Colby Donovan

Jan 27, 2019

6 min read

January 27, 2019

Today we have must listens on the future of work, what’s next for platform companies, a sit down with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and a must listen on the impact of stress and poverty on our mental well-being.

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Technology

  • ***Must Listen***The NewRetirement Podcast: Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and the Future of Work. This episode covers all the buzz words front and center these days: artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles (they don’t think fully autonomous vehicles will ever happen), data centers, robotics, and the cloud. There’s no fluff in the episode and its one of the best I’ve heard on these topics. The two guests are Ken Goldberg, a Robotics Professor from Berkeley, and Eric Brewer, a VP at Google and a Professor of Computer Science at Berkeley. My biggest takeaway from the episode is that we shouldn’t be afraid of what’s coming with technological advances and we will find ways to for people to have jobs that work alongside technology. [January 20, 2019–1 hour, 31 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link
  • ***Must Listen***The Bill Simmons Podcast: Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The negative impact of social media has been all over the news lately: fake news, fake accounts, false information, hate speech, and negativity. Simmons does a great job interviewing Dorsey and pushing back on topics he disagrees on. Dorsey talks about how he plans on dealing with backlash that people have taken advantage of his platform with bad intentions, why he thinks the medium of text is so important (which contradicts Eugene Wei’s thoughts in the episode below), why he didn’t want to acquire Instagram, and why “NBA twitter” is his favorite group of twitter. Then, at 1:20:00 he briefly discusses Square and finishes the episode at 1:25:00.[January 23, 2019–2 hours, 5 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link
  • Invest Like The Best: Eugene Wei — Tech, Media, and Culture. Wei has an incredible background and has seen technological change for years: he worked at Amazon early on, was the head of product at Hulu and Flipboard, and head of video at Oculus. He covers a lot in the episode: the concept of invisible asymptotes and s-curves, how social media has moved our level of status seeking to the digital world, the appeal of video as a medium over text, and the importance of smartphones in connecting everything in tech today. He finishes with the best lesson of the episode: the importance of tightening/shortening feedback loops and learning to embrace a habit and not solely crave the result. I’ll add that the story he finishes the episode with about how he was hired at Amazon is fantastic as well. [January 21, 2019–1 hour, 22 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link
  • Off the Chain: Halsey Minor, Co-Founder of Salesforce: The Rise of Distributed Computing. Minor may have one of the most impressive resumes I’ve ever seen. He co-founded CENT, which sold to CBS for $1.8 billion, and then later co-founded Salesforce with Marc Benioff. He’s now focused on the blockchain and working on a project called VideoCoin. He thinks that after his storied career, crypto has the ability to change the way societies distribute wealth, enforce contracts, and share critical information. They discuss a lot in the episode, including distributed computing, crypto, the blockchain. [January 14, 2019–1 hour, 20 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link

Business

  • ***Must Listen***a16z Podcast: What’s Next for Marketplace Startups. With platform companies seemingly disrupting every industry, this is a great episode on them. They begin with a history of platforms, including ebay and Craigslist. Then they talk about why the service industry is ripe for disruption for multiple reasons. One idea they touch on is the need to create “trust” and give Angie’s List as an example of how company’s are trying to combat the lack of trust on platforms. Then they talk about why platforms that can’t keep up with the demand side of the equation are the most successful. [January 8, 2019–41 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link
  • Recode Decode: Basecamp CEO Jason Fried on overfunded startups and stressful workplaces. This episode could be broken up into two parts. The first is around his company Basecamp and how they are trying to help companies create a work environment that actually lets employees succeed: no ridiculous deadlines, no unnecessary meetings, and providing benefits and a purpose employees truly want. If his ideas are of interest to you, you can read his book It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work. At the 41 minute mark, the conversation turns to the state of venture capital. One quote sums up his thoughts: “Venture capital money kills more businesses than it helps.” [January 23, 2019–1 hour, 2 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link

Investing

  • Standard Deviations: Daniel Crosby — The Behavioral Investor. This episode is a cross between personal finance, psychology, and behavioral economics. Dr. Daniel Portnoy is the “guest” and interviews Crosby, who is normally the host of the podcast. He touches on the four most common behavioral biases we have while investing and how we can try to combat those biases. If you enjoy the episode, you can read more in his book, The Behavioral Investor. [January 17, 2019–50 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Overcast | Stitcher
  • Young Money Podcast with Dasarte Yarnway: EP 28: Financial Advice Made Simple With Michael Policar. Sometimes the best financial advice is the simplest, and people like Policar can do a great job of explaining it to us. He talks about what got him interested in becoming a financial advisor, the relationship between time and money relative to your age, and the importance of compounding and why we struggle to understand it. [January 21, 2019–34 minutes] iTunes Podcast

Sports

  • The Woj Pod: Golden State’s Steph Curry. Most interviews with professional athletes are very superficial but not this one; Curry is very open in this interview with Woj. He begins with discussing the movie he produced about the tragic shooting at a church in Charleston, SC. Then they dive into the NBA: he talks about embracing the process of becoming great with his shooting routine every day, how hard it is to try to 3-peat and how it is to have Steve Kerr who’s been through the same thing with the Bulls, how it was to sacrifice his stats when Kevin Durant decided to join the Warriors, and dealing with adversity this year when Durant and Draymond Green had a run in during a game. [January 26, 2019–50 minutes]. iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher

The Rest

  • ***Must Listen***The Ezra Klein Show: Robert Sapolsky on the toxic intersection of poverty and stress. This episode made me sit back and think as much as any episode I’ve listened to in a while. It’s an incredibly insightful episode on the impact poverty and stress has on humans, specifically focusing on mental health, decision making, depression, and substance abuse. The guest Robert Sapolsky is a Stanford neuroscientist, primatologist, and the author of a few important books on human biology and behavior. [January 23, 2019–1 hour, 21 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Spotify | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link

Throwback Episode

Netflix and Hulu released documentaries on the Fyre Festival, a luxury festival that ended up being a complete fraud. It reminded me of the Theranos scandal from a few years ago. You can listen to an interview with the WSJ reported who broke the Theranos scandal below.

  • Masters In Business: John Carreyrou on Breaking Open the Theranos Scandal. This is a fascinating episode where Carreyrou talks about uncovering how Theranos, a company valued at $10billion, was a fraud. Just bought his book on the entire story, which you can get here. [July 19, 2018–1 hour, 28 minutes] iTunes Podcast | Overcast | Stitcher | Website Link