The Naval Podcast – Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

Check out Naval’s Episode Page & Show Notes

This podcast clip is part of a conversation between Naval Ravikant (@naval) and Babak Nivi (@nivi). Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from Naval. For reference, check out Naval’s famous How to Get Rich tweet storm.

Key Takeaways

  • When you’re being authentic, competition matters a whole lot less
  • Silicon Valley tech industry businesses tend to be winner take all 
    • When you see competition, this can make you fly into a rage
  • You’re often 1 step away from a completely different business, and sometimes you need to take that one step
    • But you won’t be able to take it if you’re fighting over a booby prize (aka playing a stupid game), blinded by competition
  • A personal example from Naval:
    • He was running Epinions (an online product review site independent of Amazon) a while back…
      • The space eventually turned into Trip Advisor and Yelp
        • “This is where we should have gone. We should have done more local reviews. There’s more value to having a review for a scarce item (like a local restaurant) than some camera which might have 1,000 reviews on Amazon. But before we could get there, we got caught up in the whole comparison shopping game.”
          • The whole space went to 0 as Amazon ended up winning the online retail game
      • “We should have been looking at what the consumer really wanted, and stayed authentic to ourselves – which is reviews, not price comparison”
        • “We should have gone more and more into esoteric items that needed to be reviewed where customers had less and less data and wanted reviews more badly”
      • “If we stayed authentic to ourselves, we would have done better”
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