An interview with Chamath Palihapitiya about what he learned during his identity crisis, how people can sustain themselves right now, what all successful entrepreneurs have in common, why he gave up social media, and his best career advice.
Welcome to the 92nd episode of 5 Questions with Dan Schawbel. As your host, my goal is to curate the best advice from the world’s smartest and most interesting people by asking them just 5 questions.
This episodes guest:
My guest today is the CEO of Social Capital, Chairman of Virgin Galactic and the part-owner of the Golden State Warriors, Chamath Palihapitiya. Born in Sri Lanka, Chamath immigrated to Canada at age six where he and his family lived on welfare. He worked part-time to help his family while attending the Lisgar Collegiate Institute. After graduating from the University of Waterloo he worked as a derivatives trader before moving to California. Several years later, Chamath became the youngest Vice President in AOL’s history before joining the Mayfield Fund and then became a Vice President at Facebook. He left Facebook to start Social Capital with successful investments in Slack, Box, and Yammer. Today, he’s the Chairman of Virgin Galactic, an investor in the Golden State Warriors, and has been regarded as the “next Warren Buffett”. After telling Chamath’s story during my keynote speeches around the country, I was happy to speak to him personally for the very first time.
The 5 questions I ask in this episode:
- In my keynote presentation, I talk about your story of going through an identity crisis, where you realized that you were unhappy even after accumulating wealth and achievements. Can you describe what you discovered through your recovery and share any lessons you learned?
- You recently went viral after speaking out against the government bailing out mismanaged companies, billionaires and hedge funds while leaving the average person behind. What do you recommend to average citizens trying to sustain themselves during this crisis?
- In a previous episode, I asked fellow venture capitalist Ben Horowitz about the common qualities all successful entrepreneurs have and he said they have to be original thinkers and have leadership skills. Would you add anything to this list and what can entrepreneurs do during this crisis to survive and thrive?
- Even though you were an early executive at Facebook, you have since stopped using social media and don’t let your kids use it. How has the decision to keep social media out of your life affected your mental health and relationships?
- What is your best piece of career advice?
Follow Chamath’s journey: