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  • Episode 10: Virgin America

    · 00:48:13 · Acquired - A Podcast About Technology Acquisitions & IPOs

    Ben and David deviate entirely from the stated purpose of the show, tackling this non-technology acquisition that is so recent, we have no idea if it went well yet. But, the April 2016 acquisition of Virgin America by Alaska Airlines was so fascinating, we had to do it! Items mentioned in the show: Louis C.K. - Everything is Amazing and Nobody is HappyAlaska Acquires Virgin America Investor Deck“Measuring The Moat” Paper - Michael J. MauboussinBusiness Adventures - Twelve Classic Tales from the World of Wall Street"The Carve Out":Michael Mauboussin: "The Success Equation:Untangling Skill and Luck" | Talks at Google Full Transcript below: (disclaimer: may contain unintentionally confusing, inaccurate and/or just-plain-hilarious transcription errors)Ben:                 I should see what episode this is going to be.David:              Ten.Ben:                 Ten. Easy.                        Welcome to Episode 10 of Acquired, the podcast where we talk about technology acquisitions that actually went well. I am Ben Gilbert.David:              I’m David Rosenthal.Ben:                 And we are your hosts. Today, we come to you with an acquisition that is actually not a technology acquisition, but something that David and I were inclined to talk about anyway because we both sort of have a little romantic fascination with anything involving airplanes, and this is particularly interesting.                        Today we’re going to be talking about Alaska Airlines acquiring Virgin America right here in our own backyard in Seattle. Before we get into the acquisition history and facts, I wanted to remind you that you can sign up now at to get our episodes delivered via email. We also would really, really, really appreciate it if you could rate us on iTunes. It will help us grow the show and expand what we can do with it from productions to new topics and guests.                        Now, with that out of the way, David, you want to dive into acquisition history and facts?David:              Indeed, yeah. This will be a fun one. Listeners, let us know what you think. Don’t worry, we’re not changing the topic of the show, but we thought we’d have some fun and analyze a very different industry than technology.Ben:                 Yeah, and not to mention the fact that it’s not a tech acquisition. There is technology involved, but the way we’re kind of breaking the mold into this one too is this just happened last month.David:              Yeah.Ben:                 Or this month actually.David:              A couple of weeks ago.Ben:                 Yeah. So this is something where it’s going to be highly speculative, but I think it’s going to be a fun ride.David:              All right, with that. So, Virgin America was actually founded in 2004 by Richard Branson and then had to go through a whole series of machinations to end up finally launching their airline service in the US not until 2007. Over those three years, a whole bunch of things happened. So one, it turns out that due to some crazy laws, US domestic airlines cannot have foreign ownership greater than 25 percent of the company.Ben:                 Crazy.David:              Crazy. So, Branson and Virgin had to basically sell off 75 percent of the company before they could even have a hope of operating.Ben:                 It’s wild. I think at that point, when they were first starting, it was Virgin USA even and they rebranded.David:              It was later that they rebranded to Virgin America. So, Branson sells 75 percent of the company to a couple of hedge funds.Ben:                 And licenses the Virgin Brand to Virgin America, so that Virgin America doesn’t even own Virgin that’s painted on their own airplanes.David:              Yup. There was talk at various points in time about ditching Virgin, the name, would that help get regulatory approval earlier, faster. Craziness. Anyway, they finally clear all the regulatory hurdles, they buy some aircraft, and they start operations in San Francisco with SFO as their hub. They launched in 2007. Things go fairly well. They don’t die at least like a lot of startup airlines, and they actually have some major technology-related innovations. So, in 2009, Virgin actually becomes the first airline to offer Gogo in-flight wireless, in-flight Wi-Fi, which is that’s hard to imagine now.Ben:                 As Louis C.K. says, “It’s magic and it’s the newest thing I know that exists.”David:              I still hate it now – the random, you know, rare times when you end up on a plane without Wi-Fi.Ben:                 Sorry.David:              They also are the first airline, I believe, to install in-flight seat back interactive touch screens for everybody all throughout the whole plane.Ben:                 Not to mention purple afterglow light.David:              Not to mention nightclub-inspired lighting. For our listeners who haven’t flown Virgin America, they probably have no idea what we’re talking about.Ben:                 Yeah, I guess it’s pretty West Coast, and anybody listening in the Bay Area has definitely flown it since they’re hubbed out at SFO.David:              So, Virgin actually ends up going public having an IPO in November 2014 and then not that long later where about 18 months since then, a bidding war erupts for the company between Alaska which ended up buying them and had rumored to be interested in the company, in Virgin, for a long time and JetBlue. Then Monday morning, April 4, Alaska announces that they have agreed to acquire Virgin for $2.6 billion, which was a 47 percent premium to the Virgin stocks closing price, the previous price at about an 80 percent premium to where the stock was before rumors came out that a bidding war was happening.Ben:                 Yeah, this is the first red flag for me. I mean, I think that…David:              Basically, a massive premium.Ben:                 Yeah, yeah. Anytime you see a spike like that, you start to dig in to why, and I think we’ll talk a little bit more about kind of the way that industry has shifted. But with all the consolidation, the only way that an airline can really compete with the big guys is to be big themselves, and the big guys being United, Delta, American, and Southwest.David:              Which itself started as a little guy.Ben:                 Very true. I think that’s like the typical low end disruption case study. That’s a great business and a really interesting story on its own. But, I mean, clearly, Alaska in trying to compete, there’s a limited number of airlines that it could buy. JetBlue clearly identified the same opportunity and the result is this very, very inflated purchase.David:              Yeah. So when the dust clears and all is said and done, basically the total enterprise value of the deal ends up being about $4 billion, if you include the debt and the aircraft leases that Virgin had.Ben:                 Which is fascinating because normally when we talk about these acquisitions, we would say a $2.6 billion purchase in cash and stock or maybe an all stock deal, this was an all-cash $2.6 billion purchase plus taking on that $1.4 billion of leases on your planes and debt. What a ridiculous capital-intensive, high fixed cost industry air travel is.David:              That’s four Instagrams, Ben.Ben:                 Wild.David:              Then perhaps the craziest part about this deal is, again, relative to the technology sector, so it was announced a couple of weeks ago on April 4, 2016, not expected to close until early 2017 at the latest. Huge amount of regulatory review that still has to happen here.Ben:                 We’ve actually precedent I think in the American Airlines – US Air merger where there was regulatory troubles and it almost didn’t go through.David:              Yeah. The government extracted huge concessions from those two airlines when they merged.Ben:                 So, we may be doing a follow-up at some point in the future if by 2017 we don’t see a joint airline here.David:              And our listeners don’t revolt against us, we’re talking about airlines.Ben:                 It’s true.David:              Okay.Ben:                 Well, the other really interesting thing here is in just talking about the deal price, Alaska Airlines does not have $2.6 billion in cash to make this purchase. If I have my numbers right, as of November 2015 according to their earnings, they had $88 million in cash and $1.1 billion in marketable securities. So, I believe what happened here is in the bidding war with JetBlue, Alaska has incredibly clean books. They’re one of the few airlines that actually is investment grade debt.David:              Very low debt load. Actually, investment grade debt, which for listeners who aren’t in the… come from the investment banking world basically means that the amount of debt that Alaska has is small enough relative to its earnings power that people think it’s very, very unlikely they’ll go bankrupt especially for an airline. No other airline is rated as highly, basically which means that people who don’t think there’s a good chance they’ll go bankrupt.Ben:                 Yeah. So, is there a chance then, that the way I sort of understand it is JetBlue sort of had to cry uncle because they didn’t have the amount of debt available to them.David:              Didn’t have the borrowing power to be able to…Ben:                 Make the purchase.David:              Yeah, reach this price. But now, this is going to totally transform Alaska, like they’re going to take out another $1.5 billion, perhaps plus with debt.Ben:                 To make the, well, yeah, I mean to make the purchase and then to take on the debt and leases that…David:              Virgin was also a fairly low debt load airline as far as airlines go. But still, it’s changing the capital structure of the combined company, pretty significant.Ben:                 Yeah.David:              Great. So, we move on to acquisition category.Ben:                 Yeah, it sounds good to me. Why don’t I start with that?                        Moving on to the acquisition category, this, to me, doesn’t fit our mold necessarily of people, technology, product, business line or other, and I guess if everything fits in other. In some ways, it’s a business line. They picked up a brand that people have tremendous affinity for and access different customers with…David:              That’s assuming they keep the brand.Ben:                 Well, yeah, and that’s something we should talk about. Ultimately, though, what I think they’re acquiring here is capacity. They identified the opportunity that they wanted to be the West Coast airline and right now, they don’t have a meaningful presence in California. They’re hubbed out of Seattle, they have very little in San Francisco, and even less LAX presence. This gives them major, major capacity to be the West Coast airline.David:              Yeah, basically, if you look at it, if you think about airline route maps that you see on the back of the cards and the back of your seats.Ben:                 It makes your head spin, but it’s super cool.David:              It makes your head spin but it’s usually, you know, it’s like the spider web that emanates from a few major cities. The Alaska hub at Seattle and there’s a huge spider web coming out of Seattle to every city in America and in several international destinations and then very few route pairs from other cities. Virgin is the same thing but just from SFO.Ben:                 So, in your opinion then, well, before we get into that, how would you categorize?David:              So, yeah, actually we hadn’t discussed this beforehand, but I was going down the same path you are and say in our framework, this would fit closest to a business line, like buying the local San Francisco airline and the local Seattle airline.                        But I actually think the best categorization is this is industry consolidation, which is in a super mature old school industry like the airline industry, very different from technology, you get these periods of consolidation where players merge with each other because they feel like they need greater scale to compete. And I think that’s what we’re seeing happen here.Ben:                 Yeah, and this is an interesting time to go into how Alaska makes the case to their investors for this. There’s this great investor deck that they have on their website where they talk about why their investors should feel comfortable with this purchase. And they say that “we’re bullish on the industry.” From 1977 to 2009, the industry lost $52 billion.David:              The airline industry is notorious for…Ben:                 Oh, yeah.David:              I mean, we should talk about there’s a great, great… I almost included this as my carve-out for the week, but I’m going to do something else because I knew we’d talk about it on the episode.                        There’s a great paper that was written by Michael Mauboussin and his team who’s a great investor. He was head of Legg Mason which is a large mutual fund and at Credit Suisse for a long time. I believe he’s now back at Credit Suisse. He’s written a number of great books. He’s also a professor at Columbia Business School, I believe. He wrote this great paper called Measuring the Moat. It’s all about the concept of the moat, you know, as an investor is sort of the most important thing. Warren Buffet emphasized it in Berkshire Hathaway and Charlie Munger emphasized the moat as sort of the most important thing they look for. And it uses the airline industry as an example of a terrible industry that has destroyed so much economic value and has no moat.Ben:                 Yeah, and this is… I’m not sure if this… I think this is still true. It was at least true a couple of years ago. If you look at the airline industry since its inception and you look at basically a profit loss statement for an aggregate of every single airline, it’s lost value, like it’s actually not been profitable if you look at every single.David:              The entire industry, yeah, yeah. And not just lost value but lost a huge amount – a huge amount of capital has been destroyed in this industry.Ben:                 So, they said that 1977 to 2009, they’ve lost $52 billion as an industry. It is interesting that people continue to invest in it, yet from 2010 to 2015 over the last six years, it generated…David:              It’s been good times in the airline.Ben:                 Yes, $45 billion of value.David:              We’ll get into that.Ben:                 So some of the things they cite are… or Alaska cites to their investors are “a fundamentally changed industry structure.” That, I think, is largely… I mean, when you look at the consolidation that’s going on they’re basically saying, “Okay, the fragmentation is gone and right now the industry structure is that there’s four relatively perfect substitutes and these big ones that are all, you know, you’re going to get treated sort of like cattle when you’re in coach.”David:              And you’ve seen in the past few years, I believe the first was United and Continental merged. You’ve seen all the major legacy domestic airlines consolidate and merge, and then US Air and American merged. So you’ve got this consolidating power structure of the industry that actually represents, between the top four airlines, 80 percent of all US domestic airline traffic.Ben:                 Yes, so it’s interesting. I went and grabbed all their market caps today. Highest right now is Southwest, is a $30 billion company. Delta is higher at $36 billion, Southwest at 30, American at 25, United at 21. Then if you look at… Alaska is $10 billion without Virgin. Virgin is 2.5 and JetBlue at 7. So if you just look at those players, $132 billion effectively market cap for the industry, and when you think about Apple as a $590 billion market cap company, you start to understand like, “Wow!” The whole industry here is, you know, if we’re looking at this any given airline and comparing it against one of these mega technology companies that we usually talk about on the show, the airline companies just don’t create that much value.David:              Yeah.Ben:                 Or maybe more accurately, they don’t capture that much value.David:              Yeah, and it’s super interesting. I’m sure we’ll get into throughout the show the supply chain of the airline industry is fascinating. You’ve got basically a duopoly that are direct suppliers to the airlines in Boeing and Airbus that make the big passenger jets. They have a huge amount of power over the airlines because while there is two of them, you could go from one to the other, it’s not like you can say it’s not like the airlines can be like a Google and be like, “Oh, we’re going to become a full stack company and we’re just going to obsolete you and we’re going to make our own cloud,” or whatever, like, the airlines can’t make their own airplanes.Ben:                 Yeah. Getting good at servers is different than getting good at airplanes.David:              Yeah.Ben:                 Yeah. So getting back to the Alaska, reasons they’re bullish on the industry, the industry structure is consolidated. This is sort of a BS bullet point, I think, but returns focused leadership teams, that’s like tuning your own horn and claiming competency.                        Constrained airport real estate – this one’s sort of interesting. I guess they’re saying like we reached a saturation point right now where we’re not building more airports, the airports aren’t getting bigger, and over the last since 1960, that’s been the case. Now, it’s all about vying for space at the existing airports that we have, and then the capacity acquisitions starts to make a lot of sense.David:              Yeah. There are only so many gates.Ben:                 Right, right. Growth in leisure travel, which is interesting to pick apart and think about why that might be, and then new revenue sources. I think we can all grape about how we are well aware of all the revenue sources that airlines can…David:              Charging for bags.Ben:                 Food and entertainment.David:              I mean, some of these are new services they’ve added. Virgin and Alaska have both been kind of the leading edge here. The in-flight Wi-Fi and entertainment and movies and snacks that are actually edible.Ben:                 And co-branded with Tom Douglas. It’s always so funny to get on those planes and see how far – for those of you not from Seattle, he’s like the big restaurateur in town – to see how far he’s leveraged that brand. Now that I open the little snack pamphlet in American Airlines, there’s Tom smiling at me on the front of it.David:              I love it.Ben:                 So artisanal. So, yeah, from a category perspective, I think absolutely I would chalk it up to capacity.David:              Yup. The other point I want to explore here a little bit is there’s a really interesting context for this deal that people in Seattle might be aware of, but I doubt anyone not here is, and that’s that Delta actually has been putting a huge amount of pressure on Alaska here in Seattle in their hub. Delta has been growing over the last few years their presence in Seattle a lot. For a long time I think Alaska was probably either concerned or expecting that Delta was going to make an offer to buy them, and they haven’t. Instead, they have just organically grown and taken more and more gates here in Seattle. It’s really interesting.                        I was talking to somebody who was far more of an airline industry expert than we are and he was making the point that the frame of reference is really different for these two companies, Delta and Alaska. Alaska is a domestic carrier and it’s a West Coast focused carrier. Delta is an international carrier. Delta coming in to Seattle was part about competing with Alaska domestically because Alaska has built a really nice business here. But also, an even bigger part probably for Delta is using Seattle as a gateway for international flights to Asia because gate real estate, as you were saying Ben, is so scarce and the other big cities on the West Coast at SFO and in LAX is so competitive and impossible to get more real estate there. I think Delta really viewed Seattle as their gateway so that they could send people from all over the US on flights to Seattle and then hop over to Japan, to Korea, to China, to what-have-you.Ben:                 Makes sense.David:              Whereas for Alaska, that’s not even an accessible market to them right now.Ben:                 Right, right. In looking at this acquisition category in kind of the way we’ve both defined it, in a $2.6 billion sale that it seems inflated for two reasons. One, kind of the bidding war because it was scarcity of good airlines to buy that would compliment JetBlue or Alaska well. But two, a lot of the value, the intrinsic value that was given to Virgin even before rumors of a sale was brand value. They have tremendous customer affinity, they do things a little bit differently.David:              People who love Virgin love Virgin.Ben:                 I always have a better experience.David:              And people who love Alaska love Alaska, too.Ben:                 It’s true. Actually, those are two of my favorite airlines to fly. But Virgin is notoriously different and better and feels premium, and that had to be factored in to their market cap. When you think about what they are going to be used for, I mean, Alaska announced that by 2018 they hope to be fully rebranded as Alaska. Hopefully, they can learn some things from Virgin, and they’ve been watching them very carefully. But if they obliterate that brand, what was the point of paying a markup on a markup for capacity?David:              Yup. It’s a great point. The Alaska brand, again, it was very good especially in the airline industry on its own. I think really was kind of like very professional. They had either the best in the industry or the best on the West Coast on time percentage, lots of great… very, very business commuter-friendly. Virgin was, like we joked earlier, like a nightclub on a plane. It was the favorite airline of all of my classmates when we were in business school. We can leave it at that.Ben:                 So then one other thing that I want to bring up in that realm is payback period. So Alaska cites that they’ll have $225 million of total net synergies at full integration. So what we can pull from that is that there will be $225 million of cost savings after they’re fully integrated, so let’s call that 2018-ish, and that means that there’s probably other value that they can create on top of that like ability to create more revenue because they have these economies of scale, new things just on top of that. But that means that they have on this, if we look at the $4 billion as the figure, that’s a 17-year payback period on this acquisition just on the synergies.David:              Now, Virgin had earnings as well that would contribute to that, but two points I want to make, but go ahead.Ben:                 No, no, go for it. I’ve pretty much made the point there. It seems like it’s going to take a while to…David:              Yeah. Any way you slice it, it’s going to take a while and I think there are two really head-scratching things about this merger that are really important, that certainly industry experts are questioning, but Alaska hasn’t talked a lot about, one, the primary reason for the sort f economic renaissance of airlines in the last couple of years has been falling fuel prices.Ben:                 Yeah, which are not only passed on to consumers and everyone’s getting a little…David:              Right, right. So airlines as a whole, across the whole industry, have gone from call it spending X on fuel which was a huge amount of their operating budget and kept their budgets low to negative to spending X divided by two on fuel. Thus, they are enjoying as an industry much greater profits than they used to.                        Now the question is, like, is that the new normal or is our oil prices going to go back up at some point. We could do another show on the oil and gas industry. This is a major existential question for that whole industry, but, if you were to take the viewpoint that this is a temporary thing and prices will go back up, which historically they have fluctuated throughout history. Gosh, it seems like you’re buying at the top of the market here where profits are artificially inflated. So, that’s one.                        Two, synergies as you rightly mentioned, Ben, are often about the combined revenue potential and being able to extract more money from consumers and routes and whatnot, but they’re also really about cost savings.Ben:                 Yeah. And consolidating the back office.David:              Consolidating and economies of scale and all that front. But there’s kind of a problem here with this acquisition and that’s that Alaska flies Boeing planes and Virgin flies Airbus planes.Ben:                 Exclusively Airbus, their entire fleet.David:              Yeah. Alaska only flies Boeing and Virgin only flies Airbus. You might say as a naïve consumer, as I did before I started looking into this, like no big deal. I mean, they look like… it’s a plane. A plane is a plane, right? I get on it and it looks the same. Well, it turns out that actually they have completely different control systems and pilots who fly Boeing planes can’t fly Airbus planes, and pilots who fly Airbus planes can’t fly Boeing planes.Ben:                 So it’s not like they’re going to be able to share pilots at all between these fleets.David:              Not going to be able to share pilots and, of course, all the maintenance and all the parts are completely different.                        Now, the other major airlines do use a mixed fleet of both.Ben:                 Except for Southwest.David:              Except for Southwest, yes.Ben:                 So Southwest is entirely Boeing 737’s because they realized that a part of their business model was going to be staying as lean as possible and keeping everything totally interchangeable and swappable.David:              That’s actually been a big part of their story to Wall Street and investors about why they’re a great company. That’s been kind of a pillar of it. Alaska had the same playbook. Now all of a sudden, they’re like a 50-50 shop of Airbus and Boeing.Ben:                 Yeah. From a heartstrings perspective too, how dare a Seattle company buy a company that’s entirely Airbus planes? That’s just not patriotic.David:              That’s much sorted in history on Seattle and Boeing and perhaps for another show.Ben:                 Yeah, yeah.David:              So yeah, and I think that actually segues into what usually is a short segment for us and I think we’ll probably be short here of what would have happened otherwise. Here, clearly, the otherwise… I mean, Virgin was going to be acquired and the otherwise was JetBlue had acquired them. Now, JetBlue is also an Airbus company, so it would have been a lot easier for them to realize cost synergies.Ben:                 Yeah. There’s two points I want to make here. One, Virgin is sort of only recently profitable, I think. So they launched in 2007, took them three years to have their first profitable quarter. They’re struggling as pitching themselves as both a low-cost airline and an airline that has a really premium service.David:              Yup.Ben:                 I think that they were better at adhering to the premium service than they were to the low cost, but that’s a tough story to sell to consumers. I think they were struggling with how to be both because you can’t both be a Volvo and a Cadillac, and have that story be sustainable and enduring. So I think that Virgin didn’t necessarily need to sell. They were definitely in the right place, right time where they had exactly what…David:              They got an 80 percent premium to the pre-acquisition share price. That’s pretty good.Ben:                 Yeah, yeah. Good on them for their M&A positioning, but that seems like a little bit of a precarious position. At prior scrap labs, a lot were thinking about starting these companies, I think I would get a lot of crazy looks if I was like, “Well, we’re going to be a low cost premium company.”David:              It reminds me of, I’ve been reading… another could have potentially been my carve-out, but won’t be, I’ve been listening on audiobook to a great book called Business Adventures. It’s a classic. I believe it was written in either the ‘70s perhaps. It was recommended to me by a good friend and I’ve been listening to it, and it’s just 10 vignettes of more and more aptly titled Business Misadventures. The first one is about a stock market crash in the ‘60s. But the second one that I’m listening to now is about the Edsel, the car that Ford launched that’s widely considered the worst product launch in history.                        One of the key lessons from it is that Ford wanted the Edsel to be everything to everyone. They say like “daringly adventurous with a dash of conservative.” It’s like, “What? Are you kidding me?” “It’s an elegant luxury for the aspiring young executive and affordable for the middle market,” and it’s like, “What?” And it failed spectacularly.Ben:                 Yeah, yeah. I’m not over here preaching that that was going to be Virgin’s path, but that was always sort of a head scratcher maybe about that company.                        Now, the question that I want to pose to you is: What would have happened to Alaska with all the consolidation in the market going on and kind of moving four major players?David:              And the pressure from Delta.Ben:                 The pressure from Delta on the home front. What if they don’t expand?David:              Yup. I think to give some credit to Alaska, I feel like we’ve been taking potshots of this deal, we’re in a tough position I think. Doing well in the moment but facing this pressure from Delta, this consolidation across the whole industry and they had developed a really, really nice niche here in Seattle as by far the best routes and customer service for people who live in Seattle and flying in and out of Sea-Tac with great business routes. But they had nowhere to go. They were getting pressure from Delta here. It was super hard for them. What are they going to do, expand internationally? Are they going to go to other cities?                        And that’s what they did with this. They said, “We need to grow. It’s going to be super hard to do organically. We have a great balance sheet and for an airline, a lot of cash. We know we’re relative to the industry pretty well run. Here’s an opportunity to buy Virgin and basically double our size and run the same playbook again.” Or they could have just stayed in a steady state where they are.Ben:                 Well, it’s funny. You would hope that they double their market size because the acquisition is so expensive, but when you look at the numbers of what Alaska is doing and what Virgin is doing, Alaska has 32 million total passengers a year, Virgin has 7. Alaska has a thousand departures a day, Virgin has 200. There’s 112 destinations served by Alaska, Virgin has 24. Pre-tax profit from Alaska is at $1.3 billion, Virgin $200 million. So, that is an expensive purchase for a much, much smaller operation.David:              Yeah. And a much smaller operation with no room to grow in San Francisco.Ben:                 Yeah.David:              Not just SFO but the other airports in the Bay Area, too – Oakland and San Jose, which they’re really commuter airports, although pro tip for Seattle to Bay area commuters: never fly to SFO. You always got to do Oakland or San Jose because if you do SFO, there’s so much fog and fog delays, and they always delay the Seattle flights because they want the cross-country flights to land on time. Got to do Oakland or San Jose.Ben:                 Pro tip.David:              Pro tip. Anyway, but there’s no room to expand with any of these airports.Ben:                 Yeah. All right, let’s move on to our next section. What tech themes does this illustrate for you?David:              Yeah, this is a really interesting one. I debated a lot of ideas here and it’s ironic because this is not a technology acquisition. But actually, I’m going to go with niche marketing and again, even though we’ve been taking potshots against this deal, both Virgin and Alaska before the merger really succeeded at this. In a crowded marketplace with lots of big platform players and the big national carriers, they found a niche – Alaska here in Seattle and with business travelers, and Virgin in San Francisco with quality of service and style-minded customers. They served it really, really well. The group, very big businesses out of that. I mean, combined obviously the price for Virgin at $2.6 billion and… I can’t remember, what was Alaska’s market cap before?Ben:                 Oh, their stock actually went down on announcing acquisition, it’s about $10 billion now.David:              About $10 billion. These are great businesses and I think that same principle totally applies in technology and people, especially startups, often overlook it. They try and go after the Delta or the United or the Southwest on day one. They try and go after Google on day one. You’re not going to be Google on day one. The way you’re going to be Google down the road is you start with a small audience, a small niche of people who love you passionately and then you grow from there. Then you knock down, in crossing the chasm speak, the next bowling pin and the next bowling pin and the next bowling pin. That’s much easier to do in technology than it is in airlines.                        But the great thing about it is that you probably not going to become the next Facebook or Google. But if you knock down a couple of bowling pins along the way, you’re still going to become a really great value company and then maybe you got a chance to knock them all down and you will be Snapchat and become the next Facebook, calling it here.Ben:                 There you go. That’s a good point.David:              Does that analogy also apply to the brand loyalty aspect of airlines? Which they have huge innovation…Ben:                 Yeah, invented loyalty.David:              In the inventing the loyalty and the airline miles and status.Ben:                 So you’re postulating that in order to capitalize…David:              Are there other technology companies that have – probably not enough, there should be more – but that have taken that loyalty aspect where the more I use a platform, the deeper I get locked in because the more airline miles I have on it, for lack of a better word.Ben:                 Yes, totally. I think that everybody that has done well at loyalty in the last 50 years has taken it from airlines. The question is do you need to…David:              OpenTable definitely did.Ben:                 Yeah.David:              Quite successfully.Ben:                 I guess I’m wondering do you need to…David:              That will be a great acquisition to cover at some point.Ben:                 OpenTable?David:              Yeah.Ben:                 Yeah. I’ll add it to the list. Yeah, I’m trying to think about is it necessary? Has something changed in the world where it’s necessary to consolidate to keep loyalty? Does something exist now that didn’t exist before where people only ever want to use one airline?David:              That’s definitely the case in technology. I think about the power of network effects like HipChat, right? Two years ago, a bunch of our portfolio companies used HipChat and some of them used Slack and some of them used HipChat. I talked to people using HipChat and I’ll be like, “You should really check out Slack.” They’d be like, “We use HipChat, it’s good enough.” But then as their friends and other companies got on Slack and then Slack channel started popping up for industry groups and whatnot, then it was like, “Well, we should really think about moving to Slack.” Then this parallel takes over and being on…even if I think Slack has done a lot of great product innovations, but even if it hadn’t, you would be pushed to move towards it even if you’re on HipChat because the rest of the world is on it.Ben:                 Yeah. It was Slack I think that the network effect was because people were starting inter-company Slacks so you would end up with like, “Oh, I’m in this Slack,” that’s like a social thing or an industry thing. Then it was like, “I’m not going to keep using two separate applications.” So, does that apply here where, “Oh, I’m not going to maintain points in two separate loyalty programs,” because that was always super annoying. There were a few startups that I was trying out that we’re trying to aggregate my loyalty programs for me or at least help me keep track. That was total pain.                        To segue off of aggregator onto another technology trend, let me think through this and see if this logic follows. So, sites like Kayak and Hipmunk and all these Travelocity and Priceline, travel aggregators pop up.David:              Yup.Ben:                 That’s 15-20 years ago. That effectively commoditizes airlines and compresses their margins because people’s loyalty to those airlines is shaken because they have an easy way to find cheaper prices. So therefore, margins are driven down because airlines get more commoditized and when they’remore commoditized and there’s less profits that you’ve had even though they weren’t making a lot of profit before, they need to consolidate to create a cheaper back office, taking economies of scale. Now, if you’re a smaller airline, the inefficiencies from you having a smaller operation could kill you.                        So if you follow it all the way back to the online travel aggregators, does that create the environment in which you need to have a bidding war for this acquisition so that you could be a more major player in a consolidate market?David:              Yeah. That’s interesting. It’s different because it hasn’t fully become a digitized industry, but it’s reminiscent of Ben Thompson’s aggregation theory where aggregating a consumer endpoint and experience, he argues, in the digital 21st Century post-internet world, is where all the value is. Then you can aggregate all the difficult content creation behind that… content creation but in this case, airlines like point to point travel, and own that relationship with the customer at the front end. Then you commoditize everything on the backend. That’s completely happened.                        Interesting, Southwest has refused to participate in the aggregators to let themselves be aggregated and probably has some of the most loyal customers. I mean, their ticker symbol is LUV and they always talk about how much everybody loves each other at Southwest. Yeah, they’ve fought that actively and it probably and they’ve probably had the most success on the branding front.Ben:                 Yeah, yeah. Why don’t we move on to rendering our conclusions?David:              I think it’s that time.Ben:                 Yeah. I think we’ve expressed our opinions laced in a bunch of comments throughout this. For me, I think the value has inflated both by the bidding war and by the fact that they bought something that had brand built into the market cap when they’re not necessarily a leverage and in fact have announced they’re not going to leverage that brand.                        But, I think they needed to. I don’t think they had a lot of options and I think they both picked the time right when this was an available purchase. They put themselves in a really good position to make that purchase – I’m probably the wrong person to talk about this – but by putting their books in a great position over the last 5 years and being really intentional about being an investment grade or having investment grade credit. I think that JetBlue didn’t prioritize that as much and neither did any of the smaller airlines and in a world where they need to consolidate, they had put themselves in the position where they’re able to do so.                        So, I’ll give it a B minus.David:              Yup. It’s hard to separate out just, at least for me, coming from the tech industry this sort of shock looking at the terrible economics of the airline industry as a whole in dynamics versus the actual quality of decision-making in this acquisition. So I think a lot of what you said, I agree with. But I’m going to go lower. I’m going to go C minus because what you said is right, but they paid so much money. They paid so much money! I don’t think it’s public and I don’t know that anybody except the executives involved know what Alaska’s initial bid for Virgin was, but it got bid up so many times and that’s a large price for something that your pilots can’t fly.Ben:                 Can an airline make a good purchase?David:              Yeah. Good point, good point.Ben:                 Yeah.David:              All right. Should we move on to the carve-out?Ben:                 Yeah. So this is wild. I was stopping myself from laughing and my jaw dropped and I think it almost ruined David’s train of thought earlier when he started talking about how it wasn’t going to be his carve-out but it was a paper that Michael Mauboussin wrote about this. I picked my carve-out as a Michael Mauboussin talk that he gave at Google.David:              Oh, this is so good. Everybody should watch this talk, it’s really good.Ben:                 David, this is so weird. I haven’t watched this in probably two years and it was something that I’ve recommended to friends very often and so I was sitting here before the episode thinking I didn’t see anything particularly interesting this week that I wanted to recommend, but I have an oldie but goodie. It is absolutely wild.David:              This talk is great and it’s based on a book. I’ve read the book too which is worth reading, too, called Untangling Luck and Skill.Ben:                 Yup. Untangling Skill and Luck: The Success Equation, and it is so, so fascinating. He gives so many great examples that will make you both follow it logically and nod your head and sort of scared about how much of your own success has been out of your control or how much the world is out of our control. So how much of your own success cannot be attributed to you and how much of your own failure cannot be attributed to you, and trying to figure out what are things that you have perfected.David:              Attributed to your own skill.Ben:                 Yes, yes. And what are things that you actually should be focusing on and what are things that you should know that there’s going to be redness in the world.David:              If you only have an hour, listen to the talk. If you really want to go deep on this, get the book. It’s so good. I will restrain myself, I could go in so many directions. But one real quick vignette I want to throw out is one of my favorite themes from this talk and book is the paradox of skill, which is such a cool thing that in a given activity… the whole premise of the talk and the book is that any activity, the results of which are going to be based somewhat on the skill of the participants in the activity and somewhat online. There’s a spectrum and some things go more towards the luck and some towards the skill. The paradox of skill is that even in things that are highly skill-based, as the level of play gets higher, so imagine the example, Mauboussin uses basketball, as basketball which is very skill-based. As the level of play gets higher and higher and the parody of skill amongst the players gets more and more uniformed, then luck plays an increasing role in the outcome, even though it’s a skill-based game.Ben:                 Particularly due to globalization because the only people who are even considered for this are the best in the world. So then it’s like, well, among the people that are all the best that look very similar to each other in skill level…David:              Yeah, the variation in skill gets so minute.Ben:                 Then luck is magnified.David:              Then luck is magnified, yeah. And the exact same dynamic holds true in investing in startups and lots of things.Ben:                 When the world is the pool, you always are the cream of the crop and then it’s all about all the crazy dynamics that play off of there. So, can’t recommend it enough. It’s on YouTube. We’ll link it in the show notes. Definitely check out The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck.David:              I’ve taken enough time. I’m going to save mine for another time. It wasn’t super interesting anyway. I’m going to doubly recommend this. It’s so good.Ben:                 All right. Well, there you have it. Thanks for listening today. Again, if you have the time, please, please, please leave us a review on iTunes. Can’t say enough how much it’s important to the success of the show and we love your feedback.David:              And if you want to receive episodes by email going forward, just sign up on and we’re also now going to start publishing the show by email updates as well, if you prefer that channel.Ben:                 It’s true. You can give us feedback on the website or See you later, everyone. 

  • #42: One doctor's quest to cure the poor, while living on a fishing boat—with Doctor Ben LaBrot, CNN Hero

    · 01:12:17 · The Shin Fujiyama Podcast | Social Entrepreneurship | Nonprofit Organizations | International Development Aid | NGOs

    WARNING: If you are involved or will be involved in the medical field, this episode may alter your future aspirations... CNN Hero Dr. Ben LaBrot began working on fishing boats in California at age 11 and always knew that he was destined to live at sea. In 2009, he began refurbishing a 76-foot-long fishing boat and named it The Southern Wind. A year later, Dr. Ben and his penniless team left EVERYTHING behind and set sail to Haiti to cure the poor. “My high school counselor never told me that these kinds of jobs and solutions existed,” he said. So he created a nonprofit organization and called it the Floating Doctors.  “I pushed all my chips in the center of the table. I was all in,” he said. Upon arrival, Dr. Ben LaBrot said to himself, “I’m about to find out if this works or if I just wasted a whole lot of everyone’s time, money, and resources.” For years, they endured endless delays, storms, 18-hour workdays, not being able to afford the light bills, and living in poverty (eating baked bread was the highlight of their week) as they provided free healthcare for people in remote coastal regions. “I never envisioned that I’d be this poor for this long," he said. Yet for Dr. Ben, “if you do what you love and you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, you’ll be happy even if you’re poor. I’ve since tested that for the last ten years and found it to be true.” Dr. Benjamin LaBrot is a physician, social entrepreneur, and true inspiration. He is a man who is living out his dream and destiny, each and every day of his life. When reflecting back on the experience, he says, “When you’re choosing your work, don’t think about what you’re going to get paid for it. Think about what you’re going to become because of it. And choose accordingly. Because remember, we only get one lifetime. Make it count.” The Floating Doctors have treated more than 60,000 patients in Haiti and Central America.  Best quotes: “Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering about challenges and future. But I never worry about the big questions. I’ve never woken up to wonder if I’m just wasting my time. I’ve never had to ask myself, should I be doing something more meaningful? Should I follow my dream and get out of this cubicle instead?” “Our lights are going to be turned off tomorrow because we don’t have any money.” “It was a continual emergency. Day after day after day.” “There is something to be said for doing your watch from 2-4am when it’s just you and a sleeping boat… and hopefully a calm ocean.” “You have to maintain a culture aboard your ship of IF ONE OF US GOES DOWN, WE ALL GO DOWN.” “The ocean doesn’t care what you WANT or INTENDED to do. The only thing the ocean respects is what you DID do.” “I could be a plastic surgeon or be making more money doing general practice. But my commute even on a bad day is still better than sitting in traffic.” “When was the last time you went on a giant, hollowed out tree to work?” “Unfortunately, they say to themselves, I’ll do the dream later. Then they look back and realize they blew it. Their one chance. We get one lifetime. No more. No less. Just one.” “If you do what you love and you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, you’ll be happy even if you’re poor. I’ve since tested that for the last ten years and found it to be true.” “It sometimes turns out to have been a mistake to climb the mountain. But it is always a mistake to have never made the attempt.” “My high school counselor never told me that these kinds of jobs and solutions existed.” “Almost anything can be done in a way that allows you to still have a family and a life, even if it means you have to work very hard to figure out how to do that.” Reading List by Dr. Ben LaBrot Anything written by Neil Gaiman Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder Anything written by Paul Farmer Dr. Tom Dooley's Three Great Books  Show Notes for Dr. Ben LaBrot For Dr. Ben Labrot, getting stuck in a life-threatening storm at sea is “just another day.” “It’s still better than getting stuck in traffic in L.A.” Running into Hurricane Richard in Honduras was the scariest moment for Dr. Ben Dr. Ben’s boat has also gotten stuck in the reefs Having a strong team allows the organization to handle crazy situations, like hurricanes Medical training in Ireland is different and more practical to use in developing countries where doctors have less access to technology and resources Dr. Ben visited a small Masai village in rural Tanzania and the everyone in the entire village asked him to help with their medical needs He ran out of supplies very quickly and had to work with the little he had The experience in the village sparked his passion to provide medical care in the developing world, though he realized he needed a bigger backpack and more supplies For an entire year, Dr. Ben couldn’t think of anything else except for his dream to create an organization On his honeymoon, Dr. Ben and his wife went back to the exact same Masai village but with a larger backpack The villagers couldn’t believe Dr. Ben came back Dr. Ben and his wife treated 140 people together and dewormed the entire village The villagers married the two in a Masai celebration where the families gave their rings to the couple and even sacrificed a goat--Dr. Ben’s highlight in his honeymoon Dr. Ben stays in touch through phone calls to provide medical advice to the same village The first step towards the vision was to design a boat that would be used for something that has never been done before During the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Dr. Ben noticed that recreational sailing cruisers were of significant help in the humanitarian aid Dr. Ben wanted to be a doctor and a marine biologist since his early childhood The “sea mist” that comes in the from ocean in California has a strong, salty smell. The sound and the smell of the sea perhaps shaped Dr. Ben’s future at sea Dr. Ben loved going to aquariums as a child At age 11 he began working on fishing boats and continued to work on boats throughout his youth Sail boats are more cost-efficient than fuel-powered boats Dr. Ben found an old boat for sale in Florida that hadn’t been used for 8 years It took over a year to repair the boat, and the help of many friends who learned on the fly His friends who joined had different expectations. Some wanted to heal through the process. Everyone bonded. Their destinies changed. “Everyone changed through the process of rebuilding the ship.” Some people got married to someone they met in the project or changed careers They worked 18-hour days, seven days a week “It was an endurance match. We kept pushing back our leaving date.” “Our lights are going to be turned off tomorrow because we don’t have any money.” The amount of stress Dr. Ben was going through during that first year was enough to kill the average human The day before their final departure, they had no money and owed the marine yard $1,100 for the yard fee Suddenly, a random guy hands them a gallon of Red Bull and $1,100 so they could go!! A lot of retired boat experts volunteered their time for free “We arrived at Haiti without a penny. And the next day we started working.” Upon arrival at Haiti, Dr. Ben thinks to himself: “I’m about to find out if this works or if I just wasted a whole lot of everyone’s time, money, and resources.” Dr. Ben spent hours fixing the boat’s engine “It was a continual emergency. Day after day after day.” The boat could fit 14-15 people Floating Doctors built a facility in the jungles of Panama to serve as a base. They are able to provide permanent health care. They want to replicate this project in other countries. “If you can actually stay longer or set up something ongoing, you can achieve so much more.” You’re working all day at the clinic and work 2-4am night shifts on the boat “There is something to be said for doing your watch from 2-4am when it’s just you and a sleeping boat… and hopefully a calm ocean.” “I would often volunteer for the 2-4am shift because I loved that private time with the ocean.” People can get hurt feelings, feel overworked, if you don’t look out for everyone “You have to maintain a culture aboard your ship of IF ONE OF US GOES DOWN, WE ALL GO DOWN.” Dr. Ben once received a strange piece of advice: “When people are having a shitty week, BAKE BREAD. The smell will make everyone feel better.” “I worked my crew very hard. But I always give them context. The why.” Dr. Ben is always thinking of and organizing experiences for his team that would boost morale, like seeing dolphins. He does this all on a shoestring budget. “My crew really looks out for me.” Floating Doctors has had thousands of volunteers Dr. Ben chokes up when he thinks of the group cohesion and bonding of his team. They have survived it all together. “The ocean doesn’t care what you WANT or INTENDED to do. The only thing the ocean respects is what you DID do.” The sea demands professionalism. You have to be on top of your game, all the time “I could be a plastic surgeon or be making more money doing general practice. But my commute even on a bad day is still better than sitting in traffic.” “I’m in awe and admire every single one of my co-workers. Most people don’t get to say that.” A World War II veteran was once asked by his granddaughter if he was a hero in the world. He said, “No. But I served in the company of heroes.” Dr. Ben feels the same about his work where he watches daily acts of heroism, of people rising above what they even knew what they had in them, to deliver something for someone else. That’s a special thing to be able to experience day after day after day.” “Sometimes I lie awake at night wondering about challenges and future. But I never worry about the big questions. I’ve never woken up to wonder if I’m just wasting my time. I’ve never had to ask myself, should I be doing something more meaningful? Should I follow my dream and get out of this cubicle instead?” “I pushed all my chips in the center of the table. I was all in.” Floating Doctors spent 10 months in Honduras, working near Roatan with Clinica Esperanza The Floating Doctors are planning to expand to Haiti next, then maybe at 57 countries by the time Dr. Ben dies The Floating Doctors retired the Southern Wind in 2016 and now travel in smaller boats, including a 47-foot, wooden canoe “When was the last time you went on a giant, hollowed out tree to work?” In Honduras, Dr. Ben saw drug-related crime and the child sex trade. A lot of darkness. Dr. Ben also saw a lot of acts of extraordinary courage and humanity, which gives him hope and faith in humanity “Some of the things you see can really make you want to throw up your hands and put your head under the pillow and not get out of bed ever again.” Dr. Ben was a high school biology teacher in his early twenties “Most people have dreams. And most people end up not following that with all of their heart. They end up following something that seems more sure and maybe fulfilling, but not necessarily what their dream was.” “Unfortunately, they say to themselves, I’ll do the dream later. Then they look back and realize they blew it. Their one chance. We get one lifetime. No more. No less. Just one.” “If you do what you love and you have enough to eat and a roof over your head, you’ll be happy even if you’re poor. I’ve since tested that for the last ten years and found it to be true.” “I never envisioned that I’d be this poor for this long.” “I had faith that I’d find a way.” Dr. Ben teaches part-time for the USC School for Global Health in Panama “By not making security the focus of my search, I’m now in a position that I’ll have security. Opportunities were created because of what I did.” “You might be worried about the lighting bill, but you won’t worry about the big stuff, like am I wasting my life?” In their 40s, people go through a midlife crisis because they realize they didn’t follow their dream Dr. Ben recommends Neil Gaiman’s books “It sometimes turns out to have been a mistake to climb the mountain. But it is always a mistake to have never made the attempt.” “Is it that bad to fall? To fail? Is it really that bad?” “Millennials are usually told what is not possible.” Floating Doctors used to get hate mails in the beginning, doubting their project. Those messages stopped when they actually did it. Chinese proverb: “Those who say it cannot be done, should not interrupt the person who is doing it.” Dr. Ben’s wife is the Director of Operations for Floating Doctors “My high school counselor never told me that these kinds of jobs and solutions existed.” “Almost anything can be done in a way that allows you to still have a family and a life, even if it means you have to work very hard to figure out how to do that.” Dr. Ben LaBrot can’t remember a time where he had a big fight with his sister, one of the founding members. They have been a united fight the entire time. “Working with family and friends is a double edged sword.” He’s very fortunate for his sister and his wife. He calls them the “heroes I get to work with every day.” “Everything that is valuable in medicine can be found inside a primary care consult.” Dr. Ben’s favorite part of his work is going on a house call to treat patients “You don’t save anyone as a doctor but by just doing your job, you get to be the instrument by which someone’s life can be changed forever.” Dr. Ben LaBrot was told that “I cannot do everything, but I will do something.” “When you’re choosing your work, don’t think about what you’re going to get paid for it. Think about what you’re going to become because of it. And choose accordingly. Because remember, we only get one lifetime. Make it count.” Dr. Ben LaBrot is most grateful for a 22-year-old staff member, Kira, this week

  • The Ben Gold Podcast - 033 40k Thank You Mix

    · #goldrushRADIO

    01.Ben Gold feat. The Glass Child - Fall With Me (Original Mix) 2. Andy Moor and Ashley Wallbridge feat. Meighan Nealon - Faces (Ben Golds Unreleased Remix) 3. TyDi feat. Tania Zygar - Vanilla (Ben Gold Remix) 4.Ben Gold - Profile (Original Mix) 5.Ben Gold - Pandemic (Original Mix) 6. WandW and Ben Gold - Nexgen (Original Mix) 7.Nenes and Pascal Feliz - Platinum (Ben Gold Remix) 8.BeGold - Sunstroke (Original Mix) 9. WandW - Arena (Ben Gold Remix) 10.BeGold - Starstruck (Jochen Miller Remix) 11.Ben Gold - Mesocyclone (Original Mix) 12. Cosmic Gate - So Get Up (Ben Gold Remix) 13. Tritonal feat. Fisher - Slave (Ben Gold and Tritonal Club Dub) 14. Tritonal and Sibicky - Suzu (Ben Gold Remix) 15. Solis and Sean Truby - Loaded (Ben Gold Remix) 16. Ben Gold - Amplified 17. Ben Gold - Colossal (Original Mix) 18. Ben Gold - Sapphire (Original Mix) 19.Ben Gold - Llacuna (Original Mix) 20.John O'Callaghan feat. Audrey Gallagher - Big Sky (Ben Gold's Festival Remix) 21.Gareth Emery - Tokyo (Ben Gold Remix) 22. Gareth Emery and Ben Gold - Flash (Original Mix) 23. Ben Gold - Where Life Takes Us (Original Mix) 24.Ben Gold - Kinetic (Original Mix) 25. Ben Gold and Tritonal - Apex (Original Mix) 26. Ben Gold - Icon (Original Mix) 27. Gareth Emery - Sanctuary (Ben Gold Remix) 28.Matt Hardwick feat. Gulf - Impossible (Ben Gold Remix) 29. Ben Gold feat. Senadee - Say The Words (Original Mix) 30.Ben Gold - Ten-4 (Onova Remix) 31. Ben Gold - Life 32. Ben Gold - First Class Travel 33. Ben Gold - Roll Cage (Aly and Fila Remix) 34. David Murtagh - Introvert/Extrovert (Ben Gold Remix) 35. Ben Gold feat. Senadee - Today (Thomas Datt Chill Out Remix)

  • Show 1283 Reality Check with Ben Shapiro

    · American Conservative University Podcast

    Show 1283 Reality Check with Ben Shapiro To watch these videos visit-   14 Segments from Ben Shapiros YouTube channel.   Ben Shapiro: Obama's Faith in Iran Ben Shapiro takes a hard look at Barack Obama's Iran policy, and the history of the nation that has warred against America for forty years.   Ben Shapiro: Hillary Clinton Lies... A Lot Hillary Clinton says that she is the most transparent woman in American politics. There's just one problem - Hillary Clinton lies... a lot. Ben Shapiro takes a trip in the way back machine to look at a few of the more egregious examples.   Ben Shapiro: First They Came for the Jews President Obama does not stand up for Jews murdered by Islamic Terrorists. President Obama does not stand up for Christians murdered by Islamic Terrorists. Is there anyone President Obama will stand up for? Ben Shapiro explains why the answer is probably 'no.'   Ben Shapiro takes a clear-eyed look at why American Jews vote for the anti-Israel Left.   Ben Shapiro: The First Amendment is Dead The first amendment is dead; long live the reign of sensitivity. Ben Shapiro explores how Americans have forfeited their fundamental rights in the name of political correctness.   Ben Shapiro: Obama's Broken Promises, 2014 Ben Shapiro takes a look at the President Obama's tough talk from 2014 - and the dismal results.   Ben Shapiro: Fracking Saved the Obama Economy Ben Shapiro explores hydraulic fracking and it's effects on the Obama economy. It turns out that Obama’s recovery hasn’t been his recovery at all: it’s been those evil oil and gas   Ben Shapiro: Republicans Secretly Want Obama's Amnesty Ben Shapiro explains why establishment Republicans aren't using the power of the purse to stop Barack Obama's executive amnesty: They don't want to stop it.   Katy Perry, Cher and Macklemore All Lie About Ferguson Ben Shapiro breaks down the witness testimony from the St. Louis County Police Investigative Report of the shooting of Michael Brown and demonstrates that, contrary to President Obama's assertions, the black community in Ferguson did in fact make up the story of the racist cop murdering a teenager with his hands up.   Ben Shapiro: The Truth About Thanksgiving Ben Shapiro takes a look at the true story of Thanksgiving - not the multiculturalism and socialism pushed by leftists every November.   Ben Shapiro: Amnesty Will Destroy Conservatives Establishment Republicans believe that Hispanic immigrants are a natural conservative constituency just an amnesty vote away from joining the GOP. Ben Shapiro takes a look at the polls to disprove this notion.   Ben Shapiro: The True Story of Ferguson and the Gentle Giant Ben Shapiro exposes the truth behind the media-created myth of Gentle Giant Michael Brown, the unarmed teen gunned down in cold blood by a white racist cop for the crime of walking while black. Except that every part of that story is a lie.   Ben Shapiro: Women Are Winning the War on Women Ben Shapiro takes on the enormous falsehood that women are under assault in America. Reality check: The wage gap, the war on reproductive rights and the explosion of sexual assault on campus are all just lies made up by Democrats to hang on to power.   Ben Shapiro: The Myth of the Tiny Radical Muslim Minority In the debut of Reality Check, Ben Shapiro takes on Ben Affleck and the myth that only a tiny minority of Muslims worldwide are radical.   Visit The American Conservative University Podcast for over 1200 free audio shows from the best Conservative Talent in the world!   Visit-

  • 369: Ben Greenfield | How to Burn Fat Without Exercising

    · 00:54:25 · The Art of Charm | Social Science | Cognitive Psychology | Confidence | Relationship Advice | Behavioral Economics | Productivity | Biohacking

    You don't have to exercise 4 hours a day. "Any time your body has to venture outside of its homeostatic norm and make micro adjustments it will burn calories."-Ben Greenfield The Cheat Sheet: Why adding a cool shower can help you burn fat. Shivering boosts your metabolism by 300%: true or false? How does wi-fi interfere with your metabolic rate? Can posture and breathing impact how many calories you burn? What is caloric hyper-compensation and why should you know about it? And so much more... Is it really possible to burn fat, without spending half your day at the gym? And do those electrical impulse ab machines you see on infomercials actually work? Here to answer both of those questions and to give us the low-down on how to burn fat without exercising the easiest and healthiest way is Ben Greenfield. Ben and I chat about all of that and more on episode 369 of The Art of Charm. Click Here to Support The Show and get 10% off Onnit! More About This Show: If you don't know who Ben is and you missed his previous appearance on The Art of Charm, check it out here. You'll hear who Ben is and the simple ways he helps people achieve their lifestyle goals, beyond the norm of healthy eating and exercise. And one look at Ben and you'll know he practices what he preaches. On today's show Ben and I talk about his biohacking tips and suggestions for how to burn fat during your day, without adding complex exercises or another two hours on to your gym routine. His first tip is to add cooling garments to your regular wardrobe. Don't take one of those ice packs you bought at the pharmacy, they have chemicals in them that can burn your skin. Instead Ben recommends cold packs from Onnit. The link is below the notes. When you wear those during your day your body has to burn more calories to keep you warm and get back to your body's normal temperature of 98.6 degrees. Keep the cold packs on your body for 30-60 minutes a day. Be sure to do some kind of work that isn't too mentally taxing because you will shiver and you will be a bit distracted. You can jack up your metabolism even more by strategically placing the cold packs on areas that have more brown adipose tissue (sometimes called brown fat). Your stomach (if you have some extra fat there) is a good example. A second suggestion he has is to do short bursts of exercise throughout your day, things like pull-ups, air squats, or kettle bells. If you have an office where you can shut the door you can do any of these things. Set a rule that for every 25 minutes of work you'll do 20 push-ups, or something of that nature. If you work in a cubicle and can't have any privacy while working, do 25 air squats in the bathroom stall every time you use it. If you make 4 trips during an entire day you've just done 100 squats. You'll see the difference quickly, just be sure to count your squats silently! Now if we're talking next to no effort, Ben has plenty of suggestions including deep breathing from your diaphragm, sitting upright with proper posture and even the electric ab muscle machines you see on TV. He explains which type of machine you need (EMS, which stand for electrical muscle stimulator) and how even NFL athletes use these, sometimes for their entire work out. Ben gives us TONS more, you'll want to have something handy to jot all this down. Have a listen to get it all on today's show. Then join me in thanking Ben for his second appearance on the show and as always, thank you for being here. We'll see you next time. THANKS BEN GREENFIELD! If you enjoyed this session of The Art of Charm Podcast, let Ben know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out on Twitter: Click here to thank Ben on Twitter! Resources from this episode: Ben Greenfield's web siteBen's previous visit to The Art of Charm, episode 259 Ben Greenfield on TwitterCoolFatBurnerBen's treadmill/standing desk recommendationsCompex, Ben's EMS recommendation Nature Beat, how Ben monitors his breathing and stress levels KyBounder, the standing mat for standing desks Onnit's sandbagsHyperwear weighted vestTitin Tech shirtPerfect Pullup barThe Art of Charm bootcamps You'll also like: -The Art of Charm Toolbox-Best of The Art of Charm Podcast Wanna leave a comment? Too bad! Email me instead (we read everything)! HELP US SPREAD THE WORD! If you dug this episode, please subscribe in iTunes and write us a review! This is what helps us stand out from all the fluff out there. FEEDBACK + PROMOTION Hit us up with your comments and guest suggestions. We read EVERYTHING. Download the FREE AoC app for iPhone Email Give us a call at 888.413.7177 Stay Charming!

  • Ep 478: Fans Pay $500K To Keep Favorite Shows, Will This Kill Netflix with CEO Ben Dobyns

    · 00:23:51 · The Top Entrepreneurs in Money, Marketing, Business and Life

    Ben Dobyns, CEO and founder of Zombie Orpheus Entertainment. He’s started giving the company’s films away for free ever when he started the company—a tradition he’s proud to continue today. Famous Five: Favorite Book? – The Art of Game Design What CEO do you follow? –  Jamie Wilkinson Favorite online tool? — Slack Do you get 8 hours of sleep?— Yes If you could let your 20-year old self, know one thing, what would it be? – “Take the time to pursue the dream. Shortcuts will disempower you and empower other people”    Time Stamped Show Notes: 01:33 – Nathan introduces Ben to the show 01:57 – Ben had a terrible experience with Hollywood distribution in 2008 02:10 – Ben didn’t get paid for the film they made 02:18 – The company owed Ben $ 30,000 03:23 – “Independent films will lose your money if you invest in them” 03:34 – Ben launched his new company in 2010 and paid their investors back after a year 03:47 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment was launched in 2010 03:59 – “We’re going to give people free films and share them” 04:10 – Ben had a realization that each film will be a form of advertising 04:33 – At the end of every episode, there’s a message that will lead viewers to give Zombie Orpheus Entertainment money 05:08 – Journey Quest series on Youtube 05:45 – Ben will let the viewers choose if they want to continue watching or not 06:04 – Based purely on fan contribution, Ben and his team are able to continue the show 06:16 – They made $ 30,000 for season 1 and from Kickstarter is $ 112,000 which funded season 2 06:28 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment is now out of the investment cycle 07:07 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment built a fan base on Facebook and Youtube 07:36 – Zombie Orpheus Entertainment had 1,117 unique backers for Journey Quest  07:57 – On Kickstarter, average contribution is $ 97 per backer 08:33 – The fan base is big for Zombie Orpheus Entertainment 09:01 – Ben done 3 Kickstarters this year 09:18 – Attack in the Darkness – raised $ 25,000 09:28 – The Gamers – raised $ 174,000 09:49 – Raised $575,000 for the 3 seasons of Journey Quest 10:04 – Ben setup a pre-funding page with public metrics for journey Quest 10:14 – 4,200 people added their names in the email list 10:29 – They launched with 4,600 names in their list on day 1 10:45 – Kickstarter attracted more people 11:06 – is the pre-funding page 12:00 – Ben has one of the best Kickstarter planning sheet 12:20 – The sheet is not currently for public use 12:36 – With Journey quest, the needed budget was $ 325,000 for the production 12:55 – Ben didn’t aim for profit for this Kickstarter 13:10 – Season 3 of Journey Quest will be moved to BackerKit for pledge management 13:55 – Ben isn’t looking for an exit or an IPO 15:00 – What Ben is doing is similar to a SaaS business model 15:50 – Ben has been offered venture capital but he won’t accept it 16:55 – Ben is going to release their world bible and their intellectual property to allow their commercial derivatives 17:45 – Ben uses Kickstarter to have a merchandise fusion with a reward program 17:55 – Ben is really picky with merchandise quality 18:25 – Keep Zombie Orpheus Entertainment’s shows alive by dropping a dollar or $ 5 at Patreon 21:07 – The Famous Five   3 Key Points: Use bad experiences as education and motivation. Venture capital is not always an option. Take the time to pursue the dream. Shortcuts will disempower you and empower other people.   Resources Mentioned: Toptal – Nathan found his development team using Toptal  for his new business Send Later. He was able to keep 100% equity and didn’t have to hire a co-founder due to the quality of Toptal  developers. Host Gator – The site Nathan uses to buy his domain names and hosting for the cheapest price possible. Freshbooks – The site Nathan uses to manage his invoices and accounts. Leadpages  – The drag and drop tool Nathan uses to quickly create his webinar landing pages which convert at 35%+ Audible – Nathan uses Audible when he’s driving from Austin to San Antonio (1.5-hour drive) to listen to audio books. – The site Nathan uses to book meetings with one email. Acuity Scheduling – Nathan uses Acuity to schedule his podcast interviews and appointments Drip – Nathan uses Drip’s email automation platform and visual campaign builder to build his sales funnel. Patreon – Ben’s pledge page Show Notes provided by Mallard Creatives

  • Michael Lee and Shams Charania

    · 00:55:55 · The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix

    Joining Chris Mannix on The Vertical this week is The Vertical's NBA writer Michael Lee and the NBA Insider for The Vertical Shams Charania. Chris talks with Michael and Shams about the offseason that that Boston Celtics, Raptors and T'Wolves have had so far. The guys also talk about the situation that is the New York Knicks. It's all here and more on The Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix.

  • Ep#76 - Imtiaz Shams - Faith To Faithless

    · 01:04:55 · The Godless Spellchecker Podcast

    Joining me on this week’s #GSPodcast is Imtiaz Shams (@imtishams). He’ll be telling me about the important work he is doing with Faith To Faithless. We also delve into free speech, imperialism, becoming an ex-Muslim and empowering minority voices. We’ll also hear about the VICE and BBC documentaries he’s been involved with. Also available on iTunes and Stitcher. Support the podcast at Listeners get a free audiobook and trial with Audible at #GSPodcast Theme by Dorian Silk & The MCH

  • Mehtab Shams — Mantra: Karma Is A Bitch

    · She Wrote A Book

    In this episode, we chat with Mehtab Shams who wrote and published the book Mantra: Karma Is A Bitch. Show notes at ————————————————————— BOOK SUMMARY — Mantra is a paranormal suspense thriller – a chilling reminder that what goes round … Continued

  • #214: Lucky Carrickfergus

    · 01:03:07 · Irish and Celtic Music Podcast

    Looks like you lucked out once again with another weekly episode of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast featuring indie Celtic music from Boston Blackthorne, Buzz Turner, Jil Chambless, Scott Hoye, Headland, Haggis Rampant, Kyle Carey, The Gas Men, Shamus O'Blivion, Eilis Crean, The Canny Brothers Band, Raymond McCullough, Marys Lane, The Shams. If you enjoy this show, then subscribe to our Celtic Music Magazine. This is our free newsletter and your guide to the latest Celtic music and podcast news. Subscribe today to download 34 Celtic MP3s for free. Remember to support the artists who support this podcast: buy their CDs, download their MP3s, see their shows, and drop them an email to let them know you heard them on the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. Today's show is brought to you by Celtic Invasion Vacations If you are listening to this podcast then you probably dream of traveling to one of the Celtic nations. So I have one piece of advice. Do it! I'm not saying you should join me on one of my Celtic Invasion Vacations. I'm not saying you should join another tour group. But travel. Go. Right now. Mark Twain wrote: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime." Traveling will change your life for the better forever. Stop waiting for the "right moment". Start planning now. If you enjoy my music, then join me on a Celtic Invasion of another Celtic country. In 2016, we're going to Cornwall in search of Celtic culture, King Arthur and the Holy Grail. Will you join us? Subscribe to the mailing list and join the invasion at   Notes: Thanks to the Patrons of the Podcast. Your kind and generous support keeps this show running every week. Become a Patrons at Special thanks to Jeremy, our newest patron! You can now Vote in the Celtic Top 20 July 28th marks the 10 year anniversary of the podcast. Join our Facebook group. Sat July 18th at Johnnie MacCracken's Celtic Pub in Marietta, Georgia I WANT YOUR FEEDBACK: Email a comment to or call 678-CELT-POD to leave a voicemail message. That's 678-235-8763. Or visit to post a comment in the shownotes.   This Week in Celtic Music 0:55"Sam Adams/The Shores of Lake Cochituate" by Boston Blackthornefrom County Kerry to Kerry Park 4:58"Jig of an Elderly Gent" by Buzz Turnerfrom The View from Here 7:43"Follow the Heron Home" by Jil Chamblessfrom The Ladies Go Dancing 11:11"The South Wind Carrickfergus" by Scott Hoyefrom Black Rose 15:56"Raglan Road" by Headlandfrom Longtime Coming 21:01Celtic Music News 22:21"Gravel Path/First Slip/Poisoned Dwarf/Back in Black" by Haggis Rampantfrom Tri 23:58"Sios Dhan An Abhainn" by Kyle Careyfrom North Star 27:25"The Boys of Ballinamore/The Monks of the Screw" by The Gas Menfrom Clement Street 30:12"Raggle Taggle Gypsie" by Shamus O'Blivionfrom Single 33:57"Lucky Penny Set" by Eilis Creanfrom The Lonesome Fiddler 38:19Celtic Feedback 43:23"Celtic Sympony" by The Canny Brothers Bandfrom The Guinness Situation 47:41"I Will Lift My Eyes Up" by Raymond McCulloughfrom Into Jerusalem 51:25"I Once Crossed an Ocean" by Marys Lanefrom I Once Crossed an Ocean 57:40"Cruel Sister" by The Shamsfrom Go On Home Boys Remember too, when you buy through our affiliates at Amazon or iTunes, you support the artists AND the podcast.    The Irish & Celtic Music Podcast was produced by Marc Gunn, The Celtfather. To subscribe, go to iTunes or to our website where you can become a Patron of the Podcast for as little as $1 per episode. You can post feedback in the shownotes at or email me

  • Endless Celtic Summer #144

    · 01:26:34 · Irish and Celtic Music Podcast

    Irish Celtic music from Banish-Misfortune, La Unica, The Shams, Out of Alba, Patrick K, Brobdingnagian Bards, The Secret Commonwealth, Coole Park, The Celtic Reggae Revolution, Sassanak Lassies, Martyn Wylde, Staggering Jack, Sarah Marie Mullen, Mikey Mason, The Tomfooligans, Appalachian Celtic Consort, The Triskells, Kevin McCormack, Prydein, Barleyjuice. If you enjoy this show, then subscribe to our Celtic Music Magazine. This is our free monthly newsletter and your guide to the latest Celtic music and podcast news. Remember to support the artists who support this podcast: buy their CDs, download their MP3s, see their shows, and drop them an email to let them know you heard them on the Irish and Celtic Music Podcast. Remember too, when you buy through our affiliates at CD Baby, Amazon, or iTunes, you support the artists AND the podcast. Today’s show is brought to you by Celtic Invasion Vacations Good food, good drink, and good company. Join Marc Gunn on an exciting Invasion of Wales in 2014. You will enjoy a small, friendly group, one-third the size of most tour groups. Relax and savor the land like a local. You will enjoy lots of great Celtic music from Marc Gunn and other Celtic musicians. Smile, laugh, and make lots of wonderful memories with Marc Gunn’s Celtic Invasion Vacations. Subscribe to the Invasion today at   Notes: Join Song Henge Today!: This is the official fan club of the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. You can join the secret club and get free access to Song Henge, our online archive of Celtic music downloads. Please join today… Because. We are changing the way you hear Celtic music. Celtic Top 20 officially comes to an end Do you enjoy the Irish & Celtic Music Podcast. Tell me about it. Why do you listen to the show? What new music have you found? How has this show affected your life? Post a comment on our Facebook fan page or call 678-CELT-POD to leave a voicemail message. That’s 678-235-8763. This Week in Celtic Music “Road to Lisdoonvarna/Swallowtail Jig” by Banish-Misfortunefrom The Fair Little Child “Silver Spear/Maid Behind The Bar” by La Unicafrom La Unica “Cruel Sister” by The Shamsfrom Go On Home Boys “Mr and Mrs McLean of Snaigow and Asoken” by Out of Albafrom Nithi Sessions “City of Shame” by Patrick Kfrom Single “Lothlorien” by Brobdingnagian Bardsfrom Memories of Middle Earth (10th anniversary remastered) “Springtime Unknown” by The Secret Commonwealthfrom Last Call “Old Hag, You Have Killed Me” by Coole Parkfrom Water Journeys “Raggle Taggle Reggae” by The Celtic Reggae Revolutionfrom Everything Comes To Those Who Wait “Whistle O’er the Lave O’T” by Sassanak Lassiesfrom Fast and Dirty “The Road to Dunmore” by Martyn Wyldefrom Minstrel’s Lament “Johnny O’Brady’s Lea” by Staggering Jackfrom The Sailor’s Daughter “Deidre’s Lament” by Sarah Marie Mullenfrom We Brought The Summer With Us “The Ballad of Essie Tregowan” by Mikey Masonfrom Storm Coming “McGregor’s Pipes” by The Tomfooligansfrom Five Rounds “Ballydesmond Polkas 1, 2 and 3″ by Appalachian Celtic Consortfrom Drop o’the Pure “The Three Ravens” by The Triskellsfrom THE TRISKELLS “Come My Little Son” by Kevin McCormackfrom An Emigrant’s Letter “Farewell to Eirann” by Prydeinfrom Live at the Fort “Weekend Irish” by Barleyjuicefrom Larry Kirwan’s Celtic Invasion

  • 372: Fringe Longevity Secrets, The Best "Minimalist" Exercise Plan, How To Calm Down After Stress & Much More!

    · 01:16:12 · Ben Greenfield Fitness: Diet, Fat Loss and Performance Aug 9, 2017 Podcast: 372 - The Best "Minimalist" Exercise Plan, How Guys Can "Get It Up" Better, How To Calm Down After Stress, and Why So Many Products Have Caffeine. Have a podcast question for Ben? Click the tab on the right (or go to SpeakPipe), use the Contact button on the app, call 1-877-209-9439, or use the “Ask Ben” form at the bottom of this page. In intro and outro, Ben mentions 110% compression pants, the eng3 NanoVi device, Qi Gong master Chris Holder and Paul Chek and a Magic Flight box. News Flashes [6:44]: Keys to bad-ass, track-record-breaking longevity? Naps, time outdoors and gardening apparently. Yet another host of amazing tips from a Japanese centenarian. Wow. 256 Years Old Man Breaks The Silence Before His Death And Reveals SHOCKING Secrets To The World. Brain cells that control aging discovered - seem to be in same areas of brain associated with stress huh? Science Points to the Single Most Valuable Personality Trait. You can receive these News Flashes (and more) every single day, if you follow Ben on,,,, and Google+. Special Announcements [17:30]: This podcast is brought to you by: -Casper - Get $50 toward any mattress purchase by visiting and using BEN. -Blue Apron  – Check out this week’s menu and get your first three meals FREE - with shipping - by going to -Atrantil -  Go to and use the code Ben for 15% off. -Kettle and Fire - Go to and get 20% off your order. -Podchaser Contest - Don’t forget to log in and vote by heading to now. Enter code "Patreon". -Click here to follow Ben on Snapchat, and get ready for some epic stories on his morning, daily and evening routine! What did you miss this week? A clay mask, a park workout, a morning routine change-up, an epic post-race salad and more. Ben's Adventures [26:20]: -NEW! Click here for the official BenGreenfieldFitness calendar. -Ben is racing on the Spartan Pro Team for 2017! You can catch him at any of these races below and you can click here to register: -The Ascent, West Virginia, August 26 -Lake Tahoe, Spartan World Championships, September 30 - October 1 -August 12th and 13th Montage Deer Valley Park City, UT: Ultimate Achiever's Club. Ben will be speaking to the finest group of chiropractors on the planet! -Aug 16-17 San Francisco: Udemy. Ben will be filming in San Francisco for Udemy. -Sep 8-11, 2017: Who Wants To Live Forever Conference in Reykjavík, Iceland. Most of us not only want to have a long lifespan, but also a long healthspan; to be fit and healthy throughout the course of our lives. As we move into this unprecedented era of human history, a question arises: how far can the human healthspan be extended, and what are the most effective ways to achieve longevity? Click here for tickets! -Oct 13-15, 2017: Biohacker Summit, Helsinki, Finland. This event is the focal point for learning faster, performing better, living longer, and enjoying more what you wake up to do every day. Discover the latest in wearables, internet of things, nutrition, digital health, and mobile apps to increase performance, be healthier, stay fit, and get more done. Get your tickets here! -November 10-13: Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference, Minneapolis, MN. I'll be speaking at the 18th annual conference that covers everything from hormone health, adrenal and thyroid health, natural fertility, degenerative diseases, to traditional diets and food preparation & more. Learn how to improve your health through food, farming and the healing arts. Click here to register.  -Dec 7-9, 2017: XPT Experience, Kauai, Hawaii. Join me, Brian Mackenzie, Kelly Starrett, Julia Starrett, Laird Hamilton and Gabby Reece, for an epic, all-inclusive performance living workshop this Dec 7, 8 and 9 in beautiful Kauai, Hawaii. Come and join us for pool training, underwater workouts, gym training, breathing instruction, outdoor workouts, recovery biohacking and much more! Get your tickets here. -Dec 11-23, 2017: Runga Retreat, Cambutal, Panama. This retreat spans 8-days and centers around fostering heightened awareness, presence, and connection with others through a mandatory "Digital Detox" - or no cell phones, computers, and other technology. Yoga is offered twice per day, everyday. There is also an off-site adventure ranging from hiking volcanoes to white water rafting or zip lining. World-class spa treatments are available and 100% of the food are suitable for vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten-free, or ketogenic dieters. Get your tickets here, and use code BEN for $10 off. Giveaway: Grab this Official Ben Greenfield Fitness Gear package that comes with a tech shirt, a beanie and a water bottle. And of course, this week's top iTunes review - gets some BG Fitness swag straight from Ben - click here to leave your review for a chance to win some! Click here to get gift packs! ------------------------------------------ Listener Q&A [29:40]: As compiled, deciphered, edited and sometimes read by Brock Armstrong, the Podcast Sidekick. The Best "Minimalist" Exercise Plan knralph says: I am stuck. I exercise a lot and I do CrossFit everyday plus a lot of heavy weight lifting. I spend a lot of time in the gym. I have knee pain and I know this is a waste of time. I am wondering how I can responsibly reduce the amount of exercise I do everyday and not gain weight. I eat keto and follow Paleo and Whole30 and enjoy it. In my response, I recommend: -My How To Look Good Naked & Live A Long Time article -My podcast on Vasper -My podcast on ARXFit How Guys Can "Get It Up" Better Marvin says: I am 30-years-old and have trouble getting an erection. I think it may because I work too much. I mostly work, lifting heavy things, I may not eat the proper foods and I party a lot and smoke. I do things that I know I shouldn't that probably affect my performance in bed. But I am hoping you can give me some pointers to enlighten my performance. In my response, I recommend: -GainsWave -Examine Research Digest -Multiorgasmic man book -17 Ways To Biohack Testosterone How To Calm Down After Stress Derek says: I am an Opera Singer living in Germany. After my performances I think I have built up a lot of stress hormones and adrenalin and I am wondering what I should do to help my body process these? From all your fans in Germany: Vielen Dank! In my response, I recommend: -Alternate Nostril Breathing -CBD -Quick Coherence Technique -Inner Peace herbal adaptogen -Circadia device Why So Many Products Have Caffeine Stef says: So the Keto1 supplement has caffeine in it. It doesn't say how much caffeine though. Why do so many of these products, that are supposed to make you feel great, have caffeine in them? Of course you feel great - you're having caffeine! In my response, I recommend: -My article on Keto1 Prior to asking your question, do a search in upper right-hand corner of this website for the keywords associated with your question. Many of the questions we receive have already been answered here at Ben Greenfield Fitness! Ask Your Question [gravityform id="2" name="Ask Ben" title="false" description="false"] -----------------------------------------------------

  • 008 iPhreaks Show – Prototypes with Ben Lachman

    · 00:47:25 · The iPhreaks Show

    Panel Ben Lachman (twitter blog) Pete Hodgson (twitter github blog) Rod Schmidt (twitter github infiniteNIL) Ben Scheirman (twitter github blog NSSreencast) Charles Max Wood (twitter github Teach Me To Code Rails Ramp Up)Discussion01:30 - Ben Lachman Introduction Acacia Tree Software Nice Mohawk SousChef Ita03:12 - Prototyping and Mockup Tools Adobe Photoshop Pen and Paper Forecast Interface Builder Balsamiq Mockingbird Keynote Kung-Fu Graffletopia: OmniGraffle Stencils Prototypes15:25 - What makes a good prototype18:04 - Building a good prototype Make a prototype; not a concept Start with pen and paper19:39 - Issues that prototyping helps you identify Discoverability Features Visibility Features20:11 - Solving issues and sharing prototypes with clients Usability Testing Screenshots Briefs 227:52 - Laying out your application Code Spikes32:43 - Prototyping for Clients35:29 - Building Prototypes in HTML Briefs 237:34 - Using iPads/etc. instead of pen and paper Paper SketchBook Pro39:09 - ButtonsPicks iPhone Stencil Kit (Ben) Play by Play: Neven Mrgan | PeepCode Screencasts (Ben) Skala Preview (Ben) Xscope (Ben) UI Stencils - iPhone Sketch Pad (Rod) Screen Time (Rod) iPhone Stamp for UI Sketching - The Russians Used a Pencil (Pete) POP - Prototyping on Paper (Pete) PocketCasts (Pete) Spaced (Pete) iOctocat (Chuck) ioctocat on GitHub (Chuck) Briefs 2 (Ben L) Coworking (Ben L) Paint Code (Ben L) Bow Truss (Ben L)Next WeekInterface BuilderTranscriptPETE: I’m trying to decide who I would rather work for...[Chuck laughs]PETE: That mob would be more interesting, but probably a little bit more scary.[This show is sponsored by The Pragmatic Studio. The Pragmatic Studio has been teaching iOS development since November of 2008. They have a 4-day hands-on course where you'll learn all the tools, APIs, and techniques to build iOS Apps with confidence and understand how all the pieces work together. They have two courses coming up: the first one is in July, from the 22nd - 25th, in Western Virginia, and you can get early registration up through June 21st; you can also sign up for their August course, and that's August 26th - 29th in Denver, Colorado, and you can get early registration through July 26th. If you want a private course for teams of 5 developers or more, you can also sign up on their website at]CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to Episode 8 of iPhreaks! This week on our panel, we have Pete Hodgson.PETE: Hello! I'm so impressed with Charles Max Wood newest episode with or without any thinking, well done!CHUCK: I looked it up beforehand.[Pete chuckles]CHUCK: Rod Schimdt.ROD: Hello from Salt Lake!CHUCK: Ben Scheirman.BEN: Hello from hot and humid Houston!CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from And we have a special guest today, and that's Ben, is it Lachman?BEN L: Yes, it is! And hello from Athens, Ohio, which is also hot and humid! Probably not as hot as Houston..CHUCK: So you want to introduce yourself really quickly?BEN L: Yeah! I've been around the Mac and iOS dev world for about 10 or 12 years at this point; actually, I guess that would be before the iOS dev world really was around. And I write software for a couple of companies of my own. One is "Acacia Tree Software", and the other is newer and I started with a business partner in Cleveland, Ohio named Bob Cantoni and it's called "Nice Mohawk".So yeah, we write some iOS software, some Mac software, and we do contract work as well.CHUCK: Awesome. I'm a little curious before we get into what we're going to talk about, how much iOS and Mac stuff do you write as products that you sell versus client stuff that you do for other people?BEN L: We've done a fairly good job, for like a two-man shop,

  • Getting Attention: The Science of Being Captivating Online

    · 00:36:01 · Social Media Marketing Podcast helps your business thrive with social media

    Do you want to bring more attention to your business or product?Want to find out what inspires people to take notice?To discover how to get people's attention online, I interview Ben Parr.More About This ShowThe Social Media Marketing podcast is an on-demand talk radio show from Social Media Examiner. It's designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.In this episode I interview Ben Parr, the former co-editor for Mashable. He's also the co-founder of DominateFund—invest in great companies. His new book is called Captivology: The Science of Capturing People's Attention.Ben will explore the science of getting attention.You'll discover the different types of attention, as well as some of the triggers.Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below.Listen NowYou can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher. How to subscribe on iPhone.Here are some of the things you'll discover in this show:Getting AttentionBen's backstoryBen talks about how his personal blog led to writing for Mashable in 2008. Some of the stories on Ben's blog hit Digg, which was big at the time. Mashable noticed and asked Ben to write for them. He then came on board as a junior editor, and was promoted to co-editor in 2009, which was when he moved to San Francisco. Ben was with Mashable for 3 1/2 years.As co-editor, Ben was in charge of the West Coast. Since he was the only one in Silicon Valley for a long time, if anything came up in Silicon Valley (like they needed someone to talk to Mark Zuckerberg), they called on Ben. He wrote about 2,400 articles and also helped manage and mentor a lot of reporters and junior editors.Ben's book, Captivology, came about a couple of years ago. When Ben was just starting out investing in companies, he realized they were all asking for help with press and marketing, customer and user acquisition, and virality. He explains that all of these areas are about getting attention for products and getting users.Ben says he did a lot of research, and realized there was a lot of interesting information about attention over the last 50 years, but no one had put it together into something mainstream.Listen to the show to discover why Captivology was the book he had to write.The science behind the bookFor Captivology, Ben went through more than 1,000 different research studies and interviewed dozens of PhDs, as well as business leaders and thought leaders, like Sheryl Sandberg, Steven Soderbergh and David Copperfield. They helped him frame the book in a way that there's a lot of science and research, but also practical information. There's knowledge people can use in daily life.Going into the book, Ben had theories about things like reward systems, and confirmed some of his beliefs on how they work.For example, there's a type of reward-giving, called post-action rewards. This is when someone gets a reward as a surprise after completing an action. When you surprise people with a reward, it reinforces behavior.Listen to the show to discover why incentives are the worst ways to get attention.The three types of attentionIn Ben's research, he discovered three stages of attention: immediate, short and long attention.Immediate attention. This is the immediate and automatic reaction people have to certain sights, sounds and stimuli. When people hear a gunshot they duck, which is an automatic reaction to protect themselves. There's a lot of fascinating science on how that works and why it matters, Ben says.Short attention. Short attention is the second stage. That's when people start consciously focusing on something. When someone starts watching a show or reading a story about something, that's short attention.Long attention. A lot of people don't think about the third stage, which is long attention (long-term interest in a subject).

  • 18SP 040: Ben Shear | Why You DON’T Need More Speed in Your Swing

    · The 18STRONG Podcast: Golf | Golf Fitness | Mental

    What does it take to make your workouts and golf game 18STRONG? Join us as Ben Shear shares his expertise in the world of Strength & Conditioning, Biomechanics, and Nutrition for golfers.  Ben gives us an in inside look at some of the concerns he has with the most recent "need for speed" mentality of the average golfer and why this is most likely not the most important piece you should be working on. Ben Shear is one of the biggest names in the world of Golf Fitness.  He works with many tour players including Luke Donald, Webb Simpson, Russell Henley, and Jason Day.  He also runs 3 elite training facilities, hosts the Golfer's Edge Radio show on PGA Tour Radio, and is a consistent contributor to Golf Digest Magazine. You Can Subscribe to the 18STRONG Podcast on iTunes by clicking the button below: Ben Shear's Background Originally owned Athletic Edge in Scotch Plains, NJ, working with Athletes of all types Began working with golfers and started traveling on tour Ben now works with many of the top golfers in the world Host of "The Golfer's Edge Radio Show" on PGA Tour Radio Opened Golf & Body NYC, an elite indoor Golf Club in Manhattan You can find a full bio on Ben here at Highlights from this Episode Ben describes his experience at the PGA show 2015, where he noticed a massive trend toward speed training in the presentations of many of the teaching pros. Ben explains why gaining more speed in your swing, while sexy, may be detrimental to your game if your not ready for it. We discuss some of the common physical issues that golfers have which may be exacerbated by trying to swing faster. Ben also explains the effect of "triangulation." Basically, the farther you hit it, the farther your misses go.  So, if you're in the rough hitting a ball 250; if you all of a sudden hit that ball 300, you're in the trees. We talk about flexibility/mobility and stability training.  How effective is stretching, really? Ben stresses the importance if finding your own swing and making the improvements that fit you and your body. What is Ben Excited about in his career? Ben is making some big changes to his business model at the Athletic Edge.  It sounds like a fitness trainers dream, where the clients are "required" to participate in the whole program, from nutrition to soft tissue to training.  Listen to the episode for his full plan. Where to Find Ben Shear: Golfer's Edge Radio Show Twitter: @Ben_Shear Facebook: Ben Shear Golf Facebook Other Links Mentioned Golf & Body NYC The Athletic Edge The post 18SP 040: Ben Shear | Why You DON’T Need More Speed in Your Swing appeared first on