“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant
Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions, which went public as part of Shopping.com, and Vast.com. He is an active angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including more than a few “unicorn” mega-successes.
His deals include Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Postmates, Wish, Thumbtack, and OpenDNS, which Cisco just bought for $635 million in cash.
BUT, even if you have zero interest in startups or investing, this episode is well worth your time. This is really about the habits and beliefs of a highly successful (and happy) person.
Naval has refined his way of living in very unique ways, and you can borrow what he’s learned, read the books that have changed him, and experiment with the habits he has developed through trial and error.
Enjoy this conversation with a curious character!
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
UPDATE: This episode was extremely popular (and nominated for “Podcast of the Year”), so we did a round two with Naval. Here it is!
Want to hear another podcast on meditation and “spirituality”? — Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris, PhD. In the below episode, we discuss “spirituality,” neuroscience, his meditation practice, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):
This episode is sponsored by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive results. Click this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…
This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic Greens.com/Tim
QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What do you still want to know about investing, whether in startups or elsewhere? Or: What was your favorite takeaway from Naval? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti by Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikant
- Lying by Sam Harris
- Surely You Must Be Joking Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
- Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
- Striking Thoughts by Bruce Lee
- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
- Read the Melting Asphalt blog
- Read the Dilbert blog, specifically, The Day You Became a Better Writer
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- Go on a meditation retreat with noetic.org
- Don’t Shoot the Dog! by Karen Pryor
- Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
- The Rational Optimist by Matt Ridley
- Poor Charlie’s Almanac by Charlie Munger
- Illusions by Richard Bach
- The Origins of Virtue by Matt Ridley
- Influence by Robert Cialdini
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
- Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
- The Secret Life of Salvadore Dali by Salvadore Dali
- “What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman
- Connect with Naval Ravikant:
- Learn more about Tim on AngelList
- On the intensity of Naval Ravikant [6:55]
- On uncompromising honesty [16:54]
- How AngelList and Venture Hacks came to be [20:09]
- What Naval looks for when deciding to invest in a founder [25:24]
- Common “wives tales” in venture capital [32:39]
- What books, outside the startup world, have most improved Naval’s ability to invest? [36:54]
- Greatest investing hits and misses [51:49]
- When you think of the successful people, who is the first that comes to mind? [58:19]
- Meditative practices [1:00:58]
- How to replace bad habits with good habits [1:07:06]
- On setting stakes and awards [1:24:49]
- How to treat your life like a movie [1:34:44]
- Overused words and phrases [1:39:39]
- Early life education and the importance of “loving to read” [1:43:19]
- Advice for his younger self [1:51:09]
- Describing the first 60 minutes of each day [1:52:40]
- If you could have one billboard anywhere, where would it be and what would it say? [2:04:19]
- Marcus Aurelius
- Sam Harris
- Bruce Lee
- Jiddu Krishnamurti
- Scott Adams
- Steve Jobs
- Marc Andreessen
- Satoshi Nakamoto
- Elon Musk
- Charlie Munger
Posted on: August 18, 2015.
Please check out Tribe of Mentors, my newest book, which shares short, tactical life advice from 100+ world-class performers. Many of the world's most famous entrepreneurs, athletes, investors, poker players, and artists are part of the book. The tips and strategies in Tribe of Mentors have already changed my life, and I hope the same for you. Click here for a sample chapter and full details. Roughly 90% of the guests have never appeared on my podcast.
Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.