Shaan Puri Profile picture
28 Dec, 17 tweets, 4 min read
I think @paulg accidentally predicted Bitcoin exactly 1 year before it launched..
Paul was giving a talk at startup school about the two most common bits of advice YC gives its startups:

1) Make something people want
2) Don't worry too much about making money

If you put those two together...

= non-profit
It was a joke wrapped around a nugget of truth.

Some of the greatest startups look like non profits initially.

Eg. Google did not look like it was going to become a trillion dollar company. It was a free search engine built by 2 PHd students with no business model. Image
People who start projects, don't plan on them becoming huge money makers.

They do it to solve a need for people. For themselves, and people like them. Some of the biggest companies started this way:

- larry & sergey w/ google
- mark zuckerberg w/ fb
- craig w/ craigslist
OK now let's start mapping bitcoin to some of the hypothesis @paulg lays out:
1/ "Great companies often look like non-profits at first. They don't look like great companies"

Bitcoin is an extreme case. It's literally not a company. It's a project, with no owner, ceo, etc..
2/ "The project is just making something people want. Google works bc its users have money...Malaria cures may not"

BTC is wanted by the extreme rich AND poor.

* rich want it as an uncorrelated portfolio hedge
* poor want it bc the local currency devalues (eg. greece, arg)
3/ "Google has a motto: "Don't be evil", not your typical corporate motto. Keeps them from bullying users with their power. So valuable!"

BTC took it a step further. "Can't be evil". There is no CEO, owner or internal levers for the creators to mistreat users of the platform.
4/ "Being benevolent (a force for good) makes people want to help you."

BTC is a force for good.

An global currency that anyone can use, with a 2g android phone, low fees, and the government-proof.

This + open source has rallied thousands of brilliant people to support it.
5/ "If your startup is benevolent and very cheap to run..You become very hard to kill. (Cockroach). All successful startups come close to death at some point"

BTC has survived highs and lows (90% price crashes, hacks, govt regulation etc.) but believers wouldn't let it die.
6/ "when big evil companies try to stop a small benevolent startup from winning - it makes me want to do everything I can to help them"

BTC competes with governments (as big and evil as it gets) and companies that have big transaction fees like Visa, Western Union etc.
7/ "great hackers are pound for pound MUCH more valuable than an average engineer. The projects trying to do good act as magnets for that talent"

see thousands of engineers (moonlighters + full time) working on BTC lightning network, ETH2 etc.
8/ Bitcoin has the incentive system built in. The more you help by:

* building
* evangelizing
* educating

the higher the price goes.

every contributor is a stakeholder.
9/ "The best part about being benevolent is you tell the truth. The trouble with lying is you have to remember all the other stuff you've said in the past. You become stable."

BTC is code is open sourced, with no executive team trying to pad their salaries by hitting targets.
10/ Founders working on benevolent projects tend to be benevolent people

The creators of BTC :
* NO FAME - published the project under a fake name ("Satoshi Nakomoto")

* NO FORTUNE - has not sold ANY of the Bitcoin they own ($27B+)
in summary -

*projects that win give people what they want
*early on, they look like non profits

He said this in Jan 2009. Bitcoin launched a year later.

It looked even more non-profity than what paul had in mind & turned out to be the investment of the decade (250,000x)
oh and link to the talk! (yes this is what i do on sunday nights)

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Here's the idea (and the numbers behind it)👇
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