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Danny In The Valley
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Danny In The Valley

Author: The Sunday Times

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After more than a decade in London, Danny Fortson returns to Silicon Valley to meet the techies trying to change the world - and make loads of money while doing it.

147 Episodes
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The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Sebastian Thrun, founder of Udacity and chief executive of Kitty Hawk, on the turning point for online education (6:40), the slow evolution of university (8:10), the broken business model of higher education (11:20), the importance of social cache (16:05), how he got started (18:40), doing it despite Stanford’s resistance (22:00), competing against the big brands (25:40), the limits of online learning (28:20), how the pandemic has impacted his other passion, flying cars (30:40), how he got started (34:40), what flying cars could do to transport (37:10), the hurdles (40:10), why history is important (42:40), the fear of uncertainty (46:00), and using AI in cancer (49:55).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson, managing partner at venture capital firm NFX, to talk about the golden age of social media (3:00), the early social network he founded (5:10), the ice age (7:20), how social media is like railroads (9:10), the opportunity for social work apps (11:50), the chilling Facebook effect (13:00), the early days of Houseparty (16:), its moment arriving five years later (20:00), the buzzy Clubhouse app (21:00), how the idea of identity has changed (22:40), his involvement in the founding of Bebo (25:15), why being first isn't necessarily best (27:50), the paucity of founders (32:10), and why we shouldn’t underestimate Facebook (32:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on John Bruce, co-founder with Sir Tim Berners-Lee of Inrupt, to talk about remaking the web (3:40), putting data back in users’ control (5:30), data pods (6:50), getting “paid” for your data (8:50), why progress will be gradual (10:50), the underlying tech (13:20), how close it is to coming to market (15:00), the pilot with the NHS (17:00), how the incumbents might react (19:10), how Covid could create an opening (22:00), how 20 people can change the web (27:00), bypassing Silicon Valley venture capital (30:10), what happens next (32:15), and what a better internet could look like (35:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Fred Turner, founder of Curative, to talk about creating a new coronavirus test (3:55), hiring 200 people in 7 weeks (5:35), what’s different about Curative’s test (7:10), how he got involved (10:40), who is backing him (13:25), starting with cows (16:00), then moving to STD’s (19:10), sepsis testing (25:20), coming from a tinkering family (26:), getting rejected by the NHS (29:00), the bottlenecks (33:10), moving to California as a teenager (35:20), raising money in a pandemic (37:30), singing up the US Air Force (41:00), and how he tests his employees (41:25).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Steve Sinclair, product head at Mojo Vision, to talk about "smart" contact lenses (2:00), why glasses are harder (4:00), working on this for ten years (7:30), gambling as a killer app (10:00), the possibilities of “invisible computing” (14:00), uses in conjunction with brain-computer interface tech (17:00), raising $159 million (20:40), how it works (23:10), the movement toward less screen time (28:20), the military applications (30:10), why now (32:50), and what else needs to be figured out (37:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Michael Lewis, author of Moneyball and The Big Short, to talk about government as a manager of risk (3:35), the fifth risk (5:0), how Trump’s handling of the transition from Obama foreshadowed crisis (8:10), what he found inside the government (10:20), when he realised the nightmare scenario had arrived (12:50), why Donald Trump is responsible (15:50), why no one is surprised (19:35), the death clock (23:25), and why cowardice is dangerous (24:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Eric Ries, author of Lean Startup and founder of the Long-Term Stock Exchange, to talk about trying to build a PPE procurement website (2:55), the problem (5:40), what he can do as a techie (10:35), starting a hotline (13:35), waiting for the government (13:45), the bottlenecks (18:00), fears of oversupply (22:05) why the cavalry is not coming (25:00), the difference between demand and production capacity (28:20), and launching a stock exchange in a pandemic (31:55).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Meredith Whitaker, founder of AI Now and organiser of the Google walk-out, to talk about how she arrived at the search giant 13 years ago (3:40), delving into tech’s effects on society (4:30), becoming a critic (6:15), and then a labour organiser (8:40), the debate on Silicon Valley working with the Pentagon (11:30), AI bias (14:50), sentencing algorithms (17:00), the Google walk-out (19:45), retaliation (22:30), the dangers of government co-opting Big Tech in the coronavirus response (25:25), how AI can reinforce societal divides (32:30), and the plight of “essential” workers (34:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings Damion Shelton, founder of Agility Robotics, to talk about what he did before robots (3:00), making a humanoid robot (5:20), legs v wheels (10:30), the Covid effect (12:45) the public acceptance challenge (15:30), going to market as quickly as possible (17:40), how the smartphone changed the game (23:10), delivering parcels (26:40), where he draws the line with military uses (30:05), how long before it will be this robot is in the wild (34:30), how the machines will be like volunteer firefighters (38:05), and his worst day of work (41:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Serge Saxonov, founder of 10x Genomics, to talk about the end of normalcy (3:00), his high-end espresso machine for biology (4:20), delivering on the promise of genomics (6:20), how 10x is contributing to the coronavirus vaccine race (8:00), why a vaccine is theoretically achievable (10:15), the global shift to Covid research (13:15), leaving the Soviet Union and landing in New York (15:30), starting 23andMe (19:20), starting 10x (22:00), why it was hard to raise money (23:25), luring Softbank as an investor (25:55), 10x's footprint (26:50), the importance of resolution (28:10), and his worst day of work (32:00)  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Keller Rinaudo, founder of Zipline, to talk about using drones to deliver medical supplies (3:25), dropping blood from the sky (6:10), the fast-forwarded plan for America (7:10), why drone delivery has been so slow to roll out (10:00), how the coronavirus pandemic will sweep away obstacles (11:50), the future of pandemic treatments (14:40), how drone delivery works (17:35), the way Africa is responding to coronavirus (20:00), the rise of the robots (22:00), what Zipline's planes can do (24:15), and why the future is now (25:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paul Romer, Nobel Prize-winning economist, to talk about making our way out of the coronavirus crisis (2:15), the two key investments (5:35), mass testing (9:25), the future of work (14:00), how long can we do lockdown (16:30), whether private industry can rise to the occasion (18:30), how the world will bifurcate (23:10), what life looks like in two months (25:30), the debt bomb (27:45), the metrics to watch (30:15), and the dangers of a failed state (33:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech corespondent brings on Seth Bannon, co-founder venture capital firm Fifty Years, to talk about fighting the coronavirus (3:25), the coming destruction of Silicon Valley’s startup ecosystem (5:00), the funding crunch for venture capital (7:00), backing Covid-19 companies (13:20), the problem with home-testing (16:10), why this will be worse than the tech bubble implosion for startups (19:20), and if universal basic income’s moment has come (21:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Dr John Ioannadis to talk about why the coronavirus response could be an “evidence fiasco" (0:00), the China model (3:20), the importance of testing (5:00), the case of the Diamond Princess (6:35), and of Italy (9:45), Imperial College's estimates (13:25), the problem with models (16:45), a lack of historical precedent (18:20), the monumental failure of not having tests (21:35), scaling up testing (24:25), and herd immunity (27:25). PLUS, Claes Gustafsson, co founder of ATUM Bio, to talk about the company’s work making copies of coronavirus (33:00), how this compares to other outbreaks (34:25), the rush for a cure (38:15), and being partially shut down by the government (41:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Stephen Levy, author of Facebook: The Inside Story, to talk about the moment he decided to write the book (3:30), the first time he met Zuck (8:10), the “book of change” (9:45), why Zuckerberg didn’t need an “adult in the room” (13:15), his deification in Silicon Valley (16:30), how Trump used Facebook (18:30), dark profiles (21:20), why Facebook is still moving fast (24:30), Facebook’s antitrust fight (28:00), on whether encryption changes things (30:30), Facebook as a utility (33:30), Zuckerberg’s shrinking inner circle (35:20), the hardest thing about writing the book (39:00), how Zuckerberg has changed (43:30), the Facebook phone (47:45), Cambridge Analytica (48:45), and whether Facebook is too big to control (53:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson travels to an almond orchard in central California to talk to Matias Viel, founder of Beeflow, to talk about bees (4:00), creating an insect superfood (7:30), the great bee migration (11:45), measuring bee strength (16:00), why the agro-industrial model doesn’t work (17:25), the almond milk boom (22:10), the rise of consumer pressure (23:55), and the molecules Beeflow extracts from plants (28:20). Then, Morgan Woolf comes on to talk about almond farming (31:10), creating a certificate akin to the “Dolphin-safe tuna” labelling (37:40), and the water fight in the almond industry (44:45).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Matthew Jackson, Stanford professor and author of The Human Network, about why you live matters (2:20), the universal basic income illusion (5:50), how social media puts networks on steroids (7:00), his work with Silicon Valley giants (10:50), how politics has changed (14:40), the hollowing out of the middle class (17:00), why war doesn't happen as much any more (20:50), the double-edged sword of globalization (24:45), how do we craft the best network (27:00), why having friends is important (30:30), the friendship paradox (34:20), avoiding sameness (37:20), quotas (40:30), what parents can do (42:40) and whether tech means that this time is different (45:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on David Barrett, founder of Expensify, to talk about competing for talent with unicorns (2:00), the odd reason for the company’s founding (5:15), creating a fictional expense-reporting startup (6:20), the deification of serial founders (10:30), why he promotes from within (14:15), the expenses industry (16:20),why he takes the whole company overseas every year (18:30), why he doesn’t like venture capitalists (25:40), buying out his investors (28:30), the stages of development (30:45), using a subscription model (32:00), why it took 12 years to get where they are (36:30), whether he wants to go public (38:15), the homelessness problem (41:30), the great rewards/points scam (43:45), his worst day of work (49:30), and the time when his employees got dengue fever (54:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, author of Shorter, to talk about why we work 40 hours per week (2:30), why he wrote the book (4:50), why working less is gaining traction (8:00), why working too much is like smoking (9:00), the difficulty instituting shorter work weeks (11:00), how it can be done (18:00), fighting against the gig economy (22:15), why big companies would ever want to do this (26:45), whether this is different between generations (29:35), the power of mothers (31:55), why rest is key (5:20), the culture of overwork (38:10), partnering with automation (42:30), and getting unstuck from the 40-hour week (45:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on George Whitesides, chief executive of Virgin Galactic, to talk about the new space race (3:00), doing more with less (4:15), rethinking space travel (6:45), moon hotels (8:15), democratising space (10:00), being an astronaut (12:15), why space travel is important (13:15), bringing the price down (17:30), avoiding disaster (18:30), governing who gets the lunar spoils (22:00), where space exploration sits in the history of humanity (25:00), and moving to the moon (27:20).   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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Comments (1)

Santiago Calderón (Perejil)

Man, what an asshole! No wonder this episode is so short!

Nov 29th
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