All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E15 “The Besties” All-In’s inaugural award show covering the best, worst & most memorable of 2020

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You gotta rise up before you begin You gotta dive in before you can swim

You gotta give it all to win We’re going all in

Hey everybody, welcome back. Besties are back for the all-in podcast.

The queen of quinoa, Freeburg is here, the dictator Chamath, and of course,

rain man David Sachs. And it’s been a big week here in Silicon Valley with Airbnb

and Wish both going public for over a hundred billion dollars combined.

Anybody get their beak wet on that one? Oh, hey guys.

How are you David? I might have gotten my beak wet on a couple of those, so.

Oh, a little beak wet, huh? Well, you know what, in celebration of your recent victory

with Airbnb and Wish, I will, oh no, I can’t zoom in on my merch, but I’ve got my unofficial

wet your beak mug. So for those of you wondering, we have to get a little bit of housekeeping out

of the way at first here. The merch has gone crazy. Have you guys been watching merch on Twitter?

Of course. Anybody got favorite merch or thoughts?

I got some of those mugs. I think they arrived today. They look great.

It’s amazing. And the best decision we made was not to let you sell t-shirts, Jason, because

you would have milked this for every nickel you could. And instead, we open sourced it to the

fans and they’ve just gone crazy with it. I mean, they’re literally-

I know that hurt you. I know that hurt you a little bit.

I mean, the problem I’m having here, no advertising. I’m picking up all the production

cost here. I’m sending you guys equipment. You maniacs lose the equipment every time. You go

from one of your estates to another estate. I’m sending equipment to four different places.

Anyway, we’ve got a special, very special episode for you today. We are doing,

drum roll please, we’re going to add some sound effects to this afterwards.

We’re going to do the Bestie Awards today. So we’re going to go through the biggest winners

in politics and business and cultures. And of course, the losers, the flashes in the pan,

the best business moves, the stupidest business moves. We’ve got a lot to get through.

But just in terms of housekeeping, again, the all-in syndicate is up and running. I think

there’s 4,000 people who have applied in 10 days. Let’s just talk about the market cap of Airbnb,

or Wish for that matter. What round did you invest in Airbnb?

Series C.

Was that the Founder’s Fund round?

Yeah, yeah.

And congrats.


Oh, that’s so yummy. But to be honest, that was already over a billion-dollar valuation, correct?

Yeah, it was. It was.

But it’s still an 80 or 100X, right?

It’s like a 40X, right?

It’s like a 40X or something like that. So thank you, Brian Chesky. Thank you, Peter Thiel.

Peter led that round. And Brian was looking to include founders in the round, in addition to

it being led by Founder’s Fund. And so Peter introduced me, and that’s how it happened.

Wow, fantastic. I did not get my big wet on that. But I did mention Airbnb on my podcast. And I’ve

been trying to get Brian on the podcast for, I don’t know, a decade. And I said, I know you guys

want to have him on the pod. I’ve asked him literally every year for 10 years, but I don’t

think he likes me. And then he emailed me and said, I listened to the podcast. I like you.

I was like, oh, okay, great. Will you come on? He’s like, I’ll come on. So he’s going to come

on this year, I think, which will be great for this week in startups.

I think Brian and the whole team really did a masterful job of navigating through the whole

COVID crisis. I mean, everybody forgets how negative the publicity was. People were talking

about Airbnb as COVID roadkill back in April. I tweeted a CNBC headline from back in April,

wondering whether Airbnb was even going to survive. And they navigated the crisis,

they did have to cut headcount, but they made the company much more profitable.

But they also did great things for both the renters and the host. At the company’s expense,

they refunded something like $250 million to users who had canceled reservations, but they gave

the money to the host to keep them afloat. So they really did a great job navigating this whole

crisis. It’s a pretty great company. He obviously cares deeply. It was very hard, I think, for him

to cut all that staff at that time. It was kind of a tough decision. But they were very generous

in how they did it. Yeah. So congratulations on getting the beak wet, Sax. And Chamath,

I got a bunch of inbound. You had filed to sell some shares of Virgin Galactic. I saw you tweeted

about it and you wanted to be transparent. People asked for you to address it upfront on the show.

So go ahead. Yeah, I have a lot of projects that I intend to fund in 2021. I’m probably going to put

another, I don’t know, I think the forecast was almost $2 billion to work. And I needed to manage

my liquidity for this year and make sure that I could continue to make all those investments and

fund all of the other things that I need to do. And that’s why I did it.

And you’re still a significant shareholder, I assume, and you believe in the company.

Yeah. I mean, I remain completely committed to that business. It would have been better if I

could have sold something else, but it’s not quite possible. And when you leave the tax year,

you just have to make these decisions to lock in some gains against other losses and would have

loved to have not had to do it, but I needed to manage my liquidity. And so I sold, it’s a small

portion of what I own. Yeah, that was sort of my point. This is a small portion of what you own.

And I mean, this is something that in poker and in business, you got to manage your chip stack and

you got to manage your bankroll. So today we’re going to do the besties. This is our first attempt

at talking about, it’s our award show for 2020. Let’s leave it at that. Let’s start out with

the biggest winner. Hold on, hold on a second. How much weight did you lose? Because it’s either

that you’re still fat and you have a way where it’s either you’re still fat and you have an

incredible camera or you’ve actually lost weight. And this reminds me, by the way,

I would like to tell a story. No, no, no, no. Four years ago. Oh my God. Jason, Jason and I

make a weight bet. Okay. Just don’t say the dollar amount. It was like, no, it was like,

I think it was like a $10,000 a pound. And Jason, Jason, he would get 10th. He was about to do,

and this is incredible. Jason comes to us five years ago and says, guys, you won’t believe it.

I’m doing a show on NBC, a reality TV show. That’s true. A pilot. And with beep. Please beep

that out. Okay. Beep that up. Beep that out so I don’t get canceled. I thought, oh my God,

that guy, that guy seems like a train wreck, but okay, that’s fine. You’re going to do this

pilot with beep, beep. And NBC. And NBC. And don’t you need to be in fighting shape? And he said,

yes, I need motivation. So I said, here’s motivation. Let’s make a weight bet. You need

to be under 190 pounds. And I’ll pay you 10,000 $10,000 a pound that you’re underneath. You pay

whatever it was a pound over. Yeah. It was like six months later. And we’re hosting I’m hosting

a poker game. And I realized, oh my God, this is the last. This is the last day of the bet.

The day before, we started the day before. And then the last day of the bet is midnight.

I wait till midnight and I jump up and I’m like, wait, Ben.

And so I say, Jason, you got to be under 190, 192.5 or 193 pounds. He literally goes ash and

white. And he says more white than I am now. Cause I just ate and I was maintaining my weight.

He says, he says, okay, okay. That’s fine. And he had been eating pizza,

a brick. He ate a brick of breed. I swear to God. And then he says, he says,

Freeberg, you won’t believe this. He goes, guys, I just need five minutes before the weigh-in

and then he goes to our guest bedroom. And that’s not true.

13 in this story. He tried, he tried, he tried to shut out five pounds, which I took a leak.

Who can do that after, after eating all that pizza and cheese and nachos and everything.

Anyways, he loses the weight bet and he says, Jamal, this is completely unfair.

I’m not going to pay you. He was like 196 pounds. I’m not paying you this money.

One pound over.

And he said, uh, this bet is not over until midnight. The fall, obviously.

Yes, obviously. Yes. Yes.

24 hours later.

Fair enough.

So I said, all right, fine, Jake, I’ll fine. He goes home. He literally takes every diuretic

known to man. It’s not true.

Come on.

And then he loses, he doesn’t eat the whole thing.

I did go for a walk in two pairs of sweatpants and sweated it out.

I checked in with this guy 10 times this day. He walked like 12 miles. He took four shits.

You know, he just can’t be diuretic.

I sweated it out. Steam room, hot bath.


He did a colonoscopy.

He did a colonoscopy. To his credit, he lost five pounds by midnight and he won the bet.

I did drop it. But then I said, you know what? Because there were two different weigh-ins,

we were going to go play in a poker tournament. So we went and played in the poker tournament.

I said, Jamal, buy me into the poker tournament. Whatever we win, we’ll chop it up if it happens.

So we just made it into a friendly thing.

And obviously-

But great. Now that story is out there. And now everybody’s going to be on Twitter

with the code, their t-shirt.

I hope somebody in the All In Army does the t-shirt that just says 192.5 and we’ll all

know what it means, which is the weight that-

The 190, it was 193.


Which is crazy that it was 193. Anyway, here we go. Getting into the categories.

Our first category is the biggest winner in politics. Biggest winner in politics.

I’m going to ask you gentlemen to raise your hand. If you have a strong feeling on this,

I’ll call on one of you. Who’s got a big winner in politics? Go ahead, Shamath.

Joe Biden.

Joe Biden. Okay, going out on a limb there. Joe Biden.

I mean, let’s be honest, there’s nobody bigger. And actually, if you wanted to abstract it,

what I would say is centrism was the big winner. And it kind of feeds the losers,

which is sort of the extreme left and the extreme right. But I would say that

centrism and Joe Biden were the huge, huge, huge winners.

Well, I’ll give an orthodox pick, which is Xi Jinping, the chairman of the Chinese Communist

Party. You would have thought he would have had a bad year starting off with COVID starting in

his country at the beginning of the year.

The Wuhan virus?

A global plague came from China, but they were able to use a very gullible WHO to launder

responsibility for the catastrophe. And they took advantage of the crisis to build more client

states in Asia and Africa with promises of vaccines and money. And finally, his biggest

global nemesis, Trump, and then Pompeo lost in the election. So you have to say he came out on top

at the end of this year.

Free bird?

Yeah, I have the exact same answer as Sax. I put the Chinese Communist Party as a whole,

actually. And I feel like on the world stage, they’re strengthened in the post COVID world.

I had Kamala because she went from the famous quote in the debates,

there was a little girl in California who was bused to school, that little girl was me,

where she took on Joe Biden. And then she winds up getting the VP slot. And I think

she winds up actually becoming president and will be the first female president of the year

in the history of the United States. And that could happen in the first term. Or if Joe Biden

doesn’t run for a second term, and they do a halfway decent job, Kamala plus Pete Buttigieg

is a pretty great ticket as well. Who’s the biggest loser? Who’s your biggest loser, Chamath?

In politics.

Donald J. Trump.

And the extreme left and the extreme right.

Got it.

I’ll agree with that. But I’d also add Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House. Her impeachment

of Trump at the beginning of the year went absolutely nowhere. It wasn’t even an issue

in the election. And her majority in the House has almost completely disappeared. She lost a

dozen seats. I think she’s down to about four or five seats as a razor thin majority in the House.

And she’s set to lose more in the midterm elections. I predict that she is set to not

be Speaker anymore in two years and headed for retirement.

Okay, Freeberg, you got one? Biggest loser?

I have I have the institution of American democracy is the biggest loser of 2020.

I feel like we’re coming out of this year with like, no belief that our election was valid

for a vast majority for a sizable minority of this country that that the whole system.

Some Democrats believe that the election was fraudulent now, too.

I mean, if you say something enough times, everyone believes it. So,

you know, here we are coming out of this year. We’re with a crippling lack of faith in our

electoral system. And it’s scary that American democracy is being fundamentally questioned by

its own constituents. So so I think that’s the biggest loser. I had I had two choices here. One

of them was already said, I said the hysterical left as my runner up, Bernie and Warren, just

dismissed by Biden and Kamala. They they are not even part of the discussion anymore,

and they didn’t even get cabinet positions. So the hysterical left and the socialist

Communist Party is out of the Democratic Party, thank the Lord. But my biggest loser,

I have to say that this is the worst run of any politician I’ve ever seen in a year,

which is Rudy Giuliani under investigation for Les Parnas and Igor Fruman. Then the bogus lawsuit

elections, then farting during a hearing, then doing the Barat shirt tuck. I don’t know if we

have feelings on if that was a tuck or if he was trying to wake up the genie. And then he bleeds

hair dye. Then he starts bleeding hair dye. Wake up the genie. He got covered. No, he got covered.

And he’s in the hospital with COVID. I mean, just think if you think you had a shitty year.

I think there’s going to be the fans of the show are now registering domain names of things we say.

The upside for him is that Donald Trump’s campaign is paying him $20,000 a day in legal fees.

No, I think it was 200. No, it’s 20 grand a day. Oh, it’s only 20.

That’s his going rate for making a fool of himself.

I have a feeling that rate was adjusted when Rudy couldn’t get the case to the Supreme Court.

Well, we all know that Trump pays his bills on time, so it shouldn’t be a problem, right?

All right. Now we’re going to have some more fun. Biggest winner in business,

biggest winner in business. Freeberg, you want to lead us off? You haven’t let us off yet.

I’ll take this one. I think that the biggest winner in business this year is a company that

started a few years ago called Moderna. This company had an IPO in December of 18 at $7.5

billion market cap. It traded between $4 and $5 billion throughout 2019. And all of a sudden,

COVID hits, and this becomes a vaccine candidate driver for Moderna, and the stock shoots up. It’s

worth $60 billion today. This company has not had a product that’s gone to market prior to COVID,

and they struggled getting this business. I wouldn’t say struggle, but they never really had

an application for their mRNA technology. They looked at it for years, iterating and pivoting

this business, and COVID, like a lot of other businesses, really gave them an unbelievable

kick. What might you say, a shot in the arm?

A shot in the arm. And tonight, they got approval from the FDA, and they’re going to be shipping

starting on Monday, I think. Sax, who you got for the biggest winner in business? We’re moving

at a good pace here. Elon Musk, our friend, rose to become the second richest man in the world,

ahead of Bill Gates, and right on the heels of Jeff Bezos. His company, Tesla, had something like

an eight or 10x gain, so over a $500 billion company. Of course, the products are awesome.

It joined the S&P 500, and SpaceX is doing amazing as well. We saw the launch of Starship the other

day, and I have just been mesmerized by all these unboxing videos for Starlink, which you can see on

YouTube. And it is just magic that you can unbox this little satellite dish, plug it in, and you

have broadband internet from space. So I think Elon seems to be on track to be not only the

world’s richest man, but the world’s first trillionaire. Wow. Big ups there to E. Chamath,

what do you got for the biggest winner in business of 2020?

Yeah, I have to agree with Saxipu. Elon basically has had, over the last 10 or 15 years,

an incredible amount of challenges that he’s overcome. He’s had an incredible amount of

haters. He’s probably had to deal with stuff that most of us would have broken under,

and he just fought through it. And the guy just basically

bended all the haters until he crushed their souls. And I just think that that’s incredible.


So Elon Musk is the, hands down, the biggest, biggest, most obvious winner of 2020.

That’s the obvious winner. I’ll give a couple of runner-ups here. I thought also on the runner-ups

after Elon, Zoom beating Skype, Slack video, Google Hangouts, and fixing all their China

issues and getting to $100 billion valuation is notable. Obviously, Amazon did a great job

because of the pandemic. And then just as an oddball out there, I just thought Adam Silver

and the NBA bubble was an incredibly bold project that was executed so well and was such a delightful

business moment and also a cultural moment that you had the NBA shutting down during the pandemic.

Remember that dramatic night on a Thursday night, and they canceled the games, and then they do the

bubble and it works. And that gave me hope that we could get through the virus. So those were some of

my other runners-up. All right, the biggest loser in business in 2020. Go ahead, Shamath.

Facebook and Google exiting the year with umpteen antitrust lawsuits. I think morale must be

pretty brutal over there. There’s no amount of money at some point that people are willing to

get paid to walk in the door every day and just have to deal with those kinds of accusations. And

so for all the good in the world that they do, so it just must be really tough that they have

to deal with it. But those guys, I think, are the biggest losers in business.

Who do you got, Sax?

The small business person. Whether it’s restaurants, retail, hospitality, what have you,

small business people really took it on the chin this year. I agree with Shamath about companies

like Google and Facebook losing esteem in the eyes of the public for good reason, censorship,

and so on. But tech still are, you know, stocks are at all-time highs. The politicians got to

keep eating at French Laundry, but it was the small business people who got absolutely decimated

by these lockdowns, which don’t even work. And so they are the big loser of 2020 in business.

Freeberg, who you got?

I’m a little more vanilla than the rest of you guys. I went with AMC Entertainment Holdings.

Talk about a fucked business in COVID. Restaurants, at least, you can do takeout.

You can’t take out a movie from AMC. They’re shut down all over the country. Their creditors are

telling them to declare bankruptcy. It’s a total shit show. No one’s going to go back to the movie


You don’t think they go back?

I don’t think they go. I don’t know what the hell AMC is going to do. What do you do with

all those theaters? They’re awesome. I love going to the movies, but I’m not going to the movies

for at least another year. And it’s sad because, honestly, movies are a big part of my life,

always have been. And it’s sad to see movie theaters.

They’re going to come back stronger. I think Amazon will buy one chain. I think Netflix

buys the other. And then with your membership, you get to go and see all the range of stuff,

and maybe even see like Queen’s Gambit in the theater.

It’s such a great experience, right?

Yeah. I would have loved to see Queen’s Gambit in a theater.

Totally. There’s so much you could do with theaters. And I think there’s an opportunity.

But man, did those guys get screwed this year?

Well, I always thought they should do an extended edition. So imagine if when HBO

or one of those did Game of Thrones, if they had it out the day before in movie theaters,

or the week before, or two days before, and they did it in an extra 10 minutes,

people would love that. My biggest loser was, of course, same as David,

real world businesses absolutely demolished. And the government, after that first stimulus,

which was incredible, Trump did an amazing job of just dropping buckets of money, whether it was

that PPE loans, and PPE loans, whatever, the PPP loans, PPP loans. All this stuff was incredible.

And then what complete utter bullshit and incompetence from our government that they

couldn’t get the second one done. It’s absolutely fucking infuriating that the Democrats and the

Republicans, these selfish fuckers, couldn’t get another billion dollars dropped. And here we are

in December, that shit needed to drop in August or September, not December. It’s just absolutely

disgraceful. I’m just disgusted that they couldn’t even get some more money to people who are

suffering unemployment and these restaurants, 100,000 restaurant closures by the end of 2020.

It’s just unconscionable that the stock market is ripping and we can’t get just some money in

people’s pockets, just drop the money. It’s infuriating. I was sitting here at the taping of

this that it might actually happen. Okay, biggest winner in culture. Who’s got a big winner in

culture? Anybody got one? I got the Black Lives Matter movement. And I think it was such a

meaningful and impactful kind of shift in how people were thinking fundamentally about behavior

in society. It’s still persisting. You know, there’s corporate action, there’s state action,

there’s regulatory action. And I think it’s a meaningful movement that’s going to persist.

I think it came at a time when we all felt like, you know, a lot of people felt locked up in their

homes, people were angry, people were frustrated with the system. And it just was a very

poignant moment, especially occurring during COVID that it really took hold. And I think it’s going

to last. And I think that the movement itself is going to spawn a lot of change.

Yeah, I think it’s well said. David, who do you got in culture?

Baby Yoda. So you went pop culture on that one.

Yeah. Star of the Mandalorian show, his ascent to icon status helped Disney get 86 million

subscribers for Disney Plus, which just blew expectations and has established Disney Plus

as the main rival to Netflix. Do you think Netflix, you think

Disney will pass Netflix, correct? I don’t know if they’ll pass them,

but they’re now certainly going to be a major rival to them.

I think they passed them. Okay, Chamath, who do you got?

I would pick a combination of Fortnite, Roblox, and Among Me, which I think has for

at least a lot of high school and middle school kids, but maybe a lot of adults,

the only form of social interaction that we’ve had for an entire year.

Wow. What a great selection. And I think it’s important to understand

how much lonelier we all would have been and how much more mental illness and depression we all

would have dealt with if we couldn’t have even just talked to our friends. And I think that

there’s something really beautiful that those games did for people.

That’s a good one. That’s a good one. I went with podcasting. I think on a cultural basis,

Joe Rogan and what’s happening in podcasting is long-forming discussions. Even this podcast

has become just an amazing, amazing movement, and people are having better discussions. And

I consider it the antidote to what’s happening on social media. When people hear us discussing

stuff on this podcast, they feel like they ate something nutritious. They had a great salad.

They had some healthy food. And then when they’re on social media and they consume the same tweets

that we’re doing, they feel like it’s junk food. And so I think that podcasting, long-form

discussions, listening to each other, maybe Republicans and Democrats, left, right, everybody

listening to each other, and podcasting is just such a great medium for discussion.

Who is the biggest loser on a cultural basis in 2020, Mr. David Sachs?

The media, starting with the New York Times and other sort of elite media. They ripped the umpire

jersey off their backs to go after Trump. Well, they got him, but at what cost? Half the country

will never trust them again. This makes conspiracy theories more likely. It makes

cultural divides deeper. And they’ve been revealed to be corporate journalists, journalists who

subscribe to and serve an agenda of their corporate masters. They’ve lost the public’s trust.

Friedberg, what do you got on the biggest cultural loser?

Climate change. It took a backseat this year. It had momentum. As a cultural meme, it’s lost its

luster. And it’s been shadowed a little bit this year with BLM and COVID and lack of faith in

institutions and all the other stuff that’s been going on. Do you think that people now,

when they see the collective response to COVID and the vaccines and our ability with science

and technology to solve the pandemic, we will have a newfound appreciation for coordinated

global action on global warming, David? Are you asking me? I think the faith in institutions has

eroded tremendously this year, the WHO, telling people not to wear masks, and then telling them,

hey, masks are good. That hits the warming movement as well. Yeah, I think the lack of

faith in institutions as well as in the media, makes it really difficult for things that require

a coordinated effort and a coordinated cultural shift to take hold, are really challenged in this

new kind of model where you don’t know what to believe, and you don’t believe institutions,

and you don’t believe old school, and you don’t believe states, and you don’t believe

anything structural anymore. So it’s a scary kind of moment. I don’t know. I think climate

change is going to have momentum with the new administration at least coming into office in

the US. But, but generally, like institutional guidance is lost. It’s luster. Chamath, what do

you got?

Wokeness, culture, wokeness. And I, I think when you now look at the realization of what we’ve

gone through, people have realized that, you know, you can, you can be extremely anti racist

and think Latinx is just a stupid label. You know, you can be an entirely complete 100,000

million percent supporter of LGBTQ, but think that, you know, all these complicated pronouns

aren’t really necessary. And I think that people are coming to a point where you can have nuance.

And I think that that’s really important. I think that this whole cancel culture and wokeness was

incredibly corrosive. And I think that that they lost.

I think it’s actually a great I think it’s I think it’s a great point you’re making Chamath

because on the last episode, I fumbled the word MX, which none of us. We all laughed about it.

And then I just had this little thing. I was like, okay, I guess this is when I get cancelled

because I laughed at the fact that or I mispronounced it, right. And the fact that I

thought even for a second, that mispronouncing this term MX, which I then did research on,

and I said, Does anybody know how to pronounce MX on Twitter? So I figured I would preempt the

dropping of the podcast by bringing it up on my Twitter. And people are like, Are you trolling?

I’m like, No, I’m asking. And I found videos. And it turns out, there is an actual controversy

in the trans community, where MX, some people believe means mixed. Am I XED? Other people

think it’s MX as x, the variable as in the variable x. And so they’re having their own

debate. They’re figuring it out. That’s great. Everybody loves them. Everybody supports them.

But the fact that I mispronounce it, you know, should I be

with that? Yeah. Well, Jason, can I tell you can I tell those people that are struggling with whether

x equals anything or x equals mixed? Just to touch upon Friedberg’s point,

the human race has caused 8% of all the species in the world to go extinct. And we have put another

22% of every single other species at the brink of extinction. At the same time, we have now

expanded our footprint to touch 75% of the Earth’s land surface. So until somebody fixes

those problems, I don’t actually want to know what the x stands for. Yeah, I mean, we were

this idea that we’re going to cancel until we put stimulus checks. Put the fucking stimulus

checks into people’s hands, get these small businesses back to work, then you can tell me

what the x stands for. Yeah. Okay. My biggest loser on culture was the same exact as you,

David, we’re thinking similar. I have taken the red pill you gave me. I crushed it up. I’ve been

snorting the red pill like crazy. People think I’m turning into a Republican. But I thought

mainstream media and late-stage journalism sacrificed objectivity specifically to get

subscriptions. And they used the anti-Trump feelings. And they worked them and got the ratings

from them. And they literally used that. New York Times is the best example. I think the work you

guys use for best example is canonical of using their anti-Trump feelings to get people to take

out their wallets and subscribe. Everybody realizes it. They drove out Bari Weiss. They

drove out their editor of the page for making people feel unsafe with their words. And then

New York Magazine drove out Andrew Sullivan. And then Glenn Greenwald leaves his publication. I

mean, anybody who descends inside of one of these publications, they cancel them inside of a

publication for an opinion on an opinion page. It’s crazy. Okay, let’s keep everything moving

here. I guess this is biggest turnaround anything, but I did business. I’ll lead off with

mine. My best turnaround was Airbnb. They laid off 25% of the company in July, 1,900 of 7,500

employees. They cut their marketing budget by 800 million. And then they IPO five months later.

And they had raised a billion dollars at an $18 billion valuation, according to PitchBook,

and now worth $88 billion a week after the IPO. That is a turnaround of all turnarounds. David,

who did you have? This is where I had Joe Biden. He finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire.

No candidate has ever bombed that badly in the first two contests and gone on to win the

nomination. Biden roared back in South Carolina and then won big on Super Tuesday and wrapped up

the party nomination by March. Biggest political comeback ever. Who do you got Freeberg?

I got Airbnb as well. I mean, from Yeah. And here’s the here’s one of the craziest stats.

They’re sitting there in q1 with a great business revenue drops 67% in q2. Can you just imagine the

experience of 67% of your revenue going away in one quarter, cash burn skyrockets and just having

to respond quickly and still maintain integrity with your customers and your employees as a

leadership team. I mean, it was an incredible leadership demonstration. It’s a five alarm fire,

right? I mean, it’s literally you got to get everybody out of the building. Here we go.

I agree with that. I agree with that. Who do you got Chamath? I’m curious. Who is your

biggest, biggest censorship, censor censorship, censorship existed in in draconian and the dark

ages of our of our journey as a country and in the world and it came roaring back this year.

The amount of people that have been muzzled, stifled the amount of fact and science that

literally just gets judged willy nilly by our distribution points like Facebook and Twitter

and medium. It’s really scary. So censorship made a roaring comeback in 2020. I like it. I

like it a lot. Okay, now we go on to the biggest flash in the pan. You can interpret this any way

you like. What do you got sexy poo? Rain the who the who nobody knew who the dub the World

Health Organization. Nobody knew what the who was before this year. Then they have become,

you know, somehow this global authority on COVID despite getting everything wrong.

They initially said that we didn’t need to wear masks. They didn’t update that until June 5. This

was about 10 weeks after my blog saying that, you know, masks were a good idea. They got the method

of transmission wrong. They were saying that transmission mainly occurred through fomites,

which is contagious surfaces instead of respiratory particles. They initially said

that lockdowns work, then they modified their policy on that because of its impact to marginal

groups. And so the WHO has just gotten everything wrong this year. And despite that fact, you now

have to Chamath’s point, Google, YouTube, and even sites like LinkedIn or Nextdoor are now censoring

people’s statements if they contradict the WHO, apparently without irony, because nobody has

contradicted the WHO more than the WHO itself. I look forward to next year when nobody cares

about the WHO anymore. Great. Friedberg, what do you got? Flash in the pan.

I put hydroxychloroquine. You guys remember?

It was gonna save the world for a minute or two. And here we are. And so I’m just gonna leave it

at that. Yeah, here we okay. Yeah, everybody knows. You may have heard of hydro chloroquine.

Okay. Some people say it’s America. I took it. It’s great. Chamath, what do you got?

It’s actually quite related to this. And I thought that she was marvelous. But I do think she

will disappear off the scene, which is Sarah Cooper, which, you know, basically,

in the last month of the campaign, kind of just disappeared. And now is, I don’t think

anybody knows who Sarah Cooper is, and probably in a year from now won’t. But for the period for

the for those dark months of the pandemic, her mockery of Trump was some of the funniest

stuff on Twitter that I know. Sarah Cooper is amazing. Yeah, she got a Netflix and I don’t

think she’ll be a flash in the pan. I think she’ll come back. I would have loved to pick

who was the press secretary for with the southern accent for Trump sacks.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Yeah, Huckabee. She but I think she was gone in by 2020. So I can’t pick

her but she was amazing at defending Trump. She’s like, you all are dumb and Trump is smart and he

has 150 IQ and he owns Mar-a-Lago and he has a jet and his jet. You are the big news media. And

I don’t care what you say. American public know what you say. And Trump is amazing in bed. He was

banging porn stars when y’all were jerking. I mean, he’s just she would defend him. I that’s

what I want as my PR person. She defended him for all time. My biggest flash in the plan.

I don’t think you need a PR person. I don’t need a PR person. I got this. We got this podcast. Now

we don’t need the press or PR. We just go right to the audience.

Nicola trading at $34 billion. They took your precious SPACs Chamath and they perverted it with

a dipshit Milton who was on my podcast and couldn’t answer basic questions. It’s now worth 6

billion. I predicted it will be worth 60 cents. I kid you not. This company will go to zero is my

prediction. If you are buying companies and I made Jason, you’re going to scare all founder,

all founder CEOs are going to avoid coming on your podcast now. No, no, no, no. I’m delightful.

But for this kid, he’s under investigation. Your company is worth nothing. Yeah. Yeah.

You’re weak, Lizzy. No, he’s under investigation. The thing’s a disaster. They’re obviously riding

on Elon’s coattails. He couldn’t make a decision if it was hydrogen powered cars or electric trucks

or whatever. The company’s in chaos. I made a rule, which is if a company has not released

their product and it’s worth over a billion dollars, be careful because it could be a fraud

or it could be a disaster. That’s my biggest flash in the pan, Nicola.

Biggest breakthrough. Freeberg, you want to start us off on this one? I have an idea. I think I know

what you’re going to say. I’m going to say AlphaFold. You know that we talked about in the

last podcast. I think AlphaFold feels to me like what ARPANET was, which was the origins of the

internet, you know, back when it was first installed and no one really kind of grappled

with the ramifications of what would emerge. And I think, you know, once we have the ability to

design proteins to do things, a lot’s going to change in the world of medicine and human health

and longevity and the kind of environment. And it’s going to be pretty powerful. So I’m excited

about AlphaFold creating a foundation for humanity’s ability to do those things.

Jamal, what do you got? 100% AlphaFold. There’s not a close second, to be honest.

Okay, Sax? Well, as a close second, I guess I would

I would mention the mRNA vaccines, which we talked about on the show, the ability to basically

print a vaccine in two days, and hopefully they will follow our advice about challenge vaccines

for the next time we have one of these pandemics. Challenge trials.

Challenge trials. We can respond much more quickly. And then just quickly in politics,

I thought the biggest breakthrough was Pete Buttigieg. He made the unlikely leap from mayor

of South Bend, Indiana to being the first credible openly gay candidate for president.

He won Iowa, sort of, along with Bernie Sanders, and was a very close second in New Hampshire.

He’s going to be the he’s going to be the director of the transportation department

in the Biden administration. By the way, Sax, I want to just point something out on your sorry,

Jake, but, you know, the mRNA vaccine technology has been around for like 15 years,

and regulatory barriers and regulatory constraints have largely kept this stuff

from coming to market. And it’s interesting how, you know, in a year where we have this pandemic

emergency, we can take this technology that has been around and has been available to us for so

long. And suddenly, you know, all the regulatory barriers get dropped and things come to market

to change the world. I think it’s a great highlight of like, what’s possible when some regulatory

constraints are diminished a little bit. And technology is really allowed to flourish and

see the light of day. And, you know, we all act so surprised that this technology works,

but it’s been here for a while. It’s pretty, pretty astounding that it hasn’t worked or

hasn’t been allowed to work in the past. In a previous episode, just an observation,

I think. Yeah, I think it’s a really valid one, because it wasn’t a breakthrough that

occurred this year. The breakthrough was they broke through the regulations. You said you

wanted to wait and see some people get the vaccines first. And then that led to some

accounts on the Twitter saying, Are you still anti vaccination? And I had to correct them.

You’ve never said you were anti vaccination. To be clear. Not at all. No, no, no. Yes. No,

no. I think my point is, I think a lot of people are going to latch on. Sorry,

let me just be really clear. I think a lot of people are going to latch on

to the small number of cases that are going to be amplified of people having adverse reactions

to this, you know, new technology vaccine in Alaska the other day, like two days ago,

there was a nurse who got the vaccine, and she had a really bad anaphylactic reaction to it,

she had to be given epinephrine twice to survive. And she came out and she was fine. But it’s that

storytelling. That’s like, you know, they assume it should be some small percentage of people will

have some reaction to this thing. But that is the storytelling that will keep people from doing this.

And I think that is the biggest kind of concern. And that’s why you’ve got guys like Mike Pence

doing the vaccine tomorrow. You know, he’s gonna do it on live TV and celebrities like

Ian McKellen doing it. They’re trying to kind of create a way. Are we going to see Mike Pence’s

naked shoulder and bicep on television? Because mom doesn’t want his mother is mother gonna be

beside his wife. Actually, mother’s gonna give it to him. Because if a if a woman doctor gave it to

him, he would be kind of like cheating because she stuck something in him, you know, and it’s

just not right. Okay, I can’t wait to take it. If anybody doesn’t want their vaccine, I will take

it because I’m losing my mind in quarantine. I mean, for the love of God, smartest business move.


I think 2020 was the year of the SPAC. I think that it is in his it’s an incredibly it’s done

it’s it’s done something really, really, really important in the capital market. So that can you

give Chamath his bestie award now? J. Cal? Yes.

Would you like an acceptance speech? I would like the smartest business move me.

Saks, what was your smartest business move? Or the smartest business move in business?

Well, I’d like to thank Chamath for the SPAC thing too, because I was in open door

and I was in porch and both of them are SPACing this year. So

oh, I’m in desktop metal. I’m gonna go we have to agree.

So thanks for the best business. You’ve you’ve wet you’ve wet all of our beaks. So

yeah, I mean, I mean, actually, if you think about it, I’ve done

six deals. Are you still talking about me?

We have to play the music, you know, the walk on music on the Oscars.

Oh, my God.

He’s been nominated three times, but this is the only besties one.

I really wanted to be in that reality show with you and

I mean, talk about dodging a bullet. We went with this trailer to the top five studios.

They all wanted it in the room. NBC says we’ll take it in the room.

The head of NBC says we’ll take it. We taped the pilot and then beeps.

Whole career life blows up and thank the Lord that show didn’t get on TV because

I would have been executive produced by beep. And yeah, that would have been bad. So no reality TV

for me. I had I had another smart business move. I just wanted to point out, which was

Salesforce buying Slack. I think it’s brilliant for them. I think they’re going to look back on

the 10 percent they paid of their capital for Slack. And I think Slack will be more important

than Salesforce ultimately in business. It’s a huge most important brand there.

What a crown jewel. What a great what a great move by Benioff and Brett Taylor. And I just

think what a great asset. Totally. It’d be better for them than YouTube is for Google

or Instagram is for I think I think it’s on that level. Actually, I think it’s of that order of

magnitude where the importance of those assets to those companies, Slack will be to Salesforce

cost cost 20 times, 30 times as much, though. So less upside, but less upside. But but in terms

of like lock in and value and, you know, the prevention of churn over time, I think it’s

going to be huge. I mean, it could be at some point the company is Slack Salesforce like Slack

will be the preeminent brand there. David, did you go for this for smartest business move?

I agree. I agree with both the ones you’ve already done.

Okay, I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna I’m gonna rattle one off real quick. I got I think people

miss this. But at the bottom of the market, Silverlake did this massive debt deal into Airbnb,

which, if you’ll remember, is reminiscent to me of Warren Buffett, you know, giving $5 billion

to Swiss Re and Goldman Sachs. And he earned a 12 percent coupon and got warrants in both those

companies. And it just paid a tremendous return for him. Silverlake swooped in Airbnb in April,

gave him a 12% debt deal for a billion dollars, and they got warrants that the warrants today

are worth about $1.4 billion. And this debt is probably worth three times what they put in. So

in like five months, six months, these guys have basically turned a billion dollars of debt into

$4 billion of value. It was an incredible deal, incredibly gutsy. If you think about what we were

all feeling in early April about the market and where the world was headed, we had no fucking clue

for these guys to swoop in and do that I thought was super impressive. The other one, I had a

couple on this because I just I want to rattle these off. The other one was Bill Ackman bought

a fucking S&P put sorry, bought an S&P put for $27 million that he sold for $2.6 billion.

He bought he bought credit default insurance on a whole strip of debt.

But he turned a $27 million insurance instrument into $2.6 billion of returns for his fund. And

he still didn’t sell his portfolio. In fact, he bought at the bottom. And I mean, the foresight

this guy had going into the down market ahead of March, he saw that the market was going to tank

because of COVID. He made a bet on it. It was a tiny bet for him. But man to turn $27 million into

$2.6 billion in like 60 days or 90 days, unbelievable. And then he bought stock in

his companies at the bottom. What a gutsy investor. And then I was anything. Yeah,

was there anything fugazi on that with where he had gone on CNBC and talk? And he did this whole

big, you know? No, no. Yeah, he did it afterwards. But I think he’s I think he’s great. I think he’s

great. Yeah, I think it was it was incredible. And my third one, which we don’t talk about a lot

is Larry Ellison bought a billion dollars of Tesla stock less than two years ago, that is now

worth over $10 billion. And he didn’t he joined the board. And, you know, you put your money where

your mouth is, and you take ownership. And, you know, I don’t know much about Larry. But there

was a lot of naysayers about Tesla saying they were bubbly and overvalued at that time. And it

was really in the middle of the Tesla Q shorting movement. And now he can buy not just Lanai,

but he could probably get Kauai to go with it. He could buy another island. Anyway, those were

three gutsy bets that I thought were worth highlighting that that just really impressed

me. And you know, it’s when the markets are down, when you’re facing the abyss,

when everyone else is telling you you’re wrong, and you make a big bet like that.

And it pays off. That’s the kind of stuff that I think returns are made from and characters built.

And those are those are just really impressive moves for me that

there was a lot of impressive moves this year, the tide went out and came back in real quick.

So there were some dumb business moves as well.

It’s actually got a dumb business move that was a highlight for 2020.

The city of San Francisco biting the hand that feeds it. For years, these politicians have been

shitting on the tech community, acting like the tech community was somehow a parasite on San

Francisco. Well, you know, now because of COVID, the tech community has the option to leave,

you have a lot of people leaving and there are gigantic budget deficits for the city.

The schools have giant budget deficits, it’s not clear how they’re going to close these things.

And it’s looking more and more like it wasn’t tech that was a parasite. It was the politicians

who are the parasites and nobody knows how to fix the city of San Francisco anymore.

Yeah. Okay. Dumbest business move, Chamath?

I think it was, I think it was probably for me, the governor of California’s handling of COVID.

I guess that’s more political than business. But

well, no, I mean, it did impact businesses. So I think you’re, you’re, I think that allow it,

I’ll allow it. I think that I think that what he showed was how naked partisanship was in decision

making that had that should have been based on science, in fact, and the quality of the decision

making just eroded every single decision that he made. And then now, you know, as David said,

it’s kind of like you have this just just, you know, you have this moment where it’s like,

you know, the just the cake moment where he’s eating at French Laundry. And the day after,

he’s basically shutting the whole world down again. It’s, it’s very frustrating.

So I think that also is shutting down beaches, right? And then, you know, the stay at home orders

and not letting people leave their house and go to a beach or eat outdoors. All that is,

is send them inside, they’re gonna have a party inside their house.

Well, there was a great tweet. There’s a great tweet that said, you know, I’m not allowed to

go to the store. I’m not allowed to go to the shopping center, but I’m going to take my child

on a walk. And if anybody stops me, I’m just going to tell them I’m taking her to the nail salon.

And the reason is because you couldn’t walk to the park, but you could you could go to the nail

salon. And so, you know, this tweet was just reminiscent of just how arbitrary and random

this stuff was. And it had just so many downstream impact. So I think that was a huge fail.

And nobody loves hypocrisy. I picked my smartest business move with Salesforce buying slack.

Conversely, I’m picking my dumbest business move with slacks board selling slack. This is

the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. I understand they felt like maybe it was a great deal.

But I would have much rather them see seeing them do what I do.

To be honest with you, I mean, I left the board and I just don’t know why I wish I could have

gotten the call because I would have bought it. Yeah, I agree with you. I think network effects

are incredibly unique assets. They’re very, very rare. I think we’ve all been around them. We’ve

worked in them. David has David, the other David has I have Jason, you have it is the single most

incredible momentum, momentum driver and, you know, sort of tailwind. And when it exists,

you just never give it up. And so I agree with you, I would have bought slack if I could have

if they would have given me a shot. We ride our winners, and you appreciate network effects.

If you look at what Jeff Lawson did at Twilio, he started with much less, I think,

he started with nothing, started with Twilio. Jeff Lawson buys SendGrid and segment. Their

market cap has gone 12. It was it’s 12x market cap, they went from $29 a share to $365 a year

in three years, they’re at 60 billion. Slack should have been buying other companies with

their equity, and they should have built and rolled up all of the other hub spots or whatever

else is out there that I think it’s by Zendesk, whatever. I’m not sure that the M&A strategy

was the hard part. I just think that it’s when you’re in the bowels of these companies,

as we all know, it’s super hard, right? So I mean, I don’t think you can fail Stuart and the team.

But I think that somewhere along the way, just the realization of how special and unique that

network effect was, didn’t happen, because it would have given a different team a level of

energy or comfort to kind of really go for the brass ring, as you said, and but you know,

hopefully they’ll be able to execute it at Salesforce. Okay, did I get everybody’s dumbest

business move? My dumbest business move was myself. So I will take, I will accept the award

for being a schmuck is for me, me and anyone else that fucking hedged or shorted the market or sold

during the dip. In March, I learned the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in my investing

career to date, you just want to invest in whole chairs and great businesses and not try and tie

markets because that’s always a loser’s game and a fool’s errand. And I think, you know, worrying

about the market going down or up, as long as you hold shares and great businesses, it doesn’t

matter. Trading is not for me, it was stupid. And I just feel like a lot of people learned that

lesson this year. I’ve heard a lot of people that kind of freaked out and got out of the market,

and then they regretted it and tried to get back in and it was too late. And

I read a document that someone wrote for me. And she wrote this incredible quote that I had

never heard from Buffett. And I’ll give it to you, Friedberg, because it’s very apropos of this.

Buffett had this statement, which is that, you know, it’s not about timing the market,

it is about time in market. And I just think that’s so beautiful, because it’s so simple,

but it’s basically summarizes exactly what you said, which is get in, close your eyes. And if

you if, again, unless for liquidity, you just don’t ever sell. Yeah, it’s a fool’s errand to

try to time the market, sit on your hands, ride your winners. And he always said, listen, if a

business is on, if I own this business, and I love it, and it’s at a discount, I should want to own

more of it. I believe that was another Buffett, I don’t know the exact quote. But let’s go to

smartest political move. And we’ll go to our token, Republican David Sachs for that.

Well, well, it’s, it’s, it’s, yeah, it’s funny, you identify me that way, because my my smart,

the smartest political move goes to Congressman Jim Clyburn, Democrat of South Carolina, for

endorsing Joe Biden just before the South Carolina primary, a number of people on the Biden campaign

were panicking, they wanted him to do it early, because Biden had bombed in Iowa and New Hampshire.

And Clyburn kept his powder dry, and endorsed Biden at the absolute perfect time it caused

Biden to win South Carolina. And that led him to sweep on Super Tuesday. Jim Clyburn was the

kingmaker of 2020. Without him, Joe Biden would not be president. Wow, okay, who you got Freeberg?

smartest political move of 2020 was Joe Biden staying quiet, hanging out in his bunker,

and letting Trump do his own damage. End of story. I feel like I feel like if you know that

Biden knew that it wasn’t his election to win, it was Trump’s election to lose. And I think he let

him go out and lose it. And, and that, to me, was smart advice and smart action. Yes. So he just

slow played aces, he hit a set, he just checked, and he watched him fire. Who do you got Chamath

smartest political move, smartest political move, which you will not see until 2022,

or 23. But laid the groundwork this year, and I thought it was brilliantly done was Nikki Haley,

who I think will be the Republican nominee for president in 2024. And she did an unbelievable

job of tricking Trump to believe that he was her supporter, then getting distribution,

and then basically subtly telling everybody that she thought that he was an idiot. And I thought

that she was brilliant in so she didn’t look like a rat leaving the ship. She looked like,

you know, a rebel or something getting off. I think I think if you want to find

somebody to consolidate center right politics in 2024, my money would be on Nikki Haley.

All right, I went with the smartest political move. I also went for the long game Pete Buttigieg,

going on Fox recently, I think he did obviously a masterful job. You had that sex earlier,

but he started going on Fox and basically being really spicy with them and supporting the hell

out of Biden. And then he gets himself this Secretary of Transportation. And I think he’s

set up to either be the VP or the presidential candidate in the future. And he’s I think he’s

going to be one of the bright stars. I also would. I think Andrew Yang, it did nothing

happened for him this year. Really? I don’t know. But I felt like he also is. My understanding is

he’s going to run for mayor of New York. That was another amazing political winner in all of this.

I don’t know if anybody has feelings on either of those.

I love I love Andrew Yang. I think he’s fabulous.

He’s coming on the pot.

Pragmatic, centrist, smart, capable, competent. He’s great. He attracts it. He attracts the

plurality of people. Yeah. And I think he’s spoken out against cancel culture. And so,

you know, whenever I see somebody on the left speaking out against cancel culture and censorship,

like the way Chamath has, that definitely to me, elevates them in my book.

Are you saying Chamath is someone from the left?

Well, it’s amazing how much we agree on, you know.

Well, I mean, I think that there’s you have this left and right definitions which have become very

hard to understand. And I think what we have to get back to is the American principled idea of

freedoms and opportunity. Right. And I don’t think either of the parties actually were representing

that properly. Dumbest political move of the year. I think I know where everybody’s going to go with

this, but I would like to know. Rudy Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani’s press conference at the sex shop.

I mean, just, I mean, how amateurish is that group of people?

The Four Seasons, gardening. Were they trolling us and trying to get press for it? I don’t

understand that one. Unbelievable, unbelievable. So you go with Rudy Giuliani for the dumbest

political move. Sachs, what do you got? I have a feeling I know what Sachs got.

Well, I got, I got a tie here between one was defund the police, you know, as a political

slogan, the whole country, you know, the BLM movement had the whole country on its side.

After the, you know, the George Floyd video came out, everybody was in favor of sensible

reforms to control the use of force by the police. And then they introduced the slogan of defund the

police and it scared voters across the country into voting for Republicans in Congress. And it

probably cost Joe Biden, not the presidency, but Congress. And my tie, the other half of that was

Donald Trump refusing to wear a mask or to endorse masks. He finally did it, but it was two or three

months too late. If he had just gotten on board with masks, it would have been a very easy thing

to do politically, personally, that could have made the margin of difference. He might still be

president if he had gotten on board with mass about three months earlier.

Freeberg, what was your dumbest? I actually, yeah, I put making masks political more broadly,

both the left and the right pointing fingers about masks. I mean, this is like a human

life issue. And, you know, kind of shaming the Republicans for not wearing masks and making it

about we’re the right guys. You’re the wrong guys. Everyone should have avoided pointing fingers and

avoided not doing it because the other side was doing it. And it should have never, ever been

allowed to become political. It was pure science. It was about saving lives. And I think both sides

are to blame for, you know, the Democrats tried to make the Republicans look bad because they were

advocating for masks and they shouldn’t have done that. And the Republicans should not have tried to

avoid wearing masks because the Democrats were telling them to wear masks. And it was just

a total cluster, really sad and, you know, could have made a big difference for 1000s of lives.

I too put Trump not advocating for masks as my dumbest political move. I believe he nailed the

stimulus, that first stimulus where he just dropped the 1200 checks and the PPP and everything. He

obviously nailed, you know, the Operation Lightspeed and the vaccines, he didn’t get credit for it.

I don’t know if that was political or not that they dropped them the week, the weeks after the

election. I think it was. I’m a little bit cynical about that. But my God, is there nobody that this

man would listen to? And they must have all been telling him in unison, hey, dipshit, put the mask

on, we’ll win the election. In July and August, the numbers started to go down precipitously.

And everybody, Fauci, everybody with half a brain was saying, second wave is coming,

wear masks. And he refused to take that stance. And not only did that, he doubled down like the

moron he is, and started doing rallies. This person is such a complete idiot, grifter and

just imbecile, that he couldn’t see the clear path to victory. And he was tempting fate. And of course,

he winds up getting COVID. I mean, the idiocracy of the moment is just so profound. He absolutely

would have sailed into that second term. We were sitting here on this very podcast,

and we all believed he was going to sail into the second term when the market started ripping back

and the COVID numbers went down. And because of the stupidity of not wearing masks,

thank God we got him out. But to the families who lost loved ones, he’s a murderer, period.

We’re moving on. Best political theorist.

Trump inhaling COVID into his body, and then taking the polyclonal antibodies to heal himself

and show the American population that it’s just not that bad. It was the best stunt, the best

theater I’ve seen. And I don’t know what the hell else could have beaten it this year. I mean,

the guy literally stormed out, he buckled himself in, you know, buttoned up his jacket,

he stared out the lights in his face, he was glowing. He had the antibodies rushing through

his body. He was healing his body. He was on speed, man. I thought the best political theater

was when the Democratic leadership did like the Colin Kaepernick one knee in kente cloths

at the in the rotunda. Can somebody Nick, you just throw the picture of that up there.

I mean, I mean, half of them are sad for them are so old, they couldn’t get down on

one pick them back up. They all hit their life alert. They got the life alert. I’m

falling. I can’t get up. Like 20 life alerts. I’ve never got off in the same room.

But the kente cloths were just so over the top. Like you didn’t need the kente cloths.

They really weren’t kente cloths. Oh my lord.

All right. My best political theater in a… I’m crying. I’m laughing so much.

My best political theater is, I don’t know who this congresswoman is,

but I am falling in love with her. Her name is Katie Porter. She takes out a whiteboard.

She just… She’s fabulous.

No, she’s so great. She owns people with that whiteboard.

It’s the greatest. She basically does math. People are just… I mean, she’s done this now

two or three times where she just takes people down and she did it to Mnuchin.

Like she was like, is today Tuesday? He’s like, you know, today’s Tuesday. She’s like,

can you tell me if today’s Tuesday? And she just destroys people.

I’ve just never seen anything like it. And she’s awesome. So best political theater for me.

I don’t know. David, did we get yours?

Well, yeah. I mean, so I thought the French laundry photos, all these politicians

are violating their own lockdown policies was some pretty good theater.

Theater? Theater?

Theater. Yeah. You had Gavin Newsom and London Brie dining at French Laundry. You had

Nancy Pelosi going to that hair salon.

Any Republicans do something like that?

Well, I would tell you if I knew of any.

Trump rallies?

But yeah, but the Republicans haven’t been supporting lockdowns. So look, if there was

a Republican who was supporting lockdowns… How about the Rose Garden Supreme Court where

they had a super spreader event at the White House?

But that wasn’t political theater because they weren’t violating their own policies.

Oh, I see.

They were saying that people could take the risk.

Got it. Okay.

I’m picking these politicians because they’re hypocrites. Yeah. It’s the hypocrisy.

Uh, the one I loved the best out of all the hypocritical politicians was the one who was

like, please stay… It was the governor of someplace, Colorado or something. And he’s

like, please stay home with your family. Do not travel for Thanksgiving. It’s going to

be too dangerous. And then they find out he did that tweet while at a Southwest gate going

with his family to Thanksgiving. And they literally have pictures of him on his phone.

And the picture was timed at the timestamp of the tweet, if I have my understanding,

correct? I forgot the guy’s name, but there were so many of these.

Yeah. Well, let me give you another one. There was the LA County supervisor, Sheila Kuhl,

cast the deciding vote to shut down outdoor dining in Los Angeles only to be photographed

eating at Old Fornayo in Santa Monica two hours later. So it’s just completely hypocritical. And

this is why there could be a big recall next year in California.

I think we have to put political theater as one category of just loathsome political theater,

because we’re going on to worse political theater and the stuff we’ve seen has been pretty horrific.

I’m going to lead us off with my worst political theater, which was the banning of TikTok

was absolutely the right thing to do. And then they just handed it off as like a gift to Oracle

to make money and maybe be their server farm. I don’t understand. We were supposed to ban it and

get it the fuck out of the app store. And that was just terrible political theater. Anybody else

got more political theater that will put in our loathsome political theater?

Well, Jason, just so you understand that I’m being politically even-handed, this is where

I had Rudy Giuliani and his tour of self-immolation from the press conference in front of the

crematorium to the hair dye meltdown to the- To the tour ad video.

All right, we need to hold on. Hold on. I’m going to call an audible. I’m calling an audible here.

We’re going to have a new category. To get in COVID.

Worst Rudy Giuliani moment. Can we have a Giuliani award? Can we have the Giuliani award next year?

Yeah, Giuliani award for self-immolation. It’s like, what is the most self-destructive?

Yeah, the self-immolation award. What is the worst Giuliani moment?

Oh, I think the saddest moment was in the Borat thing. That was sad because you just felt like

this is an old broken man. It was creepy and it was just sad.

He was desperate and he was creepy and it was-

But the worst- Rudy Giuliani lifetime award.

The worst though was actually, if you listened to the testimony when he farted, it was really

terrible. Did he fart twice?

It was really terrible actually. If you listen to the testimony, you’re just like,

what is this guy saying? It’s out of control.

Well, also, I think we have to cut into here. The poor woman sitting next to him,

who’s clearly in range. I mean, she’s in the blast zone. He rips it. He rips it.

And she looks him. She gives him side eye, but she is so scared to react

to such an obvious carpet bombing that she just keeps a straight face, but her eyes go.

That was unforgivable.

It must have been a stinker. Must have been a stinker.

I mean, it was loud. It had resonance. It was, yeah.

Can I give one other example? And I don’t know whether this is best or worst theater,

but the congressional hearings with the tech CEOs where the senators grilled all of the tech CEOs,

and it was definitely political theater, but on the other hand, they all deserved it.


And there’s going to be more of it next year.

Okay. Let’s do lightning round as we wrap up.

I put that one as my worst political theater, because I thought what was so depressing about

it was how little the congressional, the Congress people actually understood of these businesses.

And they went off on rants and tirades about, you’re blocking Republican voice on Twitter,

and you’re doing this. And none of it actually focused on the monopolistic practices that was

the intention of the hearing in the first place. When they actually got into those points, when

they tried to talk about how the ad networks work and how targeting works, they didn’t have any clue.

I mean, the people inside these companies don’t even know how it worked and they built it. I mean,

these things are complex.

I know. I’ll tell you, I just think it’s really sad that folks in Congress, honestly, are so

disconnected from understanding technology and understanding modern business practices,

and they can’t actually tackle the real issues. And it makes me a little scared.

Well, and neither does the squad. I mean, AOC didn’t understand what a tax break was. I mean,

even the young ones don’t understand stuff. I mean, we’re getting the worst possible representation.

Okay, now we’re going to go to lightning round with our final two categories. Best meme. For

me, it was the funeral dancers, followed up by Michael Jordan. I took that personally. And I,

of course, loved Chamath’s mix up that one of you maniac, all in army members made.

Who got best memes? Any got a best meme?




Toobin. Yeah, that’s it.

Forever a cautionary tale about what not to do on a Zoom call.

Yes. Yes, that would be arguably in political theater. Let’s say no.

Anybody else got a meme? Best or worst?

I like the funeral dancers, but-

Funeral dancers are pretty great. David, anything for you?

I just want to say to everybody that’s listening, I really hope that you guys have an incredible

holiday, and we can put this year behind us. And I hope for all of you guys that have gone

through hard times, just know that, you know, hopefully you got some friends to talk to and

family to see and talk to. And we love you. And we really appreciate that you take the time to

listen. And guys, I just want to say to you guys, I love you guys. I love you. I love you.

Thank you for helping me get through a very difficult year.

Back at you. And I was very touched by the birthday present you sent me last week.

I was just-

Oh, you want to tell them what you got? You want to tell them what you got, big boy?

I mean, listen, I don’t want to- Chamath, I get a big crate at the house.

It was, I was born in 1970, and he got some of the best wines from 1970

and put them in a box. And, you know, I literally had to put them on a shelf and say,

do not drink these. These things cost as much as the Teslas in the driveways. I mean,

some of these bottles are ridiculous. And I hope to crack them all open with you guys at the house

in 2021.

Happy, honestly, happy 50th birthday, big boy. It’s a big, big milestone.

Well, you know, it was a little bittersweet, obviously. I was going to have some kind of

party or anything like that. And then what made it particularly hard and challenging was

my birthday was on Saturday, and my friend Tony Hsieh died on Friday,

on that day. And I had been dealing with Tony Hsieh being in a coma for the five, for the, no,

for 10 days before that. And then I found out that afternoon that they tragically had to pull

the plug. Or I assume that’s what happened. I shouldn’t say that. I don’t want to speak out of

turn. But this has been a shitty year. And I really hope that anybody out there who is suffering

from mental illness or struggling in any way, call a friend. And I think the reason this podcast

has resonated with so many people, and I hear this from people when they listen to the pod,

is our friendship. And they hear us talk, and they hear us laugh, and they hear us joke,

and the value of friendship and the love and the joy. And people just can’t believe

when Chamath says, and men say to each other, they love each other. And they can’t believe

that Sax almost is able to say it. And people think by episode 25, Sax will be able to say it

back to us. But we’ll try right now. We’ll see if we can close 2020-21. We’re all going to say,

I love you, David Sax. And then let’s just see if this can work. I love you, David Sax.

I love you, David Sax.

Back at you.

We’ll take it. We’ll take it. We’ll take it. I love you guys.

Love you guys. Happy holidays.

Love you guys.

See you guys in the new year.

See you in the new year. Bye-bye, besties.