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Big Stupid

Scott Galloway@profgalloway

Published on June 3, 2022

Your ancestors pet snakes and drank foul-smelling water. You (likely) do not, as you have learned from their mistakes via the ultimate streaming network of life lessons, always on in your head, called instinct+. In sum, our instincts help us predict the future. If you get close to a lion it will eat you, etc. However, there are decisions our society presents whose nuance/complexity has outpaced instinct. Our response to these challenges are what advances (and hinders) human progress. Just as 80% of people believe they are above average drivers, few people believe they make a lot of bad decisions … which makes them especially dangerous. Similar to death, stupidity is more painful for others. Professor Carlo Cipolla’s Basic Laws of Human Stupidity break it down:

  1. Everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals among us.
  2. The probability that a certain person is stupid is independent of any other characteristic of that person.
  3. A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person while deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses.
  4. Non-stupid people always underestimate the damaging power of stupid individuals.
  5. A stupid person is the most dangerous type of person.

Professor Cippola brings texture to a common word with a cocktail: stupid decisions are actions that are bad for you and damaging to others. Just as we underestimate the number of stupid people, we underestimate the business world’s, and seemingly successful people’s, ability to make stupid decisions that damage themselves and others. Success is literally an intoxicant that makes you more risk aggressive and impairs your peripheral vision to reality and risks.

Some firms and decisions that, in my view, are stupid:

Big Stupid

Bad ideas from big firms have more mass, hence more inertia. A couple weeks ago, the world’s most valuable firm presented a virtual reality headset to its board. Apple has been working on this bad idea since 2015, and not even Jony Ive could kill it. According to The Information, Mr. Ive argued: “VR alienated users from other people by cutting them off from the outside world, made users look unfashionable and lacked practical uses.” Ive’s design team was “unconvinced that consumers would be willing to wear headsets for long periods of time.”

VR is a decade-long experiment that has cost tens of billions of dollars to prove nobody wants it. Consumers putting something on their face designed by Stanford and Harvard engineering graduates who live in Redmond or San Jose is less likely than the next great SaaS company emerging from Florence.

To be fair, few firms better understand the importance of how we look using a product than Apple, and the Cupertino firm has become the largest jewelry maker in the world via the Apple Watch and Airpods. Wearables represent 10.5% of Apple’s revenue, or $38 billion, in 2021 (seven times the revenue of Tiffany & Co.). Jewelry and wearables make you more attractive and utile, respectively. The Apple Watch and Airpods do both.

In contrast, headsets make you less attractive and less utile and add fuel to the flames of isolation, loneliness, and depression that plague American youth. When my sons are on their phone(s), they’re only pretending they can’t hear or see me. VR headsets are cigarettes minus the charm.

A few weeks after the Apple board was pitched $2,000 cigarettes, Coinbase announced a plan to inject divisiveness and anxiety into its workplace. The crypto-trading platform is testing a software tool that asks employees to rate each other after every interaction. If a colleague says something you don’t like, you’re expected to give them a thumbs-down and notes on how they could improve. Every employee gets a scorecard with a rating from 1-10. Those with lower ratings are deemed to have lower “believability,” which co-workers are expected to factor in when considering whether to listen to them. You can’t make this shit up.

An organization is a means of leveraging one of our species’ superpowers: cooperation. This is a tool that encourages anti-cooperation, full stop. The process was developed by mega-hedge fund Bridgewater, part of founder Ray Dalio’s vision of “radical transparency.” Dalio can point to 223 billion reasons his management approach works. However, there’s also reason to believe it’s a narrow set of people — mostly traders — who will tolerate a granular scorecard tracking every aspect of their performance. At Bridgewater, 20% of employees leave within the first year. Employees are seen crying in bathrooms, and workplace politics such as sex scandals are resolved by ignoring those with lower believability scores. Coinbase can take solace that they also have a great deal of tears in the bathroom, as the stock is 80% below its initial listing price.

Rich Stupid

Ledgers of stupid people are valuable. And lists of stupid rich people are worth even more.

Robinhood built an $8 billion company assembling a list of people with a particular form of stupidity that’s widespread — financial illiteracy. The firm’s median account value is $240, and its stock has shed three-quarters of its value since listing last summer. Bad for investors, customers, and society. Stupid. More recently, the cryptocurrency Luna put a similar list on the blockchain and built up a “market cap” of over $41 billion … then crashed spectacularly.

The latest list of stupid people is being aggregated by a Valley gadfly/podcast host who is soliciting dentists and small-business owners to invest in Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover. In exchange for the right to buy Twitter at a 35% premium to the current publicly traded price, “investors” pay a 7% fee and 10% of the upside to the podcaster. The pitch makes CNBC’s “Trade Like Chuck” ads (turns out Chuck turned $4,600 into $460,000 “in just two years.”) feel legit. This is stupid for Elon as it increases the stench of desperation around the Twitter deal. An impression Mr. Musk created when he tasked his lawyers with finding a legal rip-cord (”There’s bots on the platform!”) to exit the agreement to purchase shares (for less than they are being marketed by the podcaster). I’d speculate Rolls-Royce would pay for this list of the stupid rich, as there’s likely crossover with people who are potential Cullinan owners.

The most recent stupid company? A: Flowcarbon, a firm started by WeWork founder Adam Neumann that (brace for impact) “operates at the intersection of carbon and crypto” and seeks to “bring carbon on chain to create democratized access to offsets” and “leverage web3 to protect the earth’s natural carbon sinks.” Can I get a venti, ayahuasca Big Gulp with that?

On the strength of this yogababble cocktail, Neumann has raised $70 million in funding. More than half of the consideration came from the sale (i.e., bag-dump) of his cryptocurrency, GNT. BTW, that stands for “Goddess Nature Token” — I’m praying the firm is successful enough to have an S-1. Or maybe I’ll launch a firm that decentralizes AI Meta Renewable NFTs. I’ll fund the company with proceeds from my Community Based EBITDA token. It. Could. Happen.

Self Stupid

I was with my boys in the city this weekend. My 14-year-old is … gone. He’s figured out I’m not that cool and seems angry I let the charade go on this long. His favorite thing is, when out with his dad, to ask if he can walk home alone and leave several minutes before me. I know he’ll come back, and friends told me to expect it, but I am still shocked how fast the eye roll arrived.

My 11-year-old, that’s a different story. We went to The Edge, an observation deck in Hudson Yards where, for $38 each, you and a couple thousand tourists get to look at the city from 100 floors up. This, for me, is the seventh ring of hell. However (pro-tip for dads), I recognize moments of engagement with your sons are a function of leaning into what they are interested in. Turns out neither are passionate about CrossFit, World War ll history, or antitrust legislation.

Anyway, he spots the advertised “Thrilling Glass Floor,” which we lay down on and take selfies. He then pops up as he has great news: “Dad … there’s a bar! Should we get Cokes?” I nod, he sprints, I mean sprints, to the bar, stops, runs back, grabs money from his dad, and sprints back to the bar. Sitting, drinking Atlanta Champagne on stone benches, gazing at the city from the tallest man-made outdoor viewing platform in the Western Hemisphere, he looks at me and says, “Isn’t this amazing?” This is the closest I will get to heaven.

Later that night, the boys are asleep, I have had two Zacapa and Cokes and am feeling emotional. I text some people who mean a lot to me and tell them about my experience that day and how I feel about sons/fatherhood/etc. What I’ve gotten right/wrong. They respond, and we’re closer. The next morning I’m sober, have some distance from the moment with my son, and am a bit embarrassed at my texts. I’m more in control, less likely to spontaneously reach out to people and burden them with my emotions. Once again, I’m stupid.

Life is so rich,

P.S. One Section4 student called Gibson Biddle’s Product Strategy workshop “transformative.” So don’t miss out – become a member for unlimited access, or buy a seat to this workshop for $200.



  1. Found Stupidity says:

    “Violent images wipe away 17 months in an instant”

    CNN hopes so. Their site is trying hard to make this show so prominent that you won’t notice that inflation’s at a 40-year high.

    It’s impossible to wipe away a trauma like Biden’s first 17 months. CNN is Big Stupid for trying.

    CNN should pay attention to inflation so that Biden has to do something right, if he can.

  2. bartb says:

    The power of Stupid is amazing! Reminds me of a post from Kamil Galeev: “For people from beyond the post-USSR it’s difficult to grasp the cultural importance of the STEM culture (the only oasis of free thought and non conformity) for the post-Soviet culture in general. Pretty much anything else turned out to be intellectually and culturally futile … In reality it’s more complicated. An intellectual with zero knowledge of humanities is nearly guaranteed to fall in love with the first theory he becomes acquainted of. That’s why all those Soviet (and post-Soviet) STEM folk are such an easy prey for charlatans. Saw it many times”.
    As for your boys, my nona (grandmother) used to say about raising my kids “the days are long, but the years are short”. I didn’t understand this until they started high school … Hang in there Scott, you’re doing fine.

  3. Ronnie says:

    Great article as always, but man I’m going to say “Atlanta Champagne” whenever I can now

  4. Donita says:

    Being emotional (even while drunk) is not stupid. It is human. Rock on Dad.

  5. Shweta says:

    Prof G you have such a way with words …. very clever and very touching at the same time 🙂

  6. SANDY says:

    A good one. Thank you.

  7. Bobsster says:

    I believe Scott is not the target audience for things like Robinhood or VR headsets, other people are, and like early stage tech that’s clunky now, it forms the basis for better evolved, sexier tech later …. We’re just at the beginning.

  8. Joe says:

    George Carlin, “Think of how dumb the average person is and then realize that half the people are dumber than that.”

  9. gokulram arunasalam says:

    Well written article.

  10. James says:

    I am a 21 year old male who is dead-set on achieving in life; both financially, and through relationships and family. Your ability to articulate information in such a consumable way is fascinating, I find myself becoming the evermore motivated after every article I read. Thank you.

  11. Jake The Peg says:

    Great Article Scott. Unfortunately there is always going to be gullible (stupid) people, or as Forrest Gump said it best – Stupid Is As Stupid Does

  12. Rod says:

    One of your absolute best, on so many levels. Thank you.

  13. Susan says:

    When I was parenting a teenager (20 yrs ago) I made this observation: “I finally got to the point in my life when I think I’m okay after all, and my kid comes around and tells me I’m not.”

  14. Susan says:

    Being vulnerable and being stupid are two different things. When you open up to people who are close to you, you may, as you reflect upon it, feels vulnerable because you shared your heart with them. Being caught with ‘your pants down’ (and thinking as someone opens the door — why didn’t I lock the door first?) .. now that is stupid. The next time you feel uneasy about opening up to someone close, instead … feel grateful you have close friends, feel the richness of life and do it again!

  15. Chas Rice says:

    (1) “moments of engagement…” My neighbor and I talk about this exact thing all the time. If one of our (now nearly adult) children start a sentence with “Do you want to…” it is all we can do to not cut them off and say “Sure! When? Now?”
    (2) Stupid – Portland, OR is an ongoing experiment on how watching how ~1% of the population who are “destructive to themselves and society” coupled with city councilors who are apparently have no authority to do anything but cut the police department budget by $16M to kill the downtown core.

  16. Tim says:

    “You can’t make this shit up.” Oh, but you can, if you’re Dave Eggers. A similar mandatory feedback system is a feature of work like in/at The Every.

  17. Scott says:

    Best post in a while. They are all good but this one really stands out!

  18. Kenny Fraser says:

    Love this article – such an important part of understanding human and organisational behaviour.

    Reminds me of a favourite quote:
    “A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.” Douyglas Adams

  19. jm says:

    The biggest thing that stuck with me from this column is that you dared to pollute Ron Zacapa with Coke. The only things that should touch it are a lime wedge and maybe an ice cube.

  20. Oindrila Sen says:

    I love this post, Scott! Some bits made me laugh out loud! I listen to both your podcast, Prof G and Pivot, regularly. I really enjoy the no- nonsense approach you take. I may not agree with you always, but I suspect you would not want that either. Thank you for cutting through a lot of bullshit! I can say that, right? Be well…

  21. cb says:

    Great post.

    The biblical book of Proverbs beat Prof. Cipolla by ~2700 years – only insert the word “fool” or “foolish” for “stupid.”

    My 2 kids went from meeting me at the door with the wildest joy to not even acknowledging me when I came home from a 2-week business trip. I was one sorry SOB in their eyes for a spell. Then, sometime in their late college years I became cool again and even a source of wisdom. Part of the process.

    I wonder if VR may well have a life in a technical world for people servicing complex instruments – line up the blueprint or service manual image with the real-world image, then see instructions for affecting a fix. Surgery?

  22. LJ says:

    Great post. Tried to share on LinkedIN but link didn’t carry over. What a glorious disaster we’ve created in our society. So, so much opportunity wasted on stupidity. Sunk costs. Thanks for shedding some laser-focused attention on the opportunity for basic emotional intelligence.

  23. Ami says:

    A few years ago our then 12 y/o daughter rolled her eyes at us. We told her that if she ever did that again, we’d wait for her at school and kiss her, one on each cheek, in front of all her friends. She’s never done it again 🙂

  24. Ezzie says:

    Put this one in a frame. Beautiful, Scott.

  25. Laurie says:

    Loved this piece. We need to start calling out the stupid sooner and louder. The emperor has no clothes, people! Love and appreciate what you do. Thanks.

  26. Julie says:

    Thx for reminding me I need more Zacapa. And psst, your advice re your sons is good for Moms, too. Glad you had an eye-rolling, amazing, day!

  27. Ma Gur says:

    Thank you Scot. One of your best.

  28. RizCo says:

    Thank you Scott. As a lowly Amazon warehouse worker with a wife working at Meta but always listening and reading you (and Kara) I just want to say thanks for being a vulnerable human so publicly.

  29. The Fat Gladiator says:

    Scott I always enjoy you stuff, but I would love to know how much time you have actually spent with a VR headset on and what applications you have actually used it for before writing it off as a bad idea ? We had an Edtech conference the other day and demonstrated VR user cases for school children that will transform education by providing immersive experiences that are dovetailed to the curriculum in a responsible manner . They listened to the poetry of Sassoon whilst immersed in the trenches of the First World War during a mustard gas attack , they got to visit the pyramids , the Great Wall of China and walk around Ancient Rome , then fly around some of the worlds most famous art galleries all with with their friends. Most importantly the children loved it and their retention rates sky rocketed . The conclusion of the conference was that a VR headset would never replace the empathy and care of a brilliant teacher but as a tool in their hands it will make education more fun and provide opportunities for those that will never get to go to many of these places due to being economic disadvantaged. I have no investments in these areas, but I think if you ask a bed ridden person with multiple sclerosis, who can now go fishing anywhere in the world with all his family whether VR is a bad idea and I suspect you will get a different answer: thanks as always Nick Finegold (The Fat Gladiator )

  30. Goalie56 says:

    I referred to them as the “grunting” years.

  31. David says:

    You really have a talent for nailing the simple emotional story. Bravo!

  32. Zach says:

    I want to quibble with your take on VR here. I’m a 29-year-old dork who makes decent money (so that’s obviously just one specific consumer demo.) I tried to be an early adopter of VR tennish years ago, when it was lower fidelity and uncomfortable, felt “they haven’t figured this out yet,” and moved on. The recent headset I have now is genuinely comfortable to use for extended periods of time, I enjoy playing games with my friends, etc. I think the “metaverse” thing is wildly overblown but it’s not inconceivable to me that you could figure out a way to drive socialization and commerce there, especially as the tech gets more portable, comfortable, and affordable, which it will.

    So I wouldn’t listen to people who say it’s “the next internet, even though right now only dorks are using it,” but I do think it merits a better comparison to the product category of video games. I don’t care how “fashionable” I look playing video games; I play them because they’re fun. There was a time when only (mostly) a certain kind of person played video games, but eventually, in part because of advances in tech and accessibility (I’m thinking of things like smartphones and the Wii), the product category totally exploded and opened up to a wider range of consumers. I have no idea how Apple wants to attempt this, but I think a smarter and less evil company than Facebook probably has the capacity to lead that charge.

  33. Pierre Rasputin says:

    There was a time when name dropping drugs was hip. Now it’s just tedious. Panama Red, anyone?

  34. chuck says:

    I thought they made water softeners.
    I’m getting old…

  35. Russell says:

    Coke is is the modern day foul tasting water. Why do you poison your kid?

  36. jambalaya says:

    As a person who had the great misfortune of dealing with the public in my secular work, I can assure you that I would never underestimate the number of stupid people. The ratio was 10% intelligent and 90% stupid and I’m being very generous.

  37. Hamid Banna says:

    My son is 35. I will never forget the period when between 12 and 18 I was the “stupid dad”. It is a very interesting period. At 18, when he started facing reality, father was not so stupid after all. Just be prepared to receive him back. From then on its lots of hugs and love. Hope the “stupid period” flies fast for you too ………

  38. Colin Toal says:

    First time caller, long time listener – from Toronto..
    Hudson Yards Edge is 20 feet lower than the CN Tower outdoor observation deck.

  39. Mark says:

    Great article. As a “creative” I take issue with the blanket “starving artist” term on the Cipolla matrix. I think it speaks to an attitude of jealousy and derision from those chained to the corporate sector. Volunteers are a better “target” though this also speaks to societal imbalance (ie charity vs big govt). Anyway…lovely reflections on the macro and the familial micro.

  40. Steve Averill says:

    And I am reminded why I subscribe. Helluva post OG

  41. Alin says:

    Love it, thank you Scott.

  42. Alin says:

    Thank you Scott.

  43. Joe Rosenfeld says:

    By Cipolla’s measure, one of the stupidest people of all time may be Thomas Midgley, Jr – who developed leaded gasoline and some of the first chlorofluorocarbons put into production.

  44. JUDY says:

    I love the telling of emotional Dad (or Mom) moments they are what make us human. Please don’t ever stop.

  45. Patrick says:

    Such a good read. Thanks for the info and showing your human side.

  46. Juan says:

    Just great. Pragmatism.

  47. Shannnon says:

    Like I always say just like with ghosts “I see stupid people and they don’t know they are stupid”

  48. Gyi says:

    Never be embarrased about how human connection makes you feel. Sympatheia

  49. Robin says:

    Read it. Liked it.

  50. Patricia McGreivy says:

    Always direct and right on target. I love posts.

  51. Sheena Lakhotia says:

    Very true and insightful.
    Thank you for posting.

  52. Dani says:

    Hey, Scott – The cringy emotionally raw thing after a few cocktails? Do more of it sober.

    My husband has been gone for four years now and the thing I remember most from his funeral was how many people told me that this was THE thing they loved most about him.

  53. Tony M says:

    Those who you mean a lot to will enjoy you sharing those thoughts with them. Lovely story. Sharing those feelings can induce embarassment, but I’m sure most folk welcome those conversations. Not stupid.

  54. Jack Dorsey's Nosering says:

    You’re bang on about VR, and even if you’re not, we know for a fact it will not get anywhere near the adoption of the iPhone or AirPods. (or get close to tablets, laptops, hell, even smart speakers) Anecdotally, me and my brother-in-law (who lives with us) are the prime target market for VR. Programmers who are gamers. He has an Oculus (pre Facebook acquisition he reminds me) that we have not even thought about touching. He plays Xbox on, *shudders*, a flat 2D screen, every day, me about 4 days a week. The headset literally in the other room and we don’t pick it up. Who’s going to pay $2K for this again? It’s a mistake for Apple to release a headset at all. (over a car, especially) The people in your comment sections seem to not be able to zoom out of the yuppy techie space and realize the mainstream public views VR as that thing where you sit in an egg at the mall, or that thing Facebook wants us to do. Utter cringe. Damaging to Apple’s brand even.

  55. Yahia says:

    Once again a great piece. I thoroughly enjoyed this one as I did most (if not all) of your previous ones. This newsletter stands out to me in a way I can’t explain. I think, maybe, you crystallize your thoughts into a narrative I have never experienced before – like driving on a new scenic road every time. Yes, that is it. Thanks again.

  56. Andrew says:

    Scott keep up the great work – I look forward every week to read your newsletter 👍👍

  57. Darcy says:

    Hi Scott. As a father of two sons that are in there 20s, I can appreciate the times you are going through with your boys. I appreciate you sharing the personal details of your relationships with your sons. I think if father engage with their sons, it makes a difference to how they see and navigate their way through life. BTW – the 14 years old will think you were a brilliant father once he has his own kids. My own dad is a go-to for advise.

  58. Roberto Shea says:

    Great piece all around, Dad from Another Dad.

  59. Tiffany says:

    There was a Black Mirror episode similar to what Coinbase is doing. It did not end well …..

  60. Ed says:

    Scott, Your brilliant! I just turned 70 and came the conclusion I have given my fellow American citizens much to much credit. Most of them are stupid! You knew it all along.

  61. Byron says:

    Solid article. Thanks for sharing.

  62. Martin says:

    Maybe your best (semi) rant yet. Read the whole thing with a smile on my fizzog (Scottish for face)

  63. Ed says:

    I always love the business, strategy, case study, etc. content. Its your humanity and humbleness that really hooks me. My oldest son recently graduated college and has started work for a large firm. I have watched him grow through all the stages. Keep doing what you’re doing, give them leash, let them roam and come back. I have 2 other children, a daughter and son. Between them and my wife, I am a very wealthy man though I live very average life. Real wisdom is in knowing your wealth, versus seeking it in measurement by others

  64. Greekster says:

    I hope the Zacapa was the 15 not the 23 year old, or that’s a shame with Coca-Cola but not stupid. Bonus points if it was Coke made in Mexico with cane sugar rather than domestic high-fructose corn syrup.

  65. Ruth says:

    This: Success is literally an intoxicant that makes you more risk aggressive and impairs your peripheral vision to reality and risks’. Reminds me of And don’t know who to attribute – but the circle of total knowledge: what you know – maybe 2% of the circle, what you don’t know you know – maybe 5% and what you don’t know you don’t know – 93% of the circle. Anyone who thinks their circle has different %ages is well misguided

  66. David says:

    Sadly, there are lots of entrepreneurs that “sell dreams” to change the world with trivial inventions like sending pictures that disappear. Most of these folks have spent little time with the average American (or at least have forgotten about what matters). But somehow, they can raise tons of money from teachers pensions….and create companies that aren’t necessarily any good for society. In the end many of them (mostly men) want to get rich along with their investors. There is nothing wrong with that goal, but they shouldn’t walk the stage positioning themselves as saviors.

  67. James L Somers says:

    “Jewelry and wearables make you more attractive and utile, respectively. The Apple Watch and Airpods do both.”

    Really? Utile, perhaps. But attractive? Please.

  68. Rok says:

    Hey Scott, you don’t make it very easy to share the piece on Twitter – no link, just title. Deliberate? Want cut off lazy folks?

  69. Jordan says:

    Scott, I disagree with your VR position I’ve heard for a while:

    Your basis is that consumers won’t lower their sex appeal by wearing it.

    There’s a level of individual who is having sex, and using their confidence, and mindful of those things. You are in that market.

    But there is a much larger market of individuals who have no interest in that.

    They are actively looking for ways to DISTRACT themselves from not having that sex appeal, and the suffering that comes with that.

    VR is an incredible drug for that in every way. And when VR porn goes mainstream, we are totally screwed.

    So no, junior executives at the country club will not be wearing VR headsets in public.

    But fast food workers still living at home will pay thousands over the years to escape the world.

    And I don’t blame them, honestly. We aren’t prepared for this addiction (and current ones) at any level.

    • Cj says:

      This is insightful and rings true. There’s a massive gulf between the experiences of class in America. Upper-middle class life offers opportunity, advancement, dreams to chase, exciting real-life wins. That’s not shared evenly across the board. And the percentage of the population making Sub-median wages is, well, much larger than the 20% living their best life at the top of the pyramid.

    • James Hammond says:

      This dystopia is so profoundly depressing. I hope you are wrong. Thank you Scott for another excellent piece.

    • dallasboiler says:

      I have to disagree with you. It always appears more fun to be more wealthy, but it is often no better than being lower-middle class. The people that I know who have the fullest lives exist at all ends of the economic spectrum, and they’re the people that take the time to invest in relationships (family, friends, community, etc.). Scott often points out (rightly) that the net negative of social media and VR is that it disconnects so many people from relationships. Even worse, these platforms have a way of creating and perpetuating this illusion that the only way to achieve happiness is through wealth, fame, and/or good looks. If we aren’t blessed with either of those things, then this notion emerges that our only recourse is to unplug and live in a world that truly doesn’t exist. There is a real world out there where people who are poor, ugly, and who are unknown to the masses have meaningful and enjoyable lives. People generally need other people. As Scott points out in this essay, one of our superpowers as a species is our ability to cooperate. That superpower is eviscerated if our response to not living a glamorous life is to isolate and not participate. I’m not trying to be a Scott cheerleader, but he also rightly points out that the most dangerous person in America is a disconnected male incel (involuntarily celibate). These are the folks most likely to become Uvalde, Buffalo, etc. scale mass shooters in our society.

      Happiness in life is measured by the people who love you and the people that you love. I’m talking about true love & caring rather than lust, adoration, etc. For millennia, our most effective social safety net has been families and friends (e.g., people who will protect you, people who will fight for you, people who will put a roof over your head during hard times, etc.). Not all are blessed with strong families from birth, but we all have the opportunity to meet others in our midst and form similar bonds with friends and neighbors.

      This discourse often reminds me of the parable of the Mexican Fisherman. It’s mostly about being wealthy vs. poor and doing what you value vs. what has no intrinsic meaning to you; but it holds up equally to appearances, fame, etc. I’ll leave it here if you haven’t read it before:

      An American investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

      The Mexican replied, “only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

      The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siestas with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine, and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing, and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually New York City, where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

      The Mexican fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

      To which the American replied, “15 – 20 years.”

      “But what then?” Asked the Mexican.

      The American laughed and said, “That’s the best part. When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions!”

      “Millions – then what?”

      The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

    • Bobster says:

      I agree, Scott is not the target audience for things like Robinhood and nor is VR headsets, other people are, and like early stage tech that’s clunky now, forms the basis for better evolved, sexier tech later …. We’re just at the beginning.

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