A Twitter search for his name reveals, in addition to his bill with more than 1.7 million followers and 0 followed, a legion of profiles that replicate their quotes, add them, and discuss their figure. We talk about Naval Ravikantone of the most important investors in recent years but whose figure has transcended the business world to become a kind of quasi-philosopher for the sphere of entrepreneurship.
“Make money with your brain, not with your time”,“Successful people are irrationally passionate about something”, “You make your own luck if you stick with it long enough”. All these inspiring phrases for many entrepreneurs and with a certain air misterwonderfulian for others they have come out of Naval Ravikant. Born in New Delhi in 1974, Ravikant has behind him one of those stories that seem like a movie. The American dream. He moved with his family to New York at the age of nine where, although his father was a pharmacist in India, he was unable to practice his profession in the United States and ended up working in a hardware store.
It was a difficult transition for his family, which ended with the separation of his parents. Naval and his brother, Kamal Ravikant, were raised by his mother for most of their childhood in a time he has described as extremely humble.
Today, Ravikant has his own investment fund, a fortune of 60 million dollars and his tweets have been collected and spread by a third party in a book – The Almanac of Naval Ravikant – referenced by New York Times and on the bestseller list in the entrepreneurship section of Amazon perennially. According to calculations of WSJ, your investments translate into you earning 0.1 cent of a dollar for every Uber trip made in the world and with your signature, AngelList, your investment platform that works as a kind of directory1,035 companies have been financed with an average contribution of 390,000 dollars each.
But, how was your way there? How has it been mythologized in such a specific circle?
Naval Ravikant: a story that seems to be taken from a movie
Starting from that humble childhood, Naval attributes much of his professional career to attending the Stuyvesant Institute on a scholarship, known for its alumni (including four Nobel Prize winners). He mentioned it in an interview with Scott Adams:
“That saved my life, because once I had the Stuyvesant brand, I got into an Ivy League college, which led me into technology. Stuyvesant is one of those intelligence lottery situations that you can enter with instant validation. You go from being blue collar to white collar in one move.”
From Stuyvesant, he studied economics and computer science. After completing his bachelor’s degree, he worked for various companies. His last corporate job was at the Boston Consulting Group. Naval then founded a consumer review portal, Epinions, in 1999, which he co-founded with his would-be partner, Nirav Tolia.
Epinions was one of those first websites that grew during the dotcom bubble.a forum for users to ask questions and post opinions that paved the way for current companies like Tripadvisor, Yelp or Quora.
Epinions ended somewhat strangely, with Ravikant, two other partners, and dozens of former employees suing co-founder Nirav Tolia, accusing him of being misled into believing the company was worthless so they would divest their holdings, and then closing a merger. with the DealTime company in 2003. The combined company was rebranded as Shopping.com and went public in a spectacular way, to later be acquired by eBay for more than 600 million dollars.
From AngelList to oracle on Twitter
The lawsuit, which was settled in 2005 for an undisclosed amount, earned Naval some buzz because it had opened an avenue for venture capitalists to be sued, a rare occurrence in Silicon Valley at the time.
But that was the beginning of what would later be his main business.
“After the Epinions experience, a lot of people came to me for advice on all the moves in venture capital,” he once said. In response, Ravikant co-founded a blog called Venture Hacks, which became something of a bible in the industry. Ravikant also received calls from entrepreneurs asking how to meet investors; And that’s how AngelList got started, initially as an email list for a few dozen investors.
Today AngelList boasts assets worth billions of dollars, connecting startups with investors. The platform makes money by exposing companies and taking a percentage of their capital in return.
But if Ravikant has become known for something, it is because of the tweets that he has been launching on the social network during all this time., revered by many and compiled by third parties, as we said. Others want to extract recipes from him to earn money, undertake with success and mentality, in a language that seems to have dazzled many people under the umbrella of Naval’s own resounding success story, which, despite its messages may also be a clear case of survival bias.