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💡 "Ukraine Reverberations, Inflation Volatility, Lessons from Peloton & More"

Masters of Scale

Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

Table of Contents

Hosts: Reid Hoffman & Bob Safian
Category: 💡 Business Lessons

Podcast’s Essential Bites:

[5:54] RH: “One of the things that's awesome about entrepreneurship and business is, [you] build […] things, make trade, […] build to the future, and war is a zero sum rush to the bottom. What I would say to the entrepreneurs out there is obviously to whatever degree you can lend a hand to Ukrainians right now. […] Try to be as humane as possible and support[…] the Ukrainian government. […] This will obviously create volatility, distraction, a bunch of things. And the normal thing is to help those people who are in trouble, and then continue to build the future.”

[8:48] RH: “I'm always a systems thinker. So deeply committed to understanding systems and systems like a climate system. It's part of the reason I invest in energy, even though I'm not an energy investor. Clean energy is one of the central things we're going to need in order to make an effort within climate change. It's something that as an investor with resources I can contribute within because each of us should think about the areas where I have some ability and unique skill set. There's going to be no real solution here without massive investment and deployment of technology. […] It's not going to be one person. For all the amazing things that Bill Gates and others do on this, it's not going to be one thing that does it. It's going to be millions and hundreds of millions of us that make a difference here.”

[15:15] RH: “We should be investing massively in nuclear, both fission and fusion. In fission, most people don't realize, just like technological progress, the 1970s nuclear plants, which are vaguely scary and what happens when they go wrong and so forth, are now decades old. […] I think of fusion as the silver bullet, which if we get to it, awesome, because then you get this clean energy, which the whole expense of pulling carbon out of the atmosphere is primarily an energy expense. If you get massive clean energy, you can actually reduce carbon and move us […] away from the danger line. […] Fission can actually in fact [be done] in a way that is super safe. […] Politicians won't touch it with a mile long […] pole. That's unwise because the alternative is so much worse.”

[20:57] RH: “People en masse are bad with things they can't see. One of the problems, of course, with viruses is you can't see them. […] You've got this broad range of people who have been inflamed by fear […], who are anything from vaccine skeptical to vaccine resistant to anti-vaxxers, and there's different in each of these cases. Not everybody who is in the vaccine hesitancy camp is actually, in fact, a full blown conspiracy theorist. […] I'm generally speaking unsympathetic to any of the so-called freedom protests on the vaccine side because really what you're saying is, "I have a right to endanger many other people," which I don't think you do. And I get it, the fact that they're frustrated, because we all are.”

[24:11] RH: “One of the subtle things that most people don't understand about capitalism and part of how it makes efficiency work, including the efficiency that allows us to pay for better education systems and better medical systems and everything else, […] is trying to be rational and intelligent and efficient on pricing. And obviously, one of the places that plays out is [it] puts pricing pressure on wages too. […] In the more tangible question, I think it's worth it as an entrepreneur, as a leader, to say, "You want to skate to where the puck is going, not to where the puck is.” And so you look around and say,  […] given inflation or given talent, where are wages heading to? And generally speaking, it's much better to be a leader than a follower on these things.”

[34:13] RH: “One of the things that happens is that competition causes serious change. And it's one of the things that is broadly lost in current congressional and media discourse around these companies. […] And I think there's just a whole set of questions that they don't understand around the antitrust side. So one of them, for example, is we're at 5 large U.S. tech companies, but we're heading towards 10, not towards 3. And the more that you're building, you have a multi-polar environment. The real question in monopoly […] is [whether] that's dominating everything and causing bad things for the ecosystem, bad things for wages of workers, bad things for prices for consumers, bad things for political power, et cetera. And actually, in fact, you're heading towards more of them rather than fewer of them.”

[37:46] RH: “Peloton [has an] excellent product, not only is it an awesome bike with the digital services, [it is] able to prompt you to exercise and have trainers and all the rest. But it's producible by other people, so you have competition, and that competition is great for having cheaper prices and variation and everything else. That's part of what makes the market work well. And so therefore you have to be careful about how much you are investing in the future, because you can get out over your skis.”

Rating: 🚀🚀🚀

🎙️ Full Episode: Apple | Spotify | Google
🕰️ 55 min | 🗓️ 03/01/2022
✅ Time saved: 53 min

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