I had tweeted this a few weeks earlier: “I have never heard Chamath pause/ say ummm in any of the interviews I have seen of him. Being so eloquent has definitely helped him reach where he is today.”
Someone countered this by replying “What about Elon?”. I also used to be a victim of the fallacy: ‘This famous person has X/does not have X, so let me also do X/not do X’ earlier. What I do now is remember that we are not this famous person X. We are not the richest person on this planet. Elon is. Most of us lie in the middle of the bell curve.
Lets take a few more examples.
For the longest period in my life, I considered myself a truth seeker and a straight talker; someone who said what was on his mind. Why not? Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, said so in a culture deck.
I used to post memes on any hot topic that caught my fancy. Why not? Elon even tweets memes with naked ladies.
What I did not realise was: I am a middle manager in a company run by someone else. I am not a founder or a successful VC. We are easily replaceable. We are judged on everything we post on social media.
The same tweets that get Delian likes on Twitter and Chamath followers, the same fights that Rabois gets on, might result in us getting fired. Now I frame my thoughts far more carefully, at least in real life, if not on Twitter.
The same goes for skills. Elon does not need to convince anyone now. He is successful and rich. But if you are not learning negotiations/not getting better with your speaking abilities, you might end up with 30% less salary compared to market. So, don’t blindly idolize someone and come with counterpoints like “ye bande ne to nahi kiya”. Remember: Aap wo banda nahi ho.
My old boss @madhurchadha gave me this advice once: “Pehle apna company 100s of millions mein becho, fir jo mann tweet karna. I think of that everyday”.