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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: Joe Rogan Experience #1309 – Naval Ravikant

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: Joe Rogan Experience #1309 – Naval Ravikant | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

Joe Rogan:
Two, one, boom. All right, we're live. Thank you very much for doing this, man. I really appreciate it. I've been absorbing your information and listening to you talk for quite a while now. So, it's great to actually meet you.

Naval Ravikant:
Thanks for having me.

Joe Rogan:
My pleasure. My pleasure. You are one of the rare guys that is — you're a big investor. You're deep in the tech world, but yet you seem to have a very balanced perspective in terms of how to live life, as opposed to not just be entirely focused on success and financial success, and tech investing, but rather how to live your life in a happy way. That's not balance.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. I think the reason why people like hearing me is because it's like if you go to a circus and you see a bear, right? That's kind of interesting but not that much. If you see a unicycle, that's interesting. But you see a bear on a unicycle, that's really interesting, right? So, when you combine things you're not supposed to combine —

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
— people get interested. It's like Bruce Lee, right? Striking thoughts, philosophy, plus martial arts. And I think it's because at some level, all humans are broad. We're all multivariate, but we get summarized in pithy ways in our lives. And at some deep level, we know that's not true, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Every human basically is capable of every experience and every thought. You're a UFC, comedian, commentator, podcaster, but you're also more than that. You're also Father, lover, thinker, et cetera. So, I like the model of life that the ancients had, the Greeks, the Romans, right? Where you would start out and when you're, young you're just like going to school, then you're going to war, then you're running a business, then you're supposed to serve in the Senate or the government, then you become a philosopher, there's sort of this arc to life where you try your hand at everything. And as one of my friends says, "Specialization is for insects." So, everyone should just be able to do everything. And so, I don't believe in this model anymore of trying to focus your life down on one thing. You've got one life, just do everything you're going to do.

Joe Rogan:
I couldn't agree more. And I think that sometimes people find certain success in whatever the endeavor is and then they think that that is their niche, and they stick with it, and they never change, and they did it almost out of fear.

Naval Ravikant:
But it's hard because there is a — the analogy around mountain climbing. It's like if you find a mountain and you start climbing and you spend your whole life climbing it, and you get, say, 2/3 of the way, and then you see the peak is like way up there, but you're 2/3 of the way up. You still really high up, but now to go the rest of the way, you're going to have to go back down to the bottom and look for another path. Nobody wants to do that. People don't want to start over.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And it's the nature of later in life that you just don't have the time. So it's very painful to go back down and look for a new path, but that may be the best thing to do. And that's why when you look at the greatest artists and creators, they have this ability to start over that nobody else does. Like Elon will be called an idiot and start over, doing something brand new that he supposedly is not qualified for. Or when Madonna or Paul Simon or U2 come out the new album, their existing fans usually hate it, because they've adopted a completely new style that they've learned somewhere else.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And a lot of times they'll just miss completely. So you have to be willing to be a fool and kind of have that beginner's mind and go back to the beginning to start over. If not doing that, you're just getting older.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. I mean, I don't even know if it's willing to be a fool. It's just, to me, that the most exciting thing is to try to get better at something, to learn things. I mean, it's really exciting when you just have incremental progress in something that you're completely new to.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, I live for the aha moment, that moment when you connect two things together that you hadn't connected together before and it fits nicely and solidly and it kind of helps form a steel framework of understanding in your mind that you can then hang other ideas off of. That's what I live for.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It's like, curiosity fulfilled. It's what little children do too. You know, my little son is always asking why, why, why, why, why. And I always try and answer him. And half the times I realized actually I don't really understand why, I just have a memorized answer for you, but that's not really understanding.

Joe Rogan:
You know those are weird conversations, right? When you're talking to kids and you say, "Look, the reality is, I don't know a lot of things."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. I just memorize a lot of things. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And there's certain things that you just can't know.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, you realize that you have answers for a few things that you've thought through then you sort of have cover ups, like trapdoors, like don't go here. This is just a cover up. I don't really know the answer to —

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
— what the meaning of life is or how we got here.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And then you've got a whole bunch of memorized stuff because a lot of your — a lot of intelligence these days just the external brain pack of civilization. I know it's out there. I know the answers are out there, and I have to look them up and I've memorized some of them. And I kind of understand how money works and the Federal Reserve prints it and what this government thing is, but not really.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So.

Joe Rogan:
Not good enough to teach it in university.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. I think people do that with almost everything in life these days, in terms of like have like a one page, a one sheet, like a brief summary of what the explanation for what this very complex subject might be.

Naval Ravikant:
Tl;dr, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Don't give me the lecture, give me the book. Don't give me the book, give me the blog post.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Don't give me the blog post, give me the tweet. Don't give me the tweet — I just — I already know.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. I got really fascinated by the way you read, because I thought there was something wrong with me by doing that. But you don't really just read a book to completion, you read and then you pick something else up and you just kind of go based on your whims, whatever you're interested in.

Naval Ravikant:
I was raised by my — I was raised by a single mom in New York, and she used the local library as a daycare center, because it was a very tough neighborhood. And so she would basically say, "When you get back from school, go straight to a library and don't come out until I pick you up late at night." So I used to basically live in the library, and I read everything; I read every magazine, I read every pictograph, I read every book, I read every map. I just went up stuff to read. I just read everything. So I got over this idea of that reading a large number of books or reading a book to completion as a vanity metric. Because really, when people are putting up photos on Twitter, Instagram, and look at my pile of books that I'm reading, it's a show off thing. It's a similar thing, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. Sure.

Naval Ravikant:
And the reality is, I would rather read the best 100 books over and over again until I absorbed them, rather than read all the books.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Because your brain has finite information. Finite space. You get enough advice, it all cancels to zero. There's a lot of nonsense in books out there too. So I don't read anymore to complete books, I read to satisfy my genuine intellectual curiosity. And it can be anything; it could be nonsense, it could be history, could be fiction, it could be science, it could be sci-fi. These days it's mostly sci-fi philosophy science because that's just what I'm interested in, but I will read for understanding. So, a really good book, I will flip through. I won't actually read it consecutive in order and I won't even [inaudible 0:07:05] when I finish it. I'm looking for ideas, things that I don't understand. And when I find something really interesting, I'll reflect on it. I'll research it. And then when I'm bored of it, I'll drop it or I'll flip to another book. Thanks to electronic books I've got 50, 70 books open at any time on my Kindle or iBooks and I'm just bouncing around between them. It's also a little bit of a defense mechanism to how in modern society we get too much information too quickly, and so our attention spans are very low. So you get Twitter, you get Instagram, you get Facebook, you just used to being bombarded with information. So you can take that too. You can view that as a negative and be like, "I have no attention span," or you could view that as a positive, "I multitask really well and I can dig really fast. I can — if I find a thread that's interesting, I can follow through five social networks through the Web, through the libraries, through the books, and I can really get to the bottom of this thing very quickly. It's like the Library of Alexandria that I can research at my disposal." So I no longer track books read or even care about books read. It's about understanding concepts.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. You brought up two awesome points. First of all, the social media aspect of books and basically anything. It's like, it's such a weird way to display your life because, you know, you're displaying the best aspects of your life and some sort of a glass case, you know, just, it's an unrealistic version of your life that you cultivate and you curate.

Naval Ravikant:
And I'm as guilty of that as anybody.

Joe Rogan:
Everybody's guilty of it. I'm guilty of it too.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
I mean, I pose with my dog every time I run.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. We're always signaling, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It's like, rather than really looking at yourself, you're looking at how other people look at you. It's like this one remove mental image. And it's kind of a disease because social media is making celebrities of all of us, and celebrity is the most miserable people in the world, right? Because they're this strong self image that gets built up, it gets built up by compliments. Every time somebody pays you or me a compliment and we're like, "Oh, well, thank you." Right? Then that builds up an image of who we are. And then one idiot comes along, one out of ten, one out of 100, and they can easily tear it down. Because it doesn't take many insults to cancel out a lot of compliments. And now you're carrying around this big weighty self image, and it's just very easy to be attacked. And because you're famous or you're well known people want to attack you. So, being a celebrity is no good. It's actually a problem. Like, one of my tweets is — these are all reminders to myself, is, "You want to be rich and anonymous, not poor and famous."

Joe Rogan:
There's benefits to it.

Naval Ravikant:
Of course. Of course.

Joe Rogan:
But —

Naval Ravikant:
We wouldn't do it.

Joe Rogan:
It has unusual problems that you don't get trained for, and you really will not understand unless you experience it. You know, it goes having this conversation with my wife. We're talking about people that just come up to you and they don't care what you're doing. They don't care if I'm with my daughter, if I'm holding her, if I'm feeding her, if we're, you know, we're in the middle of an intense conversation. She's crying. She could be crying. And some bro will come over and just immediately have to take a picture, doesn't care, his needs supersede the daughter. And my wife is saying that before she knew me she used to think that that's just part of the price of being famous, that people like you. That's just part of the price being famous. And now when it interrupts her life, and, you know, it interrupts the children interrupts friends and, you know, she — now she's like, "This is annoying. Like this is not healthy. This is not a smart way to interact with people." And that people have this weird challenge, this weird thing that if you become famous, there's this weird challenge where people just want to come to you. Especially today. Because if they get a photo of you, then that boost their social media profile. Like, "Hey I'm sitting here with [inaudible 0:10:52]. Look at this [inaudible 0:10:54].

Naval Ravikant:
Anonymity is a privilege. On the other hand it's self-inflicted.

Joe Rogan:
Yes. Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
I mean, we brought it on ourselves.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. I don't think we knew what it was though.

Naval Ravikant:
We did. But we carry on, so.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It tells us we are getting something out of it, so.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
You know, there are times when some someone approach me in public and I'm a little resentful. And there are other times I just like actually, I'm really grateful that, you know, I worked for this. I got this.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
This is the payoff, just embrace it, smile, grin and bear it.

Joe Rogan:
But you have a different sort of celebrity too, right? You're a hero amongst investors and amongst — I mean, you've just been part of —

Naval Ravikant:
I'm a hero among young male geeks. Which is —

Joe Rogan:
Those are some of my favorite people.

Naval Ravikant:
Right. But that's not the kind of celebrity I think most people set out to get.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Especially most guys.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You want the cute females.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, you want chicks.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Yeah, I look at my brief little YouTube clips that have a tiny little podcast going now, and it's like 95% male.

Joe Rogan:
Sure. Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Maybe the —

Joe Rogan:
This is very highly —

Naval Ravikant:
18 to 35.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. What do we — What does the numbers? Yeah. It's in the 90s.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
You do that one very small podcast where you just have small with three or four minute clips.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. So what it was, I did a tweet storm called: How to Get Rich without Getting Lucky. And it got pretty popular on Twitter. And it's really about wealth creation. I just used a click bait-y title. And it's trying to basically layout timeless principles of wealth creation that if you absorb them, you become the kind of person who can create wealth, create business, make money. And my theory behind that is like there are three things everybody wants. There's actually more than three, but let's start with three. The three basics. Everybody wants to be wealthy, everybody wants to be happy and everybody wants to be fit. And I know there's a lot of virtue sitting that goes on, like we don't want money and, you know, I don't care about being happy, and happiness is for stupid people. But let's face it, like you want to be rich and happy and healthy.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
That's the trifecta. Now of course you also want to internally calm state of mind, you want a loving household. So there are other things that come into it. But those three, I think they can actually be taught, right? And a fitness, I'm not going to teach. There a lot of people who you've had on here including yourself who know a heck of a lot more about fitness and health than I do. But I was born poor and miserable and I'm now pretty well off and I'm very happy. And I worked at those, and so I've learned a few things. There are some principles. And so I try to lay them out, but in a timeless manner where you can kind of figure it out yourself. Because at the end of the day, I can't really teach anything, I can only inspire you and maybe give you a few hooks, so you can remember things when they happen, or put a name to them. So this podcast actually ended up explaining this tweet storm. So there's a tweet storm with like 36, 38 tweets, got very famous, got translated in dozens of languages. And these were principles that I came up with for myself when I was really young, around 13, 14. And I've been carrying them in my head for 30 years and I'd been sort of living them. And over time I just realized, like, sadly, or fortunately, the thing that I got really good at was looking at businesses and figuring out the point of maximum leverage to actually create wealth and capture some of that. And do it in very long term kind of way, not the, you know, banker crash the economy.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Get build up kind of way. But, you know, build businesses and help people and provide value kind of way. Especially when applied to modern technology and leverage in this age of infinite leverage that we live in. So the podcast is just explaining each tweet. So these a little three, four, five minute snippets. I don't like to say the same thing twice. I don't like to explain in detail. I just — I feel like, if you have something original and interesting to say, you should say it. Otherwise it's probably been said better. So that podcast tries to be information dense. It tries to be very concise, it tries to be high impact, it tries to be timeless, and it has all the information. I think you need the principle that if you absorbed these, and you work hard over 10 years, you'll get what you want. So I've got the one on wealth creation, I'm going to attempt to do one on — happiness is a big word but — you know, happiness and inner peace and calm and all that. Because what you want is you don't want to be the guy who succeeds in life while being high strung, high stress, and unhappy and leaving a trail of emotional wreckage with you and your loved ones.

Joe Rogan:
Which is more common than not.

Naval Ravikant:
Because you got to focus.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And it's very hard to be great at everything. You want to be the guy or the gal who gets there calmly, you know, quietly, without struggle. You want to be the person who's the — when there's a crisis going on, you want to be the calmest, coolest cucumber in the room who still also figures out the correct answer.

Joe Rogan:
If you can be. You were — One of the things you were saying is that you feel like happiness is something that you can learn, and then you can teach yourself to be happy, even just by adopting the mindset that you are a happy person and proclaiming that to your friends. And so you've sort of developed a social contract. I'm a happy person. And I have to live up to that.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. I've got hundreds of techniques. But the mo-

Joe Rogan:
How did you develop that one?

Naval Ravikant:
Well, there's just a — There's social consistency, right? Humans have a need to be highly consistent with their past pronouncements. So the way I started my first tech company was I was in a — working inside a larger organization, and I told everybody that I was going to start a company. I was like, "I hate this place. I'm gonna do my own thing. I'm gonna be a successful entrepreneur." Six months passed, nine months pass, then people started, "You're still here? I thought you were gonna go start a company. Are you lying?"

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
That was the implication. So we kind of know this, right? Social contracts are very powerful. Like if you want to give up drinking, right? And you're not serious about it, you'll say, "I'm gonna cut back, and then I have only one drink a night, I'm gonna only drink on weekends." You tell yourself. But if you're serious, you announce it on Facebook. You'll tell your friends, you'll tell your wife, you'll say, "I'm done drinking. I'm throwing everything out of the house. You'll never see me drink again." When you say that you know you're serious. So I think a lot of these are choices that we make. And happiness is just one of those choices. And this is unpopular to say because there are people who are actually depressed, you know, chemically or what have you. And there are people who don't believe that it's possible because then it creates a responsibility on them. It says, "Oh now, if I'm — you're saying if I'm not happy, that's my fault." I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that, just like fitness can be a choice, health can be a choice, nutrition can be a choice, working hard and making money can be a choice, happiness is also a choice. If you're so smart, how come you aren't happy? How come you haven't figured that out? That's my challenge to all the people who think they're so smart and so capable. If you're so smart and capable, why can't you change this?

Joe Rogan:
There are a bunch of people though that actually take pleasure in being miserable. There's something about the pursuit of excellence and of success that supersedes all other pursuits, that in their eyes, it is the peak, the pinnacle, the most important thing.

Naval Ravikant:
It's not a tradeoff. I would argue that I — Now, when I say happy, happy is one of those words that means a bazillion different things.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
It's like love, right? What does that mean?

Joe Rogan:
Right. I love cheese.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. I find it a little bit more tightly, right? So let's go back to desire, right? This is old, old Buddhist wisdom. I'm not saying anything original. But desire, to me, is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want. Okay? And I keep that in front of minds. So when I'm unhappy about something, I look for what is the underlying desire that I have that's not being fulfilled. It's okay to have desires. You're a biological creature, and you put on this earth, you have to do something, you have to have desires, you have a mission. But don't have too many. Don't pick them up unconsciously. Don't pick them up randomly. Don't have thousands of them. My coffee's too cold, doesn't taste quite right. I'm not sitting perfectly. Oh, I wish it was warmer. You know. My dog, you know, pooped in the lawn, I don't like that. Whatever it is. Pick your one overwhelming desire. It's okay to suffer over that one, but on all the others, do you want to let them go so you can be calm and peaceful and relaxed? And then you'll perform a better job. Most people, when you're unhappy, like a depressed person, it's not that they have very clear calm mind. They're too busy in their mind. Their sense of self is too strong. They're sitting indoors all the time. Their minds working, working, working. They're thinking too much. Well, if you want to be a high performance athlete, how good of an athlete are you gonna be if you're always having epileptic seizures? If you're always like twitching and running around and like jumping, and your limbs or flailing out of control? The same way if you want to be effective in business, you need a clear, calm, cool, collected mind. Warren Buffett plays bridge all day long and goes for walks in the sun. He doesn't sit around like constantly loading his brain with non-stop information and getting worked up about every little thing. We live in an age of infinite leverage. What I mean by that is that your actions can be multiplied a thousand fold, either by broadcasting at a podcast or by investing capital or by having people work for you or by writing code. So because of that, the impacts of good decision making are much higher than they used to be. Because now you can influence thousands or millions of people through your decisions or your code. So, a clear mind leads to better judgment, leads to a better outcome. So a happy, calm, peaceful person, will make better decisions and have better outcomes. So if you want to operate at peak performance, you have to learn how to tame your mind just like you've learned how to tame your body.

Joe Rogan:
I love what you're saying. Warren Buffett might not be the best example because he drinks like I think six Coca-Cola is a day and he eats mostly McDonald's.

Naval Ravikant:
And he's still alive somehow.

Joe Rogan:
It's amazing.

Naval Ravikant:
It shows you that low stress is more important than —

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, but he looks like shit. Like, how old is he? I mean, he's a fairly old man, right?

Naval Ravikant:
But Charlie Munger is I think in his 90s, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
He's made it really far.

Joe Rogan:
I wonder what Warren's doing, you know. I mean, just, he's got to know that's bad for him.

Naval Ravikant:
It's terrible.

Joe Rogan:
But he doesn't care.

Naval Ravikant:
He doesn't care. I think he's just low stress.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Stress is the big cure.

Joe Rogan:
Right. So he's just enjoys that Coca-Cola.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And that's a problem. Maybe there is a tradeoff, right? It may be him enjoying that junk food and that coke, just that the pleasing of the mind is maybe better than him just eating wheat-grass shots and —

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, and be miserable.

Joe Rogan:
— canned salads and just being — Yeah, just super worked up about everything.

Naval Ravikant:
It's like if you need your glass of red wine to de-stress and calm down, that's probably better than you flying off the rails.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Right. And I think that that's applicable not just in business but in probably any pursuit. And I like what you're saying about allow that one thing to be your obsession, but everything else just, you know, learn how to let things go. Pick your battles.

Naval Ravikant:
And we'd like to think that — we'd like to view the world as linear, which is, I'm gonna put in eight hours of work, I'm gonna get back eight hours of output, right? Doesn't work that way. Guy running the corner grocery store is working just as hard or harder than you and me. How much output is he getting? What you do, who you do it with. How you do it, way more important than how hard you work, right? Outputs are non-linear based on the quality of the work that you put in. The right way to work is like a lion. You don't — you and I are not like cows. We're not meant to graze all day, right? We're meant to hunt like lions. We're closer to carnivores in our omnivorous development than we are to herbivores.

Joe Rogan:
Don't tell vegans that.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, sorry. Look, I wish all that stuff worked. I don't want to eat meat. Future generations will look back at us as worse than slavers, you know, because the holocaust were committing with the animals, but they'll have artificial meat to taste and are healthier, it is better than the real thing, so.

Joe Rogan:
Allegedly.

Naval Ravikant:
Allegedly. But, so, as a modern knowledge worker athlete, as an intellectual athlete, you want to function like an athlete. Which means you train hard, then you sprint, then you rest, then you reassessed. You get a feedback loop, then you train some more, then you sprint again, then you rest, then you reassess. This idea that you're going to have linear output just by cranking every day at the same amount of time sitting — that's that's machines, you know. Machines should be working 9:00 to 5:00. Humans are not meant to work 9:00 to 5:00.

Joe Rogan:
No, I agree wholeheartedly. But that's — for people that are working for someone, there's not really that option.

Naval Ravikant:
So that's unfortunately the the rub, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
That's kind of where my tweet storm starts. Which is first of all, the first thing if you're gonna make money is that you're not gonna get rich renting out your time. Even lawyers and doctors who are charging 3- 4- 500 dollars an hour, they're not getting rich because their lifestyle is slowly ramping up —

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
— along with their income, and they're not saving enough. They just don't have that bit of retire. So the first thing you have to do is you have to own a piece of a business. You need to have equity, either as an owner, an investor, shareholder or a brand that you're building that accrues to you to gain your financial freedom.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. And I was really fascinated by another thing that you were bringing up about working for yourself that you feel in the future whether it's 50 or 100 years from now, virtually everyone is going to be working for themselves. And believe the way you put it is that the information age is gonna reverse the industrial age.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. If you go back to hunter gatherer times, how we evolved, we basically worked for ourselves. We communicated and cooperated within tribes, but each hunter, each gatherer, stood on their own, and then combined their resources of the family unit. But there was no boss, hierarchy, hierarchy, hierarchy.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Where you're like the third middle manager down. In the farming age, we became a little bit more hierarchical as we had to run farms, but even those were still mostly family farms. It's industrial work with factories that sort of created this model of thousands of people working together on one thing and having bosses at schedules and times to show up. The reality is, if you have to go — I don't care how rich you are. I don't care whether you're like a top Wall Street banker. If you have to go — If somebody has to tell you — Somebody can tell you when to be at work and what to wear and how to behave, you're not a free person.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You're not actually rich. So we're in this model now where we think it's all about employment and jobs. And intrinsic in that is that I have to work for somebody else. But the information age is breaking that down. So Ronald Coase is an economist who has this coast here and a very famous theorem, but he basically just talks about why is a company the size that it is. Why is a company one person, instead of ten people, instead of one hundred, instead of a thousand. And it has to do with the internal transaction costs which is the external transaction costs. Let's say I want to do something — let's say I'm building a house, and I need someone to come in and provide the lumber. I'm a developer, right? Do I want that to be part of my company? Or do I want that to be an external provider? A lot of it just depends on how hard it is to do that transaction with someone externally versus internally. If it's too hard to keep doing the contract every time externally, I'll bring that in-house. If it's easy to do externally and it's a one-off kind of thing, I'd rather keep it out of the house. Well, information technology is making it easier and easier to do these transactions externally. It's becoming much easier to communicate with people. Gig economy, I can send you small amounts of money, I can hire you through an app, I can rate you afterwards. So we're seeing an atomization of the firm. We're seeing the optimal size of the firms shrinking. It's most obvious in Silicon Valley. Tons and tons of startups constantly coming up and shaving off little pieces of businesses from large companies and turning them into huge markets. So what look like the small little vacation rental market on Craigslist is now suddenly blown up into Airbnb. It's just one example.

Joe Rogan:
That's great example.

Naval Ravikant:
But what I think we're going to see is whether it's 10, 20, 50, 100 years from now, high quality work will be available. We're not talking about I'm driving an Uber, we're talking about super high quality work will be available in a gig fashion, where you'll wake up in the morning, your phone will buzz and you'll have five different jobs from people who have worked within the past or have been referred to you. It's kind of how Hollywood already works a little bit with how they organize for a project, you decide whether to take the project or not. The contract is right there on the spot. You get paid a certain amount. You get rated every day or every week. You get the money delivered. And then when you're done working, you turn it off and you go to Tahiti or wherever you want to spend the next three months. And I think the smart people have already started figuring out that the internet enables this. And they're starting to work more and more remotely on their own schedule, on their own time, on their own place, with their own friends, in their own way. And that's actually how we are the most productive. So the information revolution by making easier to communicate, connect and cooperate, is allowing us to go back to working for ourselves. And that is my ultimate dream. Even when I run a company and I have employees, I always tell those people, "Hey, I'm gonna help you start your company when you're ready." Because I think that's the highest calling. Maybe not everybody will get there, but it would be fine if we were — even working at 10 person company or 20 person company is way better than working in 1,000 person company or 10,000 person company. So this idea that we're all factory, like cogs in a machine, who are specialized and have to do things by rote memorization or instruction is gonna go away and we're gonna go back to being small groups of creative bands of individuals, setting out to do missions. And when those missions are done, we collect our money, we get rated, and then we rest and reassess until we're ready for the next sprint.

Joe Rogan:
Has there ever been a study done on happiness as it regards the size of companies?

Naval Ravikant:
Not that I'm aware, but to me it's obvious. It's just obvious. The smaller, the company the happy you're gonna be, the more human your relations are.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
The less you have rules to operate under the more flexible, the more creative. The more you'll be treated like a human just because you're able to do multiple things.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. This brings me to what is a subject that keeps getting brought up nowadays is universal basic income with the oncoming —

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
— apocalypse of automation. This is how it's being portrayed by Andrew Yang who's running for president. I sat down and talked to them about it, it's very compelling. And he's a very smart guy. And he's an entrepreneur himself. And when he starts talking about automation and how it's going to just eliminate massive amounts of jobs and leave people stranded, what — do you — I know you're a guy who thinks about the future.

Naval Ravikant:
I'm gonna brought the unpopular point of view on this.

Joe Rogan:
Okay.

Naval Ravikant:
I think it's a non-solution to a non-problem. And I mean that in the sense that automation has been happening since the dawn of time. When electricity came along, that put a lot of people out of work.

Joe Rogan:
Did it?

Naval Ravikant:
Right? A lot of people carrying buckets of water and, you know, lighting lamps and all those kinds of things.

Joe Rogan:
And this was the concern with factories as well.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Abs- Everything. Literally every single thing that comes along.

Joe Rogan:
Even the printing press, right?

Naval Ravikant:
Absolutely. And what it does is it frees people up for new creative work. The question is not, is automation gonna eliminate jobs? There is no finite number of jobs.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
We're not like sitting around dividing up the same jobs that were around since the Stone Age. So obviously new jobs are being created and they're usually better jobs, more creative jobs. So the question is, how quickly is this transition going to happen? And what kinds of jobs will be eliminated? What kinds of jobs will be created? It's impossible looking forward to predict what kinds of jobs will be created. If I told you ten years ago that podcast was gonna be a job or that, you know, playing video games gonna be a job, or commentating on video games is gonna be a job, you would have laughed me out of the room.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Those are nonsense jobs. But yet here we are. So society will always create new jobs, civilization creates new jobs, but it's impossible to predict what those jobs are. So the question is, how quickly is that transition happening? Well, the reality is even though everybody keeps talking about this automation apocalypse, where did record low unemployment? Explain that. Where's the transition?

Joe Rogan:
Donald Trump! That's it.

Naval Ravikant:
All I'm saying is, it's — I don't see it in the numbers. I don't see it actually happening.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
The question is, how quickly can you retrain people? So it's an education problem. The problem with UBI — there's a couple of problems with UBI. One is, you're creating a straight — you creating a slippery slide transfer straight into socialism, right? The moment people can start voting themselves money, combine with a democracy.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
It's just a matter of time before the bottom 51 votes themselves. Everything the top 40 line.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And it just — By the slippery slope, fallacy is not a farce. I know people like saying that, but they haven't thought it through. But the moment you start having a direct transfer mechanism like that in a democracy, you're basically doing it with capitalism which is the engine of economic growth. You're also forcing the entrepreneurs out or telling them not to come here. The estimate I saw for 15 K, your basic income for everybody would be three quarters of current GDP. And of course GDP would shrink in response as all the entrepreneurs fled. So you would essentially bankrupt the country. Another issue with UBI is that, people who are down on their luck, they're not looking for handouts. It's not just about money. It's also about status. It's about meaning. And the moment I start giving money to you and put you on the dole, I've lowered your status, I've made you a second class citizen. So I have to give you meaning. And meaning comes through education and capability. You have to teach a man to fish, not to basically throw your rotting leftover carcasses at him and say, "Here, eat the scraps." So it doesn't solve the meaning problem. And lastly it's nonsense to hand 15 K out to everybody, you want to means test people. There's no reason to give it to you and me. So you end up back towards the welfare system where you do have to figure out who needs it and who doesn't. So I think the better route is that we actually establish a set of basic substance services that you have to have and we provide those in abundance to technology based automation. So get basic housing, get basic food, get basic transportation, get high speed internet access, get a phone in your pocket. Those are the kinds of things you want to give people. And finally, in terms of the rate of automation, I think we can educate people very quickly. One of the myths that we have today is that adults can't be reeducated. We view education as this thing where you go to school, you come out and you're out of college and you're done. No more education. Well, that's wrong. You have all these great online boot camps and coding schools coming up there are ones that even pay you to go there now. You can educate people and mass, and you can educate them into creative professions. People who are talking about AI automating programming — I've never really written serious code. Coding is thinking, it's automatic structure of thinking. And AI, they can program as well or better than humans is an AI that just took over the world. That's end game. That's the end of the human species. And I can give you arguments why I don't think that's coming either. People who are thinking — and I know it take the opposite side from some very famous people in this debate, but we're nowhere near close to General A.I. Not in our lifetimes. You don't have to worry about it.

Joe Rogan:
Even in our lifetimes? Really?

Naval Ravikant:
It's so overblown. It's another — it's a combination of Cassandra complex. You know, it's fun to talk about the end of the world combined with a God complex, like people who have lost religion so they're looking for meaning in some kind of end of history.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
The reason why I don't think AI is coming anytime soon is because a lot of the advances in so-called AI today are what we call narrow AI They're really at pattern recognition machine learning to figure out, like what is that object on the screen or how do you find the signal and all of that noise. There is nothing approaching what we call creative thinking. To actually model general intelligence, you run into all kinds of problems. First, we don't know how the brain works at all. Number two, we've never even modeled a paramecium or an amoeba, let alone a human brain. Number three, there's this assumption that all of the computation is going at the cellular level, at the neuron level, whereas nature is very parsimonious. It uses everything at its disposal. There's a lot of machinery inside the cell that is doing calculations that is intelligent that isn't accounted for. And the best estimates are would take 50 years of Moore's Law before we can simulate what's going on inside a cell near perfectly, and probably 100 years before we can build a brain that can simulate inside the cells. So putting it at saying that I'm just gonna model neuron is on or off, and then use that to build the human brain is overly simplistic. Furthermore, I would posit there's no such thing as general intelligence. Every intelligence is contextual within the context of the environment that it senses. It evolves in the environment around it. So I think a lot of people who are pedaling general AI the burden of proof is on them. I haven't seen anything that would lead me to indicate we're approaching general AI. Instead, we're solving deterministic closed set finite problems using large amounts of data, but it's not sexy to talk about that.

Joe Rogan:
If you're talking about mirroring the actual abilities of cells or are you talking about recreating the actual mechanism? Like, what is going on inside cells and biological organisms.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, we just don't know how intelligence works.

Joe Rogan:
Right. We don't know.

Naval Ravikant:
We have no idea. So most of the AI approaches basically say we're gonna try and model how the brain works. But they model it at the neuron level which is saying, this neuron's on, that neuron's off.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
They're combining their signal. But I'm saying, the neuron is a cell inside the cell. There's all this machinery going on that's operating the neuron that is also part of the intelligence apparatus. You can't just ignore that an abstract that out. You have to model it down to the inside the cell level.

Joe Rogan:
It's also part of the biological organism itself.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly.

Joe Rogan:
And it has all these needs that, you know, the biological organism has to have food and rest.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly.

Joe Rogan:
There's a balance going on. But when you eliminate all that, when there is none of that, and it's just calculations, and we get to a point where it's just this thing that we've created whether we call a computer, but it doesn't have to be a moving thing even a thing that you've created that stores virtually all the information that's available in the world, stores all of the patterns, of all the thinking, of all the great people that have ever lived, all the writers, all the people that have ever published anything, all the people that have ever spoken any words. Stores all of their points, all of their counterpoints, all their contradictions, applies logic and reason and some sort of sense of the future, and starts improving upon these patterns, and then starts acting on its own, based on the information that's been provided with.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, first you would have to actually simulate a structure of the human brain that can hold all that information. You're basically done with tens of thousands of brains worth of information.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
We can't even build one brain in the next decade or two or three.

Joe Rogan:
Well, in terms of an actual physical brain, yes, but what about something that recreates the abilities of a brain?

Naval Ravikant:
Like I said, nature is parsimonious. So we've got this three pound [inaudible 0:37:39] object that can hold all this data. Nature has been very efficient in evolving kind of how we get there. I just don't think computers are anywhere close to that, like they can hold that amount of data with that complexity, with like the holographic structure of the brain where it can recall in many, many different ways. And then I don't think you can evolve a creature to be intelligent outside of the boundaries of feedback in a real medium. Like, if you evolved — if you raised a human being at concrete cell with no input from the outside, they wouldn't have any feedback from the real world.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
They wouldn't evolve properly. So I think just dumping information into into a thing isn't enough. It has to have an environment to operate in, to get feedback from. It needs to have context.

Joe Rogan:
But isn't that biological? I mean, if you have just the — all the information that people have accumulated and the lessons that people have learned, and you program that into the computer. Like, if we can take a computer that can beat someone at chess, the real question was, well, can we make it some sort of an artificial intelligence could beat someone at Go? Which is far more complex a chess. They figured out how to do that too. And that was a giant shock, right?

Naval Ravikant:
These are still man made very closed bounded games. They're not on the road to the unbounded game of life. They are completely artificial.

Joe Rogan:
But this — didn't Go, didn't that give you like a little bit of a pause?

Naval Ravikant:
A little bit. Go is not — Go or League of Legends or Fortnite, they're not completely deterministic.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
But they're still very artificial or very bounded games. Being good at Go doesn't mean that you can then suddenly figure out how to write great poetry.

Joe Rogan:
Right. The creativity for sure is something that's afraid.

Naval Ravikant:
A creativity is the last frontier. So I do believe that automation, over a long enough period of time, will replace every non-creative job or every non-creative work. But that's great news. That means that all of our basic needs are taken care of. And what remains for us is to be creative, which is really what every human wants.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
I mean, what are you doing right now?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
This is the creative job.

Joe Rogan:
Sure. That brings us back to the idea of meaning and universal basic income. I think the idea of giving someone $15,000 a year doesn't necessarily cause whatever one would worry about is people being on the dole. You would have a bunch of listless people out there with no meaning in life. But the idea is that $15,000 a year, and I'm not necessarily sure I agree with this, I'm not even endorsing this. But that $15,000 a year would just provide you with the necessities to get by in life. It would give you food. It would give you shelter.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, it's not gonna stop at 15, because the moment people are like — I mean, 15 like —

Joe Rogan:
People gonna demand more.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Brad Sanders would be on the —

Naval Ravikant:
15, 16, 17, 18, 19 —

Joe Rogan:
I want $45,000 a year. These companies are too big. Yeah, that could happen.

Naval Ravikant:
It doesn't stop. It just goes all the way to bankruptcy.

Joe Rogan:
The concern is the slide to socialism.

Naval Ravikant:
It's obvious.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
I mean, heck if I was on — if I was not working and I was getting my 15, I would happily vote for the guy who would give me 20 or 25. It's just common sense. We'd be stupid not to.

Joe Rogan:
What do you say to the people that don't believe that there is such a thing of ethical as ethical or compassionate capitalism? There's many people today that are espousing Marxism and they're espousing some sort of a socialist society where they believe that capitalism is screwed people over and eliminated the middle class and —

Naval Ravikant:
There absolute problems with capitalism. I think monopolies are a problem. I think that crony capitalism is a problem, but the government, you know, kind of gets in bed with them and sort of forces things. I think the bankers have really, you know, raped society and the rest of us are suffering for it.

Joe Rogan:
Literally.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. They've essentially taken huge risks where they privatize the gains and the socialize of losses. So when it fails, they basically get bailed out and bankrupt everybody else. So capitalism has gotten a really bad name. Let's talk about its free exchange, free markets. Free markets and free exchange are intrinsic to humans, from when the first person started a fire and somebody came along with a deer and said, "Hey, if I cook my dear on your fire, I'll share some of it with you," right? So specialization of labor, we trade, that's built into the human species. Basic math comes from accounting, keeping track of debts and credits and so on. We need to be able to engage in free trade. The correct criticism of capitalism is when it does not provide equal opportunity. And so we should always strive to provide equal opportunity. But people confuse that with equal outcome. When you have equal outcome, that can only be enforced through violence. Because different people — free people make different choices. And when they make different choices, they have different outcomes. If you don't let them suffer the consequences of bad choices or reap the rewards from good choices, then you are forcibly redistributing through violence. It's interesting that there isn't — that there are no socialist — working socialist examples that exist without violence. You basically need someone to show up with a gun and say, "Okay, you're not allowed to do that. You hand this over to that person." So one of the reasons why I do this podcast is because I believe everybody can be wealthy. Everybody. It's not a zero sum game. It is a positive sum game. You create something brand new, you exchange it with me for something brand new I've created, there's higher utility for both of us. The sum of the value created is positive. It's not like status where it's like you're higher up, I'm lower down; you're, president, I must be vice president; you're a plus one, I'm a minus one. It has to cancel zero. We should be all for playing positive some ethical games. The problem is because of these looters who have ruined capitalism's name, but then you get socialists coming in and saying, "Burn the whole system down.".

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You burn the whole system down, we end up like Venezuela or the former Soviet Union. You don't want to be a failed socialist states with emaciated teens hunting cats in the streets to eat, right? That's literally what happens in some of these places. So I think it is very important not to destroy the engine of progress that brought us here.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, the idea that socialism just hasn't worked yet that it needs to — we just need to do it right. If we do it right we can — Have you ever [inaudible 0:43:49]?

Naval Ravikant:
Right. 100 million debt and —

Joe Rogan:
Yes. Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Let's keep trying.

Joe Rogan:
All over the world. Yeah. And in every single time —

Naval Ravikant:
Absolutely.

Joe Rogan:
— it's been implemented. Have you ever had a conversation with someone who is a socialist? Were you —

Naval Ravikant:
Oh, many times. Some of my better friends are socialist.

Joe Rogan:
Really?

Naval Ravikant:
We really get into it. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And what does that — I mean, does anyone have a compelling perspective at all?

Naval Ravikant:
I think really socialism comes from the heart, right? We all want to be socialist. Capitalism comes from the head because there are always cheaters in any system.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And there's incentives in a system. So when you're young, if you're not a socialist, you have no heart. When you're older, if you're not a capitalist you have no head, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You haven't thought it through. So I understand where it comes from. I always liked Nassim Taleb [inaudible 0:44:24] on this, where he said, "With my family, I'm a communist. With my close friends, I'm a socialist. You know. At my state level politics, I'm a Democrat. At, you know, higher levels, I'm a Republican. And at the federal level, I'm a libertarian." Right? So basically the larger the group of people you have mass together who have different interests, the less trust there is, the more cheating there is, the better the incentives have to be aligned, the better the system has to work, the more you go towards capitalism. The smaller the group you're in; you're in a kibbutz, you're in your Commie and you're in your house, you're in your tribe, by all means, be a socialist. With my aunts, with my brother, with my cousins, with my uncles, with my mom with my family.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
I'm a socialist. That's the right way to live a loving, happy, integrated life.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
But when you're dealing with strangers, I mean, you want to be a real socialist, great. Open all your doors and windows tomorrow.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Please everybody, come take what you want. See how that works out.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. This idea of income inequality, that always strikes me as a very — it's a deceptive term. Income inequality.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, let's flip it around. It comes from outcome inequality.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And the outcome inequality is there because you made different choices. Now again, going back, if it was because you didn't have the same opportunities, that's a problem.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
So society should always try to give people equal opportunities. So for example instead of basic income, what if we had a retraining program built into our basic social fabric which said that every four years or every six years or whatever it is, maybe every ten, you can take one year out and we'll pay for you to go retrain completely. And you can go into any profession you like that has some earning power and output, hopefully a creative long term profession, and you can re-educate yourself. That would be much better for society on all levels than basically just saying, "No, you're gonna be the dole for the rest of your life."

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, you just — you'd have to lead that horse to water and then make him drink.

Naval Ravikant:
It requires people —

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
— to put in some effort.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Right? You know, we can't all just sit around. It's just not [inaudible 0:46:24].

Joe Rogan:
Well, that's my perspective on income inequality. There's always effort in equality. And thought in equality.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly.

Joe Rogan:
There's just some people that are obsessed. And if those people become successful, it doesn't mean they stole from you. It just means that they put in the amount of energy and effort that it's required to reach where they're at.

Naval Ravikant:
And there's a lot of virtue signalling that goes on now where people say, "Well, it's because you're privileged."

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, what's all that?

Naval Ravikant:
You know what the greatest privilege is? You're alive. 85% of humanity is dead.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
So, how privileged are you? Then you're living in the first world, then you're — you know, you have four limbs, et cetera. So you can take that argument all the way. It's kind of a nonsense discussion.

Joe Rogan:
What's a very weird progressive argument? And as it pertains to race, is always a weird one, right? Because white privilege to me, although you could look at what they're saying on paper like, yes, yeah, I'm sure there's more black people that are harassed by the police. I'm sure there is more black people who are treated suspiciously by shop owners and the like.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
But the problem isn't the people aren't treated poorly. The problem is the people who treat the people poorly. The problem is racism.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
The problem is not people that didn't ask to be born white or whatever they are, and they don't get harassed. So this idea of white privilege or male privilege or whatever it is, that's not the problem. You're just looking at someone who's not a victim of this particular problem that you're highlighting, but you're not looking at the perpetrators of the problem. You're making people perpetrators by simply existing and having less melanin in their skin or having their ancestors come from [inaudible 0:47:59] different location.

Naval Ravikant:
[Inaudible 0:47:59] by another —

Joe Rogan:
It's a sneaky way of being racist.

Naval Ravikant:
It's a sneaky — Yeah. Yeah. And then they say you can't be racist. It's not racist because you're white.

Joe Rogan:
That's right. That is — that's hilarious. If you can't be racist against white people. That one —

Naval Ravikant:
Right. Right.

Joe Rogan:
I found —

Naval Ravikant:
That's a variation of the whole still while I hit your argument. You know, stop struggling while I'm hitting you.

Joe Rogan:
But it's just so silly. You've just completely changed what racism mean.

Naval Ravikant:
But what's hilarious is mostly the people who are yelling racist are not the minorities.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
What I look in my Twitter or my social media or on my news, it's white on white violence.

Joe Rogan:
Virtue signal.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. It's white on white violence.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
What's mostly going on is it's elitist whites, blue state whites, college educated whites, beating up on high school educated whites, blue collar — It's a white collar versus blue collar war that's going on. And the rest of us are just kind of watching like, "It's kind of interesting."

Joe Rogan:
Well, it's also a side effect of the ability to broadcast, right? Like everyone with a Twitter handle has the ability to broadcast. Everyone with a Facebook page has the ability to pontificate and have these long rambling — these huge statements that people put out when you read them. It's like, "How much time did you put in this? What the fu- Do you put that much time in your kids?".

Naval Ravikant:
Or your job or —

Joe Rogan:
Or your job or your life or your future or planning for your — you know what? How much do you work out a day?

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
I mean, you just these — some — I've read some people's Facebook posts, I'm like, "This is a preposterous amount of effort that you put into saying virtually nothing.".

Naval Ravikant:
Let's say humans are being creative.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Let's see an AI do that.

Joe Rogan:
Well, that's true. It is creative. It's creative in a very odd way, right? Because it's creative and that they're trying to elicit a response from people and they're trying to raise their social value or raise their position on the social totem pole.

Naval Ravikant:
It's signaling. And it's easy signaling because the kind of thing that everybody has to agree with you.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Because nobody wants to be seen as a horrible person.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And it's very hard to make that nuanced arguments against that and this is just kind of go along.

Joe Rogan:
Right. But it's also — it's — some of it is so cliche that it seems like I know one guy who poses as a woman on Twitter but he does it —

Naval Ravikant:
Just [inaudible 0:51:02].

Joe Rogan:
— obviously.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
What is this, the name Tatyana?

Naval Ravikant:
McGrath?

Joe Rogan:
McGrath. Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Yes.

Joe Rogan:
Hilarious.

Naval Ravikant:
Used to be [inaudible 0:50:09].

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, is that the same guy?

Naval Ravikant:
I think so. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
That's hilarious. I did not — They killed his account.

Naval Ravikant:
I think it's the same one. I'm not 100% sure

Joe Rogan:
They killed his account for pretending to be trans-racial.

Naval Ravikant:
That's right.

Joe Rogan:
They didn't —

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. He basically says all the crazy stuff —

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
— that people aren't allowed to say. But he says the craziest version.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And kind of just shows how it's okay. It's like, I saw a tweet from recently just said — or her, that it's not okay to be white.

Joe Rogan:
Yes. Yes. And a ton people agree. But it's so close to what they say.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
It's so close that it's like the most artful form of subtle parody.

Naval Ravikant:
Because if you replace in half of these things, if you replace the word white with black or Asian.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, my God.

Naval Ravikant:
Watch the lynch mob they send upon you.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. Yeah. It's a strange time in that respect that these are so much noise.

Naval Ravikant:
There's a famous old saying that's, "If you want to see who rules over you, see who you're not allowed to criticize."

Joe Rogan:
Excellent. Yeah. That is a — That's so true, right? Yeah. That's so true. I wonder where this is going. I really do. I wonder. Because this is — It seems like this new found ability to broadcast that we have with, whether you have a YouTube page, whether you have Twitter or whatever you're doing, this new found ability to spread whatever you're trying to say to so many people with very little understanding on the most part from what's known —

Naval Ravikant:
I think it's actually a great thing overall.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah I do as well.

Naval Ravikant:
Because now it means that any human can broadcast to any other human on the planet at any time. So for example if, you know, a totalitarian dictator were to come to power and someone was beating up, you know, had fascist beating up an old woman, like, that would get broadcast out instantly. There would be an instant outrage hue and cry rallying. So in that sense, it helps bring attention to the plight of anybody. But right now, we're going through the phase where we have this newfound power to assemble mobs. And people don't know how to deal with that. So it becomes very easy to setup a mob and have it attack somebody.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Take all the context out. Like, even this conversation I'm sure people will take out snippets, put them on social media, and try and get somebody outraged.

Joe Rogan:
Of course.

Naval Ravikant:
And so you have to learn how — First of all, society has to get over this idea of outrage. Like, to me, like outraged people are the s- — people who get easily outraged are the stupidest people on social media. Those are the people I block instantly. It's just kind of very low level thinking, right? These are the foot soldiers in a mob. Eventually society just has to get over it. We have to understand that these are all snippets being taken out of context. These are doctored video clips. These are just someone who's trying to get outraged over something. Eventually they'll also be anti mob tactics. Like, for example, if I go to someone's Twitter feed, and all it is is full of political ranting, raving, conspiracy theories, do I want to work with this person? Do I want to associate with this person? Do I want to be friends with this person? Their mind is just cluttered with junk. Now, I don't necessarily blame them. I think that the human brain is not designed to absorb all of the worlds breaking news 24/7 emergencies injected straight into your skull with click bait headline news. If you pay attention to that stuff, even if you're well-meaning, even if you're sound of mind and body, it will eventually drive you insane. This goes back to Clockwork Orange where he's, you know, has his eyes opened. He's forced to watch the news. But I think that's what's happening right now, because these are addictive, right? Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, these are weaponized. You have social statisticians and scientists and researchers and people in lab coats, literally. Best minds of our generation figuring out how to addict you to the news.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And if you fall for it, if you get addicted, your brain will get destroyed. And I think this is the modern struggle, right? The modern struggle. So the ancient struggle used to be the tribal struggle. You had your tribe of friends and family, you had your religion, you had your country, you had your loyalty, you had your nationality. At least you had meaning and support. But now, you would struggle against other tribes. Modern life was so free. Everything's become atomized. We stand alone. You'll live in your apartment alone. You live in your house alone. Your parents don't live nearby. Your friends don't live nearby. You don't have any tribal meaning. You don't believe in religion anymore. You don't believe in country anymore. It's fine. You got a lot of freedoms. Fantastic. But, now, when they come to attack you, you're alone and you can't resist. So how do they attack you? It's all well-meaning. I don't fought capitalism, I love capitalism. But, look at how it happened. Social media, they've massaged all the mechanisms to addict you like a skinner pigeon or a rat who's just gonna click, click, click, click, click. Can't put the phone down. The food, they've taken sugar and they've weaponized it. They've put it into all these different forms and varieties that you can't resist eating. Drugs, right? They've taken pharmaceuticals, and plants, and they've synthesized them. They've grown them in such a way that you can't — you get addicted, you can't put them down. Porn, right? If you're a young male, you wonder on the internet, it'll like sapped away your libido and you're not going out in real life society anymore because you've got this incredibly stimulating stuff coming at you. Video games, another way to addict people. So, you have this — you have entire large factories of people that are working to addict you to these things and you stand alone. So the modern struggle isn't individuals learning how to resist these things in the first place. Drawing your own boundaries. And there's no one there to help you.

Joe Rogan:
That's terrifying. I mean, it is.

Naval Ravikant:
Surprised if you don't.

Joe Rogan:
It's a new road that needs to be navigated by young people that are — there's no map, there's no guidebook on how to handle this.

Naval Ravikant:
Our generation is the transition generation. I think our kids will know how to handle it better, because they'll grow up with it. I hope. I hope.

Joe Rogan:
I hope too. You're seeing some ridiculous behavior from people today. That's so common. I mean, I don't know if you've been paying attention to this, but there was a guy who — he made a video. It turns out it wasn't even him that made the video at least that's not what he said. But it was a video where he sort of doctored Nancy Pelosi talking, and made it look like she was drunk. And then a bunch of people retweeted it, like, "Oh, my God. Look, she's drunk." And so one of the online publications, some website, tracked him down and dox him. And turned out he's just a day laborer who is an African-American Trump fan, and thought it would be funny to do that. And it turns out that he didn't even — at least according to him, he actually just put it up on his Facebook page. What's even more disturbing is Facebook gave up his information to this website.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
For what? Because he made something funny that made people seem drunk? There's a million of those about me. I mean, you could find them. I mean —

Naval Ravikant:
Well, I think Facebook and Twitter and a bunch of these other social media platforms are committing slow motion suicide through these kinds of activities.

Joe Rogan:
That was a stunning one though.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
That they would give up this guy who is a laborer because he made a parody video or he made someone look foolish with editing.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, you now have, basically, the media views it as their job to go after individuals they don't like.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, I use media with air quotes in that regard.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
I don't think this is something that the New York Times would have done.

Naval Ravikant:
No, no.

Joe Rogan:
Anything is possible, but —

Naval Ravikant:
But the media is getting more and more desperate, right? Because what happened was, before the internet, you could have two local newspapers in every town and you could have two local news stations, you know, TV stations in every town. And then CNN came along and started commodities in the news 24/7 broadcasts. And then the internet came along, that was the final nail in the coffin. Because what the internet did was, it said, actually if there's a fact that's news, you can distribute that immediately. It can go on Twitter, it can go on Facebook, it gets reprinted on Google News a thousand times. You know, you go on Google News, you're like, okay, watch a piece of news, which source and 3000 other articles. Too many, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
So news has become commoditized. So the entire news media has shifted into pedaling opinions and entertainment.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And so, now they've become a variation between like cheerleaders, shock troops enforcers, you know, talking heads. So these are now tribal. Well, these are not propaganda machines signaling for their tribes. It's a right wing one, that's left wing one, right? There's the Alt right, there's a Control left, and the two of them were just fighting it out using their various media organs and memes. So basically when you see one of these news organizations doxing an individual, that's like a tank running over a soldier. Right? That's what's going on. It's just a war. And so, there's no such thing anymore as a neutral media commentator. The illusion of objectivity that journalism had is lost. There's no longer one guy like Walter Cronkite that everyone's gonna listened to.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It's now just shock troops fighting wars with each other.

Joe Rogan:
How does this play out? Have you thought about it?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, a little bit. So what the internet does — A lot of this is internet driven. What the internet does, is the internet creates one giant aggregator or two, for everything. One taxi dispatcher, one e-commerce store, one search engine, one, you know, one social media site for friends and family, one for business, et cetera. So the internet is this giant aggregator where it creates one big [inaudible 0:59:16] for everything, and it creates an atomized long tail of millions and millions of individuals. What it gets rid of is the medium sized ones in the middle. So, for example, you might have had like seven Hollywood studios, let's all give me Netflix. You had, you know, like 10 large e-commerce players — commerce players, from Walmart to Costco to, you know, Kmart and whatever. Not just gonna be Amazon. And a ton of small individual brands. So that's the world that we're headed towards; one [inaudible 0:59:48] and millions of individuals. So where it ends up long term is media will be a few gigantic outlets. You know, it could be the New York Times, it could be Facebook, a few like that, and there's gonna be just a really long tail of millions of independent people. So this idea of who's a journalist and who's not, you know, is assigned to journalists or not. Everyone's a journalist. That's the world that we're headed towards. I do think that extreme power, the most powerful people in the world today, and this is not well-known, but the most powerful people in the world today are the people who are writing the algorithms for Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. Because they're controlling the spread of information. They're literally rewriting people's brains. They're programming the culture. And they're doing it very subtly. Like Google, I believe, that, you know, one of their Execs got up in front of Congress, and the Congressman asked him, you know, "Do you manipulate search results?" He said, "No, we do not manipulate search results." "Really? That's your job. That is literally all Google does. Google has one job which is to manipulate search results to pull them out of the noise and rank them properly." And the precise algorithms of how they do that is very hidden, very complex, but influences the hearts and minds of everybody, including all the voters. Now, if Google, Facebook and Twitter had been smart about this, they would not have picked sides. They would have said, "We're publishers. Whatever goes through our pipes goes through the pipes. If it's illegal, we'll take it down, give us a court order. Otherwise we don't touch it." It's like the phone company. If I call you up.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
And I say something horrible to you on the phone, the phone company doesn't get in trouble. But the moment they started taking stuff down that wasn't illegal, because somebody scream, they basically lost their right to be viewed as a carrier. And now all of a sudden, they've taken on liability. So they're sliding down the slippery slope into ruin. Slope into ruin where the left wants them to take down the right, the right wants to take down the left, and now they have no more friends, they have no allies. Traditionally the libertarian leaning Republicans and Democrats would have stood up in principle for the common carriers, but now they won't. So, my guess is as soon as Congress — this is — this day is coming, if not already here. It might even have been here today actually, because you saw something related in the news. The day is coming when the politicians realize that these social media platforms are picking the next president, the next Congressman. They are literally picking. And they have the power to pick, so they will be controlled by the government.

Joe Rogan:
In what way? How do you think they're gonna be controlled? You think they're gonna have to adhere to strict principles of freedom of speech?

Naval Ravikant:
No, no. Unfortunately —

Joe Rogan:
First Amendment?

Naval Ravikant:
Unfortunately it's headed the opposite direction, right?

Joe Rogan:
The opposite —

Naval Ravikant:
I wish it was freedom of speech. Much more likely they're gonna be — in the short to medium term, they're gonna be hauled in for hearings. They're gonna be pressured massively, do this, don't do that.

Joe Rogan:
My concern about that is the hearings that I saw with Zuckerberg. Those people were completely incompetent. They don't seem to understand.

Naval Ravikant:
They don't. They don't. But they're just applying pressure. They're just trying to scare him so he'll do what they want. And —

Joe Rogan:
What do they want him to do?

Naval Ravikant:
They want him to basically suppress the other side. So if you're a right wing, you want to suppress the left wing. If you're left wing, you want to suppress the right wing. And if you just see where these companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley, all the sensors, and that's really what they are. There are sensors working inside these companies. They're just called — they're called by different names, obviously, right? It's doublespeak. You call the Department of Defense when it's the Department of War. So in this case, the Department of Safety and Trust when really it's a Department of Censorship. The sensors are inside Silicon Valley, so it's going to reflect Silicon Valley politics.

Joe Rogan:
Which is extremely progressive left wing.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And if you're not that, you really have no place.

Naval Ravikant:
That's right.

Joe Rogan:
I mean, try being a conservative and open conservative at Google. Good luck.

Naval Ravikant:
No, you get lynched.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, it's crazy. I mean, I don't think that there was ever a thing like that, that was so influential and so politically ideologically one sided.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, there's a little saying on the internet, I think it's called Conquest Law, that any organization that's not explicitly left or right wing eventually becomes left wing. And I don't know why that's true but it does seem to me to be true.

Joe Rogan:
Well. it's a fascinating battle that's going on right now. I mean, it really is. And conservatives. And as far as social media is concerned, they're just getting chopped off at the hams, left and right.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. What'll eventually happen is that whenever you suppress speech, the organism metastasizes, then it has to start turning towards other means. If you're unlucky, it goes towards violence. If you're lucky, they'll find other outlets. I think what will happen is we will start creating decentralized media that's not owned by any single entity. That can't be suppressed or shut down. That will then start spreading these various things.

Joe Rogan:
And that will take the place of Twitter or Facebook or what have you.

Naval Ravikant:
That's right. But it's gonna take 10 years, 20 years.

Joe Rogan:
At least.

Naval Ravikant:
It's not overnight.

Joe Rogan:
Well, you know, Twitter took 10 more years to get to the point where it's at this mess right now.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
But it was so interesting to have Jack Dorsey and to talk to him about where it's going, where he thinks he's gotten his own principles, which he believes that it's a fundamental right, and he believes that freedom of speech is something that we all should have, and that these platforms should essentially be like utilities, like the electric company.

Naval Ravikant:
Jack is correct. And he has the right vision. It's just he's in an organization where the other individuals in the organization feel differently.

Joe Rogan:
Very differently. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So the organization itself can get hijacked.

Joe Rogan:
And his timeline for changing things, is like, it's decades.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
I mean, I don't — I shouldn't say decades, but I mean, I was like, when do you think that something —

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
There is a part — There was one idea of having an uncensored Twitter. Like, one Twitter that's the wild west. Like, you can have regular Twitter or you could try Wild West Twitter.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, that already exists and that were called Gab.

Joe Rogan:
Yes. But Gap isn't named Wild West Twitter. They — when people dox people, they remove things like that.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. I mean, I think there's certainly lines around violence and —

Joe Rogan:
Threats.

Naval Ravikant:
— illegality that you don't want to cross, but —

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
— Gab is closer to free speech platform, but it's still not decentralized. I can still get shut down.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
I can still get taken out.

Joe Rogan:
Which also suppressed heavily.

Naval Ravikant:
Yes. And the people on there are right now extremely right wing. So it's not a pleasant place for someone like me to hang out [inaudible 1:06:00].

Joe Rogan:
With all the people that have been kicked off or something else, so —

Naval Ravikant:
That's right. That's right.

Joe Rogan:
— try going over there and being moderate. Try going over there.

Naval Ravikant:
No.

Joe Rogan:
There's no room for you.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Unfortunately, because I don't identify as any party or any creed —

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
— you know, it doesn't work for me.

Joe Rogan:
Is that a problem in Silicon Valley when you don't identify as anything? Do you get pressure?

Naval Ravikant:
Totally. It used to be okay, it's not okay anymore.

Joe Rogan:
When was it okay?

Naval Ravikant:
Like, 10 years ago, I would say it was okay.

Joe Rogan:
And then you started seeing a shift?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. And now you have to pick sides. Otherwise you're automatically the enemy.

Joe Rogan:
Really?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Struggle sessions and all that.

Joe Rogan:
God. Struggle sessions.

Naval Ravikant:
I'm exaggerating for effect, but definitely has that oppressive feeling to it.

Joe Rogan:
Right. And you also have to be politically outspoken.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
It can't be something that you just stay neutral about.

Naval Ravikant:
Right. It's like when Tim Ferriss, I think at some point, put out a tweet about how you can't just say anything anymore and, you know, people are being suppressed. And a whole bunch of people who loved him from Silicon Valley piled in and said, "What is it that you can't say? What are you afraid to say? You can say whatever you want to him. Go ahead. What are you afraid of?" They're like baiting him.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. "What was he trying to say? Well, we have to put him in that box. He was someone who is thinking about saying something he shouldn't have said."

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly.

Joe Rogan:
"Now we know."

Naval Ravikant:
One great tweet I saw was, you know, "The left won the culture wars and other just driving around shooting the survivors."

Joe Rogan:
Wow. That's hilarious. Yeah, I wonder. I wonder who has won the culture war. Certainly a battle that's been won in terms of like controlled social media. Controlled social media is absolutely laughable.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, this is unfortunate for conservatives, but technology is a force that also pushes left. So if you look all throughout human history, like the left it essentially grows and grows and grows, right? Why is that? Why is it inexorably that — as some commentators have said, Leviathan slouches left, right? Leviathan is the government, why does it slouch left? And I think a lot of that has been because of technology. Technology has made it so that it makes more — it's like industrial revolution technology. We all band together. We're wards of the state, right? Contraception is a technology that kind of helps lean left where it takes away from the family unit. Abortion is a technology, right? It wasn't possible thousands of years ago. So technology actually empowers the individual. The individual means that you have the breakdown of family structure and religion and all that. And I'm not necessarily opposed to that. But it does mean that there is a leftward shift to it. Now we are getting a small set of technologies that actually can take you more rightward. Encryption is an example, because encryption makes it easier to have privacy. It makes it easier to have money that is outside of the state. Guns. 3D printing of guns is an example of a technology that is more of a rightward shift. But generally, technology leads the world left.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah it's also usually highly educated people that are involved in technology in the first place. And I think when you look at universities in particular, they tend to lean left in this country as well.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, universities — What happened to the university is very interesting. Universities first when, you know, became the arbiters of data and intellectualism and know what's right and wrong. So there's a time period when it was like, "Should we be doing that or not? Well, let's look at the University, what do they have to say? What are the smartest people, the professors, the think tanks have to say?" And the universities got this credibility from the hard sciences. So they got this from, you know, physics and math and computer science and chemistry, because these deliver real things; the Manhattan Project, the microprocessor, the space vehicles and so on, the electric car. So they gain this mantle of authority and legitimacy from the hard sciences. So then, come the social sciences kind of sneak in. Then you get economy — economics. And microeconomics is a real discipline, real science, real math behind it, logic, reason. And then you get macro economics which can be politicized a little bit more voodoo, and then you get social studies, and then you get gender studies, and then you get blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. And so what happened is that because we took scientists to be the high priests of our new world, science itself has gotten corrupted. And the social sciences, and you can tell they're fake sciences because the word science tacked on at the end have come in and hijacked the universities and become the new think tanks. And so, essentially, what you see going on today in the universities is a war between the social sciences and the physical sciences. And the crossover point is biology, right? Where you can see like the whole gender is a social construct movement is attacking biology and evolutionary biology. Just like in the social sphere, they're coming after the comedians, right? But you can see the struggle going on in the universities. And I would say the physical sciences are essentially losing that war.

Joe Rogan:
What can be done? Or is it just something that has to play out? Is it — Do we have to realize the consequences of the foolishness?

Naval Ravikant:
Well, the good news is, the physical sciences have a reality on their side, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, but it's not even — in many ways, it's not respected.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. But at the end of the day, your aircraft still has to fly, you know, your microprocessor still has to compute. So, there's only so far they can take it. But I do see, for example in biology, a lot of biologists are facing this difficult thing where they have to say things that they know are not true to keep their job.

Joe Rogan:
Like what?

Naval Ravikant:
Well, you had Brett Weinstein on here.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Right? So, that's a clear example.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
So there's just, the crossover line of what is acceptable and what's not is entering into biology. And biology will probably suffer the most. Synthetic biology for example, will — you know, a lot of this will end up in China, because it won't be — you won't be able to map facts and reality and actions together, you won't be able to get grants, you won't be able to get the adulation of your peers. I don't know enough here's, so now I'm in shaky territory, but it's just my sense that that crossover battleground right now is an evolutionary biology. Economic's lost.

Joe Rogan:
Well, it's certainly in terms of gender and that sort of — that seems to be one of the major battlegrounds.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. And it's also gonna happen, for example, Blank Slate theory. You know, are we nature, are we nurture.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
It's kind of socially unacceptable to say that, you know, a lot of it is nature and not nurture or vice versa, depending on which side you're on.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Those kinds of discussions get corrupted.

Joe Rogan:
They do get corrupt. And it's really unfortunate because that's an unbelievably important thing to understand. Like, what makes a person a sociopath? What makes a person a super successful person, a winner?

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
What makes a person a drug addict? What are these factors?

Naval Ravikant:
You can't have a reasonable conversation about climate science anymore.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
It's not a science, it's all politicized.

Joe Rogan:
You can't even bring it up.

Naval Ravikant:
Everyone's got their minds made up already.

Joe Rogan:
Well, it's uncomfortable to me as people have their minds made up and they don't even have the data.

Naval Ravikant:
On most of these topics, people are talking past each other anyway.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
They're talking about different things. Like, when you get into, you know, when you get into gun control for example. Right? One side is talking about the right to bear arms in case a tyrannical ruler or King drastic over the country. The other side is talking about school shootings and, you know, protecting people in their homes, right? From crime. So they're just talking about two different things.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
And it's just not politically acceptable to even talk about the same thing. Or when it gets to immigration, the right is talking about — you know. The left is like bundling together illegal immigration and legal immigration into one thing.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Right? Whereas on the right, sometimes you've got racists hiding in there. So it doesn't help their cause, right? They're talking about two different things.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
If they were talking about the same thing, which is how many immigrants should we let into the country and, you know, what are the criteria for that. That would be a very different conversation than no immigrants or everybody comes in. And then also on the left, you know, you had this benefit that everybody who's currently coming in illegally is gonna vote for the left because of where they're coming from and their socioeconomic circumstances. To me, the test of any good system is, you build a system, hand it over to your enemies to run for the next decade. So for example, if you want a censorship on Twitter or Facebook, you should build that system, and then hand it over to the other side to run. So if you're a left winger who's promoting censorship, let somebody else running. Same with immigration. If you want immigration system, build the system, then hand it over to the other side to running. That's how you know it's a good system.

Joe Rogan:
There's no room for nuance when you're dealing with these political battlegrounds. When you're dealing with right versus left and one side has clearly established stance that you're supposed to take, like gun control is a great example of that, right? There's no room for, what about mental health? What about the fact that so many of these people are on psych medication?

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
Why is that not being asked?

Naval Ravikant:
We're running one of the greatest mental health experiments in history.

Joe Rogan:
The greatest, right?

Naval Ravikant:
When we're doping everybody up and SSRIs.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. And, you know, maybe if you give 30 million people SSRIs, maybe like 29.9 million are a lot happier. And then you have a fraction that commit suicide or detonate.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Right? You're basically trading the mean for the variance.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You have blowup risk. Yeah, there's no room for nuance, which is why I stay out of politics, largely.

Joe Rogan:
Do they drag you in though sometimes?

Naval Ravikant:
They always try.

Joe Rogan:
Well, even this conversation forces —

Naval Ravikant:
Even this conversation.

Joe Rogan:
— you get — to get dragged in.

Naval Ravikant:
Sure. But —

Joe Rogan:
I'm sure there's gonna be some people —

Naval Ravikant:
Here's the thing about politics. Because there — we have a first pass the post system. What that means is that whoever wins 51 percent of the vote in this country gets a lot of the power, right? It's not like proportional representation where the Greens have 10% and, you know, libertarians of 3% or whatever it is. Just like you're all Democrat in power, now all Republican. Because of that, to win, you have to pick one of these two sides. Right? You have to choose. You can't just basically say, "I'm gonna be, you know nuanced about it." You can't vote for a third party that's throwing away your vote, right? I have a friend who's trying to fix that, he's starting this thing called a good party, where like you kickstart your vote. So you combine all your votes, you hold them in reserve, and then when you have enough to win, then you vote that person in power. Right? So you don't throw your vote. But outside of those hacks, we're never gonna be a third party elected. So because of that, all of your beliefs have to neatly fit into the Democrat bundle or the Republican bundle. And so, when you get into that tribe, if you signal out of that bundle, you get attacked.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
So it's literally — it's making you into an unclear thinker. It's making you into a model thinker. If all of your beliefs line up into one political party, you're not a clear thinker. If all your beliefs are the same as your neighbors and your friends, you're not a clear thinker. You're literally just — your beliefs are socialized. They're taken from other people. So if you want to be a clear thinker, you cannot pay attention to politics. It will destroy your ability to think.

Joe Rogan:
Ugh. That would dread.

Naval Ravikant:
Most of modern life, all our diseases are diseases of abundance, not diseases of scarcity. Like old times, I may have starved. You know, old times if I got sugar, that was a wonderful thing. I should have eaten all the sugar to get my hands on. If I'd gotten a piece of news or gossip, that was interesting data that would have helped my life and move me forward. If I'd gotten some brief amount of entertainment, whether through video games or magazines or whatever that would've been good. Now, it's all disease of abundance. We are overexposed to everything. So, the way to survive in modern society is to be an ascetic. It is to retreat from society. There's too much society everywhere you go; society in your phone, society in your pocket, society in your ears. You're being socialized right now by listening to this podcast.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
We're socializing you. We're programming you. Everyone's trying to program everybody. The only solution is turn it off.

Joe Rogan:
The only solution is to turn it off and concentrate on your breathing.

Naval Ravikant:
Meditation. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Yes. I mean, that's huge.

Naval Ravikant:
It works. It's been a lifesaver for me.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, I do it. And I do it whenever I get like spare time. I was at the doctor's office this morning and I knew I was gonna be 20 minutes, so I just sat there with my eyes closed for 20 minutes and I melted.

Naval Ravikant:
You know, when I was growing up, there was this statement, I think it was Pascal, he said, you know, "All of man's problems arise because he cannot sit by himself in a room for 30 minutes alone." And it's very true. I always needed to be stimulated. And when the iPhone came along, bored and was dead.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
I would never this bored again. If I'm standing in line, I'm on my iPhone, and I thought it was great. And when I was a kid I used to try and overclock my brain like, "How many thoughts can I think at once?" The answer is only one, but I would try to like think multiple thoughts at once.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And I was proud of that. I was proud that my brain was always running, this engine was always moving. And it's a disease. It's actually the road to misery. And now that I'm older, I realize that you actually want to, again, rest your mind, you want to learn how to settle into your mind. Now, I look forward to solitary confinement. You'll leave me alone for a day. It'll be like the happiest day I've had in a while. And that is a superpower that I think everybody can attain.

Joe Rogan:
The superpower of learning to be alone and enjoying it.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. Well, I think it's critical. And I do think that these times where you just think about things, just be alone and think about things are so rare these days. And I think during those rare times is when you really get to understand what you actually believe or don't believe.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, it's funny. When I first started meditating, it was really hard, right? Because everybody — I think a lot of people who listen to this broadcast have heard of meditation that has a good reps. Everybody tries it, they struggle, they kind of give it up. It's one of those things that everybody says they do, but nobody actually does. Right? It's like not eating sugar, right? Everyone talks about how, "Yeah, I don't eat sugar."

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Then the dessert tray rolls around and everyone's going for the cookies.

Joe Rogan:
Yep.

Naval Ravikant:
Right?

Joe Rogan:
Yep.

Naval Ravikant:
So, it's become one of those things. And in fact it's now even become a signaling thing where it's like, "Oh, how much did you meditate?".

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
"I meditate this much."

Joe Rogan:
Yep.

Naval Ravikant:
You know, there are people now wearing headbands saying — with Tweety Bird that chirping there when they're in deep meditation. I don't know how they make it work, but they'd be like, "I've got a lot of chirps today. How many chirps did you get?" Right?

Joe Rogan:
Oh, God.

Naval Ravikant:
"Oh, your meditation technique is wrong, mine is right." But really, all it is is the art of doing nothing. Okay? And it's important because I think when we grow up, right? All this stuff happening to you in your life. And some of it you're processing, some of it you're absorbing, and some of it you should probably think a little bit more about and work through, but you don't, you don't have time. So it gets buried in you. It's all these preferences and judgments and unresolved situations and issues. And it's like your e-mail inbox. It's just piling up, e-mail after e-mail after e-mail that's not answered, going back 10, 20, 30, 40 years. And then when you sit down to meditate, those e-mails start coming back at you. "Hey, what about this issue? What about that issue? Have you solved this? Do you think about that? You have regrets there? You have issues there?" And that gets scary. People don't want to do that. Like, "It's not working. I can't clear my mind. I better get up and not do this." But really what's happening is it's self therapy. It's just that, instead of paying a therapist to sit there and listen to you, you're listening to yourself. And you just have to sit there as those e-mails go through one by one, you work through each of them until you get to the magical inbox zero. And there comes a day when you sit down, you realize the only things you're thinking about are the things that happened yesterday, because you've processed everything else. Not necessarily even resolved it, but at least listen to yourself, and that's when meditation starts. And I think it's a very powerful thing that everybody should experience and that's when you arrive upon the art of doing nothing.

Joe Rogan:
Well, I think it's even a problem that most people are getting their meditation from an app.

Naval Ravikant:
I will not use an app.

Joe Rogan:
It's sneaky. I mean, Sam Harris is a very good meditation, I'll [inaudible 1:21:22] to that. But you should be able to just do it. And many people can't.

Naval Ravikant:
It is literally the art of doing nothing.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
So, all you need to do for meditation is just sit down, close your eyes, comfortable position, whatever happens happens. If you think, you think; if you don't think, you don't think. Don't put effort into it, don't put effort against it, it's all you need.

Joe Rogan:
Do you concentrate on your breath?

Naval Ravikant:
Nothing.

Joe Rogan:
Or do you have a specific technique?

Naval Ravikant:
Nothing.

Joe Rogan:
Nothing?

Naval Ravikant:
Nothing. No. You just —

Joe Rogan:
You just sit.

Naval Ravikant:
You just sit.

Joe Rogan:
I think about my breath. That's all I do, I just —

Naval Ravikant:
You can do that.

Joe Rogan:
I try to only concentrate on breathing.

Naval Ravikant:
I used to do that, but at some level, all the concentration — Every meditation technique is leading you to the same thing which is just witnessing.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
And concentration is a technique to steal your mind enough that you can then drop the object of concentration. So you could also just try going straight to the end game. The problem with what I'm talking about, which is not focusing on your breath is you will have to listen to your mind for a long time. It's not gonna work unless you do at least an hour a day, and preferably at least 60 days before you've kind of worked through a lot of issues. So it'll be hell for a while, but when you come out the other side, it's great.

Joe Rogan:
You get rid of the chatter.

Naval Ravikant:
Or when the chatter comes, it's in the background, it's dimmer, it's smaller, you've heard it before, you see the patterns. It's more recent. It's something you need to resolve anyway. And you will get moments of actual silence.

Joe Rogan:
What is your — what's your ultimate state when you meditate? Like, is there a state where you've achieved, rarely, if ever, where you just — you're in bliss or you're in harmony or you're in enlightenment? Like, what —

Naval Ravikant:
It's kind of indescribable, because when you're really meditating, you're not there. When there's no thoughts, there's no experience through, there's nothing.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
There's just nothing. So it's it's hard to describe. But I would say that it's like a — you could definitely — every psychedelic state that people encounter using so-called plant medicines can be arrived at just through pure meditation. And I've definitely hit some of those states.

Joe Rogan:
You've hit some transcendent psychedelic states where you're —

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, I've had —

Joe Rogan:
— halucinating, the whole deal?

Naval Ravikant:
I've had trippy visuals, I've had the kind of lights and colors, I've had the so-called downloads, I've had the realizations, I've had the bliss I've had the light, I've had the colors, but —

Joe Rogan:
But not every time?

Naval Ravikant:
No, it's rarely. And in fact, I would say that's also like an experience that you can start craving which will then actually take you out of meditation, where you really — and I'm not enlightened or anything close to it, so not even in the ballpark. But my own experience and this is this personal experience, is the place where I end up the most, that is really the one that I want to be at, is peace. It's just peace.

Joe Rogan:
Peace. Happy.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, peace — To me, peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is kind of peace in motion. You can convert peace to happiness anytime you want, but peace is what you want most of the time.

Joe Rogan:
That's interesting. You can convert peace to happiness anytime you want.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. If you're a peaceful person, anything you do will be a happy activity. And by the way, being on social media, engaging in politics, will not bring your peace.

Joe Rogan:
There is nothing less peaceful.

Naval Ravikant:
Right. And the w-

Joe Rogan:
In today's day and age?

Naval Ravikant:
The way we think you get peace is by resolving all your external problems. But there is unlimited external problems. So the only way to actually get pieces on the inside by giving up this idea of problems.

Joe Rogan:
Who thinks you can get peace by resolving external problems other than politicians?

Naval Ravikant:
Everybody.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah?

Naval Ravikant:
That's what everybody struggling to do, right? Why are you trying to make money? To solve all your money problems. Why try to win at politics? Because then you'll be at peace because your people will have won..

Joe Rogan:
It's a daunting task to get your shit together.

Naval Ravikant:
It's easier to change yourself than to change the world.

Joe Rogan:
That's true.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And the best way to change the world is to change yourself.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly. It's — all these people who are shouting on social media, the best way is just to actually live the life that you want other people to live. Like, I went to New Zealand, and there's this guy that I met with, and — you know everyone's on social media shouting about environmentalism and conserve and sustain. And I go to this guy's house, and he was doing a very quietly, very gently, he was doing a two week long zero waste experiment, where he was throwing out nothing. So every package that he opened he would keep and he would like clean it up, so he would keep his Amazon boxes, he keep the little contain- even tea bag. If he opened the tea bag, he has to figure out how to compost the tea inside, how to make the tea itself useful, how to make the tea bag like a little storage item. So there was no trash. He was literally living with zero trash waste, and he was doing it. And it was really inspirational. Meeting people like him made me far more environmentally conscious than, you know, any amount of people yelling at me on social media ever will.

Joe Rogan:
How long did he do that for?

Naval Ravikant:
I think it was two weeks. It was hard.

Joe Rogan:
What the fuck are you gonna do with tea bags?

Naval Ravikant:
He had quite the collection.

Joe Rogan:
The tea bags.

Naval Ravikant:
He wasn't filling them with little things.

Joe Rogan:
It sounds like you're a crazy hoarder.

Naval Ravikant:
Yes.

Joe Rogan:
Like a hoarder person with stacks of tea bags in his house.

Naval Ravikant:
Very impressive guy.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah, that's a strange way to go about things. I appreciate it. I mean, look, it is entirely possible to somehow or another engineer all of our cups and all of our things and all about to be biodegradable.

Naval Ravikant:
You know, the struggle with the modern environmental movement is that they identify the correct problem which is finite earth spaceship. Earth is all we got, don't ruin it. But they don't have the solution. So what they say is no growth, no growth, no growth. The problem is you got 3 billion Indian and Chinese who aren't going to stay in poverty.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
They're gonna roll whether you like it or not. So you can yell at them, you can scream at them, you can yell at us and scream at us, but that's not gonna happen. So the only way out, unfortunately is, again, through technology, which is you have to build green technology. And I give Musk a lot of credit, you know, for being one of the few people who's out there trying to do that. So you build things that are biodegradable and good for you and healthier. And everybody wants to be healthier; Chinese want to be healthier, Indians want to be healthier. They want to be cleaner. If you say, "I can clean up your rivers, I can clean up your forests, I can have your children not get sick with cholera and diphtheria and typhoid, I can cure your diseases, I can help make your immune system stronger, I can give you clean drinking water." Like, that is what causes people to become environmentalists. Not shouting and screaming at them that they shouldn't grow and they should stop pumping things into the sky. You know, they have no concept of that. They're just trying to get out of poverty. So, I think the modern environmental movement identifies the correct problem, but then doesn't come up with the right set of solutions that are appealing to people. People are not going to give up economic growth. They're gonna have to get rich first.

Joe Rogan:
That's — Yeah, that's a very good point. But how do do you do both?

Naval Ravikant:
You lower the price of clean technologies massively. So you basically make clean technologies cost competitive —

Joe Rogan:
Through subsidy? Through —

Naval Ravikant:
— [inaudible 1:28:22] technologies. Innovation, ideally, you can subsidize in the short to medium term until the innovation curve is crossed. I mean, like, Tesla doesn't have any patents, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Or they freely give away their patents. That's the example of how you can do it. So, you know, someone — if you wanna get rid of plastics such straws, yeah, you can do it here and there, you can get San Francisco to ban plastic straws. But China's not gonna ban plastic straws. Not until you build a paper straw that is, you know, same cost, good durability. And then you educate the Chinese like, "Hey, this is petroleum. You know this plastic that you're doing is petroleum. This is bad for you. Here is the chemical composition. Here's the things that are going into the bloodstream." And they want healthy, happy kids also. So they're gonna have their kids use paper straws. Maybe straws aren't the best example, but you can — you know, this is true with fossil fuels for example. That's probably the best one. Or replacing a lot of plastics with glass and paper and so on.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah there's a new technology that was just — Rhonda Patrick [inaudible 1:29:29] in her Twitter today about, they're able to convert plastic waste into fuel. And that there's companies that are actively trying to do that now.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
So then, in that way, plastic waste will become valuable.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
It will become a commodity and it becomes something that people are resource.

Naval Ravikant:
Now, there are certain problems this doesn't solve; this doesn't solve carbon, this doesn't solve —

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
— deforestation, you know. So there, you kind of have to step in with other means. So for example, look at the Amazon, right? Everyone's complaining about the Amazon being deforested. Well, you're not the poor Brazilian farmer.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So you're sitting here in your comfortable chair, like social media hammering away at, you know, the evil Brazilians with deforesting the Amazon. But the Amazon has incredible resources. If we really care about it, we should turn it into an incredible tourist park and put your money where your mouth is, start doing eco-tourism in the Amazon, start paying for it. And then maybe take the future rights for all the pharmaceuticals that come out of all the incredible plants there and start selling those off, so that people — so that maybe give the pharmaceutical companies an incentive to preserve the biodiversity the Amazon, say, "Hey, if you buy this patch of the Amazon, you conservative, and you conserve it." Whatever plant medicines that come out of there that you can then license, you get the patent for 20 years or 30 years or whatever. So I think there are solutions where we as the first world, those who have money, can put our money where our mouth is and go and rescue these kinds of properties.

Joe Rogan:
That's a very interesting solution. But I could see immediate pushback from people that don't think the pharmaceutical companies should have the rights to this natural plant.

Naval Ravikant:
Okay. Or the government does it. And then the government gets the patents and the government will auction off the patents later or —

Joe Rogan:
That's even worse.

Naval Ravikant:
— or they'll license them —

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
— or whatever it is. Right?

Joe Rogan:
Well, that's — the often — like, just this. The often the problem is there is no really good solution. There's a bunch of solutions that also have drawbacks.

Naval Ravikant:
That's life.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Right?

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
That's the tradeoff, so.

Joe Rogan:
As being a human.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
It's very messy.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. It's a constrained environment. So obviously I skew more towards a private property capitalist type solutions, because even though they're not perfect, they have been proven to actually work. Right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Once something is your property, you take care of it.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
You're not going to crap all over your own house. But it should probably be temporary property, not permanent property. You see a lot of countries around the world now doing this no foreign ownership of land thing, for example, where Mexico has no private ownership of beaches. Right? So you can draw the line at certain points.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. Do you enjoy doing this kind of thing. We break things down and give your perspective on things and try to illuminate certain complex subjects?

Naval Ravikant:
I'm not trying to illuminate so much as — you know, talking to you, I learn as much as I say. And I learn it from myself because I'm being forced to articulate it, right? I can sit around and think my thoughts all day long, but a lot of it's gonna be nonsense. It's not — I'm gonna — 'cause there are gaps in thinking where you make leaps, because you're kind to yourself that you don't realize you're making. But when you're forced to write it down, and this is why I tweet, or when you have to talk to somebody, you have to complete those gaps and make it a proper logical chain. And the mistake that I made when I was young was, you know, I always wanted to seem like the smartest kid in the room, you know, like, just like you probably want to seem like the funniest kid in the room or the toughest kid in the room, right? We're all losers starting out. We want to be winners. So we pick the thing we're good at and we double down on it. So I was one of the smartest kid in the room. So what did I do? I read a lot of books. I memorize a lot of things. And then whatever I hadn't memorized — this is pre-Google — I made it up [inaudible 1:32:41]. Okay? Pre-Google. After Google, fact checking started.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
And I had to get better, right? So Google improved me that way.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. A lot of people.

Naval Ravikant:
Exactly. So, now what I realized is that the biggest mistake was memorization. Right? Because when you're actually trying to live your life in congruence with reality, you want to have a deep understanding what you do and why you do it. And so it's much more important to know the basics really well there is to know the advanced. Knowing calculus wouldn't help you today, doesn't help you in business, doesn't help you in most things. But knowing arithmetic really well will help you, really, whether it's at the corner grocery store counting change, to figuring out the value of your podcast business, to figuring out how to do the probability math on, you know, some action that you want to take. So understanding basic mathematics cold is way more important than memorizing calculus concepts. And the problem is — and this is true of, I think, all reasoning, it's much better to know the basics from the ground up solid foundation of understanding, a steel frame of understanding, than it is to just have a scaffolding, we're just memorizing advanced concepts. This is why that a lot of people I'm sure that you listen to who are really smart, they use a lot of jargon and you can't quite follow their reasoning. You don't know how they're putting things together and you — this deep down suspicion, "They don't even really understand." Right? So if you look at the most powerful thinkers especially the ones where money or life is on the line, they have to understand the basics really, really well. Richard Feynman, the famous physicist was able to — he had this piece in one of his lectures where he takes you from counting numbers on your hand, all the way to calculus in four pages of text aurally but written down to four pages of text. And it's a complete unbroken logical chain that takes you through geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus, analytic geometry, graphs, everything, all the way to calculus. He understood numbers at a core level. He didn't have to memorize anything. When you're memorizing, it's an indication that you don't understand. You should be able to re-derive anything on the spot. And if you can't, you don't know it.

Joe Rogan:
So do you apply that to things other than mathematics? You applied it to —

Naval Ravikant:
Everything.

Joe Rogan:
Everything.

Naval Ravikant:
Everything. Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
You don't even make attempt to memorize things. Just make attempt to understand them.

Naval Ravikant:
You can't help but memorize things.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
But if you can't — And this is where Twitter is great for me, is I try to understand something. And then I try to write it down in such a way that I can remember it, just the basic hook that will point towards the deeper understanding. And I'm forced to explain it to people. And that's how I know I understand something. So this is what I meant originally we talked about reading, a good book I'll read one page in a night, and then I'll spend the rest of night thinking about it, or I'm chasing down references in Wikipedia or weird blog posts trying to understand it. You know. So for example, there was a — I was dealing with — this is a few months back, I was dealing with a question of — stupid topic but — the meaning of life, right? What's the meaning —

Joe Rogan:
How could that be stupid though?

Naval Ravikant:
Well, it's trite. It's trite. You're not supposed to think about it. It's something you ask your parents when you're young.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
They tell you, "Don't worry about it," or they say it's —

Joe Rogan:
"Go get the job, hippie."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, exactly. "Get a job, you friggin' hippie," or "Here is God. God is the meaning of life," right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And so I was just trying to resolve for myself, like, "What could the answer be?" Right? Not, "What is the answer?" But, "What could the answer be?" And so, at a core level, I was forced to kind of hunting down all these weird little things and really understand for myself. And it's got to be personal, right? But I've established, for myself, what it could and could not be. And that gave me some level of peace. So now I have to keep asking that question.

Joe Rogan:
What is the meaning of life?

Naval Ravikant:
I mean, you — I think the question is more interesting than the answer. Everyone should explore this on their own. But let me just explore a few parts with you, right?

Joe Rogan:
Okay.

Naval Ravikant:
So first is, if I gave you an answer, if I said, "The meaning of life is to please God." "Well, which God?" "Okay. Judeo-Christian God." "Well, okay. Why that one? Why this thing?" The problem is it's a why question. You can keep asking why forever, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Any answer I give you, you will just ask why again, why again. Why again.

Joe Rogan:
Right. We're little kids.

Naval Ravikant:
That's right. And you end up in a place called [inaudible 1:36:42]. Okay? This is a philosophical exercise. But I kind of thought it through, then googled around it and there's a thing called [inaudible 1:36:48]. And [inaudible 1:36:50] says that any questioning like this, why, will always end in one of three places. Okay? First is infinite regress. Right? "Why?" "Because of this." "Why that? Why this. And it just keep playing forever. The second is circular reasoning. "Well, A." "Why A?" "Because of B." "Well, why B?" "Because of A." You're trapped in that. Or the third is an axiom. And the most popular axiom is God. But it could be anything; because of math, because of science, because the big bang, because of simulation. Right? These are all axioms. These are all just stopping points. Saying simulation — We're in a simulation or saying it's the big bang is just another way of saying God. God's a dirty word, so we don't use it as much anymore, but same thing. So you end up in one of these three dead ends, essentially. Right? So there is no answer. The real answer is because. Right.

Joe Rogan:
What is the meaning of life?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. You get to make up your own answer is the beauty. If there was a single answer, we would not be free. We would be trapped. Because then we would all have to live to that answer. Then we'd be Borg like robots. Each one competing with each other to fulfill that single meaning more than the others. Back to signaling, like I'm better at it than you are. But luckily there is no answer, so you just do whatever you want.

Joe Rogan:
The meaning of life. It's funny that that was the basis of all existential angst, that you don't —

Naval Ravikant:
You don't know why you're here.

Joe Rogan:
And you have this feeling that it could be meaning less. It is — I mean, if you — when you start pondering the multiverse, the universe, the galaxies, the solar system, the planet, the organism, the cells inside the organism, the bacteria, the parasites, the symbiotic relationship we have to our environment, and you start going, "Jesus Christ, what — am I just a little piece of this thing?" It's like —

Naval Ravikant:
Well, the answers to all the great questions are paradoxes.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
So for example, you're asking like, "Do I matter?" That's like really the question you asked, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, "How do I matter in this infinite universe?" Well, you know, on the one hand, you're separate. No two points are the same, every point is — every two points are infinitely different. You're completely separated. No one will have your thoughts, your emotions, your feelings, your experience, so your life as a single player game. You're trapped inside your head and you're just aware of a bunch of things going on and that's it. On the other hand, I cannot say the word Joe Rogan without invoking the entire universe. Joe Rog- alien comes along says, "What's that?" "Joe Rogan." "What's Joe Rogan?" "That's a human." "What's a human?" "Bipedal ape." "What's an ape?" "On the earth." "What's the earth?" "Planet." "What's a planet?" "Solar system." "Where was the carbon made?" "Inside stars." Right? It's like, I have to create the entire universe to just say the words Joe Rogan. So in that sense, you're connected to everything. It's inseparable. So the answer to that question of, "Do I matter?" Is, "I am nothing and I am everything." And you'll find this with all the great questions. The answers are all paradoxes, which is why at some level, it's sort of pointless to pursue them, to find a trite answer like I'm giving. But the act of pursuing them is actually really useful because then it gives you certain intrinsic understanding in your life that brings a level of peace.

Joe Rogan:
I feel like there's — with many people, this stress of this question is also accentuated by unhappy lives. It's accentuated by unhappy choices, by being trapped. There's a big difference between not knowing what the meaning of life is and, "God, I've got gotta get the fuck out of this job. I have to. I can't live my life this way. What's the meaning of lifei if this is my life?".

Naval Ravikant:
Which is why I always start with, "Let's get you rich first." That's why I'm very practical about it. Because, look. You know, Buddha was a prince. Okay? He started out really rich, and then he got to go off in the woods. And in the old days, what happened was, if you wanted to be peaceful inside, you would become a monk. You would renounce everything. You'd become an ascetic. You would give everything up.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
You'd renounce women, men. You'd renounce children. You'd renounce money. You'd renounce politics, science, technology, everything. And you would go out in the woods by yourself. You had to give everything up to be free inside. Well, today, we have this wonderful invention called money where you can just store stuff up in a bank account. Okay? And you can basically save — You can work really hard. You can do great things for society and society will give you money for giving it things that it wants and it doesn't know how to get. And then you can save that up. And you can live well below what your means and you can find a certain freedom in that, and that will give you the time and the energy to pursue your own internal peace and happiness. So I believe the solution to making everybody happy is to give them what they want. Let's get them all rich. Well, let's get them all fit and healthy, and then let's get them all happy.

Joe Rogan:
Is — Are those things even possible? Can ev-

Naval Ravikant:
Absolutely.

Joe Rogan:
Everyone can be rich?

Naval Ravikant:
Everyone can be rich.

Joe Rogan:
Everyone.

Naval Ravikant:
Here's my thought exercise for you.

Joe Rogan:
Now it seems like we're in an infomercial. "Everyone can be rich."

Naval Ravikant:
I'm not selling any —

Joe Rogan:
"Look at my home. This is my Rolls Royce."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. So, that's a good point.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So everything that I've ever created on this topic of how to make money, I will never charge a dollar for. Because that would ruin it. That would show that I'm just another huckster —

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
— who's ready to get rich off of you. There are no get rich quick. That's just somebody else trying to get rich off of you, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So it's — So to me, it's more of a philosophical contribution where — for it to have meaning, and to be legit. I can't charge you anything for it. But yes, everybody can be rich. And let me give you a thought exercise. Okay? Imagine if tomorrow, we could wave a wand and everybody was trained as a scientist or an engineer. Everybody. Even if you weren't very good, you had enough understanding computers, you could write some code, you could build some hardware. And don't tell me people can't do it, because they can. That's just the [inaudible 1:42:39] of soft expectations. That's just you looking down on somebody else. They can do it. They just have to be educated. Now if they're educated, all this hardware, software, engineers, scientists, biologists, technicians — hard sciences, not the social sciences. We would all be done within five years. Robots would be doing everything, from cleaning toilets to cooking food to flying airplanes and driving Ubers. And what would we be doing? We would be doing all creative jobs to entertain each other and researching science and technology. We would have wonderful lives. So it is really just a question of education. Nothing else.

Joe Rogan:
Is this a scale issue though? I mean, you're talking about it as if this would work with 300 million people.

Naval Ravikant:
It'll work with 10 billion people. It'll work —

Joe Rogan:
Really?

Naval Ravikant:
— with space-faring race with 100 trillion people, just [inaudible 1:43:11].

Joe Rogan:
We have the resources. We have the ability.

Naval Ravikant:
The universe has infinite resources. You build it. You know, have you heard of a Dyson sphere?

Joe Rogan:
Mm-hmm.

Naval Ravikant:
You know, you pull the Dyson sphere on a star and you gather all its energy, like that. There's so much energy out there. One asteroid's got all the minerals that we need. One sun, one solar system has got all the power we would need for a long, long time. You know, we can extract it of nuclear fusion, you know. We're not that far from those kinds of technologies working. It's just a question of guts and, you know, and interests. Like, we should be building Nuclear Fusion test plants on the moon. The moon should be littered with [inaudible 1:43:45], it's no downside.

Joe Rogan:
Right. Yeah. How would that work?

Naval Ravikant:
Well, it —

Joe Rogan:
Does it send a bunch of people up there to work?

Naval Ravikant:
The problem — Robots.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
The problem with fission — nuclear fission is that, you know, nature creates energy through nuclear energy. Right? Like, the sun creates energy. Nuclear energy. Now for transmission, we use photons because photons don't interact. And so photons are great for information transmission, but they're actually not great for energy transmission. For energy creation, you want nuclear to work. And the problem is, because nuclear energy, you know, we built it with a bomb, we have dirty nukes, all those kinds of problems at Fukushima. Three Mile Island Chernobyl. We don't innovate anymore on nukes. Imagine if when the first steam engine blew up we said, "Oh, no more steam engines for a while."

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Very carefully regulated. Billion dollars of regulation. You can't innovate that way. When the first airplane crashed, we said, "No more innovation in airplanes." Right? So we need a way to iterate on nuclear fission, and eventually fusion, and get them working, safely, cleanly, passive failure, et cetera. If we're gonna find our way out of the energy trap. And the best place to do that is someplace like on the moon or Mars.

Joe Rogan:
Do you think that it's actually a possibility that they could get nuclear power to the point where it's not a detriment? Because what everyone's worried about is a meltdown, right?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
And we do have these old plants that are running on this.

Naval Ravikant:
This is 50 year old technology.

Joe Rogan:
It's crazy.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
Because there's no ability to shut them off.

Naval Ravikant:
Right. And very old technology. They do now have Gen IV nuclear reactors that are passive failsafe. So in other words, when they fail, they fail into a s- we need to pull the plug on them. They fell into a state where there's no leakage. There's no problem.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Their default is a positive outcome as opposed to the current ones, the old ones, where if you unplug them, like, everything melt down.

Joe Rogan:
And these — even these Gen IV are just Gen IV. They're not Gen V, Gen VI —

Naval Ravikant:
They're not Gen 80.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Gen 100.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
We are microprocessors, right?

Joe Rogan:
And that should be something that people are working towards.

Naval Ravikant:
I hope so. I mean, in an ideal world, we would — The problem is, if you have nuclear energy on the moon, how do you get it home. Right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So what you actually got to do is you've got a rabbit on the moon, and you're using it there maybe to launch more satellites, more rockets, further out into the solar system. And that's the initial use case. But then eventually, the technology gets so good you can bring it home.

Joe Rogan:
Now I want to go back to this idea of getting people rich, that somehow or another, that's gonna make people happy. How do you stop the natural progression that people have of, you know, "Oh, you know, I have got a nice Chevrolet."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
"But I really want a BMW. I've got a nice BMW, but now I want a Mercedes. I have Merce- I want a Ferrari."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
How do you stop that material —

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
— possession trap because —

Naval Ravikant:
You can't at some level. But I think most smart people over time realize that possession is don't make them happy. Right? It's just, you have to go through that. You have to buy your stupid car to realize that it doesn't attract girls, it actually attracts other dudes who are like, "Hey. I like that car, man."

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Like, you have some expensive cars out there, some fancy cars. Tell me how, you know, how much that attracts women versus men.

Joe Rogan:
Well, I'm married. Those are for me. I just enjoy machines.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
So for me they're toys.

Naval Ravikant:
That's a particular thing we enjoy machines. But I think very — as you get older, you just realize that there is no happiness in material possessions. Now, lack of material possessions can make you very unhappy.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
So being poor can make you unhappy, but being rich is not gonna make you happy. And what happens, unfortunately, a lot of people struggle through their whole lives to make money. They make some. They're exhausted. And then they're like, "Well, now, why am I not happy? I guess I'm just not a happy person and smart people aren't happy." That's like got a great little way — People feel better about it, they say, "Well, if you're smart, you're not happy." Right?

Joe Rogan:
That's right.

Naval Ravikant:
Whereas I positive the other way. If you're smart, you should be able to figure out how to be happy, otherwise you're not that smart.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah that is an offensive statement, that if you're smart, you're not happy. I've heard that before and I just do not understand the logic of that other than self-justifying.

Naval Ravikant:
I understand where it comes from.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It comes from, if you're smart, it's usually because you thought things through and you have very busy mind.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And so, busy mind can often rob you of peace of mind.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Because when the peace that we seek is not peace of mind, it's peace from mind. Right? And so if you look at all the crazy activities you do to be happy. All right? Whether it's like trying to get laid and have an orgasm or, you know, extreme sports or looking at something beautiful or taking a psychedelic, you're trying to get out of your own mind. You're trying to get your monkey mind to stop chattering at you for a moment. You're trying to get peace from the mind. And there are other better ways to do that. Most of the ways we try to get peace from mind are indirect, whereas if you understand things if you see things properly you will naturally slowly develop peace from mind. Sorry if I went on a tangent there.

Joe Rogan:
No, it's a good tangent. It's a good tangent because I think that oftentimes the pursuit is what's thrilling to people and the possibility that one day they'll be able to rest and that they'll have reached this goal.

Naval Ravikant:
That's the fundamental delusion, that there is something out there that will make me happy and —

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
— [inaudible 1:48:56] forever.

Joe Rogan:
The golden years.

Naval Ravikant:
There is, it's called death.

Joe Rogan:
Oh.

Naval Ravikant:
That'll take care of everything. That's the great leveler.

Joe Rogan:
But when people look at, particularly social media — let's bring it back to that. When you see someone who — you know, you see them posed in front of their mansion, with their beautiful car, and they're leaning against it with their designer clothes on, their expensive watch. I want that.

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
That's what I want.

Naval Ravikant:
What you really want is freedom. You want freedom from your money problems.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
And I think that's okay. So people — once someone can solve their money problems, either by lowering their lifestyle or by making enough money, and, you know essentially, what you want to get everybody to the retirement. But not retirement in the, "I'm 65 years old sitting, in a nursing home, collecting a check," retirement. Different definition. Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. Okay?

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
When today is complete in and of itself, you're retired.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And so, how do you get there? Well, one is, you can have so much money saved up that just your passive income off of that without you having to lift a finger. Coverage your burn rate. Keep your burn rate low. Right? A second is, you just drive your burn rate down to zero. You become a monk. A third is, you're doing something you love. You enjoy it so much it's not about the money.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
So there are multiple ways to that path, but the most common is people just say, "I need to make more money." And the kind of wealth creation that I talk about is about creating timeless principles and adapting yourself that making money won't be an issue, and you can do it by doing what you love. Right? Like we get into this model of, "I must work for other people, working my way up the ladder. I must, like, do what that person is doing to make money. But really today in society, you get rewarded for creative work, for creating something brand new that society didn't even know yet that it wanted. That doesn't know how to get other than through you. So the most powerful moneymakers are actually individual brands, people like yourself or Elon or Kanye or Oprah or Trump, right? These are individual brands. Eponymous name brands who themselves are leverage. Like you are leveraged. You have podcast media going out to everybody, that's leveraged. The podcast work for you when you sleep. They have knowledge that nobody else has, which is your knowledge is the knowledge of being Joe Rogan. I mean, who else is a UFC fighter and a commentator at a podcast and a comedian and, you know, interesting all these things and knows all these people, can't replace you. So we have to pay you what you're worth, and —

Joe Rogan:
I never fought in the FCU.

Naval Ravikant:
Oh, you didn't? Okay. Sorry. Or you know, whatever. You're involved in that whole scene. You just have a unique set of skill-sets. So because of this unique what I call specific knowledge, because of the accountability that you have with your name, because the leverage that you have through your media, you're a money making machine. I'm sure at this point, I can make you start over tomorrow, wipe out your bank account. You'd be rich again in no time. Because you have all the skill-sets. So once people have those skill-sets, and the beauty is the way you've done it, is you don't have any competition. There's no substitution. If Joe Rogan were to disappear off the air tomorrow, it's not like random podcast number twelve would step in and fill that thing. No. It's just gone. So the way to get out of that competition trap is actually to be authentic. The way to retire is actually to find the thing that you know how to do better than anybody. And you know how to do that better because you love to do it. No one can compete with you if you love to do it. Be authentic and then figure out how to map that to what society actually wants. Apply some leverage, put your name on it, so you take the risks, but you gain the rewards. Have ownership and equity in what you do and then just crank it up.

Joe Rogan:
I think people have to be very careful to not get trapped along the way with things that you can afford with your current lifestyle, the way you're living and the way you're earning, but they're also imprisoning you and the fact that you are now going to have to work this 40 hour week job in order to get this thing that you can afford. But now you're saddled down to this job. You're not saving. You're not putting things in a good pla- and you're working for these things. Working for things as rewards —

Naval Ravikant:
Right.

Joe Rogan:
— is a real trap that a lot of people fall into.

Naval Ravikant:
It's the biggest one. Nassim Taleb also says that under two great addictions; heroin and a monthly salary. And that's why you can't get rich [inaudible 1:53:15] your time.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Because, you know, when you start charging more and more for your time it's a slow upgrade loop, and then you upgrade your house, at the same time your car, at the same time you move in the neighborhood. You really also have to get used to ignoring your peers or upgrading or changing the definition of your peers.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
A lot of people here who are poor here, but they would be rich if they were living in Thailand and Bali. And if they had the luxury of a remotely doable job, they may want to be living there and saving up money.

Joe Rogan:
But the ignoring the peers is an issue, because the Keeping Up with the Joneses is a real phenomenon. Yeah envy makes the world go around. And then there's this other thing that people have to avoid even allowing their mind to think when they're hearing what you're saying. And all those logical fantastic advice there's these six dirty words, "That's easy for you to say.".

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
That is a terrible trap.

Naval Ravikant:
And look, I grew up as a first generation immigrant in Jamaica Queens with zero money. Single mom, two kids, working day and night, go to school. You know. I wash dishes. I was working catering jobs. I was mowing lawns. I was working since the age of eleven on and off here and there. Then have two cents to rub together. You know. I had to borrow $400 to go to college, like, I was short $400.

Joe Rogan:
400.

Naval Ravikant:
I had to find $400.

Joe Rogan:
Wow.

Naval Ravikant:
I didn't have it. You know, got rejected from a job at Dunkin Donuts. So like, okay, it's not to say that it's easy.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
It's not easy.

Joe Rogan:
It's not easy.

Naval Ravikant:
It actually really frickin hard.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
It is the hardest thing you will do. But it's also the rewarding thing. You know, look at the kids who are born rich, no meaning to their lives.

Joe Rogan:
It's desirable place.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Your real resumé is just a catalogue of all your suffering. If I were to ask you to describe your real life to yourself, when you look back on your deathbed, you're gonna go back and say what are the interesting things I've done and it's all going to be around the sacrifices that you've made and the hard things that you did.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Anything you were given doesn't matter. You know, you have your four limbs, you have your brain, you have your head, you have your skin. That's all for granted. So you have to do hard things anyway to create your own meaning in life. Making money is a fine one. Yes, struggle. It is hard. I'm not gonna say it's easy. It's really hard. But the tools are all available. It's all there.

Joe Rogan:
There's also there's these traps that people sort of establish in their own mind of giving themselves excuses or giving themselves insurmountable obstacles, insurmountable paths, victory.

Naval Ravikant:
Victim mentality.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, it's somebody else's fault. That's my skin-color's fault. That's the system's fault. Yeah. Those people are sinking. I feel bad for them. I want to shake them out of it and say, "Actually, you can get out of it. You just have to stop thinking it's everybody else's fault."

Joe Rogan:
You have to alter the perspective.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
But it's so difficult for people to do. It's one of the most difficult things for people to do is to change the way they approach reality itself.

Naval Ravikant:
At the end of the day, I do think, even despite what I said earlier, life is really a single player game. It's all going on in your head. You know, whatever you think you believe will very much shape your reality, both from what risks you take and what actions you perform, but also just everyday experience of reality. If you're walking down the street and you're judging everyone, you're like, "I don't like that person because their skin color, I don't like that — Oh, she's not attractive. That guy is fat. This person is a loser. Oh, who put this in my way." You know, the more you judge, the more you gonna separate yourself. And you'll feel good for an instant because you'll feel good about yourself. "I'm better than that." But then you gonna feel lonely. And then you're just going to see negativity everywhere. The world just reflects your own feelings back at you. Reality is neutral. Reality has no judgments. To a tree, there's no concept of right or wrong or good or bad, right? You're born, you have a whole set of sensory experiences in stimulations and lights and colors and sounds, and then you die.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And how you choose to interpret, that is up to you. You do have that choice. So this is what I meant, that happiness is a choice. If you believe it's a choice, then you can start working on it. And I can't tell you how to find it, because it's your own conditioning that are making you unhappy. So you have to unconditioned yourself. It's just like, I can't fix your eating habits for you. I can give you some general guidelines. but you got to go through the hard habit forming of how to eat right. But you have to believe it's possible and it is absolutely possible. I was miserable. I'm happy as a clam. And it's not just the money, I got there before the money.

Joe Rogan:
You got happy before the money?

Naval Ravikant:
Mostly, yeah.

Joe Rogan:
How did you get happy before the money.

Naval Ravikant:
I started getting older, you know. I just realized, like, life is short, I'm gonna die.

Joe Rogan:
Again. Try it, right?

Naval Ravikant:
Try it. Try it.

Joe Rogan:
Anyways.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Well, Confucius had a great saying that, you know, "Every man has two lives. And the second starts when he realizes he has just one."

Joe Rogan:
Wow.

Naval Ravikant:
And I read that. It was one of those book dropping lines. You know, it's like mic drop. Confucius had a lot of mic drops.

Joe Rogan:
Confucius is a bad motherfucker.

Naval Ravikant:
He was.

Joe Rogan:
That's a crazy one.

Naval Ravikant:
That was a great one. Or another one is, "Next time you get sick –" You know, because everybody may get sick every now and then. It's like, "A happy person wants ten thousand things, a sick person just wants one thing." Right? So it's your unlimited desires that are clouding your peace, your happiness, have desires. You're a biological creature, stands up and says, "I can do something. I move. I resist. I live." But just be very careful about your desires. This is the oldest most trite wisdom, desire is suffering. That's what it means, right? Every desire you have is an access where you will suffer. So just don't focus on more than one desire at a time. The universe is rigged in such a way that if you just want one thing and you focus on that, you'll get it. But everything else, you got to let go.

Joe Rogan:
Did you make a gradual shift to happiness or was it a radical change?

Naval Ravikant:
It's ongoing. It's gradual. Everyday gets better.

Joe Rogan:
So you were happier today than you were a month ago.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Allegedly.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Yeah, I'm very happy these days. Deliriously so. It's actually hard for me to hang out with normal people.

Joe Rogan:
Really?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
So you've made a significant shift over the period of like, how many years?

Naval Ravikant:
Probably about eight years.

Joe Rogan:
Eight years.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Wow. And is this something that you've pursued through certain books or is it just like you've made an understanding or gained an understanding in your own mind, and then started pursuing it based on an understanding?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, it's very, very personal. It's basically, you have to decide it's a priority. And then I tried every hack I possibly could. I used — to you know, I tried all the — I tried meditation, I tried witnessing, you know, I even tried [inaudible 1:59:46], just to see what it feel like.

Joe Rogan:
How did it feel?

Naval Ravikant:
It was it turned me from a pessimist to an optimist, but I didn't like the physical side effects nor did I want to be in a drug for sustained basis. So I dropped it, and I felt —

Joe Rogan:
So, it did turn you into an optimist?

Naval Ravikant:
Yes.

Joe Rogan:
Interesting.

Naval Ravikant:
At the time, I used to be a pessimist. Yeah. I started doing things like I would start looking at the — you know, in every moment and everything that happens, you can look on the bright side of something, right? And so I used to do that forcibly and then I trained it until it became second nature. So for example, like a friend of my wife's was over, and she — when we were dating, and she took all these photos, she took like hundreds of photos, and then she sends them all to us. And my immediate reaction was like, "Why are you dumping hundreds of photos on my phone? I don't need hundreds of photos." Have some judgment.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
That was my immediate reaction. And then I could say, "Actually, how nice of her. She sent me hundreds of photos. I could pick the one that I'd like." Right? There are two ways of seeing almost everything.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
There are few things that are like high suffering so you can't do that, other than just saying, "Well, this is a teacher." Right? But I slowly work through every negative judgment that I had until I saw the positive. and that second nature to me. I also realized that like what you want is you want to clear minds, you want to let go of thoughts. Happy thoughts disappear out ahead automatically, very easy to let go of them. Negative thoughts linger. So if you interpret the negative, the positive and everything very quickly, you let it go. Right? You let it go much faster. Simple hacks get more sunlight, right? Learn to smile more. Learn to hug more these things actually released serotonin in reverse. They aren't just outward signals of being happy. They're actually feedback loops to being happy. Spend more time in nature. You know, these are obvious. Watch your mind. Watch your mind all day long. Watch what it does, not judge it, not try to control it, but you can meditate 24/7. Meditation is not a sit down, close your eyes activity. Meditation is just basically watching your own thoughts like you would watch anything else in the outside world, and say, "Why am I having that thought? Does that serve me anymore? Is that conditioning from when I was 10 years old? Like, for example, getting ready for this podcast.

Joe Rogan:
You got ready?

Naval Ravikant:
I didn't.

Joe Rogan:
Oh good.

Naval Ravikant:
But I did. But I did. But I did.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, you did.

Naval Ravikant:
I couldn't help it. And what happened was the few days leading up to this, my mind was just running. And normally my mind is pretty calm, and it was just running and running and running. And every thought I would have, I would imagine me saying it to you. My brain couldn't help but rehearse what it's doing. It's just rehearsing all the time to talk to you. And then I was even rehearsing — rehearse telling you about the rehearsal. Right? So it was all playing all these meta-games. And I was like, "Shut up. Stop it. What is going on?" And it took me a while to figure out. "Oh yeah." You know what it is. When I was a kid in Queens and I had no money and I had nothing, and I needed to save myself, the way I got out was by sounding smart. Not being smart, sounding smart. That was the skill I perfected. So I am hardwired to always rehearse things so I will sound smart. It's a disease that keeps me from being happy. But when you see that, when you realize that, when you understand something, then it naturally calms you down. So after that, I stop rehearsing as much.

Joe Rogan:
Wow.

Naval Ravikant:
But is still a trained habit.

Joe Rogan:
That is a really interesting point that you want to sound smart. Many people do that and especially young people. When you see someone who is smart or someone who appears smart, they say smart things. You kind of want to sound smart. I want people to think about me the same way I think about that person.

Naval Ravikant:
That is my disease. That is my feeling. It is what clutters my mind. The thing I have to ask myself now is, if I can — Would I still be interested in learning this thing if I couldn't ever tell anybody about it? That's how I know it's real. That's how I know something I actually want.

Joe Rogan:
That's a common thing though. I know I suffered from that when I was young, the desire to sound smart. It's very common.

Naval Ravikant:
Well, all of us start out — you know, everything you're a winner now in your life, it's because you were a loser at some point.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
If you had gotten all the girls, if you had all the money, if you had everything you want, you're a good looking and in junior/higher high school, you wouldn't have done anything with your life. And you would have peaked early. It's like the Bruce Springsteen Glory Days song, right?

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
You were to marry your high school sweetheart. You'd be living in your hometown. You know, you'd be a manager at the local McDonald's, whatever that first dream job you had. Thank God, we didn't all get what we wanted when we were young.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
Or we would be trapped in that. So you have to be able to break out of where you came from. I don't know where I was going.

Joe Rogan:
That is interesting too about people who peaked too early.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah.

Joe Rogan:
Or maybe those people that peaked too early can do the Elon Musk thing, and just abandon it and start something new, and then learn that the joys of sucking at something.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. And actually, in our profession especially, when your high visibility. The problem with peaking is that you then get drowned in death of a thousand cuts. People have expectations of you. "Hey, Joe, can you come to my event? Hey, Joe, can you look at my business plan? Hey, Joe, can give me advice in this? Can you, you know, talk to my friend? Can you come in this podcast." You're just being assaulted all the time with inbound opportunities. So you have no time to start over with anything. So you have to ruthlessly, ruthlessly disappoint everybody.

Joe Rogan:
Yes.

Naval Ravikant:
Eliminate and clear your schedule. Drop all the meetings, not even respond to the e-mails, is the only way you can be able to start over with anything.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah. We talked about this and I'd love your approach to meetings.

Naval Ravikant:
I hate meetings.

Joe Rogan:
If not life or death — I'm the same way. I avoided a good one recently and this was someone that was just tracking me down as a high profile person in a big organization and I'm like, "Can we just talk in the phone?" Then we talked on the phone. There was nothing to say. It was just — they wanted to get me in the office and come down.

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. And meetings should really be phone calls, phone calls should be e-mails.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
And e-mails should just be text. Right?

Joe Rogan:
Many of them, right?

Naval Ravikant:
With meetings — I mean, I despise meetings. I used to own the domain. I don't do coffee dot com. I eventually let it go, but I used to respond from default, I don't do coffee, you know.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, that's hilarious.

Naval Ravikant:
It is a little bit of a jerk move, but really where it comes from is when I was young, one of my principles was, I knew I had to make money. It was my overwhelming desire. And one of the things I did was I said, "Okay, I'm never gonna be worth more than what I think I'm worth." No one's gonna pay me more than what I think I'm worth. So what am I worth? So I picked an hourly rate for myself that I was worth. And I said I'm never gonna squander my time for less than this. Original is 500 bucks an hour, then I upgrade to 5,000 bucks an hour. You know, it's ludicrous. But pick an aspirational hourly rate. Aspirational. It has to be a little ludicrous. And then what I would do is if I have to return something, I'm standing in line to return something and it's below my hourly rate, I'll throw it away. If I have to — or give it away.

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
If I have to do some task and I can hire somebody to do it for less than my hourly rate I would hire them. And so I just became extremely jealous of my time. Which doesn't mean you can't have fun, rest, leisure, spending time with your friends and family. That's all great. Don't count that. But if you're doing anything you don't want to do — which is the definition of work. It's a set of things that you have to do that you don't want to do. If you're working, it better be for your hourly rate. Otherwise don't do the work. And so once it came out of that, then it just raise the cost of meetings. The cost of meetings is so high, especially given all the people who are in there, right? One person is talking, seven people listening, you're literally just dying an hour at a time. So you have to just drop non-urgent meetings or figure out how to be more efficient with them if you gonna do anything great. The extreme example is business travel. Getting on a plane to fly halfway around the world for one meeting, which never amounts to anything. And then like wasting your whole little life there and then flying back. So about five years ago I resolved, I am never gonna travel for business.

Joe Rogan:
Wow.

Naval Ravikant:
And I haven't traveled for business since. I only travel if the travel experience will be so entertaining and joyous because I have friends or to place I want to see or whatever, that it will be complete in and of itself. Because I know that whatever the business meeting I came from, it's never worth it.

Joe Rogan:
Wow.

Naval Ravikant:
And actually that principle applies larger than just travel. It applies to life in general. This — One of the secrets to happiness is to really embrace what you're doing in that moment. That's trite. But where that where that comes from is saying, "I only want to do actions that are complete in and of themselves," right? If I'm looking for some ulterior motive down the line, it's not gonna materialize. And if you think it is, maybe — even if it does, it'll be pretty short lived. Anything you want in your life, whether the car or whether it's a girl or there's plenty, when you got it, a year later, you're back to zero. Your brain had hedonically adapted to it, and you were looking for the next thing.

Joe Rogan:
That's a great statement, hedonically adapted. That is what happens to people. You get accustomed to whatever it is. I realize that when I first got a new apartment, it was a nice apartment. After a while I got used to it. I was like, "Oh, okay. This is just an apartment it's just where I live. I'm used to it. It's nice but I'm used to it."

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah, we all go through this learning. It's, you know, it's riding the Ferris Wheel of Life. It's like you get out the bottom like I want to get the top. That's so exciting. You ride it up, you get a little dopamine rush and get little serotonin. Then you ride it back down as that wears off and you need another high. Then you ride it back up and ride it back down. In fact the more highs you get, the harder it gets to go around the wheel, the more bored you get of it, the harder it goes to go back up.

Joe Rogan:
So what lights your fire now? Like, what gets you motivated to do things into act?

Naval Ravikant:
Art.

Joe Rogan:
Art?

Naval Ravikant:
This is art.

Joe Rogan:
Oh, okay.

Naval Ravikant:
Art is this creativity. It's just, anything that's done for its own sake. So what are the things that are done for their own sake? There's nothing beyond. Loving somebody, creating something, playing, art — to me, creating business is a play. I create businesses early stage because it's fun, because I'm into the product. Even when I invest, it's because I like the people, I like hanging out with them, I learn from them and I think the product is really cool. So these days, I will pass on all kinds of great investments because I'm like I just — the product's not interesting, it's boring. I'm not gonna learn anything.

Joe Rogan:
That's a beautiful luxury.

Naval Ravikant:
It is a luxury. Art and learning, yeah. It is a luxury — these are not 100% or 0 things, right?

Joe Rogan:
Right.

Naval Ravikant:
You can in your life start moving more and more towards that.

Joe Rogan:
Right. But it's a goal.

Naval Ravikant:
It's a goal. When I was younger, I used to be so desperate to make money that I would done anything. If you'd shown up and said, "Hey, I got a sewage trucking business and you're going to go into that," I said, "Great, let's do it. I want to make money." Thank God no one gave me that opportunity. I'm glad that it went down the road of technology and science which I genuinely enjoy. And so I got to combine my vocation and my avocation. I mean, what are you doing? You're playing. You're having fun.

Joe Rogan:
Yeah.

Naval Ravikant:
You're doing art. You're not working.

Joe Rogan:
No. That's what I would say when people say I work hard. I'm like, "Sorta, not really."

Naval Ravikant:
I'm always "working" but it looks like work to them but it feels like play to me. And that's how I know no one can compete with me on it, because I'm just playing 16 hours a day. And if they want to compete with me, and they're gonna work, they're gonna lose, because they're not gonna do it 16 hours a day, seven days a week.

Joe Rogan:
Listen, man. There are some gems of wisdom in this conversation and I hope people pull things out of this and apply them to their own life. And I'm certainly going to listen to you again and try to apply some of this to my own life, stuff that I'm not already applying. But I really appreciate your time and I really appreciate you coming in here.

Naval Ravikant:
Thanks for having me.

Joe Rogan:
And please tell people your small little podcast, it's just The Naval Podcast, right?

Naval Ravikant:
Yeah. Best way to find me is on Twitter, actually.

Joe Rogan:
Okay.

Naval Ravikant:
I'm just @naval. Then I have a website; @nav.al. I have a youtube channel; Naval. And I have a podcast; Naval. that's it.

Joe Rogan:
Well, thank you very much. Thank you.

Naval Ravikant:
Thank you, brother.

Joe Rogan:
I really appreciate it. Thank you. Bye, everybody.

Naval Ravikant:
Bye-bye.

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Lindzanity – Episode 1 – Farbood Nivi | Convert video-to-text with Sonix

Announcer:
Howard Lindzon is the Founder and General Partner at Social Leverage. All opinions expressed by Howard and podcast guests are solely their own opinions and do not reflect the opinion of Social Leverage or StockTwits. This podcast is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon for decisions. Guests may maintain positions and securities discussed in this podcast.

Welcome to the first edpisode of Lindzanity

Howard Lindzon:
Hey, everybody. Welcome to my first episode of Lindzanity. And I'm excited as the first guest to have Farbood, a friend of mine. And I'm not going to give his last name. It's like Madonna. And he's the Madonna of crypto. And so, Farbood is going to talk about Coinmine, and we're going to talk about crypto in the future.

Howard Lindzon:
Dude, welcome to Lindzanity.

Farbood Nivi:
Thanks for having me.

Howard Lindzon:
Guest number one.

Farbood Nivi:
Guest number one.

Howard Lindzon:
So, there's a little pressure that goes with that.

Farbood Nivi:
Am I the guest, or is this the guest?

Howard Lindzon:
Both.

Farbood Nivi:
Thanks.

Howard Lindzon:
This is Coinmine, everybody, but we're going to get to that. So, meet Farbood. Farbood is Canadian?

Farbood Nivi:
Canadian, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Born in Canada.

Farbood Nivi:
I wasn't born in Canada, but I grew up there since I was a little kid, so you know.

Howard Lindzon:
So, we have that in common.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
I'm from Toronto. But we met through a friend, Brian Norgard. And so, I wanted him in my first show when I started Wall Street back in 2006. And that was a daily show. So, that was like it my whole business, was going to be the show. I'm not an actor. I'm not anything. I'm not a media person at the time. I just had an idea to do a show. And it was going to be a show about, like, trends. And at the time, I was so bullish on Apple, and the retail stores, and that was our first show.

Farbood Nivi:
How long ago was this?

Howard Lindzon:
It's 2006.

Farbood Nivi:
Okay.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, flash forward to 2018, obviously, there's a low budget, Lindzanity. And the idea is talk about trends, money, millennials, culture, fashion, technology, investing, and everything about that-

Farbood Nivi:
All my favorite things.

Howard Lindzon:
… is crypto.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And I know maybe if the world has all this knowledge, I know this little bit-.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
… about crypto enough to be dangerous. And you know a lot more, but I can't put it in context how much you know.

Farbood Nivi:
Everyone in crypto knows very little about crypto. It's part of the nature of something that's that big, and moving that quickly, and that new.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, when Apple, in 2006, wasn't new, and the stores were like laughed at, and had 60 or 70 stores, and it's like, "You can't do retail," but in my mind, I knew it had kind of a jumped. Like retail was the thing. That was going to be their moat.

Farbood Nivi:
Right.

Bitcoin and crypto and why Farbood Nivi is a perfect guest

Howard Lindzon:
And so, Wall Street was about trends, and since the show is going to be about basically trends too, just a podcast, no better topic than polarizing, exciting, scary, out-there topic then Bitcoin and crypto. And then, compound that with how to make crypto or how to mine crypto. So, you're the perfect guest.

Farbood Nivi:
Thanks.

Howard Lindzon:
No pressure.

Farbood Nivi:
Thanks.

Howard Lindzon:
And we'll either look really smart in 10 years and go, "Wow, Howard had Coinmine on as his first guest."

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
Or you'll be a hunted man.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. I mean-

Howard Lindzon:
So, you have to live with it.

Farbood Nivi:
That's fine. I'm okay with all that. I mean, bullish on Apple in 2006, that's about-

Howard Lindzon:
It feels the same.

Farbood Nivi:
… one-quarter of the market cap than it is today. So, that sounded like a pretty good call. So, if we go the same way with Bitcoin, I mean, I think we may go more. And, you know, the past couple of weeks, we've been seeing things move. But quite frankly, even when it doesn't move, I think it's actually important and interesting when, you know, especially bitcoin's price stays consistent for, you know, half a year. That says a lot about it as much as when it's highly volatile.

Howard Lindzon:
So, when did you get the bug?

Farbood Nivi:
Probably-

Howard Lindzon:
Do you remember?

Farbood Nivi:
What is it? 2019? So-

Howard Lindzon:
It's April 2018.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And Bitcoin today-

Farbood Nivi:
'19.

Howard Lindzon:
Oh, 2019.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And we are crypto right around 49.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, a bit about that.

Howard Lindzon:
Bitcoin's about 5K. What's the market cap, give or take?

Farbood Nivi:
You got me. It's above a hundred.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. Let's say it's 100 billion.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It's been as high as 200-300 billion.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Almost 400 billion. So, bear market, crypto winner, whatever we want to call it. And it's been — you know, luckily, for me, it doesn't change my life, but I'm over the hump of believing. Now, my belief comes from I hate the banks, I don't trust the financial system. I mean, I use it, I respect it, I pay my bills, I don't get nervous when I send a wire, but I hate my bank for whatever reason, and there's a million reasons to hate it. And if I'm middle America, or I'm poor, and I overdraft my account, it's $20. And as we were talking on the way over, someone just did a Bitcoin transact-

Farbood Nivi:
$63 million, yes.

Howard Lindzon:
$63 million transaction for $4.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
So, you have something over. My son-

Farbood Nivi:
Probably sent over in like 10 minutes.

Howard Lindzon:
My son sent a Venmo that he couldn't clear himself. He didn't have money in his account. It cost him $7.50.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
Someone just cleared $63 million on Bitcoin for $4.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
That's why I'm bullish. It's little anecdotes like that.

Farbood Nivi:
And, sometimes, wiring from one side of the planet to the other is a week. You know, you get an investor, they send their wire, and they're like, "Yeah, you should receive it in your bank sometime next week." People complain that a Bitcoin transaction can take 10 minutes or if it gets really busy, it might take a day or two. But it takes a week to wire, and it costs you hundreds of dollars.

Howard Lindzon:
The difference is you have some faith that you can go and yell at somebody if the transaction doesn't happen. Bitcoin's just that next leap of faith. So, there's where we've got to get over the hump. But the point is — so, when did you get the bug? And we'll get into all the rest.

Farbood Nivi:
2015.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, who got you into it?

Farbood Nivi:
Just, you know, living in San Francisco, it's tough to not know about it. You know, I think, probably in 2015, most people outside of San Francisco's barely had even heard of it, but people had been talking about it in San Francisco for five years. And I think it started in 2009.

Howard Lindzon:
So, it didn't resonate with you until then?

Farbood Nivi:
It didn't really resonate with me until then, but, I think, it was probably mostly because I was just busy with startups, and so didn't really take the time to sit down, and look at it, and think through it. But I think when you do, it's tough to not kind of be bit by the bug when you actually, like, take a little bit of time.

Howard Lindzon:
And where were you working at the time?

Farbood Nivi:
I was working on a previous startup, I think, Learnist.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. And your brother's famous.

Farbood Nivi:
Right, right.

Howard Lindzon:
Is he your one sibling?

Farbood Nivi:
Just one sibling. Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Your brother is the co-founder of AngelList.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. He started AngelList with Naval.

Howard Lindzon:
And what's he doing now?

Farbood Nivi:
Still doing some AngelList stuff and-.

Howard Lindzon:
He's living in LA like you?

Farbood Nivi:
A lot of advising, you know.

Howard Lindzon:
But he's a legend.

Farbood Nivi:
Citizen-

Howard Lindzon:
I didn't know you and didn't even connect the name. Many people are, but when I met you, I didn't connect that it was-

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
… you know, Nivi's brother.

Farbood Nivi:
He's slowly coming back out of the woodworks. You know, he's always been advising entrepreneurs like myself.

Howard Lindzon:
Is he older?

Farbood Nivi:
He's a couple of years older than I am.

Howard Lindzon:
Is he a Bitcoin believer or is he skeptical?

Farbood Nivi:
I'd say he's a believer, but he's not like a techno geek like I am. He's not a techno file like I am. You know, he likes to — the main thing he likes it do help entrepreneurs, to be honest.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
That's [crosstalk].

Howard Lindzon:
So, he's helping you. He's not part of the religion of it. How do you separate the religion from just building a business? And we'll get to Coinmine in a bit. How do you separate it? And what made you take the leap from like hearing about it, to believing about it, to starting Coinmine?

Farbood Nivi:
I don't think you can separate them. There's a lot of belief required in getting into anything that's new, that's trying to be big. You can't really separate the belief from it. The piece that, sort of, made me feel like we had to build Coinmine really comes out of the philosophy behind crypto, the philosophy behind Bitcoin. I think of it in terms of the printing press a lot. I talk about how, you know, the Gutenberg — the printing press existed for a long time, but only the people in power could use them. They were expensive, you couldn't print much, and it allowed people to control information and knowledge.

Farbood Nivi:
Gutenberg's innovations made it easy for anyone to do the printing press. It's sort of the situation, you know, where a genie gets out of the bottle and can't be put back in. And in certain places at certain times, it was illegal to have a printing press, and you might be put to death for having a printing press.

Howard Lindzon:
Well, you still may.

Farbood Nivi:
You still may.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
But the genie couldn't be put back in the bottle.

Howard Lindzon:
Got it.

Where crypto all started – Satoshi and Bitcoin mining

Farbood Nivi:
And so, with crypto, you know, you get these. You know, it started out with Bitcoin mining. And part of the beauty of crypto is this insane idea that Satoshi came up with where it balances all these different parties together and creates an incentive structure for people to share their computing power. They get rewarded in this thing where, you know, if you were mining Bitcoin in 2010, and Bitcoin is essentially worth pennies, you're kind of like a crazy person. Why would you give up a perfectly good laptop to mine Bitcoin that's worthless?

Howard Lindzon:
On an A6-

Farbood Nivi:
No, no. This is like literally on laptops people were mining it back in the day.

Howard Lindzon:
But how? Like the processes were-

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, it's fine because there wasn't that much hash power. So, a normal processor could mine Bitcoin.

Howard Lindzon:
And what's hash power?

Farbood Nivi:
That's just the amount of computing power that's sort of backing the network.

Howard Lindzon:
And back then, it didn't take that much?

Farbood Nivi:
Back then, at the beginning, it was just done on laptops.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
Right? So, you're a crazy person if you're wasting your laptop, and your electricity-

Howard Lindzon:
And your time.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, because you had to download all the software. You'd not have to know how to do all that stuff. So, very few people-

Howard Lindzon:
But you had to believe it would be worth more.

Farbood Nivi:
You had to believe in the mission.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
If you believed it was going to be worth more, you were probably still kind of crazy. You just bought into the mission, right, thinking-

Howard Lindzon:
Got it. You need [crosstalk] five cents.

Farbood Nivi:
… thinking that Bitcoin was going to be $20,000 when it was 10 cents.

Howard Lindzon:
You didn't even think it was — you didn't think it would-

Farbood Nivi:
Nobody was running with that in their head. There was nobody who's running the math in their head of doing that.

Howard Lindzon:
Right, right.

Farbood Nivi:
That's why most those people became accidental billionaires, you know. Not like, "Oh, yeah, I knew Bitcoin was going to be $20,000 when I was mining it in 2010." You didn't, but you believed in the mission. You were just on the, — you know, getting into the total global economic collapse.

Howard Lindzon:
It's only [crosstalk].

Farbood Nivi:
Right, just after 2008. You know, the Times article about banks getting bailed out is in the original Bitcoin block, the genesis block. We printed on the cover of our coin mines-

Howard Lindzon:
Let me see. Let me see. Oh, the Times. That's a great idea.

Farbood Nivi:
And all this is the data from the first block. So, a large part of why Satoshi did that was as, sort of, a bit of a — you know, don't want a middle finger to the system, but like an alternative.

Howard Lindzon:
It was like you created it.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, right. So, you bought into that mission. And, you know, then, we got into a situation where people figured out that they could make specific circuits called A6 that only did Bitcoin calculations, basically, making it so that instead of like tons of people having it on their laptops, it now collapsed to very few people basically controlling all these hash power.

Howard Lindzon:
That was dangerous though.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, that can be dangerous.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
And so, it became — you know, theoretically you could go buy a little antminer that's an ASIC machine and, sort of, decentralize this again, but it's difficult. And so, I kind of, you know, lovingly kind of refer to what we built as the Gutenberg version of the miner.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, I call it the easy bake oven.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, the easy bake over.

Howard Lindzon:
I'm from a very different generation. So, we had these ovens that cost — the parents to pay for this hunk of steel that you'll plug in the wall-

Farbood Nivi:
They're probably $40, which is maybe a lot.

Howard Lindzon:
… and your sister would make two cakes in it, and then get bored of it. And I would melt GI Joe dolls in it. I'm 10 years old. And that was the easy bake oven.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
This is an easy bake oven. But when you plug it in a wall, instead of making a cake, it makes money.

Farbood Nivi:
It makes money. It makes you Bitcoin.

Howard Lindzon:
And what's funny is when — and I'm hopping ahead here. The biggest laugh is when people go, "What's the ROI why on this?" And I'm like, "What was the ROI on an easy bake oven that your parents spent $300.?"

Farbood Nivi:
Well, what was the ROI on mining Bitcoin on your laptop in 2010? You were just made fun of.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. And what's your ROI on learning how to invest and trade, when you're buying penny stocks, and you're getting tips from your friends, and you're blowing thousands of dollars of your money, which most people still do.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So I look at this as I'm trying to get educated. So, what made you think, okay, of all the crypto business I can get into, why mining?

Farbood Nivi:
So, to me, you know, there was a ton of people doing exchanges. There were a ton of people ICO'ing protocols all over the place. None of that really appealed to me. I like the core of the mission more than anything else, this decentralizing information and knowledge. Money is one of the most important types of information that we have.

Howard Lindzon:
So, Gutenburg.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. So, supporting that seemed to me like the most interesting place to spend my time.

When Coinmine was started and why?

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. So, when did you start Coinmine?

Farbood Nivi:
We started Coinmine just about 12 months ago.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. So, it was luck what happened, I just met Brian.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And the first thing he came out is, "You got to meet Farbood."

Farbood Nivi:
It was in New York actually.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, it was in New York. Brian Norgard, who's like almost a co-founder, I guess.

Farbood Nivi:
Basically, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And built the app for Coinmine. He says, "You got to," you know. And I'm like, "I was into crypto, but not — I was into it because of the exchange." I had an investment in eToro, and Robin Hood, and obviously running StockTwits. So, I just knew about it from a price, and trading, and, you know, hype, you know, because a lot of the CEOs we're talking about it.

Farbood Nivi:
Totally.

Howard Lindzon:
I don't really understand it. I still can't say I fully understand, I'm starting. You know, you're teaching me, and I'm understanding it more or more. But where are we at in the curve of guys like me kind of believe but like do want to put all our money into it? We still believe as bad as the government is that there's going to be a parallel, a best of parallel universe where governments are going to continue to print money and do stupid things, and mining and crypto should be interesting, but will never be currency per se. So-

Farbood Nivi:
Oh, I think it will. But one of the most important things I think Bitcoin and crypto can do is actually just get the existing players to change their behavior and get them to improve their behavior.

Howard Lindzon:
And have you seen that happen?

Farbood Nivi:
That's a good question. I don't know. I mean, you're seeing banks getting into crypto, depending on how they want to get into it. If they want to get into it in the way that inspires the same confidence and a mission-driven purpose that Bitcoin has, yes, they'll have to change their behaviors. Like if you can send $63 million to someone for $4.50 as a fee in ten minutes, now, the bank has to compete with that.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
Right?

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
So, maybe they can't charge you this much.

Howard Lindzon:
Plus it's different, like you don't know who the players are. I mean, it's even better than somebody-

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, in the-

Howard Lindzon:
It's not about just the money, it's about security and it's about-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
… and know who the other party is.

Farbood Nivi:
Every country is different. Some countries are more scandalous and more corrupt than others. Some countries, the people in charge completely destroy the economy on a regular basis. The average fiat currency I think lives about 25 or 35 years before it's gone. The oldest one ever is the British Pound. The US Dollar has lost 90% of its value in the past hundred years. We printed four times more money than we had in 2008 because of the financial crisis. Most of these people admit they don't even know what they're doing, and they're trying to — and we're trusting our entire while civilization.

Howard Lindzon:
Well, and we said it. Jamie Dimon, even if he really believed, he can't really make a bet because he'll be dead or out of power anyways.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, that's right.

Howard Lindzon:
So, he'll get-

Farbood Nivi:
He's been sentenced.

Howard Lindzon:
He has a risk of getting fired if he goes all in on crypto.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
And if the stock went to 70 from a hundred, people would start questioning, "What are you thinking?" even if it was the right thing-

Farbood Nivi:
I mean, the disruption never comes from the top down. It comes either from the bottom up or from the side.

Howard Lindzon:
So, that's why people — I think, that was my point is like if people are looking to Warren Buffett, they have no — even if they wanted to believe, like who cares if they believe or not because even if they wanted to believe and spend every last minute of their lives working on it, they're not going to see the benefits of it.

Farbood Nivi:
Marc Andreessen did a great interview pretty recently. And I guess there's this New York Times reporter that he swears the New York Times essentially hired just to trash the internet when the internet was coming out. And you look at these articles that they were writing about the internet being a fad, no one's going to use it, no business will be done on the internet was what the New York Times-

Howard Lindzon:
The Times.

Farbood Nivi:
… was proclaiming to everybody. So, if you were looking to the New York Times to, you know, predict the future of business, information, communication, it wasn't going to be the internet. Yeah. I think we're going to look back at crypto and Bitcoin in 10 years, 20 years, and it's going to be the same thing. You're going to read these articles about people calling it all a joke, and the whole world will be running on this system.

Howard Lindzon:
No one will care, they'll move on to the next thing. So, you go from an idea to building this beautiful product.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. Thanks.

Howard Lindzon:
So, we end up being, you know, disclosure, Social Leverage, our fund, is an investor, but, more importantly, that you're educating me on this. And I come out up from an old person who just wants to experiment. I've blown my brains out trading and doing stupid things. So, this, to me, isn't about the end unit cost to me. If I'm going to truly understand this, no different than trading a stock, I got to have a brokerage. I got to understand this. So, you decided you want to make a machine, and what happened next?

Farbood Nivi:
So, I started working on the hardware and, sort of, hacking together the software part of it. My Co-founder, Justin, who's a-

Howard Lindzon:
You can't play games on this, and you can't get online on this?

Farbood Nivi:
Not yet.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. But the point is, so, you had to go build a special machine.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. So, we built it. Built the-

Howard Lindzon:
So, you got your founder friend. You founder, your co-founder.

Farbood Nivi:
He's the designer-

Howard Lindzon:
Of Pebble?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, that's right. He designed Pebble Watch 2.

Howard Lindzon:
So, he almost got to go. Like at one point, Pebble was $750 million valuation.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, he's seen the other side, and then had it come crashing down on him.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, you dragged him.

Farbood Nivi:
He sort of dragged me. He's the one who came up with this.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
We were roommates in San Francisco, and I've been building computers since I was a kid. My first startup was in high school selling computers that I'd made. So-

Howard Lindzon:
You just go get the parts and make it?

Mining Ethereum

Farbood Nivi:
I decided to make a miner myself, horrible decision, didn't leave the house for five days, turned into a crazy person. Finally, I got the thing up and running. And it was just like-

Howard Lindzon:
You were mining a Ethereum or Bitcoin?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, I was mining a Ethereum.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
And it was this ugly gnarly thing that you wouldn't even know where to put it because it was disgusting.

Howard Lindzon:
Right.

Farbood Nivi:
And then he decided to come up with the idea of doing what he called the Apple of crypto devices. He's like, "What if Apple did something like this? What would it look like?" And my first response was, "I don't know if it's possible."

Howard Lindzon:
God bless him for his big vision.

Farbood Nivi:
For sure.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
And my response was, "I don't think it's possible," but I couldn't get it out of my head.

Howard Lindzon:
But you have this huge machine, and this is still, theoretically, a big machine.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
I couldn't get it out my head. And when it clicked for me was when I realized that we could control the device with an app. And, now, if you have an app-

Howard Lindzon:
That's what got me excited.

Farbood Nivi:
That's what gets me excited too because, now, when the whole experience is through an app, you can start doing really interesting things, you know. So, now, Coinmine is a combination of hardware, software, and services. So, you plug this into your wall, you connect it to your WiFi, you're pretty much done with it.

Howard Lindzon:
And it disappears.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
Like I have it in my house, and just-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
… other than noise, in the closet, it disappeared.

Farbood Nivi:
The rest of your experiences is in an app.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, the rest of my experience-

Farbood Nivi:
You open it up and you see your crypto go up a little bit.

Howard Lindzon:
And they'll interspersed the app into a small show.

Howard Lindzon:
Cool, yeah. And you'll see it scroll up. You'll have a little more crypto. So, that's going on. But then, soon you'll be able to open the app, and we'll have services available to you. So, if you've been making some a Ethereum, maybe you'll be able to work with compound finance that earns you interest on your Ethereum.

Howard Lindzon:
Yes. Instead of it just sitting in your account.

Farbood Nivi:
Instead of just sitting there. Same thing with Bitcoin, Blockify is doing, I think, 5%-6% EPR on your Bitcoin through them. Coinbase custody is offering staking as a service, where you can stake your Ethereum and, sort of, get a little bit of fees that you earn for staking your Ethereum. So, now, you're doing all of this through our app. You're turning your electricity — literally dollar cost averaging your electricity into crypto of your choice.

Howard Lindzon:
Yes. That's the big, what people don't understand. You're turning electricity into money.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And, obviously, that's-

Farbood Nivi:
And you can plug it in at the office, or the dorm, or your parents' place, you're not even covering the electricity cost.

Howard Lindzon:
Eventually, this becomes money, you're just carrying it with you, and just taking other people's electricity.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
And, eventually, we may just release the operating system, so that you can turn-

Howard Lindzon:
And you call that Mine?

Farbood Nivi:
We call it MineOS.

Howard Lindzon:
So, that's the big idea too. But that, we'll get into that. But, eventually, you see the hardware disappearing?

Hardware is commoditized

Farbood Nivi:
I mean, the hardware is — hardware is, ultimately, commoditized everywhere. So, the way you can do hardware is you have to go to the edge of the commoditization, right? And so, we've been lucky to do that in the sense that our hardware person, our founding hardware person is a native Chinese.

Howard Lindzon:
So, there's three of you.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. I mean, there's four of us. There's a software, sort of, lead as well. But our hardware guy has been building, you know, hardware in Shenzhen for years. And that's the only way you can really do hardware is to go to that edge of commoditization where someone really can't out-commoditize you.

Howard Lindzon:
And you did that. So, I remember your trips to Shenzhen.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, was that the first? He took you, didn't he?

Farbood Nivi:
I went, yeah, yeah. I mean, he's there most of the time. I went a little bit crazy when I went there. It was like a pretty eye-opening experience.

Howard Lindzon:
That was just last year.

Farbood Nivi:
It was just last year. And it was my first trip to China. And Shenzhen is, obviously, a super-modern city. And you walk around at night.

Howard Lindzon:
10 million people.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. And it feels like you're in the middle of New York. Everybody dresses like you'd do in New York, and they're hanging out, and all the young people are out. The city is beautiful. I actually wrote a whole twit storm on my flight back-

Howard Lindzon:
I remember, yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
… that sort of went off a little bit. And some people got angry with me because I think they thought I was excusing the Chinese government for everything its ever done of its entire history. But the point that I was making is we went into a bookstore. I think it was 10:00 p.m.. There's blockchain books everywhere, There's kids sitting on the ground just consuming these books in the bookstore. That's where they go to find dates and stuff. And I was just really sort of enamored and blown away by it all.

Howard Lindzon:
Eventually, we can argue forever. Some things move forward whether we like it or not.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
So, you go to Shenzhen, you scope out the machine, that's where these are made. They're designed in Los Angeles basically, and engineered in Los Angeles-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
… and put together in Los Angeles, but you still are partnered with China?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, to make all the casing.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, I have one, what are these going to cost?

Farbood Nivi:
So, right now, they retail for $799.

Howard Lindzon:
And you can go at coinmine.com.

Farbood Nivi:
coinmine.com.

The future of crypto

Howard Lindzon:
And tell me about the future. Like, let's talk about crypto in the future. The future, as I see it, is people are arguing over price. Where do you think, in terms of, you know, what's happening, interesting, do you care what the price is? You, as a founder, in this industry, where does it matter to you?

Farbood Nivi:
I think usage is more important than price in the end because what we're trying to do is not make a little — we're not trying to get 1% of the human population to make a bunch of money. We're trying to get 100% of human population using a whole new system.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
Right?

Howard Lindzon:
And so, this powers a whole new system. Let's get people to understand that. Why is it — we're maybe 1% global. What do you think?

Farbood Nivi:
My guess is it's under 5%. It's a few percent probably. In some places like Korea, it's enormous.

Howard Lindzon:
What's enormous?

Farbood Nivi:
In South Korea, I think 80% of millennials own some crypto.

Howard Lindzon:
Wow.

Farbood Nivi:
And in the United states-

Howard Lindzon:
And what did they use as a wallet, per se, or do you know?

Farbood Nivi:
Probably one of the many different exchanges there, but they're very techno-savvy, and they get it. It's easy for them.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. They don't have enough money that they care, per se.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, they got a couple hundred bucks on the blockchain-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
… or on crypto, they don't care.

8% of US own some crypto

Farbood Nivi:
But even in the United States, I think some 8% of the US own some crypto. And if you look at like bitcoin's price, for example, bitcoin's price dropped, you know, 80% from its all-time high.

Howard Lindzon:
And most all dropped 90% to 95%.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
The computing power that's backing them did not drop that much.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, that's the important thing.

Farbood Nivi:
That's a really important thing to keep in mind because those people are putting literal skin in the game, right, especially if they're technically underwater at the moment in terms of their electricity, your CapEx and OpEx, for what they're able to pull out. They didn't all closed shop. You'll see people with-

Howard Lindzon:
I have friends that closed shop.

Farbood Nivi:
… closed pictures of A6 thrown into the street. There's some of that.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. The same thing with bikes and scooters.

Farbood Nivi:
Seriously.

Howard Lindzon:
There's no different.

Farbood Nivi:
You'll see it in San Francisco there.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
They're just literally throwing it in the streets.

Howard Lindzon:
People, they're those like, "Wait. You're talking about mining when we're doing this shit with bikes, and scooters, and all these other things, just throw in the river.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right. So, we didn't see the computing power drop 80%.

Howard Lindzon:
Exactly.

Farbood Nivi:
It's basically what it was when it was at its all-time high. So, people are still bullish on — they're using it, right? They're making it happen. I think it would've been a real big problem if we've seen bitcoin's hash power drop 80% because that's where you're like, "Okay, this whole thing could just disappear overnight if that's if this is what's happening, if people are literally just shutting the whole thing down," but they didn't. And that's what's important. That's what says a lot more than price.

Howard Lindzon:
I mean, people didn't mind losing a little bit if they're mining on the edge on their own. They didn't care if they were losing a little bit. Like us, like we're not going to do the ROI even though the ROI should work. We're not thinking about that.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
We're just thinking about what could be.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. And we call it — We, also, you know, if you're talking in financial terms, you can kind of look at this as plug-and-play speculation.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
Right? Grin is a really popular cryptocurrency that's out.

Howard Lindzon:
In terms of new-

Farbood Nivi:
It's new. It just came out in January.

Howard Lindzon:
I mean, a new — is it software? It's a staked software.

Farbood Nivi:
No, it's like Bitcoin.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
It's proof of work.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
And, in fact, even Bitcoin maximalists don't talk too much trash about Grin because it's pretty solid. It's sort of pseudo anonymous like Bitcoin. We don't really know who the original founder was. It's proof of work. So, it's not this, sort of, just — it actually needs computing power to do it. And currently, it's worth $2.50 for a Grin.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
Now, if you're grin-bullish, you're not going to mine it and sell it at the end of the week for $2.50. You're going to mine it and hold it for two or three years because you think Grin's going to hundreds of dollars or thousands of dollars. If it does, and you do, then this device will make you tens of thousands of dollars, but you have to believe that, and that has to happen.

Howard Lindzon:
And you have to do your own work.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It's no different than stocks, except you are the market.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
So, I was mining Grin at the beginning at like $5-$6.

Farbood Nivi:
Good. It didn't have a couple of issues. It's still young, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Then, I switched to Ethereum because I just got sick of seeing, you know. And I don't know what I'm doing other than, you know, open up the app.

Farbood Nivi:
Technically, Ethereum makes you-

Howard Lindzon:
And, literally, what's beautiful about the app is I can go Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, and Grin. I don't even know if you do Grin right now.

Farbood Nivi:
Right now, Grin's having some issues. So, we just pulled it down a little. It'll be back the next month or so.

Howard Lindzon:
For people who have Grin, it's still there.

Farbood Nivi:
It is still there, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, I switched to Ethereum, but, you know, that's why the app is so important. People need to see, and interact, and interface with their money. You can't just have a piece of hardware, and you go, "I'm going to forget the password." So, how do you take all that out of it? What's the other things that you're think about? Forgetting the hardware. So, now, I'm mining Ethereum.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
I mean even simpler.

Howard Lindzon:
So-

Launching Bitcoin mode

Farbood Nivi:
We're going to launch here in the very near future is what we call Bitcoin mode. And so, what the device will do is algorithmically-

Howard Lindzon:
Because, right now, you can't make Bitcoin on this?

Farbood Nivi:
Right now, it does not make you Bitcoin. So, when we launch Bitcoin mode, it will-

Howard Lindzon:
Let's move this off to the side.

Farbood Nivi:
When we launch Bitcoin mode, it will algorithmically mine whatever converts to Bitcoin the best.

Howard Lindzon:
So, that sweeps your convert.

Farbood Nivi:
And we just convert it.

Howard Lindzon:
So, it just sweeps your account.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right. And because everything in crypto is, sort of, you know, digital native, right, I can just have a software engineer do all of this. We don't need to do deals with banks, and we don't need to do business partnerships. It's all just done by one person sitting at a computer. So, you don't know what it will be powering. It could be powering Ethereum, Monero, Zcash, some other thing. It will algorithmically power whatever converts to Bitcoin. It will convert it to Bitcoin for you, keep it in your Bitcoin wallet. And then, again, for working with folks like Blockify, you'll be able to earn interest on that Bitcoin.

Farbood Nivi:
Or it also shifts with what's called a Bitcoin Lightning node, which is sort of these peer-to-peer payment systems. And if you fund your Lightning node with a little bit of Bitcoin, and other people send their payments through your channel, they call it, you'll earn a little bit of a fee. So, it'll earn you Bitcoin, and then earn new fees on your Bitcoin. And, again, if you're bullish on Bitcoin, you think it's going to $100,000 in five years, you're going to do great. If you think Bitcoin is going into the ground, then I recommend you have nothing to do with crypto at all. So, that's the real choice to make. It's not that complex. It's like decide if you think it's going to the moon in a few years, make your decision based on that.

Howard Lindzon:
And what makes eventually the price go up in the end?

Farbood Nivi:
Usage.

Howard Lindzon:
It's usage?

Farbood Nivi:
Usage.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, with usage, how does that make the price go up? So, explain that.

Farbood Nivi:
I mean, the bottom line is there's 21 million theoretical Bitcoins will ever be made, but don't even get close to that because millions of Bitcoin have already been lost forever.

Howard Lindzon:
So maybe there'll be 16 million.

Farbood Nivi:
16 to 17 million ever. Now, the cool thing about Bitcoin is each Bitcoin is divided into 100 million Satoshis.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. I think people don't understand this, you can buy fractions of them.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, and people, we kind of think that Satoshis will be the dollar of the future.

Howard Lindzon:
Bad marketing. What the fuck is Satoshi?

Farbood Nivi:
That's fair, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
You know, maybe dollar sounded dumb at the beginning and pennies but-

Farbood Nivi:
That's fine. Call them dollars. It doesn't-

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. I think that's part of the marketing and branding of others. Beyond Bitcoin, the branding has been terrible.

Farbood Nivi:
The branding has been terrible. Bitcoin is a great brand.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. But in each Bitcoin, there are hundreds of millions of smaller pieces of it.

Howard Lindzon:
Right.

Farbood Nivi:
So, it doesn't matter if a single Bitcoin is worth a billion dollars because each Satoshi, I could just send you a Satoshi, and that's going to be $10 or $1. So, it's fun, you know. So, it's really just a supply and demand thing. If you imagine like some chunk of the global economy running on Bitcoin, that's going to sort of determine the price of a Bitcoin, and it doesn't matter. You don't need to buy one Bitcoin. If one Bitcoin is $100,000, it doesn't matter, you can buy 10 Satoshis.

Howard Lindzon:
Yes. And so, usage drives it. And then, let's talk about transaction costs because there's just talk — you know, I really like Lightning Network.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Because that makes sense for me. You know, the one objection is, listen, in the United States, my kids use Venmo, my wife uses USA, I have Wells Fargo. I hate them, but like what's the point? Like I just leave a minimum amount of money in there, they do my monthly work and try not to give them any money in fees. And Visa and MasterCard. So, in the United States it's like, "What? I've got to learn something new?" So, how do you get over that hump?

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. Here's where I get a little vague, a little animated because this stuff gets me fired up. I mean, I think of the — so, in the US alone, there's, I think, $200 billion dollars a year or something stupid spent on, basically, credit card transaction fees. You're running a little coffee shop in San Francisco. So, that makes your cup of coffee, like, you know, $7 or something like that. You're paying 25 cents per transaction, plus another 3% on top of it.

Farbood Nivi:
So, to sell a $5 cup of coffee, you have to spend 50 cents in transaction fees. And if you're like a little coffee shop, all you're doing is selling $5 cups of coffees.

Howard Lindzon:
That's your margin, yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
That's 10% of your revenue is going to someone to process an electronic payment. Do you think it-

Howard Lindzon:
And it's a small transaction. It's a micro transaction.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
You trust everybody. Like, I mean-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right. They're going to lose $5, it'll be fine.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
So, to me, it's — like this is one of those, you know, the emperors running around naked, and none of us are noticing. We've all grown accustomed to a world where like 3.5% of your revenue just goes to someone for processing your payment. That's a business. That's a margin, but it's a literal business. People have businesses with smaller margins than that.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
So, this is just because we're stuck into this mode of thinking that this is like some law of nature that like to send a $5 transaction from one person to another, 10% of it has to go to a bank. That's just not the case. On the Lightning Network, you'll be able to do that $5 transaction, and it might cost you less than a penny.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. I mean, to me, no one's talking about it. I mean, the geeks are talking about it. So, I'm going to geek. I want to know what Lightning network-

Farbood Nivi:
They're starting though those squares. Going into its squares.

Howard Lindzon:
Oh, I understand.

Farbood Nivi:
Filing patents on Lightning Network hardware and things like that.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
You know, Jack just said he'll pay open source developers on Bitcoin out of their own Square's pocket just to have them there.

Howard Lindzon:
So, to me, it's like a highway system. You got to clog Bitcoin highway that's expensive.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It's crowded all the time.

Farbood Nivi:
It can be, yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Expensive, blah, blah, blah. And Lightning Network is just this on-ramp for smaller transactions.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, let's off some of the steam. The smaller transactions can happen on Lightning when it gets-

Howard Lindzon:
Because the guy who is running the coffee shop doesn't need to worry, and he's dealing in Satoshis in $3 and $5 transaction.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
He gets — I mean, he-

Farbood Nivi:
He can't wait 10 minutes for a transaction to clear for the person who's buying a cup of coffee.

Howard Lindzon:
Well, he's still on the hook if someone screws him with the debit card.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
So, he's going to be on the hook anyways. And if all the transactions are small, there's a certain amount of crime and, you know, fraud.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
But he can take it on himself if he's not paying or she the 3.5% or more that they're doing on every transaction.

Farbood Nivi:
And it'll be fine if it was 3.5%. When it's $5 and the transaction cost 25 cents plus 3.5%.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
You know, just the 25 cents are almost at 5% revenue.

Howard Lindzon:
So, what happens if Lightning Network doesn't take off?

Farbood Nivi:
There's-

Howard Lindzon:
That's risk? There's risk there?

Farbood Nivi:
There's risk there. There's other technologies that will come up.

How did Lightning start

Howard Lindzon:
But how did Lightning start?

Farbood Nivi:
That's a good question. I'm not 100% sure. So, Lightning is not necessarily limited to just Bitcoin.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
It's sort of a — it's a concept of running a, sort of, side chain that resolves back to some main chain and has certain attributes of its own. So, theoretically, you can do other blockchains using a Lightning methodology.

Howard Lindzon:
Yes. But, eventually, this would come with a Lightning note or you'll ship one to the people-

Farbood Nivi:
Every one of these ships this entire blockchain on. That's why it's kind of heavy. No, just kidding.

Howard Lindzon:
So, you turn that on. Automatically, you can start sweeping in this machine into Bitcoin?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Wow, okay. And so, MineOS, the big, big idea that you guys have it. And explain quickly that before we-

Farbood Nivi:
Sure. So, you know, the real brains behind this is the operating system. Like I said, hardware is ultimately commoditized. You can do well at hardware if you go to the edge of the commoditization, but you can do better with hardware and software. So, MineOS is something that we're planning on releasing in the future, basically, as a standalone device. We'll sell little thumb drives. We, sort of, liken it to the, you know, original square card readers, you know. You could buy those.

Howard Lindzon:
Or what Iomega was back in the day with storage.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It was just like a way to store and take it with you.

Farbood Nivi:
That's right, that's right.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
So, you can imagine our operating system being on a little thumb drive. And any old computer you have or a new computer, you just plug this thing in, and it turns your device into a coin mine. And, again, you're running it all through our app. So, you could have a-

Howard Lindzon:
10 machines, all that-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right. They don't need screens. They don't need keyboards. They don't need mice.

Howard Lindzon:
They just need a USB and power.

Farbood Nivi:
They just need a USB, and power, and some internet, and you're controlling it from your phone.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
So, now, you have your old desktops, your old laptops, maybe one day, your Playstation, you know, all just — it already works on these, like, sort of, at-home mining rigs that people make. They get seven or eight GPUs. We're already in beta testing, MineOS, on those. It's quite-

Howard Lindzon:
You're saying it's cool.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, yeah, it's really cool.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, if that works, the price comes down infinitely.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, that's right. I mean, the way we look at market size for us is it's purely a function of these sort of specs of the device, which is what it does, how much it costs, what it generates for you. So, as, you know, just stealing from Bezos better, faster, cheaper, right, as each Coinmine product becomes better, faster, and cheaper, more and more people will come on.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
And all we want to do is climb up that curve.

Howard Lindzon:
And so, people are going to be aware of these. You've only raised with seed round. So, you've gone a long way with a little bit of money. What's that like? What's it been like selling? Because I'm an easy sell.

Farbood Nivi:
It's the coolest thing ever. It was-

Howard Lindzon:
How? It's been different, or easy, or harder, or what?

Farbood Nivi:
It's way harder, way cooler. Again, it comes down to people. Our guy, Stephen, in Shenzhen, we wouldn't be able to do with him. Obviously, couldn't do without my co-founder, couldn't do without the software team.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah.

Farbood Nivi:
You know, we're a very small team, and every single-

Howard Lindzon:
10 people? 12 people?

Farbood Nivi:
Not even. We're eight people.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay, eight people.

Farbood Nivi:
The company wouldn't be here weren't any of those people being-

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, and you can see the experience. I mean, from the packaging to the care. I mean, there's so many things that can go wrong when you're making.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It's one thing to ship software and, you know, be like StockwTits where as long as the site's running, people are doing their thing.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
But to go to China, build this machine, raise the money, squeeze everything then, deal with customer experience because I'm like your-

Farbood Nivi:
They can deal with hard-

Howard Lindzon:
I'm your nightmare customer, right? You ship me one earlier, and I'm like everything breaks.

Farbood Nivi:
Like all the traveling-

Howard Lindzon:
Like for me, I break everything.

Farbood Nivi:
… investor problem that would cost in trying to get it resolved.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, I break everything. So, I've had one now for a few months, and it works great a worry. But, you know, if there's a bug, I'm going to find it because I don't know how to use anything. So, how do you deal with that on hte — how are you thinking through that?

Farbood Nivi:
That part's the easiest because you can just use software to troubleshoot with people, you know. And since, you know, our operating system is essentially a distributed network. So, to the extent that, you know, we can essentially go into your device and address any issue, it'll update itself overnight constantly, different platforms or, sorry, different protocols change – Monero, for example – forks every six months to kick the A6 off of it. You don't have to do anything. Your device will just automatically update.

Howard Lindzon:
But people have to trust you.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, the big leap of faith, they have to trust Coinmine as an entity.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. Yeah, that's right.

Howard Lindzon:
And you and the team. And so-

Farbood Nivi:
But if you don't move your crypto out of our wall that we make for you and-

Howard Lindzon:
That's the cool part.

Farbood Nivi:
… put it on your own cold storage, and swallow it, and-

Howard Lindzon:
I think that's what people are missing. At some point, you're going to let people just move wherever they want.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
You know, you don't want to-

Farbood Nivi:
And when you're starting, there's not a lot. It's not yet — day one is not a million dollars' worth of crypto.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah, you have a couple of pennies the first day.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. So, you decide how much you want to trust us, and where you want to, you know, hold your crypto.

One wallet to rule them all?

Howard Lindzon:
And how do you see it happening? Well, is it going to be one wallet to rule them all, or people just going to — where do you see it in the-

Farbood Nivi:
I see it would be a lot of different wallets, just like people have a lot of different wallets, and a lot of different bank accounts, with a lot of different places. You might have small amounts in this one, larger amounts in a different one. You may have, you know, Coinbase Custody controlling, you know, your $20 million of crypto, but you have like a smaller entity that has, you know, $10,000 of your crypto in there that you're using on a regular basis because the money that you have with Coinbase, you know, is being put to use, and earning you fees, and earning you interests or something like that.

Howard Lindzon:
Is there anything that I'm missing about Coinmine? Because I know we've been talking for a while. Is there anything like on the-

Farbood Nivi:
We even revealed a few things that we haven't told others yet.

Howard Lindzon:
Yeah. So, if people really want to speculate, is there something out there that — so, we're talked about Lightning, we talked about Grin, we talked about staking staking as a service just right. Talk about software staking, what that means versus mining.

Farbood Nivi:
That's a — It's really early on that.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. So-

Farbood Nivi:
It's not happening much. There's a few protocols where it's working. that were words working. Tezos, for examples. It's out there, and it's working. It's another, sort of, forum of crypto economics, basically. With staking, you're saying, "Hey, I'm going to put up this amount of, you know, Tezos or Ethereum. And if I do something nefarious on the computing side, right, it's going to be taken away."

Farbood Nivi:
So, it, basically, gets people to behave correctly by saying, "If you try to mess with the system, then you'll lose what you staked," you know. And if you don't-

Howard Lindzon:
That's cool.

Farbood Nivi:
… you'll earn a little bit of a fee for what you're staking because people are going to use your computer, so you deserve to be paid for it.

Howard Lindzon:
It's a rent

Farbood Nivi:
So, you sort of put up this collateral. Yeah, exactly. Someone's using your computing power, and they pay you a little bit of that same type of-

Howard Lindzon:
How could that not work? I mean, in theory, that's going to be the way. So, pretty exciting. Now, we call this — I call it easy bake oven. You call it a plug-and-play speculation. Say, people want to put a hundred, what's today for an American? They got $5000 they want to speculate, what's the easiest way to get onboarded? If they don't want to buy a machine and do this themselves, they want to just put $1000 into Bitcoin, what's the easiest way today?

Farbood Nivi:
Coinbase.

Howard Lindzon:
Coinbase, huh?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, they become synonymous with just opening an account.

Farbood Nivi:
I think so. They've got a pretty good slick UI. It's pretty easy. I personally would trust them with that amount of money. I do trust them with more money.

Howard Lindzon:
And with passwords, any tricks because, you know, sequences? What should human beings do? Should be a phrase in their mind?

Farbood Nivi:
There is a-

Howard Lindzon:
Should be-

Farbood Nivi:
This is good. There's a couple of things. One, never use a phone number to secure accounts. You know, you can-

Howard Lindzon:
How do get off of Horizon screwing you or AT&T?

Farbood Nivi:
It's impossible.

Howard Lindzon:
It's impossible.

Farbood Nivi:
It's always going to be a vector of, you know, vulnerability, people porting numbers-

Howard Lindzon:
Bastards.

Farbood Nivi:
… and things like that.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
But that's why it's very important to use either, you know, an app like Ofi or Google Auth. Don't use your phone number to secure as your-

Howard Lindzon:
Right, I use Google Auth.

Farbood Nivi:
… two-factor authentication because people can port your number. So, that's one very important one.

Howard Lindzon:
But in terms of Coinbase, I'm going to ask you set up a password, a phrase-

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah, with a phrase.

Howard Lindzon:
And you're going to die, and you're going to forget, you know, that you used your mother's maiden name, or her birth date, or somebody whose birthday. Was there any tricks to like phrases like-

Farbood Nivi:
There's no real tricks-

Howard Lindzon:
Should it be a name, should it be a word, or should it be numbers?

Farbood Nivi:
Well, they're going to-.

Howard Lindzon:
Like if you think in terms of what the average person do, do you use numbers or word?

Farbood Nivi:
Well, any time you're making passwords, you want to think in terms of phrases, right, because you can remember a phrase, and it's essentially impossible for someone to hack a phrase. If your phrase is, you know, "I love chocolate ice cream forever," no computer is ever going to hack that.

Howard Lindzon:
Right, it's in your head.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And you're not going to forget.

Farbood Nivi:
And you're not going to forget it.

Howard Lindzon:
Well, I could. I'm at the age where I forget-

Farbood Nivi:
It's impossible.

Howard Lindzon:
So, I really have-

Farbood Nivi:
But, also, you should use a password manager.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. And what's the best password manager?

Farbood Nivi:
I mean, there's a bunch of them. I like 1Password. They're pretty good.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay. These are important things.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
So, to get started, Coinbase, $1000. If you want to speculate, the easiest way I've ever seen is what you guys are building.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
It's phenomenal.

Farbood Nivi:
Plug it in.

Howard Lindzon:
And just the apps, joy. And we'll show some demos of the app. The 1Password, if you're going to do any computing, 1Password, okay, and just do that. And then, for your money, I think a phrase matters, you know.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Obviously-

Farbood Nivi:
And no phone numbers

Howard Lindzon:
No phone number or birthdays. I love chocolate ice cream. To who do you have to share that with? Your wife?

Farbood Nivi:
Nobody.

Howard Lindzon:
Meaning it dies with you and that's it?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. You may want to trust your wife or, you know, if you have a custody solution out there, if it's a lot of money.

Howard Lindzon:
But first tender day, do you give out your favorite-

Farbood Nivi:
No, probably not.

Howard Lindzon:
Okay.

Farbood Nivi:
There's also-

Howard Lindzon:
Because I've done that.

Farbood Nivi:
There's also what they call multi-sig solutions where it's, essentially you could set something up where five people have different pieces of a password, essentially.

Howard Lindzon:
Oh my God. That's how the machines do it?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
And to-

Farbood Nivi:
That's how critical it works-

Howard Lindzon:
But to clear it, then you can set the rules up that any three of them can cause something to happen. So-

Howard Lindzon:
So, I think for the average person, a phrase-

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
… that means something. It could be a movie phrase. It could be from a TV show. It could be-

Farbood Nivi:
Don't use the same password over and over. Use phrases. Use 1Password or a similar solution.

Howard Lindzon:
But don't let that be the reason you don't do this. Is that stupid?

Farbood Nivi:
No, no. I mean-

Howard Lindzon:
Like people are telling you it's going to get hacked or stolen.

Farbood Nivi:
Start with-

Howard Lindzon:
Only you are in control of that.

Farbood Nivi:
Only start with what you're willing to lose.

Howard Lindzon:
Yes. So, I think, you know, great advice. Thanks, man.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. Thanks for having me.

Howard Lindzon:
Hopefully, everybody learned a little bit from this first episode of Lindzanity, and they can check back in 10 years with Bitcoin at 5000 today.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah. And see how we did.

Howard Lindzon:
See how we did.

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
I'm pretty happy about Apple. I mean, the first week of Wall Street, we did Apple. I just knew in my mind. I know in my mind today that, yeah, Bitcoin could drop to 1000 or 500. But, you know, risk reward, when I think about the big — that it should be dead already. If Bitcoin is going to be zero, why isn't it zero yet?

Farbood Nivi:
Yeah.

Howard Lindzon:
Because it should be. Everybody's given up on-

Bitcoin has more computing power behind it than any other computing system in human history

Farbood Nivi:
It a lot of computing power keeping it alive. It has more computing power behind it than any other computing system in human history.

Howard Lindzon:
Well, and I look at it as the brand of Bitcoin. You can go to any corner of the earth and say Bitcoin-

Farbood Nivi:
That's right.

Howard Lindzon:
… and people are like — it's not the first time they've heard of the word. They may not only even understand what it means-

Farbood Nivi:
Both of the TSA employees that were checking out my Coinmine-

Howard Lindzon:
Oh, that's a good start.

Farbood Nivi:
… you know, they were like, "Oh, is that a miner?" I'm like, "Yeah." And as I was walking away, the lady said, "Good luck."

Howard Lindzon:
So, people still think it's a bit — that's the opportunity is people still think there's luck involved, et cetera, but it's really a little bit of-

Farbood Nivi:
When you really get to understand Bitcoin, you'll see that it's the most sound money that's ever existed, even on gold.

Howard Lindzon:
All right. We'll end it on that. Thanks. man.

Farbood Nivi:
Thanks.

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Moderator:
Tiger, welcome back. Or should I say more appropriately, welcome home?

Tiger Woods:
Yeah. Just unreal. To be honest with you, just the whole tournament has meant so much to me over the years. Coming here in '95 for the first time and to play as an amateur, winning in '97, and then come full circle, 22 years later, we will do it again.

Tiger Woods:
And this is the way it all transpired today. There were so many different scenarios that could have transpired on that back nine. There are so many guys who had a chance to win. Leaderboard was absolutely packed, and everyone was playing well. So, you could have had more drama than what we all had out there. And, now, I know why I'm balding. This stuff is hard.

Tiger Woods:
Yeah. Just to come back here, and then to play as well as I did, and did all the things, all little things well this week, and to do it here. This has meant so much to me and my family, this tournament, and to have everyone here, It's something I'll never, ever forget.

Moderator:
This is clearly one of those monumental days in all of sport when people all around the world will say, "Where were you when Tiger won his fifth green jacket in 2019?"

Tiger Woods:
I know where I was. Yeah, I had a little one-foot tap-in. So, it hasn't sunk in at all. I mean, this is one of those things, It's going to take a little bit of time, and I'm just fresh off of just winning this tournament, and I just can't wait to see how it all unfolded from the TV perspective. I know I was grinding hard trying to chase Francesco today. And then, all of a sudden, the leaderboard flipped, and there were a bunch of guys up there who had a chance to win, and I hit some of the best shots on that back nine today. You know, I felt like I just flushed it coming home, which was — well, it's a nice feeling.

Moderator:
Questions, Jim?

Jim:
Tiger, congratulations. When you walked off the green, and you saw your mom and your children, did you flash back to your dad in the initial win?

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, absolutely. My dad shouldn't have come in '97. I mean, he had heart complications and wasn't supposed to fly, but he flew, and came, and gave me putting lesson on Wednesday night, and the rest is history. My dad's no longer here, but my mom's here, 22 years later, and I happen win the tournament. And then, to have both Sam and Charlie here.

Tiger Woods:
They were there at the British Open last year when I had the lead on that back nine, and I made a few mistakes, and cost myself a chance to win the Open Title. I wasn't going to let that happen to them twice. And so, for them to see what it's like to have their dad win a major championship, I hope that's something they'll never forget.

Moderator:
Ted?

Ted:
Tiger, congratulations. And comeback is going to be the word we're always going to think about here. So, how would you describe that for yourself? And also the doubts, since some of us who saw you at Torrey 11 years ago, it's a long time now, and the doubts that you could ever do this again.

Tiger Woods:
Well, I had serious doubts after what transpired a couple years ago. I could barely walk. I couldn't sit, I couldn't lay down, I really couldn't do much of anything. Luckily, I had the procedure on my back, which gave me a chance at having a normal life. But then, all of a sudden, I realized I could actually swing a golf club again. And so, if I could somehow piece this together and that I still had the hands to do it. The body is not the same as it was, you know, a long time ago, but I still have good hands.

Tiger Woods:
And so, that certainly has helped, and I've pieced it together, and next thing, you know, if you look at it, my first 14 wins in majors were always — I had the lead in every one of them or tied for the lead. To have the opportunity to come back like this, it is probably one of the biggest wins I've ever had for sure because of it.

Moderator:
Gary?

Gary:
Tiger, I don't know if you know, but you broke the streak. I had mentioned to you about winners who were in the top 10 the last 13 years. You were tied for 11th after the first day. So, you broke the streak, that you were the last one to do so.

Tiger Woods:
Congratulations to me.

Gary:
Yes. But you mentioned about this shot you hit coming in. After the tee shot on 11, was there anything that you relied on? Tee shot on 12, drive on 13, 14, 15, tee shot on 16, tee shot on 17 and 18. Was there anything specific that you leaned on?

Tiger Woods:
No, nothing specific because I felt like that was probably the strongest part of my game all week was driving the golf ball. I've been working on trying to shape the golf ball both ways coming into this event. And, you know, I was able to do that.

Tiger Woods:
And, yeah, the tee shot at 11 was awful. You know, I leaned on it, trying to hit it, trying to flight it a little bit ,and it got stuck underneath there. I had a shot. And I just kept saying, if I just sneak out of here with the par, we got a lot of golf left. And we have two par 5s, gettable pin at 14, another one at 17, and anything could happen up at 18.

Tiger Woods:
And so, I just said, just keep plodding along. And then, next you know, I see Brooksy make a mistake at 12. Francesco made a mistake at 12. Patrick was making a run up ahead. DJ was making a run. I mean, Xander was making a run. There were so many different scenarios that evolved. And I was looking at the board come off of 13 green. And then, there's six, seven guys with a chance to win this tournament.

Tiger Woods:
But I just kept telling myself, I have — well, along with Francesco, we have the most holes to play. So, whatever they do, I'll just birdie the same holes. Then, it's a moot point. And as you know, I birdied 13, I birdied 15 with two good shots in there, and almost whooped it at 16.

Tiger Woods:
So, that gave me the cush. And I kept telling myself on 17, on that tee shot, I said, "I've been in this position before." I had a two shot-lay with DiMarco and bogey, bogey. Let's go ahead and pipe this ball right down the middle. Let's hit the little flat squeezer out there, and I did, I just smoked it. I made par there.

Tiger Woods:
And then, 18, I said, "Hey, it's not over yet." Arnold lost the tournament, lost the hole with a double. So, let's just keep the hammer down. Brooksy could still make birdie up 18, and I can make bogey with. And the next thing, we're in a playoffs. So, it gets this ball in play. And I did. And I saw him tap out for par, and that gave me the cush knowing that I could make bogey.

Tiger Woods:
And I had a little bit of mud on my golf ball playing that shot, and I said, "Just make sure I overcut this thing. Don't undercut it. Overcut it to the right." And I did. I whiffed it, and hit it over to the right, and I was able to put that ball on the green and two-putt.

Moderator:
Kara.

Kara:
Tiger, you hadn't had the lead here on a Sunday since you won in 2005. When you had it today, was it like getting back on a bike? It was like you had never gotten off, or what was that like? What was your comfort level?

Tiger Woods:
It didn't feel unfamiliar because I had the lead at the Open Championship. So, that was just two majors ago. So, now, that would be something different if I didn't have the lead from '05 to now, but, you know, it was just last year in July that I had the lead.

Tiger Woods:
And so, I just kept saying, "I've been here. It wasn't that long ago. Just go ahead, and just keep playing the game, keep plodding along, and keep doing all the little things correctly. You can't miss the ball in the correct spots. Be committed to it, even if the winds puffing up and down. Be committed to the shot, and the shot shape," and I was.

Moderator:
Jeff.

Jeff:
Tiger, you appeared to exude extreme calm. Is that something you are sensing and aware of? And. also, is that something attributable to the gum, and why gum?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I'm chomping on this gum because I usually get so hungry, I keep eating so much. And it curbs my appetite a little bit, which is nice. Most of time, most of the issues I have at tournaments, I lose so much weight as you all know. And so, I'm aware if that's what it is. But what was there the question?

Jeff:
Calmness

Tiger Woods:
Calmness?

Jeff:
More than normal. did you just feel it?.

Tiger Woods:
Well, I just felt so prepared coming into this event. This year, my finishes probably don't really reflect it, but I was starting to shape the golf ball the way that I know I can, which I needed for this week. And prep for the Masters starts six months ago. And so, just trying to make sure that I get ready to peak for this one week, and I did, and everything came together this week, which is great. And I kept all the little things correctly. I missed it up on the correct spots time, and time, and time again. And if I was out of position, so be it. Take my bogey and move on. And no doubles this week. And just kept — as I said, I just kept plodding along.

Moderator:
Aman.

Aman:
Since your kids are growing up now, do they have a deeper appreciation of the work that you do? And second is, Joey and you had a conversation after five, Just some insight into that.

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, I think the kids are starting to understand how much this game means to me and some of the things I've done in the game prior to this comeback. They only knew that golf caused me a lot of pain. If I tried to swing a club, I would end up on the ground. And I struggled for years. And that's basically all all they remember. Luckily that I've had the procedure where that's no longer the case, and I can do this again. And so, you know, we're creating new memories for them, and it's just very special.

Tiger Woods:
The talk that Joey and I had off the five, I think he just listened. I was saying some things I can't really repeat here. And then, I went into the restroom and proceeded to say the same things over and over to myself. And then, I came out and I felt a lot better.

Moderator:
Robert.

Robert:
Tiger, congratulations. 1 through 14, I know that all majors are special to you, but one you usually have your focus on because of what it meant to you with your dad, and 14, obviously, had significance too with Torrey Pines. Where do you put this one?

Tiger Woods:
I mean, it's got to be right up there, right, with all the things that I've battled through and just was able to be lucky enough and fortunate enough to be able to do this again. It's ironic that I'm given a chance to play golf again. And lo and behold, I won a tournament coming from behind, which I had not done for the first 14. So, it's just amazing.

Moderator:
Jessie.

Jessie:
Tiger, my generation, we kids who grew up in the late '70s, the '80s, the '90s had to hear from our fathers about how great the 1986 Masters was with Jack Nicklaus in the crowds. Given what you remember from that tournament, that final round, maybe watching it on TV as a kid, and now being in this arena, does this Masters enter into that conversation as a possible rivalry as to the best Masters final round?

Tiger Woods:
I don't know if it is or not, but I can tell you that '86 meant a lot to me because that was the first memory that I have of the Masters. Seeing Jack celebrate a 4-iron in the green on 15, when he did that. I mean, I had never seen anyone celebrate an iron shot into green before. And so, that's the moment that stuck with me.

Tiger Woods:
And then, I remember seeing him hug Jackie there at 18, how special that was. And then, I remember, obviously, Seve made a mistake at 15, and Greg made a mistake at 18. So, the '86, and he was 46 years old. I'm 43. We had little spells in between. I mean, he had, what, six years or so, I think, where he didn't win a major championship. And for me, it was 11 years. So, in either case, and I think that's what everyone else is — that's for them to decide.

Tiger Woods:
It's special to me. It's special to my friends and family. And I think that everyone out here who is here got a chance to witness something that was amazing and just the competitive environment. I mean, everyone was playing well at the same time. And it could have gone so many different ways. I just happened to hang in there and persevere.

Moderator:
John.

John:
Tiger, for those of us watching, 12 seemed to be the seminal moment. When Francesco's ball went in the water, did it change anything you were thinking? Was it always going to be over the bunker, center of the green?

Tiger Woods:
That's all I was concentrating on. I had 47 over the first tongue in the bunker there. And so, my number was hitting at 50 and just be committed to hitting at 50. There's a reason why. I saw Brooksy, he ended up short. Poults ended up short as well. And so, when I was up on there on that tee box, and it was about my turn to go, I could feel that wind puff up a little bit, and it had been something. I mean, Brooksy is stronger than I am, and he fights it better than I do. And so, I'm sure he hit 9-iron, and didn't make it. And so, I knew my 9-iron couldn't cover the flag. So, I had to play left. And I said, "Just be committed. Hit it over that tongue in that bunker. Let's get out of here, and let's go handle the par 5s," and I did. Yeah, the mistake that Francesco made there led a lot of guys back into the tournament, myself included.

Moderator:
Kirk.

Kirk:
Tiger, do you think Jack should be worried now as far as the 18 majors?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I don't know if he's worried or not. I'm sure he's home in West Palm just chilling and watching.

Kirk:
Could you describe the impact you think you've had on your sport?

Tiger Woods:
I think that I've driven a lot more youths to the game. A lot of the guys that are especially on the tour now are training. They're getting bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic. They are recovering better. They are hitting the ball prodigious distances. And a little bit of that is probably a tribute to what I did. When I first turned pro, I was the only one in the gym, except for Vijay. And so, it was just basically he and I for years. And, now, everyone trains. Everyone works on their bodies, besides their game. And even Phil's working out. So, things have come a long way.

Moderator:
Joy.

Joy:
Tiger, I think I have my own personal inspiring story in sports today, but I just wanted to know what is yours? What is your most inspiring story in sport?

Tiger Woods:
Mine? I don't know. That's a great question. There's so many. I don't have one that really truly stands out, to be honest with you. Sorry.

Moderator:
Francisco.

Francisco:
Hi, Tiger. Of all the things that you've been through during the last years was struggling with your body issues. Is there any specific moment that has come to your mind during the last few hours?

Tiger Woods:
The last couple hours?

Francisco:
Yeah. Since you tapped the putt on 18. Is there any moment that has come to your mind?

Tiger Woods:
Not really one moment, no. I can tell you one thing, I'm pretty sore right know. I've definitely let it all go today, and I ramped up the speed. And I'm starting to have a little bit of pop on the bat out there, which was good to see. I can promise you one thing. I'm not going to hit a golf ball tomorrow.

Moderator:
Ian.

Ian:
Yeah, Tiger, the last time you won here, you said afterward that it meant a lot to you because of your father's health at the time. Were there moments today where you thought of him, his memory? Were you inspired by him? Was there a shot out there that you stood over the ball, and thought of him, and some of the lessons he laid down?

Tiger Woods:
The only thing I thought about was on a couple of the putts, like at 12, 13, coming down the hill, and especially the one on 9 was just putt to the picture. That's it. Just putt to the picture. That's what he always taught me to do, and that's what I just kept telling myself out there, just putt to the picture.

Moderator:
Brian.

Brian:
Tiger, was there — over here.

Tiger Woods:
Yeah.

Brian:
Was there a moment, even maybe early in the week before the tournament where you felt particularly good about your — sort of comfortable or so forth about your chances or maybe a shot early in the tournament that felt that way?

Tiger Woods:
As I said, the shots that I was playing throughout this year, or some of the shots that I was going to need for this week, and they were starting to come around. And at the Match Play, I hit a couple really nice draws out there off the tee. And I was starting to feel comfortable turning it from right to left. And I just felt that I'm getting comfortable with it. And pretty soon, I was starting to let it go. I'll start to let the speed go, and start to let it increase, and I did this week. And I started to put it out there. And every now and again, I dropped the tee down and just hit a little squeeze or cut out there.

Tiger Woods:
But even those, I didn't spin it too much, even those would go a little bit further. My swing was getting a little bit better. And more so than any other golf course that we play, you have to miss the golf on the correct spots. And so, I just kept doing that, time and time again. And if I didn't have a good look at a putt, I was going to lag it up there and move on. And I missed a few shorties out there for birdie this week, but I said, "Hey, you know what, that's fine. Everyone else is going to do it as well. Just keep missing the golf in the correct spots." And I did.

Moderator:
Luis.

Luis:
Tiger, you told us on Tuesday that you didn't need to win, but you really wanted to. And you also said that the win at East Lake confirmed that you could still win. What does this win confirm for you?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I can win majors now. The win at East Lake was a big confidence-booster for me because I had come close last year a couple times, but I still need to cross the finish line. And I just didn't quite do it. I didn't do it at Tampa. I didn't do it at The Open Championship. I was little better at the PGA, but, still, I didn't win.

Tiger Woods:
And so, East Lake was a big step for me confirming that I could still win out here and against the best players because East Lake, obviously, it's the hottest 30 guys for the year. And to be able to do that against Rory and Rosey there, it gave me a lot of confidence going into this year. And I said, I want to just keep building on it, and let's try to get the mind and body peaking towards Augusta.

Tiger Woods:
So, my last three major championships have been pretty good. And so, that in itself gives me a lot of confidence going down the road.

Moderator:
Chris.

Chris:
Tiger, I just wondered after you hit the first putt on 18, I don't want to call a quiet moment, but you're standing off to the side while Francesco and Tony putted out. What's going through your mind at that moment?

Tiger Woods:
It's a new green. That damn thing should have broke. I mean, I hit a pure putt, you know. I remember that putt breaking, and it just didn't break. No, but I was saying, "It's not over yet, I still got to make this putt. Come on. Just keep it together. Keep focused. Go ahead and make sure that I commit to, even if it's a one-and-half-foot putt. Commit." And I did, and knocked it in. And God knows what I did after that.

Moderator:
Ann.

Ann:
Congratulations, Tiger.

Tiger Woods:
Thank you.

Ann:
You have such a huge impact on so many people. Do you have any messaging after this comeback and persevering?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I was very fortunate to be given another chance to do something that I love to do. But more importantly, I've been able to participate in my kids' lives in a way that I couldn't do for a number of years. And so, they are a lot more active than I am, and I'm a little competitive myself. And so, I try and keep up. And I tried to do that for a number of years, and I just couldn't do it.

Tiger Woods:
But now, I'm starting to do it and starting to build. I play with them and then do things in their sports. And it's something that I had always missed because I always felt I could do pretty much anything physically. But then, for a while there I just couldn't even walk. So, now, I'm able to play golf again and do it at an elite level again, which is something that I'm just very blessed to be able to have that opportunity again.

Moderator:
Steve.

Steve:
Tiger, congratulations. I want to know, sort of, a follow up to Ann's question, people have different struggles in their lives. They have personal struggles, physical struggles, and you've overcome these things. What message might you say to people who are struggling? What encouragement would you give them not to give up, to say that you can possibly overcome these issues?

Tiger Woods:
Well, you never give up. That's a given. You always fight. I mean, just giving up is never in the equation. Granted, pushing and being competitive has got me into this position, but it's also what got me out of it. And so, I've always had a pretty good work ethic throughout my career and throughout my life. And I just had to change the work ethic a bit and work on some different things. And so, I focused on that and just keep fighting. That's just part of the deal. We wake up every morning, and there's always challenges in front of us, and keep fighting, and keep getting through.

Moderator:
Scott.

Scott:
Tiger, I'm curious what did Sam and Charlie say to you after it was over? And what have they maybe said to you over the past couple of years that perhaps motivated you?

Tiger Woods:
I don't think we heard — I definitely didn't hear them, because I was screaming. And I think everyone else was too. So, I think that — I think — I hope. I hope they're proud of me. Hope they're proud of their dad. And so, I've been very blessed to have two great kids, and just to have them here to see this, and witness this. I tried and described — they've never been to Augusta National. So, try and describe the slopes, and things, and everything. And I said, "This is a pretty unique event. This is very special. And I really hope you guys are able to come." And so, it all worked out and here they are.

Moderator:
Justin.

Justin:
Congratulations, Tiger.

Tiger Woods:
Thank you.

Justin:
I know you've touched on it a little bit, but it seems like your smile got bigger as the week went on. Can you just talk about how happy you were to be out there, and competing, and then obviously to be able to win?

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, I mean, I had a pretty good feeling going into this week that I was going to be able to contend in this event. I really felt that I was starting to shape the golf ball and my putting was starting to come around. My short game's been there. I know that I made a few mistakes last couple tournaments, but I just felt like it was there. My hands were good.

Tiger Woods:
And I just — as I kept alluding to you earlier is that I just kept telling myself to miss the ball in the correct spots. And I did time and time again. I was very disciplined in what I was doing out there. Even when yesterday, guys were shooting 64 left and right, I was just going around, just handle your business, work going up the board. We still got a lot of golf, a lot of holes to play, and just make sure that I'm there in the end.

Tiger Woods:
So, I can shoot myself out of the tournament, but just make sure that I keep myself in the event. There's so many different things that can happen on the back nine on Sunday. We all know that, and it played itself out again. There are so many different scenarios that could have happened after 12th. It could have gone so many different ways, and I just keep saying, "Just keep hanging in there until the last couple holes, and we'll see where we are. Just keep hanging in there, and birdieing 15 and 16." It gave me a nice little cush with the last two holes to play, but, still, there's different scenarios that could have happened there as well.

Moderator:
Ignacio.

Ignacio:
Tiger, does this victory change your playing schedule for the year?

Tiger Woods:
Nope. Want me to elaborate? As I said, I'm not going to play as much as I did last year. I played a little bit too much last year because I kept trying to qualify for a World Golf Championships and events in the Playoffs. And so, the playing schedule doesn't change. I'm going to play a bit less than I did last year. And again, just play in the tournaments I do play in. I'll be fully invested and committed to playing and trying to win.

Moderator:
Jeff.

Jeff:
You looked at some of the shots you played today, like the putt from the back of nine or the smart shot to hit it well left of the pin at 12. Do you feel your biggest asset on the grounds here is experience? Or if not, what is?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I think that if — and it helps being around here and playing this golf course so many different times. And, unfortunately, I've hit the ball in some weird spots like nine being one of them. I've been up there before, and I hadn't been that centered to that flag, center of the green. I've been more on the right side of the green, so I had a little better angle. But I've had a very similar putt to that speed-wise. So, I make sure I if I make a mistake on that putt, make the mistake a little bit short upon the middle ridge. Don't make the mistake of hitting too hard and have the gold in front of the green.

Tiger Woods:
I can walk away with the three-putt and still be in the tournament. Who knows, I can make one down from the middle shelf, who knows, but just don't make the mistake long and and make six. I know I have a putt, and I'm putting for birdie, but just don't make six here. And I think it's just the little things of discipline like that is what it takes to win on this golf course.

Tiger Woods:
I mean, you look at Bernie, he's 61, made the cut, and it was on the par. I mean, it goes to show you, if you understand how to play this golf course, you can be pretty much anyone because it's about how to play.

Moderator:
Gentleman in the back, sitting right at the back. Yes, sir, you.

Male:
Tiger, At the players you made the point that Jack's record of 18 majors wasn't one of those bullet points on the poster that you were chasing all your life. Now that you're one closer at 15, is that more of a focus? Is that a bigger goal now?

Tiger Woods:
I really haven't thought about that yet. I'm sure that I'll probably think of it going down the road. Maybe, maybe not. But right now, it's a little soon, and I'm just enjoying 15.

Moderator:
Brian.

Brian:
Tiger, you're talking about shaping shots and everything coming together. You used to rate your game, A, B, B+. Can you rate where your game is right now?

Tiger Woods:
I'm not going to do that, but I will tell you this, that it's the best I've felt with the driver in years. I was able to hit the golf ball both ways this week. And some of the shots I hit down 13, turn it around the corner. A couple of drives down two. Some of the bombs I hit down 3. And then, just hit little squeezers out there down the 7. You saw it today on on 15 and 17, and even on 18, just little trap-squeezers out there as well. So, I was able to hit both ends of the spectrum, low cuts and high draws. And that's not easy to do. So, I just really felt that I had that much control in my long game, and it paid off.

Moderator:
Mike, do you have a question? Next, Jim.

Mike:
Tiger, to be able to do this in front of your kids, I know a lot of people didn't think that you would obviously be here in this spot here on Sunday afternoon. But now to be able to give your children this memory what does that mean to you?

Tiger Woods:
It means the world to me. Their love and their support is — I just can't say enough how much that meant to me and throughout my struggles there when I really had a hard time just moving around. And just their infectiousness of happiness, that's — I was going through a tough time physically, I mean, there was a lot of times when I really could move. And so, that in itself is difficult, but just to have them there. And then, now, to have them see their Pops win, just like my Pops saw me win here. it's pretty special.

Moderator:
Jim.

Jim:
Tiger, how much more of a joyous experience is this? And, also, what does age mean anymore for a professional athlete. We've had a 41-year-old Super Bowl winner, and now you. Does age, has it been expanded and extended, or is it less relevant?

Tiger Woods:
Well, I think it's training and nutrition. Exercise programs have changed. They have progressed. The treatment protocols have changed. And the guys are able to take care of their bodies for longer period time. We know how important it is to eat perfectly and to train and also the recovery tactics that you have to employ, especially as you get older. As we get older, it sucks hopping in those ice baths, but it's just part of the deal.

Tiger Woods:
But I just think that athletes, because of the understanding of the general science of sports performance has allowed athletes to push their primes into much later stages. And then, also, you also have to be lucky too. You just can't have those big major injuries in some of sport, especially contact sports. My sport is different. I can play at a much longer period of time. I don't have to hit the ball 340 yards. I can still plod my way on the golf course.

Tiger Woods:
And so, we saw it here with Jack in '98. He had a chance to win. We saw Tom Watson at '59 had on his putter. So, in this sport, we're able to play a much longer period of time, and you're just seeing guys that are taking care of their bodies a lot better and able to play longer.

Moderator:
Fernando.

Fernando:
Tiger, congratulations-

Tiger Woods:
Thank you.

Fernando:
… on the win. This week was a very special week too for Latin American golf. It was the first time that Latin American Amateur Championship made the cut. So just a few thoughts about the amateur players that were here this week?

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, I just think the game is growing. I mean, before that, I think you had Joaquin playing well. The game of golf is growing. It's, now, a global sport. We're getting players from all over the world. And they're younger, they're better, and they're hungry to play. It's just a matter of them working their way up with opportunities. And so, we're starting to see the game has expanded. It's not just your general golf countries historically, whether it's United States, or the UK, or Australia, or South Africa, or even Japan. Now, it's truly a global sport, and you're seeing kids that are better younger at a much earlier age than you've ever seen before.

Moderator:
Joe. We're done in a bit, Tiger.

Joe:
First, congrats, Tiger. You've had such an influence on the younger golfers. And talking to Brooks outside, not too long ago, he said, "Tiger's back." Do you feel like you're back physically, mentally, and everything that it takes to win at this level?

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, I do, because I just did it. I was able to play some of my best golf over the last, basically, I think the last three days. And the first day was a little bit here and there, but the last three days, I really played well.

Tiger Woods:
I'm going to keep saying this, but there are so many different scenarios that could have happened on that back nine. And I've been in that spot before. I've been in a position where I've won, and I've been in a position where I've lost. But I just kept telling myself that at least I'm in that position. Let's go ahead, and we have a lot of holes to play. And I was able to handle the heat down the stretch and pull off some of my best shots.

Moderator:
Two more questions. Maximo.

Maximo:
This congratulation came from Italy, Tiger. And we are waiting for you if it's okay. We're waiting for you in Italy for three years to go to the Ryder Cup, the historic Ryder Cup in Rome. So, with this kind of shape you are showing, you're planning to come as a player and fight again maybe Francesco Molinari, or as a captain or vice captain? Last time you were in Italy someone, a cameraman, broke your teeth, I think.

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, my tooth, yeah. I had a great smile after that one.

Maximo:
Waiting to see you playing.

Tiger Woods:
Well. I'm a captain this year. So, I'm hoping to make my own team. We'll see what happens when the tournament and the selection process goes to Italy. That's a long way to go. I mean, the points don't even start for a little bit. So, we'll see what happens from now and then.

Moderator:
Final question. Bob.

Bob:
Tiger, you got to play in the final round with one of your teammates from the Ryder Cup, Tony Finau. Tell us a little bit about what you think about his game?

Tiger Woods:
I mean, God, he hits it long. I mean, he makes a little half-swing, and still hits the ball out there 310, 320 in the air. It's just remarkable. And it helps that your ankles is not dislocated either. So, he able to walk around there and hit good shot. But Tony, he's made some amazing leaps in the last couple of years. He's really starting to piece together a game that's going to contend week-in and week-out. I mean, he shows it every now and again but it's getting more consistent. And he's learning what to do and what not to do strategically. And you can see that the mind working out there.

Tiger Woods:
So, it wasn't like he was when he was younger, just go ahead and pound it out there. He's trying to figure out shots and shapes and starting to understand how to play, and it's only going to get better. With that length, it's such an asset, especially in today's game, that he'll win multiple tournaments, and I'm sure the major championships is definitely in his future.

Moderator:
Tiger, could you indulge us and just tell us what the clubs you hit into which green, today, for the record please.

Tiger Woods:
Okay. In each green?

Moderator:
Each one if you could.

Tiger Woods:
I hit 8-iron into 1. I hit a 4-iron into 2. I hit a sand wedge into 3. I hit a 4-iron short of the green on 4. I hit 5-iron to the — sorry, a 4-iron to the right on 5. I had an 8-iron into 6. I hit an 8-iron into 7. I hit a 5-wood over the back at 8, chipped back. Nine, I hit an 8-iron there. 10, I pitched out, and then hit an 8-iron in there, and made bogey. 11, I hit a 7-iron. 12, I hit 9. 13, I hit 8. 14, I hit 9. 15, I had a 5-iron. 16, I hit an 8-iron. 17, I hit an 8-iron. And 18 I hit an 8-iron. How many 8-irons is that?

Moderator:
Tiger, thanks. Your victory today is going to inspire not only children but a lot of adults all around the world. Magnificent achievement. Congratulations. You are a very, very worthy champion, and we're proud that you're wearing that jacket for the fifth time today.

Tiger Woods:
Yeah, I'm excited about show-and-tell at school.

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: Cash Flow Lessons Learned from a Cannabis Dispensary Owner | Convert audio-to-text with the best AI technology by Sonix.ai

Chris Cody:
There's still a lot of mismanagement, poor spending habits from even companies that are incredibly well-funded. There's the company you've probably heard of. They're fairly large. And, right now, the owners, the two primaries are being sued by several of their investors for, basically, what amounts to misappropriation of funds, where they have total control over their books, they have raised hundreds of millions of dollars, and simply spend it as they will beyond their acquisitions and licensing that they have done. There's that. So, I mean, it's really all over the board. And they told them, like, "You guys are going to waste a million dollars. You're going to have this whole crop fail," and they tell them, "Well, we'll just spend another million."

Dani Hao:
Hi, I'm Dani.

Nicole:
And I'm Nicole. Welcome to the Spend Culture Stories Podcast where we explore the connection between company spending and culture. Join us as we dive deep into understanding the people, processes, and tools that makeup spend as a whole or what we call spend culture.

Dani Hao:
Hi, everybody. And welcome to another episode of Spend Culture Stories. And today, we have two special guests here today. One, we have Carlo and he is a cannabis technology consultant from Vancouver, BC.

Carlo Alvarez:
Hey, everybody. Hey, Spend Management Podcast.

Dani Hao:
And we also have Chris Cody, the CEO of Highly Functioning.

Chris Cody:
Hello, everybody.

Dani Hao:
Hey, Chris. And we're so excited to have you here today, just because I know we running a special segment on cannabis. So, we're really excited to hear from you on what the space is like right now, how is it like managing the finances of the cannabis business. And, also, what you have learned throughout the years.

Chris Cody:
Yeah. It's been a very interesting experience just from start to finish, I have to say, with so many different regulatory and tax implications for all this stuff.

Nicole:
Maybe you can tell us a little bit more about yourself and your previous roles because we looked at your LinkedIn a little bit, and we noticed that you open your own dispensary called Urban Legends. Can you give us a little bit of that experience and tell us a little bit more about your role there?

Chris Cody:
Yeah. So, in 2011, I founded a company called Urban Legends. It's a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington State, just south of Seattle. And it's very, very interesting. I mean, very wild west. Basically, what you needed then was at least a small little nest egg. I think between me, and my partner, and my wife, we had about 20 grand. And it was really just about finding a landlord who would rent to you. It was kind of a gray market and very challenging just to find that part.

Chris Cody:
And so, I'd spent a few months looking around. And, finally, had found a location that I could set up in. There's real basic stuff. The state here was going to be passing rules. And then, they didn't. And so, that became this very confusing situation where there was going to be a state regulation, and then there was not.

Chris Cody:
And so, from that, I became very involved in the political process. I helped form an industry organization here called the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics. The City of Seattle had come to a bunch of us, operators, who they had allowed to open thinking that this regulatory environment was going to exist. And then, they said, "Well, can you guys put together some self-policing rules, some standards that you will adhere to, so that we, at least, have some good actors to point at?"

Chris Cody:
And so, that's what we did. We spent about a year putting that together. And the whole time, each one of us, small business owner, running our own businesses. But activism was foisted upon some of us. Some of the operators were also activists. And, yeah, we, kind of, ground that out in a very unregulated environment. Within about a year of me opening my store, there were 10 stores within three blocks, very intense competition, very much a race to the bottom for the pricing.

Chris Cody:
One of those businesses was what they call a farmer's market. So, it would be 30 odd tables set up from producers who would just grow in their basements, or garages, or maybe drive it up from Oregon or California, and just sell it right there out of that store.

Chris Cody:
Anyway, so, a lot of competition, very interesting. And then we had legalization comp, which opened up a whole new raft of problems. So, here in Washington, they did a lottery that myself and my partner entered. And we won a few of those licenses. And then, we realized, how are we going to raise money? There are rules about where you could place the stores. There is limited availability for real estate because of the buffers and requirements of distancing from schools and whatnot. And especially in the City of Seattle, there are dozens of schools, and then also preschools, and daycares, and libraries, and all these things that you couldn't be near.

Chris Cody:
And so, the difficulty was trying to simply find a location. And then, once you found a location, how do you secure the lease or maybe even purchase? And a lot of business owners, in the same position, everybody had different solutions. Maybe you had a wealthy uncle, or you had done pretty well in medical, and you had a pretty significant bankroll. Literally, cash in most cases. But just being able to get a shop up and running was very difficult.

Chris Cody:
Some people lucked out. Their location's already buffered, and they had a good relationship with their landlord. For us, we had to try to cut a deal with a group that had secured a lease, and they were going to build out the shop, and provide the funding. And that did not go well. We ended up, essentially, losing that business. They had to pay us out after a year and a half of disagreements as to how it was all going to go.

Chris Cody:
And that's very common in this business. I can't tell you how many companies have folded or had significant troubles because of partnership, arguments, disagreements, much of it around the finances. Partly, a lot of that experience, along with my lobbying efforts, we were able to get a path to licensure again. And that's when I was able to open Urban Legends downtown in Seattle, which is still a going concern. I sold out of that a year or so ago.

Chris Cody:
And since then, I've been focused on the national legalization. At least, to state by state, following, tracking, and then also taking on clients, mostly in the retail realm, people trying to set up shops in the most efficient way possible. When I was talking about those financial difficulties, especially the taxes, many people just coming into the industry don't really understand what the IRS tax code 280E is and what it means for your bottom line. So, that's been a real challenge.

Chris Cody:
So, parlay that into consulting, and I've been up and down the coast, down to California quite a bit, helping people do mergers and acquisitions. I, also, go through licensing applications, just setting up their — doing their layouts and helping them with their SOPs, so they can be ready to go when opening day comes and be able to actually get to opening day, which is pretty difficult.

Carlo Alvarez:
That's actually really interesting that you mentioned that. I guess, in terms of the people that call you looking for help, in terms of like when it comes to finance, what are their biggest concerns?

Chris Cody:
Well, I'll tell you, most of them don't actually consider the finance. In my experience, you've got two basic kinds of entrepreneurs in the space. The first kind is rapidly disappearing, and that's the mom-and-pop shops. They're also called maybe heritage stores or legacy brands. These are the guys who've been in business in California since the early 2000s and in Washington since like the late 2000s.

Chris Cody:
A lot of them came up in the black market, gray market. The financing portion, the finances, I would say there's a strong strain of economic ignorance. People don't necessarily understand cash flow. They don't understand budgeting, you know, very basic things. They haven't really needed to use them for a very long time. Lots of issues there.

Dani Hao:
So, I just wanted to do like a follow-up question to Carlo's point. So, I know what the situation of the gray market at that time when you opened your own dispensary. And, now, with legalization coming into the States, I'm just wondering, how do you think business owners are now currently managing their books?

Chris Cody:
So, the other kind is not the mom and pops, it's the corporate guys coming in now. Most of it is private equity. And in a lot of cases, what I've seen is the people bringing in the money act as the CFOs. And if it's a big enough fund — like there's different sizes, right? There's some groups that are just trying to set up like one large grower, which is pretty significant in and of itself. There's other groups that are setting up chains of growers or chains of stores. And for those folks, a lot of them come from finance in some way. A lot of it is real estate money.

Chris Cody:
In terms of regular processes, yeah, they do have that. They do have, you know, budgets, and forecasting, and all of that. What I've seen though is there's still a lot of, I would say, mismanagement, poor spending habits from even companies that are incredibly well-funded.

Chris Cody:
There's the company, MedMen, which you've probably heard of. They're fairly large. And right now, the owners, the two primaries are being sued by several of their investors for, basically, what amounts to misappropriation of funds where they have total control over their books. They have raised hundreds of millions of dollars and simply spent it as they will beyond their acquisitions and licensing that they have done.

Chris Cody:
There's that. So, I mean, it's really all over the board. There are some companies that are very well-run. Some mom-and-pop shops who understood finance, and budgeting, and all that upfront, then they have been able to — as long as their business itself is strong, their location is good, and everything else, they've been able to parlay that into significant funds and are now able to find pretty decent rates on hard money from private equity.

Chris Cody:
And the other side of it is guys who does larger conglomerates that know how to raise money, but maybe aren't so much versed in actually running the businesses. And so, those companies are able to actually have a large footprint, but they're not run very efficiently. They have a lot of issues with their budgeting, with their spending, not really understanding where to put their marketing dollars. not really understanding how much they need to set aside for their tax burden.

Dani Hao:
Maybe you can give the audience a little bit clarification on the differences because I know some of our viewers are in the States. So, definitely around that kind of legal regulations, there is definitely a lot of difference there.

Chris Cody:
Yeah, okay. In the United States, there's a special tax code called the 280E, which was written in the '80s mostly to kind of go after coke dealers, people running cocaine from Colombia. And it goes back to an old United States tax law, which is that you pay taxes on what you earn, not what you do. So, it doesn't matter if it's legal or illegal, you're still liable for your taxes, right?

Chris Cody:
Anyway, what 280E does is it means that you cannot write off basic expenses. Like you can write off your cost of goods sold, right? But you can't write off your employees. You cannot write off your rent. You can be somewhat creative if your processes allow to roll some of that expense into your cost of goods. But anything that's considered trafficking by the IRS is nondeductible, which means that whatever your payroll is, whatever your rent is, you have to add that to your income, and you have to set aside cash for that base as it is income, which means that your end tax burden ends up being higher than it would be significantly.

Carlo Alvarez:
That was a really great explanation. Thank you for that. So, I guess, in terms of your company, Highly Functioning, so you manage growers, brands, retail outlets, real estate. What kind of tools do you think make a responsible company, cannabis company, need in order to survive?

Chris Cody:
Well, certainly, tax planning is a big one and having a very good standard operating procedure manual. Having those positions defined, making sure that people operate within their roles, making sure that you can back up your explanations in an audit to be able to tie things into your cost of goods sold that are directly related.

Chris Cody:
It's very important. It's happening now in California where a lot of companies, they've been licensed legal for a year. And, now, they've all got traceability software. Now, they're tracking everything. And now, they're not able to push stuff under the rug. It's all trash.

Chris Cody:
So, they're starting to look at their, now, tax burdens and they're significant. If a store does, like, say, a store is about $5 million annual growth, you are looking at maybe a million-dollar tax burden. Pretty significant. It's still nearly 20%. And then, once you add in all your other expenses, I mean, most of the properties that are involved in these transactions, especially for a decently cited retail location, they definitely get a premium. If you bought it, if you were able to purchase it, you have those holding costs. If you weren't able to purchase it, and you're paying extremely high lease, same problem. You can't write that off.

Chris Cody:
So, being responsible, yeah. I mean, you just have to be very, very organized. You have to have a good team that understands all of these things. They understand compliance because it's less of a marijuana or cannabis-selling business, it's more of a government-compliant business. That's what I tell everybody whenever I go in the shop. I'd say like, "We're in government compliance these days. We have to maintain seed-to-sale traceability. You can't endanger the license. You can't endanger our ability to operate." And so, that needs to be priority one, right next to generating as much revenue as we can.

Carlo Alvarez:
That's actually really interesting that you talked about compliance. I've actually been in contact with a few retail shops. In terms of the state-regulated compliance software, what are some of the gaps that you find is missing when it comes to managing their spending?

Chris Cody:
Well, number one, none of the systems I've used are — they're compliance systems. They're not for managing you're spending. The most they do is you can place orders through vendors, have them come in. The whole point is to make sure that all of that stuff is counted when it arrives, tracked and traced, paid. Outside of Washington, a lot of it's done in cash. Washington has banking, but most of the country does not. Although, that's hopefully changing. There's a bill right now in the US Congress that could allow for cannabis banking to be legalized finally.

Chris Cody:
But like I said, the compliance software, its whole job is to just be compliant. You can do histories. You can get your spreadsheets downloaded. They're supposed to integrate with QuickBooks. Most of the systems that I use don't. We have to print out our spreadsheets. And then, in a lot of cases, input that data into QuickBooks manually to be able to manage, and generate forecasts, and everything.

Carlo Alvarez:
In terms of the systems that you use in the past, can you describe what systems you have used that are for compliance and that don't really do the job that you're saying?

Chris Cody:
Well, there's about a hundred different solutions right now. BioTrack, Metrc, Leaf. Then, there's Green Bits, Corona, IndicaOnline. Those are the ones we're most familiar with. There's easily another 50. There's lots of tech guys who want to try to, like, solve problems.

Chris Cody:
In my experience, what they've kind of done is — I mean, especially the earlier systems, a lot of the more scab down. Oh, yeah. Like MMJMenu, MJ Freeway, those were products that were meant for a different business, and that were repurposed for cannabis. And those never really worked well for me in terms of, like, really being able to see a solid snapshot of your inventory, keeping things like very square.

Chris Cody:
I mean, it's been difficult. Like generally speaking, you've got a bookkeeper and then a CPA. And then, you're going over the numbers pretty regularly with both of them to make sure everything's coherent and that you're hitting your budgets.

Dani Hao:
Totally. And speaking of hitting your budgets, I'm just wondering, what are some misconceptions when it comes to CFOs and compliance when it comes to financial controls? Because you mentioned a lot of these businesses nowadays, you have like the big corporations, and you have the mom and pops. So, what the financial controls, like, obviously, if it's a bigger corporation, usually, you have a finance team there to, kind of, enforce policies and procedures. But with the like smaller shops that are trying to scale up their processes, what are some things that they lack?

Chris Cody:
Discipline. The mom and pops have a real problem, and that, like, a lot of them actually have, like, a mom and pop and your family around. I've seen it where, like, guys, the owner's dad come in, just pull cash out of the till, give stuff away for free to customers, that kind of stuff. When I try to tell the guy like, you know, "Get your dad out of here, man. He just [??]," he doesn't want to get rid of him. He trusts him. He doesn't mind that he takes some money from the till every now and then. So, okay, that was a difficult conversation to have, and it didn't really go well for me.

Chris Cody:
But that's not just the mom and pops. You know, the other thing I've seen is that a lot of these bigger companies that are managed to raise all this money, they just — amendment notwithstanding, a lot of them have real budgetary issues where they don't have real control. There's usually a group of owners at the top, people who hold equity and are signers of the bank accounts, and they will spend.

Chris Cody:
Some of them, they're making plenty of cash. And some of them have just raised plenty of cash. And you understand the difference there. It's just weird when you go into an office and set of offices that are very nice. You're looking around, and you're trying to figure out what the company actually does. You see like some kind of famous artist piece on the wall, hazard to say a Picasso or something. You're like, "Well, what do you guys actually do?"

Chris Cody:
And it's difficult. You know, especially, like I am very deep in the industry. So, I kind of hear about, you know, like, "What's up with these guys? What are they doing?" I'll dig down to it, and I'll find out like, "Oh, yeah. No, they had a huge grow, and it failed this last year. And, now, they're doing something else. I don't know. But they managed to raise enough capital that they can sit that out."

Chris Cody:
A friend of mine was doing consulting for a large grower here in Washington. And he was going through their facility, and they did not have a good SOP. In fact, it was terrible. They were tracking powdery mildew and mites from room to room without any kind of clean processes to mitigate that.

Dani Hao:
Oh, wow.

Chris Cody:
And he told them, like, "You guys are going to waste a million dollars. You're going to have this whole crop fail." And they told him, "Well, we'll just spend another million…"

Dani Hao:
Oh my goodness.

Carlo Alvarez:
Wow.

Chris Cody:
"… and get it right." Yeah. There's a whole lot of that, especially at these bigger groups. You know, once you've raised $100 million, especially if you've never had that much money, it's pretty significant. And you, kind of, just stop counting.

Dani Hao:
Yeah. So, that's really surprising to us because you would think that with all these VC-backed resources, they would be able to have more of like, I guess, robust way of tracking these finances. And, you know, you mentioned that cannabis is a heavily audited and a compliant industry. So, how are you able to get away with things like that?

Chris Cody:
Well, when you say auditing, you're talking about money?

Dani Hao:
Yeah.

Chris Cody:
The government says auditing, they're talking about inventory. They're not linked. I mean, not in a practical way here, right? The government doesn't care, like, if you blow every penny you've got, but you better not lose a pot because that's a violation.

Dani Hao:
Gotcha.

Chris Cody:
That's the biggest difference. And like I said, not every company is like this. There's plenty that are responsibly run and are doing very well, but it's just running the gamut. And another thing I would hazard to say is like some of these big idea guys, these VCs, they get maybe carried away, get sucked into the free style of the industry, in general, and kind of lose focus, or, you know, there's other companies where they've got the budget to lose money for a decade, and they're just comfortable with it already. And I've seen that as well.

Carlo Alvarez:
That's really interesting on how the difference with the auditing and what the government actually looks for. I guess in terms of the supply chain and procurement, seem to be big pain points based on some business owners we've spoken to. How does having a compliance software work with a procurement department in cannabis?

Chris Cody:
Well, I mean, it's pretty straightforward. The procurement department really needs like a budget from the CPA or bookkeeper, right. And that just tells them, like, you've got some rough projections, so you know about what you're going to do for that month. And so, you get a budget for your buying, for like a retailer anyway. And most of my perspective here is from the retail side, by the way. Growers is a little bit different.

Chris Cody:
So, yeah. So, the procurement department, the buyer, right, there's usually, like, every store or group of stores has a single buyer. And that buyer goes out to farms, and discusses terms, and places orders. The responsible or the best ones that, you know, they don't wait for the salesman to come around and provide samples. They'll go, and go to the farms, and see how the product's being grown to find out if it's going to be a good product for their store, something that will have a good consumer response and encourage repeat clientèle.

Chris Cody:
You know, the software itself, I mean, it's straightforward. The hard parts with it are there's gaps, there's data ghost from time to time, especially the point of sale system's not generally the same. Like they're integrated with the state track and trace systems, but they're not the same systems. So, sometimes, one loses products or mislabels products, which can cause a lot of lost time and tracking that down on an inventory audit. You know, there's all sorts of barcode errors. There's also just basic employers where you've got an employee ringing up a barcode that's a different lot but the same product.

Chris Cody:
So, if you've got one strain, say, Blue Dream, right, so many growers grow Blue Dream because it's a great producer. But then, the state has rules on, like, how large a lot can be, right. So, it's five pounds of Blue Dream is a single lot, right. But if you have a giant grow, you have maybe a hundred lots. I don't know, maybe 20 lots. Each one of those lots ends up with a different barcode, but they're the same product.

Chris Cody:
So, at the end user, when your bud tender's bringing up a customer, they've got something in the display that's just displayed for the customers to see. And they'll pull that out, they ring it up, it goes into the system. The system's tracking a different barcode now. And then, you're pulling the old barcode or the new barcode out of your inventory to actually make the sale. That can lead to — especially if that happens a few times a day over the course of the month, it can be a lot of time to track all that down and figure out like wherever they went and just making those corrections in the system.

Carlo Alvarez:
What kind of tools do you recommend to your clients when it comes to managing and tracking spend, as well as are there any features that you wish the industry offered?

Chris Cody:
Yeah, I mean, generally speaking, like the tools you need are just good forecasting, a good bookkeeper, a good CPA. And just good forecasting as you can get, so you can really optimize your bottom line. What I really wish is that — and like I said, I could be wrong right now. I hope I'm not. But having an actual point of sale system that is integrated with QuickBooks, so you can simply, like, run all the numbers directly into QuickBooks and not have to pay somebody to input them all and try to sort them out. That would be a super handy tool.

Dani Hao:
Yeah. When you mentioned QuickBooks, you think a majority of the industry that's kind of like a standard accounting solution that everybody uses.

Chris Cody:
A lot of them do. There's maybe some private accounting software used by the CPAs to represent these companies that they use. Maybe internally-specific things like they wrote it for themselves, if they're big enough. But anybody who's got their in-house bookkeeper, they're generally using QuickBooks-like product.

Dani Hao:
And do you think as cannabis companies scale, do they usually look for a CFO, or do you think they're usually okay with just hiring CPAs and bookkeepers to make sure that their books are clean?

Chris Cody:
It really depends on the scale. If you're talking retail, it's like five shops or less. If you're talking growers, it's like maybe one large grow, and you've just got like your internal team. But once you start jumping into different states, then people are looking for a CFO at that point because it's just too much to manage. You need somebody on board. And like I said, a lot of the CFOs that are currently doing it, they're finance guys who helped raise the money or even brought the money. A lot of them may end up just delegating it to somebody on their team already.

Dani Hao:
Awesome. I guess the one last thing is, like, what would you recommend to cannabis business owners to be more aware of its fan culture, from someone who has been in the cannabis industry for many years?

Chris Cody:
What I would say is don't spend your money, man. Live like you're making slightly better than minimum wage if you can. And just write it out because — especially in the states with the tax code, like I said, when you could end up owing for years. If you don't save that million dollars, or $600,000, or whatever it is that you have to, like, pay the IRS, and then you don't have it, and you've got to set up a payment plan, and then your next year's taxes come due, and you still don't have that saved. And now, you're just stuck in taxes on taxes and taxes, and you're never going to get out of it.

Dani Hao:
Wow. Yeah that would be a nightmare.

Chris Cody:
Yeah, literally. There's several companies I know doing that. Like they're in that position now, or they're literally in receivership because of it. So, it's something you just gotta keep your mind in. That should change as soon as it becomes legal here in the States, but I got to think, that same advice is applicable to Canada because you guys just generally have a higher tax rate anyway. And I know Canadians are not unfamiliar with detailed tax planning.

Dani Hao:
Yeah.

Chris Cody:
You know.

Dani Hao:
Well, awesome. Thank you so much Chris for joining us today and sharing your expertise with us.

Chris Cody:
Thank you. I really appreciate you having me on.

Carlo Alvarez:
This was an awesome conversation, and I learned a lot from you. So, thank you so much for coming here.

Chris Cody:
Yeah. Well, thanks, Carlo.

Dani Hao:
Thanks for tuning into this week's Spend Culture Stories Podcast, sponsored by the Procurify. If you'd like to learn more about your Spend Culture, take our quiz at spendculture.com.

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Gwyneth Paltrow Spanish Interview (transcribed by Sonix)

Entrevistadora: Estoy con Gwyneth Paltrow. Una gran actriz, ganadora de un Oscar, de un Globo de Oro. Cualquier premio, esta mujer lo tiene.

Entrevistadora: ¡Qué rico estar contigo! ¡Qué elegancia!

Gwyneth Paltrow: Gracias.

Entrevistadora: Y es impresionante escucharte hablar español. Hablame, ¿dónde lo aprendiste, y por qué te entusiasmó aprender español?

Gwyneth Paltrow: Bueno, cuando tenía 15 años, yo estaba estudiando español en el colegio Nueva York, que la profesora nos había dicho. Bueno, hay una oportunidad para ir a España, a estudiar ahí. Entonces, yo hacía un intercambio y vivía con una familia en el centro de España, cerca de Toledo.

Entrevistadora: ¡Precioso!

Gwyneth Paltrow: Y me encantó. Y fue como una temporada en mi vida muy importante. Me encanta españa, la cultura latina; siempre me voy a México por ejemplo.

Entrevistadora: Ah, que gusto.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Me gusta mucho la cultura, la lengua, la gente.

Entrevistadora: Así que lo aprendiste en la escuela, con la gente. ¿Ningún amigo en especial, amiga?

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yo tengo una amiga en Londres que es de Mallorca, se llama Rosario y con ella hablo, practicábamos. Bueno, yo practico con ella y también tenemos una niñera de España en casa. Porque para que mis niños pueden aprender también. Entonces, siempre estamos hablando en español y yo creo que es muy importante.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Yo tengo una amiga que hablaba como cinco lenguas, algo así, y ella me decía una lengua, una vida. Y yo creo que es verdad, cuando puedes hablar más de un idioma, puedes entender muchísimo más. Y yo creo que es una experiencia profunda para hablar más de un idioma.

Entrevistadora: ¡Qué bien por ti! Y nos ayuda mucho a nosotros.

Entrevistadora: La película Robert Downey Jr., la conexión entre ustedes impresionante, la química espectacular y lograste domar a un mujeriego. ¿Cómo le hiciste?

Gwyneth Paltrow: Bueno, siempre me encanta trabajar con Robert, el es supergracioso y la verdad es que es un tipo de genio. Siempre está pensando una manera muy no sé, muy inteligente, original.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Y para trabajar con él siempre me siento muy contenta, y él está siempre muy animado, y se pone todo su cuerpo en lo que está haciendo. Y en este, en el tercero, nuestra relación está aun más interesante.

Gwyneth Paltrow: También, yo me pongo su traje de Iron Man.

Entrevistadora: ¿Cómo fué eso?, lo que te iba a preguntar, ¿cómo es vestir y usar el traje de Iron Man?

Gwyneth Paltrow: Eso fue muy divertido. Y también mi niño estaba en el set, cuando estaba con el disfraz; y su cara, nunca lo olvido. Él estaba superorgulloso de su mamá. Y no estaba muy incómoda, ni nada, estaba bien.

Entrevistadora: Quizas tendremos a la Iron Man, Iron Lady.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Sí, exacto. Me encantaría.

Entrevistadora: Sería espectacular.

Entrevistadora: Sé que acabas de escribir tu libro en cocina. Cuentame, ¿qué te inspiró a cambiar tus hábitos de alimentación?, porque sé que un amigo especial que tuviste, te cambio toda tu alimentación. Cuentanos sobre eso.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Bueno, mi marido y mi hijo tienen alergias al gluten, a trigo, a leche de vaca. Entonces, yo soy la cocinera en la casa y no quería que mi niño estuviera comiendo; sabes, comida muy sana, sin sabor. Entonces, empezaba a hacer recetas con mucho sabor y como comfort food como: albóndigas, pero sin pan, sin huevo, sin queso y cosas muy ricas.

Gwyneth Paltrow: Entonces, eso fue.

Entrevistadora: Como te cambio e inspiro.

Gwyneth Paltrow:

Entrevistadora: Muchísimas gracias Gwyneth.

Gwyneth Paltrow: A ti.

Entrevistadora: Es un placer hablar contigo. Y tú no te pierdas Iron Man 3 que a lo mejor es posible que veamos también a Gwyneth como Iron Lady.

Entrevistadora: Gracias linda.

Gwyneth Paltrow: A ti.

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Popular Transcripts FULL TRANSCRIPT: “Obama out” President Barack Obama’s hilarious final White House correspondents’ dinner speech

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FULL TRANSCRIPT: "Obama out" President Barack Obama's hilarious final White House correspondents' dinner speech (transcribed by Sonix)

Pres. Barack Obama: You can't say it, but you know it's true.

Pres. Barack Obama: Good evening, everybody.

Audience: Good evening.

Pres. Barack Obama: It is an honor to be here at my last and, perhaps, the last White House Correspondents Dinner. You all look great. The end of the Republic has never looked better.

Pres. Barack Obama: I do apologize. I know I was a little late tonight. I was running on CPT, which stands for jokes that white people should not make. That's a tip for you, Jeff.

Pres. Barack Obama: Anyway, here we are, my eighth and final appearance at this unique event. And I am excited. If this material works well, I'm gonna use it at Goldman Sachs next year. Earn me some serious Tubmans. That's right. That's right.

Pres. Barack Obama: My brilliant and beautiful wife, Michelle, is here tonight. She looked so happy to be here. That's called practice. It's like learning to do three-minute planks, and she makes it look easy now, but, next year, this time, someone else will be standing here in this very spot, and it's anyone's guess who she will be. But standing here, I can't help but be reflective and a little sentimental.

Pres. Barack Obama: Eight years ago, I said it was time to change the tone of our politics. In hindsight, I clearly should have been more specific. Eight years ago, I was a young man, full of idealism and vigor. And look at me now, I am gray, grizzled, just counting down the days till my death panel.

Pres. Barack Obama: Hillary once questioned whether I'd be ready for a 3:00 a.m. phone call. Now, I'm awake anyway because I got to go the bathroom. I'm up. In fact, somebody recently said to me, "Mr. President, you are so yesterday. Justin Trudeau has completely replaced you. He is so handsome. He's so charming. He's the future." And I said, "Justin, just give it a rest." I resented that.

Pres. Barack Obama: But, meanwhile, Michelle has not aged today. The only way you can date her in photos is by looking at me. Take a look. Here we are in 2008. Here we are a few years later. And this one is from two weeks ago. So, time passes.

Pres. Barack Obama: In just six short months, I will be officially a lame duck, which means Congress, now, will flat out reject my authority, and Republican leaders won't take my phone calls. And this is gonna take some getting used to. It's really going to … It's a curve ball. I don't know what to do with it.

Pres. Barack Obama: Of course, in fact, four months now, congressional Republicans have been saying there are things I cannot do in my final year. Unfortunately, this dinner was not one of them. But on everything else, it's another story. And you know who you are, Republicans. In fact, I think we've got Republican Senators Tim Scott and Cory Gardner. They're in the House, which reminds me, security, bar the doors. Judge Merrick Garland, come on out. We're gonna do this right here, right now. It's like the red wedding.

Pres. Barack Obama: But it's not just Congress. Even some foreign leaders, they've been looking ahead, anticipating my departure. Last week, Prince George showed up to our meeting in his bathrobe. That was a slap in the face. A clear breach of protocol.

Pres. Barack Obama: Although, while in England, I did have lunch with Her Majesty, the Queen, took in a performance of Shakespeare, hit the links with David Cameron. Just in case anybody is still debating whether I'm black enough, I think that settles the debate.

Pres. Barack Obama: I won't like, but, look, this is a tough transition. It's hard. Key staff are now starting to leave the White House. Even reporters have left me. Savannah Guthrie, she's left the White House press corps to host The Today Show. Norah O'Donnell left the briefing room to host CBS This Morning. Jake Tapper left journalism to join CNN.

Audience: But the prospect of leaving the White House is a mixed bag. You might have heard that someone jumped the White House fence last week, but I have to give Secret Service credit. They found Michelle, brought her back. She's safe. She's safe back at home now. It's only nine more months, baby. Settle down.

Pres. Barack Obama: And yet somehow, despite all this, despite the churn, in my final year, my approval ratings keep going up. The last time I was this high, I was trying to decide on my major. And here's the thing, I haven't really done anything differently. So, it's odd. Even my aides can't explain the rising poll numbers. What has changed? Nobody can figure it out. Puzzling.

Pres. Barack Obama: Anyway, in this last year, I do have more appreciation for those who've been with me on this amazing ride. Like one of our finest public servants, Joe Biden. God bless him. I love that guy. I love Joe Biden, I really do. And I want to thank him for his friendship, for his counsel, for always giving it to me straight, for not shooting anybody in the face. Thank you, Joe.

Pres. Barack Obama: Also, I would be remiss. Let's give it up for our host, Larry Wilmore. Also known as one of the two black guys who's not Jon Stewart. You're the South African guy, right? I love Larry. And his parents are here who are from Evanston, which is a great town.

Pres. Barack Obama: I also would like to acknowledge some of the award-winning reporters that we have with us here tonight: Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber. Thank you all for everything that you've done. I'm just joking. As you know, Spotlight is a film, a movie about investigative journalists with the resources and the autonomy to chase down the truth and hold the powerful accountable. Best fantasy films and Star Wars.

Pres. Barack Obama: Look, that was maybe a cheap shot. I understand the news business is tough these days. It keeps changing all the time. Every year at this dinner, somebody makes a joke about BuzzFeed, for example, changing the media landscape. And every year, The Washington Post laughs a little bit less hard. Just kind of a silence there, especially at the Washington Post table.

Pres. Barack Obama: GOP Chairman Reince Priebus is here as well. Glad to see that you feel that you've earned a night off. Congratulations on all your success, the Republican party, the nomination process. It's all going great. Keep it up.

Pres. Barack Obama: Kendall Jenner is also here. And we had a chance to meet her backstage. She seems like a very nice, young woman. I'm not exactly sure what she does, but I am told that my Twitter mentions are about to go through the roof.

Pres. Barack Obama: Helen Mirren is here tonight. I don't even have a joke here. I just think Helen Mirren is awesome. She's awesome. Sitting at the same table, I see Mike Bloomberg. Mike, a combative, controversial New York billionaire is leading the GOP primary, and it is not you. That has to sting a little bit. Although it's not an entirely fair comparison between you and the Donald. After all, Mike was a big city mayor. He knows policy in depth. And he's actually worth the amount of money that he says he is.

Pres. Barack Obama: What an election season. For example, we've got the bright new face of the Democratic Party here tonight, Mr. Bernie Sanders. Bernie, you look like a million bucks. Or to put in terms you'll understand, you look like 37,000 donations of $27 each. A lot of folks have been surprised by the Bernie phenomena, especially his appeal to young people. But not me. I get it.

Pres. Barack Obama: Just recently, a young person came up to me and said she was sick of politicians standing in the way of her dreams. As if we were actually going to let Malia go to Burning Man this year. It was not going to happen. Bernie might have let her go. Not us. I am hurt, though, Bernie, that you've been distancing yourself a little from me. I mean, that's just not something that you do to your comrade.

Pres. Barack Obama: Bernie's slogan has helped his campaign catch fire among young people, "Feel the Bern. Feel the Bern." That's a good slogan. Hillary's slogan has not had the same effect. Let's see this. Look, I've said how much I admire Hillary's toughness, her smarts, her policy chops, her experience. You've got admit it though, Hillary trying to appeal to young voters is little bit like your relative who just signed up for Facebook, "Dear America. Did you get my poke? Isn't appearing on your wall? I'm not sure I'm using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary." It's not entirely persuasive.

Pres. Barack Obama: Meanwhile, on the Republican side, things are a little more – how shall we say this – a little more loose. Just look at the confusion over the invitations to tonight's dinner. Guests were asked to check whether they wanted steak or fish. But, instead, a whole bunch of you wrote in Paul Ryan. That's not an option, people. Steak or fish? You may not like steak or fish, but that's your choice.

Pres. Barack Obama: Meanwhile, some candidates aren't polling high enough to qualify for their own joke tonight. The rules were well established ahead of time. And then, there's Ted Cruz. Ted had a tough week. He went to Indiana, Hoosier country, stood on a basketball court, and called the hoop a basketball ring. What else is in his lexicon? Baseball sticks. Football hats. But sure, I'm the foreign one.

Pres. Barack Obama: Well, let me conclude tonight on a more serious note. I want to thank the Washington press corps. I want to thank Carol for all that you do. The free press is central to our democracy and, no, I'm just kidding. You know, I'm gonna talk about Trump. Come on. We weren't just gonna stop there. Come on.

Pres. Barack Obama: Although I am a little hurt that he's not here tonight. We had so much fun the last time. And it is surprising. You've got a roomful of reporters, celebrities, cameras, and he says no. Is this dinner too tacky for the Donald? What could he possibly be doing instead? Is he at home, eating a Trump steak, tweeting out insults to Angela Merkel? What's he doing?

Pres. Barack Obama: The Republican establishment is incredulous that he's their most likely nominee. Incredulous. Shocking. They say Donald lacks the foreign policy experience to be president. But in fairness, he has spent years meeting with leaders from around the world: Miss Sweden, Miss Argentina. Miss Azerbaijan.

Pres. Barack Obama: And there's one area where Donald's experience could be invaluable, and that's closing Guantanamo because Trump knows a thing or two about running waterfront properties into the ground. All right, that's probably enough. I mean, I've got more material. No, no, no.

Pres. Barack Obama: I don't want to spend too much time on the Donald. Following your lead, I want to show some restraint because I think we can all agree that from the start, he's gotten the appropriate amount of coverage befitting the seriousness of his candidacy. I hope you all are proud of yourselves. The guy wanted to give this hotel business a boost. And, now we're praying that Cleveland makes it through July.

Pres. Barack Obama: As for me and Michelle, we've decided to stay in DC for a couple more years. Thank you. This way, our youngest daughter can finish up high school. Michelle can stay closer to a plot of carrots. She's already making plans to see them every day. Take a look.

Pres. Barack Obama: But our decision has actually presented a bit of a dilemma because, traditionally, presidents don't stick around after they're done. And it's something that I've been brooding about a little bit. Take a look.

Kristen Welker: The Obamas are staying in DC for two years after the president leaves office.

Chuck Todd: He's about to go from Commander-in-Chief to couch Commander.

Pres. Barack Obama: Boo, Chuck Todd. What am I going to do in DC for two years?

Joe Biden: It sounds like a dilemma, Mr. President.

Pres. Barack Obama: I can't golf every day, can't I?

Joe Biden: Which do you like better, this or this?

Pres. Barack Obama: Joe, they're the same.

Joe Biden: They capture different moods.

Pres. Barack Obama: Joe, I need some focus here.

Joe Biden: [Indecipherable].

Pres. Barack Obama: I'm sorry. What's that?

Joe Biden: I said, Mr. President, that you had to be practical. Look, you can drive again. You're going to need a license. You love sports. Why don't you volunteer to work for one of the teams around here?

Kristen Welker: Is this the Washington Wizards? I understand you're looking for some coaching help. Let's just say I coach my daughter's team a few times. Hello. Hello.

Female Voice: Ready for him.

Pres. Barack Obama: So, I'm going to be in DC for a while. And I thought I'd take up driving again.

Female Voice: What's the name?

Pres. Barack Obama: Barack Hussein Obama.

Female Voice: Yikes. Well, since you don't have a driver's license, you're gonna need a birth certificate.

Pres. Barack Obama: Really?

Female Voice: Really.

Pres. Barack Obama: It's real.

Chuck Todd: Is it?

Pres. Barack Obama: It's real.

Female Voice: But is it?

Pres. Barack Obama: Michelle left her phone. Let's see here She's got Snapchat. Obamacare is great, and it's really working. Sign up now.

Male Voice: Breaking news.

Male Voice: Michelle Obama in hot water after posting this video earlier today.

Pres. Barack Obama: Obamacare is great, and i really working. Sign up now.

Pres. Barack Obama: No?

Michelle Obama: No.

Pres. Barack Obama: Did we get a lot of views, at least?

Michelle Obama: Honey, enough. Why don't you just talk to somebody who's been through this? I gotta go to Soul Cycle.

Pres. Barack Obama: She's right. I know who I can to talk to.

Pres. Barack Obama: Hey, it's Barack. Listen, can we together?

Pres. Barack Obama: Now, that is a great movie.

John Boehner: Yeah.

Pres. Barack Obama: So, you got any advice for me?

John Boehner: So, now, you want my advice? First, stop sending me all these LinkedIn request. And second, here's the beauty of this whole thing, you've got all the time in the world to figure this out. You can just be you for a while if you're not going to do that again.

Pres. Barack Obama: So, I can just be me? And I can wear my mom jeans piece. I hate these tight jeans.

John Boehner: Good, good. Yesterday, I had a beer at 11:30 in the morning. And, you know, McDonald's now, serves breakfast all day long.

Pres. Barack Obama: You know, Michelle's gonna be at spin class, so she'll never know, right?

John Boehner: Let it go. And it won't be long, you'll be able to walk right out of the Oval Office singing, "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay." Man, you got plenty of time to work on your tan. And you know what? I finally got the grand bargain on a sweet Chevy Tahoe. Look here, you want one?

Male Voice: Barack Obama on his 347th round of golf for the year, and it's totally great. And Gloria, not a problem for anybody.

Gloria: I can't think of a reason to care. And believe me, I've tried.

Pres. Barack Obama: There you go. I am still waiting for all of you to respond to my invitation to connect to LinkedIn. But I know you have jobs to do, which is what really brings us here tonight.

Pres. Barack Obama: I know that there are times that we've had differences, and that's inherent in our institutional roles. It's true of every president and his press corps. But we've always shared the same goal, to root our public discourse in the truth, to open the doors of this democracy, to do whatever we can to make our country and our world more free and more just. And I've always appreciated the role that you have all played as equal partners in reaching these goals.

Pres. Barack Obama: And our free press is why we, once again, recognize the real journalists who uncover the horrifying scandal and brought some measure of justice for thousands of victims throughout the world. They are here with us tonight. Sasha Pfeiffer, Mike Rezendes, Walter Robinson, Matt Caroll, and Ben Bradlee Jr. Please give them a big round of applause.

Pres. Barack Obama: A free press is why, once again, we honor Jason Rezaian, as Carol noted. Last time this year, we spoke of Jason's courage as he endured the isolation of an Iranian prison. This year, we see that courage in the flesh. And it's a living testament to the very idea of a free press and a reminder of the rising level of danger, and political intimidation, and physical threats faced by reporters overseas.

Pres. Barack Obama: And I can make this commitment that as long as I hold this office, my administration will continue to fight for the release of American journalists held against their will. And we will not stop until we may see the same freedom as Jason had.

Pres. Barack Obama: At home and abroad, journalists, like all of you, engage in the dogged pursuit of informing citizens, and holding leaders accountable, and making our government of the people possible. And it's an enormous responsibility. And I realize it's an enormous challenge at a time when the economics of the business sometimes incentivizes speed over depth, and when controversy and conflict are what most immediately attract readers and viewers. The good news is there's so many of you that are pushing against those trends. And as a citizen of this great democracy, I am grateful for that

Pres. Barack Obama: For this is also a time around the world when some of the fundamental ideals of liberal democracies are under attack and when notions of objectivity, and of a free press, and effects, and of evidence are trying to be undermined or, in some cases, ignored entirely. And in such a climate, it's not enough just to give people a megaphone. And that's why your power and your responsibility to dig, and to question, and to counter distortions and untruths is more important than ever.

Pres. Barack Obama: Taking a stand on behalf of what is true does not require you shedding your objectivity. In fact, it is the essence of good journalism. It affirms the idea that the only way we can build consensus, the only way that we can move forward as a country, the only way we can help the world mend itself is by agreeing on a baseline of facts when it comes to the challenges that confront us all.

Pres. Barack Obama: So, this night is a testament to all of you who've devoted your lives to that idea, who push to shine a light on the truth every single day. So, I want to close my final White House correspondents' dinner by just saying thank you. I'm very proud of what you've done. It has been an honor and a privilege to work side by side with you to strengthen our democracy. And with that, I just have two more words to say: Obama out.

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The above video transcript for “FULL TRANSCRIPT: "Obama out" President Barack Obama's hilarious final White House correspondents' dinner speech” was transcribed by the best video transcription service called Sonix. Transcribing and editing video files is painful. Need to quickly convert your video files to text? Try Sonix today. Signing up for a free trial account is easy.

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