Terry Matthews and Sam Legg

By editor on January 28, 2018 — 1 min read

I took the bus to Newbridge. Complete luck that the controller of Newbridge would go from his nice neighborhood, through this shitty neighborhood, to get on the highway. And so he would see “this guy,” standing by the bus, and eventually he saw me inside the office, and one day he stopped and said, “Do you want a ride?”

This guy was Sam Legg. So, in the car, he was in the front seat, beside Terry, and he was able to tell me how this guy thought about this stuff. Because I would read it in the paper, and I’d be like, “Why is he doing this?”

It just completely rewired what money was. For Terry Matthews, money was an instrument of change. He had a market cap and was like, “Wow, that’s eight billion dollars of change. Ten billion dollars of change. Fifteen billion dollars of change.”

Versus, there’s another guy building a company at the same time his name is Michael Cowpland, who ran a company called Corel. Also a billionaire. And he was the exact opposite. Had a messy divorce, married some trophy wife. He took this obscene, shiny, glass from his building and covered his house in it.

You had this dichotomy of two different characters at that time in the 90s, building two very different businesses. Corel, which was a reasonable business, Newbridge, which was a reasonable business: They were both very successful but they manifested money so totally differently.

I was like, I want to be [Terry Matthews]. I want to be this mega compounder swashbuckling around trying to do really cool shit in the world. How do I do that?

Sam helped me, because you could understand from him what Terry cared about.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMotykw0SIk (6:50)

Posted in: Money

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.