scarcity of it without that we perhaps wouldn't uh ice cream wouldn't be so damn Delicious you're an incredible human um I definitely recommend that people listen to on all all platforms just we're very lucky to be able to get your wisdom I enjoy I agree with um I've talked a lot about you with the Audrey capothy who's somebody I really respect and he just loves the [ __ ] out of you

174:61-175:31

you know in in how much you uh How Deeply you understand the world it's a huge honor he's an incredible human being so that's on a different yeah speaking of semicolons there's some human beings that understand everything at the very low level and at the very high level and those people are also um very rare so it's it's a huge honor and also a huge honor that you would be so kind to me just like in subtle ways Offline that you would uh make me feel like I'm worthwhile well can I just say something as just a Layman listener um what you do just so I could give you my version is that you take things

175:31-176:00

and people so ideas and people that are mostly behind a rope and you demystify it and what that does for all of us is it makes me feel like I can be a part of that and that's a really inspiring thing because you're not giving advice you're not telling us how to solve the problem but you're allowing it to be understood in a way that's really accessible and then you're intellectually curious in ways that you know some of us would never expect that we were and then you kind of end up in this rabbit hole

176:00-176:59

um and then you have the courage to go and talk to people that are really all over the map um like for example like I when I saw your uh Jordan Peterson example like you went there like you talked about Nazism and I was just like man this is a complicated argument these guys are going to tackle and it's just it's really um really impressive so I have an enormous amount of respect for what you do I think it's very hard to do what you do so consistently um and so I I look at you as somebody I I respect because it's um it just shows like

176:59-177:14

somebody who's immersed in something and who's very special so thank you for including me in this I'm going to play that clip to myself privately over and over just when I feel low and self-critical about myself thank you so much brother thank you incredible thanks man thank you for listening to this conversation with your mouth to support this podcast please check out our sponsors in the description and now let me leave you with some words from Jonathan Swift a wise person should have money in their head but not in their heart

Key Themes, Chapters & Summary

Key Themes

  • Learning from Mistakes and Success

  • Childhood Experiences and Psychological Impact

  • Journey of Forgiveness and Self-Worth

  • Facebook's Experimental Growth

  • Ethical and Monetization Aspects of Social Media

  • The Future of Energy and Computing

  • Potential of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI)

  • The Rise of Individual Content Creators

  • Improving Social Media Platforms

  • Societal Implications of Technological Trends

Chapters

  • Introduction: Chamath Palihapitiya's Insights

  • Embracing Mistakes for Success

  • Overcoming a Difficult Childhood

  • The Process of Forgiveness

  • Insights from Facebook's Growth

  • Social Media: Challenges and Monetization

  • Technological Evolution: Energy and Computing

  • Exploring the Potential of AGI

  • The Era of Content Creators

  • Strategies for Improving Social Media

  • Reflecting on Societal Changes and Technology

  • Conclusion: Chamath's Vision for the Future


Summary

The conversation between Chamath Palihapitiya and Lex Fridman delves into various profound topics, exploring Chamath's personal experiences, insights into the tech industry, and broader philosophical musings. The dialogue commences with a discussion about learning from mistakes and how they contribute to success. Chamath narrates his challenging upbringing, marked by abuse and poverty, and how these experiences honed his vigilance and survival skills. He shares poignant memories, such as being sent to select a tree branch for punishment or cherishing a rare treat of cheesecake with his family on New Year's.


Chamath reflects on the psychological impact of his childhood, discussing the deep-seated feelings of worthlessness it instilled and the long journey to overcome these sentiments. He speaks about seeking external validation in his youth and early adulthood as a way to compensate for these feelings. The conversation touches on the complex process of forgiving his parents, a journey involving understanding their perspectives and struggles.


Transitioning to his professional life, Chamath discusses his tenure at Facebook, emphasizing the experimental nature of the company's growth and innovation. He highlights the value of learning from mistakes and rapid experimentation in business and personal growth. The discussion then shifts to the implications of social media, particularly around the monetization and ethical considerations of platforms like Facebook and Twitter.


Chamath also delves into broader technological and societal trends, such as the decreasing costs of energy and computing power, and how these might shape the future of technology and social structures. He speculates on the potential of artificial general intelligence (AGI) and its implications for various industries.


In discussing content creation and social media, Chamath opines that the future lies in individual content creators like Lex Fridman and Mr. Beast, who have the potential to reach billions and create significant value. He believes that content creators represent the next wave of atomization in the digital space, following the path of platforms and apps.


Finally, Chamath shares his thoughts on improving social media platforms, suggesting that addressing the psychological aspects of user behavior is crucial. He proposes implementing economic frameworks or real-world identity mechanisms to mitigate toxic behavior and enhance the user experience.