Power to the Edges

By editor on February 19, 2018 — 1 min read

We took a step back and we said, “Where does the world need to be improved the most?”

And we defined “improved” in the following way:

How do you rip out power and give it to the people at the edges, and then how do you allow them to do whatever they want to do?

That could be some really bad stuff. As an example, I spend a lot of time right now in Bitcoin. And every time anybody knocks me about Bitcoin, they’re like, “Oh Chamath, what about if like, Al Qaeda funds a terrorist plot using Bitcoin…”

I don’t know. Well, guess what? They fund that shit with fucking US dollars today. So, will bad stuff happen? Probably. But that’s the cost of progress, unfortunately. You never get a perfect thing. You’ve always gotta deal with the half a percent of crappy use cases. Great, local and mobile and all this stuff is a wonderful thing. Yeah.

Unfortunately, for example, with that scout application, like, did some bad stuff happen to young kids? Yeah. That’s really bad. Does that mean nobody should be building anything local, or mobile, or social? Probably not.

And so this is the double-edged sword.

This goes back to building good products, and like, what are you really trying to do? I’m not trying to exploit a window in building an app in local mobile social. I couldn’t give a crap about that stuff.

I would really like to go out and build stuff that, again, if you allow more and more people to live, if you allow them to also have confidence in themselves around the skills that they have, versus the degree, so that you deconstruct the hierarchy in the world, and then you give them access to a lot of money.

In an unbiased way, you unlock potential in people, you’ll find entrepreneurs where you never expected them to be, you’ll find solutions to problems that you never thought were possible, and the world moves forward.

And forward will include some gnarly stuff that people can’t really grok or support. Tough shit. That’s the cost of progress.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDVDWNguPs4 (52:07)

Posted in: v1

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.