Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. Welcome to another all in podcast. We just got the show notes,
and I’m ripping them up because the president has the Rona. We knew this was a possibility.
We had an incredible docket brewing, but as fate loves irony, we found out on Wednesday night,
I believe, just in a brief timeline here, Wednesday night, Hope Hicks, his personal assistant,
got the Rona. And then, of course, President Trump announced late last night that he,
in fact, had the Rona and that his wife, Melania, also had the coronavirus.
So with us today to discuss all things tech, politics, and coronavirus, David Friedberg,
David Sachs, and Bestie C. Chamath Palihapitiya are with us. I guess maybe we’ll just drop it
right to you, Friedberg. You are our science kid here in the class. What is, when we look at the
president’s physique, he’s clinically obese. Technically, I’m not saying that to be cruel,
but he’s a 74-year-old who’s clinically obese and snorts Adderall. We don’t know that. That’s just
a claim. But seriously, what is the prognosis here? And then, I understand he’s now got a
experimental treatment, was just announced an hour ago at the taping of this on Friday afternoon.
And of course, we wish them all the greatest speedy recovery, etc. But let’s get into the
facts here. I think the overall mortality rate for someone of his age is in, call it the two to
four percent range, right? And for someone with, you know, he’s not known to have diabetes or high
blood pressure, but generally, you can kind of say there’s some risk factors maybe associated.
So, a couple points. But the reality is the treatment that he got is one that’s not available
to the public and is effectively like creating these, you know, taking these antibodies to the
coronavirus. And he got eight grams of this immunoglobulin therapy that is basically a bunch
of antibodies that will eliminate the virus. And they’re not widely available. They’re not publicly
available, these treatments. But, you know, based on the early trials and the general experience
with using synthetic and, you know, polyclonal antibodies for infectious disease like this,
it’s pretty effective. And he should kind of, you know, recover pretty quickly, I would imagine.
So, him dying would basically be a two-outer, him getting this special treatment makes it
a one-outer, if we were talking about this in poker terms. Chamath, when you look at this turn
of events and you saw the news, what was your first thought? That it’s now basically a hundred
percent guaranteed that we will have all of the most transparent data about coronavirus soon. So,
for example, you know, we’ve been in this position where we’ve been debating hydroxychloroquine,
we’ve been debating these, you know, all of these different regimens. And the reality is,
the President of the United States, if he doesn’t get the absolute top-notch care,
we’re all in some ways fucked. So, it’s probably likely that he’s going to get the thing that
folks know to work. And then it’ll be hard for everybody else to not want to ask for that.
And then it’s going to be even harder for everybody to then not get some version of it. And so,
I think probably we’re going to de-escalate a little bit of mask stuff, of testing stuff,
of, you know, what the right course of care is. And, you know, frankly, I’ll be honest with you,
I hope, you know, I wouldn’t vote for him, but I hope he’s well. I don’t want anything to happen
to the guy. And I hope that he recovers and it, you know, he kicks it in the ass and that
whatever he took to get better, everybody else can get it too.
All right, Sax, coming around the horn here, talking about the political ramifications of
this. You were feeling that Trump was likely to lose, but here we are with the October surprise.
And I hate to make this handicapping of the election, but this certainly is going to have
some impact. So, with your Rain Man mind, and when you go through this deck of cards here,
what does your brain, how do you assess this as the Rain Man? Is this going to be a net positive
for his election results? A negative, neutral? Handicap this for us in your mind. You must be
thinking through this. And again, disclaimers, we all want him to get better. Nobody wishes him
well. I’m sure some people do, but nobody wishes him well. I’m seeing a lot of glee, frankly,
on Twitter. Yeah. A lot of people saying, I told you so, or karma’s a bitch or something like that.
You know, sort of implying that Trump getting this was a moral failing, you know. And, you know,
certainly a lot of people are kind of reveling in it. Well, he was certainly careless. I mean,
he didn’t wear masks. He said he didn’t like to wear masks. So, he was careless.
Do you wear a mask inside your house?
No, but if I was in walking around at a debate or something like that,
if I was on an airplane with 20 people, yeah, I would wear a mask.
I mean, you know, there were certainly a lot of precautions around the president,
I mean, more than most people. I mean, any of us could get it from anybody, you know. If,
you know, our wife happens to go out to meet a friend for lunch or something like that,
and then brings it back. So, there’s almost no amount of carefulness you can do to completely
avoid this unless you’re willing to kind of lock yourself alone somewhere. So, I just, you know,
this idea that somehow getting COVID is a moral failing is what I would take issue with. It’s not
altogether unlike the crazy things that the religious right was saying in the 1980s, like,
you know, about AIDS, like when, you know, Jerry Falwell said it was God’s punishment or something
like that, trying to imply that… They called it the gay plague. I mean,
let’s just call it what it is. They basically said…
Right. They implied somehow that this was, you know, some sort of just comeuppance,
you know, or something like that. Retribution from God for being gay.
Retribution, exactly, exactly. And, you know, the virus doesn’t know who it’s infecting,
obviously. It doesn’t target sinners or whatever. And so, I just think that, you know, all this
sort of gleeful sort of blaminess going around is inappropriate, and I think it could really backfire
if Trump rapidly gets better. I mean, if Trump is better in, say, a week and is hitting the campaign
trail again, you know, what previously will have appeared to be a moral failing, it could now be
argued would be a moral strength since he, you know, overcame it so easily. And so, I think that
if he rapidly recovers from this and hits the campaign trail again, it’s going to make him look
strong. I think that if he has a hard time with the virus, if it’s enervating,
the way that I think it took out Boris Johnson, I mean, I’ve heard British commentators say that
Boris Johnson’s just not even the same, doesn’t have the same level of energy even now than he
did before the virus, then I would think it could really hurt Trump in the last, you know,
couple months of this campaign. I mean, guys, look, I think we all know people,
I’m sure you guys do, I do, who have gone through this, and they all say the same thing, which is
this thing really sucks. Now, there are all these people that say, Oh, it’s like dancing on tulips or
daffodils. I’ve never encountered a single person like that. I see that. I see that maybe on Twitter
or a friend of a friend, but all of my friends who’ve gotten it, they have really struggled
through it. Some of these people are older, some of these people are younger. Some of these people
are healthy, some of these people are not. And consistently, they say the same thing, which is
that there’s a couple of days where it literally feels like your chest is being pounded inside you,
you can’t move, you’re just in pain. And then afterwards, the aftermath is you’re at, you know,
50 6070% of your lung capacity, like it does something for a couple of weeks. I mean, Doc
sales is a friend of ours. And he was very public with his experience. He tried to avoid it as best
he could, he got hit with it, he got hit hard. And he said he felt like he was gonna die was the worst
he’s ever experienced. I have friends that still complain two, three, four months after the fact
that they’re at 50 60% of cardiovascular capacity. And, you know, these, these people that I that I’m
specifically thinking about were really healthy going into Coronavirus. And so I don’t know,
I just think it’s something none of us want. I don’t think you would want to wish this on anybody.
You know, especially frankly, the President of the United States as a role. And so I think folks
just need to sort of like, class up here and hope that we figure out that he gets the best care and
then be we all know what it is, and then see that we can get access to it too. That’s, that’s,
honestly, I think that’s all we should be wishing him off.
Did you see Did you see the letter they published on what he’s getting?
So they did the go ahead and read it.
The doctor published it was not too long ago, right? Jason, I saw it on your
just happened like an hour ago. I tweeted it. Yes. So he got eight grams of polyclonal antibodies.
This is the Regeneron formulation. So basically, they’ve isolated the antibodies that neutralize
Coronavirus that patients have presented in their body. And then they use recombinant
DNA technology to produce those antibodies synthetically. So it’s a bunch of antibody
proteins. And then they turn it into an injection into a formula that they can put in your body.
And you now have effectively neutralizing antibodies. So they gave him eight grams,
which is a pretty high dose. And it gets, you know, goes in intravenously, you can have
sometimes an allergic reaction to that, but it seems like he was fine from that,
because they didn’t announce an allergic reaction. And then, you know, the antibodies are now in his
bloodstream, and they bind to the virus. So any virus that’s floating around immediately gets
wiped out, it gets eliminated from the body. So theoretically, this is the way we should treat all
infectious disease. And I do think that, by the way, I do, and I’ve written about this, I think
that is the future of infectious disease is we’re all going to get a polyclonal cocktail every year,
instead of getting a flu shot, you get a bunch of antibodies to all the new stuff that’s emerging.
And it was this, David, just think about this, there was so much raging debate that got politicized
between the left between the right between different folks of people who believed in
different things around what the right course of care was, there was no single source of truth.
I’ll just say this again, when you treat the President of the United States, and he gets
better. That is canonical single source of truth. I’m sorry, but there can be no debate after that,
that the smartest people with the access to all of the research, I mean, let’s be clear,
you don’t think a call went out last night before they deployed the nuclear warhead stuff to all of
the R&D labs and all the big pharma companies and said, What do you got? And the answer came back
at the top of the ticket was this Regeneron cocktail. Yeah, they had, they definitely
have made that call before to prep for this. But yeah, totally great. Now, when you say
it highlights what the future of infectious disease treatment is and should be, which is that
all of us should be getting a booster shot every year of synthetically produced antibodies that
will counteract any new infectious disease floating around in the world. And we’re getting to the
point in the next 1015 years that that should be reality for everyone. Well, I think we Yeah,
it highlights that. But it also highlights that in the absence of the most powerful man in the
world getting the sickness, that we’re all going to basically bitch and point fingers about what
the right solution is. And so it can’t be the case that the next time there’s a crazy illness
that’s floating around in society, we need to go and target, you know, five or six of the leaders
of the G8, plus the Pope, plus this plus that Beyonce, heaven forbid, you know what I mean?
Like, this is crazy. Yeah, this can’t this can’t be how we find single source of truth.
Yeah. Well, I think if I think, politically speaking, I think there’s a lot of upside here
for Trump, if he does get better in a week, I mean, if these polyclonal antibodies work,
then and he emerges from the White House, you know, if it is a fiddle in a week,
he’s gonna say the curious here, you know, I was right, we don’t even need a vaccine,
the curious here, it’s over. And, and all the I told you, so is my my
far off would that be from the truth, David? Well, the polyclonal polyclonal antibodies work,
I mean, it then it’s just a matter of scaling them. Can it be scale freeberg? Is this easily
scalable? Yes. But by the way, I’ll just point out the challenge with this is a lot of people
north of 15% will have because antibodies, remember, they’re a protein. And if your cells
didn’t make that protein, they look like a foreign protein when they show up in your body.
And so very often, when you get a foreign antibody treatment like this,
you will have some sort of allergic reaction, because your body will react and attack that
protein. And so it’s not as simple as just saying, hey, we should just scale this up and give it to
everyone. Because the clinical trials that are going on with it are to figure out what percentage
of people what’s the right way to treat people, what’s the right way to protect them from
anaphylactic shock, all that sort of stuff that comes along with this sort of thing. So it’s not
that simple. We’re making that freeberg, you would admit that many of those questions,
the answer, the answers to many of those questions must have been well in hand,
because there’s just zero way. Oh, Regeneron’s been running these trials since March. 100%.
Yeah, 100%. I can tell you for sure, when Trump got this treatment, I guarantee they gave him
Benadryl. And they gave him a steroid shot. And they probably gave him a little bit of cortisone
or they had it on the side. Because that’s kind of like the standard sort of regimen you would use
when you get this sort of, you know, synthesized or convalescent plasma type treatment. And,
you know, he comes out of this thing on the other end, and he’s fine. But But that treatment
regimen is required. So it’s, you know, you sit down in an ID booth, and you get a fucking ID,
and you get shots to go along with it. So it’s not as simple as just shipping it out to everyone’s
home and giving them that treatment. You know, it only Am I correct that only 300 or so people
have gotten this to date? Is that correct with the trial? I don’t know the answer to that. I know
that convalescent plasma, which is call it the poor man’s version of this treatment, which is
instead of synthesizing the antibodies, you’re taking the actual antibodies from other people
that have had COVID and recovered, you’re isolating those antibodies, and you’re injecting
them in other people’s bodies. So that is what convalescent plasma is, it is effectively a soup
of all the antibodies from recovered patients. polyclonal antibodies is the synthesized version
of those isolated antibodies, where we use fermentation systems and bioengineered cells
to make those antibodies, then we isolate them, and we and we use any chance that the president
would make a bad decision here, because he would get to dictate his treatment as a powerful person,
like Steve Jobs did, tragically, I saw a doctor saying this is one of the problems with powerful
people is that they actually can, you know, make a bad decision, because doctors will let them have
too much of a say. And is that possible in this situation? You think? I think the answer is no,
because they didn’t put out a letter saying he got bleach and UV light.
So he didn’t go with his own treatment protocol. And also, I was just gonna say and also,
you know, it eliminated all of the other less nonsensical, but equally sort of question mark
treatments. And so you know, I think they went right to the answer, which would only have been
really possible. If the best docs basically said, this is what we’re doing. And I think David
mentioned this earlier, that it had been decided well in advance. I think that’s a good insight.
Yeah, there’s a there’s a protocol that was written down months ago, vetted and revetted
probably every week or every month as they get as they got more data. And so the minute it happened,
there was nothing to talk about. And I suspect that that is probably what happened. Because
there is no way you’d want to be, you know, it’s kind of like being a pilot, like, you follow a
systematic set of rules to deal with the overwhelming majority of boundary conditions.
And this seemed like a pretty obvious boundary condition, you would have wanted to have a
protocol for well in advance. So, okay, so I want to just do one handicapping here,
sacks, I’ll have you take this one off the bat. Because this was the chatter on Twitter. Number
one, the first two, I think are just crazy conspiracy. There is he got it on purpose,
or he’s lying. Put those aside for a second, you can answer them if you want to. But the third one
is, hey, what happens if he’s incapacitated and cannot run? Or, God forbid he died. And
so if he’s on a ventilator, if he cannot leave the hospital, he’s in ICU.
It’s not even a question.
It’s not even a question. The 25th Amendment deals with that. Yeah, so it goes to Pence.
And if Pence cannot do it for whatever reason, but he’s I think he’s already
Okay, I was actually going to refer to the election, though, what happens to the election
if in the next three, four weeks, he’s in ICU? What happens then?
Oh, that I don’t know.
Well, I would assume it’s up to the party to make a change to his ballot if they wanted to,
but I think if he’s in the ICU, he stays on the ballot.
So we would literally have an election with him on a ventilator or him. I mean, if he was
unconscious, could he, could people still go vote for him? This is a possibility.
I think these are very low probability outcomes. I think the most likely outcome here is that
because he’s got the best care, he’s, you know, it’s probably like at least 50% that this is over
for him in about a week. And it redounds to his political advantage. I think there’s probably a
40% chance that, you know, he’s got more like a three or four week case, which I think would
hurt him because he just wouldn’t be able to campaign. And then there’s maybe like a five
or 10% chance of something more serious.
I wonder if he’s got, if he, even if he recovers in a week,
the odds are pretty high that he’ll have, you know, a long tail of fatigue, right? And so
if he, if he doesn’t change his, if he changes his strategy and just does things remotely and
whatnot, and doesn’t do rallies anymore, you know, and he doesn’t really come out and say
he’s fatigued, but there’s this behavioral change. Does that change things do you think?
I think he needs to be able to campaign and hold these rallies. I think that’s an essential part
of his election strategy, but also it’s always been his way of, you know, going over the heads
of the media that hates him and talking directly to people and rallying his base and field testing
his ideas. There was that period when during lockdowns, when he just stopped doing rallies
for several months and it really felt like he was adrift. So yeah, I think if he can’t do rallies,
I think, you know, that could easily swing the election a couple of points and cause him to lose.
I think Saksipu is a hundred percent right.
I was in Indiana last week and there were a bunch of folks in the neighborhood where I was staying
and I was walking my dog and they were walking their dog. So we were all kind of walking side
by side and they all were ramping up to go to a Trump rally. They were super excited about this,
this moment to go hear what he has to say. They sounded like they were kind of in this undecided
camp, but they wanted to go to the rally to hear what he had to say and kind of experience that
Trump moment. It was a real kind of ground level, I think, proof point for your statement around
like, you know, people really need to feel and because that’s a big part of his kind of MO,
is that ground level experience.
It is. And I think it was one of the reasons why no one saw his election coming in 2016
is if you turned on the TV and just listened to the commentators, I mean, aside from maybe Fox,
it seemed like everyone just hated him. But if you attended the rallies, you would see that he
was reaching a lot of people, tens of thousands of people at each event and he was flying around
doing three events a day, tremendously energetic. So yeah, I think it would hurt him a lot.
But look, if he’s back on the stump a week from now, you’re probably going to see all sorts of
people on the right saying, you know, I told you so and God healed him and, you know, he must be
the chosen one or, you know, who knows? We could be seeing a Weekend at Bernie’s
moment here. Even if he’s just tired, they’ll prop him up on a big stick and hold him up in
front of the crowds and then put him back in the airplane and fly him back home.
I think we’ll know if he’s too tired because, you know, he gets up there and he talks for like an
hour and a half. An hour and a half? He’s done two or three.
An hour and a half is short for him.
Is it possible we could be talking about Trump having less energy than Biden in a debate,
which I think is a good segue here. Are there going to be two more presidential debates? And
what was our take on the absolutely embarrassing shit show that we saw on Tuesday night, which was
supposed to be the topic today that we’re going to lead off, which was the debate, which seems
It feels like a year ago.
How do you expect us to comment on something that happened so long ago?
It was 72 hours ago. I mean, come on, people.
Oh my God. It feels like years.
2020 is so exhausting. I think I’ve aged 30 years in one year. It’s like three decades.
That debate was just a dumpster fire. You know, the way that I thought about it was-
Not true. I mean, imagine-
No, no, I agree. It was a disaster for Trump. It was a disaster for Trump.
Go ahead, Sax. Explain, because he’s your boy. Are you now not going to vote for him
after that performance?
Just to clarify for the audience, I’m not pro-Trump. I’m just anti-
Just voting for him.
I’m anti-hysteria. I always support the side that seems least hysterical to me at any given time.
Did you vote for Trump last election? Yes or no? Or would you be comfortable even saying that?
I think you’d be surprised if I told you who I voted for.
Okay, so onto the debate. I think both Biden and Trump both had a trap to avoid.
I think Biden’s trap was appearing senile. I think Trump’s trap was appearing unhinged. I would say
that Biden avoided his trap, and Trump did not. By constantly attacking Biden, interrupting him,
it was counterproductive. I mean, what you want to do with Biden is let the man talk. He’s a gaffe
machine. You know, let him talk, let him say things that will get him in trouble. Instead,
by constantly interrupting him, Trump kind of let him off the hook.
Now look, I mean, both of their bases, it’s like a sporting event. They’re just going to
root for the side they already came to support. But I don’t think Trump helped himself with the
few percent of independents who are still out there looking to make a decision.
I think you’re totally right. It was really surprising because if he had just left him
to his own devices, you would have let it play out. But I thought Biden, to be honest,
there were some moments he was fabulous. So I thought he was excellent on race. I thought he
was incredible in the moment that he basically stood up to Trump about his son, Hunter,
and he looks in the camera and he basically says, look, I love my son, my son’s had troubles,
and I support, I mean, amazing. And so like in those moments, it’s so hard to not see that guy
as presidential. And I don’t, meaning like it’s easy for Democrats or people that are voting for
him like me, but I think if you were a Republican, you got to look at that guy and say, man, that is
a decent dude. Yeah, I thought he did. He did in certain key moments, he did fabulously well.
And in other moments where there were traps, he actually got built up because Trump kept
interrupting and Joe was smart enough to stop talking so that it amplified the sense that
Trump was interrupting him. Trump, to me, seemed pathetic and scared. That was my,
he’s scared of losing. He felt like a bully who had been laughed at by the whole class,
like nobody takes him seriously. The moderator, what’s his name?
Chris Wallace. The moderator was kind of like, what are you doing, sir, please? I think Chris
Wallace, I mean, I know people are critical of him, but Chris Wallace is like, sir, please,
just trying to appeal to basic decency and Trump just not getting it made Trump look so bad.
It’s just, I think, confirmed with people say the demographic he has to win is white women
in a lot of these swing states. I mean, I don’t think women want to vote. I’m not gonna speak
for all women here. But my understanding is women don’t like guys like that who interrupt
constantly and who are belligerent and badgering. And they kind of like a great dad who defended to
your point, Chamath, you know, his son and said, hey, listen, my son’s got problems. My other son
died. And we’re here. I really think I really think and I and I and we talked about this a
little bit before, but the surface area in terms of policy between the Republicans and the Democrats
now are virtually non existent. So look, if you unpack foreign policy, they both hate Russia,
they both hate China, they both need India, and the Middle East is irrelevant because we’re moving
to a carbon neutral, alternative energy world. They also don’t need Russia as an example. So
all of this stuff that used to matter before in so much of the foreign policy that dictate how
Americans would fight wars, spend money, you know, incite democracy, protect certain leaders,
it’s all out the window. And they both think about it the same way because the surface area is so
similar. That’s number one. What about what about the economy?
So number two, economically, they’re so similar, because they both want to spend trillions of
dollars just under a different label. You know, one is sort of under a Green New Deal, and the
other is called an infrastructure bill or whatever it is. And then number three, they will both have
the same Federal Reserve that is tied to the hip of Treasury, who is already committed to be trillions
of dollars a year and Hawk backing up all the debt that basically exists. And so if you put all these
things together, it’s a popularity contest. And this is why I think Joe Biden has an advantage
because in a popularity contest where you’re just picking the figure that you would, you know,
either have a beer with or feel the most comfortable with, there’s an element of this,
which is like, it’s just a decent human being. It’s easier for Biden to get that across than
it is for Trump. And when Trump behaves that way, it just violates some simple rules of decency.
Like there were in the debate against Hillary Clinton, he didn’t act this way. And he was more
it was like watching like a show, like you were kind of like tuning in to see
what the theatrics would be, or in the debates in the primaries in 2016, against the Republicans,
it was theatrical. Here, it was just, it was it was just kind of not, it was, it was pretty
sex in that way, sacks, you think the Democrats put up the right candidate, because if you did
put up Elizabeth Warren, if you did put up a Bernie Sanders, or God forbid, both of them at
the same time, it would be a very stark contrast, you would have the socialist ticket that wants to,
you know, ban the billionaires and stop capitalism and kneecap it and spend a bunch of money
on redistribution of wealth. And here Biden doesn’t. He’s never said redistribution of wealth.
He’s never said ban the billionaires. He’s pro capitalism feels like a safer bet to the majority
of Americans that they did the Democrats actually do a good job putting Biden up there.
I think so. I think he is the most now that we know he’s not senile. I mean, I think there was
some real question about that going into the debate. I think he proved in that debate that
he’s not. And you know, he’s always kind of had the decency card that Jamal talks about.
Now that we know he’s not senile, I think he’s he is the the Democrats most electable candidate
because he is more centrist than certainly in Elizabeth Warren or some of the other
candidates that you mentioned. Elizabeth Warren would have moved the election to be about substance.
And in many ways, strategically, no, but think about this. If you basically converge on roughly
the same strategy with different labels, you make the election one of style. And there are a lot of
people who really want decency back in the presidency more so than they want anything
else because they already come into the election with a level of skepticism that policy, a won’t
change that fast and be to the extent it changes doesn’t affect them. And so, you know, for years,
we’ve been electing people we like, and this is probably the most extreme test of that idea.
I think I think there was like, I mean, like, if you think about that debate, you could probably
simplify it down into the audience being part of three camps, they either know who they’re voting
for Trump, they know who they’re voting for Biden. And then some folks who are kind of maybe
built, they’re changeable. And for the folks that are changeable, there’s a diversity of objectives,
right? There are some folks who care about the decency, some folks who care about policy,
but at the end of the day, I think you go into this debate with an expectation of Trump,
and an expectation of Biden. And I would say that Trump was flat to down relative to expectation,
and Biden was flat to up. And so that’s where I would kind of give the ticker to
Jen, sorry, I don’t want to interrupt. But I just want to read you this headline,
President Trump will be admitted to Walter Reed Medical Center on Friday, for a few days.
Yeah, I read that.
Hold on a second.
Well, his doctor said it’s because they’re out of an abundance of caution. They just want to
have him in a place where he can be treated. If and as he needs it, that may be a cover story.
I think that look, if you don’t buy that, I think he’s in trouble.
It is very strange.
When you get a treatment, when you get a treatment like he got today,
you know, eight grams of immunoglobulin therapy like that. It sucks. I’ve had this treatment,
I’ve had immunoglobulin therapy before. And you get knocked out, you’re on all these steroids,
you’re on all this anti allergy stuff. You’re a mess for a day or two. And you know, you want
to get like IVs and stuff that give you all sorts of stuff to go with it. I got to imagine that
after getting that therapy, he’s going to need to be in some degree of care. And I would imagine
it’s probably better to just do that around doctors and with all the equipment than trying
to, you know, kind of bring everything into the White House. So, I don’t read it as negatively.
Well, I mean, do you think it could be like an anaphylactic?
He might be having some reaction. Yeah, totally.
Like I said, a large percentage of people that get these antibody therapies have
some sort of allergic response. It’s all the way from anaphylactic to
Hey, I’m having my throat closing. Hey, I feel I’m getting flushed. I’m getting a fever. There’s
all sorts of ways that this can kind of present. So the world is changing so fast that we can’t
even complete a podcast without being obsolete. Can I say one other thing? What did you guys
think about the fact this is a little morbid, so you can we can choose not to talk about it. But
the stock market basically did nothing today on the news that the most important person in the
free world, theoretically. I think you just answered your own question, Chamath. I can chime
in on this one is I don’t think that people perceive that Trump is good or bad for the
economy either way, and that the economy is separated now from politics, because they think
Biden or Trump are going to have the same policies, which you said before, they have the same
policies. So why does it matter? If Trump were to tragically die, it would not make a difference in
the American economy. It’s not going to affect people buying iPhones. It might shake people
psychologically. But I don’t think in a massive way, because he’s almost out of office. So I
think it’s all baked in. That’s why the market didn’t win. What do you think, Sax?
I want to disagree slightly with the idea this election doesn’t matter. I think it will matter
a lot if the Democrats win the Senate, as well as the presidency, because then they will have
one party control, and they can pass as much legislation as they want. And I think a lot of
things will get signed. And I think the Biden presidency could be very consequential, at least
for two years, while all this legislation is passed, even if he’s not out in front saying
very much. I mean, the significance will be in the pen to sign the legislation. If the Republicans
hold on to the Senate, but Biden wins the presidency, I agree with you that it’s not going
to be a tremendously consequential election, because we’ll have gridlock and divided government
again. And so I think a lot hinges on whether Biden wins with or without the Senate.
I don’t disagree with you. The only thing that I will say is that I think that Biden will drag
the country, especially if it’s a, you know, up and down democratic ticket, back to the 80s and
90s, more to the sort of the George Baker School of diplomacy and governance. And I think that if
I don’t know him to know this, but I think that if he really were to have a legacy,
I’m just, I would suspect that part of again, because he’s mentioned that, you know,
why did he run? He said the pivotal moment was like Charlottesville and Trump’s reaction to
Charlottesville. I think Biden is really moored by this concept of decency. And I think that if,
if he were there, and he thought to himself, I’m going to be here for four years, because that’s
the right responsible thing to do, but no more. I don’t think that you’re going to see a bunch of
crazy legislation pass, I think Biden’s gonna say, guys, this is what I expect to do. By the
way, did you? Because and I and I think I would bet on that because of what he said at the beginning
of the debate. He’s like, I am the Democratic Party. I don’t know if you guys remember that.
That was incredible. That was a very Darth Sidious, Emperor move when he said,
I think he was trying to basically say like, firewall, the far left, or the far left,
the socialist left and say, that rhetoric is not what I was elected on. I was elected on
my platform. I am the party. This is what I believe. And everybody else will have to toe the
line. And by the way, in the end, that’s not such a bad thing. Yeah. It’s a man.
I agree. I think that that was a really important moment for him is for him to say,
look, I’m in charge here, because the Republicans have been making the argument that he’s a Trojan
horse for all these like far left elements. And so, it was very important for him to come
forward and say, no, I’m the one leading this ticket. Now, that being said, and I think it
would be a great thing for the country if Biden brought the Democratic Party back to more of a,
you know, Bill Clinton to, you know, Obama type centrism, or, you know, center leftism,
I guess you could say, as opposed to this sort of like crazy, you know, woke Marxism or Maoism,
whatever you want to call it. But I’m very skeptical that he will, because I think Biden
has always positioned himself throughout his career as being at the center of the Democratic
Party. And I think he moves as the Democratic Party moves. I agree he’s not going to be all
the way to the left of the Democratic Party, but those left elements will drag his sort of center
further to the left, and we’ll end up with sort of a compromise. And I think at the end of the day,
if the Democrats win Congress, he’ll sign whatever they pass.
I’m not so sure. I really, I’m not so sure.
The White House is not that far away. It looks like it’s a 30 minute drive
from Walter Reed sending a helicopter. Is that normal? Because he drove there last time.
Would that be indicative of this is an emergency type situation sending marine one as opposed to
just driving there for 20 minutes? I think they get like, they’d be there’d be a lot of liability
if he had an actual medical emergency. And they were just like, yeah, we’re gonna send him for a
few days out of an abundance of caution. The fact that they said out of an abundance of caution,
I think if there is an emergency, you can’t get away with saying that.
Oh, you can, for sure they would lie.
I don’t know. It’ll come out later, right?
But you’re saying the Trump administration was above lying about the situation?
Well, if he’s unconscious, they got to swear Pence in.
Yeah, there’s a lot of reasons why you got to be careful.
No, I’m not saying he’s unconscious. I’m just saying, is sending marine one like,
I’m just thinking out loud here, is sending a helicopter for a 20 minute ride than a motorcade
like seems a little intense?
I would take a helicopter to the 7-Eleven if I had a helicopter.
You’re taking a helicopter down to the poker game?
Now that is something I would say.
Okay. This is, I think, a good jumping off point to an interesting discussion that blew up on
Twitter earlier this week, which is, we can’t keep up with all the politics, the rhetoric,
the vitriol, and this polarization. So, Coinbase co-founder and CEO, Brian Armstrong,
wrote a letter saying, hey, listen, if you want to talk about politics, that’s fine.
Not at my company anymore. We’re going to have a no politics rule, no debating this stuff,
and we’re going to be ultra, ultra focus, focused, I’m sorry, at work.
And you can check your politics at the door. When you read this,
you’ve come out in support of Brian Armstrong. What was your take on his position about leave
your politics at the door when you get to work? And then we’ll go to you, Jamal.
I think what Brian, so I did compliment it, his manifesto, and I think-
Are you an investor?
I am. I’m a small investor in Coinbase, and I’m friendly with Brian. And so, I certainly
like the idea of defending him against unfair attacks, but I also genuinely like the manifesto.
And I think his argument kind of boils down to three components. I think, number one,
that having these debates on every issue, whatever the issue du jour is, pulls the company’s focus
away from its core mission, which he really emphasized. And that mission is challenging
enough in its own right. Second, he was saying that, and this is something I’ve said before
as well, which is just that politics is just increasingly divisive in our society.
It’s just inherently divisive. And therefore, it’s corrosive to team cohesion. And the more
you have of that in your company, the worse it is for the team. And I think the third thing
he mentioned, which I thought was really interesting, is that the freewheeling
debate or discussion of politics like that we’re having here, but we kind of have our
own little safe zone here, it risks hurt feelings or misunderstandings that can become HR issues,
because people can then complain about it being- They feel unsafe.
They feel unsafe, and they report it. And so, that’s a further distraction to the corporation.
I thought I’d save that moment for this podcast, I’ll be honest. There was a couple of moments I
thought I’d save. Well, I think one of the reasons why this pod sort of works is because we’re all
friends and we’ve created a safe space for us to have these conversations, but the workplace is
very different. And what I read Brian trying to do is to reimpose a true safe space by saying,
leave your politics at the door. Now, I think he’s been deliberately misconstrued by critics
who want to say that, well, you have to leave your conscience at the door. That’s not true.
He’s not saying that you can’t have your own political views or contribute to causes that
you like, but you just got to do it on your own time. Kind of like Mr. Han said in Fast Times at
Ridgemont High, do that on your own time. And that makes sense to me.
I think about this from the point of view of one of the employees working at one of these companies
that doesn’t want to be a party to the debate. If I’m an engineer at Google or Coinbase, I go into
work, and I am captive, right? I don’t have the option of not showing up to work. If I go to a
rally, I have the option of saying, I’m going to go to this rally and walk away because I don’t like
the speaker, or I’m going to go to the rally because I want to participate in this dialogue
or this debate. I can’t do that at work. So it’s unfair for work, which is a place that I as an
employee have to go to every day to be a forum for people to express themselves on political points
that I may or may not agree with, but more importantly, may or may not want to actually
be a party to the discussion around. And I think that’s the most important thing to note here is
like, it’s not about enabling the free speech of the employees that want to debate. It’s about
the protecting the workspace for the employees that don’t want to debate and don’t want to be
exposed to that. And that’s really important. As Chamath is a person of color who, you know,
have, I’m sure some has some strong feelings about what we’ve seen in terms of police shootings,
or maybe in your own personal life experience facing racism. Again, as a person of color,
what are your thoughts on the workplace? Is it? Is it possible for you to leave that at the door?
That was the criticism I think I saw from the, you know, people who were supportive of BLM. And
they said the background here was, they were trying to get Brian to explicitly say Black Lives Matter,
and to, you know, have the company rally behind that. And that he didn’t, he didn’t want to have
that be part of the work environment, and that he was offering people four to six months severance
if they would leave if they don’t like the new rules. So what are your thoughts?
I think that this whole thing became a quagmire unnecessarily. I think that he showed a lot of
naivety. And, frankly, like, a little bit of stupidity, really. It was really poorly written.
And that’s why it’s been so misunderstood and misconstrued. In my opinion, I think a lot of
what he had to say was valid. But when it was so poorly presented, and, you know, the, the essay was
like, eight minutes, and it was rambling, and the mission was like, you know, 97% down on the,
you know, and it’s just like, it was a convoluted fucking mess. So if I had to do it again, if I were
him, or if I was his advisor, and he had asked me, you know, to proofread the essay, what I would
have said is more of the following, which is our mission, which is, you know, I think to create
financial liberty or something, something like that, you guys can find out what it is for the
whole world is unbelievably important. We will talk about every issue through the lens of achieving
our mission. And we will be disciplined about saying which things matter and which things don’t.
So for example, if somebody says, Listen, I really believe in spaying and neutering dogs,
the right answer shouldn’t be Hey, shut the fuck up. It says, Okay,
um, how does that allow us to maximize our users? How does that allow us to achieve our mission?
Why does it allow us to achieve our mission? And if you ask the question, why, four or five times
in a very first principles way, you’ll get to the answer. So I would have rather said,
we are going to train people how to understand what builds up to our mission, and what is
otherwise something that you should leave at home. And in that context, there are a lot of
things actually, that are political that need to be brought, especially into a company like Coinbase,
which is working in crypto, which is all about eliminating the financial barriers of people that
don’t have access to it, like you are trying to dismantle an extremely exclusionary part of the
economy. And so there are potentially many movements that matter. And those movements
in countries in which you will want to gain users may look like political movements.
Well, and that was jack Dorsey’s point he
so I just think, yeah, so I just think it was a it was a, it was kind of a
two super fit. It was very Silicon Valley esque reaction. It was emotional. It was a little
insecure. And it to me, it missed the mark, because there was a lot of validity in what he
was saying, but presented in an kind of in a lens of, you know, Silicon Valley bullshit,
and it was not well thought through. So if he had rewritten it, and he had said 99% of what he said,
but through the lens of why we’re going to think about a first principles way of defining how
everything ladders into the mission, he will train his employees. Instead, what he created
was a schism at a decision point. And I’m not sure that that’s how you maximize value in 2020
as a CEO, because at the end of the day, you have to deal with an entire population cohort,
that is that are in their 20s, early 30s, teenagers that will eventually want to work for you.
And whether we like it or not, they’re different. And one of the things you need to do if you’re
going to run an enormous company is understand the psychology of your employees, understand the
psychology of how movements and decisions are organized, and then play to win. And it’s no
different than anybody else. If you want to be in the job, you know, to be the starting point
guard for the Warriors, you got to know how to fucking pass the ball. And if you’re going to be
the power forward, you have to know how to do a certain set of things that are different than
that. And so I would sort of have framed it there, because I think there was a lot of goodness in
what he said, but presented in a pretty shitty manner. I think it’s good. He brought up the topic,
I do think there’s a tactical issue here. And he he could have laid out the ground rules for I think,
to your point, Chamath, of how we should talk about politics at work. And what are the ground
rules? I think the number one issue here, which people don’t talk about, is that Slack, and email
and forums inside of companies have created a massive distraction. And when somebody goes into
the random channel, which is built into Slack, and I know this is in the weeds. But I have seen
this happen at multiple companies. Now, Slack infects a company, somebody creates a room about
a topic, whether it’s Trump, or police violence, or immigration, whatever it is. And then people
want to sound off on that. And now you’ve got an electronic form, where people are talking about
highly charged issues that makes people feel unsafe. And so what I told my companies was,
the two companies I run, you could talk about politics, if you want to go for a walk with
somebody and have coffee or lunch, and you want to have a two hour discussion about it, go for it.
Please do not put this in electronic form, because it’s a massive distraction. And there’ll be a
record that could create downstream human resources issues. So your report sacks,
I have a suggestion. And this is an organizational design experiment. And maybe somebody listening
will implement at their company, allow 100% free form debate about anything. One condition,
you literally need to have a soapbox. And like in the 1880s Hyde Park in London,
yeah, you put the soapbox someplace in a safe space where you can go and you can talk and people
who want to listen will listen. And people who need to work can work. And people who don’t want
to listen don’t have to be forced. What’s the digital version of that that you’re saying a
literal room, a literal campus, a literal place in your office, you put the soap, you have a
soapbox, you grab it, you put it on the ground, you stand on it, and you say it. And if you’re
not willing to do that, then you know, it’s okay. Are you saying that there’s no digital version of
that? Because what I’m saying is that two things. One is the digital version is actually training
people to ask why? Why does it matter? Now, the reason why it’s important to ask that is because
somebody may say, I’ll use Jason’s example that he loves, we need to support the Uyghurs in China,
the best way to do that is to proliferate our software in the following way, because it will
free them from enslavement of the Chinese, and it will give them access to financial independence.
Wow. I mean, okay, that seems to be paying off the mission. So if you would, if so, you got to
give freedom for people to come up with these ideas, because it may the first version of this
idea may not actually be what the final version is, and the final version may be the killer
feature. So on the digital forum, in the slacks, it should be why? That’s a very respectful question.
But David, it should not be in any digital forum, because it leads to chaos, because we see that on
Twitter. And what’s happening is the Twitter derangement that we all suffer from is now
infected inside the communication system that runs the operating system of the company.
Yeah, that’s exactly right.
Since you agree with me, go ahead, Saks.
Yes, I do agree with you on this one. So look, I mean, Chamath is right that I’m sure Chamath
would have written a better letter. But I think we understand the gist of what Brian was trying to
say. And actually, I thought it took a lot of courage to write it. And what he’s basically
saying is that politics has become so divisive in our society that, I mean, it’d be nice if we could
have these reasonable debates the way that we’re having this discussion inside companies, we didn’t
have to have these artificial restrictions. But we do, we have to, you know, it’s the same reason,
you know, that we have the separation of church and state is because people can stop killing each
other over religious wars. And so finally, we had, you know, the Treaty of Westphalia to stop it. And
what Brian’s basically proposing is a treaty for the workplace, because we cannot get along
But David, he is the CEO of an $8 billion company,
could he not have hired somebody to edit that essay?
Okay, well, I mean, look, I just, to me,
like if it’s meaning if it’s seriously, well thought through, and if it was as important
as Westphalia, you would probably have a couple of proofreaders.
Corporate, corporate version. Okay, it’s not.
It could have been polished for sure. Here is Jack Dorsey’s response. And I’ll have you guys
respond to it. I think it’s in your wheelhouse in terms of what you said, Chamath. Bitcoin,
aka crypto is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system,
which negatively affects so much of our society, important to at least acknowledge and connect the
related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind.
I think he’s right, you have to view this problem, not through the lens of your own emotions,
not even through the lens of the frustrations of your employees, you have to help shift the
discussion to say, why does this achieve our mission? And just constantly in a thoughtful,
respectful way, ask why and by the fourth or fifth why it will either be something that doesn’t
matter, and you can dismiss it quickly, or something that actually is rooted in fact,
and probably is something you need to pay attention to. And maybe the way that the
conversation started was probably not with the right language that people given the chance would
have framed it differently. Okay, the worst take, according to the internet’s Twitter’s ability to
ratio people, which is when you get more comments than likes, which is not normally how it works,
people actually taking the time to explain to you how bad your take was, as opposed to liking it
is what a ratio is, if you don’t know, goes to Dick Costolo, who’s a friend of ours.
Me first capitalists who think you can separate society from business are going to be the first
people lined up against the wall and shot in the revolution. I’ll be happy. I mean, that’s,
that’s enough to get you ratioed and have this thing go supernova. I mean, Mike Cernovich is
retweeting this and losing, like his mind over it, you know, that the former CEO of Twitter is
inciting violence. He’s a comedian as well. Dick Costolo. So I think he’s joking here.
But he adds the explanation point. I’ll happily provide video commentary.
Here’s my disagreement with Dick and with Jack is ultimately the societal value of a company
doesn’t come from whatever platitudes or political statements as its CEO makes, but rather from the
quality of its products and the impact of its products. And in that sense, Dick and Jack are
living in a glass house. I mean, Twitter is a sewer of political diatribe and polemical hate.
You know, it’s, I don’t know anyone who feels better, you know, after spending time on Twitter.
You know, if Facebook is like cigarettes, you know, I don’t know what Twitter is. I mean,
it’s like fentanyl or something. Yeah. So, so, so ultimately, you know, maybe Jack should spend his
time figuring out how to make Twitter into a less socially divisive product instead of, you know,
because just issuing what platitudes is not going to do it. I agree with the, I agree with that. I
don’t think platitudes does it. All I’m saying is, you have to view it through the lens of,
I want to become the most relevant company possible and achieve the most impact. And I
think that there are a lot of times where some of these issues, when presented politically,
underlying it is actually some feature or some capability, or some way of seeing the problem
that unlocks more demand that can help you win and not knowing a priori what the answers to those
questions are. It’s important to train people on a framework versus say you can’t talk because I
guarantee you what will happen is somebody with some killer feature will be too scared to say
something because they’re not sure how to say it well. And you and I both know because we’ve seen
many companies that have gone through that cycle. Those companies decay and die.
Yeah, I think it’d be great if a policy like this wasn’t necessary. I mean, it’s I agree it’s
suboptimal, but I think it’s caused by the fact that people just can’t get along around politics
anymore. Yeah. Friedberg, what is your take on ultimately how Coinbase winds up the year or two
after this? Do they get more resumes of hyper talented people who want to embrace a politics,
social issue free workplace? Or do millennials and you know, Gen Z and this next group of talented
folks say I don’t want to work for somebody who doesn’t want to talk about these issues at work?
And then at the production board where you have a factory where you build companies? Do you have
some rule around this yourself? Or thoughts about how you run your companies?
I think the more clearly you define culture, the more successful your company will be.
And right or wrong about whether or not you enable the debate in the discussion and how you define
the forums for kind of political discussion within your company. The fact that there is
a clear definition and delineation around this point, I think removes the uncertainty. And I
think he’ll do exactly what he’s hoping to do, which is to get people to leave and to attract
other people that better fit with that cultural model. I want to put my game face on. I want to
go to work and I want to win the game. I’m here to play. I’m not here to fuck around. I’m not here
to do other stuff. I want this job because I believe in this mission. And I want this company
to succeed in what it’s trying to do. And I think other places that allow people to run around and,
you know, do things that they may or may not appreciate other people doing, or if you have
this kind of low definition kind of culture, where some people are happy, some people are unhappy,
it all kind of, you know, slows things down. And I wouldn’t kind of encourage anyone to
let that happen. I think it’s really important to just define how it is you want to operate,
be really clear about the rules and the boundaries. And then
that I that I agree with as well. I mean, I think it’s very much within his right. And I think it
took it I do applaud his courage in doing it. I just think that it misses the mark because I think
it was too emotional. I think he can do a 2.0 version and just keep building on the manifesto
and say, hey, based on the feedback I got, here’s how we’re going to do it. No discussion. He on the
Reed Hastings put out that fantastic PowerPoint that I think we all know really well, the cultural
playbook from Netflix. And when did he put that out? Like, almost a decade ago?
No, two decades ago was 2000 2001.
And he’s continued to refine it, right? If you look at there’s recent iterations of it,
and they continue to kind of do a better job of defining, you know, how do they intend to operate
with people? And I think it’s, it’s only continue to reinforce the innovation that drives that
company into the hundred billion dollar plus valuation it’s earned.
Yes. And if you, if there’s one important thing, which is that there’s a
meaningful difference in the average age of a Netflix employee and the average age
of a Silicon Valley company. Now that may be also part of it as well.
I think the one thing that Brian could clarify is that you don’t have to check your conscience
at the door. You it’s not, we’re not saying that you can’t have political views. You’re
allowed to say things on Twitter or take political stands or donate to whoever you want. It’s just
that the company itself is going to be a demilitarized zone. You know, we’re not going
to bring, we’re not going to bring these contentious, divisive debates that really
aren’t related to our core mission inside the company. So we can all work better. So we can
all work better as a team towards the reason that we all joined this company.
But that’s totally fair. But you know, all I’m saying, all I’m saying, again, I’ll just say it
again. That is such an important thing to say. You could have had a proofread a couple of times.
Could have been, could have come across the way you’re saying it.
It didn’t have to be written by GPT-3. You know what I mean?
Also, I think that it was the, the dunk he did afterwards where he’s like, and
by the way, if you don’t like it, here’s four months severance, get the fuck out.
That was a pretty aggressive move as well. I don’t know how you guys felt.
I think I like the gangster nature of it.
I like it.
I think it’s great. It’s like, if I’m on the team and I believe in what he just said,
I feel great that he’s flushing the shit out. And if I don’t agree with it, it’s like,
fuck yeah, I’ll take it. You know, like it’s really clear. And I think the clear cut definition
of culture is what every company needs to kind of pursue. And it’s an ongoing pursuit,
and you can always do a better job with it.
And culture is what you choose not to do as much as it is what you do, right?
I’m not going to talk about politics.
I think Friedberg is totally right. It takes a lot of courage to say, here’s what I believe.
And if you don’t, if you don’t believe in it, then it’s okay for you to leave. And
here’s a severance package that takes a lot of courage. So I applaud him for that.
I mean, look, it’s a free country, and we all have limited time. We should all go work on
the mission that is most important and inspiring to us. And Coinbase has a very specific mission
that Brian’s defining. He’s trying to find it clearly. And if that mission is important and
inspiring to you, then go work there. And if it’s not, then go work at the place where the mission
does inspire you. And it may be a startup or maybe a political organization, whatever it is,
go do that thing that’s most meaningful to you. That’s kind of my interpretation of what he was
saying. All right, as we wrap here, it was hard for me to interpret because it was so poorly
written. Well, also, I mean, it was also like a huge bomb on Twitter. And people’s reaction to
it was based upon, I think, how they feel at this moment in time. And a lot of people feel this is
why I’m sorry, but communications is important. How you say things, what you say, style is really
important. So whether it’s Biden or Brian, take the time, get it right.
Yeah. All right. So 2021 is going to be upon us before we know it. And I wanted to wrap here with
each of your feelings on the economy, technology and politics, economy, technology, politics,
how do you feel about 2021? Are you optimistic, pessimistic, neutral on those? Economy,
politics? Have you guys ever been to Magic Mountain? Or Disneyland? You ever get in one
of those log rides? And it’s like raging rapids or roaring waters or whatever they’re called?
Sure. And it’s just fucking like you hop in and this thing just takes off down the river.
I don’t know, nothing summarizes better for me. But in so many ways, is that where I feel we are
right now? We’ve all jumped on a bunch of fucking logs, and we’re shooting down this rapid river.
And I think a big part of what I’m feeling and Chamath is in the middle of this. But there’s
this extraordinary velocity of capital right now. And when I say that, I just mean capital is moving
in large amounts very freely. And that creates like once in a generation kind of opportunity.
It’s in part because the Fed has dropped interest rates to zero. So there’s all these trillions of
dollars moving markets, there’s a change in outlook and the world is being shifted in so
many ways. This is this really amazing moment that I think we can all be afraid of because
we’re on a fucking roaring rapid on a log trying to stay afloat. But there is so much happening
in these markets that we kind of operate in. There’s never been a better time to get your
business funded or to take your company public, or to get customers to make quick decisions and
change their behavior, whether they’re a consumer or an enterprise customer. Money and decisions
are happening at a money’s moving at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen and decisions are
happening at a faster pace than we’ve ever seen. That’s my general sentiment. I don’t think it
stops going into 2021. There’s just another kind of floodgate about to open with this election one
way or the other. But these we’re in the middle of this kind of raging rapids right now. And it’s,
it’s a it’s a pretty, it’s a pretty scary, but also kind of exciting kind of time.
It’s so it’s so well said keen. Well, I really agree with you. I, I think that it’s kind of like,
you used to take a second to make a $1 decision and a minute to take $100 decision, the amount
of money being flooded into the economy now allows you to make $100 decision in a second,
right? So like the order of magnitude of the mental barrier that it takes
has changed. And I agree with you. I was thinking earlier this week that it’s really incredible time
to be alive for one very in one very specific way, which is obviously there’s stuff that’s
happening that’s really turbulent. But there is a chance that a bunch of us can really
like, change things in a meaningful way. And I find it exciting. So I’m generally like,
I’m super bullish on the economy, super bullish on tech. And I think I’m actually
kind of like, reasonably optimistic about politics, I think that we’re going to find
our civility soon. And, and I don’t know why that’s going to happen or how it’s going to
get triggered. But I think honestly, like the election of Biden will go such a long way to just,
um, you know, just showing what is rewarded, and then to figure out how to reward the folks that
were supporting Trump in the first place, for purposes of economic, you know, pushback,
could be a nice de escalation, in fact, and maybe an olive branch of Biden can bring that
Republican Party into the conversation. Yeah. And sax sax had this really beautiful thing that he
posted on Twitter, which was like, you know, a lot of San Francisco’s dysfunction is really going
to spread wealth throughout the rest of the country. Because a lot of cities that were
shut out of all these tech gains will now see it. And now you can imagine all kinds of people,
there’s a guy that I, you know, follow on Twitter, he lives in Bowie, Maryland, he’s a engineer at
VMware, this black guy, and he was just talking about how he got promoted, and he’s now a principal
engineer. And, you know, and I just thought, like, this is really fucking cool, like there’s going to
be all this redistribution of opportunity all around the country. And that’ll happen because
of Coronavirus, because of people’s frustration with California, because, you know, of a handful
of us, how fed up we’ve gotten with the culture of Silicon Valley, including, by the way, right,
what Brian Armstrong wrote, which was, which, again, still very important. And so we’ll all
be better off for that. So I don’t know, I’m pretty optimistic.
Sachs Tech Economy Politics 2021.
Well, I’m super bullish about, you know, how about the entrepreneurial energy in the American
economy. It’s 100 times greater than when we started out our careers in this business,
you know, 20 years ago, in terms of the number of companies that get funded, the ideas,
the tools that are available, the funding. I mean, when you think about it, this might be the
first time in human history where money is chasing the, like throwing money at the ideas. I mean,
throughout history, until I’d say the last 10, 20 years ago, you know, the people who had no money,
but had great ideas, always had to go hat in hand to go find the capital. And now it’s completely
the other way around. There’s so many VCs, and they’re all racing around trying to find the
people with ideas. And so- It was worse than that,
they had to go give their ideas to a big company and take a salary.
Right. Like so Tesla, you know, Nikola Tesla, the original inventor didn’t profit at all from his
ideas, you know. And so that was pretty common. And so just this, just how entrepreneurial
the US economy has become, I’m very, the new economy is completely taken over and I’m bullish
on that. I think the, you know, the tweet that Chamath was referencing, you know, I said that
San Francisco’s loss is going to be America’s gain, the rest of America’s gain, because
middle America was really left out of the new economy. It’s just not where it was taking place.
And so, you know, globalization really gutted industrial America, agricultural America,
they didn’t get to participate in the enormous wealth creation of the last two or three decades.
And I think, you know, I guess, you know, because of what San Francisco has done
in terms of driving out companies, I think the companies are going to be, you know,
tech companies are going to be all over the US now.
Yeah, totally. It’s so, it’s fucking awesome.
Should be super interesting. And so let’s just lay the odds as we wrap here on Biden winning.
Biden, 65, 35, approaching 70, 30.
Okay. David, you got a handicap for me on Biden winning?
What do you think, Sax?
Well, I mean, the betting line is like, somewhere in the 60 to 70% range. And so you’d have to say
that the betting markets are probably, you know, pretty accurate. I guess, you know, probably there’s
a 70% chance of him winning if I had to bet on that line. I’d probably take the 30% underdog,
because I think, you know, there’s all, things are so in so much turmoil right now that anything
could still happen.
So you think there’s a chance that Trump could win?
Yeah, and it’s probably bigger than 30%. Yeah, it’s probably bigger,
it’s slightly bigger than what the betting markets are giving him credit for.
Friedberg, what are your thoughts?
Probably right. Yeah, I don’t have anything to add to that.
All right. Any spackulation that we want to end with, Chamath, on the, I just noticed that Emile
from Uber is doing a spack. Mark Pincus is doing a spack. Everybody’s doing spacks now.
Any spackulation on what we’re going to see in that market?
Nope. God bless them. And I love you all, besties.
All right, besties.
Back to the grind.
Back to the grind. We’ll see you next time. You know what to do, share this podcast with
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