Naval on wealth creation. On Twitter at @naval.
Here's the Latest Episode from Naval:
This giant episode collects every interview we've done on “How to Get Rich.”
It includes the tweetstorm, Q&A, and 10 minutes of unreleased material on finding time to invest in yourself—at the end.
Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status 1:30
Make Abundance for the World 6:40
Free Markets Are Intrinsic to Humans 10:21
Making Money Isn’t About Luck 14:19
Make Luck Your Destiny 19:25
You Won’t Get Rich Renting Out Your Time 24:00
Live Below Your Means for Freedom 28:40
Give Society What It Doesn’t Know How to Get 31:01
The Internet Has Massively Broadened Career Possibilities 33:44
Play Long-term Games With Long-term People 38:23
Pick Partners With Intelligence, Energy and Integrity 44:24
Partner With Rational Optimists 49:09
Arm Yourself With Specific Knowledge 54:34
Specific Knowledge Is Highly Creative or Technical 1:00:53
Learn to Sell, Learn to Build 1:06:24
Read What You Love Until You Love to Read 1:10:59
The Foundations Are Math and Logic 1:12:00
There’s No Actual Skill Called “Business” 1:16:48
Embrace Accountability to Get Leverage 1:20:06
Take Accountability to Earn Equity 1:25:37
Labor and Capital Are Old Leverage 1:30:06
Product and Media are New Leverage 1:35:01
Product Leverage is Egalitarian 1:39:42
Pick a Business Model With Leverage 1:44:56
Example: From Laborer to Entrepreneur 1:50:51
Judgment Is the Decisive Skill 2:01:15
Set an Aspirational Hourly Rate 2:07:41
Work As Hard As You Can 2:11:26
Be Too Busy to “Do Coffee” 2:16:34
Keep Redefining What You Do 2:20:38
Escape Competition Through Authenticity 2:22:41
Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes 2:28:17
Eventually You Will Get What You Deserve 2:30:53
Reject Most Advice 2:35:00
A Calm Mind, a Fit Body, a House Full of Love 2:37:55
There Are No Get Rich Quick Schemes 2:42:02
Productize Yourself 2:46:42
Accountability Means Letting People Criticize You 2:48:55
We Should Eventually Be Working for Ourselves 2:55:33
Being Ethical Is Long-Term Greedy 2:56:58
Envy Can Be Useful, or It Can Eat You Alive 3:00:23
Principal-Agent Problem: Act Like an Owner 3:03:51
Kelly Criterion: Avoid Ruin 3:10:33
Schelling Point: Cooperating Without Communicating 3:12:03
Turn Short-Term Games Into Long-Term Games 3:13:55
Compounding Relationships Make Life Easier 3:16:36
Price Discrimination: Charge Some People More 3:19:04
Consumer Surplus: Getting More Than You Paid For 3:20:14
Net Present Value: What Future Income Is Worth Today 3:21:03
Externalities: Calculating the Hidden Costs of Products 3:22:05
Bonus Material: Finding Time to Invest in Yourself 3:23:47
A preview of the Spearhead podcast, where we discuss angel investing.
Subscribe to the podcast: http://spearhead.co/podcast.
Apply to Spearhead: http://spearhead.co.
Externalities let you account for the true cost of products by including hidden costs like environmental damage.
• Pricing externalities properly is more effective than feel-good measures 0:32
• Properly pricing externalities can save resources in a tremendous way 1:10
Calculate what future income is worth today by applying a discount to its future value.
• Figure out what future income is worth today by applying a discount rate 0:00
A lot of people are willing to pay more than what companies charge.
• Consumer surplus is the extra value you get when you pay less than you were willing 0:00
You can charge people for extras based on their propensity to pay.
• Price discrimination is a technique for charging certain people more 0:00
• Rich people and large enterprises are willing to pay more 0:51
Life gets a lot easier when you know someone’s got your back.
• Compounding relationships make life easier 0:00
• It’s better to have a few compounding relationships than many shallow ones 1:11
• It takes just as much effort to create a small business as a large one 1:40
Improve your leverage in negotiations by turning short-term relationships into long-term ones.
• Pareto optimal solutions require a trade-off to improve any criterion 0:00
• Negotiations are won by whoever cares less 0:44
• Convert single-move games to multi-move games 1:54
People who can’t communicate can cooperate by anticipating the other person’s actions.
• Use social norms to cooperate when you can’t communicate 0:00
• You can find Schelling points in business, art and politics 1:14
Don't ruin your reputation or get wiped to zero.
• Don't bet everything on one big gamble 0:00
• Ruining your reputation is the same as getting wiped to zero 0:54
If you think and act like an owner, it’s only a matter of time until you become an owner.
• A principal is an owner; an agent is an employee 0:00
• A principal’s incentives are different than an agent’s incentives 1:08
• If you can work on incentives, don't work on anything else 2:15
• When you do deals, it’s better to have the same incentives 3:15
• If you’re an employee, your most important job is to think like a principal 4:05
• Deal with small firms to avoid the principal-agent problem 5:29
Envy can give you a powerful boost, or it can eat you alive if you let it follow you.
• Suffering through the wrong thing can motivate you to find the right thing 0:00
• Being a lawyer was not what I was meant to do 1:14
• Envy can be useful or it can eat you alive 2:28
If you cut fair deals, you will get paid in the long run.
• Ethics isn’t something you study; it’s something you do 0:00
• Trust leads to compounding relationships 0:51
• Being ethical attracts other long-term players 1:19
• Being ethical is long-term greedy 1:58
• If you cut fair deals, you will get paid in the long run 2:40
The goal is that we are eventually wealthy and working for ourselves.
• This advice is for anybody who wants to be entrepreneurial 0:00
• Middle age can be the most fruitful time to apply this advice 0:48
• Look up the value chain to find leverage 1:58
• You will do better in a small organization 2:43
• The goal is that we are all working for ourselves 3:25
Misunderstanding accountability, and other mistakes on the path to creating wealth.
• Accountability means letting people criticize you 0:00
• The most interesting parts should be the ones you disagree with 1:06
• Get the free leverage that's available in tech 1:53
• Not doing things because other people can't do them is living in denial 2:21
• Realize your philanthropic vision by running a business 2:54
UPDATE: We’ve published a new version of this episode with another hour of material at http://nav.al/rich. Go there—it’s bigger and better.
This giant episode collects every interview we've done on “How to Get Rich.”
• Seek Wealth, Not Money or Status 1:30
• Make Abundance for the World 6:40
• Free Markets Are Intrinsic to Humans 10:21
• Making Money Isn’t About Luck 14:19
• Make Luck Your Destiny 19:25
• You Won’t Get Rich Renting Out Your Time 24:00
• Live Below Your Means for Freedom 28:40
• Give Society What It Doesn’t Know How to Get 31:01
• The Internet Has Massively Broadened Career Possibilities 33:44
• Play Long-term Games With Long-term People 38:23
• Pick Partners With Intelligence, Energy and Integrity 44:24
• Partner With Rational Optimists 49:09
• Arm Yourself With Specific Knowledge 54:34
• Specific Knowledge Is Highly Creative or Technical 1:00:53
• Learn to Sell, Learn to Build 1:06:24
• Read What You Love Until You Love to Read 1:10:59
• The Foundations Are Math and Logic 1:12:00
• There’s No Actual Skill Called “Business” 1:16:48
• Embrace Accountability to Get Leverage 1:20:06
• Take Accountability to Earn Equity 1:25:37
• Labor and Capital Are Old Leverage 1:30:06
• Product and Media are New Leverage 1:35:01
• Product Leverage is Egalitarian 1:39:42
• Pick a Business Model With Leverage 1:44:56
• Example: From Laborer to Entrepreneur 1:50:51
• Judgment Is the Decisive Skill 2:01:15
• Set an Aspirational Hourly Rate 2:07:41
• Work As Hard As You Can 2:11:26
• Be Too Busy to “Do Coffee” 2:16:34
• Keep Redefining What You Do 2:20:38
• Escape Competition Through Authenticity 2:22:41
• Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes 2:28:17
• Eventually You Will Get What You Deserve 2:30:53
• Reject Most Advice 2:35:00
• A Calm Mind, a Fit Body, a House Full of Love 2:37:55
• There Are No Get Rich Quick Schemes 2:42:02
• Productize Yourself 2:46:42
Figure out what you're uniquely good at and apply as much leverage as possible.
• Figure out what you're uniquely good at and apply as much leverage as possible 0:00
• Find hobbies that make you rich, fit and creative 1:07
Get rich quick schemes are just someone else getting rich off you.
• There are no get rich quick schemes 0:00
• We don't have ads because it would ruin our credibility 0:56
• Every founder has to lie to every employee 2:02
• Anyone giving advice on how to get rich should have made their money elsewhere 3:02
When you're finally wealthy, you'll realize it wasn't what you were seeking in the first place.
• When you're wealthy, you'll realize it wasn't what you were seeking 0:00
• A calm mind, a fit body and a house full of love must be earned 1:00
• Practical advice for a calmer internal state 1:52
• A lot of divorces happen over money, a lot of battles happen over internal anger 3:14
Most advice is people giving you their winning lottery ticket numbers.
• The best founders listen to everyone but make up their own mind 0:00
• Advice is maxims you can recall later, when you get your own experience 1:29
Apply specific knowledge with leverage and eventually you will get what you deserve.
• On a long enough time scale you will get paid 0:00
• What are you really good at that the market values? 1:59
Competition will blind you to greater games. You're one step away from a better market.
• Businesses that seem like they're in direct competition really aren't 0:00
• My first company got caught up in the wrong game 1:23
Competition can make you play the wrong game. No one can compete with you on being you.
• Competition will trap you in a lesser game 0:00
• No one can compete with you on being you 1:27
• In entrepreneurship, the masses are never right 2:40
• Combine your vocation and avocation 3:45
Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.
• Keep redefining what you do until you're the best at what you do 0:00
• Find founder-product-market fit 1:35
You should be too busy to “do coffee”, while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.
• Be too busy to “do coffee” while keeping an uncluttered calendar 0:00
• People will meet with you when you have proof of work 2:00
• Networking is overrated even early in your career 2:09
Work as hard as you can. Even though what you work on and who you work with are more important.
• Work as hard as you can 0:00
• But what you work on and who you work with are more important 1:00
• Nobody really works 80 hours a week 2:22
• Inspiration is perishable 3:05
• Impatience with actions, patience with results 3:36
If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it.
• Set and enforce an aspirational hourly rate 0:00
• You can't penny pinch your way to wealth 1:27
• My aspirational rate was $5,000/hr 1:56
• If you can outsource something for less than your hourly rate, outsource it 2:57
• Your hourly rate should seem absurdly high 3:39
Everything we've discussed so far has been setting you up to apply judgment.
• In an age of infinite leverage, judgment becomes the most important skill 0:00
• Everything else you do is setting you up to apply judgment 1:21
• Judgment is knowing the long-term consequences of your actions 2:40
• Without experience, judgment is often less than useless 3:15
• The people with the best judgment are among the least emotional 4:05
• A lot of the top investors often sound like philosophers 5:18
• The more outraged someone is, the worse their judgment 6:00
The continuum from laborer to real estate tech company goes from low accountability to high specific knowledge, accountability and leverage.
• Laborers get paid hourly and have low accountability 0:19
• General contractors get equity, but they're also taking risk 1:20
• Property developers pocket the profit by applying capital leverage 2:14
• Architects, large developers and REITs are even higher in the stack 3:16
• Real estate tech companies apply the maximum leverage 4:05
Ideally, you should pick a business model with network effects, low marginal costs and scale economies.
• Scale economies: the more you produce, the cheaper it gets 0:00
• Zero marginal cost of reproduction: producing more is free 0:51
• Network effects: value grows as the square of the customers 1:34
• Network effect businesses are natural monopolies 2:26
• In a network effect, each new user adds value to the existing users 3:06
• Zero marginal cost businesses can pivot into network effect businesses 5:01
Labor and capital are limited to the people who control those resources. But products reach global markets.
• Product leverage is a positive-sum game 0:00
• Status goods are limited to a few people 0:57
• The best products tend to be targeted at the middle class 1:25
• Creating wealth with product leads to more ethical wealth 2:06
• You want to use the product that is used by the most people 3:06
• Capital and labor are becoming permissionless 4:24
Product and media are the leverage of new wealth. Create software and media that work for you while you sleep.
• Product and media are the new leverage 0:00
• Product leverage is where the new fortunes are made 0:55
• Combining all three forms of leverage is a magic combination 1:28
• Product and media leverage are permissionless 2:03
• The robots army is already here—code lets you tell them what to do 2:59
Wealth requires leverage. Labor and capital are older forms of leverage that everyone is fighting over.
• Our brains aren't evolved to comprehend new forms of leverage 0:00
• Society overvalues labor leverage 1:08
• You want the minimum amount of labor that allows you to use the other forms of leverage 1:56
• Capital has been the dominant form of leverage in the last century 2:40
• You need specific knowledge and accountability to obtain capital 4:52
If you have high accountability, you're less replaceable and you can get a piece of the business.
• Accountability is how you're going to get equity 0:00
• Taking accountability is like taking equity in all your work 0:29
• The downside of accountability is not that large 2:11
• Accountability is reputational skin in the game 4:30
Embrace accountability. Society will reward you with leverage.
• You have to have accountability to get leverage 0:00
• Take business risks under your own name 0:54
• A well-functioning team has clear accountability for each position 2:09
• People who can fail in public have a lot of power 3:47
There's no actual skill called business. Avoid business schools and magazines.
• There's no actual skill called business 0:00
• Doing is faster than watching 0:55
• The number of “doing” iterations drives the learning curve 2:49
• If you're willing to bleed a little every day, you may win big later 3:53
If you understand mathematics and logic, you have the basis for understanding everything else.
• The ultimate foundations are math and logic: 0:00
• It’s better to read a great book slowly than to fly through a hundred books quickly: 1:22
• Learn persuasion and programming: 2:08
You should be able to pick up any book in the library and read it.
• Read what you love until you love to read: 0:00
• Read the original scientific books in a field: 1:44
• Don't fear any book: 2:43
• The means of learning are abundant, the desire to learn is scarce: 3:54
Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.
• Learn to sell, learn to build 0:00
• The Silicon Valley model is a builder and seller 1:07
• If you can do both you will be unstoppable 1:52
• I'd rather teach an engineer marketing than a marketer engineering 2:48
• Building is better when you're starting out, sales scales better over time 4:33
Specific knowledge tends to be creative or technical. It's on the bleeding edge of technology, art and communication.
• Specific knowledge can be taught through apprenticeships 0:00
• Specific knowledge is often highly creative or technical 0:45
• Specific knowledge is specific to the individual and situation 2:02
• You can't be too deliberate about assembling specific knowledge 3:01
• Build specific knowledge where you are a natural 4:44
Arm yourself with specific knowledge. It can't be trained but it can be found by pursuing your genuine curiosity.
• Arm yourself with specific knowledge 0:00
• Specific knowledge can't be trained 1:47
• Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your curiosity 2:34
• Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you 3:53
Don't partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.
• Don't partner with pessimists 0:00
• Partner with rational optimists 1:20
• We're descended from pessimists 2:28
• BOCTAOE 4:13
Picking partners with high intelligence, energy and integrity is the three-part checklist that you can't compromise on.
• Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy and integrity 0:00
• Motivation of the people you work with has to come intrinsically 1:18
• Integrity is what someone does, despite what they say they do 2:18
Pick an industry where you can play long-term games with long-term people. All returns in life come from compound interest over many turns of the game.
• Play long-term games with long-term people 0:00
• When you switch industries, you're starting over from scratch 2:21
• Long-term players make each other rich 4:02
• Returns come from compound interest in iterated games 4:49
The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers, by allowing you to scale any niche obsession.
• The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers 0:00
• The Internet allows you to scale any niche obsession 1:22
• Escape competition through authenticity 3:33
Society will pay you for creating what it wants, but doesn’t know how to get, and delivering it at scale.
• Give society what it wants, but doesn't know how to get—at scale 0:00
• Figure out what product you can provide and then figure out how to scale it 0:57
People living far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles just can't fathom.
• People living below their means have freedom 0:00
• The most dangerous things are heroin and a monthly salary 0:38
• Ideally, you'll make your money in discrete lumps 1:17
You won't get rich renting out your time, because you can't earn non-linearly.
• You won't get rich renting out your time 0:00
• Renting out your time means you're essentially replaceable 1:23
• You must own equity to gain your financial freedom 2:17
• You want a career where your inputs don't match your outputs 2:41
Build your character in a way so luck becomes deterministic.
• Build your character so luck becomes your destiny 0:00
• Build your character so opportunity finds you 1:12
• You have to be a little eccentric to be out on the frontier by yourself 2:39
Making money isn't about luck. It's about becoming the kind of person who makes money.
• Making money isn't about luck 0:00
• Blind luck 0:46
• Luck from hustling 0:55
• Luck from preparation 1:35
• Luck from your unique character 1:51
• In 1,000 parallel universes, you want to be wealthy in 999 of them 2:54
• Wealth stacks up one chip at a time, not all at once 4:11
We're the only animals who cooperate across genetic boundaries, because we can track credits and debits in voluntary exchanges.
• Free markets are intrinsic to the human species 0:00
• Too many takers and not enough makers will plunge a society into ruin 1:48
Wealth isn't about taking something from somebody else—it's about creating abundance for the world.
• Ethical wealth creation makes abundance for the world 0:00
• Everyone can be wealthy 1:28
The difference between wealth, money and status.
• Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep 0:56
• Money is how we transfer wealth 2:28
• Status is your rank in the social hierarchy 3:08
This is the first interview between Naval and Nivi on How to Get Rich. These interviews are based on Naval's tweetstorm at https://twitter.com/naval/status/1002103360646823936.