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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.

135 Episodes
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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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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).  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Kulveer Taggar, founder of Zeus Living, to talk about the Greek god of corporate housing (3:00), growing up in London (5:15), getting into Y Combinator (7:30), teaming up with Stripe founder Patrick Collison (10:40), becoming a millionaire at 24 (12:15), becoming a comedian (14:25), coming back to San Francisco to do Y Combinator again (18:00), why media coverage is not all it’s cracked up to be (23:40), pivoting to property management (26:40), how it works (31:00), why this is different from his other companies (33:15), the importance of location (36:25), his plan for life (39:50), living as a service (42:20), and his worst day (45:50). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Seth Bannon, founder of venture capital firm Fifty Years, to talk about targeting the truly big problems (1:00), why it took 18 months to raise $5m (2:40), targeting lab-grown meat (6:30), getting the met lobby on their side (8:30), backing birth control (12:00), taking left-field approaches to climate (13:50), taking advantage of the Silicon Valley cultural crisis (17:15), the need for big winners (21:00), the slow death of the Fridman doctrine (26:00), how he started out as a young idealist (28:30), (33:30), when he faked it but didn’t make it (38:20), confessing his sins (41:05), and his worst day of work (42:15).  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Dennis O’Malley, head of cannabis startup Caliva, to go from the buttoned-up corporate world to the weed industry (2:45), the ‘green rush’ (5:10), running a federally illegal business (7:50), the friction involved with buying weed products (13:00), their target market (14:40), raising $75m (16:30), charting a path toward legitimacy (20:00), partnering with Jay Z (22:30), trying to replace alcohol and pharma (29:10), not being able to advertise (34:15), the vaping crisis (38:35), whether it will ever go mainstream (40:30), the coming green crash (46:15), whether he needs black market expertise (48:15), his worst day of work (50:40), and whether filter bubbles help (55:20). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Vivienne Ming, founder of Socos Labs, to talk about ethics in artificial intelligence (2:25), passing on a job at Amazon (7:55), why its hiring algorithm failed (11:0), the death of professional human judgment (13:30), how work will have to change (23:15), the bifurcation of society (26:00), what Socos Labs is (31:30), why universal basic income is not the answer (39:00), the importance of learning to learn (45:25), creating a tech wise council (50:30), AI as an expert witness (59:45), how transitioning genders has coloured her views (1:03:40). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Al Alcorn, video game pioneer and co-founder of Atari, to talk about when he first met co-founder Nolan Bushnell (2:30), breaking into a world dominated by pinball machines (6:30), making Pong (9:00), taking it to a bar (12:00), starting a manufacturing company (14:30), hiring hippies to work in a former roller rink (18:30), when copycats emerged (22:00), almost going bust (25:50), creating the first mass-market home console (28:45), striking a deal with Sears (30:30), building a company of young people (36:30), the hot tub announcement (40:10), why they sold to Warner (44:30), the culture clash (47:30), obsoleting their own products (52:00), hiring Steve Jobs (55:10), funding his trip to India (58:00), turning down Jobs’ offer to invest in Apple (1:00:00), and how Silicon Valley culture has changed (1:03:15) For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Tom Harries, founder of Tulip, to talk about disrupting the cremation industry (0:30), starting with an obituary app (2:20), selling it and selling Tulip (3:45), what’s wrong with funerals (6:00), the fragmented death market (9:00), sending ashes through the post (11:45), cremating 10,000 people in two years (14:00), scaling from 5 to 95 people (17:40), hiring a professional chief executive then quickly selling (21:00), losing control of his baby (25:00), spreading the word online (28:30), the lows of starting a business (30:50), making mistakes (32:30), being a non-technical founder (34:20), why bring in a CEO went wrong (35:50), and raising $10 million (41:00). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Mary Lou Jepsen, founder of Openwater, to talk about how her near-death experience (3:05), and how it inspired her to start Openwater (5:50), developing a way to see inside our bodies (9:00) how it works (12:30), telepathy (19:45), the brain as the last bastion of privacy (24:20), the future of depression (26:40), the death of language (31:10), the brain as the final frontier (333:55), why she is so open about the issues this technology conjures (38:30), the problem with MRI’s (43:10), and why decoding the brain is inevitable (51:50). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Hao Li, the world’s top deepfake artist and founder of Pinscreen, to talk about the role of the Fast and Furious in the rise of deepfakes (3:30), spending millions to do create a digital replica of Paul Walker (7:00), creating a deepfake for free in a few days (10:30), the democratisation of deepfakes (15:30), the end of trust (21:00), how the Pentagon is getting involved (23:15), overcoming the uncanny valley problem (25:00), why all you need is a comuputer (28:00), and why detection tools are imperfect (32:00), For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Kimbal Musk, brother of Elon Musk and found of Square Roots, to talk about going to culinary school after selling his first company with Elon for $307 (4:00), living in New York during Sept 11 (5:45), how cooking for the firefighters inspired him to start a restaurant (8:30), leaving New York (11:00), going back to tech (14:45), breaking his neck (16:15), quitting tech for good (18::30), hitting on the farm-to-table movement (21:00), backing meatless meat (23:45), his warehouse farm startup (25:55), how Tesla began (23:50), space tourism (30:00), working at a meat-packing factory (31:45), growing up in an entrepreneurial family (34:40), setting up gardens at school (36:50), taking inspiration from Jamie Oliver (38:45), having dinner with Prince Charles (41:10), why he invested in eSports (43:00), and the plan for Mars. For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Purva Gupta, founder of Lily.ai, to talk about algorithms of emotion (5:40), creating psychographic profiles of shoppers (7:45), drawing on 15,000 data points to predict what people want (10:45), bring brands out of the dark ages (12:45), starting her company (14:45), testing her idea (17:45), having no technical background (20:15), having six different visas (23:00), using numbers to replicate emotions (24:15), her plan to access new data sources (26:15), why social media data is not that attractive (30:55), building an immunity to rejection (32:35), almost giving up (35:15), founder dating (37:25), and breaking up (41:25), her moment of inspiration (43:30), and why she won’t work for some companies (47:30). For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Iain McIntyre and Tim Fiori of Humm to talk about creating brain prosthetics, starting out in Australia (3:20), turning a room-sized machine into a band-aid (7:10), improving working memory (8:45), and what that means (11:25), the miniaturisation process (13:40), my own brain test (14:35), tuning the brain’s orchestra (17:55), the business plan (21:20), targeting old people (23:20), marketing it as a wellness product (24:40), bifurcating the human race (27:35), why someone else isn’t doing this (31:20), compounding interest in your brain (35:05), why others have failed (36:40), and a better brain subscription (38:30).  For information regarding your data privacy, visit acast.com/privacy
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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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