If you are gonna be a founder, you gotta choose if you are going to be an insider or an outsider.
was just forward this from a reader:
"In 2009 after the panel had produced its third report, concluding that the risks to the American taxpayers were far greater than Treasury let on, Lawrence H. Summers, then the director of the National Economic Council and a top economic adviser to President Obama, “leaned back in his chair and offered me some advice,” Ms. Warren writes.
"Larry’s tone was in the friendly advice-category. He teed it up this way: I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders."
Enjoyed the article but can't help but think that the "insider" and "outsider" terms are a stretch. The average person would very much consider Naval, Chamath, etc as insiders, albeit anti-establishment (per your diagram).
Perhaps terms are "new guard" vs "old guard" - easier to see the parallels in any industry i.e. Bernie/Trump vs Biden/Newsom, Virgil Abloh vs Brunello Cucinelli, SBF vs Jamie Dimon, etc.
This is going to be a disagreeable outsider response ;) Insiders vastly outnumber outsiders. They control The Narrative through their dominance of media, academia, tech, NGOs, and government. When The Narrative unravels as it is now, insider commissars begin attacking the outsiders as traitors and thought criminals. I've found that disagreeable people are much more genuine and kind than the agreeable, who spend their whole lives faking it til they make it and not saying what they actually think. For every Nirav, there are grifters like SBF, Elizabeth Holmes, Mike Rothenberg, etc. ESG zealotry is the measure of how much of an insider you are - what score did you get on this quiz? https://yuribezmenov.substack.com/p/how-to-raise-your-esg-score
another reader sent me this: https://a16z.com/2010/12/16/ones-and-twos/
Seems to me you can’t be an outsider and a female founder (if you want to be successful or achieve “status” to the degree identified here). Women founders don’t have the option of being disagreeable, so it’s be an insider, hire an insider, or bust. Women can have status and be outsiders (politicians namely, or celebrities) but not if you’re raising capital, and especially if you don’t have a man on the team. Think you could demonstrate this applied to female founders/CEOs or VCs? I’d genuinely be eager to read that.
There's always someone more "inside" than you
Awesome piece! Really enjoyed the framing.
Great to see you on Substack Auren! Have always loved your newsletter. This is a great piece and something I have thought a lot about. Perhaps I am delusional, but I feel like I definitely have went from inside to outsider. What is comes down to at the core is do you derive your sense of self-esteem from predominantly outside-in vs. inside-out. I was outside-in for most of my life doing all the right things. But then there came a point where shifts were made and the predominant stance of the in crowd no longer resonated. That conflict forced me to go inward and in the process change the source of self worth. Once that was taken care of there was much higher value placed on congruence and authenticity then what everyone else thought. I can say the liminal period of shifting from one to the other can be very challenging, but also very worth it for me personally. At the end of the day, I think you are correct in that you must follow your inner compass and remain true to that!
I'm a natural outsider but study and learn the methods of the insider. I can jump through the hoops at times but have learned to embrace the outside role more now. I used to bash myself so much in the past for not fitting in.
This is also essentially what Succession is about. The drama revolves around the in/out decisions by each character and the hopes and fears we experience vicariously through them as they play in a lavish dollhouse version of otherwise familiar lives.
insider here🤯. just want a nice salaried job, to study the market to do what other people are doing, chuck money into a 401k and golf. hiring? drop a comment :D
Provocatively insightful, Auren.
I wonder if this is true: Outsiders maintain freedom by eschewing social status, whereas insiders find a degree of freedom by achieving social status.
Wow Very Insightful ,
After reading this I got to know lot more wisdom in this
bro clearly Naval is winning here, what was that about I'm not gonna paint this blogs as Navals are better than Niravs lol.