FakeChamath Palihapitiya seems to have it all: gobs of money from his days at Facebook and early investments in other social media companies. A share in a NBA team. A closet full of bespoke suits, and Silicon Valley notoriety in the form of a FakeTwitter Account
And yet he wants more.
BAC caught up with FakeChamath at his Palo Alto offices to talk about the World of FakeChamath.
(in laying out this interview, BAC trials several nicknames for FakeChamath – please vote on the one you like best in the Comments section below.)
C-Pal: So I’m on the range at Shadow Creek, and I bump into MJ.
BAC: I haven’t asked you a question yet.
Cha-Pal: And MJ – Michael Jordan, right –
BAC: Yes, I follow.
Cha-P: MJ tells me, “I read that article about you in Forbes.” BAM! I’m a freakin’ celebrity.
BAC: …in Palo Alto, Menlo and most of Sunnyvale, yes. But it’s not like you’re going to be mobbed at the next Hunger Games premiere.
Cham-Pee: Bro, I hang with MJ, (professional poker player) Phil Hellmuth, and other NBA owners.
BAC: Speaking of which, didn’t you call yourself “The Sri Lankan Mark Cuban”?
C-Pali: What I said was “The Canadian Mark Cuban,” and I was just kidding around with Phil between hands. It wasn’t supposed to be public, but the mics picked it up.
BAC: Apparently Cuban was unimpressed, and he shot back on his blog that you are “to venture capital what Kriss-Kross was to ’90s hip-hop.”
CC-Deville: Yes, I remember…
BAC: He also said that your stake in the Warriors was tiny – more like “a big season ticket package.”
C-Wut-I-Meen: Whatever, man – look, check out my bio on NBA.com. Know what it says? It says “OWNER.” This middle-class kid from Toronto is happening and ready to take the next step up.
BAC: What does that mean to you?
CPali From PaliAlto: For one, I need a cool celebrity nickname like “J-Lo,” “R-Patz,” or “The Biebs.”
BAC: Do you have one in mind?
Mr. Palihapitiya: I haven’t settled on one yet, but maybe C-Pal, Cham-Pal or CPali.
BAC: Aren’t nicknames generally bestowed upon one, as opposed to self-generated?
C-Vegas: That’s not how I roll, bro.
BAC: How about “CPal-2012”
C-Pal2012: That’s not a nickname – that’s a fucking Yahoo! ID.
BAC: Or an ICQ handle.
C-Pal2001: …which I basically invented.
BAC: Uh-huh. Okay, so what else do you want?
?uest-Like: A Wall Street Journal hedcut (the little head sketches WSJ uses instead of headshots)? Dave Goldberg has one. For what – Survey Monkey?
BAC: Rumor is you’ve commissioned one.
JohnnyVegas: Yes, but apparently they don’t use them for the syndicated stories from AllThingsD. Murdoch’s a D-Bag. Wait, don’t print that.
BAC: I heard they just didn’t like the way your artist rendered your goatee/stache thing you’ve got going on.
ChumpMoth: They couldn’t capture the subtlety of my look.
BAC: Oh sure, sure. So what else do you want?
PaliPali123: A Wikipedia article.
BAC: Why obsess over Wikipedia? Afterall, you’ve got a CrunchBase Profile.
TheAceOfFarts: CrunchBase? Are you kidding?! Jason Calacknakis has a CrunchBase profile!
BAC: It’s “Calacanis,” and he also has a Wikipedia page.
ChamPali: You’re shitting me!
BAC: I’m not. But more to the point, he has actually started companies. You’ve done amazing things, but you’re not, in the pure sense, an entrepreneur.
See,Pal: Listen, man. I do more than create. I disrupt. I am the ghost in the machine.
BAC: That’s a great album.
CHappyPal: I’m not talking about the fucking Police, bro. I’m talking about saving the world from itself.
BAC: Through golf, poker and professional basketball?
SlashDog: Those are just hobbies – important hobbies, but they are not my world-changing mission. What I’m talking about is powering a new machine that unleashes the power to help innovation change the world. You do not see Benchmark or Andreessen-Horowitz making the bets we’re making.
BAC: So you’re a rebel who is in the visionary-funding business.
CPalihap: Yeah, I like the way you put that.
BAC: You’re welcome.
ChamathPali: We provide entrepreneurs with the fuel to change the world. Nothing gets done without the gas in the innovation engine. I mean, even for your little “business,” don’t you need capital to achieve your vision?
BAC: In fact we do. Do you think that…
ChaChaToronto: (abruptly) Sorry – it’s not for us.
BAC: But you just asked…
Chamath: That was rhetorical, bro.