29 y/o VR Billionaire & 51 y/o Angel Investor
What happens when a government contracting and defense futurist debates a prolific startup investor and media tycoon?
The best best business podcast on the internet, The All-In Podcast, recently held their inaugural All-In summit.
It hosted the most prolific startup tech leaders in the world. Folks like Elon Musk, Antonio Gracias, Joe Lonsdale, Bill Gurley and Keith Rabois.
But one live presentation took 1 month to release.
Without watching the whole thing, it is worth clipping to 21:50 in the podcast episode.
In this moment, David Friedberg says,
Palmer does something incredibly brave. Something that takes tremendous courage.
Palmer delivers a historic 5 minute speech directly from his iPhone about Jason.
At first, the crowd laughs thinking that Palmer is making some jokes about Jason.
Then, the crowd continues to laugh, but this time, they do so awkwardly because they realize that Palmer is not joking around.
Palmer and Jason had a history.
At 21 y/o, Palmer sold his VR company Oculus to Facebook for $2B. The company sold in 2014, just about two years after it was founded.
A one of a kind story.
A few years later in 2017, Palmer was fired from Facebook for his political views and a $10K donation to an anti-Hilary Clinton group during the 2016 presidential election.
Keep in mind, $10K for a billionaire is a very small percentage.
Being fired for your political views is fucked up. But this shows you how homogenous the cultures within most big tech organizations are. Objectively, homogenous cultures are dangerous. We need to ensure we create cultures that encourage freedom and difference. That’s the bedrock of America.
After Palmer’s firing for his political views, he was dragged through the mud by the tech industry and the public at large.
The frustration at tech for playing a critical role in fueling Donald Trump’s election was the dominant narrative at the time. During this time, Cambridge Analytica was influencing politics which led to a lot of animosity about tech controlling government.
People were looking for scapegoats. Palmer’s name became one.
An incredible 360 from the cover of Forbes to the left’s punching bag.
It was at this time, that Jason took his shots at Palmer on his podcasts.
Jason said a lot of nasty things about Palmer as a person. Things like Palmer was a moron, dumb, and that he didn’t like his colleagues, friends and family.
But we all say bad things.
Sometimes we say things we don’t mean.
After this happened, no conversation between Palmer and Jason occurred…
Palmer went on to found another multi-billion dollar company called Anduril which he currently is working on today.
It is important to note this company is in the defense space. Something most tech companies are afraid to do - work with the government - because of fear of losing foreign markets (i.e. China) and frustrating liberal employees.
This has resulted in our smartest minds focused on optimizing ads…
Anduril is a one of a kind company. It will be Palmer’s ultimate second act. No tech overlords at Facebook to stop him.
Just Palmer building incredible products.
After Anduril became a unicorn, Jason reached out to invite him on his podcast and also apologize.
Palmer declined to go on.
Jason continued to offer.
Palmer continued to decline.
Until the All-In Summit when Palmer gave his presentation.
It was mostly about Anduril, but there was a 5 minute section at the end where Palmer directly defended himself against Jason’s verbal attacks in the past.
In his speech, Palmer said,
Jason continued to talk poorly about me to other investors and made it extremely difficult to raise a financing round even as a second time entrepreneur who previously sold his company for billions.
After Palmer emotionally expressed himself, the besties came on stage for a conversation.
Now I’ve been giving Jason a hard time.
Jason has done a few amazing things that I really want to bring attention to.
Jason invited Palmer on his podcast many times to discuss.
Jason invited Palmer to the All-In Summit and gave him the platform.
Jason got totally blindsided on stage and walked on like a true man. His ego was under control and he was there to have a dialogue. Mad respect.
Palmer’s presentation was the last All-In Summit presentation to publish (by over a few weeks). Jason added in context to Palmer’s presentation before and after the live interview.
Since the live event and video release, Jason and Palmer have continued to go back and forth on Twitter.
Palmer Luckey @PalmerLuckey"I don't regret exactly what I said." You will. "I think what I said was fair." No. https://t.co/tOr5xYAKTy https://t.co/9rIFtIpra1
There is a lot of cultural context going on behind the scenes of Palmer and Jason which is the more interesting to explore rather than their feud itself.
Concepts like group think and mob mentality.
How tech companies work with our government.
More efficiently spending government dollars.
Defense as a way to create peace.
Creating cultures and platforms that allow discourse about various opinions.
If we are to evolve as a species, then our smartest minds, like Jason and Palmer need to lead beyond their egos.
They need to come together around the more important problems at hand.
If they can achieve this, perhaps the nucleus of civilization is stronger.
And we all can be fucking amazing.
*These are my third party views from the internet. I do not know Jason or Palmer personally.
*I am a huge fan of both Palmer and Jason. The world is a better place because they exist.
*I am confident this type of discussion creates a healthier society