Win or Learn

By editor on February 20, 2018 — 1 min read

I like to consider myself a free radical. Meaning, I’m very bursty. I’m unpredictably good, but also unpredictably bad. I try to have a relationship with our founders where they can just tell me, “You need to chill out, you need to stop, you’re not being helpful right now.” Because that’s a lot of it. But in that safe-zone, every now and then, we land something that I think is exceptional.

Like as an example, so Punit [Singh Soni] and I work together right now. He’s an EIR. It’s so funny, he doesn’t want to talk to me because it’s just too bursty. You can’t deal with it all. He has an amazing team that he’s working with, so it’s like, “I’m just gonna come to a point of view, I’ll give you like 30 minutes to give me some feedback,” and literally we sit in the room and he just goes, “I just need yes, no’s, yes – no – yes – no – yes – no – yes – no. [Laughs]

And we try to react and interchange and then he goes off. He makes different decisions, hopefully some better. I make a different set of conclusions because of his feedback so… Yeah, I’m not going to claim like I’m a know-it-all or like a company whisperer, that’s not what I do.

I have a very precise sense of what is possible in the future, and I’m not afraid to lose money. That’s the best two things you can have as a VC. I think. Because I just don’t care about the money. And so it’s wonderful. All we’re ever going to do is learn, or be right.

In no context are we ever wrong. We’re learning or we’re right, that’s it. (31:54)

Posted in: Leadership

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.