Sila Nanotechnologies' Gene Berdichevsky: “The million-mile battery”Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times tech correspondent brings on Gene Berdichekvsy, founder of Sila Nanotechnologies, to talk about being the seventh employee at Tesla (2:35), making the Roadster’s lithium battery (6:30), developing the first new battery technology in 30 years (7:15), the dawn of the electric car age (10:55), what Sila is doing (12:35), starting in smart watches (16:20), being born in Russia (20:05), air taxis (22:25), the rise of autonomous cars (23:15) the second order effects of electric cars (30:30), making a million-mile battery (28:35), why ‘peak lithium’ is nonsense (32:55), on keeping investors on side (36:30), the most expensive real estate in the world (40:05), being handed his first $5m (44:15), the end of the engine (45:55), and when he almost destroyed Tesla (48:30).
Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman: "15 years battling Google"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Jeremy Stoppelman, founder of Yelp, to talk about the early days of "user-generated content” (3:50), when ‘Yelp’ became a verb (7:10), when Google took notice (9:00), becoming a resource for the search giant (11:35), when Google tried to buy Yelp (12:40), testifying in Congress (13:40), Google’s dirty deeds (16:00), Google’s unseen power (18:50), whether Trump is good for Yelp (23:20), the coming crackdown (25:50), if it is possible to survive (28:50), being targeted by an activist investor (33:00), the evolution of the internet (36:10), being the David to Google’s Goliath (39:20), getting targeted by critics (45:45), and the Silicon Valley bubble (48:30).
Five questions with.... Andreessen Horowitz's Angela StrangeDanny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Angela Strange, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, to answer five questions on the future of finance: 1. What do Internet keywords tell us about the power of finance (3:00). 2. How will insurance be transformed in ten years’ time? (5:45) 3. Why is it expensive to be poor? (15:50) 4. Is Silicon Valley starting companies to capitalise on the impending recession (24:20) 5. Is there more opportunity in the developing world, where it is largely free of legacy businesses? (26:30)
Mr Nice's Neil Mahapatra: "Every mammal can get high"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Neil Mahapatra, founder of Kingsley Capital and Oxford Cannabinoid Technologies, to talk about his early days in investment banking (3:30), getting a job with Lord Rothschild (5:50), setting up his own investment firm (7:30), how his mother’s lung cancer changed everything (8:15), why the stoners won’t make it (12:45), carving out a beachhead (15:15), building credibility for weed (18:40), the plant’s legal status in Britain (22:30), its potential as a cancer treatment (23:00), what a cannabinoid is (25:50), getting Snoop Dogg as an investor (28:15), developing drugs (29:50), and a consumer brand (32:30), Mr Nice (33:45), Oprah’s cannabis venture (36:15), sourcing the plant (38:50), and waiting for the laws to catch up (39:45).
Kai Fu Lee: "AI isn't biased, humans are"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Kai Fu Lee, former head of Google China and founder of Sinovation Ventures, to talk about the dawning of the age of artificial intelligence (3:35), why this is the tip of the iceberg (5:50), why up to 40% of jobs will be replaced (7:30), how China’s approach differs (9:40), how AI is like nuclear technology (10:05), whether it should be a human right (17:15), tech colonialism (19:25), the dystopian elements (23:45), AI bias (26:10), the existential threat it poses (30:40), and remaking education for a new era (32:40).
Blue Zones' Dan Buettner: "Fine-tuning the human machine"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Dan Buettner to talk about how to live a longer, healthier life (6:00), keeping it simple (8:55), what happens when a spouse dies (11:15), what are “blue zones” (11:30), the secret to longevity (14:30), why happiness doesn’t include a car (16:15), why genes don’t matter that much (18:40), why happiness is important (20:30), the sleep industry (23:10), where we have gone wrong (24:40), designing cities (27:40), how he set records cycling around the world (33:00), testing his “blue zones” theories (35:40), death by over-nutrition (38:05), the ‘food as medicine’ movement (39:30), and leaving the last piece of mutton (41:55).
Apeiron’s Christian Angermayer: "Magic mushrooms' long, strange trip"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Christian Angermayer, entrepreneur and investor, to talk about magic mushrooms (4:00), why he is investing now (6:55), the lack of new drugs for mental illness (9:50), why it’s worse in the West (12:00), his first “trip” (17:10), the psilocybin company he has backed with Peter Thiel (21:55), creating a new body of clinical research (25:45), growing up in a village in Germany (27:00), starting a biotech at age 21 (28:50), selling it (30:25), investing in Hollywood (31:30), living in London (35:30), being a micro-dosing sceptic (38:30), and why backing films requires a different approach (39:35).
Esther Wojcicki: “Kids do what you do, not what you say”Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Esther Wojcicki, educator and mother of Susan Wojcicki, CEO of Youtube, and Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23AndMe, to talk about the crisis in parenting (2:35), how her upbringing affected her approach (4:45), using TRICK (7:10), journalism as a tool to teach kids (9:55), the value of money (13:10) the coddling of children (16:50), the importance of trust (19:15), why memorisation is dumb (20:40), how to deal with the smartphone (22:05), how she feels about Youtube (27:20), student suicides in Palo Alto (30:50), why you shouldn’t get divorced (33:40), making herself obsolete (35:25), having Steve Jobs hang out at her class (37:40), how to teach purpose (41:00), how Susan started at Google (42:25), giving kids more agency (44:15), and the raising stakes (46:20).
GoCardless' Hiroki Takeuchi: "We thought about quitting once a week"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Hiroki Takeuchi, founder of GoCardless, the payment processor and biggest fintech company you have never heard of, to talk about starting at Y Combinator 8 years ago (3:00), the first idea he had with Tom Blomfield and Matt of Monzo (6:00), switching ideas (9:20), why big businesses didn’t so this themselves (11:30), laying the payment plumbing of the Internet (13:55), raising $75m in venture capital funding (16:25), growing up in Swindon (18:30), meeting his co-founders at Oxford (19:25), losing his co-founders (20:30), the dark moments of running a startup (22:30), the rise of the London fintech scene (25:30), the cycling accident that paralysed him (28:20), how it changed his focus (31:30), and the next five years (33:20).
Clara Foods' Arturo Elizondo: "Eggs - without the chicken"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Arturo Elizondo, the 27-year-old founder of Clara Foods, to talk about his plan to make eggs with the chicken (3:25), how eggs are produced today (4:10), bioengineered birds (7:00), his lightbulb moment (8:40), not being a scientist (11:00), coming to San Francisco (13:15), repurposing an old technology (15:15), designing egg proteins (19:20), taking chickenless eggs to the market (21:50), creating consumer products (24:20), whether it will taste good (27:05), how science and millennials have come together to create opportunity (30:00), and getting into a McMuffin (32:35).
Arch Mission Foundation’s Nova Spivack: “Humanity's billion-year backup”Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Nova Spivack, founder of the Arch Mission Foundation, to talk about the lunar library (3:10), how is started in 2015 (6:40), doing a test mission with Elon Musk (7:55), packing 30m pages of data into a CD (9:25), safekeeping the keys to civilisation (13:10), storing special data in “vaults” (15:30), why he’s doing it (17:45), looking for billionaire benefactors (20:10), settling the moon (23:25), getting funding from the Charney family (25:20), what happens if the landing is successful (26:30), the fears driving the project (28:20), private enterprise in space (30:00), keeping the project private (31:05), and creating a permanent record for an impermanent time (36:30).
UC Berkeley's Alison Gopnik: "Babies are the ultimate supercomputers"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Dr Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist, to talk about why babies could be the key to artificial intelligence (3:45), the limits to current systems (5:40), infants as supercomputers (8:00), the power of experimentation (10:15), how young brains learn (12:50), coding curiosity (16:15), how the tech industry has come around to kids (17:35), recreating the human brain (20:30), what electricity can tell us about AI regulation (23:00), whether we should be worried (25:35), why we’re just starting to understand the brain (33:20), why we should expect unexpected outcomes (34:35), nerd machismo (37:15), and why babies can teach engineers to improve the world (39:50)
Humu's Laszlo Bock: "Nudge, nudge"Danny In The Valley add
Humu’s Laszlo Bock: “Nudges”
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Laszlo Bock, founder of Humu, to talk about the fish that inspired him (3:00), coming to America as a refugee (4:15), why he chose human resources (5:05), becoming Google’s first head of people operations (6:20), why “open plan” offices are terrible (8:30), trusting people (11:15), experimenting on Google’s workforce (14:30), dealing with Google’s elitism (16:50), building a tool to find better workers (20:25), Google’s lack of diversity (23:30), whether diversity matters (25:45), using AI to make people feel “psychologically safe” (28:15), personalising motivation (31:45), how money isn't the best motivator (33:45), whether companies are willing to buy in to “people analytics” (35:05), and the crisis at Google (36:40).
Dr Phyllis Gardner, Stanford professor and Theranos critic: "I'll only really feel good if she's convicted"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Dr Phyllis Gardner, the Standord medical professor who came across Elizabeth Holmes before she started Theranos and then worked behind the scenes to expose her, to talk about her background at Stanford (4:00), and in industry (5:00), meeting a young Elizabeth Holmes (6:55), rejecting her first idea (8:10), using her “charm” to accumulate prominent men (10:30), how Gardner got drawn in to the group of Theranos doubters (12:45), meeting John Carreyrou, The Wall Street Journal reporter who uncovered the scandal (16:50), how Holmes was appointed to Harvard’s Medical Board of Fellows (17:40), feeling lonely as a Theranos sceptic (21:45), the whistleblowers (23:00), why “fake it till you make it” doesn’t work in medicine (24:30), hurting the cause of women in business (25:45), Theranos’ legal attack dog (28:10), Holmes’ new company (30:00), the human costs of the fraud (31:55), the employees who quit (35:45), and why more women did not speak (38:20).
Troy Carter: "There was no Plan B"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’s tech correspondent brings on Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s former manager and music executive, to talk about the importance of radio (3:40), why streaming is still evolving (6:10), the death of the album (7:20), showing up at Spotify (9:50), the music industry’s history of screwing artists (13:50), why artists are less desperate than they used to be (15:20), growing up as an aspiring rapper in West Philadelphia (21:40), doorstepping Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff (24:30), dropping out and failing (26:50), promoting Wu-Tang Clan in Philadelphia (28:55), working at Bad Boy when Tupac Shakur got shot (30:30), becoming Eve’s manager (32:40), what works in music (33:40), negotiating with Taylor Swift (36:55), becoming Lady Gaga’s manager (39:30), how they used social media to build a following (42:10), becoming a tech investor (40:55), how the techlash has created opportunity (43:40), investing early in Uber (47:55), the merging of culture and tech (49:10), whether we should worry about algorithm-led art (51:40), how the music industry will change (55:40), his worst day of work (58:40), and managing Prince’s estate (1:01:00).
Jon Vlassopulos: "We're all nano-influencers"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Jon Vlassopulos to talk about the early days of digital music (3:30), investing in Napster (4:55), when ringtones were big business (10:20), getting into television with Deal or No Deal (16:15), Facebook’s interactive TV show (20:45), why lists are a good way to consume content (24:30), the problem with chronological feeds (27:00), how he plans to monetize lists (30:20), where journalists fit in this world (32:10),turning everyone into a curator (36:45), DJing in Beijing (39:45), creating community online (43:15), people as brands (48:00), and the future of the "interest graph" (49:15).
BeeFlow's Matias Viel: "Bionic Bees"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Matias Viel, founder of Beeflow, to talk about why bees are a big deal (3:05), why they need him (4:50), the almond industry (7:20), the booming bee rental business (9:55), making bees bionic (12:20), training them to pollinate the right plants (15:05), starting out in Argentina (18:50), ending up at IndieBio in San Francisco (23:00), using insects to increase crop yields (25:30), the potential risks involved in bee biotech (27:20), the decline in bee populations (30:20), getting farmers to buy in (32:35), trying to grow the company (35:05), and the coming revolution in agriculture (38:05).
Renee DiResta: "Information gone haywire"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Renee Diresta, expert in online propaganda, to talk about the 2016 election as the web’s Lehman Brothers moment (3:45), why Facebook got rid of human curators (4:45), the problem with Facebook groups and the anti-vaccination movement (8:40), amoral algorithms (13:40), the war for time and attention (18:25), the “likes” black market (21:25), how Amazon gets gamed (23:00), how trying to get her son into preschool got her in to propaganda research(26:45), how conspiracy theories spread (31:30), why tech giants claim to be platforms, not media companies (34:40), Google’s “your money or your life” search function (37:45), why “host not promote” is a better alternative (38:45), the fixes for misinformation (39:50), her work on ISIS’ online strategy (43:20), the slippery slope argument (47:35), and why she is optimistic (52:05).
Patreon's Jack Conte: “People used to pay for things”Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent brings on Jack Conte, founder of Patreon, to talk about busking as a business model (2:10), the web’s weird love triangle (4:40), sending $500m to creators this year (5:05), how platforms work (9:00), what kind of stuff is successful on Patreon (11:30), like gaming (14:40), people looking for their tribe online (16:35), getting money from the Kushner family (18:10), how he started (19:45), launching a company (23:10), needing to raise more venture capital (25:10), how he polices the platform (26:55), the problem with the word “influencer” (29:10), how micropayments could change the way the internet works (32:35), why he doesn’t call them “fan clubs” (34:10), the changing nature of the web (37:40), the predictability of donations (39:30), and the rise of the creators (41:25).
Academia.edu's Richard Price: "The end of the paywall"Danny In The Valley add
The Sunday Times’ tech correspondent Danny Fortson brings on Richard Price, founder of Academia.edu, yo talk about how academic publishing works today (4:00), doing to publishing what Napster did to music (6:15) starting out with banana cakes (7:20), raising his first round of money (11:45), going from 50 sign-ups-a-day to 72m users (12:30), getting to 20m research papers uploaded (14:15), taking on a centuries-old business model (15:45), the importance of prestige (19:55), quality control (21:05), the last bastion in publishing untouched by the Internet (25:30), and bankrolling free access with a core of subscribers (28:15). PLUS: Jeffery Mackie-Mason, head librarian at the University of California, comes on to talk about his showdown with Elsevier over the publisher’s “extortionary” prices (32:10), how subscription rates have soared (35:05), unleashing scientific progress (37:15), playing hardball (39:00), how publishing giants have defended their turf (40:45), reaching a tipping point (42:45), the publishers beginning to break ranks (46:10), and the key to the traditional players’ power (47:15).