The Silicon Valley legend Naval Ravikant is an Indian-born, self-made multi-millionaire, entrepreneur, investor, adviser, influencer, and a passionate cryptocurrency enthusiast. He’s widely known as the CEO and co-founder of AngelList, a U.S based platform where startups meet angel investors and job-seekers find work at startups.
During his lifetime (he’s 44 at the time of writing this article) he has invested in more than 100 companies including Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, SnapLogic, Yammer, and many others. Although he has attained massive success and reputation as an angel investor, this article won’t bore you to death with all of his financial achievements, but instead it’ll focus on Naval’s extraordinary mind, his contribution to the start-up community and, of course, his importance in the crypto industry.
A modern-day philosopher of sorts, Naval’s clear thinking and sharp critical reasoning combined with his holistic approach to education and the boundless body of knowledge amassed over the years make him a truly wonderful mind to explore and ponder upon. His thoughts on life, society, happiness, decision making, and honesty are motivational and eye-opening. What makes Naval a truly inspirational character is that he wasn’t born a wunderkind, but rather, his acquired wisdom is the result of ceaseless curiosity and thirst for knowledge; his success is merely the consequence of his never-ending hustle.
Check out our other profiles:
When he was nine, Naval’s family moved to New York where he was raised by his single mother, who was working long hours while going to night school. As a latchkey kid growing up in an unsafe part of town, he just wasn’t going to let the circumstances guide his faith. Instead, he refused to conform to the “way it’s supposed to be,” and took matters into his own hands.
When he was around eleven years old, he remembers being very inquisitive about books; he would sit on the floor of his grandparents’ house in India and read his grandfather’s Reader’s Digest as well as old storybooks, comic books, or whatever he could get his hands on. Later on, while he was attending school, he would go to the library and spend his time reading and researching new books until it closed.
This library was the temple where he developed a strong passion for literature that stayed with him for the rest of his life. In 1996, after earning his Bachelor’s degree in Computer science and Economics at Dartmouth College, he arrived in Silicon Valley where he began his short “employment” career working for a high-speed cable service provider known as @Home. After changing several workplaces in a short period of time, he realized he needed to do something on his own.
After spending a few years of his life working 9-to-5 jobs, Naval decided to do something big and exciting, something of his own creation. After moving to Silicon Valley to start a new life he founded Epinions.com, a general consumer review site that was later bought by Dealtime, who rebranded the site to Shopping.com.
The acquisition was, however, not an easy one. The process resulted in a lawsuit initiated by Naval, targeting his co-founder along with the powerful ventures Benchmark Capital and August Capital — accusing them of cheating him out of millions of dollars with the help of false documentation, misrepresentations of material facts related to Epinions’s financial affairs and business operations. Although this lawsuit was eventually settled in 2005 for an undisclosed sum, it proved to be detrimental to his reputation, earning him the nickname “radioactive mud.”
Obviously, this wasn’t going to stop Naval. Every hard-fought battle comes with a lesson, and the legal ordeal Naval had to go through during this period in his life gave him a deep understanding of the underlying mechanisms of fundraising – especially so on the entrepreneurial side of things. Utilizing this new-found knowledge, Naval joined forces with his buddy Babak Navi, and in 2007 they created Venture Hacks, a blog focused on helping entrepreneurs raise capital. Venture Hacks is teaching startups negotiation skills, how venture capital works, how to pick a co-founder, how to create relationships with advisors and lawyers, how to market their products, and many other crucial business lessons essential for a thriving start-up.
At this point, Naval and Babak were pretty well-respected serial entrepreneurs/angel investors in Silicon Valley. Writing and managing Venture Hacks allowed them to create connections with numerous investors and entrepreneurs in the industry, which lead them to the realization that the marketplace was lacking a professional platform connecting the start-ups with the investors and vice versa.
Conveniently enough, they had been keeping an informal list of angel investors for the needs of Venture Hacks; all they had to do is connect the dots — compose a list of active angel investors and vetted companies in need of funding, automate the whole process, and voila! Enter AngelList!
“AngelList is to investing what Tinder is to dating.”- @Naval
In 2010, with a list of 50 angel investors willing to invest $80 million, AngelList was launched! AngelList succeeded at what LinkedIn failed, creating a platform where people actually did business. However, before the platform could run smoothly as intended, there was a big barrier to be overcome.
Due to the very strict US securities regulations, small and medium-sized businesses were having trouble raising capital to fund their operation. This just couldn’t go on and the securities regulations had to be amended. In December 2011, Rep. Stephen Lee Fincher introduced into the House the Reopening American Capital Markets to Emerging Growth Companies Act with the intention to relieve companies with annual revenue of less than $1 billion from some of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance requirements.
Lifting the legal constraints would allow for ordinary people to invest in start-ups as easily as they invest in stock markets and, in turn, it would provide start-ups with much-needed funding.
Although all of this sounds great on paper, passing a bill through Congress is a gruesome process. For this reason, Naval spent six months lobbying – trying to expedite the bill and get it signed by into law. Reminiscing about these times, he recalls:
“It ended up being a giant dog’s breakfast of different bills combined together, and then some genius, probably some congressional staffer, said “How are we gonna get this thing to pass? Oh– let’s say it has something to do with jobs. Jumpstarting Our Business Startups! JOBS, JOBS!” And then, what congressperson can vote against something called the JOBS Act? It was a miracle.”
Looking back at it, it’s obvious, isn’t it? A bill with the abbreviation JOBS? How could it possibly not pass? On April 5, 2012, a ceremony was held in the White House Rose Garden and the bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama.
Now that AngelList’s road to mainstream adoption was cleared, and Naval’s radioactive nickname was gone, the focus shifted back to the platform. Bringing to life an old idea of his, Naval “upgraded” AngelList with a concept called Syndicates.
The idea was genius; the platform would allow for a well-established angel investor to create a syndicate and promote investment deals to other angels. Basically, a syndicate is a form of a private venture capital fund, created to make a single investment.
This concept allows for start-ups to connect and market their ideas to one these “super angels” representing the syndicate, and if they succeed to convince this influential investor to stand behind their idea they basically gain access to a whole group of loosely organized individual investors.
Needless to say, Naval’s project reached massive success with more than $200 million flowing through AngelList annually; approximately $160 of them raised by over 565 startups. However, the crowdfunding enterprise is evolving rapidly and, with the recent developments in the crypto industry, the whole terrain is changing. According to CoinDesk’s ICO Tracker, startups have raised more than $2 billion through Initial Coin Offerings, which is a clear sign that the paradigm is shifting.
Crypto association – From AngelList to CoinList
“Blockchains' open and merit-based markets can replace networks previously run by kings, corporations, aristocracies, and mobs.”- @Naval
Unblock is as a cryptocurrency-focused enterprise and, naturally, we are predominantly interested in Naval’s thoughts on DLT and his significance in the crypto industry. Fortunately, we’re dealing with a very opinionated thinker which means that you’re in for a treat!
Bitcoin is not just a just a value-exchange protocol; Bitcoin is a game changer. Before the advent of the cryptocurrency, the crowdfunding enterprise was guided by giant VC funds, bankers, and big whale investors. Funding, in its entirety, was reliant on these powerful key players. Today, innovative startups can raise capital through a true crowdfunding process — directly from users, in accordance with the market value of their ideas.
To understand the paradigm-shifting magnitude of Bitcoin, we shall take a look at Naval’s mind-boggling take on the network effects of cryptocurrencies expressed in his middle-of-the-night 37-tweet rampage:
“Blockchains will replace networks with markets. Humans are the networked species. The first species to network across genetic boundaries and thus seize the world. Networks allow us to cooperate when we would otherwise go it alone. And networks allocate the fruits of our cooperation. Overlapping networks create and organize our society. Physical, digital, and mental roads connecting us all. Money is a network. Religion is a network. A corporation is a network. Roads are a network. Electricity is a network… Networks have “network effects.” Adding a new participant increases the value of the network for all existing participants. Network effects thus create a winner-take-all dynamic. The leading network tends towards becoming the only network. And the Rulers of these networks become the most powerful people in society… until now. Blockchains are a new invention that allows meritorious participants in an open network to govern without a ruler and without money. They are merit-based, tamper-proof, open, voting systems.”
Bull’s-eye. Naval’s aerial perspective of the traditional financial markets leads him to the conclusion that “the VC model really is in danger of getting squeezed down to a very small space.” ICO’s are the little guy’s way of sticking the middle finger to the prominent and, more often than not, unimaginative big-capital hoarders. It’s a way of saying ”I don’t need your million bucks. I need a million people to invest a dollar.“
“Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme.”- @Naval
MetaStable Capital is a crypto asset hedge fund co-founded by Naval, cryptography expert Lucas Ryan, and former angel investor Joshua Seims. The fund focuses its investments in projects with real long-term value; projects that have the potential to become trillion-dollar blockchains.
In an interview for Fortune, Seims is quoted saying:
“It’s all very long-term focused, and we think we’re in super early days right now. It really comes down to which do we think is the strong enough technology, that we think can win.”
And won, they have; during mid-March 2017, MetaStable reported returns of 540%.
Naval’s interest in cryptography (he has a habit of getting into things and learning a lot about the field), and his mostly libertarian worldview led him to become a board member of the Z-Cash foundation which aims to set a new standard for privacy through the use of ground-breaking cryptography.
As formidable as this may be, Naval’s biggest project in the crypto industry is CoinList, an AngelList spinoff connecting startups that are raising funds through ICOs with vetted and accredited crypto investors.
“That’s why we built CoinList. It helps bring ICO asset and protocol tokens into the same legal compliance that AngelList provides for startups.”
– Naval Ravikant
According to a press release on April 5, CoinList, a platform for token-based financial services with an emphasis on compliance with the regulations, has raised $9.2 million during its initial fundraising round. Their infrastructure has supported over $400M in investments for over 20 token sales since August 2017, with FileCoin’s ICO being the most striking one, raising more than $205 million from 2,100+ investors.
If you’re running an ICO CoinList will take care of your compliance; it will run KYC and AML checks on investors, which means that you don’t have to worry about the SEC and you can focus on your token sale. If you want to invest in ICOs on the platform, however, you’ll need at least $200,000 in annual income or $1 million in net assets.
While this may seem to limit the service’s following, by narrowing the audience to vetted investors, CoinList allows companies to market their tokens without having to worry about registering the offerings with the SEC, saving them time and money.
Meditations on cryptocurrencies
“Bitcoin will eventually be recognized as a platform for building new financial services… Cryptocurrencies will create a fifth protocol layer powering the next generation of the Internet.”
– Naval Ravikant
What was born out of the noble idea of debauching the currency and taking the control over money issuance from the elites and giving it back to the people, transformed into a typical greedfest. The cryptocurrency community has become rather fixated on the price fluctuations of the markets, completely losing its focus on the bigger picture – the democratization of money.
When pondering upon cryptocurrencies, Naval is not reflecting on the financial appearances, but instead, he likes to think ten years ahead. In his blog post “The Fifth Protocol” he envisions a world where cryptocurrencies are an integral part of our everyday lives — and not because we as individuals need them but, rather, because the machines do, the whole world does.
“Humans don’t *need* math-based cryptocurrencies when dealing with other humans. We walk slowly, talk slowly, and buy big things. Credit cards, cash, wires, checks – the world seems fine. Machines, on the other hand, are far chattier and quicker to exchange information… Cryptocurrencies are electronic cash, and as such, will be used by electronic agents to exchange value, verify contracts, and track identity and reputation…
Someday, they will be used by the machines in our network, on our desk, in our garage, and in our pocket to exchange value and achieve consensus at blinding speeds, anonymously, and at minimal cost.”
It seems that that day is not as distant as we’d like to think. Smartphones, smart TV’s, smart cars and smart homes are just the first step of our technological evolution. Automation is next. And you can’t have a smart economy without smart money.
That being said, every powerful tool may be turned into a weapon. The immutable character of the blockchain makes it a profoundly useful tool for countless of use-cases, but looming over are the governments with ever-occurring totalitarian tendencies, trying to weaponize DLTs and use them to build a system where every transaction is tracked, reported and controlled – forever.
What makes this whole power struggle possible is the open-source character of cryptos. Everyone can, theoretically, create an open P2P value-exchange protocol with unique properties and we, the people, will ultimately choose whether we fancy FedCoin or Bitcoin. The genie is out of the bottle.
“Most importantly, Bitcoin offers an open API to create secure, scriptable e-cash transactions. Just as the web democratized publishing and development, Bitcoin can democratize building new financial services.
Contracts can be entered into, verified, and enforced completely electronically, using any third-party that you care to trust, or by the code itself. For free, within minutes, without possibility of forgery or revocation. Any competent programmer has an API to cash, payments, escrow, wills, notaries, lotteries, dividends, micropayments, subscriptions, crowdfunding, and more.
While the traditional banks and credit card companies lock down access to their payments infrastructure to a handful of trusted parties, Bitcoin is open to all.”
Five lessons to take home
Naval Ravikant’s personal philosophy and way of living is something we can all learn from. Despite the fact that he was raised by a single mother in a poor and unsafe neighborhood, he managed to become one of the most well-regarded people in the startup and crowdfunding industry.
His achievements speak for themselves. But what can we learn from his body of work?
Examining his interviews, blogs, and tweets, we managed to create a consolidated list of five life lessons that you may want to meditate upon.
“I would define values, first of all, as a set of things that you will not compromise on. Foundational values to me are things that I’ve looked at very, very carefully about myself and I’ve deliberately chosen and said, “You know what, this is a habit. This is a way of life. I’m not going to compromise on it. I’m going to stay this way forever. I don’t want to live life any other way.”
Living without core values is like navigating without a compass. You’re doomed to get lost and become anxious. Personal values create boundaries between you and the external reality. They are, in a way, the first sifter in your decision-making system. They are the defining component of integrity.
One of Naval’s core values is honesty. When you separate what you’re thinking from what you’re saying, it creates cognitive dissonance. You’re no longer in the moment and you have to think about what you said in the past and what you’ll say in the future to keep the “lie” alive. This is a bad allocation of mental calories and a bad usage of your time – two of your most precious resources.
Know that you know nothing
“I don’t like to self-identify in almost any level anymore. That keeps me from having too many of these so-called stable beliefs.”
These two are intentionally put one after the other. Having strong core values and having a center ideology are two very different things. The former implies a deliberate approach to morality, while the latter means that you’re identifying yourself with a set of neatly-packed doctrines that serve you as an illusionary safety net against nature’s chaos.
What Naval aims to do is keep an open mind. Live by the Socrates maxim. Know that you know nothing. Don’t fixate on any one philosophy and try not to hold any firm beliefs about anything in life. Being conscious about the ideological echo-chambers that social media algorithms feed to us is probably the hardest virtue to master.
Read as much as you can
“I have very poor attention. I skim. I speed read. I jump around. I could not tell you specific passages or quotes from books. At some deep level, you do absorb them and they become part of the threads of the tapestry of your psyche.”
This is an obvious one. Reading is a habit that has the greatest compounded interest in life. Naval is one of the most voracious readers out there, and this may be the key to his success in life.
Being a self-proclaimed conscious bookworm and having read a ton since he was a little kid sharpened his analytical reasoning and deepened his thinking, which in turn gave him an edge over fellow competitors, both in business and in life.
If you’re curious about what he’s is reading, we compiled a list of 10 books from Naval’s Kindle library for you:
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind Hardcover – Yuval Noah Harari
- Seven Brief Lessons on Physics – Carlo Rovelli
- Tools of titans – Tim Ferris
- The lessons of history – Will Durant
- The Story of Philosophy – Will Durant
- The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford
- Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the Beaten Track – Richard Feynman
- The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge – Matt Ridley
- Man’s Search For Meaning – Viktor E. Frankl
- Sex at Dawn – Christopher Ryan
See the rest of this fan-made shelf on Goodreads.
Devise decision-making systems
“Decision-making is everything. In fact, someone who makes decisions right 80% of the time instead of 70% of the time will be valued and compensated in the market hundreds of times more. “
Naval points out that setting a good decision-making system automates individual decisions and saves your mental calories. Without a system, you’re relying on your impulses to make good judgments when they count the most. You need to be disciplined and you need to organize your mind, and the key to optimization is automation. You’re not sure if you can trust somebody? Create a set of principles, a system for trust valuation that you can use on anybody, every time you have the said dilemma. By gathering and analyzing the consequences you will, over time, improve this system and make it more efficient. Some of the best mentors on mental models you can find are Charlie Munger, Nassim Taleb, and Benjamin Franklin. Also, Naval suggests you familiarize yourself with game theory, as he finds it to be one of the best resources for mental models that he has found. You can start with this game — one of the best introductory lessons in game theory we have found.
Stop being a victim of circumstances
We saved this for last. There’s one principal motif that stands out while reading about Naval’s life and that is – Taking control over one’s faith. One of Naval’s favorite authors, Viktor E. Frankl once wrote: “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in suffering.” And this couldn’t be truer. When Naval got his “radioactive mud” nickname, did it stop him from becoming one of the most successful angel investors in the world? Did he give a damn about being raised by a single mother in a poor and unsafe part of town? Did he settle for a 9 to 5 job? No. He never settled. He was never a victim of circumstances, and he never stopped grinding. Moreover, he’s not special; there isn’t a man in history that ever achieved anything meaningful in life by accident.
“A contrarian isn’t one who always objects — that’s a conformist of a different sort. A contrarian reasons independently, from the ground up, and resists pressure to conform.”
So, I guess the lesson here is, have a conscious approach to morality, read a lot, create mental models, stay humble and never settle!
Naval Ravikant Podcasts
“I see entrepreneurial efforts often fail but good entrepreneurs don't fail”- @Naval
If the five lessons weren’t enough for you, there’s no need to worry — there’s a whole lot more you can learn from Naval’s interviews on the following podcasts!
Podcasts are one of the best media formats to reach to an audience — they come straight from the heart and mind of the host, and they’re not subject to any strict rules or norms like public radio and TV shows usually are. So, let’s dig in!
First, the Tim Ferris Show! A master conversationalist and host of one of the highest ranked iTunes podcasts out there; Tim is specialized in the deconstruction of world-class performers from all walks of life. Asking all the right questions and digging deep to find the tools, life habits, mind-frames and tactics — he absorbs what is useful, rejects what is useless, and serves you carefully vetted knowledge that you can absorb and implement in your life.
- The Evolutionary Angel – This episode of the Tim Ferris podcast was nominated for “Podcast of the Year” and, I promise you, it’s pure gold. It’s a two-hour-long conversation with countless of insights into the hyper-rational mind of Naval. He shares his philosophy on success, living a happy life, the art of investing, money and time management, and much, much more.
- The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo – This episode is my personal favorite. Co-hosted by Tim and Naval, the interview dives deep into the mind of one of the most prominent faces in the crypto community. Nick is a pioneering cryptographer, computer scientists, and legal scholar best known for his work on Bit Gold (a.k.a Bitcoin’s predecessor) and his whitepaper on smart contracts. Szabo’s unparalleled technical and theoretical knowledge of cryptocurrencies and Naval’s deep interest and admiration for his work make this a truly outstanding episode.
Unchained Podcast with Naval Ravikant — And while we’re on the subject of cryptocurrencies, Laura Shin’s blockchain-and-fintech-focused podcast is a precious resource for everyone interested in cryptocurrencies. Laura is a co-lead reporter of the Forbes Fintech 50 list and a senior editor of the crypto and blockchain tech coverage. In this episode, Laura interviews Naval on his thoughts on crowdfunding through ICOs, the future of blockchain technology, the power of decentralized network protocols, and his two crypto-related projects CoinList and Republic Crypto.
The Spartan Up podcast with Naval Ravikant – This one is a truly motivational experience. Naval talks about how in a highly efficient world, where there are lots of podcasters, runners, or engineers, the ones being “irrationally passionate about something” will be the ones that succeed. No one can compete with you in something you find entertaining. We can sum this episode up in one extremely compelling quote “I think most of life is about searching, it’s not about doing. People spend too much time doing and not enough time thinking about what they should be doing.”
The Farnam Street podcast with Naval Ravikant – This two-hour long conversation had the biggest impact on the thoughts expressed in this article. In this podcast, Naval opens up about his childhood, his passion for literature, his Kindle library, work ethic and discipline, daily routines, personal values, and the way he trained his mind using mental models and systems for decision making. His thoughts on building personal and business relations will change the way you think about your relationships and who you spend your time with. Profoundly inspirational and intimate — this podcast will leave you feeling like you’ve just read a dozen self-help books in two hours.
Navalism — Quotes & Perceptions by Naval Ravikant
-amazing roundup by Noah Madden, republished with permission-
I often refer to him as Yoda. Naval Ravikant has long been one of my favorite thinkers, and has helped to shape the way that I percieve my surroundings on a daily basis. I’m constantly recommending Naval content to help enlighten my friends and family, so I figured why not just create a master list and share it with everyone. I hope you enjoy :
- “Forty hour workweeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes — train and sprint, then rest and reassess.”
- “A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought — they must be earned.”
- “Information is everywhere but its meaning is created by the observer that interprets it. Meaning is relative and there is no objective, over-arching meaning.”
- “If you’re more passionate about founding a business than the business itself, you can fall into a ten year trap. Better to stay emotionally unattached and select the best opportunity that arises. Applies to relationships too.”
- “Smart money is just dumb money that’s been through a crash.”
- “The secret to public speaking is to speak as if you were alone.”
- “Sophisticated foods are bittersweet (wine, beer, coffee, chocolate). Addictive relationships are cooperative and competitive. Work becomes flow at the limits of ability. The flavor of life is on the edge.”
- “Technology is not only the thing that moves the human race forward, but it’s the only thing that ever has. Without technology, we’re just monkeys playing in the dirt.”
- “The fundamental delusion — there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.”
- “Success is the enemy of learning. It can deprive you of the time and the incentive to start over. Beginner’s mind also needs beginner’s time.”
- “Don’t debate people in the media when you can debate them in the marketplace.”
- “A contrarian isn’t one who always objects — that’s a confirmist of a different sort. A contrarian reasons independently, from the ground up, and resists pressure to conform.”
- “The real struggle isn’t proletariat vs bourgeois. It’s between high-status elites and wealthy elites. When their cooperation breaks, revolution.”
- “Branding requires accountability. To build a great personal brand (an eponymous one), you must take on the risk of being publicly wrong.”
- “Before you can lie to another, you must first lie to yourself.”
- “Wealth creation is an evolutionarily recent positive-sum game. Status is an old zero-sum game. Those attacking wealth creation are often just seeking status.”
- “Even today, what to study and how to study it are more important than where to study it and for how long. The best teachers are on the Internet. The best books are on the Internet. The best peers are on the Internet. The tools for learning are abundant. It’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”
- “This is such a short and precious life that it’s really important that you don’t spend it being unhappy.”
- “You make your own luck if you stay at it long enough.”
- “The power to make and break habits and learning how to do that is really important.”
- “Happiness is a choice and a skill and you can dedicate yourself to learning that skill and making that choice.”
- “We’re not really here for that long and we don’t really matter that much. And nothing that we do lasts. So eventually you will fade. Your works will fade. Your children will fade. Your thoughts will fade. This planet will fade. The sun will fade. It will all be gone.”
- “A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.”
- “The first rule of handling conflict is don’t hang around people who are constantly engaging in conflict.”
- “The problem happens when we have multiple desires. When we have fuzzy desires. When we want to do ten different things and we’re not clear about which is the one we care about.”
- “People spend too much time doing and not enough time thinking about what they should be doing.”
- “The people who succeed are irrationally passionate about something.”
- “I don’t plan. I’m not a planner. I prefer to live in the moment and be free and to flow and to be happy.”
- “If you see a get rich quick scheme, that’s someone else trying to get rich off of you.”
- “If you try to micromanage yourself all you’re going to do is make yourself miserable.”
- “Social media has degenerated into a deafening cacophony of groups signaling and repeating their shared myths.”
- “If it entertains you now but will bore you someday, it’s a distraction. Keep looking.”
- “If the primary purpose of school was education, the Internet should obsolete it. But school is mainly about credentialing.”
- “Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”
- “Technology is applied science. Science is the study of nature. Mathematics is the language of nature. Philosophy is the root of mathematics. All tightly interrelated.”
- “Be present above all else.”
- “All the benefits in life come from compound interest — money, relationships, habits — anything of importance.”
- “Who you do business with is just as important as what you choose to do.”
- “If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.”
- “Earn with your mind, not your time.”
- “Humans are basically habit machines… I think learning how to break habits is actually a very important meta skill and can serve you in life almost better than anything else.”
- “The older the problem, the older the solution.”
- “It’s the mark of a charlatan to try and explain simple things in complex ways and it’s the mark of a genius to explain complicated things in simple ways.”
- “The Efficient Markets Hypothesis fails because humans are herd animals, not independent rational actors. Thus the best investors tend to be antisocial and contrarian.”
- “People who try to look smart by pointing out obvious exceptions actually signal the opposite.”
- “You’re never going to get rich renting out your time.”
- “Lots of literacy in modern society, but not enough numeracy.”
- “Above “product-market fit” is “founder-product-market fit.”
- “Society has had multiple stores of value, as none is perfectly secure. Gold, oil, dollars, real estate, (some) bonds & equities. Crypto is the first that’s decentralized *and* digital.”
- “Crypto is a bet against the modern macroeconomic dogma, which is passed off as science, but is really a branch of politics — with rulers, winners, and losers.”
- “Clear thinkers appeal to their own authority.”
- “Think clearly from the ground up. Understand and explain from first principles. Ignore society and politics. Acknowledge what you have. Control your emotions.”
- “Cynicism is easy. Mimicry is easy. Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.”
- “If they can train you to do it, then eventually they will train a computer to do it.”
- “If you’re desensitized to the fact that you’re going to die, consider it a different way. As far as you’re concerned, this world is going to end. Now what?”
- “Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.”
- “Objectively, the world is improving. To the elites, it’s falling apart as their long-lived institutions are flattened by the Internet.”
- “One of the most damaging and widespread social beliefs is the idea that most adults are incapable of learning new skills.”
- “A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest?”
- “Caught in a funk? Use meditation, music, and exercise to reset your mood. Then choose a new path to commit emotional energy for rest of day.”
- “To be honest, speak without identity.”
- “A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.”
- “Politics is sports writ large — pick a side, rally the tribe, exchange stories confirming bias, hurl insults and threats at the other side.”
- “People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles can’t fathom.”
- “We feel guilt when we no longer want to associate with old friends and colleagues who haven’t changed. The price, and marker, of growth.”
- “The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.”
- “Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself.”
- “Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at someone else.” (Buddhist saying)
- “If you can’t see yourself working with someone else for life, dont work with them for a day.”
- “All the real benefits of life come from compound interest.”
- “Total honesty at all times. It’s almost always possible to be honest & positive.”
- “Truth is that which has predictive power.”
- “Watch every thought. Always ask, why am I having this thought?”
- “All greatness comes from suffering.”
- “Love is given, not received.”
- “Enlightenment is the space between your thoughts.”
- “Mathematics is the language of nature.”
- “Every moment has to be complete in and of itself.”
- “So I have no time for short-term things: dinners with people I won’t see again, tedious ceremonies to please tedious people, traveling to places that I wouldn’t go to on vacation.”
- “You can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you would change it but not changing it, wishing you would leave it but not leaving it, and not accepting it. It’s that struggle, that aversion, that is responsible for most of our misery. The phrase that I use the most to myself in my head is one word: accept.”
- “I don’t have time is just saying it’s not a priority.”
- “Happiness is a state where nothing is missing.”
- “If you don’t love yourself who will?”
- “If being ethical were profitable everybody would do it.”
- “Someone who is using a lot of fancy words and big concepts probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The smartest people can explain things to a child; if you can’t do that, you don’t understand the concept.”
- “Escape competition through authenticity.”
- Periscope (1): https://www.pscp.tv/w/1eaKbqrWloRxX
- Periscope (1) transcript courtesy of NoviceDock: https://novicedock.com/learn/influencers/naval
- Periscope (2): https://www.pscp.tv/w/1MnGneBLZVmKO
- Periscope (2) transcript courtesy of NoviceDock: https://novicedock.com/learn/influencers/naval-ravikant-periscope-2
- A conversation with Ryan Shea (Co-founder of Blockstack) — 2017
- A conversation with Nick Tomaino at Token Summit — 2017
- A talk with Goldman Sachs — 2017
- Vitalik Buterin (Co-founder of Ethereum) & Naval at TechCruch Disrupt — 2017
- Naval & Connie Loizos at TechCrunch Disrupt NY — 2017
- PandoMonthly fireside chat with Sarah Lacy — 2012
- Talking Bitcoin with the Winklevoss brothers & Balaji Srinivasan (CEO Earn.com) — 2013
- Killing Buddha, a monthly curated life philosophy newsletter, interviews Naval on suffering and acceptance, the skill of happiness, who he admires, the give and take of the modern world, traveling lightly, and advice for his children.
- Tools of Titans is a best selling book by Tim Ferriss, which dives deep into the tactics, routines, and habits of billionaires, icons, and world class performers. Among other extraordinary individuals, Tim interviews Naval on books, failure, investments, beliefs, and much more. This book is certainly worth the investment!
- Another great curation of Naval content and perceptions written by mtrajan, about how Naval is a honeypot for first principle thinkers.
Some similar Twitter accounts worth a follow:
Check out our other profiles: