30 Days of Writing, Day 12: Chamath and 'Money as an Instrument of Change'

Get the money. Get the money, and then let’s get around a table, and let’s create new rules.

It is going to be made, it is going to be allocated, and you have a moral imperative to make sure that if you have a point of view that matters, and you want to reflect it, you get it.

It will be about a competition of views. Money drives the world, for better or for worse. Economic incentives drive entire swaths of populations to behave in very, very, predictable — and then when you take it away, unpredictable — ways.

Spend time to think about what your worldview is, so that when you control some of these purse-strings, you push that view into the world.

- Chamath Palihapatiya

I’ve been listening to a lot of Chamath over the past few days and I think this view, that money drives a society for better or for worse, is exemplified in all units of society (families, companies, and the world). And ultimately, that’s how societies work: it’s on us to accumulate enough capital and power to impose our worldviews on societies.

Honestly, it was only after I’d demonstrated that I have the capability to earn a substantial salary that my parents truly began to start respecting my decision making process. This is not a shot at them-I had a bad academic track record and flunked out of university before, and so I needed to prove myself to them by putting in the work to become a competent programmer.

Family breadwinners get to choose how a family’s culture is. CEOs and board members and business owners get to choose how their organizations operate. And at a big enough scale, people who control the money get to choose what roads are worth building, companies are worth funding, and what problems are worth solving.

Looking forward fifty years from now, I hope I’ll be in a position where I’ve accumulated intellectual, business, and financial capital so that I can put some of my world view and values out there: I think everyone should have at least a chance to try to pursue what they want in life.

To even come close to making that a reality, I need to work on the micro and the day to day: applying myself and becoming the best person I can be so I can develop the best value I can to a company and their users/clients.

It seems really idealistic just typing this out, and there’s a very little chance that this works out, but I might as well try it rather than regret not trying it when I get older.