It’s been another wild week, so let’s get back to talking about something amusingly dumb: this tweet How to Turn $50 into $3.9m in Two Years by Planting Tomatoes Thursday.
It’s hard to know where to start with this. It’s the kind of nth-dimensional object that mixes hustle-culture brain rot and venture capital pitch-deck anti-math. It encapsulates some of the most damaging ideas of our economic era, notably the paganism of “scale” and the total, unapologetic contempt for real labor. The author’s relentless self-importance and manifest inability to think real-world business, all the while trying to sell himself as a business and investment coach, would be totally at home in the most brazen corners of the crypto hype machine.
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Obviously the offer itself doesn’t make sense, starting with the fact that you can’t sell most tomatoes. for a dollar. Twitter user @keewa was even more outspoken, Writing That the scheme assumes “infinite evolution within a finite system”. In other words, it only makes sense if you consider that you don’t need anywhere else to plant tomatoes, or need someone to pick them, or really any input other than seeds.
Of course, we’re not really talking about tomatoes here — Huber meant it as a metaphor for the compounding benefits of reinvestment. The problem is that his metaphor uses real numbers which are completely unrealistic. In fact, the math appears to be a recurring problem for Huber, who voiced his support in a tomato-cultivation tweet. first request That he be given $50 a month for the rest of his life instead of $1 million in cash today. Huber was unimpressed with his thesis when it was pointed out that $50/month would require you to live for over 1,000 years, worth as much as $1 million today.
Are you angry yet? good. Because it was all a very on-point troll.
When not in character as a dumb hustler Twitter Guy, Huber writes of his training courses: “I started Sweat Startup in December of 2018 because I believe Shark Tank and Tech Crunch culture are low risk. Wally is ruining the real spirit of entrepreneurship.” He claims to run a network of storage facilities, a capital-intensive, not-too-scalable business, which he is arguing offers a 10,000% VC return. And Gigachad is overwhelmed by the massive search for the s**tcoin pump. He’s trying to warn people against the kind of get-rich-quick BS that satirizes his tweets.
Huber’s troll was successful, however, because there are plenty of influencers and cosplay “investing gurus” who are more or less saying the same brain-dead stuff uncontrollably. The original $50 per month vs $1 million today question was put up by a guy side hustle king, which endorses the “law of attraction” as part of its brand. For those not familiar, “The Law of Attraction” is basically The Secret, a pile of mysterious nonsense that argues that you can only imagine good things and they will happen to you.
Now, I sympathize with fans of hustle-culture. Unscientific, it seems to attract a lot of people who are out of trivial situations to better themselves, and there’s no shadow to that. The real problem is that Huber is the kind of satirical higher-up people who manipulate the desire for self-improvement to sell extremely bad ideas at a big markup. Its crypto version is day-trading Telegram groups and training courses, many of which are (allegedly) scams run by dope and charlatans who don’t educate you.
More interesting is the way Huber’s troll points to technical investing and business models. The reason Tomato’s tweet is so deliciously infuriating is because it reiterates the most dangerous argument of venture capital and finance over the past two or three decades – that all businesses are fundamentally interchangeable and that only abstract unit economics matters.
Seeds, after all, do not grow on their own, brain geniuses. Not only do you need expensive land and labor, you also need highly sophisticated skills ranging from gardening to marketing. Ignoring those complexities was key to the growth of some of the biggest startups of the 21st century, and the consequences have often been disastrous.
Nobody remembers it, but Uber told investors for several years that its blood-red balance sheet was essentially meaningless because it was about to invent driverless cars and no longer have to pay drivers. Then an autonomous Uber killed a woman in Arizona and they stopped talking about it. But in the meantime, the app had devastated the traditional taxi industry, where it took nearly a century of work to establish safety standards and worker safety. Facebook’s commitment to mass and zero labor made it extremely slow to hire enough people to monitor the site for silly little things like promoting genocide.
So if you saw Huber’s tweet and got mad at it, take a moment to think about what you should do. Really But to be angry This is an infinite tomato economy, and we are living in it.