The All-In Summit 2022 – Takeaways

I had the privilege of attending The All-In Summit last week in Miami. Here’s my takeaways.



The All-In Podcast is run by investors Jason Calcanis, David Freedberg, Chamath Polyhopitia, and David Sacks. It was started out of starvation of human contact during Covid Lockdown in March 2020. They debate wide-ranging topics and share their conversations publically on YouTube and on the Podcast every Friday night.


Declining Birth Rate

Having more children is not worse for the environment. Birth rates are globally decreasing and at historical lows. As it stands China is likely to have a population of 600 million by 2095 if you extrapolate current numbers (the Chinese population is currently 1.4 billion). If you are concerned about how terrible today’s world is and are concerned about bringing children into it, look at history, things are a lot better now than they have been in the past. Think running water.

Importance of Military Technology

  • “Whoever becomes the leader in artificial intelligence will become the ruler of the world” – Vladimir Putin
  • There have been more mattress unicorns than defense industry unicorns in the last 30 years
  • The US is spending 52 billion on semiconductors within our borders. Meanwhile, Apple is investing over 200 billion into China
  • War breaks out when adversaries estimate they can win… if they are both unsure of the outcome you get diplomatic solutions

  On China

  • Talk from Claire Thielke
  • The average white-collar worker works 20 years to buy an apartment
  • China real estate is 10-15 years ahead of the US in technology: New buildings in China run on We Chat, We Chat is your ID, unlocks your doors, how you pay rent, do receipts, pay taxes, talk to your landlord, organize with your neighbors
  • China government does 5-year plans, currently on the 14th 5-year plan
  • 5-year plan sets KPIs and government officials are measured against those KPIs
  • China is as urbanized as the 1950s US (I’m assuming this is by % of geography)
  • I will posit that Elon is a slave driver, you will not stay at Tesla US if you are lazy. That being said Elon says Tesla China is more productive than Tesla US. China workers are motivated.
  • That being said, US workers are 15x more productive than Chinese on a GDP basis

U.S. / Politics

Tim Urban gave a very compelling talk on politics. You should watch this. Discourse in the country has reverted to “low-rung” politics, where ideas cannot be discussed, and if you disagree with the prevailing party then you are labeled as a fascist/nazi. This type of politics is regressive, whereas high rung politics are more aligned with the scientific method and the intent to improve the overall state of the country.

“We need to stop infighting in the US and stop punching ourselves in the face and step up our game because if we don’t we will not hold our place in the world.” – Elon Musk

Everyone should watch Ray Dalio’s changing world order video (45 Minutes).


We more likely than not are in a recession. The recession will last somewhere between 6 months and 24+ months. Taking into account scenario planning the line is drawn at approximately 14 months of recession, possibly shorter, possibly longer. Pre-covid valuations are the new normal again.

Recessions are not necessarily a bad thing. When a boom goes on for too long money rains on fools and there is a misallocation of human capital. Bullshit companies go bankrupt and the ones making useful products will be fine.

Plan on at least 24 months of burn rate in the bank because you might not be able to raise more money for at least 2 years, possibly more.

The new normal looks like the pre-covid normal. The stock market is still up 30% vs January 2020


“If you don’t do your chores then the company goes to hell. No one likes doing chores.” – Elon Musk

“Great companies are built by great engineers, ruined by great CMOs, and destroyed by great CFOs” – Antonio Gracias

Outside of productivity tools, there is not a single software company that can get really really big doing one thing only. Slack is an example of one that can do one thing and get really big. There are only 21 software companies with more than 1 billion in revenue.

“Business keeps changing and so there will always be a need for new B2B SaaS companies” – David Sacks

The following notes from BG2

  • A 1% change in interest rates is equivalent to a 15% change in valuation multiples
  • 50% year over year growth is good for about 8.6x revenue
  • Without that growth more like 5x
  • Focus on net term retention and free cashflow
  • If you want a real look at what’s going on you need to deconstruct CPI and build a model around it. Real inflation is more like 16%
  • Negative unit economics is a viable strategy only if you are capable of reining it in, and if you tried it 50 times it probably works once
  • Growth stocks will be 6.385% higher in a year – Bill Gurley


Military Tech has been systematically under-invested in for decades since the fall of the Soviet Union. Wars happen when states calculate that they have a better chance of winning a war against another state. When states feel mismatched in a war diplomatic solutions are found. Warfare is increasingly reliant on drones to the point that drones that can destroy drones are becoming increasingly important in modern warfare.


  • Miami government created a cryptocurrency project? The mayor thinks of crypto as a means for economic development. By creating the project Miami was able to attract more tech companies and VCs. Still smells like vaporware though.
  • Crypto market is a sponge for excess liquidity
  • Bitcoin is a hedge on political risk. Ukraine is the 3rd largest holder of bitcoins.
  • “If I lived in Taiwan I’d have 50% of my net worth in bitcoin” – Antonio Gracias

Real Estate

Real estate is not experiencing the same economic downturn as public or private markets. Real estate generally lags the broader economy (the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 culminated in March 2009 stock market lows and real estate prices hit their lows in 2011).

The housing market is unlikely to crash because people aren’t using their homes as an ATM like they were in 2008, and there is no supply. The housing market has been under-invested in (from a new construction standpoint) since 2008.

On Poker

  • Chamath argues poker is the best business training you can get because you are constantly dealing with good, moderate, and incorrect information and managing risk
  • You play better when someone else stakes you


End of line

Do what you want but it is my belief that listening/watching (watching is better cuz they show the charts etc) to this podcast is the single smartest thing you can pay attention to on a weekly basis.

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Monthly Goals

Work takes time. Time is money. All of these things should be obvious by now.

But how do you decide how to spend your time or money?

Spend time identifying the most high value opportunities that you can spend your time with. Then divide and conquer.

“Deadlines are vitamins for creativity”

Set monthly objectives. Everyone gets all hot and ornery about new years resolutions, but every turning of the calendar month should bring the same contemplation. This gives you 12 opportunities a year to assess where you’re at, where you’re going, and where you want to get to. Make it a regular practice.

The Best Hatchet

I once worked for a zombie startup*.

At one point, the “leadership” team decided they needed to just get away and do some real soul searching. A candid mandate was issued that everyone read Creativity Inc in the next three days.

They travelled to an old west dude ranch in Arizona, the team met to discuss the changes that had already taken place: The removal of the CIO and COO, as the company tightened its belt in a desperate attempt to “get organized” and “make a plan”.

Someone was ordered to pick up a dozen hatchets from the general store for the meeting. On each hatchet, each “leader” was to name their hatchet with sharpie marker. Later on the team would proceed out into the desert where they would burry all of their hatchets. (A team building exercise that had clearly been recommended by the business coach).

As I was the most senior technology person on staff following the dismissal of the CIO, I wasn’t invited to the meeting. But the hatchets showed up on Monday at the office. Intrigued, I picked up the first one I came across.

Written across the face of the hatchet in the CEO’s handwriting, “The Best”.

Either the team couldn’t figure out how to dig a hole in the desert (possible) or they were too lazy to try (likely).

Either way, The Best™ hatchet is still doing fine work for me.

*Disclaimer: Nothing in this article should be construed as a recommendation to bring a hatchet to a zombie fight.

Business Coaching Business Coaches Regurgitating Advice

Free Business Idea:

A business coaching business coaches.

It seems there are so many folks, (around this area in particular) who are interested in helping other businesses grow their business. It’s their business to grow your business.

I’ll let you in on a secret: You can learn nearly all the same information from books and the internet.

Please shoot me a note if you’re interested in building a business coaching other business coaches. I don’t know, maybe it sticks. Some business coaches out there are just regurgitating advice, paraphrasing commencement talks and writing terrible e-books. They could surely use some help with their business coaching business?

It’s a pretty specific niche. Could we make it more specific by focusing on business coaches coaching businesses in a specific vertical?

What about an annual conference for business coaching coaching? We could offer our best business coach clients the opportunity to give paraphrased versions of talks from other conferences that were interesting a year or two ago.

The Best Communicator Always Wins

Dealing with humans is hard. Communication appears simple but for every person involved in the conversation, there’s an exponentially increasing number of ways to be misunderstood. Everyone has their own filter bubble, and it’s available IRL, not just on Twitter.

You can bet on the best communicator being the one winning the job, getting the promotion, or gaining more power in an organization.

The funny thing is, the best communicator doesn’t necessarily mean the one with the best ideas.

The person with the genius level intelligence who goes dark and can’t clearly communicate their brilliant ideas isn’t  going to be gaining more traction within the social network that is a business enterprise. If you’re a programmer, this is summed up well by Jeff Atwood who tells you, “Don’t Go Dark”.

The person in the organization who communicates well to the most important stake holders is the one will garner more attention and more power within the organization.

A subtle wrinkle here: This person doesn’t even need a clear direction — let alone the best ideas.

You really only need to communicate to others that you care about them and their interests. If you do that, you’re likely to go far.