Eugene Wei: Tech, Media, and Culture – Invest Like the Best

Check out the Invest Like the Best Episode Page & Show Notes

Eugene Wei (@eugenewei) worked at Amazon early in its life, was the head of product at Hulu and Flipboard, and head of video and Oculus

Key Takeaways

  • Video has a lot of room to penetrate markets for which we currently still rely heavily on text
  • The internet and social media have essentially increased the surface area of status seeking to the digital and virtual realm
  • Today with content, at any point in time you are competing with what’s on a person’s smartphone
  • There’s much more to learn from the people who don’t use your product than those who do

Books, Articles, and Products Mentioned

The Rise of Video as a Communication Medium

  • More things that might only be books in another lifetime should be turned into small videos or documentaries
    • Humans seem to more easily grasp concepts and learn better from video
  • “I still think video has a lot of room to penetrate a lot of markets that we currently still rely heavily on text for”
    • There are TONS of great ideas locked away in books today that are very forbidding and not appealing to the masses
      • These ideas could be turned into educational content using video that would reach many more people
      • The fact is – most people don’t read
    • “I think we will see the next generation of educational content be much more appealing visually – it’ll have cinematic language and production values and will open up education to the masses in a way that we’ve never seen before from text.”
    • “I just think if your best ideas are locked away in some dense textbook, by its very nature it’s not going to reach a lot of the audience you want it to”

Status Seeking and Social Media

  • Humans are status seeking by nature
    • The internet and social media have essentially increased the surface area of status seeking to the digital and virtual realm
    • “Humans have realized it’s more efficient to actually compete for status in these virtual worlds than it is in real life, and that’s especially true for young people”

The Booming Age of Content

  • “Today with content, at any point in time you are competing with what’s on a person’s smartphone. This means that formally different lines of business and different industries now compete head-to-head.”
    • Everyone now has to figure out with their content how to compete with every other form of entertainment
    • “Every person now has a choice at any moment in time for how to entertain themselves and they’re always going to go to the best option because it’s one tap away on their phone”

Random Yet Important

  • There’s much more to learn from the people who don’t use your product than those who do
  • Almost everything in the world could be fixed by tightening feedback loops
    • It’s so hard to exercise and eat well because the feedback loop is too slow – you have to stick to a diet/workout plan for a LONG time before you see results
    • The feedback loop on the taste of food is much faster than benefits (nutrition wise) you see from eating healthy good
  • We’ve actually NEVER had more resources available to everybody for learning
    • As Naval says – The resources for learning are abundant, it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce
  • The secret to success? – Just show up, day after day
  • A tip to improve your travels – talk to the locals
    • “There’s so much hidden knowledge that’s not in guidebooks that’s in the minds of the people who live wherever you’re visiting”
  • “Elegance is the maximum amount of information communicated in the minimum way”
    • When building a product, aim for elegance
  • “High conversational entropy is correlated with interestingness as a human being”
    • Conversational entropy is how predictable the next word out of your mouth is – if it’s highly predictable, your conversational entropy is low

These notes were edited by RoRoPa Editing Services

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