Premium Mediocre

I read this great post today by Venkatesh Rao called ‘The Premium Mediocre Life of Maya Millennial‘ and it made me laugh out loud. It also made me sad. There is much truthiness in it and I think it is worth 15 minutes of your time to read.

This riff was poetry:

At a more macro-sociological level, as my opening graphic illustrates, premium mediocre is a kind of modern proto middle class, born of a vanishing old middle class, and attempting to fake it while waiting for a replacement to appear under their feet while they tread water. It is a class sandwiched between the crypotobourgeoisie above and the API below.

Why this particular class sandwich? It has to do with mobility options.

About the only path to wealth-building available to the average premium mediocre young person in the developed world today, absent any special technical skills or entrepreneurial bent, is cryptocurrencies.

The traditional wealth-building strategy in the US, home ownership, has turned into a mix of a mug’s game and unassailable NIMBY rentierism.

The public markets are no longer reliable wealth builders, while the private markets exclude almost everybody who isn’t already wealthy.

And the tech-startup options lottery and media-celebrity games are not open to those who can’t program at world-eating levels or shitpost at election-winning levels.

That leaves the cryptocurrency lottery as the only documented way up open to all, regardless of skills. Like many other denizens of the premium mediocre class, I too am aspiring cryptobourgeoisie, awaiting The Flippening.


As an investor I read it and have hundreds of ideas and a determination to better understand Maya Millennial. In the future, every time I eat a Chipotle burrito, which I still plan on doing, I will be a little sad about my choosing premium mediocrity. It’s better than fast casual though.

Also published on Medium.