Friends news: "friend billionaire" 😮

Published 11 months ago • 3 min read

Hello Reader, from your internet friend Nick, author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party (paperback or Audible).

I'm writing you today from a hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Heading to San Diego to speak at a conference tomorrow, and then speaking to 100 students at Draper University in San Francisco on Wednesday night.

In this issue: the new class of Friend Billionaires, prisoners vs. Ivy League students, quotes from Sam Zell, 12k book sales, and a few more interesting nuggets.

Why you’re getting this: I'm Nick Gray and this is my Friends Newsletter. I send this every month or so to interesting people I’ve connected with and friends I want to keep in touch with. You can un-subscríbe any time and I won't be mad. I won't even be notified.


Random Links

👱🏻‍♂️ The most interesting people are not super successful billionaire types

Investor and entrepreneur Andrew Wilkinson wrote a nice Tweet about me that went viral. He called me a "friend billionaire." See why.

⚖️ The Prisoners Who Debate Ivy League Students

"A debate team at an upstate New York prison has bested students from Harvard and Brown."

🍸 Get Off the Bench: Host a Cocktail Party

"Last week, I did something I have never done before: I hosted a cocktail party at my house. I was inspired by Nick Gray’s book The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, which is both a pitch for hosting and a formula for how to do it... Hosting a party like this is hard. It is hard to put yourself out there, colliding worlds is nerve wracking, and there are logistics and expenses that come with hosting (although my party was less than $100). But, it is also deeply satisfying bringing people together to talk. As someone who squirms every time I see a couple or family all quietly tapping their cell phones, a room of twenty people talking is a beautiful sight."

🎧 How to Make Small Talk

How do we overcome the awkwardness that keeps us from starting a conversation? Podcast episode by The Atlantic.

⚖️ The Most Dangerous Democrat in Iowa

Article from The Atlantic about my friend Rob. "As state auditor—and his party’s only elected politician in statewide office—Rob Sand is in the Republicans’ sights. But his eyes are on higher things."

😱 I Saw the Face of God in a Semiconductor Factory

Wired article: "As the US boosts production of silicon chips, an American journalist goes inside TSMC, the mysterious Taiwanese company at the center of the global industry."

🍸 The Party is Cancelled

New Yorker article: "Inside a monthly New York City hangout, where fired university professors and controversial TikTokers get together to have discussions they feel they can’t have anywhere else."


7 Great Sam Zell Quotes

Real estate tycoon and outspoken business mensch Sam Zell passed away recently. Here are some of my favorite quotes from him, pulled from his excellent book "Am I Being Too Subtle."

  1. All the opportunity in the world means nothing if you don’t actually pull the trigger.
  2. Where there is scarcity, price is no object. This basic tenet of supply and demand would later become a governing principle of my investment philosophy.
  3. I grew up believing that anything is possible. And when you’re not aware there are any limitations, nothing stops you from trying.
  4. I believe the fundamentals of business — supply and demand, liquidity equals value, good corporate governance , and reliable partners , to name a few — apply across the board.
  5. Reputation is your most important asset. Everything you do, everything you say, is a part of the permanent record. Your name reflects your character.
  6. The bottom line is if you’re really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are.
  7. There’s a baseline IQ level needed to work at my firm, but I don’t need rocket scientists. After that, what best predicts your success in my world is drive, energy, attitude, judgment, conviction, and passion . And an ability to cut to the center of an issue. I’d trade another twenty IQ points for those qualities any day.

Full list of my favorite quotes plus my notes from his book on my personal blog here.


12,000 Book Sales

I just passed 12,000 sales for my step-by-step handbook, The 2-Hour Cocktail Party.

Thank you for sharing it and helping to make the world a little less lonely and a lot more fun with a few thousand more parties.


The End

Thanks for reading my Friends Newsletter.

Three new videos on my YouTube that might be neat:

1. My Pujol restaurant review in Mexico City,

2. How to host a BIG Meetup or Networking Event, and

3. Icebreakers for Large Groups.

Special shoutout and congrats to my friend Mallory of Small Girls PR (Twitter, Instagram) who just got married to her amazing boyfriend McLean.

🤠 Nick Gray

p.s. Here's the About Me on my website if you forgot who I am. We met [HOWWEMET GOES HERE].

An investor, entrepreneur, and author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party. I started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Join 20,000 CEOs, investors, and founders and receive business tips, productivity tools, and other resources from me.

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