Naval Ravikant: The New Zealand Opportunity For Building Startups

Key Takeaways

  • COVID will accelerate the shift from the physical world to the digital world
    • “The digital economy is doing great, the physical economy is doing terribly” – Naval Ravikant
  • People have gone from greedy to fearful
    • “Instead of how high can my stocks go,  it’s like can I protect my portfolio?” – Naval Ravikant
  • COVID is a collective test
    • “For the first time in human history, all of humanity is focused on one problem” Naval Ravikant
  • If Naval was the dictator of New Zealand, he would issue visas for tech workers, quarantine them for 30 days to make sure they didn’t have COVID, and open a start-up hub near a great university
    • “Tech workers are the most leveraged people in the world”   Naval Ravikant
      • They can leverage code, content, capital and the community
        • “I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the Bay area companies go remote and stay remote after this. This is a massive opportunity for New Zealand.” 
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, take as much risk as you can as long as you don’t put the company at risk of going to zero
    • “You can’t ever recover from zero, any valuation multiplied by zero is zero” – Naval Ravikant

Intro

Thoughts On COVID

  • People who are speaking in public, even experts, often have to toe certain lines and can’t tell the complete truth
    • It’s hard for politicians to change their minds or admit they were wrong publicly
  • COVID will accelerate the shift from the physical world to the digital world
    • “The digital economy is doing great, the physical economy is doing terribly” – Naval Ravikant
      • People are consuming more digital devices and under-consuming physical products
  • People are moving from urban to rural communities
  • People are working remotely and may not want to go back to the office once this pandemic ends
  • Manufacturing is coming back to the US
    • “A lot of the supply chains are coming back home” – Naval Ravikant
  • People have gone from greedy to fearful
    • “Instead of how high can my stocks go,  it’s like can I protect my portfolio?” – Naval Ravikant
  • COVID is a collective test
    • “For the first time in human history, all of humanity is focused on one problem” Naval Ravikant
      • “Our collective immune system is under attack”
  • The economy can’t be shutdown forever because that would cause an economic collapse

How New Zealand Can Improve Its Economy

  • “I would argue New Zealand has suddenly become the most desired green-zone on the planet”   Naval Ravikant
    • It’s naturally beautiful and is self-sufficient with food
  • “Tech workers are the most leveraged people in the world”   Naval Ravikant
    • They can leverage code, content, capital and the community
      • If New Zealand allows for more immigrants who work in tech to move there, it would be a huge boost to their economy
        • A lot of tech workers can work remotely so they can live in NZ and work anywhere
          • “I wouldn’t be surprised if more than half the Bay area companies go remote and stay remote after this. This is a massive opportunity for New Zealand.” 
  • If Navel was the dictator of New Zealand, he would issue visas for tech workers, quarantine them for 30 days to make sure they didn’t have COVID, and open a start-up hub near a great university
    • “I would steal all the best people from all the best companies around the world” Naval Ravikant
      • Once tech workers are in one place, they will naturally start to create a tech ecosystem that could create a back-up Silicon Valley
        • Once you have the talent, investors will follow
          • “If you can get the talent, you’ll get the money”

Advice For Startups

  • COVID has accelerated digital adoption by 5 years
    • A lot of the older generation has come online during this crisis and started using more digital products
  • “This is the time to gain market share” – Naval Ravikant
    • “Go and grow”
  • It’s a good time for small companies to hire people because several big corporations are having layoffs
    • “Access to talent has gotten better” – Naval Ravikant
  • VCs are become more open to investing in foreign countries
    • “Now investors will invest over Zoom” – Naval Ravikant
  • If you’re an entrepreneur, take as much risk as you can as long as you don’t put the company at risk of going to zero
    • “You can’t ever recover from zero, any valuation multiplied by zero is zero” – Naval Ravikant
  • Cruel Truth: Building a small business is just as hard as building a big business
    • Jeff Bezos works any many hours as the owner of a small convenience store
      • It’s not how hard you work, it’s how you leverage those hours

Tourist Countries Need To Adapt

  • Countries that rely mostly on tourism will suffer during this crisis, countries that rely on tech or digital assets will thrive
    • “I don’t think it’s wise to bet on tourism reemerging” – Naval Ravikant
      • For tourism countries, it’s a good time to retrain workers and teach them tech skills
        • “Becoming a digitally literate nation is a worthy goal. It shouldn’t cost that much because most of this can be delivered through computers, tablets or phones.” 
          • Every adult who has 6-8 weeks to kill should be taking MOOCs, coding classes, or learn some type of digital skill

Additional Notes

  • If you’re an investor, you want to find digital products that can scale globally
  • Bitcoin is an electronic Swiss bank account
    • You can use it to store wealth and can easily transfer wealth without involving many parties
  • With cryptocurrency, instead of giving a company the access to store your data, only you will have access to your identity
    • “Crypto has already solved the who problem we just need to pour it into the rest of the world’s infrastructure” Naval Ravikant
Naval's Podcast and Periscope Sessions : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

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