Sir Martin Sorrell is the founder of WPP, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, which he ran for over 30 years. He’s currently the executive chairman of S4 Capital, which is a pure play digital advertising company he founded in 2018.
In this episode, Auren and Martin dive into the fascinating intersection of AI in advertising, the economic impact of Brexit, and the ever-evolving landscape of ad revenue at big tech companies.
Martin shares his global outlook for advertising, including the regions he’s most bullish about, and he also outlines how the UK mishandled its economic opportunities with Brexit.
Auren and Martin also dive deep into some technical concerns in the advertising space, including cookie deprecation, ad targeting, and brand building in the social media era.
Neil Strauss is a 10x New York Times bestselling author and a renowned journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Esquire.
Neil and host Auren Hoffman delve into the intriguing world of charisma, self-improvement, and relationships. Neil explains how anyone can learn to be more charismatic, and what charisma has to do with group dynamics.
The conversation then shifts to personal transformation and the challenges of breaking recurring patterns. Neil challenges societal notions of relationships and discusses the evolving role of emotional intelligence in today's world.
As the discussion unfolds, Neil delves into the impact of AI on creative work and social media credulity, providing a unique perspective on technology's influence. The podcast touches on various thought-provoking topics, from NFTs and Neil’s book on the Bored Ape Yacht Club to relationships with AI and modern parenting.
Throughout, Neil Strauss offers a candid take on common advice and shares his intriguing thoughts on conspiracy theories.
Bram Cohen is the creator of BitTorrent, which revolutionized digital entertainment and has been downloaded over two billion times.
Today, Bram is the founder and CTO of Chia Network, which manages the Chia cryptocurrency. Chia uses a unique proof of space model, in contrast to proof or work or proof of stake models like Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In this episode of World of DaaS, Bram and host Auren Hoffman discuss a wide range of topics related to technology, data science, and cryptocurrencies. Bram begins by sharing insights into Chia, crypto, and BitTorrent, touching upon the importance of breakthroughs in data science and the limitations of recommendation algorithms when dealing with poor-quality data and misaligned incentives.
Bram also highlights the dominance of BitTorrent in internet traffic and discusses the role of decentralized compute work, proof of space, and the revolutionary potential of decentralization.
Additionally, the podcast delves into subjects like the hype around cryptocurrencies, the possibility of a banking collapse, and even Bram's personal beliefs regarding conspiracy theories.
Bryan Johnson is the founder of the payments processing company Braintree, which sold to Paypal for $800 million in 2012. He’s also the founder of OS Fund, which invests in advancing genomic and biological technology, and Kernel, which is focused on developing brain-machine interfaces. In 2021, he launched Project Blueprint, which aims to slow and reverse the aging process in the human body. He's spent millions of dollars optimizing and tracking his health, becoming the "most measured man in history."
Auren and Bryan delve into a comprehensive discussion about optimizing health, longevity, and well-being. Bryan Johnson starts by sharing insights into his biological age and training regimen, including strategies for enhancing V02 Max. He elaborates on motivating oneself for rigorous training and emphasizes Blueprint as a positive pathway for health transformation.
They also explore fasting windows and their effects on sleep, along with the scientific formulation of Bryan's diet and the importance of aesthetics to the overall anti-aging project. Bryan explains what he recommends as a starting point for anyone interested in implementing the Blueprint, along with the supplements and medications that are part of his daily regimen. Finally, Auren and Bryan explore ideas of addiction and self control, the future of humanity, and the role of data in decision-making.
Sue Gordon is the former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence. She had a 30+ year career with the CIA, as well as serving as Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
Auren and Sue discuss shifting global power dynamics and the nature of modern intelligence in an ever-evolving world.They delve into the realm of cyber defense and Sue gives an overview of the expanding threat landscape that stretches far beyond government borders. They also discuss open source intelligence (OSINT) and the cutting-edge world of satellite technology and geospatial intelligence.
Sue and Auren also explore the dynamics of coalitions and how they’ve challenged established perceptions about military invasions and global power dynamics in the wake of the Ukraine invasion. They also discuss the inner workings of INQTEL, the CIA's technology investment arm, and get a firsthand account of Sue Gordon's extensive experience at the helm of various CIA departments.
Ajit Pai is the former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, where he served from 2017 to 2021. He’s currently a partner at Searchlight Capital.
Auren and Ajit delve into the intricacies of technology regulation, including the nuances of regulating AI and crypto. Ajit outlines the essential triggers for preemptive intervention, and the many unintended consequences of Section 230 and Europe’s GDPR privacy regulation.
They also discuss the anticompetitive nature of big tech, censorship concerns, and the aftermath of net neutrality debates. Shifting to communication infrastructure, Ajit and Auren break down the amazing explosion of the commercial satellite industry. Ajit shares how the FCC is modernizing the broadcast spectrum for faster WIFI and better mobile connectivity.
They finish with a discussion of the overall health of private equity– which firms will fare well coming out of the pandemic bubble, and which could face collapse as interest rates and valuations change.
Steven Pinker is a linguist, cognitive scientist, and a professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard. He’s the author of twelve books, including the bestsellers How the Mind Works, Enlightenment Now, and most recently Rationality.
Auren and Steven delve into the world of artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and intellectual freedom. Steven brings his perspective from cognitive psychology to explain how AI does (and does not) mirror the human brain.
They also explore the complexities of disasters, rationality, and academic freedom, with Steven emphasizing the necessity of open debates in universities. The episode concludes with a thought-provoking discussion on honesty, common knowledge, and communication, pondering on the idea that humans sometimes need to forget the truth to remain human.
Erik and Auren discuss the startup founder mindset and what it takes to be successful in tech. Erik shares the career strategies and frameworks that have allowed him to found multiple companies and a venture capital firm.
They also discuss unconventional financial arrangements that could allow more people to found companies, like income share agreements and equity pooling. Erik also shares some of his insights on podcasting and why it’s one of the best ways to learn.
To learn more about SafeGraph, visit https://www.safegraph.com
To learn more about Flex Capital, visit https://www.flexcapital.com
Jesse is the founder and CEO of Gateway X, a venture studio focused on DTC brands. Previously, he was the co-founder and CEO of Ampush, a digital marketing firm which he bootstrapped to an eight figure exit.
Jesse and Auren break down some of the nuances of digital marketing and discuss the state of marketing on the major tech platforms today. They also discuss Red Ventures, “the most impressive company you’ve never heard of.”
Jesse is an expert on DTC companies and shares his insights on the space overall, including where he thinks the next major companies will be built. Auren and Jesse also do a deep dive into the venture studio model and explore how Jesse structures the business and hires CEOs.
Immad Akhund is the CEO of Mercury, a bank for startups. He’s also a multi-time founder and a Dual Threat CEO with over 300+ angel investments.
Auren and Immad discuss the collapse of SVB and how Mercury handled an influx of over $2 billion in deposits. Immad explains some lesser-known structural aspects of the banking system that affect the product and customer experience.
Auren and Immad also talk about crowdfunding a startup, how much focus founders need to succeed, and why Dual Threat CEOs can outperform conventional VCs.
World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts.
HRH Prince Turki Al Faisal Al Saud was the head of Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Directorate for 24 years. He also served as the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to the UK, Ireland, and the United States, and he’s the author of The Afghanistan File.
Auren and Prince Turki discuss the complex history of Afghanistan and Middle East geopolitics. Prince Turki shares his thoughts on the mistakes made by the U.S. in Afghanistan, the consequences of negotiating with the Taliban, and how the U.S. could have made a better strategic exit from the country.
They also delve into the failure of Israeli peace talks, the rise of Chinese diplomacy, and the nature of Iran’s nuclear program. Finally, Prince Turki provides insights into the changing landscape of the oil market, the impact of fracking on OPEC+, and the plateau that frackers have reached in the industry.
World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren.
Dmitri Alperovitch is the co-founder and former CTO of CrowdStrike and the founder of Silverado Policy Accelerator.
Dmitri and Auren delve into the complexities of cyber warfare, geopolitics, and their intersections. Dmitri explains the intricacies of the 'vulnerabilities equities process' and the challenges in making software safer.
The conversation also explores the realm of cyber weapons and Ukraine's resilience in combating cyber attacks. Shifting to geopolitics, they discuss the implications of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China's strategic objectives, and the changing communication dynamics due to Starlink satellites.
World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Dmitri on Twitter at @DAlperovitch
Nicholas and Auren discuss the evolving relationship between tech and media and the impact of social media platforms like Twitter on these industries. Nicholas shares insights into the tech industry's self-narratives and its influence on politics.
They also delve into the world of AI and its implications for journalism, from generating news stories to creating children's books. Nicholas discusses advertising challenges in the journalism industry, the dynamics of tech billionaires owning media companies, and the potential of conversation platforms like Speak Easy AI to foster positive conversations and political diversity.
Hadi Partovi is the founder and CEO of Code.org. He also founded Tellme Networks and ILike, held leadership roles at Microsoft and Myspace, and angel invested in a number of incredible companies, including Facebook, DropBox, Airbnb, and Uber.
Hadi and Auren discuss the challenges to making computer science part of the core curriculum in public education. Hadi explains the importance of learning basic computer science and explores how AI will change software development and education.
Hadi also shares insights and anecdotes from his experiences with some of the most powerful leaders in tech, (like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs) and what their management styles all had in common. He also talks about the thought processes that lead him to make early investments in amazing companies like Facebook and Uber.
David Sinclair is a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and the founder of the Sinclair Lab. He’s the author of the bestselling book Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To, as well as a founder of several biotech companies.
Auren and David discuss the potential to expand the average human lifespan by decades. David challenges traditional notions of aging and emphasizes the need to embrace new technologies. They also discuss the benefits and drawbacks of common anti-aging practices like interval training, fasting, and stress reduction.
David shares his thoughts on what longevity medicines and supplements are most beneficial, and how to talk to your doctor about them. He breaks down which health metrics to monitor in treating and preventing aging. Overall, David offers an incredibly optimistic vision for what the future of aging could look like, and the science it will take to get there.
Auren and Matt discuss the challenges of restoring trust in journalism and navigating politics in the digital age. Matt highlights the complicated nuances of getting a story right, the role of bias in journalism, and the need to protect free speech. He also discusses how Politico approached breaking the story of the leaked decision in the Supreme Court’s Dobbs case.
Matt and Auren also explore the evolving landscape of media coverage, and whether or not there’s a conspiracy against Gen X people.
Marissa Mayer was the CEO of Yahoo and the 20th employee at Google, where she held key leadership roles in major Google products including Search, Maps, and Gmail. She’s currently the co-founder and CEO of Sunshine.
Marissa and Auren discuss the unexpected turn AI has taken towards creativity and expression, and its impact on coding and software engineering. They also explore how AI can improve software engineering and potentially affect the business models of tech giants like Google.
Marissa shares insights from her experiences at Google and Yahoo, focusing on bureaucracy and efficiency within tech companies, as well as the origin of Google’s famous APM program and her insights for developing talent. They also talk about Marissa’s startup Sunshine Contacts, building a personal relationship manager, and managing contacts in the age of AI.
World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph & Flex Capital. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts.
Tom Tugendhat is the UK’s Minister of State for Security and a British Member of Parliament. He was previously the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, and before that he served multiple tours in the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Auren and Tom discuss the role of the UK's Minister of State for Security and Tom’s work with cybersecurity, intelligence gathering, and defense. Tom highlights some of the most overlooked factors in security and what government and private actors should be doing to improve their resilience against cyber threats.
Tom and Auren also dive into the changing world of intelligence gathering and open source intelligence (OSINT). They discuss the role of OSINT in understanding the environment and context of situations, how organizations like Bellincat operate, and using OSINT for making predictions.
Jack Abraham is the founder of Atomic, a startup studio that has launched several dozen companies including Hims & Hers, Openstore, and Bungalow. Before starting Atomic, Jack co-founded Milo, which he sold to eBay.
Auren and Jack discuss how the studio fund model works and what’s allowed Atomic to be successful in a space where many other studios have failed. Jack breaks down the process of finding scalable ideas and deciding which ones to allocate resources to.
Auren and Jack also dive into the history of the startup studio model and highlight the success stories of companies like Uber, Twitter, and Moderna that originated from studios. They also discuss the benefits of starting a company during a downturn, scaling companies quickly, and the art of branding for both DTC and B2B companies. Jack also shares his thoughts on what’s made Miami a tech hub and where the city will be going in the future.
Will Manidis is the CEO and founder of ScienceIO, which builds data solutions for health care. He was previously a managing partner at Dorm Room Fund, and a Thiel Fellow.
Auren and Will discuss American dynamism and the future of knowledge work. Will breaks down his view that technology has not improved our lives as much as it should have. He explains how the nature of platform shifts have accelerated tech earnings over the last decade, but kept actual progress low.
Will and Auren also do a deep dive on healthcare: why it’s so expensive, why healthcare data is so difficult to work with, and what can be changed. Will emphasizes the need for more usable healthcare data and breaks down how operational workflows consume most of the healthcare dollars spent in the US.
They also discuss Will’s practical advice for young founders (as a founder and former Thiel fellow), his early work on classical Greek and Latin, and why everyone should believe in demons.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Will Manidis on Twitter at @WillManidis.
Avlok Kohli is the CEO of AngelList and the founder of FastBite and Fairy.
Auren and Avlok discuss the underestimated impact of AI and how it could be creating a tech mega cycle. Avlok explains the importance of unique data as a moat for companies building on top of large language models, and how this technology can disrupt incumbents.
They also discuss the rise of Dual Threat CEOs and their outsized success in early stage venture capital. Avlok makes the case for why more current operators should start funds, and explains why they’ll thrive in the changing VC landscape.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Avlok Kohli on Twitter at @avlok.
Elad Gil is a prolific angel investor and advisor whose early investments include AirBnb, Coinbase, Pinterest, Stripe, and Square. He’s also the founder of Color Health and author of the bestselling book High Growth Handbook.
Elad and Auren discuss the challenges and opportunities for startups in the emerging AI technology landscape, particularly in comparison to incumbent companies. Elad breaks down what he’s learned as an angel investor and provides some non-generic advice for making good early-stage investments.
Auren and Elad also discuss fundraising and operating in lean times, the potential for life extension drugs, and why the biotech market is so fragmented.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Elad Gil on Twitter at @eladgil.
Johnathan Bi is the host of a fantastic seven-part lecture series on the work of philosopher René Girard. He’s also a member of the founding team at Opto Investments.
Auren and Johnathan discuss some of the fundamental concepts in Girard’s philosophy and how they apply to startups, venture capital, and life more broadly. They break down physical vs metaphysical desire, the power of self-delusion, and Girard's concept of zero-sum and negative-sum human interactions.
Johnathan explains what to make of Girard’s apocalyptic thoughts on the future of humanity, and makes some useful recommendations for using mimetic theory to improve your life.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Johnathan Bi on Twitter at @JohnathanBi.
Nicole Perlroth was the New York Times’ lead cybersecurity reporter for over a decade. She’s an advisor to the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity Advisory Committee and the author of the bestselling book This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends.
Auren and Nicole discuss the global cyber landscape— which countries have the strongest hacking capabilities, how Ukraine has changed cyber warfare, and where the US stacks up against its adversaries.
Nicole also shares insights on personal opsec and recounts her experience tracking down a potential leaker behind the Shadow Brokers hack of the NSA.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Nicole Perlroth on Twitter at @nicoleperlroth.
Sigal Mandelker served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence from 2017 to 2019. She’s currently a general partner at Ribbit Capital, which invests in fintech companies.
Sigal and Auren discuss how sanctions actually work and what makes them effective. Sigal explains how the US’s role in the global financial system could change as new financial technology evolves. They also discuss how the government should work with the private sector, why crypto regulation has moved so slowly, and where the US is starting to look to other countries for regulatory leadership.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Sigal Mandelker on LinkedIn.
Jonathan Greenblatt is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League. Prior to leading the ADL, he was the founder of Ethos Brands, VP of Global Consumer Products at Starbucks, and Director of the Office of Social Innovation during the Obama administration.
Auren and Jonathan discuss the role of technology in amplifying hate and extremism in society, and what tech companies and regulators should do about it. Jonathan breaks down how Section 230 could be reformed and how tech companies should approach moderation. They also discuss what the boundaries of free speech, comedy and anonymity should be on the internet.
Jonathan gives an overview of the ADL’s research and the unparalleled data they have on extremism in the US. He shares insights from the ADL’s nearly 100 years of public opinion polling and puts the most recent figures in historical context.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Jonathan Greenblatt on Twitter @JGreenblattADL.
Dr. Jonathan Levin is the Dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He’s the winner of the 2011 John Bates Medal, and an expert in market design, game theory, and industrial organization.
Auren and Jon discuss how Stanford GSB, one of the most selective schools in the world, thinks about finding talent. Jon breaks down the non-obvious ways universities foster innovation, and how that path of research differs from the private sector.
They also discuss whether or not hedge fund managers are overcompensated, what datasets could improve public policy, and what kind of hard and soft skills are the most important today.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Jon Levin on LinkedIn or at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Nir Barzilai discovered the first “longevity gene” in humans and pioneered key research around the biology of aging. He’s the founding director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York and the author of the book Age Later.
Nir and Auren discuss the most promising studies and treatments in the field of anti-aging research and break down the major takeaways from Nir’s seminal studies on centenarians— why they live longer, and what the rest of us can learn from them.
Nir also explains the role of genetics vs. environment in longevity and makes some data-backed recommendations for anyone who wants to live a longer, healthier life.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Nir Barzilai on Twitter @NirBarzilaiMD
Tony is a retired 4-star US Army General and was the commander of the US Special Operations Command from 2016 to 2019. During his 35-year military career, he played a key role in numerous high-profile operations, including the mission that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. He’s currently a partner at Lux Capital.
Auren and Tony discuss what we’ve learned from the war in Ukraine and which countries are the strategic winners and losers of the conflict. Tony has a clear, nuanced view of Russia’s strengths and weaknesses and explains how the U.S. should be positioning itself against China.
Auren and Tony also break down how AI should be implemented in military technology, whether NATO is still relevant, and which of the US’s major weapons systems are obsolete.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Tony Thomas on Twitter @TonyT2Thomas.
Auren and Megan discuss some of the less obvious factors that contributed to the superheated economy of the last decade. Megan breaks down how she thinks about monopolies in the tech sector and explains one of the most misunderstood things about markets.
Megan also shares some of her insights on politics and culture. She explains how one of the most popular negotiation techniques in politics almost never works, how companies should think about cancellation mobs, and why there’s no point having a pen name on the internet anymore.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Megan McArdle on Twitter @asymmetricinfo.
Jaan Tallinn is one of the founding engineers of Skype and the file-sharing service Kazaa. He’s also a co-founder of the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk and the Future of Life Institute.
Auren and Jaan discuss the trajectory of artificial intelligence and the existential risks it could present to humanity. Jann talks about the prevailing attitudes towards risk in AI research and what needs to change in order get aligned, safe AI.
Jaan and Auren also talk about how Jaan’s native Estonia has become one of the most tech-forward societies in Europe.
Baroness Dido Harding has held high-level leadership roles in the UK’s National Health Service and in the private sector, at companies like TalkTalk, Tesco, and Thomas Cook. She was executive chair of the NHS’s COVID-19 Test and Trace effort.
Dido and Auren break down what we’ve learned about data and public health during the pandemic. Dido explains how publicly accessible data helped leaders and the general public make decisions, and outlines what we should be doing to prepare for the next pandemic.
Auren and Dido also talk about running large organizations, staying productive, and what the public and private sectors have in common.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Dido Harding on Twitter at @didoharding.
Oren Etzioni was the founding CEO of the Allen Institute for AI, or AI2. He’s founded multiple companies that had successful exits, and he’s a professor emeritus at the University of Washington.
Oren Etzioni and host Auren Hoffman discuss Oren’s criteria for artificial general intelligence and what signs he’s looking for to indicate that we’re close to developing AGI. They talk about major issues in AI research right now, including the cost of compute, accessing data, and adversarial versus collaborative AI training methods.
Oren shares how AI2 has been able to spin out so many successful companies and how he's found the balance between running a research organization and a business.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Oren Etzioni on Twitter at @etzioni
Vivek Ramaswamy is an entrepreneur, investor and author. He founded Roivant Sciences in 2014 and Strive Asset Management in 2021. He’s also the author of the bestselling books Woke Inc. and Nation of Victims.
Auren and Vivek discuss how CEOs and leaders should think about ideology in the workplace— both their own and their employees’. Vivek breaks down the history of the ESG movement and pulls back the veil on two companies that have massive, little-understood power over the public markets— proxy advisory services ISS and Glass Lewis.
Vivek also talks about what drives the pharmaceutical industry and what’s holding it back from greater innovation.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Vivek Ramaswamy on Twitter at @VivekGRamaswamy
David is a co-founder and partner at Craft Ventures, one of the foremost SaaS VCs. He was the former COO at Paypal and he’s invested in over 20 unicorns, including AirBnB, Facebook, Palantir, Uber, and SpaceX.
David and Auren discuss the state of SaaS in 2023 and consider how layoffs, seat contraction, and the broader macro environment could affect the ecosystem this year. David shares some advice on how companies should be positioning themselves to weather the downturn. They also talk about bubbles and cycles in tech, how to spot stand-out founders early, and which analysts have the best record on foreign policy.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and David Sacks on Twitter at @DavidSacks
Bret Stephens is a foreign affairs columnist at the New York Times and author of America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.
Auren and Bret discuss major takeaways from the war in Ukraine, and the US's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Bret offers predictions about the future of warfare and weaponry, and explains what the US will have to do to remain the preeminent global power through the next decade. They also discuss cancel culture, decadence, and environmentalism.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Bret Stephens at nytimes.com/column/bret-stephens
Thani Shamsi is the co-founder and CEO of Datarade, a Berlin-based data commerce platform.
Auren and Thani dive deep into the data market and discuss how it’s developed in comparison to SaaS. Thani shares his insights on how the most successful data companies drive sales and how expects the data space to evolve.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Thani Shamsi on Twitter @ThaniShamsi.
Amit Bendov is a serial founder who’s scaled three unicorn software companies to massive exits. He’s currently the co-founder and CEO of Gong, an AI sales intelligence platform.
Auren and Amit discuss the best practices for B2B sales, based on data Gong has collected from over a billion sales conversations. Amit breaks down how winning strategies have changed in the challenging macro environment.
Auren and Amit also discuss the generational difference in startup founders and what’s made Israel the most startup-dense place on Earth.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Amit Bendov on LinkedIn.
Eric Frank is the founder and CEO of LightBox, a GIS real estate data company. He’s also the creator of ADR.com and former president of the Investment & Advisory division at Thomson Reuters.
Eric brings his perspective from financial services to analyze data adoption in the commercial real estate space. He outlines some non-obvious effects of COVID on the market and breaks down where real estate tech is headed.
Eric and Auren also discuss building a business through acquisitions, and how Eric managed to integrate the different technology companies that make up LightBox today.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Eric Frank on Twitter at @ericfrank.
Bryan Mistele is the founder and CEO of INRIX, a leading provider of traffic data and analytics.
Auren and Bryan discuss how vehicle technology is changing and when we can expect to see mass adoption of driverless cars in the US and around the world. Bryan breaks down which industries he expects will go autonomous first and how self-driving will affect total vehicle sales.
Auren and Bryan also discuss the intricacies of operating a global data company and what better safety data could do for transportation.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Bryan on Twitter at @BryanMi.
Sarah Bond is Corporate Vice President of Xbox’s Game Creator Experience & Ecosystem at Microsoft.
Auren and Sarah discuss the future of gaming across platforms and where Sarah expects to see the most growth in the gaming ecosystem in the next few years. They break down the democratization of game development and what the growth of the creator economy could mean for the industry.
Sarah also shares insights on how Microsoft transformed its culture to become a hyper successful acquirer and how she helped lead T-Mobile through its historic turnaround.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Sarah on Twitter at @BondSarah_Bond.
Richard Barlow is the CEO of Wejo, a publicly traded company that collects and analyzes connected vehicle data. Wejo gathers billions of data points a day from cars all over the world.
Richard and Auren discuss the state of global connected vehicle data— what vehicle data is out there right now, how many cars on the road are equipped with connected tech, and what new sensors could do in the future. Richard also explains how data sharing could help get autonomous vehicles to the next level and bring self-driving tech to the mass market.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Richard on Twitter @RichardWejo.
Dimitri Dadiomov is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Treasury, a payment operations software company valued at over $2 billion.
Auren and Dimitri discuss the future of crypto payments, innovation (or lack thereof) in the massive B2B payments space, and what Dimitri expects to change as more instant payment services come on line in the next few years.
They also dive into culture and break down how Dimitri was able to gain traction and scale Modern Treasury to a $2 billion valuation in less than four years.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Dimitri on Twitter at @dadiomov.
Richard Hanania is a foreign policy expert and author. He’s the president of the Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology and a visiting scholar at the University of Texas’s Salem Center.
Richard and Auren discuss which players have the most sway over American foreign policy and how they’ve affected the US’s global strategic positioning. Richard breaks down the failure of expert opinion in the intelligence community to anticipate events like the fall of Afghanistan and the invasion of Ukraine. They also discuss sanctions, NATO expansion and partisanship in Washington.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Richard on Twitter at @RichardHanania.
Anthony Scaramucci is the founder and managing partner of Skybridge Capital, which manages over $800 million in digital assets. He’s also the founder of the SALT Conferences, and he briefly served as the White House Communications Director.
Anthony and Auren break down the 2022 crypto crash in depth and discuss the major factors that led to the crash. Anthony shares his perspective on potential crypto regulation, institutional investing in the space, and which blockchain technologies he expects to become dominant.
In addition to crypto, Auren and Anthony also discuss working in politics, the art of throwing good events, and Anthony’s finest Long Island wisdom.
World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Anthony on Twitter at @Scaramucci.
Keith Rabois is the CEO of Openstore and a general partner at Founders Fund. He’s had an amazing career as a founder and senior operator at some of the most innovative companies of the last 20 years, including Paypal, Square, Opendoor, and LinkedIn.
Auren and Keith take a deep dive into spotting talent— one of Keith’s strengths— and discuss how he’s managed to hire so many incredible people over the years. They break down what makes a successful founder, why sitting on “too many” boards is the right move for VCs, and how Keith has reverse engineered a tech scene in Miami.
Keith has a highly unique perspective and brings sharp insight to everything from fundraising to culture to personal health.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Keith at @Rabois.
Packy McCormick is the founder and writer of Not Boring, a Web3 and startup newsletter. He’s also an investor at Not Boring Capital.
Packy and Auren dive into the tech landscape on a generational scale and talk about the loss of tech optimism and what’s limiting technological progress today. They discuss how to evaluate early-stage companies as investments and Packy shares his insight on what he looks for in crypto and Web3 companies.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Packy at @PackyM.
Grover Norquist is the founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform and one of the most influential conservative activists in Washington.
Grover and Auren discuss the historical balance of power between the two parties and what partisan realignment has meant for the country. They also talk about the future of the filibuster in the Senate and the structural shifts that have occurred in taxation, investing, and education in the last 30 years.
Grover is one of the most long-term thinkers in the political space and he gives a master class on thinking about strategy in decades, rather than election cycles.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Grover on Twitter at @GroverNorquist
Michael Brown recently finished his term as director of the Defense Innovation Unit, a DoD organization focused on accelerating the adoption of commercial technology by the military.
Auren and Michael go in depth on defense spending and discuss how to reform the budget process. Michael outlines the challenges of buying commercial technology for the military and offers some advice for startups looking to work with the government. They also discuss how new technologies are being used in the war in Ukraine and what the government can do to hire more innovative people.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Michael on LinkedIn at @michaelabrownceo.
Congressman Jim Himes (D-CT 4th) serves as the chair of the National Security, International Development and Monetary Policy Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee.
Jim and Auren discuss Jim’s recent white paper on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) that explored the potential for a US CBDC and how it should be structured. They also talk about what regulation could mean for the crypto landscape and discuss why it’s so hard for the military to buy innovative tech.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Jim on Twitter at @jahimes.
Jason Gardner is the founder and CEO of Marqeta, an open-API card issuing platform used by companies like Square, Doordash, and Uber.
Jason is one of the most knowledgeable people in the complex world of payments. He gives an in depth breakdown of how the global payments system actually works and shares his outlook on potential disruptors like crypto and mobile wallets. Jason and Auren also talk about the differences between startup and scale CEOs, the process of going public, and what the best executive chairmen all have in common.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Jason on Twitter at @jmgards.
Tim Urban is the creator of Wait But Why, a blog with over half a million monthly subscribers. He writes about productivity, science, politics and the future.
Tim and Auren discuss some of Tim’s biggest ideas around technology, including cryonics, life extension, and artificial superintelligence. They break down Tim’s framework for understanding political polarization and Tim shares his unique perspective on tackling some of life’s biggest challenges, from beating procrastination to marrying the right person.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Tim on Twitter @waitbutwhy or on his blog Wait But Why.
RJ Pittman is the CEO of Matterport, a $1.2 billion market cap spatial data and 3D capture company.
RJ and Auren discuss the mechanics of bringing real estate, an “offline” asset class, into the 21st century. RJ talks about the company’s decision to launch a smartphone capture app and adopt a freemium model. He also shares some insight on entering an organization as a non-founder CEO.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and RJ Pittman on Twitter @rjpittman.
Mark Penn is the CEO of Stagwell and a longtime pollster and strategic advisor. He’s a former senior executive at Microsoft and has advised politicians including Bill Clinton and Tony Blair.
Mark and Auren discuss Mark’s books Microtrends and Microtrends Squared, in which Mark identified minor demographic trends and predicted their outsized impact on society and the economy. Mark gets into the mechanics of good opinion polling and breaks down the major differences between political and consumer polling, and how internet polling is affecting the industry. They also discuss Stagwell and Mark’s digital-first strategy for disrupting the old-school advertising holding companies.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Mark at @Mark_Penn.
Christopher Ahlberg is the founder and CEO of Recorded Future, a cyberintelligence firm that sold for $780 million in 2019. He formerly co-founded the business intelligence software company Spotfire.
Christopher and Auren discuss the global cybercrime landscape, from emerging threats and ransomware gangs to international conflicts and the geopolitics of taking down hackers. They dive into how the US can improve its cyber defenses, both in the public and private spheres, and talk about the sprawling US security apparatus. They also discuss cyber operations in Ukraine and what we can expect from future conflicts.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Christopher on Twitter @cahlberg.
Terry Kawaja is the founder and CEO of Luma Partners, a media and technology investment bank. Terry has advised on over $300 billion in transactions, including some of the biggest deals in media, tech and advertising.
Auren and Terry discuss the changes in the markets over the last few months and what they expect from the M&A landscape in the near term. Terry shares his thoughts on the long-term outlook for consolidation in the media and advertising space and where he thinks the next innovative companies will appear in adtech.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Terry on Twitter @tkawaja.
Sheila Heen is the Deputy Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and the bestselling author of Difficult Conversations. She’s an internationally recognized negotiation coach and trainer.
Sheila and Auren discuss how to approach your toughest conversations, including best practices for opening a negotiation, defusing conversations that feel adversarial and giving and receiving better feedback. They also talk about the surprising similarities in tough conversations at work and at home, and how you can use negotiation strategies to throw a better dinner party.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren.
Cindy Cohn is the executive director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the largest digital rights organization in the world.
In this wide ranging conversation, Cindy and Auren touch on a number of topics across the tech space, including privacy on the Blockchain, interoperability and the politics around regulating big tech. They discuss the unintended consequences of privacy protections and what smart regulation should seek to accomplish.
Cindy brings a unique perspective to the debate around open access to data and discusses how to think critically about the power that data can unlock.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren.
Neal Katyal is a professor of National Security Law at Georgetown University, a partner at Hogan Lovells law firm, and the former Acting Solicitor General. He has argued 45 cases before the Supreme Court.
Auren and Neal look back on the Supreme Court’s most recent term and Neal brings some historical context to the court’s major decisions. They discuss the court’s new balance of power and Neal explains how Supreme Court lawyers can make arguments on the most complex legal issues in under 30 minutes.
They also talk about productivity, balancing multiple roles, and how to get the best people on your team.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Neal Katyal at @neal_katyal
David Epstein is the author of the New York Times bestsellers “Range” and “The Sports Gene”.
Auren and David discuss David’s latest book Range and his counterintuitive ideas about specialization and why generalists are so powerful. They talk about why the 10,000 hours rule is overrated, how specialists get so many major predictions wrong, and how to think about talent and interest in your own career.
David also discusses some of the intricacies of genetics in medicine and gives some non-obvious advice for healthy living.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and David at @DavidEpstein. You can also find David’s newsletter at https://davidepstein.bulletin.com/.
Rob Buxton is a partner at AGC Partners where he specializes in the DaaS and SaaS capital markets. Rob has completed over 300 financings and M&A transactions in his career.
Rob and Auren dive into the recent trends in the data-as-a-service (DaaS) sector. They break down the insights from Rob’s recent DaaS sector report and dig into what makes the great data companies great and the broader DaaS M&A landscape. Rob walks through the different types of data companies out there, their respective competitive advantages and TAMs, and how the recent downturn has impacted the DaaS space.
They also discuss when external data can benefit a company, what data readiness looks like, and why DaaS companies are so profitable at scale.
Rob’s DaaS sector report can be found here: https://www.blackpeakcapital.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/AGC-DaaS-Mar-2022.pdf
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Rob Buxton on LinkedIn.
Gary Marcus is the Author of Reboot AI and professor at NYU.
Gary and Auren discuss the advancements in and shortcomings of artificial intelligence. They dive into how for AI to be really good, it needs to be built towards human intelligence and gain “Common Sense”, which it lacks today.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Gary Marcus at @GaryMarcus.
Or Offer is Co-Founder and CEO of Similarweb (ticker: SMWB), a digital intelligence data company.
Auren and Or dive into how data businesses actually work. They explore the problems every data company faces: build vs. partner, accuracy vs. coverage, how to think about data costs, and how to focus on your core competencies.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Or at @oroffer.
Antonio Garcia Martinez is the NYT best selling author of Chaos Monkeys. He is a senior fellow at Lincoln Network. Previously, he was the founder of AdGrok and a product manager at Facebook.
Auren and Antonio explore the unintended consequences of regulation, the evolution of the adtech markets, and frameworks to apply when thinking about privacy. They also dive into Antonio’s pursuit of religion in an increasingly complex modern world.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Antonio at @antoniogm.
Liv Boeree is a former world poker champion, a science commentator and content creator, and a philanthropist.
Auren and Liv dive into a broad range of topics including poker, probability, societal progress, artificial intelligence and decision-making. Liv has an incredible mind and has thought deeply about the intricacies of life, society and science.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Liv at @Liv_Boeree.
Jeremy Stanley is Founder and CTO at Anomalo. Previously, he was VP of Data Science at Instacart.
Auren and Jeremy dive into progress in the artificial intelligence field over the past decade and why most people think about AI incorrectly. They also discuss the approaches to building data science teams and the tactics Jeremy has seen work best.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Jeremy Stanley at @jeremystan.
Ryan Breslow is the Chairman at Bolt, a decacorn online checkout startup.
While he’s built one of the fastest growing startups in Silicon Valley, Ryan Breslow is perhaps most famous for his twitter threads about the so-called “Silicon Valley Mob”. Auren and Ryan dive into the various claims Ryan made about the Silicon Valley juggernauts like Y Combinator, Stripe and Sequoia.
They also dive into company building and the alternative approaches available to young entrepreneurs out there just starting their journey.
You can find Auren Hoffman on Twitter at @auren and Ryan Breslow at @theryanking.
Glenn Fogel is CEO at Booking Holdings, a juggernaut in the travel industry. Glenn has a remarkable track record of completing successful acquisitions.
Auren and Glenn dive into the common pitfalls of M&A, the heuristics to apply when evaluating deals and why acquisitions can be transformative when done right. Glenn walks through the many acquisitions Booking Holdings has done in the travel space and their strategy over the years.
They also discuss the experience of being in the travel industry during the pandemic and how Glenn navigated the unprecedented circumstances.
You can find host Auren Hoffman on twitter @auren.
This episode is a rebroadcast of Auren's appearance on The Data Scientist Show. Auren and Daliana dive into the nuts and bolts of building a geospatial DaaS business.
Daliana Liu is a senior data scientist and host of The Data Scientist Show. You can find her at the following places:
Auren is the CEO at SafeGraph and can be found on Twitter @auren.
Barry Nalebuff is the author of Split the Pie, co-founder of Honest Tea and professor of negotiations at Yale.
A big part of the problem with most negotiations is that the parties don’t spend enough time defining the pie and spend too much time bargaining for a larger slice. Barry and Auren discuss tactics that can help you uplevel your negotiation skills 5x.
Barry imparts all his wisdom from years of experience in both academia and from when he sold Honest Tea to Coca Cola.
Dr. Joel Myers is the founder and CEO of AccuWeather, one of the oldest weather companies in the world.
Weather companies are really data companies at their core. Joel and Auren dive into the early days of commercial meteorology and the challenges of building a business on top of a product that was historically available for free.
Joel has dedicated his entire career to AccuWeather and dives into the nuances of weather forecasting and the immense responsibility that comes with the trade.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Joel Myers at @DrJoelNMyers
Charlie is co-founder and CEO of Sezzle, a $1.2 billion market cap alternative payment platform.
Charlie and Auren dive into the unit economics of Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) businesses, why the “creditization of debit” is the hottest trend, and how underwriting BNPL loans differs from traditional consumer lending.
They also explore data’s role in BNPL and how most fintech companies are on the path of becoming neobanks.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Charlie Youakim at @CharlieYouakim
Jacob Helberg is the author of The Wires of War, senior adviser at the Stanford University Center on Geopolitics and Technology, and co-chair at the Brookings Institution China Strategy Working Group.
Jacob and Auren explore the current tension between global superpowers, the dependencies America has on Chinese hardware and infrastructure and potential solutions to reversing these dependencies.
They also dive into the generational and cultural rift between Capitol Hill and Silicon Valley and how that’s affecting America’s competitive advantage.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Jacob Helberg at @jacobhelberg
Audio version of "It's Our Moral Obligation to Make Data More Accessible" by Auren Hoffman.
You can find the full essay at: safegraph.com/blog/data-accessibility-moral-obligation
Most of the world’s data is sitting on a shelf, being used in a very narrow domain. This data, if properly activated, could solve some of the world’s biggest problems and lead to more health, happiness, and love for society. We could use this data to uncover some of society’s biggest secrets.
The data is there. We just need to use it.
You can find Auren on twitter at @auren.
Bob Moore is CEO at Crossbeam, a partnerships ecosystem platform.
Bob and Auren dive into the challenges of kickstarting a partnership, the prisoner’s dilemma that inherently exists within every new partnership, and ways to solve these issues.
They also explore Bob’s learnings as a serial entrepreneur and what he wishes he’d done differently along the way.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Bob Moore at @robertjmoore
Esther Dyson is an investor, journalist, author, and philanthropist. She is the executive founder of Wellville, a nonprofit project focused on improving equitable wellbeing.
Esther and Auren discuss the structural problems that drive poor wellbeing across modern society. They dive into potential solutions ranging from improving parenting to the role of government.
They also discuss how untapped data about people can potentially revolutionize health and wellness.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Esther Dyson at @edyson
Sebastian Mallaby is the author of The Power Law, a renowned journalist and a senior fellow for international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations.
Sebastian and Auren start by discussing the powerful trends in the recent history of Venture Capital. They discuss the rise of the growth funds and crossover funds and the issues with governance that are created as a company grows. They also dive into what makes firms like Sequoia and Benchmark truly special.
Sebastian and Auren also review the major macroeconomic crises of the past 40 years and what we’ve learned about the Federal Reserve’s role in navigating crises.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Sebastian Mallaby at @scmallaby
David is a blogger, educator and a voracious tweeter. He runs the Write of Passage course on how to become a better writer and communicator.
David and Auren dive deep into mimesis, the philosophies of Rene Girard and Peter Thiel, and what it means to be a contrarian. They discuss ways to build a “personal monopoly” and how to stand out in a world where everyone imitates each other.
You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and David Perell at @david_perell
Dina is a writer and researcher who has published extensively on antitrust matters in big tech. She is also a Fellow with the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University.
Dina and Auren discuss how big tech grew to be so powerful and key events in the histories of these companies that created the antitrust issues that exist today. They dive into the inner workings of advertising exchanges and the potential conflicts of interest that exist today. They also explore potential solutions that can increase competition and benefit consumers.
Tyler Henritze is Head of Strategic Investments at Blackstone Real Estate Americas. Tyler has been with Blackstone since 2004 and has worked on over $100 billion of transactions. Tyler and Auren dive into the history of Blackstone Real Estate and how it transitioned from investing opportunistically to investing thematically. They explore promising assets today that have high potential of generating alpha over the next decade. Tyler also explains the impact the Global Financial Crisis had on the real estate markets and how Blackstone persevered through turmoil.
Emiliano Kargieman is Founder and CEO at Satellogic, a satellite and geospatial data company. Emiliano and Auren discuss the power of low-orbit satellites, how building and deploying satellites has become dramatically more affordable in the past decade. They also discuss promising technologies that will usher in the next generation of satellite companies.
Tod Sacerdoti is Founder and CEO at Pipedream, a platform that lets developers connect APIs remarkably fast. Tod and Auren are both serial founder CEOs who dive deep into how go-forward compensation for founder CEOs is way LESS than that of a replacement CEO. They explore ways to solve this problem and tactics founders can employ to restructure their compensation.
Javier de la Torre is Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at CARTO, a spatial analytics and intelligence platform. Javier and Auren dive into the journey behind CARTO and the tactics Javier used to drive step-function growth for the business through the different stages of its history. Javier explains the role partnerships and self-serve played in their go-to-market strategy and the power behind product-led growth.
Peter Platzer is CEO at Spire, owner and operator of the largest multi-purpose constellation of satellites. Peter and Auren dive into how the satellite industry has evolved over the past few decades, the different types of satellites out there today and what type of analyses are possible with satellite collected data.
Ann Fudge is the former Chairman and CEO of Young & Rubicam Brands and has served on many boards. She serves on the boards of GE, Novartis, Northrop Grumman, Unilever, & Infosys. Auren and Ann dive into what makes a good Board of Directors, how companies can make board meetings more efficient and effective, and how to have tough conversations with leadership teams.
Satyen Sangani, Co-Founder and CEO at Alation, joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Auren and Satyen discuss the importance of data literacy and ways for the private and public sectors to increase data literacy globally. They also break down key trends in the data science world and how powerful new innovation in the past few years is accelerating growth in the data industry.
Gabe Rogol, CEO of Demandbase, joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Auren and Gabe break down how the modern marketing funnel works and the pitfalls of the classic lead-based model. They dive into how intent-based models work and how intent signals differ between Mid Market and Enterprise accounts.
Alex Dalyac, co-founder and CEO of Tractable AI, joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Tractable offers artificial intelligence to help people repair, protect & sell their vehicle & home. Auren and Alex dive into the mechanics of building an AI product in insurance, how to build a successful data co-op, and the challenges startups face when going global. They also explore the journey of building a company and how to navigate the tough moments.
Bonus nugget: listen till the end to hear Alex show off his rapping skills.
Jonathan Levin, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Chainalysis, joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Auren and Jonathan dive into the importance of understanding transactions on the blockchain, how challenging it is to establish a data co-op, and what it’s like to build a data company in crypto. They also chat about how data companies are misunderstood and can’t be viewed from the SaaS lens.
Tom Goldstein, Supreme Court litigation expert, founder of SCOTUSblog, and professor at Harvard Law School joins World of DaaS host Auren Hoffman. Auren and Tom dive into approaches to Supreme Court advocacy and data’s role in legal decision making. They also cover the Google v. Oracle case and its impact on technology for years to come.
Auren and Julia explore building a scout mindset as defined in Julia’s new book, why embracing being wrong is important and tactical approaches to shifting your mindset. They also cover how entrepreneurs approach risk and how the scout mindset manifests in unique ways across different professions.
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/
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.