Josh Wolfe @wolfejosh VC, entrepreneur, fund manager @Lux_Capital; Chair @CiPrep Coney Island Prep; Trustee @SfiScience Santa Fe Inst; CoFounder of Carson, Quinn & Bodhi w/ @ltwolfe Jul. 05, 2018 3 min read

1/SIMPLY explained: why what’s happening is

Like ‘first principles’ physics: Action > Reaction
With great power comes great responsibility

With great promises (action)
comes great expectations (reaction)

When expectations are not met (action)
it invite SCRUTINY (reaction)...

2/ UNMET expectations
If it happens once, who cares?
If it happens twice, a few take notice
If it happens alot, many see a pattern

And a few of those many say something, raise awareness, urge those without awareness to become aware...

3/ This is how social primates hold eachother accountable.

It’s the whole: ‘you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all of the time’

It’s also the ASYMMETRY of power—TRANSIENT without TRUTH (unless one controls the food or armies).

4/ True (eventually) of politicians, scientists, sports coaches, engineers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, investors—

—and anyone who relies on the provision of some kind (votes, grants, fans, investment, sales/customers) from the masses...

5/ In fact the more centralized the power or more concentrated the celebration or praise in one person—

—the more critical it is that masses of less celebrated or less powerful speak truth to power—lest the masses get exploited to their detriment and to the exploiter’s benefit

6/ Why do SKEPTICS act?

They see others not seeing what they see; see them being misled or taken advantage of

Benevelonce? Nah.

More likely they want status in being RIGHT (+ status taken AWAY from a sooth-sayer or huckster. Status is currency (and a form of ill-gotten gains)

7/The irony?

the VERY thing we celebrate of brash bold entrepeneurs: strength to STAND OUT + not FIT IN

to act/believe contrary to the mainstream masses
to toil or suffer in solitude
to endure the discomforting risk of being ostracized—to see or believe a thing others do not-

8/—this is exactly what an honorable
SCIENTIST
DETECTIVE
INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST
SKEPTICAL SHORT-SELLER does

They dont take things at face value

They seek evidence: empirical results, statistical significance, multiple sources, forensic accounting...

9/ And they all have SKIN IN THE GAME at risk to lose reputation, future credibility and money if they are wrong—and stand to gain the same if they are right...

10/ Some magicians (performance con-men) are “honest liars”

—Houdini (Randi @pennjillette @MrTeller @derrenBrown @michaelshermer modern torch-bearers)

debunking new-age charlatans, snake-oil salesmen, whose claims are cons (manipulating the belief of the gullible + credulous)

11/ In the same way SOME have an *entrepreneurial gene* that they just can’t NOT create, re-invent, push boundaries, challenge the status quo, move fast, break stuff, disrupt, question why, ask forgiveness not permission...

12/ OTHERS have a scientific or *skeptical gene*.

They are not merely cynics or haters or nattering naybobs of negativity.

Nor are they like that with everything or everyone—

only the things they suspect seem fishy, smell funny, are ‘off”, things that are—SUSPECT.

13/ WHY do they even care?

Maybe some were duped or fooled or conned (action) and developed skepticism (reaction) like a muscle against malevelont misleading manipulative marauders.

Or maybe it’s just status-seeking + signaling that they deserve credit + trust (as another lies)

14/ Usually those at the edge of getting discovered as something other than they have led an audience to believe—rage the hardest.

15/ Here are the 7 Signs of Ethical Collapse at a company:

16/ We just experienced this: Theranos.

When inestigative journalists (+scientists) got critical shining sunlight—they got attacked.

What do people or companies with nothing to hide do?
They deliver, exceed expectations, tell the truth.

They don’t spin, obfuscate or attack—

17/ The best way to silence critics (as a scientist or CEO) is to prove them wrong with results + evidence.

We experienced the opposite most recently with MiMedx (MDXG) + almost 2 decades agp with Enron. Big time.
What did they both do? Attack!

18/ Here is a smart investor + analyst (i know in real life) who has done real work.

He is natural skeptic + rational investors and models his skepticism

19/ Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions—not their own facts.

When facts get SPUN, the skeptics get SPUN UP to SPIN DOWN the lies

Be thankful for skeptics—they hold the lanterns seeking honest men
The dishonest live in shadows but without SCRUTINY—also in the light of day


You can follow @wolfejosh.



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