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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

Listen to the latest episodes

Tim Urban: Zooming Out on Everything

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.  

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 Tim on Twitter @waitbutwhy or on his blog Wait But Why.

September 20, 2022

RJ Pittman: Turning Buildings into Data

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. 

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 RJ Pittman on Twitter @rjpittman.

September 13, 2022

Mark Penn: Finding the Next Microtrends

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. 

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 Mark at @Mark_Penn.

September 6, 2022

Christopher Ahlberg: Building a Safer Future

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. 

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 Christopher on Twitter @cahlberg.

August 30, 2022

Terence Kawaja: The Future of AdTech

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. 

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 Terry on Twitter @tkawaja.

August 23, 2022

Sheila Heen: How to Navigate Hard Conversations

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.

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.

August 16, 2022

Cindy Cohn: Who Should Regulate the Internet?

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. 

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.

August 9, 2022

Neal Katyal: Taking on the Supreme Court

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. 

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 Neal Katyal at @neal_katyal

August 2, 2022

David Epstein: Never Underestimate the Generalist

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. 

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 David at @DavidEpstein. You can also find David’s newsletter at https://davidepstein.bulletin.com/

July 26, 2022

Rob Buxton: The State of DaaS (A Market Snapshot)

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

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 Rob Buxton on LinkedIn

July 19, 2022

Gary Marcus: The Failed Promise of Artificial Intelligence

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.

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 Gary Marcus at @GaryMarcus.

July 5, 2022

Or Offer: The Mechanics of Data Businesses

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.

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 Or at @oroffer.

June 28, 2022

Antonio Garcia Martinez: A New Approach to Regulation

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. 

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 Antonio at @antoniogm.

June 21, 2022

Liv Boeree: Developing a Probabilistic Mindset

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. 

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 Liv at @Liv_Boeree.

June 14, 2022

Jeremy Stanley: How Machines Actually Learn

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. 

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 Jeremy Stanley at @jeremystan.

June 7, 2022

Ryan Breslow: The King vs. The Mob

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. 

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 Ryan Breslow at @theryanking.

May 31, 2022

Glenn Fogel: The Greatest Acquirer in History

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.

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

You can find host Auren Hoffman on twitter @auren.

May 24, 2022

Auren Hoffman: A Tale about Truth in Data

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.

May 20, 2022

Barry Nalebuff: A Radical New Way to Negotiate

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.

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

May 17, 2022

Joel Myers: The Father of Commercial Meteorology

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

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

May 10, 2022

Charlie Youakim: The Real Economics of Buy-Now-Pay-Later

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

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

May 3, 2022

Jacob Helberg: The New Cold War

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

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

April 26, 2022

Auren Hoffman: It's Our Moral Obligation to Make Data More Accessible

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.

April 21, 2022

Bob Moore: Solving the Cold Start Problem

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

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

April 19, 2022

Esther Dyson: Using Data to Revolutionize Wellness

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

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

April 14, 2022

Sebastian Mallaby: The Greatest Storyteller in Venture Capital

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.

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and Sebastian Mallaby at @scmallaby

April 12, 2022

David Perell: Building a Personal Monopoly

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. 

World of DaaS is brought to you by SafeGraph. For more episodes, visit safegraph.com/podcasts

You can find Auren Hoffman (CEO of SafeGraph) on Twitter at @auren and David Perell at @david_perell

April 5, 2022

Dina Srinivasan: Reining in Big Tech

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.

March 31, 2022

Tyler Henritze: Thematic Investing to Predict the Future

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. 

March 29, 2022

Emiliano Kargieman: Remapping the Entire Earth

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.  

March 22, 2022

Tod Sacerdoti: Let’s Talk About Founder Compensation

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.

March 17, 2022

Javier de la Torre: Building a Killer Go-To-Market Strategy

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.

March 15, 2022

Peter Platzer: Moore’s Law Strikes the Satellite Industry!

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. 

March 8, 2022

Ann Fudge: Leveling Up Board Meetings

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.

March 3, 2022

Satyen Sangani: We’re Still in the Dark Ages of Data

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.

March 1, 2022

Gabe Rogol: A Masterclass in Demand Gen

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.

February 22, 2022

Alex Dalyac: The Secret to Building a Computer Vision Unicorn

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.

February 15, 2022

Jonathan Levin, The Blockchain Archivist

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.

February 8, 2022

Tom Goldstein: The Art of Supreme Court Advocacy

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.

February 1, 2022

Julia Galef: How to be Wrong Correctly

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. 

January 25, 2022

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

Building Esri: the Relationship Between Geospatial Data and Software

Auren talks to Jack Dangermond, CEO of Esri, about his philosophies for building and running the world’s most successful geospatial software company. The two also discuss how software can be used to store, represent, create, and share geographic knowledge for solving problems more holistically.

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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