All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - E77: Tech work culture, crypto regulation, stablecoins, $NFLX & more w/ Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong

Brian Armstrong. What’s up, bro?

What’s up?

How are you?

Good to see you.

It’s good to see you as well.

Yeah. Jason just pinged me yesterday and he was like, why don’t you just come on as a

guest randomly? And I was like, okay, great. Let’s do it.

That’s so good. I’m really excited to hear what J Cal’s intro is for you.

Oh man. Yeah. You guys keep getting watered water on this.

Hey everybody. Welcome to episode 77 of the all in podcast, less than 30 days for the

sold out all in summit. And, uh, there’s a wait list, but, uh, sadly I don’t think we’re

going to get to anybody on the wait list. We’ve got a great, great episode for you.

I thought I’d bring a bestie guest in, but not tell my bestie. So we’ll see if they can

figure out who’s coming on the pod today. Uh, but let’s get the intros over with.

He’s investing in SAS at different stages, coming off a Miami bender for the ages,

doing shots with her boy and vanilla ice. The rain man is back. He’s twice as nice.

David Sachs, everybody. How are you, sir? How was your adventures with vanilla ice?

Good. I’m still here.

You’re still here. And so vanilla ice, uh, that costs $1,600 to get him to show up.

What is a vanilla ice cost to show up for a party?

That’s about 10 K. I think it’s about 10 to 20.


A little bit more. Really?

A little more.

And did you go on stage and do ice ice baby with him?

I didn’t, but, uh, there was some like teenage mutant ninja turtles type dancing around with him.

Whatever. It was interesting.

It was interesting.

People liked it. It was fun. It was fun.

Oh, very nice. Very nice. And you’re still in Miami for, uh, whatever tech week. Okay.

So he won’t eat your meat, but he’ll take your MDMA. He’s very interested in your DNA.

When he’s in the lab, he’s in heaven. He hasn’t been the same since that rave in 1997.

The Lord of the Laboratory of the Sultan of Science, David Friedberg. How are you, sir?

That was my favorite one. I liked that one.

Yeah. You peaked in 97 at about 2 AM. You were peaking at about 2 AM.

Did you say he doesn’t want your meat, but he wants your MDMA?

Yes. He won’t eat your meat, but he’ll take your MDMA.

Shout out to producer Nick who really crushed it this week.

Ah, his bank account. This one is too funny.

It’s hard to keep it together for these sometimes. His bank account would make a crown prince jealous.

His knitwear collection is overzealous. When he’s on CNBC, he makes a scene.

Last time he did leg day was 2019. The Supreme Leader of SPACs, the dictator himself,

Chamath Palihapitiya.

I’ve been actually spending a lot of time working out on my legs.

Really, I have been working on shoulders and chest and my legs have always been diesel.

I will be doing a shirt off selfie this summer.

Jekyll, it looks like you have not bought new shirts since you lost all the weight

because that shirt looks about five sides too big.

Here’s why. I bought this one halfway through the weight loss and now it’s still too big.

So I got another slimmer. I got the slim fit.

No, I got the normal fit and then I got the slim fit.

From peak to now, you’ve lost what, like 50 pounds?

213 pounds was my peak like four years ago and I was 167, 168 the other day.


So whatever that is.

45 pounds? That’s awesome.

Something. I feel incredible. I’ve started running again and, you know,

I did 40 days of skiing this year and I’m going to take up kite surfing, I think, this summer.

I want another sport to do, you know, in the summers.

Are the people around you annoyed at your increased energy levels?

Yes, people who work for me are annoyed. I’m sleeping better.

Everything’s just going better. I highly recommend everybody,

you know, just try to lose some weight.

A lot of options out there for you, including Munique.

All right. We have a very special bestie guestie today.

He’s a lean, mean crypto machine who sort of looks like Mr. Clean.

If you need some tokens, you know who to call.

Satoshi has his picture hanging on his wall.

His NFT game is never lacking.

If you talk about politics at work, you might send you packing.

The king of coins, the tycoon of tokens.

Who is he?

Brian Armstrong.

Brian Armstrong.

Brian Armstrong.

You guys got it. Brian Armstrong’s with us.

Hey, Brian, how are you?

What’s up, y’all?

You could have gone Vitalik at the first part, but it became Brian by the office part.

Anyway, welcome to the show, Brian.

We’ve obviously talked about you a whole bunch,

and you’ve been on This Week in Startups, and I think you know all the fellas here.

But thanks for joining the pod.

Thanks for having me. This is awesome. I listen to your show every week.

Oh, thanks for that.

So I guess, you know, the topic we all have talked about a whole bunch is

work and keeping people focused at work.

You took a very bold step, which Toby at Shopify, I think, followed.

And you said, listen, if you’re coming to work, our mission is crypto.

Can we stop talking about every other thing in the world and just stay focused on that?

And I think that was, maybe, was that a year and a half ago?

Something like that.

You did that.

Everybody wants to know how that worked out for the company.

So maybe you could tell us what it was like to go through that,

because, I mean, you were a target for a period of time we all thought seems reasonable.

And then how has that actually impacted day-to-day life

for the people who decided to opt into working at a single-focused Coinbase?

Yeah, so I would say, you know, short term, it was quite a painful transition.

I think it created a lot of consternation.

There was, you know, some folks in the media decided to go

call a bunch of people who’d left the company and,

you know, write hit pieces and all that kind of thing.

And frankly, you know, about 5% of the company opted into the exit package.

So there was some teams that were shorthanded.

A lot of people had to work extra time to fill in the gaps.

But long term, I think it turned out to be an incredibly positive decision for the company.

I do think there’s a lot of companies in Silicon Valley right now and probably elsewhere that,

you know, the CEOs and the management team almost feel like they’re being held hostage by


And I feel for some of these organizations, you know,

Sundar probably has an incredibly difficult job right now.

We saw that video from Microsoft, I think, last year with Satya and it kind of was with

people talking about their hair color and stuff.

And they don’t feel like that they can really

lean in and move the company in the direction they want.

And they’re fearful of kind of all these internal dynamics.

So, you know, I think there’s probably a better way to do it than what I did,

which is if you’re starting a company today, just make that clear up front.

I didn’t make it clear up front.

And so the company culture started to diverge and drift.

And I had to kind of realign it, which was a painful process.

If I was doing it over again, I’d probably just set that as the expectation up front,

and then there wouldn’t be this, you know, public, awkward realignment.

But yeah, I think I’m really glad that I did it.

I think Coinbase has been very productive since then.

And we’ve been able to attract a lot of the best and brightest people from some of these

other companies that are like, I don’t want to be in those companies anymore.

I want to work at a company where we just focus on the work and the mission,

because that’s actually important.

So I’d say it’s been positive.

Brian, I’ve always talked about this as being like the difference between a hard

culture and a soft culture where hard cultures are companies that

really define what they do and what they don’t do,

and what they spend time on and what they don’t spend time on.

And sometimes what you don’t spend time on can relate to products.

Sometimes it can relate to things outside or externalities to the business.

Do you think that that’s become kind of a trend where,

you know, soft culture in Silicon Valley is more about like appeasing

a very fickle employee base?

And as a result, you kind of aren’t as clear about what you’re not going to talk about and

aren’t going to talk about and suddenly the troops rule the day and

things get kind of sidetracked and productivity goes down?

I mean, can you talk a little bit about what you’ve seen

with other cultures around the valley and how that’s kind of affecting work

and what employees are choosing to go to and not go to?

Yeah. So I think Ben Horowitz always talked about like wartime CEO, peacetime CEO.

And frankly, I’m kind of a conflict avoidant person.

I never thought of myself as like wartime CEO.

We’re just like, we’re all going in this direction.

Let’s go, go, go.

You know, I never really thought of myself like that.

But I think what I’m trying to do now is find the happy medium between these two.

So the company should have a really ambitious mission.

And then I think you as the CEO, you do have to say no to things which are off track from that.

You do have to part ways with people who are not helping raise the talent bar in the company.

And so in some ways, you have to be, I guess, hard in that sense.

But I don’t think it’s not like we’re only here to make money.

And it’s like, it’s bonus time or you’re out or whatever.

It’s like we actually have a much softer culture than that, I think, in Silicon Valley, which is

most of the missions of these companies are trying to do great humanitarian efforts.

And they’re trying to improve the biggest problems in the world.

And so people sign up for those because they want to have a real impact.

And we take time to go for exec off sites.

And we walk in nature.

And we have coaching.

We do all this touchy-feely stuff.

So I think it’s kind of a mix of both is the right balance.

I don’t think of myself as like, you know, a Wall Street hedge fund or like the most

touchy-feely culture you can imagine.

Why do you think companies now have sort of veered into this place where they have to

kind of appease these fringes on either side?

Did you spend time trying to figure out like, how did we evolve

there from just being mission focused to having to deal with all this other stuff?

Yeah, I mean, one theory I have on this is that in Silicon Valley, especially pre-pandemic,

we were all… It was so competitive to get talent, right?

Google and Facebook, they were just kind of one-upping each other on higher and higher

salaries. And so I know as a CEO of a company that was rising at that time,

I felt incredible scarcity.

I had people leave to get out who got better offers.

And it was like a real issue.

And so I was doing anything I could to retain people and keep them.

And so if an employee said, hey, I want another flavor of water in the kitchen or whatever,

I was like, okay, maybe we should do it.

But I think during the pandemic, we moved to remote first as a culture.

The talent we could get opened up by 100x of people all over the world who were really

hungry and frankly thankful for these jobs.

And that actually changed the scarcity mindset a little bit to say,

hey, if you don’t want to be here, that’s fine.

We have other people we can go recruit and hire in who really are going to value it.

That’s probably just one piece of it.

It’s a much more complex issue than that.

I think one other thing is that Google and Facebook, I think, made this a common trend

in the valley where companies would host these open mic Q&As on every Friday or every 2 weeks

or whatever.

And it was almost like a town hall.

It felt like a democracy.

And in a democracy, the leader works for the people.

They’re elected by the people.

But what got very awkward was that these open mic Q&As, it became this hostile thing of

how can we make the person squirm and let’s ask them these difficult societal issue questions

that aren’t actually related to the company and what we’re all building.

And I think that was actually a mistake in Silicon Valley.

We’ve since gotten rid of these open mic Q&As because it really encourages people.

I’d say we were 150-200 people.

Everyone was on the same page.

Everyone was asking good questions.

Once we got to 500-700 people, it started to feel like there was a little bit of an

us versus them.

And then the questions got very off track.

And I realized at a certain point, this is not a democracy.

I want everyone’s input.

I’m not going to rule with an iron fist.

But ultimately, I’m the CEO.

I need to help guide this company in one direction and force the hard decisions.

Not everyone’s going to like them.

So we’re not going to allow people to do grandstanding open mic stuff.

There’s just a little bit of a risk for that.

99% of people don’t do it.

But if one person does it, it creates this snowball effect.

So we got rid of the open mics.

People can still submit questions, but nobody else can see them.

We read them ahead of the Q&A.

And if there’s a good theme in the questions, we address it.

But you can’t grandstand with an open mic.

I saw this.

It was in Twitter.

Nick, maybe you can find it.

But it was this general that had commanded all of these different battalions.

And he was talking about what it was like in all the different theaters in which he’s


And he basically said, 80% of the men and women that serve for me were just absolutely


You could always rely on them 100% of the time.

They were 100% aligned.

And then he said there was 15% that was wishy-washy.

And what they were looking for was how you managed and dealt with the 5%.

And the 5% of folks were always trying to push the boundaries and try to figure out

where the escape valve was or where the exception was or whether they would be grandstanding

or whether they tried to break a rule.

And he said his entire energy was focused on keeping those folks extremely focused and

on point or out.

Because that was what solved for the 15%.

Because the 80% would be fine.

But if you didn’t deal with the 5%, the 15% would go crazy.

And then the 80% would get dejected.

And it just kind of the whole thing would rot.

And it was a really interesting reminder that there’s these people that come into these

companies almost with the desire to see these companies go sideways or just waste their


Which is completely counterintuitive because you think you joined for the mission.

But they don’t all the time.

And to be fair, you, I think, told people, listen, you, you could as a group of people

off hours, create your own, you know, dinner party and talk about whatever topics you want.

This is just when I’m paying you to come to work for those eight hours, you know, on the

company servers, if you’re using Slack, or whatever, you know, communication platform

you’re using, let’s just stay focused on getting the work done.

So this could be a viable enterprise.

But you were fine with people if they wanted to self organize and do that on their own



You weren’t saying you can’t have political beliefs, you can’t care, not care about BLM

or some right wing.

That was one of the biggest sort of misnomers or miss characterization.

Yeah, exactly.

Deliberate mischaracterizations about the policy is that it’s somehow silenced people

or prevented them from, you know, taking positions on issues or donating to causes they cared


The policy never said that.

It just said that while we’re in the office together, on Coinbase time, we’re going to

engage in Coinbase’s mission and avoid fractious debates that divide us.

Yeah, that’s right.

And there’s a time for those debates and just might not I think a lot of this has to do

with Slack, I’d be totally honest.

Yeah, when people are in a Slack room, and they’re frustrated, and people can have valid

frustrations, like there are things in the world that are horrible.

And yeah, you want to talk about it.

And yeah, you build friendships at work, it’s completely understandable that people would

want to blow off steam.

And, but just people have to look at Slack is not an AOL chat room.

It’s not Reddit.

It’s not AOL chat.

Maybe you could talk a little bit about electronic communications.

And then I think David has a follow up.

Yes, I agree with you Slack, I think, you know, is an amazing tool, but it does start

to turn into social media.

Once you get more than I don’t know, 500 people in a room or 1000 people, a lot of CEOs I’ve

been talking to, we’re all trying to figure this out, because we still think Slack is

a net positive to productivity, but it has a huge negative in terms of just both distracting

people with lots of things popping up all the time, but also these kind of social media

flame wars that emerge and mob like behavior.

So some of the things I mean, we’ve been trying is, for instance, if we get any kind of a

Slack room that has, say, more than 500 or 1000 people, we’ll often try to limit it.

So only you can, you have to be a VP or level nine and above can only post in there.

And otherwise, it’s read only.

So we’re trying to, Dunbar’s numbers 150 people, right?

You’re trying to think who can you remember everyone’s name and have some sort of group

affinity with them.

And any too much above Dunbar’s number, we try to like cap it.

So it’s, it’s a read only chat room.

But I think these tools need to keep evolving.

And I hope some I know that there’s a couple startups, y’all might have funded some of

them that are working on this.

Yeah, there’s an actual neat feature you can do in Slack now, where like that level nine

person can post, and everybody else can post in the thread, like you can reply to the thread,

but the opening salvos and thread have to be started by somebody in that sort of group.

So, but Slack definitely needs to double down on this.

I also think they put that random room in there.

And you put the random room, it’s like basically waving the flag, like, it’s random, put stuff

in there.

I think you got to delete that if you’re running, I tell all startups, delete the random room

and tell people do not post memes and jokes.

David, you had a follow up.

One thing I was gonna say is, so Brian, I agree with everything you said that the one

place maybe where I would nitpick in a way that gives you a little more credit is you

found a Coinbase back in 2012, right?


So if you had created this policy on day one, I don’t think you or anybody could have

predicted that these issues would arise the way they have.

I remember 2012 was the year I sold my company to Microsoft.

We never had to deal with any of this stuff.

And we were using, we didn’t have Slack back then, we were using Yammer, very open culture,

people could communicate on anything.

We never had sort of hyper activist employees.

The word woke didn’t even exist yet.

And it just wasn’t an issue.

So it would have required you, I think, to see ahead so many years.

And I think what’s happened is, over the last several years, there’s been this drift

towards employee activism inside these companies.

I don’t think it’s coming from both sides of the political spectrum, to be honest.

I think it’s coming from the sort of hyper woke employees, and they engage in petitions

and letter writing campaigns and threats of boycotts.

And they sort of Hector and Mau Mau, these CEOs to basically give in to them.

And we’ve seen it at Apple, the way that Apple was pressured to fire Antonio Garcia

Martinez, and they gave in and now they have a letter writing campaign every month.

And you just saw it in Florida.

I think Bob, what’s his name?

Bob Chaypek at Disney.

I don’t think he’s going to survive the year after what just happened at Disney.

And it’s because he gave in to the employees, took sides against the governor in Florida

and the legislature, and they just ripped away Disney special privileges in Florida.

You saw it at Netflix, where Ted Sarandos was sort of Mau Mau’ed by these employees

who want to cancel Dave Chappelle.

He ultimately stuck by Chappelle, but only after groveling to these employees.

And so I think we’re seeing these issues did not exist even five years ago, I would say.

And I think the reason why the Coinbase story is so relevant to a broader audience and what

you did with your policy is so relevant is I just think every company is going to have

to make a decision sooner or later on where they stand.

Do you give into these petitions and mobs and boycotts?

Do you allow unlimited activism inside the four walls of your company?

Or do you take some sort of more neutral stance where you say, listen, we’re all going to

leave our politics to the door so we can effectively work together on the company’s mission?

I think every company eventually is going to have to either be Coinbase or be Apple.

You’re going to have to be Coinbase or be Disney.

You’re either going to have to give in to the mob and suffer the consequences,

or you take the short term pain of doing what Brian did.

And you basically realign everyone around the mission.

And a year later, you’re very happy with where you are.

The good thing with Netflix and Disney, though, is that they’re going to be very clear examples

of the business impact of getting distracted.

And I think that, you know, Brian took leadership.

But the business impact, at least from the outside looking in was not really measurable.

Obviously, he felt that the team felt that whatever they did, and that business is working.

But it wasn’t done as a public company pre and post.

So the counterfactual is hard to measure.

In the case of Disney and Netflix, it’s really clear to measure, right?

Meaning, in all of this confusion, Netflix has completely botched their business model.

In all of this fighting now internally inside of Disney, not only are they going to lose

essentially a fiefdom inside of Florida, but it’s going to have repercussions with respect

to taxes, with respect to debt, with respect to the quality of the service they can deploy.

And that’ll eventually flow through the business.

And that’ll be measurable by investors.

And I think, David, I think probably what I think, which is a slighter, sort of more

modified version of what you just said, is in the next few quarters, I think CEOs will

actually be better equipped to numerically point to why taking Brian’s path is the value

creating path for shareholders and for stakeholders.

And the cost of getting distracted, quote unquote, can be really expensive if you if

you are a for-profit company.

Brian, you also have the option to run your company and say, you know what?

We care about this issue a whole bunch.

We really care about human rights here.

We really care about communications and freedom of speech.

And I’m going to run Twitter as a freedom of speech company.

And everybody has to align behind that.

If you believe in censoring, this is not the right company for you.

If you believe in policing speech or you’re uncomfortable with uncomfortable speech or

speech that makes you feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to work at Twitter.

So it’s not like you have to, you know, do what Brian did and say, hey, we’re just you

got to decide on this.

You got to make a decision and be intentional about it.

I think it’s the higher order bit.

No, I was just going to say my only point is in the absence of intentionality, Jason,

you’ll slip into one realm or the other and not really know what you’re trying to do.

I agree with you.

And my only point is that you’ll be able to measure the impact of unintentionally slipping

and sliding around.

Yeah, versus picking a course and sticking to it.

Let me ask you guys a question.

If you’re an individual, and you want to affect social change, where is the forum in the theater

that you think you would go to first, you spend most of your time at work.

And maybe you don’t have as much free time to go march and protest in the streets.

And if you did, no one would pay attention to you there anyway.

So sacks, like, I know that you’ll probably have a point of view on this.

But like, if you’re giving a 19 year old, who has a strong point of view, or a 25 year

old who has a strong point of view about something that they want to see change in society, what’s

the right forum for them to have their protest and to make their voice heard?

I think that companies are a great change agent.

I think we all do being in Silicon Valley, creating startups, we all believe that startups

are a great way to change the world.

Those startups have missions.

Brian’s company has a mission around crypto and expanding, democratizing access to the

financial system based on crypto.

Elon has a company that is accelerating the world towards sustainable transport

and sustainable energy.

He wants to make where I quibble a little bit with what Jason said about free speech.

I think Elon wants to make free speech restore its place back in Twitter’s mission.

So it’s not like a separate thing.

It’s actually like should be very core to what they do.

I think that there’s a mission driven company out there for any young person who cares about

that issue.


And if there’s not, if there’s not a for profit vehicle, there’s a 501, you can go join a

nonprofit company or start one.


Start one, donate money to a cause, you have the whole weekend, you got media, you can

write a blog post.

What I don’t think would work is when you have people who don’t, who aren’t really mission

driven, their mission is whatever the current thing is.

And so they’re just kind of like, oscillating from the one, the current, you know, from

one current thing to the next current.


And every three months, there’s an issue du jour that that, you know, they care about

more than anything else in the world.

Look, there’s not going to be a company that can accommodate that sort of fickle activism.

Brian, can I ask you a question?

Are there any systems, decentralized systems that kind of give individuals,

you know, that you’ve viewed interesting models that give people the ability to affect social

change in a way that kind of historically may have been more of a hill to climb, where

people can kind of aggregate resources and aggregate a voice in a way that can kind of

affect outcomes?

And do we think that that kind of becomes a mechanism for social change in the future?

You may, you’re making me think of DAOs and things like that.

But I think a lot of that is kind of unproven.

Like DAOs are probably good ways to get new kind of governance systems in place for allocating

capital, or maybe even managing a city or, or a society.

But I, you know, I kind of agree with David, I think the best way to affect change right

now today is for young people is start a company or join a company.

I think young people are sometimes a little enamored with like becoming an activist.

But I think fundamentally, that’s, you’re sort of giving up your power by saying like,

well, they have the power and I don’t.

And so I’m going to speak truth to power.

But I think, you know, there’s context for that historically, where that may have been

more true.

But I think today, a lot of people, they have more power than they realize.

And if you go start a company, which, by the way, companies are decentralized, too, you

can have lots of little companies all over the world.

They’re not like, you know, monolithic, usually.

And so if they start a company, they can have a good impact, I think, on the biggest issues

out there.

And I think over time as well, the way that you have real impact is that you prove yourself

in the market of ideas to have a high reputation and to be really reliable.

And that is not something that you can just overpower, you know, because you’re 19 or

20 and you’re really upset by something.

At some point, you’re going to have to really invest your time and dedicate yourself to

something that you really, really care about.

And then the world tends to move to the good ideas.

So I think part of like what we also need to remind folks is that this is like if you

want to make real sustainable change, it’s hard.

It doesn’t matter in which area you pick.

It is just really hard.

But if it’s really worth it, you should give your life to it.

But what I think people push back on is the more superficial forms of just virtue signaling

and saying, yeah, in this moment, I really want to pretend I care about something.

But when push comes to shove, I’m not really willing to take the next step.

I don’t I think that most people find that very unreliable.

Yeah, I think a good question to ask for somebody who purports to really care is like, what

do you care about that’s not currently in the news?

You know, that’s not like the hot thing that everyone is basically obsessed with.

Well, and then how are you changing it?

And what is your plan to change it over the next decade or two?

Like, you have it takes it takes many years to effectively create a startup, you know,

five years, 10 years.

And so if your issue does yours is whatever’s in the news, you’re not going to create that

kind of change.

You know, I do think there are a lot of similarities between mission driven startups and political


I wrote a blog post called Your Startup is a Movement where I basically say that, you

know, good marketing is about evangelism.

It has everything in common with what good political leaders do.

Basically, they critique the status quo.

They tell you what the world looks like today, what the problem with that is, and where the

world needs to get to, what the solution is, and then how they’re going to deliver that


So you can, I think, as the leader of a company, be very mission driven, you can bring a

bout that change you want to see in the world, you just have to attach a business model to


If you don’t have a business model, you’re just collecting donations.

Let’s build on that, Brian, what is the stated mission today of Coinbase?

Yeah, our mission is to increase economic freedom in the world.

And if people aren’t familiar with that term, economic freedom is kind of an economics term

like GDP, but it looks at the measures of different countries of the world.

And it looks at factors like, are there property rights enforced?

How stable is the currency?

How easy is it to start a business?

Is there corruption and bribery prevalent and things like that?

And what’s really cool about economic freedom is that basically countries with higher economic

freedom, like Singapore and the United States and Ireland, they tend to correlate with all

kinds of things we want in society, not just better economic growth, but even higher self

reported happiness of citizens, better treatment of the environment, better income for the

lowest 10% in society.

Gender equality, all that stuff.

Yeah, gender equality.

And then, yeah, countries with low economic freedom, Cuba, North Korea, Sudan, these are

some of the lowest.

They tend to have even things we don’t want, like higher corruption, higher war, higher

infant mortality.

So it’s basically when I read the Bitcoin white paper back in 2010, I had this thought

eventually that was like, maybe cryptocurrency is this unique moment in history, this unique

technology that allows us to inject economic freedom into the countries all over the world,

especially now that more and more people have a smartphone.

And we can basically put good financial infrastructure, good property rights, you know, global trade,

a stable currency into 200 countries all over the world as one small group, relatively small

group of people.

And hopefully it has all these positive downstream impacts.

So that’s the mission of Coinbase.

When you look at the regulatory environment, it has been far from clear what’s allowed

here in the United States.

In fact, you had a pretty strongly worded tweet storm back in September of 2021, some

really sketchy behavior coming out of the SEC race recently, story time, maybe you could

talk a little bit about the SEC’s approach to cryptocurrency versus securities, XRP comes

to mind.

And knowing your customer, you’ve obviously taken a very conservative approach to what

tokens you put on the platform, and then you have competitors who are offshore who it’s

kind of YOLO, anything goes.

What is the current administration doing right, wrong, and what needs to happen here in the

US to for us to be competitive in crypto, while still protecting citizens from, you

know, being bag holders?

Yeah, it’s a big question.

So, you know, as a startup, you’re always trying to thread the needle here, you don’t

want to wait too long for clarity, because sometimes these things take 5-10 years, and

so you’ll just never launch a product.

But if you’re too aggressive, you can blow the place up.

And so what we always did in the early days of Coinbase is we said, we want to go do what

we think is going to be required in the future, go get licenses, go do KYC, go do AML, anti

money laundering.

And so we tried to basically do the right thing, go and talk to these regulators practically.

Now, the US has actually been pretty forward thinking on this, I’d say every year we get

more and more clarity.

So Coinbase is now a very regulated financial service business.

You know, I can go through the whole list.

We have a license from the CFTC, a federal regulator, we acquired some broker dealer

licenses, which the SEC regulates, we have money transmission licenses, we’re a bit licensed

in New York, etc.

Not just in the United States.

So we’re in many, many countries around the world.

So how do we get more clarity?

Well, one thing I’ll just say is it’s actually better for there to be lack of clarity than

to be clarity that is punitive or bad.

So it’s good that there’s a little bit of lack of clarity as long as it’s not curtailing

the industry.

But what would be even better is to have clarity that does provide that right balance of good

consumer protection, you know, make sure that there’s a fair level playing field for all

the players.

And then it allows innovation to flourish.

And so what’s good now is that in the US, you know, the Biden administration put out

an executive order recently kind of asking all the different agencies and departments

to come back with a clear plan.

And they did recognize the potential innovation in crypto in that in that executive order,

which I was really pleasantly surprised to see.

So what’s happening now is that there was a little bit of jockeying, I think there were

the SEC said, hey, these all look like securities to us.

And I don’t think that’s quite true.

You know, the CFTC regulates commodities, while some cryptos are going to be commodities.

I think here’s what I’m realizing is that crypto is going to be many different things.

It’s not just going to be one regulator doing it.

So, you know, think about cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

That’s pretty clearly a commodity or Ethereum, right?

Like many of these are commodities that probably should be regulated by the commodities regulators,

the CFTC.

Now, if people want to raise money for their company, a security token, that should be

regulated as a security by the SEC.

That’d be great to have more clarity on that.

Let’s have, we would love to keep working with the SEC to make that a well-trodden path

that any company can go raise money.

And that’s how it would get listed on an exchange like ours.

And we could register as a broker dealer or whatever license is needed.

Separately, there’s also some cryptocurrencies that are going to be currencies like stable


And, you know, maybe the Treasury should regulate those.

And finally, there’s going to be cryptocurrencies that are none of the above their artwork or

something that’s probably shouldn’t even be regulated.

And so the US with various financial, you know, international bodies like G20 and FATF

and all these IMF are probably going to put some policy papers together.

We’re going to eventually end up with some kind of a test that says, is this cryptocurrency

a commodity, a security, a currency or something else like artwork?

And then maybe, and by the way, maybe five more things we haven’t even thought of that

it’ll end up being in the future.

What would you make the test for?

This is a utility token versus speculative security, because that seems to be the one

that’s really hard for people to figure out.

99% of people are buying a token on Coinbase because they want to see it appreciated and

they want to see it gain value.

And only 1% are using it for the actual utility of it.

Is it then a security?

Is it by the percentage of people who use it?

How, how would you as the, you know, the leader in this industry, you know, actually define


What’s your definition?

Yeah, so I think, look, I don’t want to be presumptuous here.

I don’t, I think that we can, we can put some policy papers together, but I don’t want to

be, you know, it’s the policymaker’s job to come up with the policy.

So I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.

But that being said, I think there’s some existing case law out there.

Like, you know, the Howey test is something from a long time ago.

We could probably build upon that.

So the Howey test kind of says, you know, is this an investment in a common enterprise

with an expectation of profit?

And that would make it, that would make it a security.

So there’s a lot of pieces to that.

You know, is it an investment?

Well, if you’re just giving the tokens away, I guess people aren’t investing, right?

Is it a common enterprise?

Well, maybe if it’s decentralized and you don’t actually control this entity, like

you own, you know, less than a majority share or something, maybe then that’s not a security,


Or if there’s not an expectation of profit, people are using it for something.

So every startup right now in the space has basically had to hire a bunch of expensive

lawyers to go tease apart these old, old rules that some of them were created in like the

1930s, you know, before the internet and everything, and try to understand where they’re


And so I think building upon that Howey test, but it could be something that includes a

commodities definition, something, a currency definition.

You know, I think we should, basically it’s on us and the other crypto companies out there

to go hire a really smart lawyer who has drafted legislation before and a bill and

actually get a draft of it out there.

And then we can start to circulate it with various policymakers and get their feedback.

And maybe they take it and run with it.

Maybe they say, thanks, we have it.

We’ve got it from here.

But that’s our next step.

Friedberg, Sachs, Chamath, would you go with the Howey test?

Or do you have thoughts on how to, how the government here in the US should say, this

is a security, this is a utility token?

I think what the EO did was basically kind of give people enough regulatory safety in

the sense that something reasonable will probably happen in the reasonable future so that people

could keep building and iterating.

My big takeaway in the last sort of like nine months is that this thing is now too big to


And the government basically has to just find a reasonable framework to enable something

because the real big issue, Jason, would be if they did something crazy.

And now, you know, retail would just get completely smoked because I think they are the-

What do you think is reasonable?

I think Congress has to basically pass a sensible set of legislations that clearly demarcate

exactly what Brian said.

This realm of stuff goes to the CFTC.

This realm of stuff goes to the SEC.

Now you guys go and implement.

And if left to their own devices, those two will use these arcane laws and try to negotiate

amongst each other who should be covering what, but they can’t arbitrate that decision.

And so as a result, nothing reasonable will happen.

So I think that’s what has to happen.

Congress has to get together and write something reasonable.

Friedberg, you are building companies at the production board every year.

You build a couple of companies.

You have to go through securities law.

You have to, you know, raise money from accredited investors.

You do it in the traditional way.

But you must be looking at crypto saying, well, I could launch Kana, Munich, whatever

project and have a token associated with it and raise money and raise it globally or start

a DAO.

What do you think is a reasonable way for people like yourself who are playing by the

existing rules to be able to embrace this new technology and these new platforms and


I think the government handle it.

Well, some perspectives important, which is, you know, go back to kind of the 1920s in

the United States.

And there were pre 1920s folks would go around and tell tall tales about interesting business

ideas or business concepts or things that they were going to do if they got a bunch

of money from investors.

And investors gave them money.

And they didn’t actually deliver on what they said they were going to do.

And they got swindled.

And there was swindle story after swindle story that you can read about.

And we saw this even with the ICO craze of a few years ago, right, where people tell

a tall tale, you expect some value or some asset that you’re kind of putting capital

into that will pay off over time.

And there’s a swindle behind it.

And that’s really the origin of securities laws, in large part is to protect the individual

from being swindled, to protect the storyteller that can take money away from people and figure

out how to kind of rip them off and create a set of laws that the government can then

enforce through the risk of imprisonment against doing those things.

The challenge becomes when there’s this more thoughtful way of running capital markets

on the other side.

And how do we actually resolve to some medium ground here?

I’m not sure that you’re going to have as quick of a resolution to say, well, let’s

go back to the old way where anyone can say anything to anyone they want.

And anyone can put money into any project that they want.

Because the role of the arbiter is to protect those from being taken advantage of.

If 85% of those projects are great, and 85% of the investors are intelligent and know

what they’re doing.

It’s the 15 it doesn’t matter.

It’s the 15% that the government is here to protect.

And that’s the reason we have an institution called the government is to create systems

of protection for those who are otherwise unable to protect themselves.

Now, a free market libertarian might say, we should have at it.

But the problem is, we all have, we all feel as a group, at some point, a moral obligation

to protect those who are unprotected.

And that’s why these systems emerge over time.

And that’s why these institutions exist.

That’s why the government exists.

And it’s why these securities laws exist.

And so it’s difficult to assume that we can just go back to the kind of,

you know, prototypical days of, you know, let me raise money for anything with any story

without any regulation, and assume that it’s going to work out well, because all it’s going

to take is a few of these stories before you have folks standing up in Congress saying,

this is unbelievable.

We can’t let this happen anymore.

Let’s go shut down the miners.

Let’s go shut down the data centers.

Let’s go after every asset we can.

And by the way, they will because look at what just happened with Russia, the way that

governments can kind of coalesce around digital systems now, and make significant change and

block things from happening.

I don’t know if there is a world where we can assume that even with a free and open

internet, that these systems can truly be decentralized, given the reach that governments


And it is going to be in my mind, I’ve said this in the past, kind of the great tension

of the 21st century socially, is the decentralized systems that really want to challenge what

we believe to be a lot of overreach that’s happening by governments against the government’s

believed role to be protecting those who are who need the protection.

And so I don’t know, that’s a very long winded moral statement.

Well, I mean, I think it’s a very interesting one.

Brian, what do you what do you think of this?

I get it.

These are complicated issues, right?

We want to balance protecting people, but we also want to not have the government be

in a position where it’s picking winners and losers.

And so, you know, just because something is legal doesn’t make it make it a good investment.

I guess, you know, you could have you could have owned Netflix last week or something

like that.

And you guys might talk about that in a minute.

But look, I think we all want to get rid of fraud, right?

So if you commit fraud, meaning you lied to investors, then that’s going to be a crime,


Like we I want to I want to work with anybody in government to go put that make that stuff

not happen.

The danger is if we ever get into a place where we say, well, only wealthy people can

now invest because somehow there’s an accredited investor test that’s inherently exclusionary.

I don’t I don’t like the accredited investor laws.

If we ever get into a place where the government is saying, you know, well, you have to you

have to have X, Y, Z criteria and a person with this many years of experience on their


And then now we get into like the government sort of designed by committee to pick winners

and losers.

And that’s that’s inherently flawed because, you know, a lot of true breakthrough innovation,

they look like bad ideas at the beginning.

They’re the kind of things that a government body would never invest in or put money into,


So that’s the inherent tension we have to worry about.

We’re protecting people, but not putting the government in the role of picking winners

and losers.

Sachs, you have any input on this sort of framework, you are investing traditionally

in stocks, but you have also allocated some money to multi coin capital and other folks

who are buying tokens, and then you have to distribute them and you have to deal with

these downstream legal issues.

How are you dealing with them?

And then what do you think is a is a proper framework here in the US for protecting consumers

while allowing innovation?

I think the big picture framework that we have is correct, which is you kind of have

this dichotomy between security tokens and utility tokens.

So security tokens, basically, it’s a token that’s issued that it’s basically like a share

of stock or a fractional ownership in some business doesn’t really have a lot of functionality

associated with it.

That’s kind of an end run around the securities laws.

They should be treated like securities.

On the other hand, though, there are a lot of tokens that are issued as part of creating

a new kind of technology network, and those tokens have real functionality.

And if you were to subject them to securities laws, and impose KYC and accreditation, you

have to go through all these hoops, just to add one to your wallet, it would destroy the

potential functionality created by these systems.

So where there’s real utility like that, I think the government should foster innovation

by having a lighter hand, don’t subject them to securities laws.

And really what entrepreneurs need in the space are some safe harbors and really clear

lines around what would trip them up and have them cross over from utility token and

security token.

So they know to avoid those things.

So they can continue innovating on their core project.

I think that’s well said.

I have three ideas, Brian, I want to run by you.

Number one, a sophisticated test for investors in crypto and in startups.

So just like you get a gun test, or, you know, a test or a driver’s license, we come up with

a way for people to become sophisticated.

They take a simple test, maybe it’s a, you know, whatever number of questions.

And then second, maybe some safe harbors around the scale of a project.

So any crypto project under 10 million can be an experiment.

And, you know, it’s kind of like, no need to have rules, people just have to sign a

disclaimer or waiver, this is an experiment, then things may be between 10 and 100 million,

you implement KYC and maybe throttle the number

Jason, those are some good ideas for when you’re talking about the bucket of security


If you want to start imposing those kinds of rules on utility tokens, you can’t have

a functioning network with like all these sort of friction.

Hold on, but if then if the project gets scale, then you just have to file a little more have

a little more KYC and then finally, the founders of these projects, they can just launch them

and disappear.

They have no director like duty to the project.

Do you think there needs to be something similar to directors in corporations?

So just three ideas there that I’ve heard other people talk about, or I’ve been thinking

about, Brian,

those are pretty good.

I like those, actually, I mean, the nice thing about a driver’s license test for financial

literacy is that it doesn’t measure how much money you have.

So it would allow smart, you know, aspiring people who didn’t start with a lot of money,

like a lot of us to also be able to participate early on in these, which would be really great.

Yeah, I think it’s, you know, some kind of a safe harbor or sandbox provision, I think

is a really great idea as well.

And lastly, yeah, I mean, if you were able to, basically, I think your three ideas are


So those are good.

I think they’re good for securities.

But I mean, if you just want to buy gas on a blockchain to run your program, where you’re

a user of an application that’s being run on a blockchain, you just want to buy a token

for gas.

Do you really have to go through all these like KYC type hoops?

Hopefully not, especially if it’s a utility.

I mean, self custodial wallets and dApps or decentralized apps are this huge area of innovation

that, you know, you wouldn’t want to like, imagine if the US government had said you

need to come in and register to make a website or something like that, that would have been

a terrible thing for innovation globally.

So you have to remember, too, that a lot of this is going to flow to the country with

the most permissive laws.

So a lot of governments around the world, not the most permissive, but the most well

structured that balances all the pros and cons.

Maybe clear.


The thing that I would just add to this, though, is that there’s a lot more than just AML and

KYC guys that has to happen for this to be a functioning ecosystem.

We average, I think, one hack a week in the crypto ecosystem, right?

This Beanstalk hack happened, what, just a few days ago, that was almost $200 million.

Last month, Axie Infinity, what was that?

Almost $600 million.

So there’s a lot of stuff where in the normal securities world, like if you’re a director

of a company and you don’t have these adequate procedures, and Brian, you live this every

day where there’s like an audit committee and there’s somebody that chairs audit that

has to go and think about information security and blah, blah, blah.

And all these disclosures have to happen.


But all these disclosures are really about actual work being done.

If you don’t do that work and then you get hacked, you’re actually liable, right?

There’s no version of this in a world where it is a little bit of the Wild West.

So that stuff also has to exist.

This is what I mean by I actually think Congress just needs to kind of like update the set

of laws that actually allow the CFTC and the SEC to do their job to include this and say,

now go and incrementally figure this out.

Because even if you get the AML and KYC stuff right, then there’s all this other stuff where

these folks that had, they’re basically all this value deprived.

Who do they go to try to get the money back?

In the case of Axie, I mean, it’s an incredible thing.

But they went to Andreessen and they raised a new round.

They’re like, we’re just going to make everybody whole.

But that’s insane, right?

You can’t expect that to happen with every single project or every single company.

It’s not going to be possible.


Well, I think a couple of things will happen.

I mean, in the custodial world of crypto, there’ll be more regulation.

There already is, right?

We have a New York Trust company that we get audited for various control environments and

safety and things like that.

But in the self-custodial world, everyone is going to start to be in control of their own


And I think that the tools are getting better and better for that, like social recovery of

keys if you forget your password and these kind of smart contract wallets.

And so both are growing.

And I think in the future, people may actually start to take more responsibilities for storing

their own wealth if they want to choose to do that.

And that’ll allow them to kind of access a broader ecosystem of things.

Let me ask a question, Brian.

Everybody seems to be very concerned about Tether.

You, I don’t believe, participate in the Tether ecosystem at Coinbase.

Is that correct?

Well, we’re not participating directly, but we support as many assets as people want to


That is one of the ones that we’ve supported people to deposit and withdraw in Coinbase.

They’ve been banned in New York.

They’ve had regulatory action in Canada.

People are concerned about their attestations or lack of clarity on their commercial paper.

What do you think of the stable coins getting very big?

And maybe USDC seems to have it pretty tightly covered.

But there’s all these concerns and regulatory actions against Tether.

Is that a big nothing burger?

Or does it concern you that there’s a lack of transparency into their holdings?

Yeah, so I would say, you know, some of the early stable coin efforts definitely didn’t

have all their ducks in a row from a reputational point of view.

You know, I’m not an expert on Tether.

My understanding is that there have been some investigations and enforcement actions which

have required them to go in there and clean up some things.

And, you know, our digital asset listing group kind of looked at a lot of this in depth and

made that judgment call that where they were and where they are now.

But yeah, I do think that we’re seeing the emergence of new groups like, you know, USD

coin is one of those that I think has some better controls around it.

And there’s actually a bunch of stable coins now that are decentralized.

You know, Dai and Frax.

Explain what that is and why it’s important.

Well, so OK, so it really comes down to trust.

I mean, you know, you can trust you can decide to trust something like USDC that has kind

of audit requirements and, you know, a big four accounting firm come in and look at it

and things like that.

Or you can look at smart contract code and, you know, thousands of people around the world

can look at that.

And there’s an inherent bug bounty if you find an issue there.

And if it hasn’t been found, then you can start to think about trusting that.

Now, I think stable coins like Dai and others, they’ve been able to create these relatively

complex systems that have sort of one asset which is intended to be stable, but another

one which is sort of the collateral.

And you could imagine various black swan events where, you know, the peg would get broken

and things like that.

But it really hasn’t happened yet in Dai.

And it’s shown a lot of resiliency, which I’ve been very impressed by.

There’s actually one other type of coin, which I think is even maybe more interesting than

just wrapping a fiat, like a dollar or a rupee or something like that, because frankly, you

know, the dollar is seeing a lot of inflation.

You guys have talked about it many times on this show.

So do you really want to have a stable, quote, stable coin that is inflating, you know, 8%

a year?


There’s some new coins coming out, which I’ve been really excited to see, which are, I think,

you know, biology calls them flat coins, but they’re basically looking at the consumer

price index, and they’re trying to basically have flat purchasing power and assume that

the dollar and various fiat currencies around the world actually going to go through more


That’s a pretty cool idea.

And you can do that in a creative way on a blockchain by having various oracles, which

are these sources of truth.

And if enough of them, you know, 51% of them tell you the CPI we think is this this year,

it can kind of keep keep pace with CPI, which is a really cool innovation, I think.

Thank you so much for Brian Armstrong for joining us for the first hour.

And now we’ll continue on with our Netflix discussion.

Brian’s fantastic.

He was very honest.

He answered a lot of questions very honestly.

And he’s a super fan of the show.

That business is a great business.

That business will be a great business thoughtful.

We like somebody who’s thoughtful.

I really think that the challenge that Brian faced a year and a half ago, and the policy

decision he faced is now being faced by every CEO across America.

And that’s the broad relevance is, you know, what are they going to do?

Do you see this, this quote by the McDonald’s CEO, the former McDonald’s CEO Ed Renzi on

Wednesday said companies have no business being in politics, and has launched a new

advocacy coalition to fight woke corporate politics.

He said corporations have no business being on the right or the left, because they represent

everybody there and their sole job is to build equity for their investors.

Wait, the people who make filet of fish are not going to chime in on Ukraine anymore.

Yeah, but but think about that.

Because that actually is a pretty radical.

It is a line in the sand.

Yeah, he’s standing on Brian shoulders.

Let’s be honest.

I think, you know, the CEO of McDonald’s.

I mean, that’s like a big, you know, traditional fortune 500 type corporation.

And they’re saying, like, we’re not doing this anymore.

Well, you know what, they were more than willing to do it if it scored them points,

but they realized was it’s going to be a never once you

engage that you’re never going to be able to disengage from it.

All right, let’s pivot over to Netflix.

They reported a drop in net subscribers for the first time in 10 years, and the stock dropped

35% market cap from 155 billion to about 98 billion.

According to Bloomberg, as of Wednesday, Netflix was the worst performing S&P 500 so far in 2022

stock down 63% year to date.

Ackman dumped his entire stake and booked a $430 million loss.

And a large part of this was because they didn’t hit their 2.5 million or so

target increase in subscribers.

And they in fact, lost all 700,000 Russian subscribers as part of boycotting

Russia because of the Ukraine war.

What do we think is happening here?

Is this a bellwether Chamath for something more important going on?

Or is this just Netflix not executing?

I think there’s a macro thing and then there’s a Netflix specific thing.

The macro thing is that we are learning the broad sweeping impact of Apple’s privacy changes,

in my opinion.

You first saw it flow through into Facebook’s earnings and basically them saying this is

going to be really tough.

And you had Netflix, even if you add back the Russian subscribers basically spend almost

$600 million in the quarter on customer acquisition to effectively they would have

generated 500,000 subscribers net of churn, right?

Which was still about a million and a half under where they needed to be.

So the point is that I think Netflix in some ways was a little bit of a canary in the coal

mine for the shrinking effectiveness of online advertising.

And I think that’s why you then saw two days later, Facebook got taken to the woodshed

in two days was down.

Now it’s down, I don’t know, 15, 20%.

Google I think has been down a lot today.

It’s just getting absolutely smoked relative to the market.

So that’s the macro issue, which is I think it’s really hard for these ads to be as effective

as they used to be.

And it’s only going to get worse because Google has also said that they’re going to implement

a lot of the same versions of what Apple did inside of Android.

So customer acquisition is going up.

So if you look at then all the companies that have to live and die on CAC, it’s going to

be an expensive road.

That’s the macro thing.

I think that not enough people are talking about.

I think the micro thing inside of Netflix is that, you know, people churn out of a service

when there isn’t enough value.

And I think that’s the most basic explanation of why so many people are leaving Netflix

is that it’s not that valuable.

So when you’re spending $20 billion a year on content, but people more than ever are

leaving the service, you have to inspect how much are you really spending in these areas

and what is it actually creating in terms of like library value?

You know, Disney Plus, I think has gotten, has done an incredible job in a much shorter

period of time.

Apple, after only a few years, wins the first Oscar of any of the streamers, right?

Beating Netflix, even though they’ve been in there and spent a hundred-

For best picture.

For best picture.

For best picture.

But I’m saying, so when you put all these things together, I think Netflix probably

has lost a little bit of the script, but they’re also suffering from a really macro headwind,

which is the advertising business is broken.

I would imagine that like total subscribers to streaming services, and if you were to

add up total subscription service dollars, it’s probably growing a lot.

Oh, for sure.

Netflix’s relative share is going down because the quality of the competitors is improving

so much.

Even companies that are not able to deliver like CNN shut down CNN Plus this week, after

investing $300 million in trying to build out the service, I mean, folks are putting

serious dollars behind these projects.

And so, the competition is fierce, and they’ve got deep content libraries behind them.

I personally think HBO Max is the best streaming service now.


Followed by Disney Plus, followed by maybe a mix of Amazon, Netflix, and Prime.

And so, Netflix’s relative value is going down because there’s so much other content.

When I’m thinking about what to watch, I’m looking at Disney Plus, I’m looking at HBO

Max, and I’m like, hey, you know, what should I watch tonight?

And then I look at Netflix.

Netflix doesn’t have a monopoly in content anymore.

And so, when I’ve got limited dollars, I personally, I looked at this after we were

texting about it, I subscribe to seven streaming services right now.

And if I didn’t care as much about how much I was spending per month, I would probably

cut three of them.

And Netflix would probably-

Under 100.


You’re also then highlighting the second, I think, macro thing that is actually equally

important, maybe even more important, which is, you know, the first rule of capitalism

says that excess returns will always get competed away.

So, you know, Netflix had the run of the place where they were an effective monopoly.


And now, when everybody else woke up and got religion, they decided to invest and they’ve

created some really compelling content.

And so, all of those returns will now get spread across seven or eight or nine competitors,

which means that just by definition, mathematically, Netflix can’t win the way that they used to.

And the network advantage in the streaming model is content and consumers.

So, you have better content, you get more consumers, you get more money from consumers,

you spend more on content.

At some point, you get diminishing returns in that network model.

And now we’re seeing those diminishing returns hit Netflix.

They haven’t built advantages in search and discovery, or in social sharing, or other

features into the app or into the service that will give them more of a lock-in value.

Because all I’m doing is buying content, is watching content.

They’re also three times the price.

And I can do that elsewhere.

They’re also three times the price of Disney Plus and other services.

So, in the competition space, people are starting to look at and go,

is this worth a Disney and an NBC?

Or is this worth a Hulu and an NBC streaming service?

Sax, you had something to add?

Well, I mean, I agree with that.

I would just add one factor to this, which is what Elon said, which is he said,

the woke mind virus is making Netflix unwatchable.

I mean, the quality of the programming has gone down.

I mean, Netflix used to be really good.

I can’t think of a show now that I watch on Netflix.

And I do watch HBO Max right now and Disney Plus because they got some shows that I like.

So, I think somehow the programming people at Netflix have gotten out of touch.


Are they pandering to that audience, Sax, do you think?

And similar to kind of how Disney ended up pandering.

And do you think that there’s broadly this kind of media

problem of trying to pander to the wrong audience?

I mean, they almost threw Chappelle off, who’s by far the number one comic

in American comedy.

And they absolutely would have thrown Chappelle off and done what a lot of those employees wanted

if they didn’t have such a big deal with him, if he wasn’t such a big deal.

No, I think they held the line pretty.

There’s a lot of groveling.

There’s a lot of groveling, Jake.

Well, I mean, I think they reasonably heard the concerns of their employees and said,

we reasonably disagree.

Can I ask you guys a question?

Yeah, but Jason, it showed, but yes, but look, yes, maybe.

But what I’m saying is that that episode revealed that the people are doing the programming

on Netflix, obviously, like, they’re not like, I think they’ve lost touch with where most of

the country is.

I will give a shout out.

I have not watched a series on Netflix in probably a year.



No, no.

But I will give a shout out to Never Have I Ever, which Mindy Kaling created.

She’s amazing.

And that series is incredibly funny and poignant and cool and awesome.

But outside of that series, I cannot think of a single reason why I would actually pay

for Netflix.

You got let me ask you guys a question.

So going back because, you know, there was the whole Disney pandering.

HBO Max, however.

Oh, my God.

So good.

The whole industry is suffering this problem.

Do you remember the Oscars?

We don’t even watch it anymore.

This is the question I have for you.

Do you guys think that there’s a difference culturally in the management of the media


So let’s go through them.

Warner Media, Disney, Netflix, Amazon.

And do you think that that cultural difference may create an advantage and success?

Do you think that Warner Media is operating HBO Max differently because they’re culturally


Yeah, because they’re culturally different.

HBO has always been culturally different.

They have been for or tours.

HBO has sucked for years.

They got a few good shows.

Now it’s more like they’ve always been for or tours.

They always have gone to the vision of the director, the vision of the writer and taken

a lot of risk.

When you hear that HBO logo, you know it’s going to be a high end.

I agree.

They have some really good shows right now.

But until the last couple of years, it was like pretty dismal business.

But I mean, to Freeberg’s point, you know that Netflix.

I would say I would say Disney has Marvel and that’s why they have Marvel and Star Wars.

And that’s and that’s kept them extremely relevant.

And Pixar.

Yes, the IP.

I cannot tell you how much and the advantage Disney has is the rewatch ability of their


I don’t know how many times your kids have all watched Moana.

My kids have watched.

I’ve had to watch Moana 107 times already.

Let’s hear it.

Let’s start.

Yeah, and you’re welcome.

Yeah, you’re welcome.

And the and the Star Wars content, as you guys know, you could rewatch Star Wars and


I mean, like the content is very different on Pixar movies, too.

You can watch 100 times over.

That’s very different content.

HBO Max is thrilling and engaging and doesn’t feel like it’s pandering.

HBO right now is operating at the next level.

I mean, so many good shows it for me.

But Netflix was five years ago.

So I understand.

But we’re not talking about the past.

We’re talking about today.

Netflix went with these very big deals with big celebrity names.

And, you know, I think they just lost their uniqueness in terms of risk taking.

So they went with Adam Sandler.

No offense to Adam Sandler fans.

And they’re doing a lot of reality TV now.

And if you look at Hulu, like Dope Sick and then the dropout, if you look at Apple TV,

Ted Lasso, we crashed.

And then you look at HBO Max with just, you know, Euphoria.

By the way, yeah, even I can actually.


Can you imagine Euphoria on Netflix?

It would never be on Netflix.

It would never get made.

It would never get made on Netflix.

I don’t think they.

Yeah, they don’t want to take risk.

HBO is like for adults.

It’s paid and they’re going to take risk.

And Disney doesn’t can’t touch that.

I think Hulu is a sleeper.

I mean.

Hulu is great.

Have you guys watched the series called The Great on Hulu?


It’s about Catherine the Great.

It is incredible.

I can’t stop my Hulu subscription.

So good.

I’m watching Severance right now.

That’s amazing.

It’s like really like, you know, ephemeral.

By the way, I started paying for YouTube TV so that I could get streaming cable.

Oh, yeah, I do.

I do Hulu.

That’s my number one.

My number one watch thing is YouTube TV because I don’t.

Do you have YouTube without ads?


YouTube without ads is such a game changer.

How do you do that?

What is it called?

YouTube Red or Premium?

YouTube Premium, it’s called.

It’s nine bucks a month, Chamath.

You can afford it.

You see no ads on YouTube.

Ask your assistant to ask her assistant to sign you up and you won’t have to watch ads on YouTube.

Are you functionally not able to use the Internet now, Chamath?

I actually have people that do it for me.

Do they type in your email password for you?


You’re like, how does this work?

And they’re like, there’s a person right there.

That’ll jump in if I can’t get the mouse to work.

He’s got the VP of product from Questron who lives in a little shack in the house next door

who comes over and uses the remote for him.

Thanks for tuning in, everybody.

For the dictator himself, the sultan of science, David Sachs, we have a jam-packed agenda.

My God, the summit is going to be amazing.

Let’s just do a little recap here of what’s happening.

We’ve got some pretty great speakers, Ryan Peterson, Nate Silver,

Claire Dickel, Brad Gerstner, Palmer Luckey’s coming, Elon’s coming,

Keith Rabois is coming, Joe Lonsdale, Tim Urban.

Wait, did you say Elon’s coming?

Oh, is that what it says on the website?

Yeah, he’s on the website now.

Elon Musk.

Elon Musk is coming.


Of PayPal.

Antonio Gracias.

I mean, we’ve got just an all-star group here.

You’re kind of buried there.

And I think Glenn Greenwald and Matt Taibbi are coming.

Yeah, that’s going to be amazing.

And so it’s going to be really great.

All right, everybody.

We’ll see you next time on the All In podcast.


My dog taking a notice in your driveway.

We should all just get a room and just have one big huge orgy,

because they’re all just useless.

It’s like this like sexual tension that they just need to release somehow.

I’m going all in.

comments powered by Disqus