The Naval Podcast – Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes

Check out Naval’s Episode Page & Show Notes

This podcast clip is part of an ongoing conversation between Naval Ravikant and Babak 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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