#naval ravikant

Cromwell Schubarth sat down with Ravikant, a couple thoughts stood out to me:

On the other hand there are others who try to distinguish themselves just by brand. The more disappointing trend is the branding of celebrity investors or celebrity entrepreneurs. It leads a little bit to the Hollywoodization of Silicon Valley. Like that Bravo TV show, which just tried to make it look like it’s about parties and who you know, and who is attractive and who is at what event and who you’re networking with. Frankly, I think all that stuff is worse than useless. It’s a distraction.

Completely agree. When I actually worked in Hollywood, the thing I could never quite reconcile in my head was just how much time, energy, and money was being wasted on bullshit. I always thought Hollywood could be run so much more efficiently (and profitably) if some of the excess was simply cut. 

On the other hand, some of that excess is part of the allure of Hollywood. People want their movie stars to be larger than life — especially in an age where social media and the internet as a whole has a great leveling effect.  So the bullshit remains intact and is often celebrated.

But what’s great about Silicon Valley is that not only does it not need any of that excess to work, it needs the opposite. Efficiency is paramount. And excess is much more detrimental because it is just a distraction from efficiency. I suppose you could argue that some entrepreneurs being lionized inspires others to want to dream big, but too much emphasis is placed on the wrong ideals:

It’s especially disappointing when you see some company get bought for a huge sum and you don’t think that company is worth that. But it has a celebrity kind of presence, and it incentivizes people the wrong way. At the end of the day, what makes Silicon Valley work is technology and the outcome of making money. Those two things have to be healthy. It has to matter a lot more than who is the celebrity and who is famous and who goes to the best parties.

Back to work.