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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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171 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 Michiah Prull, founder of Avalanche Insights, to talk about setting up a company after the 2016 election (3:00), starting as a community organiser (5:00), the problem with messaging (6:30), using AI to understand emotions (8:35), finding the right people (11:00), how an algorithm intuits human motivations (13:15), crafting a message (15:45), why the left is bad at it (19:45), fighting polarisation (22:30), levelling the misinformation/information playing field (26:00), whether he will go corporate (27:30), what went wrong in 2016 (31:30), the future of elections (33:00), the outlook for November 3 (35:45), and the evolution of the public’s view of climate change (37:35).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on John Matze, founder of Parler, to talk about starting a social network (4:10), its first viral moment (7:05), reacting to the banning of people online (8:10), echo chambers (11:10), Parler’s hyper-partisan power users (13:25), the site’s rules (15:50), why he doesn’t regulate hate speech (19:50), how the app helps people find others (24:10), why he welcomes the rush of Q Anon users (28:50), why he doesn’t think Parler is pushing people apart (33:25), his investors (36:50), trying to build Parler into a business (39:00), why misinformation is fair game (42:15), and how Katie Hopkins’ arrival attracted users (45:20).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Jordan Fisher, founder of Standard Cognition, to talk about creating a video game (5:00), being rejected from venture capitalists (7:20), helping the financial regulator catch fraudsters (9:30), jumping into cashierless checkouts 12:10), the future of retail (16:30), launching in three stores (21:00), not using check-in gates (23:30), the very analogue backend of cashierless checkout (28:00), raising $86m - thanks to Amazon (32:15), what this means for retail (36:30), the effect of “Bodega-gate” (39:10), getting people used to not paying for stuff (41:10), the facial recognition issue (43:00), selling the system as a DIY kit (46:20), and the moments he thought it wouldn’t work (48:30). thetimes.co.uk/dannyinthevalley  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Shomik Dutta, founder of Higher Ground Labs, to talk about funding democracy tech (3:30), what happened after 2016 (5:30), losing the technology edge every four years (9:10), transforming the Democrats’ technology stack (11:15), creating a master voter database (15:15), Reid Hoffmann’s role (18:30), how to avoid funding the next Cambridge Analytica (22:00), making political investments that are good business (27:15), why social media is the battleground (29:45), his lack of confidence in Facebook (32:20), greasing the wheels of mail-in voting (35:50), the importance of cyber security (37:00), and the run-up to November 3 (38:15).  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Paul Romer, the Nobel prize-winning economist, to talk about the choice between killing people and killing the economy (3:00), the policy failures of the Covid response (7:30), what happens when we reopen (11:35), the state of the economy (16:15), why going back to “normal” is doomed to fail (22:00), why undermining institutions is a problem (26:10), why now is not a good time for entrepreneurs (30:35), undermining the foundations of the economy (32:45), an alternative tech tax (36:45), and where the action is (38:00).  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.
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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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