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World of DaaS is a podcast for data enthusiasts, by data enthusiasts. We talk to business and thought leaders about all things data: building it, acquiring it, analyzing it, and everything in between.
Featuring thought leaders from top brands

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Dan Doctoroff: Where the Sidewalk Leads

Dan Doctoroff, Founder and CEO of Sidewalk Labs and former CEO of Bloomberg joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Dan was also formerly the Deputy Mayor of Economic Development for New York City during the Michael Bloomberg administration and Managing Partner at the private equity firm Oak Hill Capital Partners. Auren and Dan dive into how cities are formed and how they can leverage data about the physical world to operate better. They also cover Sidewalk Labs’ unique business structure (including its affiliation with Google’s parent company Alphabet) and how Dan thinks about incubating and forming new businesses. 

This episode is dedicated to those who suffer from ALS. We encourage listeners to make a donation to Target ALS at: https://www.targetals.org/donate/

January 18, 2022

Richard Haass: Why We Need More Global Coordination

Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Richard previously served as Director of Policy Planning for the US State Department,  was President George W. Bush's special envoy to Northern Ireland and Coordinator for the Future of Afghanistan, and is the author of 14 books,  most recently of "The World: A Brief Introduction".

Auren and Richard dive into the increasing importance of globalization, the role of data in foreign policy, and the evolution of the US's foreign policy over the last 20 years. They also dive into numerous topics that they've historically debated, including the value of the speech and if we should focus on fixing what's broken or work toward creating a new and better world.

November 2, 2021

Godard Abel: Defining Software Categories

Godard Abel, CEO of G2, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. G2 is a software marketplace, valued at $1.1B that helps people make software decisions based on peer reviews. Like Yelp for Software.

Auren and Godard cover how G2 took on the very hard task of creating software categories, unintentionally built a hard-to-replicate, revenue-generating data product, and mastered the art of SEO. They also discuss why Venture Capital wasn't ready to invest in G2 at the time of its founding, the advantages of being a multi-time founder, how to identify and grow leaders, and more.

October 14, 2021

Niall Ferguson: Writing History with Data

Technology drives many transformations in how humans interact. Yet, very few people working in technology spend time studying the past. Niall Ferguson believes that we would better understand today's burning issues in technology if we thought about them with a historical framework.

Niall Ferguson is the Milbank Family Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, a public policy think tank within Stanford University. Niall is also an historian, columnist at Bloomberg, and author of 17 books.

Auren and Niall explore early examples of virality in the 16th and 17th century, data's role in writing and understanding history, and what you shouldn't do if you want to change the world. They also dive into Niall's latest book, Doom, and Niall's concern that society today is limiting the creation of brilliant ideas.

October 8, 2021

Dean Stoecker: 20 Year Journey to Successful IPO

Dean Stoecker, co-founder and former CEO of Alteryx, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Alteryx is a $5 billion market cap data analytics automation platform. Alteryx knew that digital transformation would be driven by workers in every functional area of a business, from Sales Ops to FP&A to supply chain, and not just the PhD-trained statisticians. So they built a platform that allowed for code-free and code-friendly approaches to the entire analytics continuum.

Auren and Dean explore the rise of the citizen data scientist, how Alteryx defined the analytics space, and how they built a product that supported the entire analytics continuum. They also dive into why Alteryx invested in long-term strategies, including channel partnership and a user community, to slowly yet effectively strengthen their business.

October 1, 2021

Daniel Gross: Why Energy is the Best Predictor of Talent

Spotting talent is really hard. Identifying A-players can feel impossible. Peter Thiel has one of the best interview questions for identifying talent, “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” But Daniel Gross disagrees. Daniel believes easygoing questions like “What movies do you like to watch?” elicit more telling responses.

Daniel Gross is the CEO of Pioneer, a reimagined version of the startup accelerator focused on identifying, motivating, and enabling the next wave of founders. Daniel previously founded Cue, which was acquired by Apple, and was a partner at Y Combinator. Daniel co-authored with Tyler Cowen the soon-to-be-released book, Talent: How to Identify Energizers, Creatives, and Winners Around the World. Simply put, Daniel is an expert on spotting talent.

Auren and Daniel dive into Daniel’s favorite interview questions, how to distinguish between good and great employees, what makes a 10xer, and how to measure productivity. They also explore why the strongest leaders are energetic, enthusiastic, and funny.

September 24, 2021

Tyler Cowen: Identifying Talent and Measuring Organizational Capital

Tyler Cowen is Professor of Economics at George Mason University, host of the Conversations with Tyler podcast, blogger at Marginal Revolution, author of several books (including one my personal favorites, the Great Stagnation). 

Tyler is one of the very few truly committed to constantly learning. He also reads 5-10x faster than a fast reader, so his superpower is consuming large amounts of information.

Auren and Tyler cover how the last year drove the end of the Great Stagnation, society’s newfound appreciation for big business, why Tyler thinks economists’ use of data is overrated, how to spot talent, why organizational capital would be one of the most valuable data sources, and so much more.

September 17, 2021

Daniel Yanisse: Building a Fairer Future of Work

Daniel Yanisse, CEO of Checkr, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Checkr is a $4.6 billion market cap dollar company automating background checks. Auren and Daniel discuss the legacy system for running background checks, why it was the perfect market for a startup, how Checkr approached channel partnerships and international expansion, and its recent shift to B2C. They also discuss Checkr’s mission to build a fairer future of work.

September 10, 2021

Sinan Aral: Solving Social Media Market Failures

Sinan Aral, Professor of Management, Marketing, IT and Data Science at MIT, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Sinan is also the director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy, founding partner of Manifest Capital, and the author of the book “Hype Machine”. Auren and Sinan discuss why social media networks are optimized to connect users with like-minded people, what creates viral content, and how to solve market failures in social media. They also discuss the future of Wall Street Bets and why it will likely remain part of our investment landscape.

September 2, 2021

Hayden Brown: Owning the Work Marketplace

Hayden Brown, CEO of Upwork, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Upwork is a $6 billion market cap workplace company. Auren and Hayden cover how the COVID-19 pandemic massively accelerated the freelance market, Upwork’s strategy to become the single destination for all work-related needs, and various other examples of successful marketplaces. They also discuss Upwork’s proprietary dataset that provides unique insight into the labor market and how Upwork is working to make more of this information publicly available.

August 26, 2021

Glen Weyl: Reimagining Democracy with Quadratic Funding and Quadratic Voting

Glen Weyl is Microsoft's Office of the CTO Political Economist & Social Technologist, founder of RadicalXChange, and author of “Radical Markets: Uprooting Capitalism and Democracy for a Just Society”. Glen is reimagining democracy with two revolutionary concepts -- quadratic voting and quadratic funding. Auren and Glen cover how quadratic voting and quadratic funding can revitalize collective decision-making, current applications of both concepts, and how they can be used by corporations. They also explore why accessing high-quality data is so hard and what businesses can do to significantly improve their data accuracy.

August 19, 2021

Will Marshall: Building a Data Company in Space

Will Marshall, co-founder and CEO of Planet, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Prior to Planet, Will served as a Scientist at NASA/USRA. Planet is a data business that operates hundreds of orbiting satellites that capture images of the entire world daily. Will and Auren cover Planet’s proprietary methods of building a satellite imagery dataset, how its data is used by numerous industries, Planet’s plan to go public later this year, and more.

August 11, 2021

Byrne Hobart: Why Airline Loyalty Programs Are Really Just FinTech Companies

Byrne Hobart, Author of The Diff talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. The Diff is a top newsletter that covers inflection points in finance and technology. Byrne previously worked in data-driven equity research and online marketing. In 2020, Byrne published an article stating that airline loyalty programs are worth more than the airlines themselves. These programs have been key to the airline industry's survival. Byrne and Auren dive in. They break down the mechanics of airline loyalty programs, reveal how airlines survived the pandemic, share lessons that cryptocurrencies can learn from airline loyalty programs, and more.

August 5, 2021

Susan Athey: Tech Economists, Machine Learning, and Causation

Susan Athey, Professor of Economics at Stanford University, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research and was formerly the first Chief Economist at Microsoft. Susan is also on the Board of Directors of Lending Club, Expedia, Ripple, Turo, and more. Susan and Auren dive into the role of tech economists, machine learning, and causal inference.

July 29, 2021

Scott Stephenson (CEO of Verisk): How Data Sharing Transformed Insurance

Scott Stephenson, CEO of Verisk (NASDAQ: VRSK), talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Verisk Analytics is a $28 billion market cap data analytics company. Scott joined Verisk from BCG in 2001, was promoted to CEO in 2013, and doubled Verisk’s annual revenue to almost $3 billion since then. Auren and Scott discuss Verisk’s founding as a nonprofit, its role as one of the first InsureTech companies, how data sharing transformed the Insurance Industry, what went into building a successful data contributory model, and more.

July 22, 2021

Henry Schuck: Building A Billion Dollar Data Company

Henry Schuck, CEO of ZoomInfo (NASDAQ: ZI), talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. ZoomInfo is a $17 billion market cap B2B data company and one of the only billion dollar data companies that have been created in the last 20 years. Auren and Henry cover ZoomInfo’s origination, how it differentiated itself in an already crowded market, best practices on building a contributory network, ZoomInfo's unique acquisition strategy, and more.

July 14, 2021

Will Lansing: Power of Data Standards

Will Lansing, CEO of FICO (NYSE:FICO), talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Will previously served as the CEO of InfoSpace, ValueVision Media, NBC Internet, and Fingerhut and a partner at General Atlantic Partners, a global private equity firm. He also co-authored the DaaS Bible 2.0. Auren and Will dive into data standards, the relationship between analytics and data companies, and how FICO successfully transformed their score into a currency.

July 1, 2021

Stephen Orban: Data Marketplace Innovation at Amazon

Stephen Orban, GM of the AWS Marketplace, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Stephen previously served as the GM of the AWS Data Exchange and CIO of Dow Jones. He’s also the author of Ahead in the Cloud: Best Practices for Navigating the Future of Enterprise IT. Auren and Stephen cover the launch of AWS Data Exchange, Amazon’s role as an industry-wide innovator, the advantages of Amazon’s leadership principles, and what the future of data discovery could look like.

June 10, 2021

Hilary Mason: The Rise of Data Science

Hilary Mason, co-founder of Hidden Door and data scientist in residence at Accel Partners, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Hilary previously co-founded Fast Forward Labs, which was acquired by Cloudera, and served as the Chief Scientist at bit.ly. Auren and Hilary explore how data science has progressed in the past decade, the role of data science in an organization, and data ethics.

June 9, 2021

Jack Dangermond: Building Esri

Jack Dangermond, founder and CEO of Esri, talks with World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Esri is the global market leader in GIS and location intelligence with over $1 billion in revenue. Auren and Jack discuss Esri's history, its unique organizational structure, pioneering in a specific space, the relationship between software and geospatial data, and more.

June 9, 2021

Coming Soon: World of DaaS

Welcome to the World of DaaS! The World of DaaS is a podcast for data enthusiasts, by data enthusiasts, where host Auren Hoffman, CEO of SafeGraph and former CEO of LiveRamp, talks to business and technology thought leaders about all things data - building it, acquiring it, analyzing it, and everything in between. World of DaaS will keep you up-to-date with the latest trends, best practices, and innovations to help you create the next great data business.

June 6, 2021

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