The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Book collects wisdom from Naval's Twitter, blog posts, and podcast interviews on wealth and happiness. Encourages readers to think for themselves and challenge ideas.

by Eric Jorgenson

This book collects the wisdom shared by Naval over the past decade through his Twitter, blog posts, and podcast interviews. It is intended as a guide to be read and consulted for specific topics on wealth and happiness.

The author believes that Naval is broadly followed because he is a rare combination of successful and happy, and as a first-principles thinker with no fear of speaking his truth, his thoughts are often unique and thought-provoking.

The book covers topics such as wealth creation, relationships, and knowledge, and encourages readers to think for themselves and challenge Naval's ideas.

Many excerpts are from interviews by fantastic creators like Shane Parrish, Sarah Lacy, Joe Rogan, and Tim Ferriss. (Location 42)

This is a choose-your-own adventure book. Jump to anything that interests you and skip anything that doesn’t. (Location 44)

Naval is one of the smartest people I’ve ever met, and he’s also one of the most courageous. (Location 52)

He is rarely part of any consensus, and the uniqueness of his life, lifestyle, family dynamics, and startup successes is a reflection of conscious choices he’s made to do things differently. (Location 53)

Naval is a world-class operator instead of an armchair philosopher. (Location 61)

Questions nearly everything → Can think from first principles → Tests things well (Location 64)

Is good at not fooling himself → Changes his mind regularly → Laughs a lot → Thinks holistically → Thinks long-term → And…doesn’t take himself too goddamn seriously. (Location 65)

pay attention…but don’t simply parrot his words. Follow his advice…but only if it holds up after scrutiny and stresstesting in your own life. Consider everything…but take nothing as gospel. Naval would want you to challenge him, as long as you bring your A-game (Location 67)

More than a financial success, Naval has been sharing his own philosophy of life and happiness, attracting readers and listeners throughout the world (Location 74)

Naval is broadly followed because he is a rare combination of successful and happy. (Location 75)

As a first-principles thinker with no fear of speaking his truth, Naval’s thoughts are often unique and thought-provoking. (Location 80)

how great things are accomplished through small, persistent steps, and how large an impact one individual can have. (Location 83)

This book collects the wisdom shared by Naval over the past decade in his own words through Twitter, blog posts, and podcasts. (Location 85)

I created this book as a public service. Tweets, podcasts, and interviews quickly get buried and lost. (Location 86)

The Almanack is intended as a guide to be read and consulted for specific topics. (Location 92)

wealth and happiness. (Location 94)

If you have nothing in your life, but you have at least one person that loves you unconditionally, it’ll do wonders for your self-esteem. (Location 106)

Books make for great friends, because the best thinkers of the last few thousand years tell you their nuggets of wisdom (Location 110)

I was born poor and miserable. I’m now pretty well-off, and I’m very happy. I worked at those. (Location 119)

I like to think that if I lost all my money and you dropped me on a random street in any English-speaking country, within five or ten years I’d be wealthy again because it’s just a skillset I’ve developed that anyone can develop. (Location 124)

Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it (Location 127)

If you don’t know yet what you should work on, the most important thing is to figure it out. You should not grind at a lot of hard work until you figure out what you should be working on (Location 128)

It has all the information and principles, so if you absorb these and you work hard over ten years, you’ll get what you want. [77 (Location 134)

Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy. (Location 136)

Understand ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you (Location 137)

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. (Location 138)

You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale. (Location 139)

The internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven’t figured this out yet (Location 141)

Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest. ↓ Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity. ↓ Don’t partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling. (Location 142)

Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage. (Location 144)

Specific knowledge is knowledge you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else and replace you. (Location 145)

Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. (Location 146)

When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools. (Location 147)

Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated. (Location 148)

Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage. (Location 149)

Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media). (Location 150)

Capital means money. To raise money, apply your specific knowledge with accountability and show resulting good judgment. (Location 151)

Labor means people working for you. It’s the oldest and most fought-over form of leverage. Labor leverage will impress your parents, but don’t waste your life chasing it. ↓ Capital and labor are permissioned leverage. Everyone is chasing capital, but someone has to give it to you. Everyone is trying to lead, but someone has to follow you. (Location 152)

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 (Location 155)

An army of robots is freely available—it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it. (Location 156)

Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgment. (Location 157)

There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes. (Location 158)

Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers. ↓ (Location 159)

You should be too busy to “do coffee” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar. (Location 160)

Set and enforce an aspirational personal hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your hourly rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it. (Location 161)

Work as hard as you can. Even though who you work with and what you work on are more important than how hard you work. (Location 162)

Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true (Location 163)

There are no get-rich-quick schemes. Those are just someone else getting rich off you. (Location 164)

When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place. (Location 165)

“Productize” and “yourself.” “Yourself” has uniqueness. “Productize” has leverage. “Yourself” has accountability. “Productize” has specific knowledge. “Yourself” (Location 167)

also has specific knowledge in there. So all of these pieces, you can combine them into these two words (Location 168)

“Am I productizing it? Am I scaling it? Am I scaling with labor or with capital or with code or with media? (Location 170)

If I do my job right, if I create value for society, society says, “Oh, thank you. We owe you something in the future for the work you did in the past. Here’s a little IOU. Let’s call that money. (Location 174)

Wealth is the thing you want. Wealth is assets that earn while you sleep. Wealth is the factory, the robots, cranking out things. (Location 175)

Technology democratizes consumption but consolidates production. The best person in the world at anything gets to do it for everyone. (Location 179)

Society will pay you for creating things it wants. But society doesn’t yet know how to create those things, because if it did, they wouldn’t need you. They would already be stamped out. (Location 180)

Society always wants new things. And if you want to be wealthy, you want to figure out which one of those things you can provide for society that it does not yet know how to get but it will want and providing it is natural to you, within your skill set, and within your capabilities. (Location 184)


Something you didn’t even consider a skill, but people around you noticed. Your mother or your best friend growing up would know. (Location 198)

The specific knowledge is sort of this weird combination of unique traits from your DNA, your unique upbringing, and your response to (Location 202)

No one can compete with you on being you (Location 203)

Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most. For example, I love to read, and I love technology. (Location 204)

wanted to be a scientist. (Location 207)

Society, business, & money are downstream of technology, which is itself downstream of science (Location 211)

Applied Scientists are the most powerful people in the world. This will be more obvious in the coming years. (Location 212)

My whole value system was built around scientists, and I wanted to be a great scientist. But when I actually look back at what I was uniquely good at and what I ended up spending my time doing, it was more around making money, tinkering with technology, and selling people on things. Explaining things and talking to people (Location 213)

thing—focus on the thing that you are really into (Location 219)

Specific knowledge is found much more by pursuing your innate talents, your genuine curiosity, and your passion. (Location 223)

Very often, specific knowledge is at the edge of knowledge. It’s also stuff that’s only now being figured out or is really hard to figure out (Location 224)

If you’re not 100 percent into it, somebody else who is 100 percent into it will outperform you. And they won’t just outperform you by a little bit—they’ll outperform you by a lot because now we’re operating the domain of ideas, compound interest really applies and leverage really applies. (Location 225)

The internet enables any niche interest, as long as you’re the best person at it to scale out (Location 230)

Basically, when you’re competing with people, it’s because you’re copying them (Location 232)

If you are fundamentally building and marketing something that is an extension of who you are, no one can compete with you on that (Location 234)

The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets. (Location 236)

You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn (Location 238)

It’s much more important today to be able to become an expert in a brand-new field in nine to twelve months than to have studied the “right” thing a long time ago. (Location 240)

If you go to the library and there’s a book you cannot understand, you have to dig down and say, “What is the foundation required for me to learn this?” Foundations are super important. (Location 242)

Foundations are key. It’s much better to be at 9/10 or 10/10 on foundations than to try and get super deep into things. (Location 246)

You do need to be deep in something because otherwise you’ll be a mile wide and an inch deep and you won’t get what you want out of life. You can only achieve mastery in one or two things. It’s usually things you’re obsessed about. (Location 247)

Look at some of the top roles in society, like why someone is a CEO of a public company or managing billions of dollars. It’s because people trust them (Location 252)

They are trusted because the relationships they’ve built and the work they’ve done has compounded. (Location 253)

If you have a sterling reputation and you keep building it for decades upon decades, people will notice. (Location 255)

Your reputation will literally end up being thousands or tens of thousands of times more valuable than somebody else who was very talented but is not keeping the compound interest in reputation going. (Location 256)

All the normal negotiations in business relationships can work very simply because you trust each other—you know it will work out. (Location 259)

Sticking with it for decades is really how you make the big returns in your relationships and in your money (Location 265)

I say this because you should be very thoughtful and realize in most things (relationships, work, even in learning) what you’re trying to do is find the thing you can go all-in on to earn compound interest. (Location 274)

I’m not saying don’t do the 99 percent, because it’s very hard to identify what the 1 percent is. What I’m saying is: when you find the 1 percent of your discipline which will not be wasted, which you’ll be able to invest in for the rest of your life and has meaning to you—go all-in and forget about the rest. (Location 278)

Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage (Location 282)

So to get these things, you have to build credibility, and you have to do it under your own name as much as possible, which is risky. (Location 284)

Clear accountability is important. Without accountability, you don’t have incentives. Without accountability, you can’t build credibility. But you take risks. You risk failure. You risk humiliation. You risk failure under your own name. (Location 286)

The people who have the ability to fail in public under their own names actually gain a lot of power. (Location 290)

Realize that in modern society, the downside risk is not that large (Location 298)

people will forgive failures as long as you were honest and made a high-integrity effort. (Location 299)

Without ownership, your inputs are very closely tied to your outputs (Location 306)

When you own debt, you own guaranteed revenue streams and you own the downside. (Location 314)

You want to own equity. If you don’t own equity in a business, your odds of making money are very slim. (Location 315)

You could own equity as a small shareholder where you bought stock. You could also own it as an owner where you started the company. Ownership is really important. (Location 316)

Everybody who really makes money at some point owns a piece of a product, a business, or some IP. (Location 317)

But usually, the real wealth is created by starting your own companies or even by investing. (Location 319)

We live in an age of infinite leverage, and the economic rewards for genuine intellectual curiosity have never been higher. (Location 321)

Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now. [11] (Location 322)

Knowledge only you know or only a small set of people knows is going to come out of your passions and your hobbies, oddly enough (Location 323)

If you have hobbies around your intellectual curiosity, you’re more likely to develop these passions. [1 (Location 324)

I only really want to do things for their own sake. That is one definition of art. (Location 325)

Whether it’s business, exercise, romance, friendship, whatever, I think the meaning of life is to do things for their own sake. (Location 326)

Ironically, when you do things for their own sake, you create your best work. Even if you’re just trying to make money, you will actually be the most successful. (Location 327)

The less you want something, the less you’re thinking about it, the less you’re obsessing over it, the more you’re going to do it in a natural way (Location 330)

The more you’re going to do it for yourself. You’re going to do it in a way you’re good at, and you’re going to stick with it. The people around you will see the quality of your work is higher. (Location 332)

If your curiosity ever leads you to a place where society eventually wants to go, you’ll get paid extremely well. (Location 333)

If someone can train other people how to do something, then they can replace you (Location 335)

You want to know how to do something other people don’t know how to do at the time period when those skills are in demand. (Location 336)

You get rewarded by society for giving it what it wants and doesn’t know how to get elsewhere (Location 337)

Think about what product or service society wants but does not yet know how to get. You want to become the person who delivers it and delivers it at scale. That is really the challenge of how to make money. (Location 339)

You make a name for yourself, and you take some risk in the process. (Location 343)

Managing other people is incredibly messy. It requires tremendous leadership skills. You’re one short hop from a mutiny or getting eaten or torn apart by the mob (Location 346)

It means every time you make a decision, you multiply it with money. [1] Capital is a trickier form of leverage to use. It’s more modern. (Location 348)

It scales very, very well. If you get good at managing capital, you can manage more and more capital much more easily than you can manage more and more people. [78] (Location 352)

“products with no marginal cost of replication. (Location 353)

Code is probably the most powerful form of permissionless leverage. All you need is a computer—you don’t need anyone’s permission. (Location 354)

Forget rich versus poor, white-collar versus blue. It’s now leveraged versus un-leveraged. (Location 355)

But the new generation’s fortunes are all made through code or media (Location 362)

Probably the most interesting thing to keep in mind about new forms of leverage is they are permissionless. (Location 365)

For labor leverage, somebody has to decide to follow you. For capital leverage, somebody has to give you money to invest or to turn into a product. (Location 366)

Coding, writing books, recording podcasts, tweeting, YouTubing—these kinds of things are permissionless. (Location 367)

Note: All of which I,ll be dooing

Every great software developer, for example, now has an army of robots working for him at nighttime while he or she sleeps, after they’ve written the (Location 369)

If you have independence and you’re accountable on your output, as opposed to your input—that’s the dream. (Location 371)

Now we’ve invented leverage—through capital, cooperation, technology, productivity, all these means. We live in an age of leverage (Location 373)

As a worker, you want to be as leveraged as possible so you have a huge impact without as much time or physical effort. (Location 374)

With a leveraged worker, judgment is far more important than how much time they put in or how hard they work (Location 375)

Forget 10x programmers. 1,000x programmers really exist, we just don’t fully acknowledge it. See @ID_AA_Carmack, @notch, Satoshi Nakomoto, (Location 376)

What you want in life is to be in control of your time. You want to get into a leveraged job where you control your own time and you’re tracked on the outputs. (Location 380)

If you do something incredible to move the needle on the business, they have to pay you. (Location 381)

Especially if they don’t know how you did it because it’s innate to your obsession or your skill or your innate abilities, they’re going to have to keep paying you to do (Location 382)