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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.

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166 Episodes
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The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Jeff Kofman, founder of Trint, to talk about creating a transcription startup (4:30), solving the problem (7:30), what to do when others start giving it away for free (8:45), why competition isn't a bad thing (11:00), the history of speech-to-text (18:00), how being a journalist trained him to be an entrepreneur (20:50), how digital shifted to the front foot (23:30), being terrified by rivals (28:50), expanding beyond his first idea (31:30), lettuce (34:50), raising $10 million (35:50), and his worst day of work (37:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Josh Browder to talk about building a robot lawyer DoNotPay (3:40), raising money (7:10), overturning parking tickets (10:10), targeting problems that affect at least 50 million people (12:05) his bot builder (13:00), his Silicon Valley evolution (14:55), becoming an investor himself (16:40), becoming a Thiel fellow (18:00), staying in the Bay Area (20:50), the free trial scam (23:10), the porn industry’s dirty tricks (24:50), getting more cynical (27:15), the importance of having a business model (30:00), and suing robo-callers (31:10).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Robert Bollinger to talk about hiss previous career selling shampoo (4:25), moving to Detroit (7:05), why he wanted to founded an electric car company (8:35), the Tesla effect (11:00), why pick-up trucks are important (14:35), how parts have become cheaper (20:00), funding the company himself (21:50), how the world has changed (25:00), the turning point (27:00), why subsidies are vital (28:00), why the legacy brands will be ok (31:45), why his ignorance was a good thing (34:10), the importance of hiring well (35:55) and his worst day of work (39:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Dan Schulman, chief executive of Paypal, to talk about how the smartphone has changed everything (3:10), the evolution of Paypal (6:00), spending 24 hours as a homeless person (9:05), the wave of corporate 'wokeness' (13:40), how employee expectations have changed (17:20), how Covid has upended its (23:50), beating Sir Richard Branson at tennis (26:35), and why he does mixed martial arts (27:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Arisha Hatch, head of campaigns at Color of Change, to talk about organising the Facebook ad boycott (5:00), why she chose to focus on the tech industry (8:55), trying to force change (11:40), whether it feels futile (15:00), what comes next in the civil rights campaign v Big Tech (17:20), the political exception on Facebook (21:00), the coming regulatory crackdown (22:30), tech’s tipping point (24:40), Silicon Valley’s grand delusion (27:15), pressuring Airbnb, Twitter and Google (32:00), ensuring a new civil rights executive is brought in at Facebook (33:40), and the dissonance between Silicon Valley’s marketing and the reality (35:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Ryan Pamplin, founder of Blendjet, to talk about living the Silicon Valley dream (2:45), suffering a traumatic brain injury (6:00), post-concussive syndrome (9:30), living in purgatory (12:45), changing his priorities (15:15), not wanting to sell out again (17:30), augmented reality’s potential (19:50), switching to blenders (24:55), getting his product on Silicon Valley, the TV series (29:45), competing with McDonald’s (31:45), creating a direct-to-consumer brand online (34:45), fighting fakes (36:45), the power of Facebook (39:00), marketing to Gen Z (43:00), the shadow of Juicero (44:50), influencer marketing (47:30), manufacturing in China (51:20), his health (52:30), brain computer interfaces (55:00), and the dark side of tech (58:30).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paddy Cosgrave, founder of Web Summit, to talk about the big virtual conference experiment (3:00), random online meetings (6:00), why 24 hours a day is too much (8:10), when the check-in tech failed (10:15), whether virtual conferences are viable (12:35), his plans for Web Summit (15:30), spinning up micro-conferences (18:15), why he insisted on making software (20:00), on how the pandemic may be an opportunity (22:10), the sheer size of the business conference industry (26:30), the surprises (30:20), the business case of online conferences (32:35), and Siyabulela Mandela’s message on social justice (34:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Ryan Petersen, founder of Flexport, to talk about being a canary in the coalmine (3:00), where the economy is recovering (5:00), what happens when planes stop flying (6:30), how he got involved in PPE shipping (9:20), working with the NHS (13:00), starting out in his twenties importing Chinese motorcycles (14:30), learning that it is hard to make money (17:15), starting Flexport (19:15), having entrepreneurial parents (21:45), the Trump factor (24:30), how he makes money (26:05), his worst day of work (27:30), remote work (29:10), raising $1bn (31:50), and getting backed by Softbank (37:10).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, to talk about the early days of starting the search engine (3:30), the erosion of Google’s results (7:40), how big DuckDuckGo is now (9:35), raising venture capital (12:30), how we as users get bid on (15:40), why he proposed a “Do Not Track” law (18:30), what the crackdown could look like (21:10), on whether people actually care about privacy (25:00), why Apple’s new operating system could be a game-changer (28:40), why Silicon Valley argues data is important (33:30), on whether breakups are the answer (34:50), and his jousting with Google (37:10).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent brings on Christian Lanng, founder of Tradeshift, to talk about relocating to Alaska (3:30), remote working (6:30), creating Tradeshift (9:30), becoming a unicorn (13:30), what is happening in supply chains with Covid 19 (14:30), why the UK is underperforming (15:45), why companies need early repayment (19:00), when he saw the first signs of slowdown (22:30), how the pandemic could lead to ‘multi-shoring’ (25:30), the end of the high street (31:40), how he started out in Denmark (35:35), why traditional venture capital isn’t the best option (38:10), his worst day of work (40:45), why no one understands how software works (41:40), and paying hackers (43:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ west coast correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Dan Buettner, founder of Blue Zones, to talk about longevity in the era of Covid, finding the oldest people on earth (4:10), the common denominators (6:20), why you can’t pursue health (8:40), how cities are using Covid to change how they are set up (11:00), his pitch (12:55), why the built environment is so important (16:45), starting out with a National Geographic story (18:40), trying out his idea in Minnesota (21:00), why Covid could also be a hindrance (23:10), why trees are important (27:10), the Covid silver linings (31:40), why purpose is good for health (34:00), and life-extending minestrone (36:00).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson bring on Joy Buolamwini, founder of the Algorithmic Justice League, to talk about pole vaulting (3:50), meandering from Ghana to Mississippi to Oxford (5:50), how her upbringing shaped her work (8:20), founding the Justice League (10:10), the lack of transparency in artificial intelligence (12:30), on how we’ve already lost our faces (14:20), the problems with data (15:40), Amazon’s failing system (21:10), why companies sell flawed product (26:10), the problem of standards (28:10), what she expects to happen with facial recognition (31:20), the regulatory backlash (33:35), why she chose the Justice League name (35:50), why she backs films and art (36:35) and being joined by others (38:50).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Andrew Fursman, co-founder of 1Qbit, to talk about quantum computing (4:00), how close we are to useful applications (7:00), simulating worlds (9:30), desktop carbon sequestration (13:00), what quantum computers look like (16:20), the race to develop hardware (20:00), if we are approaching a quantum “moment” (22:00), what he did before 1QBit (25:40), his pitch to investors (27:40), and investing in quantum as an insurance policy (29:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times tech correspondent brings on Dr Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Health Security, to talk about what we’ve learned about coronavirus (2:55), why we should be wearing face shields (8:25), whether we should sanitise our groceries (11:05), why outdoors is better (12:25), the second wave (13:45), lockdowns (15:05), the differences from 1918 (18:25), how who is getting sick influences the response (23:00), why he’s confident a vaccine is coming (26:45), living with risk (29:25), the importance of leadership (33:00), and what we know about immunity (36:40).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Amber Atherton, founder of Zyper, to talk about brand “super-fans” (4:45), finding them (6:55), starting as an intern at Vogue (7:35), starting her first company in her teens (8:30), moving to California for Y Combinator (11:20), why super fans are important (12:55), the problem with influencer marketing (15:35), why rampant online fakery is good for Zyper (19:45), being anti-influencer (21:45), creating brand “clubs” (23:00), starring in Made in Chelsea (26:10), leaving the show (30:25), the wild ride of fame (31:05), and transforming into a remote-only company (33:35).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Rashida Richardson, head of policy research at AI Now, to talk about tech’s pang of conscience about facial recognition technology (3:40), predictive policing (5:20), the problem with the technology (8:15), how pervasive it is (11:30), the laws (13:40), the visceral effect of this technology (18:00), how AI is seeping into law enforcement (20:25), the data problem (25:20), whether this moment will lead to a crackdown (27:05), if a ban is realistic (29:25), and the race to the bottom (33:45).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paddy Cosgrove, founder of tech conference Web Summit, to talk about doing a virtual event in a pandemic (6:00), the hit to cities and vendors (10:15), the existential threat to events (13:15), why software might help (15:30), cancelling (18:30), what happens to flagship event Web Summit (22:30), the collapse in costs (24:15), algorithmically-engineered random meetings (28:10), how potential attendees have reacted (34:25), negotiating with cities (36:15), why he prizes having a non-techie slate (40:00), the problem with tech journalism (42:30), and the unknowable future (45:10).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
A moment to honor George Floyd  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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.
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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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