The Most Valuable 1%

By editor on February 20, 2018 — 1 min read

I am an elitist. I’ve always been an intellectual elitist, I’ll be honest with you. I was never an elitist about where you went to school, I was always super insecure. I’m this kid from Canada, I grew up in Vanier, poor. Blah-blah-blah… I’m working with all these people that went to Harvard, Stanford, Yale. It’s hard to go into a place like that every day and not feel a little insecure.

Everybody went to Harvard at Facebook. I mean, like, everybody. And whoever didn’t go to Harvard went to Stanford. And so you feel kind of schleppy. But, over a number of years of working, then you’re like, “Actually, no, I’m good. And not only am I good, I’m better than all these guys.” And then you think to yourself, how many people are like that? That grew up in Ottawa, that grew up in Toronto, that grew up in fucking Karachi, and can kick ass?

There’s a ton of these folks, and the problem today is that the framework for how society assigns value is dated. It’s based on a degree, it’s based on a school, it’s based on a lineage, it’s based on a pedigree, it’s based on your gender, it’s based on all this fucking bullshit that doesn’t matter.

And so, for me, I was really interested in what does the world look like if you can capture the top 1%. And most people think when you say 1% you mean the rich people. Who cares about those people?

What about the most valuable 1%? The smartest 1%. The most ambitious 1%. Those people drive 99% of the gains in the world. They do. They do it at every company, they do it in every state, in every province, in every city… everywhere.

And I wanted to start a company that built an index of those 1%ers. (35:40)

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.