By editor on February 20, 2018 — 1 min read

It was incredible. At the time, it was horrible! Lived above a Laundromat, in Ottawa, Ontario, in a little French ghetto called Vanier. But I went to a really good high school, Lisgar Collegiate, every little rich muckity muck went there. I didn’t. And so I secretly hated all of them. But what it really was doing was lighting this unbelievable fire, this nuclear reactor inside my stomach, where I’m just like, “I am just going to win.”

And, you know, it wasn’t really until Waterloo where it really started to really unlock, particularly in these work terms where I was in the work environment, I’m like, “I can crush.” I just knew that I could do it.

Yeah, so in hindsight it was the best thing. Now, part of it, why is was the best thing is I’ve now taken enough time to be introspective, to self-actualize, and to deal with it. But it came with immense amounts of baggage. And for a while, I just needed to be rich, because I was so poor.

And then you get there, and you’re like, “Wow, this is really going to amplify either the best parts of my character or the absolute worst parts of my character.” And there’s probably a year where it was the worst parts of my character, but I, again, it’s like, for me it’s been a journey of self-learning. And it was a hugely instrumental thing. Like I look at my children and I’m like, “Wow, what boundary conditions could I possibly even remotely give them that will allow them to struggle in a way that makes them want to achieve great things?” (21:25)

Posted in: Life

Editor's Note

These are Chamath Palihapitiya's words. They are probably some of the best thoughts on VC, business, and life, but were scattered around the Internet. They live now in this archive.