Sep 14, 2020
My guest today is Eric Jorgenson, a Product Strategist at Zaarly and the author of the Almanack of Naval Ravikant: a guide to wealth and happiness. The book collects and curates Naval's wisdom from Twitter, podcasts, and essays over the past decade. Naval is the founder of Angel List, an angel investor who has invested in companies like Twitter and Uber, and the man behind one of the most popular Twitter accounts in the world. He's known for his thoughts on startups, investing, crypto, wealth, and happiness.
This is a conversation about that book. We began the conversation talking about Multiply by Zero Effects, which comes from a short e-book Eric wrote called Career Advice for Uniquely Ambitious People. Then, we moved onto the Almanac. We talked about the differences between Charlie Munger and Naval Ravikant, building specific knowledge, and how operating companies influenced Naval's philosophy of life. At the end, we also jammed on what Naval would say to the owners of Joe's Bar-B-Que, Eric's favorite restaurant in Kansas City.
2:28 - Why Eric wrote his new book, and what he regrets not putting in it.
6:15 - What Eric thinks Charlie Munger and Naval Ravikant would disagree on most.
9:34 - Why people like Naval and Munger often give advice as the "Iron Prescription" to solve a problem or learn in a field.
12:13 - Why so many Silicon Valley entrepreneurs were on track to be an academic but then split off.
13:20 - What entrepreneurs can learn from how comedians develop their voice and leverage their following.
15:57 - What knowledge Naval has that is unique only to him in his field.
19:36 - How to maximize leverage and value as an entrepreneur and in your career.
23:26 - What defines a startup, and what Eric has learned from Nivi through his writings on VentureHacks.
25:37 - How Naval uses Twitter as a repository for his ideas and findings and as a forge to test them out.
31:22 - Naval's view of hard work and how it has changed over time.
34:40 - Why it took multiple rereadings of his book and years of observation and experience for Eric to start fully understanding Naval's idea of "productize yourself".
36:11 - What about Eric's own book did he start to resent by the end of creating it.
40:01 - How the message of the book changed as Eric was compressing and cutting the source material down.
43:10 - Why Eric could not have done this book without loving Naval's work as much as he does.
46:19 - What advice Naval would give to Eric's favorite restaurant, Joe's Barbecue.
48:45 - Why David has never forgotten Eric's comment on how "owning a home is a never-ending battle against water" and what he means when he says that.
50:20 - How writing this book gave Eric "more clarity, confidence, and peace through all aspects of life."