All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg - #AIS: Bestie AMA with Valor's Antonio Gracias

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Antonio, Elon had a moment of reflection

and he was talking about 2008,

he was talking about the imminent collapse

as he felt it of SpaceX and Tesla at the same time

in December 25th, and he said,

there were just a handful of people who came out there

and put their careers on the line for him.

Yourself and Steve Jervison specifically mentioned.

And Ira, and it was a particularly poignant moment for him.

He was getting a little choked up about it.

Tell us about that bet you made in 2008

and the potentially career ending bet for you

to bet in an electric car company at that moment.

Take us back to that decision.

Yeah, well, before I do that,

I just want to say that I left my wallet backstage

because the last time I was with the four of you,

I lost a lot of money.


And I realized that I better leave all the cash

somewhere where you can’t get it.

And then, and you also made me cry.

So I don’t, I think I might cry again now.

Of joy?

I mean, no, no.

It was more like humiliation, but.

We’re playing poker.

Yeah, we’re playing poker.

Wait, wait, wait.

You pulled a Palmer Lucky?

Yeah, we played poker.

Yeah, yeah.

So if I cry again this time,

it will be from a sense of just gratitude

for those moments that we got to share.

So for us in particular,

because our strategy is so operational,

I was there working on supply chain in the factory

and on sales in that period,

along with my partner, Tim Watkins,

and three or four of our supply chain people.

And we had a major problem in the supply chain.

The costs were way out of control.

And, you know, Elon was doing the engineering

on the very expensive parts.

We were doing the, I call it the B parts,

the A and B parts.

And man, it was brutal.

But it was very clear to us that,

and remember, it was also

the middle of financial crisis, right?

So we had to triage our portfolio.

We had to decide.

We did have a lot of capital at the time.

These are tiny funds, $120, $300,000 funds.

Where our capital would go, where our people would go.

More importantly, where our operating people would go.

And where I would go.

And we decided to focus on Tesla

because first, we really did believe in Elon

when most people didn’t.

And we saw in him something very special,

which I think you probably saw here yesterday,

that not only is he a brilliant, brilliant engineer,

you know, one in a hundred year kind of engineer,

he’s a man of deep conviction and deep passion

and deep compassion.

What he is doing is really trying

to bend the arc of humanity for all of us

because he really cares.

And that came through to us

and we wanted to be on that mission with him.

And so we were privileged enough

to be there in a moment in time that it mattered.

And it was really hard, man.

I mean, we had clients.

I actually had a client said to me,

how do I know this isn’t DeLorean?

And I said, look, I can tell you for a fact,

we are not selling cocaine

out of the back of the factory in the cars.

There’s no-

DeLorean being the famous back to the future car

where the owner was trafficking cocaine

to underwrite the car.


I may live in Miami,

be named Antonio Grossi,

but we’re not selling cocaine for sure.

That I’m sure.

Yeah, but no, it was a career-bending event for us

and it turned out right.

It was the right thing to do.

But yeah, for me, it was,

I’m just deeply grateful for these experiences.

But I mean, you really doubled down

because you didn’t just do Tesla.

You also were there in some really critical moments

at SpaceX as well.

We were, although I tell you,

you know, we doubled down at the time in Tesla.

We put more money in Tesla

in the middle of the financial crisis

and then helped lead a convert around there

that was really tough for us to do

and then put more money in SpaceX.

But I tell you, operationally,

like in terms of capital stack,

I think there were other people around

and SpaceX was also running out of money.

And so we put money into SpaceX.

Operationally, we worked at SpaceX over the years,

but it was never as existential

in terms of the operations as it was at Tesla.

I mean, Tesla was truly, I think, truly existential.

And because we were operating guys

and I myself had been a factory manager,

I worked in auto parts, an auto parts factory.

I’d run industrial facilities myself.

We could kind of uniquely add value there.

In the rocket factory, you know, we were just less valuable.

But yeah, both these companies

were going down at the same time.

And you know, the amount of stress

we were all under was extraordinary.

But you know, looking back on it,

it’s one of the greatest moments of my career.

I mean, this sense of fellowship,

you know, one of the,

I think the great thing about being in our business,

the business we are all in,

is that we get to back amazing people

that are trying to change the world.

And in these dark, dark, dark, deep moments,

we get to go to war for them.

And in those moments,

I call them these moments of fellowship

where you just care deeply about someone

and passionate about the mission,

and you get to make a huge difference.

Like, these are the highlights of my career.

And if you ask my partners,

they’d tell you the same thing.

These are the best moments.

We’ve had some together.

Three of us have had some together.

Actually, we’ve all had some together here on the stage.

We had to fight for something we believed in.

And it’s a privilege, man, to do it.

It’s a privilege to be in that situation.

It’s a privilege to be with Elon.

It’s been a privilege to be there with all of you

at different moments in my career.

And I’m very grateful for it.

How, do you feel like you come off of a high

after having huge successes like that?

Like, how do you stay grounded and motivated

to try to find the next one?

If in the back of your mind,

there must be a little piece that says,

it’s never gonna be as good as this guy

or those two things.

I mean, you know, it’s an interesting question, Javon.

I think that there’s a couple things at play for us.

One is we keep going

because we believe in making the world better.

We invest in companies that we believe make a difference

with people we respect and we’re values aligned with.

That’s the ethos of our firm, right?

So whether it’s large or small,

we may never find something that’s as important

as Tesla and SpaceX again,

but we will find more great people and we will help them.

Two of our companies here,

I mean, we invested in Anduril with Palmer.

We have a small investment in Flexport,

which should have been one of the biggest mistakes

the last 10 years of my career

is not putting more money in Flexport.

Yeah, I know.

We actually, it’s kind of a funny story about,

we had, you know, I’d say kind of a soft handshake

on a term sheet at, say, a price of X

and SoftBank came in like two days later

and made it two X and I had too much price memory

to keep going and co-lead it.

So it was an error.

But you have two people on the stage here.

They’re extraordinary entrepreneurs

that are trying to make the world better.

Both these companies are really great

and making the world much more,

particularly now post COVID and in times of war,

making it much safer for all of us.

There are people like that out there.

There’s more of them.

They may not be Elon.

You know, it was probably one Elon in our generation,

but there’s lots of great people.

And I’m very optimistic about what’s happening now

in the economy.

We’re seeing incredible, incredible innovation

with tremendous entrepreneurs in our pipeline.

So maybe there’s another one, I don’t know.

Antonio, how do you think about the,

in the businesses you guys invest in,

there can sometimes be a very long capital deployment cycle

before you see any real return in terms of business value,

whether it’s pharma, I know you’ve done pharma,

some of these hardware companies

where there’s a big build cycle.

How much do you need to kind of think about

and see a customer and revenue show up

before you’re willing to say,

hey, let’s build the big rocket ship

to go to the frigging moon?

And how do you judge and value that business

and back a team?

It’s a really good question.

I think it depends on the sector we’re in.


And it depends on how we,

we look at the world probabilistically

and we’re looking for companies that we call pro-entrepreneur

where they get bad and the world gets worse.

So in the case of pharma or something like SpaceX,

we’ll think about like, what is our probability tree here?

What’s your probability of loss?

Probability of 3X, a 5X, a 10X, a 100X.

And then we’ll think about when the capital goes in,

what is the actual return on capital?

And I was watching the talk you guys had with Ryan

about what happens to the public markets.

The reality is that a business is a machine.

You put capital on one side

and out the other side comes return.

The ROI, see the return invested capital really matters.

And if you’re a classically trained investor the way I am,

we think about that a lot.


So even though we may be putting a lot of capital in,

the question is, what’s the margin

going to be in the back end?

A company like SpaceX, a lot of capital is going in,

but we know that if it works and we believe it will work,

we’ll ultimately have a company that has tremendous margins

even in the industrial sector

because of the industry structure it’s in.

It lives in an oligopoly inside the U.S. and outside the U.S.

So it’s like in building Starlink, same thing,

capital going in, but we know that the margins

and the profitability of that business on the back end

will be very, very high.

And so the ROIC will be very good.

Just the one.

Are you backing a lot of deep tech startups?

Like companies, a founder shows up with a PowerPoint

and they’re like, I need 50 million bucks

to make our prototype.

I mean, what happens there?

It depends on the business.

So as an example, we have passed on things

that are, our view, going to have margins

that are ultimately competed to a low level.

And there are, I don’t want to give examples here,

but there are lots of examples of people

that are doing things in,

I’ll call it electric aircraft, VTOLs, et cetera.

We look at this and say,

this is going to be a highly competitive market.

These are not an N of one.

SpaceX is an N of one.

If you compare that to someone making an electric vehicle,

say electric airplane or electric VTOL,

that will not be an N of one.

It’ll be an N of many.

And an N of many business,

you’re ultimately going to have margin competition

that’s going to make it,

the return on capital goes down

to basic industrial margins.

You know, like it won’t be that much better

than Boeing’s ROIC or Airbus’s ROIC

because those will be ultimate competitors.

You said it a little too, I think superficially.

So let me just double click.

And I think Antonio brings up,

I think one of the most important principles of investing

that is so utterly poorly understood,

which is ROIC, ROIC, return on invested capital.

Most people don’t even know what it means,

how to calculate it.

No pat over your weighted average cost of capital.

These are enormously fundamental principles

when you’re running a business,

especially in a moment like this,

because when the rubber meets the road

and you need a lot of money

and you run into somebody as sophisticated as him,

he’s already worked from first principles to understand it.

It’s really, really, really important to know these things

because these are the core foundations of valuation.

So obviously DCFs are one framework,

but ROIC is incredibly, incredibly important,

especially when you make real things

and you need to spend capex.

And look at a world in the last 10 years where money’s free.

Nobody thinks about this very much.

We always have thought about it,

which informs our investment model.

But yeah, Jamal’s right.

I mean, in today’s world, if you’re an entrepreneur

and you can show up and say,

listen, I have a 50, 60, 70% return on capital.

Every dollar you give me will yield a 70, 80% return

on the back end.

Even though we’re losing money along the way,

that’s a very compelling case to,

hey, we’re losing a bunch of money.

We’re not really sure what’s going to happen,

which is what we hear a lot.

This also builds on the question from yesterday,

which is how do you present yourself

as a young emerging company and cut through all the noise

and understanding of these things

and about future value creation in a moment like this

becomes really important as well.

Even if people will debate whether it’s right,

people will give you credit for the intellectual honesty

of actually going there and understanding these things.

You see it a lot where companies slip away

from first principles.

So, the first principle is on a high margin

enterprise software business.

You can define ARR and assume some,

and then people say, hey, some multiple of ARR

is your valuation comp, like your multiple.

And then another company shows up

and the margins are different.

The growth profile is different.

The revenue retention is different.

It’s a services business.

And they try and use a similar sort of comp.

And all of a sudden, everyone’s thinking about valuation

as a function of some industry standard comp

as opposed to going back to understanding

how did that comp get created in the first place?

And what’s the nature of the business

from which that comp arose?

And people are doing things like calling revenue ARR.

It’s not even subscription revenue and so on.

And I think that happens considerably more.

And then that investing cycle just becomes,

hey, well, the next round will be this multiple

and that’s how we’ll get our increment in valuation.

And everyone just misses the core proposition

of building a valuable business that can generate growth.

What’s your look through into the economy

just from your portfolio of companies?

Look, we think, I think we’re in a recession.

I mean, I don’t know if someone’s already said this,

but we’re in a recession.

We’re in a recession.

And this will be like my, I don’t know,

100th cycle or something.

I’m pretty old.

But like the rest of us here,

we’ve seen it over and over again.

And I see David’s tweets about go raise

two and a half years of money.

This is correct.

I mean, you need enough capital to get through the problem.

But the good news about this recession,

and there is some good news here,

which is to me, if you look at the macro picture here,

it looks like, if you look at the amount of federal debt,

the state of the consumer,

and kind of what’s happened to business formation,

it actually looks a little like post-World War II to me.

In that, in the World War II period,

we had the last massive mobilization

or demobilization of our economy occurred in World War II.

That happened again in COVID.

When we changed, in this case,

it’s like a mini version of remobilization

that we’re restarting the economy.

We flooded the system with money

to kind of buffer the problem and restart the economy.

And now we have inflation,

but we also have lots of business formation.

And we have new ways of doing work,

which is what happened after World War II.

So I’m very optimistic because most of these recessions,

to really get inflation down,

we’re gonna have to reduce consumer demand

and or change oil prices.

So for sure, we should be pumping oil in this country.

I know it’s controversial, but that’s important

to lower oil prices and get inflation down.

But the reality is underneath the numbers,

there’s a lot of innovation happening.

And that’s what happened kind of post-World War II.

So I would say we’re in a bit of a mini retooling.

It’s gonna be a rough year or two.

Hang on, there’ll be a rough year or two.

But the consumer’s in pretty good shape.

They’re not over-levered.

We should come out okay.

And the US economy is so resilient, man.

You know, we are all either one generation

from being immigrants or immigrants here,

I think most of us, right?

It’s the best place in the world to live.

We’re the most innovative economy in the world.

I’m super optimistic what’s happening here

because there’s so much innovation,

so many smart people working so hard to make things better.

I think it’s gonna be great.

I think when we get to the next couple of years,

it’s gonna be great.

Talk about this pumping more oil situation.

Obviously, Russia’s involved in a,

and we talked about it earlier today,

had a debate about Ukraine.

And then you have maybe some folks in the Middle East

not pumping as much oil as we might like them to.

And then Europe decided, well, we don’t wanna frack here.

We want you to do that over there.

And then we stopped here.

And none of us wanna see environmental damage

done to the planet,

but we also don’t wanna see dictators take over the planet

or the economy come to a halt.

What’s a reasonable proposal for America

and American sovereignty in terms of green and renewables

and maybe pumping some oil?

So look, we were the first institutional investors

at Tesla Motors.

So I think I have enough benefits to say this.

I believe in green technology, okay?

Absolutely, 100%.

But energy, and in the same fund we did Tesla,

we actually had fracking assets

because energy independence is a-

Well, that’s incredible, really.


Because then as it is today,

energy independence is a national security issue.

This is not a partisan issue.

Extremely important to understand this.

Extremely important to understand this.


It’s not about Democrats or Republicans.

It’s about wars in the Middle East.

And the reality is that the Saudis are not pumping.

OPEC is not pumping.

This is terrible for America and they know it.

They’re squeezing the American economy

the way they did in the 70s.

And it’s absolutely being done on purpose.

So the answer to that, in my mind, is twofold.

One, we should have an,

we should be an industrial policy general in this country,

but the first thing we should have is an energy policy.

Energy policy should look like this.

We take all of the background subsidies,

literally make them equal,

and we give, let’s say, 500 billion total,

250 billion in low-cost loans to the energy patch

for drilling in places like Texas, Louisiana,

and an equal amount to green energy.

And we sprint to a green future.

At the same time, we ensure that this country is safe

and we have energy security in this country

for all the people out there being hurt by inflation.

It’s a security problem.

And, um…

You guys invest heavily in manufacturing.

What do you see in terms of the future of manufacturing,

the opportunity for onshoring manufacturing?

Are there technologies that you guys are excited about

that create an advantage for the United States

to build manufacturing capacity to service industry here?

Yeah, look, I think this thing about,

we outsource our entire manufacturing base in China

because it was cheaper.

But the reality is that the productivity difference

between the U.S. and China right now is about eight to one.

So a U.S. worker is eight times more productive

than a Chinese worker.

We found, in cases like Tesla, where we actually helped…

In terms of GDP per worker?


We helped to insource the supply chain of Tesla.

Why is Tesla floating rated?

Because I got news for you,

you actually can make stuff in America,

and it’s made very well.


Shocking, okay?

And let me tell you, when you put…

Why do we have this narrative that it can’t be done,

and then we go to Gigafactory,

and you see it having been done?

Let me tell you why.

And boy, I mean, here’s the…

I’m probably going to get pilloried for saying this,

but great companies are built by engineers like Elon Musk.

That’s the reality of it.

And they know they want to control their manufacturing.

We do it here so we can iterate faster

and make the product better.

If the product’s good enough,

you’ll sell it for a great margin.

They get optimized by marketing people

and destroyed by the CFO.

When you put the finance guy in charge,

and he’s like, oh, hey,

we can get a lower piece part by sending it to China,

but he doesn’t understand the iteration cycle

of making that product,

that guy destroys the company.

And that’s what happened in America.

Bean counters.

Yeah, we put the CFOs in charge.

For God’s sake, don’t do that.

Fuck these bean counters.

I mean, can I say that?

Fuck them.

Let me say that.

That’s why we need more engineers.

Let me say that.

If you calculate return on invested capital,

and you think about this carefully,

what happens is these long supply chains to Asia,

they have huge capital deployment.

If capital’s cheap, you do that

because the piece part price is cheaper.

What happened at Tesla in particular,

when you calculate the overall cost,

and capital wasn’t free because we didn’t get any,

it was actually much smarter to bring it back.

Right, so the long-term cycle, you make more money.

The short-term cycle, you make less money.

The short-term cycle, you make more money.

I mean, is that another way to think about it?

You optimize.

For short-term outcomes.

You improve the income statement

because you might improve profitably in the short-term,

but you actually hurt the balance sheet

because you sent all this capital on the water

over to China, and you didn’t bring it back,

and your iteration cycle goes down

because you’ve got.

So what you’re saying is the product’s less innovative.

For sure, it is, it is,

but he’s saying something really important,

which is that it’s the financialization of the P&L

that in some ways led to the decline

of American manufacturing in part,

meaning if you’re a CEO of a business,

and you construct your employment agreement,

and it’s based on a certain kind of earnings

in a certain period, a certain earnings per share,

the incentive to then drive financialization goes up.

Now, the perfect example of this is

if you compare it, for example,

and you did this,

the comp package that you gave Elon in 2018

versus the comp package that any other CEO in America got,

it was completely black and white.

It was opposite land,

and you basically completely said,

you get nothing now.

Let’s set these extreme goals,

and then if you can hit it, you’ll get compensated.

So much so that when you had Glass-Lewis and ISS.

Glass-Lewis said no, right?

The ISS Glass-Lewis said no,

but they did most things,

and we’re being sued for it,

so got to be careful what I say about it,

but yeah, we had a comp package

fully based on equity appreciation

that required creation of new products,

and look, I’ll pick on Apple here.

Apple’s the first stock I ever bought.

I was 12 years old.

My mom actually went to Ocamp Bank

and bought me a few shares of Apple.

I still have it in my account

to remind me what it takes to build a company.

Steve Jobs dies, terrible,

and look, then Tim Cook takes over.

Tim Cook’s a supply chain guy.

I mean, they’ve really optimized profitability.

It’s unbelievable,

they’ve done a $2 trillion market cap or something now,

but man, when’s the last time they made a new product?



Yeah, pretty great, but.

Great product.

Great product, but I mean,

it’s not gonna change tomorrow.

Incredible free cash flow.


And they can aggressively buy back their stock.

Yes, it’s a great, yeah.

And the financialization of that company has attracted,

I mean, if you look at the largest shareholder

is the most sophisticated financial asset owner

in the world, Berkshire.


Berkshire doesn’t buy technology companies,

they buy incredibly well-run financial assets.

And it is.

By the way, look at how Zuck’s getting lambasted

for the VR investment.

Some might say that strategically

it’s not a great investment,

but he’s saying, fuck it,

I’m gonna spend $10 billion a year.

No, no, no.

He said it for a quarter,

and then he had to take it back and cancel it.

Oh, he said that, they took it back.


Yeah, but that’s what he wanted to do.

And so to your point,

like it’s very hard to really build things now.

Yes, but it can be done.

And look, I think one of the,

I am, what is happening in the world today,

geopolitically, is tragic.

The war we are experiencing in Ukraine is absolutely tragic.

But from all tragedies come some good things.

There’s always a silver lining.

And one of the silver linings here,

I think, should be the acceleration of reshoring

of all these products into America,

to rebuild our industrial base,

because we actually can do it.

I can tell you, I started my career

basically as a factory manager in California.

It can be done.

There are Americans who want to make stuff

between here, Mexico, Canada.

We can make pharma.

We can make high-tech products.

Yes, the price might be a little higher,

but I got to tell you, the iteration will be better,

and your value will be better.

If the product is better, people will pay for it.

And resiliency.

And resiliency.

Listen, for 100%, 100%.

All right, we are setting up a couple of microphones here.

Antonio has been gracious enough to join us for some Q&A.

The audience is filled with entrepreneurs,

capital allocators, artists, and builders.

So we’re going to put a couple of microphones out there.

Hopefully some lights on the microphones,

if I can see them.

Line up, and remember the rule.

We don’t need to know about your company.

Just a tight, concise question.

Anybody does any marketing or promotion,

we’re all going to groan.

Let’s practice a groan.

Three, two, one.


No groan.

You can say your name.

You can say your favorite bestie.

Also, wait, before we start.


If Chris, is Chris Malloy here?

Okay, everybody, you guys may want to just know Chris.

Whenever you’re in Vegas,

Chris is the guy at Carbone in Las Vegas,

which is the most, you know,

best restaurant, hardest restaurant reservation to get.

But Chris bought a bottle of wine for us

that we can open now and drink while we do the AMA, yeah.

Oh, well bring up a bottle of wine.

Anyways, that’s Chris Malloy.

Say hi to him.

Get his number and text him

if you’re ever in Las Vegas and want to go there.

I mean, only Chamath would bring

the captain of Carbone to our event.

Oh, could we drink?

Let’s drink some wine.

Yeah, let’s do it.

That’s fantastic.

Nice to meet you.

First question, tell us your favorite bestie, and then.

Yeah, we’re still doing favorite besties, right?

Favorite bestie, and then a quick, tight question, go.

All right, favorite bestie,

J. Cal, point guard of the century to this team,

so hats off to you.

My question is, first of all,

we’ve been here all week, or in the last three days,

watching these cards fall from the sky.


And we all know that you guys center around

this poker table, this beautiful game.

My question is, how has that game influenced

both your relationships and decision-making

in business and your personal lives?

Great question.

Chamath, start us off, and you can go to the back,

and the next person, queue up.

How has poker influenced?

Friendship, our lives.

How has the poker game itself had an impact on our lives?

Okay, I think, I really do believe this,

but I think it’s the most incredible game

and training ground for business,

because in any given moment,

you are forced to deal with the spectrum

of good information to moderate information

to bad information.

Good outcomes, moderate outcomes, bad outcomes.

You’re taking risk, you’re learning information,

you’re adjusting your style,

and the most important thing is you’re forced

to anchor to your core values or not.

How you behave at the table is how you behave in life.

You know, you can take these wins poorly.

That’s like a new Phil Hellmuth.



You can take these wins poorly,

you can take these wins well,

you can take the losses poorly,

you can take the loss as well.

I would encourage all of you to learn

to play the game with your friends.

It’s a beautiful, beautiful game.

And start a weekly game.


Well, the poker game at Chamath’s house

is how I got to be friends with Chamath, right?

I mean.


I’m just saying, this is what you guys tell your wives

while you stay up all night playing poker?


Because I’ve been there with you guys.

It’s pretty freaking degenerate.


Pretty degenerate.

We’re all holding hands.


Talking about our feelings.

Baby, it’s training, it’s training for business.

No, it is training for business, I’m kidding you,

but I’ve been there.

It is training for business.

I’ve been there.

It is training for business.

We’re not degenerates, but go ahead, Sax.

Well, I was just saying, Chamath,

I mean, didn’t you invest in Yammer

after I started playing in your weekly poker game?

Yeah, and it was actually so degenerate.

What really happened after that was

I was in Las Vegas in 2011.

I had just left Facebook.

I moved to Vegas.

And I was on the phone with Sax

in between playing tournaments.

And he let me in, invest in Yammer.

And you know, you did me an incredible solid

because I put money in.

And you know what this is like.

Nine months later, he sells to Microsoft.

And I returned a third of my first fund.

Ooh, yum yum.

And it really solidified my reputation.

So, I mean, I owe you a big one for that.

Well, I got to tell you about this, though.

So, David Sax, I’ve known David for 25 years.

He did Yammer.

I wanted to put money in it.

He said no, because it…

This is a true story.

This is a true story.

He said no.

He said, he said, no, because if this fails,

you are my backup plan.

Oh, for a job?


Well, he didn’t offer me a job.

I wanted David to come join me.

I was so afraid of losing everyone’s money

when I founded a company, you know.

He literally took a little check from me.

I wanted to have like one friend whose money I didn’t lose.

But, you know, that was the wrong way of thinking about it.

We should have…


I mean, how is the game?

Well, before, Chamath, are you leaving?

Before, Chamath, are you leaving?

No, I’m getting glasses.

No, no, come back for a sec.


He’ll get glasses.

He’s getting wine.

I’ll tell you guys one thing.

Chamath is one of the most generous people you’ll ever meet.

It’s unbelievable.

He is unbelievable.

And for all of his bluster

about his friggin’ mink coats and shit, like…



He has brought together a group,

and he largely is the reason

that I think the game grows and goes on.

And you saw some of the amazing people

that we’ve had on stage here,

and some of our friends are here

that we play in our game with,

that really, that network has been built and solidified

because of Chamath and his generosity and friendship.

That’s, it’s really something

I’ve learned to appreciate in my life, and, you know.

Thank you.

Thanks, yeah.

Yeah, I mean, it’s a tremendous group, and yeah.

Amazing people, like…

Amazing people, and…


The consistency of it has been amazing.

And it’s a degenerate group.

Chamath had this, like, little tiny $2 million house

with, like, a one-and-a-half car garage

when he was at Facebook,

and we would play in the garage.

That little tiny place you had, remember?

Oh, yeah, yeah.

You know, before you bought the two houses next door

and knocked them down, and…


Oh, shit.

But, true story.

Sax said, hey, you know, you’re doing these conferences.

You should invest in the companies.

And this is when I put the fix in

for him to win TechCrunch 50 at Yammer.

With Yammer.

He said, I have to win.

And then he, his wife told my wife, he has to win.

And so then I basically got the whole jury to vote for him.

With Yammer, he wins.

And he goes, hey, Chamath.

All my success is due to J-Cal.

You guys understand that, right?

It was a good fix.

I put the fix in for him.

But he said, listen, I want to thank you for this,

and you should start a fund.

Instead of doing all this work at the conference,

why don’t you just invest in the companies?

I’ll put 250K into your fund.

I’ll be the anchor.

I said, that’s incredible, really?

And he said, yeah.

And then I went to the poker table.

I told the story, and then Dave Goldberg,

rest in peace, one of our great friends,

and certainly the best amongst us, thank you.

He said, I’ll put money into it.

Thank you.

And he put money in.

And then Billy said, I’ll put money in.

And everybody said they’d put money in.

Freedberg said, I’ll take a pass.

Which was it?

But, you know, we’ll put that aside.


I was all locked up in other stuff.

Yeah, he’s like, I got a quinoa farm I’ve got to take care of.


Cheers, cheers, cheers.

Cheers, cheers.

Okay, okay, all right.

Let me cheer too.



And this is a true story.

Bill Lee’s there.

He couldn’t make it here,

but he’s one of our great friends

and one of Elon’s best friends in the world.

And he said, of course I’m in.

Would you mind if I tell our billionaire friend,

the co-founder of eBay, Jeff Skoll.

And he tells him, J-Cal’s doing a fund.

You should do it.

I meet Jeff Skoll’s money manager.

Yon, and I said, hey, here’s what I’m doing.

I’m a first time fund manager.

I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing.

I’m a former journalist.

And he said, how much is the fund?

I said, 10 million.

He said, I’ll take half.

And I said,

I’m sorry.

And he said, I’ll take five million.

And that was the biggest check I ever got.

And it was because of Bill Lee.

And literally that first fund

was raised around the poker table in one night.

And that changed the trajectory of my career.

And that really is the fellowship.

And it started with David and you hosting.

And I remember it was like yesterday.

And I think maybe also a good moment

to just maybe cheers to Goldie.

Dave Goldberg.

No longer with us.

And Tony Hsieh, who played in the game as well.

Two incredible men.

Next question.

Hey, my name’s Bobbin.

Favorite bestie is Chamath.

Great to meet you last night.

Thank you, Bobbin.

By the way, Antonio is also our people, too.

So he’s a bestie.

All right, listen, we know Chamath’s your bestie.

Quick, with the question, let’s go.

Yeah, my main question is when you guys

actually decided to manage capital for people,

like what really was the scariest step

in taking that leap and taking that risk?

I know a lot of you are GPs, solo GPs, so.

I mean, Zach, you made a big leap.

Was the scariest step?

Well, I mean, even as a founder, like I mentioned before,

I was like so worried about losing people’s money.

I mean, that was like, I mean,

I don’t know if like founders today even care that much,

that this seems, but.

It just seems like, oh, company didn’t work,

move on to the next one.

I mean, maybe that’ll change now

that the environment’s not gonna be as free-flowing,

but I was always like really worried

I was gonna lose people’s money,

and it was something that sort of kept me up at night.

I remember when I started Social Capital,

I think I was playing, I was either playing golf

or I had dinner with Chase Coleman in New York,

and Chase says to me, I’ll tell you the one piece of advice

Julian gave me when I started Tiger Globe,

I said, what was that?

This is a 2009, and he said, this is a death sentence.

And I was like, well, what does that mean?

And he said, you are the only person

that’s gonna live with this because you’re responsible,

especially based on who your LPs are,

for folks that if you really think about who they are,

it’s just gonna create this thing there,

and it’s like, you know, and I was lucky in that moment

because we were able to get like the Knight Foundation

and Mayo Clinic and these folks

that are doing these good works,

but then you’re representing their capital.

It’s heavy.

It’s heavy because you make this decision,

and if it’s wrong, you just feel literally

like you’re derelict and you’re taking money away

from sick children or, you know, free speech.

I mean, it was a, that’s a brutally stressful thing

to lose money on behalf of people.

By the way, I’ll recommend as a founder,

if you raise money, raise money from your friends, too,

and it’ll really change how you operate.

Yeah, I mean, I raised the first fund from my friends,

and I tell you, I took every single deal very seriously,

and I did my diligence, and I was very thoughtful about it.

How about you, Antonio?

Oh, man, our first fund, there are two fears I had.

The first one was raised from, I live in Chicago,

from my friends in Chicago, and I literally said

to one of my partners at the time,

if this doesn’t work, I have to move.

I’ll have to move to Chicago,

because in Chicago, you might get killed

if you find something bad.

This is not like.

I thought you were reading the weather.

No, no, no, I mean, these guys lose your money.

He was talking witness protection.

Yeah, exactly.

These guys lose your money.

People are kind of like, oh, I’m sad about it.

Chicago would like break your legs.

They’d burn your house down, man.

It’s a whole different.

It’s a whole different thing.

I have another question.

Oh, sorry.

No, keep going.

No, the second thing, I mean, honestly,

the worst thing for me, the most scary thing for me

was just the people.

I had three or four guys that had worked

with building companies before that,

and I just felt, if I had disappointed them,

if we failed, I would have felt terrible.


It certainly makes you focus on the game.

It’s like being staked in poker.

You play better.


I have a question for the 17th most important person

from PayPal.

I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding, I’m just kidding.

Obviously, Friedberg is my favorite bestie.

All right, science boy, let’s go out with it.

Let’s go nerd.

Unbelievable, the Friedberg love.

All right, Friedberg, soak it in.

You’ve been talking about how all this

increased money supply has been sending

the asset prices up, and now it’s unwinding.

I don’t think we’ve heard you talked about crypto

specifically, Bitcoin has obviously come down,

but it’s still over three times where it was pre-pandemic.

Curious what you think will happen in that world

as this unwinds.

You want me to address that?


It was for you, 17th most important guy from PayPal.

So the thing about the crypto market to understand

is that it’s like a liquidity sponge.

The more liquidity there is out there,

the more people feel empowered to make

speculative investments, and crypto is like

the most speculative.

Now, that’s not to say it’s not real.

I actually do believe in Bitcoin.

I think there’ll be a number of other

sort of alt-currencies that work,

but probably the vast majority will not,

and there’s been a tremendous amount

of speculation and inflation there,

and so that space is in the process of correcting.

You know, I’ve never been able to say

what the right price levels for any of this stuff are.

Let’s say you believe in Bitcoin long-term.

Let’s say you believe it’s going to be

the first non-fiat currency.

What price should that be today?

There’s no discounted cash flow analysis

you can apply to it.

It’s always been very hard to know

what the prices of these things should be,

and so in practice, the price is a function

of how much liquidity is in the system,

and when you go through a period of liquidity

getting destroyed, it’s no surprise

that crypto goes wrong with it.

Antonio, have you touched, I mean,

you were so into physical assets

and building real things like spaceships

and rocket ships.

When you watch this crypto bubble

grow and burst and grow and burst,

and now it’s burst again,

what’s your take?

Well, first I want to tell you,

I bought my first crypto, I mean, I think in 2017,

because David Sachs and Bill Lee

were pushing the Ponzi scheme on me.

So they were like, they were,

I was at a birthday party.

I think you were there too, Jim Callum.

They were like, they were hawking Bitcoin,

so I bought some.

Nobody had heard of it at that point.

I know, I bought some.

I think it was like 800 bucks of Bitcoin.

So here’s my general view.

I actually think, I think that Bitcoin in particular

is a bet on rising political risk

and on political freedom.

Economic freedom is closely linked to political freedom.

And last time I looked,

Ukrainians are the third largest holders of Bitcoin.

And if I were staying in Taiwan today,

I would have 10, 15% assets of Bitcoin.

So this removes the ability to control currency,

capital controls from governments.

I think this is very important and it should survive.

Price levels, I don’t know.

I do have a, you know, a reasonable amount of Bitcoins

as a hedge to political risk globally.

And that’s how we think about it.

We have invested in infrastructure assets

around a blockchain.

With Dave, we have a couple of assets

because we believe that blockchain itself

is a platform shift in the technology of tracking assets.

This was a real thing and it’s gonna happen.

It’s gonna change the way we do finance.

So we invest in infrastructure.

Got it.

Let’s take another question.

Tied is right.

Is there a mic over there?

Oh, I’m sorry.

We’re gonna take one from here.

We’ll alternate.

So Tied is right.

Yeah, hi.

Karmantra, CEO of Credo.

I have to tell you, I’m a science nerd, Friedberg.

But J-Cal, it’s been awesome today.

And I wanna say, you guys, like your courage and bravery

to do what you’ve done with the pod

and watching this today, like, thank you.

Thank you.

Yeah, you’ve talked a lot about later stage.

I’m wondering if you could, like,

tune in a little bit more on pre-seed and seed

and kind of what you’re seeing

in terms of valuations and metrics

that you’ve got to hit in the earlier stages.

It’s very simple.

I invested in Uber, Thumbtack, and Calm

for $15 million combined.

That was their combined valuation.



And all three companies had products in the market.

And then what we saw over the last five years

is people wanting credit for a white paper,

a prototype, an MVP to the tune of 15 to $50 million.

And we did sit out some of those and said,

listen, when the product is ready,

let’s take a look at the product

and talk to the first two or three customers.

To David’s point, about zero to one customers

is the really hard hurdle.

And now it’s back down to six to 15 million

for a company that has a product in market

and maybe 50 to 100 times yearly revenue for a valuation.

So to the extent you can get to 200K in yearly revenue,

you can get a 10 to $20 million valuation.

I’d say halfway back to normal

and perhaps a permanent livable reset

because the outcomes have been pretty fantastic

so the early stage should go up.

The only thing you really need to raise money

is to build a world-class product

and just get a couple of customers

who are absolutely blown away by what you’ve built.

That’s all you need.

But everybody gets concerned with the theatrics

and the performative stuff and their network and nonsense

and who you are and where you came from,

none of it matters.

Build a world-class product

that two or three people are obsessed with

and you’ll get the C-check.


Yeah, I think Brad.

Brad Gerstner had,

sorry to interrupt your applause, J. Cal.

I know that’s important to you.

I’ll take what little I can get.

So I think Brad Gerstner made a really important point

on this, which is the new normal

is going to look like the old normal,

meaning the pre-COVID normal.

We had the abnormal period was this two-year COVID period

where 10 trillion of liquidity is pumped into the system.

Things are going back to what they looked like

before all of that happened

and maybe before the Fed started

with this zero interest rate policy.

So we’re actually getting back to normal.

Understand that the environment we’re entering now

is the normality.

The abnormal period was the inflation we saw in assets

over the past couple of years.

That’s the reset that everyone’s going to have to

wrap their heads around.

Saks, you’re my boy.



One for Saks.

I think there may be some preference falsification

around this because people don’t want to admit

they’re conservative.

All the polling, all the polling shows this.

But anyway, thank you, sir.

And your second favorite bestie is Tucker Go.

For early stage SaaS investors, which most of you are,

in an increasingly digital world

where there are large SaaS solutions

for nearly everything,

how do you think about selecting companies and founders

in the early stage that are coming to market

with a small amount of utility

and how do you think about they compete with companies

with already established customer distribution?

Yeah, so I think one of the things I really like about SaaS,

which is your software as a service,

basically B2B software, it’s business software, okay,

that’s sold as a subscription,

is that the world’s never going to run out

of new ideas for business software.

Business keeps changing, so therefore,

the software that businesses need will keep changing

and there will always be an opportunity there

for new companies, new verticals, new niches,

there’ll always be new ideas.

And so I’m never worried about running out

in terms of how we evaluate the actual idea.

We’ve actually been super transparent

around the metrics that we need to see.

It really does start with a company hitting

the metrics hurdle that we need to see

for example, Series A.

It’s a, call it, you’re roughly more or less

a million dollars of ARR, you want to be growing

15% month over month, certain net dollar retention,

certain capital efficiency.

We’ve published it on our website and on our blog.

So it starts with that and then once we know

that our thresholds have been hit,

then we get into more qualitative or subjective factors

like what do we think about this founder in this market?

But one thing I like about it is just

it’s very well defined, like what we’re looking for.

And so just go to our blog, you’ll see,

we’ll tell you exactly, there’s no mystery to it.

Outside of productivity tools though,

there’s not a single company that can stay

in one category and become really big.

What does that mean?

There’s not a single public company that doesn’t have now

an entire strategy that says we sell at SMB,

mid-market, and enterprise.

And so the thing for SaaS businesses,

unless you’re like a really powerful productivity tool,

like a Slack or an Atlassian,

you’re valuation capped in the mid to high

single digit billions as it currently stands today.

That’s just the law of the math in the public markets

on how you’re rewarded.

How do you grow out of it?

You have to embrace a strategy that actually does more

where you become a system of record.

So a good example is like a Zendesk.

They hit an upper bound.

You know, there are many of these examples.

And so if you’re building a SaaS business

or you’re investing in a SaaS business,

the other thing to think about is

in the absence of being a productivity tool,

of which again, there are a few,

everything else has to find a way of being applicable

to larger bodies over time in order to maintain valuation.

We’re going to try and move faster

so we can get more people.

Yeah, another question here?

Hi there, guys.

Favorite besties, probably four-way tie,

but maybe Chamath edges out just a bit.


It’s not a tie.



Tie goes to Chamath.

Quick question.

So, you know, you guys have done incredibly well.

So what would you do if you’re dropped in the middle

of say Kansas, take away the resource,

take away the network and take you back to age 25?

What would you do and why?

Antonio, take it.

I’m actually from Michigan.

I got dropped in the middle of there with no resources

and not a lot to do.

And I wasn’t 25, I was in my early 20s.

I would find a way to make it work, man.

You should get, you should actually,

whatever skill you want to start at,

whatever job you have,

I would try and start a little company.

There’s always people, and listen,

a place like Graham is Michigan, man,

you could cut grass.

I had a little computer company when I was 12 years old,

doing like networking for people in the old days.

I mean, there’s always something you can do

if you had a valuable skill.

Build a skill, start a company, and just get started.

Start moving and make good decisions along the way.

One good decision compounds on top of the other

and all four of these guys,

what they have done in their careers

is made very good decisions and they’ve kept moving

when they’ve had problems.

And you start early.

Yeah, you gotta start early.

You gotta start early.

I just want to tell you this,

they may look like super successful guys now,

and they are, but it wasn’t easy,

and it wasn’t linear.

They’ve all had ups and downs,

they’ve all had problems.

I still do.

And they all still do.

What they do, and I have great respect for all four of them,

I know them all well,

they keep making good decisions,

they’re highly resilient, and they just keep going.

And I would tell you to do the same thing.

You gotta just keep going.

The only thing I’d add to that is to keep learning.

Wait a minute, I’m getting some applause here, man.

Oh yeah, yeah, go.

Thank you.

Thank you.

I haven’t had any, man, I haven’t had any.

I just got here.

But I would just say keep learning as well.

One of the biggest advantages I’ve had in my career

is that I try to always learn new stuff as often as I can.

And whenever I find an area of interest,

I pursue it in terms of deepening my understanding of it.

And that’s always created opportunities for me

that I wouldn’t have just stumbled across

or walked my way into.

It’s such a great opportunity to have you here, Antonio,

and I asked you to do this.

You had never been on a podcast before.

Have you never done this kind of thing?

I’ve never done this kind of thing, no.

It’s awesome, thanks.

I’m only doing it because it’s the four of you,

and I am usually very private, but I’m enjoying it.

You have an incredible voice.

You know?

Yeah, it’s like very like, very NPR, very public radio.

It’s like, hey, everybody, you’re listening

to The Politics of Culture.

I’m Antonio Gracias.

People tell me I have a voice for radio and pornography.




It works pretty well.


Hey, guys, I’m Samantha.

Favorite bestie is Friedberg.

I run the factory automation team

for a large semiconductor manufacturer

in the United States.

Really unimpressed with the innovation

in industrial automation, and so really interested

to hear your thoughts on where you see

the next disruptions in automation,

and also maybe a question for Antonio.

Where do you see the disruptor specifically

in how we get not only the technology,

but the economies of scale for these

really capital-intensive businesses in the US?

This is your guy to answer this.


For sure.

And by the way, you should talk about automation

at, I don’t know if you want to, but Tesla, yeah?

Yeah, I mean, we know a lot of automation.

One of my partners is like a genius engineer

in this area, and you’re particularly

in the chip business, you said, right?


So, you know, TSMC basically took the,

this idea of outsourcing manufacturing assets

that Intel did with TSMC in the beginning,

they created that business and moved most

of our high technology and chips offshore into Taiwan.

This is like a terrible idea.

And I think, as I said earlier,

we need industrial policy in this country.

I think we need industrial policy

to bring chip manufacturing back.

It’s very important.

And the problem you have in automation

and chip manufacturing in particular is,

you know, when you think about where

all the great engineers go today,

they go to automation, they’re not going there

because they’re competing with TSMC.

So you have a couple of Intel fabs still in the US,

but we have to have some, I think actually

it’s going to require industrial policy

to force people like Intel, AMD,

to want to bring stuff back into the US,

and to really get great talent to want to do it.

Do you think there’s opportunities

outside of Greenfield models to kind of reinvigorate

and unlock the capacity that we have

in some of our older manufacturing here in the US?

Yes, I do.

Look, we at Tesla took over the,

this Fremont factory was a former GM Toyota factory.

And, you know, we retooled it.

It was, look, it would have been,

we had to do it because we didn’t have any money,

and it was free basically.

But if you took that approach

and you got really great entrepreneurs

to focus on this problem through an industrial policy,

they need money to do it,

I think you’d get great innovation.

Look, NVIDIA is actually here in the US.

This is a reality.

This is a great chip company.

And the fabs they use are spread all over the world.

But if you gave NVIDIA a fab or two,

who knows what happens if it was the right price.

Yeah, Jensen’s a great CEO.

Did you go to that side?

Favorite bestie, Jason, you keep the ship together.

You’re the glue that keeps it together.

My name is Chris.

My friend and I started All In Talk nine months ago.

The fan page for the.

Thank you, cheers to you, yeah.

It’s really, obviously.

I was at the outdoor mall near my house

and my dog attacked another dog.

And the guy was like, it’s okay, I saw you on TikTok.

I was like, dude, I’m not.

So that was because of you.

Thank you, I didn’t get sued.

But that wasn’t for your channel.

That was for his Kinwa channel.

It wasn’t your channel, that was.

So my question is in the 2022 predictions episode,

you talk about all in media idea

and starting an all in media channel maybe.

And I wonder if you guys have talked about that anymore,

your goals for the future on that.

Because I’m pretty sure everyone would agree here

that if you did start one,

it would do a whole lot better than CNN Plus.

Well, that may not be a very high bar.

Yeah, it’s a very low bar.

I think it’s.

We actually did get together, the four of us.

We sat in Freeberg’s office.

What a shit show.

People started yelling, two people walked out.

Sax just started to do this at the table.

Yeah, I’m definitely a good driver.

My dad lets me drive in the driveway.

It wasn’t a productive conversation.

It was completely unproductive.

It was completely unproductive.

That was our first and only meeting.

But no, but we did take one key step,

which is that Freeberg said,

I’m gonna get my team to draft the LLC agreement

for the four of us.

Which we refused to sign.

And now no one’s signed it.

But it’s in our inbox.

So we’re one step closer to starting it.

But joking aside, I still think

that it’ll become inevitable.

And I think the reason is the two people,

the robots, non-humans,

that were uncomfortable with human interaction,

David’s, David’s.

I’m like, chill, I’m like.

Lifters, you know?

Once we do the recap of this,

I think it’ll be,

I think these two are probably the most shocked.

I’ll tell you, by the way,

my observation, I used to go to TED.

I went to TED from 2008 to 2019.

I stopped going to TED

because I thought the content went to shit.

And it basically got overtaken

with social justice talks.

And I used to start at tech

and interesting ideas about where the world’s headed.

And I listened to our speakers this week,

the last few days,

and I’m like, man, really fantastic content.

I’m like, this could be the new TED.

So I got really invigorated by that.

I really thought, I felt like that was really necessary.

And by the way,

I think it’s conversations

people don’t really seem to want to have, right?

Like, and that, and those are,

well, and let’s just say,

you were not the earliest believer

in this was going to get pulled off.

I cannot tell you how many times

I’ve considered quitting the pod

and not even showing up for this event.

And I give Jason props publicly

for doing a great job pulling this thing off, so.

Thank you.

Go, go.

Hey guys, my name is Sarah,

and I really love all of you.

You got me through a very tough,

challenging time when I started listening to you.

I came here over 16 hour flight from Abu Dhabi,

so thank you.

Wow, that’s a long flight.

We love you, we love you.

I have a comment and a question.

The comment, and maybe David.

I have a lot of relatives in Sweden,

and when the Ukrainian war started,

this is very amiable, innovative, beautiful people,

haven’t had a war over 150 years,

and they were putting gas in their car

and supplying cans of goods,

and got really, really nervous about what’s happening,

and were watching closely to see

what would be the next step,

I think, if the U.S. did not step in.

So there’s a lot of reality out there

for the U.S. to stay, I don’t know,

like the savior of the world in a certain way or another.

Finnish people felt the same way, Moldovans.

So this is a real big reality

out in the Western European world,

not just Eastern Europe.

So that’s on my comment, so thank you.

For the question, and this comes from my husband.

If you’re sitting on excess liquidity right now

and want to invest for a long time.


Sax is raising a fund.

What would you do?

Was that a transition from World War III to?

Investment advice, stock tips?

Stock tips?

Yeah, how to make money in the market?

We want to save.

I mean, that is dynamic range right there.

Well done, well done.

You’ve gone from two poles.

You know, I mean, you know the ups and downs of my life,

so yes, it is like that.

Why don’t we just take the first part?

Because I think it’d be good.

So on Ukraine, you know, I thought it was important

to have this debate today

where we got both sides of the issue.

And we got two people who are very passionate

on both sides.

And I tend to agree more with Glenn on it,

but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to help Ukraine at all.

I just think we have to keep a close eye

on preventing this thing from escalating into World War III

because the Russians have 6,000 nuclear weapons

and their military doctrine says they can use them

if they feel that they’re existentially threatened.

And so, you know, if our objective here

is to help the Ukrainians expel the Russians

from an invasion, that’s one thing.

But if our objective, if we have mission creep

into destabilizing the Russian regime

and to basically trying to take back Crimea,

which they see as theirs,

if we’re trying to weaken them to the point

where they’re no longer a great power,

we’re really playing with fire there.

So we have to be really careful about our objectives there

and make sure that we don’t let this thing

spiral out of control.

Antonio, you have thoughts on Ukraine

and are we being too dovish or hawkish

or doing it just right?

So I think we are, there’s a lot more going on here

than may meet the eye.

This question was about Sweden and Finland

and here’s what I would say,

because I want to focus on that,

that if our friends in particularly Northwestern Europe

should actually be arming themselves

and if they arm themselves, we won’t have this problem.

That’s the reality of it.

The reason Ukraine, yes, that’s the reality of it.

Obviously they’re learning their lesson now.

The time for sitting on the sidelines

in Central Europe is over.

If you care about your country,

care about your children, care about your families,

then you should arm yourselves.

Period, full stop.

An American would be very happy to sell you weapons.

No problem, what they’re without NATO.

I think that’s true.

The reason the Ukrainians are able to defend themselves

is because they have actually been buying weapons

and they built their own weapons with the Turks.

The drones that are being used

to destroy the Russian supply lines

are not coming from America.

They’re coming from a joint venture with the Turks.

This is the reality.

So should we be drawn into a war in Central Europe?

No, I think it could start World War III.

Should we help these folks defend themselves?

Yes, I should.

And in your particular part of the world,

yeah, for sure, start buying some weapons.

One question, over here, yeah.

Tough to follow, but my name’s Ioana.

Favorite bestie, I think Friedberg.

I think you do a good job of being heard

and hearing others equally,

so I think that’s an important skill.

I’m trying to work on it myself.

More Friedberg.

More Friedberg, wow.

In terms of my question, it’s a little more qualitative,

but some of us were having an interesting discussion

about first impressions last night,

and I’m curious to think,

one, in terms of your own first impressions,

how has the way that you introduce yourself

to others changed as you’ve grown,

and what have you learned about that?

And on the other end,

what are some of the most notable first impressions

others have made on you,

and why have those stood out to you?

That’s an interesting question.

Well, seeing as only two of us have emotions,

maybe we can.

Yeah, we can chop it out, sure.

I’m gonna go to the bathroom.

You won’t find any emotions there.

Turn the mic off, please, the quinoa.

Oh my God.

Oh my Lord.

That Baba Ganesh goes right through you.


Baba Ganesh.

I think that when I was younger,

I was more insecure,

so I had to wear what few labels I had on my sleeve

and use them as a weapon

before others could use their labels on me.

I honestly felt that way.

And in Silicon Valley at the time,

it really, there is a very monocultural aspect

of folks from a few schools,

folks having worked at a few companies,

and I had neither.

I went to Waterloo, which is in Canada,

and I worked at AOL,

so I didn’t go to Stanford,

and I didn’t work at Google or Yahoo.

And there’s a great lineage of where

the really credentialed, credible folks came from.

And so you do what any insecure person does.

You kind of throw what few things you have out there

very quickly, trying to one-up the person in front of you.

And that’s calmed down a lot,

so that’s probably the biggest thing that’s changed.

It has, and I think it’s,

I have a similar observation.

When I was taking that R train into Manhattan,

I used to say to myself,

Jason Calacanis, editor-in-chief.

Jason Calacanis, millionaire.

And I was like, literally had a 16-page photocopy magazine

called Silicon Island Reporter,

and I was trying to convince myself

that someday I would be somebody.

And I think that narrative was important for me,

and people, when I would give them the 16-page photocopy,

I’d say, here’s my magazine,

and they’d say, this is a photocopy.

I’d say, no, it’s a magazine.

It’s got a picture on the cover.

Because for me, that was why it was a magazine.

And it eventually became a very large magazine, in fact,

of 300 pages.

And today, thank you.

So I think there is something about manifesting stuff

and just believing that you’re going to get there.

But today, I define myself by the things I love to do.

So when people do ask me now, hey, what do you do?

I say, I’m a writer and I have a podcast,

and I angel invest.

And I don’t say it’s the number one podcast

or I’m one of the top angel investors of all time.

I just think about what,

I don’t say that.

And I don’t say, you know, like it’s,

the book is in 11 languages or whatever.

I’ve got a million dollar advance.

I just, there’s no ego about it.

I just say writer, podcaster, angel.

Okay, how did it go in there?

Okay, David, you’re okay?

What sort of advance are you getting?

A million dollars, he said.

A million dollar advance.

I mean, the book’s in 12 languages now, thank you.

I’ll sign it.

If you have one, I’ll sign it.

Next question.

Sometimes I think Jason’s just pimping out all of us

to fuel his media career.


You think?


You think?

Hey David, all honesty,

how has the deal flow gone since you got this podcast?

Let’s be honest.

I think it’s down 50%.


That was the intent.

That was the intent.

More deal flow coming this way.

Down 50%.

Down 50%.

That’s since you went on Tucker.



Today the crypto world is focused on decentralization,

speculation, and stores of value.

Who here is excited about micropayments?

And whoever is most excited,

which industries do you think will be most impacted

by the newfound ability to send payments

in as little as one hundredth of a penny?

Go ahead.

Oh, favorite bestie, they want to.

Sax, you want to take it?

Yeah, go ahead, Sax.

So, you know, this question of micropayments

has come up all the way since, you know,

back to when I was working on PayPal.

And one of the problems with micropayments is,

as the name suggests, the amounts are very, very small.

So, you have to do a lot of them

to create enough volume for them to be meaningful.

And so there was always sort of this market size problem.

Now, for crypto, there may be more of an opportunity there

because the way that the old credit card rails network works

is there’s like a 25 cent charge per transaction.

And so, like at PayPal, it just didn’t make sense

to facilitate micropayments

because the cost of that transaction

always exceeded the fee that we could get.

So, you’re right that,

or I think what you’re suggesting with your question

is that there is sort of a crypto opportunity

to do this in a different way

because you can basically do

a costless instantaneous transfer

using a blockchain-based currency.

So, I’m sure someone’s going to do

something interesting with that.

And then the question is just how,

like what does that aggregate into?

Is it going to be big enough to be?

By the way, there’s an interim step

which is also pretty obvious, at least to me,

which is this idea that, you know, for example,

like if Stripe actually took the time

to embrace one of these stable coins,

there’s no reason why Stripe needs

to actually run on Interchange as well.

Because like you can just basically swap that dollar

in a ledger into USDC, let’s just pick that as an example,

not Tether, not to tilt you,

run it on those rails for free

and then basically transfer it back.

And it’s not obvious why people don’t do that.

You need the gas cost to come down.

So, you know, like you’re running a transaction

on Ethereum or certainly Bitcoin.

Ethereum is very expensive right now.

Other chains.

Yeah, yeah, you need like a chain,

like a salon or something like that.

Something that’s like super cheap.

And the cognitive load of the transaction,

just the person deciding, do they want to pay

a 10th of a penny a penny,

is sometimes greater than the actual value of the money,

which then creates almost like friction

to them wanting to read the article.

Let’s take another question.

Hi, my name is Kate and my favorite bestie right now

is Friedberg, who often plays devil’s advocate

and so force is a stepwise conversation.

Running away with it, Friedberg.

Woo, Friedberg, my lord.

How many people did you pay off?

Go ahead.

So we all admire your successes,

but we’ve also been hearing from Mar, for instance,

that we need to be comfortable with failure

and we need to become resilient.

So when you look back on your careers thus far,

what have been the toughest moments,

the moments when you’ve made a mistake

that have taught you a lot?

I mean, I had two huge ones.

And Antonio must have some too, yeah.


My mistakes?

That you learned the most from.

Man, my biggest mistakes in life have been about people.

And I have, over the years, made errors in judging people

and how honest they were and how good they were.

And as I look back on that,

it’s because I have a weakness for ideas that are great.

And sometimes those come with great people

and sometimes they don’t.

The reality is there are some bad people out there

who are acting really great and doing interesting things.

And we’ve suffered from that.

I mean, I know David and I already deal together

that suffer from that.

And it happens.

So I would be, I’ve learned a lot about that.

I’ve gone deep into neuroscience.

Actually have a stat.

We have a woman who’s got a PhD

in the neuroscience of emotion from Caltech now on staff

that helps us learn, as you said,

always learning about how to assess people

and how to assess their emotional states.

That’s the most important thing I think we’ve updated

in our process and in my own thinking.

So you love the idea so much that you ignored the other data

that this person was not honorable, truthful.

No, I mean, so there are times when,

there are two kinds of errors here.

One type of error is we just didn’t see it

because the person was so good at being bad.

They are, one of the things that neuroscientists taught us

is that about 5% of the human population

has a brain anomaly that make them actual psychopaths

defined as the amygdala doesn’t fire properly

when they do something bad, guilt, fear, et cetera.

And in our particular industry, it’s probably more like 10%.

So we raised our base rate forecast to 10%

and it’s gotten better.

But there’s some people that are so good at it,

you just can’t see it.

I mean, Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, okay?

Like lots of smart people running that company.

We didn’t, but it wasn’t obvious to them, obviously.

Then there are moments earlier on

when we had yellow flags, we overrode

because we were so emotionally committed to the idea

that we had a business we did was in the dental space,

it was Medicaid dental clinics for kids

that were black and Hispanic.

And I’m from that demographic

and I wanted to make that great.

And the reality is we overrode yellow lights

because we wanted to make it great and we failed.

Jamatha, you were going to add some of your failures.

I had two huge failures,

but they were more personal moments of learning for me.

One was, you know, we were in the midst of building a phone

and it didn’t come to pass.

And if I really think about what I thought the problem was,

this was when I was at Facebook,

what the problem then versus now,

then, you know, I would have said,

oh, Zuck and I had a huge kind of, you know,

thing and blah, blah, blah.

Now, what I would have said is, you know,

I didn’t really understand my own limitations

and what I was really asking of him and the board

in that moment.

And then the second is there were all these moments

that were people decisions at Social Capital

that ultimately manifested in sub quality financial

and investment decisions.

And had I had it to do over again,

I would not have ignored some of the red flags

because I was so desirous to be in the game,

to, you know, be in it that I probably, you know,

looked the other way a little bit on folks that,

you know, I’ll just give you the practical example.

I remember in a $300 million fund,

I put 25 or $30 million into Bitcoin at 50 bucks a coin.

And when the thing went to like 150 or something,

just the pressure to distribute was so high.

And I had conviction, I had all of these things,

I had all the voting control, I had everything to just say,

no, and I didn’t have the courage to understand my role

as a leader versus something, you know,

my job as a investment partner.

And so you learn, you know, you learn what you’re good at,

you learn where your strengths are,

and you try to just get better,

try to fix those weaknesses.

I mean, at the end of the day,

what we’re both saying is the same thing,

which is ultimately, it has nothing to do with anybody else.

It still comes back to you and what your skill set is

in your toolbox and whether you’re upgrading

your toolbox every day.

Friedberg, Sachs, any mistakes that you’re able to access

through your CPUs?

In your long-term storage?

Well, I think as you get older,

you learn how to pick your battles better.

And you just have to decide like,

what are the occasions that are really worth fighting for,

which aren’t, you know?

And sometimes you just let it go,

and others you have to fight.

So, and just knowing when you should choose which path,

I think is really important.

When you were younger?

And by the way, the guy you really want behind you

in a battle is this guy.

So, phenomenal investor,

back when I was on the founder side of the table, so.

Good brawler?

Yeah, for sure.

That’s why I got him a samurai sword for his birthday.

He did, yes.

What did you get him for his birthday?

A samurai sword.

The collection of samurai swords you saw in my apartment

started with David Sachs’ samurai sword.

Ah, very nice, very nice.

Thank you, David.

It’s very sharp, too.

What’s your kids trying to play with it or something?

It was not a toy.

Yes, it’s not a toy.

Friedberg, anything in that long-term storage

tape drives of a?

I don’t know, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.

It’s really hard.

I’m very hard on myself.

When I was young, I always said there’s no limit.

And I always believed that.

And when I hit walls in my life,

it was very difficult because it totally countered

what I felt was possible.

I always thought everything was gonna be a success.

There’s no way I’m gonna let anything fucking fail.

There’s no way I’m gonna let anything not work.

My voice is cracking now because I’m crying

because I’m losing my voice.

So, um.

We know it’s who you need.

If you cry now, then everybody’s gonna be,

oh, Friedberg’s my favorite fast food.

It’s all for the vote, it’s all for the vote.

He actually does have emotions, see?

But I would say.

He’s smart and kind.


And a vegan.

He’s perfect.

The biggest mistake I made.

I love him.

He’s my dream boyfriend.

Maybe coming on this stage was the biggest mistake I’ve made.

Ah, joint in the pocket.

Oh, man.

But I think Antonio’s point is right.

You just have to be willing to learn and evolve.

It’s, you know, I now know that my life

isn’t about everything I do has to work 100% of the time.

And being so hard on myself caused a lot of, like,

emotional challenges for me over time.

But getting to this point where I can now

be much more calculated and just be more open

and more calculated and just move forward quickly

and learn from it has been a big evolution for me.

It’s just a general statement.

Yeah, and I would.

Oh, sorry, Jason.

Well, no, it’s okay.

I just, I was thinking about it while these guys

were being so candid and I was immediately

gonna punt and go to the next question,

but I thought that would be unfair.

You know, I think two things.

One, I think a lot of my decision making early on

was out of fear.

A fear of losing whatever I had gained up until that point.

So although I was a risk taker and I was being bold

in one way, I was also throttling myself

because I was just so scared that I would lose

whatever gains I had.

And it made me an imperfect manager of people,

an imperfect person, maybe on edge a little too much

and maybe not picking my battles.

To David’s point, I saw everything as a battle

because those wins were so important to me

because they were so hard fought.

And then I think later in my life I realized

I never actually thought about what I enjoyed.

I just thought about winning to an extent

that was not healthy.

And then after Dave Goldberg died and Tony Hsieh died,

I really took a self-assessment of what I enjoyed doing.

And I mentioned this yesterday,

you know, hanging out with these gentlemen

and to Antonio’s way of phrasing it,

which is just beautiful, the fellowship.

I thought that’s the joy, you know, my family,

my kids, my wife, and this fellowship with my friends

that I wanted to invest in.

And I made a deliberate effort to be a better friend,

a better parent, a better husband.

Because of all the gains I got from that

and the joy that I got from it.

And I just thought a little bit,

God, I do like those conversations.

I do like writing the book.

I do like throwing the events.

I’m just gonna do things I enjoy,

which took me 30 years of my career

to actually assess what is it that I like?

And maybe I should enjoy the journey a little bit more.

So I think it’s a great question.

I appreciate it.

Let’s take one more.

Thank you.

Enjoy the journey.

Hi, besties.

My name’s Aria.

I’m the third or fourth employee at DoorDash.

And my question is regarding,

oh, sorry, my favorite bestie,

yeah, that was a joke, by the way.

My favorite besties, Chamath and Sax,

although it’s honestly Sophie’s choice.

My question’s regarding the positive impact

that Silicon Valley could have

on the political discourse and politics,

which I know, you know,

there’s typically an aversion to in tech.

You know, you all have done a fantastic job

outlining what those problems are,

as well as your guests.

What I’m wondering is what a viable path forward looks like.

You know, Chamath, you mentioned that people in D.C.

pay close attention to the podcast.

Sax has recently endorsed Michael Schellenberger,

which I really hope can save our home state.

And I’m wondering, is the solution

something akin to a third party,

like what Andrew Yang is trying to do,

or some new, I don’t know, Silicon Valley techno party,

or, you know, is there, you know,

what does that look like?

I’m curious.

Well, I don’t think it’s set up

to actually have a third party.

It’s structurally in America.

So what you have to do, practically speaking,

is field more centrist normal people on both sides,

whether they’re Republicans or Democrats.

That’s a practical thing that we can all do,

and then we can all show up and vote for those people

so that the majority voice is much clearer than it is today,

because right now the fringes, a little bit,

get to hijack the process.

And so we take things that should be common sense,

and we pervert them in a way

that just makes no progress possible.

I really do think that we have that impact.

I’m not sure how much of that can be quantified,

but when I spend time in D.C.,

I think it’s true what I was told,

and what I’ve heard from people.

It’s basically required listening or viewing.

It helps shapes people’s opinions.

It doesn’t mean they follow it,

but I think it helps people think about things

in a more normal way.

I think what happened today is like a perfect example.

Like the way that Glenn Greenwald

and Antonio Garcia Martinez debate,

like that’s probably, for some of you,

was really unsettling, maybe.

Raise your hand if you were just like you felt awkward.

Honestly, just be honest with you.

Okay, well, you shouldn’t, because that’s normal.

My point is it helps you make it seem more normal,

because those guys were not saying to each other

that you’re worthless and you’re not.

They were just debating.

By the way, we went out for a beer after that.

Yeah, this is my point.

So the three of us, I was like,

okay, we need to go out and get a drink and cool down,

so yeah, it was enjoyable.

I’m not chastising you for feeling that way.

I’m just saying this is what the culture does to folks.

It makes you even afraid to hear people debate things

and still have respect for each other.

The way that he and Palmer kind of dealt with that,

that’s incredible.

The courage that Palmer had to say what he did,

and then for him to be the first guy to walk out

and then to own that,

I think those are really important moments,

and you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

And you have…

Because of what just happened, so…


I think it’s a slow march

but I think we’re writing a small dent in a small way.

20 years ago every political show on TV

was a debate format.

Like, going all the way back to

William F. Buckley versus Gore Vidal,

or Pat Buckhannon versus Michael Kinsley on Crossfire.

They were all debates.

Now, none of them are debates.

It’s all just their own little echo chambers.

I think it’s one of the reasons why this pot is successful

is because we actually can have debates

and there is a divergence of views.

What do you think, Antonio?

Is there some…

Have you ever listened to this pot?

I was on one once, dancing in the background.

Oh, that’s right.

Yes, thank you, the dancing bear.

Yeah, he did dance behind him.

I recorded an episode from his house.

When you look at politics, any interest there?

Any behind-the-scenes work you’ve done?

And how do you think about it

just as we get into, as Gen Xers,

boomers are going away.

I mean, we’re going to kind of inherit this

whether we like it or not.

Yes, I would say a couple things.

First, whenever you have times,

you look historically,

I think it’s important to contextualize this.

When you have moments of large technological change,

you always have political disruption

because the means of communication have changed.

This Gutenberg press, the tall ship,

and you just go back and look,

it always leads to a lot of disruption and often to war.

And so the question of,

are those of us who are technologists

at the top of the system,

do we have a responsibility

to steward this technology responsibly?

We absolutely do.

I believe we do.

And I think that has been forgotten.

That’s number one.

Number two, I have been involved in campaigns.

And it’s interesting, right now,

what I’m doing is supporting any centrist candidate

that I think is good on either side of the aisle.

I’m a registered Democrat.

I’ve supported Democrats for most of my life.

But the reality is now,

all I care about is sensible people

that I think are really good.

And I’m engaging in micro-targeting efforts

across the spectrum in primary races.

I would encourage all of you and anyone up here

who cares about the American political system

to engage in the primaries.

Because the primaries are what determines

the quality of the candidates

that actually are up for election.

And they’re actually decided by very few people.

Like how many of us actually voted in the primary?

Like very few of you.

Very few of you, okay?

So rather than us just complain

about the divisiveness of American politics,

next time, please, go vote in a primary.

And go vote for the centrist candidate.

By the way, did I hear a lot of support

for Michael Schellenberger out there?

Let’s have him on the pod, maybe.

Hi, favorite bus seat is Chamath.

I heard you speak with Vinod Khosla

at Hack the North at the University of Waterloo.

So my question is,

Chamath talked about these start-up journey systems

like Stanford or PayPal.

Do you see, over the pandemic,

do you see any remote or distributed systems

that have appeared?

Or do you see any building

that are not just centered in one geographical location?

I’ll be really honest.

I’m not a huge believer

in this whole decentralized work movement.

I don’t think any high-quality work can get done.

On difficult problems.

So I think that there are types of products

and types of problems that can be solved in a remote way.

Certain forms of software for certain kinds of products.

But, for example, let’s just say you’re trying to engineer

a pharma drug.

I don’t believe that unless you’re sitting there

collaborating, talking, debating,

you can do that, necessarily, over a Zoom.

If you’re trying to build something physical,

we have a business that 3D prints rockets.

Those guys can’t do that by just Zooming around

and having a couple calls.

That doesn’t happen.

So I think it’s too premature to kind of say

working together has no value.

I also think there’s a huge cultural divide

that will get created in America

between these companies that come together

and the companies that don’t.

And I think that the ones that come together

have a chance of having more empathy in the end

because there are moments where you can actually

get to know the people you’re working with every day.

And I think that that gives you margin for error

because everybody sometimes is a little,

dealing with their own things in their lives,

sometimes can be a little rude.

And we all have tolerances.

Those tolerances are higher when you spend time with people.

And they’re much, much lower when you’re just in a Zoom.

So I’m, you know, I’d love to believe

that everybody’s gonna be Airbnb-ing in a castle

in a tent in a fucking tree house,

but I’m just not sure that that’s realistic

to really solve the big problems that America has.

You believe in the work from home, Antonio?

You have a strong feeling one way or the other?

I’m more at Shabbat’s camp than not,

but I will say we have some great companies

that are fully remote.

We have a coalition example in cybersecurity.

It’s fully remote, run by wonderful CEOs

under the age of 35.

And he’s found a way to make it work.

And I’ve learned a lot from him.

And so I’m trying to be very open algorithm about this.

And I think there are people who make it work,

I can make it work.

I want my people in the office.

We invest in pharma, we invest in biotech,

and we have some biotech companies

that have made it work remotely

and some that insist on bringing people back.

If you’re in a lab, obviously you have to be back.

But I think there’ll be a mixed environment.

And I also think there’s an interesting retooling

going on in productivity.

I think the productivity numbers in America

that we’re seeing today are wrong

because they’re not capturing what’s happening

underneath the technology

because of these remote environments.

So I don’t know yet.

I think it’s gonna depend on the CEO

and how good people are

and the type of industry you’re in.

Yeah, I’m keeping an open mind towards it.

I know that for investing, it was so much more efficient.

People could do 20-minute Zooms

instead of two-hour meetings.

No, but I mean, think of the problem that that created.

Look at the overhang when you could raise

tens of billions of dollars over Zoom.

That turned out to not be a good thing.

Well, but also if you’re a capital allocator,

being able to meet with three times as many people,

you could find more companies.

But this is my point.

So I talked to a friend of mine

who raised billions of dollars

over the last couple of years cycle.

And he said,

I was able to raise $50 million checks

in 30-minute meetings.

Now I’m spending five hours for a $10 million check.

And my reaction to him in the back of my mind was,

that’s probably how it should be.

Well, part of that’s liquidity.

That makes the entire system a little bit healthier.

Yeah, I mean, we raised 1.7 billion fund during COVID

and it was like all done doing Zoom.

We’re using new fund now

and I’m flying around the world taking meetings.

But part of that is because people are coming back

to the office and liquidity cycle’s gotten,

it’s reversed on us now, right?

So the denominator’s gotten,

it’s gotten harder to get capital.

But for sure, I think I agree with Chamath here,

like being able to allocate $10 billion

in a venture fund in two years over Zoom

and think that’s on just the metrics and not see people,

I think that’s a bad idea.

Yeah, I’m talking about 250K, 500K checks.

Might be, okay.

Let’s take another question here.

My name is Kenneth Brown III

and my favorite bestie’s J. Cal.

The charisma’s legendary.

He’s my favorite bestie too, by the way.

Don’t be offended.

And then my question is,

what advice would you give to non-technical people

trying to fit into the tech-oriented startup venture world?

I’m an econ major, but this just seems exciting.

Like how do I become a part of it?

And Tony, you have thoughts?

And I think that the best way to do this

is to find a company you think is great and get a job.

That’s the reality.

I mean, I would associate myself with a business

that I really respect, people respect.

And if the job is in the mail room,

or the job is a janitor, whatever, just figure it out.

Because what happens to high-growth companies

is they need good people.

And you’ll be surprised how much being the first person in

and the last person to leave if there’s an office

and doing the work that people ask you to do

with a smile and a great attitude,

like those people, they move up fast.

So I would just find a way in, man,

wherever it is, however it is,

make it happen and start moving up.

I can’t agree with you on this one.

By the way, you’re not non-technical.

You’re not yet technical.

And I think that’s the opportunity

that sits in front of everyone,

that you can become technical.

I had a cousin who was a music major at UCLA,

worked in music, and then he came back from COVID

and he started learning how to program online,

taught himself, spent six months in his parents’ basement

teaching himself how to retool his life,

and got some contract jobs on Reddit

and boards and other stuff.

And he got this amazing full-time job offer

a few weeks ago.

And it was really amazing that I got to watch him

transform himself and his life over the last year and a half

just by taking that on himself and he became technical.

It wasn’t that he had a non-technical degree.

It’s that he just wasn’t yet technical.

And I think everyone has that opportunity.

I’ll tell you a great quick story.

He’s a minority guy, grew up in Houston,

really wanted to work at Tesla.

Couldn’t get a job, couldn’t get a job, couldn’t get a job.

Finally got a job on the line.

He was making 16, 20 bucks an hour.

Worked there, did well, transferred.

Worked there, did well, transferred.

Ends up in the supply chain group.

Ends up working in battery supply chain.

Ends up basically being two layers between him and Elon.

Gets into an MBA, goes there for a few years,

works on the side, and he ended up raising a bunch of money

to start a battery business recently.

And this is an example of what he just said,

which is there are these jobs available

and then it’s just is your chutzpah and your hustle.

And he’s an example, but it’s a very motivating example

to me because it just shows it’s so possible.

And there are phenomenal organizations

that identify talent and will move you up really quickly.

And knowledge is literally free,

and experience is up to you.

Yeah, the overriding, I think, advice you’re getting here

is that skills are acquirable.

And my Lord, getting to 50, 60% proficiency on a skill,

just given what’s on YouTube or MIT OpenCourseWare

or any number of websites,

you can do it in a matter of weeks.

Now, of course, going from 60, 70, 70 to 80,

that might take months and then eventually years.

But startups are looking for generalists.

They’re looking for people who can say,

I need somebody who’s gonna do the accounting

and figure out how to do an email merge

and build a mailing list,

and then I need somebody to help with recruiting.

If you can just become 30, 40, 50% good

at each of those things at a startup,

before people get specialized,

eventually you’ll have 10 people doing recruiting.

But in the beginning, it’s one third of somebody’s job.

So I love startups for that.

The sign of a great culture of a company

is how little the obvious labels matter

once you’re inside of it.

And the best companies, like a Tesla,

can become a trillion dollar market cap

because they find the kid working on the line

and then four years later

is running the battery supply chain.

How does that happen?

It happens because you’re looking at the quality

of the individual and their potential.

Where they went to school doesn’t matter.

Their gender doesn’t matter.

Their ethnicity doesn’t matter.

None of it matters because the people don’t see it.

They see work ethic.

They see effort.


They see effort.

They see integrity.

So that’s another litmus test for you

is in the companies, even if you’re a CEO

and if you’re building,

if every other day you’re reminding everybody else

of where people need to have gone to school

and where they should have been,

that’s a road to nowhere.

Let’s give Antonio a big round of applause.

Very nice.

Thank you.

Appreciate it, man.

I’ll see you later.


Thank you, man.

You’re welcome.

Nice to meet you.

Nice to meet you, too.

Thank you very much.

I appreciate it.

Good to see you.

Good to see you, too.

Thanks, man.

My brother.

Thank you.

I love you.

Talk to you soon.

Thank you, Susan.

Thank you.

Next question.

Thank you, guys.

Over here.


Sunny line right here.

Yeah, we kept Antonio here for like two hours.

I know.

I feel bad.

All right.

We’re going to just take 14 to 20 more questions.


Sunny Lamba here.

Chamath’s my favorite bestie.

There you go.


A little dry spell for you there, huh?

A little dry spell, huh?

A little dry spell, huh?

Because of him, I shop at Laura Piana only.

So, thank you.

So, I just got a question for Friedberg.

I know that you wanted to talk about this yesterday,

about this sort of consumer credit crisis on the horizon

that you see as potentially like the next shoe to drop.

So, I think you wanted to mention something yesterday

about it, but because of time and stuff.

I mean, I don’t have anything more to add

than what I said on the pod.

I’m not like, I don’t think this is like a high certainty.

I’m just concerned.

There’s a lot of loans out there,

a lot of buy now, pay later,

a lot of stuff that has floating rates attached to it.

If we’re going to have a recession,

we’re going to see job loss.

You’re going to see these,

and by the way, these auto loan portfolios

have like crazy outperformed over the last few years.

And a lot of those auto loans are floating rate.

Those asset values are inflated.

People are losing jobs.

You could see a bunch of these things

start to create a bit of a cascading effect

over the next couple quarters,

depending on how this all goes.

So, I’m not going to put my foot down on the ground

and say, oh my God, consumer credit bubble,

we’re totally fucked.

It’s going to lead to the next great recession.

But I do think it’s going to be pretty kind of surprising.

Buy now, pay later, I saw a stat.

I don’t know if you guys saw this this week

on how a lot of the people

that are going on buy now, pay later sites

are actually maxed out on their credit cards.

And so they’re actually fully credited out.

And then all the smart algorithms are like,

oh yeah, you’re a good credit risk.

Here’s $1,800 to buy a fucking Peloton or whatever.

Lightning round.

Five questions and we’re done.

One Bestie will answer each question.



David Freeburger, my favorite Bestie.

What problem do you most want to solve right now?

Binary lifters, actually.

Edible quinoa.

Oh, actually, I’ve been working on the…

So look, I’ve spoken about this publicly.

I think it’s a big problem.

I was going to talk about it in the talk that we scrapped,

but I’ll do it another time,

which is really the opportunity for biomanufacturing

as a way to replace a lot of traditional food systems,

including all of ag, all of animal agriculture,

and a lot of the systems that we use

to basically make our food.

It’s a big infrastructure play.

A couple square miles, using Elon’s analogy,

you could basically recreate all the food on Earth.

You could distribute those systems.

And so I think that it can be extremely carbon negative.

It sucks carbon out of the atmosphere.

It would create incredible jobs.

It’s an incredible infrastructure opportunity.

It would return billions of acres of land

back to whatever form, natural form we want them to be.

So that’s an area that I’m spending a lot of time in

and that I’m particularly excited about.

Awesome, thank you.

Okay, number two.

Hi there, I’m Katie Croft.

Nice to meet you all.

Imagine a parallel timeline

where I say you’re all my favorite,

because it’s all true.

So I’m curious, kind of an extension of the media question,

have you given much thought

to forming a consortium or community

with the All In podcast

and kind of what further applications of that?

Because if you think about the force multiplicity

of any number of these minds in the same room,

working towards the problems we’ve talked about,

from education to on-shoring energy,

it could probably be pretty considerable, the impact there.

Because we have such respect for what you guys do

and how you’re doing it and the discourse you’re having

that we’re clearly all diehards here.

So I’m just curious if you’ve thought about it.

I’m kind of trying to inception you here.

Jake Hill, you want to take that?

Yeah, I think so.

I mean, this is a shit ton of work,

but I think it is, and we all have day jobs.

Step one was to try to just see,

and I told the besties,

let’s just see if we can each make

getting to the pod each week a priority and a habit,

and that took the first year or so.

So now it is a habit.

We all value doing this.

It has had tremendous impact on our lives,

personally and professionally.

It’s been very inspiring for each of us.

So we had to lock into that first.

Doing this was a ton of work,

and we’ll see if it’s sustainable.

And we have some other ideas.

We wanted to do a college tour

was the other thing we were considering,

which would be like 3,000 seats or 4,000 seats,

and just an episode of the pod and Q&A.

So I think that could be the next card to fall.

And then maybe hiring Tim Urban and Nate Silver

and then having them build a media company to take on CNN.

We haven’t really given it much thought,

but you never know.

They were here totally randomly.

They were here totally random.

We’re not recruiting or anything,

but you know, anything’s possible.

Hi, besties again.

I’m Rejoice.

I run a talent marketplace for early entry workers.

We use gamification to accelerate their upscaling.

Yes, the question is about the great resignation,

which we believe is a half-told narrative.

So how can small businesses,

which are most sole proprietors,

democratize their own labor supply and demand?


I think that’s a very difficult problem to solve.

I think, again, as a supporter of capitalism,

I think one of the biggest things that we don’t get right

is how money gets to the right problems.

I’ve said this roughly before,

but money is really just a voting way

of deciding what you think is important in the world.

And that’s why the accumulation of money

as just a practical matter,

forget moral or philosophical,

is so important because you can vote what you want.

The thing is that aggregation happens easily.

Distribution is terribly broken.

And so the ability for folks to solve practical problems

is very hard because the ROI isn’t obvious.

And getting money from capital pools like us

to individuals and sole proprietors is a basic,

I think it is a very broken problem.

A, because the systems don’t exist.

B, because the laws don’t allow it.

And until that gets solved,

I’m not exactly sure how a business

who can actually build for the future well

or solve their supply forecast or demand forecast

can actually get the capital you need

because the lubricant that allows you

to solve that problem is money.

Has always been, will always be.

But getting it to those people is legally hard

and it’s organizationally impractical.

I don’t know if you saw the last spot.

I mentioned this thing.

We tried this thing called capital as a service.

Doesn’t get to the sole proprietor level,

but it gets to small five to 10% companies.

We would send $50,000, $100,000 checks.

Here’s how hard it is.

The cost of getting a $50,000 check,

we did this fishery in Indonesia.

It cost us $125,000 to give them $50,000.

We still did it because I just wanted to prove the point.

They ended up tripling our money,

so we barely kind of like broke even,

but it just goes to show you how really complicated.

Okay, fourth question and then one more after that.

Hey, I’m Prem.

As a Waterloo poker player, favorite besties Chamath.

I’m very into next-gen manufacturing,

but as a pre-seed investor,

my concern is follow-on financing.

How do we get more investors interested

in investing in the physical world?

Because at least in Canada,

it seems like most investors only want to invest in software.

No, I think, this is what I’m saying.

I think there’s a very broken part

of the capitalism right now,

which is that technology investors by and large,

and I don’t mean to disparage anyone here,

are not well-rooted in the principles of math and finance.

And I think that that’s a real problem

because in a moment like this,

that is where you can actually make

safe investments of capital.

You can structure the money in

so that you are capital-protected.

You have assets to back these things.

And the reason why folks don’t do it

is they don’t understand how to put together a model

to demonstrate it,

and then the person that is then receiving that information

is unfortunately not as well-instructed as they should be

to understand how to make a decision from that.

That’s what we have today.

So it’s a little bit of a miseducation problem.

And it’s going to affect the non-sexy areas.

Rockets will always get money,

but like 3D manufacturing at scale may not

because of this exact issue

because people don’t know what ROIC means.

Sir, you have the final question.

Favorite bestie is Friedberg,

and hate to end on a recession question.

What a fucking question.

I’m never asking that question again.

Let me ask, why do you guys think it upsets you so much?

Well, because you’re the biggest pain in the ass.

You are the most fucking neurotic person.

Every time we post an episode,

we should cancel the episode.

We fucked everything up again.

Why do we keep screwing up?

We’re going to destroy the pod.

I read the first nine comments,

and the downvote rate is 14%.

I was arguing somebody set the volume.

Well, keep going, but go ahead.

I mean, the amount of noise we deal with

from this one person.

They’re not going to stop.

It’s like literally his inner monologue.

He does, but you should not reward him.

It’s like his inner monologue is crazy.

You know if you had a two-year-old child

who you’ve given too much candy to,

is kicking and screaming.

Can you shut him up, please?


This is what you’re doing.

If one guy can shut your mouth up,

it’s Phil Deutch, everyone.

It seems like a common theme on the stage

these last couple days is you all feel like

we’re in a recession or heading towards a recession,

but I get a feeling that you have the confidence

that this is going to be a quick recession, like a year.

So my question would be, why do you feel

after 13 years of market manipulation by the Fed

that it’s going to be cured in under a year?

No, I think you’re right.

The average recession has measured,

like if you look back historically, is two quarters.

The problem is that we’ve never really figured out

what it’s going to take with the distortion

of money that never should have been in the system.

Because if you think of a supply-demand imbalance

as being a naturally self-balancing phenomenon,

if you perturb one side of it by an enormous amount,

exactly to your point, I think the open question

that the world has right now is,

is that really a two-quarter problem?

Well, the Fed has told you that they’re going to take

three years to get three trillion.

You’ve heard from David that 10 trillion was put in.

Probably another three or four trillion

was productively used.

But that still leaves another three trillion

of sloshing around money that we don’t know.

So I think it’s an open question.

I don’t know what you guys think.

How many months?

How many quarters?

Sachs, how many quarters, if you had to guess?

Again, I just hate this definition of recession

where it’s about GDP decline when we had a lot

of the underlyings in those numbers for GDP

that I feel were artificially inflated

for a couple of quarters because of a bunch

of the structural stuff we’ve talked about.

So I don’t know, if you look deeper at economic growth,

companies signing up more customers.

A lot of technology companies are about

increasing productivity with their tools,

with what they’re selling.

And those businesses are gonna continue

to do well and to grow and to increase customers,

increase revenue, and I don’t think

that there’s necessarily a lot of the structural stuff

that we saw with the GFC.

The one thing I am concerned about,

which I’ve highlighted, is this consumer credit risk.

And besides that, it seems like things are on good footing.

So I don’t know, the technical recession definition,

probably a couple quarters.

You never know, and I think the best way

to look at the future is by doing scenario planning.

So basically we could say this could be

a short, medium, or long recession.

Short would be six months, medium might be 18 months,

and long might be two years plus.

And we just say, I don’t know, say 1 3rd, 1 3rd,

1 3rd probability, and that kind of gives you some picture.

14 months.

Exactly, so now what we’re telling our portfolio companies

is you wanna have two and a half years of runway right now

because you gotta go raise six months

before you run out of cash,

and you really wanna have two years of cushion

because things could be choppy for two years.

I’m not saying they’re gonna be, but they could be.

You don’t want your company to run out of money and die

just because of macroeconomic conditions

that are no fault of your own.

So if you can try to engineer that amount of runway,

that’s better.

I also think that, here’s the thing about a quick recession

is, or the prospect for one,

we don’t know what other shoes are gonna drop.

Consumer credit is still a shoe

that we don’t know if it’s gonna drop.

Look, six months ago, did we think we’d be talking about

Tiger Global or Soffit for that matter,

potentially teetering on the verge of being

Wiped out?

Yeah, redempted out of business.

Or Coinbase and Peloton just withering to nothing.

Things can change fast.

We don’t know what systemic risk is in the system

that hasn’t been flushed out yet.

And we won’t be out of this until it feels like

everything’s been flushed out and then the market’s back

and things are sort of on an upward trajectory again.

Clearly we’re not there yet.

Real estate and crypto,

it doesn’t feel like that’s rushed out yet either.

Do we have a clip to play as an outro?

I don’t know, was this the cut clip?

Before we go, can we please say thanks

to the team that works here and the team,

Jason, your team at All In.

Incredible team.

Thanks everybody, all of you guys have worked so hard.

They really put a lot of effort into this,

pretty incredible.

I guess this is a lost clip of us from last week.

You did not have like a dungeon dragon sleepovers

in grade seven and grade eight?

I was actually programming Pascal

and we made a water moisturizer

and it was a binary lifter,

much like the ones you have on Tatooine.

To create a complete replica of Uncle Owen’s

water vaporizers on Tatooine.

And that took six years, but it was great.

And then I went hilariously as C3PO.

I went as C3PO to our science fair.

You should have seen the look on our teacher’s faces.

Okay, you guys have your cold open, let’s go.

Let your winter slide.

Rain man David Saks.

And instead we open sourced it to the fans

and they’ve just gone crazy with it.

Love you guys.

I’m queen of Kinwan.