22 May, 2021

How to Get Rich


Status is your rank in the social hierarchy

There are fundamentally two huge games in life that people play. One is the money game. Money is not going to solve all of your problems; but it’s going to solve all of your money problems. I think people know that. They realize that, so they want to make money.

At the same time, deep down many people believe they can’t make it; so they don’t want any wealth creation to happen. They virtue signal by attacking the whole enterprise, saying, “Well, making money is evil. You shouldn’t do it.”

But they’re actually playing the other game, which is the status game. They’re trying to be high status in the eyes of others by saying, “Well, I don’t need money. We don’t want money.” 

Status is your ranking in the social hierarchy.

Wealth is not a zero-sum game. Everybody in the world can have a house. Because you have a house doesn’t take away from my ability to have a house. If anything, the more houses that are built, the easier it becomes to build houses, the more we know about building houses, and the more people can have houses.

Wealth is a very positive-sum game. We create things together. We’re starting this endeavor to create a piece of art that explains what we’re doing. At the end of it, something brand new will be created. It’s a positive-sum game.

Status is a very old game

Status, on the other hand, is a zero-sum game. It’s a very old game. We’ve been playing it since monkey tribes. It’s hierarchical. Who’s number one? Who’s number two? Who’s number three? And for number three to move to number two, number two has to move out of that slot. So, status is a zero-sum game. [...]

I don’t think capitalism is evil. Capitalism is actually good. It’s just that it gets hijacked. It gets hijacked by improper pricing of externalities. It gets hijacked by improper yields, where you have corruption, or you have monopolies.