Chamath Palihapitiya: Understanding Yourself [The Knowledge Project Ep. #94]

The Founder and CEO of Social Capital, prominent figure in the venture capital business and part owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chamath Palihapitiya sits down with Shane Parrish to chat about what it means to be an observer of the present, how to think in first principles, the psychology of successful investing, his thoughts on the best public company CEO’s and much more.

Here are a few highlights from our conversation:

I think that most people are pretty guarded, because they have to be. I don’t think they’re necessarily always in a position to be as candid as they want to be. I think that in moments of just clarity, I have constantly just tried to say what I feel. I think that that resonates with a lot of people.

That’s been a real theme of my life is just realizing that a lot of the things that I went through are normal. Feeling part of a pack is really helpful, actually. It’s been really helpful for me, because it’s helped regulate my sense of self-worth, and lifted up in moments where I felt pretty crappy about myself and that’s just resulted in better outcomes.

I found that, as a man, I was taught that talking is weak. I also found that, as a immigrant man, I was taught that talking about emotions was doubly weak. Then I was taught, in this industry, that talking is awkward. You put all these things together, and the biggest thing that I found that has helped me is just talking, and being open…

We’re going to financialize everything. We’re going to fractionalize ownership of probably everything. And so, what there’s an opportunity now to do is to curate and cultivate a community around that, to help people. And that’s really what I would like to do.

The world’s first trillionaire will be somebody in climate change.

I think that when push comes to shove, what you’re always going to be fighting is yourself. Panicking, overreacting, underreacting, refusing to observe the present, living too much in the past, wanting too much to believe in the future.

Being happy personally is the pathway to help everything else make sense and that is around mental health. I think the key unlock for mental health is just finding a resource to talk to.

I think that the government should really be plowing money into the next generation of industries. I think that the government should always be on the bleeding edge of not needing to make money in some critical, important industries for the future. And so, in the absence of doing that, we’ve lost touch with the things that have really propelled the United States forward.

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