Code. Media. (SoGv3-4)
|Oct 30, 2019|
Code. Media. (SoGv3-4)
So yesterday, I read this piece by an anonymous netizen where he did a commentary on some stuff that Naval said last year. Called 'How to Get Rich', it is unlike all other such pop-advise, self-help get-rich-quick pieces. This one has many nuggets of wisdom that actually make sense! Most of these are practical, insightful and actually simple to implement. And they conform to what almost all great modern thinkers (Buffett, Taleb, et al) say. Plus there is enough anecdotal evidence that these things work!
For today's letter, I want to pick one from the long-list and build on that. But before I launch into the commentary about it, here is a list of top ideas from Naval (I list the top 7 but there are many more). The entire list is here.
So, the top ideas (in my opinion) are...
You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity - a piece of a business - to gain your financial freedom. (link)
Pick an industry where you can play long term games with long term people. (link)
Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest. (link)
Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable. (link)
Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage. (link)
Code and media are permissionless leverage. They're the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep. (link)
Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers. (link)
So, code and media. What is code and media?
Code and Media is essentially things that you create that has a life of its own.
It works even while you sleep. It makes money even if you are asleep. It scales infinitely (well, limited to the number of people in the world). Is often timeless. Unlike a traditional job where you are paid for the time you clock at work, code and media enable you to get paid even while you are sleeping.
Look at this letter for example. I took an hour to create it. It reaches 200 odd people. Some 30% of those read it. If I could figure out a way to make money from my writing, I would not need a day job (read 1000 true fans). Think JK Rowling. She makes money every time someone consumes a Harry Potter thingy. Even if she is sleeping. The money would continue to pour in even when she is long dead. Think of musicians. They create music and even when they are on a holiday, if someone plays what they created, they make money. Mark Zuckerberg makes money even when he is asleep because hundreds of millions of people are logged onto FB at any given point.
The keywords are "you create" and "makes money even if you are asleep".
The question is, what can you create that makes money even while you sleep?
The easy answer? Rental income. You buy an asset. Someone pays rent on it. You make money.
But what if you don't have money to buy an asset? How do you make rental income?
Creating code, creating media requires almost zero investment.
I mean look at these letters. I started them with no investment. If I can get good enough to reach a million people and even if 1% of those million people pay me a penny to write this every day, I will not need a day job!
The idea is very counterintuitive. We have never been trained to look at this micro-creative-entrepreneurship model. Most of us have been trained to "rent" our time to businesses that pay us for the value we add there. And we are paid a fraction of a fraction. So, can we create something that allows us to earn a large, meaningful part of the value that we create?
Code and media allow you to do that!
Code is tougher. I have little experience with it. I can't really talk about it. But media, I have some understanding. And thus, lemme talk about it.
Media is relatively easy. Think of those Instagram influencers. Think of those twitter celebrities. Think of YouTubers. Think of people who write popular newsletters (Substack has started a new revolution). Those Tik Tok creators. And more. All these are creating media. The shape is different but the idea is the same. Create something using their personal brands and make money off people consuming their media.
What have I done?
TRS is media for Shikha.
PPP is media for Prakruti.
Hop197 is media for Sharmishtha and Sujoy.
These letters is media for me.
Each of these work even when we sleep.
These will make money eventually (right now none of these makes any money but we are very close to monetization in at least 2 of the above).
What can you do about it?
If you work at a bank, how about creating a podcast where you interview other bankers and make finance simple for others. That's your media. If you work at an export house, how about writing a blog for people keen on learning about fashion from other countries? If you are a teacher, how about creating short videos explaining tough concepts in a lucid manner? If you are an executive with an MNC, how about creating a content piece around career opportunities in large companies?
Ideas are aplenty. You just need to execute. Not that I have cracked the model but I have seen it in action. And have seen some results. Enough to convince me that everyone must own a media piece. If you're reading this, please do it. I'd love to help!
And how can I help?
If you think you want to create media around what you do, I would love to help you! Tell me what you do and together we can jam and identify what your media could be. You know how to reach me!
Oh, and to end this post here's something that BR sent today (from James Clear's newsletter). Connect the dots :)
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TAGS: Naval Ravikant, Work, Personal Brand, Media, Future.
STREAK: 4 (Read this on streaks).
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Index of previous letters is here.